He was not so heartless that he wouldn’t accompany her to the airport.
The thing is, she needed a driver — and of course, she could have called a taxi for that. If she had, then she wouldn’t be having this scintillating hour of non-conversation en route to NAIA while braving the most atrocious traffic in EDSA.
“How’s your work, Jonas?”
“Let’s not get into that, Alice.” She can actually count in one hand the number of times she had heard him speak in that clipped, cold and no-eye-contact manner.
“Kim emailed me,” she persisted. “She said I can stay with her in New York while I’m still trying to look for a place. My classes won’t start for a few more weeks yet.”
“Are you going to punish me forever? Will you never try to understand why I have to do this?”
Alice heard the man beside her take a deep breath. To prepare for what he was going to say, perhaps?
She tried to put her hand over his.
“I’m driving, Alice. Please don’t do that.”
So she didn’t. And tortured herself looking at his profile while his eyes were fixed on the highway.
Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2.
The queue was short at the Departure Area.
She turned to Jonas who was holding her luggage bags. “Well, here we are. Please say something. I don’t want to go like this. I don’t want to remember you hating me.”
For the first time that day, he looked at her. And for the first time that day, she recognized the man she loves; not the stranger/driver who brought her to the airport.
“Right now, I’m debating with myself whether to break your legs or take you to the National Penitentiary. Just so you won’t leave me. But I don’t hate you.”
She laughed. The choking, crying type of giggle that she can only do around him. Just because she was so relieved. “You made a joke!”
Jonas took her hands, kissed them; then he framed her face with his palms so she would look into his eyes.
“Alice, I love you. And it pisses me off like hell that I am not enough for you. No, don’t say anything. It’s true. This is not enough. I am not enough.” He brushed off the tears that had started trickling down, ruining her mascara. “It’s okay. I love you. Nothing will make me happier than to know you are happy. We had 5 years together and they were the happiest of my life.”
That was when he kissed her. Right there, in the middle of Departure Area, in the airport where a man was shot so many years ago.
“Jonas, I’m sorry,” she said, still crying.
“Goodbye, my love.”
And that was it. She had to go.