EPISODE 15. STEFAN AND ASTERA.
After my night with Stefan, the rest of the week was just as beautiful. We were almost inseparable and we practically ate off each other’s hands.
I never believed such happiness is possible and although, it’s only been six months since the death of Daniel, it feels like forever because of the kind of happiness Stefan brought to my life.
The next two months that followed, we lived like couples. Spending most of our time in each other’s company.
On a very good day, I urged Stefan and we made out time to visit Donovan.
“Why me? Why Stefan and I?” I asked the saddened man who looks like he has aged twice since the death of Daniel.
His eyes had met mine, resigned. “Daniel loves Stefan.”
Those words shocked me to my shoes, and even Stefan too from his face.
“He has always loved him. Always. He felt angry and jealous every single day the both of us go all lovey dovey and he knows that he doesn’t stand to get Stefan, not only because of the love you two have but because of exposing our sexuality.”
The man shook his head sadly. “I never agree with what he was doing, even when he framed you and drove you out of town, even when he married you as revenge.”
Understanding it all finally brought a peace in my heart, even though it made Stefan’s heart heavy. He kept saying that my hellish marriage was because of him.
I made sure he understood that it’s no one’s fault but Daniel’s.
As days went by, I stopped worrying myself and dreading the day Stefan will ask me to marry him. Determined to enjoy life to the fullest, I pushed all that to the back of my mind.
But then, one day my fear came to light.
It was a very beautiful day that started out so well, with a nice love making from Stefan.
We went to work as usual and when we got back in the evening, we were eating when Stefan went down on one knee, suddenly producing a ring.
He told me how he has loved me for a long time and how he would love to spend the rest of his life with me.
I couldn’t answer him because I froze. Maybe it never dawned on Stefan that I’ll never want marriage again because his face crumpled.
“All men are not the same, Tera.” He whispered sadly, still on his knees.
I know that….God knows that I know that, but I still can’t bring myself to do it. To accept. To marry again.
Stefan saw the answer in my tears-filled eyes and he got up. He pocketed back his ring, his eyes sad.
“I’m so sorry, Stefan.” I whispered, my voice cracking.
He nodded as he took his car keys and walked to the door, “I’m sorry too.”
That night, I cried myself to sleep.
And in the next weeks that followed, I was really sure that I won’t survive it. Not being able to see or hear from Stefan was more than I could take.
Marriage really terrifies me a lot and I don’t trust my heart anymore.
The next two months that followed was the worst. I buried myself in work just to get over everything but it was not enough.
Then, one day I was into town when I saw Stefan again.
When I turned around and my eyes met Astera’s, my heart suddenly became too heavy to breath.
I’ve always known that Astera’s marriage with Daniel would make her never to want such commitment again but still, I never gave up.
Being with her all the time, I showed her how much I loved her. But, that night I proposed, I saw the hopelessness of my cause.
In her eyes, I saw it. Truly, Astera doesn’t want to be with a man that way ever again. It was written there in her tears-filled eyes and that was why I gave up.
Seeing her again today is like a punch to the gut but still, I walked to her as she walked closer to me. We met on a middle ground.
“Hey….” She whispered.
Her voice hurt too. She looks so sparkling and it shows that she has really moved on with her life.
“Hey….” I replied, “What are you doing here?”
“I want to buy groceries. What about you?” The smile she gave me was a sad one.
“I came to meet up with some friends for the last time. I’m living for New York tomorrow morning by 10am.” I told her the truth.
I saw the pain in her eyes, the shock. “When are you coming back?” She asked, her voice thin.
“I don’t know…. Maybe next year…”
I didn’t sleep well that night, my run in with Stefan filling my mind. I love that man so damn much.
And now, he is going back. I won’t be able to see him again.
The next morning, I tried to go about my daily activities but it was real hard for me. My mind always goes back to the fact that Stefan is leaving.
By 10:03am, I couldn’t take it anymore. I ran out of my house and entered the car.
God please, let me still meet him, I prayed.
I got to his house just in time to see him putting the last of his laugage to the car.
“Astera?” He asked confused as I packed the car in front of his house.
I ran out of the car straight to his arms. I was out of breath and filled with panic but I didn’t care.
“Don’t leave me, please. I love you so much, Stefan.” I cried against him, aware that I’m trembling in his arms.
So much emotions came over Stefan’s face but he looked at me so sadly. “I love you too, Tera. So damn much…..”
Panic slammed me when he trailed off. “I can’t go on without you, Stef, please. Don’t leave me, this past two months I barely made it through them.”
When he opened his mouth again, I don’t know what he wanted to say but I didn’t give him a chance.
“I’ll marry you! I’ll marry you, please, I love you so much.” I rushed out.
His scrunched up face dissolved into a very wide smile. “You will?”
I took a very deep breath, relief coursing through me. “I will. Oh yes, I will.”
He held my cheeks and kissed my lips. He pulled back and looked me in the eyes. “You will never regret it.” He vowed.
I shook my head firmly, “I know I won’t. I’m with the man I love.”
And that was how it remained.
Even as years rolled by and the children came…even through the normal hardship that couples go through…even through the ups and downs…
Astera never regretted getting married to the love of her life.
To her, it was and will always be… The best decision she has ever made.
***Just because fire burnt you the first time doesn’t mean that you’ll keep getting burnt when you try to cook again.
The first time is hell but don’t be scared of trying again….Most successful men always have a failure tugged behind them.
****Don’t be deceived by the image a person portrays to the world. The real him is the him behind closed doors. The real her is the her behind closed doors.
****Trust matters in a relationship, in fact it goes hand-in-hand with Love.
Astera and Stefan had love but trust destroyed their relationship at first. Love is just but the general concept…but a lot helps nourish it.
And so on…
****Don’t loose something that’s supposed to be yours because you’re scared to take a step. Just begin with a step and take it from there.