The wind blew past me and my hair waved in front of my eyes as I pushed the strands of my loose hair behind my ear. The leaves shattered on the ground and I watched as the sweeper swept them to one corner. The weather was pleasantly nice as I stood under the shadow of the tree looking at my university. It was lunchtime and students scattered away searching for food or their best buddies while I chose to stand to have some time to myself.
It’s been four months since I traveled to Paris, leaving the US.
I could barely get over his face and that voice. That look in his eyes, that plead and that sincerity. I clutched my books tightly. My turquoise dress fluttered with the wind and I adjusted them down as I took in a deep sigh.
I thought it would be so easy to forget him but it’s just impossible for me to do so. I asked him, pleaded him to forget about me but he told me that he can’t and he will be waiting.
I postponed my ticket to Paris while I was in the hospital and scheduled it to one month later. As I got back to my apartment, I kept on limping to almost all places. The surgery was successful but I had got two bullets to one single leg. It was double the pain. Pushing Caleb away was not for my reason to travel Paris but I was scared if he got too much involved with me then the woman who was after me would get him and try to hurt him.
It was my decision to push him away because I couldn’t afford to lose one more of my dear ones. Caleb was special to me and if he got hurt because of me, I couldn’t have bear it. So, I stranded myself from him and refused to meet him. He didn’t give up and each time he came to my apartment, the barrier that I had built between us started to have cracks in them.
Finally, I decided it was the right choice to leave. After talking to the officer and getting a nod from him, I packed my bags and left for the airport when I met him.
Somehow, he got to know that I was leaving and hurriedly made his way to the airport huffing and panting as he found me at the airport. I remembered that face of his face clearly as if it happened yesterday.
This is it?
Are you saying that this is it?
Is this how our relationship going to end?
He was clearly hurt by my decision of not letting him know before I left.
Please, Caleb. Don’t make a scene here.
Please, people, are watching.
I had expected that he would be filled by rage and would start screaming at me but he looked more in pain and distress as he stood before me taking my bag away from me.
So what if they are watching?
They are not going to make my future.
Are you seriously giving up one me?
I have apologized to you multiple times and I’m willing to apologize until I die but if you leave how can we..I-
My heart ached seeing him like that, but I had no option.
Caleb if forgiveness is what you want then hear it, I have forgiven you for a long time. You need to stop apologizing now and talking about me leaving the country. It is my decision and I want to do it.
His eyes widened for a second and he looked taken aback as he spoke.
Then what about me? Us?
What’s the point? You didn’t even think it was appropriate to let me know? If it weren’t for the officer then I would’ve never known. No! I won’t let you leave. Sang, do you not understand how much I love you?
No! Please Sang do me a favor and make it clear to me for once.
Have you ever loved me even if it was for a little?
His eyes were glistening at this point and I clutched the handle of my luggage back tightly.
I lied. I lied with all my guts and watched a lone tear tricked him and he looked the other way, wiping his eyes using his sleeves.
I’m so sorry. I will pay you back the hospital bil-
You don’t have to.
Why do you even care?
Forget it! Think about it as our farewell gift from me.
It was the last thing he said and stood there looking down at his feet. I had an urge to throw my bag and hug him tightly telling him that I wanted him safe but I couldn’t. Instead, I hurt him badly as I mustered up all the courage in me and turned around and left. Since then, there had been no calls or any type of touch from him.
I tried to search about him on the internet and the only thing that I got was, his name nominated in the Businessman of the year award. But there was not a single trace of him about where he was and what he was doing. The last picture of his was with Hailey in that yacht. I wondered what he had been up to and how he was. I wanted to dial his number but went against it.
“Sang,” I heard someone and turned to find Loius waving at me with Diana and Ella. I smiled and waved back at them as they came to me and stood before me.
“Here! Again a straight-A!” Louis complained as he handed me my test results and I smiled.
“I have started to doubt my abilities now. I don’t seem to be doing good in the exams” he said and scratched his head as I saw his result to find a D mark.
“You are the only one with a Dad,” Diana laughed and Ella joined her as I chuckled at them.
“Yeah, whatever. Just wait and watch Sang I will defeat you in necklace creation,” he whined like a kid and Ella laughed even more.
“Yeah, you wish. Your designs are nowhere near to Sang’s,” she told him and he snorted in reply.
“Stop it you two now. We can discuss it later. Let’s get something to eat before the break is over,” I said and they nodded as Louis ran and faced us walking backward.
“I saw this amazing cafe just at the entrance. Let’s go there!” he told us and we nodded as we followed him and ended up before the cafe named Cafe M. As they walked in, I stopped right before the cafe when I saw my reflection on the window. I had chopped off my hair when I arrived at Paris.
I wanted a new look and went for a shoulder-length blunt cut and dye my hair to a darker shade of brown. I looked different but much feminine. In place of my usual glasses, I went for some contact lenses and I loved how I looked. But somehow, there was this sadness on my face that had gone unnoticed by my friends.
They had asked me about it countless times but I didn’t let them know about anything that happened to me in the past. Not even about Caleb.
“Are you going to stand there the whole day and praise your beauty?” Ella joked as she looked at me and I nodded as I followed her in.
Finally, the day was over as I packed my drawing items into my bag and stood up to leave. Everyone has already left but I was busy with a design of mine of a ring and I wanted to end it before I left. So, I took my time and after only I finished with my drawing, I got up to leave. It was late and already the closing time for the university as I left.
I nodded at the guards who knew me already because I was the only one who stayed late. Sometimes, Mrs. Karen my teacher in the uni stayed with me doing her own work and helping me time to time. I was glad that I thought of coming to Paris. It was a beautiful city and often I went to the Eiffel tower in the evening just having my time alone, watching the couples.
Eiffel tower made me feel so lonely yet I keep going back to witness its beauty. Since the day I came to Paris, I have been to nowhere. The balance in my account seemed to decrease after I had sent my hospital fees to Caleb even though he had told me not to do so. I just couldn’t keep the money to me, it seemed really selfish of me. So, I sent it to his account and after that my bank balance was incredibly low.
To cope up with it, I chose to live in a single room with attached bathroom. It was a small but spacious room with a single bed and shelves and at the corner of the room, there was a small kitchen. At first, I had a problem to cope up because my last apartment was big but as time grew by, I got accustomed to it. And moreover, I spent my time mostly in the university so it didn’t bother me.
The only problem was my neighbor and the one who lived above my room. They were a nuisance. One was a drunkard and cursed his wife just every single day while the one above me was a sex maniac. I heard banging noises and squeaking of bed just every single night and that made me annoyed. I couldn’t sleep and ended up having dark circles. My friends in the uni made fun of me because of it and I was tired of it.
The walls were actually very thin and it noise prevailed throughout the room leaving no privacy. It was six in the evening and the sky had a pink shade all over as I made my way back to my room. Halfway through my road, I saw a group of teenage boys hanging out. They looked anything but normal. I knew they were teenage but I saw them smoking. It was starting to turn dark and everyone knew it better to go against those rebel kids.
I ignored them and hoped they ignored me too as I hurried back. Sweat formed on my forehead when I saw a shadow behind me lurking near the allies. The shadow multiplied and not even looking back, I took it the chance to take a sprint on my block heels, clutching my bag to my dear life.
I had heard a lot about purse snatching incidents in the same ally and since I would go broke if they snatched my purse, I clutched to it dearly running away. My wounds have healed but I was still feeling pain on my right leg. It had a nasty scar.
I saw a shadow right behind me and instantly that filled me up with anxiety as I ran even faster, dragging my feet and as soon as I was out of the ally, I fished inside my purse searching for my room keys.
It was funny, how I have changed. Even though I knew self-defense and I could still easily take down some of them still, my leg gave up on me. My chest and legs were against my decision of stopping and fighting them off so I decided to flee as I searched for my keys.
Finally, as I reached down my apartment building, I took a sigh of relief as I looked back only to find no one behind me. I huffed and panted hard as I crouched down for some minute and as soon as I got a hold of my breath, I stood up holding my keys in my hand. I was just about to take the door when all of a sudden I saw a shadow right behind me and a scream escaped my mouth.
But someone grabbed my shoulder and muffled my mouth as I was pulled back to a hard chest and I squirmed and struggled against the man who held me in a position not allowing me to leave. It was a one minute wrestle with the guy behind me but as soon as I got my senses back on track, I hit the guys leg using my heel and immediately he let go, wincing.
I held the strap of my bag and was just about to swing it and hit him hard but stopped immediately when my eyes fell on the man standing before me wincing but with an amusing smile playing on his lips.
A handsome face and a familiar one as I couldn’t believe my eyes.
“Y-You,” I managed to utter as I lowered my bag. He seemed to be getting off the pain I caused him a few seconds ago because he smiled and immediately threw his arms around me, pulling me into a hug.
“Yes me,” he chuckled as I sniffed that fragrance of his.
“Caleb, what are you doing here?” I managed to ask as he held me tightly in his arm and my arms seemed to be reacting on its own as I hugged him back.
“Wait! Does that mean you were after me just now? You were trying to scare me?” I understood as I got away from him and pushed his chest, hard. He had a smug look plastered on his face as he chuckled when I hit him on his chest being annoyed with him.
“You are smiling?” I said and hit him again on his chest only to be blocked by him as he held my hand stopping me from hitting him and pulled me for another hug.
“You have turned into a scaredy-cat. It was fun to watch!” he joked and I growled like a cat only to find his chest rumbling because of laughter but anyways I gave up to his hug as I kept my head on his shoulder letting him hug me. The moment was pure bliss to me. I still couldn’t believe I was right in his arm.
Wait! Is this a dream?
Am I again dreaming?
I pushed him away as he furrowed his eyebrows at me. Removing the clip from my hair, I pricked it on his hand and immediately he shrieked and looked at me with wide eyes.
“What are you doing? Have you gone insane?” he complained as he checked his hand where I had pricked and then looked back at me while I stuck my tongue out feeling guilty and gave him an awkward grin.
“Sorry,” I mumbled and a knot formed on his forehead as I wore the clip and stood straight.
“How are you? How have you been and why are you here?” I managed to ask while he was busy checking his hand. He looked up and smirked at me.
“So many questions. Are you not going to invite me in?” he questioned while I shifted in my position.
“Of course. But its already late and my room is really small,” I told him as he crossed his arms over his chest raising an eyebrow.
“So? Such a weird excuse. Alright, if you don’t want to see me then I will be-” he turned around and took a few steps when I held his hood and pulled him with him.
“No! I didn’t mean that!” I said and he turned back smiling victoriously at me.
At that moment, I knew I was played and fucked up.
“Nice,” he said as he sat on my bed as I pour him a glass of water.
“The room is small,”
I looked back at him as I carried the glass of water to him on a tray and he took it gulping it down.
“I wasn’t speaking French,” I gave him a sarcastic reply to his previous remark and he shrugged.
“I could’ve understand if you spoke French anyways,” he shrugged.
“You know French?” I asked and he shrugged.
“Wow!” I exclaimed as I kept the empty glass back on the counter.
“Yes, but I can’t seem to understand the particular language that you speak,” I heard him and confusion marred my face as I tried to understand what he meant.
“It is really hard to for me to understand you," he said as I took a seat next to him on the bed. He didn't even made an attempt to give me some space and I ended up sitting really close to him. Our hand brushing as he stared at me.
"You say something else and do something else. Can you be more clear? It won't cost you a penny if you be more clear to me," he complained.
"What do you mean?" I asked annoyed.
"What do I mean? I thought you don't want to be with me and you don't love me and you don't even trust me for protecting you and it was you were leaving. But then I searched for you and knew you have enrolled yourself in jewelry designing course at the university. It won't have hurt if you would have told me that. I was never going to stop you from pursuing your dreams. But I am really hurt by the ways you took. You hurt me deeply when you tried to leave without letting me know and its been three months and you didn't even contact me. To top of that, you sent me money which I told you clearly not to return," he seemed to be scolding a kid as I huffed and crossed my arms.
"What do you expect me to do? I couldn't have you hurt. That woman was after me and I thought if you remain closer to me then she would target you too. I don't want that and you are really annoying. Just because you told me not to return you money doesn't mean I won't," I argued as he sighed.
"Same old spitfire!" he mumbled which got my attention.
"What did you say?" I snapped and he looked up grinning.
"Nothing. Leave it. I mean forget it," he turned his head towards the front wall. It was really quiet in the room after he shut his mouth and I stared at his face.
"So how have you been?"
"I wanted to ask you so many-" he stopped mid-sentence as I moved forward and placed my lips on his. I had no idea what I was doing. I was so attracted to him that my body reacted on its own to his accord. And seeing him so close after a long time made me want to go for a kiss as I closed my eyes and without even thinking moved forward and placed a soft kiss on his lips.
It was the same. I could still feel the tingling sensation on my skin and butterflies forming in my stomach as I felt his lips.
But almost immediately my snapped open and I move back when he held the back of my neck stopping me from moving away.
"Don't expect me to stop after what you just did. You are the one to be blamed and you have to take the responsibilities," he said and I watched as his eyes turned dark, and before I could open my mouth, he pulled me roughly capturing my mouth for a passionate kiss, which blew my mind away as I clutched his collar for my dear life.