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The Eve of May

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It was May Day eve. The start of the month of May. The first night of the last month of summer. Summer breeze swept past her open window as she sat alone on the desolate wooden porch.


She closed her eyes as the events of the past replayed before her closed eyelids in slow motion.


************************************************


“In the very first of May, at exactly 12 o’clock, if you stand before a mirror with a candle, and say the magic chant, you’ll see the man you are destined to marry,” Krisha told them in a hushed tone as they sat huddled on a futon mat in her room. Her three best friends smiled. They were having a slumber party to celebrate her 18th birthday.


“But if you do something wrong, you’ll not see your soul mate but the devil himself!” Monique continued the tale in a spooky voice. They laughed. They knew the story by heart but they loved to tell it over and over again.


“Do you believe in that story?” Angelie asked with dreamy eyes. “I want to see the boy of my life.”


“Yeah." Like I want to see the devil,” Monique mocked and rolled her eyes.


Misha kept her opinions to herself. She wanted to try it too.


Then a soft knock interrupted their reverie. The door opened, revealing Krisha’s elder brother, Gabriel. “It’s time to sleep, girls,” he said. “It’s already 11:35 pm.” Then he turned to Misha and smiled. She bowed to hide her blushing face.


Gabriel has that effect on her. He could make her blush with just a simple smile.


Krisha, Monique, and Angelie groaned in protest but went to their respective sleeping area. “Good night.” Gabriel switched off the light. “Sweet dreams,” he whispered.


*******************************************************


Misha tried to close her eyes but she couldn’t fall asleep. The story of May Day Eve kept replaying on her mind. She checked her phone. It was already 11:56 pm. Her friends were already asleep.


A plan took place on her mind. She pulled out a candle and a lighter from her night bag. She always carries them wherever she goes in case of emergency.


She soundlessly stood up and tiptoed to the door. She lit the candle when she was safely outside Krisha’s room. She crept down to the first floor. The house was dark and quiet. She was sure she was the only one awake now.


At last, she found what she was looking for. She checked her phone again. It was exactly 12:00 am. A big ornate mirror stood in the living room. Krisha told them it dated back into the 80’s.


She stood in front of the mirror and held the candle loosely. She closed her eyes and began chanting softly.
She wanted to know if he was the one for her. Even though what she was doing right now sounded foolish.


“You are a little impatient, mi amour. You wish to see your husband-to-be in advance. Isn’t that cheating?” a voice suddenly said over her right shoulder.


She dropped the candle in surprise and darkness enveloped the room. She was ready to scream when a pair of hands suddenly embraced her from behind.


“I’m sorry if I startled you,” the voice whispered on her ears. “It’s only me.”

She recognized the voice now. Gabriel. She exhaled and let Gabriel embrace her. She didn’t see the face of the devil but she’s with her angel now. She imagined Gabriel’s face. His eyes that was as blue as the Seclusion Sea. And his gentle smile.


“I wish we could stay like this forever…”she murmured. She turned around and hugged Gabriel too. She could feel his racing heartbeat against his chest. His breath softly touching her cheeks. She knew he could feel her erratic heartbeat too.


No one knew that they were seeing each other for the past two years. It was a secret they kept to themselves. It was hard. They were so near yet so far. They need to act like they don’t care about each other when someone is around. They treasure the rare moments they were alone.


Gabriel was already engaged to a girl he didn’t love. It was an engagement of convenience. The girl was the daughter of Gabriel’s father’s associate.


They have to keep their relationship a secret or else Gabriel’s father would disown him. She couldn’t let that happen. She knew Gabriel has big dreams. She couldn’t let her be the reason why he couldn’t reach them.


“I miss you…” Gabriel softly murmured, caressing her fine hair.


“Me too,” Misha answered.


Gabriel leaned down and kissed her sweetly. “I love you. Time will come that I’ll have the courage to tell them about us.”
“I can wait…”she answered. It was true. She could wait. Though the pain of seeing Gabriel with his fiancé was like a stake driven to her heart.


“I’ll graduate from college a month from now. I’m getting tired of hiding my true feelings,” he whispered. “I want to tell the world how wonderful you are.”


“Let’s just wait for the right moment. We’re still not ready to face the consequences.”


Gabriel tightened his arms around her. “When I’m with you, it feels like I’m inside a magic spell where only the two of us exists.”


***********************************************


“Good evening, Tita, Tito,” Misha said politely to Krisha’s parents as she entered their house. It was their 22th wedding anniversary. They were hosting a big party in their house for celebration. “Happy anniversary.”


Krisha’s mother smiled and kissed her cheek. “Thank you, dear. And you look gorgeous, Misha. I’m sure boys will flutter around you all evening.” Krisha’s father smiled.


Misha smiled self-consciously. She was wearing an off-shoulder royal blue dress. Her black hair piled in a fashionable chignon. A Stuart Weitzman Festivity Black Strappy Heels in satin with Swarovski crystals on her feet. Her only accessories were a pair of aquamarine earrings and choker. “Thank you, Tita.”


“Krisha’s over there,” Krisha’s mother motioned towards a table near the wine fountain.


She bowed and walked over the table and found Krisha, holding her pink cell phone. Monique and Angelie were observing the crowd. “Hey!” she greeted them as she sat down next to Krisha.


The three looked up at her and smiled.”We thought you’re not going to show up.” Angelie said.


“I’m not going to miss this for the world,” she answered. “Mom couldn’t decide what hairstyle I should use.”


“Well, she did a great job on you,” Monique said, “You look fantabulous.”

Their attention was diverted to the make-shift stage. Krisha’s parents were there. And Gabriel was next to them. He looked dashing on his three-piece black suit and red silk tie. But he was not alone. His fiancée, Leila, was standing next to him. Her beauty breath-taking.


She felt jealousy sweep through her, it was so intense that she didn’t notice she was holding her glass to tight before Angelie told her in a startled voice.


“Misha! Is there something wrong?”


“Huh?”


“You’re holding your glass like you mean to break it!” Angelie exclaimed.


She quickly loosened her grip. “Nothing. I just remembered that Mrs. Chemistry gave me extra assignments.”


Monique laughed. “Just that? You can finish that in less than an hour! You’re a straight A++ student.”


Gabriel’s father stood in front of the microphone and cleared his throat to catch the guests’ attention.”We are gathered here tonight to celebrate our 22th anniversary. And we are thankful for your support. The crowd clapped politely. “We would like to take this opportunity to formally announce the engagement of our son, Gabriel Clarence, to Leila Van Roine.” The crowd cheered louder. Leila smiled to them as Gabriel silently held her hand. His face was void of any emotion.


Little daggers of pain attacked Misha’s heart. Tears threatened to sting her eyes. She tried to control her emotion. She couldn’t afford to cry in front of her friend now. She couldn’t afford to blow up her cover.


“I’m just going to the powder room,” she excused as she stood up.


“Okay,” Monique answered.


Krisha caught up with her as she entered the living room. “Are you okay, Misha?” she inquired in a worried voice. “You look pale!”


“I’m okay. I think I just need to lay down for a bit,” Misha answered.


“Rest in my room.” Krisha escorted her upstairs to her room. “Just come down if you’re feeling better, okay?”


She nodded as Krisha closed the door behind her. At least she was alone now. She could pour her feelings out without anyone seeing her.


She closed her eyes as she leaned back on the bed. She tried to drain the jealousy from her system. But it remained intact. Tears began to blur her eyes.


She loves Gabriel. But could she face the consequences for their illicit love affair? Could she stand up and fight for her? Would Krisha still be her best friend after she learns the truth? Or would she think of her as a traitor?


She remembered the first time she saw Gabriel. She was new in the neighborhood and was exploring around when she officially met him.


**************************************************************************************

She sat down in a park bench with a sigh. She has been walking for an hour now. Then her attention was diverted to the person sitting in the bench across her. It was a boy holding a book. His fair hair glinting against the mild sunlight. He has the bluest eyes she has ever seen.


The boy suddenly looked up and smiled at her. She looked away, blushing. Her first day in the neighborhood and she got caught staring at a boy.


“Hi!” the boy said. “Are you new in the neighborhood?” I haven’t seen you around.” His voice was like wind chimes on her ears. Soft. Melodius.


“Yes,” she managed to squeak despite her embarrassment. “We moved in a day ago.”


The boy nodded and closed his book. He stood up and walked towards her. “I’m Gabriel Clarence.” He extended his hand to her.


“I’m Misha dela Cruz,” she answered and took his hand. His grip was firm and cool.


“Welcome to the neighborhood,” he said with a gorgeous smile.


******************************************************************************

She heard a soft click from the door.


“Misha…”


She looked up and found Gabriel gazing down at her. Sadness, longing, and pain were visible on his blue eyes.


“Gabriel,” she said weakly. She stood up and quickly dabbed her palms on her eyes, ruining her mascara on the process. “Why are you here? You should be downstairs.”


Gabriel suddenly pulled her into a tight embrace. “I’m sorry…” he murmured, “God knows I don’t want to hurt you. I’m such I coward…I’m sorry.”


She pulled away from him. “What are you saying, Gabriel?” she laughed without humor. “You haven’t done anything wrong.”


“I have,” Gabriel answered, looking straight into her.”Even if you don’t tell me, I know I’m causing you pain.” He exhaled. “I’m tired of playing games with father. I’m tired of following all of his orders. I’m tired of being his puppet. And I’m tired of being your paramour. I want to be more than your lover.” Then he pulled her back into his arms. “I can’t bear losing you. Not ever. I’m going to stop playing games. I’m ready to face the consequences now.” And with that, Gabriel broke away from her and walked out the room.


******************************************************************************


Mishap smiled to herself as she baked cookies in their kitchen. It was a sunny afternoon. She was really happy. Today was Gabriel’s graduation.


The wind blew from her open window and touched her cheeks. It was cold, despite the warm weather outside. She shivered, and closed the window just as she saw Krishna’s pink Mercedes Benz stop in their driveway.


Krisha appeared in the kitchen’s doorway minutes after, ashen face. A black leather organizer on her hands.


“Krisha,” Misha said, worried, “What’s wrong?”


Krisha broke into sobs. “Gabriel….” She sobbed hard. “Gabriel’s gone. He died in a car accident.”


The cookie tray she was holding clattered to the floor, spilling cookies everywhere. She felt numb. It was like her heart had stopped beating. Tears began streaking her face without consent.


Krisha approached her and embraced her, still crying. Then she pulled away and gave her the black leather organizer. GC was written in the cover in silver ink. “I found this on the compartment of his wrecked car. I thought you should have it.”


“Why?” Misha asked her in confusion.


“I know you love Gabriel… And Gabriel loves you…I know you have been seeing each other in secret…I know you are the reason why Gabriel broke his engagement with Leila…I know it all…But I kept it to myself...You are my best friend…And Gabriel is my brother…I want you two to be happy.”


“I’m sorry,” Misha whispered. “Your father—“


“Shh…” Krisha interrupted. “You don’t have to explain anything.”


Misha opened the organizer with shaking hands. It was Gabriel’s diary. Pictures of her were neatly tucked in the cover’s inside. It contained narrations of every rare moment they were together. His feelings poured out on it. All his worries. His dreams for them. And poems dedicated for her. She reached the last unblank page of the organizer. It was dated today.


Misha slumped down in the floor and cried harder. Because written in the page were the words:



TODAY, I’M GOING TO PROPOSE TO MISHA. :)


************************************************************************


Tears were streaming down her face as she opened her eyes. The pain in her heart has had the same intensity since the day she learned he was gone. His memories still tear her apart. She couldn’t let go of him. She just couldn’t.



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MWM062697 said...
Aug. 18, 2012 at 12:00 pm:
So lovely and sad. Please write more!
 
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