Creating Happy Moments

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Commercial Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 18 (v.1) - That’s What Friends are For

Submitted: November 08, 2016

Reads: 41

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Submitted: November 08, 2016

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Liz didn’t stay long. We talked about trivial matters and didn’t touch my childhood trauma. Though I had a feeling that she was just assessing my current state of mind and saving the core of things later.

Leo came as I was eating my lunch. Honestly, his handsome face made me forgot how bland my food was.

“How’s my favorite patient? He asked, kissing my cheek.

“I’m your only patient.” I said flippantly.

“There’s my sassy Lexy that I know and love! She’s back!” He said exaggeratedly.

I hesitated for a second, not knowing what to do with the L- word bomb, but decided to let it slide.

I rolled my eyes and continued eating. “I miss Bart’s barbecue.” I said, groaning about the food.

“Your wish is my command.” He said, holding up a paper bag with a familiar logo.

“OMG! Is that Pablo’s cheese tart?” I asked, completely setting aside my tasteless lunch.

Leo, amused at my eagerness, immediately put the cheesy gooey goodness at my tray.

“It’s not barbecue but I was told you loved this.” Leo said confidently.

He was right. We had them in Indonesia and they were heavenly.

“Ahh!” I closed my eyes and moaned as the chilled goodness touched my taste buds. “How did you get this?” I asked, since Pablo’s branches are only located in parts of Asia.

“Bart, a portable chiller, and a favor from a pilot friend.” He said dismissively.

“Thank you.” I said sincerely. No one has gone to such lengths just to make me happy before. “C’mere” I said, motioning for him to get closer. I took a big spoonful of the tart and offered it to him. He took a bite without taking the spoon in my hand.

“It’s really good.” He said as he sat beside me. I leaned into him as we ate in silence.

“By the way, Bart also plans to take his residency here.” He said after we finished the cheese tart.

“Really?” I exclaimed. He and Mina must be more serious that I thought.

“Yep. He was the one who gave me the tart earlier. He also had a talked with the Director. He wanted to talk to you but you’re with Liz.” He smiled and continued, “I told him to come back later so he’ll probably be here before dinner.”

 “But… Did your uncle agree with it?”

He chuckled, “Bart has to go back after his residency. That’s the only deal he gave him.”

“And you? Do you have to go back after a year?”

“Not really.” He said vaguely.

I looked at him intently. I had a feeling that there was something he’s not telling me, but decided to let it go, at least for now.

We were interrupted by frantic knocks on the door. I chuckled since I got a feeling who might be behind it.

“Surprise!”

My friends did not even give us an opportunity to reply. They just barged in.

They came bearing balloons, flowers, cakes, fruits, and some of my things. I stared gaping at them, as they did whirlwind of activities, not even stopping for a second to acknowledge our presence. They were like a force of nature - nothing could stop them.

In no time, the balloons were placed near the windows, the flowers were beautifully arranged in the small corner table, where some of my favorite books are also displayed. The cakes and fruits were place on the table near the bed, where plates and utensils were also piled up.

“Gee, come on in, settle down.” I said sarcastically.

They laughed uneasily. That’s when I noticed that they were holding their breath, afraid of what my reaction would be.

“It’s okay guys. I’m fine now.” I assured them, smiling so that they would believe me.

Cate, Mina, Carly, Jen, and Chloe let out a sigh of relief and promptly sat with me on the bed while Ana walked and sat near the window.

“Don’t ever do that again! You nearly gave us a heart attack!” Carly scolded, looking at me like she wanted to throttle me.

I grimaced but was really touched that they care for me that much.

“And what happened? Were you sick? Did you have a bird flu or something?” Chloe added.

 I shook my head at her and smiled sadly. I know they must have heard about my condition but chose to let me decide if I wanted to acknowledge it or not. I was sure that if I told them that I just had a flu, they would accept it. They knew it was not the truth, but they would accept my choice, to keep my condition to myself, no matter what.

I felt Leo’s hand on my back, I looked at him and saw support, and not pressure, in his eyes. He was silently supporting whatever decision I made.

I took a deep breath, and made my decision.

“It was not a flu…” I said, then continued as objectively as I could, “I was severely dehydrated due to depression from a psychological trauma. It was triggered after we arrived from Asia.”

They looked at me with sympathy and concern, not a trace of surprise on their faces.

“I cannot tell you the details of my trauma… at least not right now.” I said apologetically.

“Why Lexy? Don’t you trust us?” Ana said, feeling hurt.

I reached for Leo’s hand, needing strength to face my friends. The old me would just flat out lie and would refuse to trust them, eventually burning bridges with them. But I like my friends and I feel like I could trust them. I just needed time to adjust and process things on my own.

 “It’s not that I don’t trust you… It’s just that, I’m still learning to trust again… to trust anyone. I tried to pretend that it did not happen to me, I tried avoiding it for a long time, that when it came back… I was overwhelmed… the pain, the memories, the fear, the anger… I-I couldn’t process them anymore.” I said, my eyes watering.

I felt Leo hugged me and I tightened my hold on his hand in return. My friends’ bewildered faces gaped at me.

 “I am going to tell everything, I promise. Just, right now, please let me be stronger, and face it on my own.” I pleaded.

I saw Jen, Cate, and Chloe wipe their tears. Mina and Ana looked at me with understanding.

“We’ll support your decision, Lexy.” Jen said. “Just remember that we are here, okay? You don’t have to face it all alone. If you feel overwhelmed, call us. We’ll be there for you.”

“Just know that if you need to bury a body, just tell us and we’ll bury it with you.” Carly added.

I chuckled, grateful for her trying to lighten the mood. “Thank you.” I said earnestly.

In this short amount of time, I understood what real friendship is. It was never prideful nor spiteful. It was supporting each other without prejudice and judgment. It was understanding, trust, and patience.

I never had nor wanted a lot of friends, a few friends like them were enough for me to last a lifetime.


© Copyright 2017 abby remo. All rights reserved.

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