I Just Can't Say Goodbye

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When You're Ready

Early the next day, Jim and Hailey set out back to the island. Perhaps due to the pollution of the city and the weather changes where she was no longer adapted to,  Hailey felt unwell. With headache due to clogged nasal airways and episodes of sneezing,  her body was heavy and tired.

She sat down on a couch with Jim in their favorite corner inside the yacht where they could have a perfect view of the sea.  As they sailed past some islets and across the big waves,  she suddenly fell to her side as she drifted into sleep.

Jim was startled from his train of thoughts and he turned to her abruptly. But Hailey instantly straightened up  and laughed at herself. Seeing her alright,  Jim cast her an amused look and smiled but he turned his gaze right  away again towards the sea.

She tried hard to stay up but after an hour, she unconsciously drifted into sleep again. As big waves suddenly slapped into their vessel due to an overlapping ship, she fell down again from her seat.

Jim hurriedly stood up and picked her up. To prevent her from falling again,  he wrapped an arm across her shoulder and placed her head in his chest.  Hailey was stunned and fidgetted for a moment.  She straightened up but Jim pulled her down again.

"Go back to sleep." He said as he seriously looked down on her.

She closed her eyes but her sleepiness disappeared. What followed next was the hammering of her heart. She felt a sense of thrill and excitement but she quickly brushed it away. She knew she should not presume or live a life of elusion. Seeing him how he was hurting,  it was very clear that she would have no place in his heart. This protectiveness he was showing now was just purely an act or an etiquette of a gentleman.

As minutes passed, she felt cold and  had goosebumps all over.  Feeling her body close to him, he frowned and touched her forehead.

"You're hot. " Jim exclaimed.

Shuddering,  she replied. "It's nothing. "

"Don't take it for granted. Let's go back to the city. "

"No,  I'm always like this whenever I am in the city. Perhaps because,  I had been in the island and the forest most of the time. "

"What's with it? " He didn't get what she meant.

"Perhaps, the pollution, travel and anxiety made my resistance weak,  Dr. Jim. "

"You're anxious? " He asked, wondering what caused her anxiety.

She grinned weakly. "I have already heard about the news of Jia and Anthon's marriage. And I am afraid that you won't be able to accept it. "

Jim laughed. "If you were able to endure your pain,  why not I? And you should not take my own burden into your shoulders."

Hailey chuckled. If only he knew that he was the reason of her resiliency!

"Hailey,  can we just call each other by our names? "

She stole a glance at him,  feeling awkward at the thought.

____

The moment they arrived,  Hailey went directly to her room. She wanted to curl up in her bed and sleep as she wanted. A weight was already lifted out from her the moment Jim decided to come home and she could now sleep in peace.

After who knew how long,  she was awakened later by a  cold sensation in her skin. She squinted and saw Jim's face as soon as she opened her eyes.  She looked around and realized that Jim was doing her a tepid sponge bath.

"Dr.Jim..." She began to protest.

"Jim. "

"J - Jim,  what are you doing?"

"You're burning with fever!" He said.

"Am I? "

"Where do you place your medicines? I'll get it. " He asked.

"I don't have. Stop worrying,  I'll be alright in a while. "

Jim went out of the room and Hailey went back to sleep again. When he was back,  he was already with a steaming pot of vegetable soup.

"Hailey,  wake up! " He said as he gently touched her head.

She got startled and abruptly sat up. 
" What is it! " She asked,  still being confused.

"Nothing.  Just put something on your stomach. You had been sleeping for long hours already. "

She looked at the bedside table. And she saw right away the steaming pot, a bowl and a set of cutleries.

"You should have not bothered." She said,  feeling uncomfortable with this treatment.

He replied with a smile and helped her with her plate.

"Sorry for the bad taste. I'm never good at cooking." He smiled.

She laughed and then started to eat.

"It taste good. How can you say that you're not good? "

"Really? " He felt flattered. It was the very first time he cooked. Before Jia came into her life,  he already had a cook. And eversince she was with him,  she pampered him with her cooking prowess.

" I swear. "

The truth was that it really tasted awful. But to appreciate his effort,  she pretended and forced herself to consume it all!

"This would be tastier if next time you would add a little salt!"

Jim laughed and it was ever the first time she saw him  laughing genuinely!

" Hailey,  I want to  go overseas and study..."

Hailey was dumbfounded. Jim had already mentioned about this but she did not expect that he would really take this sEarly the next day, Jim and Hailey set out back to the island. Perhaps due to the pollution of the city and the weather changes where she was no longer adapted to,  Hailey felt unwell. With headache due to clogged nasal airways and episodes of sneezing,  her body was heavy and tired.

She sat down on a couch with Jim in their favorite corner inside the yacht where they could have a perfect view of the sea.  As they sailed past some islets and across the big waves,  she suddenly fell to her side as she drifted into sleep.

Jim was startled from his train of thoughts and he turned to her abruptly. But Hailey instantly straightened up  and laughed at herself. Seeing her alright,  Jim cast her an amused look and smiled but he turned his gaze right  away again towards the sea.



Marilyn Lucero

Edited: 28.08.2019

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