Pattharanop arrived at Nada’s house later that night and decided he would tell her the truth about his wedding with Namwaan. Natcha answered the door and called out for his sister.
“P’Da, your graduation present has arrived!” he called out.
Nada appeared at the door in high spirits.
“Come in, ka,” said Nada’s mother.
“Sawadee krub, Khun Mae,” said Pattharanop.
“I didn’t think you would show up here this late,” said Khun Mae. “Well since you’re here, I’d to say congratulations.”
“Khob khun, krub,” said Pattharanop.
“Congratulations, krub P’Nop,” said Natcha.
“Thanks,” said Pattharanop. “Uh, may I speak to Nada privately for a few minutes please?”
Khun Mae and Natcha exchanged looks. Natcha raised an eyebrow and steered his mother away from Nada and Pattharanop.
“What are you doing here?” asked Nada.
Pattharanop looked for words. He didn’t want to break her heart but he didn’t know how to explain.
“Nop,” said Nada, grabbing his face with both of her hands.
“Are you hiding something from me?” asked Nada.
“Nada, before I say anything, will you please promise me that you will be strong and hang tight?” asked Pattharanop.
“What’s wrong with you?” asked Nada.
“Do you love me?” asked Pattharanop. “Will you love me forever?”
“What kind of question is that?” asked Nada. “Why are you acting so strange?”
“Answer me first,” said Pattharanop.
Nada folded her arms and turned around.
“I thought you knew the answer to those questions already,” she said.
“I do but I want to hear them straight from you,” said Pattharanop.
Nada turned back around to face Pattharanop.
“Nop, listen carefully,” Nada began. “I love you and will love you forever. Nothing will ever change that. If you’re asking me to be strong and hang tight for our future, I can do that. But, without you, I’d be lost and weak.”
Hearing those words made Pattharanop want to tear up. How was he supposed to tell her about his arranged marriage now?
“What’s wrong with you?” asked Nada. “Why are you asking me all these weird questions all of a sudden?”
“Nothing,” said Pattharanop.
He put his arms around her and held on to her tightly. Then, he planted a kiss on her forehead.
“I love you.”
“I love you too.”
Two weeks later, Nada got her first job. In order to prepare for work, Nada had to buy new work attire according to the company guidelines. Pattharanop had promised to take her but early that same morning, he called and informed her that he wouldn’t be able to make it due to a company meeting.
“I’ll accompany you,” Natcha offered.
“Okay,” said Nada.
As a graduation gift, Nada’s mother had bought her a brand new car, which was also much to Natcha’s liking as he got to drive it a lot.
“Would you like for me to drive you?” asked Natcha.
Nada handed the keys over to Natcha. Grinning broadly, Natcha hurried to the car and opened the passenger door for his sister.
“After you madam,” he said.
After a few hours in the mall, Nada told her brother that she was ready to go home. Clutching several bags in his hands, Natcha looked very tired.
“You’re not the one carrying the bags,” said Natcha, slumping onto a bench. “I’ve walked and carried all these bags for several hours now. It’s tiring, na krub Pee.”
Nada smiled and gently thumped her younger brother on the side of the head.
“You think I don’t know what’s on your mind?” asked Nada.
“You do?” asked Natcha. “What?”
“You’re hungry are you?” asked Nada.
“Oho, my sister is not only pretty but also smart,” said Natcha, pretending to shake his head in disbelief.
“Alright, let’s go grab a bite to eat,” said Nada.
When they finally got to the food court, Natcha’s clumsiness kicked in. At the sight of food, Natcha accidentally dropped a bag on a passerby.
“Oops! Sorry, krub,” he said quickly without looking up at the passerby.
It happened to be Pattharanop and Namwaan.
“P’Nop,” said Natcha.
“Nat, hurry up!” Nada called ahead.
She turned around and saw the sight of Pattharanop and Namwaan.
“Nada,” said Pattharanop. “I can explain.”
Nada didn’t give Pattharanop a chance to explain. Instead, she grabbed her brother and simply walked away.
“Who are they?” asked Namwaan, when Nada and Natcha were out of sight. “Do you know them?”
“Namwaan, I’m sorry,” said Pattharanop. “I never agreed to this wedding. I never even knew about it. I didn’t want to hurt your feelings so I’d rather not say anything at all. I’ll explain to you later.”
Pattharanop handed Namwaan the shopping bags and ran after Nada. He followed her all the way home and later found himself pleading at Nada’s bedroom door.
“Nada, please let me in so I can explain,” said Pattharanop.
He tried to sound as calm as possible. He knew that if he showed signs of panic then Nada would panic too.
“Nada, krub!” Pattharanop shouted.
Natcha appeared next to Pattharanop.
“Who was that woman?” he asked Pattharanop.
“Natcha, listen to me, what you and your sister saw today was...it’s not what you think,” said Pattharanop.
“Well if it isn’t then why are you acting like this?” asked Natcha.
“You don’t understand me,” said Pattharanop.
Finally, Nada opened the door. Tears streamed down her face as she stood there frozen in front of Pattharanop.
“You guys should clear it up,” said Natcha, walking away.
“Nada, it’s not what you think,” began Pattharanop. “I’m sorry I lied to you but…
“Who is that woman?” asked Nada, quietly.
“Her name is Namwaan,” replied Pattharanop.
“Namwaan,” Nada repeated.
“We’re on the verge of getting married,” he said finally. “I don’t want to lie to you. I didn’t want you to know because I knew you wouldn’t be able to take it. I thought I could find a way out of this wedding and today, I was going to explain to Waan…
“Enough,” said Nada.
“Nada,” said Pattharanop, leaning in to hug her. “You have to listen to me.”
She pushed him away.
“Go away,” she said.
“GO AWAY!” she bellowed.
Pattharanop was lost in words. He backed into the wall behind him and shook his head. A tear trickled down his face.
Pattharadanai was shocked to hear about Pattharanop’s situation.
“Khun Nada saw you with Namwaan?” he asked his brother.
“Chai,” replied Pattharanop.
“Why didn’t you explain…
“She wouldn’t let me explain!” cried Pattharanop. “Why? Why does my life have to be like this?”
“Why don’t you try talking to Khun Waan about it?” asked Pattharadanai.
“I was going to but we ran into Nada and Natcha first,” said Pattharanop. “At that time, the only thing on my mind was explaining to Nada. I knew she would take it the wrong way.”
“It’s not too late,” said Pattharadanai.
He handed his brother his cell phone.
“Call her,” said Pattharadanai. “Call Namwaan and tell her the truth. One person being broken hearted is better than all three of you broken hearted.”
Pattharanop took the phone from his brother and called Namwaan. Before she could answer, Pattharanop ended the call.
“What are you doing?” asked Pattharadanai.
“I can’t do it,” said Pattharanop. “Something like this, it can’t just be cleared up over the phone. I must talk to her in person.”
Pattharanop rushed out of the room. He was going to do it. He was going to Namwaan’s house and tell her the truth about his relationship with Nada.
Pattharanop was about halfway to Namwaan’s house when he received a call from Natcha. His heart leapt at the incoming call. Pattharanop expected to hear and hoped that Nada would forgive him and give him a chance to explain. However, when he answered the call, Pattharanop’s heart sank a thousand feet. Natcha was crying.
“Na…Natcha, what’s going on?” asked Pattharanop.
He was so anxious that he couldn’t help stuttering.
“P’Da, P’Da is…is dead.”