Oct 6, 2010

Chances (Chapter Thirteen)

XIII. Running After You

Less than two years ago…


James was sitting on the couch in the middle of Allie’s condo unit. In three weeks’ time, they would be walking down the aisle. James was looking at the invitations. Apparently, Allie was not satisfied with them and the invitations were not given out on time. They were supposed to give it to the guests last week, but the “color was not right,” Allie insisted. Which is the reason why she’s already on the phone, talking to those who are supposed to bring the modified invitations to her apartment, today.

Three weeks, thought James. I’m getting married in three weeks.

James looked at Allie, standing on the corner, in a heated argument. They started off as college buddies and the next thing he knew, they were kissing on the university parking lot. That was more than three years ago. In a few weeks, they would be together forever. Forever, James thought. Are we ready for that?

Allie ended the call and sat down besides James. “That was infuriating,” Allie said. She started to rant about other aspects of the wedding which are not going well. The chef who was supposed to prepare the meals at the reception, got sick. “Why do everything have to fall apart on the last minute?” Allie wailed.

James placed his hand behind Allie. “Hey,” James sweetly said. “We could always move the wedding. The invitation is not even out. Or we could just elope.”

Allie pulled away from James and looked at him incredulously, “Are you serious, James? That’s so immature. Everybody is set for the wedding date, we can’t postpone it.”

James flinched at what Allie said. Allie would often contradict his ideas. The only thing that he did that Allie did not complain about was when he proposed. However, a few hours later, she was already inspecting her engagement ring, asking for the price and if James was able to get a certificate stating that it is indeed a real diamond. I don’t want you to get duped, you get so trusting sometimes, he remembered Allie telling him.

But Allie was not always this uptight. She was a fun girl in college, but when she entered the fashion industry, that was when her attitude started to change. She would often demand James to wear clothes which are not really his style, just because they are meeting designers and clothing manufacturers. She would decide where and what they should eat. If James wanted pizza, they’ll go the other way. It’s not real food, Allie would often argue.

The fun girl he knew was starting to disappear. She was trying so hard to make him fit into her world, that he is starting to lose himself without her noticing. It gets to suffocating sometimes. But James learned to compromise. The last time he brought this up, they got into a terrible row. James remembered walking out of the condo, telling Allie, that he needs to be "him." The next day, he was back in Allie’s apartment, because Allie’s maid called him frantically saying that Allie was packing her things and will be leaving and staying in U.S. They patched things up. A week later, James was already proposing to Allie.

“We are not moving the wedding,” Allie said, snapping James out of her reverie. “We already told our family and friends about this.”

James held Allie’s hands and made her look at him. “Allie,” James said softly. “Whose wedding is this? This is our wedding. We do what we want.”

“I know,” Allie answered. “But we don’t just do things because we want them. But because we have too.”

Allie stood up and started to walk towards the kitchen. She turned towards James and told him, “Besides, this is what I want. And you, too, right?”

James stared at Allie and nodded his head. Allie smiled with approval and walked to the kitchen.

Is this what I really want? James asked himself. Or is it something that I have to do?

****

“You want what?” Bren shouted in surprise, almost choking on the glass of juice he was drinking. Ryan was also looking at James, surprised.

“You heard me,” James said. Calmly looking at his friends. “I’m getting married in three weeks, what difference would that make.”

“You’re getting married in three weeks,” said Ryan. “That’s the reason why you should not do it.” Bren was nodding in approval.

James shrugged. “What’s wrong with that,” James asked. “I just want to see her again.”

“And what would you say to her,” Bren asked, almost accusingly.

“I’ll ask her how she’s doing,” James answered tentatively.

“Then why don’t you just call her, after you got married,” Ryan insisted.

“I don’t know,” James surrendered. “I have this nagging feeling that I have to find her. I have to see and talk to her. I don’t know what I’m going to say, but I definitely need to talk to her.”

“You’re nuts,” Bren said, shaking his head. “Be honest with us James, we are your closest friends. What do you plan to do when you find her?”

James looked at his two friends and looked outside the house. “Have you ever connected with somebody?”

“But maybe the connection was just for friendship, companionship,” Bren reasoned out.

“Have you ever felt or had the feeling that you know the person so well, even if you just met for the first time?” James asked, not paying attention to what Bren said. James saw his friends shook their head. James continued, “That was what I felt when I first saw her. It feels so right to be there with her, so familiar and yet so refreshing.”

Bren and Ryan looked at each other. They have no idea what James is talking about. They felt that their friend is turning into a poet and he is a very, very vague poet.

“No,” James immediately answered. He remembered the passionate kiss, the sweet taste of rain on her lips. “It was definitely more that friendship.”

James looked at his friends, he has made a decision and he does not need their approval. “I need to find her,” James said. “I could not live a life, always thinking, what if.”

****

James is standing in front of a tall building in Makati, patiently waiting. She’s working here, he thought. He looked at his watch and saw that the employees would soon be leaving their offices. He felt his cellphone vibrating in his pocket, he pulled it out and saw that Allie was calling him. He shoved the phone back into his pocket and continued to watch the people walking into and out of the building doors.

Two days ago after talking to his friends about his plans, he called the hotel where he and Allie stayed, four months ago. He asked for the consulting firm who sponsored the seminar. After getting the names of the several firms who sent representatives to the event, he patiently called each one. He has to pull some strings just to get several leads. This morning, he hit a jackpot. A consulting firm confirmed an employee with the same name. He resisted being connected with her, when the secretary asked if he wants to talk to the employee. He needs to see her in person.

After four months, James saw her. She was wearing a crisp white blouse with black pinstriped slacks. A coat, was thrown on her arms, and she was carrying a heavy bag. He was about to walk towards her, when a man suddenly called her and walked towards her.

“Devon!”

Devon heard somebody calling her name and looked behind her. It is Jack, a very persistent officemate. She smiled and waited for the man. Jack grabbed her arm and started to pull her towards their other officemates, “Have dinner with us.”

Devon shook her head. “I want to, but I have other things scheduled for tonight.”

Jack frowned. “C’mon. You’re not going out with us anymore. Besides, this is not a date. We are going with other friends.”

Devon could not help but laugh. A few weeks ago, she remembered telling Jack that she would not go out on a date with him ever. “I can’t.”

“She can’t cause she’s having dinner with me,” a voice behind Devon said. Devon turned around and her mouth dropped when she saw James standing behind her.

Jack looked at James, he did not miss Devon’s surprised look which changed into an angry expression. “Okay, so this is the reason why you won't go out with me,” Jack joked and shut his mouth when Devon threw him an icy glare. He waved at Devon and walked away. Obviously, there is something between this two and I don’t want to get involved or caught in a crossfire, Jack thought thinking about Devon's piercing stare.

James and Devon were standing, facing at each other, not saying anything. Finally, Devon broke the silence. “Why are you here,” she asked.

“We need to talk,” James said.

“There’s nothing to talk about,” Devon said and started to walk away. James went after Devon and pulled her towards the nearest parking lot. “Let me go,” Devon pulled her hand away and stopped on her tracks.

“We have to talk Devon,” James said. He pulled her again, towards a parked black car. He opened the passenger door and motioned Devon to get in.

Devon took a long look at James but remained standing outside the car. Devon said clearly, “We are not going anywhere. If we need to talk, then we talk here.”

James looked at Devon and closed the door. He raked his fingers through his hair. “The last four months was hell for me. I kept thinking about you. The kiss.”

Devon looked at James, thinking he may be joking. But his face was so serious and he was looking at Devon so intently, she pulled her eyes away. “The kiss was nothing serious.”

“Tell me, how you feel,” James asked. “Cause I feel completely different when I’m with you. I felt things that I have never felt before.”

Devon clenched her fist. I must be strong, he’s getting married Devon. “I don’t feel the same way.”

James pulled her and kissed her. It was not the time for lies. Not the time for words, nor logic or common sense. It was their time to feel, to experience. When James’s lips touched Devon’s, she forgot everything. She was shaking. He was trembling. Both wanted more.

James whispered while his lips were still on hers, “Your body shows otherwise.” He dipped his head again and feasted on her strawberry lips.

Devon pulled away from his kiss and arms. She knew at that moment, she had fallen for James. How and exactly when, she can’t remember. Fallen really hard, and its really bad. She held her things tight with trembling hands.

She said to James without looking at him, “We have to end this madness James. You are getting married.”

Devon turned and started to run. Away from him. Away from her feelings. Away from all the craziness.

James was left alone, staring at her disappearing back. In that moment, he felt that he turned into a puddle. He realized when she walked out on him, he cannot breathe without her. He needs her. I love her, the realization hit him hard, leaving him breathless.

6 comments:

daianmendoza15 said...

MOREEEE! :DDDDD

bLaCk VaNiTy said...

..waah!..kaka-lurky!..may nxt chap na sana.. :)

assuminglangpo said...

anak ng tokwa!

i know its just a ff but james is really a jerk in this chappie

lolz

joziahrhuz said...

sana bukas may next chapter na po kasi everyday ko po tinitingnan yong ff mo f mat next chap nba promise ..:) i really love the story... 2 thumbs up poh..:))

jak said...

ayiiiieeeee lowla bite!!kiligness!!!next chapter na!!!tenbits!!!

consorcia said...

tama c jak. grabe! nakakabitin!!! sana mabasa ko n ung next chapters please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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