She keeps me up after late phone calls
Dreaming of her arms around me
Well, I think she’s beautiful
She thinks I’m going blind
I could spend my life tryin’ to write this song
And I could spend my time tryin’ to right my wrongs
Oh, she’s worth it
She says that I’m the one
Chapter 4: Leave Me Alone, I’m Lonely
It was Day Three of Casey in the hospital. Richard swore he hasn’t seen anyone other than him, the other Richard and Andrea (who finally brought Casey some of her tasty lollicakes) who visited Casey in the past two days, and he wondered why. Most of the calls she received were all from her office, and on the second day, he actually hid Casey’s cellphone just to make her stop working while she’s supposed to be resting.
He’s actually having fun with Casey. She’s smart, witty, fun, and just… amazing.
But the part of him that has “ADD” (Attention Deficit Disorder)—according to his friends, that is—is getting bored. Not bored with Casey, but bored with hospital life. Bored with just sitting there, watching over Casey who is virtually okay, save for doctors telling them she still needs a bit more observation.
So he showed up at the hospital, saw Casey already up at nine in the morning and eating what was left of the lollicakes. He slept there at the hospital with her (on the couch) but left around four in the morning to go to his apartment to change and refresh (for he actually misses sleeping on an actual bed). He sat down next to her, on the bed this time.
Casey saw it coming. She knew that look—the look of someone about to leave.
“Hey, I got called in to some modeling stint. I’ll come back here to check on you again later, alright? It might be over by dinnertime. I’ll bring you some food,” Richard said, patting the space next to Casey’s hand. He avoided the physical contact—he liked touching Casey because it felt right and it felt good, but it would make him not want to leave her.
And he needed to get out.
That need was excruciating.
“Okay, sure. No worries,” Casey said, but it was reflective in her voice how sad she was that Richard was leaving. Guilt swam through his system right away. But he wasn’t ruled by his emotions. He never was. Okay, maybe just once in his life, he allowed his emotions to get the best of him but evidently that didn’t turn out well.
No way is he going to let that happen again.
Richard hesitated, and then stood up.
“Can you at least give me my phone back?” Casey said, and Richard nodded, fishing the phone from her laptop bag. Damn, Casey thought. It had been there all the time?
“I placed it on silent mode, so you won’t know it’s there,” Richard said, seeing the look on her face. She nearly glared at him.
“I can figure out that you’re a workaholic, Case. Maybe this is a way for you to rest. Take this chance,” he said, and she just sighed. And then she found herself agreeing to him.
But then again now what is she supposed to do when her only pastime—talking to Richard—is going to be taken away because he has a modeling stint?
And she was sure—100% sure—that it wasn’t a modeling stint.
She knew Richard’s type. She hadn’t dated anyone remotely close to how Richard is (not that she is dating Richard now) but she had heard of his type—elusive, unable to be at one place for too long, impatient, restless. Somewhere in between those words was the word “immature,” but Casey was hoping Richard wasn’t that type.
He doesn’t seem to be.
“Anyway, I have to go,” he said, giving her a forced smile. “Stay here. I’ll be back later, I promise.”
That’s his promise number 3. And Casey held onto it again.
Richard gave Casey a little wave before he left, closing the door behind him.
Casey sighed, wondering what she is going to do in the next eight to ten hours before Richard would come back.
The moment Richard stepped out of the hospital, he breathed a sigh of relief. He’s finally out of the trap. Out of the cage that he created for himself. Casey was prepared to just receive money from him—why hadn’t he just accepted that?
Right. Because he likes Casey. She makes him laugh and she amuses him. And she is a definite far cry from Bella—clingy, barely there smart, too open, too much of a party girl, and too liberated. Casey is a bit mysterious, smart, simple and just… amusing. And because he knew Casey needed him. It felt good to be needed.
He knew both ladies have complications in their lives and he didn’t want that.
He just wants to have fun.
At thirty-three, all Richard wants is to have fun.
And that’s what he’s going to do right now.
First up: basketball game with the other Richard and their other friends who play professional basketball.
Casey must have counted the number of corners the room has (twenty, counting that small corner the two walls had made near the bathroom door), watched all the sappy teleseryes and chick flicks on television that was shown in twelve hours, and replied to all the text messages she had received and involuntarily ignored in the past two days that Richard had held her cell phone hostage. She was also done returning the missed calls that she has on her log, and when that was done, she looked at her watch and was shocked that it was already ten in the evening.
She shouldn’t have hoped that Richard would come back. She already saw the look on his face when he arrived this morning—he looked like a beast that was held captive for years and was raring to get out into the wild.
She cussed at herself. Why had she hoped? She had let another man get close to her again. She held onto his promises quickly because he stuck to his first promise, and she hoped he’d make the rest of the other promises he had made. And she needed him.
She needed to need someone because she’s so tired of being alone all these years.
Where did that leave her?
Back to square one.
By ten in the evening, Richard was just starting to party. He had entered Encore and saw the usual suspects—even Bella was there. They avoided each other, though, which was good for both of them. Good for Richard, too, for he didn’t need any stress today. His day is going perfectly.
Just as it had been before Casey saved his life.
Day Four and Casey was effing bored. She had a choice—she can just foot her bill and head out. Her doctor, however, warned her that she had to come back to the hospital once her headaches become recurring. She was asked to rest until the end of the week, only to return to work on Monday.
And then he gave her the clearance.
Casey nearly jumped in joy.
With a heavy heart, she trudged to the checkout counter and paid for her expenses for the past three days. She was happy that her medical insurance helped lessen the blow to her savings a bit. In her head, she was cussing at Richard. It was already ten in the morning and he still hasn’t come back since yesterday.
And she’s given up all hope he’d come back.
She went out of the hospital, wearing the same clothes that she came in with, and then headed out of the hospital, hailing a taxi to take her to her unit.
Richard’s hangover still wasn’t subsiding. He was still hidden under his sheets, savoring the twelve-hour sleep, the comfort of his own soft bed instead of the hard, rickety one at the hospital, and the pine fresh, lemony scent of his house instead of the disinfectant smell in the hospital.
There was something missing, though.
Casey’s laughs, smiles, and her random questions.
Her dark, wavy, unruly hair and how it covers her eyes when she throws her head back when she laughs, which makes him wonder sometimes if that doesn’t make her headaches (which was a bit common on the first day but had lesser frequency come second) worse.
The way she always has a scrunchie around her wrist even if she doesn’t even use it.
And the way he would just catch her staring at him, like she was amused by him, like she was reading him.
And the way he feels around her. Like he’s in another world. Like his gravitational pull was just towards her and nobody else, like it wasn’t the moon pulling his weight on this planet, but it was her.
“Oh no, Rich. This is not good. What are you getting yourself into?” he said aloud, and he groaned. He hastily stood up and ran into the shower.
He owes Casey.
He still owes her dinner.
Click here to read Chapter 5: Second Chance.