“Nay!” Carlo screamed as his Nanay Fe lost consciousness.
Amor readily assisted him in carrying Nanay Fe. They settled her in a sofa and made sure she feels comfortable.
Nanay Fe’s companion in the house whom they send to school, Leah, immediately brought ammonia and a glass of water.
They applied first aid to Nanay Fe while some of their neighbors were nervously watching.
Carlo’s friend, Joma, whom he depended on checking his parents while he was away already drove to fetch a doctor nearby.
Nanay Fe regained consciousness after a few minutes to everyone’s relief.
Carlo hugged her. His eyes full of worry.
“Nay ano pong nangyari sa’yo?
“Nahilo lang ako anak. Sa pagod siguro ito.”
She tried to appease her son while avoiding Amor’s face.
Carlo and Amor didn’t suspect anything unusual.
Carlo was convinced that sadness, fatigue and lack of sleep caused his Nanay to faint.
Even the doctor whom Joma fetched gave the same reasons.
They decided to let his Nanay rest in her room first.
She relented not wanting her son to worry.
Amor noticed that Nanay Fe was avoiding her but she dismissed any negative thoughts.
She may have been surprised to see a woman with her son and mothers tend to be possessive of their sons.
She really did intrude without warning anyway.
Since it was already afternoon when they arrived, Amor decided to help in the kitchen.
“Amor you don’t have to do this. You are our visitor.”
“Carlo please don’t treat me like a visitor or I won’t be comfortable in my stay here.”
“But you don’t need to cook. We are using the old way of cooking. Kahoy ang gamit nila. Yun ang gusto ni Nanay. Baka mahirapan ka.”
“I was a cook before. I was a caregiver. I was a janitress. Don’t underestimate me. I did a lot of things before I reached what I am now. So relax ka lang Carlo. I can definitely cook without burning your house.”
Carlo couldn’t do anything and just allowed her.
She easily mingled with everyone in Carlo’s household.
Carlo was all the more intrigued of her.
Nanay Fe stayed in the room but couldn’t sleep.
The events were too much for her.
Losing Anastacio broke her heart. It would mean a complete change in her life from now on.
Meeting a very familiar face of the past gave her the eerie feeling.
She opened her drawer and retrieved a vintage box underneath the stack of beddings.
She carefully opened it.
Inside were antique jewelries, old letters and old photographs.
It was a picture of a woman who looks exactly like Amor.
At the back of the photograph was a message.
“I will find you Richard, I will never stop. I love you with all my heart and soul. Please come back to me. – Maya dela Rosa (March 1890)”
Then she retrieved another photograph.
It was the same photograph kept in Amor Power’s attic. The photograph of the man who looks exactly like her son.
The photograph in which was written…
“Maya, I will be back after the war. Take good care of yourself and our son. I love you. -Richard Lim, 1890.”
Nanay Fe held both pictures close to her heart.
Most people were resting while Amor and Carlo were talking while staying with tatay Anastacio.
“Masaya ang mga tao dito sainyo. Life is not complicated unlike Punta Verde.”
“Oo, masaya kami dito. I always stay here kapag stressed na akong masyado sa negosyo, sa trabaho.”
“So you don’t have siblings?”
“None. I’m an only child. I’m sure malulungkot si Nanay kapag bumalik na ako sa Punta Verde.”
“Well you can bring her with you. Hindi mo siya pwedeng iwanan dito.”
“Pipilitin ko.” He gave he a smile then continued.
“Ikaw Amor, matagal ka na sa Punta Verde? I mean you’ve been our client for many years but I haven’t seen you until yesterday.”
“I just arrived from the States recently. My staff manages our business.”
“I see. So i assume your family is left in the States.”
“Ah no. I don’t have a family. I live by myself. I am alone.”
He was surprised. How can be someone so beautiful, so kind-hearted be alone.
He shyly asked.
“You mean you don’t have a husband or a boyfriend perhaps?”
She shook her head and gave him a sad smile.
“I don’t have time for that. With my busy schedule, it would be unfair for any man I would be with. Why are you looking at me like that?”
He was staring at her, surprised at what he learned. He also felt his heart skip when he learned that she was uncommitted.
“I just find it strange that someone as beautiful as you would be living alone.”
“Oh well, thank you for the compliment but it was my choice Carlo. I don’t think I could live with anyone. I value my solitude.I enjoy doing things alone and besides the male population are mostly jerks.”
He winced and she smiled.
“Oh well of course with some exemption and you must be part of that.”
“Well, thank you. But seriously, if we didn’t meet this way, I mean in a time like this, I would have already expressed my fondness of you. I might be expressing that I find you so beautiful and I’m drawn by your personality. I might even pursue you.”
“Oh you’re fast, Carlo Asuncion.”
She smiled timidly also getting excited with their conversation.
“I’ve always been fast. I don’t like wasting precious time.”
“Well that makes the two of us. I also don’t waste time either. But I also find it uncomfortable to hear you saying those things in front of your father’s wake.”
“I’m sorry. But seriously, would you allow me to? When we go back to Punta Verde?”
“We’ll see Carlo. We’ll see.”
A/N Richard and Carlo are like the Tortoise and the Hare. 😁
Thanks for reading.
Ano naman ang misteryo na alam ni Nanay Fe? Ewan ko dyan. Di ko pa naiisip kung ano.
#CarMor – the loveteam that could do things that Maya and Richard weren’t allowed to do.
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