I turned my back and Trisha and I walked back to the pub. Trisha lent me some of her clothes. I stared blankly at the floor as I change. What just happened? It’s like my heart has been ripped out of my chest with great force. I can feel it beating but it’s like I’m already dead.
“Knock-knock,” Lilia stood right by the door. I gave her a weak smile. “You sure you’re okay?”
I nodded. I don’t want to talk right now, really. No matter how nice Lilia was being towards me.
“So…” she began. “Are you okay enough to tell me the truth?”
“What truth?” I said, trying to play it cool.
“The truth about you and Dan,” she replied flatly.
“Something tells me that there’s more to how you two know each other,” she continued. And right there, I felt like running away again into the rain.
No, I told myself. If she wants the truth, then that’s what I’ll give her.
“What I said was and is the truth,” Okay. I’m not good at listening to myself. “If you don’t want to believe that, then that’s your problem.” I didn’t want to be rude. I just had enough already. She doesn’t even need to know. She’s marrying Dan. No matter what I say, whether it be the truth or not, nothing’s gonna change that fact. So why the hell should I even try?
“I know you’re a good person so I’m gonna ask you again –”
“Jesus!” I snapped at her. I didn’t mean to but it’s kinda getting into my nerves. “Get over it! Why is this so important to you? You’re marrying him. Does how we know each other really that important to you?”
Just before she can answer, Dan walked in. I had a short eye contact with him before I decided to look away.
“What are you doing here?” he asked Lilia.
Lilia smiled. But I know it’s a fake one. Please. I have been faking smiles almost all of my life. I know when I see one. “Nothing sweetheart. I was just inviting Marlee to our wedding. If she’s your dear friend, then she should go.”
I take it back. Maybe Lilia is not as saint-like as she looked. I guess, everybody’s got a bad side.
I smiled and shook my head. I just find this ridiculous. She thinks she can wound me enough to have me tell her the truth. Well, newsflash. I’ve been ripped into pieces so many times, that wounding me is not going to be easy. “I’ll be leaving in two days so I don’t think I can come.”
“Two days?” Dan interjected. “Your visa is for six months. It’s only been three.”
“How did you know that?” Lilia seemed bothered.
“Doesn’t matter why he knows,” I said before Dan can reply. “I just don’t want to stay here any longer. Too many bad memories.”
“Well, if you still have two more days here, then you can still attend our wedding. It’s happening the day after tomorrow,” Lilia pushed, totally not getting the hint that I do not want to go.
“Well, I’d take a day off before my flight,” I said. Thank God for my brain working quickly this time. “As much as I would love to go and support my dear friend Dan on his special day, I can’t. Myself comes first. I need rest. So, no.”
“That’s really a shame,” Lilia said, trying to sound like she really feels bad about me not going. “I think Dan would love to have you there.”
“I think,” I said and focused on Dan. “Dan will be happy anyway. With or without me there. He’s going to marry the girl he loves, and frankly, I don’t think my absence would matter. He’ll be too focused on telling you how much you mean to him.”
Every word I said felt like a deep cut in my heart. My lungs felt tighter and I couldn’t breathe. Seeing Dan again, with someone new, was just too painful. But I have to be okay. It’s obvious that Dan has finally moved on. I should just be happy for him. I shouldn’t let him feel guilty for what happened so I should stop acting like I’m wounded.
“I have to go,” I have to get out of here. Being in one room with Dan and the woman who’s so lucky to be spending the rest of her life with him is just too much torture. “Congratulations again on the engagement,” I said to Lilia as I walked pass between her and Dan.
I took one last look at Dan and gave him a smile. In two days, I won’t see him again. I won’t get to talk to him. He’ll be starting a new chapter in his life and I’m no longer going to be a part of it. He’ll be starting a family. Something we once planned. But now, he’s going to have that with someone else. This was really it. This was really the end of the line.