Oct 21, 2010

Chapter Eighteen (Chances)


XVIII.  She’s Out of My Life

James was seated in the patio outside his home.  He was looking from afar, Allie was meanwhile, was on the front of her laptop pouring over her work.  James’s thoughts were filled with the episode a week ago. 

Illian kissing Devon. 

No matter how many times he tried to shake the images off, it keeps coming back.  And he is seriously getting irritated.  Right after James’s and Devon’s conversation, he drove off in fury.  He cannot tell why he was so angry. That makes him even more frustrated.  He knows that Allie is feeling his frustration. She tried to be calm and tried to take it lightly. 

Last night he had another dream.  This time he remembered it clearly.  Devon and James were swimming together, he was trying to teach her how to swim.  Instead, she succeeded in almost drowning him because she kept on grabbing his hair.  She was doing this while they were swimming around the pool, with her clinging  on his neck. They kept on moving back and forth.  When he woke up, he thought that the dream was real since he was feeling muscle pains all over his arms and legs.

Was it just a dream, James thought. The dreams looked so real and so true, that he honestly thought that they were no longer just dreams. 

James leaned back on the chair. His Iphone was playing Angel by Jack Johnson loudly.  His fascination with his music has completely taken him by surprise.  The song ended, he grabbed his phone, intending to play it again.   Allie looked at James, clearly irritated.

“Don’t tell me you’ll be playing that song again?” Allie asked, with a trace of sarcasm in her voice.

James did not say anything, instead, he just hit the play button. Allie grabbed the phone from his hand and turned the song off.

“If you will be listening to that song again, use earphones,” Allie retorted. “You’ve been listening to that for an entire hour and for the entire week.  It’s getting on my nerves already.”

“What’s wrong with you,” James reacted. “It’s just a song.”

Allie stood up and turned her laptop off. She collected her things and prepared to leave.  James stood up and followed her.

“Where are you going?” James asked, walking behind her.

“I’m going home. Obviously, my presence here is not important,” Allie said walking towards the door.

James grabbed her arm. “What do you mean? I’m not saying anything against you.”

Allie shook her head. “You’ve been ignoring me for the last few weeks. You are always occupied with something else, you forget about me.”

James looked at Allie. He was never conscious of that. He has always been with Allie. “What do you mean by ignoring you? I’m always with you.”

“That’s the problem James,” Allie said in frustration. “We’re always together, but you were never really with me.”

Allie turned and walked away, leaving a befuddled and more frustrated James.

****

“You’re seriously not doing this,” Ryan reacted.  Bren and Ryan were in Devon, Yen and Freya’s apartment.

“Yes, Ryan. I’m really doing it,” answered Devon.  She was walking back and forth, getting things and clothes from her closet, packing them on a open suitcase.  Freya and Bren exchanged glances.  Yen could not hold it any longer.

“Why do you have to leave now?” Yen answered. “We just knew about this yesterday.”

Devon sighed. She knew that her friends would not be taking her decision lightly. Her family took the shock better. Maybe it is because her parents and her sisters did not witness how devastated she was after what happened with her relationship with James. It’s perfectly natural that her friends who saw her moping the last few months would be shocked about her sudden departure.

“I told you, something came up. I have been waiting for this opportunity for a long time. I’m not going to let it pass,” Devon tried to explain.

“It’s just such as shock,” Bren tried to speak for her friends. “You’re doing well with your job, you’re even starting to get your social life back. And then suddenly, you’re going to leave?”

Freya nodded vigorously, agreeing with his boyfriend. “We thought everything is okay,” she gently said.

Devon sighed, I thought so too.  “I told you this is completely professional.”

“We can’t change your  mind?” asked Ryan for the hundredth time.

Devon smiled. “No, I won’t change my mind.”

“Does James have something to with this?” Bren asked.

James would always have something to do with everything, Devon thought. “No,” she said. Trying her best to sound confident and putting up her best smile.

****

James has spent the hour doing laps on the swimming pool. He kept changing from one stroke to another.  Perhaps physical activity could take his mind of her. He flinched at the thought of her again and pushed himself forward into doing another lap. 

Unaware, Allie was watching him behind the curtains of his home.  She silently retreated.  Their fight yesterday was supposed to be the past, but something kept nagging her. He’s starting to become more distant everyday.  She tried to reach out to him but all she would see is a wall. 

This is exactly how it happened two years ago, after his Baguio trip.  This is how she lost James to Devon.

Allie was clutching on the chair so hard, deep in her thoughts that she did not realize James was already inside the room. James saw Allie standing by the dining table, gripping on the chair, so hard. Her knuckles were already white.

James threw his t-shirt on and walked towards Allie.  Allie heard his footsteps and looked at him.  James stopped and looked at Allie. He felt the room started to shrink.  And then something hit him hard, so hard that it almost sent him backwards.

James and Devon on the gasoline station.

James kissing Devon.

Devon hugging James under the trees, one dark night. Telling him that he’s a bad poet.

James holding Devon’s hands.

Devon.

Church.

Devon.

Airplane landing.

Devon.

Her face on his cellphone.

James plummeting forward when something hit his car.

Calling her name. Trying to reach his cellphone. Blackness.

Devon.

Devon.

Devon

James opened his eyes. He was still standing on the same spot. Allie is holding his hands.  Allie.  He stared at Allie. What have I done, he whispered to himself.  Allie looked at James, he looked surprised and bewildered. She held into his hands and could no longer control it.  Tears started to fall from her eyes.

“I can’t stand the thought of losing you again, James,” Allie whispered, trying to keep the sobs away.  “Not for the second time. Not to her again.”

She knew, James thought.

Allie lowered her head, shaking, trying so hard to fight the tears. “But I can’t hold on forever. Not when every time you look away, I kept thinking that you are thinking of her.”

James started to open his mouth and speak. He could not bear hurting Allie like this. She has been a good friend and she has taken good care of him. But Allie placed his hand over his mouth, keeping him from speaking. She took her hand away and bravely look at James with her tear-streaked face.

“You don’t have to say anything. Besides, you know I can’t stand losing,” Allie took a deep breath. “Which is why I’m ending this.” 

“At least, leave me some pride,” Allie said jokingly.  “Leave me with the thought I was the one who ended this.”

Allie moved forward and kissed James’ cheek.  She slowly pulled away and started to walk away. 

“Allie,” James called. She turned. “Thank you.”

“Love is not always sweeter the second time around,” Allie answered back.

****

Devon was already in the airport. She insisted that there is no need for her friends to see her off. She would be sent to Singapore, handling one of the company’s accounts there.  She looked at the crowd, and saw her officemate and boss who was supposed to give the details of her trip.

She walked towards them. Although, her stay in Singapore would only be for a few months, it was the relief she was looking for. She does not have to worry about running into James and Allie or seeing him on her footstep.  She does not have to endure everything.  Also, Devon intends to make her stay in Singapore permanent.

As she approached her boss and officemate, they looked stressed.  “Why?” Devon asked. “Is there any problem with the trip?”

Her boss started to scratch his head.  “There would be some changes with your itinerary.” Devon looked questioningly at her boss.  “This is a short notice, but you’re not going to Singapore. You’ll be sent to Macau.”

Devon nodded.  Well at least it does not mean I have to go back home.

“Your Macau stay would just be brief, maybe two or three weeks. There are just some urgent matters that you need to attend to. You’ll be able to handle it,” assured her boss.  “You’ll be coming back here in Manila after that. Then we will see if you will still be sent to Singapore.”

Devon nodded at her boss instructions. She listened carefully and after an hour she was already boarding her plane to Macau.  She was seated near the window and watched the blue skies outside of the plane when it took off.

She closed her eyes. 

It cuts like a knife, she thought.

She remembered when she asked her boss before she boarded her plane. A question which left her boss speechless for the first time.

“What if I decided never to come back?”

****

Few hours have already passed since Allie left, James was seated on the couch with eyes closed. But he was not asleep, he was savoring each moment and image that flashes in his mind.  There were still some lapses, there were still some gaps, but he think he regained more than half of  the memories he has lost. 

He opened his eyes.  He looked at the phone sitting beside him.  He has been lifting and dropping that headset for a few times already.

He took a deep breath. Come what may, pay your dues, he scolded himself.

He dialled a cellphone number, but the number could not be reached. He tried again, and again. And again. But he kept getting the monotonous recorded voice.

He decided to call his friend.  In just a couple of rings, Bren answered his phone.

“Do you know where Devon is?” James asked directly.  “I’ve been trying to call her but her phone’s out of service.”

He heard Bren took a deep breath. “She’s gone dude. She left just a few hours ago.”

“What?” James exclaimed. “Where did she go? Why did she leave?”

 “James, don’t go after her,” Bren answered. “She’s moving on.”

It’s useless to talk to Bren like this.  I’ve got to see them, James placed the phone down and started to walk towards the doorway. 

That is when he realized, that he was alone.

Empty.

12 comments:

Liana said...

Wala ako masabi. Ganda ng Chaptie na to. Im' speechless. Pero may nasabi ako comment. Lol

graze_nahil said...

aww..hangganda...paganda na ng paganda lola bite..lurve it!!

ielagrace said...

grabe pa ganda ng paganda "she's moving on " awtttsss ang skit nun aahh.. tsk sk sayang james na late kana nka alis na sha haha..
sana may makilala c devon dun sa pupuntahan nia haha..
pero dpt c james parin sa huli haha.....

connectorbabe_1982 said...

whoaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!...can't breathe in this chapter..it's too late for james to regain his memory..devon is moving on nah!..sana magkita sila dun ni illian sa macau..sana maging sila ms bite and when times na magkita sila ni james and try to win her back ay hindi magiging ganun kadali ang lahat dahil ayaw saktan ni devon si illian na sobrang mahal siya..eeewwww!..anuvey!..sobrang addict na aq at kung anu ano na ang pumapasok sa isip ko na next eksena..gusto ko lang kasi mahirapan si james na mabawi uli si devon at mapabalik sa life niya..jujujuju..

messy_meh said...

asan na......wooohoooo asan na ang kasunod.......plssssssssss...



hehehe


demanding

bLaCk VaNiTy said...

..whooaahh!..grabeh!(ivan mode)...galing mu talaga ms. bite..sana may kasunod na.. :)..sori 4 being demanding..hooked na kasi aq eh..hehe..kip it up ms. bite!.. :)

jak said...

hay, lowla bite!!galing talaga!!goosebumps!!!goosebumps!!

Jexy said...

nakakaiyak... lalo na pag sinabayan nung song na she's out of my life! :((

luna said...

ahhhwwww....with matching background music pa

littlemanika said...

this chapter made my whole body into goosebumps!.you're really really awesome ms.bite

rori said...

it was well written and the story is good too - i love the last part, thanks for sharing =)

SKIPPER27 said...

There's a free Q and A session tonight at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/socialmentoringclub 8pm-930pm.

This includes Facebook Marketing and Virtual Assistant Life Questions for Jomar Hilario, the author of Social Mentoring Club.

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