Part 1: A diminished pain (Rudy)
I asked Ruby to go inside her place first. I don’t know why Cindy is suddenly in Surabaya. It would make things even more complicated if Christian and his families are getting involved now. All I want for Ruby is to regain her memory back without any unnecessary distractions. I don’t want Ruby to do anything she might regret in the future; of course this is all related to Kevin.
Cindy and I are taking a walk down the street. Luckily, the weather is not very hot during the night in Surabaya. I want to ask Cindy to help me keeping a secret.
“Cindy, the girl you saw earlier was in fact Ruby. You may blame me for not telling you and Christian the truth, but I have my reasons for doing so. There are even bigger surprises which all of you never imagine happened to Ruby. I cannot explain everything to you but what I have been doing until now is only to keep her safe.”
Cindy replies “It’s ok! You can tell me the short version of it.”
“I met Ruby few days ago and found out that she has lost her memory started two years ago. All of it! She doesn’t even know that her name is in fact Ruby. Kevin has deceived her with false information to keep her away from her depression because of the grief she’s facing due to Anthony’s death. I can understand his reasons but she deserves to know her past to make certain decisions for her future.”
“Why so?” asks Cindy
“She is planning to marry Kevin and this is just not right. She needs to know the whole truth. This is marriage we are talking about! I have making many consultations with people who are specialist in this area including Doctors and Psychiatrist. They have been giving me inputs how to stimulate her past memories. I am only asking you to keep her away from Christian and his sisters temporarily until she is fully recovered.”
Cindy is nodding her head and finally says
“Ya, I agree with you. I think it’s best for Christian to not finding her at the moment. He will be distracted as well. He needs to focus on running the company right now. After all, he’s the PD now. He needs to prove himself in front of the BOD. By the way, this is not even important to me right now. I’ve come all the way to Surabaya because I need to tell you something. You are now in a great danger! I came here only to warn you. I will go back to Jakarta with the first flight in the morning.”
We finally choose to chat at Mc. Donald since this is the only 24 hours restaurant we could find at the moment. Cindy starts to explain me what happened in Jakarta earlier.
“I have got an insight that Mr. Simon Wong has instructed some people to follow you around. I am afraid that he will do you any harm. He was furious that you are now the Vice President while he’s not at any position. He also thought that you made his daughters to go against him. You should hire some bodyguards to protect you temporarily. It’s really not safe for you to be alone.”
I can see why Mr. Wong is furious. He felt betrayed by my birth mother who finally gave some of her shares to me. But, I don’t want to hire any bodyguards. I am not a custom with having someone to follow me around. However, I am grateful that Cindy warned me about this.
“There is more bad news for you. Christian had a big fight with your father. He came to Mrs. Wong funeral and Christian asked him to leave in a harsh tone. He even asked the security to escort him out. I don’t need to explain you the details. You know Christian’s temper. You can imagine how the scene turned out. I am afraid your family problem will get any worse in the future”
Cindy leaves me alone after giving her warnings. I never expect that Chris would go along with our father. My relationship with my father was never really close in the first place, let alone Chris who never even met him before. He’s always away and stayed with his mistresses. The number of his “women” may even break the world’s record. We were not too close because I hate the way he treated mom. Now, I finally know the reason why he never treated her right. He never loved her all this time. He only loved my biological mother.
I go back to my apartment and watch my regular “before sleeping” video. It’s the video when Ruby and I were together before. We filmed many memories including birthdays, anniversaries, romantic moments and even the memory when I proposed to her. I always watch this video whenever I think of her. I even like to watch them in the office. The other thing I’d like to do before I go to sleep is to open look over our photographs. I want to scan some of them because I lost my laptop back in Germany. This is what I have left of her. This is my most valuable treasure.
Part 2: My dream (Ruby)
Everything is just getting weirder when Rudy finally asked me to leave him alone. I thought he was going insist to join us for dinner. I am glad that he is currently talking to the girl I saw earlier. I want to have some personal time with Kevin. He must have waited a long time for me to come home.
I am opening the door to my apartment and see that Kevin is sleeping on the couch. On the dining table, I see that he has prepared dinner for me. I put them inside the microwave and heat it up for a while. I am going to my room and take a quick shower.
I am taking out the orientation pamphlet and plan to read them while having my late dinner. It turns out that Kevin is awake and already sat on the dining chair.
“How’s your first day?” he asks
“It’s good. The company was established in a long time so it already has a strong system for KPIs and such. Have you had your dinner yet?”
Kev is shaking his head and says “No, I am waiting for you to come home.”
We are eating our dinner with a bit of chit chat about both of our days. Suddenly, Kevin brings up the “Rudy topic” again.
“How’s Rudy today?” he asks
I am looking as Kev’s expression. I know that he is still jealous of him. I decide not to tell him that he dropped me from work earlier.
I can’t stop thinking about this familiar feeling when I looked at Rudy today. It’s like we have known in each other in the past. I can anticipate his every movement. I know about his like and dislike. It only makes sense that Rudy and I have known each other before I lost my memory. I decide to ask Kev again about him. I know that from all the people in the world, Kevin is the one who won’t have the heart to lie to me.
“Kev, Rudy is ok! There’s nothing much going on with him. It’s just a regular day at the office. Kev, I want to ask you about something. Have I known Rudy before? I mean before I lost my memory?”
Kevin is shaking his head and says “No!”
I have a hunch that he’s not telling me the truth. He finishes his meal very quickly and left me behind without saying more. He told me that he needs to get up early tomorrow morning to prepare his presentation for tomorrow.
After having dinner, I put the dishes into the sink and leave it there unwashed. I am planning to wash them in the morning. Right now, I’m just too tired to even stand up.
I take a peek to Kevin’s room and find him looking through the window. He is staring for a long time without even realizing that I am here. It looks that he has a lot of things going on in his mind. I know that he didn’t like when I asked him about Rudy.
I walk towards him and put my hands on his shoulder, kiss his head and say
“Honey, don’t worry about anything. My love is for only you.”
He says “I can’t stop worrying about you. Once again, I am really afraid of losing you. Liv, please promise me that you’ll forgive me no matter what. Please promise that you won’t leave and hate me. I couldn’t bear to lose you.”
We hug for a long time that night before I go back to my room and fall asleep.
I am walking down this familiar hill again during the rain. I feel so cold. I can see that Kevin is chasing after me and screams “Don’t go! Please come back. Don’t stand near that lake!” After a while, he is finally able to catch me. He kisses me, hugs me and says
“You really scared me! I thought my heart had stopped beating! I thought that I had lost you! Please promise me not to scare me like that! Promise me that you won’t try to do things like that anymore”.
It’s weird because I am not trying to do anything reckless. I just see that the skies are very bright on the other side and want to run over there check it out. That’s all! I see that it’s a phenomenal summer with a gorgeous view on the other side! I can even see one little girl and an older boy running up and down the hill near the lake. They look very happy. I don’t understand why they are two extreme weathers on the same hill but that’s where I want to be. It’s better to stay in the sun rather than staying in rain. Kevin screams again begging me not to go to the other side. I keep walking but he doesn’t run to go after me this time. He just stands there begging me not to leave. I really want to go. I am really curious about the two happy kids.
I am sitting near the tree and observe the young kids playing with holding their hands together. The boy says to the girl “I will marry someday and you will wear a real crown.” He puts a fake crown made from flowers on top the girl’s head. It is the sweetest thing ever.
Out of the sudden, everything is flying and I am sitting inside the church. I see a couple getting married in the altar. The groom says “I Anthony Wang take thee Ruby Lee to be my lawfully wedded wife. To have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish till death do us part.”
I notice the groom and the bride are in fact the kids which I saw at the lake earlier. I can see their resemblance. The hair, the skin, the way the groom is looking at her is just antique! I don’t understand! How this even possible? Am I dreaming? Who are they and why I am seeing them? I can’t see both of their faces clearly.
I am looking closely to the bride and observe her wedding gown. It is so beautiful. She must look beautiful wearing that gown. The groom is now holding her right hand. I know that they are planning exchange rings. We can know see the bride’s face clearer. She looks so happy. Her face is glowing. She looks like an angel.
Hold on! I can see her face clearly now. She is me! The bride is me. How can this happen? I am running towards the groom and the bride. I am shouting to ask them an explanation but it seems that they can’t even hear me. Who is she? Why are we so alike? I couldn’t understand.
Suddenly, the groom is passing out. The bride is crying and calling his name constantly. She says “Anthony, Anthony, Anthony….” I don’t understand but I can also feel her pain. My eyes are filled with tears too. I also try to help her by calling his name repeatedly. I finally see the groom open his eyes. I am smiling but the others are not. Everyone still doesn’t recognize that he is awaked.
I try to talk to the poor bride, letting her know that her husband is already conscious but it’s useless! She can’t even hear me and sense my presence.
Suddenly, the groom is holding my hand instead of hers. He says
“Ruby, I love you Ruby… I love you… Forever…”
Everything is flying again and I am screaming hard…………….
I open my eyes and realize that I am in my room now. I am seating on my bed with a lot of cold sweats. It’s a dream. Everything is just a dream. But why it feels so real? I remind myself that it was just a dream. I am not Ruby. I am Livia. Kevin opens my door and walks towards me. He says
“What happened? I heard your scream very loud before. What happened?”
I am looking at Kev and ask him about the groom I saw earlier. I am very curious because he’s holding my hand and says I love you to me instead of his bride.
“Kev, who is Anthony? Do I know anyone named Anthony before?”
Kevin is looking at me closely. He says
“Why do you ask?”
I am telling him all about what happened in my dream before. He says
“It’s just a dream. You are feeling tired. It meant nothing. Go back to sleep! You have to wake up early in the morning. I will sleep beside you tonight. Everything is fine.”
We cuddle and fall asleep together afterwards.
Part 3: A discovery channel (Ruby)
It’s been a few days since I had the “dream”. It was so real and I am sure that it has something to do with my past. I have trouble falling asleep for the past few days since I’ve been thinking about the dying groom. Why is he holding my hand instead of his bride? Why his bride’s face is the same as my face? This causes me to feel nervous every time I tried to close my eyes.
Before sleeping, my mind usually wonders around; thinking about work, about Rudy, Kevin and thinking about all my dreams.
Finally, I find the cure to my insomnia. I can sleep well after hearing the music Rudy gave me before. The melodies could calm my anxiety. Now, I am not only having the same dream over and over again now. In fact, I have had many different ones since Kevin last accompanied me in my room. They were not all bad and have showed me different sceneries. In my dream, I always with a man named Anthony or my current boss, Rudy.
Last night, I dreamt about riding in the Ferris wheel with Rudy. It’s so weird because I saw that we were dancing together. We even cried together. It looked as if we were a couple. More and more dreams have affected me very deeply for the past few days. I often think about them and I couldn’t forget any single details of any events in my dreams. Is it even possible that they are all just a coincidence? I feel they are telling me to dig deeper about all the details.
On the other hand, in my reality world; my relationship with my new boss is getting closer in terms of working relationship. We believe in the same work ethic. Both of us are result oriented workers rather than micromanaging its own process. He gives me the freedom how to run the strategy. He only wants to see the result at the end. That’s also the way I have been handling my subordinates in the past. I gave them a room to express their creativity.
Now, I understand all of his preference. I know how to please him and when I am doing my weekly presentation. I always follow his template and explain them systematically. I can anticipate his every movement. I know what coffee he likes to drink, what kind of snacks he likes to eat and many more.
Honestly, I couldn’t ignore the strange feeling I have for him. It grows more and more every day. We are good friends now and again; it feels I’ve known him for my whole life.
I finally decide to make an appointment with Dr. John today at 07.00 PM after a long and careful consideration. All of these dreams have affected me my sleeping hours badly. Last night, I dreamt that I cried very badly in a cemetery. The tomb read Anthony Wang. I don’t think that I have seen myself cried that hard before. I need to make a further investigation about this. I am really confused! One time, I had a dream about us getting married and now, I am dreaming sitting on his graveyard. It’s just spooky!
I also decide that I won’t tell anyone about this including Kevin since he already told me that all of my dreams meant nothing. I know I should believe him but my body has reacted differently. Now, I am in the hospital waiting for the nurse to call my name soon. I will go inside Dr. John’s practice room to make a consultation. Finally, she is calling my name to go inside.
“Hi Livia, how are you? Please take a sit” says Dr. John
I am telling Dr. John everything about my dreams. He listens to all my stories patiently. After a while, he says
“I think that this is actually a good progress. All of your dreams may show you what happened with your past. When did you start having this dream?”
“I think it’s about a week ago.”
“Is there anything different you did differently? Did you remember what stimulated you to have these dreams before? Did you eat different food? Did you go somewhere?”
I am trying to think what I did different for the past week. I answer
“Nothing much! They were all the same routines except that I have a new job and working with a new boss now. His name is Rudy. He is the one who has also appeared in my dream many times.”
Dr. John looks at my report closely and says
“You probably have known him for before. Having these dreams is not a bad thing at all Livia. Besides having this new job, is there anything else that you did differently? Such as go to a new place, listen to a new music or move to a new place?”
“I move to a new place and I also listen to a new CD. My boss gave it to me last week.”
“The music probably stimulated your memory to recall some events in your past. Keep listening to the music as often as you can. You may also want to see psychiatrists. They can even help you to recover sooner. I will give you my friend’s name card. Her name is Merlyn. She is really nice.”
“Dr. John, I have also seen some visions when talking to my new boss. It’s like watching a movie which plays inside my head. Are they from my past too?”
“Yes. I think they are. Have you asked him whether he knows you before?” says Dr. John.
“Yes! But he rejected me to answer with a straight yes or no.”
“Alright… It’s a pity because I think he’s the one who can help you. Then, my advice is for you to make your own investigation. Just trust your instinct!”
I am taking the name card from Dr. John’s hand. I finally understand what my dreams and visions have told me all this time. It’s not just inside my mind. They are not regular dreams.
They are telling me about what happened with my past. I am excusing myself from Dr. John’s practice room. They are many things going inside my mind now. So, it is true that I have known Rudy in the past! Now everything makes sense. That’s why Rudy can know so many things about me. He knows about my appetite, my favorite music, my favorite colors and so on. But why he never admitted directly that he knew me?
Hold on! He actually had. When he first met me, he already recognized me. It’s me who didn’t recognize him earlier. He called me Ruby. But, am I really Ruby? If I am, why Kevin told me that I am Livia? Who is Kevin? Is he really my lover? Or he has deceived me all this time? No way! It’s impossible. Kevin wouldn’t deceive me about my past. He has no reasons for that! He loves me, I know he loves me. Should I keep digging the truth about my past? Or should I choose to trust Kevin no matter what? Should I trust my instinct or should I choose to believe Kevin instead?
My heart says………………………………………………. Kevin.
I am already on the way to my apartment. I decide to stop the taxi at the convenient store near to our apartment. They are couple of things I need to buy at the store. I already asked my driver to go home first. Poor him that he has to work overtime every day. He already has a wife and three kids.
I take a night walk back to the apartment. Suddenly, I stop at the intersection because I can hear that Kevin and Rudy are talking loud to each other. It seems that they are fighting.
Rudy: When are you going to tell her the truth? After you tricked her to marry you? She never wanted to marry you in the first place and you know it! She only said yes to your proposal because she thought you guys were lovers. You deceived her!
Kevin: You know that I love her. I have loved her from a long time! Since he was together with Roy, with you, with Christian and then even after she finally chose Anthony. She never saw me because all of you were there. Now, she loves me and she is mine! I won’t let you steal her away from me again. I won’t back down like I used to! You need to accept the fact, she is my fiancé now not yours!
Rudy: No! I won’t accept that! Do you know how much time and effort I have put in just to find Ruby back? Do you have any idea how my life has been for the past two years? You bastard! You even hide her from her parents! Her mom cries everyday inside Ruby’s room. Don’t even get me to start talking about her dad. You know how close they are. You shouldn’t hide her from everyone who loves her. Love is not about deceiving. Love is about letting someone you love to make the right choice. You put her away from the people who love her. Even though you didn’t force her to love you, but you created a story which never existed in the first place! You guys were never lovers!
Kevin: Enough!!! Just go! Remember your words Rudy. You won’t tell her that she is in fact Ruby. You promise me to hide her with the truth! She is Livia now and you won’t force her to do anything outside her will. Just be her good boss and leave us alone! You know my reasons! I have told you before and you have agreed to help me hiding her from the truth! Be a gentleman and go!
Rudy: Kev, I love her very much! I can’t just be her regular boss. I won’t give up. You have to remind yourself that when she remembers everything, she will turn her love to hate. She trusted you but you have deceived her all this time. I am going now but it doesn’t mean that I will give up! You can refuse my offer to help her see a psychiatrist. But please now this, I won’t give up! I will get my girlfriend back! I will let her know that we used to love each other so much.
I see that Rudy is driving his car very fast leaving Kevin to stand alone. Oh my God! It’s true! I am really Ruby. How can Kevin lie to me all this time? Now, I finally I know for sure that Rudy and I were lovers before. That’s why Kevin got jealous when Rudy was around me.
No, I still couldn’t believe it. Kevin wouldn’t do it! He wouldn’t lie to me that we were lovers in the past. I must have heard it wrong! He wouldn’t trick me to get me into bed. No, this is not the truth! Rudy and I were never together. This is not true! I have to trust Kevin completely, I really have to. I am going to marry him in two months and it won’t change. I have to trust him. He’s the one who has been taking care of him all this time. I can’t hurt him. My tears start to fall down on my cheek. I don’t want to accept this truth! The only things I know and believe are Kevin and I loving each other.
I am walking slowly to reach my new apartment. My steps are very heavy. I use my key to open the apartment. Kevin has already waiting in the living room.
“Hi! How’s your day today?” asks him
I give him a smile and say that it’s all good. He continue to ask
“Where did you go before?”
“I worked late at the office.”
We look deeply to each other. We know that both of us are covering something from each other; his pain, my pain; all of it. This is the first time that I couldn’t open my mouth to tell Kevin the truth. I thought that Kev will ask me further but he is only walking towards me and holding my hand.
“Liv, let’s go to the balcony for a while.”
We are now standing in the balcony. He is hugging me from behind as always. Now, I feel that it’s strange for us to act like this after hearing what Rudy just said before. I ask him
“Kev, did we use to do this before I lost my memory?”
He says “Yes. We used to cuddle all the time.”
I have tears falling down to my cheek. I really love him. I need to trust him because I love him.
Now is already July 2nd and the last two weeks have been our busiest time at the office. I have interviewed more than 200 candidates to fill the empty positions at the new office. All of the employees have been working overtime too. Usually most of the staffs go home around at eight o’clock or even later. I am actually glad that I can spend more time in the office. That way, I can forget about what happened earlier with Rudy and Kevin.
I can’t stop myself to maintain some distance with Kevin. But my love for him has not decreasing even a bit. I just need to force myself to go back to the way things were and not acted awkwardly in front of him. I am sure that my love for Kevin is greater than anything. I now that I can face this!
I am looking at my watch and see that it’s already 09.00 PM. I am turning off my laptop, packing things up and preparing to go home. I am walking down the corridor and see that Rudy’s office is still bright. I am carrying a bagel which I bought earlier during lunch time.
I decide to give it to Rudy since I know he hasn’t eaten his dinner yet. I am knocking his office door but he doesn’t hear it. I see that he’s concentrating to watch a video projected from the LCD. He is sitting and looking to the opposite direction from me. I look at the video and I am so stunned! I see myself in the video. I see Rudy and I are kissing and hugging. I see that we are having a good time. I see that myself saying the word “I love you” to him and promise that we will always be together.
I drop my bagel on the floor and Rudy is suddenly standing up and looking at me. I can see that he’s crying. The cold “snowman” boss is crying. He is not only crying but he’s weeping. I don’t know what I need to do now. It must have been difficult for him to see me all this time with Kevin.
I decide to run but my right foot got stumped on the door. He is turning his head due to the sound I made with my foot earlier. I keep running and I can hear that he is calling my name repeatedly.
O dear God! What have I done? I have hurt him all this time. I can’t imagine the pain that Rudy has been going through since I have been missing. I don’t understand! If we were together two years ago, why would Kevin was the one who looked after me back then? Why I was with Kevin instead of him? It must have hurt him looking at the girl he loves she can’t even recognize him back! He also sees that she has in fact fallen in love with another man. What kind of a person I am?
I am trying to run as fast as I can but Rudy is finally able to catch me after I drop everything inside my bag on the street.
He says “Don’t run! You have asthma! You can’t run. You will experience a difficulty to breathe!”
I scream back to him
“Let me go! I don’t deserve your kindness. Let me go! I am a horrible woman! Please, just forget about me. I am not Ruby. I am Livia.”
It starts to rain heavily as we are standing outside the office building. He says
“I don’t care if you are Ruby or Livia. I love you. You are the woman in my life and it will never change. I am sorry that you have to live a miserable life for the past two years. I should have looked for you more intense. I have sent private detectives; I even asked the police and put your face on the paper. I have tried everything. But, you are nowhere to be found. I should search all over Indonesia and not focus to find you in Jakarta only. I am sorry.”
“Let me go! I don’t blame you. It’s my entire fault. I don’t know how I ended up with Kevin during the accident but I must have betrayed you first. Please.. Let go.. You are making me to feel worse now.”
“Cing, go with me! I won’t let go of your hands! Go with me! It’s raining heavily. I don’t want you to get sick. Please! Go with me!”
I am sitting down on the street. I scream
“No! I am not going to go anywhere. I want to punish myself. I want to stay in the rain and let the water wash my head clearly. I want to remember everything! I never thought that because I lost my memory, I have hurt everyone who is close to me. I found out few weeks ago that my parents are still alive but I chose to deny everything. I chose to live as Livia not Ruby. I chose to ignore the facts because I am afraid to lose Kevin in my life. I am a bad daughter! I am a bad girlfriend, I am……….”
I stop talking when I feel that there is something shadowing my head. Rudy has opened his coat to shelter my body. He is also standing in the rain with me. He says
“If you are not willing to go with me then I will stand here with you. If you choose to go to hell, I can only accompany you there. I am not leaving you ever again. I will follow you where ever you go!”
I am standing up slowly and see this extraordinary guy in front of me. How can I still not remember him? I really wish that I can open my head to see what’s inside. How can I let a good guy like him suffered all this time? Why can’t I remember everything? How can I not remember his love? Why the only thing on my mind was scared to lose Kevin? I am so selfish! I don’t deserve his love!
Suddenly, he is pulling my hand and hugs me tightly. I know that if I ask him to let go right now, he will feel neglected. I don’t want him to feel the pain anymore. He whispers
“Next to you, that’s where I want to be. I can’t imagine living a happy life without you being a part of it. I told you the first time when we were dating before. I said ‘If I’m going to give you my heart, I’m going to give you all of it.’ Do you remember? Please don’t reject me anymore. Don’t push me away from your life anymore. I don’t know where I’m going because you are in every direction. I love you yesterday, I love you still, I always have and I always will. No one can replace you.”
I can sense that Rudy’s crying. He is crying like a baby. He is shivering badly. He must have been sick! I let go of his hug slowly and ask him
“What’s wrong? Why are you shivering like this?”
“I have not feeling well since two days ago. I have a fever. I am feeling so cold.”
“Come on! Let’s get you inside!”
I put my arm around his waist and walk to his office. I know that he saves some of his clothes in his wardrobe. We are going to take the elevator but it’s no longer active.
“Are you strong enough to go up using the emergency stairs? Or do you want to go back to your place instead?”
“Let’s go back to my place instead.” He says
It turns out that we are living in the same building, on the same floor and even next to each other. He even rent an apartment next to mine. I am really touched of his love. No one has loved me like this. What is my superiority for him to love me like this? I am nobody. I am just an ordinary girl!
Rudy is semi-conscious due to his high fever. His face is red. I am trying to search his house keys. They are inside his pocket. We are finally able to go inside his apartment. I am more surprise to see all of our pictures everywhere. They are on the wall, inside the frame on every table I can see.
I wonder why he is still putting them on. I put him to lie down on his couch. I know that I need to help him to change his wet shirt. He’s too weak to do it alone.
I am going to the master bedroom. I can see another picture of us hanging on the wall. The frame reads ‘You are my everything.’ Without I am realizing, my tears are falling down again. However, I don’t have the time to daydream about everything. Rudy is still outside, shivering!
I open his closet and try to search for a fresh shirt. There is a box falling down to the floor accidently. I know that Rudy is a neat freak and I am trying to get all the envelopes back inside the box. But, I am stopping suddenly because I am so surprise to see my own hand writing on every envelope. Are they my letters to him? Perhaps they were written when we were together. I am bringing the box outside and plan to read them later.
I pull his body towards mine and try to unbutton his shirt. They are unbelievably wet. I also take a few towels to dry off his body. Ruby is mumbling something I can’t understand. I touch his face and they are even hotter than before. I must get him to eat the medicine as soon as possible. I search inside his drawers and finally find the blue Panadols inside his bottom drawer. I read the package and it says it’s for cold and flu. I try hard to wake him but he doesn’t respond to anything I say. I don’t know what to do. I must get him to eat this medicine.
Suddenly, I have this crazy idea on how to put the medicine inside his mouth. I need to do it like I am doing a CPR. I have no other choice. I am looking for something hard in the kitchen to mash the medicine and mix them with water. I put them on my mouth and transfer it to Rudy’s mouth. It’s really hard to do it. The water even spills to his shirt.
Suddenly, I am having another vision. It’s a vision of Anthony did the same thing to me. It looks as if I was the one who got ill. It feels so strange! I am shaking my head and try to concentrate back at Rudy. His body temperature is getting even warmer than before.
I know that I have to change his shirt again. I try again to put the medicine inside my mouth and this time I really push my breath to give him a pressure and even moves my lip to his a little bit. I want him to feel the pressure. I am so glad that he is able to swallow it this time. He can even open his eyes and look right through me. He whispers weakly
“I know that you have chosen Kevin over me. I can feel the way your lips touched mine just now. It only symbolized that you want us to be just friends. But, your eyes say so much more. I hope things will be different. I don’t know! Maybe if I keep my distance, you’ll start to miss me But, it’s I who cannot stand to be away from you.”
He is closing his eyes again. This time, I can see that he’s passing out. His right hand is sprawling to the floor. I keep shaking his body, calling his name repeatedly but he doesn’t respond at all. I am really scared that he’s badly ill. I put him to lie down again and start running to my apartment. I need to get Kevin. I need a help. I need him to call a doctor for Rudy.
I am knocking my apartment door loudly and Kevin opens it after a while. He says
“Did you forget to bring your keys again? Liv, why are you all wet? What happened?”
“Kev, I have no time to explain. Please help me to find a Doctor. Rudy passed out just now. He has a high fever. He is living next to our apartment. I will explain everything later. Please hurry!”
I am running again towards Rudy’s apartment. I remember that I spill some water to his shirt back then. I have to change the shirt again before his cold getting any worse.
I go to his room and this time, I am bringing the box with me. I want to take the letters to my room and read them later. I want to know if there’s anything I can do to make him feel better. I want to understand about our relationship in the past and how much we loved each other back then. I want to understand why Rudy is willing to go all of this pain for me? Why he didn’t just seek for another woman? With his background and looks, he can get any girls he wants.
Kevin is looking at me while I am changing Rudy’s shirt. He doesn’t do anything. He is not forbidding me or helping me. He is just standing at the door looking at us. I say
“Kev, please help to change his pants. It’s really wet. We need to dry him off. This is the fresh one. I will bring his wet clothes to the bathroom. The water is all over the floor. I want to mop them before the Doctor comes later on.”
Kevin is still not moving. I walk towards him and take his hand.
“Kev, please… I know that you are feeling uncomfortable to see us like this. We will talk later. Rudy’s sick now. You need to help me to change his pants. I am a woman and I am not his girlfriend!”
Kev is finally willing to change Rudy’s pants after hearing my last words. I am taking all the wet clothes and bring them to the bathroom. I squeeze them and finally drop them inside the laundry basket. I know the other reason why Kevin just stood still before. He must have shocked to see our pictures hanging everywhere. I am trying to find a mop and clean the wet floor.
The Doctor finally comes and asks me what medicine Rudy has eaten before. I told him that I can only mash the Panadol and mix them with water. I am not sure about the dose because it’s probably not even the whole pill Rudy managed to swallow early on.
Kevin is looking at me sadly when I explained to the Doctor about how I managed to feed Rudy with the medicine. He is leaving after giving me a prescription. I am dialing the concierge right away. I want to ask the bell boy to help me buying these medicines. I cannot leave Rudy alone at the moment and I know that it’s not fair to ask Kevin to buy them for him.
Kevin is accompanying the Doctor to go to the lobby. Meanwhile, I am putting cold towel to compress Rudy’s head. His temperature is still high at the moment. He is still shivering even the Doctor has injected him. He is mumbling
“Cing, don’t leave me. Cing… I am cold.. Cing, my mom has passed away. I have no family left. I have nobody besides me. I only have you now. Cing..”
My tears start to drop again. He really is alone right now. He doesn’t have anybody anymore. I have known from his secretary that he is a loner but I never knew that he doesn’t have any family left. I could really feel his sorrow. I am lifting his head and put it on my thigh. I am caressing his hair and whisper to him that everything’s going to be alright. I make a promise to him that he won’t be alone again. Even though I cannot love him back but I am willing to be his best friend or even his family from now on. I can hear Kevin’s step to walk nearer to the door. He is looking straight at me.
Before he can say anything, I already open my mouth and speak
“Kev, I will take care of him tonight until he gets better. He doesn’t have any family left. You don’t have to stay with me here. Just go home and take some rest first.”
Kev is looking at me for a while and decides to leave the apartment. I know that he is upset but I can’t just leave Rudy alone when he is ill like this. I am grabbing the box and open the letter one by one. It turns out that we had a really deep relationship. We loved each other very much!
Behind each letter, there is another letter written by Rudy. He replies each of my letters at the back. After a while, my head is getting heavier and I am falling asleep in an instant.
The sun wakes me up in the morning. It’s really bright as if there was no rain last night. I forgot to close the curtain yesterday. I look down and see that Rudy is no longer sleeping on my lap. I also don’t remember putting on a blanket to cover my body when I fell asleep last night.
Where is he? He is still weak. He couldn’t have gone too far. I am going to his room and find him lying down on the floor.
“Rud, wake up! Rud… are you ok? Why are you lying on the floor?”
His body is still hot. He finally opens his eyes and says
“Cing, thank you for staying with me the whole night… I was going to grab you a pillow but I must have passed out instead.”
“You are so stupid! You didn’t have to do it. I can fall asleep without any pillows. It’s you who needs to be taken care of not the other way around.”
He is smiling at me. I lift up his body and help him to lie down on his bed.
“I will call the office and let them know that you are sick. I will also ask your secretary to take care of you while I am gone. I will take a shower and go to the office after preparing you some breakfast. What do you want to have for lunch later?”
Rudy takes my hand and whispers
“I don’t want anybody to take care of me except you. I don’t like having strangers in my house. I am a very private person. I only share things with the one I love.”
I know that I can’t really leave him with somebody else. I am afraid that he will get even worse. Rudy is similar to me in so many ways. I also don’t like having strangers in my house and very hard to make new friends. I am sitting beside his bed and say
“Rud, I haven’t changed my clothes since last night. Let me go home and take a shower first. I am putting your mobile phone here beside your pillow. I will also carry mine everywhere. That way, you can call me anytime you need me. I will be back in 40 minutes at the longest.”
He is nodding his head weakly. I am running towards my apartment and take a shower as soon as possible. Kevin’s no longer at the apartment since it’s already 09.00 AM. I am calling room service and ask the waiter to deliver two portions of chicken porridge.
I am back at Rudy’s room after calling the office and let them know Rudy’s condition. I ask Rudy to sit down and feed him with the porridge. He says
“You can cook the porridge better than this. This is not tasty at all.”
I am smiling back at him and say “I will cook for you this afternoon. You can have them for lunch.”
I am glad that he can finish half of the bowl. I am taking the medicine which the Doctor prescribed for him last night. He says
“Thank you for making the effort to feed me the medicine last night. I cannot stop thinking about the way your lip touched mine. Thank you. I am so happy. You have no idea what it means to me but I haven’t felt happy in a long time. Thank you…..”
I don’t want him to misunderstand. What I tried to do yesterday was only to save his life. He says
“I know what you are thinking. I know why you did it yesterday. You don’t have to worry. I am happy because at least, it showed that you cared for me even though you haven’t remembered anything.”
I ask him to go back to sleep and covers his body with a blanket. I put a smile on my face and say
“Don’t think too much. I am here and won’t go anywhere until you are feeling better. You need to take some rest now. Go back to sleep…”
His temperature has fallen down. I am sitting on the floor beside his bed with my fingers typing the laptop. I am replying all my 282 unread office emails. I am also trying to sort all of the CVs and organize them into folders. I am planning to invite few more candidates starting next week. Luckily, I don’t set any schedules for any candidates to meet me from today until the next three days.
After two hours, I put my hand on top of Rudy’s forehead to check his temperature again. He’s a bit warm. I am going outside to the kitchen and try to cook for him. I open his fridge and see they are scallop, abalone and prawns. I decide to make him seafood porridge.
I am shaking the porridge using the big wood spoon to make the texture soft. Suddenly, I can sense that somebody is touching my shoulders from the back. It’s frightening me so bad. I drop the big wood spoon and some of the porridge spill on my hand. It’s really hot. I turn my back and see that it’s Rudy. He apologizes over and over. He says
“I am sorry. I didn’t mean to scare you. How’s it? Is it hot? I am so sorry.”
It hurts so badly but I am trying not to scream. I don’t want to make him to worry. He takes my hand and washes it with the cold water. It’s red. He brings me to go inside his room and helps me to put some ointment. It’s smarting!
Suddenly, I have another vision. The vision is very similar with what he’s doing at the moment. I try to ask Rudy
“Rud, have we done something like this before? I mean, with you helping me to put some ointment on my hand. I just had a vision about it!”
He doesn’t say anything and continue to blow on my injury. My other hand is grabbing his left hand and forces him to say
“I know that you made a promise to Kevin not to say anything about my past. But, I saw you two fighting few weeks ago. I want you to tell me the truth!”
Rudy is still silent. I know that he will reject my request if I don’t push him further.
“If you reject to tell me the truth, I will go from your life and not disturb you anymore. I don’t want to see you living like this. If you choose to ignore my past, you should forget everything about me and move on with your life. If my past is still meaningful to you, you have to tell me about it.”
“Do you really want to know?”
I am nodding my head. This time, I don’t want to ignore the facts anymore. I need to know everything.
“I will tell you about us but I don’t want to tell you anything else. For me, seeing you with another man beside me already scars my heart so deep. I don’t think I have the strength to talk about it.”
I am nodding my head again. He begins to tell our story while playing our video.
“We met in the internet only when you were 13 years old. We used to send many emails to each other every day. I was already in my first year at College. After you graduated from junior high, you went to Sydney for studies and you told me that you met a boy named Roy. We still sent many emails to each other until one time, somehow we lost contact. We met again when you were already in college. We met at the book store near your college and exchanged phone number. Back then, you refused to love anyone again because you were hurt deeply. Your first boyfriend left you when you lost everything. Your family’s fortune was bankrupt and you had no one to lean on beside Anthony. He was more like a brother / best friend / guardian to you. Anthony and you never love each other in a romancing way. The two of you were more like siblings. Few months later, we were started to date and it lasted for three years. It was three beautiful and we were both very happy. I proposed to you and we have committed ourselves to take a forward step. We were planning to marry each other. We were in love with each other in a hard way.”
I am still listening to his stories. It seems that he’s my soul mate. I wouldn’t have guessed that we have known each other for seventeen years. Somehow, I am asking Rudy why we broke up before.
“Everything was different when one of my brothers in law made a mess. I had shark loans chasing my family, even trashing down everything at home. I was so afraid that they would harm you. I know if I have told you the truth, you will offer to help me no matter what. But, I couldn’t do that to you. You already took double job to pay your college tuition. I didn’t want to become your burden. I told you that I want to leave you by taking a job offer to Germany.”
He begins to shed his tears again. I am holding his hand to give him strength and hope that he will continue to tell the story.
“You thought that I left you because you were not important to me. You had no idea how I lived my life when I was in Germany. The three years I spent in Germany was like a hell. My body was there but my soul was longing to see you. I thought after working for three painful years, I can finally able to repay all the loans and come back to your side. But, the fate played me differently. In Germany, there’s one girl who was attracted to me. Her name is Anna. I got drunk and she told me that she was pregnant with my child. I have to return to Indonesia to tell you and my mother this horrible news. I have to let you guys know about this because at that time, she told me that she wanted to do the abortion if I don’t marry her soon.”
He is crying even more and continues to tell his story.
“You have no idea the way I felt when I talked to you and presented you with this news. I looked at your every expression. I had to hurt the woman I love. It broke me, it really broke me. I wished I could stab myself for hurting you like that. But Cing, the wonderful you saved me once again. You sacrificed your happiness for me and Anna. That was the second time I had to leave you even though I never wanted to.”
I am wiping his tears and ask
“What happened then? Where is Anna now? How’s your child?”
“After a few months, my mother and I found out that her pregnancy was faked. We never even slept together. She tricked me to hurt you. She lied to me so I would marry her. When I found out about everything and wanted to chase you back, everything’s already too late. You are already with somebody else. I still remember our last kiss back at the hotel. You were having fever just like I do now. We loved each other so much but we were forced to go our separate way.”
He is now touching my both of my cheeks and says
“See this photo album! This is our first monthly anniversary. I never bought flowers for any girls before. You were the first. Now, this is your birthday. This is our first dance. We were in love with each other. You turned me into a romantic guy. You turned me into somebody else; somebody who was capable to love another person more than my own life. I was like a Pinocchio before, just a cold wooden toy. You turned me into a man. I am finally alive when I am only with you.”
I am turning my head to see him. I can really feel how much I mean to him. Both of our eyes are teary. I finally ask him about Anthony.
“Was I with a boy named Anthony at last? Is that why you told me that you were too late?”
“Yes! You were already with Anthony. He has known you since you were born. I can see that no one can ever love you like he does. That’s why I decided to help you and arranged a wedding for both of you even though it broke my heart. I know that you were trying to fulfill his death will. He was ill. I couldn’t tell you the details about what happened between you and Anthony because I was not clear about what happened. One day I saw that your feelings for him were just empathy and responsible. But, there’s one day I could really see that you fell in love with him.”
Now, everything is falling into pieces. I can understand why I have dreamt about Rudy and Anthony. They were two important men in my life.
Finally, I want to know about Kevin.
“How about Kevin? How’s my relationship with him before?”
Rudy says “I am not sure whether I am at liberty to say and judge. There are many things that I am not so sure about. You were pretty close with him. He took care of you every day for the past one year before you lost your memory. He quitted his job for you. He even left his girlfriend for you. You have known him for a long time as well. You were under a severe depression when Anthony passed away on your wedding day. He was the one who stayed completely by your side. When you decided to kill yourself, you only wrote a good bye note to him. You didn’t write anything for me or for your parents. I am not clear about your relationship with Kevin even though I was there for every single day. All I can say is there was something more than meets the eyes.”
“Did I love him before? I want to know your opinion. This is important for me!”
I am really scared to ask this but I really need to know the truth now.
“No, I don’t think so. I know you loved me because we were attracted to each other at the same time. I know you fell for Anthony after knowing what he did for you and perhaps you were really afraid to lose him. Both of you were depending to each other. You have no idea it’s like the sky and the sun. But again, I am not sure that you have “fallen” for Kevin. From what I saw earlier, you guys were just very close friends.”
I am sitting silently. I am not sure what has happened in the past but I know that Kevin is the one I love at the moment. I don’t know how to deal with this at the moment. Should I go back to my old life or should I stay where I am at the moment. Rudy finally cuts my mind by saying
“Don’t think about this too much. Don’t force yourself to be someone you are not! For me, all I want is to see you happy. I never expect anything out of you. I won’t force you to do anything you don’t want to do. I am telling you all about this because part of me wants you to know about our story. The other part of me doesn’t want you to decide anything big unless you have known the truth.”
I am nodding my head again and look at the most amazing man beside me. I can understand why the old I would fall in love with this guy. He’s just perfect in every way. He is like a volcano. He looks cold on the outside but there are fires which burnt inside him while Kevin is the complete opposite.
I forgot to turn off the stove earlier. I am running towards the kitchen. Luckily, everything is not burnt. I turn it off and put the porridge inside the bowl. I ask Rudy to eat this for his lunch. Hope that he will have a speedy recovery. I am really glad that he can finish the whole bowl.
I haven’t texting Kev for the whole day. I look at my inbox and they are over 100 messages coming from Kevin. I send him one message which reads
Kev, I am sorry that I haven’t looked at my phone. Let’s talk tonight at 09.00 PM at home. I hope that everything is alright with you. I miss you too.
I am spending the whole day taking care of Rudy including sponging his upper body, feeding him, chatting with him or just sitting beside his bed while working on my laptop. By the time he’s asleep, I decide to leave him to talk to Kev. It’s still eight o’clock but I am sure that he’s already home.
I open the door to the apartment and find the Kev is already waiting for me. I am putting all of my belongings on the couch and says “Kev, we need to talk!”
Part 4: My development (Christian)
I am amaze to look at myself wearing a shirt, a tie with a black suit. This is the way I dress everyday when I am going to the office. Cindy has bought different shirts, different ties and different suits for me to wear. It’s amazing how she can handle my every need. It’s a shock that she knows all my preference to everything including my food, my clothes, my shoes, and even my toiletries. I go downstairs to have some breakfast and find that the dining table is empty.
June comes out from her room, still wearing her pajamas and says
“Where are you going on Saturday? Why did you wake up so early?”
I am laughing at myself. I completely forgot that today is Saturday. I am going back to my room and change. I am wearing my home cloth now. Suddenly, there is a knock at my door. It’s June. She says
“Ko, do you realize your big change? Even I cannot recognize the sloppy Joe anymore. Have you ever thought why you are willing to make a drastic change?”
I am smiling at my thoughtful sister and say
“It’s because of Ruby. She was the one who taught me a sense of responsibility.”
June says “I think you are only half right. There’s another reason why you are as successful as now.”
I am looking at her and ask “Why?”
“It’s because of Cindy. You probably haven’t realized but she has helped you to go through this. She works hard than anyone else to make everything easier for you. Do you know that she is at the office on Saturday and Sunday just to settle things for your Monday meetings? She reviews every department’s work. She even handles our daily food menu and so on. Did you know about this?”
I am looking at June deeply and try to understand what she’s trying to say. She is my personal assistant and it’s only normal for her to do all of these. Finally, my sister gets to her point.
“Sometimes, when you can’t have the one you love, you have to love the one you have.”