Here’s chapter 14 of the new book, Dr. Clay, I’ve been writing since NaNoWriMo 2022. Enjoy reading. Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below.
“Where are you, Clay?” Elizabeth whispered, gulping as she began to feel choked, trying to hold the tears back. While she was in the middle of the passing employees, she walked to and fro before the glass windows, looking down with her phone in her hand.
When she saw nothing, she redialed Clay’s number for the hundredth time since he left her home, only to get directed to the voice mail. She crossed her arms and flicked the device onto her chin. Then, she remembered the woman she had encountered earlier, which made her scoff and shook her head in disbelief.
“Unbelievable,” she said, glowering and knitting her eyebrows, and shook her head before she hopped in her car and drove home.
When she arrived at her condo, she walked into her room and still received no news from the man she never expected would abandon her. It had been days since she hadn’t known where he was despite the countless times she tried to reach him.
Feeling defeated by Clay’s torturous mind games, she threw her bag on the couch and herself onto the plush surface as if lashing out. Then, when she looked up to the ceiling, she felt the tears begin to stream down her face, feeling choked. She was still trying to get hold of herself, thinking it was not very reasonable to do it—for a woman as successful as her.
Despite being a Gutierrez, she thought she proved to everyone that she could do something great. She thought she could become someone whom her family could be proud of. And with this project, she felt she could become the woman Clay could be proud of.
“Yet, in the end, I’m losing everything,” Elizabeth whispered as she pulled herself forward, facing down and threading her fingers. She shut her eyes as the tears began to dampen the floor before she stood, dragging herself to the fridge and taking a bottle of wine and a glass. “I guess my father was right. I’ll always be a loser,” she said as she sighed, shutting her eyes to see the blurry image of them when they were younger and were so in love. Then, she opened her eyes again when tears streamed down her cheeks. She flicked her head and wiped the tears with the back of her palm, sniffing.
After downing a glass in a shot, she walked back to the couch with the bottle and a glass in her other hand and sat where she exactly sat before. As she went on in her deep thoughts, she was startled when she felt her device vibrate, thinking she had received a message from Clay. At that time, she had already finished two more bottles.
Despite her foggy state, she tried to pull herself to reach her phone as if it was the finish line. She groaned when she began to crawl, pulling herself forward, though her body had a life on its own, heading somewhere. After a few more attempts, she reached it, stretching her lips wide. “Yes!”
But then she frowned when she saw it was just her notification, reminding her to get fit the next day. She thought if she could do something else during the weekend, that would be a better way to cope with everything. After the disastrous meeting, she didn’t have anything else planned except hunting Clay wherever he was.
When she pulled the device away from her face, she saw an old photo of them together back in their college days. Back then, she had a shoulder-length fringe, wearing a collared polo with a student government logo printed on the left side just above her chest. Clay had funny, frisky hair with an orange-printed bandana wrapped around his head—looking so carefree that it matched his giant smile—and wore the same shirt as her.
Elizabeth chuckled when she remembered how Clay almost dropped her phone while taking their first selfie as a couple on Christmas Eve. And it was a long time ago. Now, she was terrified as they grew distant, which conflicted with the good, old memories she had with him, even though she knew she had wanted to commit her life to him.
“Hey, you guys, Elizabeth said yes! She’s my girlfriend!” Clay said with his arms raised in excitement. He was so thrilled that he wrapped her around his arms, hugging her before lifting her off the ground.
“We’re not surprised.”
“Who said that?” Clay said, turning his head.
When Elizabeth surprised the right, her eyes widened, which caught Clay’s attention. So, when they both turned, facing the entry, they were aghast when they realized they weren’t alone. The other officers and staff were there, gathering in silence as they were having fun about the show unfolding before them.
“Congratulations! Why did it take so long?”
“For sure, Liz is the perfect woman fit for Clay.”
“That’s not debatable.”
“They fancy each other so much that I won’t be surprised if they get married.”
A little later, she squeezed her face, attempting to stop herself from crying again. In her mind, she was once an assertive woman. A woman who knew what she wanted until she unknowingly found herself in a dire, hopeless situation. A queen who fought the battle until the end, hoping she wouldn’t lose her king.
While she was reeling the good memories of the past, she smiled. But that didn’t last long when she recalled what happened a few days ago. What she saw that day remained in her mind, and not knowing what she was losing felt more disturbing to her.
Did something die? What happened, Liz? In her mind, she knew something was wrong. Although she tried to ignore it, as she walked a few steps to her living room, her legs wobbled as if they were losing strength, pulling herself down to her knees. She covered her face with both hands and screamed her lungs out, repeatedly murmuring lines like she was high in crack. She went on sprawling on her carpeted floors, crying, which echoed through her dark space, filling the void of emptiness her heart could no longer fathom. Delete Created with Sketch.
“Hey, it’s Agatha! Welcome to my channel. Today will be tough tonight because I’ll be talking about something I’d never discussed before. At least, in my channel….”
While Agatha’s voice played in the background, Elizabeth was on the couch with her arms up, watching the video while thinking about how she admired Agatha’s courage to confidently reveal the awful stuff in her life. Then, when she found herself reeling the events during the meeting, she pulled away the device and shut her eyes, pressing the back of her hand on her forehead.
“What the hell am I doing?” she said in a strained voice.
Then, she heard her phone ring. Thinking it was Clay, she pulled herself up and looked at the screen anxiously. But then, it was a call from her mother, and it didn’t take long for her to get caught up in a dilemma. Should she answer it or not? As the phone kept singing melodies, she raised her head to the ceiling and kept staring at it until there was no phone call anymore.
Thinking going to the gym would be a great distraction, she headed to her closet, wore her favorite gym clothes, and walked out of her condo. She thought the gym was just nearby her condo, so she won’t need to exert more effort and endure stress while commuting. In her mind, it was clear to her that she didn’t want to do anything more stressful than she was at this point. At least, when she managed to get her required numbers, she felt like she had won something.
Not long after, she walked in and went to the equipment she wanted to use. She paused when she saw somebody in the mirror who looked familiar. Despite her attempts to hide his curiosity, her gut feeling spoke otherwise. So, she pulled herself and glanced at the woman to know who she was.
“Agatha De Lara?” she said after pulling herself up, and without qualms, she walked towards her on tiptoes, and her eyes widened in awe. “Excuse me?”
“Yes?” Agatha said with a smile, but that smile faded as frustration began to overpower her senses again. “It’s you again?” she said, clucking while crossing her arms, revealing the crevices around her chest with her tight pink sports bra. However, she didn’t expect Elizabeth’s eyes to glow as if she was in sudden awe.
“Oh my God, Agatha? I never would expect to meet you here,” Elizabeth said with excitement and a smile as she grabbed Agatha’s hand, squeezing it.
Agatha looked confused and pulled her hand away, yanking it away from Elizabeth, and then crossed her arms. “Hey, stop playing games with me. You owe me something.”
Elizabeth looked confused, cocking an eyebrow. “Excuse me?”
“Do you remember the GoPro you broke?” Agatha arched an eyebrow.
There’s no way that woman was Agatha. “Was that you?” Elizabeth stuttered.
“Yes, the stupid woman who wore eyeglasses at night. Remember?”
Then, at that moment, the look on Elizabeth’s face changed from a cheerful smile to a menacing frown. Knowing it was odd to ask why she was there, what Elizabeth thought she could do was try to ignore the woman. She was too embarrassed and was in desperate need of an escape.
“Hey! I’m still talking to you!” Agatha sputtered, watching Elizabeth walking out. But when she had hit her face with a piece of towel, she scoffed and laughed in disbelief. “What the fuck!” she whispered before she dashed towards her. Before Elizabeth could reach the next piece of equipment, she grabbed her arm, pulling her in her direction. “Did you just hit me?” she said in a louder, frustrated tone as she walked closer and stood there, glowering.
“Look, I’m not here to start a war,” Elizabeth said, turned her head, and revealed her grimace as she uttered words, warning the beautiful stranger to back off with a gesture.
“But why did you hit me?”
“Sorry. It was an accident,” Elizabeth said with a sarcastic tone. But I didn’t mean to.
“Accident? Wasn’t that how it was the last time? Aren’t you being inconsistent?”
Elizabeth shut her mouth as she let out a grimace, expressing how distressed she was.
“‘If you could have just looked around properly, it shouldn’t have happened.’ Isn’t that what you said?”
Damn. She wasn’t prepared for that coming and could not answer Agatha’s blunt remark, leaving her crossing her arms and scoffing. She crossed her arms and leaned her weight on one leg. I’m sorry. “I’m not going to pay for whatever. It was your fault, and I got injured. Did I ask you to pay? No, right? So, we’re fair. Period,” she said and was about to walk out before Agatha walked in strides to catch up.
While walking side by side with Elizabeth, she tried to speed up more and stand in front of her. After Elizabeth let out an irritated sigh, she looked at her with confidence and flicked an eyebrow, which made the Rich Bitch grow more annoyed. “You look like you’re from a rich family,” Agatha said.
Oh my God. “Yes, you’re right. I am a rich woman. Any problems?” Elizabeth said in a slow, elegant way. She did it as if she wanted to impose something on Agatha without knowing what to expect. Little did she know Agatha came to see her prepared after their meaningful encounter not too long ago.
Without Elizabeth knowing, she scanned the surrounding people and noticed how they slowly gathered, filming them. With her growing frustration, she struggled to keep a face, fearing losing it. Because a slight stupid mistake could cost her her job, income, and life, she couldn’t bear losing it all because she lost control over this imposing woman. So, all she could do was handle the situation as positively as possible.
As she kept Elizabeth waiting, she inhaled deep breaths and sighed before she looked into Elizabeth’s eyes. “Oh, you’re a rich girl,” Agatha paused and stood closer to her, leaning forward and reaching out her hand.
“Why would you care?” Elizabeth asked.
Then, she pulled her towards her and hugged her. Her mouth was close enough to Elizabeth’s ears when she turned her head. “At least, I am confident you can pay what you owe me, Rich Bitch. Got to go. It was nice meeting you.”
What did she just say? Elizabeth scoffed as she knitted her eyebrows. Goddamn it. “How dare you say that to me! Take it back,” she whispered with determination while she tried to free herself from Agatha. As their eyes linked, she thought, wow, she could see how passionate and fierce this woman’s eyes were.
She recalled how she admired Agatha’s first uploaded video years ago, explaining her real experience with the product she tried. While her mind reeled over her youthful moments, she realized why she liked this woman. It wasn’t only because she admired Agatha because of her almond-shaped, light brown eyes but also because of the fire she saw within her. She wanted the confidence to fight for the children and against Anais. That was the reason for subscribing to her channel back then. Until now, she remained one of her OG fans.
While in deep thought, exchanging gazes, Agatha didn’t say a word as she released her, letting out a wider smile and a peace hand sign. Wait a minute. She shouldn’t be gazing at her. She should be smacking her instead. When Elizabeth saw her mocking, arching an eyebrow, she jolted and returned to her senses, realizing the ongoing situation. She was supposed to be angry at her. As much as she wanted to fight back, it was too late as she saw Agatha walking out.
Elizabeth was about to run to her, but when she looked around, she couldn’t move an inch as more people gathered around her with their phones and camera flashes. Though she remained still, she was in unimaginable distress that all she could do was to briefly shut her eyes, listening to every word they said about her.
“Who is she?” one of them whispered loud enough for Elizabeth could hear from her distance. When she looked down, she heard another disturbing comment from someone nearer her.
“How could she say something like that to her?”
While Agatha was enjoying the show she created, she smirked. “You deserve it, bitch!” she said and chuckled, shaking her head as she walked out. Then, she paused after she crossed the street, turned to face the gym, and frowned. “Maybe, it was too much? I don’t care,” she whispered and clucked before she heard a phone call. So, she grabbed her device and saw Valon calling. “Hi, Kuya! What’s up?”
Thank you so much for spending time reading this chapter. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did when I wrote this part three months ago. This chapter, in particular, reminded me of those times when I sat before my desk, seemingly prepared to type in words, but I struggled to keep it up.
It took an external motivation to get it through, and, at that time, the NaNoWriMo event was upcoming. At that time, I thought, “This could be a great opportunity to try and give this a shot one more time. You’d done an excellent job with ‘The Rival,’ so you could do it, Mecyll.”
You know, it’s easier said than done because writing a chapter with a clear intent to finish it requires more than just a skill. Since I started writing fiction, I realized how much this work demands my ability to be naked and the guarantees to answer whether I was mentally, emotionally, and spiritually prepared to face my fears, conscious or unconscious.
So, being able to write this down meant I managed despite the countless times dancing around with depression and enjoying the roller coaster rides my anxiety provided me.
This is why I don’t know how I could thank you for your support, regardless of the scale or contribution size, from sharing my work with others or buying my books. It doesn’t matter because, for me, every small act you show is appreciated.
Again, thank you, and have a great day!