Chapter 4: Situations
Cast was dazed by Lina. Not just by her chaste looks or by her peculiar attitude but greatly by her simple way of thinking. She's a very down to earth person. She sees all the amazing things about herself as normal. She finds great gratitude for someone that gives her a compliment and keeps her humility up.
When he saw her arrive looking for him, his heart was filled with joy. Too much of it that he even thought that he will die from it.
Even though he and Lina made a promise that they will meet again, a part of him still doubt that it will happen. It gives him a sleepless evening last night thinking about the possibility that she will never come. Only to end up his speculation wrong. Lina is a one of a kind woman. She is gentle in nature and brave at heart that will rather die than to break a promise making him realize that doesn't want her out of his life even though it means that he has to pay blood for it.
It's very wrong and very selfish of him.
But at the moment, he doesn't care.
"You know what, when you say it that way I find it nice being called weird."
"And I find you weirder when you're acting so nice. But thanks anyway."
His mood dropped a bit hearing the word "nice again. "I told you I'm not nice."
"You keep on saying that but you're actions speaks differently."
Cast shook his head. He knows better and it has always been as clear as crystal to him that he is not that kind of man that she is referring and he'll never will. "No Lina. This is not me being nice or kind. This is me who finds my self having troubles on why is it that regardless of what this girl in front of me," he looked meaningfully on her, making her know that he is pertaining to her, "says or do I always ended up being amuse by her rather than to be angered."
"Because you're a good man, Cast. You just think you're not because you haven't realized it yet."
"I'm not," Cast insisted. "I know it for a matter of fact. And I know that I've never been and will never be that kind of person. I don't want you to have the wrong assumption towards me, that's why I'm telling you all of these right now."
"Cast, I know this is still early for me to say this but––"
Cast met her gaze. Warmth flooded on him when he saw the kindness enveloping in her golden eyes, a kindness that she is offering to him. And also the kindness he doesn't deserve.
"––please believe me."
He wanted to argue with her for this matter. Cast doesn't want to make Lina believe in any false discernment on what kind of a person he is. But seeing that immense faith mirroring in her eyes, how can he not believe her. If she still sees that goodness in which he'd believe that no longer exist within him then he will believe her. And maybe she's might be right, there might still be some goodness left inside him. "I'll try."
"Great!" She was glad to hear that kind of answer from him.
"I said I'll try. I didn't promise anything."
"You said that you will try, that's good enough already."
Cast rested his back on the chair. He let out a heavy sigh and relaxed his self. "Okay, enough for that." He finally dismissed their current topic. "My issues can wait and we're not here to settle any of those."
For him they're already misleading from the true purpose of their meeting. He didn't arrange all of these to deal with his dilemmas in life. He wanted to be with her and to know her more.
"Anyway, I guess it's still my turn to ask question."
"Of course," Lina instantly catch the cue on it. The reason on why they are here is to know more about each other and not to discuss each one's personal struggles. "You're free to ask anything."
The server returned along with their orders. When she left, Cast started. "Let's start with something simple today, shall we?"
"First question, what's your favorite color?"
"Red," she answered while taking the first scoop of her ice cream.
"A strong one, pretty nice," he complimented. "How about on music?"
"Pop and rock but I love listening to mellow sometimes." For some unknown reason, she giggled.
"Favorite showbiz personality?"
"I don't like showbiz."
"Good thing to know. So am I." Another similarity between them popped out again.
"But I do love to watch movies. I don't care who plays the main role as long as the story is cool."
"Movies? What kind of movies?"
"Actions?" Cast repeated in disbelief. "That's pretty unusual taste for a woman."
"It is. I found action movies to be more interesting than the others. They are more thrilling and breathtaking to watch. Romance and drama often sucks. It drains your brain when you tried to understand the story. I tried to watch one once and I swear until now my head still throb in pain every time I make a mistake to think about it."
"Dramas contain better storylines. But it pertains to the real life stories which are probably the most complicated of all, that's why it sucks.
"Yes, it does. That's why I don't like it."
He inclined his head, agreeing to her opinion, "How about in books?"
"History and Ancient Civilization."
"Oh! A time traveler I presume."
She grinned, "You can say that again. Reading books about history and the ancient world is really like time traveling and it makes me feels like I'm actually there at the time that it all happens."
"It sounds like you love adventures."
"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing."
"It's Helen Adams Keller
if I'm not mistaking."
"You know her?"
Cast nodded, "I read her first book The Story of My Life.
She's both blind and deaf but that didn't stop her on placing her name along the halls of great writers."
She looks greatly astounded upon hearing that from him. It will be a complete surprise anyway that he knows about the blind author. Only few nowadays know about Helen Adams Keller and her works and most of them are either be an old man or a bookworm nerd. Both which he is not.
Lina wouldn't expect him to actually place an interest on something that most people of their age see it as an extremely boring stuff.
On the other hand, it also surprised him that Lina is interested to her. "She's one of the few personalities in history that I admire the most."
"She's an amazing woman. And if you wanted to, you can include me as one of her fans."
"Sure will. That will make two of us now."
"The next question is about food. What's your favorite?"
Lina gulped and hesitated to answer. She blushed in an embarrass way when he asked her about food. "I'm not really picky when it comes to food. When I see food and its eatable, I don't see any reason why I can't dig on it."
She put her answer in the vague way. But the one that is on her lap give him a better answer. "You're a big eater, aren't you?"
Lina almost choke, confirming his assumption. "How did you know?"
"Its only been three minutes since it arrived but," he looked down again on her cup of ice cream in front of her, "your ice cream is gone."
Lina looked on her front and found her bowl that should be full of ice cream is now completely empty. The indefensible truth makes her cheeks reddened in sheer embarrassment. Lina hesitantly look at him, "I'm sorry, I wasn't aware."
Cast burst into laughter, "There's no need to be self-conscious, I really don't mind."
"You're probably thinking that I'm an ill-mannered person."
"No," Cast denied fiercely, "of course not. To tell you the truth, I'm actually relieved that you're not holding back. It only means that you're getting comfortable with me around."
The skin on her cheeks burned again, "It's not that hard to be at ease around you," she said, meeting again his gaze with a coy smile.
"I also feel the same. It's not that hard to be at ease with you too. I bet that you have lots of friends.
Lina curled her lips and her expression turned sad, "Not really, at school I only had one friend. Anna. I consider her as my best friend but she doesn't see me that way in return. So technically we are not that close to each other."
"If she treats you like that, she doesn't appear to be a good friend." Cast said, with fragments of anger in his voice. For him, those people are so cruel not to treasure a sweet girl like Lina.
"No, Anna is a good friend and someone that I can rely on when there times that I am in need. The reason why we are being separated at each other is because of our differences. She's the socialize type while I'm the sedate one. Aside from me, Anna has a lot of other friends that she prioritized first before me."
"And you're okay with that?"
"She's all I have."
"Not anymore." Cast feels a mixture of sadness and anger. He can't accept the fact that other people are just throwing away the sole thing that he's longing. What he wouldn't give just to take the place of that girl named Anna in Lina's life.
She gave him a whole-hearted grin.
"I'm also here Lina. And if you'll give me a chance, I wanted also to be your friend."
"What are you saying Cast? We are friends."
Officially hearing it from her, Cast doesn't know what kind of reaction to make so that will be enough to describe the extreme happiness that filled his heart at the moment. They are friends. She accepted him to be a part of her life now. "It's nice to hear that." Sadness was undeniable under his smile. "Thank you."
"Thank you for what?"
"For accepting me. As your friend."
"You don't need to thank me. Friendship is not something that you give. It's something that you simply share. And I'm more than willing to share that with you."
Happiness flooded him. "I know that, that's why I'm thanking you."
"Silly." Those luscious lips of hers vibrated into chuckles and stole his heart. When she meet his gaze she asked, "So are you done with your questions?"
Bringing it back to the topic he replied, "No," he shook his head. "Not yet."
"Then let's move on. I also have some questions when you're done."
"Of course." With that, he continues and spent the rest of the afternoon bringing more light in his life.
Lina and Cast discussed through a lot of things about each other especially the things that they're currently setting their focus and interests on. They are getting more and more strain free at each other, proven by the things about their personal lives that they'd managed to share to each one.
Lina told Cast that she used to play tennis, something that she never breathed to anyone before, not even to Anna who had been her friend for a long time. As far as she and everyone know, aside from academics she sucks on everything. While Cast told her that he cooks. It totally surprised Lina. A gorgeous man who can cook, she is surely looking forward to eat some meal made by him.
But just like the other day, time bestows its cruelty to them.
"So it's goodbye again?" Cast said, looking at her with his searing eyes that are filled with sadness again.
Painful as always, the day has to end for them again. Sometimes, Lina wished that she has the power to stop time for them. But it's too much to ask. Cast is already a great thing that happened to her and asking to have him longer is already too much to ask on life. "Yeah, I really hate to cut this but it's almost seven so I need to go home."
"Can we see each other again?" he asked with a hopeful face.
"Of course." The only thing that is inside Lina's mind is the next opportunity that to spend more time with him. And from this very moment, she realized that she can no longer make it through a day without seeing him. Even just seeing him. "Anytime."
"How about tomorrow?"
Though Lina pleaded that Cast would ask her again, her lips still parted in surprise that he actually did, "That soon?"
Life is still kind to her. "Sure, I would love to. Same place?"
"Yes. Same place, same time."
With a very pleased smile, she nodded, "Okay, I'll be here."
"And I'll be waiting."
Lina gets into her bicycle and looks at Cast. Odd as it seems but the idea that she won't see him for a while saddened her. "See you again tomorrow."
"Bye," Lina waves him goodbye before she starts pedaling on her bike. And just like the other day, while augmenting the distance between them, she repetitively looks back at him until he was no longer at sight.
Lina desired to be with him again and even always. The more that she knows Cast, the more that he ached for him. Through their entire conversation she perceived the loneliness that Cast is keeping. A loneliness that's even stronger than hers. And it scares her. Making her ask herself of what could have possibly hurt him in the past that makes him this guarded.
But what scares her more was the desire residing within her, the desire to be the one to ease his loneliness.
And not just the "One"
but the "Only One."
Left and alone again, Cast seated back to the table. After a few minutes of waiting, a well dressed man carrying a briefcase arrives. He nervously seated on the opposite side of the table where Lina once seated a while ago.
"Did you bring what I need?" Cast asked in a commanding tone. The warm and serene presence that he carries when he was with Lina earlier is completely gone. Now, his presence before this man only radiates coldness.
The man answered unsteadily, "Yes sir. Mr. Myne ordered me to deliver these to you." The man opened his briefcase and handed Cast a brown folder and a small envelope.
Cast opens the folder and the envelope to check its content. "Do you find it a nuisance that my brother makes a CEOR Prime like yourself to perform a mailman's job?"
"No, of course not sir. I don't mind doing anything that I can for the company."
"Pathetic," he commented in a flat tone and shut the envelope close. "Where's my car?"
The man handed him the keys with shaky hands. "I parked at the opposite side of the street, sir."
"Okay, you can leave now."
Cast slid up from his seat walked away leaving the trembling guy behind. He picked his phone and speed dialed Luch's number. It didn't take long for him to answer. "Luch?""Hey Cast, you have it?"
"I have it.""Great! You need anything else?"
"Nope." He shut the phone off, he looked at his cellphone and he suddenly remembered something that he was supposed to ask Lina. When realization struck him, he cursed, "Damn!" He forgot to ask for her number again.
Entering his car, he punched the steering wheel for his foolishness, second time in a row that he forgot it again. And he can't believe on how absent-minded he'd become whenever he's in front of her. He is not being his self anymore. He knows for a fact because he is not like this. He is a precise and a well organized person.
But his current actions are all out of hand, and he knew it. "What have you done to me, Lina?"
He loves to be with Lina's company and he wants her to be near him most of the time. She is also just the only person that makes him truly happy after a very long time. But what he can't understand is how can Lina affect him that way?
She's unconsciously changing him and he's letting her change him.Why?
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ?
Cast remains unmoving inside his car for a while, thinking about everything, trying to find any damned answer from all his questions but found none. Unable to find his desired answers, Cast just decided to just let it go. He doesn't need any answer. He doesn't need any reason. What he needs is Lina. He needs her and that's the only thing that matters to him.
Making up his mind, he started off the engine back to his empty asylum where he will wait for another lonely night for the light of the dawn to come and shine again in his world.Seattle, Washington
Time for school again.
Lina looked at her alarm clock. The time is 7am. It bothers her sleep but at least it alarmed this time.
It was a rare event. She doesn't need to be at haste to go to school.
She got up from bed and removed her clothes to have her shower. Lina decided to wear something which is a little bit more girly in respect to Cast whom she will meet again later. But the problem is she only has T-shirts, long sleeve sweaters, and jackets inside her dresser. She doesn't like skirts and she never bought any blouse. Her shorts are all for sleeping purposes. And it means that they are too thin and skin exposing. She won't wear that kind of clothing outside except if she wants to humiliate herself.
Leaving her with no choice, she took her most fitted T-shirt which is still too loose for her since the T-shirt's size is a medium size in comparison to her ideal T-shirt size which should only be small.Damn!
She fail to realize it back then that her choice of clothing will become troublesome in the near future. If she only knew that she will meet Cast, she should have bought at least one blouse or a semi-fit T-shirt.
Kelly was just about to finish cooking breakfast when Lina arrive at the kitchen. She saw the surprise on her face upon seeing her. "You're early?"
"Yeah, the clock didn't bust today."
Kelly chuckled, "It's been a while since the last time I saw you awake this early."
"I know," she seated. "So what's for breakfast?"
"We have hams, bacons, fried eggs, waffles, pancakes, and I made some oat meals, all for your big appetite."
Lina licked her upper lip upon seeing the foods on the table, "They all look tasty. Thanks Kells."
"Sure little girl," Kelly gave her a motherly smile. "Eat up, you're early today. It's a shame if you'll still get late."
"Of course." Lina munched on the food. They are still hot and burned her tongue but she didn't care. The start of the day appears to be nice and she has a feeling that it will continue to be this way throughout the rest.
Her day at school goes smoothly for her as she expected. She wasn't late and not a single teacher had scolded her, not even her own personal nightmare in their Biology class, Mr. Hudson.
His exam was as easy as pie to her and even finished the entire test 30 minutes earlier than the expected time while the others are still struggling in answering. Of course, it makes Hudson angry. He even glared on her when she passed her papers. He can't accept the fact that the student he hated the most is the one that is top notching in his class.
The Miss Popular Cassandra Maxville
is back after her two weeks absence. She'd attended during their History class. And as usual, she keeps on boasting and babbling about her latest trip outside the country to her friends which unfortunately includes Anna. If she's not mistaking, it was Paris this time.
Lina mused. Now that Maxville is back, Anna won't hang out with her much more often now. School hours will be lonesome for her again.Is it?
Cast's image instantly flashes in her head, making her heats. After this class they are going to be together again, an entire afternoon of just the two of them chatting and eating ice cream. It sends her shivers. She's going to see his perfection again. His eyes. His face. His body.
It sends giggles throughout her body by just imagining the serene voice of Cast.
God knows she can't wait.
She so badly wants to see him now. Even though that his mere presence create a fatal effect on every sane reasoning that she possessed she couldn't make her self to care any less at the moment. All she wants to happen is to see him, to be with him.
Anna confronted her after the class. Of course, after Maxville and her minions left the room first. As expected, she told her that she can't hang around with her again for the meantime while Maxville is still around. "Sorry Lina, Sandra is demanding for the entire group's time."
Yeah, to turn you and other girls into her personal slaves.
"It's okay, I understand."
It's always the same. Nothing changed in these past three years. For Anna, her social standing in the school has more importance than their friendship. Anna had told her for a numerous times of how much she hated Sandra's attitude and the way she treated her and the other girls. But they can do nothing about it because being around Sandra drastically raises their social status.
Sandra is not just a Miss Popular at their school just because of her good looks. She's also a model with a family that belongs on the high class society. Her father is known lawyer in Seattle and most of his clients are politicians, celebrities and huge business tycoons including her brother's businesses, the Empress and the Mimic. They will surely freak out if they found out that her family owns all those monster businesses.
"I know you will," Anna wrapped her arms around her and gave her a half-hearted squeeze. "Bye," she whispered.
Of course, Lina always does. Understand her, again. "Bye."
When Anna was gone, Lina waited to feel that familiar stir inside her to happen. Usually whenever something like this happened in the past, every time similar to this situation occurs between her and Anna, she usually feels depress for the reason that she will lose her friend for quite some time.
She anticipated that heavy feeling to strike.
She feels no heavy feeling except for the thorough relief that she doesn't have to deal with Anna's half-hearted friendship towards her for a while.
She looked at her watch and panicked. It's almost time. And she's wasting her precious time thinking about senseless matters rather than making her way to her appointment with her "living miracle."
Cast was already waiting at their table when she arrived. And as always, it nearly took her breath away on just the first glance on him.
It is still 10 minutes before their arranged time, but it was too obvious that Cast had already been there and waiting for a long time.
Both guilt and flattering feelings mixed up in her. Flattered, because as a friend Cast had prioritized her and guilty, because she had no idea on how will she be able to return him the favor.
Cast appeared secluded. He had his eyes locked to the table with both his muscled arms crossed upon his chest. A common view of a man waiting for someone, a kind of scenery that people will just ignore.
But with that captivating aura that wraps him. Even that regular type of occurrence attracts attentions. Many people especially women that passes by couldn't help to stole or even lock a gaze on him.
There was even a fine looking blonde woman clad in a tight red dress stopped near Cast and pretends to answer a sudden call. The woman positioned herself in an area that is within Cast's field of vision and she graciously sways her body, offering Cast every angles of her well shaped body while continuing to act like she's talking with someone on her phone.
The woman is indeed very attractive. She has a great body, tall, and has an excellent taste in clothes.
Her actions were all intended to catch Cast's attention. And Lina expected that it will. But unfortunately, Cast didn't even budge.
He was carrying a cold and stern expression and he didn't even pay any attention to the existence of the beautiful woman that is showing off in front of him.
Seeing that her efforts are going to nowhere, with a surrendering sigh, the woman ended her fake call and left. Lina then decided to finally approach him.END OF CHAPTER 4