the Reunion

“Who’s she daddy?” a girl in an elegant ponytail asked the man whose hands she’s holding. She is referring to that woman in front of them. The littlegirl looks at her dad and alternately at the woman.
She couldn’t understand what’s going on. It’s as if the world froze with her, wondering.Seconds, a beat of ten times passed but she couldn’t hear anything. So, sheasked again, “Dad, who’s she?” At the girl’s second attempt, the spell was broke.

“She’s your tita Thea. She’s a friend of your daddy”, the mannonchalantly replied. The woman can’t help but just to smile. “A friend”, yes,she’s really that.

“Ok, greet your tita.” The man commanded the little girl who obedientlydid as told. The woman

sat down to meet the cheeks of the little girl who’s trying to kiss her.

After the unexpected meeting,the woman just stood there where the man and the little girl left her. Shecouldn’t believe such – both the little girl and the man – but she has tobelieve it. She’d seen it.

It was her dream to have that little girl and yes, with that man. How such dream could came to life butwithout her?  It took her one, two, tenseconds to recall when she dreamt of another thing, when she tried to give upthat dream – with him and their girl. All began with a promise – a promise shemade to herself. No one compelled her to do that. She just knew it would be theright thing. Her motto then was “family first”. She did everything to fulfillit. She graduated, got a title and work hard.

Althea is now thirty years old.Yet, she’s still working for the same purpose. Of all her businesses, she neglected one thing – her own happiness.

“Get somebody who could help you forever.” Those were the words of Dennis, the man in her past and recentlyappeared to her in the present. She answered that it would be “someday”. It wasthe safest answer, she thought. She didn’t know. It just slipped from her mind.No other words came out and with greetings, the conversation died that night.She must be afraid to commit to some things she might have said if other words came out – fewer words, less danger

It was her fourth year of stay in the school while it was his last year. She knew very much it was her lastchance to tell him – to empty out to him the feelings she kept for years. She’sa woman and she didn’t know how to do it. She decided to make a letter and she did.

It was graduation day. She wentto see him as she usually did whenever she could see him. She waited on thelong narrow path outside the venue. She started to be irritated when at last,she caught a glimpse of him. He and his family approached her. She smiled and greetshis parents. After that, she found herself alone with him. Heartbeats becamefaster and she thought, her voice would tremble if she’ll speak. She began itwith a smile and he also smiled at her. Then, words came out from her throat.Those words made him smile widely but sad to say, it’s not her heart talking but her mind.

“What happened?,” She could only ask herself after he left her alone. It was her last chance but she let go ofit. She was a coward. She wasn’t brave enough.

That was the last time she saw him. News came to her that he left the country to work abroad and then, no more news came.

It’s only now that she saw him again. It’s on this school reunion  thatshe hoped to have a chance again but now, it’s gone. He has now a little girl –not with her as she used to dream, but with another woman.

She can no longer bring back the past and undo what has been done. It’s just now a matter of acceptance andmaybe, just maybe, she can find her happiness again by looking at him, happy from afar with his little girl.FIN


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