First story I’ve ever made in my whole life. 🙂 The root of all the stories I’ve made. Twas in sixth grade when I wrote this story, so I’m sorry for the “cliches”. 😀
Sabi nila, loving someone is the greatest feeling you’ll ever have, especially if this someone loves you back the same way as you do. That is, if you are really meant for each other, though. What if not? You must suffer the consequences and endure the pain deep inside your heart.
I, Francis Ignacio lived through this miserable pain. I loved her and she was all I ever had. Because of her, my life changed for the better. I saw much light with her and temporarily enjoyed the beauty of it.
Let me take you back to year 1996 where I had first met her and fallen in love with her since then.
She was this stunningly beautiful “chinita” with long black hair and a morena complexion. Naisip ko, she was the perfect match for the campus’ nerd, Marco Ugbuyas. She had this retainer in her teeth and these hideous eyeglasses – typical smart chinita. But if you’ll look at her, without considering her retainers and eyeglasses, she was a pretty girl with cute sparkling eyes that will mesmerize you and well-arranged teeth that always displays a killer smile.
She was so mahinhin and very good in classes. I hardly see her run at the corridor or play sports. I was her exact opposite. I was with the “cool” boys and one of the runner-ups to be kicked out from the school. I had this semi-standing hair in which they say, “kapag nahulugan ng butiki, sigurado, patay!”. I can say I’m one of the best-looking guys inside the campus and was labelled as a heartthrob or something like that. I wasn’t very good when it comes to my studies and I always get an almost failing grade if not for my teachers’ mercy. I wasn’t stupid or anything as such but I would rather spend my time killing enemies and defending my allies at some computer games at some internet cafes than listening to those boring and the kinds.
To tell you the truth, I didn’t take notice of how messed up my life was and how much I’ve been missing until that day of August 26, 2005.
She was introduced to us by a common friend at a party where all seniors were invited to come. She was damn mahiyain and very quiet.. and I hated her for being as such. No fun.
“Hi guys! This is Eliza Chan.” Teresa said in an almost squeaky voice of hers that irritated all of us.
She waved and said ‘hi’ to all of us. And when she smiled, everyone stopped and stared at her dazzled by her saccharine smile.
“Errr.. hi.” I was the only one who found the voice to greet her. “I’m Francis. This is Penoy, Justin and Floyd.”
“Hi, nice to meet all of you.”
And as if everyone was snapped out of her spell, they all found their voices and greeted her back with welcoming smiles.
We exchanged pleasantries and off to our separate tables and friends. She was seated beside Tess for the whole night, while I went into my kabarkadas and talked with other females.
“Uy, Frank. Ayos yung Chan na iyon a. Cute.” Penoy commented as he was staring at her from afar.
“I don’t think so.” I answered, took a quick glance at her and back to Penoy.
“Yeah. Kunin mo lang iyong glasses and retainers, okay na okay.” Justin added agreeing with Penoy.
“So?” I asked uninterestingly.
“Ligawan mo na!” Justin suggested.
Muntik na akong mapatalon sa sinabi ni Justin.
“Yoko nga! Ba’t ako? Kung kayo kaya?” tanong ko.
“Mas bagay kayo eh.” Sagot ni Penoy.
“Loko. Let’s put it this way, nagpustahan kasi kami between sa inyo e. You know what?” Floyd grinned.
“Kung ikaw ang unang mapapaibig sa kanya.. or maybe it’s the other way around.” Floyd continued.
“What’s in it for me?”
“Money, pare.” Justin grinned again.
“In ako diyan!” Sabi ko, drank till the last drop of the beer I was holding.
I know since from the start, mali na talaga. I was such a stupid person. I played with fire and I know someday, this, will come back to me.
We talked about our plans and applied it. That’s it! In a short span of time, we became friends and after some months, we became “us”. Truly, I didn’t know her. She was perfect. She was an angel. She was kind. She was always there for me.. to support me and always willing to change me.
Why did I have to hurt her?
“Liz, ano? Sino kasama mo pauwi?” I asked worriedly.
“H-ha? A-ako lang. Bakit? Teka, akala ko ba may practice kayo sa varsity? Punta na dun.” She smiled.
“Eh pano ka?”
“Okay lang. Sige na, punta na dun..” She insisted.
“Eh, ikaw nga? Hintayin mo nalang ako.. or I can skip-“
“Hindi. Punta na dun Francis Ignacio.” She glared and I started walking away, then she called me up and smiled.
I loved her. More than everything. Every day I spent with her was a special day for me. She was the most misunderstood girl in the campus. She wasn’t just interested to learning education, she was interested in many things – like how to play basketball, how to draw well, how to dance, how to fit in with the other girls.. she was like every other average girl. The only difference with her though was she was my life and that made her special.
She was sweet, thoughtful and to top it off with her intelligence, she was a gem! I never wanted to hurt her, but I had to stick with my promise to my friends. Until one day, I was putting all the pieces in my head to have a better explanation to her but rumours got her before I did.. No, the truth came to her faster than what I’ve expected.
I heard Lalaine laughed.
“I can’t believe it! Kami na ni Francis. Kelan pa pala kayo nagbreak? Guess, he wasn’t taking it so painfully.” Lalaine said with a loud voice just so I can hear her.. and just so everyone can hear her.
I wasn’t able to catch up with her reaction, but it was so sudden that I didn’t have any idea what to do. She walked fast and that’s when she saw me staring at her in disbelief. I tried to explain everything but she didn’t give me a chance.
“Eliza, wait! I’ll try to explain-“ I cried out while following her.
“No, it’s alright. Everything is clear.” She gave me the sweetest smile I’ve ever seen in my whole existence.
“No, it’s not alright. You have-“
“Really, Frank. I understand. I really do.” She nodded and went her way.
I saw all the emotions and pain in her eyes. What bugs me and amazed me all at the same time was that she smiled.. she still found a reason to smile! What the hell was I doing?! I knew she wanted to cry. I knew she was hurt. How could I help her when I was the one who hurt her? I hated myself. Sa simula’t sapul, dapat di na ako pumayag sa pustahang iyon. Sana inisip ko muna kung anong mangyayari sa kanya, sana.. inisip ko muna na makakasakit ako ng tao, sana inisip ko muna.. that she was so fragile and she didn’t deserve to be hurt this much.
Still, Lalaine and I became “we”. I couldn’t think of any solution than to say sorry, not only for her but to all who hoped for the two of us to be forever.
“Liz, I came here to say sorry.” Sabi ko sa kanya habang nakatayo ako sa labas ng gate nila.
“That, Frank? It’s 10:30 in the evening.. it’s late. You didn’t have to go here para magsorry. You know I’ll always forgive you, and will always will.” She smiled again.
“Liz.. I’m just.. so sorry.. for everything.”
“Wish you the best.” She said in a cold tone and went inside their house. I was left staring at the disappearing silhouette of a beautiful girl.
From that moment on, she started avoiding me and my friends. But for me, she was everywhere and she was everything. I still couldn’t stop thinking of how I managed to let go and slip of that one. Kahit magkasama kami ni Lalaine, siya parin ang iniisip ko. Minsan nga, pag kausap ko si Lalaine, si Eliza ang pumapasok sa isip ko. Si Eliza yung nakikita kong kausap ko.. si Eliza yung naririnig kong tumatawa, si Eliza yung mahal ko.
There was even a time where it crossed my mind to just give the money back and get back with Eliza.. but I just couldn’t do that. That would still screw everything up. I would hurt Lalaine.. and Eliza won’t have me back, why is that? She recovered from pain and I guess, she learned to accept the situation much sooner than I’ve been expecting.
PROM. I was worried about her.. if she’ll get a date or something like that. She didn’t get a date, as what everyone was expecting. Wall-flower, ika nga. But damn it, she was beautiful. Pagpasok palang namin ni Lalaine sa Hall, my eyes were searching for her. She was wearing a baby pink tube dress and her hair was finely arranged.. and I guess everyone noticed how beautiful she was. Kumbaga, nilinyahan siya ng mga lalaki para makasayaw siya. Kahit yung may mga girlfriend and partners, luminya sa kanya. And it pained me.. not being able to come close to her. Pero I gathered all my courage and went to the dancefloor.. I was about to ask her, but Jeorge Laraso asked her before me. Crap.
You have no idea how much jealousy I was feeling deep inside of me. It wrapped me, and at that instant, I felt like ripping Jeorge Laraso’s throat was the best thing to do. But seeing happiness in her eyes, I finally settled.
She was still the same Eliza Chan I first met.. I first knew.. I first loved. I know I will still love her and forever will be. Maybe this is what we needed – space. For the both of us, for her most especially. At the first place, alam ko nang mali yung ginawa ko.. and if I’ll ever consider her a mistake – she would be the sweetest one, then.
After chatting with Lalaine for awhile, I excused myself and got some fresh air outside. I was surprised to see Eliza sitting under the mango tree just outside the Drake Hall. I looked at her.. and felt another sting of pain in my heart. God you know how much I want her.. how much I love her, but I can’t.
“Hi..” I smiled and stood just right behind her.
She looked up and smiled back at me.
“Y-you look beautiful.”
“Why, thank you.” I sat beside her and looked at the orange sky as the sun was beginning to settle down from his reign.
“Nice view, right?” I asked.
“Pangarap mong maipinta iyan, diba?”
I looked at her and saw her gaze at the lovely sunset. Naalala ko tuloy yung pangako ko sa kanya. Sabay naming ipipinta ang paglubog ng araw sa dagat. At alam ko, kaya kong tuparin iyon.
“Alam ko, nagkamali akong iwan kita-“
“Correction, niloko.” She said calmly.
“Okay, niloko. Pero Liz, kahit ano pa ang nangyari at ang mangyayari, you know I will never break my promises with you.”
Napatingin ako sa kanya at nabigla ako ng makita ko siyang nakatingin na saken.
“Yeah, right.” She scoffed.
“Liz, come on! For once, maniwala ka saken. I loved you.. no, I love you! Mahal kita.. kahit magkasama kami ngayon ni Lalaine.. ikaw parin yung nandito, Liz.” I pointed my heart. “Ikaw parin..”
“Sinungaling.” She looked at me. “Please, Frank. Wag mo na akong asahan na maniniwala pa sa iyo. Everything about you is a lie. Everything, Frank.” She said calmly pero kitang-kita ko ang sakit at ang galit sa kanyang mga mata.
“No, Liz! I’m saying the truth!”
“Ano ba ang alam mo?!” Then suddenly, tears started to run down from her eyes.
“Liz, you changed me. And I can never thank you enough for that-“
“Please.. just stop it. Let’s stop. You don’t even know what “change” means. Kaya.. tama na, Frank.” She pleaded and it hurt to hear that one word. “Please..”
“I promise.. someday, makikita mo.. hindi ako nagsisinungaling, hindi ako nagsinungaling.. at tutuparin ko lahat ng pinangako ko sa iyo.”
“Ayos lang kung hindi.. alam kong hindi..”
She stood up and started walking away from me. It was the same thing that had happened to us.. during graduation. She walked away without even saying goodbye to me. She just suddenly disappeared. I didn’t have any idea how to see and contact her again. It was like.. she was lost to me.. forever.
And she was right. I never made up to my words. I was never able to live up to my promises. Never.
After some years of disappearance and a dying hope, her face suddenly popped out everywhere – from posters to billboards to television. It felt like everywhere I looked, she was there.. her lovely face, her sweet smile, her cute eyes. ELIZA.
“I see, she’s now a model.” I whispered to myself.
As for my part, I’ve become a successful businessman. Even though I was involved with different women during college days and up to now, she’s still the woman I’ve been longing for. It’s still her smile I want to see, her laugh I want to hear.. her lips I want to kiss, her, my Eliza I still love.
At sino ang makakapaniwalang may plano pa pala ang Diyos para saming dalawa? :]
That voice.. I know this voice.
“L-Liz? Hey.. How are you?” I asked nervously.
“I’m good. Yeah, I’m good.” She was smiling. “What about you?”
“Oh, I’m okay.”
“Wow.. I can’t believe I’ll find you here. What a small world!”
“Yeah.. M-me too!”
“How’s your family?”
“My family? Oh, they’re good. Dad’s fine.. Mom’s okay and-“
“No.. I mean..” She suddenly hesitated. “You’re OWN family..”
“Oh.. I’m sorry. Hmm, wala pa.” I chuckled.
“What about you? Are you married?” I bravely asked.
“Hello? I’m a public figure. You should’ve known it if I am or not.” She winked. “I mean, everyone knows everything about me.”
“Oh, yeah, right.” I looked at my drink and carefully sipped from it.
“Hey.. see that girl over there?
“I heard she had a crush on you before..”
I laughed. “Who’s she?”
“That’s Lalaine, silly.” She spanked me softly and laughed.
“Oh..” I chuckled. “I didn’t quite notice. She changed a lot.”
I waved at Lalaine and she waved back. Then Eliza started to chuckle to herself.
“What?” I asked.
“Nothing. Nice one..”
We then decided to go outside to catch up with each other’s lives. Grabe, I didn’t know a person can change this much. I mean, I know there’s still an Eliza I loved that’s left deep within her, but what she’s showing me is a very different woman compared to the Eliza I knew back in high school.
“What’s happened to you?” She suddenly asked with a befuddled face.
“A-Anong ibig mong sabihin?”
“What happened to your “good conversationalist” quality?” She chuckled. “Kanina ka pa sagot ng sagot nang ‘Yah’.”
“And isa pa yan. If not, ‘yah’, ‘oh’ and if not ‘oh’, ‘sorry’?!”
“I-I don’t know what to say to you.. I mean, I don’t know how to act around you. Matagal narin ang nakalipas since I last talked to you. I mean, you just disappeared nung highschool. Ni hindi alam nang lahat kung san ka pumunta. And here you are.. no, then suddenly, one day, your face pops out everywhere. Alam mo iyon..” She suddenly became serious and looked far away.
“It.. It’s hard to explain.” She looked at me and smiled gently. “You’ve forgotten it all already, right?” She asked in almost a whisper.
Alam ko kung anong tinutukoy niya. But I wanted to know kung papano siya magrereact sa gagawin ko. Gusto kong malaman kung magagalit ba siya o katulad parin nung high school na parang wala lang.
“Ang ano?” I asked confusingly.
She looked at me as if surprised sa naging sagot ko and at the same time, parang she was half-expecting it.
“W-wala. Nevermind.” She smiled again and turned away from me.
“Teka, ang ano ba?”
“Kalimutan mo na iyong tinanong ko.”
I suddenly chuckled. “Hindi pa.” I whispered.
Then she suddenly turned to face me and gazed at me with such beautiful eyes. I felt my knees weaken and from there, nakita ko ang Eliza na minahal ko noon at patuloy na minamahal hanggang ngayon. She’s still the same Eliza, amidst the make-up and the glamour, andun parin yung mga tingin niya saken na nagbibigay ng pakiramdam na may paru-paro sa tiyan ko, na nakakatunaw and makes me speechless..which always makes me surrender to her.
“Syempre naman.” I grinned.
Then she suddenly burst out laughing.
“Wala lang.” She continued to laugh. “So, are you involved with someone special?” She suddenly regained composition of herself.
“No..” I paused. “Ikaw?”
She breathed deeply. “They’re not good enough for me.” She grinned.
“Yeah, really.” She said sarcastically and laughed again.
Bigla narin akong napatawa kasabay niya. Hindi ko maalala kung kalian ako huling tumawa ng ganito kalutong. Habang tinitingnan ko siya, hindi parin ako makapaniwala that after some years had passed, I will still find myself laughing with her as if wala lang may nangyari noon. God, if she only knows that she’s still the one my heart’s beating for.. how I want to hug her and tell her how much I’ve missed her. If only I am brave enough..
“It’s already late. I have to go home.” Bigla siyang tumayo at ngumiti saken.
“Hmmm, may I lend you my service?” I smiled teasingly.
“Oh no. No, thank you. Jun lent me his service na.”
“Ahhh. Okay. Well, I had a great time. It was nice seeing you again. R-really, Liz. I’m really glad I was able to chat with you kahit sa konting oras lang. So, take care.” I smiled.
“Yeah.. s-same here.” She smiled gently again. “I’ll go ahead? Bye..”
“Bye.” I answered in almost a whisper.
And she left with Jun Salvador. Is there something between them? Crap. I shouldn’t think those kinds of things. Mamamatay ako pag nalaman kung meron nga. Ito ba ang kabayaran ng mga ginawa kong kabalastugan noon? I was right for her.. she was right for me.. but those were all “was” – a part of the past and maybe will always remain in the past.
“I’ll put my life on this one. I’ll never break those.” I whispered to myself habang nakatingin sa kanya na papalabas ng hall.
Pagkatapos nung first time na nakita ko siya for after 7 years, I knew then that our paths will cross one way or another.. again. And yes, indeed. We would always see each other during different events and parties.
And everytime na nagkikita kami, she would always walk up to me and chat with me for awhile. I like it. Kasi kung ako lang, hindi ko kayang kausapin siya na ako ang nauunang kumilos.
Sorry, I forgot to mention that I’m getting married. Yes, you read it right. I’m getting married. The question is to whom? She’s some lady that has nothing to do with my life. And why this? The usual, arranged one. My mom has to do all this to save the company. And there’s only one family with (what a luck for me) a daughter who’s still single that can help us – Gwendoline Jalandoni. In fairness naman kay Gwen, she’s really lovely, smart and nice. Honestly, I have nothing against her.. kaso nga lang, she’s not the girl for me and I know I’m not the guy for her. I mean, I don’t want her to suffer and regret many years of his life just because she has to marry someone like me when in fact she can marry someone else that she really loves. Gets niyo ang point ko? I don’t think she deserves all of these. She’s really a wonderful woman.. and she deserves to be happy.
“Hey, Francis. How’s life?” Eliza greeted me at one of the parties we both happen to attend.
“I’m getting married.” I answered coolly while smiling at her.
Alam kong nabigla siya dahil kitang-kita sa kanyang mukha kung pano nanlaki ang kanyang mata at napaawang ang kanyang bibig. For a second at least, her mind went blank.
“Really?! Wow.. that’s so good to hear! Congratulations!” She responded enthusiastically.
I just answered her with a smile and sipped on my drink.
Alam kong alam niya na may nararamdaman parin ako para sa kanya. Nararamdaman ko ring may pagtingin parin siya sakin. At sana man lang, masabi ko sa kanya ang nararamdaman ko bago ako ikasal sa iba. And I guess that will also be the time na tutuparin ko ang pangako ko sa kanya.. bago ko tuluyang burahin ang lahat tungkol sa kanya sa buhay ko. Just like my promise to her that we will see together the most beautiful sunset we’ll ever see in our lives.. sabay sa paglubog ng araw, so will our past, so will my love for her.
And days passed, I have gotten to know Gwen’s family and relatives at talaga naman.. the joke’s really on me. Who would ever think that Eliza would be one of them? Ganito na ba talaga kaliit ang mundo para mangyari ito? What were the possibilities of her being Gwen’s closest second cousin?
A hundred percent which I never thought of.
“This is.. really.. amusing.” She suddenly said while looking at me.
“Lizzie.. It’s so nice to see you.” Gwen extended her arms around Eliza while Eliza froze upon seeing me. “This is my fiancé, Francis.” Gwen smiled while putting her arms around my waist which I did the same and extended my left arm to Eliza for a shake hands. “And this is Eliza, my best-est second cousin in the whole wide world.”
“Hey.. hi.” Eliza smiled and did the same. Siguro naisip niya ring it’s better to keep the past from Gwen. “It’s so nice to meet you. And you really have a wonderful woman for a wife here.” She looked at Gwen and smiled.
“You bet I have.” I smiled to her in agreement.
After some get-together, and as everyone settled to have some chitchats and all, I excused myself, got my beer and went to the balcony and just sat there while looking at the sky. Peace and quiet is what I need to think clearly.
“Hey.” I turned around and looked at her.
“Hi.” I answered back while turning my back from her again. She sat beside me.. but she was facing the inside of the house while I was facing outside.
“Don’t you think.. this world is such a small place?” Her voice broke. “Sa dinami-dami ng babae sa mundo o kahit sa Pilipinas nalang, si Gwen pa.” She chuckled.
“You’re such a lucky guy.”
“I know. She’s really a wonderful woman.”
“I do hope you won’t do to her what you did to me back in high-“
“Liz, alam mong-“ I suddenly face her but she stopped me from continuing what I was going to say.
“No. Let’s keep this down low. What we had was in the past. What you have for me now.. should be buried in the past.”
And she suddenly turned all cheerful.
“So you must be really really in love with her, huh?”
“What do you mean?”
“Ilang ulit ko ba dapat ulitin sa iyo that you’ll always-“
“Stop. You’re getting married, Francis. Save it.”
“Liz, I still have these feelings for you! I still love you! You are still in my mind and hindi ko na kayang pigilan ang lahat ng ito.”
Suddenly, I hugged her. Her tears ran down to her cheeks. She didn’t resist. She didn’t push me away. I knew then she still got those feelings for me. It’s been a long time since I wanted to do this.. to hug her and finally, it came true.
But then, sounds of footsteps came running over and Eliza suddenly moved away from me. Then Gwen’s face exposed at the dim light. Sana naman hindi niya nakita o narinig ang mga nangyari kanina. Gladly, she didn’t.
“Andito lang pala kayo. Tara, may laro daw sa ibaba. Sali tayo! Francis, tara!” Yaya ni Gwen habang hinihila na ako pababa.
“Ikaw, Liz? Halika na, baba tayo!”
“No thanks. Kailangan ko pa ng fresh air.” Liz chuckled.
“Sige, una nalang kami ha?”
“Sige, enjoy!” I smiled at Liz.
I looked at her and wonder. I asked myself, ‘Do I really have to marry Gwen?’ I’m rich, I don’t need other’s money for me to be richer and to be happy. Diba?
After a week, our wedding was prepared. Hindi ko na alam kung anong gagawin ko sa buhay ko. I’m all confused. Hindi ko alam kung pano ko sasabihin kay Gwen na hindi siya ang gusto kong pakasalan. Na ayokong sayangin niya ang buhay niya sa taong hindi siya mamahalin kahit kalian.
“Frank, can we talk?” Gwen said.
“I-I don’t know how to say this. But..”
“I-I-I can’t marry you.”
“I don’t know. I can’t feel ‘it’. I mean, I don’t feel like I want to grow old with you. No pun intended. You are such a wonderful guy but..”
“I understand Gwen. I feel the same.” I smiled at her.
“I bet there’s a lucky guy, huh?” I teased her at bigla kong nakita ang namumula niyang pisngi.
“Yeah. Well, it’s.. your brother.”
“Adrian?” I smiled at her.
“Who’s the lucky girl, then?”
“Your.. cousin. Eliza.”
“Wow. Great.” She said and hugged me. “I’ll get going. Thank you for everything, Frank.” She winked.
Do you have any idea how happy I am?! I’m free. I’m absolutely free! Maybe me and Eliza are really meant for each other. Maybe.. God has really something good for me.. and for her.
That’s when I decided to write her a letter. March 14, 2006. It was our 10th year anniversary.. counting back at the first day we’ve met.
March 14, 2006
Remember this day? This was the day I promised you to see the most beautiful sunset that has ever set in this country. Alam mo na siguro ang nangyari samin ni Gwen. We’re not just meant to be with each other. Kasi alam Niya na mas gugustuhin kong mamatay kesa makasama ang isang taong hindi ko naman kayang mahalin. I love you. I’ve told you this for so many times and the thing is, I still mean it hanggang ngayon. Sorry for everything I’ve done. And I hope you can come to this place, Splash Boulevard, 6pm.
Please. I have something for you. I’ll wait for you there.
Nakaset up na ang lahat. It was 5pm when I remembered that I should buy another type of brush. I hurried to the hardware store kung saan available yung brush nay un. Traffic caught me. I tried to call her but her phone was off. Suddenly, the wind started blowing strongly. I turned on my radio and dun ko nalaman na bumubuo yung low pressure sa Metro Manila. Bigla akong nataranta. I realized that a storm was coming. I looked out the window and I still see the sun setting off at the orangey horizon. I called Jennifer, Eliza’s secretary to ask kung nasan na si Eliza, kung makakapunta ba siya o hindi. She told me that Eliza will be here daw. I was horrified. Kung hindi ko siya maabutan sa Splash, she’ll be caught up in a storm. I was still at the middle of the traffic. Stagnant. Hindi ako makakilos. Walang makakilos. The wind was blowing so hard and rain started to pour down heavily. Wala akong choice kungdi ang bumaba sa sasakyan and started running to the boulevard.
It was, I guess, ang pinakamatagal at pinakamabagal kong pagtakbo. It was the longest time of my life. The angry heaven was pouring down her wrath and so did the wind. Hindi ko na alam kung anong dapat kong maramdaman. Anong nangyayari kay Eliza?
At kung saan akala ko hindi ko na kakayanin ang pagtakbo, I reached the place. I was horrified to what I saw. Bigla akong napatakbo sa kanya. She was drenchedly wet and she was lying down on the sand. I rushed her to the hospital. She was put into the emergency room for more inspections.
Gusto kong batukan ang sarili ko. Napakatanga ko talaga. What made me think of doing it?! If something happes to her, hinding-hindi ko mapapatawad ang sarili ko. HINDI.
And I thought to my relief, she opened her eyes. She uttered a word, but no sound came out.
“Liz.. Liz, I’m so sorry. Please speak up.. Please..”
“Frank..” she whispered.
“I waited for you.. Akala ko darating ka, umasa ako. Pero hindi ka dumating. *cough* But I love you. Mahal kita. At kahit anong mangyari, tandaan mong minahal kita, minamahal kita, at mamahalin kita..” She whispered while breathing hardly.
Umiiyak kaming dalawa habang hawak-hawak ko ang mga kamay niya.
“Mahal din kita. Mahal na mahal kita Liz.”
A moment later, her face turned pale and her hands stiffened. She was gone. Pulmonia. She was soaked in the rain for almost an hour and as a natural sicken girl, she didn’t stand it. Now ask me, what was I? A stupid man with no brains. A coward. I didn’t deserve her love. Did she really forgive me? Did she really hear what I was saying? Did she know I meant it with all my heart? I am her murderer.
I wasn’t able to do it. I wasn’t able live to the promise that became my reason to live, the promise that was failed and killed her, the promise that I wished never existed at all. For a moment there, I was thinking of how I would die at that instant just so I can be with her wrapped in her arms, but I wasn’t able to.
She’s dead. She’s gone. Forever.
No, I can still be with her. In heaven with the Creator that bind us together.
This pain I kept for over 50 years was the one which brought me to death and I couldn’t be more happier. I’ve lived my life and I never regretted anything from it. And if there’s one, it would be her death. But then, my time has come. And finally, I will be with her in a place called paradise. Forever.
“Ang lungkot lungkot.” Sigaw ni Tina.
“Ang lungkot diba? I didn’t know may kwentong ganito sa buhay ni Tito Frank. Kaya pala walang asawa si Tito.” Sabi naman ni Jean.
“Masaya na sila siguro ngayon.”
“Sana lang talaga, Tina.”
“Uncle Francis was such a nice man – a good son, a lovable tito, a helpful friend and a loyal and sincere lover. Before he left, he wrote something. A testimony, a love story, a history. For those who knew my uncle, I know that you are also familiar with Eliza Chan. The girl who made Uncle the most happiest person in the world. And now that he’s with her, I do hope that he’s happy.. that they are both happy. And here’s a song for you.”
Then a spark of music sounded. Jean started singing. For a moment at least, the chapel was wrapped with silence and grief.
I can still remember yesterday
We were so in love in a special way
Knowing that you love me makes me feel oh so right
But now I feel lost, don’t know what to do
Each and everyday I think of you
All the madness tears I’m trying with all my might
Because it’s gonna left me standing all alone
And I know I’ve got to face tomorrow on my own
But baby before I let you go I want to say I love you
I hope that you’re listening cause it’s true
You’ll be forever in my heart
I know that no one else will do.
So before I let you go I want to say,
I love you.
“I can’t finish the song.. I’m sorry.” Jean whispered to Tina.
“Uncle, you left us, but the memories you had left will be forever with us. And I know that someday, we’ll meet again in a place where harmony and peace surrounds.” Tina said for the last time.
The men started getting Francis’ coffin into the last place, the cemetery. All of them threw their roses and flowers to him. Suddenly, it rained. Then memories came flashing through Jean’s mind.
“I like rain. How bout you uncle?”
“I love it. It’s as if it cleanses the world.”
And for that moment, she understood what her Uncle had meant.