"5 minutes more, Lu." I begged my dog hoping he would stop himself from pulling my pants.
"He still not awake, Luci? Bite his toe." A voice from my kitchen echoed through the whole room.
"Hmmmm..." I still groaned. Not giving a damn about the person Luci is talking too. If you can even call Luci's barking a complete sentence.
"He's still not waking up?" The voice asked and Luci barked again in response.
A complete minute of silence before I heard a rustling of footsteps coming my way. And before I knew it, a heavy force fell on my back knocking me out of breath.
"Rise and shine my beloved prince!", Cass yelled as she imitates Ana from the Frozen movie whenever she wake Elsa up.
"Cass, get off my back. You are not Ana." I carefully shook her over so she wouldn't fall off the bed. She would throw a fit if I did.
"Get up before I splash you with a bucket of water! You have work to do young man!" She scolded my tardiness. Her hands on her hips. It was funny looking at her like that. Reminds me of the old woman from Kung Fu Hustle.
I got up before she literally splash me with water. Knowing her, she wouldn't think twice before doing that. What is she doing here anyway?
I sat up from my bed and I immediately noticed the faint scent of a mouth-watering aroma coming from my kitchen. Damn! She must have cooked for me. I got so excited knowing that and quickly run to the bathroom to bathe.
As soon as I got out, she already finished setting up the table. Luci were also eating on his food bowl. I took my seat across her and started digging with my food. She can really cook good food.
"Cass, how did you get in here?" I asked her while stabbing the bacon with my fork.
"Your Landlady trusts me too much. She told me to look after you and Luci since she'll be off to her province for a while." She said in between chewing her food.
"How about the other tenants?"
"I don't know about them. Landlady only mentioned you. Maybe she sees you as a toddler." She winked at me.
"Woman! The nerve you have to say that while eating my food!" I tried to sound mad but I miserably failed because I couldn't hold my laughter the moment she stuffed her face more with foods.
"Correction. It's my food. You bought this to me last Saturday, remember?" She rolled her eyes on me.
Yeah, that I remember. I set off to work after I got myself ready. She was playing with my guitar to Luci and her Azrael the cat which I almost didn't noticed not until he jumped off from the terrace.
Cause I'm just one of those ghosts
Don't need no roads
In fact, they follow me
And we just go in circles
Misguided Ghosts. That was what she was singing when I left her.
Going to work didn't get any better. There's still a lot of traffic in this time in the morning. It's a fortunate that I have my own motorbike to ride and slip through the jam.
"Manager Kath would be here in an hour to check our proposal."
"Hey Lace, I told you to submit your flyers and catalogues last Friday! Aren't you finished already? It's been a week!"
"Kharis, I'm still waiting for that article! Can't you move a little faster for that?"
"What about you, Ashton? Have you finished your tasked? If not, then stop bossing us around!"
"Enough, you dumb pieces of idiots! Get back to your stations and do your own businesses!" Sir Alvarado's voice boom.
It was a Monday morning and this chaos has welcomed me to work. There's a lot of shouting and the whole place were covered with a lot of paper works. A stack of printing materials were almost littering around the carpeted floor probably rejected samples of the flyers. The printing machine kept on running. Kharis was seriously typing on her keyboard pressing a little hardly. Lace on the other hand was pacing back and forth from her computer and the printer. While the good "father-and-son" tandem just look around them and would just gossip about something.
Before I got myself on the hot seat, I immediately submitted my presentation so that they have nothing else to say about me. I already finished my task last week so there's nothing for me to worry about. If anything else, there would only be minor changes for the final presentation and I still have a lot of time to do that.
"I approve this. But you could have done better. You can check Ashton's presentation. It's good. You can learn from it." I don't know if I should take Sir Alvarado's comment as a compliment or not. Everyone of us knows how crappy Ashton's presentation. He couldn't even get the managers' approval. This is also the reason as to why the presentation task were passed on to me.
I sighed. A feeling of being unappreciated washed over me as I took my seat and do my other work loads for the day.
The sun was at its highest when we decided to eat our lunches. I got up and went to the cafeteria and eat. I finished fast and pulled my phone from my pocket to check on Cass. It took her a couple of rings before she answered my call.
"How are you doing? Have you guys eaten your lunch?"
"Yeah, we did. In fact, I just finished washing your dishes on the sink. Oh! I also did your laundry so you won't have to worry about it anymore. Thank my boredom!" I can hear the faint splash of the water from her background.
Cass sent a picture of her with the pets doing some yoga poses. How did she got them pose for a picture, I didn't know. It amazes me to be frank how she can easily befriend everything that surrounds her.
After hours long of work, we called it a day. I got a little bit hungry so I decided to buy something to eat.
On my way to the burger stand, I saw familiar faces. It's been a week since the last time I saw her. And there's still this aching feeling in my chest that wouldn't just go. Venus was with my other friend, Ares. He was my classmate way back in college.
I averted my gaze debating if I should approach them or not. In the end, I decided not to. But things just wouldn't always go the way you want them to be. Because a few moments later, I found them walking towards where I was.
Now that she was standing this close to me, I can see every detail of her. Her aura was screaming she's doing fine. If I may say, better than the last time I'm with her.
My eyes then went to Ares' hand encircling her waist. Her face was void of emotions as she looked at me. Ares' stared at me darkly. I'm at loss here.
"Hey. How have you been?". This was what I could say at the moment. Confusion a little evident on my voice.
"How has she been? Are you seriously asking her that?!" He grabbed my collar and scream at me.
"The hell man! Get your hands off me!" I'm trying to pry his hands. We're attracting unwanted attention and Venus just stood there looking at us blankly.
"You knew I loved her first! You fucking knew that! And you have the audacity to show your face after hurting her like that? Fuck you man! You don't fucking deserve her! She was only asking one thing! And you couldn't even give that to her. A family of her own is what she wanted!"
What the fuck did she told him?
I felt his punches on my face getting harder. He's really mad at me and was determined to beat the shit out of me.
I didn't fought back. I knew he was right at one thing. I couldn't do what she wanted. It's not like I didn't want to marry her. It's just I'm not sure if I can provide for them since my family were also depending on me. I want myself to be established first so I can give them the things they needed. And she knows my reasons.
'Don't ever let yourself get hurt. You know that I'm watching you always. And hell would follow after that.' Cass' words were ringing in my ears.
My lips were busted and I had a little cut just below my eyebrows when I snapped. Afraid of what Cass would do If I received anymore damage and of course, I don't want to get beaten over something people don't understand.
So I pushed him hard.
"Fuck you man! You know nothing! Whatever happened between us is none of your fucking business!" That's what I said before I stormed off.
As I walked away, I saw our squad looking at our little scene. And what they said as I passed them made me rethink our friendship.
"You deserve that punch. You asshole."
I didn't know how I got home. My mind were clouded with so many questions. Now I'm the bad guy for getting out from that toxic relationship. I'm the jerk for hurting Venus. I'm the villain for choosing myself for once.
Fuck those so-called friends. I don't need them. People were all the same. No matter what you do, you'll still be damned without knowing the story behind.
I threw my bag on to the table. I opened up the first three button of my polo and folded the sleeves up to my elbow. I found Cass on the sill of my veranda again sitting on top. She was humming a soft tune when I hugged her from behind. She didn't flinched from the contact as if anticipating me from doing it so.
It's been a tiring day and sometimes all we need is a hug from the person who we know would love us no matter what.
I rested my head on her back as I silently cried. I'm trying not to sob loudly. She'll get worried if I do.
"Cry all you want. I won't judge." She said so softly. Her hands gently caressing my arm around her. Damn, she knew I'm crying. She would always knew whenever I'm hurting.
She shifted from her position and turned to face me without breaking the hug. I couldn't looked at her. She would see my bruises. But I guess what she wants, she would get. Her hands grabbed my cheeks and turned me to look at her. She even angled it a bit to see the blood dripping from my eyebrows and lips. Her face turned dark as her forehead creased a little.
"Cass...." Her name was all I could say before I cried again on her burying my face on the crook of her neck. I probably looked like a baby now seeking comfort from her mother because the thunderstorms scared him off.
"It hurts so much." Then I broke down in front of her.
Good thing was she didn't say anything. She just hugged me back with the same tenderness any mother would do to her child. Her eyes look far ahead. Mind were wondering from thinking deeply before sighing repeatedly.
A few moments later, she tapped my back and I got off her. I went straight to bathroom to take a quick shower and get myself cleaned up. She prepared our dinner and we ate silently. I volunteered on washing the dishes and let her settle on my bed.
"Hey bro. Come here. Let me treat your wounds. You won't like to go to work looking like shit."
I obliged to do so. With her this close to me, I can see her little features. Her eyes looking hollow. Like the fire got extinguished from it. Her skin looked paler compared to her once vibrant complexion. She was still wearing her cuff bracelets from both hands. But this time, I noticed something in her wrists. Lines forming like multiple scars in layers deep. I didn't mind it enough which I didn't know I would regret not knowing it soon. Her fingers delicately worked her magic as she patched my wounds.
She finished treating me up and returned the first aid kit bag on the medicine cabinet. I observed her as she walked back and forth of my room, trying to clean everything that got on her way.
She closed the windows and turned off the television as she ushers me down to go to sleep. She also held my guitar and play a song. A sweet lullabies to my ears.
You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are gray
You'll never know dear, how much I love you
Please don't take my sunshine away
I watched her all this time with another set of questions forming in my mind again.
Cass, what happened to you?