Path of Love


sarNie Juvenile
[SIZE=20pt]Chapter 12[/SIZE]
They stayed with arms around each other’s backs, fearing if they let go, all of ‘this’ would go away. The hug lasted for 5 minutes, which to them was forever, before Nadech pulled himself back, just to look at Kim. He swiped his thumb across her cheek. Touching her made him felt alive, like he never was before. Couldn’t stop himself, he leaned in and planted a kiss on Kim’s lips, which Kim did nothing to protest his attempt, ignoring all the attention of the floor’s staffs who were staring at them and some were even applauding once he did.
“Tell me this is real...that you’re...” Nadech said, breathlessly out of excitement.
“I’m back, my love. I’m here and all yours once again.” Kim replied, her eyes showed genuineness. And Nadech instantly believed that.
“Nadech!” A deep voice called out.
He turned his head to see his father. His face startled a bit with the sight of him and, well, Kim.
“How-“ he wanted to say something but then stopped himself.
“It’s Kim!” Nadech explained to his father as if he hadn’t seen it for himself yet.
“And you’ve got a meeting to attend!” his face showed disapproval.
“Yes, but can I-“  Nadech started but was interrupted.
“No, you can’t! We need you there!” His father said urgently. And Nadech figured out he couldn’t disagree to that. The task was fairly important. So he planted a kiss on Kim’s forehead and said “I’ll be back soon, love” then walked past his father directly to the meeting room. Kim stared after him and his father’s eyes that shot at her with hatefulness.
“I believe you can wait for Mr. Nadech in his office?” Linda asked.
“Yes, thank you.” Kim answered.
Linda walked Kim to Nadech’s office. It was moved so Kim was confused at first. But then she reminded herself: it had been Three years.
“Would you coffee or water or any kind of juice?” Linda asked.
“Water would be lovely please.” Kim answered in a low voice. She seemed lost. Without Nadech.
“In a second.” Linda displayed a wide smile and went to get water as Kim had requested.
“Thank you,” Kim said when a glass of water was placed on a table before her.
“Can I get you anything else?” Linda asked, again. “Shoes, maybe?”
Kim looked up. “Sorry.” Linda mumbled with a chuckle, but not in a mocking way.
“That’s a kind offer.” Kim replied.
“Luckily, I do have a spare pair of heels.” Linda said. “I can’t remember why I brought it to work.” She shrugged. “Yes! Yes, it’s for a friend! But I’m sure she won’t mind.”
Linda fetched a cardboard bag from below her desk and produced a black pair of heels to Kim.
“Wow.” It was not an impressive pair of shoes and actually a bit too old-fashioned for Kim’s taste. “It’s...nice.”
“Oh, I know it looks awful.”
“No, not that bad actually. Wearable, at least.”
“Well, I was hoping that.”
Kim tried them on and it fit perfectly. Almost perfectly.
“Sure your friend won’t mind?” asked Kim.
“No. They’re yours!” Linda replied.
“Mine? I’m just borrowing. I’ll return them tomorrow.”
“No, it’s fine.” Linda smiled to show approval.
“Thank you.” Kim returned the smile.
There were silence after that, and Linda kept staring at Kim from time to time which gave Kim the itch to ask.
“Is there something wrong?” Kim started.
“No, it’s- it’s...” Linda hesitated her answer.
“You can talk, don’t be scared.” assured Kim.
“Okay,” Linda started, more steadily. “Not that I know anything about you and Nadech, but there’s something-something about seeing you guys that made me think about my boyfriend. Ex-boyfriend.”
“I’m so sorry.” said Kim.
“No, you’ve nothing to sorry for.” Linda let out a laugh. It wasn’t a real laugh, though.
“What happened to you guys?” Kim asked with sympathy seeing through Linda’s sad eyes.
“It was all my fault. Every part of it: my fault. I was the one who broke up with him and now I’m acting like a lunatic lovesick hoping for a reunion.” Linda said, spitting every word hopelessly. “It’s dumb.”
“When did all that happen?” asked Kim.
“A couple days ago. We had a fight, which 90% of it was me spitting nonsense.”
Kim looked at Linda. Though, she didn’t know much of what happened, how or why, Linda, in her current mind, was like her.
“Call him,” she said.
“You still love him, do you?” said Kim. “And I think he’s probably upset about what happened.”
“I’m not sure about that.” Linda shrugged. “He looked completely normal when I said it. Like he didn’t care, even relieved about it.” She looked down at her feet and for a second, Kim thought she was crying.
“And that, my friend, is why you should call him. Talk this out. Trust me, you don’t want to live with regret, having this weight all around you later on. I’ve felt it.” said Kim. Linda met her eyes, which at the moment, was filled with something—something bitter and sorrowful. She almost could feel the pain behind Kim’s eyes, like it was inject in her chest through a transparent wire. She was convinced by then, that if she didn’t do what Kim had just told her, she’d end up like Kim—with whatever she’d been through.
“Like now?” said Linda.
“Yes. Now.” said Kim.
Yaya could only retain her focus for as long as she could finish the work she was given. After all that, she was thinking, again. She was tired to ever think about the same things over and over, but nothing in her state could serve as her distraction. If only Mark was here, he could definitely cheer her up...
She shook her head. She was selfish, she realized. After all the pain she had caused him to feel, she still wanted him to be her clown. Her mouth tasted sour and her heart weighed at the thought of Mark. Until then that she began to doubt if Mark was as alright as she had said he was.
Kim watched Linda through the glass window of Nadech’s office as her mouth curved from time to time and her feet looked like they wanted to run in a treadmill marathon. Finally Kim saw Linda clicked her phone to lock it and slid it into one of her blazer’s pockets, her expression when making her way back to Kim was obscure.
“So?” Kim said when Linda opened the door. “How was it?”
“He said we could meet to talk it out. Not on the phone. He disliked that.” answered Linda, looking unsure. “Boy’s like that. He’s always serious and organized. In a way, that’s his charm.”
Boy. Kim noted Linda’s boyfriend’s name. “Tomorrow?”
“This evening. He said he’ll pick me up when I get out.” Linda’s eyes showed anxiety which was visible to Kim.
“Hey, he picked up your call.” Kim reassured her. “It shows that he still cares.”
“Yeah. I’d like to believe that.” She hung her head.
The meeting ended after an hour which, to Nadech, felt like a never-ending year. He stood beside his father as he shook hands with a client and said something Nadech cared too little to pay attention to. He gave all his thoughts wondering about Kim. What was she doing while he was away? Could she stand it while he wanted, every minute in the meeting, to burst out and reach to embrace her in his arms?
“Good bye, Nadech.” said the client. His sincere smile flashed across his face.
“Good bye, Mr. Cooper.” He said, returning a friendly smile. As Mr. Cooper and his assistants turned away to the direction of the elevator, he turned his way as if to run but his father caught him by the arm, stopping him.
“Dad, please.” Nadech said. “Not now. Not NOW.”
“You’re not getting back to her!” said his father, his voice sharp like a sword.
“Yes, I am. This is my life.” With that, Nadech pulled free of his grip and sped up his paces until he was almost running. His father frowned but didn’t follow him.
After Linda decided she wanted to be alone and think about what to say to Boy in the evening, Kim was left to examine Nadech’s office by herself. The tulips caught her eyes first. They looked dark and dry, and when Kim bent her neck to look inside the square-shape vase, there was no water. Let’s get you some water. She thought. She grabbed the vase with one hand, and turned around when a hand grabbed her free hand by the wrist.
“Let’s get out of here.” said Nadech, sounding rush and silvery.
Kim nodded, laying the vase back on its feet.
“It’s my dad.” Nadech explained, though Kim didn’t look curious or attempted to ask why.
“I know.” She always knew why. And this time it was because he hated her. Of course, it was right to hate her. She never had parents, or anyone who truly cared about her but she could always imagine what Nadech’s parents felt towards her. She could care less about that, though. “I just want to be with you, Nadech. Please know this.”
Nadech’s expression went dead. “But you left me.” His grip loosed as to let go. This frightened Kim suddenly. Her fingers found his cheek and brushed it as if wiping his tears.
“I had no choice.” she said.
“Where have you been?” His voice changed to flat and tasteless but Kim thought, for a moment, that she heard his tears. “While I was here rotting.” He lost the feel of her touch then and Kim almost turned into liquid once he did.
“I’m sorry, I...” she couldn’t see Nadech or anything anymore, but mirrors surrounding her. Many versions of her she envisioned. Her who was already down on her knee, sobbing. Her who was clutching her hand so hard, red liquid was dripping down and stained Linda’s ex-heels. Her whose forehead was purple-blue, resulting from the clash of it and the white wall. And right in front of her, she saw her whose eyes glared back at her in disgust, like she was a plate of rotten meat. She blinked once, twice—feeling drops of tears sliding down her cheeks, warm and itching. She blinked again and what felt like a dream was gone. There Nadech stood. He frowned slightly but not showing impatience. He wanted an answer, no matter how long it took Kim to come up with it.
What would she tell him? Should she tell him she was married? She remembered her own eyes staring at her with distaste and pictured Nadech putting on the same expression. The thought threshed her stomach and she felt as if she might throw up. What if he wouldn’t want her anymore if he found out she was wedded to another man? That she ran from him to do that? It wasn’t her fault. She tried to stay calm. Not her fault. She wish she was dizzy. At least she might faint. Faint, so she didn’t have to answer, to explain what had been a blur to her: her marriage, her life for the last few years. But she was perfectly conscious and aware of Nadech, now turning his back to her, made a little sound with his nose. Then she knew. He was crying.
“It was…my father.” Kim choked on her words, startled by how red Nadech’s eyes were when they returned to meet her gaze.
Rain had started pouring down lightly as Yaya pushed the double glass doors and slid through the opened space. She shivered at the touch of the cold breeze and a drop of rain that ticked down on her head. She looked forward, though, as if none of it had affected her in any way. A black, expensive-look car was parked at the end of the stone path. The rolled-down window revealed a middle-age guy, flashing her a winkled smile. She returned the smile once she reached him.
“Good evening, uncle.” Yaya said, softly. 
“Hi, Yaya.” The man said. “Come on, get inside. It sure is going to rain hard soon.” With that, he moved to the side to make space for Yaya as she slid herself onto the car’s soft and comfortable seat. Like the car, it was black and elegant. It was not the first time she had been inside it, but she could never erase the feeling of appreciation of the car’s beauty. Not that she loved cars or luxury or the like but still.
“So,” the man started, after having commanded his driver to start the machine. “How is work here?”
“It’s…nice.” said Yaya, shortly. She wasn’t really in the mood to get into details. “Thank you for your concern, uncle.”
“I’m glad to hear that.” He looked unsure of Yaya’s answer. Yaya’s expression wasn’t convincing enough to tell her she meant what she meant. “I know a lot of companies.” He continued after a few seconds. “Bigger and more well-known, if you want, I can—“
“I am content with where I am now, uncle.” Yaya sounded cold without purpose. “I’m sorry but I can’t accept your offer.” Surely, Yaya didn’t plan on using another person’s name to get her a job.
“Very well.” said the man. He looked hurt suddenly—or something else, Yaya couldn’t decipher the expression showed across his face, the way his lips were pressed against one another and the thin eyebrows that seemed to be frowning. When Yaya realized he wasn’t going to say anything else, she turned and stared out to the sky—now dark clouds covered the blueness it once was a few hours ago. Mark. What is he doing now?
She had made up her mind to check up on him by his place, see if he was all right. Stupid. She had called herself. How could he be all right? But just after she was preparing to leave, Mr. Kugimiya called her—that he wanted to talk to her, and she couldn’t possibly say no. So instead, she had texted Margie, asking her to look after Mark until she finished her business, which she received no reply. It’s okay. She reassured herself. Margie would’ve called if something…unpleasant happens.
“I miss when you and Nadech were young.” Mr. Kugimiya broke the silence. His voice went soft, his expression—Yaya noticed when she turned to look at him—were sad. “You two playing and laughing, at everything.” A dry laugh escaped his mouth. “A lot have changes. I hardly ever see Nadech laugh anymore.”
Yaya looked away, figuring out she had no reply. What could she say? But it wasn’t as Mr. Kugimiya expected her to say something.
“He cares about you, Yaya, though he is stubborn to admit it.” Now Yaya returned her gaze. Her eyes wide and frozen, looking at him as if he told her he’d kill a person. “He…asked a lot about you when you were away. How you were doing. Not openly, but on occasions, he would simply blurt out a question about whether you were doing okay there.” He met her eyes. A light flickered at a corner of his eye. When Yaya was still a zombie, he continued: “I saw him bought something—wrapped, like a present. One day before your arrival. Have you met him since?”
Yaya shook her head dumbly. A present?
“He was probably shy.” He smiled. “You know, he’s—“
“Why are you telling me this, uncle?” Yaya broke her ice shield at last. “What exactly are you implying?”
“You were like a sister he’d never had, Nadech once told me. Long time ago.” He continued as if Yaya hadn’t spoken up.
Sure. A sister. Long time ago. “I don’t get it…”
“I’m such a terrible father, Nu Ya.” He said. “I couldn’t give him what he wanted. I couldn’t stop what would hurt him. He would have been a better man if it weren’t for my carelessness.”
“You can’t say that, uncle. You’re…” she searched something to say, nothing comforting-like revealed itself.
“I could’ve done so much more than just watched him hurt.” He squeezed his eyes shut.
What hurt Nadech. She snapped at herself, realizing how stupid she was not to get it. “It was not your fault. He’s an adult. Everything was his choice. He chose to stay tamed and blind. There was nothing you or Aunt could do.” Her tone was bitter.
“But there is certainly something you can do.” He said with his eyes shining like silver at her. “There’s no other young woman as smart or humble or bright as you, Nu Ya. No other young woman who can make better of my son.”
No. No. No.
“I realize, it’s selfish to ask you of this—considering what went wrong a few years ago—but I haven’t any time to waste seeing him get any worse. You must really hate Nadech, but will you—”
“You want me…to…to,” Yaya stumbled on words.
“Look after him for me. Will you?”
He hates me. I hate him. How could I look after him? The wedding. That terrible night. Everything replayed in her head. She looked forward, then, out to the road that constantly expand before the on-moving car. The rain had gotten pretty aggression. She wondered for a second why she hadn’t heard the thumping sound of water atop the car’s roofs or the windows.
“But he hates me, uncle.” She finally said, leaving out I hate him too. “And there will be no way—“ She broke off in a gasp, as she felt the cold of his skins by her sides. His hands pressed to the back of the seat, his body twisted so he was facing her. She looked up, startled by his sudden move. “Uncle—“ A loud crash shattered her whatever she was about to say.  
Here's an update after forever. Enjoy and thank you for reading!


sarNie Hatchling
What a surprise, Sovanata! It's been a while. Had to go back and re-read from the beginning. Thank u for updating and I hope that there's more to come.


sarNie Juvenile
fea4567 said:
What a surprise, Sovanata! It's been a while. Had to go back and re-read from the beginning. Thank u for updating and I hope that there's more to come.
Hi, Fea. Yeah, sorry about that. I've been busy. I'ill try to update more often. Thank you for your time reading my FF. :heart:


sarNie Oldmaid
Hi my sweet girl, Sovatana, thank you for this very long and well-explained feelings of them. Kim and Linda do look like fast friends. Can understand the consumption Nadech showers on Kim and its good that he wants answers, the only way to move on or stay. What Kim and Yaya went through over their loves isn't easy. Kim, selfish, if shes holding back her marriage from Nadech, Yaya, bitter, she doesn't deserve the treatment. Whats happening at the end, I await your next revelation. Thank you for your time, Sovatana, story gets very exciting xoxo key


sarNie Juvenile
keylargo said:
Hi my sweet girl, Sovatana, thank you for this very long and well-explained feelings of them. Kim and Linda do look like fast friends. Can understand the consumption Nadech showers on Kim and its good that he wants answers, the only way to move on or stay. What Kim and Yaya went through over their loves isn't easy. Kim, selfish, if shes holding back her marriage from Nadech, Yaya, bitter, she doesn't deserve the treatment. Whats happening at the end, I await your next revelation. Thank you for your time, Sovatana, story gets very exciting xoxo key
Hi, Key. I miss you so much! Thanks for keeping up with my fanfiction. I'm really glad you like this update! I will try to update more often. xoxo :heart: And thank you for your time and patience, dear.