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      Always and Forever

     


Always and Forever







(Lindsey)



I touched Nathan’s face and gently smiled as I watch him lying right beside me on the rooftop. God, how I love this man. I love him not just because he’s handsome and smart but the way he touches someone’s life without even knowing it. The way he makes me smile with his silly jokes or even just the way he makes my heart beat so fast just by staring at me. I can’t believe that tomorrow, I will be marrying this man. The man who will hold my heart and soul, always and forever.



That night, he brought me inside his room and through his window we climbed out to the rooftop. He brought a blanket and together, we lie and watch the stars. It is so romantic. That’s one of the things I loved about him. He can be very romantic in simple ways. We talk for several hours and then he brought me home to have a goodnight sleep.

” Tomorrow ‘s going to be our special day. Have a good night Lindz.” He kissed me on the cheeks and walk to his motorcycle.

“Hey!”, I called up to him. He turned and give me once again his breath-taking smile.” I love you….always” and I move to kiss him on the cheeks.

“and forever” he said and hold me in his arms.





I woke up very early that day. I am so excited but a little nervous. Nathan and I were going to be husband and wife. I smiled as I look at the mirror in my room. I am about to finish combing my hair when I heard a knock on my door. It was my mother.

“Nathan’s mother wants to talk to you.” She said and immediately handed me the phone.

“Hello?”

“Lindsey? ….uhm… Nathan’s in the hospital. He had an accident and it’s very serious. Please come over as fast as you can…” I heard little sobs across the line” He needs you..” and she continued it in a whisper I can barely hear.



I rushed immediately at the hospital. I moved so fast that I haven’t even answered my mom when she asked what that call was all about. I saw his mother outside the recovery room. She was crying and when she saw me, she moved and hugged me.

“I’m so sorry Lindsey. This is supposed to be a special day for both of you” she said. I hugged her and cried. I can’t say a word and I can’t even manage to think. My mind was occupied by the thoughts of him. How will I ever live without him?



After several hours in recovery room, Nathan was brought to a private room. I stayed by his side all day. I cried and cried as I look at him. His mother was also there. She told me how excited Nathan was that morning. Well, it’s really amazing how things can change with just a blink of an eye.



“Why don’t you go home and rest for the mean time.” His mother told me.” I’ll call you immediately if there are any changes. You seemed so tired, Lindsey.”

“ I’m okay. I’ll just stay here with him Mrs. Santos.” I said but later she insists, and so I went home.

My mother was waiting for me in the living room. ”How was Nathan?” she asked.

I sat beside her and hugged her. “He is still unconscious mom” I said then tears were rolling down my face.

“Everything will be alright honey. Just have a little faith. He’ll be okay.”



On the next day I was surprised that the room was empty. I saw a nurse and I asked, “Miss, where is the patient in this room? Was he transferred to other room?”

“Oh, you mean Mr. Santos? No, his parents moved him out last night. What I heard was that his parents are going to take him to New York because of his condition. I’m so sorry miss.” And then she walks away.





***





Those months that followed were the hardest days of my life. I just learned from their neighbors that they had gone to New York early that morning. It was so hard for me. I can’t seem to move on. I cried so many nights. I shed so many tears. I almost thought of killing myself to end the pain.



But then, wounds heal. They always leave scars but they heal. It was almost a year until the day I stopped crying. I started applying for work and find myself again. I made friends and started going out with them. I became happy again.





***



“Can I share with you?”

I looked up and saw a handsome man smiling at me across the table.”Of course.” I said and smiled back at him.

He is David. He works at the accounting department of the company where I work. We became friends later on and we started eating lunch together. He is very kind and thoughtful. Some ladies in other departments used to stare at us but I don’t mind. Well, David is such a ladies man. He is the kind of guy that other girls would die to be with.



“Hey miss beautiful. What are you working on? It’s already twelve o’clock. Aren’t we going to eat?”

I looked up and saw David just beside my table and glanced up at the wall clock. I began arranging my things, “I’m so sorry David. I got lost track of the time.’

“I know. You’re too busy to glance up at the clock. You can’t even manage to comb your hair.”

I stared at him and looked at myself in the mirror of the elevator and was surprised to see my hair. It was untidy and some strands were tangled. I immediately opened my bag and get my comb. David just laughed at me. God, what will I do without him?



“Can I ask you out tomorrow night?” David asked as we eat our lunch that day.

“Why?” I asked. I didn’t notice the disappointment in his beautiful face because I was enjoying my food. I didn’t even notice he’s not eating anything on his plate.

“Well, … do I need to reason out to you if I asked you on a date?”

At that, I looked at him. I smiled as I noticed that he is so serious. ‘You? Asking me on a date? Are you out of your mind? Come on handsome, you’re just hungry.” Then I moved his plate closer to him.

He then ate silently. I tried so hard not to laugh in front of him. After we ate, he’s still not saying a word but he’s walking with me. When we arrived at my table, I looked at him and smiled, “Ok, pick me up at eight.”

“Yes!” he shouted so loud that everyone in the room glanced at us. He smiled and walked away.





David arrived thirty minutes earlier, which gave my mother a lot of time for interviews. David gladly answered all my mom’s questions. She only stopped when she saw me on the stairs.

“Someone’s seems so excited. Haven’t we agreed that you’ll pick me up at eight?” I said when my mom was out of earshot.

He laughed and sighed, “I can’t wait any longer. I am excited than you ever think of” We spent several hours together and it’s been a long time since someone made me smile.





***





David has been courting me for almost six months. I am very happy every time I am with him. He was trying everything to please me and give everything my heart desires.

That night, as I lay on my bed, I took Nathan’s picture on my drawer. I stare at him, smiling at me. Tears rolled down my face and I kissed his picture. “Nate, you know that I will always love you, always and forever. I’m not tired of waiting for you but do I have to wait forever for nothing? I have to move on. I have to go on with my life. I deserve to be loved. I hope someday you’ll understand.”





“Are you sick?”

I immediately looked at David. “No, I’m not. Why do you ask?”

“You’re not touching your food and you’ve been quiet for thirty minutes already. You are the one who’s always talking. This is not normal.” He smiled as he pushed my plate closer to me. “Don’t you like the food?”

“No it’s not the food. It’s just… I have something to tell you. But I don’t know how to start.” I said and pushed back the plate away from me.

“If you’re going to ditch me, do it later. Eat first or you’ll never have the strength to tell it to me.” He said and laughs but I can feel the sudden change in him.

“Yes” I blurted out loud enough for him to hear.

“Yes, you’re going to ditch me?”

“God, you’re so stubborn sometimes… Yes, I think I’m falling for you.”





***





For several years, David and I were so happy. On our second anniversary, he surprised me by a special dinner. The dinner was in a wooden cottage in the riverbank. It was a rounded cottage with round table and chairs facing each other. Rose petals where scattered on the floor which makes the place very romantic.

Before the dinner ends, the place turns much more romantic when acoustic music began to play.

“Will you dance with me?” he asked.

“Of course…” and we began to glide on the floor. But as I close my eyes, all I could see was a memory of Nathan and me. A memory where we are dancing together under the stars on the balcony of his room. The way he looks into my eyes, as he holds me in his arms I couldn’t see and couldn’t hear anything. Nothing but him, nothing but our hearts leading in every turn and I feel safe with him. I immediately opened my eyes. How can I think of him when I was with David?

“I love you so much Lindsey. I want to spend the rest of my life with you. You are the reason why I woke up every morning with a smile on my face, you are the “because” of my every “why’s”…’ and he pulled out a diamond ring under his pocket and kneeled in front of me, ”Will you marry me?”



***





I was walking along the beautiful beach of Rio de Janeiro. I was in a three-week tour in Brazil attending a seminar for the company. Before I left, I accepted David’s proposal. After the tour, David and I were going to prepare everything for our wedding.

The seminar was only two weeks and only in the morning. I spent every afternoon walking in the beach and having a tour on the place. After the seminar, I still have a week to shop for clothes and souvenirs.

It was like a dream come true. I always wanted to be in Rio de Janeiro. Nathan and I used to dream this place. It is where we planned to spend our honeymoon. We even planned to live permanently in Rio de Janeiro.

As I walk along the beach on my third day in Rio, I wondered where Nathan could be. Was he okay? Is he still in New York? Had he married? It was almost four years since we last met each other. He was in the hospital and recovering from the accident on the day we were supposed to be married. His mother told me to go home and rest. On the next day, when I returned to the hospital, he was gone. His parents never even said goodbye or called. And I never saw him again.



But then…I saw somebody standing at a distance. Was my imagination playing a trick on me? He was so familiar. His face, the way he moves, the way his presence gives chill to me… it was Nathan!

“Nate?” I walk fast towards him but suddenly he walks away. He was so fast that I have to half run to be able to catch up.

“Nathan!” I shouted but to no avail. We were on the streets now and there are a lot of people. I couldn’t get my eyes off him for I am afraid I might lose him. Then I bumped to an old lady.

“I’m so sorry. Are you okay?” I helped pick up her things. When I look up, Nathan was nowhere to be found. I tried to look everywhere but I haven’t’ seen him. So I returned to my hotel and lie on my bed. “God, I’m so stupid. What if it wasn’t him?” tears were rolling out of my eyes again. I wiped my tears with the back of my hands and went to the phone. I am about to pick it up when it suddenly rung.

“Hello?”

“Hey Lindsey, its David. Are you crying?”

“No, I’m not. Why should I?”

“Lindsey, I know you’re crying. Please stop pretending you’re not and tell me what the problem is.”

“I…I missed you.” I hear a soft laugh across the line. David must have believed me. God, how could I lie to this man?

“I missed you too. I can’t wait to see you. How’s the seminar?”

“It’s okay. I had a lot of fun but I terribly missed you David.”

We talk for several minutes and hung up. I can’t believe I’ve lied to him. He is so kind and thoughtful. He doesn’t deserve someone like me.



That night, I went out of the hotel and ate at the seafood restaurant near the beach. It was a beautiful restaurant. There are a lot of people inside and it was so difficult for me to look for a vacant table. I looked around and later, found a vacant one at the corner. A beautiful woman gave me the menu list.

The restaurant had a superb food just like the others but the only unique thing in this place is that there were performers or a band that entertains their customers. After a singer performs a song, another performer will come on the stage and performs another song. After eating, a lady approached me and handed me the bill. As I browsed my bag for my wallet, the restaurant exploded with applause as a familiar face took the stage.

“Nathan…” I whispered for I was very surprised.

“You know him? He is the most popular singer here in the restaurant. It is not just because he is so appealing and handsome; he has also a very beautiful voice.”

When I didn’t respond, the girl continued.” He was here for almost three years already. According to our boss, he had amnesia. He came from New York and he saw Rio de Janeiro in one of tourist’s papers and he came here hoping to gain his memory. He had remembered someone very important to him but he can’t remember whose that special someone but he is sure that that person was the key to the missing pieces of his life and heart and he is going to find that person here in Rio. But he isn’t that lucky cause he hadn’t found that person yet.”

Tears were rolling down my face as I handed her the bill.

“Are you okay miss?” the lady asked and I nodded. I immediately went out of the restaurant and went back to the hotel. I cried and cried all night.



Now I know why he had not even called me for almost four years. Why he didn’t even return and explained to me why his family took him away. He had amnesia but I’m still in his heart for he is still waiting for me here. And God, forgive me for I am still in love with him after all this time. But how about David? Can I hurt him this much? Will I be able to leave him and hurt him to be with Nathan?





The following night, I returned to the restaurant. I ate and waited for him. As I expected, he came. He was giving his breath-taking smile as he took the stage. The smile I longed to see, the smile that he cast only for me years ago, and the same smile that makes my heart beat so fast. He sang a beautiful song and I never noticed the tears that were rolling down my face.

After he performed, I followed him outside the restaurant. I saw him bid goodbye to other performers and he started walking…

“Nate?” I called out loud enough for him to hear. He then stopped and turned to face me.

“Yes? Do I know you?” He looked confused and amazed for nobody except the managers and workers in the restaurant knows his name. Everyone knew him to be “magnanimo” or handsome.

“I don’t know if you remember me, but I know you….” He then moved closer to me.

“You know me? You do?” He began to smile at me.

“We… we were friends for so long. Then you met an accident and your parents moved in New York and… and I never saw you again… ‘til now”, tears were rolling down my face as I smile back at him. “And I terribly missed you.”

“I forgot everything… but when I see this place, I know that it will help me remember. And here you are…” he smiled and beckoned me to go to him. I gladly followed and moved to hug him.

“Before anything else,” he released me and looked intently at me, “will you mind if I asked your name?”

“No, I wouldn’t mind. I… I am Lindsey Fernandez.” And that begins the most memorable days of my life.





***



I spent every afternoon with Nathan, strolling the beaches or just hanging out in the restaurant. We became close again. We would laugh and tease each other in the beach. It feels just like before. The only difference is that I don’t hear the words I longed to hear for so many years, ‘I love you Lindz… always and forever’”

Well, how could I expect to hear those words? As what I’ve told him, we were just friends. Sometimes, I feel like I can’t help myself anymore and I really wanted to tell him that I love him. That after all these years, he still holds my heart and that it is him whom I want to spend the rest of my life with but I had no enough courage to do so.



One night, as I am about to sleep, the phone rang. I immediately walk towards the phone, smiling for I thought it was Nathan.

“Yes?”

“Lindsey? It’s David. God I thought something happened to you. I was very worried. I tried to call you every night but no one is answering your phone. Are you okay?”

I was shocked to hear his voice. I had forgotten him for over a week. He’s been trying to reach me every night. I am enjoying every night with Nathan going around while David was so worried about me.

“I… I’m so sorry David. I was just lonely so I’m going around. I… just wanted to enjoy as much as possible while I am here. I’m so sorry.”

“It is okay, at least now I know your fine. Your vacation was almost over. I just have to wait for another four days” I heard a small laugh across the line.” Well, take care of yourself. Don’t roam around too late. Don’t skip meals and enjoy your stay in Rio.” Then he pause a little while,” I love you very much Lindsey. I can’t live without you.”

“I love you so much. You are my life… I don’t know how to live without you…” and the line went dead, “Nathan…” I whispered on the phone and put it back to the cradle.

Tears were rolling down my face, as I lie awake in my bed. Three days and this vacation is over. Three days and I am not sure if I’ll ever see Nathan again. The worst is am I able to leave him? Can I afford to lose him for the rest of my life? I had lost him once and the pain is unbearable. It tears my heart piece by piece until there nothing left for me to feel anything. I lost my life when I lost him.

My family was the only reason why I had not ended my life. I forced myself to recover and I did. Then I met David and I slowly fall in love with him. I love him but not as much as I have loved Nathan. But I have to choose…



***





“Ouch!” something hit on the face. When I looked down, I saw a cute teddy bear beside my left foot. I picked it up and saw Nathan smiling at me.

“You’re so sad Lindz. Don’t worry; I’ll follow you in the Philippines after a month. I’ll be there…I promise.” He touched my face and continued smiling.

“I’m not sad…I’m just thinking of something serious.” I answered.

“Like?”

“Like…like where we are going to eat coz I’m starving.” I gave a small laugh and took his hand. We walk to a restaurant nearby and ordered our food.

“When are you going home?” he asked.

It took a while before I answered, “Tomorrow...”

“Wow, that‘s so soon…well, why don’t you have dinner at my place tonight?”

“Of course… I would love to”





That night, after putting all my things in my bag and prepare everything, I went to Nathan’s apartment. A part of me tells me that it is not the right thing to do but another part of me says follow your heart because it will make you happy.



“Welcome to my place” Nathan greeted me with a smile as I enter his apartment.

“It’s beautiful…. and neat.” I said as we move to his kitchen.



I was surprised that he prepared a lot of food for both of us.” Can we eat all of this? This is so much Nate.” I said.

“I know, it’s just because you’re special…” he smiled and then we began to eat. We chatted happily as we eat and talk about anything that comes in our minds.



After eating, we sat at the balcony of his apartment overlooking the beach. We were silent for a while as we stare at the beach. And then, I gently took his hand and pull him up. I put his hands on my waist and put mine on his shoulders.

“Are you crazy? There is no music...” he said but we gently glide on the floor.

“I don’t care…”



I leaned on his chest as we continued to dance. Tears were streaming down my face hoping that his memory would come back. It is the last thing I could remember to help him regain his memory.

After a while, he stopped. I looked at him and saw that he was closing his eyes, and then, he opened it and smiled to me. I smiled back and then, like it was the most natural thing in this world, we kissed.

A kiss full of love. The sweetest kiss we ever shared. And the last thing I can remember was when my feet left the floor as he carried me to his bedroom.



***



I gently opened my eyes and stared at the man lying right beside me. He was peacefully sleeping. I get up as slowly as I can. I kissed him gently on the cheeks and moved to the bathroom. I turned on the shower. Cold water washed my warm tears as I move my face just below the shower.

We made love last night. I felt guilty about it but the memory of it will remain in my mind and my heart forever. I will treasure the memory of it to the deepest part of my heart that I can remember it even if my memory slowly fades away.

After taking a bath, I put on my clothes and prepare to leave. I write a short letter and put it on his bedside table. I stared at him for the last time, and with the last kiss, I left.



***





(Nathan)



I woke up and began to stretch. I smiled as I remembered what happened last night. But when I turned to my side, I was surprised to know that I am alone in my bed.

I immediately got up and look around.

“Lindsey? Where are you?” I went to the bathroom but its empty. Then, I began to panic. I dressed up as fast as I could. I was about to go when I noticed a piece of paper on my bedside table. I move towards the table and read Lindsey’s letter.



I know by the time you read my letter, I’m already gone. I know how much it hurts for you but we’re better off this way. I have always loved you even from the start. You may not remember it, but we were supposed to be married on the day you lost your memory. You parents brought you to New York and I never saw you again. The pain had almost killed me but I have recovered. I went on with my life and eventually met another man. I have committed myself to him but I know, deep within my heart, it is you whom I want to spend the rest of my life with.

Then you came to my life again and it tears my heart cause I know, no matter how much I love you, I can’t stay with you in Rio forever for there is someone waiting for me. But every time you sing, every time I hear your soft voice, it made me love you even more. And the more I want to stay with you, the harder it is to let go. I just want you to remember that I never regret I’ve met you again. For those short moments I spend with you are the happiest moments of my life.

I wish I would meet you in another life, if it really exists. Another life and another world, where nothing matters except the two of us and our love. Where we can love each other forever without worrying about other people and without hurting them.

Nate, I will always love you, always and forever. Always remember that.



I folded the paper and put it in my pocket. Tears were streaming down my face as my memory slowly comes back. Yes, I remember everything.

“Always and forever”.

The time when we were lying in my rooftop and watch the stars, the time when we would dance in my terrace without music but only with the beat of our hearts, the night when I kissed her goodbye before our wedding day, I clearly remember them all.



I immediately rushed to the airport. My heart race as I went out the taxi and move inside a famous airport in Brazil. I asked a teller and discovered that her plane had left 30 minutes ago. I collapsed on the nearest chair. Tears were rolling down my face as my head spin. I don’t know what to do next. I just found myself boarding a plane going to the Philippines. It was so sudden but I don’t mind it. I can’t live without her. That’s all I know.



***



From the NAIA Airport, I get in a taxi and spent the next couple of hours looking for apartments. After several hours of searching, I found a decent one in Quezon City. I immediately settled my things and prepared to go to Lindsey’s house. I can’t wait to see her.



When I arrived, their house was closed. I went to the store in the other side of the street. I was about to ask an elderly woman when a car stopped in front of Lindsey’s house. I was very surprised when Lindsey went out of the car with a handsome man beside her. They went inside the house holding each other’s hand.

“You want to buy something?” The woman asked.

“Uhm…soft drink. Who’s that man who went out of the car? Do you know him?”

“Oh, the man with Lindsey? He’s her fiancé, David. The two are getting married next month. Here’s your soft drink.”

“Thanks”, then I went back to my newly found apartment.



I sat on the cot and opened a can of beer. God, she’s getting married. I can’t believe it. After all we’ve been through; she would end up in another man’s arms. Tears roll down my eyes as I think of her.

I have emptied eight cans of beer when I decided to go again to their house. I won’t let her go, I promised to myself. I would fight for her till the very end.



***



“Nate? What are you doing here?” Lindsey was very surprised to see me as she opened the door.

“We need to talk Lindz….” I said as I stood in front of her with teary eyes.

“Are you drunk? Look, we have nothing to talk to about. It’s over between us Nate.”

“No, I won’t let you go. I can’t.”

“Please, just leave me alone, I’m getting married in less than a month.”

“Do you love him?” I asked, still in standing in their doorstep.

She gave a pleading face. It took a while before she answered me. But from the moment she began to speak, I know she was lying.

“Of course…I won’t marry him if I don’t.”

“How many times have I told you that you’re the worst liar I’ve ever met?” I said to her.

Then she began to sob in front of me. I embraced her as tightly as I could. Then I cried with her.

“I might break your bones…” I said, half laughing.

“I don’t care. I just want to feel you. Even if you break my bones, because this might be the last embraced we will ever share”

“Please… don’t say that.”, then I hugged her even more.

“Nate, you know how much I love you. But I’m getting married and there is no turning back. I’m so sorry.” She let go of me and moved to close the door. I step back and slowly went to my car. It was the worst feeling I ever had. It felt like my world shattering piece-by-piece right in front of her. I drove back to my apartment.

I parked my car and went to the door. Then suddenly, my head throbbed so bad that I fall on the ground. I tried to get up and reached for my phone to call for emergency but my head felt like it’s going to explode any moment. I tried my best but the pain was excruciating. Then, in just a few seconds, everything went black.



***



I woke up in the hospital the following day. Dr. Gomez was the one who made examinations and tests regarding my condition.

“Are you feeling okay now?” the doctor asked.

“Yeah, I’m feeling a little bit okay. Doc, who brought me here?” I asked.

“Oh, your neighbor. He rents the apartment next to yours. He saw you lying in front of your door and immediately calls the ambulance.” The doctor smiled.

“I must thank him then.”

“He even wanted to accompany you here but no one’s going to take care of his seven year old child. You know, single parent.”

“I see.”

“Well, I must leave you now for you to rest. I’m going to come back tomorrow to discuss the results of your tests. Goodnight Mr. Santos.” The doctor turned and left the room.

“Thanks doc.” I muttered and slept again.





I had just eaten my breakfast when Dr. Gomez entered my room with a grim face. He had the results.

“I have the results with me Mr. Santos. I have to warn you, it is not good.” Said the doctor as he sat beside my bed.

“I’m prepared doc.” I was surprised by my answer. There is something in my words that shows strength. Or maybe, I just don’t care with my life anymore that I’m even ready to die at this very moment. Lindsey was my life, my happiness, and my strength. There is no point of going on without her.

“I had found out that you have this very severe illness. Of course, I had doubts. I immediately called a neurologist to confirm my findings and few minutes ago, it was confirmed.”

“Neurologist, it has something to do with my brain.” I said to the doctor.

“Yes, it has something to do with it. Do you have close relatives who had cases like this before? You know, illnesses regarding the brain? ”

I nodded slowly, remembering my grandmother.” My grandmother, she…she had a brain cancer.” I said. Then it struck me. ”Are you saying I had a brain cancer?”

The doctor nodded slowly.” Yes, and I recommend you to take treatments Mr. Santos. It is not too late. I recommend you to undergo treatment abroad. Their facilities are much more modernized than here. I also believe that your relatives are abroad. They can look after your condition Mr. Santos. “

I was speechless. I can’t believe it.” How…how long am I going to live? You know, if I won’t undergo any treatments?”

“More or less, a year and a half. You are also going to suffer its other symptoms such as clumsiness, weakness, severe headaches and seizures. And worst, you wont be able to walk. But I greatly suggest you to take treatments. For the mean time, I will prescribed you some medicines for your headaches”

The doctor scribbled something on a piece of paper and handed it to me. Then he left.

Brain cancer. My grandmother had suffered a lot from it. My mother had just given birth to me that time when they discovered that my grandmother had brain cancer. She had undergone every treatment there is but it is too late. She had died a year later.

Tears rolled down my face as I looked at the piece of paper. Maybe it’s not too late for me. God, help me.



After buying everything the doctor prescribed, I went to my apartment. I took a bath and went to my neighbor to give him thanks. I spend a couple of hours there and return again to my apartment.

That night, I called Lindsey.

“Fernandez’ residence, good evening!” It was she who answered the phone.

“Lindsey? Can I talk to you? There is just something I want to tell you.”

“Nathan please… I told you. We have nothing to talk about. You are only hurting yourself.”

“Please, just this last moment, listen to me. There is something I want to say personally. This will be the last Lindsey, I promise.”

“Where?”

“The place where we had first met each other. You certainly know that.”







***





(Lindsey)



I slowly put the phone in the cradle. The place where we had first met each other. You certainly know that. Oh my God, his memory came back. I shuddered at the thought. Tears roll down my face as I get my sweater at the closet. As I went down the stairs, my mom saw me.

“Are you going out with David?” she smiled at me.

“No…I mean yes.” I move as fast as I could towards the door so she wouldn’t notice my teary eyes.

“Lindsey?” she called out. I stopped, still facing the door.” Are you okay?”

I opened the door and said, “Don’t worry mom. I’m alright, “then walked to my car.



Cold winds were blowing as I walk along the park. Memories of the past were flashing on my mind. The time when Nathan and I first met, I would never forget that. I was sitting on a concrete bench crying for my best friend, Andrea. She met an accident that night and I visited her on the hospital. The doctors said that it was too late to save her life. She was my friend since I was in primary grade and it hurts so much to see her dying.

I can’t stand the feeling anymore. I collapsed on the nearest bench and cried. Then, he came. He offered me his handkerchief and we talk for a while. We became friends later on and fell deeply in love with each other.

Nathan was sitting on a bench when I came. He stood up as he saw me. There is something in his eyes that is beyond pain and sorrow. I just can’t figure it out.

“Lindz…you came”

He gently hugged me. I put my arms around him and pull him closer to me. Tears roll down our eyes as we cried together.

“Your memory’s back.” I said through our embrace.

“Yeah…I love you so much Lindz.”

“I know, and I love you too. “Then, I faced him. “What is it? What are you going to tell me?”

He took a deep breath and look into my eyes. “I want you to postpone your marriage. Just a year-and a half“

“What? Are you crazy? I can’t do that Nate.”

“Please… I’m only asking you for a year and a half. He can marry you then. Please… stay with me for just a year and a half.” He said, pleadingly in front of me.

I think, it was the hardest part of my life. I gather up all my strength and pull myself away from him. “I’m so sorry Nathan. I…I can’t do that.” I then turned and move away as fast as I could before my heart betrays me. My mind tells me to go but my heart wanted to embrace him and runaway with him.

Before I got into my car, I heard his voice for the last time. He said the words I longed to hear from him for almost five years.” I love you Lindz, always and forever”





***



I cried that night as I returned to my room. I can’t believe that I’m going to suffer the pain of losing him again. It was unbearable and much worse. Then I get his picture from my drawer and said, “Goodbye Nate.”





David invited me to go out one night. I wasn’t feeling well that time but I accepted his invitation.

“Where are we?” I asked as he parked his car.

“You’ll see.” He smiled at me and took my hand,” you’ll love it, I promise.”

He helped me out of the car and hand in hand, we walk to the most expensive restaurant in town.

I suddenly felt very ill. My head is spinning and I fall on David’s arms.

“Lindsey? What’s the matter?” he asked, panicked stricken.

I wanted to answer him but I was so dizzy to utter a word.





I woke up in the hospital bed with David who’s sitting on a nearby chair. I touched his hands and then he looked at me.

“Hey… what are you feeling?” he asked.

“I’m okay. I’m sorry David. Maybe I was just stress out.” I said getting up from the bed.

The doctor entered the room smiling to both of us.” Is she your wife?” he asked David.

“No… she’s my fiancée” David answered the doctor, smiling gently at him.

“Well, you’d better hurry up.” The doctor said, “And you should take care of her from now”

“What do you mean doc? Is she ill? We thought it’s just a stress case.” David began to panic.

“Oh no, your fiancée is not ill. The both of you are going to have an angel.’ Then he turned to face me, still smiling. ”You are pregnant beautiful lady.”





The doctor’s news shocked the both of us. David said nothing on the way to our house. He accompanied me to my room. When he closed the door, I faced him and began to say with glimmering eyes,” David I…”

“It’s okay Lindz. I know. I was about to surprise you three days ago but I was the one who were surprised when I saw you at the park with him. Nathan, isn’t it?”

I began to sob in the bed.” I’m so sorry David. I didn’t mean to hurt you. I swear…I would understand if you’re mad at me and if you will cancel this marriage. I just want you to know that I didn’t mean to hurt you.”

He then moved towards me and gently pulled me to an embrace. Tears were rolling down his eyes as he said, “I love so much to be mad at you. I understand, don’t worry. I can’t live without you Lindz. If you will have me and take me as the father of your child, I still want to marry you.”





***



David and I began to prepare everything for our wedding. We were planning a simple wedding with just our family and friends as guests. Everyone was happy preparing for the wedding…except me.

Nathan always comes to my mind. Everything I do, everything I say, wherever I go, reminds me of him. It was just like before, preparing for our wedding. The only difference is that I’m going to marry David, not him.

I always caught David watching me and I was forced to fake a smile for him to think that everything’s okay even when it’s not.



I was cleaning my room the night before our wedding. Then as I opened my cabinet, I saw Nathan’s picture. I took and kissed his picture. Not knowing that David was just in the doorway. I cried and hugged his picture.

I was surprised when David’s hands rested on my shoulder. He embraced me and cried with me.

“I had no idea I was hurting you like this. I was so selfish…” he said.

“Dave…”

“I’m so sorry…” then he looked at me intently and said, “Let us cancel the marriage. I…I don’t want to hurt you like this.”

“But…”

“Don’t worry; I will always be here for you and your baby. I will take care of both of you, I promise.” He gently pulled the ring on my finger and left the room.





***



Everyone was surprised by our decision. They said that we are the perfect couple and it is a waste to end such perfect relationship. They were even surprised to found out that I’m pregnant. Still, David never left me. He took care of me and always on my side.



Without my knowledge, he was trying everything he can to find Nathan. He was looking for him for almost a month already but to no avail.





***





A year later…







David and I were eating in a restaurant when a man arrived and talked to David. I was not listening intently to their conversation but I had catch up a little. They were talking something about an address of a person.

“Yes sir, positive. He’s there for over a year already” the man said.

“Thank you so much for your help Carlos.”

“No problem sir” then he left without another word.



David looked at me. He smiled and handed me a piece of paper. “I’ve found him.”

“What? Who are you talking about?” I said, a little confused.

“Nathan…”





“I can’t leave Nathalie here.”

“Come on Lindsey, you think I would let anyone harm her? I love her as much as you do.” David said as he argued at me. He’s convincing me to go to New York and look for Nathan in the address given by Carlos.

“What if…”

“Stop that ‘what ifs’ of yours. Look, you’ll never know if you won’t try, right?”

I nodded and moved to hug him.”Thank you so much Dave. I owe it all to you”

“I will do everything to make you happy…” he said.

“Please take care of Nathalie. Don’t bother to explain to my parents. I will do that when I’m back.”

“As you wish…”





***





I flew to New York the following week leaving my baby, Nathalie, with David.

I looked for David’s cousin, Mylene, to whom I am going to stay for the mean time.

“Welcome to New York…” Mylene said with a warm smile the moment I step in front of their door.





I didn’t waste any time at New York. The following day, I began to walk on the streets of New York to find the man I longed to see. With Mylene’s help, I immediately found the address.

“Yes?” asked an elderly woman as she opened the door.

“I… I’m looking for Nathan Santos. Is he here?” I asked nervously to the woman.



The immediately notice the change in her expression as I mentioned Nathan’s name. “Come inside lady.”



I sat on the sofa as the woman served a cup of tea for each of us. “I am the caretaker of their house. You must be Lindsey, am I right”

I nodded to her.

“Nathan’s is in the hospital right now. He was confined there six months ago. His parents stayed all the time in the hospital leaving the house to me.”

I was speechless at her revelations. “Are you saying he’s sick?”

“Yes he is. He found out that he had a brain cancer a year ago and went back here to undergo treatments. Instead of getting better, he’s getting worst day by day.” Tears began to fall on her face as she continued talking.

“Then a week ago, he was comatosed.” The woman cried harder. ’He’s always looking for you. It was even your name he muttered before he was comatosed”.

I was too stunned to speak. I just noticed my tears rolling down my face as we cried together.





She brought me to the hospital where Nathan was confined. His parents were shocked upon seeing me there.

I went closer to his bed and saw his face, color draining from it. I cried and move to hugged him in the bed. Seeing him here was even more painful than seeing him leave.

I cried and cried as I hugged him. “Nathan…”



His mother talked to me later. She cried as she asked for apology. “I’m so sorry Lindsey. I know what I had done was wrong. Taking him away from you, I’m really sorry.”

“I had forgiven you a long time ago Mrs. Santos.” Then I hugged her.





I called David and told him about Nathan’s condition. He was also surprised. He then blamed himself for everything but I stopped him. I told him that it is not his fault.

Three weeks past and Nathan was still unconscious. I stayed by his side all the time. Sometimes, I talked to him, hoping that he would hear me and woke up.

“Nate… hold on. Your daughter and I need you so much. Yes we had a daughter, her name is Nathalie. She looks like you so much. Like an angel.” I touched his hands. It was very cold. Then I closed my eyes, I love you Nate, always and forever.







***



(David)



I heard my phone ring and immediately went to get it. Lindsey was calling.

“Lindz?” I can hear from the other line that she was crying. It tears my heart hearing her cry.

“Dave…Nathan’s gone.” She said and cried harder.”He’s gone forever.”

“I’m so sorry Lindz.” I said.



I know how much she loved him. They were part of each other’s heart. The other does not beat without the other. I wish I could hold her right now. I wish I could hug her at the moment and share with her pain.





***



Lindsey decided to go home after the Nathan’s burial. She took the next flight to the Philippines.

That night, Nathalie and I prepared to meet her at the airport. We were about to leave when we received a call.

“Yes?”

“We are looking for Mr. David Reyes.”

“Speaking…”

“Are you a relative of Miss Fernandez?”

“I’m a friend. What is the matter? Who’s this?” I asked and began to panic.

“I am personnel from New York Airport. We would like to inform you that the plane in which Ms. Fernandez was a passenger, had crashed seconds after it took off from the runway…”

I had not heard what the personnel had said after that. I’ve let my phone fall on the floor. I took Nathalie and hugged her tightly as I cried.





***



Fifteen years after…



Fifteen years had already past, still I’m thinking of that woman, the only woman I’ve ever loved, Lindsey.

She died on that plane crash leaving Nathalie and I alone. I adopted her daughter and her parents agreed.”As long as you visit us here often,” her mother had said. Anyway, they were too old to take care of her.



Her daughter had grown into a lovely young woman. I love Nathalie so much. She filled my life with love for the past fifteen years.

“I love you Daddy…” she always says those words.

“I love you too angel.” For I considered her my angel.

One day, we were cleaning her mother’s old room when she saw a picture of a man.

“Who is this man?” she asked as she stared at the picture of Nathan.

“That man was the reason why you are here with me today, my angel. He is your father.”



She looked at the picture with glittering eyes.”He looked so much like me. What happened to him?”

“He had a brain cancer. He died fifteen years ago. He loved your mother so much” I smiled at her.”And your mother love him so much too, she had loved him always…and forever.”







The End































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