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127 Make A Promise

    The next day, Yera woke up late. She had a very deep sleep. She opened her eyes and saw Xander with his elbow and hand supporting his head while he stared at her lovingly. Yera smiled and said, "Morning." Xander greeted her with a smile as he whispered, "Good morning Darling."

    He leaned forward and gave her a little kiss, smack on her lips. Then he rose quickly from the bed. Yera noticed that he was already dressed.

    "I will wait for you in the dining area with my dad. Get dressed hon. I'm going to show you a place very close to my heart before I drop you off at the hospital." he said before hastily leaving the room.

    Yera's eyebrows crossed. She was flustered with Xander's casual facial expression. Yes, he was smiling but she felt it was very different from his usual smile; something was lacking in it.

    She rose up from the bed and went directly to their bathroom to have a quick shower. Inside, Yera paused and sighed. Nothing happened last night. Was it because she slept heavily? Knowing how her husband had been acting over the past few days, she felt something was not right with Xander. Another long and heavy exhale came from her mouth.

    "Maybe there's a problem at work," she mumbled to herself unconsciously. Xander must have hit another hiccup. She would just ask him later. She didn't need her head spinning so much just guessing what had happened. Or she was probably just thinking too much?

    Yera's face crumpled as she murmured, "He didn't even notice my nightgown." She wore the nightgown for nothing. She suddenly wondered how long Xander took inside his study area. Well he woke up earlier than her so he probably did not stay up that long.

    She immediately changed into a nice flattering  black and white dress with a windowpane. The dress also had side ties that emphasized her curves. Then she went out of the room for breakfast.

    Xander would casually talk like before during breakfast. Today was no different. While putting food on Yera's plate, Yera couldn't help but sense that something was off with him.

    Inside the car, Yera could no longer take the silence so she asked, "Are you alright?"

    Xander looked at her and smiled, "Yeah. Why?"

    Yera's head shook as she honestly muttered, "I feel like you haven't been yourself since this morning. I mean, is there something bothering you?"

    Xander exhaled loudly before while he moved to grab her hands. "Nothing is wrong. Today, I will bring you to my mother's grave."

    Yera smiled at Xander and slightly nodded. Maybe she really was overthinking things. Xander was not a clown after all for expecting him to give her a non-stop bright smile. 'So stupid of you Yera,' she scolded herself inwardly.

    They went inside a cemetery named Memory Forest, where the buried loved ones was inside a pod that could provide nutrients to a tree planted above it. The site was filled with good greenery, with a lot of trees as Xander and Yera walked hand in hand. Xander halted, walking in front of one of the trees where her mother's name was engraved. The tree had a broad canopy, lush green and a relatively short, broad trunk. It did have a great shade.

    "Do you know why my father chose this tree?" Xander suddenly asked.

    "The tree looks sturdy and with good shade. It suits your mother well. Every mom is like a tree's canopy. She provides shade for the family." Yera responded as she touched the tree.

    "It's a bottle tree... The swollen trunk stores water in case of drought. The woodlands it came from are said to be used to make shields. Just like how my mom died. She became water for drought, and a shield for a life." Xander explained.

    "You had such a great mom," Yera muttered adoringly. She felt at ease that Xander was opening up to her about his mom.

    Yera felt Xander's hand on her as he whispered, "Mom, do you see my wife? She's very pretty right? She grew up nice and well;  I love her very much. She said she loves me too. Shall I ask her to swear before you that no matter what happens, she must love your son forever, and never leave his side?"

    Xander turned to look at Yera intently, holding both her hands with his. He inhaled and exhaled loudly before saying, "I think my mom would want you to make a promise."

    Yera chuckled but pursed her lips when she noticed how serious Xander's face was at that moment. She smiled and let out a long deep breath before vowing, "Mother-in-law, I don't know what's with your son right now, but I promise, and swear before you that I will love your son forever and will stay by his side forever too."

    She winked at Xander before adding, "Please let me be his water during this drought, and his shield whenever he needs protection."

    Instantly, tears suddenly fell from Xander's eyes.  Yera didn't expect that kind of reaction. Her face became wrinkled with worry as she cupped Xander's face and asked, "What's wrong Darling. Oh God, did I say something terrible? Why are you crying...?"

    It was the first time Yera saw Xander bawling like this. She was quite flustered, panicking while she wiped tears away from his cheeks. "You're scaring me... Is there something wrong?" Yera mumbled as she continued to wipe Xander's tears that kept on pouring like rain. Xander shook his head, still crying, he suddenly pulled Yera to his embrace and hugged her tightly.

    "Mom, you heard her right? She promised. No matter what happens in the future, she will love me, and stay with me forever." Xander murmured, sobbing.

    Yera gently patted Xander's back and repeated, "Yes I promised. Please stop crying darling. You're worrying me."

    "I love you..." were the words Xander kept on whispering in her ear in between sobs.

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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