I Just Can't Say Goodbye

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Empty Promises

Back at home, Jia fell asleep in Jim's lap. After making sure that she was in deep sleep, he placed her gently in the pillow and tucked her under the comforter. He went out and headed to the kitchen. He, then,  picked up a chamomile tea bag,  dipped it into a tea cup and placed it on top of a coffee table beside a window. It  looked out into an empty lot of the subdivision. Old trees lined up at the borders, making it a darker and lonelier place at night.

He placed a chair beside the window and looked outside. Cold breeze filled the atmosphere. He just could not get off his thoughts away from his dad. Jia had, indeed,  pampered him to the extent of removing his shoes from his feet. She even prepared his toothbrush routinely with a paste and placed it above his brush cup. She prepared all his meals and made sure it was hot. He did not have to worry what to wear,  even his socks were readied ahead. This went on for six long years and when she was shortly separated,  he felt he almost died of loneliness. His whole system was yearning for her presence and her care.

What if his dad was right?  His world had, indeed,  rotated around her and her son. What if he just indeed became  so dependent on her that he mistakened it as love? What if he would try to set his eyes on another woman and see the difference? Would he still feel the same?

What would he feel if he himself would hear the derisions of the people against her? Would he remain as her strong defense? Would he remain unaffected? Would he still be willing to fight for her?

He stayed there shortly before the dusk set in, his cup of tea untouched. He finally made up his mind!  His dad was, indeed,  right.

It was already past one in the afternoon,  but Jim had not come out yet. Jia went inside his room and saw that he was still fast asleep. But she was already worried. He missed two meals already. She sat down by his side and ran her fingers on his forehead. Her thoughts flew back to their conversation in the coffee shop. He was asking her to fight with him. He was asking her to be with him all the way as they will go against the higher world of his family and connections. How would she fight for him?

She held her gaze at him for so long until he showed a slight movement. She, then, bent down and planted a kiss at his lips. But when she straightened up, Jim suddenly pulled her down again and kissed her deeply until she panted.

"Because you wake me up, you deserved that! " Jim chuckled as he watched Jia catching for her breath.

"You need to eat. Up! " She, then,  stood up by the bed and pulled him out. They both walked out of the room with his arm hooked around her neck and her arm around his waist. They went directly to the dining table where Jia had prepared ahead.

Hearing some commotions outside, Jian rushed out from his toy room and bounced his way to Jim.

"Daddy! " Jian exclaimed happily as he hopped on to his arms.

"Daddy bought  something for my baby! " Jian's eyes widened as he remembered him asking what  he did want.

"I did not say what I wanted but, yeeeey! What is it,  dad? "

"It's in the car. Wait,  I'll get it." Jim said as he turned to the door.

"It's in your toy room. I placed it  under your lego rack. Go, look for it and do not disturb your dad. He still had not eaten! " Jia said,  sending away the child to his playroom.

Jim still turned and went with Jian inside his playroom. When he saw him carrying the box,  he, hurriedly,  went back to the table. He was,  indeed,  very hungry. He ate fast and when he was halfway,  she glanced at Jia who was silently watching him.

"Sweetheart, I will book a ticket for you and Jian today. You need to go back to the Philippines and meet someone. I will give the instruction later."

Jia stared at him. What was he saying about? Why would he want her and her son go away from him when he was facing a battle here?

Just then,  Jim's phone rang. Her eyes turned to the phone and saw "Dad calling.. " on the screen. Jim glanced at her and their eyes locked. Jia suddenly became nervous.

Jim picked up the phone and turned on the speaker.

"Son,  come to my place now at Graham's hotel. I and Dr. Grace is waiting for you. Ahh,  by the way,  I went down for a while to order something but I left an instruction to the receptionist to give you a swipe card. Room 647."

Jim looked straight into Jia's eyes. The latter nodded and instructed him to take a shower while she prepared him something to wear.

Jia felt something sharp cutting her heart into half. Jim's dad would be meeting Dr. Grace,  instead. He already knew about her but did not even dare to give her a call to acknowledge her as his coming daughter - in -law! He wanted to meet Jim and Dr.Grace together,  instead.

She wanted to cry but she knew she needed to be strong. Promises could be as fleeting as a broad daylight.It could be shining brightly for many hours but could never be stopped when darkness would set in its place. Just as promises. Anyone could say it loudly and surely but no one could ever hold it when it would turn empty. Just like bubbles. It could hold rainbows as it float beautifully,  but no one could stop  when it burst into  dusts of moisture!

"Auntie, could I leave Jian with you for a while?" She then picked Jian up with his lego and brought him over to Auntie Elsa's house.

When Jim was done,  she had already turned on the car's engine and seated herself on the driver's seat. Jim frowned when he saw her but he knew he could not let her go back inside.

Marilyn Lucero

Edited: 28.08.2019

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