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Jonas... seems to be really giving effort in concealing his affair from her. What else should she think about except this?
He is slowly becoming closer to her again. Trying to be the husband he was before he met his new love. As if he notices his distance and absentmindedness from her.
She can't help but think: He really wants to make sure she won't suspect his affair.
It persists for another three years. She wants to hope but does not allow herself to feel it.
The p.r.i.c.ks in her heart is becoming almost negligible.
It's already painful now. No need to further give herself any more deadly pain. It might just turn her crazy.
. . . . .
Cancer. She has cancer. Stage 4. Guess the Lord pitied her.
In a way, despite the horrible news, she feels thankful.
At least she will be gone first. She does not have to see him walk away from her. When she's gone, it'll be to the knowledge of him still being her husband till her death.
What he does after that is his choice. By then, she is willing to let him go.
. . . . .
Does it have to take her dying to get his full attention back to her?
Kara knows she already lost him long ago. Though he smiles at her, though he kisses her and touches her, his heart already belonged to another. Though he's trying to be closer to her once again and becoming her husband as before, she knows the truth will not change.
He's already gone. He isn't hers anymore and she does not think he ever will be again.
She had become used to it. Even the pain is already a familiar companion. The full and unrestrained loving attention she currently receives bewilders her, but she just rolls with it and accepts it with wide, open arms, her walls unconsciously breaking down.
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. . . . .
It's a lie, Kara knows. His care is only because of his guilt. He is still her husband after all. They are still married. He has the responsibility to care for her.
But she cannot help it. The treacherous snare around him effectively catches her without any effort on his part.
She still loves him. It never left. It remains there deep inside her heart, burning ever so strongly despite the battering she receives.
She continues to fall, and she allowed herself to live in this beautiful illusion.
At least she will have this good memory before she left for good. At least she will still carry the thought that even if it is just probably a responsibility, she have him wholeheartedly.
. . . . .
Her strength fades as each day pa.s.ses and the therapy isn't working. It's just prolonging her life and eating their money resources.
She isn't sad. She's happy.
She never thought a deadly sickness will be the key to giving her a good last memory.
Even if her suffering prolongs for some more moths.
. . . . .
It's time, she can feel it. Death is ready to take her and she's ready to accept it.
Jonas is the only person beside her in the hospital bed at the moment. She is an orphan and his family became her family. Currently, all of them are outside giving them some more privacy. Just like they always do when they visits.
No one really knows what their married life is like. Of what it became after.
Both her and Jonas even became actors in a ridiculous play that could go on forever. Both trying to make sure the other does not know their business.
He hides his relations.h.i.+p with her beloved woman from her while she hides the fact that she already knows.
They are a good husband and wife. She almost chuckles at her thoughts. Both have secrets and knows how to keep it well.
She's leaving though. It's time to come clean. It's time to let go.
Kara smiled genuinely at him, at this person that she never really fell out of love for, and it seems to have taken him aback.
Does he not realize that it's been too long since she ever smiled like this to him? Wide and genuine? Eyes clear and without any doubts and hesitation?
Immediately, he holds her weak hands, his grip tight yet gentle and secure, his warmth making her feel safe despite the circ.u.mstances.
"Kara..." his voice was soft and gentle, his eyes looking at her intently. She has his full focus. His eyes is its usual beautiful light, s.h.i.+ning and full of devotion, just like the very first time they had been together.
Kara remembers where they started. The first time they had met each other and became friends. His sweet courting, the happy times together, their beautiful wedding, their heartwarming married life, until everything spiraled out of control.
Until her world was torn apart and she is left a sh.e.l.l of her previous self.
Although it is sad, she is now thankful that they hadn't been blessed by their child yet. She does not want any of her children to ever feel the pain she had felt.
She looks at him again, memorizing his face. The contour of his cheeks, the thin lips, his thick eyebrow, his slightly crooked nose and beautiful brown locks of hair.
She forces herself to touch his cheek, raising her other free hand even when the effort it took is immense. He holds her hand and pressed it where she wants to touch.
"I love you," she says, smile still on her face. She saw how his eyes flickers for a moment. She does not mind it, nor read the emotions quickly crossing on his face. "I love you so much that I can't live my life without you. Even imagining it is painful."
She takes a deep breath before she forces herself to sit up. Quickly, he helps her. She holds both sides of his face and gently kisses him. Soft and rea.s.suring.
"I'm letting you go," she breaths out. Jonas blinks at her for a few seconds before he rapidly pales. He looks at her with wide, shock eyes.
"You are free," she says, a smile still on her face. It is hard to maintain but she continues. She is slowly losing energy and she feels drained. She perseveres though. He needs to hear.
She needs him to know.
Despite all, she wants him to live his life happily after she's gone.
"You love her, right? I... will be going now," she gives him a smile.
Though she wants this, her heart still feels pain. Despite that, she continues. She had good memories. He had given her a parting gift she knows she will treasure. Setting him free will be her gift back to him.
Through her own mouth.
"Love her more than you did to me." He rapidly shooks his head though he still cannot seem to speak. She smiles at that. Although it pains her, it is the truth. There shall not be any lies between them now. It is unnecessary. "She managed to capture your heart despite me desperately holding onto it. I think... I think you were meant to be..."
Jonas looks frozen.
"I was just the person who took care of it while you are still looking for her."
She cannot keep his heart in her tight embrace. It just means one thing for her.
They aren't meant together.
"When...?" Jonas seems to be unable to fully speak sentences. His hands are shaking, eyes blown wide.
"I've known for a long time now."
And I've been dying everyday for so long too,she wants to say but does not. His eyes turns manic as he desperately looks at her before he... breaks down.
"How... How are you so kind to me?" he chokes, seemingly unable to say anything other than that confused, bewildered disbelief. For a man who rarely cries, Jonas tears up as he desperately holds both her hands.
"I am... not kind Jonas." She looks away from his eyes and stares outside the window of her hospital room. Her smile drops. "There were times I wanted to kill her for taking you away from me."
When she looks back at him, her smile returned. She wipes the tears falling down his cheeks.
"But I love you."
His mouth is opening and closing, as if he wants to say something to her but doesn't know where to start, doesn't even have any idea how and what to say first. His eyes concerts a lot of chaotic emotions that she cannot even pick them all up. She waits as patiently as she can for him to get himself together.
Suddenly, her strength left her without warning, as if her energy supply has been absolutely cut. She drops her hand, which he immediately captures in his hands again, eyes widening in panic.
Her life is draining fast.
"I... love you," she says with difficulty but full of conviction. He seems to be saying something to her, rapid and panic and desperate. She wants to listen, wants to know what he is trying to say, why he seems so desperate. But his voice seems so far away and her vision is also clouding. She gathers one last strength she has, all of it just to tell him what she wants him to know.
"... and I... want you to be... happy."
With that, Kara left the world with a smile on her face, not completely happy but at least content at her final moments.
Not knowing she left her husband filled with guilt that will haunt him for a long time and realization that... he was too late to confess.
That he strayed once.
That it took him a long time to get back to his senses.
That he already cut ties with that woman.
That he has been fully committed with his wife even before her diagnosis came in.
That he loves her too much that seeing her suffering everyday pains him.
And knowing that her knowledge of his affair and her probably thinking that even until this time he is still with her tortured her soul that she probably sees her death as release... cuts him up every single second and will continue until he finally dies.
He regrets being swept easily by temptation.
He regrets not saying anything.
He regrets not making any amends and properly fixing their relations.h.i.+p.
He regrets... He regrets a lot.
And it is too late to truly make amends.
His grief drowns him and his wife's kindness and selflessness and full, unabashed love cages him in a world of darkness.
His light left him.
His life will never be the same again.