Sep 11, 2011

When The Fireworks Begin (Chapter XI)

“Do you think I have to bring a lot of warm clothes?” Devon asked as she was folding her pyjamas into her suitcase.

“Baby, we are not staying in Baguio for a year. We’ll just be away for less than a week,” James tried to control his laughter. Devon was undeniably excited since he asked her about travelling. She was so eager to say yes.  

“I know,” Devon fretted. “But I can’t fit everything in the bag and I think I need all of this stuff,”  she said pointing to a pile of clothes and toiletries on their bed.

“Why don’t you let me do the packing,” James smiled and sat down beside her frustrated and excited wife.

Devon watched James as he carefully placed each piece of clothing on the bag.  When James talked to her about visiting some of the places she wanted to visit, she felt torn. Devon wanted to fulfil her wish list so bad, but that would mean they’ll be spending their money on something aside from her medication. 

“Are we really doing this,” Devon asked seriously. “This will cost us a lot.”

James offered Devon a bright smile. “We’ll manage. Besides, we are not spending anything on accommodations. A good friend offered his rest house in Baguio for free.”

Devon smiled.  She can’t wait to go on the plane and travel.  But she felt a question tugging at the back her mind and she can’t help but ask James.

“Are we doing this because I’m dying,” Devon asked softly, her voice almost a whisper.

James stopped packing and looked at Devon. “Of course not, we are doing this because this is something you wanted to do.” He pulled Devon and kissed her forehead.

She hugged him really hard. “I love you,” Devon said.

“I love you more,” James answered. He inched towards her lips.  He marvelled at the sweet taste of her lips.  Devon opened her lips more meeting, allowing james to explore.  Then they heard somebody knocking on the door.  “Talk about good timing,” he crossly answered and was about to stand up.

Devon smiled and pulled James back on the bed. “Don’t answer it and let’s just pretend nobody’s home.”

James chuckled.  “You are so naughty.” He wagged a finger at her and leaned towards her.  “But I like it…”

He was about to kiss her again when he heard the insistent knocking on the door and Sam’s loud voice.

“Argh,” James groaned. “They won’t go away.”

He stood up and pulled Devon up from the bed.  James went down the stairs and barely opened the door when Sam started firing him questions.

“What the heck are you doing,” Sam asked angrily.

James was caught by surprise.  He did not immediately understand what Sam was referring to.  Then Ivan stormed into the room, while Shey and Aleli quietly followed behind.  Shey was tugging on Ivan’s sleeve as if motioning him to leave. But Ivan brushed her hand angrily.

“What the heck are you doing?” Sam repeated, a little louder this time.

“What are you talking about,” asked James although he already has an idea what is about.

“You are putting her life on danger,” Sam argued, taking a step closer towards James.

But James stood his ground, not backing away. “This is our decision, not yours.”

“But you are endangering her,” Sam argued, now pointing a finger towards James face. “You are putting off her sessions and doctor visits, you are taking her away from accessible medical care…”

“There’s a doctor in Baguio and we are taking her meds,” interrupted James. “This is good for her.”

“Good for her or for you,” asked Ivan.

James threw both men a look that can wither even the sturdiest tree.  They don’t understand.  They did not notice the fading colors in Devon’s eyes everytime he sees her.  But when he suggested sometime off just to visit a place she has been longing to visit, the sparkle was immediately there.  They don’t understand, James thought.

“What’s happening here?” Devon asked as she went down the stairs. “Why is everybody here?”

Ivan immediately stepped forward. “Don’t go Devon. Don’t go gallivanting around.  It is not good for you.”

Then it was Sam’s turn to speak. “Stay here and we will take care of you.”

Devon reached the bottom of the stairs and looked at them, “I appreciate your concern, but I am going on with this trip.”

Then she slipped her hand to James hand and laced her fingers into his. James looked at Devon and smiled. 

“You heard my wife,” James answered. “Now leave us alone so we can pack.”

Ivan and Sam opened their mouths at the same time and was about to speak when suddenly Devon spoke.  “Nothing that you say can change my mind.”
“What is this all about?” Devon asked for the several times.  She was fumbling her way, her eyes blindfolded.  James, meanwhile, was supporting her while walking. It was late in the evening and they will be travelling the next day to Baguio.

“It’s a surprise,” James answered for the nth time.

James left Devon standing on the middle of the grassy hill. “Stay there, don’t remove the blindfold until I tell you so.”

“James,” Devon said warningly. “Don’t you dare leave me here.”

“Of course not,” James answered.  He took his phone out of his pocket and dialled something on his phone.  He looked at Devon who remained standing on the middle of the hill.  He talked to somebody on his phone, mumbling thanks. 

Then he took out a piece of paper out of his back pocket before calling out to Devon. “Take it off, now.”

Devon started to untie the knot behind her head.  She blinked a few times before she was able to recognize where they are.

“James,” she looked around and saw him standing a few feet away from her, holding a small piece of paper saying, “Happy Birthday.” She smiled brightly.

“You didn’t think I have forgotten,” James said accusingly.

“Of course not,” Devon answered. “But why are we here. We could have just celebrated it at home.”

Just as Devon finished asking, bright lights started to shoot up in the sky with a loud bang.  Devon was startled and then saw the showers of bright colors covering the dark sky. The white shower was then followed by red and green dancing lights.
Devon could not take her eyes off the dancing fireworks. 

“Oh James,”  Devon whispered. “Thank you.”

“They say the fireworks drive bad spirits away,” James answered and walked towards Devon’s side. “A great way to start your birth year and our travels together.”

Devon smiled warmly at the man standing at her side.  “Just having you stay at my side will be enough.”

“Are you sure?” James asked jokingly. “We could always cancel our trip tomorrow.”

Devon slapped James on his shoulder sharply. “That’s not what I mean.”

James burst into laughter and Devon joined him. It has been a long time since they laughed this hard.  Baguio will surely bring back memories and that is what they both need.  Another hissing sound whizzed into the sky bursting into another shower of bright lights. 


Anonymous said...

“Are we doing this because I’m dying,” --- oh my gosh, i would have stood stock still. i wouldn't have known what to say. Gusto ko na yung relationship nila is that honest that blunt and they don't walk around eggshells about the issue.

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