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"Allyza, where are you? " Mary's angry voice pierced sharply into her ear.
"Ma, I'm coming already! " Her last subject had just ended and she already knew the reason of her frantic calling.
"Chloe is hungry already! " Her daughter brought so much joy into their home and her parents would become crazy everytime she cried.
She knew it since her breasts were already engorged. At three months old, the milk she pumped ahead was no longer enough. After she graduated from her bachelor's degree in Accountancy, she decided to take up Master's Degree in Accountancy to be able to qualify for higher opportunities such as managerial positions or to be a Certified Public Accountant and others.
When Ajie left, she had already graduated in college, being two years older than him. Though in her heart she was still wishing for him to come back as he promised, she no longer held high hopes. It was not impossible for Ajie to find someone else. Someone better than her. Someone prettier than her. She was still crying every night, remembering those times she was in his arms.
The smile of her baby and her coos took out her stress in her difficult subjects but it draw back the pain her heart. Where was he now? How would he react if he would know that they had a child?
While she held the lovely bundle in her arms as she breastfed her, she couldn't stop her tears from falling.If only she was married to him, he would have been at her side at this moment. Chloe had the shape of his eyes and nose and the fairness of his skin. How could she forget?
Her mother suddenly opened the door to check her beautiful granddaughter and she was caught crying!
She did not say a word. She just closed the door again and left. That was not the first time Allie was being caught. There had been many times when both of her parents had to wake her up in her sleep because she was sobbing.
There was even one time when they were forced to apologize because they were already worrying that her grief would affect the fetus in her womb.
Her mind flew back to the time when she confessed about her pregnancy. It was the day before Ajie left for Manila.
"No matter how many children are there in your womb, we will never allow you to get married with an anti - social! "
"Ma, Ajie is different! He is not like that! " She remembered herself crying so hard.
If she couldn't make them change their minds, Ajie would be leaving her forever. Her last trump card to win in the game was her pregnancy. But the revelation did not scare them of having an unwed daughter, of having a pregnant daughter out of wedlock. Even if it would bring shame to their reputation. She understood their anger but she believed that Ajie was wrongly condemned.
Her thoughts also brought her again to that last night she was with him.
It was already past midnight and the whole surroundings was quiet. The whole neighborhood was asleep and the lights were all turned off. The leaves of the mangroves which scattered all throughout the shoreline were stooping down, weakened by the sleeping world. The only sound which could be heard was the stiffled sobs of Allie as she peeped into the hole in one of the grids of her room.
Just few meters away from her, she could clearly see the silhoutte of a man sitting down on a bench outside her closest neighbor's house. The moon light was illuminating him as it cast its silver and golden hues all over the place. She knew he was waiting for her. She may
want to go out and sneak towards him but was held out by her fear that she would cause another trouble to her family.
Her heart was crying, no, it was profusely bleeding! She knew that before the clock would strike at four, he would be leaving ... forever.
She was debating against her urge to ran towards him and hug him for the last time but she was also pinned down by her guilt. The more she restrained herself, the more intensed the pain became.
When the short hand of her watch pointed to number two, she couldn't hold back herself anymore. Just this once, just for the last time, she would go against her parents's will! The time was ticking by and further delay would shorten their time to hold each other for the last time.
She slowly got up and tiptoed towards the door, too careful not to make any sound. Come what may! If she would be caught this time, she would accept the consequence. Anyway, this would be the last time.
She walked towards the other side of the house where a bench was placed in a corner between the wall of the main body of the house and the wall of the veranda. Ajie followed her right away and pulled her towards him in a very tight embrace. No one dared to talk, their heavy emotions stuck into their throats. Even a single and careless word that may escape from their mouths, would readily tear off the shield of the buckets of tears waiting to flood off.
After a very long while of holding each other closely, Allie's shoulders moved as she broke into a silent sob. Ajie hurriedly pulled out from her embrace and lifted her chin up, drowning her sobs into his mouth. He kissed her hardly as if it would be their last, tearing more her heart apart.
"I'm sorry, I have to do this." His voice cracked as he whispered.
"But someday I will come back. I may not know when but on that day, I would make it sure that I would already be worthy to ask for your hand."
Alie wanted to protest and beg but she also knew they needed the distance to calm out the rising tension between their families.
"Remember this, If you could not wait, I would take you from whoever may own you on the day that I'd be back."
Her sobbing became louder as she could no longer contain the sense of loneliness which started to diffuse all over her grief - stricken soul.