Here’s chapter 56 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.
“I’m worried about your brother,” Elizabeth said in her slow way. Yet, it was strong enough to catch Agatha’s attention.
“Why would I visit that bastard?” she sputtered.
“You may don’t like what he did to you. He’s still your brother.” She took Agatha’s hand and dragged her outside toward the entry door. When Agatha yanked her hand away, she looked at her and shot her a concerned look.
“He slapped me. For goddamn sake!”
“You can’t hate him for life. It’s just stupid.”
Then, there was a long silence.
Agatha pursed her lips, thinking she knew Elizabeth was right, though she tried to curb her patience. When she couldn’t handle the intense feeling, she couldn’t help but expel a loud, angry sigh from her mouth. She dashed to the entry cabinet and grabbed the keys without saying anything.
Confused, Elizabeth tailed her until she reached her. “Where are you going?”
“We’re driving to Kuya’s apartment.”
Elizabeth smiled and snatched the keys in her hand. She didn’t need to say anything except for a smirk.
They both headed out of the hotel and slid into the car. She drove on. Ten minutes seemed like twenty, twenty like an hour, until Agatha told her to turn the car for a detour. She drove at a slow pace, knowing the place was unfamiliar to her. Though a long strip of seashore was nearby, this area was a dense forest. Her fingers grew tighter on the wheel, then tightened when she saw a unique-looking property ahead of her.
It was a refurbished cave house.
She held her breath for long stretches, getting familiar with the bumpy road, the dense forest, the unfamiliar and unknown, thinking it would enhance her control. Who would have thought a man like Valon would own something like it?
After they parked outside Valon’s place, they marched inside the wide space that welcomed them. With the sea nearby, Elizabeth could smell the salinity with a mixture of earthy, grassy scent. While tailing Agatha behind, her eyes wandered, appreciating the garden Valon built in his front yard. On the other side were a section for flowers and spices like onions and a few vegetables planted in old wooden palettes.
But the scenery stopped when she entered the cave house. Her eyes widened, shocked by the chaos they saw. Canvases were thrown around like paper sheets, and crumpled sketches were everywhere.
Agatha felt a jolt of sympathy and immediately looked for her brother. “Kuya?” she repeatedly screamed.
Elizabeth tailed her. When she entered, her eyes widened. She cursed. “Oh my God,” she muttered under her breath, covering her mouth with both hands. “What happened here?” she added, watching Agatha walk in strides, searching for him.
Agatha saw the door to his basement eased open. Her eyes widened and narrowed, wondering. She thought this door was usually locked. But this time, it wasn’t. So, she opened the door and entered, only to step back, frightened when darkness greeted her on the other side.
Despite the fear, she swallowed, taking one step at a time until she reached the bottom. Though her eyes meandered over the sculptures and walls around her, her heart sank when she saw him sleeping in his Jacuzzi with empty wine bottles and boxes of cigarettes scattered around. She approached him and tapped his shoulders, trying to wake him up.
He opened his eyes and saw her. His eyes widened when he realized it was Agatha. He groaned and sighed with his left palm against his temple while shaking his head. “What are you doing here?”
“What happened?” Agatha asked.
Before he could answer, he raised his face and saw Elizabeth walking in. “Liz?” He arched an eyebrow. “What are you two doing here?” His voice sharpened and became loud. He rose from the Jacuzzi and turned his back, wearing the robe before he walked past them while scratching his head.
“Did something terrible happen last night?” Elizabeth asked. She looked around, searching for somebody. “Where’s Clay?”
Valon walked upstairs, ignoring her inquiry.
The silence permeated through the air until they reached the ground floor. He headed to the kitchen and took out a glass from the cabinet. After feeling satisfied with a glass of water, he turned to face her. “He left.”
Elizabeth looked at him. “What?” she sputtered before she looked at Agatha standing behind her. “Why would he do that?”
“Because I’m a piece of shit,” Valon replied with disinterest, walking past the two women.
“Clay wouldn’t just leave without reasonable excuses,” Elizabeth answered. She stood before him. “I know something happened. But we’ll never know unless you say something.”
Agatha stood next to him and looked at him with keen eyes. “Tell me. Did he meet Dad?”
“Yes, he did.”
“When?” Agatha asked.
Agatha released a loud, angry, and exasperated sigh. “Fuck this shit!” She pressed her palm against her forehead while the other arm planted on his waist. “I bet Dad told him something about us. And perhaps, Clay misinterpreted it.”
“What about you?” Elizabeth interrupted. She drew her eyebrows in and studied how the siblings looked at each other. She felt something hadn’t been said in this conversation. “Is there something else I should know of?”
“I don’t care. Anyway, he’s gone,” Valon interjected coldly.
He flicked his head down before he headed to the dining table. He sat there and leaned against the chair with both elbows on the table, thinking hiding his sour face from the girls was convenient. However, the longer he stared in the distance, the clearer his mind was when it began to replay his conversation with Clay that night.
As soon as he covered his face with both hands, he sobbed. Tears continued to gush out from his eyes like rivers in the storm. Endless. Bottomless.
At that moment, Agatha stiffened. She didn’t know what to do while watching his brother like that. She had never seen him crying like a baby as he did now. It must have been painful for him to be vulnerable in front of everyone. Was Kuya always like this? She asked herself many times until tears crawled down her cheeks.
When she returned to her senses, she sniffed and wiped her tears. But then, she noticed Elizabeth staring at her. She was also in tears. That made her feel worse. Then, out of the blue, she thought of an idea to help him feel better. “Don’t worry, Kuya. We’ll stay here and help you clean up.” She paused. “I’ll cook. I know you didn’t eat anything.” She broke again. “I know you don’t eat anything when you feel bad or stressed.” After the last sentence escaped her mouth, she couldn’t stop crying again. “Fuck this. I don’t like drama moments like this.”
Elizabeth threw her arms around her as she continued sobbing. When she pressed her face against her shoulders, she shook her head, thinking she shouldn’t cry like this. It would be okay if she were a child. But as an adult, she felt it was inappropriate.
“It’s okay,” Elizabeth whispered.
Agatha was at a loss for words. She didn’t know what to say and continued crying until her eyes dried. When she finally felt comfortable, she pulled herself away and turned her head toward Valon. Her chest felt squeezed when she saw his face pressed on the table.
“Kuya… Please…” she said as she approached him. When she placed her hand on his shoulder, shaking it a bit, Valon raised his face, revealing his swollen, red eyes. God. She bet he cried the whole night. Nonstop. She couldn’t reconcile that the young man she was with twelve years ago was the same man she was looking at.
Those penetrating, menacing looks in his eyes were gone. All she saw was a desperate man hurt by love. She reached to his face and wiped his tears with her fingers. “I’m sorry.”
Valon shook his head.
“Still, I feel bad for what I said to you before,” Agatha replied.
“No. You don’t have to be.”
Valon interrupted as he rose from his seat and wrapped his arms around her. When she felt his warm hand patting her head, she briefly closed her eyes and pressed her lips.
“I’m sorry for being a bad brother to you. Please don’t hate me. Please,” he whispered in his strained voice.
Then, she pulled away and looked him in the eye with a broad smile. She relived every lonely moment she had in her life. “Don’t worry. I don’t hate you,” she said, hugging him again. She didn’t melt, but her remained stiff as his sobs continued. She didn’t push him away. Holding him made her feel better. And that was all she did—just held him. She didn’t stroke him or whisper soft words. She stood there with her arms wrapped around him, letting him know she was there, letting him feel every beat of 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!)