“Don’t push your luck, Romeo. “I look forward to see you around” is an overused and underrated exit line. I’m not surprised if your pick up line will be: “Hi! I think I’ve seen you before. Your face looks familiar” You need to be creative.” Flashing her most adorable smile a la Mona Lisa, Claire picked up her hand carried luggage and eased her way towards the New Era Airlines check in counter.
Andrew Taylor, a Lieutenant in the US Army was stationed in the Philippines. He met the charming and brilliant Claire Delgado in Manila, when she was on a working contract with a group of educators for an outreach program “Operation Literacy”. They readily developed a special bond spent most of their free time exploring the beautiful sites of the country, and even planned to return and revisit Boracay island in the future. It was in this island where they spent the happiest time of their life, and where Andrew gave her a ring, with a promise that wherever he is, he will come back and find her. When Andrew’s rotation ended, he went back to the US to fulfill another assignment overseas. His whereabouts was always classified, as he was a member of a special operations unit. Claire also went back to California, waiting for a teaching job as a kindergarten teacher in the suburban town in Texas.
Seven years have gone by. Claire has contentedly settled in a small community in El Paso, Texas, juggling between family, a mother, and being a teacher. This was the kind of life that she envisioned, and could not ask for more than what she had. Not a single day that passed that she haven’t thought of Andrew, and pray that wherever he is, he will be safe. Andrew, now a Lieutenant General continuous to go overseas, assigned in the Middle East and Germany. He always looks forward to be home and stay with his family after each rotation of duty, and could not wait for the time when he will be permanently stationed in the US Army post in Fort Bliss, until he retires from the service, to enjoy being home and be with his family.
The morning sun permeates the horizon, with patches of while clouds drifting by under the cerulean blue sky; a promise of a beautiful day. Claire walks along the shore of the white sand beach of Boracay island, feeling the gentle touch of the summer breeze on her face. She smiled, her heart overflowing with love as she saw a gorgeous man and a handsome, sweet little three-year-old boy coming her way. Andrew…her Romeo, her knight in shining armor, her husband of five years, and the father of her son.
When the two loves of her life reached where she was standing, Andrew let go of little Zachary, who in turn raised his arms to Claire, wanting to be carried. She scooped the toddler and gave him a hug and showered him with kisses. Andrew gently pulled both of them in the circle of his arms, and lovingly said: “I guess those pick up and exit lines worked its magic, right? Happy Anniversary, sweetheart! As my promise stands when I gave you that ring seven years ago, I will never get tired of letting you feel my love, more today than yesterday.”
Claire looked at the promise ring that Andrew slipped in her finger when they first came to the island, and along with her wedding ring, it never leave her finger all these years.
Andrew and Claire revisited this special place close to their heart, and will continue to create memories to be added in the storybook of life that they will write. As they held the hand of their son, each on his side, the three of them strolled along the shore of the island, leaving three sets of footprints in the white sand.
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