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The sound of the children's laughter made Gio smiled. He watched as the children play together, free and completely happy.

His phone beeped. He already knows who messaged him but he's fighting the urge to read it. He's afraid. A coward, if he may add. But he's also asking himself if running after her is even worth it. Now that she seemed to have everything. Is staying in love with her and chasing her worth it? Is everything he's willing to sacrifice for will be worth it? Will it be enough for her to come back?

Another beeped came and Gio quickly opened the message. As expected, it was Joanne, asking if they can talk, and he badly wants to give in, run to her and tell her he'll do anything just to have her back, just to be together again. Another message came in, with Joanne saying how sorry she is and she really wants to talk about their relationship. But Gio shook his head. If she really wants to talk to him, she has to do something other than messaging him. He's tired of crawling back at her without her appreciating it. He's tired of being....stupid.

Gio stood up and left the park. He kept on walking and walking until he found himself walking on the busy street of Makati. He turned off his phone, determined to ignore Joanne's call. He suddenly stopped walking when he heard someone called him from a far. But he took a step again, telling himself he just misheard it. But the voice became clearer, he turned around and saw Joanne on the other side of the road, breathing heavily.

"Hintayin mo 'ko diyan!" she shouted but the sound of the vehicles made it harder for Gio to hear her. Joanne shook her head and ran to him, and the next thing he heard was a loud screech and crash.

And his whole world stopped.

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"Alright, thank you. Poster will be done after a week" Gio said some things before ending the call. The day has just started and Gio already has three clients. After working for years in London, he also established his own name here in the Philippines. Despite leaving the company, others still come to him, and most of his clients are big companies and big artists.

Gio removed his shirt and sighed when the cold air from the air conditioner touched his body. He smiled when he felt someone hugged him from behind, face pressing to his shoulder, fingers playing through the waistband of his boxers.

"Good morning, love" Joanne whispered. "Had a good sleep?"

Gio sighed and closed his eyes. He encircled his fist and shook his head. Stop, Gio. Stop yourself.

When he opened his eyes, Joanne wasn't there. He's alone. Inside their old condo. She was just a figment of his imagination. She's not there. She can never be with him again. Maybe she can, only when the right time comes. Only when He wants.

Gio felt his knees weakened and he fell to the floor, unable to control his emotions. It had been five months. Five months of being alone. Five months of longing. Five months of missing her. Five months of mourning. And all seemed to be a dream. And he's hoping it really is. That everything isn't real. That she's still here, that he can still see her, feel her warmth, that she will be able to continue her dreams, to live a life full of love, that she's still....alive.

Joanne Candelaria died at the age of 26 because of being hit by a car. When he saw how her fragile body flew from the crash, he immediately ran to her, begging for her to keep still. She didn't say anything but she was just smiling at him while holding his hand. And he just kept on crying and crying and begging and crying. Growing up, he didn't fear anything. Not even a needle can make him feel fear. But seeing Joanne, bleeding and is struggling to stay alive, it scared him. It scared him to know that maybe after that, he won't be able to see her open her eyes again.

An ambulance came after 30 minutes and immediately rushed her to the hospital. He never tried to remove his grip on hers, determined to still feel her pulse. But even before they could reach the hospital, her heartbeat stopped.

All of a sudden, he found himself inside the emergency room, with Joanne being surrounded by nurses and a doctor, trying to revive her. Everything was a blur, especially after the doctor looked at him with pity in his eyes. He remembered kneeling beside her, kissing her hand and whispering things just to wake her up, just to see her open her eyes, but she didn't. He buried his face on her neck and cried. That was it. All of a sudden....

Joanne left him again. And this time, she's never coming back.

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