Chapter 23

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Chapter 23

"I'm going to miss you."

The melancholic look on Tita Ingrid's face clenched my heart. I didn't want us to part, too. Wala pang isang araw simula nang nakilala ko siya, but I already grew fond and attached to her.

After eating breakfast, Ike told me to pack my things and get ready to go back to Manila. Even though he wanted us to stay for a little bit more, he couldn't re-sched his shoot for the final teaser of Road to Record with the other mentor who made it to the finals.

"You should bring these with you." She offered me a tupperware of leftover homemade brownies we baked. "You can eat these brownies while composing a song."

Her sincerity made me smile. I took the brownies from her hand. "Thank you po, Tita Ingrid."

She shook her head, a smile finally appeared on her lips. "Don't mention it," she replied. "If you have time, don't hesitate to give me a call, okay? Or maybe I'll try to get your schedule sa manager mo para ako na mismo ang tatawag sa 'yo."

Tita Ingrid's eagerness to meet me again made me laugh. But deep inside me, my heart was already swelling with so much love that I have been receiving from her.

"Mom, you're way busier than Aleena. She needs to set a schedule with you a month ahead before she gets to meet you again," Ike chimed in, stifling a laugh. "It'll be hard for her to keep in touch with you."

"Excuse me! I am not busy!" Tita Ingrid defended herself. "It's your father who is busy!"

"Uhuh..." Ike nodded calmly. "And you always accompany him on his business trips."

My eyes drifted to Tito Jimmy. He was nodding his head, agreeing to everything that Ike said.

"I can make time for Aleena if she'd ask." She sounded so sure of her words with a proud smile on her face. "She's like a family to me now―like my daughter-in-law."

Kahit walang iniinom ay para akong nasamid. Nag-init ang aking pisngi sa hiya. Sinulyapan ko si Ike at mukhang hindi niya rin inaasahan ang sinabi ng ina. Si Tito Jimmy naman ay natawa na lamang.

She didn't just say that I'm like a daughter to her, but a daughter-in-law. Those two words made a greater impact. It created a whole different meaning.

"You two better get going now," Tito Jimmy rushed us since the atmosphere got awkward. "Baka hindi na makisama ang panahon mamaya."

Muli kaming nagpaalam ni Ike sa kanyang mga magulang bago sumakay sa helicopter at tuluyang umalis sa isla upang bumalik sa siyudad. I looked down once we took off. My chest tightened as Tita Ingrid kept waving her hand while watching us leave.

As we got farther and farther away, it seemed like the island was being swallowed gradually by water. The view was filled with boundless skies and sea where you could easily get lost.

With a heavy heart, I turned my face in front and stopped looking back. I tried to ease myself as I looked ahead, knowing that I know my destination―and in that place, I could meet those great people I met back in the island.

"Did you have fun with our trip?" Ike asked me while we were still on air.

Kahit na maingay ang sinasakyan naming eroplano ay nadinig ko siya nang malinaw dahil sa suot naming headphones.

I smiled at him and nodded. "I want to live in that kind of peaceful place in the future. I got to relax and clear my head," I told him. "Masaya rin akong nakilala ko ang mga magulang mo, lalong-lalo na si Tita Ingrid."

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