Here’s chapter 36 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.
“Welcome to my home,” Albert announced as he walked in first, with Alain, Marcela, and Marco behind him. He turned to watch them in awe of the grand open space his mansion could offer his guests. “Have a look at my collection. Aren’t they stunning?”
Finally, Christmas Eve was only a few hours away. The mansion became louder than ever as more people arrived with broad smiles, welcoming each other with warm hearts.
While scanning the surroundings, searching for the group of young guests, he couldn’t move past his attention to the woman standing before him. To his surprise, she walked past him toward the tall French doors, shoving the curtains. Then, she looked into the frosted glass alone, peeping as if there was a picturesque view in the dark.
“Would you like to see outside and have a closer look?” Albert invited.
“Is that possible?” Marcela asked.
He nodded. “Sure. Why not?” he said as he opened the French doors. Then, he gestured, inviting her to walk outside. When she nodded, he turned the knob and opened the door. Then, he beckoned as he walked out while she followed behind him.
His face glowed as he kept observing her, lit with devotion and love despite the years he had never seen her. He couldn’t believe he could be with her, at this close distance, after three decades-long of waiting and wanting. When he swiveled his head and watched the housemaids preparing their meals and caring for Alain and Marco, he returned his attention to Marcela and walked in her direction.
When she noticed Albert standing beside her, she smiled, shoving the strands of her hair covering her face while wincing. “It’s nice to live here. It’s peaceful, unlike at my home,” Marcela explained, looking away while glancing into Albert’s eyes. “Are you living alone most of the time, Albert?”
Wow. That inquiry wasn’t expected, leaving him in a trance for a second. Before the conversation went awkward, he cleared his throat, tucking both hands in his pockets. He sighed. “Now that my children are adults, living on their own. So, most of the time, yes. Except for a few times when they return for a week or months and go wherever they want.”
“It fascinates me to realize how much you remained the same even after all these years,” Marcela replied, without knowing how much those words stung Albert’s heart.
“You know I’m not a saint, Mars. But I make sure those kids will have equal chances to grow up with love,” he paused and sighed, “Because I wasn’t given a chance to prove myself back then.”
Tears filled Marcela’s eyes. “I don’t know what else I could say now except to tell you how sorry I am for everything.”
“Why would you feel sorry?” Albert asked.
“Because…” She paused, trying to choose the right words. What should she say now? Should she tell him everything? Should she say how much she still wants him? And have him back to her?
Albert looked at her. “Why did you marry Saturnino? I thought you never liked him.”
Marcela gulped as she looked away, facing the sea, sighing.
But when he heard her sniffing, he drew his eyebrows in, swiveling his head in her direction. He saw her face down with her fingers pressed on her nose.
“Why are you crying now, Mars?” he asked, anticipating her reply. But when she refused to speak, he continued. “Are those tears of joy?” He smiled and clucked, planting both hands in his pockets. He sighed. “If you’re crying because of Clay, I would understand.”
That caught Marcela’s attention. She raised her face to see him, ignoring the tears crawling down her face.
“Though meeting the Elizondos was a nightmare, I’m happy to prove myself wrong about him. I thought he would be the same as Saturnino. As it turns out, he’s different. Even though I only met Clay for a few days, I feel at home with him,” he paused and looked at her, “You’re a great mother, Mars, to have a son like you have. You did a great job raising Clay the way he is now. I’m thankful for what he did to my son, Valon.”
“Thank you,” Marcela answered while glancing at him.
“When he arrived, I finally saw those big smiles from my son I thought were impossible. Since he came into my life twelve years ago, I had never seen him that happy until he met Clay.”
She refused to speak, prompting Albert to talk more. But then, she got confused when she heard him chuckling.
“After I met Clay for the first time and talked to him, I know this sounds funny, but I mistakenly thought about him as my son. Valon would be pleased to have a brother like him.”
Her eyes widened, and her chest was tight. So, she crossed her arms, almost hugging herself while sighing. But when she looked away and briefly closed her eyes.
Then, she saw herself thirty years ago in frantic while her hand pressed to her abdomen, sticking out its full round shape though she wore a loose sleeping gown.
“Don’t worry, my dear. I’ll make sure I’ll find your papa soon,” she whispered while massaging her stomach, carrying her eighth-month-old baby.
After sitting on a bench in a nearby store, she stood, grunting, and walked a few meters more. “Albert, where are you?” she whispered as her view dimmed and narrowed. Then, she fell to the ground without knowing it, echoing a loud thud in a busy, bustling street.
She opened her eyes and saw herself lying on a hospital bed. She rose with her mouth open, and her eyes grew wider. “Where am I? What am I doing here?” she sputtered, demanding the nurse to explain.
“You fell unconscious on the street. Thankfully, somebody brought you here and saved your life.”
“Who?” she asked.
Before the nurse could say a word, the man entered.
Marcela was beyond shock. “Dad?” she paused when she saw another male entering the room. This time, he looked younger. When he raised his face, she gasped. “Saturnino?” But before she could say a word, she winced when she saw her father coming toward her with his arm raised, and when she felt the hard slap on her face, she quickly pressed it with her palm while slowly raising her face, glaring at him. “How could you—”
“How could you keep my grandson from me?” the old man sputtered.
“Dad, please let me explain—”
“No, I’m done with you, Marcela. I gave you freedom and my trust. But what did you do instead? You went off with an unstable young man and bore him a child. And now, are you planning to keep my grandson away from me, too? I lost my daughter once, so I would never allow myself to lose my grandson, too.”
“If you’re worried about Albert, I already met and talked to him.”
“What did he say?” she asked, sobbing.
“That bastard left,” Saturnino answered.
Marcela shook his head. “No, he’s not going to do that with me. He’s not the man who would leave me like this.”
“But he is,” Saturnino interrupted, leaving her scoffing. “Where is he now? Aren’t you looking for him, too?” he paused to move closer to her and grabbed both arms, shaking her. “Look at you.” He screamed.
Then, she was silent, but her eyes screamed anguish and anger. “What are you doing here? You should go home with your wife and children.” She paused and rose from the bed. She shook her head. “No. I’ll raise him alone. Who cares about being a single mother?” she sputtered, only to find herself smacked on her face again. She was in a daze, pressing her face. It took her time to pull herself together and watch her father in horror.
“How dare you say those words in front of my face!” the old man screamed.
“If Albert’s gone, who cares if I raise my child alone?” she replied, raising herself from the bed.
“No, you’re not going to raise that child alone. I’m not going to let you do that,” her dad answered.
“Just let me die, Dad. Wouldn’t that be an easier choice?”
“No. Don’t bring the family with your stupid decisions, Marcela.”
She refused to answer back as she lowered with her face covered with both hands, shaking her head to express her dissatisfaction.
Returning to the present time, Marcela struggled to keep calm against the weight of Albert’s stares. Tears welled around her eyes.
“Where did you go? I waited for you. Thirty years, Albert. I waited for you for thirty long years. Why did you leave me?” she stuttered.
Albert’s eyes twitched and went red. He looked away again and pinched the tip of his nose. Although he looked relaxed from the outside, he curled his knuckles inside his pockets. He kept gulping to ease his parched throat. He felt his body swarmed with guilt and indescribable frustration.
Then, his tears suddenly gushed and crawled down his cheeks. He lowered his head and kept sighing, only to find no relief. He wanted to look into her face but couldn’t find enough courage to stand up for himself. No matter how much he wanted to scream the words he wanted her to hear, he knew he couldn’t just do that.
Besides, it didn’t make sense to him. He may still love Marcela, longing for her until now, but they already had separate lives. Rekindling the past was unreasonable for him, though this option was attractive and tempting.
However, the more he forced himself to believe he had moved on and the longer his eyes gazed into hers, the more he felt like losing the fight. His fight.
No. He wouldn’t allow it. He had promised himself not to get into trouble with her again. Neither would he allow himself to cross the line ever, even if it meant restraining himself from the bliss Marcela could bring to his life. A feeling of joy and warmth he had missed.
Marcela looked at him, anticipating his reply. But when she heard a familiar voice behind her, she paused and looked in that direction.
Her eyes widened, and her lips stretched wider. She wiped her tears when she saw Clay standing behind her, and it didn’t take long for her to dash to him and throw a hug. Pulling herself away, she immediately noticed the tall young man standing close to him.“Who is he?”
“Meet my son, Valon. Don’t they look good together?” Albert introduced in a tease.
Valon extended his arm to reach Marcela’s hand and shook it. “Hi. I’m Valon. It’s nice to meet my man’s mother,” he said casually.
“My man?” Marcela asked, drawing her eyebrows in. Then, she proceeded to glance at her son with her jaw dropped.
“Hey, Agatha! Finally, you’re here,” Albert interrupted when he saw her and Elizabeth walking in. “Come here. Where have you been?” he exclaimed, wondering why these beautiful women looked hammered. He shook his head and looked at Marcela.
“The rain caught us when we were heading here. Are we already late?” Agatha replied, glancing at her hand still entwined with Elizabeth’s. But at that moment, she caught her, releasing herself from her grip, leaving her stunned.
Albert shook his head. “No, we just arrived, too. So, take your time. Get dressed and prepare,” he paused and moved his attention back to everyone, “Hey, look around my collection. Aren’t they stunning?”
“Mrs. Elizondo,” Elizabeth said, giving her an awkward smile while releasing her hand from Agatha. She walked closer until she stood beside Clay, and when she did, she raised her face to see her man and stretched her lips widely.
“This is my daughter, Agatha,” Albert said.
“Hi, it’s nice to see you here,” Agatha said, extending her hand to shake Marcela’s hand.
Marcela answered with a smile while her eyes glued on the four young individuals. As much as she wanted to ignore it, she couldn’t help but feel disturbed. When her eyes studied them, she noticed Clay and Elizabeth refusing to hold each other’s hands, though they appeared welcoming and happy.
However, as soon as they looked away, she saw Clay glancing at Valon while Elizabeth glanced at Agatha.
“Let’s come inside,” Albert said, gesturing for her to follow the group.
Though she looked curious, she flashed a dry smile, watching them from a distance, before she walked in their direction. Yet, deep inside, she struggled to stop the urge to shut the adrenaline rushing in her veins. She couldn’t blame herself for feeling like this.
As much as she wanted to deny the facts, Albert bore her a child.
A beautiful, successful man.
When she saw Albert gaze at her, she couldn’t get her eyes off this man. Despite the lost time, despite being too old to fall in love again, she asked herself why not.
After getting involved with the Elizondos, she never realized how much love she had lost after sacrificing so much for the family. She felt trapped in their world for so long that she had forgotten how it was to be in love and be loved.
Now that she had been allowed to meet the only person she loved, she didn’t want to repeat the same mistake. She may have given up her hopes on Albert in the past, but now, she promised she didn’t want to let him go again. She may be over fifty years old. But wouldn’t it be nice to start all over again?
That’s what she thought as she approached him and slid her arm across his with a smile. After all these years, he still owned her 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!)