Here’s chapter 60 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.
He was losing his cool. That’s what Alain knew as he strolled along the hallway, heading back to his father’s room. A few meters away from him, he noticed a group of doctors and nurses running in frantic as they entered the same room. His heart jumped, suddenly feeling his body shuddering. While curling his knuckles, watching the scene as it slowed, the look in his eyes sharpened. It was as if he feared for the worst. It was as if the day he feared the most had finally arrived.
Paled, he dashed in their direction, wondering what went on. The whole team of medical personnel rushed toward his father’s room. Then, he heard the machines beeping as they scrambled, surrounding the old man.
One of them pushed him back. “Sorry, Sir. But you have to move back,” he announced before he closed the door.
While they proceeded to stabilize the patient, Alain stood in the background, frantic and in tears. He rubbed his fingers against his face down to his chin.
Minutes later, he watched them walk back while removing more tubes. Then, the door opened, and the team left the room.
Alain approached the doctor in charge, who remained in the room to do some extra checks. “How’s my dad?”
The doctor shook his head. “I’m not quite sure. Your father had a seizure. His blood pressure fell dangerously low. We have him stabilized now, and there don’t seem to be any side effects from whatever the seizure was. But I thought you should know. This may be the start of the weakening we’ve been expecting.”
“This weakening. Once it begins, does it go fast?”
“I can’t tell you that. Every case varies. You want to come here more often to see him within the next few weeks.”
The reassurance was welcome but brief. The very same instinct he had that morning was telling him his father’s death was at hand. Seeing his father in his healthy body was already painful, let alone watching him in his dying state. He wasn’t sure if he could bear it. He needed space. A bit more time.
Alain didn’t realize the mournful sound coming from his throat until the doctor touched his shoulder.
“If you’d rather—”
“Why don’t I call you later and see how he would be? If he stays stabilized, I’d rather wait a bit,” he said in a thin but determined voice. He held his father’s frail hand, studied his expressionless face, and stroked his father’s frail gray hair.
The doctor agreed to that, as Alain knew. After watching him leave, he focused on the old man on the bed. He felt the same hollow ache whenever he thought of his father. Though he had never been close to Saturnino Elizondo, though he had let him down again and again, though there had been times when he hated this man, blood was thicker than water. Saturnino, for all his weaknesses, was still his father.
He pictured him coming one night with another woman. It wasn’t his mother but a younger one. They headed upstairs, ignoring him as if he was non-existent as he watched them.
The next time, the same woman entered with a baby in her arms. It was Clay.
Underneath his silence, he was the one who felt the pain of it all. He was the one who felt the remorse. He couldn’t say he felt a loss because his father had never been his to enjoy. There were times, once in a very great while, when he thought of what might have been if things had been different, what if things were different at the start.
But they wouldn’t be—couldn’t be—and thinking about it only caused him pain. One of Alain’s earliest lessons in life had been control. He needed to feel a complete sense of control of everything. It was his comfort zone. A lesson he still lived by.
And he’s losing it. Slowly. All because of one man.
No.He didn’t want that. He would never like that to happen to him. When justice was delayed, justice was denied. That’s what he thought, knowing he was already at a point where he could never accept what was happening. He was at a point where he knew he would never be satisfied until he had the justice he craved in his hands.
Even if it meant becoming the man whom he feared to have become.
He needed to find Valon. That’s what Alain had in mind when he arrived at Albert’s villa. He sat on the living room couch, leaning his back against the plush. He looked at him, observing the man’s unusual change in his behavior. Unlike most days, especially during their meetings, Albert was less enthusiastic, less driven, less eager. His charismatic attitude was gone. His contagious big smiles and loud laughter vanished into thin air.
The longer he watched him, the better the understanding Alain had. Whatever that understanding meant for him. But for sure, it wasn’t good.
Albert headed to his cabinet and took a glass of liquor in hand. After placing the bottle on the glass table, he returned to get glasses. When he returned, he didn’t spare a minute to pour a generous amount for both. “I heard about what happened. How is he?”
“He’s not doing good.”
Albert clucked as he handed him a brandy.
“Thank you,” Alain said. He took the glass and downed it in a single swallow. He needed that relief. He needed something to fuel the fire and courage in his deprived heart. Even though he struggled to contain his emotions inside of him, he tried his best to keep his composure intact. It was quite a feat for a man like him to keep himself collected and well-mannered despite feeling the other way around.
“How about you?” He paused and noticed Albert shifted his face. “How’s your son doing?”
Albert shrugged as he swallowed the liquid. He didn’t look at him for a minute. He only stared in the distance as if in denial or dire hopelessness.
Although he refused to say a word about it, his frown and his stature were enough for Alain to understand the situation. He didn’t seem like a politician but a father mourning for the terrible things that happened while wishing everything would turn out great. Wondering if he would talk about it a little bit more, he decided to put it to the test. “Aren’t you on good terms with your son right now?”
Albert replied with a nonchalant shake of his head. He was silent and kept his eyes on his drink.
Though Alain looked concerned, he felt the advantage. It was a weird feeling, but he kind of knew it was a winning lottery ticket he was searching for. He thought he could execute the big plan better if he had more context. “What happened?”
“After the Christmas break, he refused to answer my calls or visit me here.” Albert paused to drink another sip. After a sigh, he lowered his head, shaking it in disbelief. “I just figured out after Agatha told me everything.”
“Do you want to talk to him?”
“For sure,” Albert replied with determination.
“Should I talk to him?” Alain asked, anticipating his reply. But he continued when Albert flicked his head in his direction, drawing his eyebrows in, without saying anything. “You’ve been a big help for me. Don’t you think it’s right for me to pay you back?”
“You don’t need to do that. I supported the project out of will, not because I expected you to pay me in return.”
“Still, I wouldn’t feel comfortable. I don’t like the feeling of having owed somebody anything.” Alain paused and gave him a long look in the eye. “I’ll talk to him and explain to him what you’ve told me. Besides, this involves Clay, and he’s my brother. I think it’s right for me to do something about it, too.”
“In that case,” Albert paused, clearing his throat, “Agatha told me they’re heading to Liz’s rest house. So, if you could go there and check them for me, I’d be grateful.”
Alain flashed a dry smile. “Sure. I’ll make sure he’s okay.” Although Albert refused to say a word after that, he thought he didn’t need to hear it. Because his mind was fixed on something he had never even thought he would do before.
Alain went to see Clay in his apartment with a bag of packed lunches for them. He took a deep breath and pressed the doorbell. After a few minutes, his brother opened the door.
“What are you doing here?” Clay asked.
Alain raised his arm, showing him a paper bag he had in hand. “Lunch?”
Clay rolled his eyes and turned his back to him. “Come in.”
After he closed the door, he tried to ignore the long look on his face. He tried to keep the flow going, even though he was at war with himself deep inside. He took out the packed lunches inside the bag and then the plastic spoons and forks, placing them on the dining table. “I thought you hadn’t eaten anything after all the stress that’s going on around you. So, I came here with these. I know this one’s your favorite.” He paused and looked him in the eye, handing it to Clay.
His brother refused to talk to him, although he was kind enough to take his portion. In his mind, it surprised him that Clay remained respectful to him despite what he did, despite looking hammered—suffering from a broken heart. He appreciated the gesture, though.
When they were almost finished with their meals, Alain shot him a glance, wondering what his brother was thinking. The silence, though it was a pleasurable thing, had kept him curious. Although he was uncertain, he thought it was right to ask how he was.
“How are you?”
“Fine,” Clay replied with disinterest while playing with the remaining food on his plate.
Alain sighed, unable to resist the urge to comfort him. After all, Clay was his brother. They may have developed ill feelings towards each other. In the end, blood is thicker than water. “I don’t want to force you to like me again. But I just want to make sure you’re okay.”
“If that’s why you’re here, you can leave.” Clay rose from his seat and headed to the sink with the garbage in hand. After throwing it, he headed to the table and downed the remaining liquid in his glass. He slammed the empty glass on the table and wanted to walk away.
“If you’re that desperate, why don’t you look for him?”
“What for? He’s gone.” Clay screamed with his arms wide open, expressing defeat.
“But you can’t just continue sulking here like that? You can’t revolve your life around him. Get a life.” Alain scoffed, getting more and more annoyed, watching him frowning. When Clay was silent, he looked away and expelled a soft but angry sound from his chest. As he was about to walk out, he continued, planting both hands on his waist. “Do you really want to see him?”
Clay stopped dead and slowly turned around to face him. His eyes widened, arching an eyebrow. “What do you think?”
Though he already had a portion ready on his spoon, he decided to pause and leaned against the chair, shooting his brother a loving look in his eye. He wanted to draw back as he moved his eye motion with that of a hand, hovering over Clay’s depleting figure. Unable to resist, he knew what he was about to say was the frightening truth. “I know where he is. If you like, I can drive you there.” His voice was low and sandy.
Clay gulped. “Why would you want to help me?”
Even though he spoke quietly, the mistrust in his voice was audible and apparent. Alain knew he didn’t trust him enough from the sound of it. On the surface, it was reasonable for him to act that way. Yet, he felt his long fingers clenched his heart. He couldn’t bear watching the disdain on his face. It was painful for a brother to lose a sibling like this. After everything he did to care and love for his little one, he soon realized it was all for nothing.
Despite the strong urge to lash out and beg, his pride wouldn’t let him. “I’m your brother.” Alain proceeded to take a whole spoonful and swallowed, eyeing him. “You should trust me.”
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!)