Episode 8: Beauty and the Beast (Ruby and Friends)


Part 1: A ghost to my past (Ruby)

mike he

I feel surprise to see him as I haven’t seen him in a long time. However, I am glad that I don’t feel the same pain when I saw him a year ago. I approach him and begin to open our conversation first.

“Rud, hi! it’s been a long time. What are you doing here? Is everything ok with Ma?”

Rudy is raising his eye brows and says

“Do I know you? Have we met before?” says Rudy to me.

I suddenly remember that he does not able to recognize me now. I put a smile on my face and talk to him

“It’s me, Ruby. I know that my appearance has changed drastically. I am Cing Cing.”

I hope that by mentioning my Chinese name, he would believe that I am Ruby.

“Cing? Is it you?” he observes me for a while and still couldn’t believe what I just said.

I recall that I am still putting our picture in my wallet. I haven’t got a chance to remove them since Christian and I got together. They are too many things happened during the last few days. After, I showed him my wallet; he finally believes that I am Ruby.

“You have changed a lot! You are……”

He seems to have stumbled to finish his sentence.

“You have lost weight. You are prettier now. What are you doing in the hospital?”

“My father is in the ICCU.” I am then continued to tell Rudy more information on my father’s disease.

“What are you doing here then?” I ask him directly

“I am just here to pick up my medicines. I wasn’t feeling well.”

“Are you feeling better now?”

“Yes. I am feeling better now, especially after seeing you.”

We continue to have our conversation while sitting in the corridor as we seem to block the road for other people to go walk pass the corridor.

“Anyway, did Anna give birth yet? Is it a boy of a girl?”

“She never gives birth, not to my child.”

“Why? Did something happen to her? Is she ok? Was it a miscarriage?”

“No. She is fine. She is more than fine.”

“What happened then?”

“She has lied to me and my mother all this time. Her pregnancy was a fake. I found out the truth four months after I met you back at the Hotel. I have suspected her for a long time as she continued to wear her heals. My doctor friend told me that a pregnant lady cannot wear heals.”

I raise my eyebrow; begin to feel even more surprise than seeing him just now in this hospital. He continues to explain things about Anna to me.

“My mother was the one who found out her false pregnancy. I will tell you the details later on. I have been trying to reach you for few months but you seem to have changed your number.”

I feel shock and begin reevaluate the news for a moment. I couldn’t believe what I heard. She really faked her pregnancy. Why did she do that? I really couldn’t understand that someone could even lie about pregnancy and thought that they can hide the truth forever. Matthew was right. She really did fake her pregnancy. I begin to calm myself down and talk to Rudy.

“I know that you must have felt disappointed. But, I think that Anna did that because she loves you too much. You should have forgiven her.” I finally give Rudy a response.

“No, I didn’t feel disappointed. I felt angry that she lied to me but also relieved on the other hand. I know that I didn’t touch her that night. I never betray my love for you. Unfortunately, I was too drunk to remember what happened. I forgave her but I can’t just continue our relationship anymore. You know that I hate being lied to and she has lied to me about the most important thing. She took my happiness away from me. She caused me to lose the most valuable thing in my life.”

I don’t feel so good after hearing his explanation. I don’t know how to react. I can understand what Rudy feels due to Anna’s lie. He once told me that he could forgive anything but lies. On the other hand, I feel bad for Anna. She finally lost Rudy even though she has faked her pregnancy.

“Rud, try to take it easy. I am sure that things will get better. You will find someone better in the future. I have to go now. Please say hi to your mother from me. I hope that she is well.”

I am standing up and planning to go back to the ICCU waiting room. As I walk away, I hear Rudy’s voice again.

“Cing, can I have your number? Can I ask you to go out with me sometimes?”

I hesitate for a while but I know that he didn’t have any friends to share his sorrow.

“Sure. You can call me at anytime. I am still using the same number. I was out of the country during the past year. That’s why you couldn’t reach me before.” I reply to Rudy.

I am heading out to the ICCU waiting room. I find that Anthony is still there sitting beside my mother. He asks what took me so long. I am pulling his hand and asking him to sit with me on the next corridor far away from my mom. I don’t want my mother to hear about this.

I tell him that I ran into Rudy at the hall near the cashier registry. I also tell him about Anna’s fake pregnancy news. He is asking me what I feel about this and whether I want to start things with Rudy again. I tell Anthony that Rudy is already my past and that I don’t feel the same way about him right now. I even add that it’s not even awkward for me to see him few minutes ago. He finally smiles and rests his head on my shoulder. He is closing his eyes and falling asleep.

I am back at the house; recall about all the things happened back at the hospital. I miss spending time with Kevin now. I know Kevin can always give me the best advice.

I feel bad for Rudy as he couldn’t reach his happy ending with Anna. I thought that by having a child, things will turn out differently. They will become a family and Rudy will start to accept Anna. I am looking at my phone and find that Christian has already sent me a long message through Blackberry Messenger (BBM). He told me that he would come to Indonesia in three days as he needs to arrange some paper work in the immigration. I know that I should tell Anthony about us as soon as possible.

I wake up early on the next day and send a text to Madam Marlene to set up a lunch appointment. I am meeting her at the Angus Restaurant and we start to chat

“Bu, how are you?”

“Rub, you look so different. How have you been doing? It’s been a long time.”

“Yes. It’s been a long time Bu. I miss work. I miss you, Madam Mitta, Emily and others. How are they?”

“They are all good. We haven’t found your replacement yet. Let’s order some food first. I will have another meeting in an hour.”

We are ordering the same food. It’s scallop spaghetti. As her time is limited, I directly talk to her about my intention for our meeting.

“Bu, the reason I want to contact you is to let you know that my father is in the hospital right now. He stays in the ICCU. I need to find a job for me to help the hospital fee. Is there a way for me to come back to work? I am sure that I can catch up.”

“Rub, that’s good! I really want you to come back to work for us. You can start working with us by tomorrow. I am so overwhelmed by the recruitment department now. Since you were leaving, recruitment was no longer the strongest department and even turned to perform below standard. I hope that you can turn that around. I am sorry about your father and wish him to recover soon.”

“Thank you for your concern Bu. Don’t worry, you have my word. I will try my best to help you.”

We are leaving the restaurant after 45 minutes. I am feeling happy that I can get my old job back. I have also made a consultation with my father’s health insurance agent. It turns out that I can claim some of the bills even though he is still in the hospital. Anthony calls to ask me where I am and I let him know that I am already on the way to the hospital. We stay at the hospital until late at night.

The clock shows at 09.00 AM. I am now at my old office. Suddenly, Mr. Ang, Madam Marlene and Madam Mitta come by to my office. I feel surprise as it’s not a custom for Mr. Ang to talk to a managerial level directly. I greet them politely and Madam Marlene closes the door.

“Ruby, how are you? How’s your father condition?” Mr. Ang asks me directly

I talk to Mr. Ang that they found two other bacteria beside the Legionellis virus. They are Klebsiella Pneumoniae and Acinetobacter baumannii. My father got these two bacteria from the previous hospital. Mr. Ang wishes my father to have a speedy recovery. He then continues to say

“I am sorry to bring this news to you but you cannot continue to work with us.”

I feel surprise and give a respond to him politely.

“Is there something wrong Mr. Ang? Did I do any harm to the company before I resign from the post one year ago?”

“No. It’s not that. Honestly, we are now cooperating with Wong’s to invest many properties in Jakarta including high end apartments, shopping malls and even hospitals. President Director Wong has called me personally to ask me not to accept you to work with us anymore.”

I am suddenly feeling even more confuse. Why did the Empress do this to me? Was she angry because I left the house without telling her? I have told Cindy that my father was ill. I didn’t call her personally because I am afraid that I might disturb her.

“Ok.. I understand Mr. Ang. It’s not a problem.”

“I am sorry. I wish that there is another way but we need their investments in order for this project to run. I am really sorry. As a token of an appreciation, this is something for you. It’s from the company to appreciate what you have done for us during the past few years. You are one of the best employee and we really regret that we cannot employ right now.”

Mr. Ang is giving me an envelope. It must be a check. I am handing him back his check and say

“This is not necessary Mr. Ang. It’s been an honor for me to have worked with Madam Marlene and Madam Mitta.”

Madam Mitta cries and says

“Please take this Ruby. You need this by now. Your father’s health is the most important right now. Don’t reject any help from others which can be beneficial to your father’s treatment.”

I finally take the check and give a respect bow to all three of them. Madam Marlene is also crying and we hug for a while to say our goodbyes.

I want to go to Wong’s cooperation immediately to see the Empress. She is so mean. Why is she cutting the source of my income? I know that she is Christian’s mom but I am not taking this bullying unfair action. I open the check inside the taxi and I see a sum of Rp. 500.000.000. I couldn’t express enough gratitude to Mr. Ang. “That’s how a true conglomerate should behave” I say this to myself.

Part 2: A new job (Ruby)

I arrive at the Wong’s and head to the receptionist desk immediately. I ask to see President Director Wong. The reception asks whether I have made an appointment and I say no. I ask her to call Cindy instead and let me talk to Cindy. The reception is able to contact Cindy. I ask Cindy to help me meet the Empress immediately. She asks me to go up to the 28th floor. The reception gives me a visitor batch and escorts me to take the elevator on the right.

I am already on the waiting room as Cindy greets me and asks me to come with her.

“How are you Cindy?” I ask her.

“I am good. Let’s not talk right now.” She gives me a signal to stop our conversation.

I enter the Empress’ room and finds that she has already been waiting for me.

“Please sit down.” Says the Empress

I greet her formally by calling her President Director Wong.

“I know the reason you come to see me. You want to talk about why I asked President Director Ang to not employ you. It’s simple. I want you to work for me. I will give you a higher position with higher salary as well. All other benefits will follow your rank.”

I am now feeling even angrier than I used to. I finally give her a reply

“It’s not always about a position and it’s never about the money. I like working with my previous company because the way they treated me for all these years.”

“Yes. But now, you don’t have a choice instead of working with me now. Don’t even think to apply for other companies in Jakarta. You don’t want me to call them one by one. I will do that if you insist to reject my offer.”

I begin to feel desperate and finally ask her the reason.

“Christian will come back in two days. I will put him as the General Manager and you will report to him. Help him to achieve his targets. I don’t want the Board of Directors to look down on him. I want you to become his right hand. If you need anything, you can call Cindy. I also have arranged somebody to be your personal assistant. Her name is Jane and she is also as capable as Cindy.”

I finally begin to understand that all of this arrangement is made for Christian. His mother wants me to help Christian in order to make his transition smoother.

“Ok! I will start to work tomorrow.” I reply to her knowing that it is useless to go against her.

“Don’t you dare to think that by accepting you to work with me means that I am accepting your relationship with Christian. I saw the tape of your dance lesson with him. You can consider this as a test for you in order to get my approval. Don’t disappoint me. I never gave anyone a chance before!”

I am surprise that she has found out about us through the tape. I know that Cindy is not a tattle tale. She wouldn’t gossip about us. However, as I reevaluate things, Cindy might be in a difficult position as she reports to her directly. Now, I understand why she asked me to stop talking a while ago.

She asks me to leave the room and Cindy fills me in about my new fancy title as HR VP (Vice President) and informs me my job descriptions. Cindy also tells me that she needs to report the big picture about my relationship with Christian to her. Otherwise, she cannot cover for us in the future. I tell her not to worry as I understand that it is part of her job and I still consider her as a friend.

During the night, Anthony is planning to stay at my place as it is quite far for him to go back and forth to his place. I think that this might be the right time for me to tell him about everything. I cook him his favorite dinner. He starts to open the conversation

Ruby and Anthony in the kitchen

“Do you know how miserable my life without you for the past year? I really wanted to go after you to Sydney but you told me to give you some space. Did you really like working in Sydney? I thought you only planned to stay there for 3 months top yet you were there for almost a year.”

I look at his eyes and say “I have been hiding you from the truth.”

“What is it? Tell me.”

ITWY 3

I am then telling him how the three musketeers started an idea to get a revenge on Roy. I also told him about all the events related to Roy including the cruise, the snow accidents and finally how I told Roy that my feeling for him has been changed and we didn’t end things smoothly. I also tell him about the Empress and the princess lesson. Some parts got Anthony to laugh and the other parts got him to express his concern.

 

“You have been hiding all of these from me for all this time. I don’t understand why. I thought that we don’t keep secrets from each other.”

I apologize and tell him that I didn’t want him to worry before. If I told him the truth, he wouldn’t have let me go. I also explain to him that I am finally a changed person now. I am not as afraid as I used to be. I am willing to open up my heart and start a relationship with someone new not focusing on the past relationships with Rudy or Roy anymore. He seems over joy, hugs me and says

“Thank you. Thank you for giving me this chance. Thank you for opening your heart for me.”

I know that he is misunderstood. But, I don’t have the bravery to pull him right now and tell him that I already opened my heart to someone else and he is not the one. I recall that Anthony has sacrificed and done a lot of things for me. Thus, my lip is sealed. I just couldn’t bear to see his heart broken.

Part 3 A Sorrow Day (Ruby)

My father is getting better with a bacteria specialist joining the Doctor’s team. He is now handled by 4 Doctors. One is for his lung, the other is for his kidney, one is for his brain and the last one is for his bacteria. I can only hope that my father will recover soon. All my big families are there to support me, especially from my mother’s side. Some even help us by giving me some money. I am thankful to all my mother’s sisters who have been very supportive during this painful event.

I am already on my second day at the Wong’s and truly impressed by the system they have built. It’s truly a professional company. However, I am not sensing the same level of hospitality compare to my previous job. Most of the senior management is already above 40. They also think that I can be at my position now due to my connection only. Some of them are even staring their eyes weirdly to me during lunch. Time flies as it’s already 07.00 PM and I am planning to go home.

Suddenly, someone is knocking at the door and I say “come in”. It turns out that it’s Christian. I run over to him and give him a kiss and a hug. I am really happy to see him.

ITWY 26

“I miss you so much!”

“Honey, I miss you more. I am finally able to see you everyday again. I am glad that you are willing to work in my parent’s company.”

I close the door and we sit down on the couch. I let him know about my father’s condition where he also fills me in with June and Kevin. I don’t tell him about how the Empress is forcing me to work here. I don’t want them to quarrel. Christian seems different wearing a formal office attire.

“You are looking more handsome now.” I am smiling at him.

He is kissing me on the cheek and hugging me again as if we haven’t seen each other in a long time.

“Can I see your dad?” he asks me

“Of course you can but not at the moment. I need to handle some things first before I introduce you to my parents. Now, it’s not a good time.”

He doesn’t ask me further. I am then telling him how Amy reacts when she first found out about us. Christian is laughing and promises me to settle things out. We continue our conversation by having a delicious dinner near the office. During that time, I tell him about Anthony and how important he is in my life. He doesn’t seem be bothered about Anthony as if he already knew Anthony. He thinks that Anthony is just like Kevin even though I have tried to point out the big difference.

“Kev has already told me about Anthony. You don’t have to worry. I know that he has been taking care of you since forever. I will respect him in the future.”

He pays the bills and asks me why I didn’t have a car with me. I tell him that what I had was a company car and I need to return it when I resigned from my previous company. He also asks me whether Cindy has arranged a new company car for me.

“It will come in a few days.” I inform Christian to let him stop worrying about me.

Christian drives me home and we are now at the lobby to my apartment.

“Can I come to your place?” he asks me

“Maybe not for today. I have to get some rest. I want to go to the hospital really early tomorrow.”

kevin 4

Chris then goes out from his car and suddenly kisses me on the mouth passionately and says

“Do you have any idea how long I have been waiting to kiss you? It’s just been too long!”

I laugh at him and don’t give him any answer. He then bids me good night by kissing me on my forehead and drives away from the apartment.  As I turn around, I see that Anthony is looking at me. He turns his back and starts to walk in the opposite direction. I begin to chase him

ITWY 32

“Thon, please wait… Thon…. Please wait for me…”

He begins to run and I am trying to keep up with his speed. I am not supposed to run as I have asthma. But, I am still forcing myself to run. I don’t want him to find out about my relationship with Christian this way. I am afraid that something bad will happen to him. I am still running as I hear a lightning storm. It’s starting to rain and Anthony is still running in front of me, unwilling to stop.

“Thon, please listen to me first. Please stop.”

Ruby crying in the rain

It’s becoming harder for me to catch my breath but I keep running to make Anthony to listen. It’s now raining heavily. After a few minutes of running, I really couldn’t keep up with his speed anymore. I am experiencing a difficulty to breathe. I fell on the street and still try to shout heavily

“Thon, please don’t go. Please listen to me. I am sorry.”

I start to lose control as I feel a pain on my chest. I can’t remember seeing anything afterwards.

Part 4: The night to remember (Anthony)

I know that Ruby is chasing me down the road but I just don’t want to deal with her now, not after seeing her kissing with a guy I never saw. I don’t even know who he is.  He seems rich as he is driving a very expensive car. I begin to stop when I couldn’t hear Ruby’s voice anymore. I turn back to see if she is still trying to catch up with me. Instead of seeing her, I see many crowds near the red light.

“There’s a girl who is unconscious.” says one of the civilian.

I just remember that Ruby has asthma and how stupid I was to let her run in the rain to get me. I run back to see the crowd and wonder if the girl is Ruby. After passing through the crowd, the girl is really Ruby. I am trying to get her to wake up by calling her name repeatedly and shake her body. She is not responding and I can’t let her body to stay in the rain. I lift her up and hold her while asking somebody to get us a taxi. She is all wet. I tell the driver to head back to Ruby’s apartment.

As soon as we arrive, I ask her maid to undress and change her cloth. I am waiting anxiously in the living room. I don’t want anything bad to happen to her. The maid finally comes out and tells me that she already changed her cloth. I sit on her bed waiting for her to wake up. I start to cry and let myself to speak out my true feelings for her. My heart hurts badly.

“Why are you so stupid? You are not supposed to run and yet you still tried to run after me. I am not even your boyfriend and I still don’t understand my true position in your heart yet you treat me like I am the most important person in the whole world. You responded to my kiss, made me happy and got me to think that you have accepted my feelings yet you were also kissed another guy. Don’t you know that I have been holding out my love for the past 20 years? I am hurt. My heart truly hurts.”

Ruby opens her eyes and I can see that her tears also falling down from her eyes. She is still weak but she responds softly to what I just said.

“I am sorry. I have told you that you are the last person in the world that I would want to hurt. I also told you that I could live without Roy or Rudy, without my parents, without all my friends and my job but I couldn’t live without you. It’s true! You are still so important to me but I end up hurt your feelings anyway. I was so afraid of losing you so I hid things from you. I am afraid that you would get hurt. You can hit me, you can slap me in the face, and you can yell at me but promise me that you won’t do any damage to yourself. I’d rather die rather than to see you in pain like this. I am sorry.”

We both cry and I hold both of her hands. I finally let the truth out from my mouth, the one I have been hiding from her all these years.

Anthony 9

I first see you when you came to my house asking my mother if she saw your rabbit passing by.

I first talk to you when you asked me did it hurt to get my finger cut and I lied to you that it’s not.

I first like you when I saw you helping your brother to study.

I first learn to protect someone when I saw your mom was about to hit you.

I first laugh when I saw you trying to learn how to ride a bicycle.

I first smile when you made me a kite as my first birthday present from you.

I first cry when I saw you got an asthma attack due to play with us during the rain.

I first feel love when we laid down on the grass to see the stars on your 14th birthday.

I first feel angry when you didn’t obey me to rest when you just went out from the hospital.

I first feel afraid when you were missing for hours after school during your 5th grade.

I first feel worry when the first time you had a fever for ten consecutive days.

I first feel worthless every time I heard you share your feelings about any guy you had a crush on.

I first feel regret when I know that either Roy did hurt your feelings and left you alone in pain.

You know that you were in so many of my first. I couldn’t start anything new without you in my life. I gave you my first laugh and I gave you my first tears. I have given you my only heart.

Ruby, I only know how to live with you. I don’t know how to stay far away from you as you are the only girl in my life. You are my first and only love.

Anthony 5

Ruby is getting up from her bed and starts to hug me tightly. She whispers

“You are in so many of my first as well. You taught me how to ride a bike, you taught me how to read, and you taught me how speak my first English word. I still remember it. The word was “happy”. You taught me how to become the person I am today. I am a part of you and you are a part of me.”

She continues to whisper in my ears while I can feel her tears touching my right cheek.

“I am sorry. I didn’t know that you have loved me differently for all these years. I only found out a year ago. Even then, I was so afraid that I could only return you 10% of your love to me. Now, I am even more afraid that I couldn’t even give back 1% of it. Nevertheless, I want you to know that you will always be the most important person in my life. No one could ever replace your position in my heart. I am really sorry to have hurt you like this.”

I finally give a respond to her, saying that it’s not enough. I have to let her know that I want her more. I want her to be mine forever.

“Do you know that it broke my heart to see you with a different guy? But I chose to give up my feelings before in order for you to be happy. I never had the courage to confess to you until the night before you went to Sydney. Now, I couldn’t hold it anymore. I never want you to be my sister or my best friend only. I want you to become the only woman in my life. I want to marry you.”

“I am sorry. I don’t deserve any of this. I am just not good enough for you. The one you saw kissing me earlier was Christian. We are together now. I started to develop my feelings for him in Sydney. It was unintentionally. At first, I didn’t even want to become friends with him. I also never thought that I could start to like him. He is so different compare to the guy I have dated with. He is also very different compare to you. I know that other normal girls would definitely choose you instead of him. Unfortunately, now I am the insane one. I had chosen to accept him a while ago without your approval. I am sorry. I know that I don’t deserve to be happy while you are in pain like this. If you want me to let him go, I will. I am really sorry.”

Now, I know that Ruby has fallen for the guy. I saw the kiss earlier. There is no more hope for her to be mine! She has gone to love another guy once again and this time it might last. We never knew. If she could even fall with a guy who is the opposite compare to Roy or Rudy, she might have changed her taste and found out what she truly wants. I know that all these years, she could only see me as her best man, her big brother and her best friend. She never sees me as the man in her life. I thought that I could change her heart by letting her know what I truly feel. But, I over rated myself too high. My love for her will always be just a one sided love. Once again, I lost to a guy she barely knew.

I let go of her hands and look at her. I know through her tears that she loves me but in a different kind of love. I want to say that it’s ok for her to be with another guy as long as she is happy but I couldn’t say it this time. I just couldn’t tell another lie. My tears start to fall down again. I know that I should let her to be with the one she loves. But, I still hope that the one who will stay by her side is me. It’s impossible now. I fail every time I try to bring Ruby closer to me. Instead of calming her emotion like I used to, I tell her that I want to leave her side for a while.

“I have to go.”

Anthony is leavin

I start to stand up and turn my body around to walk towards the door. She grabs my hand and put both of her hands around my waist from my back. She never did this before. She hugs me tightly.

“No, please don’t go now. I know that it’s so selfish of me to ask you to stay but I know that you might want to disappear from my life. Please don’t go.” Ruby is begging to me stay

“This time, let me go. It’s me who needs some space from you. I already gave you some time when you went to Sydney. This time, it’s your turn to give me some privacy. I promise that I will be ok.”

ruby crying 2

I never talk like this to Ruby in my whole life. I know that I would hurt her feelings by saying this directly. Nevertheless, she must get used to the fact that I won’t stay by her side forever.

She finally let go of my hand and cry even harder. I continue to walk out from her apartment. When I close the door, my tears begin to burst too. I never left her alone before, not when she is begging me to stay. I heard her crying hard in her room. It hurts me as I also want to come in to heal her pain.

Instead of coming in, I decide to leave her. I go down using the elevator and look for my car. I think that I have to make a distance from her. I have to go out of town for her while. I need to get her out of my head. Only by doing that, I would have the strength to wish her happy with another man. I have to support her decision to be with Christian. She has chosen him and I have to trust her judgment like always. I have to accept that she would never feel the same way I do for her. I need to find the strength. I need to carry on my life without her for the very first time.

I am driving as fast as I can. I want to let my emotions out. I am now driving in a free way to go to Bandung. There is almost no traffic during this late of night. The faster the car runs, the harder I cry. I know that I will never be ready to let her go. Should I fight to get her heart again? Should I stay beside her now? I begin to regret leaving her alone. Suddenly, I see a giant truck in front of me. I try to push the brake pedal using my right foot but it’s too late. Everything suddenly went dark.

Part 5: A brand new me (Christian)

I am finally at my old home in Jakarta. I haven’t come back to Indonesia in five years and surprise to experience such a bad traffic. I might even think to change my car and get a driver. It’s so frustrated for me to drive in Jakarta. I am reaching my phone to see whether Ruby gave me a message. It turns out that there’s none yet. Ruby has always been the more passive one in our relationship. It’s always I who send her a good morning message, a good night message. She never even says I love you to me. She only says I like you. I give her a text to let her know that I am safely home.

She hasn’t replied any of my messages after two hours. I give her a call and there is still no answer. It’s weird. She may have fallen asleep. I don’t know why I have a negative feeling about her ignoring my texts. I couldn’t fall asleep and I know that it’s not because of the time difference. It’s 03.00 AM and I still have my eyes open. I give another text to Ruby to ask if everything is ok with her and still no reply from her. An hour later, I fall asleep with holding my phone on my hand.

I hear the alarm sound and realize that it’s my first day to go to work. Cindy has briefed me that both Ruby and she will assist me to do my work. I am looking at my phone but she hasn’t replied any messages since yesterday. I call her for several times but no one answer the phone.

I am at the office and go to Ruby’s room immediately to look for her. Her secretary, Jane tells me that Ruby has called to the office to give her a day off. I ask her why and she said that she needs to accompany someone to the hospital. It must have been her father. I wonder if her father’s condition has gotten worse since yesterday.

I spend my day to go around the office as Cindy begins to introduce me to everyone. I couldn’t stop thinking about Ruby. I wonder if she is alright. My phone is beeping and I finally see that she is replying my message.

Kevin is thinking

We have to stop seeing each other. I am sorry but we can’t be together anymore. Please forget all things about me. I am sorry that I must end things with us through text message. I couldn’t come or see you at the moment. Please take care of yourself for me.

I couldn’t understand what happened to her. Why did she send me this crap? Why did she give up so quickly? I need to find her. I need to ask her the reason. I run into her secretary and ask whether she knows what hospital her father in. She informs me the hospital and the room number. I don’t care what she has told me. I just need to hear her clear explanation. I am not ready to let her go yet.

I am calling a taxi as I don’t know how the way to go to the hospital. I am asking the driver to go as fast as he can. After reaching the hospital, I see her in the lobby paying at the cashier registry. I follow her to see where she is going. She comes in to the elevator and it stops at level 3. It is weird as Jane told me that his father is in the ICCU at level 2. Why is she going to the 3rd floor instead?

I take the next elevator and press button 3 in order for it to go up. I am asking the nurse whether she has a patient under the family name of Lee. The nurse informs me that there’s none so far. I ask the nurse whether she saw a girl wearing a red shirt passing by. She said that she knows her since her father has been hospitalized for weeks in this hospital. She told me that one of relative got in a car accident and is now in room 3001. I look at the board to see the patient’s name and it turns out that it’s Anthony Wang.

I wonder what has happened last night and why Anthony got in a car accident. I walk slowly towards the room and see that the door is open. Ruby is sitting beside Anthony and crying hard while the doctor examines Anthony. The Doctor says

“He is still unconscious. Everything looks alright except for the severe injury on both of his legs. He might not able to walk in a long period. But, we still have to see his condition after he wakes up.”

I hear Ruby saying

“Please Doctor. You have to help him. Please give the best treatment to Anthony. I don’t care how expensive it is. Can we move him to Singapore? Will he get a better treatment there?”

The Doctor then replies

“We can’t move him anywhere as we still need to be really careful of his neck and head injury as well. It’s very dangerous to move him around. When he gets better later on, he can have the therapy in Singapore. But for now, let’s just wait for him to wake up.

Ruby is crying

The Doctor comes out from the room and I see Ruby is sitting back beside Anthony. She is holding his right hand and says

“I am sorry. I would never hurt you again. I promise that things will go back to the way it was. I promise to change myself to be a person I was before I went to Sydney. I promise that I would never leave your side. Please wake up. Please open your eyes and look at me.”

hospital scene

Suddenly, my cousin Amy is passing by and going straight into Anthony’s room. She was in a hurry and didn’t even recognize that I am waiting near the door. Ruby stands up and greets her. Out of the sudden, I see that Amy’s slapping her face hard. I am going inside the room as possible as she is on her way to hit Ruby with the second slap.

“What are you doing? How dare you to hit Ruby!”

Amy screams at me and says

“Good! Now that both of are here, I want the two of you to go outside and disappear from our lives. I will take care of Anthony from now on.”

She is pushing Ruby to go out from Anthony’s room. Ruby doesn’t want to go but Amy’s power is stronger than hers. I am taking Amy’s hand and give her a slap in her face to calm her down.

“Are you crazy? Anthony is Ruby’s closest relative. You are just his friend. You must give her support during this difficult time not to add a scene like this. Don’t forget that this is still a hospital!”

Amy’s anger seems to dial down. She finally sits on the couch and asks Ruby about Anthony’s condition. Ruby explains to her what the Doctor has said. Amy is still sitting while Ruby finally says

“You don’t have to worry Amy. Christian and I are not together anymore. After Anthony is feeling better, I am planning to get engaged with him. You are right. I should have picked him a long time ago. I would stay by his side no matter what. I don’t care if he becomes a vegetable. I don’t care if he couldn’t walk again in the future. I will try my best to cure for him but if I fail, I will take care of him until the end. If he dies due to this accident, I will go die with him.”

I am trying to hold her hand and calm her emotion down. I know that she is panicking right now. But, I don’t want her to make a decision based on regrets. She pulls her hand and turns her head to look at me instead of Amy.

“Now, you know that I am not worth for you love me. I always play with people’s feeling and I even got my best man to lie on bed because of my selfishness. I played Roy, I played Rudy, I played Kevin and now I even play around with your feeling. Please stay away from me as I will only end up hurting anyone around me. Please go now as Anthony needs some peace to rest.”

I could understand her feeling but I still don’t want her to throw away her life happiness like this. I am trying to hug her but she keeps maintain her distant from me. I know that I should leave her alone for now. She needs to calm her emotion down. I know for a fact that she doesn’t love him that way. I understand that her feeling towards him is now based on responsibility. I am pulling Amy’s arm with me and ask her to go outside the room with me as I am afraid she might hit her again.

We go to the O La La café down at the lobby. I ask her about Anthony’s accident and how it happened. I ask Amy to explain everything. It turns out that last night, Ruby tried to tell Anthony about our relationship and end up causing Anthony to get an accident. Amy knows this from Ruby’s maid. The maid eventually also told her that Ruby was chasing Anthony down the road before the accident and caused her to have an asthma attack. It was Anthony who carried Ruby back to her apartment last night.

It all makes sense now. I understand why she didn’t reply any of my text messages yesterday. After her long story, she finally begins to ask me

“Are you for real? I know you that you never took any girl seriously. Ruby is my best friend. I won’t let you play her. She deserves to be with a guy like Anthony, a guy who will never leave her during any circumstances.”

I am then answering her question

“You can look me in the eye and find out in a second that I am bloody serious about her. Do you think I would come back to Indonesia if it wasn’t for her? Do you think that I would try to please my mother nothing? I do it because I hope that she can accept Ruby as my future wife. I love her. And I won’t stop fighting for her. I can understand what she has been through at the moment. It is only normal that she decided to break up with me since Anthony is now hospitalized. I know that she is always willing to sacrifice herself for others even though she has to give up her happiness. I have lived together with her for a while. I know her true character. Her sincerity and kindness is one of the reasons I fell in love with her. She always does thing for other people.

Amy is silent for a while and suddenly says “No wonder June told me that you have changed. You really have changed.”

After saying the last sentence, Amy is leaving me alone at the table. I order a glass of cappuccino and think about what I should do to help Ruby. I could ask mom to call the owner of this hospital and persuade him to give Anthony the best treatment. But, is there any way I could to make Ruby not giving up for our love so easily. I don’t want her to disappear from my life. I don’t want to go back to the old me who only knows how to get drunk in a party every day.

I am looking at my phone and searching my friend’s number. I can only depend on him to help me. It’s him who can change Ruby’s mind and talk to her with a different perspective. I begin to call him.

“Kev? It’s me Christian. I need you to come to Indonesia immediately. It’s very urgent! It’s about Ruby! I will ask Cindy to get your tickets ready as soon as possible.”

I hang up the phone immediately as I know that Kev also cares about Ruby a lot. He will come to Jakarta as soon as he can. I finish drinking my cappuccino and paying the bill. I head back to the office as I need to ask my mother a favor. I step into her office and start to ask her a favor.

“Mom, I need your help to call the owner to this hospital. One of Ruby’s relative is hospitalized due to a car accident. Please persuade him to find the best Doctor in Indonesia to cure the guy. You can even to fly out an overseas doctor to help him. Ruby’s father is also at the same hospital. I really don’t know anyone else who can help me with this. Please help me.”

Mom looks at me closely and says

“You just come back for a few days and now you are asking me for a help.” says mom to me.

I know that she will ask for anything in return before she can agree to help me.

“I will do anything you say. I will obey your instructions except to marry someone I don’t love. Please help me on this one. I won’t ask for anything again in the future.”

“You are willing to promise me anything?” she asks back to me.

“Anything”

She raises her eye brow and puts down the newspaper

“Anything?”

She doesn’t seem to trust that I would do anything in order to make Ruby’s life easier.

“Anything mom….. Anything rather than forcing me to leave Ruby.” I give my words to her.

“Ok! I know what to do. I will handle everything from here but you have to remember about your promise to me.”

She knows that I am desperate now. She understands that I never beg anyone in my life before. I am not used to beg my mother since she already sent me to study overseas since I was in primary school. I even hate her when she didn’t give any response to June when June told her that our father is cheating with his secretary. She didn’t seem care at all. Since then, I just don’t want to talk to her. We were trying to defend her but she said that she never loves our father. Everything is just an arranged marriage to expand the Business Empire. That’s why I never put my interest in the family business. That’s also one of the reason they choose May to become their apprentice.

But, my mom doesn’t know me that well. She doesn’t know that for Ruby, I am even willing to kneel in front of her. I have to protect the woman I love by making her life easier. I want her to be happy, as happy as she used to be when she was in Sydney. This is the only way to share her burdens with me.

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