COPYRIGHT © 2019 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.
“. . .”
“. . .”
Daniel closed his eyes tight. Oh, my god . . . this woman . . .
For a moment, he didn’t know what to say nor what reaction to show. First, and for most, he was shocked. Shocked that the Evangeline Heart responded to heartbreak like everyone he knew. Climb atop a mountain to escape reality in the pretense of going soul searching. Then take selfies at the peak to post in social media to let the other person know how happy she was and how she was doing without him, etc., etc. . . .
Calming himself, he took in another mouthful of air, filling his lungs and brain with the needed oxygen to reason with her.
“Evangeline . . . ,” he started, looking seriously at her, who was so nonchalant about it like she was going to climb a pile of one-meter snow.
“Do you even know what you’re talking about? Do you even know what it means to climb Evermountain in a freak’n winter no less?!”
Rolling her eyes, Evangeline snorted. “Oh, please. You don’t have to make it sound so hard.”
It was not only his limbs trembled, all Daniel’s innards shook, restraining himself from slapping her. Maybe that would jolt her brain, and she could think logically again.
He sighed before he took another deep breath. He felt that no amount of oxygen could make his nerves calm down whenever he was talking to her.
“Evangeline . . . Evermountain’s peak reaches a staggering nine thousand meters above sea level, with only seventy successful climbers ever reached its peak to date. Do you know how minuscule that number is compared to thousands who attempted to reach its peak? Don’t you know how many bodies loitered around that godforsaken land? Its fatality rate is the highest among the mountains in the world. Don’t you know what that means? It means from every successful climb, there’s more than one death every hour. Justifying its name as Reaper mountain. Not to mention the thin air and hard winds and snowstorms and the temperature dropping to more than negative fifty degrees in Celsius, the most dangerous of all are the steep, slippery climb and the sharp rocks which all requires various degrees of experiences, athletic ability in navigating, and technical knowledge to maintain safety at all times which apparently you lack in all aspect.”
After speaking, Daniel took another intake of air while panting a little. He could only hope with that lengthy explanation and threat, Evangeline would feel scared, eradicating her foolish, very idiotic suicidal attempt of climbing Evermountain or any mountain for that matter.
But his face dropped faster than the falling avalanche when Evangeline only smirked, rolling her eyes at him.
“Oh please, people climbed it all the time.”
Daniel’s patience snapped, and he let out a hissing tone. “Those are professional climbers! And usually, they are in a group led by a very well experienced alpinist!”
Evangeline scoffed. “Big deal. If they can do it, so can I.”
“. . .”
Daniel’s eyes closed tight. His mind was in a jumbled mess of words and curses. He didn’t know how to continue explaining –– making her understand, making her see reason.
When he opened his eyes and saw her still harboring that nonchalant, haughty face, he found himself so tired. Not even an all-day basketball match could make him feel this worn out.
“Evangeline . . . ,” he said, voice weak, too exhausted to argue with her. “Those are professional climbers. They had been climbing before you were even born.”
Evangeline rolled her eyes. “Oh, don’t be so overly dramatic, Daniel. I’m going soul searching. It’s spiritual fulfillment. It’s not like I’m going there on a suicide mission.”
Daniel snorted. “I’m afraid by the end of the day, it’s not only you who would search for your soul when the blizzard is done with you.”
“What did you say?”
Evangeline scowled at Daniel while the latter held his own. Their staring contest stretched to minutes, remaining at a deadlock, dominating each other with their killer gazes.
“Uhmm . . . Excuse me . . .”
Both of them glanced at the female by Daniel’s side, who had been silent, munching her potato chips. Her big watery eyes locked at one particular spot, eyelids blinking up and down while a finger pressed against her lips.
“Will you eat that?” Lilybella said, looking all hopeful at Evangeline.
“. . .”
“. . .”
Daniel sighed, completely and utterly defeated. He slumped on his seat while Evangeline glared at Lilybella. She raised her fork and pierced it through the unmoving defenseless strawberry pudding before she gobbled it down her throat. Her eyes were maintaining hostility towards Lilybella, who was eyeing her desserts.
“I ordered this. Order your own, servant.” Evangeline shot another glare at Lilybella while munching her food, hurry in her movement.
As the women competed with each other who would take home the title of the most deserts eaten, Daniel kept massaging his temple and the protruding veins on his forehead. He was beginning to feel scared of associating himself with the two. Not a day and he already developed all kinds of diseases ranging from heartburn, heart attack, hypertension, headache, migraine to hair loss.
By the time he repaired his damaged nerves, Evangeline was already asking for the bill, and to his astonishment, all the food was near empty while the plates were spotless. He didn’t even remember eating anything.
Wait! That was not the point! How many minutes passed that he was contemplating while the two women ate nonstop, and by magic, all those foods were gone!
Shaking his head, it was best not to think about it. It would only add up to his already exploding brain.
And when the waiter approached and handed the bill to Evangeline, he fished his card from his wallet to pay for the meal.
Evangeline smiled at him, one with sarcasm paired by the raising of her perfect brow. “Allow me.”
Sighing, Daniel rolled his shoulders. Too exhausted to argue with her on little things. However, his forehead creased when his gaze landed on the card Evangeline handed towards the waiter.
“Is that . . . my card?” The card he gave her when they were still an item.
The arrogance on Evangeline’s face didn’t lessen as she sneered. “Don’t be so petty. You already gave me this card.”
“. . .”
Daniel smacked his lips tight. His veins were pounding against the skin of his forehead again. Yes, and you should have returned it to me the moment we broke up because that’s what a decent human being should do. And what’s with this allow me, crap?! You might as well let me pay!
There was so much he wanted to say. So much . . . but he didn’t want to argue with her least he wanted to suffer all sorts of diseases and die at a young age.
He dejectedly raised his hands in surrender, shaking his head. “You know what . . . keep it. I don’t want it back. You can have it.”
And of course, Evangeline was always against him for some reason.
“Don’t worry. Once I go back to Burberry, I’ll give you back your card. It has a limit. Really, who does that? You put half a million limit each month. Are you always this cheap towards your girlfriends?”
“. . .”
Daniel wanted to cry out of frustration. Nevertheless, he kept her feelings to himself. Don’t get mad. Don’t get mad. It’s bad for the health. He took another intake of oxygen to cleanse away the negativity inside his system.
“Listen, you can keep it. And if you want, I will remove the limit. Just tell me one thing . . . ,” he said, capturing her eyes, “why aren’t you using your card? And I’m not being petty. I’m just asking.”
Evangeline casually placed the card inside her wallet and answered in a carefree tone. “I don’t want my cousins to find me. I want to be alone at the moment. Honestly, if I hadn’t seen you, I would already be at the peak of Evermountain, camping and drinking hot chocolate with marshmallows.”
“. . .”
Daniel scrubbed his palms against his face. Oh, thank God you haven’t discarded this sorry of an excuse human being! But please, make her realized climbing a nine-thousand-meter mountain doesn’t happen overnight.
Oblivious to Daniel’s agony, Evangeline continued to blubber on, “But since it’s already happened, I guess I have to climb it tomorrow. I might as well add another can of food for my pets.”
Daniel trembled, and when he opened his lips to say something, nothing but dry laughter escaped his mouth, which sounded like a cry. She even brought her pets along!
On the side, Lilybella giggled, oblivious to the conversation. “Teacher, I know a great place that sells animal food. We can go together!”
Daniel snapped his head at Lilybella’s direction and stared at her with condescending eyes. “Teacher?”
Lilybella clapped her palms together and said, “From now on, Lilybella will learn from teacher! After all, she was your girlfriend! Lilybella wants to be like her!”
“You have good taste, servant.” Evangeline beamed. “Daniel doesn’t deserve you. Don’t worry, by the time I’m finished with you, he’ll be on his knees, crying for you to have his heart.”
Lilybella’s eyes sparkled with tears. “Teacher, Lilybella will be counting on you! From now on, Lilybella is in your care!”
“. . .”
At this moment and the future to come, the one thing Daniel regretted the most in his entire life was when he introduced Lilybella Waltz to Evangeline Heart.
“Evangeline, where are you staying?” Daniel asked after they found themselves back at the park where he had first met her.
After the meal and some shopping, Daniel offered a ride to take Evangeline home, which she rejected saying she was staying nearby. But when they were back at square one, his senses were tingling again for some odd reason. And when she lazily pointed towards the direction of a tall building, he breathed the air he was holding.
“Oh, Hyatt regency? Good choice.”
Raising her brow, Evangeline stared at him. Her face emanated a bored look mixed with disdain which said it all, ‘are you an idiot?’
“No. There. There.” Evangeline kept pointing her finger at a particular spot, and Daniel’s eyes narrowed to where she was pointing.
Oh, God. Please no.
“See that tent near the lake? That’s where I’m staying,” Evangeline said, chin high and voice smug. “The hotels are so boorish here, Daniel. They don’t allow pets. That’s criminal. Animal cruelty and utter garbage if you ask me. And so, I contented to set camp there. I tell you, it’s hard at first, but luckily, there is a nearby spa where I can take my bath. And a place surrounded by nature and lake isn’t that bad.”
“. . .”
“Oh my, teacher. Lilybella didn’t know you have such an adventurous spirit! Lilybella have another level of respect for you!” Lilybella beamed, wagging her imaginary tail while Evangeline raised her chin some more, nose longer than usual.
“. . .” Daniel wanted to punch someone right now. And the face of Eric appeared in his mind. It’s because of that guy. It’s all his fault!
“E-van-ge-line!” Daniel said, tone gritting almost like claws scraping a chalkboard. “You can’t just set a tent in there! Don’t you know this is a public park?!”
Evangeline scoffed. “It’s called ‘public’ for a reason.”
“. . .”
Daniel grabbed Evangeline’s wrist and growled, “You’re coming with me!”
Inside Royal Condominium’s penthouse, Evangeline swept the room she was in with her scrutinizing eyes while rubbing Fall’s delicate coat. The loft was a four-bedroom unit. Very much male in color with its sleek and monotonous hues while the furniture was minimalistic in design. Everything screamed expensive and branded from the marble tiles to the expensive one of a kind choice of rags and those million dollars’ appliances and types of furniture. She could tell everything was designed with Daniel’s taste in mind, which was perfect to a fault.
Evangeline glanced at the man, pretending unimpressed. “I’ve seen better.”
The corners of Daniel’s lips twitched. Nonetheless, he replied, voice accommodating, “You can live here for the rest of your stay. If you need anything, call the front desk, or you can directly call me.”
“I didn’t bring my phone.”
Daniel sighed while fishing his phone and gave it to her. “Use my phone in the meantime. I have another one anyway, and the number is already saved there if you need anything.”
Evangeline beamed and placed Fall on the ground, who scurried to mark her territory inside her new home.
“Evangeline,” Daniel said, pulling her attention to him, “if you need anything. I mean anything at all, don’t hesitate to call me.” Just please call me before you do anything idiotic.
Tiny pearls of laughter tickled her throat, and Evangeline tiptoed, patting Daniel’s head, like she was petting a dog. “I knew it. You’re still not over me.”
“. . .”
Lilybella, who was watching at the side, puffed her cheeks, all teary-eyed when she stared at Daniel, waiting for his reply while the latter gently swat Evangeline’s hand aside.
Sighing for the tenth time, Daniel said, “Don’t joke around. I mean it.”
Evangeline giggled. “Hmm . . .”
Daniel looked her in the eyes. “It’s time for me to return. Make yourself at home and forget about your silly idea of climbing Evermountain.”
Evangeline just rolled her eyes and shooed Daniel and Lilybella away with her hands.
Daniel frowned, he opened his mouth but clamped it shut when he saw the determination in Evangeline’s eyes which spoke, ‘come what may, she would climb that mountain, by hook or by crook.’
He took in a deep breath and slowly released it through his nose. He then turned, gesturing for Lilybella to move. And before he could close the door, Evangeline’s soft voice echoed in his ear.
“Thank you . . .”
Daniel paused, blinking many times. Thinking his mind was overused in a single day, it was malfunctioning, giving him hallucinations.
“What?” he asked.
Fortunately, it was real, and his mind didn’t break just yet when Evangeline repeated.
“I said, thank you.”
“. . .” After digesting that Evangeline was sincerely thanking him, the corner of his lips formed a small smile. “Anytime.”
Daniel then closed the door while Lilybella kept waving at Evangeline goodbye.
“Teacher! I’ll call you! Let’s hang out sometime!”
“Move, woman. And don’t be so loud.”
After the door was closed, Evangeline still heard the voices of the two until silence engulfed the whole room.
She grabbed her luggage and went to the master’s bedroom, letting her pets played and snoop around their temporary home.
As soon as she saw the king-size bed, she dropped her things and jumped on the silken mattress, pressing her cheeks against the soft pillows. Warmth and darkness enveloped her, and she soon succumbed to the call of sleep, dreaming of the same dream of a man with dark, messy hair and thick-rimmed glasses.
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