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.
Two years ago
“I’m sorry, Miss Risova, your mother is already in the end-stage heart failure. We advise she undergo a heart transplant right away.”
Satele’s vision blurred, her mind dancing a nauseating tune. Even so, she forced out the words clogging in her throat. “Doctor, I don’t have the cash right now. Is it alright if we could reserve that heart? I promise I’ll have the money this week.”
The eyes of the man clad in white remained neutral though skepticism painted all over his face as he said, sounding unsympathetic at all, “I’m sorry, the organ is first-come, first-serve basis. But if you know a doctor who works here, he can vouch for you. But if not, you have to undergo protocol first. I’m sorry, Miss Risova, our hospital’s policy is pay first before any procedure be carried out.”
The doctor arranged the glasses on his nose and pretended to check the records on his hand before saying in a dismissive voice, “Please advise the hospital if you’ll proceed with the operation or not. If you’ll excuse me.”
He then left while Satele hadn’t digest everything that happened yet. It was too fast. She was caught completely unprepared when her mother fell, and her heart no longer working. And now, here she was, needing two million to replace her mother’s heart, or she would die within a year or two.
The creeping images of her mother lying inside a cold coffin kept on hammering inside her head, wrecking her sanity in pieces until the fear ate all the strength she had. She limply staggered against the wall. She couldn’t even manage a tear. All of her was consumed with helplessness. She couldn’t even think anything. The images of her mother in a casket kept rotating in her mind while she whimpered.
And when she thought she was melting into soundless oblivion, falling into the bottomless pit with nothing to grab on, paralyzed and hopeless –– an angelic voice tingled in her ear and the sliver of strength left inside her rekindled, forcing her to face the little man with a smile.
“Seth,” she said, hiding the panic and hopelessness in her voice as she forced out a smile.
“How’s mom? How is she?”
Her little brother’s feelings were very evident on his face. Crumpled brows and lips, which were tugging downward while he kept on blinking away the moist in his eyes.
The sight of his worried face gave her the courage she lost. She smiled and ruffled his hair. “Mother’s fine. It’s . . . her old sickness is acting up again. But don’t worry, after a day or two, she’ll be released.”
Seth breathed a sigh of relief, and a charming toothy smile appeared on his face. “That’s good. I thought something bad happened when you called.”
Satele’s smile remained on her face, hoping he wouldn’t notice the forceful stretched of her lips. “Sorry to worry you. It’s that, mother needs someone to take care of her while I go to work.”
Grinning, Seth gave her a thumbs up. “Don’t worry. I’ll take good care of mom.”
Satele beamed and ruffled his hair some more. “Mmm . . . I’m counting on you. Mom is in room 407. She’s sleeping right now, so don’t disturb her, okay?”
Seth nodded, the smile on his face didn’t lessen. Satele turned away when she could no longer face her brother’s innocent smile.
How could she tell him? How could she tell him their mother would no longer be there to tie the sash on his graduation? How could she say to him that in the future, mother would no longer wake him up every morning to eat breakfast? How could she tell him, mother wouldn’t be there anymore during the night to help him with his assignments? How could she tell him that he could no longer eat mother’s homemade food?
Satele wiped the tears which escaped from her eyes in secret as she walked out of the hospital in a hurry.
But before she could press the elevator button, Seth’s gentle voice echoed in her ear.
Satele rapidly blinked her tears away and slowly shifted her head and smiled at her brother, hiding the quivering of her lips.
While the little man beamed, showing his pearly white somewhat crooked teeth. “Don’t work so late. When mom is released from here, let’s eat hot pot, okay?”
Biting her lower lip, numbing herself from the surging of emotions, which would surely make her howl in tears, Satele could only manage a weak croak of “okay” before she pressed the button and rode the elevator car in a hurry to exit the hospital.
Satele didn’t know how many times she extended and pulled her fingers, unsure whether to press the button screwed on that wall. She was standing there, in front of the ironed gate, looking at the house, utterly devoid of emotions, contemplating whether to ring the doorbell or not.
After another minute before the past other minutes, she slowly filled her lungs with air and closed her eyes tight before pressing the doorbell. Afraid her resolve would crumble if she dallied another second long.
Seconds past and a melodious voice rang inside the house, gradually getting louder by the second. A lady in her thirties then came out with a kind smile. However, her smile froze when she saw who it was on the other side of the gate. Her face fell faster than a penny in the pond as she grumbled out the words.
Satele opened the gate and walked inside the house, dismissing the glares and unwelcome feeling the woman was directing towards her.
Satele’s attention then shifted to the toddler who came running towards them while the woman crouched down and beamed before standing up, carrying her son. But that soft smile disappeared when she gazed at her as she shouted.
“Dear! Satele is here!”
She then left, swaying her hips along the way while making baby talk to her son.
Something flashed in Satele’s eyes before she forced it away when the sound of the approaching footsteps and the appearance of a middle-aged man in his suit and vest came into view. He nodded at her while he signaled her to follow him.
Satele followed without a word. Didn’t even feel anything when the man didn’t greet her. His daughter, who he hadn’t seen for almost five years. Not that she minded it. She liked it that way. It keeps the hate burning.
They stopped inside the man’s study, and she didn’t waste any second. The soonest this was over, the better. She didn’t want to step foot inside this dirty place, if not for the reason she had nowhere to turn to. As much as she hated it, this man was the only one who could save her mother’s life.
“Mom is in the hospital. I need two million for her heart transplant.”
“. . .”
“. . .”
The man didn’t say anything. He walked towards his table and casually picked a cigarette, lit it, and took a drag before he slowly released the smoke which engulfed the room in seconds.
Like always, this man didn’t register anything on that face of his, not even when her mother had fallen ill when they were still living together.
To this man, in his eyes, they were a burden who he wanted nothing to do with anymore.
The man puffed some smoke before he answered in a voice she found disturbing and very unfamiliar at the same time.
“Satele . . . my only obligation is towards you and your brother. I no longer have any obligation to save your mother’s life.”
“But . . . she’s once your wife!”
The man’s eyes narrowed while he snorted.
“The greatest regret of my life! If I had known she would deplete all of my hard-earned money because of her disease, I shouldn’t have married her in the first place! The company I had so painstakingly raised crumbled to debts, paying her hospital fees and medicines! Now, look at me! Reduce to nothing but a regular salaryman! And it’s all her fault!”
The air turned colder, colder, and thicker than the air at the peak of Evermountain. It formed ice spikes in Satele’s throat that every time she opened her mouth to retort, the pain would sting, forcing her to close her lips.
The man scratched the back of his head in irritation as he calmed himself while Satele pinched the back of her palm, forcing out the words which were hurting her throat.
“I’ll pay you the money . . . with interest. If you don’t have two million, then a million is enough.”
Her mother’s operation would cost a million and a half. As long as she could raise that amount of money, she could start her mother’s operation right away. While the rest of the money for her continued medication, she would just have to think of it later on.
However, her hopes were smashed to pieces when the man laughed in mockery.
“Satele, you’re overestimating me. My savings aren’t even close to half a million. Besides, there’s no way I would lend you that money to use on a person who would die anyway.”
All Satele’s blood rushed in her head. The colors around her turned crimson as she screamed.
“What did you say?!”
The man casually puffed another air of smoke while his dark eyes squinted upwards.
“Am I wrong? Don’t think I don’t know anything about what heart transplant means. The operation is costly, not to mention the continued medication and check-ups in the hospital. And in the end, all those pain, all those sums of money, wasted because the organ wouldn’t even live for that long. Five years maybe? Ten years? I’m sorry, I don’t have money to waste on a dead person.”
Satele gnashed her teeth, glaring hatefully at the man. And he reciprocated her gaze with a face of scorn. “Satele, instead of prolonging her agony, don’t you think letting her rest is the best choice?”
“. . .”
“. . .”
A heavy silence settled over them, thicker than the cold layers of ice in the artic.
After like forever, Satele got hold of her emotions, and her murderous face turned abnormally calm.
“To you . . . she might be a hindrance. Another person to feed. A person who’s nothing but annoyance and trouble . . . A person who caused you to lose money . . . But to me, to us . . . she’s the only woman who took care of us for as long I could remember. She’s the only woman who changed our diapers. Who burned so many nights to sing as a lullaby to sleep. Who woke up so early in the morning to prepare our breakfast. Who walked extra miles to deliver our forgotten lunch boxes. Who would stay awake at night to fan away the heat of the summer wind. Who worked herself to exhaustion so we could live a little comfortably . . . I might not have made myself clear . . . she’s not just another woman lying on a sickbed. She’s my mother. And I don’t want her to die.”
Wiping the tears which fell on her cheeks, her eyes stayed glued on the man. Not wanting to show any weaknesses.
“I’m sorry I have taken your time. I guess coming here was really a mistake.”
She then turned and bolted out of the room and out of the house.
Satele found herself in a complicated situation once again. She could feel the fear in her chest, waiting for her to panic, and it would attack. It was there, like a fiery ball of black energy, propelling her towards anxiety.
She was at the parking lot in Sparkle Entertainment, waiting for Aldrick to come out, beside his car.
If she were given a choice, she would never dare to show her face in front of him again, even if she was given a thousand guts after what she supposedly did. But she was cornered.
She couldn’t sleep knowing her mother could die at any moment, or the organ would be used on another patient, and they had to wait for another one to be available again. For how long that would be, she had no idea, and she would not sit still to find out.
Her mother didn’t have the luxury of time anymore.
“What are you doing here?”
Brick by brick, her walls came tumbling down when she heard that familiar voice, which kept on haunting her in her dreams. She gazed up and saw the man was approaching her direction. His hands inside his pocket while not an emotion was on his face.
Yet she could feel the suffocating animosity and hate from just his stare.
“A-Aldrick . . . ,” she croaked out rather pathetically while Aldrick’s face darkened.
“You really have thick skin. You still dare to show your disgusting face before me after what you did?”
As much as she was holding it in, the pain still came, knocking the air from her lungs while all the lines and words she wanted to tell him crumbled in fragments of letters.
“I . . . I . . .” Gulping back the lump in her throat with difficulty, she stammered, “M-my mother . . . she’s in the hospital . . . I . . .”
The last words got stuck at the tip of her tongue, didn’t want to come out.
Aldrick’s face continued to darken, and Satele felt that he was going to kill her, which was possible given what happened three years ago.
Sneering, Aldrick snorted before he dryly laughed. “So what?”
Satele bit her lips. And after a moment, she stared at him and uttered a low, “C-Can I . . . b-borrow some money? I promise I’ll pay it with interest . . .”
She unconsciously took a step back when he advanced. And for a moment, she thought he would choke her to death. But instead, he squeezed her chin between his fingers and raised her head to meet his blazing eyes, which held nothing but pure hatred.
“You really know no shame. After what you did, you still have the guts to ask me for money? Was the time I wasted on you wasn’t enough?”
He chuckled a sinister chuckle, which made her shiver while he spoke with a coldness she never heard before.
“Don’t you know how much I hate you? I hate you I don’t just want to kill you. I want to put you inside a coffin and slowly add dirt until this mouth of yours, which spouted nothing but lies, be filled with muck and worms. I want to hear the whizzing sound of your breath as you desperately clung for air. I want to see every second that life disappeared in your filthy eyes. That’s how much you have changed me from the man you used to know. I hope you’re proud of your handiwork.”
The beads of water fell one after another from Satele’s eyes without any sign of stopping while she sobbed the words she wanted to say for three years.
“I-I’m . . . sorry . . . I-It’s . . . not . . . n-not what you think. W-what happened was––”
“I don’t care if you’re sorry anymore! You should have told me that in the past, when it could have made a difference!”
He pushed her away while she stumbled backward from the impact. Her knees buckled, and she fell against the concrete floor. Salty liquid kept dropping from her eyes, pouring to her cheeks and collided against the ground.
Yet his expression didn’t even fluctuate as he hissed.
“Scram! Don’t let me see your face again!”
He then walked towards his car, got inside, and started the engine, and zoomed out of the parking lot.
Satele had to muster all her remaining energy to move her legs away from the zooming car, or else . . . she might have broken calves by now.
Nevertheless, it would have been better if Aldrick had killed her. At least, she would be free from the damnable life she was living.
Her back gradually bent, and her hair came tumbling down towards her face, colliding against the concrete floor as she broke down. The sobs punched through her gut, tearing her muscles, breaking her bones.
She pressed her forehead against the concrete floor, heart continuing to beat wildly against her chest. Her life was crumbling before her eyes, and she was too tired of it all.
But the images of her brother and mother’s face appeared in her mind, flashing their understanding gazes and soft smiles, and she lost it.
Slowly rising to her feet –– madness and desperation glinted in her amethyst eyes.
Show your love and support by donating here.
Buy milk or tea to help the Author sleep at night.
Thank you for the love and support.
Please take in mind the other person’s feelings.
Like they say, if you have nothing good to say, best keep it to yourself. You can literally save a person’s life.