COPYRIGHT © 2018 Miu
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, mechanical, electronical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior written permission of the Author.
This novel is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and events are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
All pictures and multimedia used are not the author’s work and doesn’t claim any legal rights.
MATURE CONTENT and VULGAR words not suited for young readers below eighteen (18) years old.
Eric didn’t know what to do nor say when he looked at Evangeline.
Throughout the whole ride, she remained quiet while gripping his waist. She was pressing her forehead against his back like she didn’t want anyone to see her current state.
Even after they arrived at her unit, she remained silent with an unreadable face which made him at a lost on what to do nor say.
Should I comfort her?
But he didn’t even know if she was sad.
Nonetheless, he knew that something must have happened for her to act this way. Even though her face was the epitome of calmness, she appeared to be on the verge of crying.
“Is everything . . . alright?” he asked.
He didn’t dare step inside her unit without her permission. He remained standing outside, in front of her door while she continued to grip his shirt, not letting him go.
Scratching the back of his head, he eyed the quiet girl whose head was lowered, unable to digest what was going on with her.
. . .
. . .
After a long unbearable silence, he decided it was time to go. He was about to pinch her hand so she would release him when that exact moment, she disrupted the awkward stillness.
“Stay with me.”
“. . .”
“. . .”
His thoughts were about to go astray at the sudden plea, but when he saw her trembling fingers gripping his shirt, his hand that was about to pinch hers stopped in mid-air before it rested by his side. His eyes sought her face hidden from the angle by her lowered head. He searched for it. Longed to see what kind of expression she was making right now.
Until he gave up and contented to gaze at her hair.
“Alright . . .”
In the quiet corner in the living room where the only light was the faint alternating colors of the flat screen shining upon the silhouette of the two-person sitting on the sofa, Evangeline and Eric were silently watching a movie. Both were now in their sleeping clothes.
Eric was sitting on the couch, head resting against his palm. His body was leaning to the side, legs apart. He was wearing Asher’s clothes, which made him uncomfortable. He had no choice but to wear that V neck black sweatshirt and pajama pants since he didn’t bring any change of clothes with him. No one tip him about the sudden sleepover.
His eyes occasionally drifted to Evangeline beside him that he, in all honesty, didn’t know why was sitting so close to him. In fact, he was on the very edge of the couch, hoping to leave some space between him and the alluring her.
But Evangeline, who he probably thought, was finding it hilarious to tease him as she continuously moved closer to him when he decided to scoot away from her until he was on the very edge of the sofa. If he could, he would very much like to sit on the armrest to put distance between the two of them.
Nonetheless, he remained in control. Being careful not to imagine what she was wearing underneath her oversize stripe pajama shirt, which happened to be the only clothing she was wearing. He didn’t even know if she wore undergarments –– and was happy not to know for his sanity’s sake.
He appeared bored, but in truth, only the heavens knew how much he was secretly sweating, trying to control his urges.
The woman was a temptress! A deadly vixen!
Not to mention her clothes, with her enticing smell and flush after shower face alone was enough to drove his hormones crazy!
“Hey,” Evangeline said, breaking the silence.
Eric released some of the breath he was holding. Finally, she started talking again after the never-ending silence between them from the moment they left the restaurant.
“Yeah . . . ?” he asked.
When she didn’t continue, he glanced at her. But she was focusing on the movie. Her eyes glistened, reflecting the screen as she hugged both her knees closer to her chin.
“The rumors . . . ,” Evangeline continued after a while.
Eric went back to the movie, waiting for Evangeline to finish her sentence. The two of them appeared to be wholeheartedly focusing on the show, but their minds were elsewhere.
Taking a deep breath, Evangeline slowly released it through her mouth. “They’re not true.”
“. . .”
“. . .”
“I know,” Eric said, voice calm.
Evangeline’s head whipped towards Eric. Her expression was confused while the latter remained fixated on the screen.
“The rumors regarding you pushing down a kid near a park. I was across the street working at a convenient store. That kid was kicking a puppy, and you happened to see it and rescue the dog.” Eric’s voice was soft as he spoke, and his lashes flickered remembering that time.
It was a humid afternoon, and he was doing his usual sweeping off dirt in front of the convenience store that he was working when he happened to see a group of children ganging up of what to be a stray dog at first. One child kicked the dog and Evangeline happened to be there, about to sit on a bench while Daniel ran off to get them something to eat. And by the time that Daniel came back, all he saw was Evangeline pushing down the kid.
Eric blinked away the memory and continued, “The rumors regarding you receiving money from an elderly man, it was because that man was the owner of the pup and wanted to compensate you. It so happened that it was the time of my out that night and I saw you in the same park.”
He smiled a little when he recounted, remembering that time when Evangeline was acting her usual arrogant self, but the old man kept bowing to her no matter how impolite she acted. Her ice cold expression revealed a crack, didn’t know what to do when she received kind gestures from a stranger while the puppy she rescued kept barking and wiggling at her from the senior man’s embrace.
He breathed a small laugh and continued, “Of course, I don’t have to explain about the rumors regarding you, associating yourself with biker gangs as they were your cousin’s friends, right?”
As he explained, he didn’t notice that Evangeline’s face changed from cold and unyielding to soft and submissive.
The man reflecting in her vision gradually blurred as her lips trembled. Evangeline felt like she was swimming in a bottomless, endless sea all alone as she constantly struggled to keep herself afloat amidst the rushing waves. But she didn’t care since she knew how to swim.
Only . . .
. . . she was so tired . . .
Until someone hurried to her, swimming the vast sea, meeting the ravaging waves. He didn’t bring anything with him, no life vest, no boat –– just himself.
But that was enough.
Just him alone was enough for her to feel that the stormy dark and scary bottomless ocean was like a puddle under the gentle rain. And they were both in a raincoat, holding a big leaf above their head, squatting on that puddle, face to face. Smiling and laughing at the butterflies flapping around, avoiding the droplets of water. Giggling and chuckling as they watched the animals scattering to their nests. Even the disgusting frogs turned into something magical, hopping and dancing around under the tender rain.
It was all because she was together with him.
Evangeline’s eyes glittered like melting crystals that was about to drip. She quickly averted her gaze forward so Eric wouldn’t see her expression. But the palm of her hand that gently wiped the tears which managed to escape cracked her cold facade.
“Heh . . . stalker . . .” She tried to remain in control. Tried to make her voice as haughty and arrogant as possible. But her tone was soft and choked, making it somewhat unrecognizable as hers.
Eric’s head flung to the other side to give Evangeline some privacy. Holding his chin on his palm, elbow resting against the armrest, he replied with a calm voice, “The same could be said about you. Why are you always in places where I work?”
He knew exactly that he was the one who made the decision to work in places where she frequented too.
However, he was not about to confess that anytime soon.
Remaining silent, Evangeline didn’t reply. There was a hint of a smile on her face though it was a little flush and wet from her tears. Closing her eyes, she leaned against his shoulder, a contented smile playing on her lips while Eric’s eyes sparkled in different colors, reflecting the faint light of the screen . . .
. . . Or was it because he was also experiencing that kind of emotion that he refused to acknowledge?
No one knows.
But as of now . . .
This is enough . . .
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