3. Chapter 17.

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"Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same."



The pink and lavender themed, gatefold card stared right back at her as she took it out of its white scented envelope. She ran her fingers over the scalloped edges, taking in the cute design and the embossed Rochester fonts that said….

One little candle,

One little cake,

Our pumpkin pie’s first year to celebrate!

Zooey Marie’s 1st birthday

Sunday, September 8th at 2 p.m

Lizares Residence

Marcos Hi-Way, Antipolo City,Rizal

RSVP

Daddy Alex and Mommy Drei

0917.***.****

A smile appeared on her face as her eyes lingered on the adorable portrait beside it. The charming celebrant – eyes glimmering brightly which seems to be smiling right back at her and revealing a set of pearly whites. She was getting prettier as the days go by and continuously turning into a spitting image of her father. It was as if she was having a trip back to memory lane, now remembering Alex when he was at that same age.

Once again, the yearning throbbed on her chest making itself known like it always does whenever a package, just like this one, makes its way on her doorstep every third Wednesday of the month. Its funny how her anxiety would always leave her sleep deprived the night before. She still gets the same weird rush of excitement running over her while she unwraps the only thing that she’s been waiting for all week – the package. Her package. A small box full of Zooey’s pictures.


Since last year, Marivic has watched her grandchild grow beautifully from afar – her milestones, her firsts and her many faces – and it has brought about an indescribable joy to her life. Even if she wasn’t there to witness it first hand, still, just seeing her in these pictures was already enough for her to feel close.

It was also through these photographs that she saw how fatherhood has shaped her son into the man he is now. Dan, her ex-husband turned friend, would include a few snapshots of Alex and his new life. That is also how she knew about the woman responsible for all of this – Drei, the mother of his child, and her son, Matty, whom Alex treated as if his own.  The sight of her son and a family of his own made her heart swell with pride, something that she wasn’t able to give.

Browsing through the set of the latest pictures that came in for her today, she came across a candid shot of her son and his daughter during her baptism. He was cradling the little angel in his arms as she placed her hand on his lips, half smiling at him while she was finishing up a bottle of milk. She found herself wondering what he must be telling her about or what song was he singing to her while he was putting her to sleep. But her musing was suddenly interrupted by the sound of her phone ringing. It was Dan on the other line.

“Did you get it already?” he asked.

“I did.” She smiled and held a picture of Zooey taking her first steps, Drei behind her while she inched towards Alex. “And she’s all grown up.”

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