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✍️✍️✍️✍️ The Kiss 馃拫馃拫 馃拫馃拫 18+ Reading Episode 192 || 193... 202 ✍️✍️✍️✍️

Episode 192
I walked with my head held high, my lips pressed tightly together and my fingers digging into my palm into the doctor’s office. I already came for a check-up and I am to see him today to hear what is actually wrong with me. I fear I might have an infertility problem when the doctor said there’s a problem with my hormones. I did a crazy research the entire night. That was when Novan and I were taking our ten months apart. I made him spill his seeds into me only because I want to prove something to myself. At that point, if I should get pregnant won’t be a problem but then I remembered that the doctor wasn’t certain and became afraid. That’s why I was grateful for the pill Betsy gave me. But today I am here with my heart in my mouth. I can only hope for something good.
“You’re here. Take your sit Miss Dominguez.” The grey-haired man smiled kindly at me and I should give him the same smile in return but no matter how I tried, I couldn’t.
“Thanks.” I sit and put my purse on my lap.
“Your result is in and this is it.” He gave me an envelope and I took it with shaky hands.
“You don’t need to be scared..” he assured me.
“What is it about? I hope there’s nothing wrong with me.” My heart is beating so loud.
“What happened is actually not your fault. You fell into a coma after your accident years ago and the medications that were given to revive you back, unfortunately, didn’t work well with your hormones right from when you were a girl. If you had checked in earlier, we could’ve done something about it but now we can only hope since it’s not a 100% chance that you may or might not be able to conceive, we can’t say more about it.”

“What do you mean? What is wrong with me?” Tears well up in my eyes when I remembered my mom. She also got affected by this same accident. Why should I also be affected and why must it be the same problem?
“Your hormones aren’t working right and it might result in you not being able to conceive. That is what I am trying to say.”
“What do you mean by not working right?” As if I don’t know it.
” What I mean is, your ovaries and adrenal glands produce more androgens (a type of hormone) than normal. High levels of these hormones interfere with the development of ovarian follicles and release of eggs during ovulation. As a result, fluid-filled sacs, or cysts, can develop within the ovaries. Hence make it almost impossible to get pregnant and it’s as a result of the poor treatment you received at the neighborhood clinic instead of a proper hospital when you were young.”
“ there not anything that can be done? Anything? I can pay. I can travel.”
“We can just hope and yes, there’s some prescription for you in the envelope. It should help control the number of that hormone your organs produce.”
“And there’s no other way?”
“Just don’t stop trying to be pregnant when you’re ready.”
I didn’t know how I found my way home and I refused to cry or think about it. It was all on my chest alone, making it too heavy for me to carry but I was persistent.
As I sit in this jet with my face covered heavily with make-up only in the attempt to cover my distress, my heart is beating and I’m nervous. I don’t know if it’s my phobia or the fact that I’m going to California, Disneyland park with the children. Betsy was nowhere for me to find and convince to come and my brother who wanted to come, I turned him down. On the third day of the week, he said those things to me, like a fool I waited for him to call me back again and he didn’t. I want this to be a joke. If it turns out that Novan actually moved on, I can’t take it. I will be ruined which I am already on the verge of. When we arrived in California 29th, we checked into a kid’s hotel a little close to the park. They’ve been here before but the excitement they carry throws me back. Disneyland’s slogan wasn’t taken for no reason at all. The place is actually the happiest on earth as you can live all your fantasy Disney dreams. This is the place if you ever wished to be a fairy and live in a castle you can. If you want to be Sofia the first, snow-white or Cinderella. Anything Disney is here and it’s exciting to watch the happy faces of these children. When I see them this way, I feel fulfilled. Especially when they come throwing themselves on me and voicing their appreciation. Apart from Novan, they’re the next best thing that ever happened to me. It’s always been my dream to bring happiness to these needy children who live in our neighborhood and are not taken care of and to give them a better place to live in. I couldn’t have done it this big without my parent’s support. I thank them so much for this and all other people who are funding us. Maybe if I wasn’t so sullen over the fact that I may not have children like this of my own and if my relationship wasn’t falling apart and I was only holding on to the little string attached to it to keep it from falling, I will actually be happy, play with them and explore every land and adventure here in Disneyland. I won’t be sneaking away on the second day of our arrival to find a place to coil myself and bury myself in my own misfortune. How can one be so unlucky?
I dropped by at the house that held so many childhood memories for me and entered. The caretakers greeted me and gave me the key to my childhood bedroom. It was still the same as long as I can remember but clean. I sat on the bed and hugged my favorite Barbie pillow. I bury my nose into it and tries to remember the fragrance but it was not there anymore. It’s been so long. Almost 17years.
I got up to the mirror. I remember all the things my mom and I used to do. Sometimes she’ll come in here and dress up or I will go to hers and we’ll dress up. It was this room she promised to teach me how to apply makeup. I was happy but little did I know that I carry a bad destiny that is going to take me away from her for a decade. Right now I’m standing in front of this mirror with so much makeup but it wasn’t mom who taught me. So much has changed. All the dreams I had as a young girl have all faded, things I vowed I won’t do though childish, I did. And now, I have myself wrapped around the mighty finger of a boy who won’t stop hurting me with his ways. I seriously don’t know what I’ve done to Novan or what has gone wrong in me that he’ll treat me the way he does.
I couldn’t control the heaving of my chest as I cried inside me instead of the out. I reduced my body sluggishly on the bed and coiled into the smallest ball I can make. My lips beg to be released from the wicked blade of my teeth as they keep stabbing them. I don’t want to cry. I won’t cry.
I opened my eyes when my alarm rang. When did I sleep? I searched through my bag which was on the bed for it. Running my hands across the screen to unlock, I saw Novan’s picture beaming at me and a happy birthday written under. I smiled and jumped out of the bed. It’s his birthday and it’s 12 am.
I got out of the room and looked for the kitchen. When I found it, I searched for cake baking ingredients. He likes butter cake and chocolate frosting. Last year I did it and he liked it. Luckily, I found them and set to work. He’s going to be so happy to be woken up to his favorite cake on his birthday. I’m just going to apologize in case I wake the people around here up and replace their ingredients.
An hour later I was done. “Happy twenty-second my Novan.” Tears that could be called as that of happiness I guess fell from my eyes and I frowned when they dropped on the cake at where his name was.
“Okay Novan, your cake is ready.” I walked up the stairs to my room. How I wished I didn’t come here like we would’ve celebrated it with the kids.
“Novan,” I called when I got in with the cake. The bed was empty and wait.. that’s not our bed and this is California. Novan and I broke up and on Christmas, he told me he already got a girl. I sighed and sat down with the cake between my legs while I blinked the burning tears away.
I wiped under my eyes and forced a smile.
So what if he’s not here and we’re not together? I will still celebrate his birthday.
I took the small knife and looked down at the cake.
“Have it and make a wish, Novan.”
“Fuck No.” He takes the knife.
“Please make a wish?” I plead.
I imagined him looking at me with curved brows and I gave the empty room a puppy look.
“Okay fine.” I mimic his voice.
“I don’t ever wish to leave Riana. It’s for better, for worse.” I said in his voice and quickly got in character with Mariana.
“Thank you.”
“Don’t.” He/ I cut the cake.
“Won’t you give me some?”
“Let me taste first, will you allow me?”
Mariana nodded vigorously.
“Yuck! You never do anything right. Last year was the same. This year too.”
“Oh really?” Mariana folds her hands across her chest and Novan nodded while taking another bite.
“Give me some Novan.”
“No.” He/ she picked the entire cake and walked out with it.
This time, I pretended to be Novan completely and ran around as if someone was chasing me.
Last year It was this way and we had so much fun running around his father’s house. Right now, pretending that he’s here, I’m having a little fun until the household wakes up and the cake drops from my hands to the floor.
“Sorry, everyone. But I’m not crazy though it looks like it.” I whispered the last part and bent to pick the mess on the floor. I wonder what type of a fool I just made out of myself. Is it a big fool or small or a double big ass fool? What is wrong with me? Has my craziness for him reached this level?
“It’s okay.” The kind-looking man about my father’s age Said to me.
“I’m sorry for waking everyone up.”
“Dear it’s alright. I’m just glad you’re okay.” The woman who looked like the Mrs of the house said from up where they stood.
“Thanks,” I whispered and watched them disappear while feeling extremely bad. Now, what will they think now?
Nicholas sent his crazy granddaughter off to come live with them instead of the asylum just because he gave them the house to live in for the meantime.
I picked the cake and looked for the plate to drop it on when someone pushed it to my front.
I looked up to a copper-haired boy about my age in his pajamas. His hair was sleeping on his head and his eyes were hooded from sleep I guess. That was all I could see in this dimly lit hall.
“Now take. You’re weird.”
“I’m sorry,” I whispered and took the plate. “And thanks.”
“Weirdest.” He muttered. I went to the kitchen and dumped the cake then tried to clean up.
“Leave it. We’ll do it tomorrow.” He said to me.
“I won’t argue but I will help you since you insist.”
“No don’t. Just go back to sleep.”
He ignored me and helped me clean everything up.
“Thanks,” I said when we were done. “Goodnight.”
“Maybe you should also change into something like this before telling me that.” He pointed to his pajamas with a smirk.
Knowing that he just wants to trouble me, I ignored him.
“I heard love is what drives people crazy. Is that what I just saw?” He whispered when he came close to me. My eyes met his gray eyes when I looked at him.
I pursed my lips and headed for the stairs. Yes, I am crazy. Crazy for someone whose feelings are sane and not just as crazy as mine. How will you understand even if I tell you?
“I am CJ. Hope you’re not offended.” He whispers yelled after me.
I turned and with a strangled smile, I shook my head.
He smiled at me just the moment the Moon’s glow seeped through the curtains to the hall and I thought that was a cute smile.
When I got inside to my old room, I lay down on the bed and pulled the comforter to my chest.
I picked my phone and just went through our pictures over and over again. I didn’t have control over what I did next. If I could just see him once, I will be okay.
I’m already here. I will have nothing to lose.
I picked my purse and I’m glad that I had my necessities inside. I called the only number I know, got what I wanted though it was late then walked out.
“Going somewhere?” A voice like the one I heard a while ago asked.
“Yeah.” I walked quickly away.
“I will drop you.” He’s following.
“Don’t be stubborn. There’s no way you’ll get a cab apart from thugs own at this time.”
I ignored him and stood by the road. After twenty minutes, I accepted that CJ was right.
I turned to maybe go call him if I am able to find him when I saw him leaning on the main gate dressed neatly in a khaki trouser and white button shirt.
His thin lips curved to the side in an ‘ I told you so’ smirk. “Need the ride now or not?”
I nodded.
Half an hour later, I am standing by a window like the pathetic impulsive love-crazed girl I am as I greedily take him in. I couldn’t watch him enough. When I first set my eyes on him, his frown sleeping face, it’s like I haven’t been breathing. My breath returned and I sighed. He forgot to turn the bedside off so I was able to see his defined stone-hard face that right now I yearned, my hands itch to run on his sharp jaw and for my finger to trace his stubbles. I can also note out the few things that are supposed to be in the room but are not and I want to pack his clothes from the floor, sniff his shirt and clean the room for him since he didn’t do a good job with it. I want to get in bed with him once again and allow him to hold me, I want to feel his weight on me and I want to hear his soft snores. I want to see him stir and put his hand around me like he always does. My only consolation is when I saw my name still on his wrist and the chain. I miss him too much and if he wasn’t being mean, I will just come in there and fight him till he let go of everything but Novan has changed in a way. He’ll mock me and say I can’t do without him so I came running to him in the middle of the night which is true but I don’t want him to think of me that way. I don’t want him to know my desperation of want towards him. I don’t want him to know how desperate my love is for him and how desperate I am for him to take his words back and let us come back together.
“Happy birthday Novan,” I said.
Pathetic whimpers fell without control from my lips and I quickly covered my mouth as he began to stir. Just then I saw her. She stopped by his door and watched him with a smile. Damn. She’s so pretty and has the same hair color as his. Brown. He didn’t lie to me. He was serious.
I turned sadly away and took to my heels. Novan doesn’t love me anymore. If not, how can he move on so quickly? He didn’t think twice about how I would feel. He didn’t only leave me in Canberra. He kicked me out of his heart and brought another to take my space. A beautiful one for that matter.
My feet stopped conveying me and came to a screeching halt while solely on its own, my head turned the direction of the voice.
{Loving him with all his flaws.}
My eyes meet vacuum darkness and not who I presumed. I decide to walk before an alarm goes off on me as a thief but then I hear him call again and I’m convinced he’s coming my way.
Am I ready to see him? No! He’s only going to taunt me for coming and that is what I don’t want now.
I doubled my steps and luckily I got a car right at the spot when I got to the roadside. I entered without even knowing until the driver spoke up.
“And what now?”
“I’m going to the airport…” I turned to the driver.
“You? Are you like, stalking me?”
“Why would I? It’s the same car and this is where I dropped you off at and I thought I should wait until you’re done then you came crashing in. Who’s chasing you?”
“Just move the damn car.”
“You’re weird.” He kicked into the road just when I saw a long-form step out and began to look around then his eyes settled on the car. For a minute, he seemed to be contemplating until I saw him running after our car but it was too late. I told CJ to speed up.
“Why are you running from him and who’s he?”
“You’re nosy and you refused to let me be.”
He laughed and I looked out of the window not believing I just said someone is nosy. Novan says that to me a lot. God. He calls me Miss nosy. Miss nosy contestant number one and the rest.
“Why are you going to the airport?”
“I’m going back to Australia.”
“You could stay with us.”
“No thanks.” I wonder what makes him think I will stay.
“I’m thinking your boyfriend is here or something?”
“I came to Disneyland. Now, will you stop interrogating me?”
“Yes madam.”
I looked over at the straight face he just made and shook my head.
“What is your full name?” I asked
“Cecil Jonny.”
“Oh okay. So were you going somewhere? I saw you were dressed.” I looked at his outfit again.
“I work at the airport.”
“At this time?” I’m surprised. He should be sleeping.
“What work?” I asked and he looked at me. It occurred to me when I took in his dressing.
“I’m based over there purposely to convey people. Nice work huh?” He grinned.
” Yeah, So I didn’t wake you up then?”
“Actually, I was up at 12 since my shift begins at 2 am. So you didn’t wake me.”
“Apologize properly to your parents for me if you can. I’m really sorry.”
“You’re weird.” He muttered.
“Why do you keep on saying that?”
“Because you take things that don’t matter to heart. You apologized so many times than usual and now you’re doing it again. My parents don’t mind and it’s not because we live in your house or something.”
“Alright but still tell them and say I’m sorry for living without telling them.”
“See. You did it again.”
I shrugged.
“Did you come to Anaheim alone?”
“Nope. It’s a week trip with the children from an organization.” I don’t wish to disclose a lot of content.
“And you’re leaving already?”
“I won’t explain that to you.”
“It’s fine but don’t you think you’re too sad for someone who came to Disneyland?”
No matter the straight answers I give, he doesn’t seem to mind.
“I am?”
“You can look at yourself in the mirror now.” He turned the rearview mirror to me and I gasped at my reflection. The little tears I shed have ruined my makeup such that the mascara and thick eyeliner I applied stained my face giving it a multi-colored look.
I picked a hankie and wiped my face with it. It looked a bit okay.
“You’ve been upset right before you even stepped into the house.”
“How did you know?”
“My parents were talking about it. Tell me, who made you cry?”
“No one.”
“If you’re so eager to hide it then why didn’t you take my advice when I said you should change into pajamas? Or you didn’t understand?”
I paused to think. When I realized what he meant, my eyes widened.
“If you had taken a bath then..”
“It’s okay.” I stopped him and he laughed once again.
“Jokes apart, tell me who hurt you. I can beat the person. I’ve got some fat muscles you know?” He raised one of his arms up.
“No thanks. I’m just upset that’s all.”
“It’s okay if you won’t share.”
“Why are you working?” I changed the subject.
“Why do we work?” He asked back.
“For money.”
“Yes. I need money for my masters. I just graduated from University last semester.”
“Oh okay.”
“I’m still in college. First-year actually.”
“You’re late.” He remarked.
“And you’re early to be out of University already.”
“I’m not. I’m 23.”
“You don’t look like it.” I smiled at the man driving me. He’s tall but not as Novan and he doesn’t look like someone who works out either but he’s handsome and decent-looking. He’ll look better in suits also.
“Pray you get a flight else your oppressor will catch up with you.” He said when we were almost at the airport.
“He’s not my oppressor.” I correct him.
“Oh, so he’s a he?” He chuckled.
“Shut up.” I raised my hand to swat his shoulder but stopped myself. I’m getting too friendly with him. Maybe it’s because he’s an easy-going person who doesn’t seem to have much to deal with and so he’s just laughing about.
That’s wrong. Who knows, his problems are even greater than mine.
“Thanks for being a nice and kind stranger to me,” I whispered.
“I’m not the stranger. You are.”
“You haven’t told me your name.”
“As if you don’t know.”
“Yeah. Mariana. How can I not know? I’m so happy to finally meet my landlady.”
“Yeah.” He stopped by when we got to the airport.
“Thanks once again but what is my bill?”
“Your email?”
“Can I have your email address?”
“Why? You can ask for my number instead.”
“What if you miss your phone? I prefer email instead.”
“Alright.” I fished out my card for him. I feel this is the least I could do and he doesn’t look harmful but then, Edward also didn’t look harmful. I just have to be careful around him. I really don’t want any secret lovers or half boyfriends anymore.
“It’s nothing.” I opened the door.
“Nice cake.” He said when I stepped out.
“Don’t tell me you kept it out of the trash can after I dropped it in.” I didn’t wait for his answer. I closed the door and I heard his laughter as I walked away.
He’s impossible.
It felt like she’s watching me. I became conscious of it after a minute and opened my eyes. My sleepy eyes fall on a figure by my door but it was a blurry image.
“Mariana is that you?” I knew she’d come. It’s just a matter of time.
I got up from the bed and rubbed my eyes, eager to get the sleep away and have a clear view of her angelic face.
“The fuck? What are you doing here and..” I looked at the clock. “At this time?”
“Sorry. Nervisa said it’s your birthday so I stayed to make something for you if you don’t mind.”
“Take a look at my hands? Do you see any faults there that I can’t cook shit for myself?” Of course, there’s a fault. I still have a bandage around them but it doesn’t mean I can’t do anything.
“Forget about that. Did I tell you that I need something and in the middle of the fucking night?”
“I’m sorry.”
“You should be! Now get the fuck out of my sight and this house. Know your duties here else I will fire you!” Stupid bitch. I need her for my sister, not me? I know I’m overreacting but the way my internal excitement stirred when I felt her that she’s staring at me then opening my eyes and seeing someone else really quenched the excitement awakened my resentment towards everything.
I thought she was here. Was she not? I know how it feels like when she’s around and when she’s looking at me. Even in sleep when she wakes up in the middle of the night to look at me and thought I wouldn’t know, I knew.
She should be here and it’s even another birthday for me. I’m not into birthdays but she is so I think that’s why she’s here.
It’s another birthday for me and nothing is getting better. I’m just fucking up like always. After days of her not calling me or coming, I got pissed and that’s why I called to tell her that bullshit to get her upset, to hurt her. I don’t see why she won’t be here already but it seems she’s here if not I wouldn’t have felt it.
I got up and hurried out.
“Wait..uhm.. what’s the name again?” I stopped her. I hired her to be with Nervisa while I am away and she’s supposed to leave once I am back but she’s still here busy creeping on me.
“Okay. Did you see a pretty girl in my room come out when you were standing there? Did you see her around?”
“If she was inside then she should be there if not where would she have passed to escape?”
What a dumb question I asked. I should check if she’s inside before even coming out.
I turned to go but returned. I may be an asshole and I don’t really like her but I can’t let her go back at this time of the night.
“Stay the night and not again,” I said and left for my room where I looked around but there was no sign of Mariana. My eyes met the window and that was when I knew it. The window is open and the curtains are pushed to the side. It means she’s been here after all.
I rushed out and since I was on the first floor, it didn’t take time getting outside to the road.
I looked around the quiet area then to the road where cars were passing.
From the corner of my eye, I saw a car move then drove away.
That should be her.
My feet worked under me quicker than ever after the car but it seems she deliberately sped up or something.
Fuck! Why would she leave?
I returned back to my apartment more pissed than usual. I haven’t been picking Paula’s call if not, I would’ve called her to ask the whereabouts of her daughter to be sure that I haven’t finally gone mad to be assuming that she’s here.
Once again, I couldn’t spend time with the kids like I promised when we came to Disneyland instead I left them.
I sent a message to the lead caregiver who runs the organization informing her that I left. I might be part of the suppliers and the founder and supervise that everything goes on well and the kids don’t lack anything per the information I am always given on how the organization is going but this woman I just messaged is actually the person who does the real work. I couldn’t do it or come this far if she wasn’t here and also have a passion for children.
I arrived back in Australia at almost eleven in the night. I got into the car I left at the airport and drove away. My intention was to drive straight home but after passing a club, it’s no longer the same.
Before I could overthink it, I parked the car and got down. I have every intention of getting drunk to subside the burning ache I feel inside that is trying without backing out to consume and numb me. Loud weird music attacked my ears so that I could hear it from my chest when I entered. It’s the new year’s Eve and just some minutes more until we cross over so I’m not surprised by the number of people here. I moved through the sweaty dancing bodies to the bar.
Taking a seat in front of the bar, I request for tequila.
“Can I get two shots?” I showed the bar attendant two fingers.
He placed it in front of me and I looked around. I hate that I’m self-conscious about what I am about to do.
I chug it down hurriedly and made faces as the strong liquid burned my throat and brought tears to my eyes. I could also feel my stomach turn and heat up. I placed the styrofoam cup down and demanded for three shots as I thought of getting the whole bottle instead. I closed my eyes and chugged the next one down.
“Give me a bottle instead.” I slurred. A man who came for just water looked at me and I glared at him.
My bottle came and I think it took me about thirty minutes before I was able to get past the cover and brought it to my lips.
It’s really not Toby’s fault for not having money and taking me to get poor treatment. I will never blame him for it but I wish I could blame him. Someone is supposed to be responsible for this misfortune I am facing each day that passed. Why must it be me? A girl from a rich home should live a trouble-free life. I should be able to get whatever I wanted. I should be the princess that my father called me by. I should be Amy’s little fairy. I don’t deserve all this shit I’m getting in life. I should have a handsome dashing man who will not come with his own problems. Novan has a problem and so do I. His problem is what is doing this to us. Instead of facing it, he’s running away and getting another girl. Fuck him. Out of all the problems, I didn’t think that there would be one which will say I can’t bear children. That I can’t be a mother. Life should at least spare me. I need a break from it all. I’m even tired of lamenting them every time shits like this occur.
Right now I wished I was somebody else, I wish my life was smoother. That I didn’t have to live without my parents. That I couldn’t do anything for the man who needed me to become better. He left in the end. I am a loser. That is who I am.
I pushed the empty bottle to the barman and laughed for no reason.
“Give me another bottle, please. Please please, please. Give me another.” I sang.
I smiled at him when I received another. The alcohol has filled me just like I wanted. I couldn’t think, I couldn’t feel my feet and my vision is, blurring then clearing then blurring again. I feel Mariana leaving me and replacing it with just an emotionless girl who came to club, who has no worries.
The music went down and I hear everyone begin to count. Oh. New year is not far away.
“Happy birthday Everett Donovan Alec Anderson!” I shouted through the counting of the numbers. The drunks clapped their hands and thinking that it’s because of what I said, I shouted once more.
“Thank you!!”
“Happy New year!!!” I think the disco lights changed and the synthetic smoke was increased or just my imagination. Whichever way, this is what I saw.
I stumbled to the dance floor and I couldn’t count the number of times I fell and got up. It only pained me that I dropped my bottle and almost the entire drink left spilled away.
Reaching the middle, I threw my arms about when the music came loud and fierce. It vibrated through me and it together with the drink created a kind of excitement I can’t name but it was a nice feeling. A feeling better than losing someone you would’ve given your life away for. A feeling better being barren. A feeling better than having almost everything in this world against you right from scratch.
I felt a sting to my backside and I turned to see a girl who would be at least a year or two older than me.
She smirked at me and I took a step back to take her in. Okay, her lips are painted so red that it’s blinding me and I’m trying to figure out which of the lights in this room is blinding me. Is it the ones on her lips or the disco lights? I think it’s hers. How can she paint her lips so bright like that? I don’t know but I squinted my eyes. The alcohol seems to be doing a great job.
Her wild hair is white, green, and yellow and her lashes are so long. She added too much blush to her cheeks and her cleavage is so exposed for someone who’s having a large boob and wearing a tiny top. Her boots are knee-length and she wore jeans short.
“Are you a whore?” I say without thinking and so loud over the music. When she didn’t say anything but just stared at me, Mariana visited me. And I suddenly realized that it was rude of me to say that.
I want to open my mouth and apologize but she smiled. “No. I’m not a whore. This is just me and I like to look like this.”
“Oh okay.”
“You’re so beautiful and innocent. I like you.” She smiled and rubbed my cheeks.
I forced a fake smile and looked around for an exit. I feel so uncomfortable.
She stepped closer and I stepped back. “Don’t go away. I like you. How about a night? I promise to make you feel good.” She’s breathing into my face, her bright lips only an inch away and her perfume is making me nauseous. Her hands on my body gives me a disgusting feeling.
“No.” I protest.
“Oh come on. You’re so pretty and your body is so soft and enticing. I like I think I love you already. Be my girl.” She said in a sexy tone into my ear.
I might be drunk but I know what is happening here.
“Get your hands off of me. I’m not into this.” I tried to push her from me.
“Do you have a boyfriend?”
I couldn’t answer that.
“If you tell me that you have a boyfriend, I promise to leave you but only kiss you and hold you a little but if you don’t then I’m taking you to bed and I’m gonna fuck you!”
“You won’t do anything! Now let me go.” I pushed her with my entire strength but she only moved a little while I found myself stumbling into dancing bodies until I hit the floor.
“Get up babe.” She gave me her hand but I swat it away. I wonder who’s going to help me from this lesbian now. She seemed determined.
She forcefully raised me up and began to pull me out of the crowd.
“Where are you taking me?” It seems the alcohol is lost from my veins and my senses are on high alert and my heart is pounding.
She pushed me against a solid surface and came closer to me.
“Yes,” I responded loudly and she stepped away. I don’t know who called but I’m grateful for whoever it is.
“Mariana is that you?”
A tall boy appears with a red cup in his hands. I think I’ve seen him before.
“Are you..?” He looks at me then to the weird girl.
“No.” I shook my head. I know what he’s thinking.
I jumped to his side. “Please take me out of here. I don’t know her and she’s trying to force himself on me.”
“Kaitlyn, when Anderson finds out you’re dead.”
“Is that her boyfriend?”
He scoffed and leads me away. I hate that he has to save me with Novan’s name.
“You look familiar.”
“I’m Tyler. I know you’ve forgotten.”
I looked up at him as we walked. Tyler… Tyler… Tyler. Where do I know someone by that name?
“Morgan? Betsy? Edward? Club?” He gave me clues and I remembered.
“Oh you’re that guy who wanted to kiss me..well we wanted to kiss and Novan came.” I was drunk then.
“Yeah.” He stopped at the bar. “Care for a drink?”
“What are you taking?” I asked and sat down.
“I’ll have that too.” I smiled and he filled a glass for me.
“For the drinks? Don’t kid me.”
“No. For taking me away from that girl. Who knows what she’ll be doing to me by now if you hadn’t come.”
“I didn’t do anything.” He raised his cup to his lips.
“I won’t buy that.” I chug my drink down with a funny face as shivers shook my body
“I see you haven’t taken enough drink after the first time I met you.”
“It’s not it. This Jack or whatever is stronger.”
“I can see it.”
“What were you thinking when you saw me with the girl? I saw that face you made.”
“I thought you’re now into girls after Anderson left left.”
“How did you know?” I run my tongue slowly on the tip of the glass.
“Words travel among us faster.”
I nodded.
For the next hour, we drank in silence, glass after glass, bottle after bottle. All this while, my phone kept ringing but I didn’t pay it my mind.
“That’s okay for you. I will drive you home.”
I shook my head and held onto the counter for leverage before climbing down from the tall stool.
“I’ll manage.”
“You can barely walk. How can you drive?”
“You don’t have to worry about me. Thanks.” I feel lighter and when I walk it’s like a big hole is created in front of me at each step so I tend to jump.
I returned and grabbed another bottle before leaving, stumbling, and jumping all the way until I got to my car. Luckily, I still had my key in my purse. I got in and drove out of the parking lot into the streets. My eyes are heavy and I’m really finding it difficult to drive when I got into the road. I haven’t slept in the past three or four days now and I’m so tired. Coupled with the drink, I had plus no food.
After hitting the pedestrian lane, missing the red lights, and breaking most of the road rules more than ten times from dozing, I parked anyhow and dropped my head on the wheel. So wasted and I don’t even know where I am.
A tap from the window wakes me up and I jolt upright. I rubbed my eyes but I couldn’t see clearly. I’m still very much feeling sleepy.
The person motioned for me to come out and I did without question or trying to know who or why.
” Who are you?” I finally found my tongue.
“Get out or you see the worst of us.” His deep voice scared me and I was out in a minute then wrapped my hands around my body to gain warmth.
Once I am out and out of the way, the tall figure in black entered with two other tall men in Black and they drove away.
I couldn’t understand what just happened until a few minutes after. I’ve been robbed and left in the middle of the wrong with my passport, phone, money, card, and car all gone.
For the next ten minutes, I didn’t know what to do. I just stood there and stared into space, gritting and shivering. When my senses finally decided to communicate with my brain, I tried to get a car that will take me home but no one will stop. It’s just like two years ago when I had Nervisa at my back and no car will stop for me. Nervisa couldn’t walk because of her health so I had to carry her home. This time is different. I’m stranded in the middle of nowhere drunk and can barely walk or think under this harsh weather.
It seems there’s no one at this time who will fancy giving a drunk girl a lift so I decided to walk.
In the long run, I got extremely tired as the road was never-ending. I prepared to sit on the floor when a car who passed by made a reverse and came to a halt.
The occupant practically jumped out of the and raced towards me.
I think I know him and despite everything, in this condition of mine, at this time, I am relieved and grateful that he’s here.
“Ed.” I croaked out and got on my feet. The kind of relief I felt wakes my emotions and they overwhelmed me. Their only escape route is through my eyes so I let them.
The worry in his eyes as they take me over for any scratch pulls me into his form. Surprise and hesitation took him over until he relaxed with a sigh and his arms came around me. I’m awarded his warmth and I bury my face in his chest.
“Are you alright?”
“No.” I hold him tight for more warmth. It’s so cold out here. I don’t know how I survived it. Even the alcohol running in my veins couldn’t help.
{Loving him with all his flaws.}
I waited in the living room till morning in hope that if Mariana is indeed here, then she’ll come back as it’s my birthday and she wouldn’t miss it but she didn’t come till it was sunny and I have run out of all patience. I called Paula so many times but she won’t pick up and I know why. Because I didn’t pick her call, she’s also treating me back the same. I looked at my contact but none on my list will know anything about her apart from her mother. My assholes of friends should be passed out on their beds now. I wish I even had Betsy’s number or even that of her celebrity boyfriend. I don’t even have her brother’s number but… Nervisa.
I ran to her room.
“Nervisa. Call Mariana’s brother for me now or just ask him where Mariana is.”
“Why do you need a channel to know about her? Just call her yourself.”
“I wouldn’t be here if I can.” I fired at her. The thing is, I don’t want to call her. I just want to surprise her.
“Then I am busy..”
“Busy?” she’s just sitting and filing her nails.”Don’t try this shit with me, Nervisa.”
She glowered at me then pointed to her phone on the bed for me to take.
I picked it in haste. “How did you store his name?”
“My love.”
“What? I choked. “Are you fucking kidding me?” My hands typed the words on her contact search.
“Seriously.” She laughed. ” It’s BF.”
“Why BF? What’s the meaning?”
“I don’t want to think you’re behind time Nova. BF means best friend.”
“It also means boyfriend.” I scowled at her.
“But I say best friend.”
“You’ll change that. I will do it for you.” I searched the BF and it came with some infinity symbol and black heart attached to it. Soon the black heart might turn to red. I hope it doesn’t happen.
I dialed the number and put the call on speaker.
“You’ll talk to him and I’ll listen,” I said to her and she hissed.
“Hi, Nervisa.”
“Marion. You don’t sound happy. Why?”
How did she know he’s not happy? I didn’t realize it.
“Nothing. I’m just sad and at the same time mad at my sister for not taking me along with her to Disneyland this year also.”
I see. So truly he’s sad. How deep is this friendship of theirs?
“Really? She didn’t tell me either..”
That’s all I needed to know. So she came after all. Mariana was here and where’s she? She should be around. I called Esther with the landline to come and that I’m leaving before picking the key of my rented car. I seriously need to buy my own soon.
“It’s freezing out here. Let’s get inside then you can tell me everything.”
I nod and he walks ahead of me to his car where he opened the door for me. I got in and when he also did himself, he turned the heat up for me.
He nods and just stares at me.
“Thought no one was ever going to come,” I muttered and let my head rest on the restraint.
“Thought you traveled.” He said.
“How did you know? I see. You’re stalking me.”
“No no. I didn’t. I came to your house to see your dad then I got to know. Have you been drinking?”
“How much.”
” A lot.”
” I can see it. You’re so exhausted.”
“I returned and jumped straight into the club. Last year we were at a party so it’s only fair that I be at a club.” I laughed.
“Then where’s your car? Didn’t you bring it?”
“You don’t wanna know.”
“Tell me.”
I turned my head to him and motioned with my finger for him to get closer. “Come,” I whispered when he was being hesitant.
“It’s a secret,” I added and he finally pushed closer. I lean into him and whisper. “Happy new year.”
He raised his brows, clearly showing that he didn’t expect that.
“Is that all? I know it’s New year.”
“And who goes around with expensive things when going to a club? I came in a taxi.”
“Some people lie when they’re drunk.” He went back to his former position.
“Really, thanks for coming. I was freezing.” I changed the topic.
“I can see that. Your lips have all turned blue and your cheeks are paled.”
“Ghosty look.” I grinned at him.
What happened to you?” I finally asked and hoped she’d tell me. Never have I seen her so disheveled, lost, and broken like this. She doesn’t look the least happy and I can tell from her eyes. I won’t forgive myself if I am the one responsible for this. All she’s ever done is to be nice to me but I foolishly let my feelings get in the way. Knowing how much she loves Jude’s son, I shouldn’t have come in the way. The thing is, I fell in love with her the first time I set my eyes on her. She was with her father at a ball and I couldn’t keep my eyes away from her. She’s head to toe mesmerizing and her beauty had no flaw. She looked matured and highly intelligent. She’s nice and extremely kind. Everything about her is so perfect and I couldn’t help it. I attend meetings just so I can get a glimpse of her every time. I never got the courage to approach her all those times. Until I saw her at the club and she was so close. I knew Tyler and even Morgan had a little crush on her so when Tyler pulled that bait to have her play beer pong with him, I jumped to her defense but ended up getting humiliated. The next day or week, I saw her at a restaurant I happened to be an assistant manager at and I finally got the courage to talk to her and oh my. She was so nice. She’s the nicest and sweetest thing ever. I didn’t know she was dating Anderson and I didn’t like him. I still don’t like him. So when I saw him at the restaurant while going for her drink, all I wanted was to show her off not knowing it’s his girl. He ended up kissing her in front of me and I really felt bad and heartbroken. Above all, I was shocked. How can a nice decent girl like her go out with that boy with tattoos and a lot of piercings?
When we began to be friends, I pushed my hopes up and chanced up. I wanted us to be more and the way she was, I felt she liked me. I enjoyed all the times I spent with her in the USA and France. I enjoyed it all even though they were all short-lived. I hate the gut of that Donovan but if going to support him is what will get me closer to Mariana, then I will. So I did then I realized how she won’t stop talking nice things and how proud she is of him. It irritated me and I just have to call his mom over to ruin his chances. I regret it now. I pushed for more just because she was nice which was bad of me. I did a lot of things I shouldn’t have and I am so sorry. I lost my friendship with her and I didn’t like the way she looked at me at the mall. She doesn’t even want me around her and when she made that clear with so much conviction, I knew I lost her but I didn’t know I would see her looking stranded, drunk, and freezing in the middle of the night on the roadside when I was coming back from a family party.
I think this is just a way to make up for the mess I created but I can’t help wishing. Just if she was mine and not Anderson’s. God, how much I love her.
“What happened?” I ask her again.
“Something nice.” She whispered tiredly with eyes closed and a frown. Makeup is smeared all over her face but she’s still pretty, down to earth.
“I want to know.”
She stays silent then I see her blink so many times. When she turned to look at me, her eyes were shining with fluid.
“I got robbed.” She sobbed.
“Robbed?” My heart skips and I look all over her for any injury or anything at all.
“They just took my things.”
“What and what did they take?”
“My heart, body and soul and he left. After everything.” Her tears flowed.
It doesn’t seem like she’s referring to the robbers.
“You mean?” I hesitated before putting my hand on her shoulders and gave it a squeeze.
“My car, phones, and money. They took everything.”
“What? Have you lodged a complaint?” I put my hand in my pocket for my phone.
“No don’t.” Her little hands fall on mine to stop me.
“Why? You won’t get them back if we don’t report to the police.”
“Let them take it.”
“It’s not because I have the money to get another but because I am drunk and I was sleeping in the middle of the road and illegal parking then I had a bottle of alcohol in my car. What will I tell the police? I will end up getting arrested for drinking and driving which is not good either. Just leave it.”
She’s right but I can’t believe she’s letting it go either.
My thumb wiped the tears from her cheeks and she looked at me innocently.
“I’m sorry for everything.”
“Don’t remind me. I’m glad you’re here so please don’t ruin it.”
She’s still looking at me and I don’t know what to do.
“Nobody wants me.” She blurts out.
“Do you still want me?”
I’m thrown back with her question. I know she’s drunk but I can’t stop myself from telling her.
“I want you very much. I love you.”
She closed her eyes as if to let it sink.
“I’m sorry.” I apologized.
“No don’t. That’s how you feel. It’s okay. I’m just a fool here.”
“You’re not a fool,” I said to her and tried as much as possible to wipe all her tears. I wish I could hold her in my arms to comfort her, protect her, and promise to love her all of my life.
“Can you tell me what is actually wrong?” I asked and she brushed my hand from her cheeks then buried her face into her palms and cried uncontrollably. I couldn’t take it, I couldn’t sit and just watch.
“Come here.” I didn’t expect what she did.
She came readily closer and got on my lap, straddling me in my car. Her head is on my chest as she cries harder.
“Please.” She pleads. It took me a minute to understand what she was pleading me to do.
She’s begging for comfort and I know it’s the alcohol if not she’ll never ask me.
I let the seat incline and my arms came around her and she sighed into her tears.
I wish she’ll just tell me what is wrong with her.
“It’s okay Mariana. You’ll be fine.” I rubbed her back in hopes that it will soothe her. She looked up at me with those beautiful enchanting brown eyes and they traveled to my lips. Her cheeks turned red and I wished to know what she’s thinking about.
She held my face between her little hands and my breathing went fast. I’m not sure what she’s about to do but I’m close to knowing it and I couldn’t do anything to stop it even knowing she’s drunk and will regret it later.
I felt her breath against my lips then before I knew it, she took me off guard and pressed her lips to mine. I closed my eyes to memorize this moment. This feeling of having her lips on mine after daydreaming it my entire life. I know it’s the alcohol working and I gladly allowed it. Her lips are just as soft as I had imagined. I can taste the alcohol mixed with the salty taste of her tears on her tongue when I opened up to the kiss but it doesn’t overshadow her sweetness. I know this is bad and I shouldn’t be allowing her Since she’s not in her right senses but there’s nothing I can do. I’ve wanted this for so long and today on the new year, it’s here for me on a silver platter. I just have to enjoy the moment while it lasts. I kissed her back and she moaned while her hands locked in my hair. Just the best feeling ever. I feel like weeping. God, I’m so happy. I haven’t felt like this before. No one has ever made me feel this way. Today goes down to be the best day of my life and I wish it keeps on this way. I’m not changing anything about this and I am not taking it back.
I don’t know why I am doing it. I just know that I am doing it. When Morgan kissed me, I didn’t kiss back but I have kissed no one but Novan a thousand times. Today, I have my lips on somebody else and of course, it doesn’t taste or feel like his. I kissed him slowly and waited for him to open up and kiss me back. When he finally opened up, it was truly nothing like I feel with Novan. I waited for some fire, for some electricity wave. When it finally came, the fires that came didn’t spark like a violent inferno just like Novan’s but mild. His lips are soft, too soft and they don’t trace and move in synchrony like the way Novan’s does and neither did his tongue fight with mine for dominion but Novan does. I can’t tell if it’s because of the way we fight. He doesn’t suck and bites my lips teasingly as Novan does. He has the mint on his tongue but not Novan’s sweetness. I grind on him to generate some fire, a little fierce one but I didn’t get more or less. Just a moan from him. I feel his hands on my back, tracing my spine and the waistline of my skinny jeans. I feel his bulge and imagining it to be Novan’s, I grind harder, whined, and humped.
“Fuck.” He cursed into the kiss and held my waist to stop my movements. I stopped kissing him and almost jumped off him when I saw his face. Aroused.
“What are you doing? What do you want? Why are you kissing me?” He asked all at once, his chest heaving and lips pink and swollen from the kiss.
I tried to think of his questions. The answers I got made me get off his laps. I kissed him because I want to get over my pain, to get over Novan, to know that I am unwanted or not and to prove that somebody at least likes me. That is so selfish of me. Edward loves me. I shouldn’t be using that against him. I just used him for my own benefit and right now I am ashamed and also for cheating on Novan. He said we’re over but I can’t help it.
“You don’t have to be embarrassed. I’m here for you.”
I looked over at him. He’s saying all the right things and in seriousness.
“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have.” I looked away, feeling bad and extremely ashamed of myself even drunk.
“It’s nothing. Will you tell me what is bothering you?”
“I am drunk doesn’t mean I will spill. I don’t trust you.” I may be drunk but I have a little control over my senses. I didn’t lose it and neither did I forget what he did. I’m just…I feel left alone and need someone that’s all.
“I know. I’m sorry.”
“Is this part of your plan?”
I smiled. “Did you send people to rob me? You’re good at these games don’t you?”
“Oh God…. you…you think I sent..oh.” he seemed shocked and lost for words.
“Don’t blame me. You’ve done worse things, remember?”
“But I can never do this. You said you didn’t love me and you told me to stay away and I did just that. You have to believe me.”
“Get me out of here please.”
“I don’t like the way you’re thinking of me. Please.”
“Why must it be you?”
“Coincidence of course. I was coming back from the Fernandez party and I was going home. This is where I pass to my house…”
“Chill. Just take me away from here.”
“No. You’ll have to believe first.”
“Okay fine. I believe you, Ed. Now can we go?”
“I don’t mean this way.” He sighed and turned the car around.
“I also don’t mean it that way. But after what you did, it’s hard to believe you. I’m sorry.”
“I want to win your trust back.” He said but I ignored him and pretended to fall asleep when I placed my head on the window.
“Mariana, we’re here.” He placed his hand on my lap to wake me and I opened my eyes.
He brought me to my house but the last thing I want is for my parents to see me stumble into the house almost in the morning with alcohol under my breath.
“I don’t want to go home. Not like this.”
“Then? Where?”
“I don’t know. Give me a second.”
“I can take you to my place. I won’t bite.”
I didn’t have to think about it. “No, take me to Betsy’s place. Just go forward. I will show you.”
I didn’t mind the hurtful face he made. I can’t sleep at his house on top of kissing him.
Novan will kill me if he finds out. Dating or no dating. That I know for sure.
“Thanks,” I said when we got there and opened the door. Before I could leave, he held my hand.
“I’m deeply and truly sorry Mariana. I beg for only one chance. I won’t fuck it up I promise. Please.”
“I don’t know,” I mutter and step out of the car.
I made it into Betsy’s house then her room. Thankful that I didn’t wake her folks up, I closed her door gently behind me and kicked my shoes off.
I didn’t expect her to be snoring in bed instead of partying or maybe she went and came back earlier or she didn’t go.
I think she didn’t because she’s in her pajamas. A drunk Betsy doesn’t take her party clothes off before sleeping.
I got out of my hoodie crop top and skinny jeans then walked to her washroom. I sat on the toilet to free my bladder when I saw her phone sitting at where she placed her shampoo. I got up and walked to pick it before sitting back to pee.
Just like me, she used my name as her screen lock.
I don’t want to invade her privacy so I didn’t go anywhere other than going to her dial pad and stayed there for too long. When my fingers began to type his number, my mind wasn’t part.
“Who’s this?” He sounds irritated once he picked-up the call and at once I want to hang up. He doesn’t seem to be in any good mood.
“The fuck! Won’t you talk?”
I sighed and looked at the screen swiftly. I should advise myself before I regret it.
“Wait. Is that..who is this please?”
“Novan,” I called and he sighed deeply that I heard it clearly.
“Oh God Mariana is that you?”
“Yes. Go on. Mock me. Do it Novan.”
“No fuck! Shut up! I’ve been calling you like crazy! I called you five hundred times. Five hundred times Mariana. Where the fuck did you put your damn phone? I’m going mad from worry. Where are you and what are you doing? Are you okay? Oh, fuck don’t keep quiet. Talk to me!”
He’s yelling and I can hear his feet threatening to break the floor as he paces about.
“You don’t have a right to yell at me or even get angry at me Novan. You broke up with me, remember?”
“Yes I did and that’s because you did something unforgivable to me then you have to come to California and run away from me. Do you know how much I need you?”
“You need me?” How did he know I was the one?
“Forget that! Tell me where you placed your phone and all the questions I asked. Answer me!”
“Why do you want to know?”
“I feel restless. I can’t sleep. I’m irritated for no reason the entire fucking day and still is. I feel there’s something going on. Where did you go today? And where did you leave your phone? Please answer me. I’m going mad.”
It’s good. You deserve to be mad.
“Don’t act like you care, Novan. We all know you don’t give a flying fuck about me.”
“Who says so? You know I care for you.”
“No, you don’t.”
“Okay. Where were you? What did you do? What have you been up to? Tell me all the things and don’t hide any. Did you get intimate with someone? Please tell me?” His voice is sultry as if he’s going to cry.
“Tell me what exactly is wrong with you Novan.”
“I can’t explain much but I feel you’re not alright and I’m getting that burning feeling of jealousy. What you’ll feel if I fuck somebody. Something like that. Please tell me you didn’t do anything with anybody. I want to be free Mariana. I’m restless. Hope you didn’t cheat on me.”
“Look. I trust you okay but I can’t overlook this feeling that’s why I am asking.”
“I’m fine and I didn’t do anything.” I bite my tongue. Now I feel guilty. I didn’t know kissing someone will devastate Novan and cause him to be restless within himself.
“It’s good you’re restless. The Bible indeed said the evil one shall not rest and look..” I laughed.
“What? Now you’re being church-ish. Kindly tell me, Mariana. Have you been drinking?”
“That’s not your problem.”
“Oh, I see. I know I couldn’t doubt my instincts. So you went to a party and someone fucked you? Oh, God!”
“No! I didn’t..” I shrieked.
“You didn’t what?”
“I didn’t fuck anyone.”
“Stop it Novan. You don’t have a right to question what I do anymore. You made that clear.”
“To hell with that! I want you to tell me what you’ve been doing behind my back or else I swear I am coming down right away and it won’t go down well between us that I promise you!”
“Come and do your worst, Novan. I have seen it all but you must understand that you have no right over me anymore!”
“We’ll see!” He pants heavily into the phone.
“I’m getting off,” I warn him.
“No don’t! Tell me where your phone is before you used this number to call and why you haven’t been picking.”
“You think you’re the only thief in my life? No!”
“What do you mean?”
“Someone has taken the rest of me Novan! While you stole my body, heart and soul, somebody also stole my car, my passport, phone, money, and everything..”
“What? How did it happen? How?”
I can’t get over the butterflies I get in my belly when he’s sounding worried about me.
“I was robbed!” I begin to cry again.
“Where? How?”
“I was sleeping in my car in the middle of nowhere..”
“Why were you sleeping? Are you sick!”
“Drunk! I was drunk!”
“So you went out while I was dying inside. Was it a club or frat party?”
“And how did you get home? Who helped you?”
“Don’t be a Mr nosy now Novan. All this doesn’t matter to you.”
“I love you and so it matters. Please tell me before I die of worry. How did you get out of there? And are you okay?”
“I’m going to sleep. Good night Novan.”
“No, don’t hang up.”
“I want to sleep.”
“You’re hiding something from me Mariana. Please don’t do this to me. Tell me everything.” He’s pleading.
“I’m ending the call.”
“No don’t…” Just like the other day, I also hung up on him.
Knowing Novan, he didn’t stop calling so I had to put Betsy’s phone on silent mode before dropping it on the dresser and laying beside her. It’s already 4 am. I’m looking forward to long hours of sleep.
{Loving him with all his flaws.}
A noise from beside me woke me up and I looked around to see Betsy by her desk and using her laptop. I have a migraine and my stomach is begging for food.
She turned to me and got up. “Need something?”
“Yes, please. Food, water, and something to get over my hangover with.”
“You partied last night? Thought you traveled. I was even surprised to see you in the morning beside me.”
“I returned earlier yesterday night almost 11 and I passed by a club and got drunk then robbed.”
“Yeah. But please get me what I need first.” I walked into the washroom and took an unused toothbrush. After brushing, I went under the shower and let the warm water run over me. It will be bad for her parents to see me the way I was yesterday. I washed my hair too and when I came out, she brought what I needed.
“Do I still have my clothes in here?”
I opened the closet and picked a dress which of course isn’t mine. When I wore it, it was tight, too tight and it pushed my chest out overly. This is Betsy’s dress, not mine. I looked for another and wore which fitted me. Unlike me, Betsy is slim and so is her everything. And I’m not slim, not fat either but in-between and quite endowed at the front and backside.
“You didn’t party last night. Why?” I sat down to eat the food she brought.
“I’ve finally learned to have some shame.” I dropped the spoon and looked at her. Not her face since she still has her back towards me.
“I didn’t mean it that way, Betsy.” I can’t believe she chose to not party because of what I said.
“It’s not entirely what you said. Your scolding triggered something in me and I realized this will be best. If I stay away from hanging out with Ronnie and the rest, Morgan will feel a little secured and not be jealous. I should’ve realized spending time with them hurt him. This can also help solve some of our problems.”
“That’s a good move and I’m proud of you. However, I am sorry for being hard and mad at you.”
“It hurts to see you act like that towards me. It really hurts but then you love me don’t you?” She turned in her chair to face me.
“I do.”
“We get angry at people we care about therefore I’m not upset at all. I’m also sorry.”
I got up to her and she also did the same.
“There’s blood oozing out of your nose Betsy.” I gave her a worried look.
“Really?” She began to touch her nose then attempty to run to check her mirror and I pulled her back.
“Joking.” I smiled but she ran to the mirror once I let go.
“You’re crazy Mariana.” She laughed.
“I miss you,” I said to her and she hugged me.
“Me too.”
We remained hugging for what seems like forever. “I thought we won’t be like this anymore.” She whispered in my neck.
“You’re crazy to think that way and for hiding away from me.”
“Thought you wouldn’t like to see me around.”
“I want to see you always.”
“Don’t keep things that I am supposed to know away from me again. That shit hurts and you’re so important to me.”
“I won’t again. I’m sorry.”
“That’s okay. I’m hungry.” I stepped back to my food and sat.
“How have you two been?” I asked and drank some water.
“I don’t know but Morgan has been extra sweet, understanding and I’m loving him more and more every day. Did you do something to him?”
“Nothing. Just a short reality check.”
“That explains it. He’s no longer clingy and all possessive. Thank you.”
“I’m happy for you.” I bit into the chicken and chewed gently while studying her.
“You could go to a club you know right?” I still don’t understand why she didn’t go at all yesterday and I’m not convinced with her explanation though it makes sense.
“With everything going on and you being mad at me. I almost thought we won’t make up. How can I make merry with everything going on? You won’t understand it.”
I understand. I also wasn’t happy. It’s as if my problems worsened since we had a fight.
“So then, now that the storm is calm, can we party then?”
“Sure.” She smiled brightly, the one that showed her beautiful dentine. I pictured Novan’s smile and realized how much I miss it.
“When did you arrive to sleep beside me?”
“Four in the morning.”
“You don’t party for no reason. Tell me why.”
“Nothing. It’s New year so it was a compulsory thing for me.”
“I will pretend to believe.”
“Yeah.” I grinned at her.
“And you got robbed. Tell me all about it.” She sat.
” First, where’s your phone, Betsy.”
“Any problem?” She picked it from her desk. “I got a lot of missed calls from an unknown number around four in the morning.”
“How about now?”
“No.” She shakes her head. “The person stopped.”
“Oh. Right now too? When was the last call?”
“That was five I think.” She checks..”yes..five. why do you ask?”
“Can you call my phone?”
“Okay.” She did and it was unreachable.
“Wait. It means you lost your phone? The robbery? Tell me everything.”
“I went to the club, got drunk, and got robbed off my car, phones, and my passport. All of it is gone and including my cards. Then Ed came along then..then… I kissed him…I don’t know why…I was so drunk.. and..” I stammer and run my hands over my hair.
“I only have one word to say. “You’re dead! So fucking dead.”
“Sure. I am sorry you lost all that but kissing someone else is surely going to drive your boyfriend crazy and you know it. And why must it be Ed? For fuck sake they both hate each other and after all that Ed did. Donovan won’t spare him that I know for sure.”
“No, he won’t.” I’m panicking at his reaction but I still want to be brave and hold my ground. Novan got a girl and broke up with me just because I said he should do something correct that he’s been doing wrong.
“He won’t?”
“Yes.” I focused on my food but I couldn’t eat anything. I feel my stomach rejecting it but I don’t want to pay heed.
“He got one brown-haired girl and then broke up with me, over a week now. He doesn’t want me again.” My eyes burned.
“You can’t be serious.”
“I am. I saw the girl when I went to California and I’m sorry for calling him with your phone. I thought he’d keep calling but you said he stopped at five. That is” I drank more water to stop myself from crying.
“You two are the strangest couple ever. I know he’ll come back so please don’t cry?” She sits beside me on the bed. “I’m so sorry that he’s always an asshole. He’s a confused being and doesn’t really know what he wants if not he won’t be doing this.”
“He was so sure. This isn’t confusion? And why wouldn’t he know what he wants? Is he not sure about me? Please, Betsy.”
“Did you give him the space he asked for to gather himself?”
When I didn’t say anything, she got up and walked back to her desk and started working.
When he needed the space, I was being a greedy crying lad and made him fuck me over the phone. That’s not space? For God’s sake, Novan was still grieving.
He still has that anger and guilt inside him and needed my patience and support all this time but I just couldn’t give him. He’s right, I’m so needy.
I got a new phone, a new sim and all and decided not to tell my parents about the robbery. Each day, I keep asking Betsy if he called but she always says no. Each day that passes, my hope keeps dwindling. It’s been a week and I’m going to school tomorrow. I haven’t heard anything at all from Novan. I actually thought he’ll come so much that, each day, I keep checking, and anytime the doorbell sounds, I run to check but he never came.
“What happened to your phone princess? I’ve been calling and where’s your car?”
“I gave them out.” I lied. I’m already set to leave for campus.
“I’m offended.”
“They’re expensive Mariana. And you just got a new phone that isn’t even a month old.”
“What is wrong? My father is rich and I am his only princess.”
“I see.” He muttered and I lifted my eyes to see my mom coming down from the stairs.
“Mariana I know you misplaced them.” Mom accuses.
“You’re not all-knowing for anything but hey, I didn’t misplace anything.”
I turned to leave.
“Wait for me. You’re going to school and I’m going to miss you.” I walked to meet her and we hugged. Dad joined and they both kissed me on the cheek. “Don’t mind Donovan,” Mom whispered.
“Nothing.” She smiled.
“Are you leaving already, Mariana?”
We all turned to see Daniel, Morgan’s dad.
“Yes. Why?”
“I got your things back.”
My eyes widened when I saw my purse. “ did you..?”
“Are you asking? I can’t believe you didn’t say or do anything about the robbery.”
“Robbery?” My parents say at once, shock visible in their voices.
“Maybe having an uncle who was once a detective then a lawyer, and now a judge, I shouldn’t worry.” I took my purse and everything was inside including my car key. ” Thanks so much.”
Even though I would like for him to reveal the mystery of how he got them, I’m running late. I need to be on campus today.
“You’re making unnecessary expenses Mariana. You lost them but didn’t bother reporting to get it back. That’s not good.” My mom chided.
“You’re the same person who said I’m not spending. Bye.” I hurried out before they said more.
“Maybe because she was drunk!” Daniel said.
“Uncleeee!” I stressed.
“Drunk?” They’re now horrified but I made sure to be out immediately before I’m bombarded with questions and worried faces.
“You’re leaving?” Marion runs to me…
“Yeah but not exactly. See you.” I bent to his level and kissed him tenderly on the forehead.
“Take care.” He hugged my waist.
“You too.”
“I’m still mad at you for not taking me to Disneyland.”
“I’m sorry.” I knew he wanted to see Nervisa and he being there would attract Novan. We’ll fuck and he’ll fight with me. I can’t take more humiliation.
After our goodbye, I saw Ed driving into our compound.
He offered to drop me after seeing my dad and I agreed. The journey was silent and I tried so much thinking about ways I could tell him that I’m sorry about the kiss and that he shouldn’t take it seriously.
“I’m sorry for kissing you the other day.” I finally apologized to Ed. We’re at my penthouse and he just dropped me from home.
“No. I’m not bothered. I’m also sorry again. Please forgive me? I need only one chance and I swear I won’t fuck it up. I won’t be like Donovan.”
I look up at him. “Are you apologizing or trying your luck on me? Which is which?”
“I’m sorry but you know I love you and I wish we can be together. It’s better when I say it this way. It’s freeing. I’m sorry if that upsets you but I really love you Mariana. I can’t hide it. I’m sorry.”
I sighed.
“Where’s your Novan? Why is he not here? I know he hurt you but trusts me, you deserve more and I want to give you all that. I want to be there for you. Please allow me.” He’s holding my face and rubbing my cheeks, begging me.
“Don’t say his name. Where’s he? He left you didn’t he? If he really loves you, he can’t stay away from you Mariana. He won’t be an asshole. I mean he’s such a fool to be doing this to you. Who stays away from his girlfriend? Continents apart? And if I’m not mistaken he doesn’t call you. Does he?”
” I..he..he will..” I’ve run out of words to defend him.
“I know boys like him and what they do. They have so many issues that they can’t solve so they tend to use whoever is available to overcome their pain. When they need you, they’ll come and after gaining a little balance, they’ll fuck up. Come again and apologize and the cycle keeps going. Who knows, he doesn’t even love you. He’s just using you…”
“Edward!” I dropped his hand from my cheeks.
“I’m sorry.”
“Novan loves me. I know. Please don’t say that. He just..he.. he’ll come. Yes..he needs some time to pull himself together.”
“If saying this will make you feel better, then go ahead but that’s what I think.”
“If you want to make a place for yourself in my heart, then do it but don’t destroy Novan’s place. I still love him okay?”
“I’m not.”
“Then don’t speak bad about him and his feelings towards me.”
“Yeah. I’m sorry… I want to make my place and I want you to see how much I love you too. Have dinner with me.”
“You mean a date?”
“If you want to call it that way. I will be honored. I know this is too much but as I said, you’ll be doing me a huge favor.”
“And I haven’t forgiven you for what you did. You don’t know how much your actions caused me.”
“That’s why I am sorry and pleading for your forgiveness. Please. And, I thought you said you’ve forgiven me. Have you forgotten?”
“Yeah. I’ve already done that.” I rubbed my neck and tugged a hair behind my ear.ap
“Thanks for bringing me. I will make my plans and call you.”
“Sure.” He took me by surprise and hugged me. “Bye.” He flashed his one billion dollar smile that tickles my heart at times and got in his car.
I watched him drive away and got inside. I already have clothes here so I didn’t bring anything. I took my planner and laid out my plans then changed all pins of my account. Who knows what these thieves may have done?
I took my phone and looked at it for a long time. I just wish he’ll call. Why wouldn’t he? What is holding him? I am not worried about him the way I should if something should be wrong with him. I know somewhere in me that he’s fine so then what? After what Betsy said, I accept this is all my fault.
I did this to us. Novan needed space and that’s why he left. I should’ve given it to him but no. I keep calling him and making requests. Now what, he doesn’t want me anymore. I was hopeful a week ago the night I got robbed that he’ll call again and that he’ll come back to Australia but neither did he call or come.
Days have passed and each day that passed leaves with a part of me and the hope I have that Novan will come back to me, that we’ll be together again. I start believing Edward’s words that maybe he didn’t actually love me else how possibly could he be living his life so normally without me? He’s the same person who said he can’t live without me, who begs me not to leave. But now, nothing is going on and we’re so far away and here I am sitting in an expensive restaurant with Edward sitting across me, expecting me to tell him something good and I want to. I want to try something different, to give him a chance or something. I want to but I am not so good at forgetting someone as Novan so quickly.
“You are not eating.” Edward interrupts my thoughts.
“Are you thinking of him? You still love him?”
I look up at him yet again. It’s like all that Novan said about him and what might happen is coming to pass. Right now, a word from me to him will be it. It will be official.
“Tell me what good he has ever done to you that you can’t forget him? What’s so special?”
“It’s not like that. You have to understand me okay? I really want to but..”
“You’re too deep into him?”
I nodded.
“Tell me, Mariana. Do you want me? Do you like me? Even in the least?”
“I…I ..yes..” the words are so heavy to say.
“Tell me please. Do I stand a chance or not?” He sounds desperate, his hopes are on the edge and if I don’t say the right words, they’ll come crushing to the floor in shreds.
“I like you okay. You’re nice and..”
“Nice? Nice is not a nice word you could use to describe what you feel about me Mariana.” He dropped his cutlery.
“I think you deserve better. Give me some time to think about this please.”
“How long? How much time do you need?”
Impatience and desperation are what I see in his eyes, prickling at me to say it but I want to give Novan and me another chance and I need time to think this through seriously. I want to know if this is what I want or because of circumstances.
“A week.” My voice is barely audible as it shakes.
” A week?”
“Yes please.” My hands fall on my lap and I fiddle with them.
“When I give you the week then what?” He asked.
“It’s either I accept you or..”
“Don’t say it, please. What shows that he won’t come out of anywhere during that week and influence you to be with him? What guarantee do I have?”
“I won’t let him interfere with my decision.”
“Not even when he comes?”
“Yes. I will do it with his presence or without it. Whatever decision I will make, Novan’s appearance won’t come between it.”
“You sure? Please promise me.” He stares deep into my eyes.
I bit my lips and looked away.
“And it should be something good. Whatever decision you make. It should be in my favor somehow. Please.”
“If you say that then you’re not giving me any options here, Edward.”
“Alright fine but promise me that you’ll have yourself in mind, what you deserve and me, the love I have for you while making this decision.”
“I.. promise.” I breathed.
I have no idea how quickly my life jumped to this point.
{Loving him with all his flaws.}
“I would like to ask you a question, Ed?” I asked after the promise which I hope I keep.
He raised his brows. “Ask me.”
“Do you love babies?”
“Of course. I like them.”
Novan doesn’t even though he was the one who took care of her sister since she was a baby but who knows, he might also turn out to like them.
I took my time and not only that, it took everything in me to well up and ask the next question.
“So then what if you realize one day that your partner can’t give them to you?”
“Wife or girlfriend?” He asked and I didn’t miss the frown on his forehead.
” If It’s my wife, I will be mad at her. Really mad at her for not giving me something so precious. I have always dreamt of being a daddy someday so if she can’t, I will feel like she has taken something away from me, my dream. If it’s my girlfriend, then all hope isn’t lost. Becoming a father is so important to me so I’ll just get someone who can give me that. But then, if I really love her like you, I will compromise. Why should we even talk about that? There’s nothing wrong with you..” he laughed.” And my wife or girlfriend will have to be”
I forced a smile out at him.
Silence fell between us and while he eats, I pick at mine. My mind is blank and my heart is beating. My wet palms and beads of sweat that litter my forehead gave it away from how nervous I am.
We drive back to my apartment and before he leaves, he takes my hands from either side of me and places a kiss over them. “Please don’t disappoint me?”
I nod.
Once he’d left my compound, I ran inside and soaked myself in my tears. It’s been weeks and he doesn’t even call to ask of me. Don’t I mutter? Or because he got somebody else?
I want to call him but why must I be the only one to always call? We’re both at fault here and I am willing to apologize to him but he doesn’t even seem to recognize them enough to rectify and apologize.
The next day I went to school and in the class, it was only my body that was present. Betsy, Dylan, and Lenna met me at the cafe shop but whatever they discussed didn’t register in my ears. I feel all lost and everything around me seems non-existent while my friends just gave me pity stares and since they’re all ahead of me, they had nothing to talk to me about since I’m not willing to share anything personal. It continued the following and when things were the same on the third day too, I decided not to go to class anymore so I am always indoors. I got bored and went on Friday but that too, I was in a bad state and people whispered whenever I passed by. I shut everyone out including Betsy on that day and locked myself in. I picked my phone to call him but he didn’t pick. I called four times but he wouldn’t pick. The week is already over and I told Ed to give me a week to decide what I really want. I don’t want to believe that Novan doesn’t love me anymore but it’s so clear that he’s over me. I even called him but he didn’t pick. Assuming he had just picked, I wouldn’t be doing this and I am ashamed that I want to get over him with Edward.
The weekend rolled by into another week and I finally decided to call Edward once out of his thousand missed calls.
“Are you okay? Thought you’ll never call me back.” He asked calmly, opposite to how I thought his reaction would be.
“I am. Can we meet?”
“Okay. I’ll pick you up.”
I dropped the call and for the first time in a week and over, I decided to do something about my appearance. I applied a concealer to hide the dark circles around my eyes, eyeliner is thick under my eyes and my hair is straightened. I picked a plane shirt with trousers then slipped my foot in a pair of toms.
I hear his car drive-in and I take a long deep breath then call Novan for the last time. I know I told Ed that Novan’s appearance won’t make a difference but it was a lie. I lied to myself and him. Right now if he picks, it will be enough for me to turn around and go back inside but he didn’t.
I feel Edward’s eyes on me as I walk to his car and entered the door he opened for me.
“Are you okay?” He asked when he settled inside.
“Yes.” I look at him. He’s also dressed casually.
“So where do you want to go?”
“Anywhere but restaurant.”
“Yeah.” He chuckled and drove out then into the road.
He stopped by a park not too far from campus where I stepped out, walked in with him and we sat on a bench.
Silence rests between us for the next two minutes and only the hammering of my heart against my chest can be heard in my ears.
I feely his hand to my chin and it startled me for a second. He lifted my chin up then tugged my hair at the back of my ear, making me look at him. His nose is so pointed, his brows are in a thin line and his lashes are full and long. His lip is so pink and full. My eyes remained on the scar thin line at the end of his left brow. Edward is very handsome and charming. I don’t know why he’d want someone like me. I can’t even make him a father. I hold no importance. Nothing special and nobody will want me. Nobody.
“Talk to me Mariana.” His warm breath fanned my face.
I took a deep breath then my eyes dropped on my phone which is in my hands for no reason. Perhaps to see if Novan calls.
“Mariana.” He probed further.
“I want.. I want to give us a chance Ed.” I looked away from him.
I nod.
“Please say it again.” He got up and brought me to my feet.
“I agree.”
“ know, date…” He engulfed me in a too-tight hug.
“Thank you! Thank you so much. You don’t know what you’ve done for me. The way I love you.”
I should be happy seeing him happy but I am not. All I feel is regret. I feel so bad.
“I love you.” He whispered, still hugging me closely.
“So we’re officially dating, oh God I can’t believe this.” He pressed his forehead against mine, his hands on my waist.
I felt guilty and uncomfortable. I feel only Novan has the right to hold me that way.
His lips brushed mine and realizing what he’s about to do, stepped back.
“Nothing. I just don’t think we should be doing this now.”
“It’s just a kiss and we’ve done it before.”
“Yes but…”
He put his finger over my lips and used the other to draw me nearer.
“Please take me home. ” I pleaded and stepped away yet again.
“Alright.” He didn’t push it.
We got back in the car and as he drive, he had my hand in his the entire time.
“Thank you.” I didn’t wait for him to have time and ask me anything so I jumped out when we arrived and hurried out of his view into the penthouse.
What am I doing?
What did I just do?
I don’t need a relationship? I hardly went out of one or survived the blow and here I am saying I’m giving someone a chance?
What is wrong with me? Why am I being impulsive?
I don’t want Edward and neither do I want to stop loving Novan. I still love him so much and doing all this is making me guilty. And what? I will rather remain single than be in a relationship where I won’t be able to reciprocate the person’s feelings. Edward doesn’t deserve this and I don’t want to move on from Novan. It was so easy for him to replace me but not me, I can’t replace him and there’s no one who can fill that space he has left in me.
By evening, I drove to Edward’s house. I knocked on the door gently and when he opened the door, he smiled brightly at me.
“Look who’s here at my house. My girlfriend came.”
“Edward I want to tell you something.” I went straight to the point and formed a straight face also.
“Alright come inside.”
“No. This is okay. I’m sorry…”
“Mariana, what is the matter?” He leaned on the door and peered into my face.
“I’m sorry…”
“Sorry?” He frowned.
“Please let me talk okay.”
“Go ahead.”
“Thanks. I don’t want any relationship with you. I don’t love you Ed and if I agree to date you, I will just be punishing you. It wouldn’t do us any good because I still love him and there’s no way I will be with you when he comes begging me. I am really sorry for being a confused girl but the earlier the better. Please stop thinking about me and get someone who will love you because I can never do that and also, please don’t come after me. I don’t even want a friendship with you. I’m sorry.” I turned to leave.
“Hold on?”
{Loving him with all his flaws.}
“Hold on!”
I turn my head and he is still standing at the door with his weight on the side, his hand holding one side and the other on his side, looking nonplussed.
“Not so fast baby girl. You can’t just walk into my home and throw anything at me then turn to leave. This isn’t a rubbish dump for you to throw any shit at. This is my home and I am a human being just like you. Blood runs through my veins and I feel. I feel what you’re doing to me okay? Did he come? Is that why you’re saying this? Doing this to me?” He’s trying not to let his emotions cover his face but fails to hide it in his voice.
“He didn’t.”
“I’m sorry but..”
“Who am I to you Mariana?”
“Answer me please.”
“Someone who was my friend but now just someone I know.”
I thought well about the question before answering. As much as I enjoyed some times with him in the past, I do not wish to keep him as a friend after what he did to me. It won’t be right of me to keep someone who’s in love with me as a friend when he hasn’t moved on or got someone to love. It’s even more impossible now that I am..well…single. If someday, Edward gets someone that he loves and is able to forget about me, I will welcome him back as my friend but not now.
“That is a lie. You used me. You’re always like this. You lead me on then leave me on the way. I have become some sort of closure for you and that is bad which I didn’t expect from you…”
“That is why I’m stopping…”
“You can’t be doing this to me. What is wrong with you? Do you think you can just come and go? No! You must continue what you started. You agreed to be my girlfriend and that is what I’m rooting for and remember break-ups come from both partners..”
“Excuse me? What do you mean?”
“What I mean is, I don’t give you the permission to leave me therefore whatever you say, I’m not listening for you’re still my girlfriend period.”
“No! I don’t love you and you’re not my boyfriend. I was confused. Heck, I’m still confused but I am so sure about this. I don’t want a relationship if it’s not with Novan and if he also doesn’t want me, then I will be single.” It’s not like I’ve wanted to be in a relationship before if it’s not Novan who walked into my life and changed my stand.
“You think I care about that?”
“You won’t force me, Ed.”
“I’m not forcing you but once you told me that you agree, I took those words and I’m not gonna refund them. You can backslide all you want but it’s not gonna change my mind and what you said into it. You are my girlfriend and it’s as simple and sensible as that. Nothing is changing.”
“No! You won’t do this to me.”
“I’m not doing anything. You are. I gave you time to think about it. I was patient even after the time passed and I still didn’t hear a word from you. When you finally came out and said you agree, you want me to let you go? I’m not that sick perhaps if you think that is what I am. I’m sane and losing you is insane for me. Can’t you see? I love you and I can do anything for you. Anything.”
” You can’t do this to yourself, Edward. How can you love someone who does not even trust you? How do you expect the relationship to survive? Please understand this Edward. You’ll get someone better. Not me!”
“Oh please. There’s no one else for me but you. You’re my girlfriend Mariana. Go back home and ponder over that as many times as you want but you’re my girl now and nothing else is changing it.” He got away from the door into the room and slammed the door shut.
My problems seem never-ending. I turn slowly and left, hoping that Edward’s mind will change and he’ll accept that I don’t love him at all. Perhaps he doesn’t know that I am still legally married to Novan which I myself haven’t thought of until now. If we had given our marriage a meaning, then I wouldn’t be forgetful of it and if it was formed on a strong basis, then we won’t be the way we’re now but the basis was our love. Wasn’t it strong enough?
To think that I brought this whole Ed saga upon myself, I don’t even wish to cry like I’ve resulted to this whole time instead, I stoop and picked the rest of me off the floor quietly and wiped the last bit of tears from my eyes, promising not to ever shed anymore for the son of any man while I toss my relationship with Novan which is a lost cause and problematic behind me. When I looked up, I looked out for a fresh start, a new beginning with hope. I refuse to let him break me this way and leave me stagnant. I need my flow and I’m getting it back. I want to flow like my normal self where boys were never present in my dictionary. It doesn’t mean I don’t love that man like anything before. He’s the beginning of my very world and the end of it. If I had my way, and wishes were horses, I won’t wish to ever be away from him. However, If Novan is happy with that girl in California, then I’m happy as well though I am hurting, his happiness is my priority and I’m glad he found it in someone else.
I have fought to keep him even when the odds were strongly working against us but the battle isn’t mine to win that is why he isn’t here with me. I will accept my fate and that, not every love tale had to end happily. That is not life but a fictionalized franchise and it is only those who are destined get those happy endings. I am not destined to end with him perhaps.
I picked my bag and prepared for my class tomorrow. I called my dad and told him I will be starting work but as an intern, since I want to be getting credits for the classes I will be missing.
“I hope I will still have my office when I return?”
“You will dear daughter. I wouldn’t give it to anyone.”
“I’m just concerned. Are you going to be taking flights? Your office would always be there and not going to be occupied by anyone so you can work at the branch closer to your school or what do you say? I really don’t want you to be stressed.”
“I think you’re right and I will apply for that instead then work at your main office when I’m on holiday.”
“Are you kidding me? You know you don’t have to apply for anything. I will work it out and you can start work on Monday.”
“Thanks but I want to start tomorrow. I will run the paperwork at school right now.”
“Eager so much? That’s impressive. I will also get to work and ensure you get a place. Bye Mariana.”
“Bye, dad.”
I went to the salon and got myself fixed after visiting my school administration. I have two days of working then three at school but the two days don’t fall on tomorrow so I have a class instead. It’s going to be super stressful but I see it as the only way to keep my thoughts from being entirely consumed by him. Already, this penthouse serves as a huge remembrance of him. The kitchen where we had sex to the bedroom and bathroom. Unfortunately, I visit those places frequently and I spend at least ten minutes reliving the moment each time I get there. I picked his letters to read for the millionth time since he left me and I don’t seem to get tired of reading them and hugging his teddy then wearing his few shirts I shipped into my closet. As I read and my eyes swell up with tears, I parked them away into my drawer and locked it but not his shirt and teddy. They are what is keeping me alive after he took my heart away.
The next day I dressed up for class and with my cap over my head just like always, I sat for my first class. Research methods. After the class, I went to the lecturer to submit my previous assignments and also to take notes of the lessons I missed while dealing with my broken heart.
“Since you’re in a good mood, I will like to break this news to you.”
“What?” I sip my fresh juice. If there’s something I love so much apart from my loved ones, it’s taking juice straight from the vine, the source.
“My boss, the CEO of the Anosova banks is getting married this weekend.”
“Oh really? My parents didn’t tell me.”
“Your mood wouldn’t allow.”
“Yeah. So what are the plans?”
“Plans? I’m going of course. Won’t you?”
“He invited me personally so why not? I think my parents will be there as well.”
“Make your mind. We’re leaving tomorrow.”
“Wait. What do you mean by we’re leaving?”
“Fortunately for me, I was chosen among some of his workers to go so I will be leaving tomorrow though not with them. I’m going with Morgan.”
“Is it not too early?”
“Oh Hello? Tomorrow is Thursday and it’s going to take at least a day to get to America. Thursday is the only day to travel.”
“America?” I mutter more to myself than to Betsy. I’ll have to think more about this before making a decision. What are the chances that I won’t run into him? My heart beat at that thought. The thought of seeing Novan again.
I called Dave to find out his current location and I am relieved as well as sad when it wasn’t anywhere near California.
As much as she annoys the living hell out of me and drives me absolutely crazy, there’s nothing I can do about how much I love and yearn for her. My pain intensified when I closed from work and saw her multiple missed calls. I want to call her but I’m just an asshole and even when I was finally present with my phone and I saw her call coming, I couldn’t pick. I tried but I just ended up putting the phone down. I seriously don’t know why I am pulling away when I’m the one who even needed her most in my life. I couldn’t call her back. I know after ignoring her the way I did, she won’t want to see me again. Truly, she never tried to call me again. I gathered my courage and dialed her number but it was unreachable. I tried several times and even asked Nervisa to call her. When she couldn’t get a hold of her as well, I called Paula and she picked but only to give me attitude and wouldn’t disclose anything about her to me.
“And why are you doing this to me now? I thought we were buddy buddies.” I groaned and brushed my hair back while pacing around.
“Is that how to treat your buddy’s daughter? Who do you want to fool here?”
“I didn’t do anything to her.”
“Then why are you unable to reach her?”
“How would I know? That is why I called you.”
“I’m sorry I can’t help you. When I was calling you did you pick my call? I’m so pissed at you and don’t call me again.”
“What? Okay! fine!” I ended the call by hitting it hard against the floor then watched how it shatter before me just like I am shattered. Even her brother won’t say anything to Nervisa except that he said they’ll be coming to America for Dave, one of the famous business tycoons here in America’s wedding. The same man I met with her at a Cafe with his pretty girlfriend.
It’s been a month and a half already since I left Australia and three weeks and some days since we had that fight over the phone. She got robbed during those times and did something which she doesn’t want to disclose to me. I know she’s hiding something and it can not be good with how I feel inside. She hung up on me and I mistakenly deleted that number in my rage while calling back.
I’ve been sad and angry at myself and at her then at Nervisa who’s nagging and whining that she wants to go to Texas for Dave’s wedding. I think I am just mad at everything then once again, I am back to feeling lonely and wallowing in self-pity for ruining something that could’ve been my happiness. I feel my past rejection and I think I will be lonely forever. It made me think of going back to my ways since I have nothing to look forward to anymore. The person I wanted to be better for is no longer in my life so then why bother myself?
While I don’t want Esther to take her because I don’t want anybody traveling around with my sister apart from me, it also leaves me with the only option that I take her.
The thought and possibility of finding her and finally seeing her after so long make me feel all flattery inside. It’s a feeling you get when you haven’t seen someone you love in a long time and finally thinking of going to see him or her and she has been the only one who has made me feel this way since I was a kid. I come to school just to see her, see her smile, and behave all sassy.
Arriving at the venue, everything is just what I imagined and even more. The fancy technicality of everything here shows just how fucking loaded the groom is and even the wife who has managed to make a positive name for herself in this huge continent.
I parked in the lot of one of the biggest wedding halls while Nervisa called her so-called best friend who came running into her arms in a shit ass expensive tuxedo. I scoffed and looked away only that my eyes hit the entrance of the glamorous marriage hall. She wasn’t there I am too of an asshole to ask her brother.
“Won’t you come down?” Nervisa asks and I shake my head instead of talking.
“Take me to Mariana,” Nervisa says too loudly and I know just what she’s doing.
“Alright.” The pretty boy agreed and they walked away hand in hand.
Now I feel so unwanted and out of place. Not because of these rich ass people but also because I don’t have anyone here. At least Nervisa has Marion. What of me? This is not your regular type of event. I better get going before someone come asking stupid questions like are you from the groom side or bride shit.
She’s here.
That fact made me feel warm and anxious. I want to get down, walk in and see her secretly then leave but then.
I rolled my windows up once someone arrived and the paparazzi rushed the car.
I drove out of the driveway only to return again. I want to look at her, even if it’s just once.
I’ve never been to any wedding in my life to take reference from except for my own of course but this is one hell of a grand one. Everything is so shiny and expensive looking. The seats alone seem to be made out of gold or something. Damn these rich people who don’t seem to know what to do with their money. Why spend so much on a label which will end one day just like my parents? Marriage really doesn’t keep people together and that is my belief. It is more of love and whatever else I don’t know but not marriage. Mariana and I are married but I am a dick then broke up with her because she betrayed me. She didn’t fight for us, maybe I’ve run out of the chances she supplies almost on daily basis which I use up greedily each time like there’s no end to the supply. She’s tired. I didn’t even try to call her or pick her calls and when I realized what I did, her line wasn’t reaching and her mother has turned on me as a bigger bitch than before. Mariana is too good for me anyway and I don’t trust myself to keep her happy. I always do these things. Get angry and go MIA on her for no significant reason only because I remember how worthless I am. Even more, now that I learned she’s behind my success in my cooking field. I’m a lost cause.
I stood at a corner and observed from afar. The bride is beautiful just like I remember from the last time I saw her and the groom is also handsome. Now that he’s marrying his baby mama and even though Mariana and I are not together now, I will count him out of the league. I hate that he knows her and they’re close, have the same business-like mind, and all the bullshit that goes on in their fancy offices. The bride is looking rather simple but classy. All the guests seem to be made up of Hollywood icons, politicians, businessmen, models, musicians, and more. Just name it. I am looking everywhere for a poor man and someone with no class or status but it is only me that I find. I have no place here among these people.
I began my search through the crowd but I only saw Betsy who was grinning out of proportion at the groom even though her celebrity boyfriend sits beside her and the poor thing was looking at his girlfriend then to the man she’s staring at. If I were him I will knock some sense back into her by pulling her to one of the restrooms here and fucking her so hard that she to go Donovan. I saw everyone including Marian’s super handsome father who’s the best man and the beautiful Paula madam but their stubborn sassy daughter. Where the heck is she?
After another five minutes cross-check, I turned to leave through the back entrance when I heard a familiar voice then a small one.
“So would you tell me why you’re hiding here?” I hear her ask.
Curiosity takes the best of me and I peeked through the glass door.
Squatting in front of a pissed looking boy about four years is my Mariana.
This girl. Her obsession with kids will make her give birth to thirty of them I’m sure. I haven’t seen someone who loves kids so much and at such a young age, she has created a home for the homeless ones. She’s doing so much and I wonder why she hasn’t received an award yet for her incredible passion filled humanitarian business.
After a month and over, I am seeing her again and the feeling is so refreshing. I feel as if life has been breathed in me. Mariana cheated me, she spied on me while I was sleeping but I’m just seeing her now.
“Nothing.” The boy shakes his head.
“Don’t lie to me, Leonard. It’s your parents wedding for goodness sake and you’re here with this face. Tell me, who wronged you?”
I see. So this is their son. Why didn’t I notice before? He looks just like his father.
“Can you do something about it?” He asked.
“Share first,” Mariana demanded.
“Okay.” The boy agreed and she smiled. The most beautiful and truest I’ve seen so far in months and the ones I received in this hall. Her smile brought one on my face as well. Not only that, seeing her smile gives me a kind of joy I can’t name even though I am not responsible for it. Am I not so pathetic? Here I am peeking through a blue glass door, taking in a smile I could be getting every day. Maybe I should leave. Once we’re back, we will start fighting again which will take this beautiful smile away. I should give her a chance to be happy. Yes.
I stepped back to escape but I am late.
She turned but her eyes fall somewhere else, her jaw fell along in surprise or shock I think.
I looked to where her eyes were focused and I saw him.
“Hi my beautiful girlfriend. I’m here.” He beamed widely at her but I find it stupid.
Why the heck did Edward call Mariana ‘girlfriend’? And did I here him say ‘My beautiful girlfriend?’
Someone should tell me if I heard wrong.
{Loving him with all his flaws.}
Just as Betsy said, my mood didn’t allow not even my parents to tell me about the trip. They think I wouldn’t like to come but I gave Dave my word. Not going is like giving those who think I am weak and broken a chance to confirm what they came about. Everyone left before I did because I was not prepared. I haven’t even found what to wear so I just grabbed that new purple dress my mom got for me into my bag when I drove home on Friday morning. After my class, I took the next flight outside Australia. I reached Saturday at 10 in the morning. Where we lodged wasn’t far from the venue so I used the time to put myself together just to look decent since the wedding starts until two. My parents left earlier to the venue including my brother. When I put on the dress, it fitted me exactly and I loved the feel of it against my skin. It’s an off-shoulder, it leaves my collarbones bare and top shoulders but not my cleavage. It hit above my knees and had a thigh slit. Simple but very beautiful. That’s one more thing I like about my mom, though she’s rich, she goes for the simple things. She also doesn’t carry her wealth around for people to see. If it’s not the media, then no one will ever know how wealthy she is. I found a diamond stone necklace and a high heel with straps which I slipped my feet in. I let my hair fall and with the curling machine, I curled my hair into waves but only to brush it and wrapped it in a bun and curled the loose strands that fell out instead after remembering how much Novan loves for my hair not to be in a bun when I am out but with him, he has no problem. I haven’t gotten the chance to ask why but I’ve long kissed that chance goodbye since it’s never coming.
I’m impressed with my look when I look into the mirror. I didn’t do too much makeup. Just mascara, lipstick, and eyeliner.
The wedding is anything you can imagine of a millionaire. Everything is so flashy and expensive and it goes down to even the little things and the guest.
I gave the paparazzi the best fake smile I could form when I entered the massive hall. I sat beside a couple and acknowledged them with a smile while I looked at my mom who’s fixing my dad’s tie at where they sat. I didn’t have to search so much before finding them as people’s eyes were on them instead of the groom who was waiting for the old couples to be done. My mom laughed at something my dad was whispering to her and she won’t stop smiling even when and after my dad pecked her before rushing to Dave where they walked to the altar as they began to talk about something. They stopped talking once the music set in and everyone got up, eyes towards the entrance.
My eyes remain below and I take the bride in from there. When my eyes managed to reach her face, I lost my breath because she took it away. It’s not because of the simple gown she wore and how it fitted her perfectly because it’s not extraordinary and heavy like others or the gold necklace on her neck or wrist. After all, they weren’t many. Her beauty is so natural and flawless even though I’ve seen her before but she looks like she’s gained more beauty in the last two years. Leading her to the altar down the aisle is a man who I think is her father then another who will be of the same age as Mike, Betsy’s brother, or Edward. I think that’s her brother because they look kinda alike and he’s also the best man. He’s so tall and has this naturally built body that I can see even through his suit. When his eyes fell on me, they were sharp and piercing and his jaw was sharp and clenched. That should give him a hard face but his face is rather soft and he smiled warmly at me which I returned. He looks like those serious purposeful men who have spent their entire life planning it to perfection. He should be a doctor, economist, or lawyer. I can’t place but with his serious features, he has to belong in one of those fields. And there’s their son who was following behind and he’s wearing a suit that matches with the one his father wore. I don’t have to need anyone to tell me it’s their son with such vivid resemblance.
Leona smiled through her joyful tears I presume. It has to be it. ‘Queen of my heart’ plays in the background as she walks to her groom who was also in tears. She is staring straight at him and him to her and I can feel the love in their eyes. Their tears didn’t stop and when they finally got to each other, they ran into each other’s arms even before her father would complete the tradition of handing her over. They already belong together. No intermediator needed.
I couldn’t help but wish this was happening in my life or I could at least imagine this future. Leona should just be two or three years older than me but she has it all already. A child she could brag about and call her own, a loving fiance who she’s now marrying. I know I shouldn’t be wishing I was them as I am one of the people who know just how much they passed through to reach this level. I am happy for her, and for them but I can’t help wishing for this as well.
I excused myself from the hall after the vows were made and they were about to kiss. I need some time alone before the reception time where I would have to be meeting and greeting people. Fresh air filled my lungs when I got out and I inhaled it greedily, all of it. The entire place around the huge building is covered up with lawns and grown flowers. I walked to each of them, admiring it and sniffing. When I finally turned to get back in, I saw a small figure behind the door. I walked there and it was Leonard, Dave and Leona’s son.
“Go away!” He barked. He looks so upset and I wonder what could be the matter.
“You don’t have to be mean, big man.”
“And you don’t have to be nosy. Mind your business and leave me alone!”
Such a brat. Who told him I am nosy? Perhaps Novan did since they live on the same continent.
“Come on. A problem shared is half solved. Your father likes me so much so you can talk to me. I am not a new person.”
“Yes, I know you, everyone does.”
“Really?” I squat to his level.
“So would you tell me why you’re hiding here?”
Nothing.” Leonard shakes his head.
“Don’t lie to me, Leonard. It’s your parents wedding for goodness sake and you’re here with this face. Tell me, who wronged you?”
“Can you do something about it?” He asked.
“Share first,”
“Okay.” He finally agrees and I smile. Out of instinct and how I feel whenever I have him close, I turn to look even though I know there’s no way I will find him here.
To my greatest horror, there’s Edward walking to me. He’s not the one who’s making me feel this way, is he? I can still feel someone’s eyes burning into me and it can only be his. Is he here?
Oh no! What is Ed doing here?
“Hi, my beautiful girlfriend. I’m here.” He’s grinning from ear to ear like a lad who has seen Santa Claus for the first time.
The smile that I used to admire annoyed me and I huffed and huff. How did he even know that I traveled? Okay, he must’ve found out at work or in the news. He’s been calling me the entire week which led to the changing of my number and now, he followed me all the way here and…calling me girlfriend? Lord have mercy.
“Your boyfriend is handsome,” Leonard commented.
“He is?” I teard my gaze from Edward to the boy but he was looking somewhere.
“He seemed to be upset don’t you see?” He said, looking through the glass.
“Who’s there?”
“Your boyfriend.”
“Huh?” I began to bend to take a look as well who Leonard was talking about.
“Her boyfriend is here,” Edward said and pulled me up before I could even look into the glass door and into his arms. His arms formed around me as he hugged me.
“Hey man, how can he be your girlfriend? Her boyfriend is right here.” Leonard said as I struggle to get myself off Edward’s strong arms.
He’s suddenly ripped from me and the sound of a fist connecting to someone is what I hear followed by a grunt and I look up.
“Yay!” Leonard throws his little hands in the air happily. “Beat him! Beat him!” He encouraged the grown-up boy( Novan). “Just beat him! I warned him but he won’t listen. Beat him! Beat..”
“Shush. Leonard.” I hushed and put my hand over his mouth while I looked around.
I don’t like what Novan is doing. This is someone’s wedding and he’s come here to ruin it with his fights. What right does he have to act this way?
“Stop it, Donovan.” I walked in between them. He just brushed me aside and launched at Edward again.
“If you don’t stop this am going to call the security on you. This is someone’s wedding for goodness sake. Do you want to ruin it just like you did to us? Allow people to be happy if you don’t want to be.”
The fist he raised stopped in the air and slowly came down. Edward adjusted his suit and wiped his bloody lips. His face is red from the punches he received from Novan’s fist.
“And what right do you have to do this?!”
“Is he.. telling the truth? Your boyfriend? Tell me.” His chest is heaving wildly as he brushes his hair back. His hair is grown. I bet he hasn’t had a haircut since he left.
“What is your problem with that?” I looked over at Edward who was trying to catch his breath.
“Don’t.. don’t say that! Tell me if this bastard…God. Tell me otherwise Mariana.” He closed his eyes for a moment and dug his nails into his palm. He’s trying to hold himself.
“Tell him, Mariana. Tell him that we started dating..”
“Hey!” He roared and launched towards him crazily and fiercely. I see the rage burning in his eyes but that didn’t stop me from doing what I want to do right now.
“I am talking to my girlfriend so you better stay out of it!”
“Your girlfriend?” I chuckled. He looked at me with sadness in his eyes.
“I am not your girlfriend Novan.” I walked to Edward and stood beside him. “Don’t you dare use your hands on him again Novan? Grow up. You can’t always fight?”
“Thanks, babe.” I tried hard. I tried not to crinkle my nose as the word ‘babe’ left his lips. I hear Novan groan. The horror, anger, and sadness present in his face are phenomenal.
“Leave her Edward. Don’t touch her. Mariana.. let’s get out of here.” Novan tried to talk calmly but the words came rushed out.
“I am not going anywhere with you.”
“Don’t be stubborn. You won’t like what will happen next if you don’t come with me trust me. I’m not gonna fucking care about anything!” He threatened.
“Don’t mind him.”
“Really?” Novan is rushing forward to Edward again. He looks like he’ll murder him and the last thing I want is coming in the news and for ruining a friend’s wedding.
Who knows if a camera is not even on us or this scene isn’t being recorded by any secret camera around. Damn it!
I turned to the little boy who I expected to be shaking by now but he was just looking at the two men with so much interest.
“Leonard?” I bend to him again.
“You just spoiled the fun. I’ve always wanted to see a live fight but my dad won’t allow and now you stopped me from seeing these two rivals fight.”
I gaped at him.
“Fighting is not a good thing Leonard.”
“I know. My dad also said the same thing but I think it’s fun.”
“It’s not.”
“It might not be for you because you’re a girl. I am a man so I know just how fun it is.” He smiled.
“Alright. Now you can tell me why you were here all alone.”
“No! Go and deal with your issues. Meet me during the reception and we can talk.”
“You don’t act your age.” I tell him.
“Everything. The way you talk and you seem to love fights.”
“My mom was close to a Mafia Queen if you don’t know. I love her a lot for that. She can fight and shoot a gun.” With that, he runs off.
‘and I also know your uncle is a mafioso.’ I muttered to myself and got up from my squatting position. There’s no doubt that Leona and Dave were made for each other. Dave’s brother is more a Mafia and Leona worked for him unknowingly until it was discovered. Leona carried his child and gave birth to it without even knowing through wrong artificial insemination which was conducted on her without her knowledge. That mistake the nurse made turned into a blessing and as what brought them together. So much chaos and drama and now, this is their happy ever after I believe.
“Let’s go.” Novan’s impatient voice pulled me out of my thoughts and I rolled my eyes at him.
“Don’t listen to him, Mariana.”
“You again?!” Novan warned as he approached me.
“What can you do?” Edward tempts him. He ignored and blocked my movements with his long build form. He got really close to me that, I could feel his breath on my face, tingling my skin as I inhaled as much of his sweet scent I could take in. Blood rushed through my veins and I felt a spark when his long fingers touched my neck. I looked up at him and our eyes connected for a minute. His eyes moved to my lips and I saw him gulp gently before blinking and looked away. I feel my hair fall on my shoulders then he puts the pins in between his teeth and his hand brush through it.
“Let’s go.”
I hissed and walked away.
I am passed angry at him and double at her but it doesn’t mean I am not mesmerized by her look. I had my eyes on her even when I was fighting the bastard. God, can she look any more beautiful? Or this is just a way to get revenge on me so she dressed purposely to kill me. The dress looks perfect, just perfect on her and she’s just rocking it like no damn man’s business. Not only did it leave her long smooth tan legs but her fresh neck, collarbone, and half her chest bare. I am glad. Really glad that she wasn’t exposing any part of her boobs. God, I will go mad for any man to see that apart from me and I am so proud that I am the only man who has ever touched and fucked her. I want it to remain this way. She’s the most beautiful girl I’ve ever known and right now, she’s just wow. None of the imaginations I had of her match up to seeing her in person. When I got closer to her, I could barely control myself from not touching her at least. Happiness and relief stirred up inside me when I heard her gasp silently that I’m sure she didn’t realize it herself. It’s confirmed that I didn’t lose the effects I have on her and she didn’t lose the one she has on me either. Hell, the multiple times I had to fuck my hands when I imagine her. As her neck belongs to me including her entire body, I have to protect it from Edward’s hungry eyes as well as everyone else’s. I let her hair fall on her shoulders before saying, “let’s go.”
She hissed and walked away. Before passing by Edward who was looking at her, I grabbed him by his collar. “Listen, that woman walking away is my wife and my world. Come near her and I will snap the life out of you by just a snap of your neck and multiple hits of it against a rock. Don’t try me!”
“I won’t spare your ass from rotting in jail.”
“It has been rotting in hell and you’re saying prison? Fuck do I care? It won’t be the first time and you know what will happen. She’ll bail me out.” I smirk.
“We’ll see about that. Any more of injury on my body and you’ll see the worst of me.” He threatened back. I chuckled and let go of his expensive suit not because I can’t beat the life out of him but because I want to catch up with Mariana before she escapes from me again. And I can’t wait to get to the bottom of this bullshit with her. Why did he have to say, my girlfriend and babe? It got to be a joke.
“Be a good boy Fernandez. She’s mine. She is.” I muttered and took long strides to get ahead of her.
“You’re terribly late Anderson. The things we did while you were away, you have no idea but she’s sweet. Incredibly..”
I flared and turned around just when he hurried inside the wedding hall.
Fucking coward. He should’ve waited to receive the consequences of those words he brought out of his filthy mouth.
If I didn’t trust Mariana, I would chase him and drag him out but then, I do and if it happens that something actually did happen between them, then she’s as good as dead
He walked fast ahead of me, aborting my intention of hiding somewhere, and held the door of a car open for me to enter.
“No questions, just enter.” He growled. He’s wearing a black dress shirt and black trousers that seem to be hanging loosely on his waist and low. My eyes fall over there and I want to scold him for not wearing a belt.
“You can drool later.” He remarked with a smirk. I scoff as I enter the car.
“Where are you taking me?”
“We’re going to my house.”
“Wait? Your house? Why your house?” I still have a wedding to attend till the end and California is far from Texas.
“It’s three hours if we fly.”
“So? I don’t want to go anywhere with you.”
‘ liar.’ my subconscious yelled at me. Can she give me a break? She doesn’t know I have to pretend that I don’t want Novan to kiss and hold me again and that I will follow him wherever. My body is telling me all this but my mind says I should stay away from him. I shouldn’t jump into his arms just yet. I stare at his unruly hair and young stubbles then his lips and straight nose. The way his lips are pouty, wet, and pink, the way his silky hair keeps falling on his face, and the way he brushes them away so as to watch the road as he drives. I looked at his inked arms and when my eyes set on my name on his wrist and the chain still around it, my heart swelled. He swipes his tongue over his lips and that got my attention then he bites it sensually. I groaned under my breath. I’m not sure he meant to do it that way or he’s doing it deliberately.
“You know I don’t like to be stared at.” He repeats to me for the millionth time since we met. A little smile appeared on his face and it grew when he turned to look at me. I looked away with a flushed face.
Can he blame me? I miss him and I haven’t seen him for such a long time. I can’t handle seeing him for the first time after so long.
“Do you care to explain the drama out there? What was Edward talking about?” His smile has vanished and a deep scowl is resting on his face with his brows knitted in a deep frown.
“You don’t want to know while driving.”
“Is it really serious and bad?” He asked carefully.
He didn’t say anything else as he had understood what I meant. Only his fast breath and deep sighs can be heard throughout the three hours journey to California. It is only after we got into his car to his house that I realized the fool I am. Novan has been cruel towards me. He left me and got a girl. Then he came to the wedding and I just followed him. I want to feel bad about this decision but I just can’t. My need to be near him again made me into a fool and I don’t care though I can’t help the panic that something may happen and he’d…
“We’re here.” He announces into my thoughts and I get down on my own knowing Novan is not so much of a gentleman all the days.
“This is your new home?” I remarked and he glared at me.
I felt my chest burn when he turned the knob and entered. It means his girl is around.
“Is she..not going to get angry?” My heart pound and pity is all I feel for myself.
“What? Who?” He stopped in his tracks while I stood by the door.
“Your new..” I want to say when the pretty tall fair skin girl appeared with a broad smile at Novan of course.
“Her.” I lift my brow in her direction.
“You came early.” His girlfriend said.
“Yes, and as you can see, I have someone here so you can go. Leave.”
“Okay.” She said quietly and looked at me then smiled softly.
I walked to Novan’s side and tugged at his arm. “How can you be so rude to her because I am here? She’s your girlfriend.”
“The fuck! What are you saying?!” He jerked away. “What exactly do you mean?!” He raised his voice.
“You told me you got a girl and Nervisa confirmed it..”
“Hold on.” He lifts his hand to silence me. “Esther?”
“Yes? Do you need anything?” She appeared with a backpack.
“This is my girlfriend as well as my wife. Mariana, this is Esther, Nervisa’s chatting mate, or whatever but she keeps her company when I am away for work.”
Esther’s shocked face melts into a smile. “Nice meeting you. I’ve heard a lot about you and I am really happy to finally meet you.”
I nodded and smiled so as not for her to feel snubbed. When I kissed Ed, I didn’t feel so much guilt because I thought Novan was dating her. I thought he had moved on so I didn’t really feel bad but now I do. He didn’t cheat on me, I am the one who cheated even though he broke up with me.
“You can leave now.” He followed her and shut the door once she stepped out. The sound from it dropped my heart that it was almost touching the floor. Now I feel trapped. If Novan learns about what I did, I will be done for.
“You should be highly mad to think that someone can replace you in my life. I can never do that and all the girls make me sick except you. I can’t imagine touching anyone but you and you say what?”
“You told me that night got..a girl and you broke up with me remember?”
“Do you have to believe that? I was angry and hurt by what you did so I said that on purpose”
“To hurt me?” My tears rain down my cheeks.
“Yes..” he couldn’t look at me.
“Do you know what that caused?”
“I don’t care. I’m just relieved you’re here now and I can’t believe that we’re so close. I miss you so so much, verily.” He came nearer to me and pushed my hair back from my face while wiping my face.
“Now you can hold it.” He put his hand into his pocket and brought the pins out. When I didn’t take it, he turned me around and held my hair up for me.
“I am the only one who can see your neck so let your hair down whenever you’re going out but up when you’re with me, we’re together.” He whispered into my ears and shivers ran down my spine when his wet tongue snaked out and touched my earlobe. “I miss you so much.”
The hairs on my skin stood up when he said that and dragged his tongue on my neck then bite it gently. He’s at my back, his hands on my waist and his head buried in my neck as he licks me.
My head falls back on his chest as I get lost in his slow assault. “You miss me too don’t you?”
I didn’t answer. Of course, I missed him but we need to talk first. There’s so much to talk about and resolve. This can wait. If we don’t talk, our condition will only get worse.
“Novan, stop.” I turned around to face him.
“We can’t do this now. Nothing is okay. We have to talk.”
“Do what?” He stepped dangerously near. I went back and he came forward until there was no more space for me to backtrack as my back hit against a door.
“What is it that we can’t do Riana? Tell me.” He stroke my cheek and I closed my eyes.
“You know what you’re doing,” I whisper and let the hunger and strong wave of desire in his eyes weak me from the top to my core mercilessly.
“Yes, I know. I also want us to talk very badly and I am very angry at you but this is what we need. What we need now after so long. I’m not gonna waste another precious moment. I miss you and I mean it. See.” His mouth closed around mine and we both sighed at the intimate contact and how much we missed this.
I rest my hands on his waist as one of his disappeared into my hair then the other below me.
All self-control has been cast and locked out while the consequences are welcomed, cautions damned to dust.
{Loving him with all his flaws.}
She’s holding back, from me, but it’s sure not to last long as I know where to touch to make her go crazy. I also want us to talk but what if it ruins things for us? Nothing good ever comes from that. We’ll fight and I won’t be able to fuck her anymore.
My hand went beneath her dress and she readily parted her legs to make way for me as her hands danced wildly in my hair. I love it when she does that. My hand reached its destination and I rubbed her there. She moans into my mouth and parts her legs further for me. Mariana is always mine. Even when far away. I just wish I am not the way I am sometimes.
I undo her dress and it comes falling before her feet then she moves out of it.
I took a step back and admired this goddess who’s my girlfriend. “Mariana, I missed you,” I repeated to her while she took her dress from the floor and her full breast dangled. She wasn’t wearing a bra. I took the dress and placed it on a chair. Next is her boobs, I grab them and moans at the feel of the soft flesh in my palm. I lower my head and take her in, all of it as I don’t hesitate to press my hard cock against her, for her to feel how hard she makes me. I rubbed it against her and rums into her.
“Oh, Novan.”
I lifted her off the ground and her legs came around my waist as I twisted the knob of the door to which she was leaning a minute ago and entered my room.
I dropped her on the bed and claimed her lips while I tried to get out of my clothes hurriedly. I can’t wait to be buried into her that I want to weep. It’s been so long.
“I want to do it.” She demanded in the kiss and I stopped.
“Get up please?” She whined and I chuckled before getting up.
She got up as well and pulled my shirt up by the bottom. I helped her pull it over my head then she got down and peeled my trousers off.
“You should wear a belt, Novan.” I knew she’d reprimand me for it. While I don’t give a fuck about these, she does. Her hands stole their way into my brief and I gasped and pulled her onto her feet.
“I want to taste you first.”
“I also..” she stuttered.
“No, I’ll go first. Please.” I push her gently by the shoulders back on to the bed. I know this is not fair but I can’t help it. I spent nights dreaming about her and fucking my hand while pretending that it was her. So fucked up. I don’t wish to be away from her. I will make her stay.
“No, don’t take it off.” I stopped her from taking her heels off. I love it this way and she doesn’t know how sexy she looks now more than she’s every other day. I found myself a place in between her thick thighs, peeled her black pants out and lower my head. My tongue darts against her and she screamed before covering her mouth when I looked at her. I didn’t stop, I circle my tongue on her area then suck on her clit. So delicious and she smells so nice. My favorite and what I’ve been missing. My finger slipped freely into her and I pumped into her. I can barely hold myself any longer. She’s so fucking wet and ready for me. I want to enter her soon. I pull my finger out.
“Have a taste.” I pressed my soaked finger to her lips. “Open,” I command.
Her warm mouth wrapped around my finger and she sucks on it. “See how good you taste?”
She didn’t answer and instead she pleads with her eyes.
I want this more than she can ever know and even though I want to go against her so I can feel her explosion all over my mouth, I want to take her immediately and so I raised her legs on my shoulders then quickly tugged my briefs off my body. She eyes me, lust, and hunger in her eyes. I pressed myself to her warm wet flesh and we hissed at the same time. I reached for a condom before I get robbed of common sense with this throbbing and overwhelming feeling that is driving me totally nuts.
“You have a condom?” She quietly asks and I see the hurt in her eyes and her voice.
“Shit! It’s not what you think.” I got these condoms because I expected her to be here on my birthday or the new year’s Eve so we can celebrate but she didn’t. I’m not going to tell her this though. I’m sure she’s going to take it the wrong way. It’s not all about sex but I can’t deny that I want this kind of closeness with her always.
“Then?” She began to pull away. Not today. Not this time. I pull her back in place and…
“What are you..”
I entered her and watched her eyes roll back as I filled her completely then we both let out a moan in satisfaction.
“Novan you… can’t be.. doing this to me.” She breathed, a mixture of pleasure.
I don’t like the hurt in her voice even when I was so gone inside her.
“You have to trust me, Mariana. I haven’t fucked anyone since. I can never do that. You’re everything to me.”
“Are you sure?” She placed her hands on my shoulders.
“Then why do you have it?”
“You again?” I frown when the memory of our first time in France replayed.
“I trust you.” She pulled me nearer and arched forward for the deepest penetration. My mouth hit her neck, there, I marked her mine as I thrust into her. The sensation overwhelms me and I flex my hips to bury myself deeper, as deep as I possibly can.
Hearing her moan and come over the phone didn’t do much to me. It was never enough. It only leads me to dream about the next time.
“Fuck, I’ve missed you so damn fucking much,” I whisper in her neck and suck on her neck selfishly. I don’t know how long I can keep. I feel the pressure building up and igniting every damn vertebra of mine.
“And I you.” The words struggled out of her mouth.
I rest on my elbows so that I can be able to stare at her while I fuck her. Her fuckable lips have fallen apart as she moans my name repeatedly. Knowing how much she loves my filthy mouth, I put my face back in her neck, my lips against her ear, and with my hips in motion, I whisper dirty things into her ear and each time my name falls from her sweet lips, I move to kiss her.
There’s no one. No fucking one who can make me feel this way. Make me mad, annoy me, love me, and give me this intense feeling.
Her nails dig into my back then trailed my spine as I pushed inside her, then pull back and slam back in on full force. “Talk to me Mariana.” I plead.
“Mmm.” She tugged at my hair and wrapped her legs tightly around my waist. “I can’t ever get enough of you Novan. I love you so much and I miss you more than you’ll ever know.”
My head swells and I bucked up. The pleasure coursing through is uncontrollable and I can barely hold onto it but I have to, for us. When I look into her beautiful magical eyes, it is all it takes and she goes stiff beneath me, I quicken up and with violent push in and out, it intensifies and pushes me to the edge. I kissed her and swallowed her moans as she tightened around me. That was all it took for me to pulse and go rigid then begin to vibrate as I spill into the latex. I rolled off her and she immediately put her legs over the other.
I looked at her face and her eyes were wide open as she stared at the ceiling. The sun has completely set down making the room gloomy.
“What’s wrong?” I rob her cheeks.
“Nothing.” She pulled the bedsheets up to cover her body and bite her lips.
“Are you sure?” I know I was rough but Mariana loves it that way as well.
She looked over at me with a little smile and nodded. “I’m just going to get up.”
I watched her get up and when she was close to the door I got up. I don’t know why she doesn’t want to stay in bed with me.
She got out and when I did as well, she’s putting her dress on.
“Stay the night.”
She shakes her head. “I still have a wedding to catch up with.”
“I know but you’re with me. Can’t you stay a little longer? It’s almost two months that we spent apart. You said you miss me.” I bombard her while standing at the door naked and already getting hard from just staring at her creamy skin which covered her wide hips then her gorgeous backside. I reached forward to hold her once again. I can never get bored with her.
“Stop.” She said and reduced her dress down to cover herself.
“Get something on.”
I turned around and went to put my boxers on.
When I returned, her phone was ringing and I was fast to reach it before she did.
It’s unknown.
“Who’s that?” She asked.
“No name.”
“Let me see.”
I walked to her and showed it to her. Her eyes widened for a moment. “I don’t know the person.”
“Okay.” I dropped the phone on the chair next to her. She brushed her hands through her hair and smoothed her dress.
The call came again and when we didn’t pick it again. I groaned and walked to it but she has already picked.
“Hello.” She said silently and that was it. The phone was against her ears but she wasn’t talking.
Curious to know who, I snatched it and put it to my ears.
“Mariana you know you can’t be doing this and I can’t believe you left with him. I love you and you have accepted to be my girlfriend yet you still go meet him?”
This stupid bastard.
“How dare you call her?” I growled and eyed Mariana. She seems to sense what is going to happen next from here.
I wanted to hold him, to feel him in my palms, against my throat, and on my tongue but he refused me. I let it slide because he wanted to taste me. Then he went ahead and come without me. I don’t know. I’m just trying to hold myself and not show how affected I am by his selfish behavior. I came all the way here after leaving a wedding then going against myself to be here only for him to satisfy himself and get off me. He didn’t care about my needs, That if,I came or not. I am irritated among myself and I just want to leave. I haven’t felt this bad or used like this before that, I am almost on the verge of tears. For almost two months, I have craved for him only to have him and it will go this way. I badly needed a release and I am even more ashamed to tell him. Why should I tell him? He should know I haven’t gotten off. When he came to touch me again, I almost flipped and my hands would’ve been flying to his face if I wasn’t embarrassed with this as well. He didn’t even tell me how much he loves me.
On top of this dissatisfaction which has built into frustration, I have to deal with angry Novan in less than a minute. This is what I was dreading.
I knew trouble was busy warming up on its way when Edward began to call me and the worst is when he got the phone from my ear.
“Explain to me now Mariana. What the fuck is going on?”
“What?” I faked innocent.
“Oh please!” He’s already started pacing like the mad man he can be. “Don’t fucking start acting innocent? Spill all of it.”
“You broke up with me Novan,” I said instead.
“The fuck I told you I wasn’t serious and if I were at that point, I’ve changed my mind.”
“Then what happens to the hurtful things you say to me? You said nobody will want me.”
“You should kno2 me by now. The fuck, it’s so annoying. ”
“I’m not some prophet Novan! How can you expect me to know everything going on in your mind?”
“Then what are you my girlfriend for?”
“Yes. You have never known me. You always have doubts about me. You don’t trust me and even just now when I was fucking you.”
“How can you be saying these things?” My heart split into two and let out a pathetic cry.
“You changed your number without my knowledge and have that bastard calling you. When I asked who the fuck it was you fucking lied. You lying unfaithful bitch…”
“Don’t insult me that way! We just had sex please don’t say that.”
“Why wouldn’t I ? Be honest with me for once. Tell me what has been going on.. Edward said…”
“He said what?” I panicked and he turned his sharp angry eyes on me.
“That you’re dating and you’re sweet. All those disgusting things. Did he fuck you!!”
“No! No! No! I hate what you’re doing.”
“Well then tell me what the truth of the matter is and I will stop.”
“It’s of no significant use.” I picked my bag from where it dropped on the floor.
“So you’re going? You’re ashamed to tell me that Edward fucked you?”
I kept quiet and my chest was heaving. I kicked my foot against the door before holding the knob to turn but it was impossible.
“Tell me else you’re not leaving.”
I stormed towards him in fast strides. “If you can already conclude about me why should I bother telling you?”
“To save the last respect I have for you.”
“Respect? You have no right to judge me Novan! You told me you got a girl after you broke up with me and then you said no one will ever want me since you’re done with me. I still came to California here and tried to see you.”
“Which you escaped. Why?”
“I don’t owe you an explanation but just no that, me getting robbed and running into Edward who was actually the one who saved me from dying out of cold on the streets..”
“So you decided to date him?!”
“Yes and not only that. I kissed him. I did!”
He paused in his mad movements. A very uncomfortable silence revolves around us and I felt the heat of what is about to come.
For once I thought he didn’t hear until his fist collide with the wall and left a mark there. I jumped up in fright.
“For fuck sake you say what?”
I didn’t answer.
“You kissed him?”
“It was all your doing…”
“Oh, fucking shut up!” He points his finger towards me to silence me then connected his palm into the wall severally, creating holes and leaving his hands a bleeding mess. I walked closer to him but his harsh tone stopped me.
“You don’t even have a right to talk right now! Not only did you cheat on me but you committed adultery. You don’t know how disgusting it is.” He resumed hitting his fist into the wall.
“Stop it Novan! You’re going to break a bone. Please stop.” I run to his side in tears.
“Don’t come near me. There’s no difference between you and a slut now. I left for just a month and you’re already kissing him then the ten months you were busy getting it off with him. Those times you were so closed so he fuck you. He did.” He pulled his hair in frustration and began to pace around again. Kicking at anything that unfortunately makes it to his feet.
“How can you do this to me Mariana?”
“I didn’t sleep with him.” He’s insulting me and it hurts but I have to assure him this and hope that he believes me.
“But you kissed him. It’s the same. All are worse. I told you not to do these things. I can’t handle it. He touched you, held you, and felt something that is mine meanwhile I hated him. I hate him. Why must you do this?” He stomped his feet to the ground. He looks like something has been snatched away from him and he looks so broken and vulnerable. I want to comfort him and tell him that I am so sorry.
“You’re also at fault here Novan. You do things on purpose just to hurt me. You said those hurtful things to me then refused to call me for weeks. How can you say that no one will want me? Those words broke me and I was actually alone. I didn’t kiss Edward on purpose. I was drunk, heartbroken, and extremely sad. I felt rejected by you and the world. Nothing was working for me and the news I heard was bad. Even my own body was against me. Things from the past came to hit…”
“It still does not justify what you did. Don’t fucking get emotional. I’m the one being cheated here. You always confirm my fears and exhume each fucking one of them to live. You claim you love me but you don’t really love me. You go against me and you do things to purposely hurt me..”
No, I don’t. I don’t do that.” I get close to him but he won’t stop pacing around the small living room.
“Going behind me to do shady work regarding my competition is not going against me?”
“It was for your own good. I did it for you!”
“And I said no! I told you not to! I was clear but no! You’re like this. You think you own me or you want to own me, mold me to your taste after you’ve changed me..”
“So then don’t you like who you’ve become?”
“No. No! You’re making me dance to your tunes. This is not me!”
“Fine then..”
“Yes fine. Tell me that shit and pack out of here.”
“You’re sacking me?”
“That is what I am doing. Get the hell out you lying beautiful cheat. I wanted you here and I even wanted to convince you to stay with me but now you can go. Take your shits and leave!”
“I refuse to make this all my fault Novan. You’re the proud guy here who has refused to own up to his mistakes. I did what I did because of your behavior towards me. Even that, I wasn’t in my right frame of mind unlike you who does things deliberately.”
“You hate Aria and so I stayed away from her. Then I told you I don’t like Edward. I hate him so stay away. Times without number, I told you this. I preached it to you unceasingly like a saint trying to win the devil for Christ. But he’s a devil so he won’t listen. That is what you are. You don’t listen and now you went to kiss him.”
“You also kissed Ciara.” I accused and he stopped in his tracks with wide eyes open towards me.
“So? Ciara is gay and you know I don’t like her. The same goes for her but you? You seem to have these hidden feelings for that Edward and he also loves you a lot. You two are practically lovers then you go and kiss behind my back with the stupid excuse that I am the cause. What did I do? We were still married if not dating. Can you not keep yourself until further notice? You run into his arms as if you’ve been waiting for it and so you use my petty mistakes against me to make me the badass here when you’re not innocent either.” He pants heavily and the hurt is all I see in his eyes and how defeated and decided he looked. I am also hurting here but this is Novan. This is how he has been. I can’t stand and watch him suffer like this and I also know I am in the wrong. I will go mad if he goes to kiss any other girl or Aria especially.
“I am sorry,” I said and moved towards him. We’re both at fault here. If only he’ll see that as well. But he won’t and one of us must drop the pride for the other to learn so even though I know Novan has done more damage here, I have to.
“Don’t come near me.” He warned but I’ve heard too many of these words a lot of times. I’m even proud that he doesn’t want me near because he knows I’m going to melt him and his anger away.
“I am sorry.” I dragged my heels on the polished floor hesitantly. When he raised his blood dripping hands, I flinched and stepped back.
“What?” He asked a bit calmer as his hands dropped. I shake my head.
“No, tell me. Were you scared?”
” You caught me off guard.”
He nibbles on his bottom lips as sweat from his hair glides on the side of his face and his breathing was rapid as he stared at me.
“I will never hit you. You have to remember that.”
“I know.”
“Then never be caught off guard again.”
“Okay.” I took advantage of this calmness that is steaming on top of his anger and got closer to him. My hands reached for his face and I am grateful when he didn’t push me back. It’s a good sign.
“I didn’t mean you can come near and even touch me, Mariana.”
“I am sorry.” I try to meet his eyes but he won’t.
“You kissed him.”
“That’s why I am sorry.”
“And I don’t want you to be. You didn’t think of me when you were kissing him. I can picture it and it’s pure torture. That bastard. How can he touch you?”
“Forgive me.”
“At that moment when I told you over the phone that we’re over, I meant it. I really meant it but then, I realized it was my anger speaking. The days passed and I was still angry at you and I expect you to know that I am mad at you for what you did. And when I said you can finally go and be with Edward, I didn’t want that. Even if I die, now, I don’t want you to stop loving me. I want to be the only man so why then when I am alive? I can take everything but not any asshole holding you. He even kissed you and what again.”
“That’s all.” I rubbed his cheeks.
“Where did you kiss him?”
“In his car.”
“You…you straddled him?” The words seem to taste bitter on his tongue as he shakes his head in my hands.
“I…I am sorry.”
“Nooo!” He wailed pathetically in agony. He forced to push me away but I hold my ground.
“Please Novan. I am sorry. I love you. You alone and always.” I coaxed.
“I can’t deal with this. I don’t know. I’m sure you don’t want me anymore after that experience. You kissed some other mouth. I haven’t gone over the fact that that so-called celebrity cousin of yours kissed you and I would do anything to make sure that Morgan boy’s relationship with Betsy doesn’t fail and that’s why I offered those words of advice. He also likes you and any opportunity and you two will be dating. I didn’t want that. I was so scared at that little misunderstanding between them and I was even away. I knew of Betsy’s wild adventures but I refused not to say because I feared you might tell her boyfriend and he’d find a reason to leave her which will cause him to try and fall back with you. I know it doesn’t make sense but this is just it. I am this insecure. I want to be the only one. I don’t want you to have any experiences to refer to. I am that crazy and you can call it obsession I don’t care. You have no idea how proud I am to know that I have been the only man but now… God. Must it be even him in the first place?”
His eyes are glossy and I want to say my eyes are just deceiving me.
“I want only you. The kiss doesn’t mean anything just like yours with Ciara.”
“I felt it. Now I trust my instincts even more. I knew you cheated on me somehow. How could you? It hurts so much.” Warm liquid dropped on my face and I reached to wipe his sweats buy they weren’t sweats. Tears were pouring out of Novan’s eyes.
“Novan?” I wiped them away. “I am sorry. Believe me.”
“No! Leave me!” He finally pushed me away. “Get out now! I don’t want to see your face again!”
“You can’t say this.” I cried. He went to the door and held it for me to get out.
“No. This is not the first time. As if the ten months weren’t enough but you went and kissed him then accepted him as your boyfriend. I won’t forget that ever. You accepted to be his girlfriend. Girlfriend Mariana.”
“Novan you have to listen to me. We need to talk…”
“No. Just get out. Leave.”
“Don’t sack me please.”
He opened the door back and began to drag me out. “Stop it Novan! Stop it!” I wailed.
“Please Novan. Stop it.” I pleaded but he didn’t hear.
“Let go of me. I will go.” I snatched my hand away from his grasp. At this point, my anger has risen to its peak.
“Fine. I will leave. I don’t know why I am even here. It’s all about you. You are so selfish. You didn’t even make me come before” I didn’t say finish and got out, fuming.
I returned and picked his boots from the door and threw it at him. “FUCK YOU!” I yelled.
This is the worst he’s gone with me, the worse we’ve gone and now I don’t see us together now or anytime soon. I am so angry at him.
I got out of his house and out of California. Probably, out of his life as well.
I am so done with him and this back and forth relationship.
{Loving him with all his flaws}
I’ve had to the brim. I don’t understand what is going on anymore. When I think things are getting better, that we’re getting better, something happens and we backtrack terribly. It’s just getting worse and worse each day. Even the beginning wasn’t like this. Nothing is working. This is not working. I can’t even see the end of us and there’s no direction for me to take. I am already over the crossroad. Maybe this is how it’s going to be. I can’t long for a storybook ending and be dwelling in fantasies of happily ever after when I can’t have a child. It’s good this way. Novan will surely leave me when he learns that he can’t be a father so why keep fighting for something I can’t have? It’s not a protocol to end with your first? Novan and I need to stop this else this is what is going to happen and he doesn’t want to. This isn’t a relationship? Why should we keep fighting over irrelevant things when we can sit and talk. Even if this relationship should work, we both have to come to a certain agreement and Novan must be willing to comply which he doesn’t want to. He doesn’t want to change and I have been heroic enough. It’s about time I accept the reality and forget him for good this time. Not that it’s easy but whatever it takes, I am going to try.
I arrived in Texas at nine in the evening and hopefully, the reception was still going on. Everyone has changed into different clothes and I’m probably the only one still in this dress.
I asked the man behind the bar for water and I sip while my eyes stray on the couples dancing on the dance floor. I haven’t been here to see how it went but by the look on everyone’s faces, especially the newlyweds as they dance, I can say it went well.
I don’t know if it’s a tradition to get a piss after sex or something. I think I need to google it. I got up to the washroom and when I was coming out, I ran into Edward.
I walked past him but he dragged me back. I yanked my hand from his grip, nothing held me. My sweetness and niceness have drained out as I raised my hand together with my pain, anger, and landed it across his cheeks the hardest as possible.
“Mariana..” His hand flys to his cheek as he stared at me in shock.
“Shut up and don’t mention my name!” I warned between my teeth. What is with everyone trying to take advantage of me?
“You’ll stay far from me from this day onward you hear me? I don’t want to ever see your face and don’t dare call my line anymore. Up until now, you’ve seen only my goodness. Don’t invite the bad and you know it will be so easy for me. Do yourself some favor and leave me the hell alone because…” I point between us. “Will never be. I can never love you so back the fuck off!” I walked past him and this time he didn’t stop me. I feel horrible, terrible for being harsh on him and if I didn’t leave in a hurry, I will turn and apologize. This is not me but I have to do something for him to stay away from me for good.
I ordered free booze and sip while I looked at the happy people all around me. I think it’s not right for a sad person to be here. I don’t have to be here but I also have to so I have to pretend to be happy. Don’t get me wrong. I’m happy for the newlyweds.
I looked at my side to see Leonard. He took my hand and pulled me from the tall stool then led me out to the garden outside where we took a seat. It’s pitch black but the bright large lights don’t make it seem that way. Luckily, the place was occupied though people were passing by.
“The first time you found me but this time, I found you.” He smiled and I swear I wanted to smile back but it’s just impossible.
“Why are you sad? Do you also want to get married?”
Marriage is too high. If I could get a smooth relationship, I won’t even ask for marriage.
When I didn’t answer, he went on.
“The way my dad talks about you sometimes, I think he likes you and you told me that today as well which is true. I also love my mother so much but she changed a lot after my dad came. They spend just too many hours indoors only to shout…”
“Shout?” I am a little amused.
“Yeah. Something like. Oh my God! Oh Dave, Oh Leona. Are they not mad? While I need them they’ll be busy making silly noises and shouting each other’s names. So many times, I think they’re going crazy. Don’t you think?”
I smiled and put my arms around his small form.
“Sometimes, I like to join them to shout together as well.” He said sadly.
“Yeah so I insist that I will sleep in the same bed with them but they don’t shout. Nothing at all.”
“I see.” He’s so na茂ve.
“As I was saying.” He pats my shoulders then pointed to the faint image of his parents who were still dancing and laughing. The entire building is almost made of glass and the glass used at where we sat is transparent.
“My dad likes you. You also like him and I love my mom. Why not we join forces?”
“What? For what?”
“Don’t be dumb.” His little hands hit my forehead. “We can be a good team. You for my dad, me for my mom. Let’s break them up.”
“What?” I’m awed.
“Why are you freaking? I don’t get my mom’s attention anymore and I am sad about it. So I want her back and I want to do anything for that to happen.”
“You’re that jealous?”
“I’ve always been. You know, I love attention. I don’t like to feel neglected and ever since my dad came into our lives, I feel that way.”
I opened my mouth to say something but nothing came. Novan also likes attention. This is what he needed from his parents but wasn’t given but Leonard’s case is better.
“Are you going to help me?” His deep blue innocent eyes met mine.
“Is it not good that your parents love each other so much?” I ask.
“It’s good but they’re overdoing it. They can barely stay even an inch from each other.”
“That is love, Leonard. You love your mom so you want her to be with you always. The same way your father loves your mother and wants her close every day. You just have to be understanding and adjust.”
“I’m the child here. They have to adjust.” He pouted with a frown. I saw his father right through him.
“Yes, I know. Why not tell them this? Let them know.”
“Will they listen and do as I say?”
“Of course. They love you so they will.”
“I will try that.”
“Yeah. It’s better than sabotaging their marriage.” I giggle.
“They’ve even got married anyway.” He chuckled.
“Yeah. Your parents are wonderful.”
“And you have a strong boyfriend. You should’ve just allowed him to beat the executive guy.”
“Executive guy?”
“Yes. Executive suit, shoes, and all. He likes to dress.” He whispered nonchalantly and blinked his eyes then yawned.
“Yeah. He likes to dress.” I agreed. Edward is the exact opposite of Novan.
“He’s dashing, decent, and nice looking. He suits you, really. But his decent looks doesn’t mean he’s nice as well. Who knows, he might just be a wolf in a sheep clothing. I’m not saying he’s but looks are sometimes deceptive right?”
“Yes. You’re very right.”
He nodded.
“The other boy who was beating him looks rough, less sense of dressing. He’s simple, blunt, bad, and dangerous. He’s the type who won’t think twice before doing anything and he won’t take people’s opinions to heart. ‘He doesn’t suit you’ others will say but to me, you two are perfect. It’s about the differences, not the similarities. But it still looks dangerous. Really dangerous..” he yawned again. “However, sometimes we misjudge according to their looks. The ones who look bad and their appearance is bad. We conclude that the person is bad but that’s not it. They may look bad but end up being the nicest with the biggest heart ever unlike those because of their appearance we think their nice..”
My jaw dropped. He’s past Nervisa.
“How’s it possible that you know so much?”
“My uncle taught me.”
He shrugged and yawned again. “You were looking sad. What happened? Your puppy died? I could get some for you.” He smiled sleepily at me.
I shake my head and just stare dreamily at this fine boy. His uncle is so wise.
“After that fight, I’ve been looking all over for you. You weren’t there when my mom threw the flowers. Are you done dealing with your issues? Is that what made you sad? It didn’t end well?”
“Yes, in a way,” I admitted to the small boy. At this young age,he’s so thoughtful, nice, and kind.
“I think you’ll be fine.” He put his hands under his chin and stared adorably at me.
I wish I could have a child one day. If it’s possible, I want a kind child just like him.
“Can I hug you?” I asked.
“Sure. Come over here.” He beckons me with his tiny hands. My knees hit the lawn below us then hugged him. His small hands wrapped around my neck tightly as he nuzzles into my neck. Will I ever feel my own child’s hands-on me this way, hugging me? My tears flowed for my loss. Life hasn’t been fair. It cheated on me since I was a kid.
“Are you crying?” He asked and got his face from my neck.
“No.” I wiped my tears away quickly.
“Nice try.” He stepped back with a tired smile then got back on the seat.
“Can I put my head on you? I can’t keep my eyes open any longer.” He said slowly and in a low tone.
“Sure.” I sat down on the bench and shifted closer where he placed his head on my lap. I caressed his hair then lifted my gaze to the starry sky. I hear Leonard’s soft breathing and when I look down at his cute face, he’s fast asleep.
His parents are busy and probably exhausted. I need to find any of the family members so they’ll put him to bed.
I took him from my lap and let his head rest on my shoulders then begin to walk out of the garden.
“Excuse me? Is that my nephew!” A tall figure raced to meet me. It’s the bride’s brother.
“It’s Leonard.”
“Yeah. Thanks so much. I was going crazy looking for him. Thank you so much. I hope he didn’t disturb you.”
“No, he didn’t.”
“You won’t say it.” He smiled and got him off my shoulders to his. “He’s been looking around for you anyway. I’m glad he saw you at last or you found him asleep while waiting on the gate for you.”
“No no!” I chuckled.
“Alright. I’m Raymond.” He stretched his hand out for a handshake.
“Mariana. Are you a lawyer?” I gave him my hand and felt his large hand wrap around mine.
“No. Still studying to be a surgeon.”
“Wow. I thought as much. Nice meeting you.”
“You’re very pretty.” With that, he raised my hand to his lips and placed a tender kiss on top of it. He then walked away, leaving me enthralled by his comment, cheeks on fire.
He’s so handsome and mature looking. More mature than Edward and I won’t say.

I don’t like to compare Novan to anyone even though we’re not on good terms. He’s unique so why should I compare him?
I walked back to the bar and ordered a glass of white champagne. I can’t see Betsy and Morgan anywhere. I can see my parents chatting and laughing with a group of people. Leona is talking to a man and Dave who was also talking to someone far from her but still managed to find her with his eyes and they never left her since.
“Here you are.” Betsy’s scent filled my nostrils and her hands came around my neck from the back.
“Where have you been?” I asked.
“I was here. You went and came back bathed in hickeys.”
“Huh?” I swat her hands from my neck and she got up from me.
She laughed. “We’re leaving. I’m so tired and my feet hurt like hell. I would’ve said have a nice time but you already did.” She winked as Morgan took her hand and they walked away. I watched as his hand moved to her waist instead and they laughed away. Looks like everyone is happy. They’re all laughing.
“Hey!” Dave walked towards me with a glass of wine in his hand.
“Hi.” I got up.
“Oh sit. Sit.” He said and also sat down as I did the same.
“Thanks for coming.”
“I wanted to come. It’s my first time in Texas also. Everywhere is so nice.”
“Australia is better.”
“That’s a lie.”
“Oh, I mean it. I love Melbourne.”
“Yeah. Melbourne is a nice city.” My voice strained as I remembered Jude. That was where he lived and I went there once because of Novan’s arrest. The city looks even more beautiful at night.
“I’m trying so hard not to switch to business.” He funnily scrunched his nose.
I smiled.
“Congratulations on your wedding.”
” Wedding? We got married..”
“Hey Mariana. Didn’t I leave my purse?” I heard Betsy’s voice again. I looked on the counter then to Dave’s front. “No.”
“Oh.” Her hand went to her neck and she made a thoughtful face. I know all this is a sham. She returned because Dave is here.
“Oh hello, sir. Congratulations.”
“Thanks… Uhm…I am sorry but you are..?”
“Betsy.” My friend grinned so wide like the Cheshire cat.
“Yeah. Betsy. Mariana talked to me about you.”
Betsy put her hands around my neck as if to commend me.
“Well, sir. I’m your fan. I work in your company only because of that.”
“Really? Then you’re fired.” Dave said without smiling and Betsy gasped.
“No. Not only that. It’s one of the reasons. Please don’t fire me.” She begged. She sounds so frightened and I want to assure her that Dave is only joking but she deserves it.

“What are the other reasons why you’re working for me?”
“Because I love to play with figures and want to become an accountant someday and your bank is just the best place I thought of taking my internship.”
“Good. That’s what I want to hear.”
“So then I’m not fired?”
“Nope.” He sipped his wine and looked around probably for Leona.
“Ahhh. Thank you so much.” She sighed in relief.
“You’re welcome.”
“This is the first time I am seeing you this close. It means so much to me but can you..take a picture with me, autograph or maybe a hug? Please? I know I am asking too much but please..”
“You can only get one,” Dave said.
I looked up at Betsy who’s squealing within. I know she’ll go for a hug.
“A hug please.”
See? I said it.
Dave’s brows raised. I hope Betsy is not making him uncomfortable.
I’m surprised when he got up and opened his arms.
Betsy’s eyes are wide in surprise and shock. I bet she didn’t believe she’d get it.
Just when she’s about to take her steps toward him, someone else walks into his arms. Leona of course.
When I looked at Betsy, I couldn’t hold it. I burst into uncontrollable laughter. The music is on if not I would be creating a scene.
Betsy looks like she’s going to cry.
She stomped her feet and I heard someone else chuckle. I turned to see Morgan laughing into his palms.
Isn’t he the most adorable boyfriend? Who permits his girlfriend to hug another man just to make her happy?
I guess he trusts her so much now for him to do that. Betsy is lucky but it appears Leona is not having a heart so big as Morgan’s to let her husband into someone else’s arms.
“Did I interrupt something?” In the comfort of her husband’s arms, Leona asked. Dave looks down at her lovingly and kisses her forehead while his hands are wrapped around her. I take a long look at Leona’s gold band around her finger which splayed possessively on Dave’s chest then to Dave’s own. These two have everything I’ve ever dreamt of ever since I started dating. Love, marriage, and children.
“No you didn’t but your beauty did,” Betsy remarked.
“My beauty?” Leona presented a confused smile.
“Yes, Leona. She wanted a hug and I was thinking about it. When I finally decided to give her, you showed up and I gave it to you instead.”
“Wife first huh?” She laughed, obviously proud that her husband chose her.
“Wife first.” He kissed the bridge of her nose and they shared a sweet smile full of love.
“You look like a rival but you complimented me so you can hug him for 30 seconds.” Leona stepped back. Though Betsy was surprised as hell, she rushed quickly to hug Dave in great excitement. I can feel her happiness. I picked my phone to capture the moment. It has always been Betsy’s dream to see Dave in person and hug him if possible and it has played out for her. I will take this photo and send it to her. Not only did she hug him, but took a picture while hugging him. Now nobody will deny it if she says it out there that she hugged Dave Anosova.
“Thank you so much, ma’am.” She beamed at Leona after the hug with Dave and didn’t ask permission again before hugging Leona herself.
“My pleasure.”
“Thank you, sir. Bye Mariana.” She leaned in to kiss my cheeks before beginning to walk off, excitement bursting out of her like a raged steam.
“Are you not going to look for your purse anymore?” Dave asked after her.
“Don’t embarrass me now Sir.” She said and we all laughed.
“She’s crazy,” Dave remarked.
“Yes, she is.” I concur.
“I also think so.” Leona agreed as well.
“Congratulations on your wedding you two.”
“Hah. Wedding?” They looked at each other and laughed out.
“Why?” I smiled without even knowing the cause of their uproar.
“We already got married at court the day you saw us at a cafe in Seattle. This is just for the family. Dave and I have been married for a while now. Right hubby?”
“Yes, wifey.”
“Yes. Everyone was disturbing us for a proper marriage so we have to do this.” Dave continued his wife’s explanation.
“Now I know who’s crazier here between you and Betsy.”
“Don’t compare us to that girlfriend of yours. She’s on a whole new level of it.” Leona admonished as she wave her ring finger.
“By the way, where is your boyfriend?” Dave looks around. “There, I see him.” He pointed towards the entrance of the room and the smile drained from my face when I saw him coming inside.
Why is Novan back here? What is he coming to do? To humiliate me further? Or to fight me. If that is the case, then I should get going because apart from trying to avoid a possible fight with him, I don’t want to see his face.
Once he entered, I felt him. His presence.
I looked down and drank the remaining of my champagne.
“Is anything the matter?”
Dave and his wife peer their eyes full of concern over me and I curse myself for making them suspect something.
“He’s walking towards here.” He said to me and my heart began to beat. Novan is coming?
“If anything, just remember me and Leona’s story. It’s always not flowers and rainbows. There’s more. Without rain, we won’t have rainbows and the flowers won’t blossom. Remember this and thanks for coming. My wife and I are grateful. I will see you tomorrow if possible. ”
Yes, I will remember your story but your happy ending is never coming to me.
Once they disappeared into the crowd, I got up.
My shoulders brushed him as I passed him by. He didn’t stop me and I didn’t wait either. It’s a fair score but I don’t know why it hurts so much like this.
I had little hope. If he had come to me and I ignored him, it would’ve been better, I would’ve felt a little better but it looks like he doesn’t have my mind.
He wasn’t coming to me after all.
Maybe all this is good for us. We both have had a fair share of this relationship. More than enough.
{Loving him with all his flaws}
She’s looking so happy. Laughing so much after what happened. How’s it possible that she forgot so easily? Due to what that businessman might have said to her, her smile dropped when she turned my way.
I knew what she was thinking once I entered and I didn’t come back because of her but I planned to walk in her direction.
She got up and walked past me, brushing herself against me in the process. I didn’t expect her to do that. To ignore me on purpose and it hit something within me. This is new. Granted. I’m still very angry but I don’t want her to do this. She didn’t even look at me.
I sat down on the seat she just left which is close to the bar and watched her disappear. Actually, I wanted to walk past her while she’s sitting here but it seems she also planned the same thing. I thought I was angry at her but I feel the pain of her act so strongly so strongly which I feel shouldn’t be so.
I picked at my new bandages and refused to groan. When I hit them against something in my rage, I don’t feel the pain but after. If I see Edward anywhere here, I swear I will kill him. I’m not going to give a fuck about anything. I wish I will see him. Using my anger on the things in my room wasn’t enough. I need to break his nose and create a hole in his fucking skull. I warned him not to touch my girl and if he does he’s dead but he won’t listen. They’re even dating. Christ! That revelation this evening is making my blood boil tremendously. Remembering it just now, I feel like turning this fine place upside down. I’m so pissed, so mad.
How can Mariana do this? To me? Imagining Edward’s hands on her, kissing… God. I got up and ran off to the washroom. I threw up every shit I had inside me. I tried to block the disgusting image out but I wasn’t successful. I kept throwing up. I’m going to get sick if this should continue.
I wiped my lips and rinsed my mouth for the umpteenth time. Edward can be assured that I won’t spare him if I see him.
Once I opened the door to get out, another door right opposite it opened as well and I was faced with Mariana. Images of her sitting on the lap of that bastard while he touches her are all I see and I want to control my expression but I couldn’t. She didn’t show any emotions except for the grave look then sauntered away.
Okay. So she’s ignoring me for real. For how long?
I am also very angry at her and hers seems to be worse towards me. I saw how angry and defeated she looked when she walked out then came back to throw my boots at me which I dodged and now wished I had not. It was funny but the situation won’t allow me to laugh if not I will be rolling on the floor for her attempt to hit me with my boots but I have a feeling her anger isn’t all about what is happening. It’s more.
I got out of the washroom to the bar and ordered a soda. I drank all of it in hope that it will stop me from retching. I wish I could also do something about cleaning that image from my head. What do I do? I wish I didn’t even know about it. It would’ve been better. I looked around the crowded area which is gradually reducing in the number of people present.
I came to pick Nervisa and now I can’t see her anywhere else and I don’t even know who the fuck to ask.
There’s Paula who used to be something close to a friend but doesn’t want to talk to me and I’ve barely had any word with Pablo and I don’t know the newlyweds at all. Who do I ask?
No Nervisa, no Mariana, no my assholes of friends, no parents. It’s just one brooding boy here sitting among a bunch of happy fellows.
I got out to try Paula’s line again with my broken phone to ask of Nervisa . It’s so late. I’m sure she’s sleeping somewhere.
“Fuck!” It’s so cold outside. Looks like its to snow. Where the hell is my sister?
I wish I had taken Marion’s number. Even if I want to call Mariana now, I don’t have her number to reach.
So unlike me, I walk towards some suit covered potbellies to inquire of Mariana’s family or anything.
“Hi.” I looked everywhere else but them. They look like politicians.
“How do we help?” A voice even deeper than mine inquired.
“Wondering if anyone can..” I paused when I saw Pablo coming. Thank fucking God.
I walked away from the pot-bellied men to Mariana’s father.
“Cute bandages.” His eyes fell on my hands with a smirk.
“Yes. I got them today.” I decided to play along and try not to shiver.
“I can see that.” He nodded and pocketed one hand. “You must be feeling alone. Where’s my daughter?”
“Inside,” I answered simply and he nodded. The hell I don’t even know where she is at the moment but I have to say something.
“I don’t see my wife talking to you anymore and the last time I heard her fighting with you over the phone. What happened?”
“I didn’t do anything. She’s just being the way she is.” I looked away, wondering where this man is heading to.
“I didn’t say you did anything and I know my Paula. I see how your relations are falling apart. Not intruding but your parents are null in your life. Then your sister who I am sure you’re looking for. Then there’s not my daughter. Who do you have again?”
“What?” I snapped.
“Answer me.” He pocketed the other hand.
I want to say I have myself but I don’t. I hate who I am and who I have been. Literally, I am alone.
“I can’t answer that.”
“No one in this world is pure and perfect. Not even me, you or my wife. We all have shortcomings hence if you avoid people for their mistakes, you may or might not be alone in this world. The world is big and populous. There’s a great chance of stepping on someone’s toes while navigating. The best way is to forgive the person and move. If you hold on to it, you won’t move on. You’ll be stagnant at that place, complaining or fighting the person which won’t benefit you or the person. When you let things go, you grow, you change, you’re freed and happy deep within. I’m not advising you. I just want to share something I know about life with you. I use to be like you. My mom if anything can be compared to a Jezebel. She committed a lot of mistakes, horrible ones and I hated her but in the long run, I had to forgive and move on. It’s just life and the way it is. If you understand it, it gets easier for you.”
His words hit me like a trailer and kicked something within me. For a moment, I went speechless as it began to snow on us. He’s in a heavy suit so I am sure he’s not being much affected unlike me who’s just wearing a thin black shirt and skinny jeans.
“If you’re not advising me, then you’re reprimanding me. You just talked about me.” I accused.
“I just shared my perspective regarding life. You can apply it or leave it. There’s no need to feel bitter about it.” He shrugged and his jaws clenched. Thank goodness I am not the only one getting affected by the weather. Almost everyone has disappeared.
“I want to know where my sister is.”
“Come with me. We have to leave before the snow gets worse and we can’t move the car anymore.” He began to walk fast to the parking lot.
” I have a car.”
“It’s rental. Let it be here.”
“No. I want to drive it.” I don’t want to be dependent on anybody for transport. I like to have my own damn things.
“Have it your way. I will drive ahead while you follow.”
I walked into my car and once he took off in his expensive car, I followed. After ten minutes, he’s so far ahead while I am at the back with my rented car trapped in the damn snow. I couldn’t move and it has blanketed the Audi I rented. Soon it’s going to swallow it and I won’t be able to make it out.
I parked the car out of the road and got out. I’m going to freeze out here if I don’t get a lift real quick. Why the hell did Pablo drive so quickly?
I sighed when I saw his car coming.
After two minutes it stopped and I didn’t wait to be told before hoping in.
“You’re stubborn.” He muttered and sped off through the falling snow.
“Not when you were busy showing off your expensive machine.”
“Oh really?” He laughed. “I was showing off its capability, not the few dollars.”
“I see it right.” I snort.
“What happened to your hand?” He looked at both bandaged hands and I hid it away in between my lap.
“Not your business to worry about.”
“Yes, but I will gladly sustain it not only when someone touches my woman but get rude to her.”
“What is that supposed to mean?” I almost bark. He’s speaking as if he knows what’s happening currently in my life.
“I will like to get something off my chest. I’ve been meaning to for a long time now.”
I keep quiet and glared at him.
“I didn’t like it when you got rude to my wife. You should understand. I am sure you won’t like it if someone should speak to Mariana the way you did to my wife. Apart from murdering any man who comes close to her, I won’t spare anyone disrespecting her. I can’t stand it. That woman is everything to me and she’s very precious therefore I don’t joke with her. Please don’t do it again. You’re family to me and I respect you regardless. Let it be reciprocated. No offense. As I said earlier, I’ve been meaning to get it off my chest that’s all. It’s past. Almost a year now. I just want to let you know I don’t like it.”
“I am sure you know she was being a bit…I mean, she was being a bit difficult at that time.” I almost said bitch. This rich man here is just going to make a case for me. Not like I am afraid of him. No. I will never be. But he just told me that he detests that so I must respect that. Besides, Mariana has scolded me countless times on using the word ‘ bitch.’
“Yes, and I am glad you two settled your differences before it messed up again. Who caused it?”
“I won’t answer that,” I tell him and he smiles. A few minutes later, we arrived in front of a mansion just as big as the one they live in back in Australia.
He gave me an umbrella and we got down.
“Stay the night and you can take your sister tomorrow unless you want to die in the unforgiving storm out there. Mariana’s room is on the second floor.” He said to me when we got to the living room. Servants appeared and took our umbrellas.
“Father, where have you been?”
I looked up at Mariana who’s running down the stairs. She froze when she saw me. My eyes didn’t leave her. I can see her pajamas. So thin and transparent. I can see the curve of her full breast. Looks like there’s nothing under the shirt and her sweat pants is just under her butt. The two-piece of clothing is so tight on her that I feel my boxer tightening on me as well. God, she’s the ruin of me. Even when I am mad at her, she managed to get me hard. So damn freaking hard.
“I am alright. Where’s your mother?” Pablo said.
“Right here.” Paula appeared from the kitchen with a steamy cup in hand. “I made this for you.”
“Give that to Everett and get me another one. Please.”
The fuck?
“Why the hell are you calling me that?” My eyes finally shift to the billionaire.
“Is that not your name? Let me tell you. I hate the name, Donovan. It’s a surname, not a name.” He told me face flat.
“I know and my father hates it as well.”
“So you took it to annoy him?”
“I hate the name Everett.” I screeched.
“Well but I like it.”
“Don’t call me with it and I don’t want Paula to give me anything. Where’s Nervisa being kept?”
Husband and wife didn’t talk. They just stared strangely at me with wide eyes while my wife remained a statue on the stairs.
“Can you be any rude?” That’s Paula.
“How more polite do you want me to be? please tell me.” I don’t know what is wrong with these people. I don’t kiss asses.
“Mariana please take him to where Nervisa is sleeping.”
“Mom? No…I can’t..” Mariana tried to protest.
“What?” Paula asked.
“Nothing. I will take him.” She presented a fake smile before turning around.
“Follow her,” Pablo said to me as if I am some kid. I didn’t forget to shoot daggers at him.
I followed Mariana upstairs then she walked ahead of me hurriedly, unknowingly shaking her butt in my face. So round and full. Wide hips swaying gorgeously along with her long black hair and that small waist seems to be turning. Her long smooth legs are eagerly eating up space ahead of her, conveying her from me in blinks of an eye.
My perverted mind didn’t allow me to look anywhere else until she stopped and turned to catch me staring at her behind.
She didn’t say anything or walked again. “She’s in that room.” She pointed to the door facing directly to us then turned around to leave.
I tried not to turn and watch her. I really tried but I couldn’t so I turned. Seeming to sense that I am staring at her again, she walked faster than before and disappeared into a room.
When I turn back to Nervisa’s room, I didn’t know where I have left my anger. I looked for it by remembering what she did before entering the room she showed to me.
Sprawled on the huge bed are Nervisa and Marion, barely separated and Nervisa had her leg on him.
I picked Marion far from her to the edge of the bed and arrange pillows close to mountains between them before leaving.
The hell. Why will they go as far as sleeping in the same bed?
Looking up, there he stood in semi-wet clothes, hair sleeping on his head and knuckles in a bandage. His eyes create holes on me that only he can fit in then set fire inside them. His jaw is clenched so tight, too tight. With his pissed off look, I want to warn my parents to not upset him but it’s too late when he snapped and they just stared at him.
I want to refuse to take him to where Nervisa was sleeping at but it’s only going to make my parents worried or suspect that things are not well between us. The least I want is my parents worrying about me because of him.
His eyes follow till I got to Nervisa’s door and back. I sighed when I got to my room and took a long deep breath. I feel hot and my heart is pounding. I hope this does on well. I pace about, running my hands over my hair time and time again.
It’s snowing which means he can’t leave the city just yet and it’s even late. I hope he’s staying here and did not only come for Nervisa. Not like I want him here. I am just worried about him. It could be dangerous driving in the snow and at this time.
I didn’t like that he came after what is going on but I am pleased that my dad drove him and I am curious to know how it went and what they talked about. I hope he wasn’t too rude to my dad. More importantly, I hope he didn’t tell him that we broke up.
I didn’t like how Novan looked at me when we met in the washroom. He looked at me disgustingly and it’s heartbreaking. Though we’re no more, I don’t want him to look at me like that. And now, his eyes were lustful. What is happening to Novan? What happened to the man I am madly in love with?
I fetched my medicine from my bag and dropped it in my throat before going for water to wash it down.
While I am swallowing, Novan walks in and I choke. I choke painfully and the coughs won’t stop.
The next I feel his hand rubbing my back then he leads me to sit on the bed.
“Drink the water gently this time. I didn’t mean to freak you out.” He raised the bottle to my lips and I drink it slowly.
The cough calmed and I took the bottle from him. “What are you doing here?”
“Your parents said I can spend the night.”
“In this room?”
“Yes but I can go if..”
“It won’t be necessary.”
“I can go..”
“I say don’t bother.” I walked to the washroom not to do anything but just to put myself together. I don’t trust Novan and I in the same room fighting or not. I want to be as far as away from him. I don’t want to mind him.
When I came out, he’s undressed completely only left in boxers. It took everything in me to not look at him. At the body, I adore so much.
“I’ll take the floor and you the bed.” He said to me.
I don’t want to do that shit with him and neither do I want him in bed with me to talk of he taking the floor.
“Listen, I am more pissed at you than you are but I am talking. Don’t ignore me.”
“You don’t have a right to be pissed Novan and I don’t have to talk to you.” I turned the knob and left him in the room for another.
There’s no way we’re not going to fight if I should stay in the room with him. It might not be only a fight as well…
The blinding sunlight from the window and chirping birds are what woke me up and I padded barefooted across the corridor to the room I left Novan yesterday. It’s empty when I got in. I searched the bathroom but I didn’t see him.
I ran to where Nervisa slept last night but only saw my brother lying on the bed still fast asleep.
Slowly, I walked back to the room and got ready to leave back to Australia. I didn’t wait for my parents. They wanted to spend more days. I wanted to go to my penthouse, that was the plan but I ended in his wood house. It’s just the way I left it the last time I was here.
I didn’t feel like doing anything so I just lay in the bed and tried not to remember all the times we spent in it. I miss him, I know it but I don’t want to condone his attitude further.
I finally raised myself from the bed only to sit on the deck and drop my feet in the cool water. It’s already morning and I arrived at 3 am. That was a long journey. So tiring and time-consuming.
I want to take a walk in the woods but I am scared to get lost so I just sit and stare at the calm water, wishing my life was as calm as it is.
If I had known that this is how loving Novan will be, I wouldn’t have ventured. If I had known what love can do and make you do, I wouldn’t try to. I wish I was warned then my heart will still be in shape not in pieces. I love Novan. Lord knows I do and that is why forgetting him is so difficult. I don’t think I will be able to and neither will I love another as I do him.
I got back to the house and there I received a message from the court we got married at. It’s our anniversary yet we barely spend a day together without fighting. I bet he didn’t even remember that it was yesterday with the way he left without notice. Novan and I haven’t done much since our marriage except to fight and separate. The entire year that we have been together, we spent a greater part apart. Therefore if I should be asked what marriage is like, I wouldn’t know what to say because I didn’t experience it. I can literally count the times we spent together and it’s just a few.
I wore a singlet top with a jacket and jeans trouser before stepping out. I took Uber to my penthouse and from there I picked my car.
I wish Betsy was back then we could do something together but she’s not. It’s Valentine’s day and I don’t want to disturb Dylan or Lenna. After driving around town for almost an hour, I stopped at a restaurant to eat something. That got ruined for me when almost everyone who came to the restaurant had a partner. I am the only one sitting at the restaurant like a lost puppy.
I asked for a takeaway instead and left. Half through the drive back to the cabin, I couldn’t hold not talking to Novan anymore. Even if he’s going to yell at me and insult me, I just want to hear his voice. Every tiny fiber in me craves him and I want to give in to it. I know it’s not healthy but I don’t care. I just want to hear his voice. I dialed his number and waited for him to pick. It rang and ended. I called again, again and again. I got frustrated and hit my hand against the wheel. I retrieved the phone and called again but to no avail. With my legs just on the pedal and the break, I used both hands to text him. Begging him to please call me back. Feeling extreme pity for myself, my tears blind my vision and I almost forgot that I was driving on a busy road. I dropped the phone after sending it only for it to start ringing. I rushed to pick it, thinking it’s Novan but only for it to slide to the floor. While I bent to pick, I realized I moved into the wrong lane and the truck coming was close and at full speed. I wanted to return to my lane but only ended up getting slammed at both front and back by the car coming at my front and the one from my back. I scream and darkness is all I see afterward.
When my eyes opened, I found myself in a white room. I blinked and stared at the ceiling in an attempt to remember what happened. It came. I was trying to call Novan because I miss him. I didn’t care that I was driving and in the middle of the road, I texted him and a call came in. I wanted to pick then it fell. I still don’t know who called. I hope I am alive and this is not my spirit thinking.
I tried to get up and that is when I felt it. I feel pain all over my body. I am not dead after all.
Is that supposed to be good news?
Leaving me in her room, I shouldn’t wait and hope for her return but I did. I waited till the last dawn but not the soft thud of her feet coming to the door did I hear.
I got out of the room as well and by that amazing mysterious connection between us, it was easy to locate her.
I sat beside the edge of the bed and watched her sleeping face. She doesn’t look peaceful, the frown and the curl of her lips then her tear-stained cheeks gave that away. It’s obvious she’s been crying but for what exactly? She’s the one who caused me pain. Whichever way, I don’t want her to be sad looking. I rubbed my thumb over her forehead in an attempt to straighten the lines there but they didn’t go. She only sighed and then frowned deeply this time. I run my thumb over her full lips.
We could be happy. What is preventing that? What is the root of our problem? I believe that therapy worked for me but it didn’t do much to my anger or give me common sense. Someone, a part of my anger caused this. This whole issue began with Edward then ended with him. He gained but I lost my only love.
I looked into her face and wondered if indeed I lost her. She’s angry at me, she’s sad, she’s ignoring me. Are those signs that I lost her? This new information caused goosebumps to spread on my skin. I hurried out then picking Nervisa, I left Texas for California and Pablo’s words traveled with me uninvited. I made an effort to drag them away but they wouldn’t just go so I gave up and decided to ponder over them.
“I didn’t like it when you got rude to my wife.” He had said.
I also won’t like that.
“You should understand. I am sure you won’t like it if someone should speak to Mariana the way you did to my wife.”
I don’t understand because I spoke to Paula the same way I speak to Mariana.
Pablo didn’t like it. Does it mean my way of talking is terrible and actually hurts people?
“Apart from murdering any man who comes close to her, I won’t spare anyone disrespecting her. I can’t stand it. ”
I didn’t like it when Edward said those things about Mariana tasting sweet and that too, he’s yet to talk rude to her and I was already at the edge.
I am willing to kill any man who comes close to her but is that just it?
“That woman is everything to me and she’s very precious therefore I don’t joke with her. Please don’t do it again.”
Mariana is also everything to me.
‘But you don’t treat her like it!’ My inner beings scream at me.
I didn’t do much when we got back home so I called Esther and went to my room. I have work and school tomorrow. I love my work but school? I can’t wait to be out of it which is just three semesters away. I’m glad that what I study is just three years, unlike the others.
I got up the next day and when I swipe my nails across my broken screen, there’s a message from the court we got married that happy anniversary.
My mind raced to find the date we got married and… Oh, God! It was a year old yesterday.
I forgot. We got married on the thirtieth and today is the fourteenth.
“Dollface.” I padded out of the room to look for her.
“Who are you looking for?” Nervisa looked up from the book she’s holding.
“Mariana. Where’s she?”
“Are you out of it? We came back here alone.”
Huh? Of course, I’ve lost it.
“I mean Esther.” I lied. I thought Mariana. I forgot that we are no longer dating and she’s staying far away
“Today is a holiday and she said to tell you that she won’t come.”
“Which holiday?” I asked to be enlightened.
“Now I am convinced you broke up with Mariana if not you won’t be forgetting that it’s Valentine’s day.”
I walked back inside. Why is that we spend every valentine’s day away from each other? This time is worse and I feel uncomfortable. Really uncomfortable. On top of that, my heart is beating erratically.
Yesterday was a year since we got married and nothing has changed so far. We didn’t even acknowledge our marriage. A marriage my father thought is what will bring me happiness and not keep us apart. Whether I accept it or not, this marriage is one of the legacies my father created before dying and it should be the best. All I’ve ever wanted is to be close to Mariana and make her mine. This was the right opportunity but what happened to it? I fucked it up. Not me alone. I hate that Mariana has to go against me, I hate that he kissed Edward and decided to give him a chance. I hate that.. that’s all. The first thing she did was to give us that ten months gap then she said it was for our good which I refuse to accept though it was the truth. I didn’t like that she got close to Edward during that time. I got angry at her then decided to leave her which I did but the death of my father brought me back. I got to find out that whatever he also did was just for my good but I still feel he has wronged me and the same goes for Mariana. I left her then she again called to talk to me about Tricia keeping Nervisa and I flared. She called to talk it through with me that she didn’t like my behavior and we both got angry and I had to really end things and over the phone. After some days I realized I didn’t mean it then I began to wait for her to come to me and she didn’t. When she finally showed up, we had sex and fought. I realized she kissed Edward. I still don’t know why she did that but that was a huge mistake on her part and my father for abandoning us. They can’t give an excuse for that. The next biggest thing my father did is taking Mariana’s properties and blaming it on me. Then Mariana who interfered with my competition. They both said it was for my own good but I don’t see it that way. The pain I felt from it was real. As for my mom, she has no excuse for her wickedness.
“if you avoid people for their mistakes, you may or might not be alone in this world.”
Pablo’s voice visited me again.
“I had to forgive and move on. It’s just life and the way it is. If you understand it, it gets easier for you.”
It’s not easy to look past them as if it didn’t happen. I see the scar all the time.
“When you let things go, you grow, you change, you’re freed and happy deep within.”
My therapy was supposed to change me but apart from smoking and sniffing that I stopped, nothing has changed. I still get angry and there’s this feeling of being in bondage. I am unhappy, I feel alone even more now that I am fighting with Mariana. Can I get happiness if I let it go just like Pablo said? How’s the feeling going to be like to forgive? Should I try it?
Mariana’s teary face played in my mind the day she threw the boots at me before leaving.
“Fine. I will leave. I don’t know why I am even here. It’s all about you. You are selfish. You didn’t even make me come before”
I didn’t make her do what?
My mind went back to the sex we had and I jumped up from the bed. I am indeed selfish. How did I not notice?
The first person I see to walk into the room is Nina then followed by Novan’s entire crew of friends. My gaze remained on the door after they all got in and I sighed when I didn’t see Novan. I thought he also came with them forgetting he’s still in America.
“God, you’re awake.” Courtney rushed to my side.
“What are you all doing here? How did you know?”
“We saw your damaged car on the road on our way to the frat house. We followed the police and here we are.” Ronnie explained.
“Because of you, we fucking missed our party.” Nina rolled her eyes and Evan nudged her.
“Don’t mind her. How are you feeling?”
“How do you think she’ll feel? She had an accident, Ronnie.” Evan’s girlfriend scolds Ronnie.
“Okay. That’s okay. I hope you didn’t tell anyone did you?” I looked at their faces.
“No we didn’t but we don’t know about the police or the hospital. You’re popular without even trying to so..”
“Okay. I want to go home now.”
They looked at each other’s faces.
“That is not our job to do.”
“Wait, I will call the doctor.” Courtney rushed out.
“How the fuck did you get in an accident in the first place? You’re not a crackhead or drunkard so how the fuck did it happened? You wanna die on your own or what? You’re even intelligent to have poor driving skills.” Nina took Courtney’s place beside me.
“Stop being harsh Nina.”
“Allow me to. Her boyfriend is like a brother to me and because of that, I feel I have a duty towards her.”
“Did you tell him already?”
“If only the fucker’s phone would be reachable.”
Thank goodness. The last person I want to see is Novan.
“No one is going to tell him.” I told them.
“And why the fuck is that?” Nina barked.
“Because we are no longer..”
“Ms. Dominguez, you’re awake.” The doctor walks in at the perfect time.
“Yes, doctor. Please, I want to go home. I will get treatment from there and I want to know how serious my situation is.” I can only feel pains all over my body and my head is pounding.
“You’re under observation since you don’t have any serious injuries apart from your forehead and arm.”
I raised my hand to touch my forehead and there was a thick bandage around it and my arm as well.
“I have a doctor. Please let me go.” I beg him. I so much hate hospitals.
“Alright. Let me have your doctor’s details then I will contact him.”
I mentioned them to him. “I hope you haven’t told my parents.”
“We’re about to.”
“Please don’t. They are happy and I don’t want to ruin it for them. I am fine.”
“It’s not done. They’re your parents.”
“I know. Why get them worried for no reason when they’re not even in the country?”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes. They left for America.”
“Alright. You’re not fully discharged. We’ll contact your doctor as soon as possible. You need rest because you’re feeling pains. Am I right?”
I nodded.
It feels like I have been hit all over my body with a trunk.
A couple of checks are done on me and I got injected to help subside the pain. Novan’s friends were so helpful. Nina the most even though he was nagging the whole time but I realized she cares and how much she likes Novan.
“Your things are in this bag,” Courtney said to me after helping me to change into a dress shirt that is not mine.
“We bought it. It’s big so that you can be free inside.” She smiled kindly at me.
“If you’re done please fucking come out. It’s not your wedding dress you’re getting into. You’ll fall if you fuckin stand too long.” Nina shouted from the door.
I walked slowly out of the bathroom with Courtney and a wheelchair awaited me at the door.
“I just want to protect Donovan from going mad if he sees you in a condition worse than this.” She said calmly this time and I nodded.
She wheeled me out while Courtney carried my things that she had in a bag. Ronnie goes for my prescription while Evan and his girlfriend went for my bill.
“Your car is in the workshop. It’s pretty damaged.” Courtney said when we got outside. It’s dark.
“How many hours have I been out?”
“Four hours. We’ve been here for three hours now.”
“Don’t think I forgot. Tell me why you have to get in an accident on a goddamn Valentine’s day?” Nina cuts in.
“Will you let her be? An accident is an accident. It can happen to anyone.” Courtney takes my side.
“No. This is not just anybody. Do you think I will question any one of us if that should happen? This is Mariana here. She’s so careful at everything she does apart from falling in love with Donovan of course. That was careless on your part I should say. You tried to change him but a leopard will always be a leopard even if you dye the skin. It will fade and the spot will never go away.”
I looked up at her.
“Stop talking rubbish Nina.” Ronnie came with a bag of medicines which made me groan and cringe internally.
“You’ll shut up Ronnie.”
“No, you’ll keep quiet Nina. You’re being blunt and harsh. That’s not good for someone who’s in pain.” Evan also came and opened the door of a car I recognized to be his.
“Fine but prepare to be a widow if Donovan is a cause of this.” She warned and I gasped.
I got off of the wheelchair and they helped me into the car. Nina and Courtney sat at my sides and Evan took the front seat and made his girlfriend sit on him while Ronnie drove out of the hospital.
“Your house or where?” Ronnie asked.
I gave him the direction back to the cabin since I have everything there but it pained me that they have to know about me and Novan’s hideout.
“Now I know where that big head has been hiding.” Nina grinned.
I requested for the bill and my eyes threatened to fall out at the amount. Okay, I have money to pay but this is enough to send me back in a coma if I was still the sixteen years girl living in a cottage back in Paulo and yet, it has been paid.
“Who paid? I have money to pay for it.”
“We know you have money to pay for it. Fuck, more than enough but one good turn deserves another. When even our parents didn’t want to bail us out, you came to our rescue. Now is the chance to return that favor.” Evan who didn’t say much to me that day said.
“Really?” I am baffled. “Thank you so much. This is more than me bailing you.”
“Oh please. Don’t thank us,” Nina said beside me and chewed on her bubble gum noisily while looking outside the window.
These people may look harsh but they’re the nicest people I’ve seen so far.
“I will still thank you anyway because I am grateful.”
Nina glowered at me and the rest just gave me the ‘are you serious?’ look.
We got back to the cabin with the friends bickering till we arrived. They helped me to bed even when I told them that I am alright and I can manage.
“What a wonderful place.” They keep praising the place.
“Donovan is such a Romeo.”
“He created his own love nest.” Nina laughed.
“We should put a ladder against the window so he could climb from the balcony as Romeo does.” Ronnie foolishly remarked and they all laughed except Courtney of course.
“Okay, guys. It’s not the time to play laughing jackals. There’s a patient who doesn’t need it.”
“She’s not a patient.” Nina scrunch her nose upwards. “Hey girlie, have you eaten?”
I chuckled. I remember Novan calling me that at a time.
“You sputtered your takeaway all over your expensive car. So you must be hungry. Who’s going to cook for her?”
“You.” Ronnie pointed to Nina.
“Yes, you.”
“Why me?”
“Because you spend a lot of time with Donovan so you must’ve learned to cook from him.”
“Hell no! I don’t stay in the kitchen with him when he’s cooking. Courtney should know how to cook.”
“I can’t cook anything healthy for her,” Courtney said.
“Me too.” Evan concurs.
“Me three. It will be a concoction.” That’s Ronnie.
“If I try, I might poison her.” Evan’s girlfriend Eva also said.
“You’re all losers,” Nina said and walked away.
“You guys don’t have to worry about me really.”
“Don’t say that. You have a shitload of medicines here which demand you to fill your tummy before taking them.” Evan spoke in a calm tone while looking at me sympathetically.
“I am sorry that we can’t cook anything for you. I can try but it won’t be good. I’ve never learned how to cook.” Courtney apologized and sat beside me on the bed.
“Donovan has always been the cook. He doesn’t seem to have a problem making food for us so we never learned.” Eva also sat at the edge of the bed and switched the TV on.
“It’s okay.” I smile at them to show that. They’re all feeling sorry for nothing at all but I am hungry and the injection I took is kicking in.
Nina returns with beads of sweat on her forehead and a tray in hand. “I managed to make something and it won’t be as great as the one your boyfriend makes for you..”
“It’s okay.” She looks shy.
“Alright.” She smiled for the first time at me and brought the tray. “It’s just soup. I made it from what I got in the kitchen.”
“No problem.” I managed to sit up.
“I can feed you.” She offered.
“No thanks.” I laughed and took the spoon. I can see yellow-colored soup, I can see meat. It doesn’t look enticing but I hope the taste shames the devil. Not everything bad looking will taste bad. Some nice looking dishes taste horrible anyway. We’ve seen them before.
Once the soup hit my mouth, I almost spit it out. Yuck. What a typical concoction. This thing has no right to be labeled a soup but a scientific solution or herbal medicine. Damn.
“Is it good?” She asked with excitement on her face. Did she taste it herself before bringing it? By the look on her face, I guess she didn’t.
“It’s good. Not bad.” I smiled and took another spoon. She put in a lot of effort to arrive at this. I can’t make her effort go to waste.
“Really? Try the meat too.” She’s ecstatic. She thinks she prepared something worth entering the stomach. I am only being nice and grateful here and I don’t want to make her feel bad.
I really appreciate her attempt.
I nodded and looked at the others who were looking at me with pity. I am sure they know what I am going through or they don’t.
I raised the meat for a bite and it was good. Good than the soup at least. I took more bite and she squeal.
I ate more meat and drank little of the concoction gently, praying earnestly to not upset my stomach.
They helped me to take the medicines as if I am orthopedic and soon the doctor came.
He recommended that I rest and told Novan’s friends to stay outside for some time.
“We’ll be at the lakeside. Shout if you need us.” Nina said and they troupe out.
“You should pause your fertility pills for your prescription to work fully.” Doc Keegan said to me and I nod.
“The accident was severe and you’re lucky to not have sustained major injuries. We suspected internal bleeding but your result says otherwise.” He said as he rebandaged my forehead and arm.
I can hear Nina and her friends chatting and laughing so hard from outside.
“You’ll feel a lot better tomorrow.” He assured me before leaving.
Almost two hours later, I didn’t hear their voices anymore so I managed to get myself up to check on them.
My barefoot hit the wood floor gently to the door and I opened it. My face met with another once I peeked out and I jumped back in, screaming.
Hands cover my mouth to shush me.
“It’s me, Mariana.”
I stopped screaming into his hands and wriggled out of his hold like a worm in the captive of ants. My eyes opened and it was indeed him.
It’s eleven in the evening. What is he doing here and how did he locate me? I stare at him. He’s just the way he looks but this time, he has a red beanie over his head and he’s looking dashing just as always enough to take my breath away even when I am furious and in pain.
“What are you doing here?” My eyes are wide.
He stares at me with his jaw hanging low and his eyeballs threatening to fall out of their sockets in horrification.
“God! What happened to you!” He cried out, wanting to touch me. I protest but he won’t have it. He held my face and ran his eyes down on me.

“How did you find me?”
“It was simple.”
“They told you didn’t they? You won’t come if you didn’t know.”
“Who told me what? Nobody did. I just knew I would find you here without being told and I didn’t come because of your condition. Hell, I felt it but I was already on my way. I came for other reasons, not this.”
“What reasons?”
“I will talk about that but first…God. what happened to you. Please tell me.” He begged, staring into my eyes with so much worry. I know he cares about me and right now he’s really apprehensive.
“I..I..had an accident.. earlier today in my car but I am okay now. You don’t have to worry.” I looked down at my bare feet.
“Don’t tell me that! Why wouldn’t I worry? Look at you… I am a big asshole but I love you more than anything…I am sorry for doing this to you.” his voice breaks and he sweep me into his arms in a comforting hug. “I am so sorry Mariana.” He mumbled.
I sigh and bury my face in his neck, wiping my nose against his shoulder blades and taking in his scent. A part of my pain melts away just from being in his arms the way I am now after so long.