Three years passed way too quickly. I was lucky to have Olivia and Anita by my side.
It was a dream come true. I became the owner of a new company. Everything was taking place as if they were a part of a fairytale.
But just like dreams have time boundations, my living dream too had one.
Little did I know, that Olivia was suffering more and more inside.... It was on one morning that I found her beside the bed crying in pain. I immediately took her to the hospital. I had made the most of the things till now but sometimes, it so happens, that things doesn't turn the way you want them to be.
Her health was serious. She was losing herself. She had to go under another operation. Even though it was hard, but she tried her best not to lose her faith... in god, in me, in Anita, in herself and most of all, Justin.
I was scared of what might happen next. I knew, I couldn't ask for anything more, all I could do was, have patience, but then I thought Justin really did work out a magical spell on our family. She successfully accomplished the lung transplant operation! She survived....
I was again gifted something I never thought I could be. The next five years went like a cool summer breeze.
I was happy for Olivia and my daughter. We were again a happy family, laughing and appreciating all the things that life gave us.
But it didn't last longer again. Her pain returned from the darkest corners of the hell. I wanted her to go under medications, but she declined not because she never wanted to, but because under medications she had to suffer from extra pain.
It's easy to get the picture that one is suffering with cancer and that person is recommended to go under operations but it's damn difficult to feel the pain that comes with it. And that pain if described, is much more than one can ever feel in the present.
I did my best to make everything stick together. Anita's presence gave Olivia a boost to re-live herself. In true words, she was the reason behind what encouraged her to live again.... And yes, she lived.... Say it magic, or miracle or one of the indescribable things in science but all I really know is, I was happy for everything that Olivia gave to me directly and indirectly.
Anita was 18 years old when her mother left this world forever. Even though Olivia and I lived together for a short time, I was glad my hair started going gray in her presence. I was glad to have her beside me as my wife for 18 years. And most of all, I was glad to have her as a best friend for 23 years. It was too much I could have asked for.
It's true that I wanted to grow more old with her, to feel her in my last days of life but it was also true that the time which she gave to me was enough to make me feel complete.
I still remember the last day when Olivia was by my side and we were lying down on the sleeping chairs in the veranda under the black sky.
Yes, it was the same place when we got married to each other where it was only me and her and only the stars and the moon were shining like our love. It felt like the same night, same time but there was one thing different about it, Olivia was more weaker than she was before.
I knew what would come next tomorrow or the days that might follow, but I also knew that I had to make the most of the time left for us to be together.
"Am sorry Daniel," she whispered as she placed her head on my chest.
"No, no...," I touched her cheek with my hand.
"You gave me a piece of my soul I never thought I was missing and you don't know how lucky I am for that..." I whispered as she kept her hand on my chest as if listening to my heartbeat.
"You shouldn't be sorry for anything. And you know what...," I continued.
"I met this girl...," I whispered in her ears.
"And there were times when we both acted stupid... but never more than one day, I noted her faults point by point but failed to trace a bad remark about her in my record." I said as she looked at me with eyes full of affection.
"And that made all the difference," I completed my sentence and she smiled.
"You still remember," she said as her hand made way to my hair.
And I kissed her softly in a delicate way so that I didn't hurt her by even touching her hard.
She was the best girl of my life! I knew that already. But was also someone else who was even more than that!
18 years ago, she came in my little life and made it perfect. She was.... My daughter, my life, my Anita....
Justin's POV (in heaven)
"Long time... no see...." I tried to tease her at first.
"Exactly... same here...," she fired back with a smile on her face.
I laughed as I hugged her.
"Welcome aboard!" I exclaimed in surprise.
It' been a long time here. And to be true, I liked everything about this place. It was perfect in its own way, in something which I never thought I could ever come across.
"You look... old... like a grandma," I laughed at her while she made a face.
"You are uglier," she said with a smile on her face.
"But I look younger than you!" How could I not tease her at a time like this.
Looking Olivia, finally coming to heaven made me happy but it also made me worried about Daniel, and most of all, Anita.
"You shouldn't have come here...," I said to her after a while.
"What... you can't change his orders!" She punched me on my arms and she pointed her finger upwards.
"By the way, reading someone's diary is considered one of the bad manners," I tried to bring up every topic about which I never knew when I was on earth though it was only a while back when she entered this eternal dreamland. Coming here was a new experience for me and I got to know everything about myself and the people who were related to it. I got to know that even Olivia loved me. But seemed like I was late because of which she gave her heart to Daniel and she could not re-do things because it was out of her hands.
She smiled in a silly way and apologized -
I had been here since 18 years back when I met with that accident. And never once did I ever regret about what I did back then. Watching Olivia and Daniel together with the angel who brought a new happiness in the family, my deed was given a whole new and truthful meaning. For me, it was a deep satisfaction to see Olivia, Daniel and Anita, all like a big happy family. But heaven knows how painful it was for me to watch Olivia leave them. Even heaven cried my tears to describe my heartfelt sorrow.
"By the way thank you for everything...," she whispered.
I smiled at her and wondered at everything which made this silly girl and me become a part of a strong bond called friendship.
"So.... somebody had a crush on me?" I said that because when I said every topic, I definitely meant every topic.
"Nope, I don't think so...," she said as she ran across the land of beautiful tall evergreen grasses while I followed her up, laughing and remembering the old times I had with her.
We fell on the ground as I caught hold of her and when I was short of breath, I told her -
"They both are really sad for you...," I tried to catch my breath.
I had already spent a lot of time here in heaven and to talk of life and death was not a big deal for me, not anymore but at the same time, I knew how to respect the mortal lives and the people who were related to it when I was on earth.
"Someone has rightly said, sadness flies away in the wings of time.... I know they are crying real tears now but they would be okay later....," she tried to be reasonable.
"And how do you know that," I said as I dusted off the grass from my hair.
"She is strong Justin. She is my daughter, she knows how to handle things. and I know she can handle everything..." She said as she sat on the grassy land.
"Of course she is... after all, I am her guardian angel," I smiled as I said that. I could still remember the incident related to that when Anita was five.
"It was sad when you went away. You career got screwed up. I wonder why things fell apart," she said.
"Things fell apart so that other things could fall together...," I smiled as I told her the reality of life.
"But what about Daniel?" I was tensed about him.
"Not to worry for him too...," she smiled.
I was confused, way too confused.
"How come?" I raised an eyebrow. She took a while to answer - "Because he has somebody whom he loves more than anything... even more than me," she smiled at last!
Olivia's POV (in heaven)
It was beautiful. Hell beautiful. If heaven be the term to refer something to which we go after death, then I would like to die a million times over. It's worth everything! At first, I was scared of what might I should do next, but seeing Justin made me forgot about everything. I got my old best buddy with me! How could I be scared then?
"How come?" He raised an eyebrow as we got in to a conversation which happened to take place real quick, maybe sadness is prohibited in heaven.
"Because he has somebody whom he loves more than anything... more than me...." I smiled.
"And who's that?" He questioned me yet again.
I turned back at him, wondering how could he be that fool even though he's been here for 18 years.
"His daughter... his life..." I whispered back.
Sitting here, dressed up in a tuxedo, on this special day, I couldn't help but read Olivia's diary which she asked me to keep a day before she left.
It wasn't just a diary. It was a part of her which reminded me every single thing of her and made me even more stronger. I am a forty-seven-year old man now.
Thinking about how time flied, I couldn't help but smile wondering how my little child grew up into a 24-year girl.
I still remember one of the incidences which took 19 years back when Anita was five years old.
"Anita, come on sweetheart, it's morning. You need to get ready for school now," I said as I tried to wake up the five-year-old toddler from the bed.
"No daddy! Let me sleep!" She ordered, rather in a really cute way.
I couldn't help but laugh and tickle her and she at the same time, laughed even more louder than me. She got most of her traits from her mother and laughing was one of them. I could never beat Olivia in the laughing competition, she always got the upper hand!
After she got all dressed up, something made her think really hard. The locket which she had ever since her birth, the same locket which Justin gave to Olivia on his birthday and which Olivia gave to Anita when she was born. She was looking at it rather intently... she was wondering about something.
"Daddy?" She asked with innocent big eyes looking at me.
"Yes, sweetheart...," I said while I was filling her water bottle.
"Who was Justin actually?" She asked which prevented me from doing anything and think a while for the answer.
Who was Justin? Right.... One day this question "had" to come from her side. Ever since her birth, we had the name "Justin" added to our family. Justin-a part of our family... Anita knew it. But still she couldn't understand the fact that how could a person be a part of family when he was actually never there in the family.
The answer was hard to think about. It was rather complicated. How could I make her understand things which were beyond her understanding sphere.
But I had to come up with an answer. And at the same time, I had to make sure I never lied to her. If not today, then I had to explain it the next day and if not the next day, then maybe after the next day and I know this cycle would never end.
And so, I came up with something which was true and which was under her understanding level.
"Justin was..." I said as I sat beside her.
"He was your guardian angel," I said as I opened the locket.
A picture of Justin and Olivia made Anita wonder in confusion. She had already seen the picture a million times over. But she could never understand why it was there.
"Mommy was scared when she lost herself in the crowd..." I tried to make her understand in the best possible way I could.
"But she was more scared for losing you forever, and so she prayed to God and you know what? It was then God sent his best angel Justin and he magically brought mommy to daddy and gifted them this sweet little girl named Anita to lighten up their lives..." I said as I touched her nose.
She giggled. "So this is what the angel looked like?" She said as her attention again went back to the picture in the locket.
The little soul was satisfied with the answer, mostly because the reason seemed more like one of those "Happily ever after," stories.
After I bid her bye when her bus came, I went back in the house to wake Olivia up. As I said earlier, Anita had most of her traits like her mother which included the sleeping ones too.
My thoughts vanished immediately as soon I heard a sweet voice from behind, "Come on daddy...," she whispered.
Wearing a beautiful white dress, she looked almost like her mother. The memories of my marriage day came alive. But today was different.
It was her wedding day and I was her "best man".
As she hold her hand in mine, we gracefully went to the stage where the bridegroom was already waiting. If Anita would never had been in my life, I would have never learned to know love this closely. I would never had been to move over Olivia's death. I would never had got the courage to live till now nor I would have experienced something of which I was unaware of.
Clapping when the girl and the boy were declared husband and wife, a tear rolled down my eye. It wasn't because of sadness. It wasn't because of Olivia's absence. It was because of the transformation. It was because of happiness. It was because of satisfaction.
Looking up at the blue sky, I smiled as I knew Olivia and Justin were both watching this ceremony. I knew in the days to come, I will meet them again, to join them in the perfect world where the time never ended.
My mind went wandering to all the things that happened to me till now. I concluded that the most difficult lesson to learn is, which hand to hold for your life or which one to break off. And it never really matter until you listen to your heart.
I was glad that Olivia came in my world... as a best friend and as my soulmate. She gave me this beautiful doll and moreover, she taught me all the lessons of life which I think, I could never had learned alone by myself.
But the most important thing which she taught me was to "keep faith and never lose hope". It was her faith that kept her alive for the time that she spent with us.
We could never had come to this day of eternal bliss, had we never met and had Justin be not in our lives.
As the Chinese proverb says....
"Keep a green tree in your heart, the singing bird will surely come."
The above proverb never actually had an impact on me until I was made to go through something which automatically made me understand its meaning.
Olivia.... There's this place in me where your fingerprints still rest. Your kisses still linger and your whispers softly echo. It's the place where a part of you will forever be a part of me. I will love you forever. You were worth everything....
Seeing my little doll getting married, I was feeling way more happy than I could ever be. Looking through the lake of earthly time, Justin and I knew how lucky we were to see the wonderful sight.
When Daniel looked up at the sky, it was as if I were able to read his mind. Everything that he could feel, could be easily felt by me too.
As I looked at Justin, I smiled.
Justin knew what I was thinking and I too knew his thoughts.
Justin loved me... I loved Justin, but I loved Daniel too.
Justin was my heart but Daniel was my soul.
And as a matter-of-fact, there can be no heart without a soul.
I placed my head on his shoulder as we both weaved a rainbow, by our blessing and happiness that added perfect landscape to the wedding.
I will love you forever.... You were worth everything.