TOUCH

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T-7.7


Ilyssa was excited for her first day to walk along with Jin as her boyfriend. Jin couldn’t come to pick Ilyssa from her home so she walked to her college with Mark. She narrated Mark about her previous encounters with Jin. Mark was happy for his sister that she is finally trying something different, something new.

Ilyssa waited outside her class for Jin but he hadn’t come yet. Waiting for someone you like made her feel euphoric. She was standing near the door with her usual gear, notes; flacon; and her cell phone. She glanced through her latest chats.

Jin;

6:15 am

‘Srry, got something urgent. I will be at the college by 7. Can u go by yourself?’

Ilyssa;

6:28 am

‘OFC’

Jin;

6:30 am

‘tnx, srry again.’

Ilyssa;

6:30 am

‘CUL’

Jin;

6:30 am

‘CUL’

Ilyssa;

7: 00 am

‘hi!’

7:10 am

‘where r u?’

7: 20 am

‘I am waiting outside the class.’

7:50 am

‘It’s almost 8. Students are gonna start coming to the class. IOW, I am still waiting for you.’

7: 55 am

‘Hello??’

Jin hadn’t replied to any of her texts since 6:30.

Ilyssa;

8:00 am

‘Where the Hell are you?! NVM! I am going in. 👿’

Ilyssa got mad and was about to enter the empty classroom but even before she could Julia blocked her way.

“What do you think you’re doing?”, said Ilyssa to Julia.

“Something that you will hate!”, said Julia and signed her minions to hold Ilyssa. As soon as Julia’s minions held Ilyssa’s hand, she panted.

“JULIA!”, screamed Ilyssa.

“What!?”, screamed Julia. She put her hand on Ilyssa’s face.

“LET GO!”, said Ilyssa trying to resist Julia’s touch.

“LET HER GO! You NASTY WOMAN!”, roared Jin running near them. On the other side of the corridor, Aldon was walking in. Jin’s words reached his ears. That’s when he noticed Julia torturing Ilyssa.

“What the HELL”, yelled Jin and pushed Julia on the floor. He pulled Ilyssa by her shirt and secured her behind him.

“What do you think you are doing?!”, screamed Aldon running near them and helped Julia to stand up.

“What do you think your girlfriend’s doing? Come on MAN!”, screamed Jin.

Aldon stared at Julia with rage. Julia got scared and began apologizing.

“It wasn’t my fault. I just wanted to know what happened during your family meeting. You wouldn’t tell me and Jin came in between before I could make Ilyssa speak.”, said Julia trying to prove her innocence.

“Seriously?”, said Ilyssa getting annoyed.

“Yeah!”

“You could have just asked me in simple than doing all this drama!”

“Why? I enjoy seeing you suffer!”, said Julia laughing.

“It’s not funny, Julia!”, said Aldon pulling Julia’s arm making her face him.

“Why?! Why do you care for her suddenly?”

“I don’t care!”

“Yes, you do! You are defending her over me! What is happening between you two?”

Jin looked at Ilyssa as Aldon didn’t reply after all both Julia and Jin didn’t know what had happened in their family meeting.

“Don’t look at me! I hate that guy.”, said Ilyssa defending her. Ilyssa gave a glare at Aldon for the mess she was currently being a part of.

“Tell me! What’s going on?! You are sharing glances now?!”, cried Julia.

“Dude---”, began Ilyssa but got stopped by Aldon.

“I am engaged to her!”

The word engaged echoed in Julia and Jin’s ears. Jin looked at Ilyssa.

“I am sorry that you had to hear that like this.”, said Ilyssa sadly.

“Are we still in?”, asked Jin. Ilyssa nodded with a smile.

“But it doesn’t matter!”, said Aldon. “You are still my girlfriend Julia.”

“But then why are you saving her?”

“She needs to stay healthy until Cristiano gives us some of his shares to us.”, said Aldon cheering Julia.

“I wish I recorded this.”, said Ilyssa angrily. Aldon gave her a grin.

“It doesn’t matter to us too”, said Jin.

“Us?”, asked Aldon laughing.

“Oh, yeah! You heard it right!”, said Ilyssa smirking.

“I am dating Ilyssa.”, said Jin smiling at Aldon mockingly.

“Dating? And Ilyssa? You are a fool kid!”, said Aldon laughing.

“Ilyssa clearly hates you. So, I do have a chance with her.”

“You are making a mistake Ilyssa. He won’t even last a month!”, said Aldon looking at Ilyssa.

“We will see. I am sure we are better that you two.”, said Ilyssa.

“Oh really?”, said Julia mockingly. “Then I challenge you two for the prom king and queen position.”

“Challenge-”, said Ilyssa. And Jin continued her sentence, “-Accepted!”

“Oh really? Julia and I have always been the king and queen.”, said Aldon.

“That was before you had us as your opponent!”, said Jin confidently.

Aldon looked at Ilyssa and smiled. “I am not scared of you, jerk!”, said Ilyssa.

“It will be a lot of fun to see you lose.”, said Aldon smiling at both Jin and Ilyssa and held Julia’s hands and walked by them. They were walking towards their class and Jin and Ilyssa looked at them leave. Julia stopped suddenly. She turned back and said, “Oh I forgot to tell you guys that I am the close friend of the MC that conducts the tasks for the couples. So, get ready to lose, LOOSER!!”, said Julia laughing and walked away. Ilyssa turned into a statue and said in a monotone, “Oh dear! I am in big trouble.”

“Don’t worry! We can do it!”, said Jin trying to cheer Ilyssa. Ilyssa saw Prof Albert walking towards the class. “Let’s go in.”, said Ilyssa and walked inside. Jin saw at the prof. Albert. He smiled at Jin, and Jin nodded and went inside the class.

Prof Albert was giving his lecture and Ilyssa seemed to be lost. Jin noticed Ilyssa and texted Ilyssa.

Ding! Ilyssa looked into her cell. She opened her inbox.

Jin;

8:00 am

‘I’m on my way to class.’

‘srry, I cudnt text u back bcz I was driving.’

9:30 am

‘Ilyssa?’

‘what’s the matter?’

Ilyssa;

‘nothing’

Jin;

‘come on, tell me, what’s it?’

Jin looked at Ilyssa and she didn’t reply back.

Jin;

9:03 am

‘ASAP’

Ilyssa;

‘Just thinkin’

Jin;

‘abt?’

Ilyssa;

‘u’

Jin;

‘☺️’

Ilyssa;

‘I was wondering what took you so long to pull me by your side.’

Jin;

‘I had to figure a proper angle to hold your shirt.’

Ilyssa;

‘y?’

Jin;

‘bcz I cant touch u’

Ilyssa;

‘y’

Jin;

‘?’

Ilyssa;

‘u c, if you had accidentally held my hand, I would have felt your touch just for a sec before I could lose my breath’

Jin;

‘but that would hurt u’

Ilyssa;

‘I wish I was normal.’

Jin;

‘u can. U just need 2 believe in yourself.’

Ilyssa;

‘?’

Jin;

‘Have you ever gone to the doctor?’

Ilyssa;

‘no’

Jin;

‘Then I am sure that wht u have is not Haphephobia since you aren’t that critical. So, you can be cured.’

Ilyssa;

‘wait…’

Ilyssa opened google and googled Haphephobia.

Ilyssa;

9:20 am.

‘r u sure? Cause I have all those symptoms.’

Jin;

‘what do u mean?’

Ilyssa;

‘did you google it?’

Jin;

‘no’

Ilyssa;

‘😑’

Jin;

‘I asked my dad about your phobia’

Ilyssa;

‘WHAT!’

Jin;

‘he is a pro psychiatrist’

Ilyssa;

‘then?’

Jin;

‘what?’

Ilyssa;

‘google the symptoms, jin’

Jin;

‘okay, wait…’

9:30 am

‘I should have seen this first! I didn’t give dad all the details or else he would get suspicious. I didn’t know that it was this serious and rare’

Ilyssa;

‘does he know that his son is dating someone ill’

Jin;

‘Ilyssa! Don’t think so negatively! And my dad isn’t in good terms with my mom so chill.’

Ilyssa;

‘there is no one cure’

Jin;

‘u can try therapy. They have suggested it in all the pages.’

Ilyssa;

‘IDK’

Jin;

‘Come on! I will give u the contacts of the best therapist in the city.’

Ilyssa;

‘will it work?’

Jin;

‘hell yeah. Trust me! 😉’

Ilyssa;

‘okay. 🙂’

…..

Ilyssa tried the therapy. It had been a month and she didn’t make any improvement. Ilyssa stood at the college gate sadly waiting for Jin. Jin wanted to cheer her up. He came in his bike and said, “Tell Mark that you are going to be late home today.”

“Why?”

“I am taking you out. For a date.”

“My job--”

“You don’t have your shift today, Ilyssa. Today is Wednesday.”

“Oh, yeah. I totally forgot!”, said Ilyssa laughing silly.

“Call Mark.”

“Oh yeah!”, said Ilyssa and called Mark. She rode with Jin for a date. She had no clue where she was heading. Jin stopped. Ilyssa got down and took off her helmet.

“Greenhouse? Seriously?”, laughed Ilyssa.

“Don’t you like flowers?”

“I do. But I didn’t expect you to bring me here.”

“you have a surprise waiting for you inside the glasshouse.”

“What?”

“It won’t be a surprise if I say it right away.”

“Okay”, said Ilyssa smiling.

“Go in”, said Jin smiling back.

Ilyssa walked inside. There were many beautiful flowers and a variety of plants. She walked with excitement and turned back from time to time to have a glimpse at Jin. Ilyssa stopped. There was a big glass bushel with water blocking the way. Ilyssa turned back to see Jin but he was no longer behind her. He walked from the other side. Ilyssa turned towards him. He held a lot of roses. Ilyssa began smiling.

“They are pretty”, said Ilyssa.

“But you are the prettiest!”, said Jin with a bright smile.

“Ha”

“Put your hand inside the bushel.”, said Jin.

“It has water.”

“Trust me. Put your hand into the water”, said Jin looking into Ilyssa’s eyes. Ilyssa nodded. She put her right hands into the water. Jin took off all the rose petals and put it into the water. The petals covered the bushel’s surface and hid Ilyssa’s hands.

“Bring your hands to the surface. Right below the petals.”, said Jin. Ilyssa listened to him and did as he said.

“What next?”, asked Ilyssa.

Jin slowly placed his hands on the rose petal surface.

“Jin!”, exclaimed Ilyssa.

“You wanted to know how my touch feels right?”

“Ya.”

“It feels like this.”, said Jin touching Ilyssa’s hands with the petals in between.

“It’s magical!”, said Ilyssa happily.

“Rose petals give the most similar touch of our skin. So, if they are between our hands then we won’t touch each other but can feel each other’s skin.”

“That is so romantic, Jin. Thank you so much for doing this.”

“You need not thank me. I like you so I am ready to help you in any way to heal you quickly. You were down for a few days so I thought this might cheer you up.”

“It sure did.”, said Ilyssa smiling.

“Then my mission is accomplished”, said Jin laughing. Ilyssa laughed back.

“I am sorry that you have to suffer like this with me.”

“Don’t say that. It’s always worth waiting!”

“Oh really?”, asked Ilyssa flirtatiously.

“Oh yeah!”, said Jin in a deep voice. Both laughed. Jin dropped Ilyssa back to her home. Mark wasn’t at home so Jin waited with Ilyssa for him to return. Ilyssa called Mark. He didn’t pick so she called him again.

“Hello?”, said an unknown female voice.

“Who are you?”, asked Ilyssa.

“Who are you?”, asked the girl.

“You tell me! That’s my little brother’s phone.”

“What?!”, screamed the girl. She didn’t talk.

“Hello?”, asked Ilyssa. Ilyssa looked at Jin completely confused.

“Who is it?”, asked Jin slowly.

“I don’t know”, said Ilyssa slowly. “Excuse me, whoever you are, give the phone back to my brother.”

She didn’t reply but Ilyssa could hear some banging of the door.

“Where the hell is, he?”, said Ilyssa angrily looking at Jin. After a few seconds, Mark came on the call.

“Ilyssa?”, said Mark.

“WHERE THE HELL ARE YOU, IDIOT! WHO THE HELL IS THAT GIRL?! DO KNOW THE TIME? It’s PAST 9! WHY ARENT YOU HOME?!”, screamed Ilyssa. Jin signed Ilyssa to calm down by inhaling and exhaling.

“I am on my way!”, said Mark hurriedly and hanged the call.

“I spoilt him too much”, said Ilyssa looking at Jin. “He hanged my call! AHA!! ****”

“Calm down Ilyssa.”, said Jin. “He is a young adolescent. You know how they are. They are free spirit---”

“FREE SPIRIT MY FOOT! He is DEAD meat!”, screamed Ilyssa.

“Hey! I know you are mad but listen to what he has to say first.”

“Okay”, said Ilyssa. “You can come in if you like.”

“Sure”, said Jin and walked inside. “Do you pay your rents on your own?”

“Mmm”

“Wow, you are so cool. You are so independent!”

“But I am depending on you a lot these days.”

“There is nothing bad in depending on someone at times.”

Ilyssa nodded. “Let me get you some juice.”

Ilyssa went to the kitchen. There was a small knock at the window. Jin looked out. It was from Mark.

“What are you doing outside?”, said Jin slowly and looked back to check if Ilyssa was spying.

“Open the door. I didn’t bring the key”, said Mark signing Jin. Jin thought for a sec and understood what Mark said and opened the door. Mark walked in.

“Thanks, bro!”, said Mark.

“It’s okay”, said Jin smiling.

“I will go to my room. Bye.”, said Mark and tiptoed to his room.

“YOU SON OF *****!!”, screamed Ilyssa running towards Mark with a broom.

“Aaaa!! Ilyssa!”, screamed Mark and ran around the house. Ilyssa chased him. Ilyssa was a good runner. She hit Mark’s back with the broom.

“Aaa!”

“Why were you late? Don’t you know to call!?”, screamed Ilyssa.

“Jin help me!”, said Mark looking at Jin. Jin gave him a helpless smile.

“Where were you?!”, yelled Ilyssa.

“At my girlfriend’s house!”

“This late?”, asked Jin.

“Look whose talking! You are in your girlfriend’s home right now mister.”

“Don’t talk to him like!”, said Ilyssa hitting Mark’s head with the soft side of the broom. “Why did she pick the call?”

Mark didn’t reply.

“YA!”, screamed Ilyssa.

“I was taking a shower!”

Jin laughed. Ilyssa’s glared at him.

“Don’t we have the water supply at our home?!”, asked Ilyssa. Mark looked at Ilyssa with ‘seriously?’ look.

“I don’t think you should ask any more questions, Ilyssa.”, said Jin.

“Seriously? Are you siding with him?”

“Yeah! Because I feel him. It’s awkward to talk to his family about his sex life.”

“What?”, said Ilyssa and looked at Mark with weirdness. “I’m sorry… BUT YOU COULD HAVE CALLED ME FIRST!”

“I didn’t want to ruin your date.”, said Mark looking and the floor.

“Okay, now go to your room. I will call you when the dinner’s ready.”, said Ilyssa. Mark went to his room. Ilyssa walked Jin out.

“Bye”, said Jin getting on his bike.

“Bye”, said Ilyssa waving. Jin waved back and left.

In Mark’s room.

“Thank god you are alive!”, said the female voice.

“Of course, I am. Ilyssa isn’t scary as you think. She’s just worried about me.”, said Mark on his phone.

“If you had said to me earlier, I wouldn’t have picked the call.”

“Sorry, I should have said to you about Ilyssa. She is my step sister.”

“Isn’t she too overprotective for a half-brother?”

“No, she isn’t. She just cares about me a lot just like how I care for her.”

“Hmmm…”

“What? She is my everything! I wouldn’t be breathing alive if she wasn’t there for me in my every step.”

“Okay, Good night, Mark. Dad’s home.”

“Good night, Kristen.”, said Mark and hung his call. Ilyssa called Mark out for dinner and then he left for dining.

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