Chapter 9

If my heart could be heard breaking, it would be heard by these two guys. I looked so stupid there and I realized my hand was still wrapped around Tom’s big manly hand. Instantly I pulled away. The guy named Derek started chuckling. What is so funny?

“Man, she’s funnier than the first nurse we pulled this on” he winked and pointed at me.

Am I on some prank show? I turned to Tom for answers and he was smiling at me.

“Lisa, meet Derek. My best friend from college”

I nodded, still very much confused.

“ Derek is your .. “ I asked suspiciously.

“Oh no, I’m married” Derek waved his hand in dismissal.

“It’s a thing between us to tell people we’re gay just to prank the nurses and visitors. You should have seen the first nurse we prank on. Her mouth was wide open and she dropped her clip board”

“This is not funny” I pouted.

I know. Why am I pouting? I cannot help but to pout in order to stop the tears from falling as I was overcome with relief and shock.

“I’ll leave you guys alone” Derek gave me a warm smile and walked out.

“Don’t be mad Lisa. We were just fooling around” Tom said softly.

“So you are not gay?” I asked innocently.

Tom smiled “Don’t believe those rumours”

So he had heard the rumours of him being gay? Why didn’t he stand up for himself? Say something about it instead of letting everyone to assume it was true.

“I had a girlfriend who wasn’t happy being who she was” he said.

He pulled me down and I sat across him, my ears perked up to listen carefully. Ok, so maybe his ex had some major attitude problem or she was either too thin or too fat. Maybe that’s why she didn’t like who she was.

“What do you mean? What happen to her?”

“She made major decision without telling me” Tom continued.

“She left?” I tried to guess.

“Not that. She chopped off her boobs” he made cut motion in front of his chest.

I cringed. Gosh, she wanted to be a guy??

“You mean, remove her breast?” I tried to rephrase it so that it sounded less violent.

Tom nodded “ And she cropped off her long beautiful locks and trade it in for this short boy cut”

I nodded. So she didn’t like the lady ship and decided to jump off board. Or rather, join the dude ship.

“How did you take it?” I asked softly because I knew this could be a sensitive topic to tread on.

“At that time, I was devastated. I didn’t care if she had cut her hair or lose her boobs. I just wanted her back so impulsively I grabbed her and kissed her”

“That’s when the flash bulbs spark off” I finished the sentence for him.

Tom nodded again.

“When the rumours spread, I thought it would be better this way rather than to humiliate her in public. Imagine the headline ‘ Sally turned Stanley’. I just let it be”

“Are you still in contact with her?”

Tom looked thoughtful.

“No, not for a long time. It’s been two years since then. You’re the only one I’m telling this to”

I nodded as I stood up. I felt like both of us needed some time alone. I had to absorb all this new knowledge and Tom needed some time alone to forget about his ex.

“I gotta go now”

“Will you be back tomorrow?” he looked at me like a five year old begging for candy.

Er.. where’s the damn recipe? I’m in the kitchen, lifting up pots and pans, frantically looking for my piece of paper. It’s been two days since I visited Tom in the hospital. I knew I promised him I’ll be back the next day but work got in the way.

“What are you doing?” Gail asked, halfway yawning as she dragged her feet into the kitchen holding her phone.

“Making porridge” I reached for the pepper.

“But you don’t cook. Is it for Tom?” she asked with a big grin.

“At least I’m learning” I smiled and practically avoided the question.

“Did you go out this morning? I thought I heard the front door opened and closed”

“Yeah, I bought eggs. You finished it, didn’t you? “ I pointed the fork at her accusingly with mock anger.

Gail smiled guiltily.

“Sorry I haven’t bought a new pack. Was it urgent?”

“For the porridge, yes”

“Lisa, you really like this guy eh?” Gail looked serious.

I lowered the fire and looked thoughtful.

“I guess so” I said softly.

“You guess? Lis, you don’t cook but look at what love has brought you to do now. This is so sweet” Gail cooed.

I rolled my eyes with amusement and turned to have my wrist came in contact with the boiling pot.

“Ouch” Gail had a short pained look and seemed to focus her phone on me

I turned on the tap and let the cold water run over my hot skin. Thank God it wasn’t burnt, just red.

“Gail, please don’t take photos of me now. I look like a grandmother”

I indicated with my other hand the messy hair, the big baggy shirt and the holey shorts.

“Relax, I’m just text messaging” she lowered her phone.

“Alright Gail. I need to go shower now and after that, I’m heading to the hospital”

“Oh, I’ll just run off to buy some bread” Gail put on her heels.

That’s my Gail, running to the grocery store around the corner in heels. I chuckled and went in my bed room.

I opened the door and peeped inside. Tom was sitting up in bed, looking at his phone.

“I brought you something” I walked in.

“Please tell me its food” he smiled at me.

Suddenly I felt nervous. Will he like it? Yes, I did taste the porridge that I made but would it be okay for Tom? What if all this while he developed a rich man’s tongue through every meal cooked in perfection by Jane at the mansion home? What if he throws up? I poured some into his bowl and the nervousness was eating me up inside while I observed him eating.

“Lisa, thanks for the food. It is delicious” he smiled after he finished a bowl.

“Really? You’re not lying, are you?” I looked at him suspiciously.

Tom grinned and shook his head. In fact, he finished the whole container.

“You got skills to cook” he smiled, his beautiful dimple showing.

For the next hour, we sat there talking about food and our experiences.

“How could you eat snake meat? “ I gasped when Tom told me about his experience of camping in the jungle when he was just a boy scout.

“Well, it was either eat or die” he grinned.

“Your scout master threatened you to eat snake meat?” I gasped.

Then I caught a glimpse of his eye and realized he just lied.

“Ok, which was the lie?” I pretended to look angry.

“The scout master one” Tom nodded.

“Not the snake meat one? Eww .. Tom .. snake??”

Tom laughed, then he looked at me.

“You know what, I’m going home tomorrow”

“Oh great! Now you can take care of Madam again” I was really happy on his behalf.

A guy like Tom should go back to his job and not lie in the hospital, feeling miserable and useless.

“And to say thank you, I want to come over and cook for you. I promise I will bring my own eggs”

When I looked confused, Tom whipped out his phone and played me a video, a video of me and Gail’s conversation that morning.

“Text messaging, my ass” I mumbled under my breath.

“Don’t be mad at her. I think you looked adorable.”

I looked up at him and he was looking at me. I dunno if he’s trying to picture me in that horrible combo that he saw in the video or something. Why is he looking at me like that? Is he just being polite when he said I looked adorable? Before I knew it, Tom was kissing me. His lips were warm and inviting and I did kiss him back, until something in me snapped. I can’t keep letting Tom take advantage of me. I pulled away and picked up my stuff.

“I’m sorry. I gotta go”

I was sitting beside my window and thoughts were going in and out of my mind. Why is Tom confusing me? I like him very much and all this kissing stuff is really bothering me. Am I being used and played? Does he really like me? I’m so messed and then I decided. I’m done with the whole clan. A waste though since Jay and I just hit it off as friends and Madam treats me like her best friend. I heard the door creaked and Gail walked in.

“Are you mad at me?” she said softly.

I shook my head as she came up to me and wrapped her arms around me. I embraced her gratefully.

“I think I’m going to cut all ties with Tom and the rest”

“But you are crazy about Tom” Gail muffled in my hair.

“He confuses me. His kisses confuses me and I don’t want to go through Ryan number two anymore”

“Aww sweetie. Should I go talk to Tom?”

“No, Gail. Let’s just leave it as it is “

“But you can’t keep avoiding him forever”

Gail was right. It’s been a week since I last saw him in the hospital and I never answered his calls. He had dropped by twice but I made Gail lied for me, by saying I was not home. I cannot keep using this excuse anymore. Time to come clean.

Within the next few days, me and Gail were busy preparing for Cindy’s upcoming 24th birthday. She was going to have a party in the hotel ballroom and I was supposed to meet her in the hotel room which she booked to get prepared. Gail and I were rushing through the lobby with our bags full of stuff which we brought along for ourselves.

“What time is Cindy coming?” I turned to Gail

“In about an hour” she said, glancing at her watch.

We stopped by the receptionist counter and identified ourselves as Cindy’s trusty room key holder. As we headed upstairs, I noticed there were press everywhere.

“ What the hell is going on? Did Cindy hire the reporters to cover her birthday party?” Gail chuckled.

Knowing how public my best friend could be, I would dared agreed. As we entered Cindy’s suite, we noticed it was a five star suite.

“Woah, look at this” Gail pointed to a pair of handcuffs on the bed.

“Uh huh” I was really unsure of what to think.

“Cindy and Sean are gonna get freaky tonight” Gail grinned.

No, I did not tell Gail about Sean. I figure, the less people know, the better. The two of us were busy applying makeup in front of the mirror when Gail’s phone rang.

“Really? Ok, I’ll be down now”

She looked at me confusingly.

“Seems that my car is parked at a no parking bay”

“You go and check. I’ll be here”

Gail smiled and nodded. She took the key with her and I was supposed to be in the room, not to leave. I finished my makeup and was busy curling my hair. Damn, this side of the hair is so stubborn. Let’s try again. Within a few minutes, I heard the door opened.

“ That was fast. How was your car?” I turned.

It was like a nightmare came true. Sean stood there with the key in his hand. I stood up and blinked a few times. No, it’s Sean, no matter how much I wished, it’s not Jay again.

“Surprise to see me?”

“What are you doing here? “ I asked, my heart pounding with fear.

“Hey, this is my girlfriend’s suite. Why can’t I be here?”

True. I had no rights to argue about that.

“Well, me and Gail are here to dress up so I would appreciate it if you come back in an hour’s time “

I looked at him coldly. He looked stupid, standing there grinning like a donkey. I rolled my eyes and walked past him to get into the bathroom. The next thing I knew, he pulled my hair and pinned me to the wall.

“Don’t try to act all arrogant with me Lisa” he threatened.

And then I saw it, one glimpse and I saw a knife sticking out from his boots. My eyes widen with fear. He must have smelt my fear as he pressed his hand on my neck.

“You like what you see? “ then he pulled out his knife.

All I could smell was his breath, his nasty breath and all I could hear was my heart pounding and my breath quickening. I silently prayed that Gail would come back soon but Sean seemed to read my mind.

“If your little friend or whoever walks in the room, this knife will go straight to your heart, understand?”

Then he grabbed me and before I knew it, he used the handcuff and chained one of my wrist on the bed post.

“One movement and you’re dead” he warned me.

I watched as he walked to the table and ransacked through our purses. There goes my credit card and my watch, into his pocket. My eyes wandered to the vase near the table and I struggled to reach for it. I aimed for his head but when I threw, he turned and managed to miss.

“Now you’re pushing it too far Lisa. I told you to stay put right?”

He brought the knife on my neck and then he kissed me. I pushed him away but he moved his knife to form a cut on my arm. I winced in pain as he pushed me to the wall.

“Sean, let me go ” I started crying, maybe by pleading he will stop.

He took a step back and smirked.

“You look prettier when you’re in tears. Too bad nobody will see how pretty you look ”