Tuesday, March 18, 2014
My Lost Son #OFW25
The next day, we roamed around the Baclaran area to find an apartment for rent. We found one along the Santa Rita Street and we transferred at once along with Mike Luna’s family. We worked together and bought all the household equipments, utensils, furniture, beddings and food. The apartment was huge enough for us and the Luna family that we incorporated our resources to go on with our lives.
One day, Ayah Isabel wanted to talk to me personally that she invited me to a restaurant. We sat down, ordered some food and drink. She started to cry and looked at me into my eyes.
“What’s the matter? Don’t cry, tell me what’s on your mind Ayah, I’m here to listen...don't cry...”
“Marco, I’ll tell you everything, what’s going on while you’re not here...but I believed that I’ve done everything what I could do...”
“Okay go on...I’m here to listen...go on...”
“When you left us, it’s very hard for me to balance my new life with our children. The first few months, you’re sending money and I received it, after that day and until now, I did not get any amount at all. I sent you letters about my situation, but you didn’t answered me...I was still hoping that nothing bad happened to you. I had some debts and loans everywhere that I couldn’t pay it anymore. I was insulted with all these things Marco...," she cried even more where I embraced her totally, I condemned myself deep inside for what I’ve done.
“You want to go home now?”
“No Marc...I’m not finished yet...without money and no one to help me....I called Mike to tell Lina... if she could help me while I’m away...”
“What, away where?” I asked.
“Danielle Gustilo met and offered to help me with my situation...paid all my debts and the hospitalization expenses...I’m pregnant Marco when you left us going to Dubai. I don’t have a choice but accept her offer...”
“What, why did you do that?”
“Because you forget your obligation to us Marco, that’s why....”
“But I sent money through Ronnie Ramirez every month, that’s the truth Ayah!”
“The saddest thing was that...after the hospitalization...she had the baby, a boy...”
I was fuming with anger that I left Ayah in the table and went outside; in front of the restaurant, cursing Danielle and Ronnie. I got hold of the guard’s chair and slashed to the ground. Ayah Isabel went outside to calm me down. I returned to our table with nothing in my mind except to have a revenge for them and had my child back.
“Ayah, please forgive me for whatever damaged I had for you...please love...Ayah, please forgive me?” I cried asking Ayah’s forgiveness.
“I love you truly Marc, and our children...they’re the most important thing in my whole life...”
“Do you know where Danielle’s staying?” as I dried my tears with handkerchief.
“No, Marc, she didn’t give me anything...address, contact number...she just took it...and disappeared...”
“Okay love, calm down, okay? I have to go to Bacolod City...in Edward’s place to get some information and loan some amount from him. Ayah Isabel, for now, be very careful and our children too. Did Mike and Lina knew about this?”
“Yes Marco...they were here helping me coped with my emotional outburst...”
“We’ll go home now to pack my personal things..come Ayah...”
We went home to our new apartment where Ayah prepared some personal things for me in a bag. I kissed her goodbye and the three children. I hailed a taxi cab going to Manila Domestic Airport, got an emergency ticket which I was lucky enough to have one.
It was in the...Year 1987 of November 2, when I went to Bacolod City, Negros Occidental, Philippines.
I seated in a waiting lounge but my mind kept on wondering what and how to go on with my new challenge or was it a part of my dreams? I cursed Danielle more than ever, like a bursting fire of a dragon capable of killing her in an instant. Waiting for my flight schedule was like a thousand years of deluge within me. But everything has an ending, I thought; even the minute cells that lived for hundred years and even Danielle. The more I wanted to erase my thoughts about Danielle, the more it entwined within my soul.
At last, I boarded the plane going to Bacolod City for two hours without any hassles. I’ve got a taxi cab going to Lacson Street where the office and restaurant of Edward Ramirez. It’s seven in the evening when I arrived and observed the surrounding of the vicinity.
The Ilonggo Inasal Restaurant was beautifully constructed according to its concept. Edward really had made his fortune out of hardwork and determination, even though he never dreamed to work abroad. I never realized this notion before I knew Edward when I was a struggling student. He’s my best friend before, until now, but I thought, I did not give him much attention as he did to me. Ronnie Ramirez, his son in Dubai, got to be the reason why Ayah Isabel had done such decision in times of financial difficulty. But also, I had done so much damaged to her. My bruised ego as a father, confirmed deep inside of me that I had to do whatever it takes to be done. Nevertheless, it’s my life and my family that really put in danger after the aftermath of my never-ending dreams.
The restaurant was nearly full of people when I entered, seated near the counter and observed the guests. I stood up going to the counter, ordered broiled chicken and drink, and asked the cashier while paying the bill.
“Hi, do you know Mr. Edward Ramirez...I mean the owner, is he inside the office?"
“Yes sir, just a minute, I’ll send someone to call him.”
“Okay thank you.”
I got my order, seated and began to eat while eyeing for Edward to appear. It’s been half an hour that I stayed waiting for him. I approached the cashier and asked again.
“Hi, where’s Mr. Edward Ramirez?”
“Sir, he said, kindly wait for him, sorry...”
I sat back again and ordered a cup of coffee, still waiting for him. At last, he appeared with a briefcase approaching me at the table.
“Hello my best friend, how are you now?” He greeted me smiling extending his arms and embraced me.
“I’m just quite agitated...angry...here I am, just arrived from Dubai. You’re getting rich my friend!” I said while embracing him.
“Not at all...just luck!”
When he distanced himself from me, a bullet gone through the restaurant wall, hitting the wooden part of the menu board. Another bullets kept on coming continuously from nowhere which made the people inside to panic and chaos ensued.
“Marco, come with me...quick, follow me at the back door!!” Edward grabbed my arm.
I followed Edward not knowing what happened or why? We entered into his car and drove past the Lacson street heading to the city center, then, along the narrow alley going to the vacant lot near the devastated building.
“Marco, come on, quickly, get the spade and help me...quick...” Edward demanded.
“What’s going on Edward...what’s going on..tell me now!!!” I shouted at him.
“Marc, there’s no time...please...I’ll explain it to you later, okay? Trust me...”
I nodded without saying a word, “Okay friend.” We worked together to dug the two wooden boxes, brought to the car and drove up towards the north of Negros island. We stopped at the supermarket; got some food, personal necessities and other things that we needed in that moment. We continued traveling still heading north when Edward started the conversation.
“Marc, my friend, are you hungry? Help yourself.”
“I’m full...in your restaurant...waiting for you, isn’t it my friend?"
“Ohhhh, so sorry about that...and about what happened at the restaurant. I know them...those people...I mean...”
“What? You have knowledge about those shootings?” I asked perplexed.
“Yes, but don’t worry, I’ll tell you all when we get there.”
“Where my friend?”
“My place in Bantayan Island...I’ve told you before, where I grew up...remember?”
“Yes I remember.”
“Now, it’s the time to have a vacation there.”
“Edward, I’ve got two months for my vacation here in the Philippines and I have to go back in Dubai for my job. I cannot stay here.”
“Don’t worry my friend, I’ll tell you everything even the Dubai thing.”
“What Dubai thing, Edward?”
“Ahhhhh, forget that...we’re here at the small port of Cadiz City. But please...don’t say anything, I’m the one in-charge,okay friend?”
I looked at him believing that Edward Ramirez really has the guts to do things on his way. The other side of him that I didn’t know beforehand, a trait which made me thinks I'm the neophyte. The trusts that I showed to him really matter somehow.
Edward paid the two laborers to unload the wooden boxes, and also the whole payment going to Bantayan Island. He talked to the personnel for these baggage’s which I did not have much knowledge about it.
TO BE CONTINUED###
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