Half Hope, Half Love

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4| Something In The Rain-Part I

Hey guys! How are you? My puppies?

One and a half year later...

The laughter died down my throat the moment I saw them around the dark alley, pressed tightly against each other.

Aghast, I stopped dead in my tracks and turned to look at him in anxiousness as the heavy thunder mixed with the low roaring of unshed clouds reverberated in the background like the ringing storm of destruction ready to swallow everything coming in between.

He was standing still in his place, smile long gone from his handsome features. Instead, his face contorted into the unsual look of disgust, streaks of moisture dripping from his forehead down the chin.

He looked angry, hopeless, lost, deserted, betrayed and appalled, looking at them kissing the life out of each other.

"Heath" I called out his name, my heart beating rapidly in my ribcage.

He gave me a side glance, raising his left hand to stop me in my place which I did while he turned back to glare at the loving couple, his eyes intensifying with burning rage by each passing minute.

Thick and heavy drops of rain drenched both of us to the core, cold breeze fanning my face making me bit my lips in stiffness. I wrapped my arms around myself from cold and took two steps towards him in caution and put my free hand on his shoulder.

He didn't flinch, instead his unwavering gaze continued boring holes into the girl he loved with the soul of his heart, the woman he wanted to spend his whole life with, hell he even decided the names of the children they would have together, two daughters and one son.

The woman he was so happy to have as his lover and his fiance and the woman he was willing to fight against the whole whole world for.

She was his first and last love. He'd be her last, though not her first, she told him, and he believed her.

"Heath" I shook him a little, making him turn to look at me and when he did, I didn't believe my eyes. He looked fazed. He was hurt and it was so evident in his eyes. I knew it was the rain but I also knew his heart was crying.

If not his eyes.

He refused to look at me and removed my hand from his shoulder, pressing his lips in thin line.

"I think we should go." I wanted him to get out of this situation anyhow. If he stayed any longer, I didn't know what he would end up doing.

I glared at her, busy devouring some other man's lips, after making the lamest excuse ever to escape out of her duties. The audacity of that girl to make out in front of her fiance!

I'd tear out those lips of hers and stick it on my bathroom floor as a carpet and wipe my wet toes over them everyday!

My own fingers balled in fists listening to her loud moan and Heath turned his back on them, standing hopeless in rain. Our shoulders were touching but he was facing in opposite direction.

His face was down, wet bangs covering his eyes. He didn't make any attempt to move and I couldn't contain my anger any longer.

I had to stop her. I had to. There wasn't any other way around.

"That girl is gonna get it from me!" I hissed and marched on their direction only to be pulled back to my place, my eyes widening in surprise to see Heath holding my wrist.

He shook his head. "Don't."

"But-" I looked at his fingers clutching my wrist firmly, on place.

"It's not her fault."

I raised eyebrow at him. "How the fuck it's not her-"

"It's my fault."

"Heath." I whispered, my heart burning in my chest. "Please don't say it like that."

He shook his head again. "Yes, Hazel, it's my fault. I didn't love her enough to stay with me for her whole life."

"How is that-" I took a deep breath to calm my nerves and looked at him. "You've gona mad, Heath. It's not your fault she's with someone else. She didn't love you enough from the start. She didn't even love you to begin all this. You were the only one courting her. She didn't even care enough-"

"That's not true! She did care and we had our good times together! Didn't you see we were so happy in love? She was happy with me." He pointed at himself. "Me! By my side! We were so happy with each other! We-"

"No! Only you were happy with her." I pointed at him. "Only you. She wasn't. And everyone saw that! It was no wonder Mrs. Evercrest didn't want you to marry her 'cause she could see your marriage falling apart already if you ever married her-"

He grabbed my shoulders harshly, his long fingers digging into my flesh."But I was gonna marry her anyway! I love her, I don't care if anybody wants me with her or not! I don't need to care-"

"That's because you're stupid for thinking something like that was gonna get you to be with her! You became blind with greed! Do you even have any idea how you've been treating your family lately because of your one-sided obsession with Kiara!? Do you even know how much Mrs Evercrest is in stress because of you being a stubborn jerk for nothing!?"

"What?" He spoke low, glaring at me. His grip on my shoulders tightened and I closed my eyes in pain. "I'm a jerk?"

I opened my eyes, looking at him in contempt. My breathing became ragged. "Yes." I pressed my lips in thin line. "You're a jerk. A stubborn pathetic jerk who became selfish the moment he fell in love."

"You're crossing your limits here, Scarlett."

"Let me, will you?" He narrowed his eyes at me. "I've been wanting to say so much to you. Let me get it out for once. Because I don't think I can hold it in anymore."

He just glared at me. "You think I've become selfish? Just because I fell in love?"

"Yes you did and you still are behaving as one." I pointed at his iron-like grip on me.

"Everyone becomes selfish in love-"

"Not everyone, Heath! Just you! Just the types of you! People sacrifice their lives for the ones they love but you'd rather take a life than sacrifice one!" I stared right into his eyes. "This is not love. It never was. You made it like that. You made people around you like that. You made them so miserable that they wanted to run away from you-"

"You think I made Kiara run away from me!? You think I wanted her to leave me!? You think she did it because I was forcing her to stay with me!?" With each word, his hands pressed around my arms tighter but I refused to wince in pain, meeting him eye to eye.

"More like pursuing her. I told you she wasn't the type to stay with one person but you didn't care to pay heed to my words. You think I bark nonsense-"

"That you do! Besides, what's the proof of your words? For what seems like a misunderstanding on your part, you sure did a good job in trying to convince me with it. But ou never know until you confirm it with your own eyes! What-"

I didn't believe my ears. "You think I'd lie to you? For something regarding my own sister?" I asked, my eyes pooling with moisture. And the rain didn't help one bit to ease my pain.

"It doesn't hurt to confirm something." He said it so smoothly I wanted to slap him tight across his face for being such a dickeahd.

"I've been with you for eight years. This is what you think of me?" I asked him, now feeling disgusted with him all of a sudden.

He looked at me in derision. "You've been with me as my PA for eight years. Not as my wife. Or as my girlfriend. Or as my friend. I was just your source of income-"

I shoved his hands away from my arms. "Fine! You paid me my salary! You paid me for my food, for my apartment! You were my source of income! But you also know it's the half-truth! You also know we never meant anything less to each other than friends! I never treated you formally and you did the same, didn't you?!"

I hiccuped as I saw his emotionless face staring back at me. "If you disliked me that much, why did you offer me a job!? Why!?" I cursed myself under breath for crying like a whale in front of him, showing him my weakness but I just couldn't control it.

Now drenched fully from head to toe in heavy rain, I wrapped my arms around me, shivering uncontrablly from cold. "I shouldn't have accepted that job offer. I shouldn't have. I was fine without you in my life. I was so fine. I could've managed-"

"How you could've managed from where you were hanging like a fool in between the important stage of your life? You didn't even know how to speak properly to people. And you talk things about managing-"

"So now I'm a fool to you?" I asked him, in disbelief.

"You weren't any different before either. Always making mistakes. Always apologising for everything. Even for things you didn't even were guilty about."

I narrowed my eyes. "So you think apologising to someone is a crime? You think we shouldn't ever be sorry for our mistakes?"

He mocked a laugh. "Do you think saying sorry solves everything? Do you think if you say such idiotic expressions of remorse and regret, everything is gonna be right again?! Do you think apologising for other people's mistakes make you a hero?!"

"You were born with a silver spoon in your mouth, Heath. You were born with power and money. You can have anything you want. You can get rid of anything you don't want. Unfortunately, I can't do that. I wasn't born to rich parents like you. So if I have to survive in this competitive world, I need to respect the people in hierarchy and power."

"That's why you kiss up to my parents? Because you want money and power?"

I frowned at his words. "How can you say something like that?! I respect your parents as my own. Not because I want to extract money from them! Or you! They made you who you are! Don't be ahead of yourself, Heath! You never know when you may come down from that arrogant dreamy throne of yours!"

"That's never gonna happen, Scarlett. We both know it."

"That's why Kiara is fucking that man out there!" I pointed towards the alley where they were and which wasn't far from us. "You don't deserve her! You are a piece of shit and that's all you'll ever be! I'm glad she left the trash like you and settled with someone nice who'll treat her like a woman she is, and not like some disowned property she is not!"

Heath grabbed my arms, hastly, and pulled me on the corner. I yelped in pain as the continuously pouring rain made me feel dizzy.

My head collided with the concrete wall, of some anonymous old broken factory, goosebumps arising on my cold skin just as he pressed himself against me, his hands keeping me trapped against himself and the wall.

I could feel his rapid heartbeat from under his wet shirt pressed against my own drenched cloth-clad chest. My dress became transparent in rain a long time ago, the red lacy bra peeking from the corners of the lace sleeves of my party-dress.

My legs were paining from being in heels for a long time, toes curling inside in discomfort. His left leg was in between my thighs, pressing there uncomfortably, his grip becoming firm on me.

I felt his eyes boring holes on my exposed skin, tingling sensation reaching the pit of my stomach. I shifted in discomfort to feel his intense burning gaze on my heaving chest.

We both were panting heavily from our argument, our mouths close to each other, just some mere inches separating our lips. He put his free hand on the wall to support both of us while he nuzzled my neck, taking heavy breaths.

His breath made me feel hot and uncomfortable and I cursed myself for feeling aroused in that situation.

"You better keep your mouth shut for awhile." Hearing his voice, I turned my head slightly to look sidewise at him. "Otherwise I'll do something we'll both regret."

He lifted his hand from the wall and from around my arms, leaving me altogether, leaning against the wall while he stood in front of me. "And I don't want to regret doing something anymore. I've always regretted doing everything in my life."

For some reason, I felt sympathy for him. I knew what moments in his life he was talking about. I knew that he hated himself for hurting people around him more than anything.

And I also knew he couldn't help but do the same thing again. And again.

"That's because you do everything you need to, but like always, you do nothing you want to. You don't speak. You don't communicate. That's not how people will understand you, Heath. You'll have to make them understand what you want."

He didn't say anything in response. Instead, he left me and made his way towards the car. When I approached him, running slightly due to his fast pace, drops of rain fell slantly on my face and I put my hand on my face in reflex to prevent the raindrops from reaching my face.

But I stopped in my place to see him stopping all of a sudden in the middle of the street. Rain fell in soundly small shower around both of us as my eyes widened to see who it was standing in front of him.

Kiara.

"Heath." She called his name and I could hear it faintly soft from where I was standing. Immediately, I increased my pace, my feet landing on the puddle of mud in haste, before I stood beside Heath, eyeing Kiara.

"Heath." She called him again and I tilted my head to see Heath looking at anywhere but her.

Kiara took one step towards him and he took one step away from her, hitting my shoulder in the process, to now stand in front of me, his back facing me.

"I..." Kiara started to say something but stopped when she saw him glaring at her.

"I don't have anything to say to you." He said, before striding past her in haste, bumping her shoulder harshly in the process. I could see him walking, more like running in the street, as the rain above us once again started to increase in intensity.

Kiara didn't turn around to see him walking away. She didn't look broken like he was. She didn't look hopeless like he had been seeing her like that.

Making out someone else.

In the day of his own bachelorette party.

That moment I knew she never loved him the way he loved her. She only showed him what he wanted to see. She only loved him, uh, pretended to love him, because she couldn't refuse him from the start.

My heart ached for his broken heart, and I closed my eyes to calm my raging nerves. How much hurt he'd have been to see her with someone else in front of his own eyes?

Kiara didn't do the right thing. She should've told him the truth from the beginning. She should never have kept both of them in blind.

I directed my gaze from the blurring figure of Heath in the rain towards Kiara only to blanch back in disgust to see her lips swollen red from her heated make out. Her dishevelled clothing, crumpled top and slightly more raised skirt, didn't do much justice to her promiscuous deeds.

"Hazel, I-"

"Please don't. You know what you've done. Show some guilt for God's sake!"

Her eyes welled up in tears and she put her hand on her mouth to stifle a sob. "I... I am sorry. I really am. I...should... shouldn't have done that. I really..." Then she started to sob on me and I couldn't help but feel helpless to see her like that.

She was my sister. If not blood-related, she was my best friend. She always shared everything with me. No matter how dirty her encounter with any stranger was, she never spared any details from me.

I couldn't understand how she could lie to me this time. What her desperate reasons could be for her to betray Heath and me like that? I trusted her so much. I thought she would make him happy.

Moreover, if she was the perosn Heath fell in love with, I was more than happy, though not from the bottom of my heart, to hand her over to him, if that was the key to their happiness.

Both were my precious fom the very start. Both were constant in my life.

"If you know what you did wrong, Kiara..." I looked at her, meeting her eye to eye. "Why'd you do this? Why did you break his heart? Why didn't you make everything clear from the start?"

Listening to my words, she broke into uncontrollable sobs before I saw someone put hand on her shoulder, engulfing her arms and embracing her in a tight comfy hug.

I recognised who he was, I had been seeing him from time to time since Kiara became my step-sister. I should've known there was something between them as Kiara wasn't the type to have some guy friend constant in her life. "Kevin."

"Hazel, I know you won't believe me. You probably think I'm a selfish bastard for making Kiara cheat on Heath like that which I am to be honest, but please remember, I didn't do it on purpose. I didn't hurt anyone intentionally-"

"But you did hurt him anyway!" I turned towards Kiara, grabbing her arms and making her look at me. "Do you even know how much he loved you, Kiara?! Do you?! Didn't you ever realize what you were doing behind his back might me the thing which he expected the least from you to do?! Hell, you were going to marry him in weeks for God's sake! Were you going to have extra-marital affairs behind his back after you get married to him!? Were you!?"

She didn't look at me. I knew she was ashamed. She couldn't look at me. "I didn't get the chance to tell him, Hazel. He was busy preparing our wedding whenever I decided to tell him the truth. He was so happy, I just...I just... didn't know how to tell that to him."

I glared at her. "So you were planning to cheat on him all his life then!? Is that what you've been trying to acheive by kissing some other guy in front of him, in the day of his own bachelorette party!? Do you even know... " I stopped to calm my nerves, closing my eyes. A single lone tear slipped down my cheek and I took a deep breath to pacify the burning ache in my heart. "I can't believe you did this. I... I really can't."

Kiara took my hand and looked at me, her eyes reflecting remorse. "I'm sorry, Hazel. I didn't meant to lie to you. I really... I didn't have a choice."

"What choice did you want after coming this far in life, Kiara? I thought you already decided what you want in life after you agreed to his marriage proposal." I asked her, slipping my hands from her grip. "To be his wife. Isn't this the enough proof for the end of all your doubts?! Isn't this why you never refused him anything after that-"

"I didn't do it willingly-"

"Isn't this why you slept with him in the first place!?"

Kiara's eyes widened and she looked at Kevin, shaking her head at him to ease his doubts. "I didn't sleep with him, Hazel! What the hell are you talking about?! He was drunk as hell that day and so I just bought him to his apartment. And then when I started to leave, he wanted me to stay with him so I did. I couldn't refuse him. It's true we slept together that day but trust me, all we did was sleep, nothing else."

I couldn't believe her. "Then why did you tell him you had a great night?! That you slept with him?!"

"What was I supposed to say to him, Hazel, after he woke up with dreamy eyes the drunken night after, looking at me sleeping in my undergarments?! I couldn't say I just slept beside him, without feeling anything for him. You know how big ego the men have. I just couldn't lie to him like that. So I said we slept together."

My eyes widened to saucers listening to all those unexpected revealations. "So you did all this because you felt sorry for him? Because you couldn't tell him the truth face to face?"

Kiara looked down at the wet ground and Kevin took her hand, interwining their fingers. "I'm sorry, Hazel. We both are sorry. I assure you Kiara didn't have any ill intentions from the start."

"But still, you should've said something. He would've understood." I whispered to myself. "You were with someone else all this time, while wearing his engagement ring on your finger."

I looked at her finger, the white crystal diamond shining faintly in the heavy rain. "Didn't you feel it wrong to touch, kiss or hold someone else when you have promised yourself with someone who loves you, a long time ago?"

"I know. I did wrong. I'm sorry, Hazel." Then she raised her hand and slipped the diamond ring out of her finger and carefully placed it on my hands, closing my palm. "Please keep it with yourself and return it to him-"

"No, Kiara. I can't do that. He's already broken beyond recovery from seeing you two in such state. I don't think I'd be able to hurt him by-"

"A relationship born out of other's misery doesn't flourish for long, Hazel. Our marriage wasn't acceptable to his family from the start. It wouldn't have progressed much if our parents and elders weren't happy with it-"

"But still, you should do it yourself."

"I don't love Heath. I never did, Hazel. I love Kevin. It's my first time feeling love so I didn't want to let go of it anytime soon." Kevin smiled at Kiara and squeezed their interwined fingers.

"I don't want to let go of Kevin. I want to be him with the rest of my life. Not with Heath. I don't deserve to be with a man like him. He was far too good for me anyway. And you know what kind of a woman I am. A cheater. A liar. A betrayer. And I always will be. So I guess I don't deserve this ring either."

I shut my eyes tightly and felt tears threatening to spill. I closed my palm containing the ring on it and put it in on my chest, breathing heavily. Just then, I felt someone grab my wrist roughly.

Looking upward, I saw Heath standing in front of me, breathing heavily. His head was down, staring at my hands while he clutched my wrists tightly, firmly.

I thought he was gone already! I looked at him, trying to search his eyes, which were hidden by his bangs. But when he lifted his head and looked at me himself, my own lips formed "O" in shock.

Oh my God. He heard everything.





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