I met Nicholas at my cousinís birthday party. He is my cousinís friendís friend. Since that day we first became friends then lovers. I always think that he is the one, my destiny. But I still wasnít sure of it. He always tells me what to do, what to wear, everything! Iím so sick of it. Although he is like that, I really love him and I canít break up with him. He is my life, my everything! Is this right to not break up with him although he is like that? Is this really love I felt for him? If I donít love him, why canít I break up with him? Is it because I love him more that anyone else?
"No! No! No!" Nicholas said.
"Why?? Donít you like this dress?" I asked him. We were going to his friendsí party and we were in the mall looking for the dress I will wear.
"Itís very conservative," he said.
"This dress looks really good on me," I told him. "And we were only going to a party."
"You look like you are going to the church. Find something else, or d o you want me to look for you?" he said.
"Okay then. You look for the dress that I should wear. You are always the one who is right, right?" I said really upset.
He looked at me and when I saw his eyes, my madness toward him vanished. "Iím sorry," I said. "Can you pick the perfect dress for me?"
He smiled at me and looked around the shop. I followed him and then Ė
"I think this is perfect for you," he said holding a cute blue cocktail dress with flowers pattern on the bottom and white lace on the middle. A no conservative dress!
"Uhm, are you sure? It looks like that my - ," I said holding the bottom of the dress examining it. I was about to say that my bosom can be seen in this dress but I didnít tell him that.
"Iím really sure. Try it," he said giving me the dress.
I went to the dressing room and try it on. I looked at the mirror and saw my reflection. "This doesnít looks like me," I sighed. "But if Nicholas wants me to be like this, I should be like this." I opened the door and I saw Nicholas looking at me his eyes look from bottom to top.
"You look gorgeous," he smiled.
"Thank you," I said. "Are you the one who will pay for this?"
He started at me, his eyebrow raised. I didnít wait for his answer; I get inside the dressing room and changed.
Iím always the one who is paying for the things we bought, the food we eat everything. I understand him because his salary isnít good enough for his family. His parent doesnít work anymore. Thatís why he is the one buying all of the things they needed. He is s great guy. But I hate it when he doesnít like the clothes I wear. He always tells me that I look old in my dress. He doesnít like conservative clothes. He liked revealing clothes. I donít know why. Hope he learns to love me for who I am.
I was walking at the mall, thinking of what to give to Nicholas for his coming birthday. I was thinking of giving him a bracelet but I donít know if he likes bracelet. Maybe I should give him a ring. He always wore a silver ring. When I asked him where he bought it he just said that his mother gave it to him.
I was about to go inside the ring shop when I saw Nicholas sitting alone in the Coffee Cafť. What is he doing alone in here? Is he waiting for someone? I was about to surprise him when a girl came over to him. A girl that Nicholas wants me to be, a perfect girl who wear clothes that he wants me to wear. I looked around the cafť and saw an empty chair two sits away from them. Luckily I can hear them.
"How are you?" the girl said. "I havenít talk to you since we broke up."
So she is Nicholas ex girlfriend. But why did they meet in here. Nicholas didnít tell me about this.
"Why did you call me?" the girl said.
"Nothing. Why donít you want to see me?" he said.
My heart aches. He looked at the girl. He doesnít look at me like that. Does he still love this girl?
"Of course I still want to see you. But, you already have a girlfriend. I was really mad at you because we only broke up and you already have someone. I saw the two of you in Bradís birthday party. She is really pretty and she looks rich." She said. "And I can see that she doesnít enjoy being in there. Why did you always bring her?"
"Want to know the truth?" he said.
My heat is pounding so fast afraid to what Nicholas would say.
"She is a special girl for me but I donít love her," Nicholas said.
"What do you mean?" the girl asked.
"He is just a girl for me. She isnít like you. She doesnít have your passion. She isnít the best girlfriend. She doesnít know the right clothes to wear. She loves conservative dress." he said.
"Donít you like conservative dress?" the girl asked. "So, you like revealing clothes."
"Of course I do. You always wore that kind of dress. Thatís one thing I like about you," he said.
"Please Nicholas. Donít look at me like that," the girl said looking at the floor. She is blushing.
I can tell that the girl still loves Nicholas. And Nicholas, does he love this girl too?
"Donít you want to fall for me?" Nicholas asked her. "Are you afraid to fall in love with me again? I still love you Charlotte. See this ring? I always wear it. It reminds me of you." He holds her hand and he looked at her softly.
"What about your girlfriend?" she asked. "She loves you. I can tell it. She really loves you Nicholas and she is rich. She can give you all the things you want. Not like me. Iím not that rich and I canít give you everything!"
The girl was crying and I was crying too. The two of them still loves each other. Thatís why Nicholas always wants me to wear those revealing clothes. He wants me to be like this girl.
"I donít love her. I just like her and I like her money thatís all," he said. "Know what? All my debts are lessening because of her. When all my debts are paid I will leave her and I will break up with her and be with you."
"Thatís very evil!" she cried. "You are playing with her. She loves you so much and you are only playing with her heart!"
"Donít you want to be with me?" he asked. "She isnít perfect just like you. At first I want her to be like you, a perfect girl but I couldnít make her like you. No one is as perfect as you."
I looked at them still my tears wonít go away. I must leave here. I must go away. I must Ė I must Ė . I run until I was tired of running. That girl. That girl is what Nicholas wants me to be. A perfect girl. Why couldnít he love me for what I am? For whom I am? I wasnít a perfect girl but I could be Ė or could I be a perfect girl for him? I cried and cried. It really is painful, hearing your love one saying that. I know that I could not be perfect for him, but I could give him the love he needed. But all he cares about is my money! Oh, God! Please help me! Why did I love a man like him? Is this only a test? Are you testing me? Will he be back to me?
I opened my eyes and saw that I was in the side walk. Oh, itís raining. Iím here all alone standing in the side walk thinking about the man who just doesnít love me back. What a life? I canít stop crying. Why do I love him? Why do I love him so much? It really hurts. It hurts to see the one you love still loving someone else who is in his past. Itís painful to love someone who already love someone else. I wish I didnít love him. I wish that I didnít tell him that I love him. I just wish that I never met him. But Ė but I love him so much. I think I couldnít forget about him.
I was crying hard when a car stopped in front of me. A guy came out holding an umbrella. He looked at me and said, "Do you need a lift?"
I didnít answer. My hands were trembling and also my whole body. The world seems to be going in circles. All around me was turning into black and then I fainted.
I woke up in a start. My head is really hurting. "What happened?"
A girl beside me was holding a basin and she put it in the chair beside me. "You fainted," she said. "How are you?"
"Iím Ė Iím fine I think," I said still holding my head. "Where am I?"
Before she answer a guy came in. He was the guy who I saw came out of the car. The girl leaves the room and the two of us is alone in the room. He looked at me gently. "How are you?" he asked softly.
"Iím fine. Thank you," I said sitting up.
He sits beside me. "You fainted last night," he told me. "You were crying so hard."
I looked at the mirror at the wall and I saw that I was a mess. How embarrassing? I combed my hair with the hands.
He laughed. "Need a brush?" he teased.
I smiled. When he laughed I just canít form a thought. How odd? No one can make me like this. Is he different from any other man?
"Are you already fine?" he asked me.
"Yes," I answered. "And Iím sorry. Sorry for disturbing you."
"No need to say sorry. Iím so glad to help you," he said smiling. "And you need some help really. Do you want to eat here or in the dining room?" He stands up and still looking at me. He looks at me really gentle and soft. It feels that I want to kiss him.
"I think I rather not eat in here," I replied looking away from him. Why do I feel like this? I just only met him. I need to relax and be calm. I take a deep breath and looked at him again. "Is it alright?"
"Sure," he said. "Oh, I forgot. Iím Harry by the way," he put his hand in a hand shake.
"Iím Claire," I said taking his hand. "Nice to meet you."
"Nice to meet you too Claire," he said. "I will tell the maid to call you when the food is ready. Donít worry; Iím not the one who will cook. Iím not good at it."
I laughed then he smiled at me. He waved and opened the door and closed it behind him. I lie back in the bed and think about Harry. Why do I feet like this? It feels like, no! I love Nicholas! But Ė itís very different when he looks at me, I feel like Iím going to melt. Arg,.
She really looks like her. Last night, when I saw her in the side walk I just thought he is Samantha. But then, when I saw her more closely, she is different. Samantha has red hair and blue eyes but this Claire has brown hair and brown eyes. They have the same shape of face and round eyes. They look similar somehow.
I go the kitchen and told the cook to prepare some delicious food for the guest. When I look at her brown eyes, I feel that I want to kiss her. I want to be with her and want to have her. I donít know why. I shake my head and think again. Why? I donít want to fall in love again after what Samantha done to me. All the girls did that right? Leave us guys? I donít know what to think. Is this love at first sight, or is it that I just seeing Samantha through her?
Suddenly I just thought that Claire needs some clothes. I called the maid and told her to get a dress from Samanthaís drawer. Samantha lives here when we were still engaged. When she left, she also left some clothes.
"What color do you want her to wear, Sir?" the maid asked. "There are so many clothes in there. And Iím not good at picking a good dress."
"Let me think," I said. What is the most beautiful dress that Samantha wears? I remember that she wears her dress only once. She doesnít wear castoffs. And she doesnít want to wear the cloth that she already wears. "There is a blue dress in there with white laces at the bottom."
"What about her shoes?" she asked.
"Get a silver one. I donít know her size," I said. I looked at the maid bow to me and went to Samanthaís bedroom. I think Samanthaís clothes will fit perfectly on her. They had the same slim body.
The maid came in holding a beautiful blue dress. "Sir wants you to wear this," the maid said. "And hereís your shoes, Ms. Do you still need something?"
"No. Thanks." I said standing up and touching the dress. Itís so smooth. Itís silk. I think this dress is really expensive. Who owns this?
"The bathroom is in the left side of this room," she pointed at the bathroom door.
"Thank you," I said. She bowed to me and left the room. Well, this guy is so rich. Richer than I am I can say. I went to the bathroom and was shocked to what I saw. This bathroom is really big. The showerís handle is made of gold. I think the design of the bathtub is also made from gold. How rich is this man? I took all of my clothes and went into the shower.
I looked at the label, "Hot, Cold, Warm" I push the button of warm and when the water hit my body I feel so good. After I take a fresh bath, a towel was already prepared in there. I took it and realize that it was made of cotton. So soft.
I wear the dress and looked at the mirror. Well, I look good alright. I donít know that this kind of dress suits me. I smiled at my reflection. I think when Nicholas saw me in this dress he will love me. When that thought came out of my mind, I felt the pain again. I fixed my hair and my face someone knock at the door.
"Come in," I called.
"The food is already served," the maid said. I nodded and look at the mirror for the last time. "You look beautiful, Ms."
"Thank you. Iím Claire," I said. "And you are?"
"Iím Sarah, Ms. Claire," the maid said.
Sarah accompanies me to the dinning room. "Thanks for accompanying me." I told her. She smiled and opened the door for me. There I saw candles lit in the walls and Harry was standing beside the table waiting for me.
"You look gorgeous," he said walking towards me. He offered me his hand and I took it. He pulled the chair and I sit down. He sits at the other end.
"So, tell me anything about you," he started. "What are your hobbies, interests? Where do you live? How old are you?"
"So many questions," I whispered. "Iím Claire Madison."
"Madison? Are you the daughter of Charlie Madison?" he asked looking at me in interest. "The owner of the Madison silver company?"
"Yes. Why?" I asked. The foods were now being served by the cooks.
"I just know your father thatís all. Were business partners," he said.
I thanked the cooks who placed the foods in the tables. I looked at the foods and my jaw dropped. There are so many foods in here. Is there a feast? Thereís roast beef, chicken, salted beef, turkey, lobster, sole, crayfish, and many more!
"Why are there so many foods in here?" I asked.
"Itís a special day isnít it?" he said.
"Whatís so special in this day?" I asked. "Is it your birthday?"
"Nothing. Just donít mind me and eat now or the food will be cold," he said starting to eat now.
I looked at the food and think what to eat first. I started on the roast beef. I took a bite and then I feel like Iím in heaven. Itís so delicious. "Wow! This is so delicious," I said. "Your cook is so good. Is he a private chef?"
"Yes he is," Harry said taking a bite of his chicken. "Deserts will be coming next."
"I love deserts," I said putting now turkey in my plate. "My favorite is chocolate cakes. I love cakes."
"Really? I do too," he said smiling at me. I smiled back then continue eating my food.
"You said that you are my fatherís business partner so that means you have your own company too. What is it? Is it about silver, too?" I asked looking at the cooks replacing the foods with deserts. "Thank you."
"No, its gold," he said. "Your company and my company exchange materials. We use some of your materials and your company uses some of our materials. Are we only going to talk about business in here?" He looked at me his soft eyes boring in mine. I looked away. His eyes staring in my eyes can make me melt. I just saw him smile then he looked away. Can he read my mind?
"I love painting and reading books," I started. "One of my talents is painting. I can sing but Iím not good at it. I can play the piano and violin. But I like piano more."
"So, you love painting. What kind of pictures do you paint?" he asked.
"More on landscapes. I love beautiful views." I answered. "So, what about you? Whatís your hobbies?"
"I like horseback riding. I also like playing the piano just like you. My mother teaches me when I was only 5," he said slicing the cake.
This is breakfast but the foods are like its dinner already. Our conversation lasted for about 1 hour and half. I have a great time talking to him. I felt that I know him so well. When the clock turns 10 he stands up and walks toward me. "Want to walk with me outside? I can show you beautiful views." He smiled at me gently.
"Sure," I agreed. I stand up and the two of us went outside.
At that walk, I learned so much about him. He really is a great guy. He told me about how his parentsí get divorced and no one wants to care for him. He already an independent person since he is a kid. His parents leave him to his aunt and luckily his aunt is a good person. She cares for him like he is her son. He finished his study in a good school. We talked and talked and talked. It seems that we cannot stop talking to each other.
"Do you enjoy our walk?" he asked me holding my hand. He holds my hand and he never let go of it. And I like it. I feel that I am safe when I am with him.
"Of course," I said. "Thanks for your time."
"No, thanks for your time," I said. "You know what? I feel like I known you for so long." He holds my hand tightly and he looks at me.
"I also feel the same," he said.
The following days became more exciting. We went to different places. We dine in fancy restaurants and we went in an art museum. Harry knows that I love art. What I like most is when he let me paint his picture.
"Do you like it?" I asked him when I show him my painting of him.
"Wow! Youíre good. You should be a professional artist," he said. Then he kissed me. I was surprise in what he did. He just kissed me in the lips. "Can I have it?"
"Sure, sure," I said. I can feel my face turning red.
"Why are you blushing?" he asked me.
"Iím not blushing," I lied. I smiled at him. "Take good care of it. Itís expensive when you sell it." I joked and then he laughs. I really love it when he laughs. It can make my stress disappear.
When Iím with Harry I felt that Iím now really loved. I can feel his love for me. But Iím not sure if I love him. I still donít know. Harry was so sweet to me that he always gives me presents. Not an expensive presents but a present that he made. He asked the cook to teach him how to cook. And by the time he learns, he is the one who prepare the food for all of us.
"So?" he asked when he is waiting for my opinion about his cooking. He was still wearing an apron and he is a mess. Thereís flour in his face and hands.
"Itís good. More practice but I like it." I said. "Taste it."
He took a bite and then his face lift. He looks like a boy who just tastes his first candy. I laughed. "I canít believe that I cook this."
"Believe it or not, you did," I said. He kissed my forehead.
He said. "Thanks to you I never give up in cooking. I thought I can never cook."
I smiled at him. Then I kissed his lips. We were like couples now. And Iím happy about it. I donít know if Nicholas and I already broke up. Itís an unofficial breakup. I want to forget all about the things about him.
Nicholas also wanted to learn to paint. I teach him how to combine colors and how to use the paint brush well. We were in the garden and were supposed to paint the flowers. "What are you doing back there?" I asked him. "You were supposed to paint these beautiful flowers. How can you see themif you are in there at the back?"
"Donít worry. I was painting the most beautiful flower for me. And donít look!" he half shouted when I was about look at it. "There is a right time to see this most artistic painting. This should be in the art museum." He boasts.
I snorted. "Let me see. Please,"
"No, no and no," he said. "I will give it to you soon."
"Je promets avec tout mon coeur," he said.
"What is that?" I asked my eyebrow raised.
"Itís the French word for ĎI promise with all my heart.í" he said. And then he covers it with a white cloth. Iím really curious if his drawing is good or not. I just smiled.
My parentsí was told that I was in Harryís place. In my surprise, they just said alright and they looked happy. Odd.
Those days with Harry are the most wonderful days of my life. Each day it seems that I learned to forget about Nicholas and learn to love Harry. Harry is so sweet to me and that makes me fall for him. Itís been a month since I met him and live with him and all those days, I felt so happy and alive. Iím very excited each and everyday.
Right now, we were in Harryís room looking at his photo album, eating and drinking wine. "Is this really you?" I laughed. Harry with his black hair and deep blue eyes, in his childhood he is already a good looking guy.
"Why? Do I look awful? Ugly?" he asked me. "I was told that Iím a good looking guy until now." He smiled at me and I stuck out my tongue.
"No your not," I teased. "You were only good looking when you are just a child." I laughed.
"Really? You are making fun of me," he said. He looked down and I saw that he looks sad.
I stopped laughing. "Oh, Iím so sorry. I didnít know - ," I stopped when he laughed. "Hey!"
"You fall for that didnít you? I was a great actor am I?" he laughed so hard. He lay on the bed still laughing.
"You - ," I said. He smiled at me and then next second I was in his arms. "What are you doing?" I said when I came to my senses. I pushed him but he was hugging me so tightly.
"I love you," he said his eyes locked in mine. "Do you love me?"
"I Ė I donít know," I replied. He kissed me passionately and then I was under him. He kissed me and I kissed back. I can feel his passion towards me. He started to kiss my neck. My eyes were closed and when he stopped I opened it. There I saw Harry looking at me. "Will you ever leave me?" he asked.
"No. I will never leave you," I said now closing my eyes again. Harry kissed me so softly. He started to take off my clothes but then Ė
"Please donít" I said pushing him.
"Why?" he asked. "Arenít you ready yet?"
"Iím not sure," I answered honestly. "Itís my first time to do this. I donít know what to do."
"Iíll teach you," he said. He took off my clothes and kissed me all around. He kissed every part his lips touch. He kissed my face, my neck and my breast. I arched my back and then he returned to kiss my lips. I donít know how I do it but I can follow his kisses. His tongue was playing with mine. And then he entered me, I pushed him.
"Ouch!" I said. "Stop. It hurts."
He looked at me worriedly. "Donít worry. The pain will stop in a moment." I closed my eyes but still it hurts. He kissed me and after a few moments the pain stops. It feels like Iím exploring something new. I was touching his nude body and thinking if every guyís body looks like this.
"What are you thinking?" he asked removing some hair strand in my face.
"That I should be now in top of you," I said. He laughed and he let me in top now. That was the most exciting thing I did. It was dawn when we finished making love.
"Did you like it?" he asked.
"Quite," I laughed. "Just kidding. Of course I like it. I never felt like that before. Itís not your first time isnít it?"
"Howíd you know?" he said touching my back. We were under the blanket and looking at each other.
"Because youíre great at it," I said. I kissed him in the cheeks. "Harry?"
"Do you really love me?" I asked looking at him wishing he answer me honestly.
"I really do love you," he answered kissing me in the lips. "I will always love you."
The following morning, when I woke up Harry was not in the bed with me. Where did he go? I put my clothes and look for him. I was so happy that I just want to see him and hug him tightly and say that I had a great night. In the drawing room the door was partly open and I peered. There I saw Harry with a girl. Did he leave me in the bedroom because of this girl? Who is she? I run to my room and cried. Why am I crying? Iím not yet sure if they have a relationship. I wiped my tears and changed my clothes.
I went to the drawing room and when I entered, the two of them looked at me. "Good morning," I greeted.
When I looked at the girl she looks familiar to me. Oh my god, she looks like me somehow. She just has red hair and blue eyes. But we have the same round eyes and we have the same shape of face. Are we related to each other?
"Good morning," the girl greeted back.
"Good morning too," Harry said. He seems like a different guy. He acts like he doesnít know me. That he doesnít see me before. What happened? Who is this girl for Harry?
"Claire this is Samantha," he said. "Samantha this is Claire."
"What a proper introduction," the girl named Samantha said smiling. Her teeth are so white it looks like pearls. "Iím Samantha Ambler. And you are?"
"Iím Claire Madison," I said.
"Madison? Your company owns the Madison silver company?" she asked with interest like Harry did when he found out that I was a Madison.
"Yes," I said looking at Harry. He was not looking at me; he just stared at this Samantha.
"Iím Harryís ex fiancť by the way," she said touching Harryís hair.
"I Ė I donít know he had a fiancť," I said. I stared at Harry but he look at Samantha like she is a goddess to him. Is she flirting Harry in front of me? How could she?!
"Now you know. I was here to check up on him. To check if he has a mistress." she said looking at him with her eyes for me so annoying.
Mistress?! Do I look like a mistress? First, I donít know Harry had a fiancť. And second she is an ex fiancť! Hello!
"Am I disturbing you?" I asked softly. Claire be calm. Didnít Harry tell this girl what they did last night? That he told her that he loves her? And now, I will wake up thinking that this day is somehow different but no! This girl, his ex fiancť is checking out on him. What does she mean by checking out for him? Doesnít she want Harry to have someone else? And Harry? Why isnít he talking? Why does he just looked at this flirt and enjoying the way she flirt with him.
"No, no. Stay if you want," Samantha said. "We were just talking about our relationship before we broke up. Itís so funny. Wanna join? You will be laughing when you heard our story."
"Oh, no. Thanks for the offer." I said. "I will now leave the two of you. Have fun." I get out of the room immediately. Sigh. What am I doing in here? I just decided to walk outside. Itís so shiny and itís a wonderful day. But for me, itís not wonderful. I just felt like crying. Harry didnít say a word that time. Why? Why? Why?
I was surprise to see the two of them leave the house and started walking in the garden. I followed them. I hid in the bush when they stopped in a corner. I was like a spy.
"So, who is that girl?" Samantha asked Harry.
"Claire?" Harry said.
"What do you mean by you donít know? She looks just like me, did you notice that?" she asked picking up a flower from the garden.
"I notice that," Harry replied looking at her.
"Did you let her stay in here because she looks like me?" she said playing the flower in her palm. Harry didnít say a word.
"How long is she in here?" Samantha asked. "You look different. Did that girl changed you?"
"Me? Changed? No. No one can change me. I am what I am," Harry laughed.
"You havenít answered my first question. How long is she in here?" she asked sternly. She removed the flowers petals like playing she-loves-me-she-loves-me-not.
"About a month," he said looking at Samantha with soft and gentle eyes. "I miss you."
When I heard Harry said that, my heart hurts. It hurts too much that I canít bear to stop it from hurting. I think it will be crushed or break into pieces. And if that happens that much better because I will no longer feel the pain of being hurt.
"Did you really?" she said throwing the flower bud. "I miss you too. Thatís why I came back. I miss you so much. When I left you, I felt so guilty. I shouldnít have left you." She hugged him and to my surprise Harry hugged her back.
I donít want to feel like this again. I donít want to feel any heart aches again. Please! At first Nicholas, now Harry! Will I ever love the right person? It hurt so much. I want to go. I want to go home. I left the bush where I hid and run to the house. I took off my clothes and wear the one I wore when Harry and I first met. My tears wonít stop falling. Does he told me he love me because I look like his Samantha? Does he make love me because he thinks that Iím Samantha? Does he ust seeing Samantha through me? I hate to fall in love! I hate it! Itís really painful to fall in love with someone who has already loved someone else. Worst, when he treat me like Iím special but never be loved.
I didnít say goodbye to them. I just left a note and leave the house. They must be inside the house now doing something. I look at the house for the last time and cried. I love you so much Harry. And then I left.
"Whereís Claire?" I asked the maid that night. I havenít seen Claire since that morning when she left the drawing room.
"I donít know, Sir. I havenít seen her either." The maid said. "But Sir."
"What is it?" I asked.
"Ms. Claire leaves this message on her bedroom," the maid put her hand on her pocket and gets a piece of paper. I get it from her and told her to leave.
And then Samantha came in. "Why are you so worried?" she asked looking at me worriedly. "Is there any problem?"
"Can you leave me alone just for a moment?" I asked softly.
"Sure if thatís what you want," she said and she leaves the room looking at me her eyes really is worried.
I open the letter and started reading the note Claire leaves. "Harry, Thank you for taking care of me. For the days I spent with you, I felt so wonderful. I was so happy and I will never forget the moment Iím in there with you. I wish you all the best and for your Samantha. I havenít got a chance to tell you this before I left. All I want to say is that I love you so much. Thanks for the time you gave to me. Sorry for not saying goodbye before I left. Hope you will take care of yourself. Claire."
Claire. Why did you leave me? Iím serious when I told you I love you. Why did you leave? I need to see her right away and tell her what I really feel for her.
I got home about 9 in the evening. "Claire!" my mom was shocked to see me. "What happened? Why are you in here so soon?"
"I want to rest, mom," I said.
"Nicholas is looking for you. He always calling and asking if you were back already. Havenít you told him where youíve been?" my mom asked.
"When he called, tell him Iím here already," I said.
"Sure," my mom didnít say another word. I went straight to my room and there I cried. Am I unlucky? Why do I love someone who had already loved someone else? What will I do now? It really hurts.
After a few hours, there was a knock. "Claire. You have a visitor," my mom called.
I wiped my tears and fixed my face and clothes. I shouldnít be crying. I should be strong. I had been hurt many times. I need to move on. But I canít. I opened the door and went to the living room.
There standing was Nicholas. "Where have you been?" he asked me. He hugged me so tightly and looked at me. "Are you crying? What happened? Tell me. Iíve been so sick worrying about you."
"Iím Ė Iím," I started but I couldnít talk. My vision was blurry because of my tears.
"Shh, Iím here," Nicholas said. He helps me sit in the chair. "What happened to you? You havenít contacted me since you left. And I donít know where you went."
My whole body was shaking. I canít able to speak. "Claire?" he lifts my chin up and looks straight to my eyes.
"Is there something wrong?" he asked. "Is there anything that I can do to help you?"
I took a deep breath and said, "Donít worry Nicholas. Iím fine. I just need some rest thatís all." When he tried to kiss me, I looked away he just then kissed my forehead. "Tomorrow, I have a surprise for you," he said.
"What is it?" I asked still not looking at him.
"It will not be a surprise if I told you," he said smiling at me. He looked at his watch and he decided to go. He waved me goodbye and leaves. I was about to go inside when I saw someone looking at me in the dark. I looked at it closely but it suddenly disappeared. I thought that it was just my imagination.
While walking I thought, if I was about to choose between Nicholas and Harry, who will I choose? Nicholas who always wants me to be perfect and want to looks like her ex girlfriend and only wants my money or Harry who lied to me that he loves me and who only just seeing his ex fiancť through me? Sigh.
The following morning, I wore the dress that Nicholas bought me. I really look nice in this blue dress. Nicholas has a great taste. I smiled to myself. That night, I told myself to not to cry anymore. I must be strong. I need to be strong. I need to show the world that Iím not affected by what Harry just did to me. But deep inside, I know Iím very hurt. Last night, Nicholas told me he has a surprise for me. I was very curious about it.
He picked me up at 9 pm sharp. "Where will you take me?" I asked. "And whatís this blindfold for?" We were in the car and Nicholas blindfolded me.
"Itís a surprise. You will really like it," he said. I donít know where we are going. Itís about an hour when the car stopped. "Were here!" he said. I can feel his joy. "Donít remove the blindfold!"
He gets out of the car and helps me get outside. I can feel that we were in the elevator and going up and up at the top! "Be careful," he said. He was holding my arms and he was leading the way into a place I donít know where. We stopped and Nicholas said, "Are you ready?"
"Yes," I answered. He removed the blindfold and I opened my eyes. I was so shocked. We were in the top of the building where I canít believe that this is in the top of a building. The whole place was like a garden. There are so many flowers here and there. There are rose petals in the floor. Everywhere I look the place is so wonderful. I just canít believe it. I feel like Iím in heaven. The air was refreshing and when I look outside, the view was so wonderful. I can see the whole city in here and the lights was so pretty.
"I know you love beautiful views so I picked this place," Nicholas said hugging me, his front on my back.
"Itís so wonderful," I told him.
"The food is served," the waiter said. Thereís a waiter? Can you believe it? In the middle was a chair and table. How fancy? The chairs and table was not level with the floor.
"May I?" Nicholas offered me his hand.
I smiled and took it. He pulled the chair and I sit down. The table was made in gold and there were still rose petals in there and a bouquet of white roses. How sweet?
"Thatís for you," he said.
"Whatís this celebration for?" I asked picking the bouquet from the table and smelling it. This flower smells wonderful.
"Later," he said smiling at me. I forgot that smile of Nicholas already. Itís so gentle and sweet. "Letís eat first. Donít worry I didnít cook this."
At those words, I just remembered Harry. I shook my head to forget about that thought. "Whatís wrong?" he said looking at me.
"Nothing," I lied. "Itís just that. Iím so happy. I canít explain the joy Iím feeling right now. I donít know what we are celebrating for or if we do celebrate something."
And then a violin was played. I looked around and saw a man in the side playing the violin. "You also hire a violinist?" I asked him looking really surprise.
He stands up and walks towards me. "May I have your first dance?" he said smiling.
I laughed, "Is this prom?" I teased. Thereís a dance floor also in the middle but not as high as the table and chairs.
He put his hands on my waist and I put my hand in his shoulders. "So, tell me," I started. "Whatís this about?"
"I just got promoted," he answered me.
"Really? Wow, thatís good news. Congratulations!" I said kissing him in the cheeks. "I was so happy for you Nicholas."
"Thank you," he said.
"Is that the surprise?" I asked him.
"No," he replied. He stopped from dancing and he looked at me. He looked deeper in my eyes. "I want to tell you something." He removed his hands from my waist and then he holds my face.
"What is it?" I asked him.
"Come with me," he said holding my hand and leading me to the other side. There I saw was a red cloth hanging. I didnít notice that it was a cloth until I look at it closely. "Whatís i` n there? Is it another surprise?" I asked him. He was behind me holding my arms.
He nodded at the waiter and the waiter pulled a rope. The red cloth was going up and up and then Ė.
My eyes widened. Red rose was neatly arranged to form the words, ĎClaire, will you marry me?í I canít speak. I was so shocked. I donít know what to say.
"Claire?" he turn me around and then he kneel. He looked at me and holds my hand; in his other hand was a beautiful silver ring.
"Will you Claire Madison, marry me?" he asked. His eyes were so soft that I just will feel guilty if I hurt his feelings. I still donít know what I feel right now? My heart was still in pain from what Harry and Nicholas done to me. I donít know who I love most. What if Harry also proposes to me? What will I do? Will I also accept it if I accept Nicholas proposal?
Nicholas was looking at me. His eyes so worried that I will not accept it. I wasnít talking and then he stands up. "Do you love me?"
"I Ė I donít know," I said looking down. "I was really hurt. What about your Charlotte?"
"How did you know about Charlotte?" he asked me. "Look at me Claire. Please."
"I saw you in the Coffee cafť. I donít know when. Itís a long time ago. I heard you Ė I Ė I heard what you the two of you were talking about," I said my eyes started to cry. "You told her that Iím special but never be loved! That Iím not as perfect as she was! You want me to be like her! And you only like me, you donít ever love me! You are only playing with my feelings!"
"You didnít hear all of it didnít you?" he asked now not looking at me. "You didnít hear what I told her!"
He was half shouting at me and I looked at him afraid that he might hurt me, his eyes were red. Is he about to cry? "You know what I realize? I realize that I really love you. That you Claire is my life. I donít want to leave you and I donít want you to leave me. I love you with all my heart. I want to be with you always. I donít care about your money! I will pay all the things you bought for me. I will do anything for you. I will make you happy. I will never again contradict the things you wanted. Youíre free to choose what you want."
"Nicholas Ė " I started but he stopped me.
"About Charlotte, the two of us see each other not because I want to be with her again. I know that I will be promoted this month thatís why I called her. I want her to organize this date. She is good in this stuff. All the things you see in here were designed by Charlotte. I told her to make this date special. She knows that I will propose to you. I want to make this perfect. I Ė" I put my fingers in his lips then I smiled.
"Thanks for explaining it to me," I said wiping my tears. "Thanks for everything. I want to thank Charlotte for doing this. But Nicholas, Iím not ready yet."
"Why? Do you love someone else?" he asked me.
"I donít know. I just canít figure out what I really feel right now," I replied.
"Who is he?" he asked. "Someone I know?"
"I donít know. Maybe," I said.
He sighed. After that talk, we still have fun. We eat and dance. I just feel much better now.
The following day, my mom told me that I have a visitor. I thought that it was Nicholas visiting me, I was so happy and wanted to tell him stories but when I go to the living room I saw Samantha sitting.
I stopped walking and my smile faded. "What are you doing in here?" I asked coldly.
"Whatís that cold voice for?" she asked me smiling. Does this girl know how to get angry? She just always smiles. "Donít you want me to visit you? Why donít you sit down? I have something to tell you."
"What is it?" but still Iím not moving from the place I was standing.
"About Harry," she told me.
"If thatís why youíre here. Just leave ok. I donít want to hear anything about that guy." I turned around but Samantha was so fast that she holds my arm to stop me.
"Listen to me first, will you?" she said. "It will change your view of something, I promise."
"Alright then," I said at last. We sit down and she started to talk.
"Why did you leave the house?" she asked me.
"Itís none of your business," I said not looking at her. But I can feel that she is staring at me.
"None of my business?" she asked.
"I just want to leave thatís all? Contented?" I said coldly.
"When you left Harry was so lonely. Your disappearance just made him so worried and sad. I believe you left a note for him. When I entered your room in there and saw him reading it, he told me he wants me to leave the room. Actually I was really worried about him. He cried you know," she started.
I snorted. Samantha continue, "I donít know what happened, he went in here that day. But he seems still lonely when he came back. What happened? Did you two talk?"
My eyebrow was raised thinking and then I said, "He didnít visit me. I havenít seen him in here."
"Oh, thatís why," she said.
I was thinking so hard when I heard that Harry came to see me but he didnít show up. But why didnít I see him. That day, oh yeah, Nicholas was here that day. And when Nicholas leaves, I didnít saw any car parked in front of the house I just saw - I stopped. I remembered the person staring at me in the dark. Is that Harry? He didnít show himself to me because he saw that Iím with Nicholas? Did he get jealous?
"When you leave the drawing room that morning, Harry was looking at you worriedly. I can see it in his eyes. He wants you. Thatís the time I told him to walk with me in the garden. I think he needs some air," she said still looking at me. She is really serious about his talk. Oh, thatís why they went outside, Harry was sad that Samantha thinks he needs some air.
"He told me he misses me. I thought that he still loves me but Iím wrong. He just misses me but he doesnít love me anymore. He already loves someone else. Someone who really changed him. Someone who he wants to be with for all of his life. Do you know who that girl is?"
"No," I said. My voice was shaking because what Samantha is telling me. She is explaining things; she is telling me the truth.
"Itís you Samantha. You are the one he loves. He wants you. He wants to be with you," she continued.
"If he loves me, why are you the one in here not him?" I said now looking at her.
"He doesnít know that Iím in here. Do you believe in destiny?" she asked me.
"Of course. If destiny wants me to be with Harry then let it be. Iíll wait for it," I said.
"Thatís wrong!" she half shouted. "Know what? Thereís no such thing as destiny. Do you think the two of you will be together again if you will not do anything? You will just leave destiny to it? Donít wait for destiny to do it for you. You Claire should make your own destiny."
My mind was taking a long time to function in what she is saying. I should make my own destiny. I need to make my own destiny.
I looked at her and smile widely. "Thank you so much, Samantha," I hugged her tightly. "Thanks for telling me the truth and opening my mind. If you didnít tell me this things, I will spend my whole life wondering and only thinking about Harry."
"Thatís alright. I just feel that this is the right thing to do." She told me and hugged me back.
"By the way, I brought you something," she said. Beside her was canvas. "Iíve seen this in Harryís room. I think you havenít seen this because it is hidden in his drawer."
She turns it and I saw a painting of me. Itís not beautiful but itís alright. You can still know who he draws. Maybe this is the painting he draws that day at the garden where we are supposed to draw a flower. He told he draw the most beautiful flower for him. I smiled at her and he let me took it.
"Go now! Harry will leave about an hour." Samantha suddenly said.
"Why? Where will he go?" I asked standing up quickly.
"He will go to US to live there. He told me he doesnít want to stay in a place where he remembers the memory of you," she answered. "Just go now Claire. Do what you have to do."
I waved at her and immediately get my keys and started my car. I just realize that I love Harry most. That Harry is the one I want to be with. That Harry is my destiny.
I reached Harryís house after half an hour. I ran and knocked at the huge door. "Please. Someone open this door!" I shouted.
The door opened and the maid was surprise to see me. I didnít heard what she said I just ran to Harryís room. I opened the door Ė "Harry!"
Suitcases were in the table and there Harry was standing alone looking at the window. He turned around, "Claire?"
"Uhm, I just want to say thank you for your painting" I said.
He looked away and said, "I thought Iíve lost it. How did you have it? As you can see Iím not a good artist not like you. That painting Ė reminds me of you."
I run to him and hugged him tightly. "Please donít leave me Harry. I love you so much. I need you. I want you. I need to be with you."
He hugged me back and whispered to me ear, "Je t'aime trop Claire. Vous Ítes ma vie mon tout. Je ne peux pas vivre sans toi. Je mourrai juste si je. Je vous veux tellement. J'ai besoin de votre amour et particuliŤrement toi. Je ne veux pas passer ma vie entiŤre sans toi. Vous Ítes la signification de ma vie. Vous Claire Ítes la fille la plus spťciale I jamais met. Je t'aime tellement que je ne veux pas penser que vous me laisserez un jour. Je veux que vous restiez avec moi pour toujours. Je vous aimerai pour toujours et pour toujours des moyens jusqu'ŗ la fin du temps."
I looked at him and said, "Translate please. I canít understand French,"
"I love you too Claire. You are my life my everything. I cannot live without you. I will just die if I did. I want you so much. I need your love and especially you. I donít want to spend my whole life without you. You are the meaning of my life. You Claire are the most special girl I ever met. I love you so much that I donít want to think that you will leave me someday. I want you to stay with me forever. I will love you forever and forever means until the end of time."
I cried in his arms and he kissed me. I kissed him back and it felt so wonderful when we kissed.
Harry and I were married. Nicholas is the best man and Samantha is the brideís maid. I was so happy when Nicholas and Samantha became lovers. I wasnít expecting it either Harry. As for me and Harry, we will love each other until our dying day. And if there is a second life, we will always find our way to each other again.