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Time was flying fast, so was Sam’s health condition--progressing to risk.

Every night, I would wake up in the middle of the darkness to check up on Sam if he was still breathing and see if he was alive. For me, it was worse than a nightmare.

And every night, I would pray to save him and shed tears to sleep.


I asked Sam if he wanted to come with me and meet Mom, Sage, and Alice. He gladly accepted the invitation.

Sam came to pick me up at work. He pulled the car out from the curb and curved safely into the moving traffic.

How was your day?” I asked him.

“Couldn’t be better.” He peeked at me and expressed his happiness.

“How about you?” He asked me.

“Even better now,” I said with coy.

We arrived at the house and walked hand in hand to the door. He bows down, pecks a kiss on my lip, and rings the bell.

“How do I look?” He asked while fixing his collar.

“Like the best boyfriend in the world.” I kissed him, and the door opened.

“Boyfriend?!” My Mom said with surprise.

I turned around, “MOM!” My voice shaky, I staggered to my feet.

Sam managed to hold me. “Are you okay?”

“Not really,” I said, avoiding my Mom’s gaze, ’Boy, was I in trouble.

I hugged her, but her eyes were on Sam. “I didn’t know you’re seeing someone? And you were bringing over?” She whispered in my ear. I shut my eyes hard in despair. Shit!

“Mom, this is Samuel Regan, my--my boyfriend.” I bite my tongue.

She extends her hand to Sam.

“Hello, Ms. Skyy.” He placed a kiss on her knuckles.

“Nice to meet you, Samuel. Come in,” Mom says and glares at me. She is going to scold me for my carelessness.

Then he handed her a beautiful hamper, well decorated with a bouquet, some imported chocolates, and a wine bottle.

“How thoughtful of you, Samuel.” Mom appreciated the gift basket.

“You have got a lovely house, Ms. Skyy.” Sam complimented.

“Oh, just call me Sharron.” Making conversation as they both head inside, and I was forgotten unattended by my own Mother. I closed the door behind me and made my way to the formal living room, where everybody had gathered around. Eve, with her husband David, and other viewers in the living room, stunned and stood with their mouths open. By viewers, I meant Sage and Alice.

I was wan, judging from their vex appearance, it was clear that they both were displeased by me as well.

I went and stood next to Sam. “You forgot to mention it to your Mom, about inviting me over for dinner and that I was your boyfriend.”

“Yeah... I am so sorry.” I avoided looking at him.

“Boy, are you in big trouble.” I looked up at him keenly. He’d said what I’d thought earlier. We are so meant to be together, but unfortunately, not for forever. ‘Don’t cry, Jess. Not now.’

“Jess. Don’t cry.” He touched my cheek.

“I’m sorry.” I grabbed his hand. “Sam, I have to tell my Mom. She has to know about you.”

“I understand. I think it’s time. I shouldn’t keep it from anyone anymore.” He pulled me in for a hug. I hugged him back, and tears filled my eyes.

“Hello.” A four-year-old girl--Kayla--Evelyn’s daughter, comes running towards us, holding her bear in her arms. She stops and looks shyly at Sam.

“Hi,” Sam bends down to her eye level. She smiles, pointing her teddy bear at him. “Bear wants to say hi,” Kayla says in her sweet tiny voice.

“Nice to meet you bear,” says Sam.

“The bear also wants to kiss you,” Kayla adds in.

“I thought the bear only like to kiss me,” I said playfully.

“It’s okay. I’ll kiss your aunt on your behalf, bear.” Sam gives me a cheeky grin.

Kayla giggles and grabs Sam’s firm yet soft hand in her tiny little one, pulling him away with her.

I was enthralled with Sam bounding with Kayla. I know Sam would make a good husband and a father.

David’s peeked, coming from the kitchen, “Jessica!” He opened his arms for a hug.

“You look like you need a drink.” David prompts. “Indeed, I do.” I followed him to the living area.

“Hi, I’m David.” He extended his hand to Sam.

“Samuel Regan,” He shakes hands. While Sam and David were talking, I spotted Eve and made my way to her.

“Eve,” we air-kissed to each other.

“Too bad, aunty Kelly couldn’t make it.”

“Dad was not feeling good, and he couldn’t fly, so she’d to stay back.” She explained.

“Sam seems very nice.” She makes comments. “He’s so into you, Jess.” She adds.

“Really.” I gazed at Sam, admiring him.

“Yup, he looks like if you don’t stay close to him, he’ll just stop breathing—.”

The dark clouds came back with gloom. I took the glass from Eve’s hand and took a mouthful of her wine “Yeah! Thanks.” I handed the empty glass back to her. She was looking at me with a quizzical expression.

Then Sage and Alice came over and pulled me to the side.

“Where have you been? No phone calls or any messages?” Alice was pissed.

“Busy with the hectic schedule, I supposed.” Sage was too.

I rolled my eyes.

“We didn’t know you were bringing him over.” Alice arched her brow.

“And to mention he’s your boyfriend,” Sage added.

“I’m in love with him,” I said.

“Woh! Pause. You’re in love?” Alice said. Both of them were shocked and astonished by my phrase.

“And he’s dying.”

Both went, “What?!”

Aunt Bess came in. I was glad she interrupted us, and she also mentioned how handsome Sam was. Tall, broad shoulder, she also said that’s the kind of a man she always imagined for me.

“Jess, can we see you in the kitchen?” Alice said. Sage was standing next to her.

“Not now.” I sulked. “If I start to cry, I won’t be able to stop,” I told them.

Alice took my hand and pulled me with her into the kitchen.

“Jessica...” There was a pain in her voice. And I broke down, falling in her arms as I cried.

Sage got a glass of water and brought it to my lips. “I can’t believe he’s... he looks so healthy, I would have never guessed it.”

“I know, he doesn’t show, but he’s in pain.”

“We so sorry, Jess.” They both hugged me.

‘I’d found love twice, and I'd lost it twice.’


I drove to Sam’s place, just before midnight. I called him to see if he was up or asleep.

“Jessica, is everything okay?” He answers my call on the first ring.

“I’m in the elevator.”

“Okay?” It was apparent he sounded curious.

I checked my phone, and there were a few seconds left for midnight. The elevator door opens up. I place the box that was in my hand on the foyer credenza.

“Happy Birthday!” I showered Sam with kisses. I adorn his whole face with my dare—to be—red lipstick—literally. The man could only smile and chuckled, all he could.

I hauled him to the bedroom and made him sit on the bed. I gently placed the small box on his side.

“What’s in the box?” He asked, with one raised eyebrow.

“Oh, there are colored sprinkles and chocolate,” I pull my skirt halfway up and climb on his lap. Sam supported me by holding on my side, “also cream cheese frosting and classic buttercream.” I murmured on his lips.

Sam knew what exactly my intention was, as his lip formed in an amused smile, and gave me one of his sexy smoldering looks.

“Frost me and eat me,” I told him.

Then in the very next seconds, he ripped my blouse open, a few buttons got tossed in the air. He flung me over on my back and opened the box, and he began to decorate my breast.

The cold icing made me whine. Then Sam sprinkles the sugar sprinkles on top and “Mmm... Happy birthday to me,” he said, eating the icing off my breast and the rest was history.

After creating a sticky mess, we both took a shower.

“This was the best birthday cupcake I’ve ever had,” he said. I didn't bring a cake for him on purpose, cause he'll have to make a wish before blowing the candle. And I know his wish was the same as mine.

“Jess, I won’t be able to celebrate my birthday with you.”

“Why not?”

“I’m going to Italy to break the news to my parents.” He paused before finishing his sentences. He was nervous, scared even.

“Release your anger,” I said to him. His brow shoots up in surprise.

“What?” Sam asked with confusion.

“You need to clean out toxins from your system before you go see them. Yell. Scream. I’m here for you. I’ll listen to you, and I won’t judge you.”

“Do you regret meeting me, Jess?”

“No. I don’t regret meeting you. I don’t regret falling in love with you, either, Sam.”

“You’re making it difficult, Jess. Where the hell were you all my life when I needed you?”


“I DON’T WANT TO DIE, JESS. I don’t...I don't want to leave you.” Sam dropped his head on my shoulder and cried.


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