Do you know how nerve-racking it gets to read an updated chapter? I am not exaggerating. Especially the last few chapters. Well, this just goes to show how much of a consummate writer that you are. The suspense, lies, and everything else is A+. 10/10 would recommend reading.
My heart. Is yours.
Thank you for this inspiring message. I literally held my left boob (where my heart is) after I read this. Seriously. I love you.
Three steps, I think. We’ve taken three steps from the car after he shut the door, when I pulled his elbow once more, signalling for us to stop in our tracks.
He stopped. "You forgot something?"
God, this feels so heavy in the chest. So heavy, I can’t even walk with it. It was frustrating. I thought I’ve gotten past it, by verbalising one of the two things I meant to tell him. But still, a part of me is urging itself to say. The other truth.
The lack of response from me and my refusal to walk further led him to look down to my feet. "Your heels hurt?"
I shook my head. ”No.”
There goes Sergio’s clueless face again. "What is it then?"
Another deep breath.
"Sergio, I have to leave."
Sergio was clearly surprised. That one second his eyes widened, he flinched back, mouth slightly opened.
"What, like now?"
I held his arm. "No, no. Not now, but soon. Really soon."
I could tell I’ve gotten him confused. And I could tell he was trying to figure out what the hell I was telling him and where it was coming from. More over, why I was telling him this now.
I expected him to fold his arms and stand there before me, then start questioning me what this is all about. But instead, he took my hand, and led us back to the car. "Let’s talk inside."
Once I was sitting back on the passenger seat and he was seated behind the wheel, he faced me. The quietness inside the vehicle added to the agitation in the moment. My heartbeat started picking up pace, I was worried he might even hear the pumping.
Sergio was looking at me. “What are you saying, exactly?”
I fiddled with my fingers again. "Sergio, I have to go home."
"Go home?" he repeated, both his eyebrows raised, clearly needing me to expound.
But I only nodded as I looked at him.
This led him to let out a short, nervous laugh. "Go home, Jess, I don’t —- like what, what do you mean go home?”
I gulped. "I mean…go back to Miami. Look, I’m sorry. I didn’t expect this either, I ju—-“
"Are you serious?" He cut me almost immediately. Although I don’t think it was meant to really be a question. "Or is this some joke, Jess, I’m not catchi—-“
"Sergio, why would I be kidding about something like this?"
"Well, why?" he quickly asked. ”Why do you need to go home?”
Right. So I knew he was going to ask that. This is it, so I thought to myself. This is when I tell him. The only truth that’s left unsaid. For now. Oh dear. Help me.
"There’s um…there’s something…" I gulped again. “…something my brother needs my help with.”
Yep. Coward. Whatever.
And a liar. I’m such a liar. So going to hell.
And for a moment there, I was apprehensive that he might sense I wasn’t being entirely honest or that I was making things up. Or maybe I was just paranoid about the way he was looking at me studiously. Maybe it wasn’t studiously. Maybe it was just a look. Maybe this is how it feels when you lie to someone you care about deeply. Maybe this is how it feels when you’re not being honest with someone you love.
I couldn’t help it when I bit my lower lip apologetically. Nervously. I thought about it quick, and I almost took it back, really. But I’ve said the lie, now I have no choice but to keep up with it. I’d just be messing things up if I open up to him about this. I’ll just deal with this on my own for now.
"That call I got earlier," I braved to continue, ”he was asking if I could fly back home. He needs my help to fix something. My brother…he, um, he catches himself in some kind of trouble from time to time. Just, this needs me there personally.”
Sergio blinked. "Oh." His back slowly sank into the passenger seat, like he just got drained off energy.
"Sergio?" I softly uttered. "Say something?"
He didn’t, really. Not immediately, at least. As for me, I just looked down to my lap.
“When are you coming back?”
His abrupt question wasn’t entirely out of context, but I guess I just wasn’t looking forward to it. So when it came, I didn’t really have a ready answer.
"Jess?" he softly called. "I said when are you returning to Madrid?"
I only kept my eyes on my fingers I was nervously fiddling with on my lap.
"Jessica, will you look at me?"
This time, I had to look. And what sorry eyes I had.
"I don’t know." I softly whispered. "I can’t tell whe—-"
"Wait, what?" Before I finished my sentence, Sergio’s change in facial expression stopped me. His voice kicked up a notch in pitch for a moment there, too. "That’s just like saying you don’t know if you’re coming back!"
"No, Sergio, it’s…" how do I put this, "I’m just saying I’m not sure when I’ll fly back. I don’t have a date yet. I don’t know exactly when. I’m not saying I don’t know if I’ll ever come back, of course I’ll come back. I have work here, my classes, I have a life here now, I have…" I paused for a moment there. What else do I have? In Madrid?
“Me.” Sergio said, as if I was supposed to say it and I didn’t. "You have me, you know that, right?"
"Of course." I replied. "So really, how can I not return, right?"
Sergio paused for a moment before giving a response, which then was only a slight nod. I was relieved big time, though. I didn’t want to tell any more lies, so I hoped much that what I’ve said was enough.
“Jess, if I may ask,” he asked, and I was nervous again. "What exactly did your brother get in to?"
Shit. What do I tell him?
"He didn’t really say. He just said I have to get home and it’s urgent. He didn’t sound alright."
Fuck. Satan’s got my soul burning right about now. Lies, lies everywhere.
"I see." he nodded. "I hope he gets out of it with your help." he took my hand and squeezed it. "So you can make it back here soon."
I let out a modest smile. "Yeah, me too. I hope for the same."
Sergio pressed his lips together and nodded again, then he took a quick but deep breath. ”Okay, so when are you flying out?”
"I’ll try to book a flight tomorrow. The day after, if I’m lucky."
At this point, I was about ready to get out of the car once more, and this time, really head inside the venue where his friends were waiting to meet us. However, imagine my surprise when Sergio didn’t gesture to get out of the vehicle. Instead, he inserted the car key back into the ignition. Then, he restarted the engine.
"Um, what are you—-" I lifted my back off the passenger seat. “—-where are we going?”
“We can meet Taio and the rest of them next time.” he said. "You need to see to your brother, that’s priority. Besides, there’s no point if you won’t be enjoying tonight, you’ll be ill at ease and bothered about this. I know you’re worried."
"Oh, well, um…"
"It’s okay, baby." he said, this time, backing the car up a bit before turning the steering wheel to the left. Chuckling a bit, he stepped on the gas and we sped off. "There’ll be countless other times you can meet them, trust me. Wait for summer and it won’t be just Taio or Red One."
I smiled, too. And really, as much as I was excited to meet some cool people, Sergio was right. There was no way I’d be enjoying tonight given this thing on my mind.
"So are there stuff you need from your place?”
"Stuff? What you mean, like—-"
"I mean if you’re leaving day after tomorrow, you’ll be packing up tomorrow, right? We can drop by your place to get your things and I’ll help you pack at home." he said. "You have a few things in the laundry, though, you might need to check which ones if you need them."
"Oh," I scratched the side of my head. Almost forgot I’d been sleeping over his place for the past week, practically living there. "Um, I don’t really have a lot of stuff. And I won’t be packing a lot. I can manage, I guess."
"It’s alright." Sergio was driving to the direction of my old apartment, I could tell by the road we were on, "Let’s just take all your stuff, why don’t we? Sort them out at home, pick what you need to pack and whatnot. Do you have house things?"
He shrugged. "Stuff you use at home? Fridge, TV, we can get a van up there tomorrow to take them to the house."
If there was no door in Sergio’s car, I would’ve fallen off my chair. Why did we need to move my stuff to his house again? Am I this poor?!
"Um, Sergio, I…um, wha—-”
"Oh, and you gotta try booking that ticket tonight. Go online, it’s faster. Don’t wait til morning to make a call. If you need to leave the next day, there’s little chance you can get a good seat. Happens in even in business class, it’s no different."
Right. Imagine my tongue frozen inside my mouth as I listen to Sergio take over. Some planning skills you got there, huh? How easy is life for people like him? If it were just me, there’d be fifty per cent chance of me getting on a plane and fifty per cent chance I might be walking my way back to America.
Truth, though? I was guilty every moment. There he was, living up to his word that he’d be there for me, take care of things, help me out in every way he can, not knowing the truth behind all this. It just made everything harder, really. Harder by a hundred times.
"Have you settled rent for this month?"
His questions, really. I understand nothing no more.
"Have I paid rent?"
"Yeah, your rent for your apartment. Have you settled this month?"
I nodded. "Yes, why?"
"How about the next?"
"Um, no." I put on a confused face this time. ”Why would I pay for the next? I mean, it’s monthly rent.”
"Good." he said. "That way when you return, you won’t have outstanding balances. Make sure you talk to the building admin before you fly, so they know they have to give you your deposit back as you won’t be occupying the unit next month anymore. You didn’t break anything, did you? No repairs?"
"Okay, hold it." I turned to face Sergio’s direction and held out my hand, as if to say ‘stop’.”Sergio, I don’t understand.”
Imagine my surprise when he looked more confused than I was. "Don’t understand what?"
I paused and squinted at him. "Why am I giving up my apartment, exactly? I still have plans of going back to Madrid, Sergio, I…."
"Yeah, I know." he shrugged, as if it were a given. "And you’re staying with me."
I've got a lot of questions! Firstly, why are you soooo AWESOME? Secondly, why your's stories are so cute sexy, flawless? thirdly, why I'm always speechless when I read your chapters? Love you sooo much:))))
hi .. i just wanted to say that you are a great writer ,, i enjoyed all your stories especially bouncer and table for one :) i get so excited reading for you cause you give me this feeling through your words and you make me thinks about what i read from you :) so thank you for your work and keep well ;) i hope every thing is go for you now and always :)