I Just Can't Say Goodbye

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Her Dark Secret

Giselle was not able to sleep the moment she went back to the hotel where she stayed. Her mind was on Anthon. If only she knew then,  she would have not invited him. She was adding another cut to that festering wound inside his heart.

Who would know what Jia had in mind?  Even Jim himself was surprised! How true was Jia with her feelings? Was it because she wanted to repay all the kindness that Jim did towards her and her son? Had she truly forgotten Anthon?

She picked up her phone and called Anthon. He did not pick it up until her twentieth attempt.

"Giselle.. What is it?" Their was reluctance in his voice.

"I'm worrying about you.Where are you? "Giselle demanded.

"Room 343." Anthon replied.

Giselle took long and hurried strides towards his room. Her room was just next door!  After several knocks,  Anthon opened the door.

He was already wearing a white shirt paired with black jeans.His eyes were red,  obviously from crying. 
Giselle sat beside him and rubbed his back. She did not say anything until her pestering guilt became unbearable.

"Ton,  I'm so sorry. Back then,  if I had not told Jia about our marriage plan,  she would have not misunderstood. And if I have not agreed to the marriage right from the start, perhaps...."

Anthon did not reply right away. After what seemed like eternity,  he finally replied. " None of us,  wanted it that way. There was no one to be blamed. Perhaps,  each of our fate has already been written and decided." There was so much bitterness in his eyes.

Giselle just listened. Her ached more upon realizing how his conceipt had been muddled by depression.

She still strongly believed that each one's lives, however it were being lead,  were purely based on the decisions and choices being made.

"How can I ever forget? " He buried his face in his two hands and his shoulders trembled.

"Be strong for your son." Giselle tried to comfort him though she knew it would not work.

"Who knows that someday you would just laugh about this then? It may be difficult but not impossible. Look at me. I also have my own story of survival..."

Anthon looked at her. He now remembered that she, too,  had gone through a lot of pain and emotional struggles.

"How did you do it? "Anthon got curious....

When Giselle ran away on their wedding day,  she flew off to Japan.  How she got her visa was through a desperate bargaining for her freedom. She was willing to suffer alone. She just could not allow both herself and Anthon to get entangled to a loveless marriage. She could not bear the guilt anymore. She knew how much Jia was head over heels in love with Anthon. And they were both dear to her heart as friends.

She could not forget that day when Anthon requested to see her after Alex death.

"Gis,  this week, my parents and I are going to talk to your parents about our marriage. If we are going to delay it,  it would be already uncomfortable for you." Anthon kindly said.

"Ton,  we don't love each other and the baby I am now carrying is your brother's flesh and blood. How could you ever swallow it? "

Anthon did not reply for a long while. Perhaps, the bond of friendship which existed between the two of them was the reason that he accepted it.

"Gis, it is Jia I want to marry,  instead. You always know about it from the very start.  But she ran away. I just could not find her no matter what. I'm afraid that her running away must be perhaps because she got pregnant. I don't know why but I feel it this way. Everynight,  I dream about her,  her pregnancy and our baby..."

Since then,  Giselle was bothered so much. What if Anthon would finally find her after their wedding? Would she be able to bear the thought that while Anthon was physically hers,  his heart belong to her bestfriend? What if Jia was indeed pregnant?

It was her employer who helped her. A sixty year old foreigner who was one of the investors of a company in Mactan Export Processing Zone. With his influence,  she was able to get a job.

Life was difficult for her then. She was pregnant and was alone in a foreign country.  After few months,  out of her desperation,  she got into a secret relationship with a co - worker.

The relationship had been well. He cared for her. He did her household chores. He cooked for her. And her heart had learned to trust again.

A day before her expected day of delivery, as she was preparing her things and the baby's, she gave him her bank account details. He would be the one to run around for her needs during her delivery. Only to know, after giving birth,  that all her savings was gone. And her lover had run away.

Worse than that, her baby got into meconium aspiration syndrome,  a condition where an infant had inhaled or aspirated a meconium during delivery.

She was drained financially,  not to mention her emotional breakdown. Her baby need to stay longer for more than a week to be treated with the infection. Nobody visited her. All of her workmates were busy. She even could not call home for help. Her family was still angry and all communications among them was totally cut.

She then remembered her employer.
He indeed came and paid their hospital bills. Not only that,  he bought her and her baby an expensive apartment and supported all her financial needs. He transferred a big amount into her savings account. He even got her a  helper. He gave her a car.

The story did not end there. When she had fully recuperated, her employer's visit became frequent. He stayed, not just for few minutes but through whole nights. And he slept with her.

He was already a widower but was not free. Their relationship must remain a secret,  or else,  great troubles would be invited. He had sons and daughters with his first wife who definitely would not give her peace.

Marilyn Lucero

Edited: 28.08.2019

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