1 Proud

"Woah, another Valentine's Day, another great haul!" Cadmus heard Jamir exclaim while Irvin and Russell whistled.

His friends come up to his locker to marvel at the haphazard pile of heart-shaped boxes and crisp love letters. Little did they know that they had not been fun for him to find at all.

Moments earlier, Cadmus opened his locker and got smacked right on the face.

The heap of presents tumbled out and clattered to the floor. Shortly after, a mass of white, pink, and red envelopes followed. The stack fluttered back and forth before settling on top of the boxes of chocolate.

"Yeah," he acknowledged nonchalantly, rubbing the bruise purpling on his head.

The three of them exchange glances. Cadmus doesn't seem to be thrilled.

"What's the matter?

"You got a ton of Valentine's as always! This might even be a larger number than last year!"

"Don't you think so too?"

They are absolutely right. This is a lot more than before.

But as time goes by, the occasion has become less associated with collecting a mountain of gifts. And instead, it has become more associated with waiting for one single moment to take place.

'It was not supposed to happen like this.'

Cadmus is the proud son of the Mondragon family.

Everyone could easily recognize him, especially with his sleekly worn light yellow hair and striking forest green eyes. Though still young, he's already set to be part of the country's hottest men.

He is supposed to graduate at the top of his batch, attend a prestigious university, achieve accolades that even his parents can't brush aside, and then meet his future wife.

Of course, she would have fallen in love with him at first sight. No woman with even an iota of good taste could possibly resist him, the sole heir of one of the country's wealthiest clans. His wife would be enamored by his rugged appearance and charming personality, and she would be an elegant lady of high-breed society with an impressive background, remarkable intelligence, and stunning good looks.

As the son of the highest-ranking executive in the trade and business industry, it was only expected that attaining love would come as easily as everything else in his life had.

So, once more, Cadmus mentally reiterates, 'It was not supposed to happen like this.'

He was not meant to meet anyone before he achieved his ambitions and aspirations and accolades – and certainly not when he was only at the tender age of seven. He most definitely was not supposed to spend seven years more of his life quietly battling with his feelings – that are not all that completely unpleasant, as much as he didn't want to admit it.

Now, at the age of fourteen, which is said to be the perilous juncture between child and adult, coming to make itself known to him is the sad realization that he'd spent over half his life devoted to this one girl and this one girl only.


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