I Just Can't Say Goodbye

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First Dinner Date

"Are you staying with us? " Anthon asked, knowing that the company accomodated all the engineers and architects in one condominium.

" Yes. "

Anthon saw a flicker in her eyes that reminded him of Jia. Not only that,  her name,  her gracefulness, that soft - piercing gazes... the gentle features of her face, spoke about her.

"Are you free tonight? " Anthon couldn't understand but all of a sudden,  he wanted to spend more time with her.

"Yes. " She answered briefly.

"Can I invite you for dinner? " He said, feeling suddenly nervous that she might refuse.

At seven in the evening,  Anthon took her to a restaurant by the beach which offered a mediterranean and Asian cuisines. They choose a table by an outdoor terrace which could give them a spectacular view of the Arabian Gulf.  The starry night, the magnificent view of the surroundings and the sophistications of the environment blended well into an romantic atmosphere.

Anna was wearing a pastel blue, tight - hugging dress,  a sharp contrast to her usual business outfits which registered into Anthon's mind. He knew she was attractive but it was always concealed by her big,  dark sunglasses. And besides,  he was not interested to look into any of her female colleagues.

He remembered that the sky - blue shade of her dress was the same color that Jia wore during that night when they were on a resort.

"Anna,  how long have been here in Dubai?" Anthon just asked anything to open up a conversation.

"Three years. " Her replies were only brief and concise.

"Is it really your dream to work here? "  He asked further,  trying to start delving into her private life.

"No. Actually,  I ran away from a man whom my parents want me to get married to. "

Anthon laughed softly. "Does he look like a monster that you have to run away? "

"It's difficult to deal with someone you do not love. " She smiled wryly.

Then she returned his question. "How about you? "

The question caught Anthon unprepared that he stuttered.

" I ...I also ran... ran away to forget."

She held her gaze against his and asked. " A woman?  Married to someone else? " She guessed it correctly.

"That's it.. " Anthon chuckled. "It's a long story... but she married my brother,  instead. "

"Sorry to hear that. That must have hurt so much. " She said sadly.

"It doesn't. " He smiled with bitterness.

"Oh? " She couldn't believe it.

"It didn' t just hurt me  but... killed me, instead. In fact,  you're the first woman I have invited out. "

Anna nodded. "Time heals and forget..."

"I hope so. " He smiled.

If not for the common traits she had with Jia,  he would have not wasted his time with her. But that dinner was not the first one,  another  followed,  and another....

___

The supertyphoon,  indeed,   caused catastrophic damages to farms and properties. It even claimed many lives and made many families homeless. Much worse,  was the damage it caused to the plants that would have been the channel of hopes to more of those who were suffering from the debilitating effects of cancer.

Dr. Aijohn's held a press conference. He explained the reason for their temporary stoppage of accepting registrants for the cancer - treatment therapy. He also announced his intention to buy back at a compounded price those products which businessmen held for retail purposes.

Days passed but still no one showed any intention to sell. They traced the records of those buyers and personally negotiated with them,  but all those ended in vain.

He raised the price to P100, 000 per bottle,  but still no one showed up. P300, 000, P400, 000, P500, 000....

The higher the price hike,  the more those entrepreneurs hold on to their gold mines. It made them realized how priceless was Hailey's Pills to their lives,  their family's,  their friends.. that it suddenly became their lifeline. If Dr. Aijohn himself, gave his product this frightening value, how much more for them?

___

At the home of the Waynes,  the whole family is gathered around their dinner table.

"Sweetheart,  since it is summer and Hailey's Cancer Therapy is still not operating,  I am planning for another vacation for all of us. " Jim said sincerely.

Seeing that Jim was so serious about it,  she could not afford to refuse. " Sure,  where do you want it to be? "

"I want us to rent a beach house and stay there for six months. "

"Six months?" Jia was astounded.

"Six months. "

"But I think you are planning for the whole family? Six months is too long for a vacation. " Jia spoke out her confusion.

"They can end their vacation anytime but I want the two of us and the kids spend a longer time away from business,  from work,  from our busy lives." Jim further explained.

Then he turned to his dad. "You may go with us,  as well, dad. All your life you have been busy with the business so it's time to treat yourself a  peace of mind and relaxation. "

"I agree. " Mr. Wayne said . He had already come to realize the value of life,  his family and the irrelevance of wealth in the face of death.

" How about Ate Casey? " Jia recalled Dr. Aijohn's advise in considering about pregnancy.

Few days after that,  the whole family set out for another beach adventure. Ate Casey arrived with her husband and all their minds were prepared to get away from the hustles and bustles of city life.

___
Dr. Aijohn answered a certain call.

"Dr. Aijohn, I have 1 more bottle to go.. "

There was a long silence.  Until now,  no one consented to the reselling of Hailey's Pill.

"I"ll find you a bone marrow donor. "

___
One night,  on the beach where they stayed,  Jia was awaken by a strong wind hammering and slapping through the glass wall of their room. 
She pushed the curtain to the sides,  and saw the moon floating silently  above the quiet water. Its golden rays spread across their room and illuminated the upper thighs of Jim who lied down on the bed above the sheets. Jim always wore pajamas at home,  especially during night times. Even during all those nights when they made love,  she did not see his full thighs, since he always hid behind the covers and dim lights.



Marilyn Lucero

Edited: 28.08.2019

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