Ashley quietly stood up and left, while Henry decided to follow her after a few tense moments of being left with Rico and his sick dad.
“Son, you’ve always been hard on people who love you. Be careful, tomorrow they won’t be there for you.”
“I don’t care about anyone else as long as I have you dad, and I have this hospital. I’ll be alright.” His dad kept quiet because a fierce searing pain hit his left side. He sucked in for breath and paled.
“Dad please, do it for me. Take this medicine so that you can rest for a while. I promise you I’ll do anything I can for you to wake up tomorrow and see JC, if he really decides to come and see you.”
His father couldn’t speak because of the pain and only nodded.
Rico expertly administered a dose of pain killer and stood beside his father as he battled with his own body’s spasms of pain. After a while his father managed to look at him as the drug began to take its effect.
“Rico, somehow I don’t believe what you said a while ago. Promise me you won’t let go of Ashley, she’s the best thing that happened to you.”
Rico don't know how to answer his father but he didn’t have to because his dad finally fell asleep.
Dina Caliente was a popular runway model in Europe and USA. Although she's appeared on different magazines, she still felt she isn't famous enough. There's always someone thinner, taller, and prettier than her. She decided to sideline as an expensive toy of the rich middle aged men who regarded her as part of their achievements in life once they got her to bed with them.
This fed her appetite for luxury until she fell in love with a notorious playboy Don Lothario. The feeling was mutual and Dina stopped her sideline with rich and powerful men because Don is a jealous and possesive lover.
Until one day she met JC Deneza, she immediately set herself to have JC and promptly left the devastated Don Lothario. But JC is used to beautiful, sophisticated, and high-end women. He turned her down which hurt her ego.
She followed him to Manila, the capital of the small South East country Philippines. The fashion world discovered Dina Caliente in one exclusive party, and she immediately became a sensation.
The Filipinos love and adore anything American and Dina was flooded with TV commercial projects, magazine covers, and runways spots. She never left the little country again.
But Dina found it hard to forget her inclination for easy money, and she resumed her old life of prostituting herself to wealthy old Filipino men and foreign businessmen who frequented Philippines.
But JC always remained in her mind.
And she was ecstatic when she heard that JC is back in town.
She's going to do everything just to make JC fall in love with her.
Emily and JC entered her cutting room which also functioned as a storage room of sorts. She opened the bulb light and JC’s gaze immediately focused on a beautifully made wedding gown.
“Emily, it’s beautiful. I really mean it; your business must be thriving.”
“Yes it is JC, thank you I’m glad you like it.”
JC smiled at the petite woman standing beside him.
“I’ve underestimated you.” He said with a smile.
“Well I don’t blame you, you’re used to the world of couture after all.”
JC once again kept quiet, he knows Emily brought him here for another reason.
“Listen JC, this is exactly the 36th wedding dress I’ve made, can you believe it?”
JC is amused with her childlike candor.
“When it comes to you little girl, everything is possible.”
Emily almost blushed with what JC said, but she continued with what she had to say.
“At first I was the last choice of clients, the cheaper sewer who won’t charge much. I was the hole-stopper. But that didn’t stop me, I worked with each customer and listened with what they really wanted and tried my best to deliver more than what they expected.”
Emily seemed entranced and unaware of her surroundings; she’s really focused on choosing the right words to say to JC while at the same time digging deep inside of her for her to be clear with what she has to say to the man beside her.
“Then it happened”, Emily continued “people really liked my dresses and started referring me to their friends, colleagues, and relatives.” Emily smiled wistfully. “I don’t know when or how exactly but the next thing I know I was the buzzword for formal dresses, I even got featured on a local paper.” Emily saw in her head the countless women who were ecstatic over her work.
“For the first time in my life, it was the clients who urged me to charge higher fees and I did. Not only that, I had to turn down many because I just couldn’t finish them all.” Emily looked at JC, who remained silent while she talked.
“I’m sorry JC, I probably bored you to tears.”
“No,not at all. Go on I’m listening, I know how to listen now…”
“You should have seen those women; there was a lot of cattiness just to be the first on my list of clients, unbelievable!” Emily said with incredulity. “And every time I had to turn one customer down, why I could swear they wanted to cry!” Emily genuinely finds it odd that they would feel that way about her that much.
Emily searched his face for scorn and not finding any laughed a little with JC’s nugget of truth about her.
“Well, the JC Deneza that I know would probably have no problem courting investors to finance his business, and hired workers to cope with the growing demand!”
Emily laughed and JC followed suit since she was exactly right about that observation about him.
“Correct, but I would have had advertised heavily on the local media too.”
They smiled at each other, but Emily soon remembered her original purpose on why she’s telling JC all of this.
“You know, I poured my heart and soul with each and every dress I made, and I felt I died a little every time a dress would leave this place with a happy client.”
Emily looked directly in the eyes of JC.
“So you see JC, that’s when I realized that what I did, wh-when I professed my “love” to you---“
JC frowned. “Emily-“
Emily pleaded. “Please JC, for once don’t interrupt me.”
“You’re right, I’m sorry Emily. Please go on.” JC took a step back and steeled himself to remain calm and to listen with what Emily had to say to him.
Emily felt a sort of clarity inside her, and it also felt like her emotions about this were a tightly rolled string is starting to be unwoven, thus making her feel better. She felt no anger or embarrassment at all even if she is admitting to JC her booboos with him in the past, her unrequited love for him, or so she thought at that time to be love.
“I knew then, that I fell in love with you not because I truly loved you. I realized I just involved myself too much with a task that a friend asked me to help with, and it was a big mistake to make.” Emily tried to read JC’s face but he seemed unaffected neither negatively or positively. She forced herself to go on, but the truth is it’s not easy for her at all.
“I now realize I was selfish JC, I saw you were beautiful just like the dresses that I make and wanted to have you all for myself. In fact I was naïve, foolish, and a busy-body.” Emily heaved a sigh of relief now that she’s finished, she truly felt cleansed when she finally said what she wanted to tell him a long time ago.
“You don’t hate me anymore?” JC carefully asked.
“Yes, I don’t hate you anymore!” Emily said animatedly.
But JC frowned which confused Emily because she expected him to be happy with what she said, and this made her nervous. She knows JC has a short temper and it's difficult to talk to him once he's mad.
“Look JC, it’s the truth! In fact I should be the one to ask for forgiveness from you,” JC raised his eyebrows, he seemed to mock her bold confession. Emily eagerly tries to convince him. “ I mean it JC, I now know we would never have been a couple, God it would have been disaster."
"I was green, unexposed to your world, poor as a rat, have no college degree, while you—well you were YOU- rich, popular with society women, crazy, ruthless, constantly angry, a jerk---“ JC only shrugged his shoulders. “I would have been miserable with you!”
JC seemed pricked with Emily’s description of him; he is after all all too human not to be slighted with her negative assessment. But still, he was cooler than most men in accepting her statement. And he knows Emily is just being Emily, clueless and unaware a lot of times with her surroundings. All he could do is shrug but he did say sardonically:
“Well, is that all little miss? And I’m glad to know that your sharp tongue is still very much alive, it’s touching really.”
Emily realized he's not angry at all and opted to ignore his sarcasm.
“So you see JC, we really have nothing to talk about since everything is forgiven, on my side at least.” Emily really seemed proud of herself and she perkily signaled to him that they should go back.
“Oh, JC what did you say you needed my help for?” Emily turned quizzically to JC.
“Let’s talk inside; I think you’ll need your coffee.” And this time it's JC who's leading the way.
Emily has a feeling he is being evasive.
To be continued...
- Current Mood: bouncy