Chasing Sunshine

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6 - Time To Unwind

"You were so grumpy back then. Lucky that you're so pretty and I'm such a great guy." James chuckled at the next video.

It showed Shine with a box of pizza in hand climbing up the stairs and making her way to the guest room.

“Okay. Here goes. I hope to catch him in a good mood and I hope he doesn't hate me after what I did to him. Wish me luck.” Sunshine whispered to the camera.

The clip ends but he remembered exactly what happened next like.

***

/

Shine took a deep breath before she knocked on his door. She knew it was wrong to take out her frustration over her parents' decision to hire James on him.

After her talk with her Mom, Sunshine understood her parents' fears about her having more "accidents" without them around so they needed someone like James to be with her.

She has been feeling more numbness and tingling in her hands now than before and she loses control over them more often.

She realized it won't hurt to have company when her hands decide to be clumsy. She has been considering them to be isolated from her since they seem to have a mind of their own now.

"Some company who happens to be medically trained and physically attractive can't be something to complain about, right?" She thought.

James was surprised to see Shine when he opened the door to the guest room.

He sported a nervous smile and unconsciously combed his fingers through his hair as he mumbled for her to come in.

"I hope you like pizza." She said as she placed the box on the tea table beside the window.

Shine casually sat on one of the two chairs on either side of the table, stared out of the window and smiled.

James quietly followed and watched Shine and was once again mesmerized by how overwhelmingly beautiful she was specially when she smiled that radiant smile.

"You're too quiet. Are you still mad?" She asked as she turned to him and James was snapped out of his daze.

"Uhm... No, I'm not. I mean I wasn't, Miss Sunshine." He smiled shyly. "I understand how this is all new to you and that you may have some resistance to the idea of having someone to look after you, Ma'am."

"Jeez! Stop calling me "Ma'am" or "Miss". If we're going to make this work, you should stop treating me like your boss or patient. I don't need a nanny or nurse. What I need is a friend." She then looked straight into his eyes and asked. "Can you be my friend?"

"Yes, Ma'am. I mean... Yes, Miss Sunshine." He answered nervously.

She frowned and sighed. "We'll work on that Miss later. By the way, what's your name? Sorry. I was too caught up in my tantrum earlier that I forgot to ask."

"James Richard Faulkner. Everyone calls me James.”

"I'm not everyone so I'll call you Mal." She beamed.

“Mal?” He furrowed his eyebrows in confusion.

“Coz of you know…when I walked in you with just that towel around your waist it's the first thing that caught my eye.” She giggled.

“W-what's that?”

“You marshmallowy love handles. I mean your body looks great. I'm not really into rock hard abs. Just the right amount of flabs around the waist is just perfect for me to pinch and hug." She grinned and he blushed.

"P-pinch and h-hug?" He stuttered, looking away, slightly embarrassed.

"Gosh! Don't be so nervous. I won't bite. Come and eat this pizza with me." She smiled.

James quietly sat down and opened the box of pizza. He got a slice and gave her one too.

“I hope you're not offended by the nickname I gave you. I really find love handles in a guy sexy and adorable. Makes them more real, you know. Plus you're really cute so don't feel insecure about it.” She said casually which made James blush an even brighter shade of crimson and almost choke on his pizza.

"Oh my! Are you okay? Damn it! I didn't bring drinks. Wait. I'll get you some water." Shine said and was about to run when James stopped her by holding her hand.

They both jumped back as they felt a bolt of static electricity shoot up their arms.

They looked at each other, stunned for a few seconds.

"Uhm... I'm okay, Miss Shine." James was the one who broke their silence.

"I... " She shrugged thinking the zap she felt may just be one of her symptoms. "Never mind. Are you sure you're okay?"

"I'm sure." He answered.

Shine returned to her seat as they continued eating when out of nowhere she chuckled and shook her head.

"Is it okay if I ask what you're laughing about?" He asked.

"It's nothing." She smiled. "I just remembered when I was younger I had a silly list of things I want to do with my future boyfriend. Eat Pizza is one of them."

She laughed but there was a hint of pain and bitterness in her laughter so he decided to keep quiet and listen instead.

She sighed. "I never got to do that list. I was too busy trying to reach my dream of becoming an executive chef that I never had time to nurture a relationship long enough to turn into something that serious. Now, I don't think I will ever get to. I never gave myself time to unwind and just live life. And now... Now, it's too late."

Shine fell silent for a few seconds then smiled again. "Well that's that. What happened happened and what I have is what I have. I just have to accept things and live my life to the fullest everyday."

"We can do that list." James proposed quietly.

"What?"

"I can do that list with you," he said then looked up to stare into her eyes. "As your friend."

"You would do that?" She asked.

"Anything for a friend. If you would allow me to. Of course."

"Okay but I have one condition. Break it and this is all over. You lose your job, leave and forget I ever existed in your life," she said.

"What is it?" He asked determinedly.

"You have to promise that you won't fall in love with me and you can't let me fall in love with you. I already have four people I need to deal with. I don't need one more to tie me to this world."

James looked at Sunshine and nodded his head. "I promise." He said although he felt that it may be too late for that now.

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