Sunday, May 10, 2015


I woke up today, thanking God tomorrow was gonna be a free weekend. No papers, no assignments. Because I managed to finish everything last night with Luke in the background. Tomorrow, I plan to conquer every freaking transcription ever posted, and then some. And then I’d get to spend the entire Sunday with Luke.

I showered leisurely, knowing I had all the time in the world because I woke up early enough. When I was ready to go, I had enough time to walk and even get myself a nice cup of coffee. All was well.

I arrived at school with five minutes to spare and saw Luke there, waiting for me by the elevator. He waved a little at me, and I gave him a nice bright and shiny smile.

“I missed you,” he muttered as he gave me a peck on the cheek.

“Ditto,” I replied as I drank in his scent, inwardly laughing how ridiculous missing him was. We were together just last night!

We went straight to his apartment after we both got out of school and work yesterday. I needed help staying awake for all the papers I needed to finish and he did just that while he watched TV and ate pizza. We have, just last night, become that kind of couple.

He wanted me to stay the night but I wanted to go back to my apartment remembering we still had to slow things down a bit. I wanted to take a cab, but Luke said he couldn’t let me “drive off with a stranger at this late hour”. So we sped off at eleven in the evening on his Ducati as he dropped me off at my building. It was physically impossible to not let him upstairs, but I had to make him go home. And I slept well that night, hence the good start I was having today. But I missed him. And apparently the man missed me, too. Sigh.

Luke never poked at me about my dinner with Casey either. I texted him when I got home that night and all he asked was, “Had fun?” I said yes, she’s awesome with multiple exclamation points to convey my enthusiasm, and that was that about the Casey dinner at Cabeza. And everything has been going on extremely fine. Sigh again.

The elevator doors opened, and we filed in along with the other students. We were both stuck at the back but we didn’t mind. I looked up at him and saw he was looking down on me, and I felt his hand on mine, and I thought this day might just be one of the best ones.

The students thinned out slowly, ickle firsties and sophomores, floor after floor, until it was only Luke and I going up three more floors to where my class was gonna be. It was one of his “things” that whenever we went together, he’d see me off before he went to work.

“I’ll see you later,” he murmured behind my ear just a little after he kissed me. It was such a common phrase but he managed to make the hairs on my neck prickle by the way he said it.

I was smiling dreamily when I entered the classroom. Which happened to be in silent chaos. “What’s up?” I asked Anne as I occupied the seat next to her. I had to give it to her, she was already busy reading transcriptions this early in the morning.

“Literature reviews for clinical research due on Monday. No extension,” she blankly answered, not even bothering to look up from her tab.

“You’re kidding me, right?” I asked with wide eyes. I didn’t even have a decent topic yet!

“Do I look like I’m freaking kidding? I’m freaking out!” Anne said, showing me her tablet screen. She hadn’t been reading transcriptions. Article after article were opened in her browser’s tabs. And she had it by the dozen at my estimate.

“Did your group get your topic approved already?”

“No. They’re gonna do the approvals later this afternoon.”

“During the afternoon class?”


“How are we even gonna be able to swing that?” I asked in revolt, but took out my laptop nonetheless. The class had been divided into groups, and each group member was to come up with a research topic and a justification for choosing that topic. The research topics will serve as a pool for the entire group to choose from with the help of our research adviser. In the end, only one topic will be pursued by the entire group. And the topics were scheduled to be submitted next Friday. UGH!

Anne merely shrugged her shoulders with a roll of her eyes. “The one day I decided not to bring my laptop with me,” she muttered darkly before going back to facing her tablet.

Not mere minutes later, the lecturer had arrived. Most everyone had been busy with their laptops even before class started. And I would bet you anything, the majority of my classmates were busy consolidating their research topics for this afternoon’s presentation, not typing away lecture notes. I was certainly part of that majority.

The lecturer droned on and on about the different types of anxiety disorders and their symptomatic presentations. Yeah, well, at least that’s what it said on his title slide. Fifteen minutes into his distracting monotony (I could not string a decent sentence together for my research topic justification!), I decided I had to set up camp somewhere else. I tapped Anne’s wrist, told her I’ll just be in the library, and artfully sneaked out of the classroom (with my laptop) unnoticed. I never paid attention in any of the Psychiatry classes, anyway.

I took the stairs to go down two floors, lest the lecturer (or his secretary) decide to find themselves where the elevator doors were. Then I rode the elevator the rest of the way. Our library occupied an entire floor and it was generally empty at this time of day since everyone supposedly had class. I occupied my favorite corner table – the one far from traffic but near a window – and started to set my computer up. Five minutes after I had started typing away, I saw Anne walk in, looking for me. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one being distracted by the walking monotony that is my Psychiatry lecturer.

“This fucking sucks,” Anne declared as she sat across me, wanting to slam her tablet on the table but catching herself last minute. If she destroyed her tablet, she’d be done for. Or, well, she’d be stuck with the library computers which had a knack of shutting down in the middle of important work (true story).

“I was really hoping for a weekend off. Luke and I had plans,” I shared her sentiment. Luke did want to go out and finish the rest of our second date that we didn’t get a chance to do since we both wanted to go home so bad last time (wink, wink). “He had been so looking forward to it.”

“And I was planning on a marathon of North and South,” Anne said, rolling her eyes in angst. She was referring to the mini-series where, wait for it, Richard Armitage plays the lead. That got me laughing in amusement.

“Didn’t you watch that already?” I asked, still unable to rein in the giggles.

“Fine, re-marathon. I miss him already and his raised voice and cool temperaments,” she sighed and then laughed too. “Anyways, that is obviously not gonna happen now. Thanks to these inconsiderate research people. Ugh!”

We ended up staying in the library and foregoing lunch altogether to finish the justifications for our research topics. I was not greatly attached with my topic but it had to do. I just had to be able to pass something for our research group’s topic pool. If it ends up being scrapped, I don’t really care.

My Clinical Research class ended early. Half of our group’s research topics were scrapped. Mine wasn’t lucky enough to be eliminated early. It ended up being one of the three topics on temporary approval for group research. And that meant I had to produce a literature review for it over the weekend. (Fuck!).

Monday, May 4, 2015

The State of the Family

“Oh, I already love how honest you are,” Casey said after laughing for a bit. “You seemed so very shy the last time, I wasn’t so sure how to reach out, really.”

“Well, meeting the older brother does things to the nerves,” I quipped.

“Especially when that older brother is Seth,” she winked. “So tell me, did Luke explain things to you afterwards?”

“Yeah, he did. Sort of.”

“If you ask me, he should’ve told you before, not after. For the record, I had told him that,” Casey said without reservations, sounding much like a disapproving older sister. “I even thought you already knew that time. Figured I was wrong in the middle of eating the ravioli, but I couldn’t just pull you aside so soon.”

“It’s all good. I mean, you didn’t even have to, and I totally appreciate how you did,” I answered shyly.

“Just so you know, I totally agree that Seth was an ass that night. I even told him that,” Casey said with conviction.

I laughed. I thought I would be surprised to hear it, but I wasn’t. In a short span of time, I already knew Casey was as straightforward as anyone could get.

“I already asked him to behave better the next time. Told him you seemed way better than that bitch Luke almost married.” The animosity in her tone was only too palpable when she referred to Luke’s infamous ex.

“Oh, so you knew her, too?” I tried to sound disinterested, but obviously I was curious. And here was an opening.

“Of course. Like I said, Seth and I have known each other since medical school. When Luke introduced that girl to the family, I already had that icky feeling that something fishy was going on with her. But I never said a word because, really, who am I to do so, right?” She paused to nibble on a tortilla before she continued on. “Anyway, I wasn’t wrong in the end. Well, three years later, anyway,” she shrugged her shoulders.

I gave her a look that said “please elaborate” and she willingly obliged.

“When Luke told Seth he wanted to marry her and asked him to help him buy a ring, Seth knew he had to be the protective older brother. He only ever wanted to know if the girl was ready to get settled in the financial department – she was not – but he stumbled on something else along the way. Seth only became so hell-bent on figuring things out with her when he posed a theoretical question regarding pre-nups, and she shut Luke down for days on end in response. And that was before Luke was even able to propose. Thank God he never had the chance to.”

“W-What was the dealbreaker?” I mumbled, not knowing if I even wanted to hear the answer.

“It’s a jumble of things, really. Credit scores, for one. God-awful credit scores. Cheating on Luke. And a kid on the side with the cheatee whom she passed off as her bestfriend.” My eyes widened fractionally at that one. “That girl was the worst decision Luke ever made and he knows it. But the period between when he didn’t know yet and when he did wasn’t exactly a walk in the park. Not for him. Not for everyone in the family…” Casey paused, her voice lingering quietly as she let the statement sink in.

“What do you mean by that, exactly?” I meekly asked, urging her to divulge more.

“What has he told you about it?” she asked, clearly treading the waters before letting on a figurative bomb.

“That he threw away everything after what she did and that everything went really bad with him after,” I recounted.

“That was a very good synopsis,” Casey said approvingly, her lips curling into a very tight smile. “But very broad, don’t you think?”

I had to nod lest there be no more stories to hear.

“He became a nomad. He left everything here and disappeared. He called before he got on a plane to Europe, though, asking us not to bother him for a while because he wanted to be alone,” she shrugged her shoulders at that, “And after that, all we could trace him for were his credit cards being swiped at this country and that. That was basically how we knew he was more probably still alive.”

I had to wait a few more seconds before Casey could continue. She seemed suddenly lost in thought, and I figured maybe she was reimagining how things had been before.

“Their mother, Amelia, was distraught more than everyone else but we all knew better than to come after Luke. Henry wanted to swoop in and drag him back home, but he got vetoed by the two doctors in the family. Three, since he gave me a vote, too, when he realized he was being overruled by his wife and son,” she smiled faintly.

I smiled, too, at the tiniest amusing thing in the story.

“We gave the grieving period three months. We knew Luke had to go through it. And we hoped he’d come back recovered soon enough.” She paused a bit to sip from her glass. “But we were wrong. He was gone for more than a year, and we had no idea what he did to himself at the time. Three months passed and we all wanted to intervene. God knows just how worried Henry and Amelia were, but we all knew it was a lost cause and that even if we tried, we knew it would just make Luke want to hide himself better. And we didn’t want to lose what little information we could get about him, so we waited it out.”

“When did he decide to come back?” I asked curiously, afraid of what the answer might be. My mind was already picturing several scenarios of Luke in his lowest, and I couldn’t help it. My head was spinning, and my overactive imagination wasn’t helping.

“He just called Seth one day asking him to fly out and get him out of Amsterdam as soon as he could. We knew where he was exactly and Seth couldn’t have been on a plane sooner. I wanted to come with him but Seth said he knew it had to be just him or he’d never get his little brother back.” She paused, trying to gauge my reaction. I was waiting for her to tell me what happened next. “Seth was gone for two weeks. And then they were back home. Luke looked terrible after being on a mission to self-destruct for eighteen months from what I’ve heard, and Seth looked miserable having to explain to the family about Luke’s situation. Seth never hated the bitch more than he did the day he saw Luke in Amsterdam. I never hated the bitch more than the day I saw the brothers back home.”

I didn’t appreciate the fast-forward to Luke coming home, but I understood how the information might be too private. That maybe it was up to Luke to tell me what exactly happened on his own time. I fell quiet, realizing I was dating a broken young man who broke himself consciously.

“You must be reevaluating your choice of dating Luke, thinking it’s a bad idea,” Casey said matter-of-factly after a moment of quiet observation. “I would, too, if I were in your shoes. But I have to tell you one thing. You never knew that bitch and how good she was in playing Luke. Damn, she was good. She played all of us. And for that, she broke him. But he’s whole now, we all made sure of it. Only Seth fails to recognize that.” She sipped her drink once again. “Even their parents have moved on.”

And just like that, the loaded conversation ended. A long silence came from my end. Clinks of the iced beverage came from Casey’s. It had to look awkward, because it felt like it. It felt as though a compendium of secrets had been opened before me and I was so overwhelmed that I didn’t know exactly what I should do from there.

“So that’s basically what you stumbled on when you met Luke,” Casey said after a while, a wide smile on her face as though she didn’t just tell me the most serious thing ever. “And I really want you to stick around. I really like you.”

And at that moment, from those words, I actually knew that despite everything she had just told me, I still wasn’t going anywhere. There’s an out. Somewhere between those lines, there was an out. Just like what Luke did before. They were giving me an out. But I just wouldn’t take it.

The dinner went on normally after that. We chatted about medical school. About just how much of a culture shock second year was. And about how little the second year coverage was in comparison to third year. She shared with me some funny medical clerkship anecdotes of her own along with some survival tips… until we both decided it was late and we had to go home.

She gave me a ride in her white Mini Cooper she was driving herself (how cute is she??) and dropped me off at my building with an “I’ll see you around, yes?” and a nice big smile from me. I can’t even believe she was years older than I was. She seemed so lighthearted about things. She wasn’t like other doctors who lived and breathed the definition of hierarchy. She was definitely way up the societal ladder being a medical consultant and all, but I never even once felt like there was a barrier between us. And I liked it.

Now if only Seth could do the same, everything would be lovely.

My Apologies

Hello. Anyone there still?

So I left this blog hanging more than a year ago now and essentially just put it at the back of my mind. I am terribly sorry. I started medical clerkship and things got really hectic for me. Not to mention I went through a really bad breakup with my boyfriend of six years while I was in the middle of the most toxic rotation in the hospital. I couldn't really make myself write this lovey-dovey, bright and shiny fictional couple while my real lovelife sucked so bad and I was so bitter with everything.

I swear every month I tried. I sat in front of my computer and figured out what happens with these two. I had it in my mind but the words wouldn't pour out like it used to. Or it would but it would all read as detached and soulless and bitter to me rather than being light and contenting like it did before. And I didn't want that. I never logged in to my dashboard also. Because I never had a finished piece to post. So then I brooded over my loss, produced a different story that was dark and twisted in my mind and began writing that instead. (The detached and soulless and bitter writing worked with that storyline and the words poured.)

So it may sound like I'm playing the pity card here so that my year-long AWOL mishap may be forgotten. But I just figured I needed to explain myself. And if you'd have me again, I am back in the Sam and Luke business.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. And I really hope you guys would still read on. I would really appreciate it.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Opposites Do Attract

“How did it go?” Carmen asked over lunch. It was just me and the girls again. Jack had lunch with his parents, Chris had an org thing, and Tommy and Lee had school council. I was supposed to go to the council meeting, too, but they didn’t really need me there so I decided to just spend lunch with my girls instead.

“Awfully surprising,” I answered with a straight face, choosing my words very carefully to sum up the entire talk I had with Luke yesterday.

“How are we supposed to know whether that was good or bad?” Anne chimed in with a frown.

“Well, we are good now. But something weird happened along the way,” I supplied. I had battled with myself whether what happened yesterday was something I’d like to share with the girls so soon. I am actually quite the private person when it came to stuff like these. But my need of assurance prevailed over my need of privacy at the moment.

“Spill it, Miller,” Anne said after a moment’s pause on my end. That’s Anne for you. No-nonsense. Straight to the point. It’s what I actually love about her.

“Well. In the middle of explaining things about what Seth did and about how he acted over the horrendous dinner, Luke actually said he loved me.” My voice had grown tinier and tinier as I reached the end of that sentence. Just the faintest reminder of that moment sent my nerves tingling and cringing and what-not. And my friends did not disappoint either. They all cringed almost in unison.

“Oh. My. God. I would not have picked him for that type of thing,” Olive whispered in shock. Olive was a very opinionated person and she makes herself heard when given the chance. Her commentaries, admittedly, are entertaining for the most part and very brutally honest. Like right now.

“Me neither,” I agreed solemnly. “But it was just a slip, though. He wanted to take it back. But of course he couldn’t. And he offered me an out, which obviously I didn’t take. So there’s that, too.” I didn’t know who I was trying to convince at that point, but I could see clearly that I hadn’t sold the idea well despite my uber-defensive way of explaining things.

“Well, I say if you’re comfortable enough to let it slide and go with it, then I fully support your judgment,” Carmen said with an encouraging smile. And that was really all I needed to calm myself down completely. Carmen was the type of person whose opinion you would really value. She knew just what to say in any situation and how to say it.

Anne remained quiet although she looked as if she wanted to say something. She tackled her veggie panini instead and busied herself with finishing her lunch. I knew exactly what that meant. She had nothing nice to say and would only say things if invited to do so. I was scared to ask her about it, knowing my confidence about staying with Luke was still faltering, so I also just shut my mouth and finished my lasagna.

The topic didn’t resurface in our conversation as we all complained about how wide the scope was for this block and how impossible it was to tackle it. And that went on until lunch break was over. On our way back to our classroom, my phone beeped obnoxiously loud. And twice. The hallway was severely quiet that the beep of my phone visibly destroyed its serenity. People trying to catch up on reading assignments and loitering the corridor were literally startled. I apologized loudly and embarrassedly took the phone out of my pocket as I realized I forgot to put it on silent mode that morning. I was surprised to see both were actually texts from Casey, Seth’s lovable fiancée who made me believe in the theory of “opposite attraction”.

Hey, Samantha! Doing consult at your hospital in a few. Wanna join me for dinner later? I pay, you spill! –Casey

Oh, and don’t worry. Definitely NOT bringing Seth with me. –Casey

I smiled and quickly replied an affirmative. I couldn’t help really liking Casey. She was very thoughtful, welcoming and warm, and she left a very good first impression on me.

“Cabeza at 8!” Casey replied. She was referring to the fancy but laidback Mexican restaurant just across the street from the hospital, which was really nice and convenient for the both of us, I think. I lived near and she’d be coming from the hospital. My inner penny-pincher was also doing a happy dance about the upcoming free food. (So sue me, I love anything that’s free.)

I sat through the afternoon class in a breeze. The topic was relatively easy to digest and was actually very interesting. Plastic Surgery Overview. I never realized the genius behind this specialty until this afternoon. Skin flaps and z-plasties, ah! Whoever thought of how to make a vertical scar horizontal was a god. I mean, who would even think that, right?! Okay, enough of me fangirling.

I was on my way home at five. Luke was stuck with (more) database tweakings and couldn’t time out at five and walk me home, which was absolutely fine with me. Nothing wrong with some time apart. Works with the plan of slowing some things down, right? I also texted him about the upcoming dinner with Casey, but he was no longer able to reply. Must have been a very busy workday for him today.

Anyways, I lounged about in my comfy couch for about an hour before deciding to shower and dress up for dinner. Nothing to pressure myself to study on tonight because I had already caught up with last week’s difficult topics last night, and today’s load was relatively ultra-light. I mean, I could probably do with some advanced reading (obviously), but the procrastinator in me was already stomping its feet in utter rebellion, so…

I had fifteen minutes to spare after I had ransacked my closet through and through, and decided I looked nice enough for a dinner with my boyfriend’s brother’s perfect fiancée. I chose to wear a nice pair of washed jeans and a dressy teal top, with a pair of grey heeled boots to finish it off. I gathered my hair up in a messy-but-not-messy ponytail and put on some natural makeup, and I was good to go.

I walked the distance since I didn’t want to have to spend money for cab fare, and I still arrived a couple minutes early. When I walked in, I told the receptionist about the 8 pm reservation on Casey’s name and I was immediately seated in the VIP booth… thing (LOL). I knew it was VIP because these were the booths/tables that my friends and I would despise (‘cause we couldn’t swing it) whenever we had something to celebrate at this restaurant.

I glanced at my phone momentarily, aiming at pretending to busy myself and not look awkwardly out of place just in case a waiter passed through. (That’s just socially awkward me.) I saw two messages, though, so I didn’t have to pretend at all. Score!

The first one was from Luke, saying he was on his way home and that I should enjoy dinner with Casey. I figured maybe he was doing the slowing down thing, too, because it was just so easy for him to invite himself to dinner, right? Him and Casey were practically family, anyways. I was really glad and sorta relieved that he didn’t do that.

The second one was from Casey, saying she was running a few minutes late and that I could order appetizers for the both of us so she could stuff her mouth STAT when she arrived. Yeah, she actually said that. And I panicked a little. I wasn’t bothered at all that she was gonna be late. Most everyone in the profession didn’t actually hold their own time; things happen, people get called to do things. What I worried about was that I was tasked to order appetizers for the both of us! What if she would judge me based on what I ordered for her?! (Ok, admittedly, that would be ridiculous.)

I called the attention of a waiter and asked for the menu. I only ever knew the affordable ones on their list, so I had to take a look. Casey did give me free rein, so I thought I might as well try better tasting things on here. I decided on a sampler just because it all seemed the most authentic and delicious. Plus the waiter also told me it was a running favorite amongst the VIPs, HAHA! (Fine, I cheated there.)

When the dish arrived, I was floored. Everything did look and smell so good, my mouth watered. Casey has yet to arrive, though, but she had already texted me she was gonna be in in about five minutes tops so, even though I so wanted to take a bite right then and there, I knew I had to wait for her.

Within five minutes, I saw her walk in. She was wearing black skinnies and a white chiffon long-sleeved top in an “editor tuck” with black high-heeled boots and her hair up in a loose bun. Gosh, she looked sublime even at a distance. She quickly scanned the room, found me, and smiled a big smile before the receptionist could catch her attention.

“God, I am so sorry I am late!” she exclaimed as she kissed me on the cheek before she sat in front of me. “Haven’t you started yet?” she asked looking down on the untouched plate on the table.

“It just arrived a couple minutes ago,” I smiled at her, trying my best not to show how much I totally admired her. I thought I had gotten over it after I have seen her in her utmost best (in a cocktail dress), but my, my, there’s just something about a lady who glows even in simple clothes.

“Oh! Let’s dig in, then! And thanks!”

After a couple bites, she asked me what I wanted to eat after. I had decided to just let her order whatever for the both of us since she obviously knew the menu better than I did, and I told her that. She had waved for the waiter in no time and was ordering dish after dish of this and that (with several specifications). She kept saying excitedly how she wanted me to try everything she dictated to the waiter, and her giddiness was just infectious.

When all the food came, I was excited to try everything. But before I could choose which one I wanted to devour first, Casey decided to start what we came here for.

“So you thought Seth was a total ass, right?” she was smiling, complete with twinkling eyes. And the visual stimulus was so off the mark from the auditory one. The statement caught me off guard and for a moment, I didn’t know what to say.

“Yes. I’m sorry,” I answered after I recovered, quickly thinking up a standby plan for dinner if ever. I could buy fast food if she should decide to kick me out of the fancy restaurant. McDonald’s was just a block away, anyway.

She laughed. She still looked marvelous, but I couldn’t really figure out why she was laughing like that.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

I Sorta Panicked

A/N: Here you go, guys. Thanks for hanging in there and I hope you enjoy! I'd love to hear what you think by the end of it!

I was panicking. I could feel my heart rate going up. I could already sense my breathing. I could almost even feel my pupils dilating (LOL, what?). In short, I wanted to take flight was my initial reaction. Why would he even say anything like that? It’s all too soon! Does he expect me to say it back? How can he expect anything like that? I can’t say it back! This is all too fast! my mind raced. It felt as if everything was on a standstill waiting for me to respond to what Luke had just said. And I had no idea just what exactly I had to say.

Luke had calmly and slowly let go of my hand after a couple seconds of me just staring at him in dumbfound shock, probably recognizing there wasn’t gonna be an answer any time soon. My mouth was dry and I had no idea how to respond to that. Surely, he understood where I was coming from, right? Or maybe I just heard him wrong. Please, let it be just me hearing him wrong, I prayed dramatically in my head, complete with cracking voice even.

“Whoa. Wait. What?” I managed to utter after a few seconds of complete wordless shock, and after I had successfully laid down my coffee cup onto the table (and not shattered it into pieces like the dramatic girl in me pictured in my mental version of how things happened here). That wasn’t the best-worded response, in retrospect. Nor was it the best-toned one. But I had enough sense to filter some word vomit right then (thankfully) and, well, that was all my filter could let through. I was still praying I had heard Luke wrong, but each second that passed only proved the opposite. Man, why did he have to say things like that?

Luke had been looking at anywhere but me after he had said the precipitous L-word. He looked like he never meant for any of it to spill out, but then it did, and it was a very bad slip, and he couldn’t take it back anymore even if he clearly wanted to. His eyes had actually widened minutely upon hearing the panicked words out of my lips. That reaction somehow calmed me a bit. It was just a slip, hopefully. He never meant to say anything. Wait, was that even calming enough? my thoughts raced and I was back into full panic mode again. Thanks, brain.

“I should’ve stopped at I wouldn’t wanna change anything,” he answered meekly. He rubbed his temples with his right hand, like one would do with a migraine, as he continued to evade my eyes. “Fuck,” he breathed more to himself than anything.

“Are you okay?” I asked with concern. He definitely looked like he was beating himself up from the inside, and I felt for him. I could have probably worded out a better response than what I had just said. Maybe he wouldn’t be, I don’t know, panicking himself at that moment if I chose my words better.

“No. I’m not thinking straight is what I am right now,” he answered desperately as he slumped resignedly onto his couch while still not looking at me. He looked so much like a kid in distress and I just wanted to smile at how adorable that was if not only for the situation we were currently in. “I was too wrapped up in what I was trying to say about Seth and everything… Just – I guess I can’t ask you to just forget this ever happened?” he asked the floor, sounding hopeful.

I actually considered the thought for a second, and it sounded totally tempting. Everything’s gonna be fine if I pretended none of this ever occurred. But then again, no. How can I forget how he told me that he freaking loved me? “I don’t think we can forget this ever happened, though,” I told him after a breathy, shaky sound that I tried to pass off as a laugh.

“Yeah. Me, too,” he agreed. Finally, he was looking straight at me again. He steeled himself before saying, “Nothing left to do but own up to it, I guess.” His eyes were dead straight intense at that moment, and I could feel him pulling me in. His look turned serious and he held me in his gaze. “You can walk away, Samantha, if you think this is too much for you,” he uttered softly.

“What? Why would I?” I asked quietly. I was confused at the suggestion. Didn’t he just say he loved me? Why was he telling me to walk away then? I couldn’t understand where he stood. Or maybe it was just his eyes that were mesmerizing and mind-blocking, and I couldn’t look away. For some reason or another, the way he looked at me was actually calming my thoughts. My mind had begun to slow down.

“Doesn’t this scare you?” he asked as he slowly moved to angle his face closer to where I was, resting an arm on the table between us to support his leaning weight. “I know it’s all too fast.”

“Yeah, it does. And it is. Too fast,” I muttered, almost to myself.

“And?” It was as if he was expecting for me to run for cover and he seemed ready for anything.

“And I can’t walk away,” I told him quietly. I realized it was true the moment I said it out loud. He gave me an out and I couldn’t take it. I can’t. I can’t just walk away. That was clear enough. Yes, things were moving way too fast for my taste, and I can’t say things back to him right now, but he wasn’t really pushing me to say anything. He even recognized how fast everything was.

Was this unconventional? Yes, totally. A deal breaker? I didn’t really think so. I didn’t think it was an impossible notion for the future, either. Things have been running smoothly if you took his older brother out of the picture. We just needed to slow down, in my opinion. A lot.

He smiled his small smile at my response, and sighed what sounded like one of relief. “That’s good to hear.” The relief in his voice was just too obvious and I couldn’t help but be relieved myself. Gosh, I thought I’d be running away in the opposite direction right about now. I had actually considered it. But then again, I couldn’t.

“May I ask one thing, though?” I said tentatively. He nodded. “Did you mean what you just said?”

He looked down at the wooden floors for a couple seconds first as though he was weighing whether to tell me or not. He gazed back at me after and said, “I meant every word, but I never wanted to say anything too soon because, well, I knew it’s too soon. It just… it slipped.” He was shaking his head lightly at that, clearly thinking what he just did was stupid.

I honestly just wanted to hug him at that moment to make him feel a little bit better. But an awkward “thank you” was all that escaped from my lips, not entirely sure of what the correct response might be after an “I love you” was said to you and you weren’t reciprocating nor rejecting it.

I wanted to ask when he knew. A little part of me was curious. But I figured I wasn’t really ready to know right now. What good would knowing be if I didn’t have anything to tell him in return, right? And I thought knowing just how early he knew would probably scare me to death and make me chicken out of what this was. I was happier not knowing and I wanna be happy longer.

After an awkward couple of minutes, the conversation started to flow little by little between us up to a point when I had almost forgotten about the mishap. We sipped our coffee and told each other about our lousy weekend not talking to each other and about what we did the entire day today and we were almost back to normal.

I am sure I am about to sound so clingy but I did miss Luke over the weekend. I missed this. Just talking to him made me feel a whole lot lighter than when I didn’t. He had this way of making me take my guard down and just be comfortable around him. I had some big enough trust issues that this feeling with Luke is just so welcome and so unthinkable to let go.

A couple hours had passed before I remembered I had some studying I actually had to do. I told Luke I had to go home. Since the caffeine had already kicked in, I figured I could study in my apartment that night instead of staying out late. Luke was nothing but understanding when I told him I had to study and even volunteered to walk me home.

I was battling with myself whether I should invite him over as we both walked the short distance to my building. I knew I really had to study because I had only three free weekends left before I had another set of exams. But my mind was saying it’s still only Monday anyway. Long story short, I was still undecided when we reached my building.

“Here we are,” Luke said when we stopped and I hadn’t yet figured out what I wanted to do. He leaned in for a kiss and I met him halfway. It was soft and hesitant at first until it deepened. I was out of breath when he pulled away and smiled, “Have a good night studying.”

I rolled my eyes at him knowing he was clearly teasing me, before I opened the door and looked back at him one more time, still considering letting him upstairs. I shook my head to dissolve the thought and I saw his smile widen.

“I’ll walk away now. Goodnight,” he laughingly said before he turned and started on his way.

“Goodnight,” I called and he stopped and turned back, grabbed my hand and gave me another kiss. It was outright intense and my knees weakened when he grabbed hold of my waist and neck with each hand.

“Go up now or I’m coming with you,” he muttered after a while. I seriously considered the thought, but he gently pushed me inside my building and closed the door himself.

As I walked up the stairs, I couldn’t help but think it was a good thing I didn’t take it when he gave me an out. Everything was simply better with Luke. And I am really just happy that we were talking again. I was even hoping things go better with his brother next time. If there was going to be a next time. Honestly, I’d rather the next time was way, way far into the future.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Author's Apologies

I'm very sorry about not posting this week. I thought I could write in between exams since I had four days vacant in between two sets of exams (a block and the finals). But I overestimated myself and it turns out my body needs sleep, too. I'm actually in the middle of a panicky cramming session for finals next week and just remembered I left a blog hanging here. I'm actually too out of it right now and I think I'm rambling.

I am sincerely sorry about my erratic posts. I did try to stick to it though. But then, I am now trashing my schedule as I can't stick to it religiously anyways. Will figure it out later on. Sorry for letting you down, guys. I just have a lot on my plate right now. Will post soon enough. Hope you'd still read it when it goes up. :(

On another note, I would like to share other similar blogs that I have been reading, as well, to sort of make up for not posting here.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

The Fast and The Serious

“I was about to call you to talk over coffee,” I told Luke meekly after his passionate conversation starter. He looked surprised about that. Which I thought was weird. I was deferring on talking to him, yes, but I never thought of just not talking to him altogether. That’d be simply immature.

“Oh. Okay. That’s – That’s good, I hope,” he acceded, visibly relieved. He exhaled deeply and looked the tiniest bit more relaxed.

We walked out of the building quietly and got to my usual coffee shop. We ordered our drinks and sat on a secluded corner. We each sipped tentatively, calculating what to say to each other, I think. He seemed nervous. I knew I looked anxious, too. And the coffee now seemed like a bad idea. Did I really need additional sympathetic nerve stimulation? Nope, not really.

He cleared his throat. “Let me just get this out of my system. You’re not thinking of breaking up with me right now, are you?”

I stared at him quietly for a while, my mind whirring unstoppably. No, I did not even consider breaking up with him at all. That was just crazy. “No, Luke, it hadn’t crossed my mind. Why would you even think that?”

He looked down and rubbed his forehead. “Look, I know Seth screwed things up. I screwed things up by having you meet him so early on. And it was him that has a problem, I realize that now. I just – I wanted you to know how serious I am about you and that’s why I wanted you to meet him. Obviously, the plan backfired on me.” He finished passionately, leaning back on his seat like he was relieved to say what he had to say.

“I don’t wanna get between the two of you, though. I know how much you adore your brother.”

“And he should feel the same way about you and me.” He looked very pissed about Seth.

I had nothing to say in response to that. Luke seemed legitimately mad at his brother. I meant what I just said about not wanting to get between the two of them. But this reaction from Luke would have been welcome last Saturday. And I told him exactly that.

He apologized about how he reacted that night. He said he had already talked to Seth about me before the actual dinner and he was expecting a better welcome than what I received. Obviously, his brother did not follow through, and he just did not know how to react. He had not appreciated the fact that Seth was being rude to me, but he also could not just call him out in front of me because that would only make Seth more unreasonable than he was actually being. (Yup, I thought Seth was an egotistical maniac who was being ridiculously petty at that exact moment, too.) The explanation itself was complicated and Luke had rambled on for several minutes before I got the gist. And miraculously enough, I understood his side of the story. Seth, though, was a different side of the coin.

“Why was Seth even like that to me? And for Christ’s sake, why did he have to be debriefed on how to act in front of your girlfriend? Shouldn’t that be, I don’t know, general knowledge?” I didn’t mean to sound aggressive, but it came out that way. Really, I have yet to learn how to contain my emotions. Thank God, I have the bedside voice nailed perfectly or my future patients will not want to even go near my future clinic.

“I’m sorry. He’s always been like that.” He breathed deeply before he continued, “I’m the kid who screwed up in my family. They still treat me like I need protection from them, especially my brother.” He paused, looking at me thoughtfully as though he was considering if he wanted to tell me more. “Seth thinks anyone that comes in my way is only there because of my advantageous background ever since I almost married a girl who was exactly that a few years back and they lost me.” He stopped and I let the information sink in. He almost got married was what sank in.

“You had a fiancée?” I asked in surprise.

“I had bought a ring to propose, yes,” he replied solemnly. “But that was years ago. Is that seriously all you took from that?” he asked, a ghost of amusement shadowing his features with a small tentative smile.

“I’m sorry. It was what sank in…” I replied wistfully, blankly staring through the glass windows and towards the street. I was trying to imagine him married to some girl. I could not. He was simply way too young. “When did you almost get married?”

“Four years ago. We were twenty-one and in love. Or so I thought. It’s a long story and I don’t really know how to work that into a normal conversation, but suffice it to say that my brother and I fortunately found out early enough how she was merely after the money and connections of the family.”

Turns out Carmen and Olive were both right about Seth’s reasons, then, I thought.

Luke paused to take a sip from his coffee before continuing on. “I was devastated when I found out. I built my life around her at one point in my life. And I threw away everything for about a year and a half after what she did. And then I realized I needed help when everything went really bad with me. I was a lost cause and Seth helped me recover. And now I have all this fragile connotations all around me from my family.”

“They love you,” I told him in a small voice. Seth made sense now. I am an older sister, too. And I understood exactly where Seth was coming from now. I’d probably be doing the same thing. Although less harshly, ideally.

“I know that. But they are overbearing. I have literally regressed to an adolescent in their eyes, and I can’t really blame them. I screwed my life up consciously.” He couldn’t look at me anymore at that point. “I was fine with it at first, thinking I deserved it, but I admit I was relieved when my parents decided to go on a cruise, thinking I could be just normal again. I had never realized Seth would take on all the overbearing for the whole family. And I only recognized that the night you met him.”

I was speechless. All of this history coming from Luke was too much to take in, and I was starting to chicken out from all the drama he has revealed. So this was what I was waiting for for him to divulge. It was seriously so naïve of me to think there was no baggage to this man. Or at least not a baggage that was this big. I had been thinking it was something lighter, something petty like sibling rivalry or whatever. And I was so hugely off the mark.

“You’re the first girl I’ve introduced to Seth ever since that failed one, you know. I know I’ve moved on from that, but clearly my family hasn’t. And it also doesn’t help matters for them that we’re technically moving fast,” Luke continued. He reached across the table for my right hand and squeezed it gently. “But I don’t care about our pace. I know this is right. I want it to be. You’re the right fit for me and I wouldn’t wanna change that. I love you, Samantha.”

I was drinking from my cup when he said it. I almost spit my coffee out of pure shock, but thank God I didn’t or that would have been completely embarrassing. Not to mention offensive.

But come on, the direction of what he was just saying? Who would think it was headed to that? And wouldn’t you think that this was all going too fast? Because I certainly did.