“Eduardo was murdered last night in his cell” she blurted out and my heart fell to my feet
Damn it! Derulo, Coloy and Maxwell, is this what you meant by giving me a sign that you can do even the hardest thing?
“hey aren’t you going to say something? I know you’re awestruck but you’ve been staring at me with your mouth agape for over six minutes and it’s starting to freak me out” Wini said and I cleared my throat and looked away from her. I looked at the food and I knew I no longer wish to eat
“I know it’s really hard for you to digest this news but, you have to be fine. Okay?”
“it’s… It’s not that Wini” I said sadly
“then what is it?” she asked. I looked at her and decided to tell her. She’s the only one I could trust
“Wini… I’m in trouble” I breathed out
“trouble? The last time you said that to me was…. Wait… Are you seriously in trouble?” she asked and I nodded
She gasped “did… Did you kill him?” she asked in a whisper
“what! No!” I defended
“then what is it? That look you’re wearing tells me there really is trouble”
I looked around to see if anyone was watching or close enough to eavesdrop. No one was but I wasn’t satisfied
“let’s go to my studio” I said and she took up her purse. I pulled myself up and we went upstairs to my abandoned studio. It’s been awhile since I last painted or took any pictures there
“what is it that you don’t wanna tell me in.—”
“—they’re back” I cut her short
She furrowed her brows “who are the “they”? She asked.
“Derulo, Coloy and Maxwell” I said and she gasped. Her eyes widened and she even stepped back
“back? Back for what? Why are they back?” she asked
“Mari. I think they decided to stop me because I love her. They’re still angry with me, they said I either leave her or they’d kill her. They don’t want me to love” I said sadly
“Mari is in grave danger. If you don’t leave her soon they might kill her like they killed Cleopatra” Wini said and gulped down
Cleopatra was a girl I was beginning to develop feelings for after I began to study outside the house. I was still with the guys then and they warned me to not go any further. They reminded me of the oath and I waved it off. I was planning to even ask her out and have a girlfriend for the first time but the next thing was the news about her death. I knew the guys did it and they didn’t even deny when I confronted them.
“I can’t let them touch Mari. Mari’s my life Wini, she’s my life” I admitted and sat on a stool. Wini bent down in front of me and placed her hands on my knees
“Wilbur. I know you love her. You can’t do without her. She’s the only one who’s been able to get you to love her deeply and forget about all the insecurities that stopped you from letting yourself fall for Layla and the rest girls you tried to date. I’m sorry I have to say this, you have to break up with her”
I stared at her without a word. I didn’t even have anything to say. All that was in my mind is how broken both Mari and I would be without each other
“I know how dangerous those guys can be. I’m suspecting they killed Eduardo cause you told me they don’t really like him too. Those guys are psychos that would do even the most inhumane thing”
“I’m certain they killed Eduardo too” I said and she sighed and walked to a painting I had covered
She uncovered it
“wow” she muttered. I looked at her and also at the painting
“isn’t this ready? Do you have any other work to do on it?” she asked
“it’s been completed for some months now” I answered
“then why don’t you…”
I cut her short “cover that back and let’s focus here” I said and she rolled her eyes, covered it and turned back to me
“so what’s the plan?” she asked
“I’ll break up with her. Because I know Mari, she’s got poor acting skills. If I tell her my reason for the breakup she’d be paranoid and it’d been written all over her face that she’s scared of something. And their informants would figure out I told her. She wouldn’t even act like she’s broken but instead scared so they’d know. Plus, she’s already having insecurities since Eduardo’s abduction. I don’t want to add to it” I explained
“okay, can we tell Eliza?” she asked. I shook my head
“they warned strictly not to tell anyone. I’m only telling you because I trust you and you’ve known almost all my secrets since when we were kids without them knowing you do.”
“or else they’d have my head” she said
“I can’t believe I’m really going to hurt Marigold.” I muttered and palmed my face
“hey don’t feel down. We’ll work things out. Maybe we’ll tell dad to be of help to us again. Before things go too far, we’ll stop this nonsense”
“I just hope so” I said
It’s been two days since I angrily left Wilbur’s house and he didn’t call or text me. He didn’t come to the house either. That’s so different of him. Normally if I get angry with him, he would not stop bugging me until I forgive him fully. Two days ago, I angrily left his house and I expected him to call me and apologize as usual but he didn’t. I thought maybe he’d call in the evening but he still didn’t. Throughout yesterday he didn’t call even after I gave him two calls which he missed.
“why are you pacing here and there? Is something disturbing you?” Eliza asked. She sat on the high stool and rested her hands on the marble platform standing in the middle of our kitchen. We used it as a table whenever we felt like having snacks in the kitchen. It was actually made of concrete but covered with beautiful and smooth marble tiles.
“it’s Wilbur. He hasn’t called me yet” I said worriedly
She picked a red apple from the fruit bowl in front of her
“even after you called him last night?” she asked and took a bite to eat
“yes. He didn’t even text me to tell me he’s busy or something. I don’t know what’s wrong. After acting all weird at his place he’s now avoiding me?” I asked rhetorically
“hey don’t put it at that so soon. Things like this happen in relationships. He’ll come around don’t worry” Eliza said and I sat on the high stool opposite her. I placed my phone beside the fruit bowl
“come on, take an apple” she cajoled and I slowly took one
“should I text him? He might reply” I said
“he’ll reply. Come on text him” she replied and I took my phone again. I texted him HEY WILL, HOW HAVE YOU BEEN? I GUESS YOU’VE BEEN BUSY. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF TILL WE SEE. I MISS YOU
I sent it and bit my lower lip.
Please reply soonest. I really want to hear from you.
“I heard something terrible today. Not like it’s really terrible but it’s well… Whatever. Eduardo got murdered”
“in his cell. That was two days ago”
“oh my God! How? Who could have had him murdered?” I asked and she simply shrugged.
My phone beeped and I quickly checked it to see if it was him. But no, it was customer care services
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I sat facing the bar with a bottle of tequila in front of me. A message came in and I checked my phone. My heart sank when I saw it was from Marigold
“should I read this?” I thought. I shook my head and dropped the phone. I took two shots of tequila and banged my fist on the counter
“damn!” I lowered my head and closed my eyes.
I felt angry the two days I didn’t speak with her. I saw her calls but couldn’t pick them. I have been thinking of the perfect way for me to break up with her and she won’t get mad at me. Like, making her hate me so if I break up with her she’d be somewhat glad I left her.
Derulo had waylaid me yesterday again. He told me to speed up before they run out of patience. I begged him to let me stay with her but he just grinned and whispered “you don’t deserve love. Neither do you deserve to be happy”
But I don’t deserve to be punished! This whole saga is making me angry, so angry.
I left my bar and went upstairs. I decided to take a shower then head out in order to clear my mind. I went to a golf club where I visit once in awhile with my manager, he’s the fan of golf and not me. I thought maybe seeing people hitting balls would make me feel better.
As I sat watching others play, I felt a hand on my shoulder. I looked back immediately and held my breath as Coloy himself stared at me. I didn’t say a word
“aren’t you going to invite me to sit with you? Will?” he asked with his usual cool face. He looked nothing like a criminal, but never judge by looks. I still didn’t say anything. He just chuckled and sat opposite me.
“I never knew you liked golf” he said and stroke his hair like a woman
“and I never knew you were still gay” I said with gritted teeth. He laughed and brought out a stylish hair band and tied his hair up
“how do I look with ponytails? I decided to start keeping my hair in prison. It’s very befitting, isn’t it?” he asked and then blew a bubble
I scoffed “it doesn’t look good on you”
“hmm, it’s funny how you of all people would say that. You know Derulo and Maxwell actually love it” he said and giggled. I was getting irritated
“don’t give me that face of irritation. The last time I checked, you never really stopped being gay too” he said
“what do you mean by that? Is this about Eduardo? Eduardo isn’t gay, he never was so stop thinking I was in a relationship with him” I blurted out
“oh really darling? I believe you. I’m just saying you’re still gay on the inside. Everything about you says that. You look like a girl, act like a girl, your things are always ladylike. Pink model? Who is that?” he asked mockingly
“I already resigned from that post. I stopped being the Pink Model already!” I yelled and he smiled
“wasn’t that just three days ago? When you heard we were back?” he asked
I looked away and I noticed strange looking men at every corner.
“I’ve got something to show you” he said and he stood up. He brought out a phone and began to show me pictures. Pictures of Marigold in different places. Damn! I can’t believe he’s having her followed
“you have until tonight. We’re not waiting till tomorrow” he whispered. He tucked in his phone and stood straight in front of me
“not a word of this to anyone. We’ve got more connection than you do now. Telling someone might just get you into trouble, even Lucas your brother” my breath ceased, he smirked at me and left.
I had slept off in the living room with Goldie using my leg as a pillow. It was the ringing of my phone that woke me up
I yawned and picked it up from the table. I looked at the caller ID and screamed out
“oh my God it’s him. It’s him. Okay breathe Mari. Breathe” I said to myself and took in deep breaths. I tried hard and hid my smile then picked the call
His voice was dull. Like really dull
?are you sick? Is something wrong Will?
?no I’m just… Tired
?why haven’t you called me since?
?busy? You didn’t tell me you’d be that busy this week
?I seriously think there’s something wrong with you
?do you mind having dinner with me? I’ve got something important to tell you
?I’ll text it when I make a reservation
He had already hung up. I sighed and sat on the couch. Goldie had now curled up at the end of the couch and still sleeping.
“something’s weird. Will is really acting strange” I muttered to myself.
Well, maybe he’s got something he wants to clear of his mind. He might be troubled about something for real
I brushed my hair and smiled into the mirror. I must look my best tonight as I’ll be meeting with Derulo again. We had a one night stand and though it was strictly for business and just meant to be once, I wanted it again. He was so good at it.
I picked my car keys and went out of the house. I took my car and drove off to their hideout. And by ‘their’ I mean the men that hired me to woo a girl for them. I had already began the transfer process to her school.
When I got to the old and deserted company building where they lodged, the big metal door opened after scanning my iris. I walked in and found the three men sitting round a table and playing cards with bottles of alcohol on the table. The first to look at me was Maxwell, the one I find least attractive. He was too rigid for my liking
“he’s here” he announced and the rest looked up at me
“hi” I said with a smile
“you smell nice” Coloy said as I sat down between him and Derulo
“oh thank you. I like your wrist band. It’s colourful” I said and he smiled and blew a bubble from the gum he was chewing.
“here, have a drink” Coloy said and handed me a bottle. I looked to Derulo who wasn’t saying anything to me. I felt bad
“he’s not in a good mood” Maxwell answered coldly
“they both had a fight” he whispered to me and ran his fingers through his hair gently. I smiled at the way he had told me without letting the others know he did. I was beginning to like him, he’s the lively one.
“why don’t we leave these two and go see our selves through?” I asked with a smirk
“oh I thought you’d never ask!” he squealed and stood up. Maxwell scoffed and I chuckled and stood up too then Coloy and I went up.
I suddenly felt sweaty and slimy like a fish. I also felt hot internally and I felt like turning back and going home. I didn’t feel right. I had bad inspiration about the dinner with him.
I was looking at him as he read the menu
“shouldn’t I just go back?” I said to myself
“that’s it, I’m going home” I said again but took one final glance at him
“oh dang it!” I said under my voice. He had already seen me, now I can’t go back
I blew out air from my mouth and took gentle steps to him. I just sat down while he looked at me.
“you’re looking sad” I said
“and you are looking good” he said and I smiled
“I’m wondering why you look pale, like you’re out of blood” I stated and he grinned
“place your order” he said to me immediately the waiter came, not allowing her say it.
“I’ll have whatever you’re having” I said
“I’m having just water” he said.
“just water? Why would you be having just water?” I asked
“okay, get us some chicken and salad” he said and the waiter nodded and left
There was a minute of awkward silence between us. I decided to break it when I noticed he wasn’t going to make any move to talk.
“Will, that day. Where were you? Why did you lie to me that you were hang—”
“—let’s not talk about it” he cut in. I stared at him with bottled emotions. I had so much to say but I just swallowed everything. Perhaps this isn’t the time for that.
The waiters brought our order and we began eating. I stole glances at him and wondered why he was slicing the chicken and pinning it down with the fork using so much force, like he was butchering his enemy.
“Will, it’s already sliced. You’re just spoiling the plate” I said and he exhaled and dropped his cutlery.
“let’s just get this over with. Mari I’m breaking up with you” he said with a stern expression
“I’m sure you heard me right. I’ve lost my feelings for you and good thing is, I already found a new lover. I was with her that night before I got drunk“
I was just staring at him. I didn’t comprehend any word
“I’m sorry it has to end this way Marigold Cruz. We had a fun time together but it’s over now. Make sure you take care of yourself with this” he said and typed into his phone. My phone beeped and he smiled at me, took his phone, walked up to me, kissed me on my forehead for like five or more seconds and left.
I sat still for like up to ten minutes, just staring at his food and repeating all his words in my head
“Will… broke up… with me?” I asked myself aloud but not loud enough
“oh no. He broke up with me. Will broke up with me.” I said and burst into little sobs. I covered my face with my palms and cried when the realization kept hitting me.
I hurried to the door with a chocolate bar in my hand. That should be Abby, my course mate. We have an assignment to tackle.
I opened the door and met a pink faced Mari.
“Mari? What’s wrong? Why are you back so soon?” I asked her. She just sluggishly walked inside and I closed the door. She sat down and dropped her purse. She placed her head on the head rest of the couch and looked up at the ceiling
“have you been crying Mari?” I asked
“why are you so weak? Look at you, you suddenly lost weight”
“Mari did something bad happen?”
“Marigold say something” I begged and sat beside her
“he said he didn’t love me anymore” she muttered.
I raised a brow “what?”
‘‘he said he has a new lover now and that it’s over between us” she muttered again
“I’m not getting any of your words right. Like, I don’t understand” I said and she faced me
“Will broke up with me” she muttered again
My mouth went open
“Will, he left me. He dumped me. I’m no longer Wilbur Sanders’ girlfriend!” she began to cry aloud
I didn’t move an inch because I was stricken by shock
“oh my God” I said when I finally found my voice. Mari was really crying herself out
“come here. Please stop crying” I managed to say even in my state of shock.
She leaned over on me and I stroke her hair. How can Will who was so in love with her break up with her suddenly? He was so into her. How could he break her heart when he fought long and hard to win it?
To Be Continued