Was it all just a bad dream?

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I breathed as if it was my first.  In a slow, painstaking move, I raised my head and opened my eyes.  They hurt.  I might have been crying in my sleep but finally, I woke up from what seemed a very long slumber.

 

Was it all just a bad dream?

 

It wasn’t.  It wasn’t a dream at all.  My Angel… he left me.  He flew away from me and he’s never coming back…

 

I got up, blinking a few times.  I can’t see anything.  Why am I still in this darkness?  I know I’ve been here before… or perhaps I’ve always been here and didn’t get out; couldn’t get out; or maybe I chose not to get out.

 

“I love you so much, My Queen. And I promise you I will love and cherish you forever…”

 

I held back my tears as memories flashed through my mind.  He left me alone in this darkness crying, lost, heartbroken…

 

“Goodbye, Baby Girl…”

 

I shook my head.  Why am I hearing his voice as if it was just yesterday?  I don’t want to dwell on that again.  Not again, ever.  Not anymore…

 

I looked around and all that has hovered around me is pitch black.  I got up and knelt down.  I closed my eyes again hoping that when I open them I’ll find a path to guide me away from this place.

 

“Please take me away from here.  I don’t want to cry anymore.  I don’t want to bear this kind of pain anymore…” I prayed, barely hearing my own voice.  I can’t hear anything; no sound at all; there’s just bleak and numbing nothingness.  I couldn’t help it; my tears began falling.  I really want to get out but… how?

 

“Asher…”

 

I gasped.  Did someone call my name?

 

“Asher…”

 

Slowly, I opened my eyes.  I saw a flickering light and it was drawing closer and closer to me.

 

I tried to stand up but I couldn’t.  I heard footstep heading towards me as the light approached me.  My Angel, is it him?  No.  It can’t be… I know he’s not coming back to me.

 

“Asher,”

 

That gentle voice called my name again.  I lifted my head and there he was standing a few footsteps away from me.  He walked towards me and that flicker of light suddenly exploded, so bright that it’s almost blinding. I tried to cover my face but I want to see him.  I want to know who he is.

 

“Come,” he said as he offered his hand to me.  I just looked at it dumbfounded.  Who is he?

 

As if hearing my thoughts, he laughed— the kind of laugh that is almost musical, mild and pleasing to the ears.

 

He held my shoulders and helped me stand up.  Gently, he placed his hands on my face.  His fingers trailed on my cheeks, wiping away my tears.

 

“Stop crying, Asher.  I’m here now…”

 

I gasped.  What does he mean by that?

 

“Let’s go.  You’ve been here for far too long,”

 

“Who… who are you?”  I asked looking up at him.   As if in a slow motion, the bright clouds parted and his face became clearer and clearer to me.

 

I stared at him wide-eyed.  He was looking at me with fondness in his eyes and his hand was gentle and warm when he clasped mine.  He guided me as we tread away from that vast coldness.

 

“Where are we going?”  I asked again.

 

“You’ll see,” he answered, his eyes never leaving my face.  I should be worried but it’s strange that when he said that, I never felt a doubt in my chest.

 

He held my hand tighter and gave me a smile that reached his beautiful eyes.  I held my breath for a while. I realized it was him and his smile that changed this darkness into bright morning.

 

…will he be able to change the beat of my heart, too?

DEAR FRIEND

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I’ve been thinking about you a lot

All this time I have kept you in my heart.

I try to ignore what I feel inside

Because you’re my friend and with that I can’t fight.

 

I tried to avoid you every time we get close,

Because I’m always hurting and that’s the only cause.

But I kept on loving you and wanting you instead

In spite that I can’t have you and my heart went dead.

 

You’ve been dear to me ever since you came

Yes, I’ve been fond of you the day I knew your name.

I knew you were someone I can get along with ease,

I thought you have the charm to make everybody pleased.

 

And now I love you but it’s just too late

I know you don’t want me and you’ve found your fate.

It’s wrong for me to think that one day I’ll hold your hand

Because I know you don’t love me and I know where I stand.

 

You always ask me favors for you to please your girl

And every time we speak we always talk about her.

I can’t say that I’m jealous but I’m always hurt

But as long as you’re happy, I can bear every ache.

 

Isn’t it funny that when true love hits you,

It hits you so bad and you’re left with no clue.

How come you have found it but can never have it?

And when you finally get serious you’re bound to lose your wit.

 

One thing’s clear though, and that’s what I believe

But I don’t know what it can make me, in pain or relieved?

Whatever happens, everything is well planned,

It is all written and in the Master’s hand.

 

So what I’m ought to do is leave it all behind

To God’s will and plan, my heart and my mind.

All the dreams and love that you finally made me see,

I’ll forget it and the hope that one day you will love me.

~~~~~

(to ‘the one that got away’, 2006)

:)

~JK

IRIS — Chapter One

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Chapter One:  The Stranger’s Touch

           

She slowly opened her eyes and for a moment wondered where she is as she stared blankly at the white ceiling.  She feels woozy and there’s piercing pain on her forehead and left hand.

 

Muli siyang pumikit at inalala ang mga nangyari.  Pinuntahan niya ang nobyo sa bahay ng mga magulang nito sa Tagaytay para sana sorpresahin ito.  Dalawang linggong mahigit na mula nang huli silang magkita ni Railey.  He was always with his teammates practicing and preparing for another basketball season while she was busy shooting for her new project, a TV series.  Ang alam ni Railey ay nasa location shoot siya.  He was indeed surprised but not as surprised as she was.  Ang totoo, surprise is an understatement.

 

Ano nga ba ang dapat niyang maramdaman gayong nakita niya ang boyfriend niya na may kasamang ibang babae sa kuwarto nito?  Worse, she caught them in the act.  Railey tried to go after her when she ran, guilt written all over his face.  Pero tuluy-tuloy siya sa kotse niya at mabilis na umalis sa lugar na iyon.

           

Nakagat niya ang labi sa pagpipigil na muling maiyak.  He’s not worth a single tear.  Her friends were right all along that Railey would just hurt her.  She knows about his reputation of being a playboy but she was blinded.  Pinaniwalaan niya ito na nagbago na ito.  Now after four months of being together, she had to find out for herself that the things he said were all lies— and she had to learn that truth the hard way.

           

Maingat siyang bumangon at naupo.  Naka-cast ang kaliwang binti niya hanggang tuhod.  Puro galos siya bukod pa sa sugat sa kamay at ulo.  Pero maliban sa mga iyon ay wala na siyang nararamdamang sakit sa iba pang bahagi ng katawan niya.

           

She thought she wouldn’t get to see the light of day again.  At kung mabuhay man siya ay tiyak na baldado siya kung hindi man malagay sa coma ng ilang buwan.

 

Sa pagmamadali niya para maiwasan si Railey ay hindi na niya nailagay ang seatbelt niya.  She was crying so hard that her tears clouded her vision.  Bigla na lang may sumulpot na truck sa harapan niya nang malapit na siya sa intersection at naiwasan niya ito, pero hindi niya alam na mas malala pa ang mangyayari sa kanya nang mawala siya sa kalsada at magtuluy-tuloy sa gilid, sa kasukalan.  She hit the brakes with all her strength but it was too late.

 

Closing her eyes tightly, she anticipated the inevitable.  But to her surprise, she was able to survive the impact.

 

May lalaking bigla na lang lumitaw mula sa kung saan at tumayo sa harapan ng kotse niya.

 

Ang lalaking iyon… ang lalaking iyon ang nagligtas sa kanya!

 

“Anak!” bulalas ni Sophia pagbukas nito ng pinto ng hospital room at niyakap siya.  “Thank God, you’re awake!  Halos himatayin ako nang may tumawag at sabihing naaksidente ka!”

 

Gumanti siya ng yakap sa ina.  “Sorry po, Mama.  Pinag-alala ko na naman kayo,”

 

Pinakawalan siya nito at hinaplos ang benda sa ulo niya.  “Ano’ng nararamdaman mo?  May sumasakit ba?  Nagugutom ka ba?  Ano’ng gusto mong kainin?”

 

Napangiti siya sa sunud-sunod na tanong nito.  “Nauuhaw lang po ako,” sagot niya at agad naman siya nitong binigyan ng bottled water.  She drank it up to the last drop.

 

“Mamaya lang ay narito na ang kuya mo,” her mother informed her, insinuating that she should come up with a good explanation why the accident happened.  Ang kuya Adrian niya ang  nagbigay ng nayuping BMW 528iniya  two months ago as an advance birthday gift for her.

 

“Tinawagan ko na nga rin pala ang manager mo.  She’s worried sick about you.  Sinabi kong okay ka na pero baka hindi ka makapag-taping ng ilang linggo,” Sophia combed her hair with her fingers.  “What happened, sweetie?  Nag-away ba kayo ni Railey?”

 

“Sasabihin ko sa inyo lahat pag-uwi natin,” she sighed and smiled at her mother.  “Nasaan ang lalaking nagligtas sa akin, Mama?  Gusto ko siyang makita,”

           

Sandaling  kumunot ang noo nito.  “Ah, ang lalaking kasama mo.  Sino nga pala siya?  Was he the one driving?  The police said they found you lying on top of him.  At nakayakap naman siya sa ‘yo,”

 

She felt her cheeks flushed.  Of course she wouldn’t know that.

 

“No, Ma.  I don’t even know him, at hindi kami magkasama.  He was the one who saved me.  Siya ang—,” pumigil sa kotse ko para hindi ako mahulog sa bangin, she could have said it but stopped on time, or else her mother would insist that she’d undergo a head scan.

 

She shook her head inwardly.  Siguro nga dahil muntik na siyang mamatay ay kung anu-ano na ang nakita niya.

 

“Ang sabi nga pala ni Doctor Arguelles ay nailipat na siya sa kabilang kuwarto mula sa OR.  Ligtas na siya kaya wala ka nang dapat ipag-alala,”

 

“I want to see him, Mom!” she exclaimed, forcing herself out of her bed.  Nakalimutan niya sandali na naka-cast ang isang binti niya.  Hindi naman na siya mapigilan ng ina kahit anong pilit nito na manatili siya sa kama niya.  Tinawag nito ang isang nurse at pinagdala ito ng wheelchair para magamit niya.

 

Paglabas nila ay nakita nila ang isang nurse at dalawang trainees sa tapat ng pinto ng katabing kuwarto na pilit hinihinaan ang boses habang nagkukwentuhan, pero rinig na rinig pa rin naman nila.

 

Oh, my God, totoo nga!” bulalas ng isa sa mga trainees.

 

“Sabi sa inyo, eh.  Sobrang guwapo niya, ‘di ba?” kinikilig namang sagot ng nurse.

           

“Sino kaya siya?  Kasama raw siya noong artista sa kabilang kuwarto…”

           

“Oo, ‘yung singer na bagong girlfriend ni Railey Oballe,” sabat naman ng isa.  Dahil nakatalikod ang mga ito sa kanila ay hindi pa rin sila napapansin ng mga ito.

 

She sighed.  It really is no surprise that her boyfriend— or ex-boyfriend’s pretty famous with the ladies dahil isa ito sa mga power player ng National Team. Still for her, it was a lot of getting used to.

           

“Hmm… iba ang kasama?  Baka break na sila,” patuloy ng nurse.  “Ang hot din ng kapalit, ha?  Pero ‘di-hamak na mas bet ko ang isang ‘to,”

           

“Nurse Victorino!”

           

Biglang sulpot ni Doctor Arguelles mula sa likuran nila.  Napaigtad sa gulat ang tatlo at lalong namula nang makita at makilala siya ng mga ito.

 

Pinamaywangan ng doktor ang tatlo at pinaglipat-lipat sa mga ito ang tingin.  “Hindi ba’t tapos na ang duty ninyo?  Ano pang ginagawa niyo rito, nagtu-tour?  Sa lahat naman ng lugar, dito niyo pa napiling magtsismisan!”

           

“Sorry po, Doctor Arguelles.  Sinilip lang po namin ang bagong pasyente,”

           

Tinaasan nito ng isang kilay ang mga nakababatang babae.  “Dahil nabalitaan niyong guwapo, ganoon ba?”

           

Nahihiyang napatungo na lang ang mga ito at umalis na doon.

 

“I’m sorry about that,” the doctor apologized sincerely.

 

“It’s okay, Doc.  Sanay na po ako.”

 

The doctor nodded and sighed.  Ito na mismo ang nagbukas para sa kanila ng pinto ng kuwarto.  Saglit nitong tiningnan ang lagay ng pasyente.

           

“Kumusta na po siya?”

 

“He’s out of danger, Miss Deogracias.  His body responded well to the operation.  Pero kailangan ko pa rin siyang obserbahan.  Kung magising siya ngayong gabi, I can assure you na magtutuluy-tuloy na ang recovery niya,” 

 

“Thank God,” she whispered, pushing the wheelchair closer to the hospital bed.

 

“Ang sabi niyo ay hindi niyo siya kakilala.  Unfortunately, wala rin kaming nakuhang anumang gamit niya na maaari naming mapagkakilanlan sa kanya…”

           

“Ako na po ang bahala sa hospital bills niya, Doktor,” sagot niya sa gustong ipahiwatig nito habang matamang nakatitig sa lalaki.

 

His upper body was covered with bandages, so is his right hand and head.  There were bruises on his arms and all over his face and she saw a few stitches on his knee when the doctor was checking him. Nevertheless, he’s outright beautiful that she couldn’t help but reach for him and touch his face.

 

His jaw and his nose were perfect as if a famous sculptor made them.  Thick eyebrows framed his deep-set eyes and she’s certain his eyelashes are longer than hers.  Day-old stubbles were starting to grow on his face but it surprisingly suits him.  Her eyes moved down to his well-built body.  He’s tall, maybe even taller than Railey who is 5’11.  But what makes him more handsome is his peaceful, innocent but mysterious aura.

 

She sighed as fondness started welling up inside her.  Hindi pa rin niya maisip kung paano, pero itinuturing niyang isang milagro ang pagkakaligtas ng estrangherong ito sa kanya.

           

She held his hand and clasped it firmly against her palms.  “Maraming salamat… utang ko sa ‘yo ang buhay ko…”

 

Naramdaman niya ang bahagyang paggalaw ng mga daliri nito.  At nang tingnan niya ito ay unti-unti nitong iminulat ang mga mata.

 

“Doktor, gising na po siya!” baling niya kay Doctor Arguelles na agad naman itong dinaluhan.

           

“I—ris…”

 

Pareho silang natigilan at napatingin dito.  It reached her ears though it was barely a whisper and despite the breathing apparatus covering half of his face.

 

“Iris…”

 

He turned around and called her name for the second time.  Itinaas nito ang kamay at banayad na hinaplos ang pisngi niya.  “Salamat at… ligtas ka,”

 

Unconsciously, she held his hand on her face.  Ngumiti ito bago muling ipinikit ang mga mata.

 

“Doktor—,”

 

“He’ll be alright.  Epekto lang ito ng mga gamot na ibinigay ko sa kanya,” she gave her a reassuring smile.  “Puwede niyo ulit siyang silipin mamaya.  For now, I suggest you get more rest as well, Miss Deogracias,”

           

She wanted to protest.  Gusto pa sana niyang bantayan ito kahit ilang minuto pa pero nagpilit na rin ang ina na ibalik siya sa kuwarto niya.

 

She tried to rest just as the doctor ordered.  Pero sa tuwing ipipikit niya ang mga mata ay ang mukha ng estranghero ang nakikita niya; ang maamo at nag-aalalang mukha nito bago siya mawalan ng malay… ang maganda nitong mga mata…

 

Tinakpan niya ng unan ang mukha.  Hindi niya alam kung matutuwa siya o maiinis sa sarili niya.  Other times she’d be crying her heart out because of Railey.  Pero heto siya at walang ibang umookupa sa isip niya kundi ang misteryosong lalaki sa kabilang kuwarto.  Ni hindi pa nga niya alam kung ano ang pangalan nito.

 

She got up and parted the curtain covering her window.  Her room’s on the top floor of the hospital building that it seems the moon was shining over her, and though it was cloudy there were a few stars.

 

Niyakap niya ang sarili at matagal na pinagmasdan ang kalangitan.  She couldn’t help but think that the stranger must have really come from there.

Really Iris, she shook her head and laughed at herself.  That’s just way too crazy.

 

Pero sino nga ba talaga ito?  He called her name as if he’d known her for a lifetime.  And when he touched her; just that one touch— she knows in her heart that her life is changed forever.

 

She breathed deeply and uttered a short prayer to put herself at ease.  Kailangan na niyang matulog at bukas na lang uli niya iisipin ang estranghero.  At hindi pwedeng hindi niya uli puntahan ito.

That’s right.  She’s looking forward to seeing the stranger again…

~oOo~

Disclaimer:  This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

:)

IRIS — Prologue

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Prologue:  Ang Pagtawid ni Gamaliel sa Lupa

 

Nahawi ang makapal at mala-abong ulap, at ang mga tala at buwan na tumatanglaw sa gabi ay muling pinalitan ni Bathala ng liwanag, ng araw na magpapalaganap ng init sa lahat ng may buhay— isang panibagong umaga para sa mga nasa Lupa.

 

Siya, bilang Punong Mang-aawit at tagalikha ng Musika, kasama ang iba pang pinuno ng mga Gabay, ng mga Sundo, ng mga Mandirigma at ng mga Tagapangalaga ay muling pinag-isa ang kanilang mga lipon para muling mag-alay ng pagsamba sa Lumikha sa harap ng Banal na Lungsod.

 

Napuno ng iba’t-ibang pangkat ng mga anghel ang gintong lansangan.  Doon, sa Kaitaasang Dako, magmumula ang panibagong pag-aatas ng gawain para sa bawat isa sa kanilang mga hinirang.  Habang ang iba ay may mga dapat isakatuparan sa Lupa tulad ng mga Sundo at Gabay, siya at ang kanyang mga kasamahan ay hindi pinahihintulutang ‘tumawid’ man lamang doon.  Sinumang sumuway ay iisa ang kahihinatnan— ang pagkatanikala at pagkatapon sa walang hanggang karimlan.

 

Pagkatapos ng Pagtitipon ay muling nagtungo ang mga Sundo at mga Tagapangalaga sa Bundok Haspe at Esmeralda upang doon magpulong. Ang mga Mandirigma naman ay sa Bundok Onise nag-eensayo.  Ang mga Manunugtog ay sa Bundok Amatista naglalagi, maliban sa kanya.  Lumipad siyang muli patungo sa pinakamataas at pinakamalayong bundok mula sa Lungsod, sa Bundok Sapiro kung saan siya madalas lumikha ng mga awitin.  Mula roon ay matatanaw ang gintong talon at ang ilog sa paanan niyon kung saan makikita ang mga kaganapan sa Lupa.  Naroon rin ang isa sa mga lagusan patungo roon.

           

Siya lang yata ang Manunugtog at nag-iisang pinuno na napapadpad sa bundok na iyon at ilan rin lamang ang Sundo o Gabay na dumadaan sa Lagusan.  At kahit lagi nang napupuna ng mga kasamahan niya ang kagustuhan niyang mapag-isa ay nananatili siya roon dahil sa isa pang kadahilanan.

           

“Pinagmamasdan mo na naman ba siya, Gamaliel?”

 

Lumingon siya at natagpuan si Aleph na nakatayo sa likuran niya, ang pumapangalawa sa kanya sa pagkapinuno.  Nakangiti ito ngunit sa mga mata ay naroon ang babala.

 

“Narito ka rin pala, Aleph…”

 

“Hinihintay ka na ng mga kasama natin.  Nalalaman na nila kung bakit ibig mong laging nasa lugar na ito,”

           

Hindi siya sumagot at muling tumunghay sa ilog.  Hindi naman na niya ipinagtataka iyon.  Wala namang nalilingid sa bawat isa sa kanila.

 

“Batid mo ang naganap sa pagitan ni Azrael at ng kaibigan mong Gabay,” pagtukoy nito sa pinuno ng mga Sundo at ang Gabay na naging daan ng pagkakilala niya sa isang Mortal.  “Wala siyang nilabag na patakaran dahil napahinuhod siya ni Azrael… ngunit dahil sa pagtingin niya sa Mortal ay muntik na siyang mapahamak.  Isang malaking kahangalan ang tangka niyang pananatili sa Lupa,”

 

“Wala kang dapat ikabahala.  Sapat na sa akin ang makita siya mula rito, Aleph,” mahinang sagot niya ngunit naroon ang pagtatanong sa sarili.  Sapat na nga ba sa kanya ang mapagmasdan lang ang Mortal? 

 

“Pagtitiwalaan ko ang sinabi mong iyan.  Tandaan mong bukod sa hindi pagkakasundo sa pagitan ng ating mga lipon ay ang ating pagsuway ang ayaw na ayaw ni Bathala.”

 

Napabuntung-hininga siya sa paalala nito.  Ibinaba niya ang harpang hawak at saka naupo.  Muli’y sumagi sa isip niya ang araw na nakasabay niya roon si Jahdai, ang Gabay ng ina ng dalagang itinatangi niya.

 

“Wala akong nagawa nang mismong si Azrael ang sumundo sa kabiyak ni Sophia,” natatandaan niyang sabi nito matapos ikuwento ang pakikipagtalo nito sa pinuno ng mga Sundo.  “Ngayon higit kailanman, kailangan ng aking ginagabayan ng katuwang dahil dalawa na ang anak nila…”

 

Hindi siya sumagot at pinagmasdan ang bunsong anak ng babaeng si Sophia na noo’y kapapanganak pa lamang.  Napakaganda ng bata.  Napakaamo ng mukha at maihahalintulad niya ito sa kasama nilang mga kerubin.  Sa kung anumang kadahilanan mula noon, tuwing pupunta siya sa bundok; sa loob ng halos dalawampu’t limang taon sa Lupa ay walang sumasapit na liwanag na hindi niya ito pinagmamasdan, at tuwing may pagkakataon siya’y lagi niya itong sinusubaybayan.

 

Napangiti siya sa alaala at nagpatuloy sa tahimik na panonood sa bawat kilos ng dalaga na noo’y papunta sa tahanan ng lalaking iniibig nito.

           

“Kung ako sa iyo’y titigilan ko na ito, Gamaliel.  O tulad din ba ng Gabay ay patuloy mo pa ring iibigin ang Mortal, kahit batid mong walang patutunguhan ito?”  

           

Ngunit hindi na niya nasagot ang tanong nito.  Nakita niyang kung gaano ito kabilis pumasok ay ganoon din kabilis lumabas ang dalaga mula sa bahay ng kasintahan nito.

           

“Umiiyak siya,” bulalas niya sabay tayo.  “Nasaktan siya ng labis sa nakita niya…”

           

Napailing si Aleph at hinawakan ang balikat niya.  “Likas sa Tao ang masaktan at ang madalas ring pananakit sa kapwa nila.  Halika na, ipaubaya na natin sa mga Gabay ang mga bagay na nakikita mo…”

           

“Aleph,” aniya rito.  “Mapapahamak siya.  Kung itutuloy niya ang pag-alis sa ganoong kalagayan niya ay baka—,”

           

“Kung ganoon, maaaring naitakda na ang pagsundo sa kanya.  At hindi na natin saklaw ang—,” napahinto ito nang tumakbo siya sa tuktok ng bundok.

           

“A— ano ang gagawin mo?” sigaw ni Aleph sa kanya ngunit hindi na niya ito binigyang pansin.  Napahugot siya ng hininga nang makita ang pag-iwas ng dalaga sa nakasalubong nitong sasakyan.  Sumadsad ang minamaneho nito sa gilid ng kalsadang patungo sa linang.  Tinutumbok noon ang mga nagtatayugang puno at kung hindi ito hihinto ay mapipilitang gumilid ito patungo sa matarik na bangin.

           

Iniladlad niya ang mga pakpak sa labis na pagkagulat ni Aleph.

           

“Gamaliel, huwag!”  Pagpigil nito sa kanya ngunit tuluyan na  siyang tumalon patungo sa Lagusan.

           

Paalam, Aleph, bulong niya sa sarili.  Tama ka, umiibig ako ng labis sa dalagang Mortal.  Hindi ko siya hahayaang mamatay dahil ngayon pa lamang niya nararanasan ang maraming pagbabago sa buhay niya…

           

“Patawarin Ninyo ako, Bathala,” mahinang dasal niya. “Natitiyak ko ang mangyayari sa akin sa paglabag kong ito ngunit nakahanda na ako…”   

           

Sa isang iglap, kasabay ng nakabubulag na liwanag ay naroon na siya sa Lupa, sa mismong kinaroroonan ng dalaga.  Isinanggalang niya ang katawan at pakpak laban sa sasakyan at sa lakas ng paghampas nito sa kanya ay napunta sa katawan niya ang mga nagkapira-pirasong salamin ng harapan nito.

           

Itinulak niya ang sasakyan na kulang na lang ay mahati sa gitna.  Mabilis niyang dinaluhan ang dalaga at dinala ito sa mga bisig niya.

           

“Pakiusap, gumising ka!”  Hinawi niya ang mahaba nitong buhok na kumalat sa mukha nito at pinahid ang dugo sa noo nito.  “Hindi ka maaaring mamatay!”

           

Bahagya nitong iminulat ang mga mata kasabay ng mahinang pag-ungol.

           

Hinaplos niya ang pisngi nito na basa pa rin ng luha.  “Narito na ako.  Ligtas ka na…”

 

Ilang beses itong kumurap at pagkatapos ay ngumiti.  Unti-unting umangat ang duguang kamay nito sa mukha niya.  “T— thank… you,” mahinang usal nito bago ito panawan ng malay.

           

Dahan-dahan niyang binuhat ito.  Nakakailang hakbang pa lamang siya ay kinailangan niyang huminto dahil sa bigla niyang naramdaman.

           

Nang tumungo siya ay nakita niya ang nakabaong malaking piraso ng salamin sa tagiliran niya.  Maingat niyang tinanggal ito at napauklo siya at halos mapasigaw sa sobrang sakit.

           

“D— dugo…” bulalas niya nang damhin ng nanginginig niyang kamay ang sugat.  Maging ang hita niya at binti niya ay may mga sugat din.

 

Nasaktan siya.  May dugong dumaloy mula sa katawan niya.  Naglahong bigla ang mga pakpak niya…

 

Sinubukan niya uling tumayo na buhat pa rin ang dalaga.  Hindi iyon ang oras para intindihin niya ang sarili.  Naririnig na niya ang pagdating ng mga taong tutulong rito kaya binilisan niya ang paglalakad.  Ngunit unti-unting pinapanawan ng lakas ang mga tuhod niya.  Nagsimulang dumilim ang buong paligid at kahit anong pigil niya ay tuluyan nang pumikit ang kanyang mga mata.

 

~oOo~

A/N:  My loves!~  It’s been a lifetime!  :D  Sorry po kung hindi ko pa rin ma-update ang aking BTSS… I’m still putting together the scattered pieces.  But since it’s my heroine’s birthday, I hope you don’t mind if I came up with something new… ;)

Thank you again in advance and if  you find this to your liking and wish to copy/share/post this on your FB/ blog, just don’t forget to leave credit where it’s due.   :)

Til next!

~JK  ♥

It’s been a while…

i miss you...

Hello, lovely readers, it’s been a looong time!  I miss you all.   :)  I know, and I apologize for being MIA for quite a while.  Life and its realities, really… work and some countless personal reasons.  Yes I’m still working on the next chapter; honestly I’m really having a hard time writing ‘his’ side of the story.  But hopefully by the end of the month I’ll be able to post something and be able to finish my last chapters. (and maybe soon work on a second season or another story) :)

Thank you so much for bearing with me and for so much love and appreciation for what I’ve written so far.  :)  Forever’s not enough to thank you so.   :D

Till next!

~JK

LOVE

love-heart-stuffpoint.com

“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.  If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.  If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

 

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered; it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes; always perseveres.

 

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.  For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child; I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.  For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

 

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

~1 Corinthians 13: 1-13

 

:)

“Love, love, love, love… it is all around you, us, the world and especially within you in your essence. Remember the power of love that you have and express it, share it and most importantly give it back to YOU.”

 ~Kat Zaghi

 

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!  

Love,

~JK

;)

“I promise you I will love and cherish you forever… I will protect you with my life. I promise…”

pinky promise

The sun was pushing its way through the gray clouds making the weather better than the last few days.  I filled my lungs with the cool air as I stepped outside our garden carrying my paint palette and an empty canvas.  I usually stay at my mini studio whenever I’m able to give time for the artist in me. But today is too fine a day not to go out even just outside our door.  Thank God for this rest day.  This is one of those when I can spend all morning and afternoon at home. It is calm, peaceful… too peaceful that it’s actually… strange.

 

My phone pinged and excitement filled me as I took it out from my smock’s pocket.  I groaned in frustration when I read the text message which I thought was from him.

 

We haven’t seen each other for more than a week since the Christmas Special.  I miss him.  We’ve been so busy that we barely talked to each other since then.

 

I sighed and put my phone back in my pocket.  I might as well make myself busy.  I looked around our garden. Mom has been growing flowers and it’s the first time I noticed how beautiful they’ve grown. There were hanging plants and the orchids are in pretty white and rich purple.  Combination of yellow and maroon marigolds grew on each side of the driveway and the flowerbeds near the entrance were in lush red and pink, combination of roses and carnation.  How I wish we could grow tulips too.

 

I lifted my paint palette and chose a paintbrush. I stopped even before the first stroke when My Angel’s car drove by and parked beside the house. I took my smock off and ran to the entrance.

 

“Hey,” I greeted him smiling, wondering at the same time if he’s feeling the same way, if he missed me too.  Wala naman kasi kaming usapan na magkikita.  “Akala ko nasa taping ka ngayon,”

 

He didn’t answer and followed me when I walked back to the garden. When I turned around I found his brooding eyes intently staring at me.

 

“What brings you here? Miss mo na rin ako, ‘no?” I asked while touching his face. He closed his eyes.  Other times he’d hold my hand holding his face and kiss it, or pull me for a long embrace. But I felt him stiffen.  He stood there like a statue, his face bleak of any emotion.

 

“I won’t take long. May… kailangan lang akong sabihin sa ‘yo,”

 

My eyebrows curled at his tone. “Ano ‘yon?”

 

He swallowed a few times. His fists were clenching on his sides and his eyes suddenly can’t focus on me.

 

“I’m sorry. I thought this would work pero hindi pala.”

 

It took a few seconds for my brain to register what he just said. “W—what?”  What’s not working?  Maybe my ears are.

 

“I’m…” He took a deep breath and looked away. “I can’t be with you anymore…”

 

“I… I don’t think I understand…”

 

Finally, he tried to look at me. “This isn’t about you. This is all on me. You see, things aren’t the way they were before.” he closed his eyes tightly and held his nape. “I couldn’t think of an easier way to say this pero—,”

 

I laughed.  I tried to humor everything even though panic and disbelief suddenly filled my chest.  “Ikaw, ha?  Nangti-trip ka na naman.  What is it this time—,”

 

“There’s someone else!”

 

I gasped aloud.  For seconds, I found it hard to breathe.  His voice was loud and clear that I can’t pretend I didn’t hear it even if I want to.

 

This can’t be true…

 

There was silence that took forever until my paintbrush broke it.  I didn’t even feel it fell from my hand.  He was the first to speak.

 

“That night I… I tried to bring back the love…” staring at the ground, he shook his head weakly.  “But I can’t lie to you anymore.  I’m so sorry…”

 

I blinked a few times hoping he’d disappear from my eyes.  I missed him so much that maybe I’m just daydreaming that he’s here.  Or I must have been really dreaming.  That’s it!  This is one of those dreams I’m having whenever I miss him.  Panaginip lang ang lahat ng ‘to. This is one terrible nightmare.  This isn’t real.  This couldn’t be…

 

“Why are you doing this?” after a light-year of deafening silence I finally found my words.  I couldn’t even hear my own voice.  “Tell me… ano’ng problema?  May nagawa ba ako?  Sila ba?  Sinabihan ka na naman ba nila?  Please, sabihin mo sa akin—,” I tried to reach for his arm but he stepped back.  He doesn’t even want me to touch him as if I have some kind of a skin disease.    I’d rather he thrust a dagger onto my heart.  Perhaps that’ll be less painful…

 

My heart pounded violently against my chest.  I covered my mouth and tried to suppress my cries.  It’s happening again… it’s happening to me again. 

 

There’s someone else!  There’s someone else!

 

His voice echoed inside my head.  My knees felt weak.  My whole body went numb.  I slowly sat down and closed my eyes.  After a few seconds I opened them again.  I looked around.

 

Suddenly the flowers lost their colors.

 

Suddenly those dark clouds seem to gather all around me.

 

Suddenly everything’s in a haze… and this bad, painful dream is nothing less but my reality…

 

“I have to go.” His voice was low and hoarse when he spoke that I could barely hear him.

 

“Goodbye, Baby Girl…”

 

I smiled poignantly at the endearment.  He made me hear it for the last time…

 

“Thank you,” I answered in an above whisper.  He stopped on his tracks and slowly turned around.

 

“At least you’ve been honest with me.” I bit my lip trying to hold back my tears.  “Goodbye, Angel.”

 

He drew his breath, his jaw clenching that I could almost hear it.  Then he walked towards me and bowed, kissing my forehead.  “Take care of yourself.”

 

I watched him as he walked away, away from my life forever.

 

Minutes had passed but I was still staring at the entrance.  In my heart of hearts I wished he’d come back running into my arms taking back what he said.  But that didn’t happen.  And my tears… they were unstoppable. They fell the moment he stepped out of our door.

 

My Angel… Why?  How?  Who…?  I’m confused; dumbfounded… everything’s in a blur.  I don’t want to believe him.  Something’s not right.  We were so happy.  But maybe that was it.  When we were together after the Christmas Special we were so happy that it was too good to be true.  Totoo pala na kapag sobrang naging masaya, may malungkot namang mangyayari sa susunod.

 

Once again, my heart is filled with so many questions.  Why is this happening?  And why now?  Should I run after him?  Ask him more questions?  What should I do?

 

I need more answers.  I need explanations.  Then I remembered what I saw that night during the Christmas Special.  Maybe what he said was enough explanation for me… I think I already know who that ‘someone else’ is.

 

“I tried to bring back the love… but I can’t lie to you anymore…”

 

Unthinkingly, I went back to my room.  I walked to my study table and opened the drawer.  My hand trembled as I took the tiny velvet box.  I inhaled with difficulty as I opened it and put the ruby ring on my left ring finger.  I continued to sob.  If only these tears would bring him back he should be here by now holding me in his arms.  But they won’t.  He will never come back.

 

That night was one of the happiest moments of my life, of our lives.  We flew away.  We danced and laughed and held each other like there’s no tomorrow.  What made it more perfect?  He offered me his love and his whole life.  He asked me if I could spend the rest of my life with him…

 

—————-

Where are you?

Nandito na ako sa labas…

—————-

I bit my lip and pressed send.  Hindi na siguro niya ako nahintay.  It took me a while to tidy my things up dahil ang dami namin sa dressing room.  It became a jungle earlier.  Kung nagbihis pa siguro ako, lalo lang akong matatagalan.

 

I’m still wearing my gown.  He told me not to take it off for some reason he wouldn’t tell me.  I keep wondering what he’s up to again but I obeyed him nevertheless.  I don’t know if we’re going somewhere.  Basta ang sabi lang niya, susunduin niya ako.

 

Before going outside, I put on my overcoat and slipped on my pink Chucks to give my feet some rest from my tower-high pumps and platforms.  I guess no one would even notice unless I lift the hem of my gown.  And since halos wala naman nang tao sa parking area, I did just that.

 

I walked and looked around again.  I couldn’t find his car.  When I asked the security guard, he said he left with his crew half an hour ago.  I groaned inwardly.  I checked my phone and found no reply from him at all.  He could have called or sent me a message kung talagang nauna na siya.

 

Sitting on one of the staircases I made myself busy typing him another text message.  Maybe he went home first or dropped off someone and encountered traffic.  A motorcycle suddenly came out from nowhere and stopped in front of me.  The piece of black and silver-combined metal was such a beauty, huge and very manly; flawless as expected in a Ducati.  I wonder who among the big bosses owns it.  It makes me want to think of buying Dad or my brother or him something similar one day.

 

My eyes went back to my phone and before I pressed send it went dead.

 

“Seriously?!” I grunted and covered my face.  Sa lahat naman ng oras, bakit ngayon pa ‘to nag-battery empty?  I groaned inwardly.  It’s my fault.  I’ve been so busy preparing I forgot it needed charging.

 

“Need a ride, Miss?”

 

I raised my head when the rider of the Ducati spoke.  His voice was so deep, masculine but gentle and very familiar, too familiar that my heart started beating rapidly.

 

He took time taking off his helmet.  My Angel!  He was gazing over me, his eyes smiling as he reached out his hand.

 

“Umiiyak ka na yata diyan,” He helped me stand up and pulled me right into his arms.

 

I sighed in relief as I embraced him.  “Akala ko hindi mo na ako nahintay…”

“Pwede ba ‘yon?  Kanina ko pa gustong gawin ‘to…” he whispered on my hair, his lips slightly touching my upper neck.  He let go and stole a quick kiss from my lips.  He handed me another helmet which I noticed for the first time.  I instinctively took it from his hands.

 

“Gear up, My Queen.  Be ready for a long ride,”

 

My eyes widened as I stared at the big bike for a while.  “Are you serious?! ‘Yan ang sasakyan natin?”

 

He grinned and didn’t answer.

 

“Why do you like to torture me?” I looked at myself.  “Pasasakayin mo ako na ganito ang suot ko?”

 

“That’s the idea,” He chuckled and took the helmet from my hand.  He carefully put it on me.  “You’re overly cute, Baby Girl,”

 

I rolled my eyes and looked at myself at the side mirror.  The helmet’s pink, the same color as my Chucks.  I turned around and found him staring at me, his eyes never leaving my face.

 

“What are you really up to, Mister?” I asked, raising an eyebrow.

 

He didn’t answer and straddled the huge bike.  I sat in astride on his back and put my tote bag in front of me. I clutched his shoulder not so gently when I almost fell as he drove and we went away from the building.

 

Laughing, he turned around and looked at me. “Hold on tight, Love.  Never let me go.”

 

“I won’t. Promise,” I answered and put my arms around his waist.

 

We rode into the night, the cold breeze hitting against us as we headed out of the city.  I smiled on his back.  I feel like we’re a modern-day Lady and Knight who rode and escaped from everyone in this wee hour of the evening.  It’s kind of romantic, and thrilling.

 

My arms around him tightened.  I can feel his muscles ripping underneath his leather jacket.  I closed my eyes and leaned my head on his broad, sinewy back, drawing warmth from it.  After a long night I wouldn’t wish for anything more but this, being with him… being safe in his arms.

 

It’s been a long day for me, for all of us.  General rehearsals started so early and have been excruciating but we’re all glad the Christmas Special went so well.  All our efforts paid off.  And I’m still ecstatic that I got to sing with music icons, two of my idols and with one of my closest friends.

 

Earlier during practice I made a few common mistakes though I already know the songs by heart and the arrangements.  I want to blame it on my jetlag or the hangover from my Brazil trip kaya hindi ako makapag-focus, pero isa lang naman talaga ang dahilan kung bakit lumilipad ang isip ko kanina pa.

 

My mind is filled with him… his effect on me every time he’s near; his smoldering eyes, his sweet and soft lips, his warm embrace, his lingering kisses… his body against mine.  The way he holds me, the way he touches me… the sweet torture he gave me when we almost… almost made love.

 

Yes, I still can’t get over with what happened in my dressing room.  That enchanted moment where time stood still and we forgot everything, everyone— time and the world around us; and all that’s left is our deep longing and need for each other…

 

I missed him.  It’s only been a few days but I was dying to see him again.  When he took me home that night he couldn’t stay longer.  I missed talking to him. Tonight as usual, we were contented exchanging smiles every time we passed by each other.

 

Before our closing number we crossed paths at the corridor.  His eyes were smiling when he looked at me as if telling me how proud he was watching my last performance.   I bowed and avoided his gaze but I was sure he caught me smiling.

 

When I reached the dressing room I turned around to look at him before I closed the door.  There I saw him talking with Ate.  He was gazing down fondly at her while Ate was laughing gaily.  My brows curled.  I wonder what they’re talking about.  Is it about me, probably?

 

He said something that made Ate stopped laughing.  Her face turned serious but she was still intently staring at him.  She held his arm longer than necessary, and her hand gently caressed his biceps as she pouted her pretty lips.

 

My eyebrows rose at that.  For the first time I didn’t get jealous like whenever he’s with other girls.  More of uncomfortable… I felt very uncomfortable seeing that…

 

Ate left him and he watched her as she strutted off, her hips sashaying as if they would detach.  Then he left and went back to his dressing room when she was gone.

 

I wonder where the sudden tightening of my chest came from.  What was that just now?  Am I just seeing things or—

 

Hindi, I said to myself and shook my head.  Hindi dapat ako nag-iisip ng ganito pero… babae din kasi ako.  That look on Ate’s face when she looked at him… when did it change?

 

“Oh!” I opened my eyes when the bike wobbled a bit.  That interrupted my thoughts.  Strange, nakalimutan ko na ‘yon after our show.  Bakit ba naalala ko na naman?

 

 

“Sorry.  ’You okay?” he asked and started to slow down.  I nodded as if he could see me.

 

“Saan ba talaga tayo pupunta?” I shouted on his ear.  It’s been almost an hour.  I’m not sure but I think we’re heading to Angeles City.

 

“Malapit na tayo.  You’ll see.”

 

He drove a few kilometers more.  To my surprise, we entered an airfield.  My heart skipped a bit.  The excitement I felt was instantaneous.

 

“We’re here, Love,” He assisted me as I painstakingly got off the big bike.  He helped me took my helmet off before unzipping his leather jacket.  I found he still has the blue suit under, the one he wore earlier during their production number.

 

A pilot welcomed us and introduced himself as our pilot for the night.  We shook hands with him and I noticed the obvious admiration on his face.  He said his daughters love me and how he wished he could take pictures of us.  I told him that maybe one Sunday they could visit my show.

 

He led us to the hangar and went ahead to one of the helicopters.  My heart started beating double time as we followed.  After briefing us shortly he accompanied us to our seats and made sure we’d follow all the safety measures.

 

“Oh, Lord,” I clutched Angel’s arm as the helicopter started lifting off the ground, higher and higher until we’re cloud-level.

 

“Are you alright?” he looked at me and grinned.  “’Di ba gusto mong sumakay tayo sa helicopter?”

 

“Oo nga, pero… kasi…” I have no words.  This is too wonderful.  He IS too wonderful…

 

“Are you scared?  May fear of heights ka ba?” he asked a little worried.

 

I shook my head.  “I’m… I’m just overwhelmed.” I gave his lips a quick peck.  “Thank you…”

 

“Woah, Babe.  Easy,” he moved away a little, astounded.  He held his headset and pointed mine.  “The pilot can hear us.  Later, okay?”

 

He laughed aloud.  I gently hit his shoulder.  My face turned red for sure. 

 

We flew for an hour hovering all over the city and the whole town.  I left the country just recently and though long I enjoyed the plane ride.  Pero iba pala ang saya kapag ganito.  It doesn’t matter really where he takes me, or how long or short we spend time together… basta siya ang kasama ko, I’m happy; very happy.

 

We landed at a condo building’s helipad in Makati.  He offered his hand to me as we got off the chopper, his eyes gleaming with happiness and love.  “How was it, Love?  Nag-enjoy ka ba?”

 

I nodded and pulled off a smile while I gave my hand to him.  “It was exhilarating… and really wonderful— ay!” He suddenly pulled me for an embrace and buried his face on my hair.

 

“Now I know how it feels like to be in heaven,” he whispered and kissed my neck.

 

Our pilot was smiling while watching us.  We said our thanks and as a reply he saluted at us before heading back to the Flying Club.

 

“Bakit dito niya tayo inihatid?  At paano ‘yung bike mo?”

 

I just borrowed that from a friend.  At tagaroon siya kaya siya na lang daw ang kukuha ng bike niya.  At ang pilot natin kanina, kaibigan niya ‘yon.”

 

“I see.  But how did you know that place, by the way?  Ang alam ko sa mga ganoon, members lang ang may access, ang may luxury pass…”

 

He shrugged.  “One of the senior officers there is Dad’s long-time friend.  Alam mo na, connections,” he grinned and winked at me.  I nodded and laughed.

 

“Hindi mo pa sinasagot ang unang tanong ko… what are we doing here?”

 

He gazed at me for a while. “Are you ready for the second surprise, My Queen?”

 

I looked at him suspiciously.  “Hmm… what are you up to this time, Mister?”

 

He didn’t answer and pulled my hand.  We occupied one of the elevators and went four floors down.  We turned to a room on our left as soon as we went out.  He took out a card key from his wallet.  “I bought a unit here, Love,”

 

“Ah, Talaga?  I didn’t know you have plans of moving.”

 

“Wala pa naman.  Naisip ko lang na habang ipinapatayo ko ang dream house ko, dito muna kami ng mapapangasawa ko.” His stare was so full of meaning.  “Sort of a wedding gift for her, too.”

  

I… I see,” I felt nervous all of a sudden.  And I really wasn’t paying attention to what he was saying.  Ano ang ‘second surprise’ niya?  Kaming dalawa…?  Dito…?

 

“Close your eyes,” he commanded gently, disrupting my wayward thoughts.  “Don’t peek, okay?”

 

I nodded and do as he said.

 

He opened the door and pulled both my hands as he stepped in.  “Now… open them.”

 

I slowly opened my eyes only to gasp aloud.

 

The whole unit was vacant and I was expecting it to be empty, all walls and floors.  Pero hindi ganoon.  In the middle was a table for two, dinner with candlelight and wine.  The white tiled floor was almost filled with flower petals and colorful little candles just like the ones he gave me as a gift months ago.

 

I covered my face with my hands.  And here I thought that the helicopter ride was perfect.  It could have been enough.  Pero may ganito pa pala?  I can’t complain.  He really makes me feel like a queen.

 

“A—ano’ng meron?  How did you… at paanong…” Lord, I’m lost for words again.  I sat comfortably when he pulled a seat for me.

 

“I just want us to have our own Christmas Special.” He grinned.  “I asked my boys to help me out.  Hindi mo ba nagustuhan?”

 

“Are you kidding?  I really love it!”

 

“I’m glad,” he chuckled while he took his coat off.  He put his phone on the table and played a song.  The Righteous Brothers’ voices suddenly filled the air, singing one of my all-time favorite songs.

 

“Unchained Melody?”  I asked when he walked back towards me.  He reached for my hand.  His other hand went on my waist when I stood up and we started dancing.

 

His smile was wide.  “One of my many songs for you,”

 

“But that song is so sad…”

 

“Not for me…” he turned me around before dipping me.  I shrieked when he pulled me back and lifted me inches from the ground, spinning me round and round.

 

“Hey, mabigat ako!” I exclaimed and that made him stop.  He put my arms on his shoulders and pulled me closer, whispering to my ear.

 

“I can carry you all day, Love…”

 

We held each other silently for minutes that we weren’t really dancing at all.  His lips were on my ear as he sang along to the song.  I smiled.  In fairness, nasa tono naman siya minsan.

 

The song ended and I thought he’d let me sit.  My eyes widened when my version of the same song played next.

 

“What?  I really loved it.” he said as if answering the question in my eyes.  I could feel my cheeks turning red.  “I have a copy of all the songs you sang in your show.  Bakit ka pa ba nagugulat?”

 

 “Thank you sa appreciation mo sa mga songs ko… sa performances ko.”

 

“Sinabi ko naman sa ‘yo, ‘di ba?  I’ll always be your number one fan.”

 

I smiled, treasuring his words in my heart.  He kissed my hair as I leaned my head on his chest.

 

“Naalala mo ba ang pinag-usapan natin bago ka umalis?” His arms around me tightened as he spoke.

 

“Hmm… alin doon?”

 

He sighed and released me.  As he was removing the long locks covering my face he looked straight into my eyes.  “Sabi mo kasi sa akin, mag-propose muna ako bago ako mamanhikan.”

 

I was about to say something when he suddenly knelt down and took a tiny velvet box out from his pocket.  Oh, God!  So this is the highlight of the night!

 

My heart started beating fast as I watched him opening the box carefully.  The ruby ring reflected the light from the candles and it was breathtakingly beautiful; as beautiful and breathtaking as the man carrying it.

 

“Baby Girl… My Queen…”

 

He cleared his throat a few times.  His hands were trembling and it was cold but he’s sweating.  And I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

 

“Damn it,” he scratched his head, cursing himself at the same time.  “Nakalimutan ko ang sasabihin ko!  Ilang beses na ako nag-practice!”

 

I laughed and walked closer to him.  He held my hand and put the ring on my left ring finger.

 

My sun shines and sets on you, Love.  I love you, deeply, irrevocably; with all I am, with all I’ll be…”

 

He stood up and put my hand on his chest, his eyes begging when he looked at me.  “Kasabay ng pagtanggap mo ng singsing na ‘to, would you accept me as well as your man, your best friend, your fan, lover and soon… your husband?  Please… yes or yes lang ang pwedeng sagot…”

 

“Yes or yes lang?” I chuckled, mimicking him.  Oh, Lord, what am I going to say?  Speechless is an understatement.  And I love him too, indescribably, unconditionally…

 

I looked at him as tears stung my eyes.  I nodded slowly.  “Of course, Love… I want nothing and no one else in my life but you.  Only you.  Always…”

 

He beamed and embraced me, so tight it almost crushed my bones.  I screamed when he lifted me and swirled me again and again.

 

“Thank you!  Thank you, My Queen!” he put me down and held my face with both hands.  “I love you so much.  And I promise you I will love and cherish you forever… I will protect you with my life.  I promise…”

 

He sealed his promise with a kiss.  His lips on mine were yearning, passionate… so full of love.  It was a kiss that I longed for, a kiss I can no longer live without; but now I have to forget.  He was gone.  He broke his promises. They will never come about.

  

“Sinabi ko sa sarili ko na baka ikaw na ang babae para sa akin… ngayon sigurado ako na ikaw na nga…”

“…I have the rest of my life to prove to you, to them that I’m the only man for you… that you can believe.”

“…you’re my NOW and my future.  Please, trust me on this, Baby Girl.”

“Gusto kong maging karapat-dapat para sa ‘yo.  I want to give you the whole world, My Queen…”

 

I smiled at his wonderful words, our beautiful, bittersweet memories.  I can already picture my future with him.  But now I realized memories are all I’ll be taking there with me.

 

“…one with a huge rock on it, and the other, I’ll give you… together with my last name.”

 

Wiping my tears, I took off the ring and put the tiny box back in my drawer.  I curled up at the edge of my bed, hoping that before the day ends, all my tears have gone dry.

 

“I promise you I will love and cherish you forever… I will protect you with my life.  I promise…”

 

Forever… since he came into my life I knew a deeper meaning of that word.  Together I thought we’re going to make our dreams come true… together we will build them.  But all of a sudden that FOREVER we’ve been trying to build came crumbling down— and here I am standing; staying by the ruins…

 

~~~~~

Disclaimer:  This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

:)

A/N:  Dear readers, long time long time!  :)  Sorry I’ve been away for a long while… away but not gone.  ;)  This is the first part of my three-part finale.  Thank you again in advance for reading this!    Again, If you wish to copy/share/post this on your FB/ blog, just don’t forget to leave credit where it’s due.     Thank you!  :)

~JK  ♥