The Story Of Us – Chapter 26

Scroll. Scroll. Scroll.

‘Model Scott has been kicked out from his jobs.’

“Read,” Ken said.

Scroll.

‘Supermodel Rainie and Model Scott: Relationship ended’

“Read,” Ken said.

Scroll.

“Hmmm,”

He holds the mouse and pushes it for the cursor to go over the search bar. He then typed in ‘Scott and Rainie’ and pressed the ‘Search’ button.

Search results loaded.

He clicked on one of the search results and read.

‘Supermodel Rainie is in a relationship with a male model, Scott. Who is Scott actually? Nobody knows him until now. He has been in modeling industry for 3 years…’

DING!

Ken’s eyes strayed as he looked at the blinking message on the taskbar. Vic. He clicked on the message from a messenger.

Vic@Messenger: It’s 2am. Still awake?

Ken replied the message.

Ken@Messenger: Still browsing some stuffs. And you?

Vic@Messenger: I just finished my report for the fashion show.

Ken@Messenger: It’s been a week since the fashion show. You only finished your work now?

Vic@Messenger: I am not free like you. I only have time at night to do this. I have a lot to fix in the office and put into the logs for one fashion show. I don’t have staffs, don’t you forget. So I have to do everything on my own. Given your capability and the time, I guess you can finish the report in 3 hours. I should have hired you to do the report for me.

Ken@Messenger: Haha. I might. As long as you pay me.

Vic@Messenger: You are doing this for friend and you still want me to pay?

Ken@Messenger: You should know my condition. I need money. I need job. Haha. So for you, I will still to charge you.

Vic@Messenger: And you are doing it for free for Rainie.

Ken@Messenger: Haha. I owe it to her since the accident. No choice.

Vic@Messenger: She said it is not your fault.

Ken@Messenger: It is indeed not my fault she crossed the road without waiting for the green light. But still, it is just a part of my responsibilities.

Vic@Messenger: Just the Ken I knew.

Ken@Messenger: 🙂

Vic@Messenger: Where’s Rainie?

Ken@Messenger: It’s 2am like you’ve said. Of course she’s asleep.

Vic@Messenger: Yeah. It’s 2am. So late and you are still not asleep, saying you are browsing stuff. Are you sure? Don’t tell me you are drawing those ugly stuffs on a bandage right now.

A small laugh slipped Ken’s mouth.

Ken@Messenger: I’m seriously browsing.

Vic@Messenger: You could be lying. I don’t know.

Ken@Messenger: I won’t be getting anything if I lied to you.

Vic@Messenger: That’s why. Won’t take too much of your effort to lie to me. You get nothing from lying… and not lying.

Ken@Messenger: Haha. Where’s Winnie?

Vic@Messenger: She had slept since 11.30pm.

Ken@Messenger: No wonder you’re so free to look for me.

Vic@Messenger: Free? I just finished my work.

Ken@Messenger: You don’t have to repeat.

Vic@Messenger: So, have you thought about it?

Ken@Messenger: About what?

Vic@Messenger: The things we’ve talked a week ago. That was the last time we’ve talked anyway.

Ken@Messenger: What are ‘the things’?

Vic@Messenger: Your feelings towards Rainie.

Ken stopped. He looked at the last statement as he felt the hot blood rush in his body.

Vic@Messenger: Why so quiet all of a sudden?

Ken looked at the message.

Vic@Messenger: I hit the jackpot, I supposed? A question that will silent Ken.

Ken@Messenger: Haha.

Vic@Messenger: So?

Ken@Messenger: What so?

Vic@Messenger: I assume you have acknowledged the presence of the feelings in your heart.

Ken@Messenger: I didn’t say anything.

Vic@Messenger: That is why I said you have acknowledged it. Or else, you would snap and fight with me in the first place if you don’t like her. You won’t just ignore.

Ken@Messenger: Dude. Why are you bombarding me with these?

Vic@Messenger: Plainly because you are my buddy. And Rainie is my friend too. Other than that, she is my colleague and also my girlfriend’s best friend. I do not want both of you messing around with each other’s feelings.

Ken@Messenger: Both?

Vic@Messenger: I have no idea about how she felt. But the way she reacted towards you is not the same as how she is to me.

Ken@Messenger: You are the designer, dude. You worked with her and you are her best friend’s boyfriend. Of course there’s difference.

Vic@Messenger: I don’t mean in that way. In terms of friendship, she is quite close with you.

Ken@Messenger: Maybe because she stays here with me. We talk about anything, seriously.

Vic@Messenger: It means she is comfortable with you.

Ken@Messenger: I assume so.

Vic@Messenger: Let’s not talk about her. Talk about you.

Ken@Messenger: I am just the same. Usual. Remain jobless. Spending the compensation money given to me by my former company.

Vic@Messenger: Do you like Rainie or not?

Ken stopped. His fingers froze.

He took a deep breath and he typed.

Ken@Messenger: If I say no, will you believe me?

Vic@Messenger: No.

Ken@Messenger: Didn’t that leave me with no choice? You won’t believe me if I say no.

Vic@Messenger: Because I am only taking YES as the answer.

Ken@Messenger: Don’t be ridiculous. I am not her kind.

Vic@Messenger: There you have it. YOU LIKE HER.

Ken throws his head back and took a deep breath before he lowered it back down.

YOU LIKE HER.

Those words typed by Vic displayed just right in front of him.

He probably had underestimated Vic, or rather, he didn’t know Vic is that smart as well to be able to see thru him – or his heart, or words in this case.

He closed his eyes for a while as he swallowed a lump in his throat and then he typed.

Ken@Messenger: Even if I am, it will not lead me to anywhere.

Vic@Messenger: Ken, just like Winnie had said, she like you to Rainie than Scott. I share the same sentiment. You are my buddy. I know what type of guy you are. And I even know what type of boyfriend you are. You are a good guy that every girl could ask for.

Every girl could ask for. The thought of Ken’s ex seeps into his mind.

Ken@Messenger: No matter how good I am, she cheated on me, remember?

Vic@Messenger: That is her fault. Not yours.

Ken@Messenger: There must be something about me that she doesn’t like, or else, she would not cheat.

Vic@Messenger: There is no such thing. Alright. Yes, probably. Does not mean it is applicable to every single person out there. Do you think you are at fault for her to cheat? Haven’t we talked about this topic thru and thru few years ago when your relationship with her was over?

Ken@Messenger: Even though it’s been years, it left me wondered what kind of problem that I had.

Vic@Messenger: Are you telling me you hadn’t moved on…?

Ken@Messenger: I did. You know I have moved on. It’s just that… past is still past. Does not mean it is not there.

Vic@Messenger: Then let me tell you. You have no problems at all. It’s just that you became workaholic and hardly spent time with her. Your fault is you became too attached to the job. That is the only fault you have which actually isn’t even a bad one. Because that means one thing: it means you are committed. And you became so committed to your job because you want to get promoted, learned more as time goes. You want to be a successful person. You want to have financial freedom and give her a better life. Isn’t that what every guy’s dream is? You are saving up your money because you want to buy a house for both of you. You work so hard for money. You don’t work hard because you want to lose her, right?

Ken took a deep breath as he reads.

Ken@Messenger: Yes.

Vic@Messenger: And her problem is, she doesn’t understand this. She wants someone who will be there with her, for her and she doesn’t even think about why you are working so hard for. She didn’t know what you were thinking. She never thought from your perspective. That is why she strayed and then cheats on you.

Ken took another deep breath.

Vic@Messenger: Look at me. I am a workaholic too. But Winnie knows why I work so hard. Because fashion is my passion. But I also make sure I have time for her. And if I can’t, I’ll explained to her why and I promised her I’ll spent time with her when I am free. You don’t know these kinds of things until I tell you now. And the good thing is, Winnie has a career too. Not like your ex. That is why Winnie understands why and what I am so busy with and about. No matter how busy I am, I will try to spend some time with her. That is how I sustain my relationship. You need to know you are not alone. Everyone has their own ways of maintaining a relationship. Communication and trust are important. I truly think that this is lacking in your previous relationship.

Ken did not respond.

Vic@Messenger: Look. Whatever it is, that is your previous relationship. She didn’t appreciate you, she didn’t cherish you. That is not your problem, and strictly not your fault that she cheats on you. No matter what you do, there is strictly no acceptable reason for her to cheat on you. If she is unhappy and wants to be with someone else, she better breaks up with you than cheat on you with another. So, do you get me now? You did no wrong. What I can tell you is, Rainie is different. She also has a career, in fact, an ultimate one since she is a supermodel. So if you became a workaholic and committed to your job, she will understand.

Ken lowered his head slightly, before his eyes went back to the screen as another message popped up.

Vic@Messenger: I hate to say this but I need to get it out from my mind. It hasn’t been fair to you regarding your job. At the end of the day, you worked for nothing. Did you get extra money? Did you get promoted REALLY quickly due to that? And looked at what happened! Your company fires you after all the years you’ve contributed because the company is not performing well. You lost your relationship because of your job. Do you think it’s worth it?

Ken reads the statements over and over again.

Vic@Messenger: Just my piece of advice, in near future, when you have a new job, do learn to balance between your job and relationship. They are both equally important to you. Someday you will be old and need to retire from your job, but you will stay with your partner until you die.

Ken closed his eyes for a while as he digested the words in his mind.

Vic@Messenger: I am typing this with no relation to what I have typed above. You can change and get a better job, and of course, you can also get a better girlfriend in the future, which is what everyone said. But there is a hidden truth. Let’s say you have a really nice girlfriend and you felt that you want a better one. Fine. Go ahead, break up and find one if you can get it. Seriously, it is not easy for you to get one that clicks with you, have full chemistry with you, makes you feel different as a person and as a man as well as completes you. Well, you might get one. But sometimes when you let the best one leave, you won’t be able to get the same feeling again. By the time you regretted, she had already move on or found love with someone else. Sometimes I feel that love is like a game. You are given one but you will be left wondering if she is the one. I have seen a lot of people, they said their current girlfriend is not good enough, and then they search again. And do you know who they end up with now? No one. And some even ended up with more compromises need to be made. My point is, sometimes if you let the better girl go, you won’t know when you will meet another better than the better one. Not everyone will be given a second chance. And it is always a gamble. You may meet a better one. But to some, better one will never come because they already let the best one go. But I believe, for you, the better one has come: at the next door.

Ken@Messenger: I didn’t know you would say all these things.

Vic@Messenger: Because I sensed something about you and Rainie. I do not want you to regret. Like I’ve said, sometimes I felt that love is like a game. You need to play the game to know if she is the right one. Time will tell you if she is not. As to your previous relationship, you already played. You’ve tried. It didn’t work. It wasn’t your fault she cheated. I don’t doubt that she won’t cheat if you had not been a workaholic. And imagine if you’d married her, and then she cheats on you. How would you feel?

Ken@Messenger: That sucks.

Vic@Messenger: Isn’t it better to know this right now, than later?

Ken didn’t know what to respond.

Vic@Messenger: I also sensed that you are afraid to love, maybe because of what had happened to your previous relationship. Do not dwell in your past. She is no longer with you. Right now, in front of you, there is a potential girl for you. A girl that I felt has more chemistry with you than the previous one did. This is a better chance for you to fix yourself and give all you could to a new relationship and make it work. This is like you are giving yourself another chance. I am sure you do not want to regret someday that you never tried. Never try, never know. If you’ve tried and it didn’t work, you have one thing less to regret. At least you knew you’ve tried. Rainie is really a nice person and I want her to be with a nice person. And you are a really kind person and I want you to be with someone who is nice too. And then I noticed both of you… clicked almost instantly. Don’t worry too much, Ken. Don’t let your past hinders you and stop you from moving on.

Ken@Messenger: Vic.

Vic@Messenger: Hmm?

Ken@Messenger: You have answered only half of what my heart feels.

Vic@Messenger: Half? What is the other half’s concern?

Ken wondered how to continue, and then he typed.

Ken@Messenger: You have been asking me to go after her. But have you thought about what she feels? What if she doesn’t like me? What if she is just treating me as a friend, or a confidante because she just lost Scott?

He waited for Vic to respond, and Vic didn’t. He continued typing.

Ken@Messenger: She is a very good person. A nice friend. I do not want to lose her as a friend. I do not want to risk, Vic. I do not want to risk losing her as a friend because she doesn’t have feelings for me. I am not willing to take the risk with her.

Vic@Messenger: If you don’t take the risk then you will never be able to find a partner for the rest of your life.

Ken@Messenger: Please don’t curse me. I don’t want it to happen either.

Ken closed his eyes and took a deep breath. He then opens it and then he typed.

Ken@Messenger: Seriously, so what if I like her? I am not comparable to her at all, Vic.

Vic@Messenger: I don’t understand. Please explain.

Ken@Messenger: She is a supermodel. A celebrity. I am just a plain normal human being leading a very normal, peaceful life. What will she see in me to even be with me?

Vic@Messenger: Oh my goodness, Ken. I couldn’t believe what I’ve just read!

Ken@Messenger: And read this as well. She is a high-paying celebrity who doesn’t need to stress about finances and gets to travel extensively and meet new people. And I am a jobless man who is surviving on my compensation and having tremendous stress because I can’t even secure more than two interviews, what’s more to say a job. There is nothing comparable between us. There is nothing about me that can make her proud. What kind of a man am I, if I can’t even have a job, or be able to support her? You are a man too, Vic. If you are not working, not earning, and not famous, what will you think when you walk next to Winnie?

Vic@Messenger: Ken, you are not going to be jobless forever. It is not that you want to be jobless. She knew you are looking for job.

Ken@Messenger: Problem is, that is not up to us. Whoever is with her will be written in the media. I do not want her to be involved in gossips that are not beneficial for her.

Vic@Messenger: If you are not taking chances, Scott is going to get her.

Ken stopped for a while, and then he typed his reply.

Ken@Messenger: According to what I know, Rainie will not get back to Scott.

Vic@Messenger: According to what Winnie and I know, we do think Rainie will not get back to Scott too. But Rainie is at her most fragile state now. She might tell you how determine she is that she won’t go back to him and all, but seriously, is that really the truth? We don’t really know how she is actually dealing with this. We will definitely try to stop her going back to him if there is ever a slightest desire in her mind, but at the end of the day, it is still Rainie’s choice. And don’t forget their two years’ relationship. Scott’s persuasion and persistent, along with their history may drive Rainie to go back to him. He needs her popularity right now.

Ken stopped again.

Vic@Messenger: You surf so much. Having so much of free time. I believe you read news. Have you read about his condition lately? For the last month, he has difficulty securing jobs. People discard him from the projects he was promised to land at. It was all because he is not famous, and he is no longer with Rainie, the famous supermodel, so people do not see a reason to hire him anymore. This is what the industry is all about. You get the advantage if you are famous, or you will get all the highlights and headlines if you are partnered with a famous superstar. Or you are just plain lucky to become famous from your artwork. Scott will get back to his feet once he gets back with Rainie. Do you want her to be snatched away just like that?

Ken@Messenger: I know about his condition. I only found out his condition a week ago. He was a nobody before he starts a relationship with Rainie 2 years ago. And the fact that he has been modeling for 3 years before he begins his relationship with Rainie and yet, nobody really noticed him until he gets a name at least, after he is with Rainie.

Vic@Messenger: How come you know so much? Rainie told you?

Ken@Messenger: I read.

Vic@Messenger: But recent news did not mention anything about his past…

Ken@Messenger: Just some old news.

Vic@Messenger: Wait.

Ken@Messenger: What?

Vic@Messenger: Don’t you tell me… you searched for her articles in the Internet, and read all these old, old articles that are backdated to 2 years ago when Scott started a relationship with Rainie?

Ken@Messenger: If I am, what’s wrong with that?

Vic@Messenger: *gasped*

Ken@Messenger: At least I know what type of person Scott is.

Vic@Messenger: Are you a stalker or what?!

Ken@Messenger: It just happened as I browse thru the recent news and read about them.

Vic@Messenger: Okay, I am not going to question more about your intention to search the articles. Since you already knew all of these, and you are probably smart enough to understand that one of the reasons Scott is hooking up with Rainie is because of her fame. Then why are you still letting things like this to happen?

Ken@Messenger: Believe me, Vic. If Rainie wants to get back with Scott, I have nothing to say. She is adult enough to decide things for herself.

Vic@Messenger: You do not want this to happen. Winnie and I are against Rainie from getting back with Scott because we felt that all Scott needed from Rainie is just her popularity. He will hurt her again. Or worst, Rainie will not get her well-deserved love.

Ken squeezed his nasal bridge.

Vic@Messenger: And let me tell you one more thing. Rainie takes utmost consideration and importance about her image. She indeed cannot stop what the media writes about her, but she can control what she perceives to the media. So far, she has been maintaining a really good reputation.

Ken@Messenger: What are you implying?

Vic@Messenger: Just as an example. If media found out that Scott is pleading Rainie to take him back but she doesn’t, the news might perceive Rainie as a not-forgiving person for not accepting Scott’s apology. So, in order not to let media write something like this, Rainie will go back to Scott.

Ken@Messenger: WHAT?! But he cheats on her! How is she supposed to take him back?

Vic@Messenger: To Rainie, if the media knew Scott cheats on her, they will definitely write Scott cheats on her, it will ruin his reputation but it will also ruin her reputation in a way they might point a finger at her, saying she picked the wrong partner or there is something about her that leads Scott to cheat on her. Can’t exactly control what the media writes but she is just being wary about them. Have you read any news in the Internet about Scott cheating on Rainie?

Ken’s eyes strayed. Vic is right… he didn’t stumbled onto any news that says Scott cheated. There is only news about the break up but reasons are unknown.

Vic@Messenger: Just so you wanna know, there is a high likelihood the news about Scott straying will never go to the media. If the news is out, it won’t do Rainie any good. And her reputation might be tarnished.

Ken took a deep breath, and then rubbed his forehead.

Vic@Messenger: There are a couple of times in the past she did things that she is not exactly happy about; just so the media will not write bad things about her. Don’t ask me what they are, I don’t remember. I am just telling you there is a possibility she might also do something as drastic as going back to Scott even though she didn’t want to, just because of the media.

Ken@Messenger: You are making me very sad.

Vic@Messenger: I am telling you the truth, and I only want you to listen to your heart.

Ken@Messenger: I can’t. I wish to. I just can’t. What if I like her? So what? Yes, I really, really like her, Vic. But I can’t. And just like you have said, she cares about her image. But I am a nobody here, won’t I tarnish her image?

Vic@Messenger: Being a nobody wouldn’t tarnish her image! Being a cheater is!

Ken@Messenger: I’ll be happy as long as she is happy. Really. If the opposite happens, that she goes back to Scott and she is happy with him, then I will not stop her. I will be there for her when she needed me. But I am not the right person for her. I am not good enough for her.

**********

“What do you want to eat for breakfast, Rainie?” Ken asked as he prepared to leave the house.

“By the time you come back it’s brunch,” Rainie laughed.

“Ah, yeah. You are right. Are you sure you don’t want to follow me to meet Vanness?” Ken patted his pants to make sure that he brought his wallet.

“Nah… just go ahead. I’ll be alone there anyway. Since you just said Pace is not joining as she had to work, might as well I stay at home and watch TV,” Rainie said. “Then both of you guys can talk just about anything and everything,”

“Hmmm… alright. So what do you want for brunch?” Ken asked.

“You decide. Anything will be fine,” Rainie said.

“Alright then, take care alright. I’ll be back with your brunch,”

“Don’t worry about it. Just take your time,” she sits down on the couch and switched on the TV.

“Nah… Vanness has a lunch meeting at 12 so I will be back by then,” Ken said.

“Alright then,” Rainie smiled. “Bye,”

“Bye,” Ken said and he walked out of the house, closing the door behind him.

Rainie turned her head to face the television.

She grips on the remote control, and was about to change the channel when her phone rings.

RING!

Rainie lowered her head down to look at the caller ID of the phone she placed next to her.

Mr. Xavier.

Rainie picked up the phone.

“Hello, Mr. Xavier?” Rainie asked as she placed the phone on her ear, and the other hand presses the remote control to lower the volume on the TV. “You’ve send me the details via email?” she asked.

She rose to her feet and then walked heading towards the computer as she listened to Mr. Xavier talking at the other side of the call. She then sits down.

“Okay, I will check my email…” she stopped as she looked at the computer screen.

Her eyes are fixated at the screen.

“Rainie?”

Her eyes strayed now that she realized she is still on a phone conversation. “Mr. Xavier?” she said.

“Once you’ve checked your mail, please revert to me, alright? I want to know what you feel about that,” Mr. Xavier said on the phone. “This is not only a simple photo shoot but also making you the representative of the brand, so I really need to know your opinion,”

“Sure, thanks sir,” and Rainie hangs up the call, and her sight is glued to the computer screen again.


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