Chapter 9:

Chapter 9: The Runaway

OFW: Billionaire's Life Story

I edged a little to clear the monotonous tone of the atmosphere glanced at Ayah Isabel, started to taste my coffee, put a little sugar, and tasted it. I looked around again, seated comfortably ready for any issue that befalls me. I saw Mr. Gonzales scrutinize me by the way he looked into my eyes. He started the conversation, "Marco, I have been able to raise my children the proper way of conduct with themselves ever since they're young, three of them. We loved them...truly, that we gave the best of everything to them. Now, I must tell this personally, what Bryan said to us. That you and Ayah are living in without the sanctity of you truly love my daughter?" His question made me squirm and uncomfortable.

Again, I glanced at Ayah Isabel but she was not looking at me. I can see tears falling down her cheeks. "Yes, yes I do Mr. Gonzales," I said quickly without hesitation.

"Since you loved each other, I decided that your marriage be consummated at once. We will organize this according to our customs and traditions. Don't have to worry at all; we will finance this on our own. In three days' time, we can do the preparation. Is it okay with you son?"

I didn't say anything at this moment, looked at Ayah, and hugged her as tears still fell down her cheeks.

"Ayah, it is okay with me, is it okay with you?" I whispered to her holding her hands while the whole family looked at us.

Ayah Isabel didn't want this to happen; she wanted me to complete my dream, to fulfill my long journey into a successful one. She knew my priorities and also knew my ambitions in life. She must save me from this kind of situation, and said, "Father, Marco has to find a stable job first before anything else, before getting married."

"There's no problem for that Ayah. We'll give the sum of money for both of you to start." His father answered back. Mrs. Gonzales excused herself and left the table, went into her room, and brought a clutch bag. He gave it to Mr. Gonzales.

"Here's the money that we kept for you, Ayah. All of my children have their own sum of money before they get married. Take it."

Ayah Isabel took the money and put it in my hand. It means that she was in favor of our marriage. I accepted my decision, my fate, and my failure in my life. Marrying Ayah Isabel means the end of my desire to be wealthy someday. Everybody left the dining table. Ayah and I went to the garden and seated on the bench. I held her hands, kissed her lips, and savor the beauty of the night.

"So, Ayah Isabel, we're getting married. Your heart's only mine, mine alone."

"Yes, Marco I am all yours, for you alone my love. Are you sure with this Marc?"

We embraced to the tune of the night, kissed with our love so tenderly, and hoped for the beautiful days ahead.

She smiled at me and whispered, "You're the best Marco; you are always with me, wherever you go, I'm fully satisfied tonight."

"You too my love; you gave total satisfaction for me, I love you."

"I love you too Marco, until death..."

We were doing these wonderful gifts every night in different positions that gave us both the chain to tie up our emotions and unification. The negative thoughts of my life were erased by my constant sexual encounter with Ayah Isabel.

The family Gonzales was very prepared for the marriage of their one and only female member; from the food, utensils, equipment, invitation cards, bridal gown, and groom's suit; every detail was hurriedly planned and executed with haste. Every resident knew this wedding ceremony of Ayah Isabel; a prominent wedding of the decade!

The festive mood in the Gonzales resident was really showing through the house decorations; the apple green colored curtains, the silky white bed covers, and people were busy doing their part for this occasion. The covered-makeshift-bamboo-tents for the wedding reception were constructed for this purpose. Every facet of the wedding ceremony was all set; the guests, the servants, the Gonzales family, the bride, and me.

The small Catholic Chapel was decorated with apple green and white motifs; the fresh flowers were scattered all over the chapel floor, and bunches of these were planted on the tall bases made of wood. The chapel pews were bounded by apple green and silky white ribbons with a large amount of free-flowing cloth strapped to cover the aisle. Even the altar was delicately decorated according to the colors of the ceremony.

I was with Ayah's parents waiting at the chapel near the altar for the wedding ceremony. I stand in front of the altar with them before the ceremony. I saw the bridal's car stop in front of the chapel's door. My excitement heightened; music was played while Ayah was marching along the aisle. She marched slowly towards us. She was beautiful with her wedding dress that compliments the decors. Her parents gave Ayah's hands to mine smiling at me. I smiled back at her with pride. When I finally held her hands, I slightly squeezed them, just a signal that I am happy to be with her, In sickness and in health, 'till death do us part...This is it, I thought to myself.

Since I was facing the chapel's front door while holding Ayah's hands, I saw a man, wearing a bull cap holding an Armalite M-16 weapon aiming at us. I embraced Ayah Isabel tightly, and dived together to the floor, while the man started to spray bullets like a crazy wild boar. Panic was everywhere; our bodies were covered with blood completely; the blood of Ayah's parents. I spotted a small door at the back of the altar, holding tightly Ayah's left arm, we crawled hastily and ran as fast as we could, heading to the open field straight to the coconut plantation near the beach. I looked around, checked the situation, and we both hid under the bushes at the base of the coconut tree catching our breaths. Panic engulfed us embracing each other. I saw Ayah's frightened and crying.

"Are you alright?" I asked Ayah in a low voice while embracing her.

"Yes, yes," she responded while nodding her head, crying, with panic in her eyes.

I hugged her tightly, comforting her miserably to calm down. For a few minutes, we moved on to another place to hide. After an hour, we resumed walking far away from Ayah Isabel's place. I comforted her throughout our ordeal.

"Ayah, we have to face this nightmare without any hesitation on our part. Our marriage is not yet solemnized properly, but it's alright for me. The thing is, we are one in our hearts and minds... We don't know who's responsible for this killing. I know what you feel about your parents...sorry...."

Ayah started to cry again. Sorrow covered me with fear that wrecked my inner sanctum to cry too. My weakness started to evolve and fear began to spread all over me. We stayed for a while in one place, then, in another place. I decided to be accept our go on with whatever lies ahead. My other side as a brave person began to show because of our situation right now. I had to deal with it. I had to mold my manliness to the next level because of Ayah Isabel on my side.

My meeting with the governor was not in my mind anymore, maybe as of now; marrying Danielle Gustilo, the large sum of money, and other dreams that I had in life. I had to face the world now together with Ayah, she's my responsibility now, and I had an obligation to my wife.

"Ayah, we don't know what happened to your family, but we saw your parents were hit by the bullets, slumped on our sides...I'm sorry...and we don't know the situation there. I promise I'll do my best to know what news therein. But in the meantime, we have to leave them...we have to go on...with our husband and wife. We have to move on to Bacolod City to get help from Edward Ramirez. Besides, we don't know who's behind, all of these messes. Maybe, we're the target or your brother Bryan? Or...Ayah, do you know this place?"

"No Marc, I think we're heading north going to the next barrio named Isio, a place quite big in inhabitants compared to Tuyom. This place is a remote area. We have to go on the main road for any vehicle we can ask for a ride going to Barrio Isio. That's the way life here in our barrio."

"Okay then, remove all this stuff...I mean our bloody outfit." I started to take off my suit and hid under the bushes. Ayah too took off her wedding gown, fingered the splattered blood, and hid the same.

"Marco, we have to wash our bodies in the sea..." Ayah said to me with hope in her eyes.