“I’m sorry,” Rainie wiped her tears as she faces him.
Ken smiled. “It is okay. Everyone needs someone… a shoulder… or a chest to cry on,”
Rainie smiled at the latter statement as she remained wiping her tears. She knew Ken is teasing her, trying to make her happy.
“I am glad I am here, to lend you my chest,” he laughed again.
She playfully slapped Ken’s arm who is still sitting next to her. She then smiled.
“I’ll be here if you need me,” Ken smiled. “While I am still jobless,”
She smiled at him, “So are you saying you will still come tomorrow?”
“I will,” he said.
“Well… you don’t have to do that…”
“I would love to accompany you in the hospital. I am sure it is bored to be alone in the hospital…” he smiled at her. “And I’ll come and visit you the day after tomorrow if you are still in the hospital, alright?”
She smiled, and then she nodded, “Thanks,”
“No problem,” he said. “You want a… comforting hug?”
Right after he uttered that, his eyes strayed. He is unsure why he suddenly offered that.
She looked at him, and she is unsure why, she felt she needed it. Just a hug, right? She nodded.
Ken was surprised with her respond but he is glad at least there is something he can do for her. And he just spread his hands wide and he leaned over, she approached him and she hugged him.
He didn’t know where to park his hands. Maybe shoulder. Maybe back. Don’t simply park. He slowly puts his hands around Rainie.
Feels so good.
It is really comforting.
He suddenly realizes how well and proper she is wrapped in his arms. Her size and shape fits perfectly in his embrace, for some reason, he had never felt before.
She notices how comfortable it is to be hugged by Ken. She felt a sense of security and protection in that embrace, for some reason, she had never felt before.
Rainie and Ken froze awkwardly as it is now utterly silence. A female voice was heard calling for Rainie but she did not complete the calling.
“Did you hear someone… calling for me?” Rainie asked softly, while her head is still on his chest.
“I… do…” Ken responded, still froze in his position and didn’t turn his head to look at the door.
“Who the hell are you to her?!” the female voice screamed on top of her lungs.
Ken immediately released his hands from Rainie and Rainie pulled back from the hug. Right after he releases his hand, Ken turned his face towards the entrance and…
“How dare you touch her?!”
“BARBIE!!! STOP!!!” Rainie yelled as she extends her hands out to Ken. “Why do you punch him?!”
Ken didn’t see it coming. The moment he turned his head to look at the entrance, someone flung a fist onto his face, hitting him directly on his left cheek. Due to the impact on his face, he literally turned to his right and he almost crashed onto the cabinet beside Rainie’s bed but thankfully he is fast to extend his hand out and gripped onto the cabinet to give himself a support.
“And you have just broken up! You can’t let anyone take advantage of you!” Barbie yelled at Rainie. “Not this Scott jerk!”
“He is not taking advantage of me!” Rainie yelled. “Are you alright?” she asked Ken.
“Dizzy,” Ken answered, having his eyes closed as the impact of the punch had got to his head.
“Look at what you’ve done!” Rainie yelled at Barbie.
“I will not let Scott hurt you anymore! You can’t take him back!” Barbie yelled as she walked forward and pulled Ken’s arm so that he is facing her and she raised her hand, ready to give him another punch.
“HE IS NOT SCOTT!” Rainie yelled.
In that fraction of a second, Barbie stopped though she is still gripping onto Ken’s arm, and she stared straight at Ken.
At the same time, Ken looked at his assailant now.
“Barbie?” Ken said.
Ken placed his hand on his swollen cheek. “What are you doing here?!” he asked Barbie.
“What are you doing here?!” Barbie yelled at Ken.
“WAH! What are you doing!” Jerry suddenly barged in into the room, ran towards Barbie and immediately gripped her hand from flying the blow to the victim. “I was only away for a few minutes and you want to beat someone up already?” And he turned, and looked straight at Ken. “KEN?!” Jerry asked, totally surprised to see his buddy in the ward.
Rainie looked at them, and surprised that Jerry knew Ken. “What?! You all knew each other?”
“What the hell, your wife come in and punch me on my face!” Ken said, looking at Jerry and he pointed at his cheek.
“What are you doing here!” Barbie pulled her hand away from Jerry and her other hand releases from gripping Ken’s arm.
“You know Rainie?” Jerry, looking at Ken, pointed at Rainie.
“I was the one who hits Rainie the other day,” Ken said, rose to his feet. “With my car,”
“It was YOU?!” Jerry and Barbie said at the same time.
“Errrr…” Ken scratched his head.
“I’ve told you, Barbie, it is not his fault,” Rainie said.
“You know Barbie?” Ken asked Rainie.
“She is my best friend,” Rainie said. “How do you know them?”
“Ken is my buddy, and he is my best man during my wedding… and Rainie is Barbie’s bridesmaid. You both… you both don’t recognize each other from my wedding, at least?” Jerry asked.
Ken looked at Rainie, “Really? I don’t remember seeing you as Barbie’s bridesmaid,”
Rainie frowned, and she was about to speak when Barbie speaks first.
“Umm, if you have forgotten, Jerry,” Barbie interrupted, “Rainie is not my bridesmaid,”
“Huh?” Jerry looked at his wife.
“I did tell you way before that she, Winnie and Pace will be my bridesmaid on my wedding but it didn’t turn out the way I wanted to. They have to work on our wedding day, remember?” Barbie said. “They didn’t attend the wedding,”
“Ahhh… right, because we change the date,” Jerry instantly remembers. “Winnie and Rainie were booked for modeling on runway in Australia, and Pace can’t take leave on our new wedding date,”
“Yes,” Barbie said. “So, Ken and Rainie had never met before,”
“Sorry, my bad. I got so used to listen to Barbie telling me that she wanted her three best friends to be her bridesmaids, I have mixed it up,” Jerry said, looking at Ken.
“Pace, Winnie… and Rainie?” Ken asked, turning his head to look at Rainie.
“All four of us are best friends,” Rainie replied.
“Oh,” Ken said.
“You know them?” Jerry asked.
Ken turned to look at Rainie before he looked at Jerry. “Unexpectedly… yeah, they came to visit Rainie so… they introduced,”
“I am sorry, I thought you were Rainie’s ex-boyfriend,” Barbie said, looking at Ken.
“Umm…” Ken hummed.
“Barbie, as you can see… Ken and Scott doesn’t even have the same body shape or face, or even hairstyle,” Rainie rolled her eyes. “I can’t believe that you could mistake him as Scott,”
Barbie turned and looked at Rainie. “How would I know?! I only saw a man hugging you!” Barbie said. “Look, Rainie… I know you are saddened about your break up with Scott, but that doesn’t mean you should hug or let anyone take your advantage,”
Ken pointed at himself. “Take her advantage?” he then turned to look at Jerry, “Does my face looks like one that would do that?”
“Don’t judge a book by its cover,” Jerry smirked.
Ken glared at Jerry.
“Barbie, it is not like that,” Rainie said. “Ken didn’t take advantage of me. I needed a hug and he just gives me one,”
“I hope you are not saying it to protect him or you?”
“No, it is the truth. Ken is Jerry’s buddy. I believe you knew him better than I am since I only know him after the accident. Is he that kind of person to you that he will take advantage of me? And seriously, if he wants to take advantage of me, he would have done that yesterday when he hits me,” Rainie said, looking at Ken, before she turned to look at Barbie. “And you know I won’t let him at peace if that really happens,”
Ken frowned and looked at Rainie for that statement.
Barbie turned to look at Ken.
“Well, look, if you insist that is how it works, then it is me allowing him to take advantage of me, alright?” Rainie said, looking at Barbie.
“Whoa, it wasn’t that serious,” Ken said.
“Barbie, I know you are protective about me. And I know my condition now. I know I just broke up with Scott, but you know very well that I know what I am doing. I know how to take care of myself. No matter how fragile I am, I know the boundary. I still know how to defend for myself, and I know how to beat people up for taking advantage of me,”
“Right, alright,” Barbie said, “You’ve convinced me enough. The Ken I knew is not that kind of person anyway,”
Jerry places his hand around Ken’s shoulder and he smirked. “I know you are not like that,”
Ken glared at Jerry again, “And earlier you are saying as though I am one,”
“I said ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’, I didn’t say you are one,” Jerry defended.
Ken rolled his eyes.
Barbie turned to look at Ken, “Sorry about that punch,”
“It is alright,” Ken said, massaging his cheek.
Jerry then looked at Ken, “Wow, Ken, seriously, you are the guy who hits her. How small can this world be,”
“It happens. Apparently Vic works with Rainie and his girlfriend is my neighbor,” Ken said. “And she is also Rainie’s colleague,”
“You mean, seriously?! You already met her?!” Jerry said.
“Yes, small world,” Ken said.
“Then how is she?” Jerry asked.
“Who is ‘she’?” Ken asked.
“She is okay,” Ken said.
“Okay? That is all?”
Ken could only laugh. “What else do you want me to say?”
“Come on, I haven’t get to see her, so… tell me,” Jerry said. “And you know what I mean,”
Ken smiled, and he gives a thumb up to Jerry. (*means as a brother to Vic, he ‘approves’ and likes Vic’s selection – the same the guys do in Chapter 1 to Pace)
“Awesome,” Jerry smiled.
“Vic had accidentally spilled about their relationship to me, so, I guess he won’t be able to keep it too long from you and Vanness,” Ken said.
“Great, I hope I can meet her soon,” Jerry said.
Ken smiled, and soon the smile fades.
Both Ken and Jerry looked at Barbie talking to Rainie, without minding the guys at the back.
“So, come over to visit Rainie over your lunch hours?” Ken asked, turning his head to look at Jerry.
“Yeah, Barbie wants to visit Rainie, so we came,” Jerry said, looking back at Ken. “And you?”
“I’ve been here since morning,”
“Yeah, as you know, it is not like I have an office to go to,” Ken said.
“I know, sounds like you have nowhere to go, so you came…?” Jerry then frowned.
“I really feel bad for the accident, alright? So I came, I drop by… see her… I wished her speed recovery,”
“Asides that she is my wife’s best friend, she is just some random person you hit on the road. Do you need to actually come and pay her a visit?” Jerry asked. “Your job is somewhat completed when you send her in to the hospital yesterday and also, you are not to be blamed for her accident,”
“But I cannot treat it as though that accident didn’t happen. I feel really bad you see,”
Jerry smirked. “Just the Ken I know. When he cares, he really cares,”
“Is that a compliment or you are mocking me?” Ken glared at Jerry.
“It is a good trait of yours,” Jerry said. “Whether it is a compliment or not, it is yours to judge,”
Ken took a deep breath. “And also, since she is alone here in the hospital… maybe I can accompany her thru her boredom,”
“And also her, helping you to cure your boredom since you have no work to do and no job interview to attend,” Jerry smirked.
“Now that is mocking,” Ken said, glaring at Jerry.
“Right, it is yours to judge,” Jerry said. “Anyway, I guess I needed to join Barbie and Rainie, and to ask about Rainie’s condition… so…”
“No worries. I’ll stay outside so you guys can speak in private,” Ken said, patting Jerry’s shoulder.
“Alright,” Jerry said, and then Ken walked out from the room.
Ken sat outside the ward as he moved his jaw left and right, and also massaging the cheek.
“Bye Rainie!” Barbie and Jerry said, and at the same time Jerry opened the door.
Jerry looked straight at Ken who is massaging his cheek, and Ken returned the gaze to him.
“Still painful?” Jerry asked.
“Never underestimate your woman. Don’t find fault with her. You might soon realize your jaw wasn’t intact with your face and probably fell or dropped somewhere,” Ken said.
“Don’t go overboard, will you?” Barbie said, as she closed the door behind her. “I wasn’t that scary and I don’t think my fist is that powerful to punch your jaw out and fall to the floor,”
“Just a statement,” Ken said. “Well, let’s just say… you were angry and you just concentrate all your anger in your fist?” Ken asked as he stood up.
“Whoa,” Jerry immediately covers his mouth. “That’s scary. I am going to keep my jaw. I don’t want it to drop somewhere!”
Barbie playfully smacked Jerry’s hand. Ken laughed.
“I haven’t exactly had a chance to ask you, Ken. I heard from Jerry that you lost your job. How are you coping?” Barbie asked Ken.
“Life goes on,” Ken smiled. “A part of me is in disbelief because I could not believe my company did that. But, I still need to accept it,”
Barbie nodded. “And how was your job search?” she asked.
“Still no news. Well… it’s just 2 days. Let’s wait for a while, as you know, it takes time too from submitting the resume to getting a call for interview,” Ken said. “Thanks for asking,”
“No problem. We need to go already, get a quick bite and then heads back to office for my lunch time is ending soon,” Barbie said. “Though I wasn’t sure why you are here, but thanks for being there for Rainie. I think she does need someone to talk with,”
“I’ll try my best,” Ken said.
“Take care, dude,” Jerry patted Ken.
“Thanks, dude, you take care too,” Ken said.
“Alright, see ya,” Jerry said and Barbie waved at him.
Ken waved back and watched as both Jerry and Barbie walked away.
He then took a deep breath, and then he headed into Rainie’s room.
“Rainie,” he called as he opened the door.
“Hey,” Rainie smiled forcefully at Ken.
Immediately noticing her facial expression towards him, “I’m… sorry. Did I… come in at the wrong time?” Ken asked, as he stood at the door.
Rainie shook as she lowered her head. “They left. So you are definitely coming in,”
Ken smirked. “Yeah,” he walked in into the room and closed the door behind him.
Rainie raised her head and leaned it against the pillow behind her. “Can’t believe you know Jerry and Barbie too,”
Ken laughed. “I am surprised that you know them too,” he sits down on the couch.
Rainie smiled. “I know Jerry thru Barbie, of course,”
“And I know Barbie thru Jerry,” Ken smiled. “It is a bit surprising for me to hear that you didn’t make it for your best friend’s wedding,”
“Actually, we could. I don’t know if you know about this or not… but Barbie and Jerry were not supposed to marry on that particular date. They changed their wedding date to a month later from the agreed date because Jerry’s parents say the later date is nicer,” Rainie said.
Ken tilted his head, “Change date? Hmmm… now that you mentioned it, it rings a bell…”
“Both Winnie and I have already applied leave 9 months prior to her agreed wedding date. Pace has made arrangements with her colleagues so that she will be free for Barbie’s wedding. So when three months later Barbie said the date has been changed, all of us can’t make it,”
“Oh,” Ken said.
“Yeah, since we cannot attend, we threw Barbie a superb bachelorette party,” Rainie smiled.
“Really? How superb is that?” Ken asked.
“Party for one whole week,” Rainie smiled.
“ONE WHOLE WEEK? WOW!”
Rainie laughed. “We are best friends, so yeah…” she said. “We are sad too that we can’t attend. We have no choice as we can’t really change anything at the last minute,”
“I understand,” Ken smiled.
She smiled. “Ken…”
“There is something that bugs me… I wonder if I can actually talk to you about it…?”
“Sure,” Ken smiled. “You can confide in me if you want to. If you didn’t want me to respond to you but just sit here to listen to you, I’ll do it too,”
She smiled. ‘Confide’ is exactly the word she wants to hear. “I didn’t want to talk to a wall…”
He smiled. “Okay, I’ll respond whenever it is necessary,”
Her smile fades slightly “I was wondering…”
She swallowed a lump in her throat. “Barbie and Jerry were talking to me about my ex,”
“Oh,” Ken said, his cheerful facial expression vanished.
“Barbie was assuring me that my ex-boyfriend doesn’t love me,” she closed her eyes, actually trying to control her tears.
“Scott, right?” Ken said.
Rainie just smirked, without looking at Ken. “I guess you have heard his name so many times…”
Ken just smiled briefly, “Okay… and?”
“Well… a part of me really wondered if he actually loves me,” Rainie said. “I somehow felt lost and confused about how things have turned out…”
“I seriously think… he did loved you,”
She opened her eyes and looked at him. “You think he did?”
“As a matter of fact, I said, ‘did’, means, it is past,”
She looked at Ken.
“I’m sorry. I am not him. I cannot talk on behalf of him. But to me, I will not woo a girl and make her my girlfriend if I don’t like, or love her,” Ken said.
“Oh,” Rainie said.
He tilted his head. “You want to get back with him?”
She looked at him with a change of facial expression. She then lowered her head before lifting it up again. “No. I… I don’t think it is a wise idea,”
Ken smiled slightly. “A small part of you wants to get back to him, right?” he rose to his feet and he slowly walks to her.
She stared at Ken, and then she took a deep breath. “Is it obvious on my face?”
“When you first told me that you will never get back to him, I kinda knew it is just a momentarily statement. When that period, days or hours had passed, I am sure there is a slight will at the back of your mind that says you want to get back with him. It is very normal for you to change your mind and not adhering to what you have said or claimed earlier,” Ken said. “I understand where it comes from,”
“Really?” she asked.
“Of course, you have just broken up with him,” Ken said. “In every single person’s mind, they wanted to get back with their ex, in hoping that the ex will change and stay loyal to them,” he sat down on the bed. “You must be thinking that it is 2 years wasted, right?”
Rainie lowered her head and nodded.
“I am telling you based on my honest opinion. At the end of the day, the decision is always yours,” Ken said. “Do you want to know?”
Rainie lifted up her head and looked at Ken. “Yes, please,”
“Well, what I can say is, if a man loves her so much, he will not cheat on her,”
She looked at him.
“He has proven his worth. If he wants to keep his worth, he should not cheat on you. Or rather, has the gut to end the relationship with you before he starts with another. Keeping two women at the same time is purely a coward’s action and showing disrespect to one another. Did the other woman know about you?” Ken asked.
“I guess not. Because she asked him who am I when I was confronting him,” Rainie said.
“Then it is disrespect to both women,” Ken said. “Maybe there is something about her that you don’t have, and something about you that she doesn’t have. I guess… one of the reasons why he refused to end the relationship with you, is probably because of your popularity,”
She smiled faintly. “That is what I’ve thought as well,” she said. “He probably doesn’t love me. He only wants my popularity,”
“I didn’t say that. You do,” Ken said. “Because I said ‘probably’,”
Rainie smiled. “Yes, I said that,”
“Rainie, I am not you. I cannot ask you not to go back or make you go back to him. This is purely your decision. And all I can do is only advice you and give you my thought. Like you’ve said, once a cheater, always a cheater. Can you find yourself believe in him and trust him again that he will be loyal to you? That whenever he goes out, he will not put his hands around another woman? Can you trust him that he will stay true to you and will not lie to you about going to some exotic places on earth doing his job when he is actually living his exotic dream in someone’s house, room, or the bed?” Ken asked. “You only have to answer this, then you will have the answer,” he added. “Take it from the person who has been thru all these thoughts… been there, done that,” and he pointed to himself.
She looked at him, and a faint smile is plastered on her face. She nodded. “I understand, thank you so much,”