A car is honking loudly outside our house. I tell my mom what's happening and bid her goodbye. I check the time. It's 5:30 am. Chrixa's flight leaves at seven. We need to be there by six!
I may have analyzed what the situation is but I'm still struggling how I'm gonna deal with it. I started by rushing my bath, putting on the first shirt and jeans that I can grab from my cabinet and checking my face in the mirror for two seconds, before jumping out the house.
The Gang is waiting outside. Mike brought his dad's car and is obviously driving it. I then run towards the car and entered hastily.
Mort: I'm ready!
I confirm everyone.
Lance: Let's go!
Then Mike starts the car and moves it away from the house.
Mort: So you got your license?
Mike: Of course I did. Now buckle up!
He made a tight turn to make the car face the street where we'll exit.
Mike: Now we could put my arcade racing skills to the test.
But before I could react to that, the car took off on high speed.
After five minutes, my fright that we're going to crash anytime soon ebbed and is replaced by the bigger concern of the day:
My farewell to Chrixa.
I then bow my head and pray silently,
"Bless me today, O Lord. I can't let Chrixa leave without a proper farewell. I can't imagine how sad she is right now. I have to tell her the truth before she leaves!"
Jake: We know! That's why we need to hurry!
I actually said the last sentences of my prayer aloud. The Gang was beaming at me encouragingly. Mike used the rear view mirror to show his assuring smile but then I warned him not to take his eyes off the road.
The remainder of the journey I kept thinking that I won't know what I'm gonna do without these guys. They made things easier for me so I silently thanked God for the wonderful gift of friendship that He's given me.
We arrived at the airport in thirty minutes, which means it's already 6 am. We hurriedly went inside.
We are actually at Lance's airport. Lance prepared the passes we need so we can get in. It's early yet there are so many people. The terminal is so wide too! Which made me wonder how we're going to find Chrixa.
Karen: She's not answering!
Karen tries to call her, but to no avail.
Lance: Okay! Everybody calm down. We have to split up to find Chrixa.
Lance: Jake and Mike search the west side of the terminal, Daniel and Karen search the east side. Mort and I will be on the middle.
Jake & Mike: Sir, yes sir!
Then everyone head for their respective search positions, hoping that one of them would bump into Chrixa.
Lance: Mort, come with me!
I follow Lance towards the middle of the terminal and after looking at the direction he's heading to, I instantly figure out where he's taking me.
Mort: Lance we don't have time for this? Chrixa's not a lost kid!
He's taking me into a counter where someone with a microphone would give special announcements and where lost kids were being paged.
Lance: I know!
Lance maneuvered through the bustling crowd towards the pager.
Mort: Then what are you doing?
I almost lost my footing when I stumble upon an old couple. I mutter a hasty apology.
Lance didn't answer my question instead he says something to the one whose holding the mic -a kind-looking man- and gives him some money.
Mort: Are you bribing him?
I look at Lance with disbelief.
Lance: No, I'm just renting this place for a while.
He takes the microphone from the man.
But the answer to that question dawns on me.
Lance: You Mort...
Lance points at me.
Lance: ...will tell Chrixa what you need to say to her through this.
He points at the microphone.
Mort: What!? Are you kidding me? I can't do that!
Lance: Mort, were running out of time! This is a perfect method of delivering your message to her! She'll hear it even if she's already sitting inside the plane!
Lance‘s idea is perfect, of course. And I know I’m ready to tell Chrixa the truth, willing to do everything I can to bid her a proper farewell. But...
Lance: Good Morning everyone! My name is Lance Summers, son of Arthur Summers. You know, the owner of the airport. Anyways! I'm calling the attention of Miss Chrixa Sun.
I can hear the echo of Lance's voice on the speakers.
Lance: Chrish! Please listen to this!
Lance then passes the mic to me which I didn't take right away. I just stared at it.
This is really crazy!
But it's probably the only chance I've got.
I take a deep breath and position myself in front of the microphone.
Mort: G-good morning e-everyone.
I started with a polite greeting, my voice a bit raspy and stuttering from the effort not to just up and bolt from the counter.
Mort: M-my name is Mort Vurlock. I'm a friend of Lance. And...
I take a deep breath.
Mort: I have a message for Miss Chrixa Sun.
I glance at Lance nervously. He gives me two thumbs up and smiles.
Mort: First, I wanna apologize for the inconvenience that I'm causing you right now and I also wanna inform you all that...
Suddenly I don’t mind anymore. I came to say goodbye to Chrixa and since I’ve been given a chance to do it in a spectacular way, I will take advantage of it.
Mort: ...I've been a terrible best friend.
Mort: I've been pretending to the person I care about the most. All I wanted was to make her happy but I ended up hurting her. All those years I thought I'm doing a good job of being a best friend but I wasn't even half as good. I'm only there for her in times of happiness. I don't even remember helping her with her real problems.
I look at the time. It's 6:45. I need to tell her what I came for.
Mort: And now I'm here. Disturbing you all, just to deliver a message to my best friend.
I can see guards coming but Lance held up a hand to them, signaling them to stop. I really owe Lance a big one.
Mort: Chrixa Sun.
I’m kinda distracted with how formal I addressed her.
I do hope she’s listening wherever she is.
Mort: I'm sorry I wasn't there when you're crying. I'm sorry that I pretended I didn't know.
I feel warmth in my heart.
Mort: And I’m sorry that I didn’t tell you the truth right away. The truth that started from the first moment I met you.
There's no holding back this time.
I close my eyes and speak the truth,
“I love you.”
Mort: Probably as much as you love me. Maybe even more. Always have and always will.
Tears are forming on my eyes. Now to bid my love a proper farewell.
Mort: Now go and show the world how wonderful and beautiful you are! Fulfill your dreams, Chrish! Whatever they say to you, for me, you're the most beautiful, most talented, and the best actress the world has ever seen. Have a safe flight, Chrish! And see you soon!
I smile as I turn to Lance.
Mort: I really hope she heard that.
Lance was smiling too.
Lance: I’m pretty sure she did, man. That was awesome.
The guards then tells us to leave.
I noticed that there was a small crowd that gathered around the counter. Some pats my back and acknowledged my bravery.
The rest of the Gang arrived at the counter after a minute and congratulated me. They hug me and shake my hand. I'm relieved to know that they've heard it because there's no doubt now that Chrixa heard it too. I then look up, thanking God for the strength and asked Him to make Chrixa happy as she moves on to the next level of her life. And that He keep her safe on her journey.
A voice then echoed across the terminal announcing the departure of her flight.
I closed my eyes and settled with the thought of her smile. In one of the planes, on the runway or up the sky, I hope I made her smile. The happiest and the most genuine smile.
My eyes open. I look around. Her voice is echoing across the terminal, it’s hard to pinpoint where exactly she is. The gangs looking around now too. Even some of the people around us are looking.
It's getting louder! It's from behind me. But there’s so many people!
The Gang are calling her name too.
The crowd shifts, clearing a path.
Then suddenly she’s there. Her beautiful face beaming at me. I can tell from her swollen tomato eye bags that she's been crying. But she looks happy.
Chrixa: Mort! You’re so stupid!
My heart exploded with emotion and I can no longer hold my tears back. The happiness was overwhelming I started crying when Chrixa runs towards me and hugs me. I hug her back.
Mort: I'm sorry, Chrish...
I don’t want to let go of her. I buried my face on her hair.
Mort: I'm really sorry!
Chrixa's crying too. But also laughing. The Gang also joined in and hugs us. We’re laughing and crying, and I can’t seem to stop saying sorry to her.
Finally after about ten or so sorrys, we let go of each other. We smile and laugh, then we all wait for Chrixa to say something. She looks at me and smiles.
Chrixa: I'll forgive you...
She pauses to wipe more of her tears.
Chrixa: ...in one condition.
I smile and shake my head.
Mort: Ok then, what is it?
I don’t really mind whatever the condition is. She smiles as if recalling a good joke.
Chrixa: Shout 'I love you' to me.
I can’t stop smiling. I take 5 steps back. Looking her in the eye and feeling so happy.
When she gave it to me on the first day of school, I didn't really wanna say it. It’s embarrassing! A lot of people are gonna hear me! It's too awkward!
I shake my head again and not because I don't want to do it, or I feel bad about it, but because I can't believe how much I wanna shout it.
I inhale, and shout with all of my heart:
"I LOVE YOU, CHRIXA SUN!"