That Morning.


Damn. Two hours until my alarm goes off, and I’m awake. I don’t think I even slept at all. My mind’s been awake the whole time, I guess. Your back is on me. I recall our conversation last night, making mental notes of things in top priority.


With your back still on me, I wake you up. I turn my alarm off for 4:30AM because it no longer makes sense now. You ask how my sleep was, and I tell you I didn’t sleep. You are horrified. You tell me that I should have waken you up. I didn’t because you were sleeping soundly. Peaceful.


You get up from bed to take a shower. You tell me to sleep in, but I don’t. Instead I check my phone for new messages. There is one from Tita Marie. I read our conversation aloud as you get out from the shower.


You were in your jeans and white shirt. Once again, you look into your back-pack to see if you have your passport, phones, and wallet. I spot the Bible from our wedding and my steno pad in your bag, too. I am watching you from the bathroom while I brush my teeth, and get ready.


We didn’t have to leave in an hour, so you decide to lay down for a while. I follow suit with my head on your chest while you caress my hair. We talk like this a lot. It’s both relaxing and comforting. I like it.

You tell me that Tita Marie has a point regarding sending of boxes with my stuff to the US. You say we’ll find other options. You remind me once again to start packing my things little by little, so that by the time I leave, everything else has been settled. You tell me to take it easy at work. After all, I’m leaving anytime soon, so I don’t need to stress myself on work-related matters that much anymore.

Of course you have to nudge me to be good at home, and I say likewise. You give an account of what you, Mom and Dad talked about last night while you were saying your thank you’s and good-bye’s. I appreciate that you are grateful for my family’s hospitality and generosity. I remind you that you are now family, too. I start to choke, and I look at the time.


I hug you tight. You kiss me tenderly. I cry. You hug me more tightly. We are like this for a while before I decide to break away.


We start moving, making our way downstairs. I stop midway to look at my room—our room—and I begin to feel like crying again.


You take your luggage from the guest room—what used to be yours—and pack the rest of your things there. Soiled clothes. A pair of sneakers. Toiletries. I nudge you to lock that luggage where your laptop is. You can’t be too complacent, I remind you; airports are dangerous. You start loading your luggage into the back of our SUV as I get inside.


You open the gate as I drive the SUV out from the garage. I put the car in park, and move to the shotgun seat. As you were buckling your seatbelt, you notice the almost-empty gas tank. I decide that we stop by the gas station to fuel up. It buys time, too, I think to myself.


We are on our way to the airport. We are mostly silent, but you do the talking this time. You revisit our to-do’s list once more. You reiterate the most important things again as if you haven’t done so in the last 48 hours. I sit quietly as I try to digest every word that comes out of your mouth. I find it hard to concentrate, I’m sorry.


I tell you that I’ll make it up to you when I get there. You hold my hand tighter, an affirmation that you get what I mean. In my head, I have a lot more to say, but letting out an audible ‘thank you’ takes great effort. I choke at the first syllable of every word I try to utter. I struggle in holding back my tears.


I see the runway. I tell myself, we were just here a little over a month ago for our honeymoon, but I didn’t tell you that. I feel my heart beat faster. The lump in my throat grows bigger as we approach the airport. Terminal 1. I gesture you to turn right.


We park at the Departure Area. We alight from the SUV. A porter walks up to us, offering help with your luggage. You say, I got this, like you always do. I wait for you to close the rear door before throwing my arms around your neck to hug you for the last time. You kiss me twice. It is both sweet and bitter. I walk back to the SUV while I watch you make your way to the passenger entrance. You didn’t look back, and I’m thankful, because as soon as you disappeared from my sight, I burst into tears.


I receive an SMS from you. Take care mahal (my love), I love you so much my wife! Guess what? I am bawling like a child now.


I am home. It took me two seconds to figure out what to do because I have gotten used to our routine. You always open the gate even if I can do it for you. You just let me sit comfortably in the car. I know it’s stupid, but it doesn’t feel right. I park the car, and stare at the same spot we were in an hour ago. I take a deep breath.

As I walk back to the main house, and fumble through my house keys in my pocket, I hear footsteps behind the back door. Somebody opens the door for me before I even hold the keys out. Mom. I let myself in, no longer trying to hold back tears. She sees me like this, but didn’t say a word. She knew.


I make myself coffee from your green tea cup. I know mine is the purple one, but I don’t care. I want to drink my coffee from your cup.

I enter our bedroom. The sight of blank space beside my spot shudders me. No, every corner of this house screams your name. It’s unbearable.

I fire up my computer to begin typing this. I have been drafting this piece in my head since I dropped you off at the airport. It’s crazy, I know.


You send another SMS, telling me you are checked in. You demanded for a seat by the emergency exit like you did when we went to Thailand, and the airlines gave it to you for free. Look who’s lucky. You are on your way to Gate 9, boarding in two and a half hours.

As always, we exchange SMS as you wait for boarding time. Take advantage of that all-day unlimited text promo I had you registered on even when you will only use it for three hours. I laugh a little at your jokes. I know they’re nonsense, but I laugh at them anyway. That’s my job.


Your flight is boarding, but you remain seated because you can wait. The plane is not leaving without you, of course.


Your plane would have taken off by the time this post goes live. I will try to get some sleep until I hear from you again when you land in Japan.

Know that we have been in this situation for four times since we got together, but that aching feeling remains the same, and we can’t change that. This whole scenario is getting old. I’m getting tired of this, and so are you. We need to be together real soon. The sooner, the better.

I miss you more than ever. This feeling sucks big time, you know.

I swear this will be the last time you are leaving without me. Take my word on that.

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