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Dear Lilly, it had only been months that I knew Suzanne when you came into my life.

It was September; I was on my way to the coffee shop where we agreed to meet. I was an hour and a half late due to a corporate meeting. Although I called her to cancel; she laid it off. “It's ok, Andrew. I can wait,” she said.

I remember pulling over the side of the coffee shop, and looking in. And I saw her. She was sitting near the claiming area. Amidst the chaos and disarray of the place: people coming and going, friends gathering for a weekender; Suzanne was propped up reading a book. She leafed through each page carefully, and afterwards, she would comb her hair behind her ear. 

Gracefully. Every time.

It might have been a while that I was watching her, and not really watching it seems, because my phone vibrated and it was her.

“You want me to go out?” she said.

“No, no Suzanne. I was about to go in when –” but she was already leaving. I watched her pace along the coffee shop towards the entrance, towards me. At some point she glanced at me and smiled.

“I‟m sorry I was late, Suzanne. I was in a meeting and –,” I reasoned once she got out.

“Oh don‟t worry, I have a book,” she held out the book she was reading as she stepped closer.

“And call me Sue,” she said, smiling yet again.

* * *

The doctor summoned me from the ICU.

It‟s so quiet here, Lilly. So white and clean, and it smells of alcohol. I pass my time observing the other people waiting. There was a woman one row ahead of me; she talked of her daughter, who just turned sixteen, giving birth to her first child. She laughed and told jokes about it, how her teenage girl is giving birth at such a young age. I think even showing a little grimace. But I thought she should have accepted that way back. Nine months, Lill, is a very long time.

Meanwhile, the doctor updated me on Sue‟s condition. He first thanked me for being there, that they were a little concerned that I might not show up. I wanted to interrupt him and say “just give me your update Doc because I sure don‟t want your opinion on this matter”. But I didn't. I was so tired.

He said Sue is okay. He told me that her vital signs are normal, although it would probably take a while. Maybe four hours, or more. And that they‟ll inform me immediately of any complications should one arise. I was nodding as he told me all this, but it feels my mind is somewhere else.

“Would you like to see her?” he asked, I was a bit surprised.


“Would you like to see Sue?” He looked at me with those inquisitive eyes, waiting. I couldn‟t say it, but I know I have to.

“Oh no. No, I‟m good. I‟ll stay here.”

* * *

She hates apples, Lilly. She likes dogs too, even though she has asthma, so she always has an inhaler in her bag. It‟s the most staple of her things; the second one, being a book.

She loves Murakami. Every time she has a new book with her, she'll always tell me a brief background about it. Perhaps coaxing me to read them too, to get me interested on her interests.

One time, she got out another Murakami book. It was a thick book, it was a thousand pages long, I remember because I looked. After she told me what the book is about, I actually wanted to read it. She told it with such passion that I just wanted to be a part of that world, her world of books. But I didn‟t tell her that, not when I only finished the first few chapters. Maybe someday, when I finally found a book she‟s reading that I would also like to read, will I understand that part of Sue's world that is so unbeknownst to me.


* * *

It had been an hour since the doctor first approached me. The waiting is invigorating. Three hours more to go. Maybe even more, I thought. I want to see her. I didn't want to remember the bad moments while waiting. The bad days, they were like poison in this alcohol-smelling place. 
I couldn't really shut them off.

There were really good days, Lilly. Good days that I think in sum would outnumber the bad. 

Good days that led me believe of a happy life with her, even when I only met her for a year. 

Good days, moments that you have to know, so that when the day comes when I doubt the love Sue and I shared, because it‟s been so long and because of the things that happened, you will help me remember. You‟ll tell me the story like I told you, and our love will be renewed.

You have to know so I will never forget. Tell me when I start to doubt.

Tell me the first time we kiss, because that's when the good moments start.

In our first date, after we had our dinner at the restaurant, Sue mentioned she didn't want to go home yet. So I took her to a place, the one where you can see the stars.

It was an observatory in Diliman that I frequent with my roommates in college. As a student, it was a cheap and awesome place to drink. We would buy a couple of San Mig Lights and chips and use the decades-old telescopes to look at the night sky. One of my roommates was a student assistant there so we were never reprimanded about it.

When we arrived, there weren't many people around, just a couple of students it seemed. It was a starry night, and in that platform one could see the stars up close. It‟s like in there, stars were at reach. If you like Lilly, I will take you there sometime.

Sue was trying out this two-foot telescope in the west end part of the platform aimed at the moon. It was a full moon: lovely, dark and deep. With the telescope, streaks of silvery gold hues surrounded with craters were visible. I remember because we spent
countless nights there naming the different craters we see. I watched Sue observed this phenomenon, this magnificent place of apparent curiosity.

After a couple of minutes, she left it alone and walked toward me. I was trying out this new telescope that could point out the visible constellations at a group of stars. She took her turn in it, and murmured Orion and Cassiopeia, the only constellations present that night.

She left the device and just stood there staring at the stars as if she can see them better without the binocular device. Then she turned to me and smiled.

God I love her smile.

“Thank you,” she said. “I've never been in a place like this before.”

“I suppose there's always a first time for everything but at one point, I begin to doubt the possibilities of first time for me. So thank you.”

She was cheery, happy. And then I couldn't really contain it, I kissed her. It was such a simple kiss. Short, she said when I asked her about it several months after. But under the multitude of stars, the sky as our witness, I can‟t really deny how happy I was at that particular moment.

When I opened my eyes, I saw her staring at me.

“I wished we met sooner,” is what she said.

* * *