I Just Can't Say Goodbye

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Losing The Game

He stood by the window,  looking at the old,  giant trees outside. Days passed by so quickly and the engagement dinner would take place soon. He wanted to know the answer. He wanted to know if those days he spent with her had worked some magic into her heart.

During that night of their thanksgiving party when he mistaken her as Hailey, he thought he could deceive himself to accept her as his real wife.  He thought he wouldn't have emotional trouble...that everything would turn out well just the way it was with Hailey.

As expected,  they totally had  different attributes despite their identical looks. Each of them had unique traits and character. Only that during the first days, he couldn't help comparing herself to his wife.He had,  somehow ,  wished she could be the real Hailey who had just gone into some kind of memory impairment like amnesia...

Because of that certain truth he, fortunately,  learned behind her marriage set up with Dr. Jim, he decided to dive into this shallow water of working his way into this woman he did not love. Besides,  his life had already been worthless and meaningless since the day Hailey left him. What would he lose in hooking himself to another relationship even if he was not ready yet to love again?

He did not care about a loveless relationship. All he wanted was to win his way into the heart of Grace so that she would retract on her marriage set up with Dr. Jim. He just could never allow that certain 'someone' to endure that same excruciating pain he had gone through before. He didn't even imagine how  he was able to endure that agonizing pain he went through when Hailey left.  If it were not for his team who supported and understood him all throughout his struggling moments, if it were not for them who helped him see the rainbow after the rain, he wouldn't be able to survive.

He swore to spare 'her',  just as she spared him from death...Because of her, he couldn't care less if his relationship with Dr. Grace would be forever loveless and empty...

"John, breakfast is ready." Dr. Grace's sweet voice broke into his deep thoughts as she popped out her head into the small opening of the door to their bedroom.

Dr. Aijohn did not move. A day after tomorrow would be another lonely day of his life. She would be leaving to marry Dr. Jim.  And Dr. Jim would be leaving Jia to be with her. This was how absurd their situation was!  The irony of it all was the fact that all of these fools would be enduring a loveless relationship. Just because of GREED.  The greed of Dr. Grace who wanted a man who would never be emotionally hers. The greed of her parents who gambled their research launching with her marriage to someone who was even too sick to see her. The greed of Dr. Jim's father who did not care about his own  son's happiness  just because of the dazzling attraction of fame and fortune.

Too late did he realized,   that all throughout these time he was with Dr. Grace, these whole time where he allowed himself to be cared for,  he was, obliviously,  falling slowly for her. He thought he was only acting. He thought that all those steps  he did in wooing her involved no feelings at all. But when her engagement date was finally set,  he couldn't understand why he was hurting. He did not want to admit it even to himself, at first,  but it was already sickeningly bothersome that he already started to become sleepless.

Seeing that he did not move,  Dr. Grace walked towards him. She encircled one arm around his waist and leaned her head into his shoulder.

"What is it? " She meant to ask what bothered him.

Dr. Aijohn turned to her and,  likewise, placed his arm above her shoulders. "Gracie, may I ask something very personal? "

"Sure." They had been together for almost three weeks already and  even shared a bed in all those nights,  did he still need to ask her that?

"Are you still decided about that engagement with Dr. Jim? That will be few days from now. "

Dr.  Grace did not reply. She did not want it anymore. She was already used to being with him,  being cared for,  being placed into a pedestal like a goddess. She was not treated like this before nor given any special importance by a man. And she loved the feeling.  Not only that,  she was already beginning to fall in love with him. In fact,  she had already cancelled her flight back to Georgia.
Though she never dreamed to live in a countryside,  and that it would be the least thing she would do, the forest of EL Nido had already became a paradise in her eyes. Those muddy paths became like gold- and- silver - strewn aisles.  Because this was his world. This was his joy.

Yet,  she did not have the courage to tell him that she had already fallen in love with him. She was not Hailey and she would never be Hailey. She did not posess any power to grab his heart away from her. Perhaps,  it would take her a lifetime to wait for him.

On the other hand, her silence meant 'yes' to Dr. Jim and it instantly made him humiliated. He did not need to wait for her answer.  He did not need to be told the truth that in her heart,  it would always be Dr. Jim. While still early,  it would be better to end this folly once and for all. Or, he would go back to the difficult process of healing and forgetting.

He , also,  wondered at this sudden change of his emotion. Few days before,  he was too confident that he could play the game successfully. He was playing it for that someone he wanted to defend. Yet,  now, this game was hurting him and he ended up as a hopeless player.

He loosened his grip around her shoulder and took his arm away.

"Prepare your things. I would bring you back to your parents."

"John... " She instantly decided to confess  right at this moment but he immediately stormed out of the room.



Marilyn Lucero

Edited: 28.08.2019

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