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One summer vacation, Ajie decided to go home and visit his parents. It had been a year already since he left. The humiliation he got from Allie's family was something which pushed him to strive hard and be his best. Someday, he would show them that not all of his mother's family were destined to be druglords and drug mules. Not all were destined to be society's eye sore. Not all were responsible for the riots and bloody fights during fiestas or any events in their place.
Someday, he would be someone they would look up and respect. If only their tender age was the reason of their refusal for marriage, he would have understood. But all the degradation and slander thrown at them even to his innocent parents were too much. He would have accepted if Allie's family attacked only those whom they knew as the black weeds of the society but to insult their dignity as a whole was unacceptable. His own parents did not deserved it. They were still young, anyway, and marriage could wait.
Instead of taking a direct route from Manila to his homeplace, he took a flight to Cebu. He wanted to see her again and assure her that he would be coming back and marry her someday. He just had to finish his studies. He took up Bachelor of Science in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering. Someday, he would be the builder of the biggest and the most beautiful ship in the country and he would take Allie with him during its maiden voyage.
"Auntie, do you have any idea where they could have possibly moved out?" Ajie's heart sanked down when he learned from her Auntie Elsa that Allie's family had moved out from Kamelyo.
"Allie's maternal side were already involved in the contention between our families and the tension became unbearable for her. Or, perhaps, she just wanted to end the trouble because of you. So, one morning, we only woke up to find that they were gone. "
"She did not tell you where? " He frowned, a sense of frustration started to engulf him. Philippines is too large a place to scour a lost needle.
"Perhaps for their safety, no. "Elsa confirmed.
Ajie began to get nervous. He allowed his indignation to rule in that even a single message to ask her how she was, was never done. He allowed his wounded pride to dominate, never thinking that he could lose her in the process. Just the thought of the very long travel his mother had sacrificed, angered him. Eversince she underwent a surgery, his father had regarded her as a fragile treasure. Not allowing her to work anymore in the farm nor do a heavy household chores like doing laundry. She was treated like a queen, only to be slandered spitefully? He could never accept it.
He may had promised to come back for Allie but that would be when his status would be a slap to them. He knew they were right. None among his family here in the city were able to graduate because of the strong peer and family influence.
He hurried to pick up his phone and searched for her name again in social media accounts but still, there was none. Her previous phone number was no longer in use already. The truth was that Ajie never had any account on social media except on that day he decided to go home. For him, it was just a waste of time.
Her name may had appeared in search engines but it was only her name and address. Perhaps because, he did not have much knowledge on technology. He asked their common friends in college, but no one had an idea. Finally, he remembered Dino but just like Allie's, only his name and address were displayed.
The truth was that Allie still used the same phone number but after Chloe's surgery, she decided to block him. What sense was there to wait when he , himself, did not show interest? If he truly loved her, he could not wait this long. He should have at least called her or send her even just a simple message but there was none. Even just a simple 'hi'and 'hello'. "
She would never make the first step to have him back. Chloe's sickness had been the most trying time she ever went through, but there was no sign of him. Instead, other people were there for their daughter. Other unrelated people were there to make sacrifices for her. Yet he, the person who should have been there when their child was on the brink of death, was not there. If he did not cut their communication, he would have known about his daughter.
At about four in the afternoon, Ajie took a walk at the shore.The whole place was very quiet and no one was around. Not faraway, he saw that the previous factory site became a shipyard or a dry dock. Adjacent to the road, there was now a newly - constructed connecting road from the highway towards the shipyard.
As he fixed his gaze closely, a man in his fifties, was walking along the shore. He then trudged along the water line, dipping into a knee - deep level. All of a sudden, he saw it with his two eyes that he fell and hit his head in a sharp - edged rock! Perhaps, he must have slipped in a mossy rock bed.
Ajie ran towards him and without any hesitation, he picked him up and carried him in his arms. There was already a dripping blood above his right ear and his right arm was twisted. Due to his sudden fear, he instantly felt a surge of energy that he was able to run fast. With no one to call for help, he kept on running until he passed by a group of motorcycle riders, waiting for passengers.
"Boss, please call an ambulance! I'll pay for it. " After handing his rather big payment to the driver, he rested in a corner to wait.
Soon, the ambulance arrived. The first - aiders hurriedly went out with their folding stretcher. They, then, placed the man on it carefully. Seeing that an arm was twisted, they also took a splint and wrapped it around his arm.