Here’s chapter 20 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.
Although panicking, Valon surprisingly managed to let out an awkward smile after he turned and strolled away from Clay, heading closer to his sister. While Clay, on the other hand, was still and couldn’t move an inch when he saw a woman walking into the room.
“Hey, Agatha! You’re here!” Valon said before he moved his attention to the woman standing beside her. As soon as Elizabeth entered the room, his eyebrows knitted, wondering who she was.
“Hey, I didn’t know we had a guest. Who’s he?” Agatha asked while looking at Clay, standing so close to Valon, with suspicion. Because, as far as her memories were correct, she never saw him bringing friends here. He barely got his ex-girlfriends back then. Let alone a man. That made Agatha more curious and doubtful about her brother’s affairs than she should have.
“Clay?” Elizabeth asked, which made Clay’s eyes widen when he turned and saw her standing beside Agatha. “What are you doing here?”
“How do you know him?” Agatha said with an arched eyebrow, facing Valon while glancing at Elizabeth.
“He’s the fiance I was looking for,” Elizabeth said confidently, which shocked Agatha and Valon while Clay was speechless. Then, she looked at Agatha with suspicion.
“If you think I’m involved, you’re wrong. I don’t know a thing about this,” Agatha said in a hushed tone as she leaned in closer to Elizabeth, who rolled her eyes and sighed. When Agatha saw a man standing near her brother, she couldn’t help but study his physique. It was as if she was examining Clay from afar, trying to reconcile the facts she saw based on how desperate Elizabeth was, while, at the same time, she was also wondering how Valon—her brother—became involved.
“I didn’t know you’re bringing home a guest, too. Who’s she?” Valon asked Agatha.
“Hi,” Elizabeth paused as she extended her arm, inviting Valon to shake her hand, “My name is Elizabeth Gutierrez. It’s nice to meet you.”
Valon took her hand and shook it with his kind smile. “Valon de Lara. It’s nice to meet you, too, Elizabeth.”
“You can call her Liz,” Agatha glanced at Elizabeth, whose eyes remained on Clay, arching an eyebrow and crossing her arms, and scoffed when she saw how Valon flinched.
“Are you two friends?” Valon asked.
While Elizabeth focused on Clay, Agatha shook and looked away, scratching her head. “Not really,” she paused, trying to explain her relationship with this woman. But when she couldn’t find a reasonable explanation, she clucked. “Nah, long story.”
“How did you find me, Liz?” Clay said with his eyes widened beyond shock as his chest kept hammering him. In his mind, how could Elizabeth find him in the villa? For him, that was too much of a coincidence, and having her presence was enough of a reminder of what he was about to lose. Had they seen it? He didn’t know—and that was a big problem for him.
“Well, she was—” Agatha wanted to talk, but when Elizabeth interrupted, she looked at her with her mouth shut and gulped to ease herself when she sensed the tension in the room.
“I didn’t expect to find you here either,” Elizabeth said as she slowly walked towards him with her teary eyes. She gulped the closer she was to him.
Before reaching his hand, she jolted when Clay grabbed her hand. At that moment, she couldn’t help herself anymore, so she pulled herself towards Clay, hugging him. Her arms wrapped around the man she loved and missed. She pressed her face against his shoulders while her eyes continued to well up with tears streaming down her face.
While Clay found himself forced, he got enough balls to wrap his arms around her, though his eyes kept glancing at Valon, still smiling. But when he saw those round, brown eyes, it revealed that Valon disliked what was unfolding before him, and being displeased was a concern.
To his surprise, Valon cleared his throat and flicked his head in Agatha’s direction, which prompted Elizabeth to pull away from Clay. “We’ll give you guys some privacy,” Valon said with a faint smile.
“Thank you,” Elizabeth said, giving Agatha a kind smile before she moved her attention to the man before her.
“Let’s go,” Valon said as calmly as he could, gesturing at Agatha to go outside.
“Yeah, sure. Because we’ve got to talk, too,” Agatha said in a sarcastic tone as she grabbed her things, walked out of the scene, and left Clay and Elizabeth alone.
“How are you doing?” Clay asked.
Elizabeth crossed her arms and flicked her face down. “I’m fine,” she said, smiling shyly and awkwardly. While waiting for Clay to answer, she felt her chest hammering her. Though she found her man, she was discontent, wishing Clay could welcome her with open arms. She thought by coming with Agatha, she would see Clay’s big smiles as she did in the past.
As much as she wanted to demand him to at least pretend, she understood she might have done something terrible to him that he went away without letting everyone know, including her. “But I’m glad I found you here,” she said, almost stuttering, as she looked out, facing the windows.
“Why did you come here?” Clay asked coldly, which surprised Elizabeth as if she wasn’t used to hearing him talk like that to her.
“I’ve been looking for days until it became weeks, only to receive nothing from you. No texts or calls. Nothing,” she paused to anticipate Clay’s next move. But when she heard nothing from him, it prompted her to talk more in an attempt to express more to him. She wanted him to know how desperate she was, though she tried to keep herself calm as much as possible. “What are you doing here?” she said, crossing her arms. “I thought I would be spending my first Christmas Eve without you this year,” Elizabeth said, trying to hold her tears back. Although she didn’t know how long, she crossed her arms and looked out the windows, watching the dark seas before her. When she turned her back, facing Clay, she shook her head and cast a menace on her face. “How could you do it to me?”
Thinking silence was the best thing he could do, Clay remained unfazed, which caused Elizabeth to grab him, pushing him backward. “Why, Clay? Why!” she said, screaming, which surprised him to the bone.
After playing tug-of-war with her, he managed to free himself. “How could I? Look at what you’re doing to me.”
“What did I do? Tell me, Clay. Where did I go wrong? What mistake have I made that angered you so much?” Elizabeth said with sarcasm while unknowingly glaring at him.
“You just pushed me, Liz.”
“So? Don’t I have the right to be angry at you?”
Clay shook his head. “We aren’t married yet, but we’re having this problem. What more could I expect after we say our I dos?”
“I wouldn’t act like this if you could have texted or called me back. Why didn’t you?”
“So, it’s my fault now?”
“Isn’t it the case?” Elizabeth said with sarcasm, arching her eyebrow.
“Do you want to know why I ran away?”
“Yes, please, Clay. Don’t leave me guessing here.”
“Because I don’t want to,” Clay said in a cold, commanding tone, which surprised Elizabeth more.
“Why?” Elizabeth sputtered.
“Don’t you get it, Liz? I’m exhausted. I’m so fucking exhausted!” Clay said, screaming in her face. His eyes widened in anger. As he was on the verge of tearing up, he turned his back in an attempt to hide his emotions from her.
“Are you telling me that you’re getting tired of me?”
“You said that. Not me,” Clay said in a hushed tone, thinking it would prevent the conversation from further escalation.
“Didn’t you care about how I would feel with what you’re doing?”
“I do, Liz. I do so much,” Clay said, letting out a frustrated groan and tears in his eyes.
“Then, if you have been here all along, why didn’t you tell me? You kept me blinded with your issues, Clay.”
“You shouldn’t have come here in the first place.”
Elizabeth scoffed. “Am I really hearing this from you?”
“Yes, you should have left me alone.”
“But we both know you weren’t,” she said with determination before she let out an exasperated sigh, shaking her head.
At this point, Clay struggled to keep his senses as he wanted to escape. Despite the ongoing mental chaos, he chose to remain, though it wasn’t his thing.
Then, she stepped closer to him. “Look at me, Clay,” she said with a sense of demand. When Clay looked at her, her heart sank as they exchanged gazes, knowing the affection in his eyes was gone. “What happened to us, Clay?” she said as calmly as she could. It was as if this conversation wasn’t tricky and hadn’t affected her.
As much as she wanted to remain stoic, she knew she had her limit, too. She didn’t know how long she could carry on this without getting hysterical. For her, what Clay has done was too grievous to remain still. Despite that, she remained calm, thinking it was her best option before losing her face.
“I don’t know, Liz. I’m sorry,” Clay said in a cold baritone before he realized the gravity of what he had done while watching the woman whom he was supposed to protect. It was painful for him that he couldn’t find the urge to step closer to her. Despite his inhibitions, he thought it was right to hug her, so he did.
When she felt Clay wrapping his arms around her, she wailed like any queen about to lose her king. “God, I don’t want to lose you, Clay,” she said, slurring her words while squeezing herself to him and shaking her head.
“Don’t worry. You won’t,” he said while patting his hand on the back of Elizabeth’s head. Though his eyes were shut, his tears streamed down his cheeks. I’m so sorry, Liz.
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!