"You've been here the entire day now," Minea scolded, "It's time to go home."
Jay wasn't listening. Instead, he raised the volume of his music even louder and Minea could hear noise coming from his headphones. She shook his shoulders and he lazily looked up. Minea scowled and tore off his headphones.
"First you broke your mirror, then you skipped your meeting. I understand that you are injured, but you're not a kid any longer."
"I like the hospital better," he said simply with a shrug.
"Then maybe you should have majored in the medical field rather than business."
"Do I even have a choice?"
Minea went silent. She should have known to not bring the subject up. Jay was always sour with the topic, mainly because it reminded him of the days his father locked him up in his room until he managed to understand the complexities of business and how to run one. Ever since Jay stepped his foot inside a classroom, his father was always the one deciding what grades he should get and what type of friends he should be with. It was mainly his fault his son grew up into a big chunk of ice.
"You should at least go home."
"Minea," Jay sighed, staring straight into her eyes, "No one asked you to stay. You are my nutritionist but that doesn't mean you should stay with me 24/7."
Minea blushed in response. His words were all true, but unnecessary. Any normal person would know why she had chosen to be with the to-be director of a company despite the fact he didn't seem to want to be with her. However, Jay was no normal person and Minea had no idea how to handle him.
Seeing Minea standing still in her spot, Jay sighed and got up.
"I'll drive you home. My injuries are not that bad."
Minea smirked and followed Jay as he led the way out of the building. No matter how cold Jay could be, she knew he wouldn’t be able to resist her. They had gone through so much together, and the bond they shared would make her and Jay a perfect match.
Love is cruel and merciless, she thought studying Jay’s tall profile as he pushed the glass door open and walked out toward his car.
“Love can be cruel and merciless, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be bought.”
Minea’s voice caused Jay to stop in his tracks and turned back to her. The street lights and the small rushes of wind made him look ethereal, but his eyes told a different story.
“What did you say?” he growled. Minea stopped smiling and looked up helplessly into the young man’s blazing eyes. Normally, they were hazel, but right now, she could see them shining brighter than before, just like tiny flames. Jay walked closer and towered over her, his eyes never losing contact of her own.
“Did you just say love can be bought?” he prodded, “Just like how my so-called father bought my mom? Just like how he bought his way out after causing her to burn to this and then bought his way into my life, MY FUTURE?!”
“Jay! Cut it out!” Minea yelled, pushing his chest. She could feel her heart hammering inside her chest out of fear. Jay could be very destructive whenever he was and she didn’t want to be the victim of yet another of his outbursts.
Jay, on the other hand, looked away from Minea’s frightened eyes and took a deep breath. An ambulance came crying towards the hospital and paramedics rushed forwards as the stretcher was being pulled out. A girl about his age, followed by another guy, also climbed down, both of them looked frightened and out of place. The girl was struggling to hold her tears as she rushed after the paramedics crying, “Dae, please don’t scare me!”
“Arya, calm down,” the guy said, grabbing her hand, pulling her towards him. The guy, whom Jay supposed was Arya only cried harder and ran after her unconscious friend. Jay watched as all of them disappeared into the hospital, his heart beating faster than normal. About ten years ago, he was also in Arya’s shoes, running after the stretcher, begging the person lying on it to wake up, talk to him, and stay with him forever. Except in his case the person on the stretcher wasn’t a normal young lady who appeared to be unconscious. It was his own mother. Jay remembered crying over the half-burnt human form, knowing quite well that the person he loved most was long gone. But that did not stop him from crying. It did not stop him from begging the doctors to save her, and it did not stop him from sitting in front of her grave for two whole days under both extreme heat and rain, waiting for her to rise up and embrace him like she always did.
Minea was watching Jay with keen interest. The fury in his eyes was gone, replaced by the look of a lost, depressed puppy. She gingerly touched his arm and pulled him into a hug.
“I’m here for you, Jay,” she whispered, running her hand up and down his back. Yes, she would always be there for him. Forever and always, they would hold each other like this in a tight embrace underneath the moonlight. Minea raised her head and stared at the moon with a wistful expression.
It was time to revisit the spell caster.
Arya’s head was hurting from all the pullings she did with her hair. Dae had been in the emergency room for quite a long time, and they still haven't received any news yet from the doctor.
“When did she start having those pains?” Han asked, not looking at her. He was sitting on a chair, leaning forward with his arms draping over his lap.
“A few months before our graduation.”
“And she didn’t do anything about it?”
“She did,” Arya replied, “But no one knew the cause of the pain. She spent so much money on it that she gave up and decided to live through it instead.”
“You could go abroad. There is better equipment and doctors,” Han argued, “I’ve lived there and I’ve seen the starking contrast between medical institutions here and there.”
“Well not everyone is as rich as you Han! Not everyone has the money to pay for college abroad or even travel abroad like you!” Arya yelled, “Do you even know the hardships Dae had to go through just to finish college? There was one time she almost gave up and had this crazy idea about-”
A thought came immediately to Arya and she stopped yelling at Han. It was crazy, but it was the only explanation she had.
“Crazy idea about?” Han asked, now looking at her right in the eyes.
“Dae and I used to visit a spell caster when we were in college,” Arya explained excitedly, “That is it! It must be the witch!”
“Arya, Listen to yourself.”
Arya shook her head. She turned to stare at the emergency room and shook her head again. Out of their years of friendship, Arya knew Dae to be a healthy girl. Dae was always keen about her health because she knew she wouldn’t have the money to take proper care of herself if she ended being sick, so when she started feeling pain in her chest for no reason, both of them were stupefied. Arya knew magic wasn’t the solution, and she had grown up scorning all sorts of beliefs about witchcraft. However, Dae’s conditions had been getting worse, and Arya was willing to do anything to identify the source of her best friend’s illness. She looked down at Han who was staring at her like she was crazy.
“If you love her, then you must be willing to do anything for her,” she announced.
“Love?”. Han’s face had gone red.
“Do you think I’m stupid, Han? I know you love her. I’ve seen the way you look at her, and ever since high school, you stopped dating other girls just for Dae,” she continued.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Han protested not looking at Arya in the eyes, “But fine, you know Dae better than me. I’m also her friend, so whatever you have in mind, I’ll agree to it.”
“Good,” Arya breathed, “Because we have a spell caster to visit.”