Here’s chapter 28 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.
Elizabeth opened her eyes, and when she saw Clay missing, she frantically jumped off the bed, searching for him. On a crazy impulse, she walked out of the door barefoot, still with her borrowed white nightgown dragging on the tiled floor. Her long, dark hair flowed over her shoulders.
“Clay?” she repeatedly said as her voice increased, echoing the silent space. When she reached the stairs, she saw the housekeepers doing their job and looked at her, wondering why she was already up when it was barely six o’clock in the morning, and based on their routines, they knew their house owners were asleep. Her feet slowed.
“Who are you looking for, Ma’am?” one of the housekeepers asked, raising her face to Elizabeth, walking downstairs. She was in awe when she saw Elizabeth’s face, shaking her head as if she couldn’t believe such beauty existed. She thought if this woman could have been on television, she could be a famous actress or a supermodel.
Elizabeth was goddamn gorgeous. She was still beautiful even when she was frowning with her hair messed up, fresh from the bed.
“I’m looking for Clay,” Elizabeth said in her slow, elegant tone. Without knowing, the housekeeper she was talking to was beyond impressed by how her voice sounded. It was soothing for the ears. It sounded posh, rich, and almost aristocratic.
Before the maid could respond, Agatha appeared out of nowhere, and when she noticed how anxious Elizabeth was, she looked startled. Her eyes widened as if she hadn’t anticipated her getting up so early. She wanted to ask her about her problems as she approached her, but she could not.
Despite the cool, crisp air, Elizabeth rushed down the stairs barefoot with a dampened face from sweat.
Agatha assumed she must have experienced a horrific event because she couldn’t even take a moment to make herself comfortable before leaving her room. She was accustomed to perceiving her as formal, fixed, and refined, so she came up with the moniker Rich Bitch.
That, however, was not the case. It was the other way around.
And she struggled to reconcile that about her.
“Agatha!” Elizabeth dashed to her, grabbing both hands while swiveling her head, looking for signs of Clay. She had high hopes she knew where he was, assuming her brother could have given clues before he left and went missing.
“What’s wrong? It’s still early in the morning. But then there you are, looking frantic. What’s going on?” Agatha asked, drawing her eyebrows in. But when Elizabeth grabbed her hands, pulling her closer, she was unprepared with her mouth open and eyes widened.
Elizabeth looked down for a second to catch her breath, panting, before she raised her head to Agatha’s height and looked into her eyes. She gulped and paused to take more breaths. “I’m looking for Clay. Do you know where he is?” she asked, almost stuttering while pressing her lips, her body shuddering in fear, and she was damped with cold sweat.
“I’m sorry. But no. I don’t know where my brother is either,” Agatha said as she shook her head, which made Elizabeth more desperate than she already was.
“Oh, my God!” Elizabeth exclaimed as she yanked her hands away from Agatha, turning her back while rubbing her face with both hands and sighing loud groans of desperation.
“Hey, where are you going? You can’t walk like that without—Goddamnit!” Agatha was frantic, following her while concerned about Elizabeth walking in her nightgown barefooted. Elizabeth was too disturbed to care despite her attempts to gain her attention.
She continued running around, ignoring her feet exposed to the ground. She was so desperate that she didn’t mind how she looked, wearing only her nightgown made of sheer and satin fabric, exposing her curves to the public.
“Clay, where are you?” she repeatedly screamed with every step she took. She didn’t care if she was loud or if she had disturbed the neighbors early in the morning.
Nothing had mattered to her except finding her man. Nothing else.
When she got to the beach and Clay wasn’t there, she lost control and started crying uncontrollably, dripping tears from her eyes to her chin. She covered her face with her hands and screamed the loudest muttering and curses she had uttered. Her veins raged with panic.
“Clay!” she screamed again, hoping it was loud enough for him to hear, get his attention, and wish he would come. After all, he was her king and knight in shining armor. Now, she needed him and couldn’t bear losing him. “Oh my God!” she exclaimed when she was down to her knees and sat on the sand. She kept screaming, leaning forward with her face covered with her hands.
Agatha approached her in small steps at that time, worried. Her heart pounded against her chest. The scene she saw was horrible, and the knowledge that she couldn’t do anything only made it worse. She hesitated to intervene, although she was confident Valon might have been connected to Clay’s abduction.
Realizing the mess her brother was creating, she closed her eyes for a moment, listening to her voice as she stood silently behind Elizabeth as if carefully picking the right things to speak to her. Before approaching her, she heaved long breaths of annoyance, hearing her cries becoming louder so that she could hear what she was saying.
“I did everything I could, Lord. Every day and every night, I prayed for better circumstances. Every Sunday, I attended church and gave tithes without expecting anything in return. I have consistently practiced my faith. But why do all these dreadful things keep happening to me? I gave it my all to make the people I care about proud of me. I still manage to lose everything, though. Why?” She cursed and screamed at the top of her lungs.
Agatha struggled to contain her desire to avoid becoming overly dramatic and emotional. Her eyes were bloodshot and welling with tears, ready to burst at any moment. Since the agony of losing her parents and the day she first glimpsed at her brother’s menacing glare twelve years ago, she had never been this emotional.
That sparked something inside her, and that feeling forced her to stoop to Elizabeth’s level, wrap her in her arms, and give her a silent hug.
Elizabeth crushed her face against her shoulders and cried out as soon as she felt Agatha’s arms embrace her. She was bawling uncontrollably.
Hopeless. Desperate. Unloved.
That’s what Agatha realized as she closed her eyes, soaking in the suffering Elizabeth was experiencing. It seemed as though the desire to defend this woman had grown more than it had previously. She squeezed her, placing her face on her shoulder and making a few cries as though she didn’t want to let go. She was utterly lost in thought and at a loss for what to say to cheer her up. She had been practicing for that on her YouTube channel for years, but she had no idea what to say or do other than give the woman a big hug.
When she noticed her calming down, she gulped and helped her wipe her tears. “How about we go back and talk about it?”
Elizabeth looked at her, flashing a faint smile, and nodded.
“Alright,” Agatha whispered, pulling herself up and grabbing Elizabeth’s arm, helping her to get up. “Should we?” she asked when she saw Elizabeth ready, nodding again.
Agatha motioned for the housekeepers to assist her as they returned to the villa, directing them to the living room. Agatha and Elizabeth didn’t look good after their outburst. They almost stumbled in but sensed the trouble when they saw them looking hammered and exhausted. She had expended all her energy, just like Elizabeth, and was now worn out. She pulled Elizabeth’s arm to ensure they both made it home safely. They took baby steps to the purple velvet couch, where they sat beside one another.
One of the housekeepers dashed to the kitchen and brought a glass of water in frantic before she handed it to Agatha. “Thank you,” she said before giving it to Elizabeth. “Drink some water. Here,” she said, handing the glass to her.
“No. You got it first. So, that’s yours,” Elizabeth said, shaking her head while pushing the glass back to her.
Agatha shook her head. “You drink first. I’m fine. I can wait,” she said with a smile, though her throat was dry and parched. Nevertheless, it wasn’t her top priority. She would prefer to see Elizabeth feel better, although she was experiencing a choking sensation swelling her throat.
She felt gratified after seeing Elizabeth downing the glass until she was satisfied. She reasoned that she would prefer to see her smile like that for the entire day than to witness her sob for thirty minutes. She grew more protective of her as she spent more time with her and learned more about her life, interests, and dislikes. She felt compelled to do whatever action was necessary to prevent seeing Elizabeth from crying like that in the future.
“Here, Ma’am Agatha,” one of the housekeepers said as she handed the glass of water to Agatha.
“Thank you,” Agatha replied, grabbing the glass and chugging the cold, fresh liquid as if it was bottomless. Oh, God. When did the water taste good? She thought, closing her eyes while enjoying the smooth, ice-cold, tasteless liquid as if it were a cola. Satisfied, she let out a baby burp. “I’m sorry,” she said, looking away while covering her mouth with the back of her palm. But as she swiveled her head to face Elizabeth, she saw her smiling and giggling, which pleased her. Because, at last, she could finally see the smiles she had missed since they arrived. So, she smiled back as she leaned forward, planting both elbows on the table. Her palms pressed, and her fingers threaded. “Can you tell me what happened, Liz?”
Elizabeth sighed, leaning forward, pressing her chest against the table with both elbows on the table while threading her fingers. Although she tried to keep her posture, thinking it would boost her self-esteem after lashing out, her deep, forced, and heavy breathing didn’t lie.
Even though she tried to save her face, Agatha’s perceptive eyes caught her nuances while scarcely moving in her seat. She watched Elizabeth like a hawk, trying not to miss anything that would assist her in guessing or forecasting her true feelings and thoughts. She wasn’t interested in her dribble or the current show that Elizabeth was attempting to put on. She wanted to know who she indeed was, not just what she was capable of or where she came from. She yearned to see more of her. She didn’t give a damn about any of these things.
Except for one thing.
She wanted Elizabeth. Deep down, she has begun to like her more than a fan or friend.
“I woke up this morning to see Clay had gone off somewhere. I tried to reach him, but,” she paused and shook her head, “I couldn’t. What’s going on, Agatha? Do you know something I don’t?” There was desperation in Elizabeth’s voice, sharpened with anger and boiling resentment waiting to explode.
Goddammit. What should Agatha say now?
She wished she knew. But no. Even though she suspected an affair between her brother and Clay, she didn’t have enough proof to prove her assumption was correct. She also didn’t want to accuse and become the person responsible for their break up.
“I’m sorry.” That’s all Agatha could say to her, even though she knew it wasn’t a satisfactory answer. A scream rang out upstairs when she was about to utter a word, explaining herself.
“Ma’am Elizabeth, your phone is ringing,” the housekeeper said, pointing her index finger at Elizabeth’s room. “Somebody’s calling you.”
Thinking it was Clay, Elizabeth sprung out of her chair quicker than shit through a goose. She ran upstairs, heading to her bedroom, and grabbed the device eagerly. Her eyes widened while her throat constricted. But when she saw Alain’s name on display, she almost threw the phone to the bed, losing her appetite to answer the call.
When Agatha arrived, she leaned on one side of the door frame with her arms crossed. “Aren’t you going to answer the call?” she asked, arching both eyebrows, and then narrowed her eyes when she saw her pause. It was as if she was contemplating whether she should answer it. “You don’t have to force yourself if you don’t like to, Liz,” she paused, observing her reaction, “Is that Clay?”
Elizabeth shook her head. “No, it’s Alain.”
“Clay’s brother,” she said as she sat at the edge of the bed with her face up to her forehead and combing her long dark hair with her fingers. “He’s one of the liaisons of the family’s foundation they ran for around fifty years.”
“Wow. That’s impressive. But you don’t look excited. So, I assumed you’re expecting bad news,” Agatha said, leaving Elizabeth speechless.
When she realized she got the correct answer, she pressed her lips, turning and pressing her back against the wooden frame this time. She thought it was easier talking to her that way because having more eye contact with her had her way too distracted. But as she glanced at her, she saw her pressing her phone against her ears.
“Are you okay?” Alain sputtered.
“Yes. I’m alright. Thanks for asking. Don’t worry about me.”
“How are you? Have you found my brother?”
“Sure, I’m happy to have found Clay and… yeah,” Elizabeth paused, anticipating Alain’s following line.
“I’m glad you did. But,” Alain paused and sighed, which prompted her to interrupt.
“What?” she sputtered, startling Agatha, leaving her flinching from a sudden increase in her voice.
“As I had promised, Anais and I went into a confrontation with our dad, and he disapproved of the project. I’m sorry.”
“What do you mean your dad disapproves of it? But you tried to convince him, right? Come on, Alain. This can’t be true!” This time she sounded more desperate, walking to and fro and in circles in frantic. She paused again and then threw herself on the bed, pressing her back against the soft cotton sheets. Then, she pulled herself up again, leaning forward with her hand covering her forehead while shaking her head. “It’s okay. At least we tried, right?” she said, forcing a smile even though her throat swelled with panic. She cried, feeling more hopeless for the children she promised to help.
Alain clucked. “I’m sorry, Liz. I did my best. I know you wouldn’t like this news. Me either. But I wish—”
“I’m okay, Alain. Don’t worry about me. I need a short vacation. Yeah, and I’m happy Clay’s here, too, so we could spend more time together. Yeah, I know taking a vacation is a great idea. Thanks, Alain. You’ve been a great help to us and me. Thank you for being there for me when I needed it the most.”
Shit. Agatha didn’t see that coming. When the last line left Elizabeth’s mouth, she felt a sudden knockout punch in her gut, leaving her scoffing and looking away, thinking it was the best thing she could do to ease herself.
“How could she say something like that when I’m here? Fuck this shit,” she whispered, glancing at her and inhaling deep sighs. What’s going on with me? Why the hell am I feeling this way? She thought.
At that exact moment, Elizabeth thought it would have been better if she had the money. As much as she wanted to ask her parents to help her, it wasn’t a great option either. They were too disappointed in her to care and lend a hand. And if she would try, she knew how the deal with them would sound.
She expected herself to sit with her and offer a proposal as if she weren’t their child. Their only child. Purely transactional. Purely business. She had lost count of the number of times she heard the line. Unless you go back to us and follow the path we want you to take, we’ll be more than willing to help you, as they had always say.
She didn’t like it and wasn’t up for that idea, even if it meant losing the most significant opportunity to prove her worth and measure her contribution to the community. But she had no other option except to return to their mansion and deal with her parents. Thinking that option alone was unpleasant, and Agatha sensed that, too.
Even though she understood what Elizabeth meant when she said that line, in hindsight, Agatha desired to hear those exact words addressed to her. She started to feel more of becoming her Joan of Arc, wanting to become Elizabeth’s rescuer and become the person she could lean on if Clay could not do it for her, the same woman who owned his 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 to 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!
If you like to support my writing life, here’s what you can do:
- Get a copy of “The Rival” Uncensored Gay Romance Novel.
- Check out my upcoming book, “Non-Native Speakers Only.”
- Find more writing tips on my website (i.e., content writing, freelance writing, copywriting, self-publishing, novel writing, and many more!)