For her.

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Your smile is my sweetest addiction.
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She never believes him whenever he tells her this. She thinks he's just being adorable but he really is serious about it and he doesn't know what he should do to make her believe it. After all, he pretty much did everything from flaunting his admiration for her in interviews to purposely admitting his feelings in laglagan wars segments on live national television, but she still doesn't take this compliment from him seriously.

He just wants her to understand, to make her believe that yes–one smile from her and he would willingly turn his world upside down if she asked him to.

It was her smile that caught his attention the very first day he saw her. He didn't think that sitting on the floor to watch her would enlist such a reaction from her, but he always feels elated whenever he remembers. She smiled that day, and he vowed he'd make her smile every single time.

She gets her bad days sometimes. He knows it, because those are the days when he sees her smile falter, her eyes dull while she stares off into the distance. It breaks his heart every time he finds her like this, his chest constricting whenever she looks up sadly, and he feels–oh God he feels how much she hurts and all he wants is to take it away. He wants her smile, he wants her happy. He wants his sun to shine bright again.

And he makes it so–he runs his fingers gently through her tresses and she sighs, her eyes closing as she tucks her head in the crook of his neck, warm breath tickling the side of his face. He drags his palm over her shoulders and through her back, her skin shivering with the touch of skin against skin. His hand settles against her hip and he tugs her close, her body pressed against his that he doesn't even know where he starts and she ends and he can feel her lips against his neck, curling up into a soft smile. He grins, his free hand gently flicking her nose.

"Uy, mags-smile na yan," he whispers against her hair, her nose wrinkling as she tries to desperately stop her lips from curling upwards. She presses her head even further into his body, hands swatting his fingers away. "Smile na yan!"

"Alden kasi..." She whines softly, but the sound of happiness is unmistakable in her words. He smiles inwardly to himself, happy to know that he's managed to at least erase a bit of her worries today. Her fingers are clutched against his shirt and he pulls away, his hand curled around the nape of her neck, his thumb brushing softly against whatever skin he could find.

"Patingin na ng smile, dali."

And she obliges by doing this awkward grade school-photo-kind-of-smile–the one that only she can do, and he laughs, his voice rumbling deeply in his chest. She grins back at him, swatting his arm lightly.

"Talaga bang natutuwa ka pag ginagawa ko yun?"

He hums, his fingers now tracing lines against her arms. "Oo naman."

"Bakit?" She asks and he stops, turning to look at this beautiful girl beside him. Her eyes searches deep within him and he's willing to let himself drown in her–with her.

"Eh..." He exhales and his fingers resume tracing patterns on her skin. "Basta naman nakangiti ka, masaya na din ako."

She shakes her head in response, chuckling quietly. "Adik ka."

"Mmm-hmmm." He agrees.

Because he is–he's addicted to her smile and her laugh, and he could never get enough.
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To me you are absolutely perfect.
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He knows she's not perfect. She's not your perfect girl–she's moody and cranky, she's insecure, she can grate on your nerves. She's not the cover type of girl (she's says she's not, but he begs to disagree) because she has dark circles under her eyes, she's lanky and thin, and her unbrushed hair is just all over the place. She is not your perfect girl.

But to him, she is the most perfect one there is.

She has her flaws. There are days when he sees her hide behind her curtain of insecurities, covering them up with funny faces and flushed cheeks. But he sees her–he sees her eyes cloud with shyness and he can see her break, like a silent crack on the mirror's surface.

He keeps telling her that she doesn't need to please anyone. And she tries–she tries so hard to remember that, but she knows who she is and she can't help it sometimes. She falters and she skins her knees but he's always there, helping her, picking her up.

"I'm not perfect," she once said as they stood by the railings of her condominium balcony, looking out into the glittering lights of the metro. He hums quietly, his fingers tapping a rhythmic tune against the steel bars–tapping, tapping, tapping to the tune of beating hearts.

"I know," he says, looking out into the distance. "No one is."

"Pero..."

He turns to look at her and he oftentimes wonder what's going on inside that pretty little head of hers. She's amazing–the way she thinks, but he sometimes wonders why she lets her insecurities get to her when she knows she's beyond that. She's better than that.

"Pero...?" He prods quietly, his hand now intertwined with hers, palms pressed together. She sighs, eyes locked on their tangled fingers. "Meng."

"Wala. Feeling ko kasi, you deserve someone better–yung... perfect para sa 'yo. Yung hindi natatakot. Someone who doesn't have so many flaws like me."

"Hindi ako naghahanap ng ganun," he murmurs, hands curled against each other. "Para sa 'kin, perfect ka na. I love you for who you are, Maine."

She grips his hand tighter and he knows that he doesn't need perfect whenever he's with her.
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I want us to last forever.
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If there was something that he prays for every single day, it's this–that whatever they have, that whatever love they give, that whatever it is that's making them feel so alive right now, will last forever.

He feels it. Every single time he looks into her eyes, he feels it–he feels that she's his endgame, the final call to his long lost heart. She is his constant, the rock in this ever changing wildfire that was his life. And she knows this. She knows she's his endgame because he's hers too.

She's sleeping on the couch of the guest's room, hair splayed out messily over the pillow she grabbed from her car and he finds himself staring unabashedly at her, his emotions free for all to see–privacy be damned. He crouches down beside her, running the backs of his fingers against her cheek, her eyes fluttering from his touch. She wakes up and he can feel his breath hitch when she looks up, russet brown eyes sleepily staring back at him. His heart melts at the sight of her blinking back against the harsh fluorescent light and he couldn't help but imagine how much he wants to wake up to this–to her, every single day of their lives.

This is love. This is pure, encompassing, true love and he couldn't imagine giving it to anybody else but her. (Except for his future child, but that is another thing he'd have to think of for another day.) He loves her. He wants this love, what they have, to last forever.

He plans to marry her. It may not be now, but he plans to marry her because never in a million years would he ever let go of the one person that has made his life so fulfilling and happy. He can have all the success in the world, but without her, he'd never feel complete.

"Ano ba, stop staring," she mumbles sleepily, sniffling as she tries to cover her face with her pillow. He laughs as he tries to pry her hands away, pulling and tugging on the pillow she's clutched on to. "Antok na antok ako Alden, please."

"O, sige na, 'di na, 'di na," he soothes her as he lets go of the pillow, smoothing the hair away from her face. She snuggles back into her fluffy comfort and she stares back at him–eyes full of happiness and love. He smiles back, rubbing her ear comfortingly in this weird habit they've come to do. "O, kala ko tutulog ka na? Gisingin na lang kita mamaya, pag natapos na ko."

"I love you." She says, plain and simple, and he feels his heart explode with a thousand emotions he wouldn't even dare comprehend at this very moment. He presses his lips on her forehead and she sighs softly, her thumb tracing his lower lip.

"I love you too."

At this very moment, he knows–he knows this will last forever.

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