Philippines was making her way into the clearing. Nothing seemed real- not the road she traveled down, nor the woods flashing by. And it was only then that her dreamlike trance faded as reality struck her in the face. America was standing there in the glade. There was a thin layer of snow on the ground. He was studying a portfolio of notes-evidently plans for the road. He glanced at her as she approached. He seemed surprise to see her.
“Philippines?” he said, glaring at her.
“I… I…” She couldn’t speak.
“Wait, hold on a sec.” He turned to go.
“Kuya?” she said, her voice small and soft, like that of a frightened little girl.
America turned back to her looking puzzled. Philippines threw her head back and burst into tears. She began moving towards him across the clearing, her eyes were so blinded by tears that she couldn’t see where she was going. She reached him and sank down to the ground, crying against his leg. She was out of control, no longer able to be strong or adult or responsible. She was none of those things now. She was a little child, alone and unloved, hurting to the depths of her soul. She knew nothing but her pain and her tears.
America stood silently still and confused. Then after an eternity, Philippines felt something. She didn’t dare to believe it was what it seemed, but then she knew that it was. America’s hand moved to the top of her head and began stroking her hair in the tender way she loved so much. America put his hands under her arms and gently raised her up to her feet. His arms went around her as she continued crying against his chest more quietly now. She felt warm and protected in the cradle of his arms. Neither of them spoke. They remained together, sharing this moment that could not last, that was doomed to never be repeated.
Finally, after a long time, Philippines pushed away from him slightly and looked up to him. He was gazing at her, confused. She kissed him lightly on the check then backed away from him.
"Ow!" America Shrieked to the top of his voice.
"Hah! Akala mo kung anoh, noh?!" Philippines said.
"But...! I... you-!"
She flicked her hair then walked away.