"I love you Karina."
She read the small paper Ethan posted on the pillow she's hugging. It should have been the icing on the cake, a cherry on top and strawberries on wine. It would be perfect. She wished it was those words that were written on it but instead Ethan wrote, 'See you later Love'.
She was not complaining, in fact, she was already overwhelmed by her husband's sweetness. He seemed to have forgiven her with all the deceptions and lies. She's more than happy about that. There's nothing else she'd hope for except to hear those words again. He said it to her a hundred times already.
But the next time would feel like the first time since he would be saying it to her, to the real her.
She was startled when she heard the phone vibrated. She searched for it and when she found it under the sheets, she answered the call.
"Hello!" She didn't bothered to look at the name of the caller. It was Ethan's phone, the call must be important.
"Good morning Love. Nagising ba kita?" Ethan answered on the other line.
"Ethan?" She was surprised and glad to hear it was him. "Hindi naman, gising na ako ng tumawag ka. Nasaan ka?"
"I'm here na sa hotel. As much as I wanted to stay in bed with you, I need to work love. Need to settle some things so we can go back to Davao hopefully next week."
"Bakit hindi mo ako ginising? I should have prepared you breakfast or help you prepare for work." She asked.
"You didn't know how hard it was for me not to..." She heard the heavy breathing of Ethan. "I miss you already."
Just like Ethan, she too let out a happy sigh. "I miss you too 'Than." She replied.
"Sabi ko na sa iyo ayokong tinatawag mo akong ganyan eh." Reklamo ni Ethan.
Kahit noon pa ayaw ni Ethan ng nickname niya rito.
"How would I know if you were thinking of your ex Nathan. Love, call me whatever you like except for that one. I hate it."
She suppressed a giggle. "I've never call him that, it was always been Nate or Nathan but never Than."
"Kahit na." Matipid na sagot ni Ethan pero mahihimigan mo na hindi talaga nito nagustuhan ang tinawag nito sa kanya.
"I put up with you calling me Katrina." She teased him.
"That's a different thing I didn't know it was you." Ethan paused. "But when I accidentally called you Katrina. Love, isang linggo mo akong pinagtaguan."
Wala siyang masagot sa sinabi nito.
"I know this was a cowardly act to apologize to you on the phone but there's no use of delaying it. I'm sorry Karina. Believe me, hindi ko sinasadya. Nasanay lang ako marahil na tinatawag kang Katrina pero at that moment, I'm very much aware it was you whom I'm making love with." He sighed.
"U-umm." The only sound she could uttered.
Ayaw kasi niyang mapansin nito na naiyak siya sa sobrang tuwa. Hindi na nito kailangan pang mag-sorry o magpaliwanag pa sa kanya, but she's happy he did. Now she could leave everything behind her. All the pains and lies.
For sure, this would be the start of their happy married life. There's nothing that could prevent it from happening.
"I love you Ethan." She said with contented heart.
"Thank you Karina. I will make it up to you for the rest of our lives. I promise Love. I lo--- "
"Ethan matagal pa ba iyan? We have an appointment with the bank manager in less than an hour. We need to leave now, baka ma-traffic pa tayo. You wouldn't want to keep them waiting,"
Hindi na natapos ni Ethan ang sasabihin ng marinig niya ang boses ni Mary Ann sa background.
"Love sorry tatawagan na lang uli kita mamaya." Ethan apologized.
"No, it's okay. Si Mary Ann ba 'yun? Please say hello for me."
"Okay sige. Call me at this number if you need me or anything."
"Bakit kasi iniwan mo 'yung phone mo?" Malambing na sita niya rito.
"Hindi ko alam ang bago mong number. Alam mo na reason kung bakit ayaw kitang gisingin diba?" Sagot ni Ethan.
She sensed he was smiling.
"Ethan, ano ba? Ako na lang kaya ang makikipagkita sa kanila." Narinig niyang sabi ni Mary Ann. Halata sa boses nito ang pagkainip.
"Sige na, ibaba na natin ito. Baka iwan ka na ni Mary Ann." She chuckled. "Pakisabi din sa kanya huwag masyadong subsob sa trabaho. Bigyan mo kaya siya ng bakasyon Love."
"Okay I'll tell her. Uuwi ako ng maaga."
"Sige hihintayin kita. Bye, mag-ingat kayo ha." Bilin niya sa asawa.
She sat up, closed her eyes and uttered a silent prayer. She said graces for all the blessings expecially that He made it possible for them to patch things up. Wala na siyang hiniling pang iba, puro pasasalamat lang ang namutawi sa kanyang mga labi.
When he heard she ended the call. He returned the phone to Mary Ann. It was hers, he just borrowed it to call his wife.
Wala sa plano niya ang naging pag-uusap nila. Nabigyan lang talaga siya ng pagkakataon na mag-apologize. Gumaan ang pakiramdam niya now that no stoned were left unturned. Wala ng magiging problema ang pagsasama nilang mag-asawa.
"Thanks." Sabi niya kay Mary Ann pagka-abot niya rito ng phone.
"You're acting like a teenager." Nakasimangot na sabi ni Mary Ann sa kanya. "You need to do a lot things, know how to prioritize."
"My wife is my first priority." He said proudly.
Mary Ann snorted. "How could you say that if you are still confused. Ethan, hindi si Karina ang gusto mo si Katrina. Niloko ka lang ng babaeng kani-kanina lang ay kausap mo at hanggang ngayon ba naman ay papayag kang paikutin niya sa mga palad niya? Kailan ka ba matatauhan?"
Sa halip na mainis sa mga sinabi nito ay natawa siya na may kasamang pag-iling. He stood up and he went to her. "Loosen up. Tama nga si Karina parang kailangan mong magbakasyon para mawala naman ang kasungitan mo."
Tumayo pa siya sa likod nito at minasahe pa niya ito sa balikat. Pero nakakailang pisil pa lang siya ay pumiksi na ito at lumayo sa kanya.
"Ethan, magseryoso ka naman. For once kailimutan mo muna si Katrina at isipin mo ang hotel."
"Si Karina ang pinag-uusapan natin at hindi si Katrina. Ikaw ata ang nalilito sa dalawa eh." Patuloy niyang pang-iinis rito.
"Ethan naisip kong tama si Don Eduardo. You should file an annulment." She ignored his joke.
"Papaanong magiging tama. Sinabi ko na sa iyo kahapon na wala akong balak na ipa-annual ang kasal namin. Lalo na ngayon, higit na mas gusto kong makasama si Karina. "
"Hear me out first. I'm not saying na hiwalayan mo si Karina." Mary Ann paused. "Pero sundin mo ang kondisyon ni Don Eduardo, ipa-annul mo pa rin ang kasal ninyo. I think that would be the best solution sa problema mo."
"Anne, you're talking in circles." He grinned. "Sa tingin mo ba hindi ako hihiwalayan ni Karina kapag nalaman niyang ipapa-annul ko ang kasal namin."
"You could explain it to her. For sure she'll understand. Hindi na rin naman bago sa inyo ito, three months kayong nagkahiwalay. What's the difference of another three months. Kahit hanggang sa magkaroon lang tayo ng sapat na panahon na maka-build up ng funds para mabalik natin ang pera ni Don Eduardo.
"There's a huge difference." He said and then he wanted to add. "I learned to value her more. Hindi na niya kayang mawalay pa rito."
"Ano?" Pamimilit na tanong nito.
"Halika na akala ko ba sabi mo huwag nating paghintayin ang mga ka-meeting natin." Inakbayan niya ito at hinila na palabas ng kanyang opisina."
Hindi na lang niya sinagot ang tanong nito para 'di na humaba pa. Maging si Karina ay sang-ayon sa gusto nitong mangyari. Karina also thought it would helped him to keep Don Eduardo's investments.
He'd not risk losing her. She's way way more important.