I Just Can't Say Goodbye

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Goodbye, Sweetheart!

As soon as the kids came inside the
house, Mr. Wayne met them.

"Go up and change. We will go out for dinner. Then you can play all you want afterwards. " He announced happily as he hugged and kissed his two grandchildren.

"Really, Lo? Where are we going?
How long will we be there? " Jian's eyes glowed in excitement as his questions came one after another.

"How about me? "Jianna pouted as it seemed that her grandpa was only talking to his kuya.

Mr. Wayne laughed in amusement at her childish reaction. She was so lovely to look at,  her cute face was such a little replica of her  mom.

"You will be playing also, of course,  my love. Just prepare your swimwear. " Mr. Wayne assured her as he lifted her into the air.

Jia and Anthon, who followed behind them, were astonished.

"What's the occasion, dad? " Anthon asked, wondering if there was any special event he might had just forgotten.

Mr. Wayne looked up,  still with sparks of joy in his eyes.

"Nothing. I just want some fresh air. The weather is just too humid." He reasoned out.

Few hours after, Mr. Wayne took them to a five - star hotel in which one of its attractions was the famous waterpark. The highlights of the sprawling water complex include three towering waterslides, a lazy river pool, and a pool with beach-like shoreline. But before the kids were allowed to indulge in the water paradise, he took them to  dinner first.

Their dinner was set up near the beach. Aside from the magnificent nature backdrop, the table arrangement itself,  implied a romantic set up. Red roses centerpieces,  scented candles, cream and burgundy tablecloths...

Jia felt that something was really brewing up on Mr. Wayne's head but the moment they were seated around the table,  her question was answered.

"Jian, Jianna,  listen to me first. I bring you all here because I want us to celebrate. " He said enthusiastically.

The kids then fastened their gaze at him right away, feeling excited at the mention of the word 'celebrate'.

"Is it someone's birthday, Lo? " Jian asked.

"It's miiiine. " Jianna butted in,  never understanding yet the time element of a birthday.

Mr. Wayne shook his head. "No,  you don't get it correctly. "

Jia and Anthon were already getting curious but they just kept their silence. Never did they expect that he also knew about giving surprises.

"I know it! It's your birthday! "Jianna made a guess again.

Mr. Wayne laughed again at her innocence.

"I want us to celebrate ahead..." He took a long, close look at Jian who was already dying of curiousity.

"What,  Loooo? "He exclaimed impatiently."

"...your mom and daddy Anthon's wedding! "

Jian's brows creased as he ran his gaze to all of them, making Anthon skip his breath.

Jia, on the other hand, fidgetted and got nervous. Her son was already eleven years old and he already understood their status. And besides, Jim was so expressive in caring for them and was so loud about his thoughtfulness.

Though Anthon always gave him unforgettable memories of their strolls and adventures,  but at the end of the day,  it was still Jim who helped him in his bath, tucked him into his bed and lifted him up out of it in the morning.

Mr. Wayne then spoke again.

"Jian,  your daddy Jim is not coming back to life anymore and your mom needs to move on and be happy again. Fortunately,  daddy Anthon knew and loves your mom even before she met daddy Jim. So, can we allow them to be happy as well? "

After hesitating for so long, Jian nodded and he became teary -eyed.

"I just miss dad. "

Jia then pulled him towards her in a tight embrace. She gave a little laugh but her eyes became misty,  as well. After some moments,  Jian looked up at Anthon and he threw himself into his chest.

"As long as you promise,  dad, that you won't go back to Dubai
anymore."

Anthon laughed. "Wish granted,  
son! "

Soon, the kids left together with their grandpa and Kuya Nap, leaving Jia and Anthon alone in their candle - lit table. Mr. Wayne planned it all. Even after their water escapade,  they no longer came back,  giving them ample time for their first date.

"Jia, I still owe you many things. " Anthon said while he drew her closer to him.

"What is it ? "

She asked absent - mindedly,  her thoughts were still  on Jian. Mr Wayne was right after all. He needed to ask her hand from him and his sister.

"Sunsets and romantic dinners. " He smiled as he looked far beyond the glittering sea water.

She laughed as the sense of awkwardness crept into her heart. But the sound of her laughter soon faded away as Anthon drowned it with the waves of his hungry lips.

They may had missed the sunset,  but they had watched the moon as it sailed along the starless skies,  wrapping their entwined bodies with its gold and silver hues, until the candle lights were blown away by the  morning breeze.

____
Early  the next morning,  Jia went out again but this time,  it was not for her morning routines. She drove instead towards the lonely,  memorial garden where they built the physical tomb for Jim.

Even though she knew that the dead knew not about anything and couldn't hear her anymore,  she still decided to pour out her emotions

"Jim,  would you forgive me if I would break my promise to be your wife forever? Would you confront me if one of these days,  I would be marrying your own brother? Would you hate me or would you understand just as how you understood my own failures and unworthiness? " She said, demanding and answer from the cold gravestone as her tears began to fall.

" I'm sorry for failing you. I know that I could no longer find someone whose heart is as big as yours.  I could no longer find someone who would love and embrace my deceitful heart like you do. And I could no longer find someone,  who only knows how to give and to forgive. "



Marilyn Lucero

Edited: 28.08.2019

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