Oct 7, 2010

Chances (Chapter Fourteen)

XIV. The Fork on the Road

Less than two years ago…

James is gripping on the steering wheel tightly.  A few minutes after Devon left him on the parking lot, he gripped on the wheel and drove away.  Minutes later, with his knuckles white, he realized that he was parked in front of the building where Allie’s condo’s unit is.  The few minutes he was separated from Devon, felt like an eternity.  And he was not happy about it.

James placed his head on the steering feel. He knows that he needs to make a decision and he does not like making it. He does not want to hurt anybody, but not making any decision now would just make things worse. 

He needs a sign.  James closed his eyes. I need a sign.  It is now or never, James thought.  He went out of the parked car and started to walk towards the building.  The doorman greeted him and he smiled feebly.  James started to walk towards the elevator and pushed the up button. 

James knocked on Allie’s door. He could’ve used his key, but he didn’t choose to.  Allie opened the door, she was dressed and looks like she was about to leave.  “You’re wearing that to the show?” Allie asked. James was surprised with Allie’s question.  “Don’t tell me you forgot. We’ll be attending a fashion show, right? I’m thinking of working with this designer, and this is the best way to see his designs.”

James looked at Allie. We have been together for more than three years, James thought.  Do I really love her? Or do I think I just have to be with her?

Allie stood and watched James who was staring at her quietly.  “Is there something wrong?”

James did not answer. Allie continued to ramble on, “By the way, the invitations just got in.  They looked great. We could send it out tomorrow.  The chef is also not getting any better, we need to look for another one tomorrow. I think we should go to Baguio again to finalize things.” Allie turned her back from him and continued to fix herself in front of the mirror.

Baguio? Invitations? Chef? Is the universe trying to send me a message and I am just to dense to sense it, James thought.

Allie got her purse from the coffee table near the door. “Why are you just standing there? Let’s go.”

Allie started to walk past James, but James grabbed her arm and made her face him.  James then kissed Allie. He kissed her hard as if he is trying to find something.

Allie pulled away. “You ruined my make-up!” she complained and started to go back to the front of the mirror.

It’s not the same. There were no thunderclaps, no passion, James thought, not even love. Was I so blind not to see that all along?

“I’m not going with you Allie,” James said.

“What?” Allie turned and looked at James. “What do you mean by you’re not going? You have to. I made reservations for both of us.”

“I’m not going with you Allie,” James repeated. He walked towards Allie and held her shoulders. “I’m calling off the wedding.”

Allie stared at him, trying to figure out if he is making a joke.  She looked in his eyes, and she realized that James is not joking. “Is this one of your immature tantrums again?”  She brushed James’ hand from her shoulders.  “James if you are having cold feet, that’s natural.”

“It’s not cold feet, Allie,” said James. “Tell me, if I asked you not to go to any fashion show, would you listen to me?”

“That’s silly, James,” Allie answered. “I need to go to fashion shows, I’m a fashion editor and a designer.”

“I always tried to make way for what you want, Allie,” James answered sadly. “But you never met me halfway. You did not even try to get into my life. Cause you think that where I need to be is in your life.”

Allie’s eyes are now starting to get red.  “Is it why you are like this? You just want to get your way?”

James shook his head. “It should never be just your way, or my way. It should be ours. But you never get to see that, do you?”

Allie sat down and started to cry. “I knew, four months ago, when we met in Baguio. I knew you were different. I can’t place my finger on it, but I knew you changed.”

James sat beside Allie, “I found myself.”

Allie started to cry. “And I wasn’t there with you?”

James looked at Allie and held her hand. “You would always be great in my memory, Allie. But what we had, what we will have, if we continue the wedding, would not be as great.” 

“Is there somebody else,” asked Allie.

James did not answer but lowered his gaze. Allie started to cry more. “I knew it. I knew it. The way you look at me, it was different. I wanted to ask why. But I’m afraid to hear what you will say. It was not like before, when we started. ”

James stood up and looked at Allie. “I have always been different, but you never took notice of that. I’m sorry, Allie.”

Allie started to cry, “James don’t leave me.”

“Don’t lie, Allie,” told James. “I know you so much.  I know you knew that this day would come.”

Allie cried more. “I knew it. I knew it. I guess I wasn’t able to hold on to you tighter.”

James walked to Allie and whispered, “I’m sorry.” And then he left.

****

It was two weeks after James and Devon met on the parking lot. Devon’s brain has become uncooperative for the entire two week. He’s getting married soon, Devon, she told herself. Stop your nonsense.  She does not know that it was possible to meet and fall in love that quickly.  But I guess that there is always an exception,, Devon whispered to herself.

It’s already time to go home and she started to clean her office table. Devon waved goodbye to her officemates and started to walk outside of the building. Whenever, she would go out of that glass doors, deep in her heart, she would always wish that James would be out there. Waiting for her. Telling her that the wedding is off, and he decided to be with her.

Today is no different, and just like the other days, there is no James waiting for her outside.

Devon heavily walked towards the jeepney stop and hailed a jeep. She needs to forget. She needs to teach herself that waiting for something that would never come is martyrdom.  Her ride to her apartment was long. Traffic was bad.  But Devon does not care.  She did not even notice a black car parked near the apartment. 

Her landlady greeted Devon when she saw her opening the gate. “You have a visitor,” she said.

Devon was flabbergasted when she saw her visitor. The familiar figure was sitting on the chairs in the garden.  Devon thanked her landlady and walked towards the man. “How did you know where I live?”

“I pulled a few strings,” explained James. “It took me a week to find you. I have to think about you for another week.  So it took me two weeks before I actually thought of going here.”

Devon was looking at James, “What do you want? Is your fiancée fine with the idea that you are visiting other girls?”

“I don’t have a fiancée,” James said.

Ah, so he got married already, Devon thought, her heart aching.

“I don’t have a wife either,” James said.  Devon looked at him surprisingly. “I called the wedding off.”

Devon could not find the words to ask him why. But James answered anyway. “I can’t marry another woman when I know I’m completely in love with you.”

Devon clutched her bag tightly.

“I can’t spend an hour with somebody, knowing that I’d rather have a second with you. I can’t kiss another woman, knowing that just holding your hand would give me more warmth.  I can’t spend my lifetime married, when I know that I let the right one go,” James said walking towards her. “What do you think?”

Devon felt her knees losing support. She held on the chair and answered softly. “I think you’ll be a great poet.”

James laughed and pulled Devon into his arms. “Tell me, will you be with me?”

“I can’t think of anything else,” Devon answered, hugging him tightly.

“I love you,” James whispered to her ear. “I never thought I would see you again.”

“I love you, too,” Devon answered back.  “Fate has other plans.”

****

The present…

James slowly opened his eyes, the brightness shocking him a bit. He glanced around and noticed that he is on Allie’s couch.  He may have fallen asleep immediately after getting into Allie’s house.  James stretched.  He dreamt of something, but he could not remember it.  But he knew that the dream made his heart felt heavy.

James sat down on the couch and ran his fingers through his head. He was thinking about the dream, trying to figure out what it was when he heard Allie walking into the living room.

“You’re up,” Allie greeted. “Let’s have breakfast. You did not eat anything last night.”

James smiled and went up. He walked into the kitchen at smiled.  “I’m happy,” James simply stated.

Allie smiled. She sat down on the dining table and pulled a chair for James. James started to sip on the cup of hot coffee when Allie spoke, “James do you remember why you called our wedding off?”

James looked at Allie. “Great way to start the day, huh,” James said sarcastically.

“I just want to know,” Allie asked persistently.

“No,” James answered curtly. “And I think that it is not important.  That is the past.”

“I just want to make sure that you know what you’re doing,” Allie said taking a sip of her fruit juice.

“I made a decision,” James answered. He leaned over to kiss Allie. He kissed Allie, but was surprised to find that it was not that passionate as he expected. He was looking for a staggering kiss, but all he had was just, just a kiss.  

Instead he saw flashes of light and images.

He sat on his chair and looked at his cup of coffee. He saw himself walking inside Allie’s condo office placing a kiss on her lips.  Then he saw consecutive images.

Allie crying.

Hearing himself saying sorry and leaving.

Devon’s face.

He felt he was hugging her.

Devon calling him a poet.

“James,” Allie asked worriedly.  She saw James’s forehead crease after kissing her.  He was looking at his cup of coffee so intently, she felt her heart skip a beat. Did he remember something¸ Allie thought nervously.

James shook his head and held her forehead. He looked at Allie, “It’s nothing. I still have a headache.”

Allie stood up to get some medicine. James could not stop thinking and asking himself, what was that? Was that a dream or memory coming back? 

9 comments:

joziahrhuz said...

ganda:) sana may ending na hehe nabibitin nlang ako palage...hehe

lhee said...

nagbabalik na ang memories ni james haha

keep it coming lula bite

pero sana pahirapan mo muna ang lalaking yan bago niya makuha uli si dev

(fantard mode) bop bop bop

bLaCk VaNiTy said...

..weee!..sana James will remember the dream..kawawa na talaga si Devon..hahaizt... neweiz..i'll still be waiting for the nxt chap..& definitely until the ending..haha.. :)

jak said...

waaaaahhhh!!!!ang cheesy nman ni james!!!bumabalik na ang memory nya!!he'll be back in devon's!!exciting!!!exciting!!

jade25ish said...

Waaah...wowa bite, I love James kilig lines 4 Devon, I think i've heard that already..hmm.. but still, I looove it.. : )

James:“I can’t spend an hour with somebody, knowing that I’d rather have a second with you. I can’t kiss another woman, knowing that just holding your hand would give me more warmth. I can’t spend my lifetime married, when I know that I let the right one go."

bitemegenesis said...

nakakatuwa naman kayo. salamat ulit sa pagbabasa ha!

@jade25ish--> the 4 lines, was inspired but entirely different, by Nicholas Cage's dialogue in the City of Angels after Meg Ryan's death. :D

artec0001 said...

sis! i soo love it!

nakaktanggal ng stress ang story mo...keep it up!

--artec from pex

stefrawrs said...

oh my momay ate bite! i'm loving this sobra! cant wait sa next chps:D ang galing mo ate:D

kaya ako inspired sa mga ff ng gems:D
keep it up ate after that sana may next series ka ulit:) hehe

aiza said...

My cousin and i watched letters to juliet last night at naalala ko tong fic mo nung part na 2 years ago yung parang kila sophie, charlie and victor, tapos c devon, james and allie but the girl yung may fiance dito naman c james ang my commitment... La lang sa totoo lang i felt pity on james kc yung tipong sya lagi yung nagbibigay kay allie pero di siya masaya sa ginagawa nya parang nakita ko sya kila sophie and victor.. kasi dapat sa isang relationship dapat dalawa kaung ung nag-dedecide hindi lang ung isa, dapat pareho kaung happy sa ginagawa nyo kc kapag hindi, hindi mag wowork ung relationship.. I love the part when James goes to devon yung sinabi nya sa kanya.. pwedeng pang movie to o kaya series sa tv..

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