A/N: Hi everyone! I missed you all! Ang dami ko nang backlog na babasahin! Here’s my newest story. Prologue palang muna!. Hope you like it!
“Dad, it’s Mom’s 5th death anniversary today.”
Richard Lim was eating his breakfast when Nikki’s words came through to his otherwise preoccupied brain. He paused for a moment then looked up at his daughter.
Her chinky eyes were sad, he noted. He looked at Luke and Abby. Same sad, chinky eyes, mirroring his own. He sighed.
“Nikki, I know,” he said quietly. “We’ll visit her grave after school, okay?”
Nikki and Luke looked at each other. They were both surprised at his reply. It’s been so long since they’ve visited her.
“Okay Dad,” Nikki replied as she bit her lip, trying hard not to cry. She missed her mom so much. She was only nine when her mom passed away. Everyone says she looks like Alex, but she knew her mom was far more beautiful. She was the perfect lady… gracious, mahinhin, intelligent, kind-hearted, God fearing… beautiful inside and out. She felt like a little ugly duckling compared to her. But Alex always boosted her confidence, telling her she was beautiful and she was special. Now that she’s gone, Nikki had gotten even more insecure, retreating into her shell again.
Sixteen year old Luke sat quietly. Like Nikki, he missed his mom a lot. But what he noticed more was his Dad. He had never really been okay since she died. He buried himself in his work, successfully turning the fledgling Lim Aviation Company into a modest empire. But at home, his constant sadness did not escape Luke.
The youngest child, Abby, remained quiet. She had not known her mother at all, being only a toddler when she died. Although Richard tried to keep memories of Alexandra hidden away from the children in an effort to shield them from loneliness, Abby found his stash of photo albums in one of the cabinets in his room. While Richard was out, she would look at the pictures and dream about how it was to have a mother love and care for her.
After breakfast, the children went to school while Richard took a moment to be alone in his room. He sat on the bed and took out his favorite photo of Alex.
He could barely believe that it’s been five years since Alex died. It felt like only yesterday that they sat in the doctor’s office as he told them that Alex had advanced cancer. She died only seven months since the diagnosis. It had been a difficult fight. Alex knew from the start that it was a battle she wouldn’t win. She had prepared Luke and Nikki for her death. Abby was too young to realize what was happening. And Richard was too angry to listen. Angry at her illness, angry at the doctors and the hospitals because they couldn’t cure her, angry at himself because there was nothing he could do, angry at God for taking her too soon. They had been so in love. She was his first love and he was hers. Things hadn’t always been rosy. Richard’s parents objected to the marriage because she wasn’t Chinese. They cut him off after the marriage and he hasn’t heard from them since then. Alex’s parents both died young and she was an only child. They had no one else. But since they had each other, there was nothing they couldn’t face together.
And all of a sudden, she was gone.
Richard removed his glasses and wiped his eyes. The only thing he remembers was what she said to him that day before she lapsed into a coma.
Richard, I love you and I know you will always love me even after I’m gone. But you will have to move on. Promise me, sweetheart, that you will be happy again. I want you to love again. You need someone to love you and take care of you. And our children need a mother too.
Dapat, within five years, mag-asawa ka na uli ha.
She was having difficulty breathing but she managed a little laugh and smoothed the frown on his forehead. But he shook his head.
I’m not ever falling in love again, Alex. Ikaw lang ang mamahalin ko, wala nang iba.
No, Richard. I’ll make sure. I love you, sweetheart.
No, Alex. I will love you until I die.
She went into coma shortly after that. Alex died two days later.
Richard looked at her photo again and gently touched her face with his finger.
See Alex? It’s been five years. I told you, hindi ko na kaya ulit magmahal. He smiled wistfully. I miss you so much honey.
To be continued…