Twice to Love | By: Jonas Ermitano | | Category: Short Story - Love Bookmark and Share

Twice to Love

Some of the words are not spelled or used properly, the use of punctuation marks in some sentences is wrong as well. I am so sorry for the wrong grammar. I do not know how to write in English well, but hope you will enjoy this...=)

Twice to Love

Part 1: Illuminating Darkness

A lot may only believe on those that are possible, things that can happen for sure but if you would ask someone if impossible things can come true, they might be in doubt with what they will answer you. Believing before seeing is one hard thing for sure because we only believe in things we can see. However, believing in someone or something that could not happen may really come true because that is what dreams are made of – creating possibilities beyond imagination. Creating happenings that we might think of at first – impossible.

When I was little, I would always scream because I am afraid of darkness. I am scared of its presence but could not be able to get rid of it. As years continue to pass by, I came to realize that this darkness whom I am afraid of became my only companion. I am not scared of it anymore and I learn to accept the fact that in the world where I belong all that I can be with is darkness, and nothing more.

At times, I want to get out in this world. I want to experience something different, something others enjoy, and something I thought I can also be able to enjoy. But things turned out differently and I could not do anything but to admit to myself that this dream of mine will only remain as a dream forever.

I am Adrianne. I’m sixteen years old and I am normal. Actually far from what the word normal is. I live in a small community in the northwestern part of London, the town of Seidenberg. I am the only child of Alice and Richard Edwards. My parents always told me that I am like everybody else but deep inside me I know that is not true because I was never been able to be like everyone else. I am different.

I do not go to school. My home is my school and it is where my teacher Ms. Janice taught me the first words I could read and write. I took my book beside me and opened it as I push my fingers back and forth and uttered the words “Don’t give up.” I know that the usual feeling I always had suddenly occurred in me again, an unexplainable feeling of deep misery that makes me want to end everything in my life. I continue to move my fingers and the next line I read says “Hope could come everywhere.” I closed the book and I could not help it but to cry again. I cried as softly as I could. I do not want anyone to hear me. I do not want them to pity me.

“When you cry that does not mean you are weak. When somebody tells you how they care for you, that does not mean that they only pity you. You are a strong girl Adrianne. I know. I believe in you. You will soon find your happiness.” A voice said as I receive a light pat on my back shortly after the statement. The sweet voice, the gentle touch, there is only one person who could be in my back right now. “Ms. Janice?” I said. She used her handkerchief again to wipe away my tears asking me if I want to go to the park for an afternoon walk. I agreed and so does mom and dad.

Ms. Janice guided me towards a bench. She asked me to sit there for a moment and freshen up myself with the cold afternoon breeze while she will buy something to eat and drink for both of us. I sat there and listen to the people around me. There are laughing voices that echoed in the thin air. There are people talking about things which I could not relate to, like the bluish – pink sky, the orange sun and the yellow maple leaves. What I know is that the sky is blue, the sun is yellow and the leaves are green, I did not know that they can change their colors too. I am curious about it. Maybe because in my world colors do not change, in fact there is only one color all through out, and that is black. The more I think of what they are talking about the more I feel insecure, the more I feel separated form this world.

“Hi, how are you?” a voice said. It came from someone who is beside me, a man that is, form the tone of his voice. I did not answer. I do not want to. Still he is so persistent to keep on talking that when he asked me if I am ok, I told my self to answer him, to stop him from talking once and for all. “Yes I am. Please go away.” I said and stood up from the bench. I tried to walk but eventually stepped on something that cause me to loose my balance. Just as I thought I would really fall for good, I felt somebody holding me on my back. It was a warm one.

“You better be careful next time miss.” The person holding me said. The voice was the same one as with the person who is sitting next beside me in the bench a while ago. I could not respond to him. Now, not that I don’t want to talk to him, but it’s just because I just simply can’t. I do not know why I have this strong feeling of liking this guy who helped me out from my foolish antics, maybe it’s because that I haven’t been able to interact with anyone else except of course those who are staying with me at home and that includes my teacher in the list. Speaking of my teacher….

“Are you hurt honey?” Ms. Janice said with much worry a couple of minutes after the incident. The guy must have told her what happened since they kinda talk about it. “Please honey; do not do such things while no one is watching you. It’s just a luck that this good guy is here to save you” she said. “Well, it’s all ok. I guess I’ll better get going now. By the way I’m Elrick.” The guy said. “Elrick” I told myself. “I’m Adrianne” I replied. “Adrianne” he repeated in a different tone. I did not know what he was thinking while repeating my name but I guess whatever it is, I will like it.

We left the park at six when the church bell rang. Here in our town, church bells rang four times a day. Every six in the morning and in the evening and every twelve noon and twelve midnight. Well, that gives me a great help since I will not bother anymore to ask someone its evening already. The sound of the bell does the job. They inform me especially if it is midnight.

I am on my bed that night trying to remember my park encounter when it strikes twelve. I do not know why until now I could not feel any sign of drowsiness, maybe because I liked that moment when we are still on the park. Truth is that, I like the person I encountered at that moment. I am attracted to someone whom I saw for the first time. Sorry, I heard for the first time is the appropriate sentence. What happened to me? Even I forgot that I am….well….different.

I sketched the contours of his face in my mind trying to create an imaginary replica of what he might look like. Whenever I think of him….I mean the incident, I got that strong desire of having myself live in the world of colors. I want to be cured. Something that did not entered my mind for years. But, do I still have hope? I mean, is there someone who is that kind to give up what he has just to fulfill this selfish wish of mine? I know no one will dare to.

My next schedule for my doctor will be tomorrow and dad did a lot of searching already to find a donor for me. I told him to stop looking because no one will give up the something that I need. He patted me on my head and told me not to loose hope. “Honey, all our hopes is within you. When you came into this world you are everything for us that is why I am determined to do everything that I can, so please do not let us down.” “Okay dad, I will, I know. I will.” I said to him “or not” I added to myself.

Days continue to pass and it seems that the longer I try forget about Elrick, the more I want to see him. I would always make excuses just to visit the park and always tells my teacher to let me sit in the same bench where Elrick and I first met. At last, after all this days of waiting for someone whom I know would not come but just keep on repeating to myself that he will, no signs of him appeared. I mean not a single one.

One day, I woke up early in the morning. I get my “helping stick” as what I called it beside my bed and walked a few steps towards the window. I pretended that I am waiting for someone. Someone whom I know would never come. I did it because I just want to.

All of a sudden I heard something from the balcony of my room. I forgot to close it last night and someone might be there. He must have climbed the built-in stairs used by chimney cleaners and ended up in my balcony. I felt a jolt of scare running through my nerves. I stand still, not trying to move even a little bit. In my mind, if someone suspicious will go near me, I will hit him with my stick. A few minutes passed and nothing unnecessary happened.

“Oh well Addy, you are imagining things again. No one would dare to climb through that stairs anyway, besides, even the chimney cleaners are afraid to fall that they tend to use the alternative stairs provided by the household to clean the chimneys from the inside of the house. Who would be a fool to climb a five story high ladder?” I told my self as I gradually regain my senses.

When did I start imagining things? I guess it’s not too long since it started. Recently I am making this “imagination” thing as a habit. I never knew that I would go this far for someone, but he is the reason why I wanted to live in the parallel world where normal people enjoy. Actually, he gave me something that I loose years ago, and that is hope.

I sat on a chair and started to sing a lullaby when my teacher went in my room and sat beside me. I told her about what I went through earlier and asked her if there really is someone other than me in my room. She stood up to check if there really is and whispered to me “None”. I was relieved and so we started our lessons for the day. She taught me a song.

A Touch of Hope

In this world, you may loose yourself
In this world, you might always stumble
But remember, there’s always someone
Someone to help you stand and help you in your way

Whenever you fell down
Whenever you feel alone
Just keep in mind there’s always someone
Who can give you a touch of hope


If it keeps dark at times
It would never last
For darkness always fades
And light always prevails

If you cry at times
It would never last
For tears always fades
And smiles will always prevail

(Repeat Chorus twice *Fading in the second time you repeat it*)


Let your smile be the hope
Let His words be the truth
Let love set you free
And relieve your misery

Let hope be the way
To show you the right path
And feel the genuine happiness
From a touch of His hope.

I know Ms. Janice taught me that song because there is something she wanted me to understand and I now I get it. I have to believe that there is still a chance. I have someone who is always with me, and that is God. He is always beside me, and never failed to help me even once. I know that everything has a reason. I know that He will only give problems we can solve and I know He wants us to be happy. In time, I know I will be able to see your world, the world of colors. In my mind I told myself that in time, I would also be able to see him again. In time I will and I believe.

I Believe

If everything you can see is darkness
If everything you feel is sadness
Don’t give up and just believe
Believe that you will surpass this

When you think you could not do it
When you think it could not happen
Just believe that it will
And I’m sure, that it will.


I know that I can
I know that I will
Because I believe
I believe that I can

It’s just a matter of trust
It’s just a matter of hope
That gives you the reason
To believe that happiness is waiting, for you



Now that I know, now that I found you
I will never let it go
I will never loose that hope
Coz I believe. I believe in you

Dreams and goals can be fulfilled
Love and happiness could be achieved
Everything you wish for will come true
If you only believe……if you only believe….. that you can.

I smiled and went to my bed to take a rest. I am feeling happy now, the feeling I thought I could never try. I know that because I came to understand things which I could not figure out at first. In my dreams I told my self that I can be able to see him. I can and I am sure.

Two weeks passed but still he does not show himself up. My imaginations would always fool me. There are times that I could feel someone is with me. I did not bother to think of it deeper because I know I am only “imagining things.”

I woke up early one day after I saw the image I use as a representation for him. The image of a lad smiling at me. It is approximately three weeks since I first saw him. I guess it was enough for me to realize the fact that he will never show up again.

I stood up from my bed and walked around my room. When I felt that my stick landed on something bulky. I pushed it harder and a voice said “ouch!” Somebody is in my room. I tried to scream but a hand stopped my mouth from doing so. I have a feeling that I felt this kind of touch before but could not be able to tell how or when because I am pretty much worried of my situation right now. In an instant I felt scared and do not know what to do. I needed something to calm me down and I do not have any idea if what would it be. In my mind, I am thinking that he might kill me. He might be a burglar. There are gossips in town about a burglar who is raiding homes, but then again I opposed my own thoughts because I know it would be ridiculous for someone to rob a house at daytime.

” It’s me,” the man whispered in my ears. Now, it was all I need for me to calm down. I recognized his voice. I came to recognize his touch as well. In that instant I thought that if ever he is really a burglar, I would be very glad give everything he asks. Unfortunately, he’s not.

He loosens his hand on my mouth and eventually released it. We sat on the floor. Of course I do not know if he is beside or in front of me but who cares. All I know is that he is near me and that already satisfied me. He stood up and I asked him if he is leaving. “No, I’m not; I will only lock the door. You know, for security reasons.” He said. I chuckled and he asked me why I responded to his answer that way. “Is it ok with you? Am I invading your privacy that much?” he asked. “No not at all” I said “go on, Officer” I added.

He went near me again after that security assurance. He told me that he does not have any bad intention in going in my room and keeps on repeating it. He would always stress that what he only intend to do is too see me. I feel like blushing because I know that I am blushing already. I asked him if why he wants to see me and that gave us both a dead air. He was silent for a few minutes and eventually he said “I like to know you better. I have never been interested with anyone aside from you. I wanted to have you as a friend. Could I?” I put my hand on my chin and pretended that I am thinking over it seriously. “Is it ok?” he asked me. “Uhmm…well I guess your provisions are good enough. So I accept.” I replied.

I came to know him better and learned that he is watching me all this time from a far, riding his bicycle. If he could have a chance he would climb the built-in ladder to take a closer look at me. He also told me that he did such things because he wanted to ask me if I could be his friend but every time he has a chance, Ms. Janice arrives. I came to know how sad his life is, and understand why he will do such things just to ask me to be his friend. He did not have any friends at all. I asked him why and he simply answered “because I am different.”

Now, I know that I am not imagining things this whole time. Those sounds I heard are genuine and I am sure that it came from him. I did not ask him why even at night time he went through my room sneakily because I do not have the courage to do so. We talked for nearly an hour more when somebody knocked at the door. “Addy, are you crying again?” the voice asked. “No, I don’t Ms Janice” I responded with a shout. I heard El’s motion as he went near me and whispered in my ears again “I need to go, see you tomorrow” he said. I just smiled as he left. I stood up and opened the door. “Is there someone with you?” “No one is with me” I replied “Really, no one except...” “Except?” “Except hope.”

I was really happy that day that I tend to smile at regular intervals. I could not concentrate on the lessons of my teacher. I do not know why, but I could not erase his words in my mind especially when he told me he would see me again tomorrow. It’s as if I want time to move fast of even just speed up a little for the next day to come. Well, now I know, when you are full of hope, you are really impatient. “Addy, could you repeat what I just told you earlier?” Ms. Janice asked. “El...” “El?” she repeated with a tone of confusion. “Oh, sorry what I mean to say is that El Dorado is the magical land of gold.” I said. Yeah “gold “I added to myself.

That night was long, I mean long for me because I thought that every second is equivalent to an hour physiologically. The calm evening breeze entered my room as I tried to take a nap. I intentionally left the glass pane open just in case El will come to visit me again. I am getting a major disorder in my mind that is. I know something is wrong but I liked it. I like that feeling, when a wrong can become right.

“Addy...” a voice kept on repeating my name as I tried to leave dreamland. I went to sleep late last night. I could feel that my eyes still resist on opening voluntarily. I did somehow manage them to obey my order. When I woke up I could feel someone is beside me. “The door?” I asked. “Secured” he replied. Here I am again, stuck with that answer of his. I do not know what I will say next so I just keep quiet for a few minutes waiting for his next move. He did not do anything, nor talk anything. I felt impatient that I could not help my self but to ask if he is still there. I just herd a soft chuckle and that is an enough answer to my question.

El taught me a lot of things about life. Things that Ms. Janice thought me already, but when it was El teaching me those things I could feel its essence in a different way. Later did I learn that he is also a good singer. If ever we have a longer time to spend together especially on weekends we would always sing a song while he plays the piano. Luckily until now, none in our household discovered my secret relationship with him – I mean secret friendship with him.

Being close with El is one thing I am happy of. I have a reliable and understanding friend, someone who understands how I really feel, somewhat how he can relate to me in almost everything. At times, I wonder if how can he understand what I want, maybe it’s because he too is different just like me. Different in a sense I could not really figure out. He always tells me that he was never been normal his entire life but when I asked him the reason why, he would always change the topic.

One time, he went to my room through the fire exit. A few days ago we think of a way on how he can visit me with less hassle in his part and the locked fire exit door in my room is the perfect solution. Now sneaking into my room will be much easier for him.

It is already half past ten that morning but Ms. Janice isn’t still in my room. I wondered if something wrong happened to her. Suddenly someone knocked at my room. “Ms. Janice? Is that you?” I asked. “No Alice, it’s me” the voice answered. “Dad?” I replied. “Yes it’s me” he said. I opened the door and told him to come in. He is acting strange in a way I could not understand so when we are sitting on a small coffee table I asked him if there is something wrong. At first he could not answer me; I could only hear short coughs at regular intervals for about a minute or two from him. I asked him again the same question in a more worried tone and that is when he told me that my teacher left for France early this morning to return to her family in Versailles. He told me that Ms. Janice’s father is seriously ill and he summoned her to return home. I asked him why she did not inform me about this and dad replied saying that she received the call, late last night and she must urgently leave for France. He also added that my teacher did not bid goodbye to me because she knows what will be my reaction and she can’t bear to say goodbye to me as well. Dad said that she will return in no time but I could feel that he is just telling me this to ease the sad feeling I have right now. “Would you like me to leave you for a while to give you time to…” “Yes dad, I think it would be best if I will be alone for the moment” I said.

I do not know how to react with what I just discovered earlier. I have been with Ms. Janice since I was five and when I learned that she already left the country, I could not explain the kind of sadness I felt. I cried without me noticing it. I wish there could be someone with me right now who can help me ease the pain I am experiencing.

Tears rolled down my cheeks as I sat on my bed remembering the words Ms. Janice always tells me when I felt someone wipe off the tears in my eyes. I could easily recognize who it was and when I asked him why he is still on my room he told me that he went to check me out again because he has a feeling that I am not ok. I told him what happened and he embraced me lightly telling me comforting words. I calm down after a few minutes and he stayed with me for a little longer trying to cheer me up. I recover a few days after. El’s words and comfort helped me greatly. If it wasn’t him who is with me, I do not know if how much longer it would take for me to accept what Ms. Janice did.

It was around ten in the evening that night and I am sitting on my bed talking to myself. I keep on arguing with myself if El is also in love with me. Silly me, thinking of things I should not, however, I am too curious too know. He shows deep affection with me at times. He would always be there when I need him and he is always ready to hear me out. I guess it’s a normal thing friends do and it’s just I who puts a different interpretation to the attitude he displays towards me. “El do you love me?” I shouted suddenly. I do not understand why I did that but my mind just told me to do so. Maybe it’s just a way in order for me to express what I want to ask to someone who does not feel the same way as I do to him. I know no one would hear me because they are already asleep so I shouted a few more statements. “ I Love you Elrick. I wish I could see you. I wish I will always be with you.” I said.

“I love you too” a voice whispered in my ears, and with that I tried to speak but he put his index finger on my lips “Shhh…I know...” he said. Now, I could feel that…no…it must be a joke, I told my self but I am not yet asleep so it must be true. “Assure me I am not dreaming.” I told him. He kissed me lightly on my lips and said “Your not”. I felt numb in an instance and do not know what to do or what to say. I felt another unexplainable feeling – a feeling I want to last forever.

He sat beside me and now I am more comfortable to talk with him while his arms embrace be. Before this night, when ever he comes for a chat he would always put his arms on my shoulders, hold my hands or even lay down his head on my lap. I will not deny that I want what he is doing but I am uncomfortable with it as well but that was different from now. “Why are you still here?” I asked him. “I am always staying here with you all the time since I learned about what happened to your teacher. I want to assure that you are not taking things too much and in case you would like to ask for someone to talk with, I am just here with you.” He replied “so it means that you hear everything I said each evening I thought I am alone?’ “Yes.” He answered. I blushed thinking how dumb I am not to realize that he is with me all this time. I am embarrassed. “I love you Addy, since the first time I saw you. You are always special to me and in this few days when I discovered that you too like me as well; I do not know how to react. I did have that enough courage to tell you that I felt the same way to you. But this night, I know I could not withstand not to confess to you.”

Love is one thing that makes me want to see El badly. He is so happy to know that I am eager to see again. El stayed at my room longer each day making me enjoy through his stories of adventures, his songs and of course his love. If I am not at home, I am with my dad in the hospital for my check up.

El is the only man I love and I will love. Our relationship though, is still not open because we keep it between the two of us since my parents might not allow me to be him. They are supportive in my decisions but when it comes to love they would always act overprotective. I guess, keeping our secret to them will assure me that I can be with El.

Time flies fast and without me noticing it, it’s been four months since El and I became lovers. He is really a thoughtful person and does not forget our “monthsaries”
as what we called it. During the length of time we are into this secret relationship of ours, Orinda, one of our household helpers discovered our secret. It happened when I told my mom if I could go out for an afternoon stroll in the park and she agreed only if I have someone in company. So Orinda went with me. She saw me and El holding hands. She left me in a bench to buy something to eat. El knew that I am in the park and so he went there. I told him that my house helper might see us but he is too heard headed that insists on staying with me. I could not do anything since I don’t really want him to leave and so there it goes, Orinda went back seeing both of us. I was scared that time to what will her reaction be. Gladly she was been so happy to see me with El and agreed to keep this little secret of ours between the three of us and so when we returned home. I asked mom if she could be my personal helper. Of course mom agreed.

Having someone discovered our secret is a bit of an advantage to our part since I can go somewhere aside from staying in my room with out any worry of being caught with El. Orinda is always going out with me and so my parents felt secured to allow me to get out of the house.

It is three days before my birthday and I know that El is up to something again. Perhaps surprise me. I know his attitude. He would always pretend as if nothing special is about to come and then when that day comes he will really surprise me. On our first moth month he composed a lullaby for me and played the piano early in the morning causing me wake up. I do not know what he is up to know but I know I will like it.

He went to my room one night and we talk with each other. His tone though is somewhat different than the usual him. I asked him if anything is wrong and he told me there is nothing I must worry about. “Addy, just remember that what ever happens I am always here for you. You may not see me but I am beside you” “I know El, I know.” I told him. He kissed me on my cheeks and bade a good night to me.

The following day I wake up with a smile knowing that it is my seventeenth birthday. I went out of my bed joyfully. Someone suddenly knocked in my door. “Who is that?” I asked. “Miss, please go gout of your room.” “Why Orinda? You sound so nervous.” I said. “Young master el…he is…” I did not finish Orinda’s statement and went out of my room in a rush. Something must have happened to El. I tried to locate where our elevator is. Orinda helped me out and we went to our living room in the ground floor. I could hear people talking. I recognized the voice of my dad and my mom and another guy whom I heard for the first time.

“Addy...” dad said as he saw me. “This is Charles Brandon Lewis.” “Lewis?” I repeated. It is also El’s last name. “Yes you are right Adrianne. I am related to El. I am his older brother” I was been speechless after what he said. What could be the reason why El’s brother is here? Maybe they found out what is happening between the two of us “I can explain.” I said “No need Addy, we understand you. Brandon did it in your behalf.” Mom said. “Then will you...” “Yes we allow you honey.” Dad answered “however…” “However what?” I asked. “He is on his way to France now. My mom ordered him to be returned to France as soon as possible. He ...” “He left me?” I shouted on the top of my voice.” No Honey, he did not. It’s just that…” “Just that what mom?” I said.

They told me what happened the night Elrick went home after leaving me in my room. He collapsed in front of their house. He is badly ill right now. Cancer, that is what his disease is. The moment I learned about it, I could not move. I could not speak. All that I did is to cry.

Elrick Lewis, is an international pop star from France, a part of a noble family. He is known for his amazing talent in singing but disappeared mysteriously in the big screen four years ago. It was been believed that he acquired a chronic ailment but no one is able to tell what it is, since no traces of him can be found. That is who he really is. Brandon told me that he left his career to enjoy his remaining life to live in contentment. He said that when he saw me, he able to see a reason why he must continue to live. It’s just that recently his ailment bothers him too much but he refused to return back to France to be treated.

I could not accept the reality I am facing right now, even if how many times I tried to let myself understand, that what happened between me and Elrick will just be a memory of the past, a love story that will not have a happy ending. This is not a fairy tale, I know that, but if I could choose between reality and fairy tales, I would choose to live in a fairy tale world where I know love stories always have a happy ending but then again I do not have any choice at all.

I keep on crying on my bed. Maybe if tears will continuously fall on my cheeks, it will soon dry up. However, even if it stops from pouring, my heart will never cease on bleeding.

El meant everything to me. He is my strength and now that it’s only a matter of time before he will completely leave me, here I am doing nothing. But what can I do? What else can I do? Should I let him stay and suffer? Of course, I could not do it.

Time moves fast and at last I could hear the church bell’s sound. A signal when the moon will took over the place of the sun. Where light becomes darkness and when my love becomes no more. I stood up. I made up my mind. I may not be able to let him stay with me, but still I want to be with him, even for a little bit longer. It’s my chance to prove my love from him, something I must do. It’s now my turn to exert effort in order for us see each other again.

I sneak from our home with Orinda. She agrees with my decision and she is willing to be of help. We went to the airport hoping that we can still catch up with him before he will leave Seidenberg. Seven o’ clock is the schedule of his flight and it’s exactly fifteen minutes before that time.

We arrived at the airport and I hurriedly went out from the taxi and went up the stairs. I stumbled for a couple of times but I stood up and keep on moving. “Ms Edwards? Why are you here?” a man said. It was Paul, one of the guards who is working for my dad and sometimes he is also my private bodyguard as well.
“I need to get in the passengers lounge”
“There is someone I must see. Quick, before it’s too late.”
“But miss your dad might….”
I did not let him finish, I just ran forward not minding whom I bumped through with. At last, I became exhausted and could not be able to keep on running. I stop for a while, catching my breath with my hands on my knees. I paused for a moment, gather all the courage that I can obtain and shouted to the top of my voice “Elrick!”

The buzzing voices of the people around me stopped, and there was silence. I did not know if in which part of the airport I am right now. I almost forgot Orinda as well. I forgot shame. I stood still, hoping that he might hear me, although there is only a very small possibility that he could – or maybe none at all.

“Addy,” a voice said. I turned back and embraced him. I know it was him. I know he will come.
“I heard you in the escalator while we are on our way to the second floor. Your voice is really loud”
“Stop joking around” I reply with a simple grin as tears fall from my eyes. He loosens his embrace and eventually holds my hands.
“I’m sorry….”
“I know…shhh...”
“I must go”
“Do not be sad. I promise I will return as soon as I can and even though I could not be able to give you a present this year, I promise I will give you one. So please believe in me.”
“But what if you won’t be able to come back again?”
“I will. Just wait for me.”
“I couldn’t…”
“Just do it.” He said. He kissed me again and the last word I heard from him is “Farewell.”

A longing heart waiting for someone to return – that is what I came to be. I am sitting on a chair remembering El. He was never been erased in my mind this past months. I always believe in him and he never puts me down. He will come back, I know. He will come back to see me.

“A good news Adrianne, “my dad said gleefully as he entered my room. “Did he return?” I asked. “No it is not that.” He responded. “Then what is it dad?”
“At last, after years of waiting, someone is willing to donate you his…”
“And when?”

The next thing I remember was that I am lying on a hospital bed after a successful eye transplant operation. My dream to see is not just a dream anymore, yet I am not completely happy because what I really want is for me to be with El in this special moment of my life.

My donor was an anonymous man who refused to tell hi identity. I want to thank him whoever he is, that is why I told my doctor that the first person I want to see is my donor.

We went out of my hospital room with bandages still on my eyes. Thoughts of being able to see El grew out as I’ve decided to look for him after I can already go out of the hospital. I will surprise him for sure.

We entered the room of my donor, where I can hear no one. “Where is he?” I asked. The doctor slowly unfolded the bandages that covered my eyes. I could see the light…something I wished for the past eighteen years of my life to happen. I really thought I could never be able to see but I guess I was wrong.

The first thing that I saw is not a person but a bouquet of roses, on top of a hospital bed. I went near it and saw a note placed neatly beside it. “Your donor’s last request” my doctor said “is to give this to you.”
“What last request? You mean….”
“Yes, my dear you are right.” Dad said
“He does not want you to know about this. When he died he told me to keep this to you as a secret until you can finally see. He does not want to see you mourn for him. He said that he loves you and will always stay with you no matter what happens.”
I know who my donor is now. Shocked with what I discovered, I became numb and even I did not notice that tears are already falling down my face. After a few minutes, I get the note and opened it. It was written in Braille, so I closed my eyes to read it and it says:

“Addy…Happy Birthday”

- Elrick-

Part 2
One Love

What will you do to forget about something? Probably, you will leave to go somewhere far. That is exactly what I did. I went away from the place that reminds me about someone who loved me but eventually leave me behind. It takes time – but soon, I was been able to move on without him.

Life leaves us a lot of choices to choose which can lead to a lot of conclusions. I made my choice and I was wrong. I keep on letting myself believe that he will come back but later did I learn that he could never do so. Am I a fool because I believe that he will still return after I let him go? In the first place, I never did anything to stop him because all that I did is to follow whatever he tells me to do.

Well, I can forget about what happened but I know I could never forget the pain I felt. Not until I made this vow never to fall in love with anyone again. I guess I did this not to forget but to use it as an excuse for my weakness.

France, England and the rest of Europe is not a suitable place for me to stay, so after passing a special examination to be able to go to collage, I choose to study in Cleaveland University, in a semi – urban society, west of Virginia, USA.

My first weeks in school are not really that good, though a lot seemed to treat me nicely. It’s really hard to adjust in an entirely new environment away from your parents. It is also exceptionally hard for me to locate different buildings where my classes are held since the campus is as huge as an entire town. I took driving lessons for two months in Oregon just to acquire a driving license and own a car which can somehow be of help to cut the time I spend in traveling from one department to another. My parents bought me a stylish Mercedes which added to the reasons why a lot of students at school always stares at me.

I stayed in the school’s boarding house but my room is a bit oversized for me to occupy alone so I came up with the idea of having a room mate. Leanne, a lady from a Spanish descent became my room buddy. In just a matter of days we became close with each other; though she often speak Spanish words I could hardly understand or could not even understand at all. She is a nice fellow, always smiling and never forgets to greet good morning every day. She is also an early riser which is beneficial on my part because I always wake up late.

I indulge my self in my studies and explore more of my abilities this past three months of my stay in Cleaveland. I enjoyed school and learn to make new friends, improving the social side of me. I do not really know when did it started but I was been surprised to learn that I am the talk of the town in school – more like a little ms. Popular that is. It could be because I often join stage plays, musicals, even scholastic decathlons and became a member of the swimming club.

It’s really different to be just like everyone else. El’s last gift to me changed my entire life but if I was been given a chance to trade my sight for his life, I would gladly do it. I do not want to talk anymore about the past experience that I have between me and my deceased boyfriend so let us just return to my school life.

A couple of days after our winter vacation which I spend with my family in Hawaii and turned the cold winter into a summer heat experience, a new classmate was introduced to us by Professor Morgan, our teacher in theatrical arts. He looks like everyone else and there is nothing special about him but as what they say first impressions isn’t always right.

Leonard, as what they call him is a transferee student from a university in Paris, France. He is an opera artist whose plays were staged in Milan and Brussels. He is really good in performing especially in singing which reminded me of someone whom I am trying to forget.

He is my classmate in theater but not in other subjects so we only see each other twice a week for three hours each meeting. Jelene, Ammmie, and Leanne always talks about him and what is irritating about this guy is that they tease me with him. “I do not like him.” I said. “Oh, common Adrianne, we can see that in the way he looks at you in class, he likes you.” Jelene said. “No, you’re talking nonsense again. He does not like me. It’s impossible.” “Addy,” Leanne uttered “you are the school’s most popular girl and a lot of guys want to have you as their girlfriend so it is not impossible that this new guy likes you as well.” “No...” “Addy, are you really serious not to fall in love with anyone? I mean, you haven’t been into love before right? So how can you restrain yourself to love anyone?” Ammie asked. “I guess I need to go back to the dormitory guys, sorry...” I left the group and started to walk back to our boarding house alone. I left my car in the garage so I must walk my way back.

I am about to cry because of what happened earlier. I haven’t even told my friends about Elrick and because of our conversation I unintentionally remember the day I read his note in the hospital. I could not blame Ammie for asking such question because she does not know anything about my past which I kept as a secret till now.

Walking all the way back to our dormitory is really a tiresome thing to do. Oh well, no one will save me now from the foolishness I did after I left my friends and decided to walk back to my room. I could not do anything now but to continue because it will be more shameful if they catch up with me here.

I pass by a food stall and my stomach is asking me to eat now so I stop to buy two oranges. As I am peeling one orange on my way, the other one I’m holding fell and rolled onto the pavement. I look for it in a not so obvious way when someone touch me. I look back and saw Leonard smiling. “Is this what you are looking for? You’d better be careful next time miss.” He said as he handed me the orange. I get it from him and started walking again. “You must’ve been tired already miss. Would you mind if I drive you back to your destination?” he said smiling. “What’s with this guy?” I told myself. “He annoys me a lot” I did not respond to his offer though I know it is impolite but because I am irritated with him I think its best if I continue on my way.

After several steps I fell on my knees. Walking for around five kilometers is not a joke for me; it’s the first time I did this in my entire life. Never did I attempted to walk this long and there is still a couple of kilometers left before I reach my boardinghouse. I stood up and saw this Leonard guy in his car looking at me. “I told you miss. You should accept my offer. You could catch cold.” He insisted. ‘Stop making a fool out of me mister. I know my way back home and I do not need someone to drive back at my apartment since I can still manage to go on my own, so please you’d better get going now. You must’ve something important to do.” I told him. He did not answer back but he smiled and that made me feel uneasy.

I watched as his car went out of my sight. “Geez, that man is really something” I said. I ran as fast as I could so that I can return back before it gets dark. On my way, three drunken men went near me. “Hey miss,” one of the men said “would you not mind staying with us for a bit?’ I am afraid and do not know what to do. I know that these people are up to something bad. I tried to scream but I could not. I am so nervous that even my voice could not be released. “Hey, don’t you know how to give respect?” a voice shouted from behind them. “Who are you?” the other man asked staring at my savior. “A simple passerby” he responded and then without me knowing it the three men engaged in a combat with this mysterious guy whom I can’t see clearly since its dark already. After a few minutes the three drunken men are already lying on the streets. The man went near me. “What’s with young ladies nowadays? They tend to refuse a gentleman’s offer and insisted to go on their own not even knowing the dangers that they can go through in this area. For your information miss, Cleaveland is not as secure as what you might think of it to be because no police station is near this area. In fact, the nearest is more or less a mile away from here” he said. “Hey why did you follow me?” I asked after knowing that it was Leonard. “I am not following you. I’m just a passerby who happens to see a young lady is in trouble with these men.” He replied. I looked at him embarrassed. He is right and he has a point that my stubbornness will lead me to nothing but danger. I should have accepted his offer earlier if I am not that stubborn enough. ‘So should I drive you back?” he said. I could not do anything but to accept his offer to secure my safety.

We arrived on my boarding house past seven in the evening. Inside the car all that I can do is to stare at him. He did not talk either. Before I went out of his car I thanked him and asked him if he wants to go in my room so that I can mend his bruises for him. He said he was ok and I did not bother to insist him but when I saw his face was badly hurt I pulled him out of his car and told him to go in my boarding house. “Hey you are strong for a socialite.” He chuckled. “I’m no socialite, jut keep quiet and don’t get the wrong idea why I’m doing this” I said.

On my room I took out a first aid kit and started my job. He said “ouch” a couple of times and I can’t help my self but to tell him that a guy like him should dot feel pain in such bruises. “Hey, I’m just a human miss, and like everyone else I get hurt at times and I can also feel pain.” “Okay, I get it but why do you keep on calling me miss? I have a name and I know you know who I am.” “Oh Addy you are still the same Addy as ever” he said softly “What did you say again?” “Oh, nothing miss. I’m sorry if I keep on calling you that way. It’s just that I do not really know you name.” Wow, he is really weird. We’ve been classmates for around three weeks already and he still doesn’t know my name. In a class of twenty two students being unable to know your classmates’ names is a crime. “Sure enough you are telling the truth. I’m Adrianne” I said “I’m Leonard” he replied. “I know” I answered.

The door on my room opened and Leanne came in rushing. “Addy, there is a car downstairs blocking the way. Who could be as insane as that person to park a car in a place like...” She did not finish her sentence when she saw me on my bed with Leonard beside me. “Oh my….” She said “Sorry miss, It’s my car” Leonard said. “It’s not like what you’re thinking Lea; he is here because he helped me out earlier and ended up beaten.” I told her. “I think this is enough, I must go home now miss. What I mean to say is Adrianne. Thank you again and a pleasant evening to both of you.” He kissed me on the cheeks and it was the first kiss from a guy other that El that I received. I did not move and the same goes with Lea as we watch him go. When he was gone, Lea shut the door and screamed. “Addy! He kissed you” “Yeah,” I replied to her while touching my cheeks. “Look, you’re blushing” “No I’m not.”

I told her what happened to me when I left them but I did not include the part about El and make up a story to cover it. I told her not to tease me to Leonard and to keep this between the two of us. “I do not want any of our friends to know this Lea, promise me.” “I do” she replied.

After that night, I could not be able to stop thinking about Leonard. I assured myself that I do not like him but the actions I’m doing seems to be a contrary to what I am telling myself. One time during one of our singing rehearsals, I was paired with him. During these past days, I came to be friends with him and he is always with my friends as well. A few months after he became a part of our group and he became George’s best friend, one of our buddies as well. There are times that when we are eating our lunch he is talking only to George and I am curious of what they are talking about. When I asked George about it he would only say “it’s a guy thing”

One of the school’s traditions when celebrating its founding anniversary is a ball which they call “The Spring Night” and we need to go in pairs. More like a prom in high school. A lot expectedly asked me but I tend to refuse them. I intended to go there alone and so when the night of the ball came I am the only girl who does not have a pair.

While everyone is dancing with their partners, I am sitting on my table looking at them. “Alone?” Leonard asked. “Yeah, as usual” I said “Where is your partner?” I added. “I do not have any. I am shy when it comes to girls other than our group and so I ended up without any pair at all.” “You are really different that those other guys out there.” I told him. “Yeah…different.” He replied.

Two days after the spring night, Leonard approached me with something on his hand. “What is this?” I asked. “A present” he replied. “For what occasion?” he gets it from my hands and opened it. Then he went at my back and put it around my neck. “Happy Birthday” he said. “Where did you know that…?” “From Leanne” he said. “Thank you. It’s lovely.” I respond. “Just like you” and with that I turned around and he kissed me on my lips.

It did not enter in my mind that I would fall in love again and no matter how I tried to stop my feelings, in the end Leonard succeeded in making me fall for him completely. George and Leanne became lovers as well. And though pairs arise from our circle of friends we are still intact with each other.

El must really be with me all this time, guiding me and letting me realize that I must not close the doors of my heart because when you love, you are open for possibilities that lie behind your decisions. When you love someone, it is but normal to feel pain because relationships are not always perfect but when you learn to accept the imperfections of each one, it is already “true love.”

After four years we graduated from collage. Leonard and I are still together and I told him and my friends my past encounter with El. They told me it’s ok if I did not tell it to them earlier. Leonard is not angry with me at all for keeping my past relationship a secret to him for so long. He even praised me and told me that I am now strong.

I became a performer and the same goes too with my love. We performed on operas and stage plays which are held in different countries all over the world. Mom and Dad knew about my relationship with him and they want to see him in person so I went back to Seidenberg after a long time. In the plane Leonard, who is now engaged with me asked me if I am ready to go back to my home town. “Yes” I replied “But there is something I must do first” “Okay, I understand”

We did not go directly to London; I postponed our flight and took a detour to France instead. It was Saturday morning and the weather is fair. I went with Leonard to Ascension Memorial Homes after we took our breakfast. We stayed in Leonard’s residence in Paris. It was also when I discovered that he is actually an orphaned duke from the House of Castillio, though royalty is not recognized by the French republic these days.

After searching for El’s Burial place for days, here we are in front of the cemetery’s gate. I want to pay respects to him before I and Leonard get married. We went in and the retainer of the place guided us to his tomb. When we arrived there I am surprised with what I saw. El, whom I did not really see in person, looks exactly the same as Leonard. In the inscriptions on his tomb, the name Elrick Leonard Lewis is written. I looked at him and he smiled. “What kind of relationship have I been up to?” I asked. He hugged me and whispered in my ears. “Haven’t I told you I will always be with you.”
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