“WERE YOU guys always like that, Papa?” His daughter’s little finger lingered on a photograph of him and his wife, back when they were younger. The photograph was very old, its corners have frayed, and it looked like it was taken out of the photo album for more times than one. In the photograph, the woman leaned on him so naturally; she looked comfortable and peaceful, while his younger self had his arm slung over her shoulder, and he looked away from the camera. Despite the light pink tint on his cheeks, in that moment, he knew that he had the entire world in his arms.
“Rarely,” he sighed. He carried his daughter and made her sit on his lap, as they both stared at the old photograph. Her little finger glazed over the photograph, as if she was tracing the image and saving it inside her head.
“It was difficult,” he said. He was reminded of how their relationship was like an ocean reaching both of its extremes; it was either complete serenity, or roaring waves and swirling storms. There was never an in-between.
“But it was worth it,” he said. The child looked up at him, and he was immediately reminded of how she looked so much like her mother. “Even me?” she asked. Apparently, she was also just as cheeky as her mother was.
“Especially you,” he said. The little girl smiled, and she enveloped him with her small arms. He hugged her even closer to him, and he laid a kiss on her head. In that moment, he knew that he had the entire world in his arms. Once again. F CORHEINNE JOYCE B. COLENDRES