XXVIII

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Track for chapter: Wicked-Boy Epic

Jillian's P.O.V:

"It's weird though" Cecilia said all of a sudden while we were having coffee.

"What a year could do"

"Funny, I was thinking the same thing a few days ago."

We were both pensive for a while.

"Are you happy now Jillian?"

That question that seems to haunt me. Issued so many times towards me. What will I answer? I am. I truly am. Yet I didn't actually escape the loop completely. I just moved to another one. I am ashamed of my answers now. Neither did they do me justice, nor did they do my life justice. No one can actually escape routine. It's a chronic state. The escape is temporary.
Yet I guess sticking to the routine you love differs. You happily wake up, with a grateful heart, and go on with the day.

I do. Every day.

I am happy with what I have accomplished, and I am grateful beyond words.

It's easier for Cecilia though.

Last night, we were having supper, discussing the clinic, news from home, and tomorrow's schedule. All of a sudden, "I'm pregnant"
Our jaws smacked the floor. Huh?

"Cici...darling..." Vincent shocked as the rest of us.

"I wanted to tell you...I had to make sure..."

Vincent got up from his chair and rapidly hugged Cecilia.

"I feel like I am intruding" Kalon so clearly.

"Spot on My observational friend"

I was happy. Man I was happy! I was going to be an aunt.

Yet Kalon did recognize something. We were intruding. They are starting this little beautiful family, and we were...not actually in it. I love Cecilia with all my broken heart, and I am so happy for her. She got the happy ending she deserved. I prayed that she would, and now she has. But why dammit is this plague of envy consuming my heart? Why this bitter feeling? Why is this happening? Why aren't I completely...content?

We opened the bottle of wine Vincent got the last time he went to Provence, said our congratulations, "Getting the beer?"
As if he read my mind, "Right on it."

We both woke up with the worst hang over.

Back to the present...

"I am Cici. I am."

"Honest?"

"As honest as I can be." And i smiled. This shaky uncertain smile. She knew that for sure, she knew me better than anyone. She knew I was, but not completely.

"I am going to call mom okay? Going to the hospital today?" I asked.

"I don't know...Vincent doesn't want me to see gynecologists here. He wants to go back to Provence. He wants me to have the baby there."

"You're leaving?"

"I think I have to."

"What will I do without you then? "

"You'll do fine darling. You have done wonderfully till now."

"You're a part of it Cici. Without you, I wouldn't have done anything."

"You would've. Stop underestimating yourself. You have done more than you can even comprehend. Be proud of yourself."

I didn't know if I should.

It's lonely.

I am fine being married to my career. To hold on to it as solace through lonely nights.

"I miss him Cecilia...why am I still in this pathetic state. I know he is married, and probably has a child right now, but I can't help it! It's as if someone else is living my life...and at the same time I know I wouldn't have settled....it's pathetic and at the same time necessary. I don't know how but it is. Maybe someday someone will end this throbbing loneliness and mend this ache. But what do I know right?"

She looked at me, sympathetically.

No words. No assurances. No guarantees.

She listened and nodded.

Like she always does. Never knowing what to say.

Cecilia's P.O.V:

Two days ago...

"You did WHAT?"

"I had to"

"It's nothing. I don't think he'll even see it."

As a best friend you tend to meddle. As a best friend you memorize best friend's signature.
Yes in cases it's forgery. But not in this one.

Kalon is upset that I sent a notice to a couple of hospitals we knew in different countries under semi-false pretenses. Semi.

We did need more doctors. We did.

And familiar doctors are more than welcome.

"We need more staff. We spoke of this a few days ago remember?"

"Seriously Cici? Why, one of the many hospitals, that had to be one of them? She just started to get used to the idea of not having him. She ju..."

"But nothing. She is miserable. You men don't notice. Jillian is a sister to me. I notice. She is cute convincing herself that this, what she has done and where we are, is her ultimate happiness. She's 30 and alone. She loves him."

"he's married Cecilia!"

"No he isn't"

"Huh?"

"He isn't. And i bet you, on anything you want to bet on, he is going to come straight here. He is as miserable as her. Ask her mother. He is desperate for news. He wants her. She wants him."

"And if it doesn't work? What if he never shows up?"

"Well she doesn't know. So zero expectations, and zero disappointment." I answered with confidence.

Never doubt a woman's intuition. I knew he will be at that clinic, and she will be the one to interview him, and all that shall be will fall into place.

Hopefully...

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