Way of Grace

Love Leads Us Back to the Way of Grace

When conscience feels no guilt, when the eye sees nothing right, when the mind grasps no reason, listen to the whispers of the heart. Love will lead you back to the way of grace…

The Child

When we lose our sense of purpose, all we need to do  is to look at the eyes of a child. We will see life just as it is and understand it the way it should be understood. Then, we will find our truest purpose…

She was about to knock on the door when a little kid outside the gate caught her attention. He was smiling at her, while waving, as if they had known each other for a long time. Surprisingly, he looked familiar.

“Nick?” She was surprised. “Is it Nick? He looked like Nick”, she murmured in astonishment.

Nick was the son of Mike,  the man inside the house waiting for her. The man she came for. The man for whom she was willing to risk everything.

“No, he can’t be here”, confounded, she protested in her mind.

Something wasn’t right. Why would Mike bring his son with him on that day when they, all alone together against the world, against all odds, were supposed to begin a new chapter in their lives?

The Surprise

Life presents beautiful surprises, which, if not prudently handled, can bring ugly consequences…

The world stopped for a while. They were speechless as their eyes expressed mixed emotions of surprise, bewilderment, and excitement. They could hear their hearts pounding hard. 

“Claire!?!” Mike finally broke the awkward silence.

They wanted to run into each other’s arms. They wanted to hug each other tight to make up for the lost times.  But everyone’s eyes were stuck at them, curious as to what would happen next. For sure, everyone had been wondering how would things turn out should they meet again after their emotional breakup about eleven years ago. That incident was the talk of the town for quite some time.

“It’s good that you took the time to come home to attend Gina’s’ funeral”, Mike was able to emotionally settle down somehow.

“She was my best friend”, she forced a smile. “Excuse me.”  She could feel the eyes following her as she walked away from Mike.

The Fire

Even the purest of hearts has to go through the fire to reach the ranks of the wise. Only then it will be able to withstand the strongest storms of life…

“I knew you would visit this place.”

She was startled upon hearing Mike’s voice. She didn’t know how she got in there. It was one of the places she erased in her mind.  It was a vivid reminder of the most painful and saddest tale of her life. She swore never to set foot in that place ever again. Somehow her feet led her there against her conscious will. Perhaps, deep in her heart, she had that feeling and longing that Mike would be there.

It was their favorite spot, atop the hill. They climbed up that place almost every afternoon to watch and be amazed by the fascinating view of the sunset. It felt so peaceful, so beautiful. It was then.

“I just wanted to view the sunset. It’s been a long time. I’ve missed it.” She tried to sound casual and oblivious. Her voice betrayed her though. She stuttered.

“Me too. There’s something mysterious about it, something magical, spiritual”,  Mike sat beside her. She feigned indifference.  Mike moved closer to her, so close that their arms touched. She could sense some restlessness inside her. Her mind wanted to push him away. But, a part of her wanted to pull him closer.

“Mike!” His hand held hers. “What are you doing?”

As their eyes met, silence filled the void created by the mixed and conflicting impulses of excitement, thrill, joy, resistance, fear, and denial. His grip tightened. She began regretting why she visited the place despite knowing that Mike would be there too. Her mind was telling her to get to her feet and leave right away. But her heart was wishing for the moment to last forever. 

She wanted him to grab her and hold her captive in his warm embrace. He wanted to kiss her and forge her in the fire of his love. They wanted to let loose the feeling which for so long they tried hard ignore and defy.

The Lie

Oftentimes, lies offer the most convenient way out. But, lies leave wounds which not even time can heal…

Theirs was a typical narrative of a love which, though true and pure, was cursed by pride and prejudice which could not be contained. 

Mike came from a wealthy family. His  parents were strongly opposed to their relationship, so profusely opposed that there came a point that they threatened to disinherit Mike if he would not break up with her. But Mike was willing to give up everything for her.

What a love! Not even the wrath of hell could seem to stop it. But time, with its ingenuity, had its cruel twists.

Claire’s father fell seriously ill. In an effort to provide him the medication he needed, they got indebted with Mike’s parents, offering their farm as security. They couldn’t pay the debt, so their farm was about to be taken by Mike’s parents.

Mike’s parents saw the circumstance as a great opportunity to separate them. They offered not to take the farm and to shoulder the future medical expenses of Claire’s father. In exchange, they wanted Claire to break up with Mike in a way that Mike would hate her and curse their love. 

Claire initially protested. But the options were simple, either she would play the game or they would lose their farm while denying her father any medical attention in the future. She knew it was a no-win situation for her. She really loved Mike so much that even the thought of hurting him broke her heart. But losing her father, never mind the farm, was something her conscience could not bear. It wasn’t easy, but a choice, an obvious one, had to be made.

They arranged an occasion for Mike to catch Claire  on a date with her supposedly new boyfriend. The confrontation was fierce. Harsh words were uttered. Mike was totally devastated. In the outside, she was able to portray her role convincingly. She shed not a single teardrop. But inside, she was breaking apart. Her heart was soaking in tears.

The Truth

The truth will find its way into the light no matter what. But, uncovering the truth is not for the faint of heart. For the fragile soul, at times, the truth is better kept hidden…

“I already know the truth. It’s time to make things right. Come with me. We will settle abroad and start a new life together.”

“And you think that’s right? Look, your wife is not supposed to suffer for what happened to us. She’s got nothing to do with it. And your son, can you really abandon him?”

“All my life, I’ve always lived thinking of what was good for everyone else, never about what I wanted, never about myself. But because of you I learned to stand for myself, to fight for what I thought I deserved. You were the only piece of my life that I fought for, unmindful of what others might think or say. When you abandoned me, I doubted everything about me, everything about all that I believed in, everything about love. But now that you are here. I’ll fight for us again no matter what it takes, no matter where  it will bring us, no matter who gets hurt.. Together, we must claim what is rightfully ours. Let us not allow the world to deny us of what our love deserves in the first place, not again!”

She wanted to say something to dissuade him. But she was about to break down. After all, Mike might be right. It could be destiny paving for them a new beginning. It could be time trying to make up for stealing the chance  they once had. Or, it could be just love finding the way for itself.

The Chance

Life creates  a thousand and one chances to fix the mistakes of the past. But, the scars of yesteryears make it difficult for the wounded soul to see the beauty and joy of letting go and moving on…

She almost failed to attend Gina’s funeral. Her boss did not approve her vacation leave. But in the last minute, it was her boss himself who gave her a full-month vacation as a reward for having closed a huge deal for the company.

But she did not expect at all that Mike would be there too. The last thing she heard about him, his family already migrated somewhere nobody knew, leaving no property, and, apparently, with no intention to ever return because his mother got involved in a large-scale corruption case. That they were both here should mean something was destined. Was this life’s way of making amends for what it did to them eleven years ago? Was it fate righting the wrong?

She could not hold it anymore. She broke into tears.

They agreed to meet at Davao City, where they would finalize their plans. What was clear at the moment was that Mike would leave his family. They would find a place where they could legally live, or at least fade in obscurity, together as husband and wife. The next steps and the details were something they would figure out.

Mike left the place ahead. She wanted to enjoy the rest of the twilight at the top of the hill. Here, they began. Here, they carved a fresh start once more.

The Eyes of a Child

Look into the eyes of the child once more. Look closely and you will find the true essence of love…

“I’m sorry. This kid loves to befriend everyone who is new here.” The lady took the child by the hand.

“Your son? He’s so cute.”

“Oh, that child closely resembled Nick.” She uttered, relieved that he wasn’t Nick. But Nick kept occupying her thoughts. How would Nick be affected? Wouldn’t his future be jeopardized if Mike would leave them now? And for this reason? “Because of me?” She was horrified.

She could imagine Nick losing himself amidst emotional storm, nurturing anger, hating the world, wasting his life.

How about Stella? Did she deserve to be hurt and betrayed like this? Was it fair to punish her for a wrong she had absolutely nothing to do with? “Will it right any wrong at all?”

No. It was something she couldn’t take.

The Way of Grace

Love shows the way. The way back home is the way of grace…

She knocked on the door with inexplicable joy and excitement. He was surprised to see her.

“I thought you would be gone for a few days.”

Well, I realized I missed you more than anything else. I would rather spend my entire vacation here with you. By the way, Tay, I brought something for you and Nanay.”

She sauntered around their backyard. She felt so free, so happy.

Her eyes chanced upon the top of the hill. She stopped for a while. She remembered what she saw in the eyes of the child.

Love is not selfish
Love doesn’t break hearts
Love doesn’t ruin homes
Love doesn’t destroy lives

She turned her head wearing a smile. “What began in there must end in there.”