3. Chapter 15.

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"Relationships don't need to be perfect, it just needs to be real."

“Sige pa… a little more to the right…more…” Matty’s voice echoed. His arms were wrapped securely around his baby sister as they both sat on the couch. He was in command tonight after Alex and Drei had asked him to do them a favor.  “Oops! Sumobra! Move to the left…”

“Matt…” Alex grumbled in warning tone as he paused. They’ve been holding up this piece of 4x4 feet canvas far too long now. Manang Pilar was ironing their clothes back in her room, which is why they asked Matty to help them out.

The relaxing weekend they had spent in Tagaytay was over and they were all back to reality – work and school. And tonight was just another Tuesday night, there wasn’t any occasion to celebrate but Alex made dinner for everyone. With an hour and half to spare while they were waiting on that movie in HBO to air, they finally decided to put this piece of art on the wall.

“Sumobra nga kayo, Dad!” Matty said in his defense. He stifled a smile. “Move to the left… just a little bit…”

“Are you sure you’re helping us out?” Alex paused and turned his head briefly at the boy’s direction. “Cos it looks like you’re trippin’ on us, Matt!”

Matty let out a small laugh because clearly he was having the time of his life bossing the adults around. Even if he only got tonight as a free pass.

“Come on, enough with the power trip, Matthew,” it was Drei. The weight of the canvas was already making her arms shake. “And hold your sister properly please!”

“Okay, one move to the left na lang…” he finally said and the two followed suit. “Ayan okay na!”

When the canvas was secured in place, Alex and Drei took a few steps back to admire the view. The blank space that was just beside their LCD TV was the perfect spot and indeed, it was. The painting was stunningly dramatic as it blended beautifully with the white walls of their living room. Drei sucked in a breath and gave out a sigh of admiration. She was a sucker for arts and never in her life did she dream to own a piece for herself. But now she did. And it’s all because of this man beside her right now.

Alex placed his arm on her shoulder and brought her closer to him. “Do you like it there?”

“Yes!” she said softly. “It’s perfect!”

Drei’s 29th birthday last April coincidentally fell on a Saturday. And despite the fact that Alex kept insisting on throwing her a party in one of their fave restaurants, she declined because she opted for a simple birthday lunch instead. She woke up to an early birthday performance by a-two-men-and-a-baby band at six in the morning – Alex had his ukulele, Matty had a single bongo drum and Zooey had a pair maracas to shake. It was actually a mash up of three songs. They started with Nothin’ On You by B.O.B, then Soul Sister by Train and the last was I’m Yours by Jason Mraz. She had no idea how long they’ve been practicing it but their performance struck her speechless. The loves of her life were so amazing that it brought tears into her eyes and when the song finished, they attacked her with kisses.

Right after lunch, Alex unexpectedly dragged her out of the Crocs shop while Dan was shopping for a pair for the kids. She didn’t have a clue what he was up to and all she knew was that they were already driving South. She dozed off throughout the drive and an hour later, they were at Josephine’s in Tagaytay. Alex blindfolded her with his handkerchief when she got out of the car and led her into the garden. As the blindfold came off, Drei finally saw what was in store for her. The set up was almost similar to the one he had for their supposedly Valentine’s date and he found the perfect spot. There was a gazebo, with white drapes and rice bulb lights, and a table for two overlooking the Taal Volcano. Alex ushered her to the table and when she sat down, he made his way to where the band was set up. He sat behind the keyboard and started to play.

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