Part Two is the turning point of the story, when I wrote this, I affected and it churns my stomach on, and I have this rapid breathing…on how to make the plot less painful. Hope you enjoy!
January 16, 2012
“What’s wrong, dear?” I ask as soon Ferj picks his phone.
But he never speaks. He just listens to my voice. I never noticed that he called up so I have registered 25 miscalls.
“I’m sorry. I’m engage on the other line, and I have a rush reports to attend. I’m beating a deadline. Promise, it would never happen again.” I explain my side, assuming he wants some explanation.
“Okay, pick you up later.” He said as he hangs up the phone.
I’m dumbfounded. I don’t know what happens. For four years of having together, it’s the first time Ferj became insensitive. I just console myself, maybe he’s just tired. We have undergone a lot of petty quarrels and so far all goes well. I try to focus at work yet I feel uneasy, I know something is wrong.
“ I’m here outside your office.ready to go?” Ferj text message arrives as I filed my reports, so I saved my work and shuts down my computer.
“Coming in a minute, dear. =)”.I replied while I’m running to an elevator. My hearts beats so fast as if I’ll be electrocuted. There is something wrong that I can’t pinpoint what it is.
“Hi, how’s my dear?” I smiled as he open the front seat.
“I’m fine. “ He said abruptly, he started the car and drives in silence.
“What’s wrong? You acted strange since this morning. ” I asked.
“Okay. In case, you’re ready to talk about it, just call me.”
He just nods and focuses driving until we reach home. I feel paranoid but I just content myself staring at him. I want to cry but I hold my tears.
“Thanks. You want to drop by first and I’ll prepare our snacks?” I offered.
“No. I go ahead. Just take care.”
“Okay. I love you, you take care too. Drive safely.” As I open the latch, I never heard him to say his ‘I love you too’ or his ‘I call you later’. Instead, as soon as I got out, he started the car. This was the first time he acted weird. I know he’s not mad but he’s not on himself as well.
I put my phone in my pocket so that if Ferj calls, I can answer it right away. I waited his call till bed time but no familiar number registers. So, I try calling him, just to know his alright.
“Hello, good evening”, a woman answers Ferj phone.
“Hi can I talk to Ferj?” I ask trembling
“I’m sorry, but he can’t. He told me to answer his phone because he’s doing something.”
“Okay. Just tell him I call.” I bid goodbye and started to cry.
I wanted to die. I feel so cheated. I don’t want to be judgmental but who’s that girl that answers his phone?! For Christ sake, do my boyfriend cheating on me?! It can’t be his mom, because his mom and dad went to Canada for vacation. It can’t be Suzan because I know her voice and I bet she’s busy reviewing for her preliminary exam. Neither it’s her girl cousins because they know me as Ferj girlfriend, and besides they used to call me “Ate”. So is she the reason why Ferj acted strange lately? Is she a new girl?
I can’t sleep the whole night. I spend thinking and balancing figures out why it happens… why Ferj acted so strange… why he’s doing this to me? When was the time I cheated him? Feel him unloved? I never had an answer… I decided to leave him a message instead before forcing my eyelids to shut.
“ Dear, I know you’re not in a good mood to talk this out, and I don’t want to sounds a jealous or paranoid girlfriend, but can I hear you out…soon? Always remember I love you.”
As the confirmation message “ sent” appears, I put my phone on my bedside table, grabbed a sleeping pills under the drawers and swig a bottle of water. I pulled my sheets and dropped myself down feeling exhausted—emotionally.
Morning came, I feel bad to come to office. My heads are spinning as if I’ve been drugged. I check my phone for possible message from Ferj… and found nothing. I called my secretary and told her I’m not coming. Any urgent matters, and appointments will be re-scheduled next week. I just made an alibi that I’m not feeling well.
I tried not to move, I pretending asleep just to ease the pain, the torture. I can’t found any adjectives what I feel. I feel paranoid and I can’t help but cry. Now crying is an easy way out to release all my anguish. I want to shout, I want to get this over… I want this to end soon! Just to ease the pain, I pull my diary and started scribbling, the way I used to, but this time, it’s a painful journal. How cruel, how Ferj make me so miserable. My hands are shaking while I jot down, I feel stabbed and rejected… I doze off without even noticed.
I wake up late. My stomach is growling and I realized its past three in the afternoon. I haven’t eaten yet, the reason why I feel so weak. I checked my phone and there’s a voice mail left.
“Hi my dear, I dropped by at your office this lunch, only to found out your absent. Are you okay? I’ll go there at your house after my conference, maybe at three? I’m sorry babe. I’ll have an explanation to make. I love you.”
I throw my phone in exasperation! So easy to amends, huh? I cursed myself for being so weakling. How come I forgive so easily? Just hearing his voice again, vanished the pains away, all the pains had been sooth. Maybe a slogan of ‘foolish Fia’ fits in me. I wipe my tears back, and headed to bathroom when I heard a screech at the gate. I peep through my window, and see him standing outside. He just stands there, maybe thinking to buzz or not. Then, he pulled his phone and started dialing. My phone rings, I waited to three rings before pick it up.
“Hello” I said plainly and hoarse.
“I’m here outside, can I talk to you? Please, I’ll be waiting.” And I hear him sigh.
I never answered back; instead I put him on hold and go downstairs. I count three times, have a heavy sigh and open the door.
“Are you okay?” he asks as soon as he sees me.
“Not really. I feel bad, you make me feel bad.” I confess
“Oh, sorry dear for acting weird yesterday, got problem at the office lately.” And he put his arms around my waist and walked me inside the house.
“Am I still not forgiven?” he asks as soon as we sit at the sofa.
I just shook my head. I want to confront him why somebody answers his phone last night but I never had guts to open my mouth and speak up, instead I just looked at him and clasped his hands.
“I never used to your torture, you know that” he said as he waited for me to speak up. “I know you hated me for not sending any message last night or to call you up, I’m sorry I have to settle some things up… And I’m sorry but it is not the right time to tell you and I never intended to hurt you, to make you feel bad this way. I love you, you always know that.”
“You know what, why I feel bad?”
“No. Unless you will spill it out” he said in a low voice.
“Coz… because you I called you last night, only to found out, somebody holding it, and worst it’s a woman.”
“Hmmm..so my wifey is jealous that’s why I got a cold treatment today.” He managed to smile at me and wrapped his arm against my waist and planted a kiss on my cheek.
“Don’t use your seductive smile at me, just to appease me and forgive you.”
“If it’s only the way so you can forgive me, why not?” and he chuckled and continue, “You remember Lian, my doctor cousin, who now work and resides in States, he just arrived few days ago, and I was with them last night. I’m sorry I keep it secret because I was there for his Bachelor’s Party, and I’m afraid you will not let me to go… “
“You must tell me, so that I will not worry about you. You frightened me, and you make me feel paranoid. Sorry.”
“I’m sorry; I will not do it again. Am I forgiven?” As he faced me and gives a long kiss.”
“You’re unfair, I said after the kiss. “So you haven’t told me because you assume I will not let you see those sexy ladies, wearing a skimpy shirt and a top, huh?”
He just giggled and wrestled me. “You bet!” he shouted as he runs towards the room.
I followed him still laughing and closed the door behind us. I’m just happy that I have Ferj in my life and I’m always looking forward to be his wife pretty soon…
I wipe my tears for the flood of thoughts that engulfs me. It was almost midday, but still sun is nowhere in sight. I glanced over the park and few students are loitering, maybe they skip classes or they just have something to think about, just like me. I started my car and headed home. I can still make up for a half day’s work.
It was past nine in the evening when I go to the hospital to visit Ferj. I was given access to visit and stayed with him till morning. I bring along Yuan, our adopted Chihuahua, for him to see. I knocked the door and I heard Tita Beth, Ferj mom, to come in.
“Hello, good evening” I said as I come in, kissing Tita Beth and Tito Jerry. I smiled at Ferj, while he is injected by his medicines again.
“How are you, hija? How’s your day, I heard you’re here this morning.” Tita Beth inquired.
“Fine Tita. I work this afternoon and I just left the office at seven, prepared Yuan and my things and headed here.”
“It’s very tiring; you have to take some rest too. We alternately watching Ferj and so far, he’s improving day by day.” Tito Jerry implied.
“It’s okay Tito and Tita, I can manage to go to the office in between. I already instructed my staff to calls me when something is up.”
“So, can we leave you here?!” Tito Jerry said. “Maybe you both have some talks to do”, glancing at Ferj in which he is assisted back to his bed.
“Actually, we were about to leave. We were just waiting to finish Ferj’s medication. Lian advised us to rest and he will have to watch Ferj from time to time, but I’ll be sending Suzan for Ferj company.”
“No problem Tita, I will stay till morning. You can advise Suzan to be here at six in the morning instead,”
“Thank you Fia. And Suzan will be happy to hear it.” Tita said.
Ferj Mom and Dad bid goodbye after a few minutes. I settled Yuan sleeping bag, in case he will be fall asleep, when I heard Ferj coughing.
“Dear, are you okay?” I asked.
“Yes, dear. I just want to be noticed.” He smiled at me, as I walked towards him.
“You frightened me.”
“Sorry. How’s your day?”
“Fine. I just spend my afternoon at the office, making some calls and done some invoicing. My files piled up already, so I left past seven. How about you?”
“Same as usual. Lian dropped by here this afternoon straight from the airport. He checked my condition and he will be the one accompanying me for my next session”
“I heard Tita mentioning Lian’s name but I never paid attention earlier. “
“Maybe you still hated him, when he dragged me into his Bachelor’s Party and you still jealous over his wife” and flashing his smile, remembering what happened year ago.
“Of course not. I can’t forget how you manage to keep secret about your condition to me.”
“Because I always want to protect you from pains and I was still under shock that time, you know. I was not in myself when I hear it straight from the doctor. But, there’s no secret remains untold, cliché goes,” He looked straight into my eyes as he said that words.
“I know. But I’m also in pain when I see you like that.”
“Don’t be. It’s just a test of God to me, I can handle this. He’s always at my side, right from the very start, until I have you now. I love you dear.”
“I love you too,” I hug him and he kiss me back. “Now, you have to take some rest, Yuan and I will be right here.” Pointing Yuan at the side of the room snuggle at his sleeping bag.
“Oh, I miss our baby.” He said, referring to Yuan. “Thanks for bringing him here”
“Welcome. For sure he misses you and your bone-shaped cookie”
“That’s pampering is all about.”
And we both laugh on the idea how he spoiled our pet dog. It was his gift during our fourth anniversary and we baptized him with our favorite baby name. He always considered Yuan as our eldest.
“You always used to say that we will consider Yuan as our son because you have your vasectomy.”
“Oh crap!” And he laughed again. “I promise to give you two babies, remember?”
“Yeah. One cute, be-dimpled baby boy and a curly-haired, pretty baby girl”
“Aha, with specifications? Good Lord, have mercy. I was tormented by my girl, already.”
“Are you refusing, young man?”
“Of course not, I’m very submissive hubby, you know that.”
“Good. You better sleep now and reserve all your swimming tadpoles, okay?”
“Okay.” And he wrestled me into his arms and pretending asleep.
“You can’t fool me.” I tickle his nose and he burst into laughter. “See?! You’re a cheater!”
“Of course not.” I was about to sleep but you disturbed me,” rolling his eyes.
“Okay. Okay. You win!”
“Good girl. Good night, dear. I always love you.”
“Good night too” I mumbled as he gives me my goodnight kiss.
It’s almost midnight and Ferj was already asleep. I was resting beside his bed and insomnia attacks me tonight. I already try to count jumping sheep but no to avail. And memories flooded as I closed my eyes again…
It was 16th of January when I received a call from Tita Beth informing Ferj was rush on the hospital. I was in the midst of a meeting and I can’t leave my team and the company’s auditors. After my appointment, I rushed to the hospital where Ferj was confined. I can’t imagine how it happened coz a day before we’re enjoying each other at Swan Lake—just a pastime we both enjoy.
He was diagnosed of Lupus and all his internal organ are slowing down. I can’t help but cry and asking God why it happens to him. Lupus attacked in a very tricky way, there’s no cure only you have a strong system. It can worsen a patient or will recover depending on how his body can fight all those “bad cells” eating and gnawing his body system. When I was given a chance to be near from him, all I can manage was to ask,
“why you keep this to me?”
And he just whisper, “Because I don’t want you to be hurt and worry” and during my vigil at the hospital he tells me everything.
“You remember the night you called and it’s Abbey (Lian’s wife) who answered it? I was with them, at the clinic confirming what the company doctor said about my situation at the very afternoon I was not on myself when I fetch you. I tried to confirm if it’s possible and Lian was the only answer for that. I went to him, check my vital signs and at that very night, I know that I’ll be not staying longer together with you and that saddens me. All my dreams that I’ve built together with you had been collapsed and for some reasons I wanted to die at that very moment. But Lian advise me, that there’s still a hope and possible recovery, all I have to do is fight… And I remember you, and you’re enough to change my mind.”
Six months had passed and still Ferj fighting for us. He battles chemotherapy and dialysis. He had his blood transfusion last month and a lot of vaccinations and vials of medicines on his side. And I can’t accept the fact that what if he will leave me behind. How can I fully stride again, to move forward to a future without him. Thinking of that possibility makes me sick too… but I want to be strong for him, to convince him to stay, and never ever give up.