“The rest of our life”

It was a warm evening on the bus ride from a local Supermarket to our hdb flat when Bandi suddenly said, slowly and dreamily, “Do you realize it? We’re finally living the rest of our life…”

You probably don’t get it. At first I didn’t get it either. What did he mean by that?

“You see, I’ve been saying I wanted to marry you for so long, I’ve been striving to the day I could finally marry you and I’ve been wishing to spend the rest of my life with you… And now it’s happening… You’re already my wife. And we…”

“We are already spending our lives together. We’re already there.” He lifted up the grocery bag on his hand, smiling happily.

Was that contentment I saw in his eyes? I hope so.

Yes, it’s true that we’ve only been married for 3 months but we’ve lived together for the past 3 years. But somehow… I know that he needs security. He needs to title husband to feel content, to know that he is living the rest of his life now.

The phrase “The rest of my life” sounds very long, forever even. It is until the day you die. When we said “I want to spend the rest of my life with you”, we didn’t really realize that the “rest of the life” could actually come.

Now.

The rest of the life is now.

Now is already part of the rest of the life.

The rest of our life has already started.

It contains of sharing dreams, cooking meals, cleaning the house, traveling on new adventures, visiting family, working for personal growth, and a lot of grocery shoppings.

It didn’t start merely on the day we said “I do.” It wasn’t like in a movie where there’s a grand orchestra as the background on the first day of the rest of our life.

It was on a bus ride, with sweats on our shirts and grocery bags on our hand… when we finally realized “We are living the rest of our life.”

And he finished it with a happy smirk on his face while saying, “Oh my god, you are finally my wife.”

MayBand 002-RCheers,

May, the wife.

 

He likes it so he puts a ring on it.

Disclaimer: This post is personal, please take note that I need the courage to share this with you. =)

I’ve been sick for the past ten days, so I didn’t really plan anything for my seventh anniversary. I know Bandi isn’t much a planner so usually he would just let me do whatever I wanted and brought me to dinner.

This year, I told him I didn’t want anything fancy for anniversary because I actually wanted to have a bed rest, but then yeah… you got it right, he proposed.

About talking about marriage.

I think all of my friends have been asking about us getting married more than we even really talk about it. I’ve never wanted a marriage myself so I never really bother talking about it. However it’s been two years since we started to live together and once in a while Bandi asked about whether I’m taking this relationship seriously but I never really answered it seriously lahhh. I usually just did silly things and pretended to be deaf.

The moment I realize that he meant what he said was when he brought me to a jewelry store. I was freaking panicking when he suddenly talked fluent diamond with the sales lady. He asked about the carats, clarity, certificate and shits I didn’t know. Holy crap, somebody has done some research!

He asked me what kind of ring I want for my engagement ring, and I was a total bitch, I literally panicked and kept saying let’s go. It happened last year.

About the first attempt.

I accidentally found the receipt of the ring when I tried to find something in Bandi’s ikea box. It was purchased on July 2012. There was a description of the ring in the receipt. About how many carats the diamond is and the other stuffs I didn’t understand. And I saw the price… And it’s fucking non-refundable.

THIS IS A BIG PRESSURE!!!!

Holy crap! I felt like packing my bags and just run the freaking away. I don’t wanna get married yet!!! How if he proposed to me? My life was about to oveeeerrr! Nooo!!!

On October 2012 he surprised me with a trip to Bandung, and I had the feeling that he’s gonna propose. Then I told him, “If you’re gonna propose, please don’t. I’m not ready and I’m gonna say no, and we would break up and it all turned ugly. And I don’t wanna break up with you. Just give me more time and be more patience.” (For the record, he was gonna propose.)

After that, the relationship went downhill. Bandi didn’t understand why I wasn’t ready and why I was being so difficult. A lot of my friends knew about this and I didn’t blame them to think that I was a heartless bitch and that I didn’t deserve a good guy like Bandi.

I wanted a proposal, who doesn’t want a fairy tale, right? But I just didn’t feel it was the right time. Bandi had just lost his grandma and I felt like he rushed things because he felt guilty that his grandma did ask him to marry me but then she passed away. And I still believed that there were some unfinished business between us, like talking about future and stuffs.

It is very hard to explain and you must know me well enough to understand my reasons but anyway, let’s move on.

All I know is… I’m glad Bandi never gave up on me. =)

About being ready.

I remember people kept saying that you’re never gonna be ready for marriage, that you just have to go the hell with it. Well, you’re wrong!!!! I don’t wanna just jump into it and figure out later. I don’t! I don’t wanna take the risk that I could regret for a lifetime. I’m a risk taker but not for a marriage. I wanna be hundred percent ready and wanting it like crazy and I will never going back!

So, during my bad patch of relationship with Bandi, this happened.

The whole missing the flight thing was like an epiphany.

I sill remember when Bandi arrived home after midnight and I saw him totally differently. This is the guy who went all the fucking troubles with me and still stayed. I’ve been complicated, unreasonable, difficult and selfish and yet he’s still there, never even complain once. He always ALWAYS believes in me.

And he took the last flight home going all the shits just to make sure I wasn’t home alone. And I felt like my life went on a flashback… He did fight for me in front of his family, he defended me through the bad years, he always protects me, always tries to make me happy and makes sure I’m always alright.

He left USA for me, the thing that I thought he won’t ever do. I just almost lost all of his important documents by leaving it in airport and he still forgave me and flew home for me.

And yet, I didn’t want to marry this guy? WHAT AM I NUTS?????

I remember he hugged me that night and I knew it for a second, that was where I belong for the rest of my life.

And….

I was finally ready.

About wanting it.

After that missing the flight moment, I caught myself daydreaming about being Mrs. Cahaya. It felt silly for a while and I was so embarrassed of myself but then I found it so fun so what the hell. I daydreamed about calling him hubby, about saying the vow (I even wrote one haha) and saying I do and girls stuffs like that.

Then I kept hinting him like asking “is the ring this big?” while showing him my booger. LOL

About the ring

I knew he already bought the diamond ring and I would feel so guilty to trouble him but to be honest, I don’t want diamond. I want an emerald.

I fell instantly in love when I saw Kate’s engagement ring (which belonged to Princess Diana) but I didn’t want Sapphire of course and also couldn’t see myself wearing the plain diamond. I want an engagement which yells it totally belongs to May. And I always like emerald and the fact that emerald is my birth stone.
I’ve googled about emerald and it’s very rare to find a small carats of emerald to be crafted as a ring, it means it would have to be a bigger size of the stone and it would be expensive. So I was so dilemmatic of whether I should tell Bandi about this.

However the conversation about the ring came up and he asked me my dream engagement ring. I told him I always wanted an emerald crafted on a rose gold because rose gold compliments the sparkle of the emerald and it matches my skintone and of course because it’s so pretty.

(Later on he told me the story of how he went almost nuts looking for an emerald that he could afford. LOL. To make the story short, he exchange the diamond with the emerald after he finally found the franchised jewelry store that would accept the exchange.)

So when he proposed and opened the ring box, I was stunned.

It was the prettiest ring I’ve ever seen in my life. (Probably also the effect of euphoria) The one and only, an oval shaped emerald, surrounded by diamonds in a rose gold. I know this is so superficial, but goddammit, I am so freaking happy!!!

I've always wanted an emerald!!!

I’ve always wanted an emerald!!!

About the Proposal

I can’t tell the details because it would be so looonnnggg and of course so many personal stories involved. You must know me for lifetime to really understand the reasons why Bandi planned every detail. About why he chose the Con te Partire to ask me for a slow dance and the seventy seven red roses and the road trip and everything.

His plan was this… He wanted to do seven things that we never done together for our seventh anniversary. (Trust me Bandi and I did almost every possible thing we could haha) He created some kind of continuous cards that’s written the hint of the thing.

The fifth thing was an impromptu flight. He brought me to the city I love the most.

I was totally surprised! And I didn’t pack proper clothes lah. Hahaha. (I didn’t even pack shampoo so I had to wash my hair with Hotel’s shampoo and my hair went on sapu ijuk mode.) Anyway, he was so freaking sweet and he brought me to Maxi’s, my favorite restaurant, which we had our date long long time ago. He reserved the place on the balcony, a place when we used to see sunset on New Year’s eve.

He made a video and left me alone to watch the video. I was crying like a little baby, couldn’t contain my happiness. I can’t show anyone, even my bestfriend, the video, because for once, I want to keep this only for myself. =)

Bandi was pouring his heart out on the video, leaving his soul naked and open and if it was me, I would want to do it only for the one person I love. =)

He also gave me four photos that represent our seven years together and our future dream together. After the video ended, he showed up with seventy seven stalks of rose, and my bestfriend Gery behind, holding a camera, videotaping us. HOLY CRAP I knew it that moment that he was gonna propose!!!

So yeah, he gave me the roses and got on one knee, took out the box of ring and said the magic words.

The funny thing was, when he said, “will you…” I at once nodded my head because I saw the ring!!! HAHAHAHA! (I’m so shameless) However he asked “Will you marry me” and I was like a doggie doll on a car’s dashboard, kept nodding my head. He laughed and asked, “What???”

And I shouted “YESSSS!!!”

=)

Yes!

Yes!

I’m engaged!!!

Not only engaged.

I’m engaged… to the love of my life, my best friend.

I can’t believe that I would ever want a marriage. But now it’s happening, it doesn’t feel scary. I kinda can’t wait to be his wife. LOL.

He likes it so he puts a ring on it! Haha!

He likes it so he puts a ring on it! Haha!

And I also can’t stop staring at my ring and smile everytime I see it… over and over again. It’s so freaking pretty I feel like a princess. Hahaha. I talked to Dian about the ring and it turns out I’m not the only shameless girl here. She was also crying like baby when Dan-Dan was about propose to her and once she saw the ring, it was like a magic that made a girl smile forever!!! Hahaha.

I never had a fine jewelry in my life before. Seriously, never. You know all my accessories are purchased through ebay! LOL. This is the first real thing I’ve ever had and it’s so goddamn freaking pretty!!!! It sparkles everytime I see it like talking to me. =) And I looooove the color and how the diamonds around it compliments the emerald. I love my engagement ring I’m so shallow!!! Hahahaha.

Here's another angle of the ring.

Here’s another angle of the ring.

And here's another one. =D

And here’s another one. =D

Ok, enough with that. (You get it how much I love it)

About the aftermath

The first thing in my mind after saying Yes was… I’m so gonna tell Ulen about this!!! And you know what??? She coincidentally were coming to Bandung the next day for some reunion event!!! Thank you Universe!! It’s so meant to be!!!

So the next day I spent my day with Ulen, asked her to be my maid of honor and  took this photobox! Haha. I also asked her to help me distribute the 77 Roses to every women we met at Paris Van Java (because it’s impossible for me to bring back all the flowers to Singapore, right?) It was so cute how women react to stranger handing over roses. They all accepted it! Haha!

Me and my maid of honor.

Me and my maid of honor, and my sapu ijuk mode hair. LOL

After I talked to her face to face, I publicly posted it on socmed and again, I loved the attention. Hahaha! (shameless, still shameless!!!)

Then I told Strawberry and other close friends, my mom and my sister. While Bandi of course has successfully made his brother, sisters and mom figuratively hippie dancing. So yeah, it’s pretty big happy news for both of us. =)

My mom has also already known because Bandi did tell my mom and my dad before actually proposed to me. Awww isn’t he the sweetest? He asked my Dad for a permission to take good care of his daughter. OH MY GOD I’m melted…

We also have set the date, because I told him, according to Gilmore Girls, you’re not really engaged until there’s a ring and a date. So we have set the date. We’re gonna get married on 7th June 2014, exactly 8 years when I first said yes to the question “will you be my girlfriend?” =)

(Or actually it’s just Bandi who can’t remember too many dates so he pack it all into one date? WTF?)

Anywayyyy, we’re not gonna bother too much about the wedding because after that day, I finally realize what I want in my life. I don’t fucking care of how my wedding would turn out to be, I just wanna be his wife. Period.

(and the fact that I still need to plan my Europe Trip holy crap!)

(and also the fact that my maid of honor is having an OCD so she’s gonna plan everything. HAHA)

And this is the end of my single life… no more flirting with cute guys (darn it). Who would have known, of all the people, I’m gonna settling down this fast. Hahaha. I’m getting married. Geez, still not get used to say it, “I’m getting married.”

So, for all the guys who are secretly in love with me, better luck next lifetime! Hahaha. Zero chance from this second! And that’s including you, Cristiano Ronaldo!! Yeah you! I’ve had enough waiting for you! HAHAHA

About what I feel.

Right now, I’m still over the moon. (unless the fact that my voice is gone because of the flu T.T) I feel content and happy. I am one hundred percent sure that this is what I want, marrying him. And that everything really does happen for a reason. Universe really listens to my prayer, sending me signs and stuffs. If he proposed to me last October, it might not be this perfect. Good things really does happen to those who wait. =)

I won’t have cold feet or second thought. I might have bad days and we might fight, but I won’t have second thought, I can promise that.

Thank you for being so patience and for making this seven years all about me, sweetie pie. When we ate satay and I requested a song from the old man and he sang The Beatles’ I will, I hope you knew it was truly from my heart to you. =)

I love you. Always have and always will.

Kalistus Mikhael Subandi Cahayaaaaaa, I’m yours!!!!

Cheers,

May, Mrs. Cahaya to be.

P.S Finally I’m gonna have a surname!!! Hahahahah!

Here's a bonus photo of Bandi and Brownie for reading until the end. =)

Here’s a bonus photo of Bandi and Brownie for reading until the end. =)

The Romantic

If you ask most of my friends, or even just an acquaintance from college, what is the one trait they know about me; the answer would be…

… That I am a romantic.

How did I, or anyone else knew me, call myself a romantic? Well, if you don’t read all of my posts before, let me give you some of the pointers:

I, once, stood on the rain for a guy just to make sure he was under my umbrella… in front of the whole school.

I, once, fell in love with a stranger and we had our own before sunrise moment.

I, once, created a perfect birthday party with 21 birthday present for a man I loved and he shed a tear.

I had written 20 letters to be open each one every year on the birth date of my high school best friend, until the year that we supposed to meet again.

I, once, wrote a book for a guy I fell in love with and gave it to him on his birthday.

I, once, bought a ticket overseas on the day and flew to meet my best friend.

I always ALWAYS did things because I felt things. I always followed my heart. I kept people’s details somewhere in my brain and never let them go. I could rewind a conversation with my friend that happened 10 years ago. I remember moments better than remember numbers.

I always feel that my love life is like a serial of romantic novel. A good one.

I’m the kind of person who has a lot of friends and manage to make them feel special. I love to make people feel special. I am a romantic.

However, I forget I was one though… when a friend reminded me.

So let’s roll back over to the time when I read this article. I found this article to make sense. And even though it is from an islamic website, I shared it on my facebook page. A friend commented like this below:

Photo 7-5-13 3 08 50 PM

Have I changed into a realist?

My comment surely made me look like I am a realist. That kind of person who believes that the mind is stronger than the heart? Is that true?

Have I lost my romanticism?

It is sadly true that lately I haven’t written any love poem, or done any impulsive date, or even read romantic novel. But I’m still the girl who would like to dance in the rain, the girl who gets the blush over a stalk of rose, the girl who would looove to marry in an impromptu moment, the girl who would wait forever for a true love.

I’m still that girl.

I’m just in a commitment now. As much as I wanted to say that my love life is as perfect as I wanted to be, it is not. Sometimes I did things I didn’t want to do just for the sake of relationship. I did compromise a lot, used my brain a lot, but not necessarily stop using my heart.

Or maybe I’m just getting old. People said age could suck the romanticism out of you. It’s probably right.

Or maybe it’s just a phase in my life. You know, one time when I was in teens, I attracted to girls. (But then Cristiano Ronaldo came. (LOL))

A good friend of mine once told me that Idealism is elastic. You may stretch it anyway you like, following your condition. But you will always go back to your core ideals. And that IT IS OKAY to stretch it.

I am still the hopeless romantic deep down inside, Yo… A touch of mean reality did nudge me a little but it won’t change the fact that I love hard. I do.

Thank you for reminding me, Yo… =)

 

Cheers,

May, who had just received a stalk of rose couple days ago.

Eloise, The Story. Chapter Six.

Chapter Six

Shannon holds my hand very tightly in the metro all the way to Gare Du Nord. We keep talking about things that seem never-ending. No matter how many hours we have been talking, it is never enough to catch up every single detail of her lives. About scrapbooking, about London, about diapers and about how Coldplay should never break up. I love being with Shannon and I love listening to her talking non sense. It just makes me feel alive and loved and healthy, as if the cancer would be cured by her magic blabbering words and her sparkling black eyes. And I hate that she has to leave to London again.

We finally arrive at Gare Du Nord Station and we hug goodbye when Shannon’s train was about to depart. “I’ll visit next weekend if anybody could babysit Alison,” Shannon promises.

“Or I’ll come by to London!” I say.

“You’ll do that? But you hate train trip!”

“I’ll figure it out, Shan.” I act wisely.

“Ok then. I’ll see you later, Ellie.” She hugs me for the last time and goes off to the gate. She shouts from a far though, “I love you Ellie!” which makes people glance at me and smile.

It is good to know people notice that you are loved.

Shannon let me have her facebook account’s password so I can stalk Ben whenever I want. I know it is very immature of me to do that but I do it anyway. Shannon kept asking why it is such a big deal for me to friend him and stalk him from my account instead but I didn’t know what to answer. I just don’t want to. Maybe I don’t want to add numbers for people who know me then there won’t be too many people who would be sad on my funeral. It is a stupid thinking, I know.

I just stare at Ben’s facebook profile during my trip back to Anvers station. There is no activity since the last time Shannon and I checked. He might be in Paris now or probably riding the same train with me, but who would’ve known.

I realize my palm is sweating a lot when I open my hostel’s room as the handle is covered by my sweats. I have been feeling weird lately, sometimes light headed and tired. Since I stopped my medication a week ago, now I wonder how long I can survive without treating this cancer.

Being with Shannon was so fun, it almost convinced me to live forever but then I realize she won’t be able to live with me though I lived forever because she was married to someone who was also hoping to live with her forever. Sometimes I really hope that Shannon was a guy so I could marry her.

Suddenly notification comes from my email, which is a reply from this guy I met online who was looking for a roommate. His name is Jeremy, an American born Korean who is studying here, in Paris. He’s looking for anyone who could tidy up the apartment and willing to give cheap rent price. So I emailed him promoting myself of how I would be so quiet and tidy.

“Hi there Eloise, can you come to my place tomorrow? Any time after 2 pm is fine.” He wrote. He also gave his number so I call him that I‘ll be there.

 

***

 

Meeting Jeremy was pleasant. He seemed nice and decent. He has a very messy hair which I thought he does on purpose and a very thin eyebrow, almost none. He isn’t really tall as a guy and a little too chatty but I don’t mind to hear him talking words I don’t understand about his on-line game as long as I could stay in his amazing apartment paying only 400 Euros a month plus tidying up the place. It is located in an aisle called Rue Malar and it’s only minutes away from Eiffel Tower. The apartment itself is so Paris-like with white paint and white railing and flower pots next to the main door. It’s beautiful and exactly like what I expected in mind. The opposite of the house is a restaurant called L’ami Jean which always smells delicious. My guess that Jeremy’s parents are rich and he’s a spoiled brat could probably true because he doesn’t even want to do dishes. But again, I don’t mind to wash his dishes since I don’t have many things to do anyway.

The next thing I know, I have shifted to Jeremy’s apartment, unpacking my clothes to a classy white wooden wardrobe.

“Your Laundry days are Tuesday and Friday. Wi-fi is free to use but don’t download anything after 10 at night because I need full speed for my online gaming. Friends are not allowed to stay for more than 3 days, unless she’s a really hot chick. I love free snacks once in a while, mostly American junks like chips and…” he pauses for a while, “nope. Only chips.”

“Got it. Will stock up for chips.” I say.

He chuckles, “I prefer natural taste with sea salt.”

“Okie dokie, will add sea salt on the grocery list.”

“You seem like a cool girl, Eloise.” Jeremy compliments me.

“Thanks. So do you, Jeremy.” I reply.

“Okay then. Enough for the chit-chat. I’m off to my game. Please never talk to me while I’m playing unless there’s fire or Victoria’s Secret model came by.”

“Got it.”

Jeremy then is busy with his two gigantic monitor and screaming random things on his headset while I open Safari on my iPhone, googling ‘how long does a cancer patient survive without treatments.’

Apparently, collecting information from internet is not my strength at all. I get bored reading all the articles about breast cancer, what breast cancer is, survival stories, blah blah blah. I just glance through all of them and find out it would be 18 month maximum survival rate for a person with certain stage of breast cancer.

I fondle my left breast and realize that the size of the tumor is getting bigger. I get a goosebumps just by touching it. How did it get bigger so fast? Was eating too much soufflé considered as feeding it? Huh, my sense of humor is back. Just because some times with Shannon and Jeremy’s company, I feel like wanting my life back. My life without cancer.

Then I wonder to a conclusion that actually have been admitted by my conscious a long time ago, that I wanted to suicide not because I hated my life or my family, but simply because I felt lonely. What I, Eloise, the suicidal lady, actually need is a company. I hate being alone, it makes me think scary stuffs like suicidal. I realize I’m so self-destructive and weak, which probably a kind of mental problem. But hey, who doesn’t have mental problems nowadays?

A ding sound awakes me from my depressive daydream. It’s a message from Shannon, “Check Ben’s facebook. NOW!”

I don’t waste any seconds to open Shannon’s facebook account and stalk Ben. There is a new photo of him being tagged, uploaded by his friend. He was standing in front of Louvre wearing a grey sweater and dark blue jeans. He looked handsome with that gorgeous mysterious smile.

I open a message box and he’s online, all of sudden I feel my heart pounding. I click his name and stare on a blinking type cursor.

I inhale a long breath, swallow my pride and type “Hi Ben! How are you? I see you’re in Paris now. Any plan to London?”

Shit, what am I thinking?!

I feel like I have waited forever and he doesn’t reply my message. Well, technically it isn’t my message, it is Shannon’s but still I feel rejected. So after waiting for ten minutes, I decide to log out from Shannon’s account and let my stupid guts laughs at me. I feel embarrassed for no reason at all and start to cry. I don’t want Jeremy to see me crying so I go to my room and crying for the next five minutes. What the hell is wrong with me? I’m being too sensitive over that stupid non-replied chat but even though my brain knows it is nothing close to worth crying for, the tears won’t stop streaming down to my face. I’m being over emotional, so I just sleep on it that night and hope the next morning every thing will be fine.

 

***

 

I open my eyes as the sunshine peeks between the curtains. It creates such a great silhouette of the pretty railing from my balcony. I feel so much better just seeing the sunshine. I feel fine.

Last night was an emotional roller coaster for me and it was weird because there weren’t anything worth crying and being depressed for. That stupid non-replied chat? Was that worth my tears? What a stupid thing I felt last night.

I go out from my room and the living room is empty. There is a headset on the black couch and some empty Kronenbourg cans. I pick them up and toss them on the trash can while the headset is being put back near Jeremy’s PC. The door of Jeremy’s room is opened and I see him sleeping. He probably just started to sleep.

I hit the shower after having a glass of milk and toasted bread with strawberry jam. I examine my left breast again after finish with shower, this time in front of the bathroom mirror. The left breast looks saggy and weird. I fondle carefully and there again, the tumor as a size of marble, or even slightly bigger. I’m not sure because I stop touching it. Tears start streaming down on my face again, uncontrollably. I have no idea why I become so sensitive and emotional over everything. It is the fifth time I have been crying in one week. Last year, I didn’t even cry once!

I wrap my body with the towel and come back to my room, planning to call Shannon because I miss her already. I see my iPhone’s screen is on when I enter my room and find out there had been 4 missed-calls from Shannon. I call her back right away.

“Ellie! Where have you been? It’s ten thirty for God’s sake, you just woke up?” She nags like an old woman.

“Jeez, Shan. I was in the shower. And I am allowed to wake up as late as I want because I’m in holiday!”

“Yeah, go ahead rubbing your relaxed life on my nose! I’m wiping shits from a baby’s ass!”

I laugh, “Some said it reflects fortune, Shan. Breathe them in.”

Shannon laughs along with me, “Why don’t you try yours?”

“Well I—“

“Ellie! I call you because Ben messaged me, apparently he’s replying my message!” Shannon cuts my next joke.

“What? What message?”

“Don’t act stupid, Ellie! You used my facebook to message him! What are you, thirteen?”

“Sorry about that, Shannon… I was following my guts. What did he say?”

“Your guts stopped growing up on thirteen?”

“Shannon! What did he say?”

A cry explodes in the background, “I’ve got to call you back later, ok?” Shannon says.

“Alison?”

“Yes.”

“Alright. Call me back soon, or I’ll do something stupid!”

“Huh? Like what?” asked Shannon and suddenly the line is cut off. She probably drops the phone or Alison grabs it and throws it to the sink.

I can’t wait for Shannon to call me back. I do the stupid thing right away, which is opening Shannon’s facebook, again.

Ben’s reply to Shannon is brief and decent. Wow, he’s a decent man now… And something about the reply from him sinks my heart to my stomach.

Hi Shannon, sorry I missed your message yesterday night. I fell asleep without logging off the application. Anyway, I’m in Paris at the moment, only for a week, for this architecture conference my office is having with its corporate partner. So basically I just flew 20 hours to stay in the hotel and do meetings. Can you believe that I’ve been in Paris for 4 days and haven’t visited Eiffel Tower, which I was dying to see?! I only went to Louvre Museum out of convenience because it’s just outside of my hotel.

It’s a shame I won’t be able to extend my Europe trip even though I really want to visit London or Amsterdam where all my friends are staying because of a certain project’s deadline. Keep in touch, will ya, Shannon?”

My stomach feels funny when I read the message. It’s like this weird feeling as if my heart literally sinks to the stomach because I can really hear the beating sound from my stomach and it does feel like something is beating inside. I could meet him if I want to. He stays in some hotel near Louvre that has a meeting or conference room who holds a conference for some architecture firm.

The phone rings and it shocks me like hell as if I’m getting caught of planning some crime. I’m not planning anything bad, but I feel ashamed somehow, without no reason at all.

It’s Shannon again on the phone, “Ellie! I’m back.”

“He’s here, Shannon! Very near! And I know where he is!”

“Well, I guess you already read the message.”

“Yes.”

“So?”

“So?”

“What would you do now?” Shannon asks.

There’s a long pause. I’m not sure if I should tell Shannon my plan because I’m so scared for judgment.

“You want to meet him, don’t you, Ellie?” She asks again, softly this time.

“Um… Kinda.” I reply, acting cool.

“I know you want to, not kinda want to. Just be straight with me here.”

I hesitate for a while, but then I reply, “Yes. I do want to meet him. Is that weird?”

“Well… I don’t know. Kinda.”

“Shannon!” I snap at her.

“I was kidding, Ellie. It’s not weird to have developed certain feeling to a certain man.”

“What certain feeling? What do you mean? It’s not like I’m in love or something, Shannon! Please, I haven’t met him for million years! I didn’t even—“

“Jeez, Ellie! Did I say you’re in love with him? Relax, Ellie, I thought you’re in a holiday.” Then she laughs as if she just won something.

“Listen, Ellie…” Shannon talks seriously, “I don’t know why suddenly Ben came into the picture and why you’re really interested with him. But I hope you don’t have high expectation because this is not the Ben who gave you chocolate medal anymore. Like you said, it’s been million years since that happened. He might have already forgotten about it and…” Ellie pauses for a while, “He might have forgotten about you too.”

On that moment, I realize Shannon is right. I have been delusional these past three days, thinking about Ben and how he still finds me special when actually he might have forgotten about me. He might have so many girlfriends after that 6th grade confession to me and his memory of me then replaced by so many other girls.

“Ellie, are you still there?” Shannon talks softly.

“Yeah.” I answer nonchalantly.

A knock on my door distracts my focus from the phone to the door. “Jeremy?” I shout. A blurry yes replied me. Then I realize I’m still naked.

I tell Shannon that I gotta go and will call her later, put my worn out pajamas and open the door, “Hey, why are you awake so early?”

“It’s almost noon, I’m hungry.” He replies. I can see his eyes are still red.

“You want something to eat?” I ask.

“Would that trouble you?” He tries to be polite.

“Not at all. I can only make a sandwich for you because I gotta go somewhere.” Then I walk to the kitchen while Jeremy has already gotten comfortable on the couch.

“Hey Jeremy?” I ask him from the kitchen counter.

“Yeah?”

“Any hotel near LouvreMuseum that has a good conference room?”

“Um… There are tons of hotel around that area, you know. It would be a hitch just to find one hotel.”

Well, that helps a lot, I think sarcastically.

“Why do you need a conference room?” asked Jeremy.

I don’t answer that because it will be too complicated to answer so I just finish up his sandwich with extra mustard and put it on a plate, “there you go!” and I give it to him.

He thanks me for the sandwich and comments, “Well, it’s a sunny day for going out, Eloise. Just don’t forget to change because right now, I can easily see through your shirt.”

“Ew, Jeremy!” I thump his arm with a TV remote and leave him laughing while chomping his sandwich.

I go to my room to change and put on a bra, of course. I smile when I realize it has been so long, too long, since I get confused dressing up to meet a boy. And the warmth feeling filled the hole in my heart, once again, just because of thinking about this man named Ben whom I never met since 6th grade.