Sunday, 18 October 2009

Naughty girl :P

I'm supposed to be doing my chemistry Powerpoint presentation right now but got distracted by Janice's story. She nagged me to write her life out, it's not finished yet and I don't know if I will ever want to finish it since I kind of like where I left it off but here it goes anyway:

___________________________


“Janice”
I moaned.
“Janice.”
I turned my back.
“Ja-ni-ce”
I pulled my covers over my head.
“Janice!”
My covers were yanked away from my hands.
“Janice, wake up! We’re going to be late!”
“I don’t want to! Leave me alone sis!” I pulled my covers back and tried to curl myself into a ball.
Again, it was yanked back, this time out of my reach.
“I’d like to do that sleeping beauty but mom and dad’s already downstairs. Besides, you have to go to the hospital on time.”
I decided it’s time to open my eyes and look back at the not so very appeasing appearance of my sister.
She threw my towel at me and pointed at my bathroom. I only groaned in response and strolled lazily to my bathroom grabbing my clothes in the process.
“Chop Chop Jan! You have 30 minutes!” She shouted through the closed door.
I rolled my eyes at her. “Yes mommy!” I shouted back, just to annoy her.
“Meet you downstairs my very lovely sister!” she retorted, sarcasm and annoyance thickly coating her every word – especially the last ones.
I smirked and allowed the warm water cascade down my body. It felt really good to just stand under the shower and let the water trickle down my body easing my stiff muscles.
I could stay here forever.
If only that word forever can also apply to the likes of me.
I turned the tap off and quickly dried myself. I turned to the mirror and started brushing my damp hair.
I had no idea why I have to wake up at 8 am in a Saturday morning. Fine. I actually do have an idea but can’t I at least sleep in just for once on a Saturday? If I’m not woken up for a hospital appointment, I’m woken up for absolutely no reason at all by my sister. Urgh!
I dressed in a very comfortable T-shirt and jeans and didn’t bother with the make-up. It’s just the hospital, not like there would be any point. Besides, I only ever wear mascara and a lip gloss anyway.
“Janice dear! Are you ready yet?” My mom asked from somewhere down the stairs.
I quickly grabbed my bag and slung it over my shoulder. “Coming mom!”
-
“Hey, brunette! How’s your weekend?” Hannah, my best friend, asked in front of my locker.
I shrugged trying to sound nonchalant. “Just the usual, how’s yours?”
Her eyes twinkled in delight and excitement when I asked her the question and she squealed.
I cringed.
“You won’t believe it!” she said, clutching my arm and stopping me from taking my book out of my locker.
I stared at her and raised my eyebrows encouragingly. After all, believe it or not, I’m interested on what she’s so excited about although it’ll probably be about her and Alfie’s love life.
“Alfie!” I smiled. “He took me to Fabulisimo!”
My eyes widen in shock. I never thought of Alfie as some romantic dude. “I know! I couldn’t believe it as well!”
I finally was able to stuff the book in my bag when she released my arm. I closed my locker and turned to her with a serious but excited expression.
I wouldn’t really admit it to the world but I do like romantic things and something as romantic as the expensive, mood setting, Fabulisimo and my best friend and her boyfriend having dinner at the said restaurant should have more details.
“Spill.”
She nodded and I was bombarded with all the details I wanted. “He called me at 8 o’clock in the evening last Saturday and told me we have to talk in a very serious tone. I thought he’s gonna break up with me!”
So that was the 10 missed calls about.
“Yea, anyway” I raised my eyebrow at her. “That was what the miss calls was about – which reminds me you have to tell me what happened and why didn’t you answer any of it!”
I nodded and told her to continue “So, being me, I dressed the best that I can. You know, so he knows what he’s letting go of.”
Typical Hannah. I smiled.
“He picked me up at 9 and he started to drive. We sat in silence the whole time. I was really nervous! Then he stopped and got out of the car. The next thing I know he was opening my door for me and we were in front of this amazing restaurant! I stared at him in awe and he kissed my hands! It was really really romantic Janice!”
“Then he led me inside. I couldn’t believe he reserved the best seats for us! I could practically see the whole city from there! Then we ate – the food were amazing! And he-“
She was cut off by the second bell. “Shit! We’re late.”
Before I could protest and tell her that it’s ok to be late just this once she was already making her way to her homeroom. I frowned.
What a way to deflate someone’s balloon of excitement.
The first two hours of my morning classes were the longest hours of my existence. It almost felt like it will never end. I stared at the clock as its hand made a full revolution, counting the remaining time.
5 minutes 37... 36... 35 seconds till this class is over.
5 minutes 34... 33... till I could finally see Hannah and squeeze the details of her night at Fabulisimo from her.
5 minutes 12... 11... 10 “Miss Walker...”
4 minutes 58... 57... 56 “Miss Walker!”
I snapped my head to the very angry voice of my Calculus teacher, Mr Hicks, “Please stay behind after the lesson.”
Oh! Hell! “yes, sir.” I said in my resigned tone silently cursing my luck.
The lecture I got from Mr Hicks took most of my break and I now only have 10 minutes to find Hannah and to ask her about Saturday.
As I was frantically searching for my friend, I heard my name being called from somewhere. I looked around and saw Billy waving at me from under the tree.
I smiled and jog towards him. “Hey, Bill, Laura, Paul, Chris, Norman and Mark!”
I was answered by a chorus of Hey and Hello’s from all of them. “What’s up? Looking for something?”
I ran a hand through my tangled hair and looked around one more time. “Yea, actually, do you happen to see Hannah? I need to talk to her.”
“I think I saw her with Alf near the gazebo a while ago. I wouldn’t want to disturb them though.” Laura replied.
“Oh! Ok, thanks!” I said and was about to go to the gazebo.
That means I can’t talk to her about it.
Then I blushed realizing what Laura had implied and scowled at her. They just laughed at me and told me to sit down with them.
I pouted and blamed Hannah for my detention and from losing my break and most of all for leaving me hanging wondering about what the great Alfred had done.
-
“You owe me big time!” I hissed at her as we sat down on our table during lunch.
She looked at me questioningly while poking at what our school has branded as a ‘decent and healthy’ lunch. “I lost my break for being lectured by Hicksy and running around the whole school looking for you! You also left me hanging from this morning. And my friend, when will you ever learn not to buy lunch from our humble school cantina.”
“Hey, why blame me for Hicksy’s lecture?”
“Because, I was looking at the clock counting down the minutes till I can look for you and by doing so, I was vulnerable from Hicksy’s evilness!”

She shook her head and sighed. “Ok. I get it. I’m sorry.”
I grinned. “Now. Spill.”
A dreamy expression took over her face and she stared at nothing in particular “Well, after we ate our food. He took a black box out and took my hand.”
Right then, I saw the silver ring on my friend’s left hand. I felt my jaw drop “You! He didn’t!”
She grinned widely at me, amused by my reaction. “Oh yes he did.”
“OH MY GOD!” I whispered in disbelief, both my hands clasped over my mouth.
I can’t believe it! My best friend is practically engaged!
“I can’t believe it! Why didn’t you tell me sooner!!” I was practically flabbergasted.
She frowned ever so lightly, her mouth still turned up into a very blinding smile – she was too amused to be mad at me. “I did. Remember the miss calls? Which reminds me where were you, the whole weekend?”
“Oh.” Was all I could say from her reminder, still shocked.
“Janice Marissa Walker” She said, trying to get my attention.
When I finally snapped from my initial shock I quickly ran over to her side of the table and hugged her tightly. “Congratulations!”
“Took you long enough!” She hugged back and laughed.
-
The unfinished homework lay forgotten on the desk, the lamp lighted the mess that she called a study desk.
The pencil mug was knocked over spilling all different kinds of pen all over the table to the floor. The swivelling chair that just an hour ago was still happily being used by its owner is now lying cold on the ground.
Droplets of dried blood were spilled across the bathroom floor where a helpless girl was bent over the bath tub, breathing heavily and losing consciousness.
-
“JJ!” Hannah called and caught up with me. “Where were you this morning? I also tried calling you yesterday evening. What happened? You look pale.”
I smiled at my friend with the best smile I could muster to reassure her that everything is alright. “Oh, I got caught up on something.” I shrugged.
She raised an eyebrow at me. “I’m not convinced.”
My smile didn’t falter, no. In fact I upped it to a grin. “I’m Ok, sweet.”
-
It’s Wednesday today and we are now walking to the cafeteria to eat our lunch.
Hannah nudged me. “Are you sure you’re ok, Janice?”
I looked at her with a smirk plastered on my face. “How many times do you need me to repeat myself, granny?”
“Ok, you are definitely fine.” She said glaring at me, she doesn’t like it when I call her that, and increased her pace.
I smiled at myself and tailed after her. I found that I couldn’t catch up to her like before.
Damn it!
-
I opened my eyes to find myself in a very familiar place. It smelled like disinfectant.
I blinked, taking in my environment. I was lying on a white bed, a thin blanket covering my body. The ceiling was the normal bland green and the curtains were of the same color.
The Clinic, I concluded.
“Janice” A very familiar voice snapped me from my musing.
On my right was Hannah, looking very worried and concerned. “How are you feeling?”
I tried propping myself up in a sitting position but she stopped me from doing so. “You have to rest. That’s what the nurse told me.”
I nodded and lied back down. “How long?”
My heart skipped a bit at her question. Does she know?
I cleared my throat and evened my voice. “Whatever do you mean, Han?”
She glared at me. “How long have you been feeling this way?”
My heart was beating so fast, I couldn’t believe she couldn’t hear it. I was caught off-guard by her sudden questionings. “Huh?”
Yes, that was my very intelligent reply towards such a question.
She sighed and looked at me like she didn’t know what to do with me. “How long have you been feeling your insomnia?”
Oh! I sighed in relief and smiled at her. “Since Monday, I’m sorry I didn’t tell you. I thought it was just the usual one. Don’t worry. I’m fine.”
“Ok, well, I have to go back to class before Mrs. Colloney chucks me out of here.” She said jokingly, relief underlying her tone.
I kept my smile on my face “Ok.”
“You should rest. I’ll pick you up here after classes.” She smiled back.
I nodded and stared at her retreating back. I closed my eyes and rested my right arm over my forehead.
“You haven’t told your friend, have you?” Mrs. Colloney said over the green curtain separating her desk from the sick bed – the one I’m currently lying on.
I pressed my arms on my eyes. “I couldn’t.” I replied softly, trying to stop the prickling of warmth from my eyes.
Mrs. Colloney didn’t reply and was silent. I could imagine her nodding understandingly from over the curtain.
After a while, I heard her saying softly, her voice full of care. “Just sleep, dear.”
And I did as I was instructed. I slept like a baby.
-
“Hannah!” I called out over the crowd when I spotted my red head friend just a few steps ahead of me from the crowded corridor.
She stopped and waited for me. “Hey! what’s up?”
I took a flyer out of my pocket and held it up her eye level. “’Are you over 17? Looking for a job? Fidney Production is looking for assistants.’ Ok, and... what do you want to achieve by letting me read such a gaudy flyer?”
I grinned at my friend making the point to show all of my teeth. “Don’t tell me you-“
“Yes. And you are coming with me.” I winked at her. “It starts next week. During the term break. They already accepted.”
“How did-“
“I got my connections.” I smiled. My doctor is the director’s cousin and when I accidentally blurted about the upcoming movie me and Hannah was so excited about, he asked me if I wanted to see the filming for myself.
Don’t worry, he cleared me out.
“Really?!” She jumped “I can’t believe this! I’m going to tell Alfred!”
I laughed when she practically run to where Alfred is and shouted “Catch you later busy bee!”
She waved her hand and pulled a thumb up while she run and I headed to my next class.
-
It was the first day of term break and I was on my way to Hannah’s house to pick her up. We’re headed to the beach where the filming is.
Today is our first day as film crews. Dr. Keenan also said that he’ll be there today to see how I cope with it. If he thought that I can’t do it then he’ll tell his cousin to fire me.
He’s such a meanie right?
I tapped my horn to catch Hannah’s attention from her house. “Hannah!”
I heard something falling inside and Hannah blasted through the doors with her mom in tow. “Hi Untie!” I said us I climbed out of my car and hugged my aunt.
“Fine. Ignore me.” Billy said pouting behind Aunt Reya.
I grinned at him and took a few steps back only to run and jump to him. “Oh no, you don’t!” He said, opening his arms and shaking his head.
Hannah and Auntie took a step aside and were watching us with hearty smiles. “Here I come!”
Billy stumbled a few steps back and gave me a tight hug – one that stops you from breathing. “Can’t... breathe...” I said tapping his back.
He let go of me and all of us laughed.
-
“Whoa! That’s Gerald Adams!” Hannah said pointing to a black-haired guy with a hat over the caravan.
I smiled and turned the engine off. “Let’s go.”
Before I climbed out she grabbed my arm and started pointing at some more famous actors and actresses. “Ok, Ok, I get it.” I said, looking at her with a smile and excited expression of my own.
“Before we get their autographs and such we have to get out of my car and head over there first.”
She stopped her quite strong grasp of my arm and nodded profusely. I shook my head and grabbed my bag from the back seat.
The beach was calm today, something that I always liked. When I was young we used to go and take a swim here every summer. My family together with Hannah’s used to come together. The adults would set up a barbeque thing and we would quickly strip our clothes and head over to the salty water.
Again, I was snapped out of my thoughts when Hannah called my name. “JJ what are we supposed to do now?”
“Talk to the director.” I said searching for him.
Over at the distance I saw a familiar person waving over our direction. Once we were close enough, I recognized him as my Doctor – Dr. Keenan. A smile broke over my face and I dragged Hannah with me.
“Hey James!”
Ugh, that sounded a tad weird. I never call Dr. Keenan with his first name.
“Calling me by my first name now, huh, little Jan?”
I smiled at his nickname for me and made a pointing look to Hannah explaining why I can’t call him the usual.
“Ah, I see, you have a lovely friend with you.” I nodded, glad that he took the hint.
“Hannah, James... my uh-“
“I’m Troy and Jasmine’s friend from way back.” He quickly added and I mouthed thanks to him and continued with my introduction.
“James, Hannah, my best friend and cousin.”
“Always nice to meet some beautiful ladies.” Dr. Keenan said winking at me. I burst out laughing when I saw Hannah blush and high fived him.
Dr. Keenan is indeed my parent’s friend from way back. He acts more like a big brother to me and Jillian, my older sister, and I could definitely tell you that he’s a ladies’ man back in his days.
We walked over to a man that looks like a Dr. Keenan copycat except younger and a little bit on the losing side compared to Doc.
“Nick!” Dr. Keenan said gaining the attention of the young man.
“Hey! James! What’s it?” Nick said, in a bit of a rush while coming over.
“I’d like you to meet your new helpers. Janice” at the mention of my name he took on an understanding look and I just smiled “and Hannah.”
“This is Nick, my cousin.” Dr. Keenan finished.
Both me and Hannah said ‘nice to meet you’ in a chorus and were replied back by the same phrase.
Nick turned to Dr. Keenan and asked something in a low voice.
Dr. Keenan nodded. “Yeah. Call me if anything happens.”
“Well, girls I gotta go. Still got some shift in the hospital.” He said, turning to us and glancing at his watch. Then he looked at me playfully. “You.” He said, pointing an accusing finger on me.
“Behave.” My eyes widen in shock. He’s treating me like a kid!
I slapped his pointy finger and stuck my tongue out. Well, if he wanted a kiddy behaviour then he’ll get it.
Nick and Hannah, together with the stupid Dr laughed at me and I just glared at him trying to keep my own laughter inside.
When everything was back to its normalcy Dr. Keenan tapped me on my shoulder and said in a low voice. “Remember don’t strain yourself. Tell Nick if you’re not feeling well or call me immediately. Understood?”
I smiled and nodded my head. Nick was busy telling Hannah instructions just a few steps away from us. “Gotcha!”
“And, don’t forget to-“
I stared at him a bit annoyed – he’s slowly rising to a higher level than my mom’s nags. “I got it, mommy.”
He glared. “I’m being serious Janice.”
I grinned. “I know, Dr. Keen. I’ll be fine. I’ll call you as soon as I feel like something’s wrong.”
He looked me in the eye searching for something in there and when he was satisfied he stood up to his full height and smiled. “Take care. You haven’t called Troy and Jas yet have you?”
“Not yet. But I’ll call them now.” I said, as I reached for my phone in my pockets.
He nodded and waved goodbye to his cousin and Hannah then walked away to his car. I called my parents to tell them where I was now and that I’m alright.
-
Nick assigned us to the lightest possible job he could find. It was probably because of Dr. Keenan. The other crew members were given some of the heavy duty stuff like carrying the equipments all around the set.
We, however, were assigned to help in the food preparation and giving refreshments to everyone. Including the actors and actresses in the set with which Hannah was squealing about. She’s a huge fan of Gerald Adams.
Me? Well, I wanted to be a director like Nick when I grow up... an actress would also work.
I laughed at myself at that thought. That was one of the most impossible dreams a person could ever have.
“What are you laughing about?” Someone asked me from behind. I dismissed it as one of the co-helpers like me.
“Nothing.” I replied, my voice still full of laughter. I continued sorting the food out. Lunch is just 15 minutes from now and everyone will definitely file in here like ants trying to get food.
Oh, I forgot to mention to you, I was the only person currently in the tent – uh, except the other one who just came in – because Hannah was asked to help out somewhere and the other were busy at the back cooking. I’m the one responsible for putting everything in order here.
“Oh, where are the other people in here?” He said.
“They’re all in the back cooking.” I said absently. Well, that’s not all true since Hannah’s outside but she’s not cooking – I let that one slide.
“So, what are you doing here then?”
Ok, what is this? 21 questions?
I turned around, a styro container on my right hand and a pair of tweezers on the other. “I’m preparing the cooked food.” I gestured to my hands and the food behind me.
I looked at the person standing in front of me he was wearing a cap that says ‘all stars’ on the front, black hair, brown eyes –
When I realized who it was I quickly glanced at my watch. It’s not time for lunch yet! Did they take an early break?
Shit!
I looked around to the stack of styro box I already done – Not enough!
“Are you alright? Is there any problem?” Gerald asked in a curious voice.
I snapped my head back to his general direction. “Were you guys finished with the filming? I was told there was still 15 minutes left. We’re still not done with the food preparation and I still got a lot of food to pack. Shit!” I said when I realized just how slow I have been working. “Can you tell them to wait for just a couple of minutes? I’m sorry, I know you’re hungry and all. Argh!”
I was a little bit frantic by this point. I was given the lightest job but even that I couldn’t do and just where are the others when I need them!
He held his hands up and told me to calm down. “I wasn’t needed for the scene so I was taking a bit of wandering around. Don’t worry they’re still filming out there.”
I nodded and turned back to the food, hastening my pace.
“Do you need any help?” He offered. He was closer to me than he was a second ago. He must have walked over.
...and I thought that he went away.
I smiled. “Oh no, I’m fine. Thanks. My friend might be coming back now. She said she’ll only be a minute.”
“Is your friend the one with red hair holding the reflector over there?” He said pointing somewhere.
I looked at the direction he’s pointing at and saw Hannah holding a white board near the camera man.
“How did you know?” I asked defeated.
“I saw you two when you were talking to Nick.” I made an ‘ah’ sound to hint that I understood.
I looked at Hannah again and sighed. When I turned my attention back to the food, Gerald was wearing an apron and was holding a pair of tweezers on his other hand.
I frowned. “You know as much as I’m very thankful for your help. I don’t want to get into trouble.”
“Don’t worry” he said and grabbed the styro box from my hand.
“I’ll probably get fired.” I muttered under my breath as I continued with my work telling him what he needed to do.
We finished packing the food just before they called a break. Gerald grinned at me and I just grinned back thanking him for helping me.
After we finished and everyone started filing in I was told to take a break as well and was shooed away from the tent as it started to get busy. Gerald went back to his caravan after taking three boxes of lunch with him. He told me the other two was for his manager and PA when I sent him an odd look.
So, with my lunch in one hand and Hannah’s in the other I went to where she was sitting near a tree just at the mouth of the forest.
“Hey busy bee! Want some of these?” I said as I flopped down next to her offering her, her lunch.
She looked at me like I’m her saviour or something and dramatically said, “Oh dear Janice, you are the light of my suffering stomach!”
I laughed “Ok, my dear poet, I think we need to call the mental institute.”
She grinned and took the box out of my hand and we both dug in our food.
“So, how’s it going?” I asked after we finished our food.
She sipped on her drink and smiled. “I’m tired after holding that reflector up all morning but I’m having fun. I get to see the celebrities up close. How’s your stay in the kitchen?”
“Nothing much, I was just helped by Gerald Adams in preparing the food.” I shrugged trying to sound nonchalant.
“Oh...” Was what she replied. I watched as the information sink in. First she acted like she didn’t care, then she was shocked, then she was excited like a child.
“Wait! You mean Gerald helped you? Like the Gerald – Gerald Adams?” She said again clutching my arms in a strong grip. I grinned widely at her when she finally understood.
“Yes.”
“OMG! Jaycee boo! What did you do?”
I raised an eyebrow at her new nickname for me and answered. “Nothing.”
And that was the truth. I did nothing.
“What?” She asked incredulously.
I laughed. “We were so busy preparing the food. I didn’t even introduce myself.”
“Sheez! You’re probably the only woman in the world who would do that when Gerald Adams is basically right in front of them. Please tell me you at least talked?”
I shook my head, amused by her disappointment. “Besides him asking me what I’m doing and telling me where you were. We didn’t.”
“I can’t believe you! If it was any other girl they would’ve totally go gaga over him.”
She was pouting afterwards and was muttering things that I should’ve done given the big opportunity so I tuned her out and stared at the rolling waves.
It’s not like I’m not interested in romance or anything, I am after all a fan of romance and all, but I don’t want to enter a relationship when I know that I would only hurt my partner.
“Hey! You two over there! We need help!”
We both stood up and talked about some other things while we walked over and started cleaning up.
The filming resumed shortly after.
-
“Janice!” I looked over to the direction of the voice that called me and saw Nick motioning for me to come over.
It’s now dark so all of us are starting to pack up. The actors and actresses are resting in their respective cars.
“Need me for anything?” I asked when I was near enough.
“No. Actually, J just called me and asked how you were doing.”
“Oh,” I said and thought that I was adding to Nick’s burden. “I’m sorry.”
He looked at me questioningly. “What for?”
“Erm... Well, I think I’m being such a burden. I mean, I-“
“Don’t be ridiculous!” He scolded me. “J has been telling me about you for quite a while and I owe your parents from way back.”
I looked at him in awe. “You know mom and dad?”
“Yeah, they helped me when I was just starting out. I’m just paying them back” He laughed. “And I was told you wanted to be a director?”
I nodded like a child. He laughed a short laugh and ruffled my hair just like Dr. Keenan had always done since I was admitted to the hospital. “Ok. Starting tomorrow you’ll be my apprentice.”
“Are you joking?” I said full of excitement.
He laughed yet again. “I’m serious, you know.”
“Really?”
He nodded. “Yes.”
I wanted to hug him but thought better of it instead I squeezed his hand and jumped up and down. “Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!”
“Wait. I have a condition.”
I stopped my childish streak and nodded solemnly. “You must absolutely tell me when anything’s wrong, understood?”
“Understood, Sir!” I saluted. “Sir. Permission to go, Sir!”
He looked amusedly at me, probably because I’m acting like such a child, and told me it’s ok.
I run to where I knew my best friend is, unable to contain my happiness. She won’t believe what I had been told just now!
‘ooof!’ I stumbled a fe- a lot of steps backward and was about to fall when someone grabbed and steadied me. I looked up to the person.
“Thank you” I said, breathing heavily, clutching my heart.
If that’s not enough, the person holding me now is Gerald. I clutched my heart harder (not literally of course... that’s kind of impossible...).
That almost gave me a heart attack!
He smiled down at me and let me go. “Why were you in such a hurry?”
“Oh... nothing. I was just looking for Hannah, you know my best friend.”
“The red-haired girl from before?”
“Yea.” I nodded. “Have you, per chance, seen her?”
“She was cleaning back in the tent a while ago if I’m not mistaken.”
“Really? Thanks!” I said and started running towards the tent.
“Wait!” He called.
I stopped and looked back.
“You still haven’t told me your name.”
I raised my left hand to the back of my neck, something I always do whenever I was in a hurry and was unable to go. “Janice Walker.”
I hastily said. I turned around and run towards the tent. I smiled when I saw the red-haired girl that I call my best friend picking a cup up and throwing it straight to the trash can.
-
The next day
The filming ends two days from now so that meant that we will be staying here for two more days. We were provided with free lodging for the time we are here in a nearby hotel just a short walk from the beach. I and Hannah shared a room.
Last night when I found her in the tent I dragged her out and told her about me being Nick’s apprentice. She couldn’t believe it at first but congratulated me when she was convinced that I was not joking.
I mean, no kidding! Even I didn’t believe Nick when he told me I would be his apprentice!
“Good luck!” Hannah patted me when we arrived in the set.
I nodded and smiled. “You too”
She slapped me hard on the back and I coughed. “Relax girl!”
I smiled uneasily at her. “I’ll catch you later. Relax, ok?”
I nodded and headed to Nick, my heart thumping excitedly in my chest.
The filming today finished early because of the unexpected weather and we are currently back in our room after having our dinner.
“So how was it?” Hannah asked with her feet folded beneath her while she watches me brushing my hair.
“It was amazing!” I said as I turned to look at her, my hands midway down my hair. “I learnt so much today!”
“That’s good! I’m so happy for you! You’re practically like an overjoyed child back there.” She laughed, remembering how I stuck to Nick and observes everything he does.
I pouted. “Well, it was so much fun though!”
“Whoa girl! I’m not saying it’s a bad thing. I’m just really happy for you.”
I smiled widely at her. “Well, I’m tired. I’m going to sleep early. You should too.”
I nodded, “Ok, I’m just going to buy a drink and maybe take a walk.”
“Alright, take care.” She said lying back on her bed.
I was dressed lightly so I grabbed one of my jackets in the cabinet and my messenger bag. “I’m off!”
I heard a muffled “Uh-huh” and I smiled.
With the click of the door I headed down the elevator and to the lobby.
“What to drink... what to drink...” I muttered as I choose from coffee or water or cola.
“Coffee and water” I decided putting my money in the vending machine and pushing the canned coffee button.
As I was heading out, canned coffee in my hand, I heard someone call my name. “Janice. Where are you off to?”
Nick asked from the cafe. He was together with his assistant director. I stopped from my tracks and walked to them. “Hi Nick and Harold! Umm... I was just going out for a walk.”
Nick eyed me suspiciously. “It’s already dark out there.”
“Uh, yea, I was feeling a bit queasy so I thought fresh air could help.”
“Do you want someone to come with you?”
I shook my head. “I’m alright. I’m just going to the beach; I’ll be near our filming spot.”
He stared at me, I’m assuming he’s thinking whether it’s alright to let me go alone or not, then he nodded. “Have you got your phone?”
I nodded. “Call me if something happen, ok?”
I nodded. “I’m off then. Have a good night”
“Take care.” Both of them chorused and I was off to the beach.
I took my phone out and decided that it’s best to put Nick’s number in direct dial just in case the worst thing happen and I was unable to search his number through my phone book.
I reached the beach after walking for a minute and stared at the full moon. I closed my eyes and felt the cool breeze. The rhythmic sound of the waves gently caressing the beach was like a lullaby to my ears.
I walked a bit more till I reached our filming spot. I started tracing words on the sand and taking pictures of them.
I wrote ‘Friends Forever’ and ‘I<3u>
I sat down on the sand erasing the words with my hand after taking a picture of them. Then I leaned back both my hands supporting my body and tilted my head backwards.
“Beautiful.” I whispered to myself as I looked out to the stars.
I started thinking of the upcoming week when I wouldn’t be able to do whatever it is I wanted. I closed my eyes and lay on my back on the sand.
I started to reminisce and with that came my inevitable reality.
“This is probably the last time...” The last time I’ll be able to do this.
I decided that when we come back from this job, I’ll finally tell Hannah about it.
“What do you mean the last time?”
I snapped my eyes open and was blinded by the light centered on me.
“Who?” I asked.
The light was turned off and my eyes finally adjusted. I saw Gerald standing beside me. He sat down and asked again. “What do you mean when you said the last time?”
I propped myself into a sitting position and drank some of my coffee. “I was just rambling.”
He didn’t say anything but I could feel him staring at me. When I couldn’t take the silence anymore I asked, “What’re you doing here?”
“I was looking for a bag.” He said holding a small bag on his hand. “What are you doing here?”
“Oh, me?” I said. He nodded.
“Nothing... just wanted to grab some fresh air. Won’t your manager look for you?”
He scoffed. “He’s already fast asleep.”
“Oh- *cough* So *cough*”
Shit! Not now!
He patted my back trying to stop my coughing fit. Of course it didn’t.
“Are you ok? Maybe you should go back.” He asked worriedly.
The coughing stopped and I looked up at him. I tried to pull a bit of a smile and nodded. I reached for my water and drank as much as I needed almost drinking it all.
He helped me up and told me to lean into him for support. I did and he placed his arm over my shoulder to put me in a side embrace.
We were halfway back to the hotel when my coughing fit started again. This time it didn’t stop and I started coughing blood.
I was frantically searching my bag for my phone. “What is it?” He asked, worry all over his face.
More blood started coming up my throat.
I gestured with my bloody hand for the phone.
Right now we’re both kneeling on the sand. He searched my bag quickly and found it. I told him in between coughs to call the director and he did.
After that, I blacked out.
-
I woke up in my usual bed.
No not in my bedroom.
The hospital.
“She’s awake!” I heard the now familiar voice whispered in a relieved voice.
I slowly turned my head to it and saw Gerald sitting beside my bed. I wondered why but I didn’t dare to speak.
My throat feels so rough and it hurts to even breathe.
I had an oxygen mask on and I could hear the usual beat of the ECG right beside me.
I looked around the room to see Nick, Harold and Hannah hovering near the bed. They stopped when Gerald told them that I woke up.
They quickly went over to me and started to bombard me with questions. I never thought of Nick and Harold to be so fidgety.
I smiled the best smile I could muster up at them and forced myself to say ‘thank you’ ignoring the pain that started on my throat.
It was like I just swallowed a ball of needles. I tasted blood.
“Now, now, everyone. It’s not good if you all suddenly throw questions at her. The patient needs to rest.”
They all nodded. Then I felt something squeezing my hand and I realized Gerald has been holding my hand all the while.
“We need to talk.” Dr. Keenan told me.
When the others didn’t make a move to go he added, “Privately.”
I felt his hold loosen and I felt a sudden pang on my heart. I didn’t want to let go of those hands.
When all of them have left the room Dr. Keenan walked over my bed. I propped myself to a sitting position and made a move on removing my oxygen mask.
“Don’t.” Dr. Keen said.
I frowned. He knew I don’t like this mask.
But he smiled. “You need it, for now. Believe me.”
I nodded. “How are you feeling?”
I raised my thumb up telling him I’m fine then touched my throat and made a painful expression. “Don’t worry. It should feel better after a while.”
I nodded.
“I talked to your parents. They’re on their way over.”
Nod.
“I was also told of what happened.”
Nod.
“You’re going to be confined here earlier than we agreed.”
Nod.
“We have to do your operation as soon as possible.”
Nod.
“Gerald said he loved you”
Nod.
Wait! What?!
I looked at my doctor disbelieving. “Ah!” He said, light heartedly. “I thought you were sleeping. It worked didn’t it?”
I slapped his arm playfully and he laughed. “I’m serious about what I said before that though.”
I looked down and played with the ends of the blanket that’s draped over me; he was silent for a moment and was cautiously observing my reaction.
I nodded.
“Can I be left alone?” I whispered barely able to make any kind of sound.
My throat burned and I winced in pain.
Dr. Keen stared at me startled but I waved his worries off by mouthing I’m ok. He nodded and smiled. “Of course, little Jan. Rest well. I’ll take care of those noisy people outside.”
I smiled and sank down my bed, staring at the bland ceiling above me.
It smells of disinfectant.
-
Dr. Keenan stepped outside to the anxious people waiting in the corridor. All of them looked very tired and worried. The click of the door got their attention and their head simultaneously snapped to the doctor’s direction with an expectant look.
“James...” Nick started.
“She’s alright. She’s sleeping right now.” Dr. Keenan said reassuringly.
“Can we go in?” Hannah asked, looking behind the doctor’s body at the door separating her and her best friend. She had no idea what is happening with her.
She was woken up by loud knockings on her and Janice’s door at 12:30 am and the next thing she knew was her best friend being taken away in an ambulance and her riding in Nick’s car tailing it.
No one has explained anything to her.
Dr. Keenan shook his head. “I think it’s best that we let her rest.”
“What is wrong with her?” Hannah asked fully worried.
Dr. Keenan paused for a moment before answering “I’m sorry I’m not allowed to say anything more than that. You should ask her when she wakes up. But for now, I suggest that the children go back to their hotel to rest.” He said, turning to Nick.
Nick nodded and told them to go. Hannah protested but was met with a tired ‘no’.
Gerald stood there, with his still bloody shirt, taking everything in. He knew that something is wrong. Something is terribly wrong to the brunette girl sleeping back in the room but he didn’t say anything.
Who was he to ask something? He asked himself and took a long glance at the closed door of Janice’s room and followed Harold and Hannah reluctantly to the car back to their hotel.
-
I woke up the next morning with my oxygen mask still intact. I glanced around the room and saw my whole family with Hannah sitting on the couches provided.
I took the mask off “Good morning” I quietly said and smiled at them.
All of them snapped to my direction. It was funny how that looked like a domino effect thing. First it was my mother who was sitting at the nearest couch from me, then my dad, then my sister, then Hannah.
My mom stood up and took my hand. “How are you feeling, dear?”
“I’m fine Mom. Look I can even stand if you want me too.” I chuckled.
She stopped me and pushed me back down to the comfort of my bed. “No, don’t exert yourself.”
“Mom, I’m not exerting myself by merely standing up. I had a coughing fit and that’s all. I’m not invalid or something.” I whined but didn’t stand up.
“No, of course you’re not, dear. Of course you’re not.” She said, kissing my forehead.
“Are you ok?” My dad then asked.
I grinned. “I’m strong as a bull Dad.”
I was rewarded by a smile “That’s my girl.”
Hannah stood up, she was the farthest from me from where she was sitting and walked slowly towards me, a sad smile lighting her face.
“I think you two need to talk.” My mom said, squeezing my hands.
I nodded and sat up.
Hannah sat to the stool next to my bed while my mom and the others made their way out.
“So, how’re you doing busy bee?” I said trying to start a casual conversation.
She smiled. “You’re the one lying on a sick bed and I’m the one being asked how she’s doing.”
I grinned.
“I’m ok, I guess.” She answered and asked me. “How are you doing?”
Hmmm... How am I doing?
“I’m doing good?” I offered.
She stared at me. “No you’re not.”
“I saw all those blood from Gerald’s shirt last night. What happened? What is it really? Please, tell me Janice because I’m going crazy here. I-“
I touched her hand to calm her down. “I’m sorry.”
She stopped her ramblings and looked up at me. “I was going to tell you soon but this happened.” I said, raising both of my hands.
She nodded and I continued. “I’m not going to go around the bush since it’ll be the same either way.”
She squeezed the fabric of my blanket she’s been holding onto when she came over. Her knuckles where turning white from the force she’s exerting. “Is it that bad?” She whispered.
I smiled sadly, “I have lung cancer, Hannah.”
I never thought it was possible but her white knuckles from lack of blood went whiter as she gripped the fabric harder.
I didn’t say anything after my little revelation. I just watched her as she took the information in. It was quite funny to tell you the truth.
I mean, you can definitely see how her facial expressions changed. It was shocked at first, then calm, then confused, then worried... then... she looked up and what I saw stabbed my heart like a dagger.
Her eyes were tearful and in it I could only see pain and sadness.
I didn’t want to make her cry. It wasn’t part of the plan.
“Hannah...” I said, grabbing her hand. “Don’t do this.”
“Tell me you’re joking.” She cried. I squeezed her hands. “I wish I was.” I whispered back.
I felt some tears making their way down my cheeks and she looked up at me biting her lower lip. Then she stood up and hugged me tightly and we both cried.
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AN: Sorry it doesn't have any title yet.
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Words, once they're printed, have a life of their own.
- Carol Burnett

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