Saturday, August 16

Will You Stay (Final Part)

Ashton wakes up early the next morning. The Sun is just about to rise but the sky is already bright. Anne is still fast asleep beneath the comfy duvet. He heads to the bathroom and takes a shower. Once he is all freshen up, Ashton goes into the kitchen and prepares breakfast for his beloved wife. “Good morning, sunshine”, he kisses Anne’s forehead. She directly wakes up and replies, “Good morning. Ash, are you okay?” Anne wonders why her husband is behaving weirdly this morning. “Hey I’m okay. Baby, I won’t hurt you anymore, I promised.” He plants a kiss on Anne’s lips. Anne draws a smile on her face. “Eat your breakfast first. I made it specially for you, with love. I’m going to meet Leo. It’s been awhile since the last time I met him. I miss my best friend” Ashton puts on his shoes. “Okay, have fun darling. But please be home for lunch. I’ll cook for you.” Anne kisses Ashton’s cheek. He grabs the car key and leaves the house. Anne gets up and eats her breakfast. A couple of minutes later, she hears a knock on the door. Anne gets the door and she startles because it’s Ashton. He smiles cheekily but the looks on his eyes concerns her. “Goodbye Anne, I’ll see you soon” He kisses his wife and leaves the house for real.


Ashton drives to the hospital, his former workplace and heads straight to the rooftop. He gets the place for himself and the view is stunning from up there. Ashton lights up a cigarette. Memories from the past flashes through his mind. He remembers one time when he sat beside his dad after his parents had a huge fight. He remembers when his father started smoking in front of him and said smoking is the only way to forget all the problems. He remembers the moment he started to smoke when he was 12. He remembers when he went to medical school and became one of the best surgeons in the state. He remembers the day when he met Anne and eventually married to his wife. He remembers the day he found out he was diagnosed with HIV. And he remembers the lie he told his wife this morning, saying that he wants to catch up with Leo. Ashton actual plan is to savor a few hours of solitude at the rooftop. The place is very personal to him. The rooftop is where he would have a long conversation with Leo, where he would smokes for hours after his shift ended. It is also the rooftop where he kissed Anne for the first time. Ashton throws the last cigarette and closes his eyes.

 Back at home, Anne enters the kitchen to start the dishwasher. Her eyes catch a glimpse of something rare on the fridge. There is a piece of red-coloured paper attached with a fridge magnet. It is a letter. Anne starts feeling nauseous. She takes the letter and soon begins reading it. First, she fall sitting on the cold ground. Second, she starts sobbing dreadfully. Anne gets up, rushes to the bedroom and changes her clothes and races like a jet to the hospital. She dials Leo’s cell on her way there. “Leo, is Ashton with you? Please tell me he’s with you!” Anne starts crying again. “I’m afraid not, why? Anne, are you okay?” Leo could senses something is wrong. “Can you go to the rooftop? I’ll meet you there” she hangs up.

Anne arrives at the hospital and parks her car. The first thing she sees is a crowd of people gathering at the foyer. Anne pushes everyone out of her way and right in front of her lies a static body. Throughout her 25 years of existence, Anne never feels more shattered than she is now. What’s in front of her is a dead man, someone she loves, someone she would die for, her husband. No, her dead husband. The late Ashton Flack.  Seeing him surrounded by a pool blood means only one thing, she’s too late. She wishes that she arrives earlier so she might still has the chance to save her husband. Her dead husband. Anne kneels down by the body. “No Ash noooooo! Please don’t leave me. You can’t leave me, I need you. Somebody save him, please!” Leo pulls her away and hugs her. He lets Anne cries her eyes out into his chest . If only she found the letter earlier, Ashton would still be alive

 Hey there, Anne... I don’t know where to start. Should I start from the day we met or the day that I started to hurt your feeling? I feel sick about everything. Sick that I hurt your feelings. I’m really sorry. I hate that your feeling got hurt like that. I want to take it back, but I can’t. But I do want to make things good with you. I wish I had a chance to make it right and be with you. But I knew I’d always have the chance. I’m just afraid of it. I might ruins the chance and hurt your feeling again. I don’t know what to do. You’re always told me that the day that I fall, you’ll be right behind me. And you did. I like you a lot. Like on a scale of one to ten, try infinity. To fall in love at first sight, things were going great, everything felt so right. The day that I first met you, I felt in love. I never wanted to believe in that called fate, but I don’t know what happened. I felt good about it. I never thought that I will be the happiest man alive when I met you. I thank you for that, Anne. I don’t know how to put this in words but I have to. I have an HIV positive. I knew it right before our wedding day. I got it from the boy that I help when I was In Ethiopia. His parents died due to HIV. I couldn’t believe it myself too. I know I’d break your heart and I just couldn’t face the fact that I’d hurting too and I’m afraid.. I vow, like the vows we did during our wedding that I never cheated on you. I’m helpless, Anne. I tired of this. I carry the weight of the world on my shoulders. You were there throughout my days and nights, but I couldn’t burden you more with my mess. I hate getting flashbacks from things that I don’t want to remember. I probably shouldn’t have done that. I wish I knew what goes on your mind when you read this. I wish I can hug you right in the moment you finish reading this because I knew, you’ll definitely cry after reading this. But, I know, I couldn’t. I should go away, far away. It hurts but I know it is for the best. I confess you are the best thing in my life that I would get jealous of the people who get to see you and be with you every day after I gone. Nobody has ever made me feel the way you do. Till we meet again. I wish. I always love you. I do. 

 Love, Ashton Flack

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