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and every time i look at you (it's like the first time)

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Pearl always knew this day would come, but she can’t believe that it’s already about to end.

She looks around the hall, amazed at how Karleen was able to transform the simple event hall into a breathtaking reception area.

Rose quartz and serenity ceiling drapes were intertwined with fairy lights, giving the hall an intimate feeling. A sky blue curtain backdrop, the frame were lined with carnations and white roses, was placed in front for the grooms. The letters “C&G” were perched on top of a wooden cylinder, a gift from Alex for the newlyweds.

It’s always been her dream to organize her best friends’ wedding, and she couldn’t be happier with the results.

Now, with her two favorite women beside her, she watches her best friend as he gives his message to the love of his life.

 

“Aaminin ko, Cai, naisip ko dati na tapusin ‘to. Na tapusin kung anong mayroon tayo,” Gav says, smiling as if he didn’t just drop a huge truth bomb. On his wedding reception of all places!

Kakaloka ‘tong si Gav, talagang sinasabi niya ‘to sa vows niya?! Pearl sees Alex (and several others) gasp at Gav’s statement, and she can’t help but snicker. Kung alam niyo lang kung gaano kadrama ang mag-baby na ‘yan, nako.

From where she is, Pearl can see Cairo tighten his grip on Gav’s hands.

“Ang dami kasing problema nung panahon na ‘yun eh. Daming bayarin, stress sa trabaho, tapos LDR pa tayo. Umabot na lang ako sa punto na iniisip ko, ‘Sanay ka naman mag-isa Gav, sanay ka namang iniiwan.’ Uy baby, huwag ka sumimangot ng ganyan. Halikan kita diyan eh,” Gav says when he sees Cairo frowning.

 

The atmosphere suddenly lightens up, everyone laughing at how Gav still finds it in him to flirt while talking about his own heartbreak. Pearl laughs even harder when Alex stands up and shouts, “Oh please Alarcon, we all know you just want an excuse to kiss Cairo!”

Pearl watches as Karleen pulls Alex back to her seat, obviously holding back her own laugh over Alex’s antics.

It takes a few more seconds for everyone to calm down, including the two men on stage.

They think they’re so slick, stealing a kiss while everyone was looking at Alex, but I saw that babes. Mga bakla pa rin kayo ng taon!

 

Gav resumes his speech. “Nasaan na nga ba ko? Ayun, ang drama man pakinggan pero ganun talaga naramdaman ko noong panahon na iyon eh. Diba may isang beses na tumawag ako sa’yo ng madaling araw, baby? Halatang nagising kita, pero tinanong mo lang ako kung may problema ako. Tapos sabi ko lang mahal na mahal kita. Nginitian mo ako tapos sabi mo, ‘Mahal na mahal din kita. Matulog ka na nga diyan.’

Pearl sees Cairo’s eyes go soft, and her heart melts seeing her best friends together like this.

“Ang hindi mo alam, makikipaghiwalay na dapat ako sa’yo noon eh.”

 

Everyone is silent, but the room feels heavy. Gav, pagkatapos mo kami pakiligin, biglang may atake na ganito?!

 

Cairo looks away from Gav, but Gav moves closer. He gently lifts Cairo’s chin as he continues speaking. “Kaso habang hinihintay kong sagutin mo yung tawag ko, may naalala ako eh.”

Pearl is wondering where Gav is going with this when he suddenly goes to stand beside Cairo, wrapping an arm around him. She sees Cai look at Gav with confusion, but he leans his head on Gav’s shoulder anyway.

 

As Pearl looks at the two of them, she knows they’ve forgotten about everyone else in the room.

 

“Tinanong mo sa’kin bakit dito sa Laguna ko ginustong ikasal, at sabi ko sa’yo kasi dito yung isa sa mga first dates natin eh. Tanda mo yung umupo tayo sa may bandang doon,” Gav says, pointing to the area near the pool. “Magkatabi tayo, nagmamasid lang. Mahinahon mong tinawag pangalan ko. Paglingon ko sa’yo, inakbayan mo ko at nginitian.”

“Noong magtama ang mata nating dalawa, doon ko nasabi sa sarili ko: Wala na akong ibang mamahalin sa buhay na ito.”

 

Gav went back to stand in front of Cairo, and Pearl could see how radiant her best friends were smiling. Gav was cradling Cairo’s face with one hand, tenderly wiping away his tears.

“Kaya noong sinagot mo ang tawag ko, noong marinig kong sabihin mo ang ‘baby’, napawi sa oras na iyon lahat ng agam-agam ko.”

“Inisip ko sa sarili ko, ngayon pa ba ko susuko eh ang dami na nating pinagdaanan.”

 

Gav stops speaking then, placing his microphone on the table behind him. He cups Cairo’s face with both of hands, while Cairo wraps his arms around Gav’s waist.

Pearl felt someone nudge her side, and she was faced with Karleen giving her a handkerchief. On her other side, she felt Alex squeeze her hand. She didn’t even realize she was crying.

 

Even without the microphone, Pearl heard Gav’s next message to Cairo loud and clear.

 

“Katulad nga ng sabi mo sa’kin noon, Sa tingin mo ba, kaya talaga kitang ayawan, baby?