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Jia did not have the leisure of having many friends way back in high school except her group. She was admired and highly respected but not everyone dared to get close to her. Her silence and brilliance was simply intimidating. Yet, she had a bestfriend. Nobody could see one of them anywhere without the other, especially during their first and second year. They shared all their excitements and sorrows, their joy and sadness.
However, when they were in their senior year, the whole class was divided into smaller groups for their Citizen Army Training. Soon, her bestfriend Giselle became so busy with her new group and from then on, they seldom talked to each other. Anthon belonged to the new group that Giselle had . During those times when they were able to catch up with each other, Giselle never mentioned anything about Anthon, contrary to how she openly confided even her darkest secret with her. The moment Giselle got hooked up to her new group, Jay slowly became her closest friend and confidante. However, their difference was that, Jay, was someone close to Anthon. A friend who rejoiced for him in his secret love for her. A friend who gave her hope to look forward to. Many years later, Jia knew that Jay even became Anthon's confidante.
After high school, most of her classmates went to the same university due to a scholarship program they qualified so their friendship continued.
Oblivious to everyone even Anthon's family, Giselle became the girlfriend of Alex, Anthon's younger brother. They were both happy and in love as many years went by. Anthon was their witness.
In a span of five years, Giselle was overwhelmed with joy and confidence that their relationship would even get lovelier and stronger. However one day, Alex went home pale and was exerting too much effort in breathing. After many days, his condition deteriorated. Several laboratory and diagnostic tests were done and all those confirmed to one diagnosis, LUNG CANCER.
Alex was still young , so his family held high hopes for his chances of recovery. They informed him the truth for him to cooperate in the treatment process. After the release of his biopsy result and some other tests, radiation therapy followed. Throughout the process, Alex became so exhausted due to the burning sensation afterwards and the severe fatigue. He decided then to refuse on chemotherapy sessions. He would rather prefer a natural death than be tortured by the adverse effects of chemotherapy. If radiation therapy was already a burden for him, how much more would the chemo be.
One day, Alex requested to talk alone with Anthon.
"Kuya, is Giselle good enough for me? "
"Do you think she would also be accepted by our family? "
"Why not? " He replied with furrowed brows, confused on the bottom line of this talk.
"Would you be able to accept her, too? "
Anthon did not answer right away.What was his point?
"I have long accepted her as my sister-in-law since we were already close friends to begin with. "
"Kuya, do you love me? Even if I will be gone, will you be willing to see me live through another person? "
With this, Anthon was beginning to get hurt and more bewildered.
"What are you talking about? Don't talk about silly things..."
"It's not my way to talk about useless things. That is why I am requesting to talk to you right now." His voice became tighter but he tried to put a faint grin on his face.
"Okay, go ahead. If it is something I can help you better with, then I would be delighted to. " Anthon spoke calmly but was a little frightened.
"Giselle is my life. You know how much I love her. But due to some personal reason that she choose to hide it and yet she revealed it to you, I believe that she could also be comfortable with you. With time and some learning process, you would be able to love and accept her the way I do. "
"What??? " His mind suddenly became dull that he was not able to grasp it right away. Or, he was just too afraid to confirm the tentative conclusion of what he was about to say. Or, his mind just shut itself to avoid this twist of the topic
"Kuya, Giselle is three months pregnant and I would not want her to go into shame alone. Please take them both as your own. I want her to stay close to us even if I am gone. In that way, I would still be alive through her presence. I just can't trust her over to someone else. If only I could choose to live for her, I would... " With this, he broke into painful sobs.
He who was pretending to be strong and happy all throughout his intermittent hospital stays, he who would always joke around and seemed unafraid of death and he who viewed life at its best was now breaking out, devastated of his coming ordeal. If only he could, he would live for her!
He felt some million pricks pounding into the depths of his heart. He understood, heavens knew. He loved his only brother so much more than anything, but to marry someone he did not love, was like a sudden pronouncement of a horrible death sentence! Worse than ever, she was with his child. He just couldn't seem to accept it. But how could he be able to refuse against the request of a dying brother!
His heart was just breaking and shattering to tiny pieces. Even though he was never able to confess his affection to the only love of his life, it did not mean he was hopeless. He believed that one day, their ways would finally come across.
While thinking about it, his phone suddenly rang.
"Anthoooon, I just so missed you! I will be coming over next week. See you all at the Blue Whale Mountain Resort. Just the six of us. Anyway, my and Liz's husband are coming over. " Jay announced happily on the other line, refusing no for an answer.