"Why don't you tell him the truth? Why do you have to lie?" my friend, Lia asked.
I shook my head while packing all my things.
"If he knows I'm sick, he will lose his focus. His studies are way more important." I said. Lia grabbed my shoulder and forced me to face her. She's crying. I'm crying.
"You are way more important than him being a doctor. You are the reason why he wants to be a doctor. Don't take that away from him." I wiped her tears and held her hand.
"Lia, I love your brother. I want to spend the rest of my life with him. But that's me being selfish. I can't bear to see your brother throwing his life away for me. I want him to be happy."
"He will never be happy. How can he be? My brother's world revolved around you."
"Exactly! That's why it's easier if we end things now. It will be easier for him to move on. If I die in his arms, he will be ruined and I don't want that to happen to him."
"I don't know Ky. I can't accept your reasons. I know it's hard for you. You're sick and you need someone to take care of you. We will take care of you. Don't go."
I smiled at her.
"When I was first diagnosed, your brother wants to drop from college to go with me to the US. I don't want that to happen again. I don't want him to stop just because mine was about to stop. He needs to move forward, even if I'm not with him anymore."
She looked away. I know deep inside she realizes I have a point. He will be ruined if I leave him now but this is the only way I can take to save him from having a miserable life.
I held her hand.
"Lia, you have to promise me that no matter what happens, you will never tell anyone about my situation. If I die, I die. If I survive, I will come back."
"But what if he moves on from you?" my heart skipped.
"If one day, I can come back and see that he's happy. Then everything works well. That's what I want him to be happy without me. If he decides to love another girl I will be heartbroken for sure but that's the risk I'm willing to take. If making him miserable now will make him happy in the future...."
I was cut off when I heard the door opened.
Raphael was confused when he saw my luggage all over the place.
"Are we going on a vacation? I haven't filed my leave yet."
Lia stood up and went outside. She gave me a sad smile and left.
"I'm going for a vacation Raffy. Auntie Anna is inviting me to stay with her in New York."
He walks towards me with his serious face.
"And you're telling me this now? I'll go with you. I'll just call my attendant for my emergency leave. How long are we going to be there?" he asked as he was about to reach for his phone.
I stopped him and smile.
"I want to go alone."
"W-what? Why? What's happening Ky?"
"Raffy, I need a break. From my family, from this place..."
"Then I'll go with you!"
"... From you."
"I-. What?" What do you mean?"
"Raffy, I can't do this anymore? Let's end things here."
He was astounded.
"Kyrienne! What is happening?"
I removed his hands from my arms. I tried to make a straight face. I have to do it even if it kills me.
"Raffy, I want to be alone. I want to explore the world alone. I want to be happy and do everything I want."
"Then we'll do it together. We promise Ky! We promised that we will do everything together. What is happening with you?
I shook my head. "I'm so sorry Raffy. I've been thinking about this for the past months. I want to be free from you. I want to decide things on my own. I want to do everything without asking other people's permission."
He held my hands and kneel in front of me. "Ky, we'll do it your way. No need to ask for my permission, we'll do everything. We'll do sky diving. Everything. Just, please. I cannot live without you."
"But I can! and I want to! Raffy, you're the very person who's stopping me from doing the things I like the most! I hated you for it. Don't make me hate you more."
He was astounded. He stood up and wiped his tears. He looked at me with so much love.
"Do you mean it? Do you really want me gone from your life?"
For a second, I want to take back everything I said. But then, I remind myself that I have to sacrifice for him to be okay in the future.
I nodded. He sighed. He wiped his tears. And he smiled.
"Okay. I will wait for you here. Come back to me whenever you are ready." I know he's convincing himself that it's okay.
I smiled at him and held his hands. "I don't know if I will ever want to come back. I... don't want you to wait for me. Go live a good life. Meet new people." He shook his head.
"I'll wait for you. Even if you won't come back, I will. I'll be here where you left me."