“He says I talk too much.”
“He’s the strong, silent type. Besides, actions speak louder than words. What’d you say?”
“I said, ‘I love you.’”
“That’s only three words. Not so bad.”
“But there’s more…”
“Always is, isn’t there?”
“Keep it simple. Stick to the facts. Don’t overanalyze!”
Her friend had a point. Not much to analyze, really.
“Can we talk?”
“I love you.”
“You said that—“
“I know, but…”
“Shhh.” He leaned in for a kiss. A kiss that spoke volumes, just as her friend had said. It was a long kiss. A loud kiss. It left her breathless. “You were saying?”
For a moment, she could not remember. For a moment, words failed her. She longed to be consumed by his kiss, to drown in his eyes. Then she remembered:
Jacob’s contagious laughter spilled throughout the room like daylight creeping through curtains in a sunny afternoon. He told his latest adventure to his friends. It was during Saturdays when he could relax and get together with the other workers at the factory.
“I envy you Jacob,” one of the men told him. “You are lucky! Nailing that pretty brunette, Agnes!”
Jacob gave another boisterous laugh then winked in agreement to the man.
When he reached home, his patient wife was fanning their daughter relentlessly because their electricity was cut off. He merely smiled then sat opposite the sofa and immediately fell asleep.
His wife walked towards him then wiped the sweat off his broad forehead.
“Thank you Agnes,” he slurred.
Anne looked blankly at her husband’s sleeping face. Not knowing what she felt, but immediately tasted salt from her lips.
Ron took two steps, hesitated, then returned to his desk. He stood up again, only to sit down quickly.
He’d been trying to convince himself for the past two hours, should or shouldn’t he ask Marie out?
Ron’s separation from his wife two years ago took a big blow on him. He vowed never to enter another relationship after his failed marriage, but that was before he met Marie.
She was his new co-worker at the office. Her cubicle was several rows opposite Ron’s. Marie broke up with her boyfriend a couple of weeks ago.
“Perfect timing,” Ron told himself.
Ron finally mustered enough courage and approached her, “Marie, can I invite you for dinner tonight?” he said.
Marie flashed a sweet smile at Ron and said, “Sorry… I’m not yet ready,” she stood up and walked away leaving Ron staring frozen at her empty seat.
Laylay and Josephine knew each other for a short while, yet they felt as if they knew each other for a lifetime.
It was raining that night when Laylay heard a knock at her front door. It was indistinguishable whether Josephine’s face was soaked from the rain or from her tears.
“He- left- me-,” cried Josephine through sobs from her chest, she was like a fish out of the ocean gasping for breath.
Laylay hushed her friend and embraced Josephine tighter. “Don’t worry, you still have me. We’ll take care of each other.”
It took a few more minutes before Josephine calmed down. She stopped sobbing and gently sat on the floor with her best friend. She was looking at her tummy and caressed it with her trembling hand.
“Don’t worry Justin, mom and auntie Laylay are here for you.
The panic in the emergency room simmered down like an expertly cooked dish on the fire.
“I will leave you soon,” Eddie said while looking intently at his wife.
“How do you know that?” Lourdes asked while hanging on to each of Eddie’s words.
“I just know, but I am ready now,” Eddie answered her question. These were the words that Lourdes played again and again inside her head while the doctor was telling her that they did all they could for her beloved husband. He lay on the cold stretcher covered with a white blanket.
She unveiled the blanket and reveled her husband’s tranquil pale face. There was a faint smile on his paper white lips.
“Thank you for the ten happy years you spent with me,” Lourdes whispered in Eddie’s right ear then gently kissed his cold forehead.
“Come back to me” were words Jordan remembered. The memory of his wife’s face was drawn in the smog of the city district.
He swung a sledgehammer and started to demolish a wall of an apartment building on Forty-eight Street. A picture of a young couple fell on the floor. He picked it up then brought the wall down.
It was late when he got home, but his daughter waited for him.
“I made dinner dad,” said the teenager.
Jordan sat down with her and tasted the meal.
“Jane, your pot roast is as good as your mom’s,” he remarked.
“Thanks dad, but mom’s is better,” sneered Jane.
Jordan stared blankly at the empty chair beside his. Jane instinctively walked behind her dad’s chair and hugged him tightly.
“She would have came back, dad, if only she could,” Jane said.
Rene had been working overseas for the past three years, a couple of months more, he would be able to come back to his home land.
“I’ll be there when you graduate, Kit,” said Rene on the phone.
Kit heard his father hushed a child’s voice in the background, but disregarded the thought from his mind and said, “That would be great, dad. Mom and I can’t wait to see you again.”
“Take care of your mom until I get there, bye,” Rene replied then hung up.
“Renaldo, be sure to leave us money when you go home and you’d better come back,” a woman snapped.
Rene looked at the young woman holding his child then retorted, “I’ll come back for my son!”
The toddler simply looked at him, perplexed by the look in his father’s face, but smiled back.