Nov 2, 2010

thank you very much for reading "chances." thank you, talaga. :D

Nov 1, 2010

Chances (Final Chapter)

 XX.  The First

Devon was walking aimlessly.  It was dusk, the sun is gently setting behind the soft-looking clouds.  She arrived in the Philippines yesterday but decided to say anything about it to her friends.  She went straight to her Tita Aiz who was staying with another aunt. They were eager to have her stay at their home. 

Devon decided against calling her friends and letting them know that she’s already home.  She does not want to bother them with her problems, after all she’s adult enough to handle her fights on her own.  She was walking along the Bay area.  It was already afternoon, but adults and children are still walking along the pavements and seated on sea walls.

She saw a park cradled by several trees.  There were children playing in the playground. They were all running around, riding the swing or taking turns in the slides.  She walked towards an empty swing, under a tree, and sat down.  She watched the several cars passing her by.

She took a deep breath.  Life is hard. But at least, experiencing difficult things right now would make other problems easier, she thought.  I don’t have to fear life and love anymore.  She rested her against the ropes of the swing. 

She was seriously lost in her thoughts and was unaware that a man was walking towards her in the park. 


James was walking aimlessly. He has arrived in Manila shores last night.  He went straight to Devon’s apartment only to find out that she was not there. Where the hell is she, he thought.  He is willing to search the country’s seven thousand islands just to see her again. Last night, he kept calling her phone but her number can’t still be contacted.  He sighed in frustration. Last night was yet another restless sleep for him. His body is tired, but he can’t rest.

This afternoon James had this urge to walk in the Boulevard. This was one of Devon’s favourite places.  She does not care if the sea smells to fishy sometimes or if there are too many children tugging on her and asking for coins or some pieces of bread. This was the place where one of the best sunsets happens. This is one of the places where the sun kisses the earth. 

This is one of her favourite places and James remembers.

He sat down on a bench and looked at the setting sun. He was unmindful of the screaming and laughing children and even the smooching couples, who were only a few feet away. 

James turned his head and saw the best sight he could possibly see in the last few days. There she was. Seated on swing, only a yard away from him. Devon, he thought.  His heart was caught in his throat.

Devon felt somebody was staring at her and looked around. And ‘lo and behold, it was James.  Is he an illusion, have I been thinking about him too much, that he actually manifests in front of me, she crazily thought. 

She removed his eyes from him and stared at him. Devon closed her eyes and counted until five. 

James saw her look at him and then looked away. It’s not her, they just looked alike. Is she for real, he thought.  He looked away and closed his eyes. He started to count until five.

After five seconds, James glanced at Devon’s direction. Devon at his. When their eyes met, they knew. This was not a figment of their sub-consciousness. This is the real thing.

James smiled and walked towards Devon. 

Why is he smiling, Devon thought.  Run, was the first thing that her instinct told her. You don’t want to get hurt again. But she held on the chains of the swing and waited.  A child occupied the swing beside her and James has to wait for his turn. It took a few swings before the child got tired.  James held on the swing and sat down beside her.

“It’s really you,” James said.

Devon glanced at him. “Yes it’s me,” she answered quietly.

“I’ve been looking for you,” James said. “You have no idea how many planes I have to catch just to find you. And here you are, seated beside me.”

“You’re looking for me,” Devon asked. What could possibly be the reason, Devon asked herself.  “Why?”

James went quiet and shook his head.  He smirked.

“What’s so funny?” Devon asked.

James shook his head again. “You know I have been travelling these days just to see you. But now that I have seen you, I actually have no idea what to tell you.  I told Bren that I have to tell you something, but now I’m speechless.”

Devon shook her head and reacted sarcastically, “I have no idea if I should be flattered that you’re speechless or insulted because you can’t say anything worth saying to me.”

Devon was about to stand up and to walk away but James reached for hand. “Don’t go. If you do, I don’t know if I’ll still have the strength to look for you and then deal with not finding you.”

Devon looked at James. He looks as if he meant everything he said.  He has black circles under his eyes and he looked pale.  She can’t tell what happened, but James looks like he is really tired. 

Devon took her position back on the swing again.  She glanced around, thinking that Allie may just appear around the corner.  James sensed that she was looking for something or maybe somebody, and he was able to figure that out.

“Allie’s not here,” James mentioned when he noticed Devon trying not to look too obvious when looking behind him.  “We broke up. Well, she broke up with me,” his voice trailed.

Devon was caught unaware by what he said.  But pain shot into her and she could not help but utter, “So that’s why you’re here. That’s why you’re looking for me. Cause she broke up with you.”

This time, Devon did not hold back. She stood up and walked away.  She’s so angry. The tears that she was trying to control, started to flow.  She doesn’t care if people will see her crying.  It’s so humiliating. James coming back because he has no more options.

James caught up with her and tried to stop her from walking. “Devon, just listen,”  he said.

Devon turned around.  “Why do I have to listen to you? How insensitive could you get?”

“Devon, you don’t understand,” James tried to explain.

But Devon is sick and tired of hearing hurtful things come out of his mouth. “What is it that I don’t understand? That I’m the substitute? Just because you broke up with Allie, you came running back to me? Just because she chose to let you go, you’re going to settle for me? I’m not stupid.” She turned around and was about to walk away.

“I was looking for you, because I remembered,” James answered.

Devon turned around and looked at him.  She wanted to believe him.  She wanted so much to have him back in her life.  “You remembered, what?” she asked sarcastically. “You remembered that I would be available.  You remembered that you could always come back to me, no matter what happens?”

“It’s not that,” James started but faltered in the middle of his explanation. How could I convince her that I am really back?

“Then what is it James,” Devon demanded angrily. “What is it?”

“I remembered you love chocolates,” James immediately answered. 

Devon was surprised.  “You remembered that I love chocolates?”

James nodded and walked towards her.  “I remembered that you can’t swim and I tried teaching you. I remembered that you have a great singing voice. I remembered that you love to dance. I remembered that you place chess.  I remembered how much you love spaghetti from McDonald’s.”

Devon blinked.  He remembered or did he really, she thought. She’s no longer sure. “Surely James, you can do better than that. Snooping around, asking other people about me is not going to help you.” She started to walk away.

“I remembered teaching you how to wish on an eyelash.  I remembered that you were wearing blue green the night we were stranded on our way to Baguio,”  James continued.

Devon turned around. Nobody knew that other than him.

“I remembered telling you that I would take you to Australia with me. I remembered when you gave me your scapular bracelet because I was sick and you cannot stay in my condo unit the whole night to watch over me.  I remembered when you massage my head, my back, may arms and I would tell you have god-like hands,” James continued while walking towards Devon.

Devon was rooted on the spot.  He remembers me.  Devon was crying when James finally neared her.  James wiped away her tears and held her face in his hands.

“I remembered when I asked you to marry me with just a rubber band that I found on the church floor,” James whispered. “I remembered telling you that I don’t want to be empty anymore.”

Devon was crying and said between sobs, “You remember me. You remember me.”

James hugged Devon tightly. “I am so sorry.”

Devon was lost for words. She softly whispered, “I thought you would never ever come back.”

James hugged her tightly, “I’m never going away again.  Even if I have to record everything everyday, every hour, second and minute, I would, so that I would never ever forget again.”

“I would never give up on you,” Devon answered back, burying her sobs on James’ shoulder.

James let Devon go and looked at her.  “Will you marry me, again?” he asked. “I don’t have anything, nothing. I don’t even have a rubber band. All I have is this.”  James placed his hand over his heart. “My heart.”

Devon wiped her tears. “Of course, I would not take anything less.” She smiled.

James hugged her again. Silent tears fell from his eyes.  He was crying, hell to machismo. 

“You know what, there’s still something good with all of these?” James asked, holding Devon’s chin with his fingers.

“What?” Devon asked while looking at him.

“I get to remember and experience falling in love with you, again,” James answered with a smile and inched his lips closer to hers. He kissed her, just as the sun kissed the earth in the horizon. 

They were unmindful of the adults who were whispering and looking at them.  Unmindful of a middle-aged lady wiping her tears away with the moment. Unmindful of the children who were screaming happily in the playground.

James slightly pulled away and whispered against her ear before tightly embracing her. 


More than twenty years ago…

In a small playground in Roxas Boulevard, there were children who were running around.  A little girl raced towards a vacant swing, but at the same time she reached it, a boy also grabbed the ropes of the same swing.  They looked at each other.

“I’ll give you a push,” volunteered the five  year old boy. The little girl in pigtails nodded eagerly and sat down.  The boy started to push her hard and she was giggling in delight while her toes rise and try to reach the sky.  After a few swings, the girl slowed down the swing movement.

“It’s your turn,” the little girl told the boy.  The boy sat down on the swing and the girl pushed with all her might.  The little boy was surprised with the girl’s strength and he did not forget to tell her when he got down of the swing.

“You’re strong,” said the boy.  “How old are you?”

The girls smiled and  showed her right hand. “I’m five.”

“The same age as me,” said the boy.

The little boy and the girl sat down on an old bench and watched the sun which was setting on the horizon.

“Look the sun’s going to kiss the earth,” pointed the girl.

The boy looked at the horizon and laughed, “You have a wild imagination. They are not kissing. The sun’s just hiding.”

They laughed hard and started to watch the ants which were walking in front of them. They followed them on the anthill and inspected the insects.  They were laughing really hard while drawing circles with a stick on the ground when the girl’s mother called her.

“Devon let’s go,” said the mother.

The little girl stood up and said goodbye to the little boy.

“Devon’s a weird name,” said the boy.  The girl’s forehead creased when they heard the boy’s father calling out to him.

“James!” called the father and motioning him to get closer.

“James is a very common name,” countered the girl.

They both laughed with what each other said.  The girl picked her pink bag she left on the park bench.  Then the boy asked, “Will you be back here?”

The girl shook his head, “No, I’m going back to Cebu tomorrow. I live there. I just visited my aunt.”

James nodded. “I’m leaving for Australia tomorrow too.”

“Where is that?” asked the girl.

The boy shrugged and shook his head. “My dad says it’s just very far. Oh well, bye.”

“I guess there’s no chance we’ll see each other again,” said the girl and waved goodbye to her new friend.

The boy waved back and went to his father who escorted him back to their car.

Both of them didn’t know that they would have all the chances that they could possibly get.


Oct 25, 2010

Chances (Chapter Nineteen)

XIX. Departure/Arrival

James was seated anxiously in the middle of the plane. This was the best seat that he could get for the shortest period of time.  Getting reservations was the longest time of his entire life.  He was sandwiched between two burly men who probably would be going overseas to work.  But he does not care.  What keeps playing in his mind was the time when he went to Devon’s house to know where she was. 

He remembered what happened two days ago.


Two days ago.

James rushed to Devon’s house, upon knowing that the most important woman in her life has vanished from his life. He knocked until his fist became red.  Bren opened the door, and James forgot all his manners and barged inside. 

“Where is she?” James asked Yen, the first person he saw upon entering the apartment. 

Yen was caught by surprise and was unable to answer immediately.

“Where is she,” James asked Freya when he was unable to get some answers from Yen. 

“She’s not here,” answered Bren quietly. Pulling Freya away from James slowly.  “I told you on the phone, she’s gone.”

“Let her go, James,” Yen said sharply. “She’s finally moving on. She’s finally going to get her life back.”

James shook his head. “I can’t let her go. I can’t.”

“Why?” Freya demanded angrily. “You left her. And now you’re telling us, that you can’t let her go? Make up your mind.”

“I made a mistake,” James admitted. He sat down on a chair and cradled his head in his hands. I made a mistake.

“Bo-hoo,” Freya said sarcastically. “You realize it when it’s already too late.”

Freya and Yen started to walk away.  Obviously controlling their anger. Devon has always been the fighter among the three, she has always been their defender. It is about time that they pay her back. Even it means, throwing harsh words on a beaten man in their living room.

Bren sat down beside James.  “If you’re meant to be together, then you will be together.”

James shook his head vehemently. “I can’t just sit and wait. I can’t live a day thinking and asking myself if she would be back, when she will be back.  I need to do something to make her come back.”

Bren looked at James and saw the sincerity of his words. He looked at Freya and Yen, asking for permission. But both shook their head.  They should not tell him where Devon is. 

James looked pleadingly at Bren but he also shook his head and lowered his eyes.  James felt anger, surging.  Angry not to these people, but to himself. How could he possibly let everything slip away from him? How could he?  James heard Ryan cleared his throat. He was sitting on the chair on the far corner.

“I’m sorry, James,”  said Ryan. “We can’t tell you where she is. We promised never to tell you that she is going to Singapore.”

James nodded. “I know you can’t,” but he immediately cut his statement and looked at Ryan, unbelievably. “Singapore?”

A slipper flew across the room and hit Ryan on his cheek. “What the eff?” he remarked and looked at the direction of the flying slipper.  Yen was holding her other slipper on her hand, ready to throw it again. Ryan immediately slid out of his chair and hid behind it.

“She’s in Singapore?” James repeated.  He stood up and started to browse his phone. The good thing about travelling so much is that you get to save airline numbers on your cellphone. He quickly dialled the airline number and patiently waited for somebody to get on the phone.

It’s taking too long, he angrily mumbled.  He started to walk towards the door when suddenly somebody answered.

“I want to book a flight to Singapore, for tonight,” demanded  James. “I don’t care how much it is, I need it tonight.”

The female voice on the other end of the line calmly answered, “I’m sorry sir, all flights are grounded for tonight because of the storm.”

“What storm?” James asked angrily.

“Sir, if you would check the news, you would see that there is a storm in the Philippines and would be hitting Manila by 10 o’clock tonight.”

“What, there are no flights?” James demanded. “How about tomorrow?”

James waited, pacing back and forth.  The representative came back on the line, telling them that the flights for the next day are all booked. The earliest flight he could get would be the day after tomorrow, at three in the morning.  James was frustrated and decided to hang up on the representative. He used Freya’s phone to call all airlines. But all of them have the same news. No flights for that night, booked until tomorrow.

“When did Singapore became a freaking world destination?” James growled frustratingly.  “How could it be possible that all flights are booked?”

“Cause you’re not really supposed to go after her,” Yen insisted. But she was taken aback when she saw James’s reaction.  His eyes bear all his emotions. He is wearing them all on his sleeve, vulnerable. He does not care if he gets hurt.

“All I need is to see her and tell her what I feel,” James told them.  He started to dial again, while the lightning, thunder and heavy rain vibrates in the entire house.


This is why he is here now. Two days after Devon left for Singapore, he is still in the Philippines. He has never felt so helpless.  He wanted to do something but he cannot.
James tried to be patient during the four hour flight.  He took no notice of the man who was sleeping and resting his head on James’s shoulder.  He glanced and saw that he was in fact, drooling. But he does not mind. This is the earliest flight he could take, and even poor seating would not keep him away from it.

After almost four hours of flight and almost another hour in the Changi International Airport, he is already in the streets of Singapore.

He was able to talk to Jack yesterday, Devon’s officemate.  He asked him if he has any idea where Devon would be staying in Singapore.  Jack gave him a hotel where firm employees would spend their business trip, as well as the address of the firm’s office in Singapore. 

He shrugged his backpack and navigated the streets of the Central Area. James asked several people for directions, until he was able to find the building that he was looking for.  James walked inside the building, towards the receptionist area. The woman behind the desk, perhaps sensing that he is a foreigner, greeted him in English.

“Good day, what can we do for you?” asked the receptionist.

James opened his mouth and asked for Devon. “She was supposed to be here as consultant from the Philippines. I think she arrived here a couple of days ago.”

The woman motioned for him to wait and dialled with her IP phone. She talked in Chinese for a while, before she finally ended the call.

“I’m sorry sir,” said the woman as he approached James. “No Filipino consultant arrived sir.”

James eyes opened wide and looked at the woman. “That can’t be possible. She was supposed to go here.”

The woman shook her head. “No consultant came, sir. They were scheduled to come two days ago, but the date was moved indefinitely.”

James walked out of the building, several minutes after, asking the receptionist over and over again, until the lady threatened to call security unless he stop.  James continued walking.  He stopped under a tree and leaned on it.

Where are you Devon, he asked himself.


Devon was looking at her cellphone. She hasn’t called or texted anybody in the Philippines. Nobody knew that she is in Macau.  Devon fidgeted on her phone, it is already late in the afternoon. She arrived two days ago, and all of the problems with one of their firm offices in Macau is being straightened out. If all goes well, she may be going home early.

Home, Devon thought. Is there really a place that I can go home to?  From her hotel window, she could see the entire city.  Am I willing to stay here?  She closed the window blinds and looked at her phone again.

She took a deep breath and started to dial her mother’s number. After a brief talk with her parents, Devon felt a lot better.  She decided to call her friends to let them know that she is doing great.

Freya answered on the fourth ring. “Hello Devon.”  Devon sensed that there was something wrong and guarded with how Freya greeted her. But she did not took notice.  “How’s Singapore?” Freya asked.

“I’m not in Singapore,” said Devon. “I’m in Macau. They sent me here instead.”

“Whaaat?” Freya exclaimed. “You are not in Singapore? Since when?”

Devon started to share what happened in the airport. She noticed a commotion in the background. “What’s wrong? Why is everybody noisy?”

“There’s nothing wrong,” denied Freya. “We’re just excited that you called.”

Devon talked to her friends for a while before she hung up.  There is something going on, but she decided not to take notice of it.

“Have you talked to James?” Freya asked Bren for the nth time.

Bren patiently answered while holding his phone. “No, I haven’t. I’ve been trying to call him since Devon called last night.”

Yen was already strangling Ryan. “Where the heck could he be?”

Bren started to dial on his phone again, and this time he was able to get James on the phone. “Where have you been dude?”

“Sorry,” said James. “I lost my phone charger and I have to look for another one here. You have to idea how difficult it is to find another charger.”

“Well, Devon called,” Bren interrupted.

“What did she say?” James immediately asked.

“She’s not in Singapore. She’s in Macau,” Bren answered.

Bren heard James cursing on the other end of the line. “Do you have any idea what hotel she’s in? I’m going to the airport now.”

Bren gave Devon’s hotel and James ended the call, immediately.

Is nature working against me, James asked angrily.  Are you punishing me? 

He was able to get a flight to Macao from Singapore. Unfortunately, there were no non-stop flights and all he could get was a flight with one stop, and it was a long layover.  So the three hours of air travel from Singapore to Macau, lasted for blasted ten hours.

To make matters worse, the long layover, became longer.  There were some engine trouble and they need to wait another couple of hours before they were able to board the plane. He left early afternoon, he would be arriving in Macau the next day. 

Are you punishing me? James asked.  If you are, can you just punish me after I see her, James pleaded.  A whole half day was wasted just by changing and waiting for planes.  He would be arriving in Macau, the next day.


Devon closed her suitcase and looked around. Her work just wrapped up yesterday, she has the option to stay longer. But she decided, her family and friends are in the Philippines, her roots are there. Why should I be afraid of coming back? Devon thought. I did nothing wrong. I should not be afraid of being myself. It's just another heartache, she thought.

She walked outside of her room and down the hotel lobby. She decided not to inform anybody that she would be coming home today. She checked out of the hotel and went into the taxi, waiting for her.

She was quietly watching the sights while inside the cab, thinking, this is such a romantic place.  It would be great to comeback, she thought.  After a few minutes, she was already on the airport, lugging her bags behind her.  She went inside the airport and started to look for her terminal.

In a few minutes, the passengers from Devon’s flight were called.  At that same time Devon stood up to hand her ticket, James was coming out of the glass doors. He immediately called hailed a taxi and asked to be taken to the hotel that Bren told him. After a few minutes, he arrived in the hotel lobby and walked towards the reception area.

James greeted the receptionist and asked about Devon’s room number, introducing himself as the boyfriend.

The woman eyed him but still answered him, “She just checked out, more than half an hour ago.”

James slapped the counter top and cursed loudly.  He saw how surprised the lady opposite him was. “I’m sorry. But do you know where she’s heading?”

The woman looked at him again, this time pitifully. “She asked for a taxi cab that would bring her to the airport.”

James cursed under his breath and immediately left the hotel.  I hope I catch her, he thought.  He fought his way on the next taxi cab, cutting a couple who were obviously waiting for the taxi. He offered a higher tip which made the taxi driver agree to take him to the airport.

But it was too late.

When James set foot on the airport, Devon was again out of his life.

Oct 21, 2010

Chapter Eighteen (Chances)

XVIII.  She’s Out of My Life

James was seated in the patio outside his home.  He was looking from afar, Allie was meanwhile, was on the front of her laptop pouring over her work.  James’s thoughts were filled with the episode a week ago. 

Illian kissing Devon. 

No matter how many times he tried to shake the images off, it keeps coming back.  And he is seriously getting irritated.  Right after James’s and Devon’s conversation, he drove off in fury.  He cannot tell why he was so angry. That makes him even more frustrated.  He knows that Allie is feeling his frustration. She tried to be calm and tried to take it lightly. 

Last night he had another dream.  This time he remembered it clearly.  Devon and James were swimming together, he was trying to teach her how to swim.  Instead, she succeeded in almost drowning him because she kept on grabbing his hair.  She was doing this while they were swimming around the pool, with her clinging  on his neck. They kept on moving back and forth.  When he woke up, he thought that the dream was real since he was feeling muscle pains all over his arms and legs.

Was it just a dream, James thought. The dreams looked so real and so true, that he honestly thought that they were no longer just dreams. 

James leaned back on the chair. His Iphone was playing Angel by Jack Johnson loudly.  His fascination with his music has completely taken him by surprise.  The song ended, he grabbed his phone, intending to play it again.   Allie looked at James, clearly irritated.

“Don’t tell me you’ll be playing that song again?” Allie asked, with a trace of sarcasm in her voice.

James did not say anything, instead, he just hit the play button. Allie grabbed the phone from his hand and turned the song off.

“If you will be listening to that song again, use earphones,” Allie retorted. “You’ve been listening to that for an entire hour and for the entire week.  It’s getting on my nerves already.”

“What’s wrong with you,” James reacted. “It’s just a song.”

Allie stood up and turned her laptop off. She collected her things and prepared to leave.  James stood up and followed her.

“Where are you going?” James asked, walking behind her.

“I’m going home. Obviously, my presence here is not important,” Allie said walking towards the door.

James grabbed her arm. “What do you mean? I’m not saying anything against you.”

Allie shook her head. “You’ve been ignoring me for the last few weeks. You are always occupied with something else, you forget about me.”

James looked at Allie. He was never conscious of that. He has always been with Allie. “What do you mean by ignoring you? I’m always with you.”

“That’s the problem James,” Allie said in frustration. “We’re always together, but you were never really with me.”

Allie turned and walked away, leaving a befuddled and more frustrated James.


“You’re seriously not doing this,” Ryan reacted.  Bren and Ryan were in Devon, Yen and Freya’s apartment.

“Yes, Ryan. I’m really doing it,” answered Devon.  She was walking back and forth, getting things and clothes from her closet, packing them on a open suitcase.  Freya and Bren exchanged glances.  Yen could not hold it any longer.

“Why do you have to leave now?” Yen answered. “We just knew about this yesterday.”

Devon sighed. She knew that her friends would not be taking her decision lightly. Her family took the shock better. Maybe it is because her parents and her sisters did not witness how devastated she was after what happened with her relationship with James. It’s perfectly natural that her friends who saw her moping the last few months would be shocked about her sudden departure.

“I told you, something came up. I have been waiting for this opportunity for a long time. I’m not going to let it pass,” Devon tried to explain.

“It’s just such as shock,” Bren tried to speak for her friends. “You’re doing well with your job, you’re even starting to get your social life back. And then suddenly, you’re going to leave?”

Freya nodded vigorously, agreeing with his boyfriend. “We thought everything is okay,” she gently said.

Devon sighed, I thought so too.  “I told you this is completely professional.”

“We can’t change your  mind?” asked Ryan for the hundredth time.

Devon smiled. “No, I won’t change my mind.”

“Does James have something to with this?” Bren asked.

James would always have something to do with everything, Devon thought. “No,” she said. Trying her best to sound confident and putting up her best smile.


James has spent the hour doing laps on the swimming pool. He kept changing from one stroke to another.  Perhaps physical activity could take his mind of her. He flinched at the thought of her again and pushed himself forward into doing another lap. 

Unaware, Allie was watching him behind the curtains of his home.  She silently retreated.  Their fight yesterday was supposed to be the past, but something kept nagging her. He’s starting to become more distant everyday.  She tried to reach out to him but all she would see is a wall. 

This is exactly how it happened two years ago, after his Baguio trip.  This is how she lost James to Devon.

Allie was clutching on the chair so hard, deep in her thoughts that she did not realize James was already inside the room. James saw Allie standing by the dining table, gripping on the chair, so hard. Her knuckles were already white.

James threw his t-shirt on and walked towards Allie.  Allie heard his footsteps and looked at him.  James stopped and looked at Allie. He felt the room started to shrink.  And then something hit him hard, so hard that it almost sent him backwards.

James and Devon on the gasoline station.

James kissing Devon.

Devon hugging James under the trees, one dark night. Telling him that he’s a bad poet.

James holding Devon’s hands.




Airplane landing.


Her face on his cellphone.

James plummeting forward when something hit his car.

Calling her name. Trying to reach his cellphone. Blackness.




James opened his eyes. He was still standing on the same spot. Allie is holding his hands.  Allie.  He stared at Allie. What have I done, he whispered to himself.  Allie looked at James, he looked surprised and bewildered. She held into his hands and could no longer control it.  Tears started to fall from her eyes.

“I can’t stand the thought of losing you again, James,” Allie whispered, trying to keep the sobs away.  “Not for the second time. Not to her again.”

She knew, James thought.

Allie lowered her head, shaking, trying so hard to fight the tears. “But I can’t hold on forever. Not when every time you look away, I kept thinking that you are thinking of her.”

James started to open his mouth and speak. He could not bear hurting Allie like this. She has been a good friend and she has taken good care of him. But Allie placed his hand over his mouth, keeping him from speaking. She took her hand away and bravely look at James with her tear-streaked face.

“You don’t have to say anything. Besides, you know I can’t stand losing,” Allie took a deep breath. “Which is why I’m ending this.” 

“At least, leave me some pride,” Allie said jokingly.  “Leave me with the thought I was the one who ended this.”

Allie moved forward and kissed James’ cheek.  She slowly pulled away and started to walk away. 

“Allie,” James called. She turned. “Thank you.”

“Love is not always sweeter the second time around,” Allie answered back.


Devon was already in the airport. She insisted that there is no need for her friends to see her off. She would be sent to Singapore, handling one of the company’s accounts there.  She looked at the crowd, and saw her officemate and boss who was supposed to give the details of her trip.

She walked towards them. Although, her stay in Singapore would only be for a few months, it was the relief she was looking for. She does not have to worry about running into James and Allie or seeing him on her footstep.  She does not have to endure everything.  Also, Devon intends to make her stay in Singapore permanent.

As she approached her boss and officemate, they looked stressed.  “Why?” Devon asked. “Is there any problem with the trip?”

Her boss started to scratch his head.  “There would be some changes with your itinerary.” Devon looked questioningly at her boss.  “This is a short notice, but you’re not going to Singapore. You’ll be sent to Macau.”

Devon nodded.  Well at least it does not mean I have to go back home.

“Your Macau stay would just be brief, maybe two or three weeks. There are just some urgent matters that you need to attend to. You’ll be able to handle it,” assured her boss.  “You’ll be coming back here in Manila after that. Then we will see if you will still be sent to Singapore.”

Devon nodded at her boss instructions. She listened carefully and after an hour she was already boarding her plane to Macau.  She was seated near the window and watched the blue skies outside of the plane when it took off.

She closed her eyes. 

It cuts like a knife, she thought.

She remembered when she asked her boss before she boarded her plane. A question which left her boss speechless for the first time.

“What if I decided never to come back?”


Few hours have already passed since Allie left, James was seated on the couch with eyes closed. But he was not asleep, he was savoring each moment and image that flashes in his mind.  There were still some lapses, there were still some gaps, but he think he regained more than half of  the memories he has lost. 

He opened his eyes.  He looked at the phone sitting beside him.  He has been lifting and dropping that headset for a few times already.

He took a deep breath. Come what may, pay your dues, he scolded himself.

He dialled a cellphone number, but the number could not be reached. He tried again, and again. And again. But he kept getting the monotonous recorded voice.

He decided to call his friend.  In just a couple of rings, Bren answered his phone.

“Do you know where Devon is?” James asked directly.  “I’ve been trying to call her but her phone’s out of service.”

He heard Bren took a deep breath. “She’s gone dude. She left just a few hours ago.”

“What?” James exclaimed. “Where did she go? Why did she leave?”

 “James, don’t go after her,” Bren answered. “She’s moving on.”

It’s useless to talk to Bren like this.  I’ve got to see them, James placed the phone down and started to walk towards the doorway. 

That is when he realized, that he was alone.

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