ako sa ning usahon ha kay hasta ang writer naglibog nas sequence...basig mangabaliktad na ning mga partners ani hahahaha
DREAMS AND PROMISES 1
It was a fine morning. The birds were chorusing joyously and Fr. Nomer felt good inside. After praying his morning prayers, he took his showers and prepared for the mass. He passed by the life-sized mirror in the sacristy and took a look at himself. It’s sad how the years have considerably aged this once young face. But they were years well-spent. He never had any regrets. Devoting his life to the service of the Lord had taught him a lot of things – sacrifice, patience, humility, above all, LOVE. Love for Christ was the only force that had powered his every endeavor. It was for this love that he has learned to leave everything behind, to deny his self of the pleasures of this world, even to say goodbye to the only woman he cared for in his life. Sometimes, in moments of anguish and desolation, his mind would inadvertently raced back to those “love-struck” moments he shared with her: those precious moments they shared together – the laughters, the companionship, even just the closeness. But saying goodbye was the hardest part. Why do there have to be good-bye’s? Why can’t he have both: God and the woman he loves? But these are insignificant now. He has learned to live with it. He’s a priest – a priest forever – and nothing can ever change that…
“Bless me Father for I have sinned. It’s been six months since my last confession,” a woman’s voice trailed on.
It was Good Friday and the parishioners of St. Anthony the Abbot parish were flocking the church to confess and be sorry for their sins – at least for once a year. Fr. Nomer sat inside the confessional for almost two hours now and yet people kept on coming. Now that school days are over, he can spend more time in the parish. Parish works can be a lot more fulfilling than office works and teaching.
“Confess your sins,” he said casually.
“I’m sure you don’t remember me anymore, Father,” the woman hesitated for a while.
My God, why do that voice sounds so familiar? It can’t be. It must NOT be.
“Since the day we parted,” she continued, “I’ve learned to live my life pretending I’ve never met you. I thought the wound you left would just eventually heal. But I was wrong. I’m married now, with two kids and a loving husband. We’re both earning our living quite well. Life is easier and I really should be happy. But why this emptiness?”
It’s HER! She has come. Please God, do not abandon me!
Grains of sweat rolled down from his head. Fr. Nomer was trembling. Suddenly he felt cold and paralyzed. He tried to open his eyes and saw the attendant nurse standing by the bedside.
“Your fever hasn’t gone down, Father. Please, lay still. You need more rest,” the nurse said and left.
Damn! These dreams!
DREAMS AND PROMISES 2
When the tragedy of Flight 143 hit the papers, it was an instant scoop. Every flash report detailed the search of the survivors of the ill-fated Cebu Pacific airliner which attempted unsuccessfully to land at Lumbia Airport, Cagayan de Oro. Then recently, one TV channel listed the names of passengers who were among those who did NOT make it. One name stands out on the screen as Fr. Nomer stared in disbelief: GOMEZ, ROLANDO. He took out his wallet and scanned his list of residence address-cards. What he saw confirmed his shock.
DR. GISELLE D. GOMEZ
Archbishop Hayes, Burgos St.
Cagayan de Oro City
Cellphone no. 0918-1434-444
MARRIED TO ATTY. ROLANDO E. GOMEZ
His gaze went back to the screen. Is this the same Rolando Gomez, his old friend, his rival and the husband of the woman of his past? He must know. He has to know. But how? He had promised never to make any contact with her ever again.
As if in a daze, the next few minutes found his feet bringing him to the local long distance telephone service. And then he remembered another name of his past: a friend, a very close friend, one who was always there with them when Giselle and he were once more than good friends.
“I’d like to place a long distance call to ATTY. MARGARITA ROA, 0918-3380-254, Cagayan de Oro.”
“Just a moment, Father,” the operator said as his fingers hurriedly fiddle the buttons of the phone.
“Yes, hello? Long distance call for Atty. Roa, from Fr. Nomer.” The operator signaled to Booth No. 02.
“Hello, Marge, is that you?”
“My God, Nomer – I mean Fr. Nomer, we’ve been trying to contact you since the tragedy but we were never able to get across.”
“It’s true then. It’s him. It’s Roland.”
“Yes, it’s Roland and the hardest part is: their two kids were with him.”
“You mean... Oh my God! Nooo!”
“Nomer, you must come at once. Giselle’s never been herself since it happened. She’s been totally devastated.”
“Listen to me FATHER NOMER RODRIGUEZ! If there’s any person in this world who can console her in these moments of desolation, it’s you. She needs you now more than ever. Damn it, forget you were once lovers or even good friends. Just come. Come as a servant of God. Console her, comfort her. That’s your job. You’re a priest and I don’t have to remind you!”
“Okay, okay! I’ll come, though I’m not sure what to do.”
“Come at once. There’s no time to waste. I’ll meet you at the airport.”
“Okay. And Margie, take care of her please. I’m coming... I’m coming...”
- TO BE CONTINUED
DREAMS AND PROMISES 3
"Are you really sure you're going? Have you thought about this" Fr. Casper was anxiously pacing back and forth genuinely disturbed by what his long time friend had just confided to him.
"You, of all people, should be the first to understand. This is not some kind of a lovers' reunion, Cas. We're talking about a tragedy here. Giselle just lost her husband and kids! Comforting her would be the most christian thing to do in these moments of desolation. I'll be going as a priest and as her friend...just a friend." Nomer tried to explain more to himself than to Casper. He sounded unconvincing.
"Haha! Tell that to the marines! You know as well as I do the first instant your gazes will meet there's gonna be no turning back."
Nomer almost smiled to himself at his friend's subtle sarcasm. Casper knew him very well, and he knew everything about the Nomer-Giselle-Roland love riddle. He knew how it almost cost him, Nomer, his vocation and he knew how it cost Roland his. It was them - Nomer, Casper and Roland - the best of friends who exchanged dreams, who embarked on life determined to change the world, to make a difference. Their friendship traces a long line of adventure and fun, idealism and frustrations all the way from their philosophy years at IHMS.
"Then, I have only one option left", Nomer sighed in resignation.
"And what is that?"
"YOU come along. I'll book a ticket for you. Margie will be meeting us. She already arranged for a place for us to stay."
"Margie?" Casper's voice was tensed. "You mean Margarita Roa? Or is it still Roa?"
"Yes, herself. You do remember her, don't you? She's still unmarried".
Do I remember her?! Casper thought to himself. Do I? My God! Never thought I'd hear her name again. T'was such a very long time ago...
- TO BE CONTINUED
DREAMS AND PROMISES 4
(12 YEARS EARLIER)
Roland felt terribly ashamed of what he did. He just couldn't bear the thought of the Father Rector reprimanding him. It's been weeks since he's been having sleepless nights and this morning he overslept and woke up late. Panic seized his guts as he realized he hasn't prepared the sacristy yet which he planned to do the night before but totally forgot all about it after that phone call that left him with indescribable feelings. It was Giselle. She CALLED him. He never thought he'd live to see that day. It had always been Nomer. Countless were the times he was the messenger. 'Bay, foncall.''Kinsa nanawag?''Kahibaw naka.' He could almost memorize this all-too familiar dialogue. But last night was different. He was not the messenger. She did not ask for Nomer. Instead, she asked if she could talk to him. He couldn't quite figure out what she was really saying at first. His heart was racing fast, throbbing wildly. Her voice, so close to his ear, he almost melted. He could hear her sobbing silently and his heart reached out to her. How can a person so beautiful and so blest be so sad?
"I know you and Nomer are the best of friends and he confides to you more than he does to me. I need your help, Roland. Please. There's something I really need to know." She finally managed in between sobs.
"Of course, Gie. I'm listening. You can trust me."
"Can we meet? I really need to unload. I can't do it on the phone."
"Sure. Sunday afternoon after our pastoral, if it's fine with you." Roland blurted out a hurried reply without even thinking. He can't believe what he was hearing.
"Yes. I'll be off-duty by then. The Dunkin' D fronting Xavier U?
"Sure. I'll be there."
"Thank you so much, Roland."
"No problem. I'll see you this Sunday." And then he surprised himself by abruptly putting down the phone without even saying goodbye. Could be unconsciously afraid she might change her mind? He almost laughed to himself as he realized this, feeling like a fool later, blushing and all smiles, as he strutted down the corridor so lighthearted he almost glided. Nobody ever knew he has had a terrible crush on Giselle eversince the first time he saw her. Even as the Nomer-Giselle lovestory progressed and became public, he continued to keep his secret, many times feeling guilty when he secretly felt a tinge of joy each time Nomer would confide to him about a quarrel he has had with Giselle.
And so this morning when he rushed to the sacristy to prepare for the first friday mass, he was terrified to find the wine mass bottle almost empty. The Father Liturgist had been reminding him of the requisition slip to order for new bottles but he had always put it off for another day. This has been his 3rd year to be elected Community Sacristan and he thought he knew everything. Besides, he had always been good at his job. Never had messed it up. This time he was in trouble. It was first friday and the Rector was the celebrant. He needed to act fast. Then he remembered the fourth year theologians' drinking spree last night in the Building C parlor. With few minutes left before the mass would start, he sprinted to the Building C parlor and found what he was looking for: a half-empty Tanduay 'lapad'. Concealing the bottle underneath his shirt, he dashed back to the sacristy and mixed the wine mass with the liquour and proceeded to prepare the rest. The mass started off uneventfully and the seminarians went about the usual rubrics hardly noticing Roland who almost shrunk to his seat as he watched the Rector drank from the chalice after the Lamb of God...
- TO BE CONTINUED