Here’s chapter 2 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.
Clay was driving to his family’s house when his mind kept returning to the earlier incidents that had followed him for so long. He saw on display a notification that he had received a call. When he pressed the button, Elizabeth’s voice came through. “Love, I’ve heard you’re returning home,” she said.
“Is that a joke?”
She chuckled. “Yeah, I know it’s not your home. That’s why I called you earlier out of concern, at least before you arrived there. Because I understand that going there isn’t easy for you.”
“Anyway, I hope everything will be okay.”
“I hope so,” he said with disinterest, pressing his elbow on the car door while the other hand kept steering. When he reached the intersection, he stopped the car after the traffic light displayed a red light. While waiting for the green light, he glanced at the display and noticed Elizabeth remained in the line. “How about you, Love? Are you okay?”
“Yeah, I’m fine, though I feel anxious about whatever will happen after you meet your family tonight. Seriously, I do.”
He let out a faint smile on his face. “Don’t worry. I’ll be fine.” I guess. When he saw the green light, he changed gears. “Anyway, have to go,” he said as he changed gear.
“Call me when you’re home,” she said.
“Sure. I will.” He hung up the call and stepped on the gas, speeding up along with the traffic of cars until he arrived at the village not far away from the city. He turned the car and drove straight ahead until he saw the gate and honked. When the maids opened the gate, he parked the car inside.
As he hopped off the car, he stood in front of the mansion, raising his face to the roof, scanning it down the ground before he proceeded with the surrounding lush of small trees and Bermuda grasses planted around the property. Nothing has changed.
He sighed and walked inside. When he did, he saw his mom standing near the door, and when she turned and saw her son, her eyes widened as she raised both arms, welcoming the prodigal son’s return.
“Clay. You returned!” she said, hugging him.
While she wrapped her arms around her long-lost son, Clay turned his head and saw his two brothers and sister standing not too far away as they watched their reunion. As soon as his mother pulled away from him and looked into his eyes, she pressed both hands on his face before raising him to his height, kissing his cheeks, and hugging him again.
“Anyway, we’re happy you come back, my dear brother,” his elder sister, Anais, said as she strolled in their direction with a glass of wine. She crossed her hands and tilted her head, observing her brother from head to toe with an arched eyebrow. “How have you been?”
“I’m fine. Thanks for asking, Anais,” Clay said coldly, rolling his eyes before he looked at his mother with a smile. “I’m glad to see you, mom.”
Marcela smiled. “Anyway, dinner is ready,” she said, her hands behind the young doctor’s back, guiding him towards the dining area.
As they strolled, he glanced at his two brothers walking beside Anais while murmuring things with her. He scoffed and continued walking until they reached the dining table where his father was. As soon as they exchanged stares, Clay suddenly felt queasy, almost sick to his stomach. Despite the uneasiness, he kept his composure as he sat beside his mother, a few chairs away from the older man.
At that moment, the servants began placing the plates and utensils while some placed the steaming dishes on the table. While they continued, the older man cleared his throat and looked at Clay, observing him, looking fascinated. His eyebrows knitted, and his fingers threaded.
“Let’s say our prayers and sign the cross in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Lord, thank you for our gifts. Although we’re sinners, we don’t deserve them. You’ve provided our family with a bountiful life, comfortable shelter, and useful children who have come together for the first time in five years. Lord, bless this food we’re about to receive from Thy bounty through Christ our Lord. Amen,” he said in chorus with the rest of the family, gesturing them to do the same, except for Clay. After he pressed his finger to his chest, Clay’s inaction stood out to him. “How long has it been, Clay?”
“Drop it, Saturnino!” Marcela said to hush the conversation.
His sudden inquiry startled Clay. Before he could even reply, he kept looking at his empty plate, trying to gain enough courage to stand his father’s resentful look in his eyes. When he managed to muster the balls of steel and looked at the older man, he looked at him with disinterest, although his chest was tight.
“It’s been five years since you left, has it?” the old man continued, ignoring his wife while his attention was on the food being prepared in front of him. Before he scooped a spoonful of the dish, he looked at his son again.
“Yes, dad.” The only words Clay managed to express while feeling choked frustrated him. Even though he placed a few spoonfuls of food on his plate, he couldn’t find the energy to dive in. So, he kept shoving the vegetables around as if eating was a show and a competition to win, though he loved food by default.
“And you still don’t have plans to come back?” the eldest brother, Rafael, said aloud, almost insultingly, while arching an eyebrow. “How long do you intend to keep doing this, Clay?”
“For as long as I want,” Clay said without looking into his brother’s eyes and focused on the food he was about to feed himself.
Rafael scoffed and shook his head. “Do you think you’re that great? Aren’t you too narcissistic to think you’re better than any of us?”
Clay stopped feeding himself and scoffed instead. Then, he raised his face and looked at his brother’s face with utter disinterest briefly without saying a word before he dismissed his brother’s claim and proceeded to scoop another spoonful of food.
“Stop it,” the mother, as gentle as she was, said loudly, almost screaming in her seat.
Rafael slammed both hands on the table, startled everyone, and stood, leaning forward in Clay’s direction. “How dare you come back here!” he said, pointing his finger, while the second brother tried to push him back to stop the drama. On the other hand, Anais sighed, ignored them, and continued eating while scrolling her phone.
“Your mom is right, Rafael. Better keep your mouth shut,” the older man said in a commanding tone, dismissing the son’s claim before he turned his attention to the silent Clay.
“Why would I keep my mouth shut, dad? I’m the eldest here. Why can’t I remind them to follow the rules?”
“Just shut your fucking mouth, young man! You’re always talking bullshit at a wrong time.”
“But dad—” Dumbfounded, he shook his head, rubbing his face with his hands, as he turned and saw his mother gesturing him to a seat. Amid the escalating tension between them, he forced himself to sit and fix himself, though he had lost his appetite.
After the old man ignored Rafael, he looked at Clay, who pleased himself with the food, and shook his head, planting his elbows on the table. When he threaded his fingers, he pressed them to his nose as if he was in the middle of guessing. Then, he clucked, leaning his back against the soft fabric of his wheelchair. “When I was your age, I often asked myself why I was born an Elizondo, wishing I wasn’t part of this family. Everyone in this circle suffered because of that fucking last name,” he paused and sighed, moving his attention to Clay, who kept looking at the distance in silence, “So, I understand your sentiment about this.”
Then, Clay turned his head and looked at the older man with dissent. He didn’t have anything to say to respond to his beloved father’s narrative, as his mind was in chaos, too disorganized to find the right words to say.
“Nonetheless, you’re an Elizondo. There’s nothing you can do about it. Your life has been planned out even before you were born.”
While in his seat, Clay couldn’t help but feel more furious as he clenched his fists. But when he felt his mother’s touch, he looked at her, trying to stop himself from talking back. When he saw his mom shaking her head, he turned, looking in the opposite direction, feeling more queasy than before.
“That means, regardless of your aspirations, they don’t matter because you’re born to serve for the sake of this family no matter what.”
As soon as Clay heard those words from the older man, he couldn’t stand it any longer, so he stood, pushing back his chair backward and pulling his hand away from his mother’s hand. He looked at the old man with bloodshot eyes while his body shuddered, covered in a cold sweat.
“How dare you tell me to do better when you’re the bastard who killed an innocent family and fucked this family up!” Clay said, screaming.
When Rafael saw the events unfolding before him, it didn’t take long for him to stand, heading towards Clay. “How could you say such lies to our father? He’s innocent!” he said as he landed a punch to his face, which made Clay fall on the ground, pressing his face. “How dare you speak like that when you’re the bastard in this family!”
“I know I am. So, you don’t have to remind me of that!” Clay sputtered.
“Stop, Rafael,” Marcela repeatedly said, screaming her lungs out.
When he saw the blood coming out of his mouth, Clay stood and was about to approach him, but Alain, the second brother, stood in front of him, blocking his way. As Clay continued pushing him to reach the eldest brother, Alain kept pushing him backward. This time, he pushed Clay harder to such an extent that the young doctor fell to the ground.
“Why are you stopping me, Alain?” Clay said, glowering at him and panting.
Alain shook his head before he turned, facing Rafael, pressing his hand on the shoulders. But, as he was about to reach him, Rafael shoved his hand, glaring and pointing his finger at the two of them. Before the situation escalated, Alain grabbed Clay, heading outside, despite their mother’s plea to keep him inside and stay with her.
When they were alone outside the mansion in front of the parking space, he sighed, looking embarrassed with his face flushed while rubbing his face with his hand and shaking his head. “I’m sorry for what happened,” he said.
Clay shook his head as he continued to calm himself down, placing his hands on his waist and looking down at the ground.
Knowing he couldn’t do anything for him, Alain squeezed his hand on his brother’s shoulder. “Go home and get some rest,” he said with a smile. A suggestion that Clay agreed to, nodding. “I’ll come to your place this weekend if you’re free.”
Clay nodded. “Just text me.”
Alain nodded. Watching his brother walk towards the car, he couldn’t help but feel sorry for him. He pressed his lips and let out an exasperated sigh of sadness before his face glowed, and he waved his goodbye as Clay drove off.
While heading home, Clay began to feel the tears welling around his eyes. Despite his efforts to keep himself composed, he couldn’t stop the tears from crawling down his face. With one hand on the steering wheel, he wiped his tears with his sleeve, shaking his head.
When he arrived home, he leaned against the plush of his leather seat with his eyes shut after he turned off the ignition, thinking of any distraction he could do to make himself feel better. However, though it has been an hour since he left the mansion, he failed to cure his broken heart.
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!