Part 1 - CANNOT BE

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
"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
"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."

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
insists 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

"Hello? Yes, Tita. How are you na 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
"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
"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
"Ah look, here we are at Tita Doris."
At Tita Doris', 4:45 am. A pleasantly plump
woman enters the living room. 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?"

To be Continued -----

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