There were voices. I could hear them talking about me. I wanted to move nor open my eyes, but I couldn’t. I was completely aware that there were people next to me. It was two familiar voices of the persons I knew. One was Oliver and the other someone I didn’t wish to hear. I knew that voice exactly. Ah! my doctor, Oliver’s younger brother. The other person I used to trust. We went to high school together and we’d been friends since we’re five. I hadn’t heard of Cassius in a while. It was almost a year. Almost a year since my last episode. It was funny to hear him again. It means I would never get better. Never.
I could hear them talking. I couldn’t speak for my myself. Maybe Cassius put those medicine in me again. The one he used to me a year ago to calm the fuck out of me. Their voices remained whispers but I could clearly hear them.
“I know. I know. I thought it was an opportunity, Cassius. He finally had a chance to get out of his comfort zone. I didn’t know that this was going to happen.” It was Oliver’s voice.
“It was good for him Ollie, yes. It is a good sign that he could actually let anyone see him again. It was only us who are rotating around his world.”
“Her name’s Alayna. She’s an amazing woman. I was astonished by her actions and strong personality. She’s an undeniably skilled chef. Brandon told me himself he was intrigued by her.” I heard him chuckled. “I’ll introduce you to her later.”
“Ollie, don’t engage yourself too much with Alayna. Your eyes do not lie. I could see that she’s appealing to you.” What? No. No way!
“No, of course. You know me, brother. Besides…you know my current status right now which I still didn’t mention to him.” Status? What is it that he didn’t tell me?
Cassius clicked his tongue, “Tell him straightaway, Ollie. It’s not good for Brandon if you are hiding it from him.” What the—what the hell was that about? Hiding what from me? Damn it.
“He’ll understand. He’s the most understanding than all of us. I’m glad that part of him remains. But Ollie, it’s been a year. I thought his illness is not going to bother him again. I thought he was healed. What happened?” Oliver asked.
“His scars and his broken bones in his chest are all healed, Ollie. You know that. What he was suffering from is not physical. It’s all in his mind. His body remembers the pain. I don’t know when will it stop. It depends on him.”
“I don’t know what exactly happened. He was shouting for help but he was already unconscious when I get here. It was after when Alayna left,” he told Cassius.
“Hmm…Do you think something happened?” Yes, she touched me. I wanted her to. I thought I was fine. Everything felt right when I felt her skin until I could almost kiss her.
“I don’t know or maybe she touched him? Do you remember what happened last year? You tried to touch him. It was when his last episode and then now. Cassius, what do you think?”
Cassius exhaled sharply then he paused. I couldn’t hear their voices anymore. Then Cassius spoke again. “Possible. It was possible. I’m not going to give up on him, Ollie even if it takes a lifetime. Thank you for calling me, brother. I’m so worried he might not want to see me again after what happened last year.”
“It’s not Brandon, you know him. He would be glad to see you again. You needed to touch him because he was out of control.”
Alayna was right. I don’t live alone. I was dependent on other people. I was useless, worthless. I was nothing.
“How about you? How are you? You don’t come home anymore. Mom was worried. She has not seen your face for few months.” Cassius asked. “You almost give your whole life this setup—his company. When are you going to stop stressing yourself when you can get our help. I can help you, Oliver. You don’t have to tell him. Grethe and Elga Enterprises was already heavy enough to bear. Aunt Grethe would be very pleased, yes. But look at you. Do you still sleep?”
“I can manage. Don’t worry about me. This is only temporary. You have a job and you have to take care of the mother. She needs you more. I have hope that someday Brandon will come out to take care and finally face everything. He managed to come out. He already did, once, because of Alayna. What are you doing in New York anyway?” Oliver asked his brother. I didn’t know how much burden I put on you, Oliver. You should give up on me. There’s no more hope for someone like me.
“I was going to visit you. I came last week, but I’m only getting the perfect timing.”
“I’m planning to go out this weekend with Alayna.” Yes, I heard, but I don’t like it. I couldn’t imagine Alayna going out with some another man, not to mention with Oliver. But I knew that she had a bright future outside that I should not take away from her.
“Going out with Alayna, huh? Interesting. Make sure that it won’t mean anything.” Cassius warned.
“I’m not that kind of a guy,” he chuckled, “She’s beautiful, yes.” He held his breath. See? You find her beautiful! “But no, Cassius. She’s off limits. And I should warn you too. She’s not a woman you see every day in Greece.”
“No wonder our master is so infatuated,” Cassius commented.
“You can come with us this weekend. I’m going to tour Alayna in the city. Oh, it’s about dinner. You can have dinner here.”
“I have no reason to decline.”
They’re voices faded slowly as they step away until the only thing I could hear was a shutting door.
“Yes, Mom. I’m so sorry, okay? I’m so sorry, it won’t happen again,” I sighed. It’s only been a few days but a lot of things had already happened. I even forgot to call my mother and tell her how I was. She had a habit of getting paranoid if she doesn’t hear my voice.
“I thought something had happened! Don’t do that again to me lady! This world is much worse than you thought.” Her voice was gravelly. It was painful to hear her speak.
“Don’t worry about me. I’m not kidnapped, or raped or anything. Please… It’s bad for your health to worry about me all the time.” I sighed sharply. “How’re the kids?”
“Don’t it’s bad for me, me! What if I didn’t call? Luckily, Elman knows how to use this telephone—”
“It’s cellphone Mom!” Elman shouted from a distant. I chuckled.
“Oh, cellphone. I don’t know how to use this kind of thing!” Mom continued to scold me but I knew she was faking it. She missed me, that’s all.
“I miss you, Mom. I promise that I will visit home next month, just not now.”
“Are they giving you a hard time? You don’t sound fine.”
“No, but I’m still fitting in.”
I let out a low laugh, “None.” I lied. There was someone. I liked him, and yes, he was giving me a hard time.
“Oh, darling. I miss you so much,”
“We miss you, Alayna!” my siblings shouted from the background. A lone tear came ran on my cheek. I missed them too. Hearing their voice made my heart twitch. I missed home.
“I miss you too, everyone.” I kissed my phone. “Big sister’s going to bring you a lot of gifts when I come home.”
“They love you, Alayna.” Mom said.
“I love them, too.” The building tears in eyes finally fell. I sniveled.
Until someone came into my kitchen. I wiped my tears with my palm and turned to find two handsome identical men. It was Oliver and a new face.
“Alayna?” Oliver called.
“Um, my boss is here. I’ll call you later. I love you.” I whispered on the phone.
“I love you too, darling.” Mom gave me a soundly smooch and then I hang up.
Oliver raised an eyebrow, “Is there a problem, Alayna?”
“Oh, nothing. I’m fine.” I forced a smile.
“Are you crying?” he asked.
“I’m fine, really. Well…”
“Alayna, this is my younger brother Cassius. He’s Brandon’s doctor.” Doctor? Oh! So there’s another person who revolves around the Master’s world. His skin was pale. He was blonde, he had deep sapphire eyes. He was gorgeous as his brother, only he was younger and charming.
“I’m Cassius. I heard so much about you.” He reached out a hand to me. I pumped his hand quickly. At first, he felt warm and a bit rough but there was a tingle between our hands. I studied his face intently. He was much more manly looking than his older brother. He smiled showing his perfect white teeth. He had two deep dimples. Alright, he was hot.
I smiled back. “I wish you heard the good ones. I’m Alayna.”