Those words, those two simple words, made my breath catch. My mind struggled to make sense of this piece of information. “Where?”
“To America. Chicago, actually. My dad’s being relocated.”
“Oh,” I said with an attempt at a smile. It came off as a wince. “When?”
Next week? How come it’s such short notice? What will happen to me, without you? I haven’t even told you how I felt. And now you’re leaving?
“Well then, we’ll have to arrange a going-away party!” The last word came out sounding strangled, as my throat felt like closing up.
“Hey…” You looked at me with those sparkling brown eyes, your forehead wrinkled in concern. “Are you okay?”
I swallowed with difficulty before answering, “Of course. I’ll just miss you, that’s all.”
No, I’m not okay, my head screamed. You’re going to America. You’re leaving me. God, do you even know how much I’ll miss you? Your smile, your laugh, the way you talk while chewing your food.
You raised an eyebrow as if to say, seriously? “I’ll miss you, too.”
I haven’t even gotten the chance to tell you how much I love you.
My eyes burned as I looked down. A tear fell to the floor, and another one, and another. “I’m being overemotional, as usual,” I said with a fake laugh before drawing courage to look at you again. To my utter amazement, you were crying, too.
You had never cried in front of me before, or anyone else, for that matter. I stopped crying long enough to ask you, “What’s wrong?”
“Everything.” He furiously fisted away his tears. “I don’t want to leave.”
It was a new experience, seeing you, who had always acted so tough and so cold, cry.
“Aw, you’ll be fine over there. You can make new friends, see new places. You’ve always hated the heat here in the Philippines, anyway.” My chin was quivering. “Please don’t cry. I’m having a hard enough time as it is.”
“You don’t understand…” You looked at me again, but those eyes held a new intensity that suddenly made me tremble. “I don’t want to leave you.”