I Just Can't Say Goodbye

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In Seeing Her Again

Halfway through their dinner when everyone's hunger was partly satiated, kuya Nap broke the silence and awkwardness in the air.

"Baby Jian, why are you so silent? Do you also have a secret ? " Kuya Nap threw a stolen glance instead to Jim who was occupied in cutting steak for Jia.

Jia,  at the same time,  was helping Jian cut a piece of chicken breast into tiny bits.

Jian, who was startled by his uncle's voice, suddenly looked up. "Sssh! Do not talk when your mouth is full! "

"Got it,  got it!  Hahaha! " Kuya Nap now understood why he was silent. Not only that,  he had also gone out of the rule!

The rest of them around were amused but they dared not make a sound even if they wanted to laugh. They were just too uncomfortable to be seated together.

Kuya Nap did not stop. "Baby Jian,  there are four gentlemen among us. Who do you think is the most handsome? "

Jian scanned his eyes around his two dads and his uncle. After some moments of consideration, he looked straight into his uncle's eyes.

"You are the ugliest, uncle!" Jian without a single blink.

"Huh? Oh,  my bunny! "Kuya Nap pretended to be hurt with a grimace.

"It's because you are loveless." Jian answered seriously.

"What?  How do you know?"Kuya Nap became curious of what this small boy had in mind!

The rest of them still were successful in holding back their laughters. They just looked at both of them and smiled.

"I just know it. Your eyes have no sparks,  unlike daddy Jim and daddy Anthon."

The four of them went silent.
Suddenly,  kuya Nap had the strong urge to look at himself at the mirror and see for himself whether his eyes had, indeed,  no sparks at all. "What sparks exactly do you mean? "

"Uncle,  look at the eyes of daddy Jim and daddy Anthon. Those eyes of them spark everytime they steal glances at mommy."

Jia almost felt like fainting. This child..

Giselle suddenly burst out laughing. She could not hold it anymore. Kuya Nap, who instantly got clumsy for the two,  hesitated but Giselle's laughter was just too contagious. Jim,  whose mastery was sportsmanship,  chuckled out loudly while he tossed his head backward and leaned his back on the chair.

"My precious baby is just too brilliant like daddy! " Jim said in a very calm manner,  making Giselle giggle this time.

Jia felt her blood circulated in a wrong direction that it somewhat pooled in her head making her blush. How she wished she could twist the earlobes of this child!  

"Relax, my dear,  you can't blame the brilliance of your son for getting it from his mom." Jim commented while still chuckling,  his long arm  reached out to stroke Jia's head.

Jia glared at him without saying anything, making Jim more amused. His calmness and his laughter added flames to her already combusting heart.

Anthon just smiled , not knowing how to react. He just stared at Giselle who seemed to be drowned in her giggling.

"Giselle,  that's enough! You'll get asthma attack!" Anthon reprimanded her.

Giselle who was just too quick in responding,  most of the times not thinking,  blurted out. " Yes,  yes, you are right, I'll stop because Jia will soon have a heart attack instead, if I won't! " Giselle spoke between her stiffled giggling.

Soon, all of them joined in the laughter,  except Jia. They were all such a disaster!

Kuya Nap finally stood up and pulled down his inner shirt. He reached out a hand to Jian and helped him stand up.

"Come with uncle,  my genius boy. Let's go table hopping! " Kuya Nap said,  his grin still reached up to his ears. Jian obediently followed him.

As they walked,  kuya Nap looked back at his shoulder and took a sharp look at Jim,  signifying something.

Jia sighed in relief but she did not know another disaster was coming on.

"Miss Giselle, I hope you won't mind,  I'll be talking about something sensitive." Jim said as he moved to the chair of Jian, to sit beside Jia.

Startled,  Giselle looked up to Jim in a confused look. Though Jim was smiling at her and his face was gentle,  she was still intimidated by his aura.  He had a look that always smiled,  his presence seemed overbearing but he was so tender, especially to Jia.

"What is it,  doc? " Giselle asked back in an uneasy look.

Jim did not reply right away. His eyes were now at Anthon. "This matter should have been between me and Anthon but I have decided to bring this up with you,  as well.Just please call me by my name."

Jia suddenly got nervous. What was it that was going on in Jim's mind? Was it the business matter that kuya Nap talked about?  But she just felt something odd was coming on. She turned towards Jim,  her beautiful and confused face melted his heart.
He wrapped around an arm over her shoulders and pulled her closer to him.

"Don't be scared,  my pretty one." Jim assured her with his tender and loving eyes.

Jim by nature,  as she had known him for many years,  was always sweet - tounged. He threw in words of praise,  admiration and appreciation naturally. But to say it in front of Anthon,  made her felt very bad. Because she knew,  he was hurt. She could see that hidden grief inside his eyes.

Anthon looked down, he couldn't bear to see their display of affection. For many years, he had been longing to hold this woman forever into his arms. For many years,  he fancied her in his dreams until the news of her marriage shattered it. 
Though he had long accepted this fate,   but to see them like this in his very own eyes, was killing him a thousand times. Their sweetness was like a lethal weapon struck directly into his heart.

For so many times,  he mustered the courage to follow her in Georgia to  see her again. For so many times,  he planned to beg to Jim to ask them back. He knew he would understand.  Heaven knew how much he missed her,  but to see her again in this situation was like seeing her in his scariest nighmare. Seeing her again in the arms of Jim, was like seeing them in his own grave.

Marilyn Lucero

Edited: 28.08.2019

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