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Well a lot of things can happen in a week that's why I don't have time to get enough sleep. All I do is work and work. Tatanda na talaga siguro ako na dalaga.

"Dr. Larazabal." agad ako napatingin sa tumawag sakin. Ang formal naman kung makatawag e kami lang naman yung nandito sa room eh.

"Yes, Dr. Pangilinan?" tumawa ito. Tila ba may inside joke nanaman. Kainis nang lalakeng ito. Umiling nalang ako at tumingin ulit sa binasa ko. Another case of gastrointestinal surgery.

"Alam mo." He started blabbering. "It's already 8pm and you haven't eaten any food since morning. You know I'm getting worried about you." Napatingin ako sa gawi niya

I know he is just being concern about me not eating. I always skip eating a meal every breaks. It's not that I'm doing it intentionally kaso nga lang I'm so busy that I can't eat on time at pag kumain naman ako may emergency.

"So I brought food. Your favorite." I didn't even notice he went out. Damn. I saw a paper bag at agad ko ito tinignan. It's a steak with mashed potato.

I haven't eaten a good meal since I don't know when kaya naman agad akong napasubo non. Donny being donny was just staring at me but I wasn't bothered. I only knew I was really hungry when he gave me the food.

When I know I was finished tumayo na ako sa harapan nya. "Thank you." I muttered.

He just smiled at me at ginulo yung buhok ko. "Good girl." I glared at him right after he said that.

Nakita kong agad nagiba yung expression nya. I guess I'm failing as a friend here. Hindi ko na alam what's bothering him and how he is already kaya naman I decided to read the case tomorrow.

"Let's go out?" pag aya ko.

"You're doing something, Akilia." Donny reminding me.

He's always been there for me 24/7. That's why a lot of people keeps on telling us why don't we just marry each other? Marriage is sacred and I don't think it needs a rush decision. He's actually a good guy and he takes care of me. Pero yun nga diba? We don't always fall for someone who's always there and sometimes what we need in a guy you can only find it in friendships.

"But you're more important than this. I know you're bothered and I have to be with you." I know he can't afford to counterback cause I'm her girl version.

"Inom?" I asked.

He nodded.

When we reached our destination. We ordered san mig light and decided to sit in a spot where you can view the whole manila.

"What's up?" Silence covered the whole place.

"He's back. Will you give it another chance?" Was he bothered because of Rivero? I have lots of questions running through my mind right now and I just can't ask these questions to myself.

"Is it bothering you?" He's always been straightforward. That's why we've been friends for almost 10 years now or maybe more.

"Yes. I don't want to see you getting hurt but yea, I know when you love pain is inevitable."

"Ano ka ba. He has a girlfriend already or even married. You really don't have to worry anything." He diverted his gaze.

"He's single." And I know he wasn't joking. And instead of being happy kasi sa wakas single na ulit siya ba't parang wala lang yung puso ko? Bakit hindi tumalon?

"Do you like me?" I know this is way out of the topic but I want to know. He wouldn't bring this topic up.

"It wouldn't change a thing if I'd say yes. You still like him." aniya.

"I'm sorry." Umiling ito at tinignan ako.

"You don't have to. It's not your fault you're likeable." He chuckled. "Plus I know from the start your heart belongs to him. So pano ba? What if he'll go back?" I've been thinking about these what ifs already. I have the answers to all of these.

"Bago pa lang yun naging single. I don't want to meddle right away. Okay na yung friends lang muna. Ang hassle na." I said the truth. It's not always you fixing other people but making them fix themselves first before you dive in.

Silence enveloped us.

I know he needed to hear this.

"I don't know how to say these things but first of all, I'm really thankful for your existence. For always being there for me and for saving my ass. I don't want to say cliche things for you to be okay. But trust me, if my heart beats for you, I'd choose you in any second, minute, and day. But tonight, my hearts beats for no one cause it can't handle another pain for now. But know that whatever happens, I'm glad I met you and the best part of this is that you stayed without me saying it and without you expecting in return. I'm capable of loving you but I don't want to love you when I know everything's a mess. I hope you do understand. Just go with the flow, no waiting. Our hearts will decide for us in due time."

I stood up and hugged him tight.

"Let's stay like this just for a few minutes, Akilia." He whispered.

With our upper extremities clasping, I heard abnormal beating of his heart. It's beyond a hundred per minute.

He really likes me.

Ricci Rivero, MD Where stories live. Discover now