Justin: Alexi smiled, her bangs sweeping across her forehead, covering her eyes. I reached out and tucked it behind her ear—or at least tried to, for the stands were short and they don’t even reach her ears.
Her crisp laugh punctuated the silence of the night, as she, again, pulled me by the hand into a very grand mansion, one that can rival Lolo and Lola’s. It is huge—and that’s saying something since I am so used to my grandparents’ place. “How many rooms does this place have?” I asked Alexi, and she turned to me. We entered the house, sauntering past the driveway with a cupid for a fountain and the well-manicured lawns next to it, and I was welcomed by a shining shimmering chandelier glowing twenty feet above me.
“Hmm, twenty, with ten baths, not counting the maids’ quarters,” Alexi replied, with a casual shrug. We passed by a wall and she flipped a couple of switches, effectively turning off the chandelier and replacing it with tempered house lights. It was under these lights that I had appreciated the plush floral and beige couches, the mahogany center tables, and the paintings on the walls which were usually still life or sceneries. “But only three are being used. My brother, my parents, and my room. But then again, my parents are almost always not here, so I guess you can just say two are being used,” she said, and I tried to detect some sense of sarcasm or bitterness in her voice but I couldn’t.
“Dad’s in Rome and Mom’s in Santorini,” she explained, glancing at her wristwatch, “and they will be meeting in exactly fifteen hours in France.” She turned to me with an assuring smile on her face. “They’re aiming for an early retirement. It’s my brother, Kian, who’s handling our business right now.”
“Ah,” I said, and her hand snaked around my waist as I allowed her to guide me outside. An Olympic-sized swimming pool was there, the crystal blue water rippling to the night breeze. Alexi momentarily released me, placed a hand on my arm to steady herself, and she tossed her flats to the grass and looked up at me expectantly. “The water’s warm. It’s equipped with a heater. Dip?” she said, her voice sweet. I nodded, removing my shoes myself and watched her as she walked to the edge of the water. She rolled her pant legs up to her knees and I did the same, and then she sat down on the edge of the pool, her legs moving as if she was paddling in the water.
I heard her sigh contentedly, and I joined her, sitting next to her.
“Your brother is older than you by how many years?” I asked, and she was gazing into the water, staring, as she answered, “Ten years?” She reached in and dipped a finger into the water, making circles in the water, a half-smile forming on her face.
“Dad and Mom were too busy with the business that they had less time for loving,” Alexi continued, her smile growing wider. I watched as her hair covered half of her face again, and I was sorely tempted to tuck it behind her ear again. “So it took them ten years to rediscover the amazement of lovemaking, and made me,” she said, and I smiled.
“I’m thankful they rediscovered it,” I replied, and she gave me a naughty grin.
Alexi gave me a small smile, and she reached out and touched my cheek. I shivered at her touch. “I have something to tell you.”
I stared into her eyes and in it I just found pure sadness. “Why do I feel like I might not like what you’re about to tell me?” I whispered, and I thought she nodded, but the move was so faint that I wasn’t so sure if it happened.
“We’re having the most fantastic two months, aren’t we?” she began, and I blinked. Wow, I didn’t know it’s been two months. I hadn’t notice that she and I have been going out for that long a time already, for it seemed like yesterday when I ran after her when she saw me with Tanya. It seemed only yesterday when she “kidnapped” me and took me to the arcade where I realized that I would love to fall in love with Alexi every single day of my life.
“Yes, it has been,” I replied in a whisper. I leaned closer to her. “Lex, you’re scaring me. What’s up?” I asked her, and she took a very deep breath.
“I hadn’t gotten my period for two months already, which is unusual,” she said, and I frowned. Contrary to my previous relationships, my physical relationship with Alexi has been limited to making out and touching. I had never allowed it to go beyond that, out of my respect and love for her (not that I’m saying that I don’t respect the ones that I have slept with before). I wanted her to be the right relationship, to be the proper relationship for me.
Is she saying she’s pregnant?
Alexi probably saw the frown on my face for she laughed. “No, I am not pregnant. Justin, honey, I am not Immaculate Concepcion,” she said, and I exhaled loudly, smiling in spite of my assumption. “Okay, so what’s up?” I said, and she turned serious. Her face was grim, and all I want to do is to speed this up to get rid of her misery.
“I went to the doctor for a checkup, and they found some cysts in my ovary.”
I felt cold. As in real cold.
“I am going to undergo an operation in two weeks. Then they’ll figure out if it’s malignant or not,” she continued, and I swallowed the huge lump in my throat.
“Alexi…” I began to say, but I couldn’t find the right words anymore.
My girlfriend of two months smiled. She did. She cupped my face in her hands and kissed me lightly on the lips. “Justin, honey, this is not my death sentence. They’ll get rid of the cysts, and you can help me by praying they’re all benign. And even if they weren’t, there are a lot of medical advances in cancer, and I can get cured,” she whispered, and I gazed into her big, round, black eyes. I could feel my own pair of eyes welling up.
“Okay,” I said, my voice cracking. I had to clear my throat to be able to speak real well. “Okay,” I repeated. “You will get through this. I will be here for you. I will be strong for you, and I need you to be strong for me.”
She nodded, a small smile on her face. “Sounds like a pep talk for yourself?” she said, and I sighed. I gathered her into my arms. “I am not going to lose you,” I said, choking back a sob.
“You are being sentimental and overacting.”
I groaned, and she nodded. She pulled back and looked me deeply into the eyes so that I can see her conviction.
“Yes, Justin Daniel Santillan. You are not going to lose me.”
I nodded, giving her a light kiss on the lips before looking up into the heavens, mentally praying for Alexi already.