Admin Note: *Contributed Story* Please give credit and thanks to princemackaroo.
“My best friend who became my lover. My first love. And I intend her to be my last. She’s my princess. My queen even! She’s my priceless diamond. My treasure. She’s my hope, my dream, my everything! I intend to keep her for the rest of my life. I’m more than willing to play God just to keep her by my side. God I love her so much! She is my life! She looked so beautiful. So peaceful in her sleep. I’ll never get tired watching her sleep. I’ll never get tired of this. Never get tired of loving her. Am so lucky to have her.”
Carefully, he caressed the face of the sleeping lady beside him. Touched her like a fragile porcelain that could easily break with the slightest of touch. She stirred in her sleep. She felt a warm hand, gently caressing her cheek. Felt pair of eyes staring at her. Slowly she opened her eyes. She was right. The man beside her is indeed staring at her, gazing at her this whole time, sitting right up with his back rested on the headboard of their bed. “What time is it?” she asked. “It’s only 1am. Matulog ka na ulit,” he said ever so softly and planted a kiss on her forehead. “You should be sleeping as well. You still have work tomorrow,” she said with eyes half closed. She moved closer to him. Curled up beside him. Closing any possible gap there is between them. “Don’t worry about me. Ikaw matulog ka na ulit,” he said smiling lovingly at her. He stroked her hair ever so gently, trying to lull her back to sleep.
She finally sat up and faced the man beside her. “Why did you get up? I told you to go back to sleep,” he said with the same soft tone, almost like a lullaby. “Is there anything wrong hon? Is anything bothering you?” she inquired. He simply smiled and said, “No. Nothing’s wrong. Everything’s fine.” “Then why are you not sleeping yet? Why are you still awake?” she asked of him. “Because watching you sleep is more worthwhile than having to sleep at all. It’s one of the things that I will not trade anything for in this world,” then he gave her a long lingering kiss. When they finally broke off from the kiss, “I love you,” he said. “I love you,” she answered back.
“Hon, as much as I appreciate your gesture, and feel overjoyed with your love, I would still prefer that you have your sleep. I don’t want anything to happen to you,” she said using the same soft tone he used to her. He heaved out a sigh. He know fairly well she’s right. Sleep indeed is something that nobody should ever take for granted. Besides, he’s no Superman. He just feels like it. For her. He’s willing to be her Superman. “Ok,” he said smiling. “Let’s go back to sleep.” They both laid down on their bed, spread his arms under her head and let her use it as her pillow. He loves it whenever she uses his arms as her pillow. She turned to face him and cuddled on his side. He then spun his free arm her. As sleep is now finally enveloping him, he felt the need to say those words again, “I love you.” Then he finally dozed off to dreamland.
“Good morning sleepyhead!” said Alex as she tried to wake her sleeping husband. Richard wouldn’t budge, not even for a bit. “Yan na nga ba ang sinasabi ko. Hindi kasi matulog tulog agad kaya ayan hindi makabangon bangon. Hon, wake up! It’s already 7am and you still have work. Late ka na sa office,” said Alex while shaking her husband’s sleeping form to wake him up. “Mmmmm. Hon, it’s still too early. Tulog pa muna tayo. Dito ka muna. Higa ka na muna ulit dito sa tabi ko,” said Richard while tapping the empty space beside him, eyes still closed. “Hon, tanghali na. You already have to get up, take a shower, get dressed and go to work. Bangon na dali,” still trying to shake him to have him get up. Richard grabbed her hand and pulled her causing her to fall on top of him. Richard all the while was just grinning at her “Ay! Hon! Ano ka ba?” she said trying to look and sound annoyed. “Hon it’s still early. Why don’t you just stay here in bed with me?” said Richard with a naughty glint in his eyes. “O! Nako! Chard hon ha! Hindi ko gusto yang iniisip mo! Stop it! You still have work,” said Alex while trying to push herself away from Richard. Richard, sensing that his wife is trying to get away from him, held her on her waist, and in one swift turn, had Alex pinned down on their bed. Alex now breathing heavily as she anticipates his husband’s next move said, “Hon, don’t you have any plans of reporting to work today?” Richard, still on top of Alex, afraid that she might get away, reached out for his phone and started calling. “Hello Liza? Good morning. Do I have any important meetings for today? Good! I won’t be coming to the office today. Just call me if anything important or an emergency comes up. No that will be all. Thanks!” then hung up the phone. Alex simply gave her husband an incredulous look. “What?” asked Richard. “Can’t I spend more time with my wife?” “Hay naku hon! Ikaw talaga!” exclaimed Alex as she pinch his nose. The both of them started to laugh and as the laughter started to die out, they just gazed at each other lovingly. Richard started stroking her hair while Alex started caressing his face. “I love you so much hon,” said Alex. Richard caught the hand that’s caressing his face, pressed it on his cheeks and kissed its palm. “I love you too, so much.” He then lowered his head and pressed his lips on hers.
He used to be happy. He used to be full of life. He used to be a man with a mission. A man with a goal. A man who needs to protect the one woman he ever truly loved. The love of his life. But that was then. That was a year ago when she’s still by his side. And now she’s long gone. His love, his princess, his queen, his priceless diamond, his treasure, his hope, his dream, his everything, his life – now gone. All gone.
Who was to blame? Is there anyone to blame? Who can he point finger to? Himself? For not being the best that he can be on his league? Alex? For leaving him so soon? The world? For being unfair and dangerous? God? For not granting him his request of letting him spend the rest of his life with the one woman he’s ever truly loved? Who? No one can tell. He cannot tell.
“Why didn’t I become the best? Why didn’t I check it thoroughly? Why did I even allow her to leave? Why did she have to go? Why did she have to leave? Why was she taken away from me? Why? WHY??”
He doesn’t know anything anymore. All he’s left with are questions that don’t seem to have any answers. He can only be certain about some things. He’s certain, he’s angry. He’s angry with himself. Angry with Alex. Angry with everyone. Angry with God. He’s hurt. He’s damaged. He’s broken. Broken beyond repair. Of these he is certain.
A year ago..
Alex had to leave for Cagayan de Oro. There had been a flu outbreak and doctors are badly needed. Alex was asked if she could go as well. Being the kind hearted and helpful natured person that she is, she agreed to accept the task. “Hon, do you really have to go? Do you really have to personally go there? Can’t they find somebody else to do the job?” asked Richard to her wife as he was embracing her from her back. “Hon, I will only be gone for 2 days. It’s not like I will be gone for a year!” said Alex. “2 days, 2 weeks, 2 months, 2 years, they’re all the same. I’d still miss you all the same,” said Richard and hugged Alex tighter, never wanting to let her go. Alex faced Richard, cupped his face, looked straight in his eyes and said “Hon, di ba we’ve already discussed this before. I have a sworn oath. I have a responsibility as a doctor to help other people,” kissed Richard lightly on the lips before continuing. “I will miss you as well, of that am sure. But you know how much I love what I do. You know the joy and the sense of fulfilment this gives me. You know how important this is to me di ba?” still looking at Richard, trying to look for any signs of agreement from him. “Besides, I’ll be back after 2 days. 2 days lang hon. I promise. Di ko rin kaya kayang malayo sayo ng matagal,” said Alex, showing him her sweetest smile to have him agree with her. Richard feeling defeated, let out a sigh and simply gave her a nod. He knows how important it is for Alex to fulfil her job as a doctor. He knows fairly well that this will make her happy. “Thanks hon! Pero smile ka na please? Uuyy! Ngingiti na yan!” teased Alex as he was trying to stretch Richard’s lips willing him to smile. “Silly!” and gave her the smile that she so fondly love about him. “When’s your flight?” asked Richard. “The day after tomorrow. 6am ang flight ko.” “Ok. I’ll be the one to bring you to the airport, ok?” smiled Richard and kissed Alex on the forehead while still locked in an embrace.
As promised, Richard personally brought her wife to the airport. “Hon, call me once you reach CDO, ok? I’ll be waiting for your call.” “Ok. I’ll call you as soon as the plane had landed. Wag kang magpupuyat at magpapagutom while I’m away ha?” said Alex. Richard, smiling sweetly at her said, “Don’t worry, I won’t. You take care. I love you!” “I love you too. Always remember that,” replied Alex. Richard gathered her in his arms and gave her a long lingering kiss. If not for the need of air, they didn’t seem to have any plans of letting each other go. No plans of breaking off the kiss. He hugged her tight and she hugged him back. They stayed that way for what seemed like an eternity. Savoring every moment that they have left together. They don’t care if they looked silly. Doesn’t care of what other people might say or think of them. The only thing they know is that they are madly in love with each other. Two hearts who cannot live without the other. Two hearts bound as one. Unbeknownst to the both of them, that will be the last time that they will ever see each other again. The last time that they’ll share an embrace. The last time that they’ll share the sweetest of kisses. Unbeknownst to the both of them, the two hearts they bound as one, is not destined to be bound for eternity.
He waited for her plane to take off before he left the airport and went straight to his office. He arrived by 7am. He went straight to his office and seated himself on his swivel chair. How he misses her already. Just the thought that he will not be seeing her in the next 2 days makes him miss her all the more. The mere thought is driving the sanity out of him. “Richard, focus! Get a grip of yourself! She’ll be back after 2 days!” he scolded himself.
2 hours had passed and he still haven’t received any call from Alex. He was in the board room with his team of engineers when Liza immediately barged in without warning, looking thoroughly distraught and on the verge of tears. Her voice shaking, “Sir you need to check the news,” she said in urgent tone. Richard suddenly felt anxious seeing the pained look on Liza’s face. He excused himself from the board room and immediately went to his room to check the news on the LED TV hanging on the wall.
Freezing water seemed to have been poured onto his whole body. The world seemed to have stopped. Breathing seemed like a task that needs to be learned. And his heart. He doesn’t know how it’s still able to beat. How did it manage to surpass this excruciating pain? Or is it really beating still? Perhaps he’s just imagining that it’s still beating? Obviously it can no longer beat after being crushed hard. But why? Why can he still feel it pumping loudly against his chest? Why is it still hammering against his chest when it’s supposed to have died out moments ago? It doesn’t make sense! Is he still alive? How? A dream. Maybe everything is just a dream. He’s just dreaming. Everything he saw and felt is just a dream. He knows for sure that everything is just a dream. He just needed to wake up from this nightmare.
“Wake up Richard! Wake up!” he shouted at himself. “Wake up! Damn you Richard Lim! I said wake up!” He tried to slap himself but to no avail. He’s still in that same place. Looking at the same TV. Feeling the same unbearable weight that kept crushing his heart over and over again. He’s still feeling cold. “No. No. No! This can’t be! Am just dreaming! Am just dreaming! Damn it Richard! You’re just dreaming!” shouted Richard while running his hands on his hair like a madman. Liza heard his shouts as the door has been left ajar. She immediately ran to the door to check on him. But what she saw halted her feet, completely perplexed. Tears started to flow uncontrollably down her face. She could only cover her mouth, trying so hard to suppress loud sobs that’s been nagging to get out of her. She’s never seen her boss like this. Nothing prepared her for this. All she could do is stand by the doorway and fear for her boss’ own sanity.
“Ricky hijo!” said a crying Donya Esmeralda as she was walking towards her son. “Ma! Please Ma! Please! I beg of you! I cannot get out of this nightmare I’m in right now! Help me Ma! Am begging you! Wake me up please!” pleaded Richard to his mom. “Ricky. I-I’m sorry,” then she wept bitterly for his son. “No Ma! Help me out with this! Help me!! Don’t be sorry! Help me!” Richard held his mom’s arms not realizing the tight grip he had been giving her, then started shaking her. “Ricky stop it!” yelled his dad but Richard wouldn’t budge. He just continued gripping her mom pleading her to help him not listening to what his dad has been ordering him. “Son I said stop! I said stop it! You’re hurting your mom!” When Don Roberto noticed that his son doesn’t seemed to be in his right mind anymore, decided to slap him hard on the face. Richard stopped and just let his head hang in front of him. Slowly, realization dawned on him. He is not dreaming at all. He is not having a nightmare. He cannot be awaken as he has been awake all along.
As the realization slowly sank in, tears started flowing freely down his cheeks. In his 27 years of existence, never has he ever felt so helpless. So hurt. Broken. “Ma.. Si Alex.. Si Alex..” was all he could manage to say. With that, her mom immediately gathered him into her arms and they wept bitterly in each other’s arms.