Saturday, August 16

Will You Stay (Part 14)

“There’s absolutely nothing that can change him now, Anne. He’s depressed” Luke says while handing a cup of warm peppermint tea to Anne. 
“You have to be patient, Anne. He’s struggling with his life. He feels neglected every time he sees you and Leo together. He’s obviously jealous because you spend more time at the hospital, plus Leo works there too. As Luke says, he’s depressed.” Natalie sits on the armchair across Anne. 

“He lost his job and his wife has to work to support him. His addiction becomes worst because he has got nothing to do, honey. All he wants is to forget his entire problems” Natalie adds. Anne lets out a sigh full of distress. “I know that he’s depressed. That’s why I chose to stay with him. I love him so much. I’ve never been in love with anyone before him, he’s my first love and I do hope he’s my last. I’ve done everything I could to help him overcomes his addiction, forces him to take his medicine and brings him for therapy.” Anne places the teacup on the saucer. She continues, “The day I found out that he was infected by HIV, my heart sank. I wish he never went to Ethiopia. I can listen to your advice Luke, to leave him. But I stay, because I love him. He has no else in his life, apart from Leo and I. No matter what happen, I will stay with him.” 

 Luke puts his arm around Natalie’s shoulder.“Your love doesn’t has the power to change him, sis. If it can, why is he still like that? Do you know why he wouldn’t change, despite everything that you’ve done for him? Because he’s self-centered! A selfish guy!” Luke stands up and disappears into the kitchen. From there, he says to Anne, “As long as both of you are together, you’ll always live in the hell of suffering.” 

 The three of them do not realize that their discussion is about to unleash a hurricane in someone’s life. Ashton has been eavesdropping from behind the door throughout their conversation. The minute Anne leaves the house, Ashton realizes it is never her fault that things turn out to be this way around. He should not be too harsh to his wife. He knows that all Anne wants is to see him live. Plus he knows full well that Anne loves her but yesterday’s incident at the hospital really crushed him. He awares that every time they have an argument, Anne will go to her brother’s house. So he follows her to apologise. 

Just a split second before his knuckle knocks the door, he heard the conversation between Anne and his brother in law. Ashton leaves the doorstep before anyone realizes that he was there. He returns to his house, lights up a cigarette as usual and loss himself in his thoughts. He loves Anne, God knows how deeply in love he is with her. But the flame of jealousy would always light up upon the two of them. “I must change. For Anne and everyone else’s sake. He switches off the light and crawls under the quilt in hope that tomorrow he could talk to Anne about what’s bothering him. 
 It is an hour before midnight when Anne arrives home. Even though Ashton and her got into a fight, Anne cannot remain mad at him. She needs Ashton and Ashton needs her. She realizes that going to Luke’s house and telling her brother about her problem with Ashton was a huge mistake. 

It is pitch black in their bedroom. Anne switches on the bedside lamp and sees Ashton sleeping soundly on the bed. She lies down beside him, facing his back and strokes his hair. Anne misses Ashton very much so she hugs him. “I’m sorry Ash, I shouldn’t have left you this morning. I love you Ash, not just for now, but forever. And I’m dreaming for the day that you’ll take me in your arms again.” 

Ashton was awake by the time Anne lay down next to him but he pretends to be asleep. He listens to Anne’s words. Ashton cries unintentionally because he knows that Anne misses the old Ashton Flack, the one who always cheers her up. He turns around, grabs Anne’s hand and hugs her tightly leaving her breathless.

 “I love you too, Anne” Ashton whispers as he kisses her neck. “Would it be okay to you if I redeem myself tonight for behaving like a child this morning?” He smirks. Anne can’t help but to accept his flirtatious offer. Ashton opens the drawer of the nightstand to grab the ‘thing’ to equip himself for the long night before switching off the table lamp. Both Ashton and Anne enjoy the wonderful night.

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