Nais kong umpisahan sa pamamagitan ng pagpapasalamat sa'yo sa lahat ng nagawa mo para maging buo ang aking loob na harapin ang hamon ng buhay. Seven years nating pinagtulungan na patunayan sa lahat na sa pamamagitan ng ating pagmamahalan, na sa pag-ibig, hindi importante ang kasarian o estado sa buhay. Ang mahalaga ay yung respeto, pagkalinga at pagtitiwala ng dalawang nagmamahalan. Salamat sa pagbabahagi ng iyong buhay at napakasaya ko ng maibahagi natin ang ating kwento sa lahat. I feel so lucky for having you. I promise to make you feel that I am proud of you, because I really am! Again, thank you, mi amor. Te amo desde el fondo de mi corazon.
Trixie's handwritten letter for Art
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Let me start with the end.
There we were, the walls were all white just like the blanket and the cover of my bed. It was almost too blank, with just one abstract painting of gray lines hanging to my right, and there was a prevalent floral smell that lingered. You had a cup of coffee in your hands as you sat beside me. I coughed as a couple of nurses came in to give me my meds, and you held my hand. We knew we only had a couple more hours.
I asked if you remember the first time we met, and you looked at your coffee and smiled. It was in Katipunan Avenue, you said, decades ago. Then you said UP was still number one, and I laughed a little. I shook my head and let out my tongue in playful disapproval. Then we talked, talked about our book, talked about how you became a big movie star and how I became an ace reporter. We talked about how I almost died that one time I was assigned in war-torn Mindanao and how you almost went crazy trying to get in touch with me after you heard about the incident. We talked about our two kids, and our grandkids, all seven of them. We talked about how things were, how we fought the system, and how things changed for the better. We talked about our wedding day, how everyone was there, your family, my family, all of our friends. I said I remembered all their smiles and joyful tears when they finally saw us tie the knot. You said you did, too. We talked about your first box-office hit, and we laughed at remembering that 1994 Corolla, our first car, that broke down every 10 kilometers or so. We talked about our travels, how we got lost in Japan one time and how beautiful New York was. We talked about buying our first house, and we talked about our dogs. We talked about everything. We talked for hours.
Then I coughed some more. You wiped the little blood that came out from my mouth. Then your tears started to fall.
“You're leaving me,” you said faintly, the smile was now gone. Your hair was already gray and the lines at the corner of your eyes are now more prominent, but you were still as beautiful as the day we first met.
“I never will. I'll always be here,” I said as I struggled to lift my fragile and wrinkled arms, touching where your heart was from the outside.
You held my hand, held it as tight as you could. And I held yours back as much as I could. You leaned over and gave me a kiss, and it was just like the first one we shared. I looked at your face afterwards, memorized every line, every curve, every color.
“I love you,” I said, my voice cracked and whispery.
I looked at your eyes one final time. It was the last thing I will ever see. Then I closed mine.
And you said I love you back, but I no longer heard it. I didn't need to.
This is how it will end, at least, I hope so. But I promise to do whatever it takes to make this a reality forty, fifty, sixty years from now. You probably only get one shot at finding true love, and I'm beyond thankful that you took a chance on me seven years ago. I promised you before that you will never have to be alone anymore as long as there is a living breath in my body, and the memories that we'll share, the love that we'll bask in, even the fights that we'll be in, they're all going to mold you into a better person, a woman who's truly, deeply, madly loved, that though I may go before you, I will always still be with you.
I love you, Trixie, until the last talk, until the last touch, until the last laugh, until the last kiss, and even beyond. Happy Valentine's Day.
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Photograph by Vyn Radovan / Shot on location at The Gallery, A Space Manila