Hi! So, I did put some Filipino words in this chapter again, and of course, with the subtitle. *grin*
“Hey, I can’t go to school today.” I woke up from my deep slumber when I heard Ghale’s voice. I opened my eyes only to see Ghale wrapped with a comforter.
“You okay?” I asked her. She nodded and stood up. “I gotta go back to my room. I’m sorry, I can’t take you to school.” She said in a slurred voice. I nodded and let her go back to her room.
After that, I took a bath and prepared for school. I went downstairs only to see Nanay Mercedita cooking. I excitedly walked towards her and hugged her by surprise.
“Ayy, Diyos ko!” (Oh my God!) She reacted making me laugh so hard. She turned to face me and tickled me.
“You always make fun of me.” She said while tickling me. I kept laughing, wiggling to stop her.
“Tama na, nay!” (That’s enough, mom!) I said hardly, still laughing.
Thankfully she stopped and faced what she was cooking. “You want to eat now?” she said. I nodded and sat down at the breakfast table.
She put her usual meal at the table and smiled at me. I eat the breakfast she prepared happily while Nay Mercedita just looked at me.
“You don’t want to eat?” I asked while still eating. She shook her head and turned around to see if the soup she’s cooking is done.
“Is it for Ghale?” I asked again and she nodded. “By the way, I have something to tell you.” She said seriously making me stop eating.
She was teary-eyed while staring at me making me nervous. “What is it?” I asked in a small voice.
"Remember when I told you that I am looking for my granddaughter for years?" she asked and I nodded.
“I need to go back to the Philippines. I got a call from my province and someone told me that they found out that they saw my granddaughter.” She told me before that she has a granddaughter. They were looking for her but she was never found.
It has been five years, but now, they finally found her. I’m happy for them, yet sad because Nanay will finally let go of us.
I wanted to cry and ask her why but I know that it's stupid. She will finally go home to her hometown and live a life. Not for us, but for her family. She finally found a family.
I slowly nodded and swallowed the lump in my throat. I looked away for her not to see my teary eyes. She can’t see me crying, she might have a hard time leaving. I was calming my breathing to stop the tears.
When I felt that tears are no longer in my eyes, I looked up at her and smiled.
She looked like she was about to cry so I hugged her. “You’ll finally live your life, Nay. So don’t doubt about going back home. Someday, I will visit you.” I whispered at her.
I don’t want to let her go because it feels like if I did, I’m letting her go for the rest of my life. She didn’t let go of me too. She was sobbing while hugging me.
“I’m sorry, my child.” She said.
“Aw, no need to be sorry. You’ll still be my Nanay.” I let go of her and smiled. She smiled back and let me go.
“I need to bring this to your sister. You take care, okay?” she said. She was about to climb the stairs when I called her.
“When are you planning to go home?” I asked her.
She smiled sadly and answered. “Today, before lunch.” I nodded and when she turned her head away, I cried silently. I won’t have her by my side anymore but I know that I must accept the fact that she has her own family now. She had been looking for her granddaughter for so long, and now that they finally found her, she can finally be with her own family.
That she is not mine to own. I should not be selfish. I heaved a deep sigh, trying to calm myself.
I decided to not attend my class today so I can at least be with her for the last time.
No one won’t care anyway. My parents are not even here.
“Oh, you’re still here?” I heard Nanay’s voice. I looked at her and smiled.
“I decided to be with you until your last day here,” I said. She looked at me seriously, and I know that look. She won’t let me.
“Please?” I said cutely making her sigh. “But this will be the last time, okay?” I nodded and immediately run towards my room to change.
I change into a cute dark pants and a sweatshirt since winter is about to begin and it's already getting cold outside. After changing my outfit, I went downstairs and look for Nanay Mercedita.
I saw one of the maids so I asked her where Nanay Mercedita is. After knowing where she is, I immediately went to her room.
She has her own room at our mansion. It was small, but she managed to make it look spacious. She placed all her things in a corner and left the center clear from anything.
“Oh, you're done?” she asked when she noticed me wandering my eyes at her room.
She looked around too and sighed. “I’ll miss this.” She said under her breath. I looked down and tried my best not to cry.
“Let’s go?” she said and I nodded. I helped her bring her baggage. No one can drive us to the airport since all of the drivers are with my parents. As we went outside, we looked for a cab and finally, after an hour of waiting.
The driver helped us put the bags in the compartment. I noticed that he looked familiar.
I continued staring at the driver but I can’t seem to pinpoint where did I met him so I let go of the possibility that I did.
I went inside the cab and wait for Nanay Mercedita. When they finished their business at the back, they immediately went inside and the driver started the engine.
As we drive to the airport, I kept on hugging her from the side. It took us 3 hours to arrive at the airport.
As we arrived, I helped Nanay to get her bags. We were silent the whole time as we waited for her flight. When it is time, she sighed and stood up. I stayed sitting in my seat, unable to move.
I’m so close to tears when she speaks. “Mag-ingat ka palagi, anak. Hindi man kita maalagaan simula ngayon pero sana lagi mong tandaan na andito lang ako palagi para sayo kung kailangan mo ako.” (Take care of yourself always, my child. I may not be here to take care of you, but always remember that I will always be here for you whenever you need me.) She said and hugged me. I stopped myself from crying and gave her a nod.
“I can call you anytime right?” I said, having a hard time speaking. She nodded, making me nod, myself, too.
“Till we meet again,” I said and she smiled. As she walked away, I can’t help but to breakdown.
The one who stood up like my Mom is now gone. The one who takes care of me when I’m sick is finally ready to take care of herself. The one who offers her shoulder whenever I am weak is finally ready to offer her shoulder to her own family. The one who fights for me when I can’t finally fight for her own. The one who became my savior is ready to save her own family.
The hero I borrowed will be taken again by the real owner.
As she fades away from my sight, I wiped the tears on my face. She won’t like it when I cry.
“I promise, I will soon look for you. I will find you in your own country. Till we meet again.” I whispered as I look at the path she took.