Part 1: The day after “the day”
I open my eyes and begin to wonder where I am right now. I look around and find that Christian and Kevin standing beside my bed. I look at my right side and find that my hand is given an infusion. I must be at the hospital.
Kevin suddenly asks me
“Rub, how are you feeling?”
“I am feeling fine.” I reply to him wondering the last memory I could recall.
“You have scared me. The search team found you with Roy, both unconscious.” Says Christian
Now, I recall that I was with Roy the last time and suddenly try to get up and look for Roy.
“Where is Roy?” I ask Kevin right away.
“He is in the next room. He got hyperthermia. It seems that he gave you all of his jackets and let himself uncovered for hours.” Says Kevin
I pull away the infusion and run away to the door, trying to look for Roy. Both Christian and Kevin are trying to hold me.
“He is fine. You are still weak. You need to lie down and rest more.” Says Christian
“No, let me see him. Please let me to see him first.”
It seems they realize that it’s useless to hold me against my will. I am then running away to the next room. I find him still unconscious lying down on a bed. He was given an electric blanket. The blanket seems breathing. It looks like a turtle shell. I am holding his right hand and say
“You must wake up. I don’t want anything bad happens to you. You have promised not to leave me again. You must open your eyes and wake up.”
I talk to him gently. I start crying. I don’t want anything bad to happen to him. I don’t want to see him like this. He caught hyperthermia because of me.
Kevin then goes inside the room and tells me
“Did you tell Roy that you are Ruby?” ask him
“Yes. I told him everything. He also told me the real reason behind his leaving 11 years ago.”
“The search team found him holding your hand tightly. It is very hard for them to separate the hands. I know that you two must have undergone a near death experience.”
“Kev, there is something I need to tell you as well about Lily.”
I tell Kevin every detail about what Roy has told me. His expression is suddenly changing and he begins to run out from the room. I know that he must be looking for Lily. I am glad that Kevin will start to feel happy again. Kevin and Lily are destined to be together. They have loved each other so much. I am then hearing a sound of Roy calling my name..
“Ruby.. Ruby… Ruby..”
I am holding his hand even tighter.
“I am here. Please wake up.”
Roy is opening his eyes and look at me weakly. He finally says
“Thank God you are ok. I had a bad dream that I lost you again.”
“You will not lose me, not like this.” I make a promise to him.
Christian then enters the room. I don’t know whether he has been listening for a while. I am smiling to Christian and ask him to call the doctor to do a check up on Roy.
We spend another three days at the hospital. I have asked the nurse to put us on a join room to make things easier. Christian takes care of me while I am trying to take care of Roy as his condition is worse than mine. Ko Ben and Ci Henny also apologize to Christian, still thinking that I am May Wong. After a long explanation, Roy finally tells them that I am Ruby, not May.
Everything has fallen into place. Roy often asks me to hold his hand as if he is afraid that I might disappear from his side. Kevin arrives at our last day at the hospital to pick us up. He comes by with Lily. I am glad that the two of them has solved things over. They really look good together. Roy smiles at Lily. Kevin finally apologizes to Roy for misunderstood him all this long.
Kevin is driving Christian and Lily home while Ko Ben is driving Ci Henny, Roy and me. I ask Roy to let me be in Kevin’s car as we are going to go to the same house while they will go to the different direction. However, he insists that he still wants to spend some time with me.
Inside the car, he never lets go of my hand which makes me feel awkward to do this in front of Ko Ben and Ci Henny.
“I am glad that you two are together now.” Says Ko Benny.
“We are not together.” I reply to him immediately. I don’t want them to get the wrong message. At least, we never officially commit ourselves to become a couple. I am still not clear about my feelings.
“What are you talking about? You are my girlfriend now.” says Roy and looks unhappy because of the last sentence I talk to Ko Ben.
Ko Ben and Ci Henny are laughing loudly as we begin to continue our journey back.
When arriving at home, June has already waited for us at the lobby. I wonder whether Kevin has told her about what happened during the past few days. I get out from the car and June suddenly hugs me in front of everyone.
“Ruby, I am glad you are ok. I have been worried sick.” She says unexpectedly.
“I am ok. Don’t worry. I have been missed you a lot too.” I reply to her. I am glad that June has considered me as her sister or at least her friend. I know that starting from now, our relationship will be different.
Christian then takes my luggage from Roy’s car and says
“Let’s go home. It has been a long journey. You don’t have to walk her home. I can take it from here.”
I don’t know why his reaction is this cold to Roy.
However, Roy seems to understand the reason behind it. He walks away and promises to call me as soon as he gets home.
“I miss you already.” He whispers in my ears.
I am smiling at him, thank Ko Ben and CI Henny for the holiday again and then wave them good bye.
When I arrive at home, Christian then asks me to sit down. I am afraid that he will ask me about all the details. Without hiding anything, I tell Christian, Kevin, Lily and June everything about what happened during the trip.
Christian and June seem unhappy to hear my explanation. June suddenly asks me
“By looking at it officially, you are not together yet aren’t you?”
“Yes.” I reply her honestly.
“They are already together. Don’t get your hopes high!” replies Kevin to June
“Yes, but it is not official yet. There is still a chance that Ruby will end up with someone else.” She debates with Kevin right away.
“Do you love him?” asks her directly to me.
“I don’t know. I certainly have feelings for him but I don’t know whether it’s love. It’s been a while since I am close with him. I am afraid that this is just an infatuation.” I answer back her question.
“That’s good. At least, there is a hope that you might develop a true feeling for Ko Chris.”
Now, I get where this is going. I need to clarify the truth to all of them.
“My feeling for Christian was never more than just a friendship, maybe a family kind of love. However, it is different with Roy. I never look at him as just a regular friend. It’s always something more. Nevertheless, I have to admit that I am still feeling confused about this. I want to be really sure about this. I don’t want to hurt anybody.”
“How is your feeling for him comparing to your feeling with Anthony?” Kevin asks me directly
“I don’t know. The night before I went to Sydney, I felt something more than just a brotherhood love like I used to have for him. But I am not sure not.” I reply honestly to Kevin’s question.
“You have to figure it out. Now what you can do is just let everything flows naturally.” says Kevin
“I won’t give up on you either. I backed down before because Kevin lied to me that he had feelings for you. I wanted to have a fair fight with him before confessing my true feelings for you. Now, that I know that it’s all just an act, I won’t back down anymore. I regret to have let you to go on a holiday with Roy. If you didn’t go to the vacation, everything will be different” says Christian to me.
His confession makes it awkward for me to continue to live under the same roof with him. I wonder whether I should get my own place or even go back to Indonesia since my mission has already been accomplished which was to find out the true reason Roy left me before. Kevin seems to read my hesitation. He is then asking Lily to go back first and asks me to walk them out to the lobby.
“I really don’t know what to do.” I say to Kev after putting Lily into a cab.
“I understand how you feel. Let’s take a walk and discuss this.”
We walk on the side of the road and begin to talk about of lives for the past few days. He told me that he is happy to have gotten Lily back in his life. The only wish for him now is to grow old with her. He thanked me that I have told him the truth about what happened back then with her and Roy.
“I am glad that you have found your happiness” I say to Kev.
“Ya.. But you haven’t found yours.” He replies to me.
“Rub, if you have to choose to have only one person in your life, which one of them you prefer to have? I am referring to Anthony, Christian and Roy.” He asks me
I keep quiet for a while, thinking about his question and finally answer to him
“Anthony. He is not just a companion for me. He is also my best friend, my brother, my father, my nanny, my…. I cannot imagine how my life would be without him by my side.”
“Ok! Now put it like this. Have you ever cried so hard because of Anthony? As hard as you had for Rudy or for Roy when they left you?”
“No.” I answer Kevin’s question right away.
“I also cannot look inside your heart and find out whether your feeling for Anthony is just a habit or it’s a deeper love that you haven’t realized along the way.” Says Kevin
“Do you know why I never cry hard for Anthony?” I ask Kevin after he guests my feelings.
“Why?” asks him again?
“It’s because he never really hurts me, not even once. He never leaves my side.”
“If I were you, I also don’t know which one to choose. However, you might feel surprise to find out your true feelings for Christian in the future. You might not feel it now but I have this strange feeling that it will change in the future.” He talks to me and makes me to even more confuse.
We finally reach home after an hour of a long walk on the city. I look at my mobile phone and find 2 texts already coming in. The first one is from Anthony and the second one is from Roy. After reading their two messages, I reply the message right away to keep them from worrying.
When are you coming back home? Please let me know how you are doing over there. I miss you a lot. I have been sick for the past few days and wished that you are here to take care of me.
Reply: I will call you tomorrow as I want you to get some rest now. It’s already late. I don’t have plans to go back soon temporarily. I will let you know should I am planning to go back. I miss talking to you too. I hope that you will get better. Don’t forget to eat you medicine before sleeping.
I already reach home. I miss you already. Are you willing to be my girlfriend again? I promise that this time, I won’t let you go again. I promise to be good to you for the rest of my life. I love you.
Reply: Don’t forget to take some more rest as you just went out from hospital. I cannot give you any answers at the moment. Please give me some time to think about it. Good night and sweet dreams.
Part 2: Surprise, surprise…
The next morning, I am planning to make a delicious breakfast for everyone as my big gratitude for them to have taken care of me. When I reach the living room, I feel so surprise to find out that the rooms have been filled with flowers. They are red roses, white lily and even some other flowers that I am familiar with. I am planning whether this flower is for Christian to host another party. I look at the card to see what happens.
It turns out that the flowers are sent by Christian for me. All the cards are written “Please give me a chance, I love you.” Or “You are my angel.” Or other sweet talks which make me scared to death. I am running to Kevin’s room to find out whether he has known about this. I enter his room without even knocking and find out that he is still sleeping.
“Kev, wake up!” I talk to him
“What? What happened” He asks me.
I am grabbing his hand and pulling his body to follow me to the living room.
“Look at all these flowers.” says me with an angry tone.
He then looks around at the living room and read all the cards in the bouquet. He finally realizes what’s going on and begins to laugh loudly for a while.
“I think Chris will demonstrate his tricks when he’s trying to chase a woman.”
“I don’t understand. I thought that I have made myself clear. I thought that he can understand that I only look at him as my family.”
“Oh… He understands all right but it doesn’t mean that he’s giving up on you.” Replies Kev to me.
I don’t know what to do with the flowers. I plan to see Christian and ask him to stop wasting his money on this ridiculous move. However, I remember that Christian told me to never enter his room. June then wakes up and finally sees all the flowers in the living room. Even June has a hard time to walk through the living room.
“What’s going on? Who did this?” replies her
“It’s Chris. He sends all of this to catch Ruby’s attention” says Kevin to June.
June then laughs loudly also for a while and then shouts her brother name.
“Ko…. Come down.. How come that you are this stupid?”
I feel like if we have a neighbor, they will hear June’s voice from a distant. Kevin and I are both covering our ear as Christian comes down to see us.
“Why do you have to shout? I am not deaf!” he knocks June’s head with his right hand.
“Do you know that by sending these flowers won’t get you to catch Ruby’s attention? You have to understand the correct way to pursue her. Why do I have a stupid brother like you?” Replies June
I begin to feel bad as the two siblings are fighting because of me. I finally respond Christian by saying
“Christian, I appreciate the gesture. But, please don’t do this next time. This is too much and it is a waste of money. You can feed a small town in Africa for a day!”
Christian then smiles and replies
“At least, I get you to show some emotions for me.”
I really don’t know how to talk to Christian. He’s truly a flamboyant. Suddenly, there is a door bell ringing twice. I wonder who will come over this early. It’s only 07.00 o’clock in the morning.
Kevin walks to the door and helps us to open it.
“Aunty, why didn’t you inform us before? We haven’t prepared anything for your arrival.”
There is a woman’s voice near the door. She sounds very fierce.
“This is my house. Why do I need to inform you? I can come by to my house anytime I want”
“Mom?” June calls her and approaches her immediately.
I am freezing like a statue, looking at her which looks like the mother of Dao Ming Shi in Meteor Garden series. She looks sharp, has a certain class with two bodyguards and one personal assistant.
“Please bring my luggage upstairs. I want to have a spa later on at Shangrilla.” She says to the female personal assistant.
“Who is this girl?” she asks June and points at me.
“She is Amy’s friend. She has stayed here for a while.” Replies June to her mom. She looks really nervous. I never see her to be afraid to anyone. The way Christian and June communicate with their mother is really different with the way I talk with my mom.
“Ask her to move out immediately. I don’t like having any strangers in the house.” She screams to both of her kids.
I want to run and pack with things immediately. I don’t know why but she scares me to death. I have never met anyone like her before. She seems so ruthless.
“She is not going anywhere.” says Christian to her mom.
I begin to feel panic and want to shush him immediately. There is no need for anyone to argue with his mom. She is like the “Empress” from the Chu and Han Dynasty.
“Why?” replies her to Christian.
“If she is Amy’s friend, we can always find her another place to stay. She can even stay at any hotels she likes. We can pay the fee. I just don’t like having any strangers in the house. Ask her to pack her things immediately.” She continues to talk to Christian.
“She can’t go.” June also replies to her mother.
“Why? Give me a valid reason.” The Empress voice starts to rise.
“Because….” Says June
Christian finally stands up and says “Because I love her and she is my girlfriend.”
I really want to put my hand against Christian’s mouth and ask him to stop talking. He will make things more complicated. I don’t want her mother to think that I am Christian’s girlfriend. Before I can defend myself, the Empress then starts to talk back to Christian.
“Do you know what you just said? Do you know what it means?” replies her mother.
“Yes. I understand clearly.” Reply Christian to her mother.
I finally gather my courage to speak to her before everything messed up
“Aunty, how are you? My name is Ruby. I think that there has been a misunderstanding. I am not Christian’s girlfriend. I am just staying here for a while due to Amy’s request. I will go back to Indonesia as soon as possible. My boss has already been waiting for me to come back to work. Thank you for everyone’s hospitality. You have raised two great children.”
I then excuse myself to go to my room to pack up my things instantly.
“Wait… What company did you work for?” she asks me suddenly.
“It’s Bronze Enterprise. I work in the holding company as a Recruitment Manager.”
“Call President Director Ang” she says to her personal assistant
I really don’t know how to react as I just said a lie to cover Christian up. I shouldn’t have said that my boss is already waiting for me. I know Mr. Ang but he is closer with Madam Marlene. I only meet with him during a special occasion. Before I can say anything the Empress has already talked with Mr. Ang. It seems that she has asked many questions about me. She even asks to allow her to talk to Madam Marlene. I am caught. I feel that I am waiting against a death sentence.
“Ok. Thank you very much Mr. Ang. I hope that we can cooperate well in the future. I am looking forward to the property dealing you just mentioned.” She finally finishes talking with him.
Mr. Ang and the Empress have two different styles even though they are both President Directors. Mr. Ang is more of a down to earth and a nice person to talk to while she seems the opposite.
“You may stay here. I will have you to attend many lessons from now on.” She talks to me
“But, I am planning to move.” replies me to the Empress. I really don’t want to stay here anymore.
“No, you will stay unless you think that my place is like a hotel that you can check out at anytime. Cindy, my personal assistant will follow your activities from now on.”
She is then walking away, climbing the stairs to go to her room. I never go to the second floor of this Penthouse except to the Ballet Room since Christian has forbid me to come to his room. Kevin’s, mine and June’s room are on the first floor. Therefore, there is no reason for me to go upstairs.
Kevin is taking my hand, and walking me out from the apartment outside.
“Let me talk to her for a moment.” He says to both Christian and Cindy.
As long as we are outside, I finally begin to outburst my feeling to him immediately.
“Kev, what should I do? I cannot run away anymore. What does Christian think? I don’t understand why he did such a thing? Why why why? And why on earth did the Empress change her opinion and ask me to stay?”
“Rub, you have to calm down!” as he is flicking my forehead.
“Now, listen to me. I think the situation is not as bad as we think it is. Christian insisted for you to stay because he wants to protect the person he loves. It took a great courage for him to defend you in front of the almighty Aunt Betty.”
“Ok! I understand why Christian did that. However, why on earth did the Empress call my President Director? I might not be able to come back to work. I love working in that company. It feels like my second home. Also, why did she ask me to stay? She wanted to kick me out from the house before!”
“I think the Empress wants to find out about your capabilities. That’s why she called the President Director. When she heard that you already worked before, she wanted to see what kind of a girl his son dares to offend her for the first time. Mr. Ang probably gave you a high praise. I think that’s the reason she asks you to stay at the house. First is that she wants to test you and finds out whether you are a capable worker, second is she might want to consider accepting you as Christian’s girlfriend and maybe even his future wife.” Replies Kevin to me.
I have to admit that Kevin has analyzed all these situations thoroughly. Now that I am panicking, I lose my usual detail analyzes and begin to feel the emotion rather than find a logical solution.
“I think you are right.” I reply to Kev.
“But, I don’t have any feelings for Christian. I was just starting to open my heart to see how things are going with Roy and find out how I really feel about Anthony. You told me that I should go with the flow for now on. With the new princess lesson and with Christian meddles in, I really don’t know where to put my focus on. What should I do?”
Kevin then thinks hard and keeps quiet for a while. He finally replies to me
“Don’t rush to fall in love, because in fairy tales, the happy ending takes place on the last page. I have a strong feeling that you and Roy were wrong from the start.”
I don’t understand what he just said but I have decided to change the Empress’ view on me. I am a girl who likes to take an advantage on people, especially from both her children
“Ok! I will do my best to attend the princess lesson and not thinking about Roy, Anthony or Christian. Not everyone will be given the same opportunity. I will cherish it and do my best.” I say to Anthony.
“That’s my girl!” Kevin replies to me.
I call Anthony to let him know that I am well since I haven’t called him in a while. I don’t want him to worry about me. He asks me about work and I tell him that it’s going busy as usual. After we finish talking, suddenly Christian is walking towards me.
“I am sorry. I shouldn’t put you in this situation. I never want to put a burden on you.”
“It’s ok. I have decided to attend the princess lesson. I will fight along with you. We will show your mother that I am not the girl she is thinking. My feelings for you and June are sincere!”
He suddenly hugs me and jumps around happily. I am not sure whether he has misunderstood.
“Thank you! This is the first time that I have the courage to go against my mother.” He says to me.
“You have no idea how glad I am that you have decided to stay. I am glad that you have accepted my mother’s challenge. I won’t let you down. I know your true feelings for me now” says Christian
“I am afraid that you have misunderstood. I am attending the lesson because….”
I haven’t got a chance to finish my sentence before he puts his hand to close it against my mouth.
“Ssstt.. Don’t say anything. This is one of the happiest days of my life.”
Part 3: Settle things out
I really don’t know how to talk after seeing Christian’s reaction from before. He seems very happy and I don’t know how to tell him the real reason for me to keep staying. I am afraid that he will take it due to my acceptance for his affection.
After taking a deep breath, I decide to call Roy and plan to have a serious conversation with him. I need to tell him the current situation. I won’t have time tomorrow as the princess lesson will start. I still have no idea how to explain to him in regards to my decision. More importantly, I don’t know how I follow up my action from his text yesterday.
We meet at the Ayam Goreng 99 restaurant near his apartment as I want go away from the city area. He already sits in the restaurant when I reach the place. Our conversation begins as follow:
“Hi, are you feeling better now?”
“I am feeling well. I am planning to go back to work in a few days.”
“There’s something that I need to tell you.”
“What is it?”
I am then telling him all the details from Christian’s mother arrival until my decision to take the princess lesson. Suddenly, he stands up and raises his voice:
“You can’t keep staying there. You have to move! You can stay at my place. Let’s go now.”
“Roy, please calm down for a while. I didn’t decide to stay due to accepting Christian’s feeling for me. I just need to prove to his mother that no matter how she is trying to make my life difficult, I will still survive later on as a winner in my own way. I need to prove myself to her that I am not just a person who likes to take an advantage by living at her house and repay her with nothing.”
“I understand your point. But, I think it’s still dangerous for you to live under the same room with Christian and his family. I don’t want you to be treated poorly. Most importantly, I don’t want to give Christian a chance to get closer to you, especially after he confessed his feelings.” replies Roy to me.
“Roy, are you willing to listen to my true feeling in regards to this whole situation? I also want to let you know my true feelings for you currently.”
“Yes. You can always share your true feelings with me.”
“You still remember that I have someone very close to me named Anthony right? The one who came to Sydney to accompany me 11 years ago?”
“Ever since you left me and then my next boyfriend also left me, I have begun to depend on his companion so much. He is more like a guardian angel for me. He has been with me through my darkest time, through my painful time and during my great depression. He was the one who tried to feed me when I lost my appetite, read stories for me, brought me to see a psychiatrist, accompanied me to the hospitals, stayed beside me when I cry and many more of my dreadful events. I found out a few months ago that his feeling for me was not just a simple brother and sister love. Since then, I also tried to see him more than just a brother. I still haven’t figure out my true feelings for him yet but he will always be the last person in the world that I want to hurt. If I have to choose between all people in the world or just him, I will choose him. I hope that you understand how important he is for me.”
“I understand. But I don’t think that you love him in the same way he does for you.” Says Roy to me.
“Yes, maybe you are right. For the time being, I am still doubtful. But, I also have my doubts about my feelings for you.”
“What do you mean? Do you like me as your brother now?” he asks me with a shock tone.
“No, of course not. I never look at you that way. However, I can’t seem to ignore that we haven’t been in touched for the past decade. I am not the same person who I was 11 years ago. I have changed. I went to a different College with you; I worked at 3 different companies and even almost got married with my last boyfriend. I don’t know whether we can just pick up where we have left. I also have no idea what you have been through when I wasn’t by your side. I don’t know whether we will click with each other anymore but I also can’t deny that I do possess a certain feelings towards you. I just don’t want anything to rush. I don’t want any of us to get hurt in the future.”
Roy then starts to become silent for a moment and seems to think hard. I don’t know whether he feels happy or the feels the opposite. I know that by explaining the truth to him will cause him to feel disappointed. However, I don’t want to start a relationship based on an infatuation. Furthermore, I also don’t want to rush things over. I am no longer a 17 year old girl. I am now 27 going on 28. I am supposed to reevaluate about my love life in a more mature way.
“I respect what you think. I will prove it to you that we are meant to be together. We are perfect for each other. Do you have any idea how happy I was when I found out that you are Ruby instead of May Wong? I felt that it wasn’t right for me to fall for a rich girl like May. However, when I found out that it was you all along, I can understand that I am falling in love again with the same girl. I fell in love 11 years ago with you because you were smart, you were kind, and you were funny. Now, I fall in love with you because of the same qualities I saw. I love you not because of you are beautiful now but you have been beautiful all along because I love you. Do you get it?”
My feelings start to mix up even more since few hours ago. I thought that I would gain some clarity after meeting Roy. However, it turns out that he even persuades me stronger. I am then excusing myself to go home as I don’t want the Empress to be angry. I have to mind my manners to come home on time. Roy finally walks me out to the bus and says
“Ruby, just give me some time. I will make your heart to love me back like it used to.”
Part 4: Princess Lesson
I am really surprise to hear what I called a marine trumpet. A sound when people usually hear when they attend a military camp. I look at my watch and it’s only 05.00 AM. I don’t understand what’s going on. The Empress’ personal assistant suddenly comes in to my room and asks me to wake up.
“Good morning Cindy.” I greet her still feeling a shock from hearing the alarm before.
“Good morning Miss. Lee. Mrs. Wong has asked me to teach you a couple of things. We shall begin our lesson now.”
I am then following her to the living room and finds out that there is already a large white board with a complete weekly schedule on it.
“Can I take a shower first?” ask me politely. I haven’t even brushed my teeth yet.
You can go to take a shower in thirty minutes after I will brief you our schedule. Mrs. Wong will wake up at 06.30 AM and I need you to get this done before she comes down and question me.
I am surprise by the efficiency on how Cindy is working. She must have been a really good personal assistant. I wonder whether Mr. Ang’s PA, Helen is as capable as her. I look at the white board and the schedules written as follow:
|05.00 – 05.30||Weekly briefing|
|05.30 – 06.30||Personal time – shower||Personal time – shower||Personal time – shower||Personal time – shower||Personal time – shower|
|06.30 – 10.30||Entrepreneurship||Cat walk||Banking Industry||Chinese||Harvard Case Study|
|10.30 – 12.00||Finance and Accounting||Dance lesson||Stock Market||Negotiation||Japanese|
|12.00 – 13.30||Lunch – table manner||Lunch – table manner||Lunch – table manner||Lunch – table manner||Lunch – table manner|
|13.30 – 16.00||French||Human Resource||English||Dance lesson||Legal Aspects|
|16.00 – 17.30||Attribute lesson||International Marketing||Jewelry and other assets||Household lesson||Talent lesson|
|17.30 – 18.00||Personal time||Personal time||Personal time||Personal time||Personal time|
|18.00 – 19.30||Dinner – table manner||Dinner – table manner||Dinner – table manner||Dinner – table manner||Dinner – table manner|
|19.30 – 20.30||History||History||History||History||History|
I really am speechless after seeing the white board. Do I even need to learn a cat walk? I never plan to become a professional model. This is even crazier compare to the lesson I was taking during my bachelor degree. There’s also a talent lesson? I don’t even know what that is.
Cindy then tells me that talent lesson’s objective is to improve any of my talent skill such as playing piano. She also explains to me about the attribute lesson which means that some expert is going to teach me how to dress well for different occasions.
“How long will this take?” I ask Cindy so that I can count my days and hoping for a miracle.
“It depends on Mrs. Wong and your own progress. It can be one week or it can be one year.”
Her answer really makes me to feel depress even more.
“You don’t have to worry Ms. Lee. Mr. Wong will join you for all the lessons.”
I am now feeling even more shock.
“Mr. Wong, the President Director?” I ask Cindy right away
“Of course not. It’s Mr. Christian Wong.” Answers her to me
I am now feeling more relieve than before. At least Christian will be there with me.
“Why didn’t you wake him up?” I ask Cindy while looking for Christian.
“I am not at liberty to come to his room.” replies her.
“Me too! And Cindy, please call me Ruby. You don’t have to address me so formally.” I reply her.
“I want to ask Ms. Lee, I mean Ruby to wake Mr. Wong up. I am sure that he will not be angry with you coming to his room.”
“No. I don’t dare to. He has reminded me before that his room is forbidden.” I reply to Cindy.
“Ok! For now, it is time for you to take a shower. Mrs. Wong will be up in an hour.”
During showering, I couldn’t think for any reasons why the Empress wants me to take all lessons. She might want Christian to take this lesson too but failed before. I think that’s the only reason why she would want to spend her money to invest on me. I come out from my room and find that they already serve breakfast. They are two new house maids who dress like a maid in the real palace.
“Good morning Ms. Lee” both greeted me as I walk in to the dining room.
June, Christian and Kevin are now in the living room “admiring” the white board Cindy has prepared.
“What’s all of this?” Christian asks Cindy
“It’s the weekly schedule for both Mr. Wong and Ms. Lee to attend.” Replies Cindy
“I won’t follow this non sense!” shouts Christian to her
Out of nowhere, the Empress then comes down and says
“It’s up to you whether you will join the lesson or not but for Ruby, this lesson is compulsory. If you want her to attend the lesson alone, it is up to you.”
Christian looks at me for a while and says
“Ok! I will attend all lessons as long as you let her to stay.”
I am thankful with the sacrifice that Christian is willing to do for me. I know how difficult it must be for him to cooperate with this arrangement. He is not someone who can discipline himself with a crazy schedule like this.
“Thank you.” I smile to him right away.
“I will be off to go to Switzerland for a while. Cindy will stay here to monitor all the lessons. Don’t think that due to my absence, you can act as you wish. Should you try to play any tricks, I will block of your banking account and credit cards and even ask Ruby to move out.” says the Empress.
Cindy then follows her to go outside while the two maids are bringing her luggage.
Kevin is then laughing and asking me to join him for a conversation in the balcony.
“You just continue to make me proud.” Says Kevin to me
“What are you talking about?”
“You make Christian to turn into a responsible man he is supposed to be. You make the Empress respects your presence in the house. You are incredible.”
“I don’t know if I am doing the right thing. I just don’t want Christian to be sad. He has put a roof over my head when I had none. If I run away from this situation, it won’t be fair to him.”
“Ruby, for all this time, you have been thinking for Anthony, for Roy, for Christian, for your friends, and even for me. I wonder when you will do something beneficial for your own happiness.”
I smile at Kevin and glad that I still have a true friend while Anthony is not beside me.
“Let’s go have breakfast!” I ask Kevin to come inside with me.
After finishing a whole week, it turns out that the lessons don’t run as bad as I thought. It got boring at some point, especially during the night. The history lesson is just too much. The teacher explains the history of WWI, WWII and even the history of all great leaders. Christian often falls asleep during the lesson. Nevertheless, my respects begin to grow for him as he is willing to accompany me day and night during the lessons without a single complaint. During the discussion, I often argue with Christian on his point of few about how a woman is allowed to become a ruler in a country.
It is really funny too when Christian also needs to do a cat walk session. He needs to learn how to put on his suite properly and walk likes a male model. Another funny lesson is during the talent lesson. As my talent is playing the piano, Christian’s talent is nothing to do with any indoors activity before. Therefore, he learns to sing in order to accompany me. Unfortunately, he is a tune deaf.
I have to admit that all the teachers are really qualified. They are one of the best in Sydney. Even the stock market teacher is a Professor who heads the finance department in UNSW (University of New South Wales). My favorite lesson for the time being is the house hold lesson where Christian and I have to learn about cooking, cleaning or any other activities at the house. The Empress even invites the Chef who appears to be the head judge in Master Chef Australia. I really enjoy our class with him. Christian also takes this lesson seriously as he plans to cook for me his first meal. This is the only lesson where I am not arguing things with Christian and have a good time.
Time flied so quickly and now it comes to the second week day five when we are planning to take our dancing lesson.
“What are we learning today?” I ask Cindy while she keeps recording a video to report to the Empress.
“Frank will teach you how to dance a Tango. I will put this camera to roll. I cannot accompany you and Mr. Wong for the lesson. I need to go to the bank and handle something.” replies her to me.
“Ok! Don’t worry. I will keep it running.” I say to Cindy. I really like her. I have to admit that she is one of the most professional workers I have come across for a long time.
Frank, the teacher starts to teach us the basic steps and poises to do a Tango. He says
“Passion is the key to dance Tango. You have to pretend to fall in love with each other. When you dance a Tango, you have to treat your spouse as your love partner, not just a dance partner.”
I am really having a hard time to dance a Tango well. First I really don’t like they way my dance partner touch my body as a compulsory. Second, I really can’t look at Christian as my love partner.
“There is no heat!!!!” Frank starts to scream at both of us.
“This lesson will not end until the two of you got this right.” Frank continues to give us a lecture.
I suddenly begin to feel depress and say to Christian:
“I never get this right.”
“Are you willing to trust me?” replies him to me.
“Yes.” I reply to Christian.
He is then taking an eye cover from his room and put it on me.
“What are you doing?” I ask him immediately.
“Put your trust in me. I won’t let you fall. Just move with the music and pretend that I am your lover for the next five minutes.”
The music starts to play as Christian begins to lead the dance. I can feel his breath is getting really close to my ear and cheek. I also can feel his hand begins to touch to my hair, my neck and then comes down again to my waist. Now, I can even begin to relax when he lifts me up and holds me in his arm. My heart starts to beat even faster as he is now taking the eye cover and throw it away. I begin to trust his lead and move with him along with the music. I start to look at him differently when we are dancing. This is like a love affair. Christian is like my long lost lover that I have been longing to see. The music has ended but he hasn’t let go of me and still put his right hand around my waist. He then pulls my body to become even closer and then pushes his face against mine really close. His lip touches my lip softly and then I hear Frank to shout and clap his hand.
“Bravo!! Bravo!! This is what I am talking about. This is a tango. That’s call it a day!”
Frank is then grabbing his jacket and walking out from the room. I begin to feel embarrass and didn’t understand what just happened. I know that I didn’t have any feelings for Christian before. We even always fight when we attend a lesson. He always bothers me and even likes to play tricks on me. I don’t understand. I run away from the room as Christian begins to chase me and calls my name.
“Please let go of my hands.” I say to Christian
“Why? Why did you have to run away from me?” he asks me
“I don’t know what just happened. I don’t know why I let you to kiss me. I need to think.” I reply to him while still trying to let go of my hands. His grip is so strong.
“Why are you trying to run from this? Why can’t you face your true feelings to me with the same level of bravery you have shown to my mother? Am I not good enough for you?”
“No! I am not the one who is not good enough for you. Let go of my hands. I never think of you more than just a friend.”
“Really? Look at my eyes now and tell me that you didn’t feel anything from our dance before. I will let go of your hands if you say that you didn’t feel a single thing just then.”
I look into his eyes and I can’t deny that I felt something too during the last dance. Nevertheless, I remember that my situation with Roy and Anthony have already been complicated enough. I can’t be a girl who becomes a ”wishy washy” person and not commit to somebody. I have promised Roy to give him a chance and find out whether we can pick up where we left and give it another try. I also haven’t told Anthony about Roy or Christian. It’s just not fair to him. I remember that I even responded to Anthony’s kiss the last day before I went to Sydney.
“No. I didn’t feel anything during the dance. I only consider you as a good friend.” I lie to Christian.
Christian lets go of my hand, takes his jacket and walks away from the room. I don’t know what’s got into me as I begin to sit down on the floor and starts to cry. It’s not supposed to be like this. Why can’t I control myself? I really don’t know what to do. Do I really start to fall for Christian?
There two other lessons more to finish the day while Christian is not there to attend. I couldn’t concentrate all. I tell both of the teachers that Christian is not feeling well. It’s good that Cindy is not here to interrogate me. As the history lesson just ends, I begin to go outside to the balcony.
“Here..” Kevin hands me a beer.
“Kev, do you know where Christian is?” I ask him right away while opening the can.
“No, I don’t know. But, I am guessing that he went to a club somewhere.” Replies Kevin to me
“Can you tell me what’s going on?” He then continues to ask me
I tell him what happened during the dance class and how I lied to Christian by avoiding telling him the truth. I also tell Kevin how I really feel about the dance. “I really don’t want to make things more complicated that it already is.”
Kevin then asks me the unpredictable question “Have you missed Roy while you are taking the lessons with Christian or think about him while you are spending time with Christian?”
“Not, not really.” I answer to Kev.
“Did you wish to see Roy when the lesson is over or want to give him a text during your free time?”
“No. I didn’t really think about him that much during the past two weeks.”
“Do Roy often text you or give you a call?”
“Yes. Two to three times a day, sometimes even more.”
“When did the last time did you see him?” Kev then continues to interrogate me
“When the Empress is still here. I met him to let him know that I will take the princess lesson.”
“What did you do on last weekend?”
“I helped Christian to finish some of his home work. I also taught him a basic cooking step. He has undergone many difficulties to catch up with his cooking class.” I reply to Kevin.
“I think that it is clear that your feeling for Roy has changed compare to 11 years ago. It has changed even more significantly compare to when you pretend as May a month ago. Without you realizing it, the only topic that interests you is only Christian now. You feel discomfort when you cannot see him during class; you even miss him when he’s not around. Even worse, you begin to spend your free time with Christian rather than doing anything else. Am I correct?”
I begin to feel shock as Kevin seems to be right about this. I still miss Anthony for every single day since I got to Sydney but I never really miss Roy, not when I was in Indonesia and even when I am in Sydney now. I never wish to see him when he is not around.
Now, I suddenly realize what my true feeling is for Roy. I should have realized it before. The minute I started to fall for Rudy is the minute I have decided to forget about Roy. It was actually pretty clear. I wonder why I didn’t see it before. I never wish to really get back with him. The reason I wanted to get close to Roy was just a simple curiosity. I wanted to know why he left me. I even agreed to pretend as May because Amy was telling me about the curse and how it needs to be broken. I don’t love him like I loved him 11 years ago. My feeling for him has changed. It’s no longer the same.
I hug Kevin and shout at him “Thank you. Thank you so much. Please look for Christian as I am really worried about him. Tell him what I truly felt about the dance before. I am going to look for Roy and explain things clearly with him at the park. I should end things with him at the place where our relationship was started before.”
I go inside the penthouse and start calling Roy. He answers it right away and we promise to meet in the park. The same park Christian found me when I left the house.
Part 6: Story book’s ending
I wait for him in the park since my place is closer to the park compare to Roy’s place. He lives in the Eastern suburb.
“I am glad that you called. I have been wanted to see you.” says Roy.
“How are you Roy? How’s work?”
“It’s ok. If everything goes well, they will promote me next month to become a Senior Manager.”
“That’s great!” I congratulate Roy.
“I thought that you never initiate to call me first. I thought that you have been avoiding me.”
“No. I have just been busy. That’s all!” I then continue to begin our serious conversation
“Roy, I need to let you know my answer from before. Please understand that it’s hard for me to make this decision as well. Forgive me to have disrupted your life.”
“What is it? You are making me nervous.”
“My feelings for you have changed. I can’t find the same feeling I had from 11 years ago. I couldn’t continue our relationship to become more than friendship. I am really sorry. During the snowy mountain accident, I know that I gave you a false hope. I thought that we can start things up again. I was wrong. I should have given you any false hope. I’d rather tell you the bitter truth rather than hurting you more in the future should I hide any of this. I really am sorry.”
Roy is standing still and not even moving while his eyes are looking at me. His eyes suddenly look really different. I can’t feel the warmth anymore. The way he stares at me really begins to frighten me. I never see him like this. He looks like as if he is going to do a criminal act.
He is walking towards me as I am beginning to walk backwards to avoid him.
“You are wrong. I know that you still love me. Why can’t you fight to find the same feeling? I love you so much but you just throw away my love for you. Are you falling love with someone else? Is it Christian? Is he the reason you are trying to erase me from your life now?”
He begins to make a firm grip on my hands tightly. It hurts as his grip is so powerful.
“No. It has nothing to do with Christian. I just realize things clearer due to the recent events. I am sorry that it takes me a while to realize it. I wish I could have realized it sooner and not hurt you like this. I am really sorry. It’s never my intention to hurt your feelings.”
I know that I was wrong to approach Roy in the first place. If I didn’t agree Amy to do the Roy’s plan, everything would not turn up like this. Roy wouldn’t have met me again. He would be just fine.
“You are wrong! I know that you love me.”
He then starts to force me by kissing my lip. I try to push him but his hands are locked. He is hugging me against his body. I really struggle to ask him to stop kissing me. As I have no other choice, I bite his lip. And then, when he is backing up a bit, I slap his right face as warning to him to stop.
I really don’t want to end things this way but we can’t seem to separate our ways in a smoother way. I think that it’s useless for me to continue to talk to with him with his current emotion level. I can’t make him understand that I have changed. At last, I decide to run from the park and find a taxi to get home.