a love she never knew when she was alive

In the terminal, I was sitting on a bus, waiting to depart, when the music of Atlantic Starr was played on a jukebox.

It was more than two hours of travel to the south while the song Always lingered on my mind.

Then we met at the seaside of the church. The wind was blowing your long beautiful hair. We talked a lot of things that we didn’t realize several hours had already passed. We were sitting in a bench staring at the horizon. It was so peaceful. We heard the chirping of the birds while the breeze was swaying the branches of the coconut trees.

Your smile was sweet and your words reflected your happy childhood. I could have sat closer besides you but I didn’t. I could have told you how I felt for you but I wasn’t able to. I could have held your hand but something was holding me back.

When I reminisce that moment, I could still recall how you looked at the skies while attentively listening to me. Oftentimes, you glanced at me and gave me your lovely impression. I didn’t know how to interpret your facial expression for I was young and naive back then. I was just a sophomore high school student at that time. Only after several years passed, I realized that you were just waiting for me to court you. Like a traditional Filipina, you were patiently waiting for me all throughout our meetings.

When I was ready and had the courage, I tried to go back into your place but only to find out you were already married. I was sad and empty but I tried to overcome it and instead, I forced myself to be happy for you. I sent you good thoughts, silently praying for your lasting happiness with him.

I thought I had already let you go but your lovely face never left my mind. Then I suddenly felt I must go back and talk to you, to settle everything between the two of us, once and for all. I was silly to have ever thought about it as I knew you already got kids.

When I was about to travel to your house near the church, someone told me that you already passed away. My whole world was shattered. I felt like a big part of me died. What remained in me was myself I hate most. I couldn’t move on for a while. But I had to keep on walking for I was afraid I might break down.

Wherever you are, Donna, know that I keep you alive in my heart and in my memory. I have to. I must. If I don’t, I might go insane.

Whenever a thought of you comes to my mind, I only choose to remember how happy you were with me at that night. I guess, you’re happy as well in the skies wherever it might be. Whenever I feel the air passing through my face, I feel your presence.

I still feel you, Donna. I still love you, a love you never knew when you were alive…

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