VII

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Two weeks later

Jillian's P.O.V:

Three hours delay. How I hate delayed flights. The weather doesn't always accommodate traveling, in our case it's quite disgruntled.

Two weeks ago. Seems like a year ago. The night Cecilia asked me why I hadn't done anything on the list yet. Suddenly as if the separate individual ideas I had those passing months recollected and molded into one: why not?

The days following that night went by very fast. I got rid of everything. The thought of letting go looked appealing so I went for it. Ran for it. I sold my apartment, which yes caused some distress to my already concerned parents. Quit my job, since "indefinite vacation" was out of question. I signed over the pharmacy to my parents, once I realized I no longer wanted it. I even sold my BMW which I worked so hard to pay for. Materials. All materials. I no longer found use for.

That night, I looked over the list again. And again. Once more with Cecilia. We looked over the clippings, and reviewed and concise the list. Ten in total. Five for me and five for Cecilia. Location wise we decided on six locations. Three in common, two for me, and one for Cecilia. I did not mind adding more locations for Cecilia but she insisted on just one saying "it's all I need", some lavender field in France. She didn't tell me why that place especially, and I never asked.

Three hours delayed. A baby crying its lungs out. A gassy 'gentleman' sitting in the seat opposed to me. A silent distant Cecilia. I looked around and saw many scenarios. People leaving and saying goodbye to dear ones, people greeting loved ones. Happiness, joy, longing, farewells, greetings...

"What did your parents say when you told them you were leaving?" I asked while still staring at the scenes in front of me.

"They said that I should take care and enjoy my vacation...funny though they were happier I was leaving than going on a 'vacation'"

"I don't think so, maybe they are genuinely happy you might get out of your depression."

She stared ahead, then nodded, "I am not going for myself, we are going for you, that's it" she answered authoritatively.

Were we really?

I peered my head to view the digital board displaying the flights, still two and a half hours left. I let out a frustrated sigh and stayed in my seat. The woman next to me, to my left, was reading "The Alchemist".

Without realizing I said out loud "He goes back to the church where he came from" I said nonchalantly.

The woman looked at me and stayed silent for a moment, probably absorbing the fact that I ruined the ending for her.

"Well that's interesting, never expected that. Must have been some plot twist. Interesting." She said and attempted to continue reading, "I just ruined the ending, what's the point really? Continuing the book despite knowing the ending." What was the point? She was so willing to continue the book, despite knowing that the main character goes back to square one.

"Well I have to know how he got there again. It's not the destination really, it's the journey. The author did not write 200 and something pages just to reach the ending. Not all fairy tales have 'once upon a time' and 'the end' stuck together. There are heroes, villains, and morals to be learned. That's why we read books. That's why we live despite the knowledge that we all die in the end." She smiled and continued reading.

Cecilia overheard our conversation, "well that was quite...philosophical" she managed to mutter. I felt my cellphone vibrate in my pocket, I took it out and without realizing I answered, that reflex I always had when we were together.

"Hello?" I said although I knew who was on the other line.

"Hey Jillian, how have been?" His familiar voice asked.

"I am fine I guess...how have you been? Why are you even calling?"

"I wanted to check up on you. Your mother updated me on recent events."

"It's not in your place to call my mother and ask about me, we are no longer together Zen."

The truth to my words and the tone of delivery cemented that fact. We are no longer together, and I felt nothing. I looked at the digital board. Two hours left.

Zen's P.O.V:

Two weeks. Two weeks. The farthest we have been apart in 3 years. I missed her.

Whether depressed state or normal state. I missed her.

When I showed up at work without my engagement ring on, people started consoling me for our breakup 'there will be others you are young and successful such a great catch' or the classic phrase 'there are other fish in the sea'. Well she was the earth and sky for me how could anyone say that?

Now wherever I go women attempt advances towards me. Flirtatious women. Jillian was never flirtatious and never premeditated advances.

Jillian with her pale skin, dark hazel hair, and storm grey eyes. No comparison. Whether I was love struck or heart broken, she is like no other. Her mother had spoken to me about what she had done lately. Everything she worked for she let go of. Everything she achieved she gave away. When I called her mother again, I had also learned she was leaving the country, I asked if it was for a definite period of time for that her mother had no answer. I had to speak to her. I dialed her number and prayed she had not turned her phone on airplane mode yet.

A ring, two, she answered.

"Hello?" she answered.

Ever had that feeling when you sense this clutch upon your heart? This nauseating feeling where your whole world depended on a certain voice like a life line, a salvage? She was and always will be my sole life line, the only voice that can hoist me from oblivion.

I choked on my words, unable to collect my thoughts, "Hey Jillian, how have you been?"

"I am fine I guess...how have you been? Why are you even calling?" she asked inquisitorially.

"I wanted to check up on you. Your mother updated me on recent events." I answered truthfully.

"It's not in your place to call my mother and ask about me, we are no longer together Zen."

Stranger. She was speaking to me as if I was a stranger.

"I am aware of that Jillian, but I do care about you and I am concerned. Never took you to give up."

"You don't have to anymore Zen. I told you. I relieved you and myself from this engagement you ca..." that's when I had to interrupt. I was enraged with her lack of concern and her nonchalant matter of speech. Didn't three years mean anything to her? Was I nothing? A bleak and naïve man in love and never loved in return? A distraction? A pawn? A toy?

"Jillian! You cannot treat me as if I was never close to you! You never spoke like that to your worst enemies let alone your fiancé who YOU eliminated your engagement with! All I am asking is some level of sincerity and truth between us! Not marriage, not intimacy, no commitment", then my rage turned to desperation, "all I am asking is friendship."

There was a moment of silence. Neither one of us spoke. Then she broke the silence.

"I am going to Greece."

"Why Greece?"

"My reasons are my reasons Zen. I will allow this. Out of the fondness of our memories together. Other than that there will be limits."

I could not be apart from her. Any kind of relationship with her is better than no relationship at all. I had to agree. I needed to agree.

"Of course Jillian."

Then she said she had to get ready for her flight and closed the line.

I held the phone for a while. If this miserable state of desperation I am in resembles even a quarter of what she is going through, I pray that she is freed from it.

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