XIII

141 6 3

Two weeks later

Zen's P.O.V:

"And then this lady forgot her son's birth certificate, I had to look through the whole obstetrics and maternity ward just to find her on her way out the hospital, so it was a close one." She kept on telling me how her day went.

Still listening to her was quite boring. She is nice and all, but she isn't Jillian. How pathetic it seems now, still thinking of a person who practically gave up on the whole concept of my existence. Enjoying the Mediterranean sun, claiming that she is quite depressed, when all she needed was a vacation.

I met, Tiana, under my mother's persistence. After her incessant nagging urging me to move on already, I did, well not technically, but I began seeing Tiana a week ago. She is an OBGYN and quite loved by her patients. Black hair, tanned complexion, brown eyes. Not the stormy grey eyes that have not yet escaped my memory. They are technically engraved in my brain.

I gave up on the idea that Jillian will miraculously realize that I am truly the love of her life. That we belong together. That childish outlandish concept that made me swallow my pride and keep contact. Yet after our last phone call, I was the last thing she needed, or last thing she thought of. Tiana was compassionate, kind, respectful, intelligent, and quite attractive. So why not? If Jillian doesn't want me others might, apparently Tiana does.

I never gave up on us. It might seem I had moved on, but who am I kidding? I didn't, I just had to. I was pushed into this. She said she needed a break, from us, to fix herself in order to fix us. I guess she just needed a way out, knowing I was a sucker that I would give her whatever she wanted. I still would. I found myself regressing, back to the old Zen, where all I cared about was work, and relied on functionality and order to sustain. Not my heart. Not my soul. I used those, look where they've gotten me, back to square one.

One day, while I was picking up Tiana for our lunch from the pediatric ward (she had a patient to check up on) I was passing by the nursery display, this window where anyone can see the newborns. I just started staring at those newborns, a brand new person, receptive to this new world. Untouched, unharmed, innocent, and clean. Tiny fingers and toes, and all I wanted was to hold one. I felt this need to actually want one.

"They are adorable aren't they?" Tiana interrupting my daze.

"Yes, they are." And all I was thinking about was a child, a part of me. Half my DNA, possibly half of my quirks. For the first time in what I felt was a long time, I forgot about those haunting grey eyes.

Jillian's P.O.V

"You cannot be serious, I just can't do that!" I practically yelled my protest.

"You can Jillian, don't you trust me?" Kalon at his feeble attempt at reverse psychology.

"Nice try Kalon, it's not going to work"

"Jillian how bad can it be? Just do it and I guarantee you will thank me later" he said with a smirk. "By the way, you said it was on that list of yours I am just assisting."

"It's not on the concise list, so it doesn't count." And I smirked, this inevitable habit I picked up from Kalon.

The wind was hauling and nearly pushed us off the cliff. Yes, Kalon is insisting I dive off this very steep cliff, he refers to it as an "exhilarating experience" and that this opportunity should not be missed. Yes cliff diving was on the list, but not in Santorini. I guess that's the thing about opportunities, they come in different forms-not the ones we expect or plan for- they come across ludicrous or obscure, but actually they are the ones that save us. Kalon was an opportunity. Yet Cecilia completely disagrees.

I stared off the edge, the crystal clear water uncovering its most profound aquatic secrets, and wondered: should I really do this? Go through with something I did not plan? This unfamiliar territory of spontaneity has got my wires crossed and it always leaves me in limbo.

And there he was with his broad proud shoulders, urging me to go ahead with this. With him I only remembered laughter, spontaneous trips to places only he knew and I didn't, his carefree spirit, his surprising intellect... I looked at him unsure, hesitant.

"Jilly this is a great experience, just let go! And it's all downhill from there...no pun intended."

I took a deep breath, asserted my stance, and then jumped. The wind caught up in my lungs, and from this height I found the capability to breathe. I plunged into the depths and let myself go, the water surrounding me, embracing me, welcoming me to its world. I did not struggle or fight the water, I welcomed it. I floated for a while, then I swam my way to the surface. Kalon was yelling his lungs out, "SERIOUSLY JILLIAN?!"

I started laughing! Uncontrollable, hyena-adjacent laugh! I laughed and kicked and writhed in the water, then started teasing Kalon about worrying about me! He kept scowling inducing this deep engrave between his eyebrows, which come to think of it is quite adorable.

"Oh come on! You were like 'enjoy the water and experience' blah blah blah. Stop acting like my MOM and join me!"

Then as if I offered a barking dog a bone, his anger subsided and he jumped.

We spent the entire afternoon, like the last month, together. We swam and floated talking about a multitude of things, he took me to this Greek restaurant near the port that sold this incredible fish, and then we just walked.

"Jillian?"

"Yes Kalon?" unaware of that look in his eyes. This look that I was so foreign to. He slipped his hand across my arm, "Beautiful Jillian" he almost whispered. I was unable to predict what he was going to do next. . I wasn't guarded, I wasn't repulsed, or worried, I smiled. He then smiled. I was on track with his train of thoughts. I looked into his ocean blue eyes not noticing that he himself was the sea. Wild, untamed, so filled with mystery and wonder. Yet at the same time he was beautiful, calm and serine. The grey of the storm with the blue of the ocean. He came closer drawing me nearer in the process. I found myself pulled to him with my own sheer will. I held his hands and felt their softness. I stood on the tips of my toes to reach him. He was smiling as he drew his face nearer to mine. Inches, centimeters, and then millimeters apart. And there, in Santorini, with the night throwing its cloak around us I kissed him with all that's left of me. His arms around my waist, the night around us, the spontaneity and near recklessness. It just felt odd. I couldn't fathom why.

After that I ran back to Cecilia, I wanted to tell my best friend everything! From the dive to the plunge; the kiss with Kalon.

As I entered our room, I saw the clothes, the bags. She was packing!

"Cecilia where are you going!?" the first sentence I could manage.

"Jillian I can't stay here anymore! Greece has done nothing for me other than rehash old bitter memories I'd rather not remember! Greece to some people might sound like a pleasant idea; the perfect getaway. Many places mean that to many people. Yet to some, these places are the worst idea ever, painful and must be avoided. From the absence of feeling, to feelings of anger, distain, and pure unadulterated hate and discomfort. Jillian I know that look and I know it very well. Please don't harbor feelings, build plans with someone that I guarantee you, won't stick around to fulfil them. You are, like the rest of them, a passing whim. He will grow tired of you and will replace you with a newer model. He is attracted to anything with a pulse. A regular hound dog." She sighed, "Just ask a former victim of his playboy ways."

"Anyways, I'm leaving. To France. Like we planned. If you are through with this whimsical delusion of a man, we will meet up in Thailand. You finish your other purposes and I will finish mine. Don't reconsider. Don't depend on a man for happiness. This is a pit stop, not our ultimate destination. So look elsewhere."

She was leaving and as she was leaving I asked: "what did he ever do to you?"

She answered:" that is a question only he should answer." And with that she was out the door and off to France, leaving me frazzled and filled with unanswered questions about the mystery that is the sea.

Escaping The LoopRead this story for FREE!