Reignald landed and sighed. This was the third stop, Mira’s hometown where he remembered visiting her parents and asking for her hand in marriage.
The first two stops of his search were unrewarding, nobody remembered them in the condominium building that they lived in and she was never in the city she dreamed of living across the sea, but he was never going to give up and went on.
“Mira, please be here.” Reignald prayed.
He touched the window to his left and a touch screen monitor appeared in its place. He swiped and dragged on it a few more times until he found the right map he was looking for. From where he landed, her house was only about several kilometers away.
After grabbing his backpack, Reignald disembarked. He took one deep breath of the fresh air as soon as he stepped out. He closed his eyes and basked on the fading sunshine that shone on him at dusk and the cool breeze that touched his face. He smiled at the beautiful memories that came with them.
While he walked along the sidewalk to the direction of her parents’ home, Reignald could almost feel her soft hands in his as he held it firmly, their fingers laced together. They had walked here so many times before. He remembered every time especially one particular afternoon.
They had held an ice cream cone each with their free hands and had enjoyed the cold creamy sweetness of the dessert with the picturesque view of the small town against the green mountains and farms in the backdrop. She giggled as he nuzzled in her ear, blowing cool air on her skin. She had smiled up at him and her eyes had sparkled. At that moment his heart had been filled with warmth.
As if that wasn’t perfect enough, she had leaned her head on his shoulder and whispered, “I love you, Reignald. Can we stay this happy forever?”
He had stopped in the middle of the path, as the other pedestrians circled and walked past them. He had turned to face her. He then gently rubbed the back of her hand that held the cone on her cheek. He looked deep into her eyes and said, “I love you more, Mira. As long as we have each other, we will always be happy and I intend to be with you forever.”
Then as if nothing else mattered in the universe, he had leaned in and kissed her lips slowly and lovingly as they had slipped their arms around each other and had gotten lost in the passion of their embrace with sticky liquid dripping on the sides of their shoes and saggy cones drooping in their hands.
Reignald stopped in front of a huge three-floor house with an intricate iron black gate with gold accents. With a deep breath and a heart full of hope, he rang the bell.
A short elderly woman came running from the front door. He recognized the woman as Mira’s childhood nanny and her family’s trusted help, Pearl, but she looked at him like she has never seen him before and he understood why.
“Yes, Sir? What can we do for you?” The woman asked.
“Is Mira here? Uhm... I’m Reignald, her husb... friend,” he corrected before he slipped the word out that might shock the woman, everyone and even Mira. “I’m her friend.”
“Oh! She doesn’t live here anymore. Her parents live abroad now. I’m just here to take care of the house. Mira and her daughter move around the country, depends on where her fiance is assigned.”
Daughter... That’s my Celestine...
“They’re getting married soon. They’ve been together for three years now.” The woman elaborated.
Yes... I have been away that long... Longer...
“Would you happen to know where they live now?” Reignald prodded.
“The last time she called a month ago, she said they were in Quezon. I forgot where exactly. I’m sorry. I’m old. I tend to forget a lot of things.”
“That’s alright. You’ve been a great help to me already. Thank you.” He smiled.
After saying his goodbyes, he went on his way and set the path to Quezon. He arrived an hour later, the air was warm and the night sky was clear. He looked up and a new glimmer of hope shone his way.
As the glowing celestial body twinkled in its dark background surrounded by fainter flickers of light, Reignald smiled.
“Ophiuchus... The fifth star will always lead you to me, Mira,” he whispered under his breath.
He made his way through the woods to an open field of grass, sparsely filled with trees that provided shade to the picnic tables and playsets in the park. His every step, springing optimism that he would finally be reunited with his family.