I Just Can't Say Goodbye

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Jian's Garden

Anthon returned Atty. Guevarra's call.

"Engr. Rodriguez, I had been calling you but you're not picking up."

"I am sorry, Atty."

"Can we talk today and try to clear up everything because the owner will be flying here in few days to check."

"Sure. I'll come in 30 minutes." The law firm office of Atty. Guevarra was just a twenty - minute drive from his home.

When Anthon arrived,  Atty. Guevarra was already in the function room together with the whole set of new personnel  assigned for  different specific tasks of running this real estate business.

"Engr. Rodriguez,  I understand that we are all a bit nervous about this new business venture. But I believe that with a good teamwork,  we can achieve success. The owner has a very good and understanding heart so I guess everyone will be inspired and be motivated to work for the best outcome. We will be seeing him soon. " He paused and smiled, his eyes moved from one person to another.

"I may, as well,  introduce each one of you. Please rise as I call your name. "

"Mr.  Nilo Ruiz..will be in charge in the marketing and advertising plan."

"Miss Bea Arevalo,  our head for finance and accounting department."

"Miss... Mr.. " Each one of them took turns as their names were called.

Atty. Guevarra went on. "Now, Engr. Rodriguez,  it's your turn to give us a run through of the subdivision plan,  buildable plans, house designs and lay out,  exterior and interior designs, floor plans,  and etc.."

Anthon stood up in front after he connected his laptop to the projector. He then carefully discussed in details all about the plan as mentioned by Atty. Guevarra. From the subdivision plan to the house design down to subdivision amenities and etc.

Everyone gave him a loud round of applause. They were so awed at how carefully he discussed each details, how good was his overall plan and how beautiful and meticulous were his designs.

He did not know that his presentation was connected online and the owner of Jian's Garden was intently watching him. He couldn't help but admire at his dexterity. So,  he was not wrong at all in choosing him to be the constructor and developer of Jian's garden. Most of all,   when the right time would come, he would have a greater reason to be sincere in handling the business.

Anthon stayed until after the financial plan was discussed, the number of detached houses that will be constructed,  the cost of recreational amenities,  the whole budget involved down to the marketing and advertising plan.

After the meeting,  Atty.  Guevarra gave his new staff a dinner treat at a nearby restaurant. Anthon was not able to find  an excuse,  so he joined as well.

All throughout the time,  he was only talking to Atty. Guevarra.

"By the way, Engr., setting business aside, may I ask if you are married,  how many kids do you have and all,  if you don't mind."

Atty. Guevarra was good - natured and his presence could lighten anyone's mood. So,  Anthon did not feel intimidated nor reserved.

"I am not married yet but I have one son."

"So are you getting married soon? "

The eyes of the whole staff turned to him as they also got curious of his lovelife.  How come he was not married yet? He stood in towering height,  bronze - skinned and stunningly handsome.

"How I wish I would get married soon, " he chuckled.

"Engr.,  what happened? I think I saw the sadness in your eyes." A woman nearest him dared to ask.

He continued to laugh. He suddenly got confused on what to say.

"Perhaps,  we are just not meant for each other... Life is really like that. "

"Where is your son? " Another came forward to ask.

"He's with her. "

"Where? "

"I really don't  know. " Then he laughed again as he turned the table to Atty.  Guevarra.

"Atty., its your turn this time."

"Hmmn. Okay...Let's put it this way. 
I have been busy all my life that I have forgotten my need for a woman!"

All the staff laughed. He was indeed busy at all times and they never saw him with a woman. But it was never right for him to use that as an excuse!

They finally separated ways and Anthon drove up to a winding hills.

Blue Whale Mountain Resort.

He traced back those path where he set his steps six years ago. Those path that led to the cottage where Jia set up her tent.

More loneliness crept in as the silence of the beautiful haven became defeaning. His heart was full but could not heave it out. The darkness that spread all throughout the place was exactly the shade that wrapped up all his hopes into vagueness.

It was here that Jia lied close to him.It was here when she gave him her all. It was here when she hugged him silently and then walked away...

He picked up his phone and ran a finger through the keypad. A woman picked up.

" Anthon?"

"Gis.." There was a long silence."Gis,  it hurts....so much."

"Anthon,  If only I can do something."

"How would I ever forget? "

"Anthon... "Giselle could only sigh.

She knew the pain very well. She went through with it. But,  as they said,  women are stronger emotionally than men because of their tears.

"Cry it out now, Anthon!  And afterwards,  wipe your tears, forget her and move forward!"

Meanwhile, a couple alighted from the plane after it coursed through the runway of Atlanta.  Waiting arms waited for them in the waiting area... 
"Mom and dad!" Dr. Grace hugged the couple happily.

"We are here to take you home. "His dad told her, observing how she would react.

"No, dad. I'll finish my training."

"Gracie,  when can we meet Dr. Wayne? "

"Mom, forget it. He's no easy to reach out." She objected.

Marilyn Lucero

Edited: 28.08.2019

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