I Just Can't Say Goodbye

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Miss Maxine

When Anthon was back, he was already bringing many boxes of toys while Jianna was holding his shirt,  her eyes beaming with joy. They went directly to the porch where everyone was still hanging out to chat.

"That's too many,  my love! " Jia said excitedly as she widened her eyes to congratulate her.

Anthon smiled. "She wants to buy the whole toy department! "

"That's the prize of having your way through your tears, baby girl. You're daddy can't say no! " Casey exclaimed while chuckling.

"Hon,  I see that you really like children. How many kids do you want us to have? " Anna sweetly asked Anthon while she wrapped an arm to his waist.

Anthon was placing the batteries into the small,  remote - controlled plane he bought for Jianna.  He frowned. Without looking up,  he answered.

"I don't want any more children. "

"What?  You're so ridiculous! " Anna complained.

"I already have these two. " He meant Jian and Jianna.

"But they are only your niece and nephew. " Anna sweetly argued further.

"Whoever told you that?  " Anthon gave her a quick glance.

"What do you mean? " She asked further,  making Anthon upset. It was obviously a delicate matter but she pressed on brainlessly.

"I'll tell you about it later.  " He said without looking up to conceal his disgust. Then,  he picked Jianna up again who remained snuggling in his chest while he fixed the toy.

"Come,  baby! Let's fly your plane. " 
Anthon said excitedly as he looked into the innocent eyes of the child.

They played for a couple of minutes until Jianna got bored and drowsy. Anthon then carried her up in his arm back to the porch.

" Baby girl, you're so cute! " Anna complimented as she lightly pinched Jianna's leg.

Anthon glanced at her before sitting down with Jianna in his lap. " She's sleepy. "

Jia also happened to approach them to hand  the feeding bottle when Anna started to talk about their wedding plans.

"Hon,  how about making her our flower girl and Jian,  the ring bearer?"  She said while leaning on Anthon's side.

Jia butted in with a big smile. " Why not? "

Anthon's face flushed as he avoided her eyes. He picked up his phone and typed a message. " Do you want me to kill Jia? " He put down the phone back as soon as it was sent.

Jia's phone vibrated in her pocket when she returned to Jim's side so she pulled out and opened the message.  She creased her brow when she read it. "Do you want me to kill Jia? "

She then understood. She copied and pasted the message and added her own words. "It's alright,  Ton.  A bride is always excited. "

Suddenly,  Anthon lost his mood and wanted to go home right away.

At Ybañez's residence.

Grace and Aijohn sat across their parents on a coffee table. Their tea pot remained untouched as the coming confession sent tension in the air.

Mr. Ybañez initiated the conversation as Madamme Ybañez got obviously nervous.

"Darling, we tried hard to hide the truth to you because we don't want to hurt you.  You are our princess and our everything. But as the saying goes that " no smoke could be hidden" , we know that the time will always come wherein we will have to squarely face this thing that we dreaded the most. "

"I hope that at the end of this confession,  you can still forgive 
us. " Mr. Ybañez said sorrowfully.

Grace became nervous right then,  that she already wanted to cry.  Aijohn sensed it so he held her hand tightly and brought it up to his lips and kissed it.

"Go ahead,  dad. Whatever it is,  I will understand. " Grace assured him,  her eyes were already misty.

Thirty years ago....

Maxine pulled Felix in the corner of the office and handed him a rectangular strip with three red lines marking horizontally.

"You're pregnant? " Felix eyes glowed in happiness.

"Yes.  Ask from your sister an abortive medicine. I want to get rid of this as soon as possible. " Maxine was referring to his sister who was their town's most famous obstetrician.

Of course,  she would no way do that dreadful thing, no matter  how demeaning it would be. She just wanted to test his sense of responsibility and know his reaction. 
"What? Are you crazy? " Felix gritted his teeth in sudden anger while he tried to lower down his voice.

They were at his company's office where Maxine worked as her personal secretary. He was already married to Glenda for five years but they were not yet blessed with a child. Maxine was his first love but due to her ambition to work overseas to serve her passion in designing,  she disappeared without asking him permission.

Felix got so humiliated. She did not give him worth. She loved her career more than him. What he got was only a piece of note.

"Forgive me,  Felix.  I'll be away for only one year. When I'll be back,  let's get married then. "

But one year became two  then three... but no Maxine appeared to him again. In his anger and frustration,  he married Glenda,  his  closest classmate in college.

One day at the office,  Glenda met him happily on the door. "Felix,  Felix, I have a surprise for you! She said that you were classmates in college so I accepted her and assigned her as your personal secretary. Miss Shirley is resigning so you need to find one immediately! "

"Who is she? Are you sure she's that efficient? Why do you decide on your own?  I should have seen her
first. "Felix vented out his disappointment.

While they were still arguing, the clicking friction of stilletos on the floor made them both look towards the direction of the sound.

It was Maxine,  standing tall and beautiful before them.

Marilyn Lucero

Edited: 28.08.2019

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