"Force me to wake up every day. The morning without the sun the same as you will always be dark." I said to my wife imprisoned with concrete and land.
1 year has passed already since she left. The dreams we dreamed together didn't fade. It's like yesterday, it's so vivid in my memory. I can still feel the sweet feeling being with her. The tightness of her hug. The brightness of her face when she smiled. The taste of the day being with her. I can still feel all of it.
"Why you need to leave. The pain is too much for me to fight."
I start crying and remember how we were before. I don't understand myself. I want to think it over and over again to feel the pain. It's painful but I just can't help it not to think of her. My day is always like this if I don't divert my thoughts from working.
"Good evening, sir. Do you still have a room available?"
A woman carrying a bag back asked me. From her appearance, I think she's a traveller. When my wife still lives we started this business. A rest house for the traveller. In our place, we have so many beaches and other tourist spots. My wife died so I didn't entertain travellers. I didn't let someone rent here. I remember my wife so happy when this business started.
"Sir?, The woman said while waving her palm in front of my face.
"Ahem!," I coughed and answered, "Hmmm sure but I need to clean it first."
"It has been a year since I closed it. Maybe it's time for me to open it."
I opened the door of the inn. Dust and cobwebs are everywhere. The woman coughs when she enters.
"Oh, sorry. Let me clean it first before coming in."
She smiled and said while blinking. "I will help you but give me a discount?"
I thought I don't need much money for now. I live alone and I'm earning from my work.
"You don't need a discount. I will offer you free for the whole month?" I said to her.
I can see in her eyes that are sparkling. I can tell from her eyes. She's so happy and she doesn't need to jump because of joy.
"Really?" Really?" She said while smiling.
"Let's stop now. It's getting dark." I said.
"But---," she asked. I know what's on her mind.
"Don't worry I let you use the other room in my house. It's available."
"I only live alone so you can use it. What's your name by the way? My name is Topher."
"My name is Quenie and I'm from Tacloban. I live with my family in Rome. I just want to visit the beaches here. I travelled alone, it's better to go alone."
She followed me and guided her to that room. I let her walk around my house. She needs to know the location of the bathroom and kitchen.
"What are you cooking?" She said after she finally roamed around the house.
"Ah, I'm cooking "humba dish." My wife--, I mean I really love this food."
I know she noticed me diverting the words I wanted to speak.
"I saw many pictures of a woman in every part of the house. Is she your wife?"
I just nodded.
"Where is she now?" She asked seriously.
"She died 1 year ago from cancer," I replied.
"So sorry for asking," She said it with a comforting voice.
"It's fine, let's eat," I said it's fine but my eyes becomes teary. I only took a few bites of the food. "Don't stop eating I will just go outside to check something."
I don't understand but telling someone about my wife. It feels like I wanted to release it all. The pain, the sadness and the loneliness. It's coming back and I want to let it out.
"Brrrrppp", the sound of beer flowing inside my mouth. I feel like I want to be drunk tonight. I'm sitting on the bench outside my house. Just watching the stars and sky. The night seems so lonely and I love that kind of feeling during the night.
"The night is so nice, isn't it?"
Quenie suddenly sat on the bench near me.
"That's why I love to travel because of this. The beautiful nature like this is hard to find in the place I live in." She said.
"Yes, this is one of the reasons why I love here. Life is simple but the environment will complete you." I replied while starring the sky.
"I want to go to Flordeliz beach tomorrow. Do you know that place?" She asked.
"Of course, I will drop you there. I will pass that place when I'm going to my workplace."
The morning has come and she rides to my motorcycle. I dropped her off into that place. I just then proceed to my workplace. I suddenly envy her by enjoying the beach. I was like that before and I just stopped when I became alone. It's my lunch break already and I always go home. I eat food in my house since it's just near. But because of her, I decided to eat lunch on that beach. I want to enjoy watching people enjoying the beach. I also love to feel the salted air from the sea.
"Oh, you're here?" I looked back and I saw Quenie glimpses.
"I thought you went home." I acted like I startled seeing here. It's noon already and you were here early in the morning." Just a reason to cover up my reasons to see her.
She laughed while looking at the vast ocean. "Yeah, I couldn't resist the beauty of the sea. I will stay here a bit longer."
I nodded while watching her facing the ocean. I took a glance on her face and her body. She's so pretty, long legs and a fit body. Her hair is silky and long dark. She glanced at me by looking back and our eyes met. I cough as I feel awkward that she saw me staring at her.
"Then wait for me. I will fetch you here before going home." I offered.
"Sure," she replied.
I went back to work and I finished what I must do. 5 in the afternoon is coming. I'm excited to fetch Quenie and let her ride on my motorcycle.
I saw her waiting outside the beach. She's staying beside the street. I saw a man inside the car ask her. I distance myself and just watch them. I only see those hand gestures. A little while, a man went outside the car. He's following Quenie while walking away from him. In my thoughts that maybe he's forcing Quenie to go with him. That kind of action is not right for me. I come over in front of them while on my bike.
"Hi, honey!" I blinked my eye, "let's go?" I smiled but so embarrassed inside.
"Oh, honey." She rides the flow. "I'm glad you're here." She rode on my bike and I drove immediately.
"He's so annoying." He said to me when we arrived at my house.
"You're pretty so it's normal.," I told her with a serious face.
"Do you think I am?" She comes near me and allows me to stare on her face.
I looked into different directions to avoid her face so close to me. "Hmmmmm, yeah." and then she smiled.
It's Saturday in the morning and Quenenie tempted me to enjoy the sea. I was a sea lover. I was always going to do the sea and to do random stuff. Fishing, swimming, playing and anything. Just to spend time in the sea. But because of Quenie, I decided to prepare my small boat. I'm planning to ride on it.
"What are you doing, Topher?" She asked me when she saw me cleaning the small boat. "Good morning by the way."
"Nothing, I just want to check if the machine is still working. It's been a year since I used it." I replied.
"Really?," She said while expressing an excited face.
I know what she's thinking. I can read what's on her mind. "We will do island hooping if this boat is not defective. I want you to experience why our place is popular in terms of islands." I said with a glimpse.
I can see the excitement of her face. She's watching me doing something on the boat. But I know she couldn't wait for us to start going.
"By the way, will you prepare food for both of us?" I asked her and then she went inside the house to cook.
After she finished cooking I drove the boat. I tour her on every island near the place. Her face couldn't be drawn because of the happiness she feels. She is amazed at how these islands became this pretty. She keeps on taking pictures and I'm just enjoying watching her. We stopped on an island she likes the most. It's just small but there's a river in the middle of it. The water flows to the sea through a cliff. We took off the boat and I sat in the white sand. Suddenly she's running towards the sea wearing a bikini.
I didn't mean to stare at her but I just can't help it. Her body is too perfect. Her waist, her chest and her back.
"Hey, Topher. Don't space out. Join me, the sea is nice." She said while smiling. I felt embarrassed for an instant.
"Later, I need to enjoy watching the view from here first." I lied but actually, I'm enjoying watching her.
She rises from the water and walks towards me.
"Here!," she threw seawater from a shell of an oyster. I avoided it and she returned to the water to fetch another one.
I ran away from her. I'm not planning to swim. I just want to tour her. But I'm enjoying how she wants me to join her. I just enjoy more being chased by a woman like in the movies.
"Ouch!...," she touches her feet.
"What's wrong?" I immediately came over to her. I was worried. She must have stepped on a sharp stone or snails.
She suddenly smiled when I came over. She threw me seawater. I got wet as I smiled looking at her.
"You fooled me." We are both laughing.
We are swimming together in the sea. Something inside me wants to be happy. I just stopped it. I'm already afraid of what will happen later. When I remember how my love story went. I gloom.
"What happened?" She asked.
"Nothing. I just remember something." I replied and I'm looking like there's something from far away.
"I understand you Topher. I know you're just afraid to be happy." Her comforting words. "But you know life is like that. We may feel that pain but don't forget you made yourself happy."
I look at her in the eyes seriously. I slowly swim towards her closely. I see her eyes moving in different directions. I feel like I'm in the zone. I'm so focused on what's in my heart. I kissed her in the lips.
"Sorry, Quenie but I think I love you."
She kisses me back. I hug her tight and she hugs me tightly. The kind of feeling I was longing to feel. She gave me hope to love again by spending time with her.
"I love you too, Topher. I love the way you look at me."
She paused and continued.
"Actually, I lied. I travelled to forget the man I once loved."
"We were planning to get married but he told me he impregnated a random woman. My world broke as my heart couldn't believe it." She looks so serious.
"I didn't know how to move on. What I did was lock myself in a room. So when I arrived here I was determined that I could forget him. It did, you have the number one role. You're so kind and sweet." She looks at me.
"I could tell that you like me by your stare. I just didn't know how to approach you. I just wasn't sure if your stares were true." She smiled at me and jumped into my back.
"But damn, you took so long." She drowned me into the sea by pushing my head.
I let myself drown because of happiness.
"YES!," in my thoughts.
We went back to my house. It's getting dark. I decided to go home. I assisted Quenie to go down from the boat. The moment she stepped his feet to the shore.
"QUENIE-----," A man is running towards her. I could tell from his facial expression. A man who felt lost that only his love one could find him.
He hugs Quenie tightly and Quenie can't say a word. She looks so surprised but I didn't know why I felt like I just let them be breaking my heart.
"Roy?," Quenie called that man.
"What are you doing here? Where's "that" girl?" A hesitating word from Quenie.
"I forced myself to love her. I lied to myself in loving her."
Quenie started hugging Roy back. I suddenly felt so lonely watching them. I looked up high to avoid my tears from falling. I nodded my head. I didn't say goodbye to Quenie. I left them both while glancing. Hoping that Quenie will stop me from walking away and explains it to me. I passed them and I arrived home feeling lonely again.
I couldn't stop the tears from falling. I'm staring at something that I don't know what is this I'm looking at.
"I thought I would be happy. I thought I would never feel that sadness again. But all of it was just assumptions of me. She loves that guy. Even though I was there, she ignored me. It's painful, it's so damn hurt that I think I'm dying." I whispered to myself. I covered my eyes while sitting on the ground.
"Hey!!," Quenie startled me.
"What were you thinking? This man is not the man who broke my heart." He explained to me and smiled.
"Oh, so you really love me?" She teases me.
"Of course I didn't think anything like that." I pretended I wasn't thinking of them as lovers. I feel embarrassed but at the same time, I'm so happy.
"Of course you were. I saw the way your face showed emotions." She teased me again.
"By the way this is Roy. He is like a brother to me but he is my best friend as well."
Roy and I shook hands. Quenie introduced me to Roy. Roy smiled at me because of mocking me maybe.
Roy explained to us both with Quenie what happened. Quenie and I are holding our hands while listening to Roy. It feels amazing being together with the one you love. The feeling that you have someone to share with. I think it's time for me to move forward. It's already time to love someone again.