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Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Best Version of You

-just wanna share this love story...

hope you enjoy and relate with it...


The Best Version of You


Manila International Airport, 2:00 am. It's been two years since she had
last seen the Manila International Airport. Not much has changed. Her
last memory of this airport was when Miguel dropped her off. She was on her
way to New York to pursue a career in Wall Street.

"Promise me something will you? Please don't get married until I come
back?" She jokingly told him as she lifted up her backpack.

"LOL. Very funny. Ikaw ang mag-promise. Promise me you won't run off with
some nerdy economist in the next two years."

"Let's see, shall we. Bye, Miguel. I'll call you as soon I get to New
York."

That was her last memory in this place. The warm Manila air made her feel a
bit restless and yet she feels excited. This is the first time in two years
she'll be seeing Miguel again. She was thoughtfully going through the
immigration counters, thinking of how much she missed seeing Miguel.


How different would he be now? Sure he sends her regular weekly e-mails and
pictures but being the busy person that she had always been, she didn't get
the time to chat with him and buy a webcam.

She's finally out. "Where is Miguel?" She wondered. "Ah there!" she
exclaimed when she saw the silver gray Nissan Patrol parked near the exit.
TGW926. Yup, that's Miguel alright. Her heart was leaping ahead of her as
the driver got off.

"Hey! I missed you!" He said, as he hugged her.

"I missed you too. So much." She said, as she hugged him back. It was warm.
It felt good to be back. It felt great to feel his hug.


"Let me get those." He said pointing at her luggage. "Then we'll have more
time for hugging and chika."

"Okay."


Edsa, 4:30 am. Miguel's cellphone rings. Mama, the name flashes on the
screen..


"You should really get that."


"No, you should get that. She's been waiting for you. She insist that we
go straight to her after I pick you up form the airport. She also insist
that you spend tomorrow with her." Miguel was talking about her mother.


Miguel was an only child and his mother wanted a daughter. She would often
tell Bea that since she doesn't have a mom anymore, she should let Tita
Doris be her second mom. She loved Bea as if she were her own daughter.


"Hello? Yes, Tita. How are you nap po?... ah opo. Miguel already told me.
Sige po. Okay po. I'll see you later." She turns off the phone and looks
out the window. The phone rings again, this time the name "Sugar" flashes
on the screen. Hmmm, "Sugar." He was quick. He got a hold of the phone and
answered it. "Hello. Yeah. Pauwi na. I'm with her na. Yeah. Tomorrow, I
will. Promise. We'll see you tomorrow."


We? Is that supposed to mean me and him? See Sugar? Who is Sugar, anyway?


"Who was that?" she couldn't keep herself from asking. "Sugar ha?"


"I'll introduce her tomorrow. Uwi muna tayo sa bahay. By the way, kamusta
na si Edward?"


"Edward?"


"Oo, si Edward, naalala mo yung boyfriend na iniwan mo sa New York? Anong
klase ka ba naming girlfriend? Kaya hindi kita niligawan eh. Baka
makalimutan mo rin ako."


"Ah si Edward. Hayun. Nasa New York." Miguel has met Edward when he came
to New York to give Bea a surprise visit. He seems a nice guy. Not the
geeky economist Miguel pictured Bea would end up with. He is actually a
cool guy and loves Bea a lot.


"He called me up, a week ago, asking a lot of things about you. Parang may
balak ata?"


"Balak na?"

"Tell me, did he propose to you? He sounded like he was going to propose to
you kasi."

"Ah look, here we are at Tita Doris."

At Tita Doris', 4:45 am. A pleasantly plump woman enters the livingroom.

She was in her mid-fifties, a familiar warm smile and two open arms. She
welcomed Bea, gave her a big hug and kissed her on the cheek. "Hay anak,
kamusta ka na? Na-miss na kita. Pinakain ka ba nito si Miguel?"

"Opo, Tita." She looked around. Not much has changed in this house. She
remembers spending her college days in this house. She remembers sinking
into Tita Doris' arms when her mom died. She remembers only good things
about this woman. She can't remember a time when she had been unkind to her
and yes, she loves her like her own mother.

"Iha, sabihan mo nga yang si Miguel. Sabihin mo 'wag padalos-dalos
magdesisyon."

"Po?"

"Mama naman. Let Bea rest. I'll tell her everything tomorrow." Miguel
interrupted his mother before she can spill the beans.


"Ha? What was that all about?" Bea was curious.

"Bukas na lang."

"Okay. Tita, if it's okay I'll go rest now." She hugged her, and proceeded
to climb the stairs. Miguel followed her carrying her luggage.


"Alam mo I missed this house. Uy sino ba si Sugar? Tsaka bakit parang
worried nanay mo sa iyo?"

"Bukas na. Sugar is having lunch here."

"Hmmm, intriguing, pero sige. Bukas na." They were both standing as the
door to the guest room. "Alam mo, it's really good to be back in this
house. I'll see you tomorrow."


Tita Doris' 10:00 am. She woke up, sunlight flooding her bedroom. She was
able to rest. She got up, arranged the bed sheets and took a nice, cold
shower. Minutes later, she was down at the garden having brunch with Tita
Doris.


"Hi! Tita. Where is Miguel?"


"Sinundo si Sugar."


"Sino ba yang Sugar na yan? Nai-intriga na ako."


"Iha, I'll let Miguel tell you who Sugar is. Promise me something, though.
Whatever happens you'll always be my daughter, Bea?"


She felt scared. Why was Tita Doris suddenly serious? "Opo naman."


"Anyway, iha. I heard from Miguel your boyfriend sounded like he was going
to propose a week ago. Did he propose?"


Bea looked at her hands, bare of any engagement ring. She looked at Tita
Doris and smiled. Before she could answer, Miguel showed up. With him is a
woman she had not seen before. She was of medium frame, shoulder length
hair and looked very feminine.


"Sugar, the sister I never had, Bea. Bea, Sugar, my fiancée`." It felt as
if somebody had thrown cold water on her. His what? Blood rushed to her
head. She blushed. Her cheeks felt very warm. She couldn't swallow. Her
heart beating a hundred beats per minute.


"Your what?" She looked at Miguel, blushing then suddenly white as with
shock. "I'm sorry, Sugar but this is quite a surprise. Miguel has never
mentioned you in any of his e-mails," she said as she looked at Sugar with
a confused look. She looked at Tita Doris, she looked back as if she was
consoling her.

"Yeah, I got engaged. I'm keeping my promise. I'm getting married on
Saturday. O di ba you're here so in essence I've kept my promise."

She managed to smile faintly. She hugged Miguel and congratulated him..She
even managed to tell Sugar "You got a catch here, girl. Take good care of
him or else I will snatch him under your nose." It sounded as if she was
just joking, turning over a very important possession to it's next owner.


In the deepest recesses of her person, she knew she meant it.


"He told me a lot of nice things about you." Sugar said, smiling at her as
if they had been friends for the longest time.


"I'm sure he has."


Lunch was served. All of Bea's favorite Filipino dishes. She and Sugar
spent time chatting the afternoon away, looking at Bea's and Miguel's
college photos and yearbooks. She found out that Sugar likes most of the
things she does. They both came from the same high school. As she tried to
get to know Sugar better during their afternoon chat, she realized that
not only was she perfect for Miguel, she also seemed like the best gal pal
Bea could find. They talked about the wedding details, the dress, the
ring,the shoes, the tiara. They like almost the same places, the same
styles, the same shops. She told Sugar they should do shopping marathon
together. Had it been another day, she would be telling herself that this
is really a great opportunity to find someone who understands her shopping
needs.

Except that this is not one of those days? Except that this woman, this
perfect, feminine girlfriend was Miguel's fiancée`.


Bea's phone rings. The name Boyfriend flashes.


"You should really get that" Sugar told Bea.

"Yeah, I guess I should. Hello? Yes? I'm good. I'm here at Miguel's. Oh I
have in front of me Sugar, Miguel's fiancée`." The words almost got stuck
in her throat, but she still managed to give Sugar a smile. "Listen, I'll
call you later. I have very good news for you."


Miguel sat down beside Bea. Sugar was looking at them and asked "So tell
me? Was there never a time the two of you were more than Platonic?" Bea and
Miguel looked at each other then looked at their own hands. Miguel's gaze
turned to Sugar. He answered "Of course not. Bea and I were never like
that."


"As in?" Sugar inquired.

"LOL, oo naman. She was a handful. Too much to handle for me. I can't keep
up with her. She's never stands still." Miguel looked at Bea and smiled,
his eyes turning into slits as his dimples gloriously show.

"I guess that's the way for you. But not for Edward." Bea replied, with a
little hint of disappointment.


"Okay lang yun. Edward is tough enough." Miguel was still smiling.


"Wait, speaking of Edward. I need to call him."


Bea left the garden and went up to her room to call Edward. "Hello? Edward.


Here goes. Yes. The answer is Yes."


*********

The wedding went well. It was one of the most elegant weddings she had
seen. Sugar had everything covered and she was a very beautiful, blushing
bride.


"I, Miguel, take you, Sugar, as my friend and love, beside me and apart
from me, in laughter and in tears, in conflict and tranquility, asking that
you be no other than yourself, love what I know of you, trusting what I do
not know yet, in all the ways that life may find us."


Bea felt a stab of pain hitting her heart. She slowly got up, walked away
from the spectators.. Tears streaming down her flushed cheeks.



**********


Bea is once again on her way to the airport. Miguel is driving for her,
this time with a wedding ring on his left finger.

"Hay, here we go again. I'm driving you to the airport. Kailan na naman
kaya tayo magkikita?"


"Ewan ko. Tell me something," her tone all too serious. "What was it that
you love about Sugar? How did you know she was the one?" Miguel just
smiled.. "Dali na ano? Malay mo I need to decide in a couple of days diba?"


"You know what I love about her? The same things I loved about you before.
The only difference is that she's not as ambitious as you are. When you
left for New York two years ago, I knew I don't have a place in the life
you've chosen. I don't blame you for that. You're good in your field and I
thought to myself that it's your right to move on without me. Moving away
was a decision you made for yourself. I know this sounds silly and you
might nag me about it but I found the better version of you in Sugar.

She's so much like you in so many ways but the only difference is she loves
me more than you do."

She wanted to cry the tears she had kept as he witnessed him say his
vows,but kept her composure. She just chuckled a laugh. How could he move
on without her? Why was it easy for him and not for her? As she got off the
car, she gave Miguel one last hug. This time she felt her heart heavy..

"I guess this is goodbye?" she told Miguel.

"Wait, I'm not letting you out until you answer question. Did Edward
propose?"


Bea showed Miguel her left hand. In it was a one carat diamond solitaire
ring set in platinum. "Yes."


Miguel let out a sigh and congratulated her. As Miguel turned his gaze from
the steering wheel to Bea's face, he saw a single tear fall from her right
eye and then she said, "If it gives any consolation. Edward was the best
version of you that I can find in New York."

1 comment:

kheed said...

ano naman yung katangahan na yun? pede namang sabihing "matagal na kong nagnanasa sayo"
wala ba silang bibig? haha naiinis ako sa mga taong dapat sila naman talaga pero dahil sa hindi nakapag tapat ng pag ibig eh napupunta lang sa wala, isa na namang kwentong EMO c",)