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      Heaven sent


On one fine Sunday morning, I found myself driving along Magsaysay Blvd. to go to the Leyte Park Hotel. I was supposed to buy newspapers but an inner voice pushed me to drive in the opposite direction. I arrived at the hotel. Within a few minutes I was at the pool area where my dearest friend and I had spent a few moments on our first morning together. I went a bit further, to the beach area where I knew I would be alone.

I sought a place far from the view of the main part of the hotel. As I sat in solitude on the cemented bench, I marvelled at the panoramic view before me. With only the sound of the gentle lapping of the waves against the rocks keeping me company, I basked in the stillness of the day, in the gloriousness of that morning. The coconut trees lined the place and their breeze fanned my face ever so gently.

I must have sat for about fifteen minutes already when a flowering plant caught my eye. The flower whose name escaped me at that moment was a sight to behold. It stood amidst weeds. I thought How can this flower bloom so perfectly when weeds surrounded it? Just then, a man whom I assumed to be the hotel’s gardener, came along to water the plants in the area where I sat. He plucked out the weeds one by one…

The sight unfolding before me jolted me to reality. It snapped me out of my reverie. It was significantly symbolic. The scene reminded me of the metaphor my dearest friend once used. He likened love to a plant.
Love, he said, is like a plant that must be watered, nurtured and cared for. If we take care of it well, it will grow beautifully. If we take care of it poorly, it will wither. He was right.

The sight was perfect – all the elements were in place – the gardener with the water hose, his tools symbolized the nurturing the plant needed in order to bloom, in as much as love needs all the right “tools”, - understanding, warmth, trust, love, communication, etc. for it to grow beautifully.

The weeds symbolized the trials, obstacles a love relationship has to go through. With enough love and care, a love relationship can also grow beautifully as well, as seen by the plant being taken care of by the gardener. It too can grow amidst the weeds.

So engrossed in thought I was, I failed to feel the tap on my shoulder. I then heard somebody talking in worry, “What is wrong, Miss?”
“Huh?” I answered back in bewilderment. The gardener was looking at me with a concerned look on his face. “Why are you crying?” he asked.
“Was I?” I hurriedly brushed off the tears with the back of my hand, in a futile attempt to hide the obvious.
“You are crying.” He said again, as if to tell me that there was no point in hiding it.
“I was thinking of somebody. He was and still is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I always tell my friends that, you know, that he is heaven sent too. Ours was a match made in heaven.” I found myself talking to a complete stranger, something I am not used to doing.

“If he is the best thing in your life, then what are the tears for?”
“He’s gone.”
“What do you mean? He died?”
“No, no, no.” I shook my head vigorously. “He did not. He just disappeared from my life.”
“Oh, why?”
“I don’t know really.”
“Why not?” he pried further.
“I can’t give you answers to the question. He just did not want to talk to me anymore.”
“I’m sorry to hear that. You must have loved him very much to be crying still.”
“I did and I still do.” I thought I should leave before I spilled out my story to this fellow, whom I have not even met before.
“What happened?” he persisted.
“I’d rather not talk about it anymore.” I stood up and got ready to leave. I looked at my watch and realized that I had been gone for almost an hour, much longer than the fifteen minutes it would take me to buy the newspapers. Mom would be worried. “I have to go now. Thank you for your concern.”
“You want him back?”
I managed a slight smile and went along my way. I quickly retraced my steps back to the parking lot. I cursed myself for crying again and in front of a stranger at that. How can I be so weak, I asked myself.

It did not help any that when I switched on the ignition, the song by Toni Braxton “How Could An Angel Break My Heart?” piped in from the car stereo. Tears blurred my vision once more. I had to stop the car and compose myself before I drove the car into one of those coconut trees along the road.

You see, the best thing that’s happened to me? His name is ANGEL. He is, indeed, heaven sent.


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