The Brightest Star
Saturday, August 7, 2010,
Earlier, he took a teaspoon of cough syrup and told me to grind a tablet of ibuprofen as he followed both medicines with a sip of mango juice. “J can’t swallow tablet-form medicines,” that was a reminder of her sister when she knew that J was coughing really hard and had fever.
It was almost midnight. I was sitting on the bed right next to my J who, unfortunately, was sick on the eve of his birthday. He was sleeping soundly, knocked out from all the medicines he took. We booked a room in this beautiful resort months in advance but I guess the 10-hour trip did no good for his condition. I felt so sorry for him and all I could do was to hug him under the comforter. I felt the heat of his body as I too fell into a nap.
It was around two in the morning when I woke up. It was already J’s birthday. He was still sleeping. I thought it was the best time to write him a letter. I hurriedly went to the bathroom and took out our handy non-permanent marker. I locked the bathroom door, afraid he might catch me, I hurriedly wrote down a short message.
Written on our bathroom windows:
January 21, 2010
My Dearest Jhayar,
You are the love of my life. I can never stop thanking God for bringing you in my life. Spending time with you made me realize that I can never afford to lose you. I hope you get better soon. Happy Birthday Mahal ko... I will always be here for you...
Forever and Ever just like what I promised...
I love you!
I turned off the bathroom lights, went back to bed, and hugged him. I must have fallen asleep for a few minutes but woke up when I felt J hugged me back and asked what time it was. I glanced at his laptop that was just sitting on the nightstand right next me. “Three AM,” I said. He got up and went to the bathroom.
Strike one, he missed my letter.
As his voice formed echoes inside the bathroom, I heard him tell me to go look outside and see if there are still stars. He might have wanted to see what he has missed while he was sleeping. I felt a gush of wind as I slid the door open. I took a few more steps and looked up. It was so beautiful. I shouted, “You need to see this.” He was taking forever to go outside, so I went in. I found myself inside the bathroom, innocently luring him in. That’s when he saw my letter. He stood there, reading. He took his time and turned around to face me. He said, “Don’t worry I’m still gonna marry you.”
Strike two, this time for me who did not get the clue.
As we walked outside, him being sick and all, he felt chills as the cold wind greeted us. He requested for a blanket so I ran back to the room to get him one. When I got back, I held his hand and told him there’s a nice hut over to our left. He was looking around for a spot so we could stargaze and the hut’s roof won’t allow this. So we walked around the resort. It was too early and the resort looked deserted as other guests were still sleeping. It seemed like we were alone. The waves seemed louder as we get closer to the beach. But our feet climbed the stairs and we found a spot by the poolside. He spread the blanket and shared it with me.
It was just beautiful looking up and seeing a dark sky filled with thousands of twinkling stars. “Find the brightest star,” J said. The nerd in me gave him a trivia. I told him that whatever is the brightest is not a star but planet Venus. I heard the sound of silence as J didn’t react to what I’ve just said.
Strike three, again this is for me, for being such a nerd.
He did brush me off. But he continued asking me to just pick the brightest one. So I went on playing his game, and literally was looking for one in a million above us. As his finger was pointing up above, he suggested, “How about this one?” Confused, I asked, “Which star?” I focused on his finger and something caught my eyes. I pulled his hand closer and asked, “What is this?”
I looked at him. He had the biggest smile. I knew this was not a game anymore. He finally asked me, “Will you marry me?”
There was something in sharing the blanket with him, something in the mix of the cold wind and the sound of the waves and something in his eyes that made me cry before I could say yes and hug him. How beautiful is the game of love? It’s not the stars or the princess-cut diamond ring he gave me that made it beautiful. It’s that twinkle in his eyes when he asked me to marry him. In that moment I knew, we made the home run.