Five thirty in the morning. It was still dark and the bed was so inviting with the rain pouring outside, but I decided to get up and prepare early for work. I know it’s gonna be another tough day today, but I need to deal with it. It’s been a couple of years since the first morning I woke up without you. A usual, I made myself a cup of coffee and did my routine for everyday. It was almost seven when I walked into my car and tried to start it again.

I drove for work, I didn’t anticipate what awaited ahead as I know perfectly what will happen. I needed to submit my Batanes photos to Mr. Flores before he fires me. He’s been bugging me the whole week so to finish the next month’s issue of our magazine. I parked my car quickly, and carried with me the manila file folder which held Mr. Flores’ precious photos.

I saw Randy first, one of our colleagues and the closest among friends, filling his mug with coffee as he waved to me and greeted me good morning. I smiled and nodded in response, then I went straight to my cubicle. I glanced to the other cubicle, the one adjacent to mine, it has been empty for at least a week. That was once your space but for once I never bothered to remember. It hurts… it tore me apart and left me broken beyond repair… seeing you leave without even saying goodbye, or where are you heading… I didn’t even see you walked away, for heaven’s sake. The only thing I knew was that you were offered a better job somewhere far away, so you were all-too-willing to leave me all alone and bleeding. Did you ever think that you were so unfair to me? I would be happy to see you go, if that’s what will make you happy. But you never gave me the opportunity to show you how much I can give just to see you happy. Even if it will cost me my own, I will give it up.

Randy broke off my thoughts as he noticed that I was staring at your used-to-be space.

“Do you know why Marie left?” He asked me. Marie was hired two weeks after you left to fill in your abandoned position.

“Nope. Why?”

“Well, didn’t you hear the news that Chelsea’s coming back?” He asked me, unable to believe that I haven’t heard that news yet.

And it stopped me there… I never thought that I would still be lost for a moment upon hearing your name, I don’t know if my reaction was because of the pain you inflicted me, or was it because I cannot admit to myself for once that I needed you still, that I missed you after all this time.

“Chelsea…” was all I could say.

“Yeah, Chelsea. Your Chelsea.” Randy smiled. He knew perfectly how much pain it caused me when you left, but still he helped me to try to hold on at least, he was trying hard enough to prove me that it wasn’t really your choice to leave in the first place.

“When is she…”

“The day after tomorrow.” He cut me off. He knew perfectly what I was about to say. He left me and headed back to his own cubicle, as I sat up still, trying to contemplate on the news he had just broken.

I tried very hard to concentrate on what I was going to say, as I present the pictures to Mr. Flores. The forty-five minute meeting that was exclusively for the discussion of the pictures felt like forever. Before I stepped out of the conference room, Jane, one of our colleagues as well, congratulated me for a job well done when I really didn’t understand what I did.

I spent the rest of the day expecting another assignment, but Mr. Flores still seemed to be satisfied by my latest project that he didn’t need to send me out soon. I figured I could use the time so at least, while I’m on the field for some project, I don’t have to worry on how to approach you on your second first day at work. I really never thought of you coming back here. The thought of you here within my sight, without knowing if you and I had even come to an end is just unimaginable.

Finally, the day has ended, and just like the other days, I drove into the rain, as if I do not know where I am headed. I felt so empty… so lonely. I know it’s how I always felt, but it’s just so different. I didn’t know if I would join the heaven in this downpour in crying. Why do you have to go back? Why do you have to make me feel miserable now? These questions went through my head as I reached my driveway. I got off my car and headed for the front door.

“Was it a very long day?”

I froze. I turned to look for that familiar voice that I cannot seem to erase from my memory. The sweetest voice that once used to hum and sang my lullaby. And there you are… same as before. I gazed into your beautiful eyes for a very long time. They seem to go deep within mine, and searched my soul that has been lost in nowhere. Then suddenly, they seem to retrieve my soul and brought it back to where it belongs.

“Chelsea…” Your name was all I could say again. The only word that had been the definition of my hopes, my dreams, even my fears and my pain, my life… my existence.

“Jason… I am here to say I am sorry. I do not are for how long it takes for you to forgive me… I knew I’ve hurt you so much…”

I could not say a word. I do not know how or when to start. Should I be bothered to tell you how much pain I was in upon you leaving me?

I tried to search for the right words, and knew immediately that it will be useless. I suddenly knew what I need, and what I want. I never felt so helpless, not in the past two years that you were gone. Without a word, I walked toward you, and I saw the tears in your eyes, and I wondered why it didn’t surprise me to feel more pain upon seeing your pleading face. I brushed my fingers to you cheeks and dried you tears. I never felt so much love like this. And as I searched for the right words, I whispered in your ear the words that I have been dying to tell you since you were gone…

“Welcome back to my heart.” I held you tight, so tight I would never let you go again.

And then we headed for the door, and shut it before us in the pouring rain.