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.

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