At Last

Someday We'll Know

a/n: back to winter's pov

 

 

 

When I woke up that day, ramdam na ramdam ko ang pagod from all the activities of the night before. I was sore all over pero napangiti agad ako dahil alam kong may mas pagod kesa sa akin. Inabot ko ang phone ko sa side table and saw that it was already ten in the morning. 

 

As usual, sumabog na naman ang notifications dahil hindi ko na ngang naisip na magupdate kina mommy kagabi. Sabihin na natin I was busy. 

 

I sent a message explaining what happened except of course the other activities. Good thing na hindi na naman tumawag si mommy at niremind pa nga na they'll be expecting to see me tomorrow. I closed my phone at bumalik na sa pagyakap sa katabi kong si Karina. 

 

Ay nag-text din pala si Ate Linda saying na hindi na sila makakasabay na makapagtanghalian at may pupuntahan daw silang handaan. May pagkaen naman daw sa baba o pwede din naman daw na magluto na lang kami. Sabi ko na lang na 'Okay po. Kami na pong bahala ni Karina' 

 

Narinig ko naman ang pagvibrate ng phone niya kaya tinignan ko din ito at may tumatawag. For some reason parang familiar yung pangalan nung contact. Ning Yizhou ang nakalagay. 

 

I placed several kisses on her face at nagising nga siya. 

 

"Good Morning Jagiya" bati ko. 

 

"Good Morning Jagiya" balik nito. 

 

"May tumatawag pala sa phone mo kanina. Ning Yizhou yung name" 

 

Pikit pa talaga ang isa niyang mata at halatang gusto pa niyang matulog. "Ah friend ko yun from college. Wala siguro silang date ng gf niyang si Gi kaya naghahanap ng kausap" 

 

Huh? Teka. Ning and Gi. 

 

"Wait. Does she also go by Ningning?" tanong ko sa kanya. Nacurious ata siya at dumilat na din ang isa niyang ring mata. 

 

"Oo. Kilala mo?" 

 

"Not really but one of my best friends has a girlfriend named Ningning and my best friend's name is Giselle" 

 

"Uchinaga?" 

 

Tumango naman ako. Medyo naexcite ako nang marealize kong may connection naman pala kami. 

 

"Oh wow. Small world indeed" 

 

Napakanta talaga ako sa utak ng 'it's a small world after all'. 

 

Bumangon na siya at napalunok na lang ako kasi pagupo niya ay siyang nahulog naman ang kumot na tumakip sa malaki niyang hinaharap. *smirk* 

 

"Like what you see?" pangaasar nito at dahan dahan naman akong tumango. Nakanganga pa ata ako. 

 

"Bibiyahe ba ulit tayo sa langit?" 

 

Hinampas niya ako at nagtakip na ulit siya ng kumot. Ba yan! 

 

 

 

 

 

Bumaba na din kami after some time at tinignan kung anong makakaen. Aside from each other. Char. 

 

May ulam nga na nakatakip sa lamesa pero pang.breakfast pa ito kaya naman naisip namin na magluto na lang din. I was suddenly craving for her, I mean for pork sinigang kaya chineck ko na din kung may ingredients naman. And thankfully meron. She offered to help me cook pero sabi ko na ipagluluto ko naman siya. 

 

Hindi ako masyadong nabibigyan ng chance para makapagluto pero whenever I do, good reviews naman and it means a lot lalo pag galing sa pinsan kong World Renowned Chef na si Ate Irene. I learned from one of the best eh. 

 

Nakahanda na ang lahat ng ingredients at nagsimula na nga ako magluto. Pinapanuod lang ako ni Karina sa mga ginagawa ko. May paminsan minsang halik tapos babalik na ako sa niluluto ko. 

 

Siya na ang nagoffer na magset ng table at pagkatapos ko maglagay sa bowl ng ulam, dahan dahan ko itong nilapag sa dining table. 

 

"Charan!" Sabi ko with matching spirit fingers. 

 

I waited for her reaction nung titikman na niya ito at satisfied naman talaga ako nung nanlaki yung mata niya at malawak ang kanyang ngiti. 

 

"Oh my gosh! Ang sarap nito jagiya!" 

 

After she had her first taste of my dish, nagsimula na din kaming kumaen. Kahit sinabi nila Ate Linda na hindi na sila makakasabay ay pinagtirhan pa din namin sila ng ulam para na din matikman nila ang luto ko. 

 

After lunch ay bumalik si Ate Linda at sinabing pinapapunta daw sila ni Karina sa bahay ng kanyang lolo. May ibibigay lang daw pero kailangan na si Karina ang mismong tumanggap. Medyo hesitant pa na sumama si Karina pero sabi ko naman na I'll just wait for them. Gusto pa nga akong isama pero sabi ko nakakahiya naman din. I gave her the car keys para hindi na rin sila mag-commute. 

 

When I was left alone, I did a lot of thinking. I contemplated pa if I should talk to my friends or cousins for their opinion. Actually, when I am in a situation na kailangan kong magdesisyon, may isang tao talaga akong palaging tinatakbuhan so I dialed her number, hoping na sumagot ito. 

 

"Hello?" bati nito. Bilis sumagot ah. 

 

"I need your help Ate" 

 

"Go for it" 

 

Huminga muna ako ng malalim bago ako nagsimulang magkwento. At habang ikinekwento ko ang mga ganap ay tumutulo na din ang luha ko. Hindi ko nga alam kung naintindihan pa niya yung iba kong sinabi. 

 

"Winter, I have a few things to point out. First, for some, yes, it would look like it's too fast for you to feel that way especially when you've only met her a couple of days ago. They may also not believe that what you're feeling is not as deep as what you think. Two, you have a life here and that's a fact. You're graduating in a few months. Add in the the factor that your mom would go ballistic, take note, I only mentioned your mom cause I'm sure as hell is that your dad would be more accepting. Three, your a smart person who always keeps her emotions in check. If you think and feel that doing what you're planning will make you happy, go for it. It's really not the length of time you have with the person, rather it's how she made you feel even if it was just a short amount of time. Just take me and your cousin for example. If she was able to calm you with just a simple touch, if she was able to make you feel safe, if she was able tolerate your annoying traits, and if she is willing to take chances with you, then it's real. And that only means, she is worth fighting for" 

 

Teka. Few points ba iyon? Ang dami kaya. 

 

Nakahinga ako ng maluwag kaya nagpasalamat agad ako  "Thank you Ate Wendy" 

 

"You're welcome Winter. Anytime" 

 

Right after naman namin magusap ay biglang tumawag si mommy. Medyo nagalangan pa akong sagutin kaya I waited na mag.five rings muna. 

 

"Winter, naayos mo na ba mga gamit mo? Anong oras ka aalis jan bukas?" 

 

Here we go again.

 

 

 

 

 

Naligo muna ako at nagayos ng gamit since hindi pa bumabalik sila Karina. I made a mental note na pasalamatan si Ate Linda dahil hindi naman niya kailangan gawin pero nilabhan na din niya yung mga damit ko. When I was done, I checked the notes on my phone dahil hindi ko na nga nabalikan yung plans ko for my recital. Nakita ko din yung time line na ginawa ko. May mga nakausap na naman ako to help me with the performances and they're just waiting na maibigay ko sa kanila ang set list para masimulan na din nila maipractice ito. 

 

Mukhang matatagalan pa ata sila at nagtext si Karina na kausap pa niya ang lolo niya. 

 

Na-sad naman ako kasi last night ko na nga supposedly tapos hindi ko pa siya kasama the whole day. Haaay. Oh well. Nilabas ko na lang muna ang portable keyboard ko and started playing around with the keys. Mga random melodies lang habang nagiisip kung ano pwede kong tugtugin. 

 

I remember binge listening to this band and I fell in love with one of their songs kaya naman I placed my phone and started recording. 

 

I've waited a hundred years

But I'd wait a million more for you

Nothing prepared me for

What the privilege of being yours would do 

 

If I had only felt the warmth within your touch

If I had only seen how you smile when you blush

Or how you curl your lip when you concentrate enough

I would have known what I was living for all along 

 

What I've been living for 

 

Your love is my turning page

Where only the sweetest words remain 

 

Every kiss is a cursive line

Every touch is a redefining phrase 

 

I surrender who I've been for who you are

For nothing makes me stronger than your fragile heart

If I had only felt how it feels to be yours

Well, I would have known what I've been living for all along 

 

What I've been living for 

 

Though we're tethered to the story we must tell

When I saw you, well I knew we'd tell it well

With a whisper, we will tame the vicious seas

Like a feather, bringing kingdoms to their knees 

 

Satisfied naman ako sa naging outcome kahit ba kinapa ko lang yung mga chords. I did a couple more songs when I heard na bumukas ang gate. Agad din naman akong bumaba at sinalubong si Karina at Ate Linda. 

 

I greeted them with a big smile pero kabaliktaran ang expression ni Karina na dumiretso lang sa likod ng car para ilabas ang mga kinuha nila. 

 

Lumapit naman sa akin si Ate Linda at hinawakan lang ako sa braso at nagbigay nang tipid na ngiti. 

 

Kinabahan na agad ako. 

 

Pinuntahan ko si Karina at tinulungan sa mga dala niya at tahimik lang kaming pumasok ng bahay. Binaba namin ang dalawang box sa sala at nung tatanungin ko na sana siya ay dumiretso na siya sa taas. Pagbukas ko ng pinto ng room ko, wala doon si Karina so I tried the other room pero nakalock ito. But I can hear faint sounds of someone sobbing. Hindi ako mapakali. Hindi ko alam kung kakatok ba ako o hindi. 

 

Pero naisip ko to give her some space at bumaba na lang muna. Naabutan kong nagtitimpla ng kape si Ate Linda at inalok na din niya ako. Magkatapat kaming umupo sa dining table at inintay ko lang na magsalita siya. 

 

Parang mali na kape ang iniinom ko kasi lumalakas yung kabog ng heart ko. I can already sense na may hindi magandang nangyari sa pagpunta nila doon. 

 

"Nakaayos ka na ba ng mga gamit Winter?" tanong ni Ate Linda at tumango naman ako. "Huwag mo na lang ipahalata na may alam ka na ha. Pero ang daddy kasi ni Karina ay inatake daw sa puso nung isang linggo at nung isang araw nga daw ay binawian na ng buhay" 

 

Lalong bumigat ang pakiramdam ko. I just can't imagine how she took the news. 

 

"Kaya kami pinapunta sa bahay ng lolo niya ay para basahin ang last will and testament ng kanyang ama. Iniwan sa kanya ang bahay na ito pati na din ang ibang parte ng ari-arian na nakapangalan sa daddy niya. Iuuwi daw ang katawan ni Nickhun dito sa makalawa para mailibing din sa lupain nila" 

 

Gusto ko siyang puntahan. Gusto ko siyang yakapin and tell her na everything will be alright pero I know anything I say right now would not change the fact that she just lost her dad. I've lost loved ones before but losing a parent... is really something that you can't move on from. 

 

I finished my coffee and excused myself para umakyat. Nakalock pa din ang pintuan at rinig ko pa din ang pagiyak niya sa loob. Wala din naman akong magawa kundi na antayin na buksan niya ang pinto kaya sumandal na lang ako dito. 

 

Hindi ko namalayang nakatulog na pala ako at nagising na lang ng bigla niyang binuksan ang pinto at dahil nga nakasandal ako dito eh natumba ako. Nauntog pa ako sa floor at agad naman siyang lumapit. 

 

"What are you doing?" sabi nito at iba yung tono ng boses niya. Natakot ako sa totoo lang. 

 

"Ah ano...kaso... inaantay lang kita lumabas" sabi ko na lang habang minamasahe yung nauntog na part. 

 

Dinaanan niya lang ako at bumaba na ng stairs. I was left standing there in a confused state. I don't really know what her coping mechanism is kaya hindi ko din alam paanong approach ba ang gagawin ko. Sinundan ko lang siya pero halfway sa stairs paakyat na din ulit siya. May dalang shot glass at isang bote ng whiskey. Dire-direcho lang siya pabalik ng room. I heard another door being opened at alam kong papunta siya sa veranda. 

 

Naabutan ko siyang binubuksan yung alak at nagpour na nga sa basong dala niya. Saktong sakto sa rim. Dahan dahan niyang inilapit sa bibig at nanlaki pa ang mata ko nung istrinaight shot niya. Nagpunas siya ng bibig gamit ang braso niya tapos nagpour ulit sa baso. Bago pa niya ito mainom eh pinigilan ko siya. 

 

"Jagiya, take it easy lang"  

 

She just stared at me and scoffed and hindi ko na nga siya napigilan nung dire-direcho na naman niyang ininom yung nilagay niya. Napangiwi pa ako kasi ang tapang nun tapos parang wala lang sa kanya. 

 

"Bakit andito ka pa Winter? Hindi ba dapat nagaayos ka na ng gamit kasi last day mo bukas" 

 

I sat down beside her and tried to hold her hand pero as I expected nilayo niya ito. "I'm not leaving you like this Karina. Talk to me, please?" 

 

She poured another shot, drank it in one go and I can already see the effect on her. 

 

"What is there to talk about Winter? Look, whatever we have, hanggang dito na lang iyon di ba? Aalis ka na din bukas. And me? I'd still be here. I'll be in this damn place again! Wala namang bago. Sanay na ako. I was too young when mom left and I accepted it, when dad left as well, I accepted it. Ano naman kung iwan mo din ako di ba? Siyempre tatanggapin ko din yun" 

 

Binitawan niya ang bote at sumandal sa upuan and I took that chance para yakapin siya. She tried fighting me pa at pinagtulakan ako pero I just held her tight. 

 

Hindi na muna ako nagsalita. Mas minabuti kong maramdaman niyang hindi siya nagiisa lalo pa ngayong may pinagdadaanan siya. Hindi rin nagtagal ay unti unti ng nababasa ang tshirt ko at nagtataas baba din ang balikat niya. I just continued to comfort her. 

 

I don't know gaano kami katagal na magkayakap at hinayaan kong umiiyak lang siya pero eventually din naramdaman kong kumakalma na siya at kumalas na nga sa yakap ko. Agad ko din kinuha ang hanky ko from my back pocket at pinunasan ang mukha niya. Wala na din muna siyang sinabi at tumingin lang sa akin. 

 

 

 

 

 

I was already decided on something even before pa ang masamang balita and I was even planning to do a romantic dinner pa. Lahat ng naisip ko pang ideas kanina we're all scrapped. Kahit pa nagaway kami ni mommy because of my decision. 

 

"My. I.. would like to stay here muna" 

 

Nilayo ko na agad ang phone sa tenga ko dahil panigurado eh lalakas ang boses nito. "What the hell are you saying? You told us one week Winter. One week! If you're not here tomorrow, we will go there and get you ourselves" 

 

As much as possible ayokong nadidisappoint sa akin ang parents ko. Kaya most of the things that they want for me ay ginagawa at tinatanggap ko. They still let me do what I want but usually after a lot of convincing. Andun yung perks na nakukuha ko naman ang mga gusto ko pero kailangan din may na-achieve ako na magugustuhan nila. Kaya nga ngayon lang ako nakapagtravel on my own kasi sinigurado ko munang nasa top ranking pa din ako ng batch ko. 

 

"I'm sorry my. I know it's going to take a while for you to understand but I'm staying"

 

"Minjeong Kim! You go home now!" 

 

"No my. I'm not going home yet" 

 

I know it's rude to do it pero I ended the call na. I was anticipating na she'll call back but she didn't instead, I received a lengthy message from my dad an hour later.  

 

Una siyang umiwas ng tingin at tinignan lang ang magkahawak na naming kamay. 

 

"I'm going to miss you Winter. Thank you for everything that happened the past few days. Good luck on your recital. I know you'll do well. I wish you could stay but that would be too much to ask. " 

 

It wasn't the ideal scenario for me to say it pero I wanted to let her know. 

 

"But I am staying jagiya" 

 

She moved back a little, as if trying to make sure she heard me right. 

 

"What? Why?" 

 

"Because I want to be with you"

 

 

 

 

 

I was relieved na hindi ko nakita ang sasakyan nila daddy the next day. I responded to his message din kasi explaining why I decided to stay. Gaya ng sinabi ni Ate Wendy, dad would be more understanding. I assured him as well na I already spoke to everyone involved regarding my recital and there would still be enough time to prepare for it. He also took care of the rent for my extended stay. He also told me na he'll take care of mom as long as I promise to take care of myself and Karina. 

 

Yes, I told him about her as well. Sabi pa niya, he's excited to meet her din at dalhin ko nga daw sa Manila para formally maintroduce sila ni mommy. Sabi ko naman I definitely will. 

 

The following day, ginising ako ni Karina and told me na kakaland lang daw nung eroplano na may dala ng remains ng dad niya. From there, ibabyahe na din papunta ng Zambales para sa burol na gagawin sa bahay ng lolo niya. 

 

We had a quiet breakfast and then afterwards, nagayos na kami para umalis ng bahay. As per her dad's request, naka white kaming damit. Buti na lang at meron akong dala na polo shirt. I told her na ako na magddrive papunta dun and sabihin na lang niya yung directions. 

 

When we got to her lolo's house, marami na ang nakapark na sasakyan. May ibang naglalakad na may buhat na mga flower arrangement at iba naman ay mga galing ata sa isang catering service. 

 

Nauunang maglakad sina Ate Linda at Kuya Mark at ramdam ko sa pagkapit ni Karina sa kamay ko na kinakabahan siya. Hindi sa main house gagawin ang burol kundi dun sa separate na area na I found out ay dating art room ng kanyang daddy. Pagpasok namin sa loob ay bubungad ang iba't wreaths from different people. May mga nakasabit ding paintings na I assume are her dad's artworks. Tapos may malaking tv sa isang side ng pader kung saan may video na nagpeplay. Ngayon ko lang nakita ang itsura ng daddy ni Karina na sadly sa ganitong way pa pero may features siyang nakuha nito. Bago kami naglakad sa pinakaharap kung nasaan may matandang lalaki na naka puting polo at puting cowboy hat na I assume ulit ay lolo ni Karina, bumitaw muna ako sa kanya. Napatigil maglakad si Karina and asked why I let go. 

 

"I just don't want them to think differently of you jagiya" bulong ko sa kanya. Napailing siya at kinuha ulit ang kamay ko. Nang makarating kami sa harap ay nag-mano siya dun sa matandang lalaki at gumaya din ako. 

 

"Karina. Thank you for being here. I know we never had the best relationship but you are your father's daughter. And Nickhun... I know he loved your mother very much. And I'm sorry if I never gave them the chance to be happy but I am sure that they are together now" 

 

Yumakap naman agad si Karina sa lolo niya. I know that it means a lot to her hearing those words. 

 

Napatingin yung lolo niya sa akin at sa magkahawak naming kamay. Bibitaw ulit sana ako kaso siya na mismo ang pumigil sa akin. 

 

"Don't do that kid. It's okay. Just don't hurt my beautiful apo" 

 

Hindi rin siguro ineexpect ni Karina na sasabihin iyon ng lolo niya. 

 

"I promise that I won't po sir" 

 

"That's good to hear then" 

 

After nun ay lumakad na siya papunta sa ibang bisita. Hindi pa nakakarating yung sumundo sa airport kaya naman naglakad lakad na lang kami ni Karina sa labas. We settled sa playground sa likod ng bahay at umupo sa swing. I was just waiting for her to say something kaya tahimik lang akong nakatingin sa kanya. 

 

"Alam mo bang ngayon lang ako nakapunta sa part ng lot na ito" panimula ni Karina. "When I was younger kasi pag pumupunta kami dito pinagbabawalan ako ni Karen makipaglaro with my step cousins. Kaya madalas nagpapaiwan na lang din ako sa bahay. I busied myself with school works and did my best to excel. Patakas din minsan pag magaya yung mga pinsan kong lumabas. At pag minamalas sa timing, kukuda na naman ng kung ano ano si Karen" 

 

Ang sarap sabihan ng mga masasamang words yung step mom niya. Ang immature kasi masyado. 

 

"Nung umalis sila, I was relieved kasi I won't get to deal with her anymore pero siyempre mas nalungkot ako kasi lalo sa aking pinaramdam na para bang I wasn't really part of the family. So I tried to get by, like what I always did, nagpakabusy ako sa studies since nagstart na ako ng college nun and even joined several organizations para madistract yung utak ko. May phase din na araw araw akong umiinom and literal na walwal talaga hence me learning to smoke. Until I met Yeji and Ningning. Sila yung talagang tumulong sa akin nung mga panahon na nalulunod ako sa sarili kong thoughts. Because of that din, Yeji and I got together. She helped me a lot and honestly, I owe her my life. We were in a relationship for almost a year until nalaman ni daddy and forced me to break up with her. We remained friends and even until now, she checks up on me. That triggered me to hit my rock bottom and that was when the thoughts of just ending everything started" 

 

I realized, as I was listening to Karina na whatever I know about her ay nasa surface pa lang talaga. And it may take some time for me to know everything about her life and probably hindi rin magiging madali for her to unload all her baggage but I want her to know that I am willing to wait no matter how long it takes. 

 

Nagulat kami pareho nang biglang may nagsalita at tinawag ang pangalan niya. 

 

"Karina, is that really you?" 

 

Sabay kaming tumingin sa dalawang babae na nakatayo sa harap namin. Bigla akong nanliit kasi matangkad din sila pareho. 

 

"Oh my god ate! It's been so long" sabi ni Karina sabay tayo from the swing para yakapin yung babaeng may bangs. 

 

"It's been what? Four, five years? How are you?" 

 

"All things considered, I'm getting by ate. Oh by the way, this is Winter. My - ." 

 

"Fiancè" bigla kong nasabi. Nagulat kami pareho pero she didn't make it too obvious kaya ngumiti na lang din siya. 

 

"Whoa. Nice one Karina. I'm Lisa pala and this is my wife Rosé" at nakipagkamay sila sa akin. 

 

Karina told me that Lisa is one of her cousins na naging ka-close niya at madalas na nagaayang lumabas sa kanya before. Nagcatch up pa silang magpinsan bago kami tinawag dahil dumating na ang funeral car. 

 

Pagpasok ulit namin sa loob, sumenyas sa amin ang lolo ni Karina para umupo sa harap. Pagdating namin doon ay nagpigil ako ng inappropriate reactions when I saw this woman na putok na putok ang blush on. Napailing ako kasi ang unfitting ng ayos niya sa sitwasyon. I can only assume na yun si Karen. And nung magkatinginan kami ni Karina, nabasa niya ata yung naiisip ko at tumango siya. 

 

Naging somber ang mood when the priest called everyone's attention and started the mass. I can see that Karina was trying her best not to cry pero hindi na niya napigilan ng tawagin na ang immediate family para mag-sprinkle ng holy water sa coffin. 

 

Pinauna na ni Karina sina Karen and three other people na by the looks of it ay step siblings niya, well except for the youngest. And when she was about to walk towards her dad, hinila niya din ako. Hindi ko din siya binitawan hanggang makabalik kami sa upuan and hindi ko na lang din pinansin pero may naririnig akong nagsiside comment. 

 

When the ceremony ended, we were all called para kumaen kaya sumunod na lang kami sa mga tao. We got our food and sat at the very last table kasama sina Ate Linda at Kuya Mark. We were also joined by her cousins na na-meet namin kanina. 

 

 

 

 

 

The burial will happen daw in three days since some of her dad's siblings have not yet arrived from overseas Most of the time, nakikinig lang ako sa mga pinagkekwentuhan nila at paminsan minsan lang sasagot if the question was directed to me. 

 

Gabi na din kami nakabalik sa bahay at dun na nga kami nakapagusap ni Karina about sa nasabi ko kanina. 

 

"I'm so sorry jagiya. I didn't know na napalakas yung pagkasabi ko nun. Akala ko kausap ko lang sarili ko" 

 

Nakatingin lang siya sa akin at natakot na naman ako sa itsura niya. Then after a while, bigla naman siyang ngumiti ng nakakagago. 

 

"Fiancé huh?" 

 

"Pasensya na talaga Karina. I put you on the spot and hindi tama iyon. We don't even have rings. Oh my god! Baka isipin ng pinsan mo sinungaling ako. Okaya multuhin ako ng mom and dad mo. I haven't even properly asked you to be my girlfriend tapos yun agad ang pakilala ko sa sarili ko" I was rambling. Kasi naman minsan hindi ko narerealize na hindi ko lang pala talaga sa utak ko sinasabi yung ibang bagay. 

 

I was caught off guard when she kissed me to shut me up. And I did. 

 

"Then ask me" 

 

"Huh?" 

 

"Ask me" 

 

Ask you what? Wait. Gets ko na pala. 

 

I cleared my throat first, "Karina Yu, will you marry me?" 

 

Luh. Bakit biglang nanghahampas? 

 

"Next next level agad jagiya?" 

 

"Ayaw mo ba?" 

 

Lumalim ang pagtitig niya sa akin at hinawakan niya ang kamay ko. Hindi ko alam bakit pinagpapawisan din ako ng sobra eh ang lamig ng hangin. 

 

"I would love to give you my answer pero okay lang ba if you wait for a couple more days?" 

 

Oo naman. Winter kasi yung timing mo din minsan parang ewan. 

 

"Take all the time you need"

 

 

 

 

 

 

The day of the burial came and we're on our way na sa cemetery. Karina was the one driving since mas familiar naman siya sa daan. Naka-all black kaming apat sa sasakyan since yun ang request ng daddy niya. Pagdating namin dun ay unti lang ang tao, closed ceremony pala at family members and closed friends lang ang attendees. Honorary na siyempre sina Ate Linda at matagal na silang naninilbihan sa kanila and of course there's me. It slipped Ate Lisa's mouth daw kasi na fiance nga ako ni Karina. 

 

Naaasiwa pa din ako sa itsura ni Karen. Sino ba nagturong magmake up dito? Hindi man lang pinantay yung kilay tapos grabe sa foundation at blush on, yung lip stick din niya uneven. Libing po ito ma'am. 

 

Hindi ko naman siya intensyong i-judge pero parang ganun na din pala. 

 

Sa harapan ulit kami pinaupo ni Karina at katabi ko pa ang lolo niya. Nasa likod naman namin ang mga kapatid ng daddy niya and their families. Then nasa may dulong upuan sina Ate Linda at Kuya Mark. 

 

May tumugtog na soft music sa background habang nilalagay ang coffin sa magiging final resting place ng daddy ni Karina. Sa tabi ito ng puntod ng lola niya. Gumitna naman ang pari at sinimulan na ang service. 

 

"Good day everyone, my name is Fr. Samuel. On behalf of all family and friends, I would like to welcome everyone as we have gathered today to remember Nickhun. Your presence here today is an affirmation of your love and support to the family. Thank you for being here. Although the family may not remember every word we share here today, they will remember your presence for the rest of their lives" sabi nung pari.

 

After ng prayers ay may mga nagsalita sa harap at nagshare ng mga stories about her dad. Nagsalita ang isang tito ni Karina, ang best friend ng daddy niya, siyempre si Karen at ang lolo niya. 

 

"Nickhun and I don't always see eye to eye. Madalas ay siya ang napapagalitan ko kahit ang may kasalanan ay ang mga kapatid niya. Ako naman ang napagsasabihan ng mommy niya" 

 

May mga ilang natawa sa sinabi ng lolo niya. 

 

"He never complained whenever may ipinapagawa ako sa kanya at mas lalo niya pang chinachallenge ang sarili niya to do his best in everything. I have some regrets cause I admit na I was unfair to him at times but he always tells me that he knows that I am doing all of those for his well being. Being a parent is not an easy task. We may do things that we think is good for our children. Minsan ipipilit natin na tama tayo dahil mas nakakatanda tayo sa kanila but no, we must also learn how to listen to our children. Know what they feel about the situation and share your opinions about it. Hindi sa lahat ng oras ay yung mga naiisip nating tama para sa kanila ay yun na ang dapat masunod. I was not a good example of what a good father should be at kung may pagkukulang man si Nickhun sa kanyang mga anak ay kasalanan ko iyon and for that, I am sorry. Paalam anak, look over us with your mom...and Miyoung" 

 

Ramdam ko ang pagkagulat ni Karina when her lolo mentioned her mom's name, nakatingin din kasi yung lolo niya sa pwesto namin, specifically kay Karina. Marami ding nagtaka pero wala naman kumwestyon. Mismong si Karen nga walang imik eh. 

 

"Does anyone else wish to share anything?" sabi nung commentator. Tumingin tingin ako sa ibang guests at pagbaling ko ng tingin sa tabi ko ay wala akong nakita. Karina walked in front of everyone at inabot sa kanya ang microphone. 

 

"Hi everyone. For those who don't know me, I am Karina Yu. I met my dad when I was about three years old. It was days before my birth mother died because of cancer. Back then I didn't understand why we had to move to a different place and leave my omma but my appa or dad carefully explained what happened, that my mother was called back by God and she is now up in heaven looking over us, over me. He told me that he promised my mom that he will take care of me and he did...the best way he could. Dad was not perfect. There were a lot of things we disagreed on that it eventually drove us apart. He still tried reaching out to me but I was blinded by my hatred that I chose not to ever speak to him. I regret a lot of things and maybe he did too. And two of those things were not saying that I love him enough and that I am thankful that he is my father" 

 

Binalik ni Karina ang mic sa commentator and after a few more words from the priest we were asked to gather around the hole and throw the flowers, Pink Yarrows to be exact. With the final blessing, the coffin was slowly lowered to the ground. 

 

Food and refreshments were offered after the funeral service but Karina didn't move from her position. No one bothered us naman dahil busy na din ang iba sa pakikipagkwentuhan sa ibang guests. 

 

Natapos ang pagpuno ng grave with dirt and the cemetery staff started cleaning the area. When the tarp covering the ground was removed, lumapit ang lolo ni Karina sa amin. 

 

"I know I was the reason why your mom and dad parted ways and for that I apologize to you apo. But you see, your dad never stopped loving Miyoung even after he got married. His love for her was so strong that he included something on his last will and testament that I intentionally told our lawyer not to reveal when you came to the house" tinuro niya ang isang grave na by the looks of it, bago lang at wala pang nakalagay na tombstone. "We coordinated with our contact in Seoul and processed everything, just to bring her remains here" 

 

Karina and I realized that her parents' graves were right next to each other. Napaluhod na lang talaga siya at umalalay naman agad ako. 

 

All of a sudden, a familiar song was played and I couldn't help but tear up as well. 

 

Her mom and dad may not have been given enough time to be together in this life, but what matters the most is in the end, they finally have each other. 

 

You smiled, you smiled

Oh, and then the spell was cast

And here we are in Heaven

For you are mine at last

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chaelisa_chaelisa
Hi everyone! I'm really sorry for not updating for more than a month. I really had plans on finishing this chapter sooner but some things got in the way. I hope you still continue to support my works.

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Burgerking_ 12 streak #1
Chapter 29: We devastated fr😭 but I really hope that these stories will have endings. But I support your decision, author. We'll wait for you
howdoyouknowmee
577 streak #2
Chapter 29: A sad day for au/fics writers and readers indeed. 😔
Coleeee #3
Chapter 28: Wow that's a really long name, yeah I feel like Declan is gonna complain a lot. Ni hindi ata magkakasya sa mga government forms yan 😭 oh and I hope na Winter gets another chance to carry again and successfully carry the baby to term. For Peanut ❤️
ryujinie__
734 streak #4
Chapter 28: Welcome back tor!! 🤍
wnddmks_ 701 streak #5
Chapter 28: Welcome back, tor! I-continue ko na pagbabasa ko neto hehehe
triggeredace
#6
Chapter 28: welcome back po na miss ko to 😭😭😭😭
EzraSeige
#7
welcome back otornim 😭😭😭💙❄️
kwinminjeong
33 streak #8
Chapter 20: wadaprik wintot is always at the crime scene deym (may narinig nanaman si sis),,, pero tangina nakakakilabot yung sa chaelisa ha tangina napaisip aq nang malala dun haup
kwinminjeong
33 streak #9
Chapter 18: i'm so happy for the both of them 🥹 im glad rin na andyan palagi mga mahal nila sa buhay 😺
kwinminjeong
33 streak #10
Chapter 16: TANGINA WTF??? Umiiyak na yung tao 'tor oh... AUQ NAH DI Q N KAYA 🥹 echoz.. sana gumaling na si rinrin pls beh gumising k na need ka na ng asawa mo !!