by Racquel Sarah A. Castro
Birthdays are normally celebrated, but that is not the case for 26-year-old fashion designer, Olivia Rose Salvador. She doesn’t like birthdays, much less her own. She considers October 1st as a jinx, because all through her life, all the important people in her life have left her right smack on that day.
As the heir of the international Style Rose fashion brand, she is in charge of preparing for Style Rose’s first appearance in Philippine Fashion Week. During her stay in the Philippines, she meets 31-year old pediatrician, Jake Ocampo, who is literally the “boy next door” as he lives right next door to her temporary condo unit in Bonifacio Global City.
They start to get to know each other and everything seems to be going smoothly, as both, who have been burned before in terms of love, start to open up again and start living life to the fullest.
But what happens when it seems the jinx is strong and the ghosts of their painful pasts start coming back and making themselves felt? Will these ghosts threaten their very new and very fragile relationship?
Or will Jake’s love for Olivia break the October 1st curse?
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I looked at my wrist watch as I walked toward the arrival area and saw that it was still on Italy time. it was 8:15pm. When I looked at the airport’s clock, it read 3:15 am.
I saw my cousins, Sandy and Joey with Aunt Toni, right outside, waiting excitedly for me. I waved and together they shouted, “Welcome back, Olivia!”
I approached the three with a smile and gave each one of them a hug and a kiss. I asked, “How’s Lolo Lito?”
“Lolo is waiting for you, Olivia,” Joey responded with a big grin.
I felt the humidity of Paranaque City as we walked to their rented van. I saw a few media people coming our way. They asked me a few questions, which I gamely answered, plugging our store and the fashion show.
After the encounter with Filipino media, we traveled from Paranaque to Taguig where I would be staying in Sandy’s condo unit for my 3-month stay. After the successful staging of the fashion show this month, I would be going on my Calaguas trip.
When I arrived at the lobby of the condo, I noticed a cute guy and he held a bag with a stethoscope hanging on one side. He looked like a pediatrician because of his Bugs Bunny necktie and his child-like vibe. His companions waved at him.
No distractions please . . . focus, Olivia, focus on your goal.
I think I ruined her night. I should have just stayed in my unit and try to reflect rather than going to her event and ruining it for her. I was so down when I found out that my patient had intracranial hemorrhage after a series of MRIs.
But I chose to show up to let her feel my support. When I saw her saying goodbye to the crowd, I felt a massive bundle of sentiments in my chest. I didn’t want to burst her bubble . . . but I needed her more than ever.
Call me selfish . . . call me inconsiderate. I have to because I need her. I need her kiss, her hug, her love . . . I need her.
“Let’s go . . .” She smiled at me and asked for my car keys.
I asked if she had a driver’s license. She laughed and shook her head. She pouted while I opened the door for her.
While we were in my car, I asked, “Your unit or mine?”
She meditated for a while and smiled, “Mine.” And as soon as we arrived at the condo, she hugged me. I whispered, “Thank you.”
She stated, “I am going to cook for you.” She asked if we could go to the nearby convenience store. Everyone was staring at us. I forgot, we were still wearing our formal attire.
“Back in Venice, I cooked dinner for Mommy Ellie. Her favorite dishes are bigoli and cacciucco.” She was stunning in her little black dress and white stilettos.
“What do you want for dinner?” She demanded an answer while holding my hands.
“Anything . . .” I was so distracted by the fact that I failed as a doctor.
She sighed and rubbed my chin with her forefinger, “He will be fine. Don’t worry too much.” It was almost nine in the evening. She smiled and stated, “I will cook Carbonara ala Olivia.”
I faked a smile because I wanted her to know I was okay. She asked, “Anything else? You want chocolate ice cream?” I nodded. We got to the soda section. Olivia requested, “Honey, can you get a bottle of soda?”
About Racquel Sarah A. Castro
Racquel Sarah A. Castro is living with cerebral palsy. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in information technology from AMA Computer College–Biñan Campus. She always wants to inspire people in every way she can. She also desires to prove the goodness of God through her life. Racquel is living with her parents in Biñan City, Laguna, Philippines. She is a geek, a blogger, a math tutor, a food addict, a Web designer, and a freelance programmer.
Her family is currently a ground volunteer of Basics Global, a nonprofit organization based in Dubai, UAE. She also leads the music ministry branch of Jesus Christ Rules Bible Christian Church. She aspires to be an emissary of people with disabilities. She started the campaign called Novel Cerebral Palsy Awareness Drive by featuring her disability in her works.
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Facebook page: Racquel Sarah A. Castro