(Love in circles)
BY BLESSING SILVER
Nick pulled away after a long hug and gave me a small smile.
“Let’s eat before the food gets cold” he said and I nodded. While he dished the food, I set the table, drawing the cutleries and table cloths near. Nick emerged from the kitchen with a big plate filled with our food and he set it on the table..
“Why’s there only one plate?”
“Cos we’re eating together. Hold on you weren’t thinking that I could eat all this alone, were you?” He asked and I gave him a light shrug “I’m not a glutton. And we’re a couple now, we ought to do technically everything together” he said, drawing out a chair for me.
“Hold on… Everything?” I questioned, making the ‘everything’ more audible.
“Uhm.. Maybe not everything but most things. Sit, I’ll go get some drinks” he said, standing up.
Okay, he’s trying to be romantic.. I understand.
I huff a smile and took the seat.
After dinner and dessert, Nick and I packed the dishes but halfway, he excused himself to answer a phone call. I arranged, wiped and washed dishes in the drainboard and cleaned the kitchen. I used a kitchen cloth to dry my wet hands and I walked out of the kitchen, Nick was still on the phone by the time I got to the sitting room so I left him and walked to my room to redress my leg wound.
I took the small first aid box from a corner in the closet and left it on the dressing table, I opened it to take out a cotton wool when I realized that the bag was empty, Nick must’ve used up the cotton wool and forgotten to replace it. I stood up and walked to the door, heading to the living room to ask Nick if he had some cotton wool. I opened the door to the living room and Nick was still on the couch where I left him earlier..
“Nicholas do you–
The rest of my words trailed off when Nick gave me a slight face frown and I realized he was still on the phone, talking to whoever it was.. I quickly put a finger to my lip and gave him an apologetic look.
I gave Jacqueline a slight frown, she probably didn’t know I was on a call and seeing her next expression confirmed it.. It was cute tho.
“Nicholas.. Is that a lady voice I hear?” Dad’s voice shivered me a little, I didn’t remember he was still on the phone.
“Um yes dad. It’s Jacqueline” I said.
“Oh.. Does she work this late for you?”
“She’s not working dad.. See there’s something I have to tell you” I said.
“Okay. Go on”
“You see Jackie and I kind of live together now in our apartment” I said and dad was quiet for a brief moment..
“Okay, I don’t know what to say to that but for how long have you guys been staying together?”
“Uh three days?”
“Wow. So you’re both a thing now or what?”
“Yes dad. And everything’s like a big story, I’ll tell you all about it when we see” I said.
“Okay sure. Just play it all safe. I don’t want a grand kid without a wedding” he said and I sensed a hint of humor in it.
“Cmon dad.. We’re not doing anything okay?”
“Yeah.. I’m Just kidding. Can I say hi to Jacqueline?”
“You’ll do that when we get to Seoul.. I haven’t told her yet but I’m getting her plane ticket ready. It’ll be done pretty soon ” I said with a low voice, good thing dad heard me.
“Okay. I’ll be looking forward to seeing you both. Send my greetings to her.. I’m hanging up now” he said.
“Okay. Bye dad” I said and the call got disconnected.
I turned to face Jacqueline.
“That was my dad. I was just telling him that we live together now”
She sighed softly “how did he react to it? Was he mad or something?”
“No,” I stood up “my dad isn’t like that, it’s all good.. There’s nothing to worry about”
“See Nick if you’re lying about this just to make me feel calm then you don’t have to cos–
“I’m not lying Jackie. My dad thinks it’s cool even though he sounds surprise cos I didn’t tell him earlier”
“Really. He’s cool with it?”
“Perfectly. Now what was it you asked earlier?”
“Oh.. I needed to redress my wound but there are no cotton wool in the first aid box in my room”
“Right.. I have some in my room. I’ll just get it” I said and she nodded. I walked to my room.
I grabbed a bag of cotton wool and walked back to the living room, I gave the bag to her and she took it after uttering a word of thanks.
“Finish up with your leg and put on something warm.. We’re taking a stroll outside”
“Oh okay” she smiled.
“Will my help be needed?”
“No thanks. You just put on something warm too” she said before walking away.
I woke up the next morning with a rigid body, I reached for my injection and gave myself a shot after a short moment I felt normal. I rolled off bed and stifled a yawn, I grabbed the sheets away and stood up.. I walked out of my room to the living room then to the kitchen and I heard the shrill sound of the electric kettle.. I stayed at the door and watched Jacqueline as she took out the beverages from the fridge..
Last night was a really great one, during the walk we had, we chatted a lot and cracked jokes.. After getting energy drinks, we sat on a bench and talked about the night, enjoying the evening breeze while watching the small bustle of the street..
After the walk we got home and she insisted that we watched a movie since none of us were feeling sleepy, we chose an american series and I played it, halfway through the movie Jackie rested her head on my shoulder, still watching the movie.. After it ended, I looked down and realized that she was fast asleep.. I watched her face for a while, smiling to myself every now and then. I finally carried her to her room and like a baby, she snuggled in my arm.. I didn’t feel like putting her down but her weight was somehow starting to pull me down so I gently laid her down and contemplated on giving her a kiss or not, in the end I pecked her forehead and walked out after turning off the light
“Hey,” Jacqueline smiled, her head tilted to my direction. “You’re up. Good morning” she said and I walked in..
“Morning. How was your night?”
“Fine. What’re you making?”
“Tea and cookie. I wanted to make pancakes or bacon and eggs but I wasn’t sure about what you’ll like for breakfast” she said.
“As long as it’s made by your hands, then I’ll like it for anything” I said and she blushed before looking away..
I walked to the fridge and grabbed a bottle of water, I poured it into a cup..
“Nick.. Can I ask for a favor?” She asked, giving me a slight frown, obviously contemplating..
“Um.. You see I was wondering if.. You know um I–
“You know you’re not saying proper words right?” I asked and took steps close to her “you can tell me anything okay, don’t be shy, ashamed or scared. We’re a couple remember?”
“Yeah.. I.. Just wanted to ask if you could drop me off at the cemetery after school today. It’s been months since I visited my parent’s grave cos Allan forbade me from going there and now that I don’t stay with him anymore, I feel like I should visit them”
Okay so he forbade her from visiting her own parent’s grave.. Is that guy even human at all?
How can you just hate someone overnight for a stupid reason.
“Of course. We’ll get flowers and go there together after school” I said.
“Thank you” she said and I nodded.
“If you need anything else don’t hesitate to ask okay.. We’re not only friends, we’re a couple” I said and she smiled..
After breakfast, I prepared for school and left with Jacqueline, I saw her off to her class and moved to mine..
During lunch break, Jacqueline and I, together with her friends went to the cafeteria and for the first time in a very long time, I sat at the same table with people and ate with them.. I realized that hanging out with friends was kind of fun and I couldn’t help but laugh when Martha and Lance got into a childish quarrel.
After school, I dropped at a flower kiosk and purchased two big bouquets of chrysanthemums.. I left them on the back seat and started the car to the cemetery.
“Jacqueline.. I want you to go with me to Korea” I suddenly said after a swift turn and I could feel her gaze on me..
“Um.. Why?” Her voice was filled with uncertainty..
“Cos I want you to be with me when I go to the theatre and I want us to start a new life over there, together” I said and she was quiet for a while..
“What? You don’t want to go?”
“Don’t get this wrong Nick.. I do. It’s just that I’ll miss my friends plus I don’t know how it’ll feel like over there or if I want to be with you and let you go on a journey of life and death.. Even after considering all the consequences, you’re still willing to go on with it, I mean becoming human?” She asked and I nodded.
“I don’t know why I feel so confident about this but they’re still so many important people on earth that needs me.. I don’t think God will take my life just when my wish’s about to get fulfilled and besides, will you be willing to spend your life with someone like me?” I asked.
“Yes.. Of course. I’ll rather stay with you forever this way, with your disease than lose you without it”
“I won’t die Jacqueline and I believe you now but we don’t know about the future and how serious it’ll be by then. I need to do this Jacqueline, there’s no harm in trying”
“But what if that trial.. J-ju–
“No negative thoughts. It’ll all go well, okay and I want you to think about going with me and remember I’m not leaving you here alone” I said and she sighed softly before looking away. I know she’s worried and sincerely, I’m worried about it too, my dad also wants me not to take the risk but I have to.. We don’t know when an opportunity like this will come again and I can’t lose this one.. I just have to do it and encourage everyone so they don’t know how scared I am too..
This is like my only option and I just can’t back out now.
Nick parked at the cemetery after the whole tension in the car and I was glad I could breath in some natural air.. My minds still heavy, just thinking about him.
As we got to my parents grave, Nick dropped a bouquet on the sand of my dad’s grave and said some really nice words to him, he even thanked him for putting me in my mom which I of course giggled to.. He gave me a smile and decided to give me some space to speak to my parent.. He walked away after it.
I knelt in front of mom’s grave..
“Mom,” I started “How’re you doing?
I know you’re fine and I’m doing fine too. You see, I’ve stopped living with Allan, I know I decided to stay until he changes but I don’t think that can ever happen, Allan can never change back to the guy we know..” I sniffed “left to me, I know I would’ve been with Allan, stupidly taking his torture and hoping he would come back someday but thanks to someone, someone very special and vital to me, I realized that people change but not just everyone. Nick showed me that. And not only that Mom, he helped me, he loves me and treats me like a princess and I love him too mom. I don’t know where Allan is but I pray he’s doing fine wherever he Is now and I’m deeply sorry for breaking my promise to you and dad.. I just couldn’t help it.
Mom, dad,” I faced my dad “I know you both want the best for me, you want me to live a good life and be happy and I’m doing all that now but my friend, the one I love is going to have an operation and his chances of living is very small.. This is very important to him mom and he’s important to me, it’ll make me very Sad if he.. dies and I know you don’t want your daughter to be sad.. I need you both to protect Nick and make his operation successfully, I don’t want him to die; he’s my savior mom.. He’s my only earthily family now. Please lead him safely, please.” I said.. “And please give me the strength to be able to take this all. I promise to visit you guys before I leave and I’ll bring a lot of your favorite flowers,” I sniffed, smiling amidst the tears.. I wiped my nose. “I love you both so much, I always have and always will” I closed my eyes for a while, letting the breeze talk.. My heart was heavy with a lot of things and Nick’s surgery was the biggest now. I don’t think I’ll be able to watch him go to a place that could cost his life, I don’t think I’m ready and strong enough for it. It’s just been a day since we both started dating and I’m just getting to see more of his sweet side and loving him more, I’m not ready to let it go, I’m not ready to go back to my past life without Nicholas in it.. I don’t think I’ll be able to live with it.
I can’t do this.
I opened my eyes and wiped my tears, I stood up and stared blankly at my parent’s grave. I sighed softly and turned to go, taking a step and sighting the figure before me I stopped. For a moment, my head registered Nicholas but after a clearer look, the figure and face almost made me jump out of my skin.. My eyes bulged out of its socket and my breathing became coarse. I stared at his face and a rush of familiar fright rushed up my system and formed a lump in my throat, I constantly tried to gulp it in. Allan had this deep smile on his face, or you could call it a smirk that looked rooted.. I looked around, searching for Nicholas like he was my only hope now but I didn’t see him anywhere around here.. My fears resurfaced, sending heavy goosebumps to my skin..
Allan took a step toward me, not saying a word and his face still holding onto the smile.. I wanted to pull back but my legs suddenly couldn’t move, it felt stuck to the ground.. Allan took another step, my breathing went up to a faster pace..
T. B. C