Chapter 24: No AirIf I should die before I wake
It's cause you took my breath away
Losing you is like living in a world with no air, oh
I'm here alone, didn't wanna leave
My heart won't move, it's incomplete
Wish there was a way that I could make you understand...
“Good morning, Mr. Wu!”
Chun let out a faint smile at his staff, and nodded his head. As he walked towards his office, he caught a glimpse of Ella at her desk. He swallowed hard, trying his best not to look at her. “Good morning, boss.” she said cheerily. He remained unmoved. He reached for the door, and opened it. He went inside, totally ignoring her. As the door shut, Ella looked away, wondering what have happened to Chun. He have been gone for two days, and now that he's back, he was ignoring her. “What's wrong?” she thought. She couldn't understand why Chun is acting that way. She tried to remember if she did anything to make Chun mad at her, but she couldn't remember a thing.
Then, she remembered that night when he drove her home after having dinner at their place. That night, they kissed. She was wondering if that's the reason why he was avoiding her, but it couldn't be. Right after that incident, they still talked. He even called her to tell her that he's home already. After that night, Chun haven't gone to the office, and just came back today. “Is he feeling guilty for kissing me?” she thought. She leaned back on her chair, still thinking what have happened to her boss. Her thoughts were interrupted when she heard someone call her. “Ella?” She looked up, and saw Wallace coming up to her. “W-wallace?” she asked in a confused tone. “You're not supposed to be back till next week, right?” she asked. Wallace just shrugged his shoulder. “Well, boss called me today to report. I don't know why. You didn't messed up, didn't you?” he said. Ella slowly shook her head. “I didn't do anything...” she said. Then, she heard Wallace laugh. “Hey, don't take it to heart! I'm just kidding you. Anyways, I wanted to go back to work. Now that I have a son, I have to work hard.” he said. Ella let out a faint smile at him. “I... I understand.” she said.
Just then, Chun came out of his office, and saw Ella and Wallace. “Wallace, good that you're here.” he said. Ella immediately took the documents from her desk, and stood up. She have to find a way to talk to Chun. “Boss, about the proposal -”
“Give that to Wallace. Wallace, get inside, we need to discuss some issues here.”
Ella lowered her head, and then, she handed the document to Wallace. The door closed again, and before Wallace could go, he noticed the sadness in her face. “Ella, are you OK? Did something happened while I'm gone?” he asked worriedly. Ella simply shook her head. “Everything's OK. Please give my proposal to Chun...” she said in a low voice. Wallace took the document, and then walked towards Chun's office. As soon as Wallace s gone, Ella sat back on her chair. She turned her attention to her work, hoping that somehow, she would forget the sadness she's feeling inside.
“Make me an appointment with Mr. Fang next week at 3 PM, and with Mr. Jin tomorrow at 6 PM.” Chun told Wallace. Wallace nodded his head, and took note of what he said. As soon as he's done talking, Chun swiveled his chair to face the glass window. He became quiet, and this made his friend wonder what's going with him. “Anything wrong, Chun?” he heard Wallace asked. Chun did not bother to face his friend. “Just do what I told you to do. You may go, Wallace...” he said. “Is there bothering you? Want to talk about it?” Wallace asked again. “Nothing's wrong. Just do what I told you to do.” he said in a stern voice. He heard his friend sigh. He felt him stood up from his seat, and heard the door close behind him.
There is really something bothering our leading man. You see, he felt guilty for ignoring Ella that day, but he have to do. For him, avoiding Ella means avoiding what he truly feels inside his heart. He knows in the end, he's bound to break her heart, and he didn't want to see her in pain because of him. He loves Ella. He is truly and madly in love with her. But then, things are more complicated than he thought. He is engaged to be married to Ariel, while she is Arron's girl. It was a big mistake to fall in love with the girl his brother likes, but he couldn't help it. The more that he gets to know her, the more that he's loving her. Now he understood why Arron have always liked her, why he chose to befriend her. She was the smartest girl he have seen in his entire life. She can stand up for what she thinks is right. She love her friends so much, that she's willing to do everything for them. She could brighten up one's gloomy day with her smile. Her cheerfulness is very contagious, that he even found himself smiling each day when he sees her. She's also a good listener, and she understand how one is feeling.
Those are some the reasons why he found himself falling in love with her. There are a lot more reasons, and it would take more than this chapter to enumerate them. For him, Ella is a perfect girl. Any guy would be lucky to be her boyfriend. Any guy would be lucky to be loved by her. He wished he could be that guy, but he know he can't be the one for her. There is someone else who deserve her love, someone who can love her with his whole heart. Unfortunately, it's not him. Though he love her so much, he can't be that one, for he already got someone else, and he have made a promise to that girl.
He closed his eyes, and let out a sigh. “God... why? Why does it have to be Ella? I... I can't be with her...” he thought. As he took a deep breath, a single tear fell from his eye. Inside his heart, the pain is burning. It's almost killing him. The pain in his heart is too much, that he couldn't even breath.
Ella went to the rooftop that lunch time. She leaned over the railings as she let out a sigh. Chun is still ignoring her. And she thinks Chun will ignore her the rest of day, or even the rest of the week. “What did I do? Is he mad at me?” she thought. Sometimes she couldn't understand her boss. One time, he'll be a really really nice guy, and the next thing you know he'll act as if he's PMSing. I wonder what's wrong with him? Is he mad because of that stupid kiss? He's the one who initiated it! I should be the one that should be mad here... not him! And besides, it's the second time that he kissed me without my permission...” she thought.
She let out another sigh, and her face became sad again. She was getting close to Chun. She was getting to know him even better. They were just starting to be friends, then just because of a kiss, he would get mad at her. She could feel the pain in her heart at that thought. She was not just getting close to her boss, but she's also falling in love with him. Since Arron left, he got to know more about the real Chun - the guy who's afraid of the dark, the guy who loves to sing his heart out in KTV, the guy whom she couldn't beat at video games, the guy who loves chocolate cake and would grab all the food he would see, the guy who have a beautiful pair of eyes, the guy whose smile makes her heart flutter. She knew it was too soon for her to fall in love with him, but she couldn't heed her heart. She realized it is wrong to fall in love with Chun Yan-Wu.
Chun is engaged to Ariel, that she knows. She knows Chun loves Ariel so much. They were perfect for each other, and they were like a match made in heaven. She knows she is nothing compared to Ariel. Ariel is a perfect girl – gentle, sweet, classy, while she, she is somewhat boyish. She is not as classy as Ariel. The truth is, she is the clumsy one. She is the exact opposite of her, and she knows there is no way that Chun would like her. If her brother wasn't able to like her the way she did back then, then it's obvious that Chun will never fall for her. She let out another sigh. She was frustrated with what's happening. “Why? I fell in love with those brothers, and yet none of them are willing to love me...” she thought sad. She closed her eyes, and then let a single tear fall from her eye.
“Calvin, can we talk?”
Calvin looked up, and saw Ella by the door. He smiled at her, and nodded his head. Ella entered his room, and then sat on his bed. “What's wrong, mushroom?” he asked. She let out a sigh before she speaks. “Cal... was there a time that you fell in love with me?” she blurted. Calvin looked at her, his eyes widened with surprise. “Hey, is this a serious question?” he asked. Ella nodded her head. He studied her face, and he could see sadness written on it. He began to wonder and get worried about his best friend. Rarely does Ella looks like this. She was the cheery one, and if she gets this sad, then it means Ella is sick, or something seriously wrong happened.
“Anything wrong? Why are you asking me this question?” he asked again. “Just answer my question. Was there a time that you fell in love with me?” she asked. “No. I could never fall in love with you.” he said. He heard sigh again, and this time, Ella turned her look away from him. “Why?” she asked in a low voice. “What's wrong with me? Why can't I be loved?” she continued. Calvin put his arms around her, and pulled her to a hug. “Ella, we all love you. I may have not loved you as more than a friend, but I do love you as my sister. Always remember that.”
“Why can't anyone love me as more than a friend? Is it because I'm not pretty enough?”
“No, Ella. For me, you're the prettiest girl.”
“Then, if I am, why didn't you fell in love with me?”
“Because it would be incest, mushroom.”
Ella let out a faint smile at him. Calvin was glad that despite her depression, he was able to make her smile. “What's going on? Why are you acting like this? Is this one of those quarterlife crisis you're going through?” he asked. Ella shook her head. “Until now, I'm wondering why Arron couldn't like me. I'm wondering what is it that Gui Gui have that I don't have.”
“Maybe you should ask what is it that you have that Gui Gui doesn't have. Ella, you can't compare yourself to the other girls, because you're one of a kind. And that what makes you more interesting...”
“If I am interesting, how come you or even Jiro never dared to court me? How come Arron only see me as a friend?”
“I already told you... if you become my girlfriend, then it would be like dating my own sister. And besides, it's Arron's loss that he never had you for his girlfriend.”
“Because any guy would be lucky to be with you.”
Ella rested her head on his shoulder. There was a moment of silence between them. “Ella, maybe I... I could have fallen in love with you before. If only we're not childhood friends, and if only I don't see you as my sister, I would have fallen for your charms. Honestly, there was a time I wanted to court you, but I did stop myself from doing that because I would rather have you as my best friend and my sister. I've said this before... any guy would be lucky to have you... to be loved by you. You've got the qualities all the guys are looking for. You just have to wait for the right person, so that you could give him that love inside your heart. Maybe it's not Arron. Maybe you and Arron are just meant to be friends. But I know, someone out there is meant for you...” he said. Calvin looked down at her, and saw her in tears. “Ella?” he said worriedly. “Calvin... can you keep a secret?” she asked. He slowly nodded his head. “I... I don't think I love Arron anymore. There... there is someone else...” she confessed. Calvin was again surprised at what she said. “Then... who's the new guy? And why are you crying? Are you feeling guilty that after all this time that you're carrying the torch for Arron, you have fallen out of love with him?” he asked. Ella shook her head. “No... no... it... it wasn't like that...” she said.
Ella sat up, and looked Calvin into his eyes. “I know that if Arron can't love me, this person can't love me as well... I know... because both of them loved the same girl. The perfect girl, the right girl... and I know I am nothing compared to her.” she said. This made Calvin even more confused. “What do you mean? Who... who is this guy? Who is this new guy you've fallen in love with?” he asked. “Calvin, I fell in love Arron's brother...” she said. “And I know, Chun Yan-Wu, like his younger brother, could never fall in love with me...”
Chun sat back on his chair as he looked outside the glass window. “Chun...” he heard a familiar voice call. He looked back, and saw Wallace standing before him. “Wallace, anything wrong?” he asked. Wallace shook his head. Then, he took the seat in front of him. “Nothing's wrong with me, but I think something is wrong with you...” he said. Chun looked away from his friend. “What's the deal with you and Ella? Did something happened while I'm gone? You guys were pretty close, and now you're avoiding her...” he said. Chun lied, and shook his head. Wallace folded his arm, and looked suspiciously at him. “Are you sure?” he asked. “Nothing's wrong, Wallace. Why, did she tell you anything?” he asked. Wallace let out a smirk, and shook his head. “No. As a matter of fact, she's not speaking at all. She's not the same Ella that I used to know...” he said.
Chun stood up from his seat, and walked towards the window. “Ella...” he muttered under his breath. “Seems like someone sucked the life out of her, and I don't know why. She's always with you, so maybe something happened. And you... you suddenly changed. You used to be serious, then you became more cheerful, and then you became... well.. stoic. Like you don't care about anyone anymore, including your own self. That's why I'm asking what's wrong? Because I couldn't stand seeing you shift into different personalities.” he said. Chun remained quiet, and did not answer his friend's question. “Ella changed you, that I know, Chun. From a serious, let'S-get-down-to-business guy, you became more cheerful and more happy. You always smile now, something that only happens when Ariel's around. And you now act as a kid sometimes, especially when you annoy Ella and play a prank on her. Then now, you became emotionless. You became more quiet. I think you're keeping things to yourself. Chun... what is wrong?” Wallace asked again.
This time, Chun faces Wallace. Before he could open his mouth to speak, he let out a frustrated sigh. “Something did happen, Wallace...” he said. “But please, give me the space and time to think all about it. It... it's overwhelming me now... and I have to think things through... to analyze everything. I...” He paused, and looked up his friend. He did not anticipate what Wallace was about to ask him. “Tell me, Chun...” he said. “You've fallen in love with Ella, didn't you?”
And days passes by, Chun was still ignoring Ella. He acts as if she doesn't exist. If theres any work that he wants her to do, he would ask Wallace to tell it to her. If Ella have to give her work to Chun, she would have to give it through Wallace. Meetings are a hell for her. Chun would only talk to his staff, except for her. There were times that she would try to talk to him, but Chun always shrugs her off, telling her to go back to work for he have not asked for her. Meanwhile, Ella felt hurt every time Chun avoids her or shrugs her off. She couldn't help but wonder if she was at fault. Somehow, she regret kissing her boss, for it only worsened everything. She was wishing she should have not befriended this guy, for he was only hurting her.
One day, Ella have decided to confront Chun. She have to get some answers from him. She have to know why Chun suddenly treated her differently. She stood before his door. She took a deep breath, and then knocked on his door. “Come in...” she heard him say. Ella pushed the door, and went inside his office. Chun swiveled his chair to face her, and was surprised to see her. “What are you doing here? I didn't call for you.” he said in a stern voice. Ella let out a faint, sad smile. “You didn't call for me... you have been avoiding since that night...” she said in a low voice. Chun felt a flinch in his heart. Seeing Ella like that made him even more guilty. He swiveled back his chair and turned his back on her. “Go back to work, Ms. Chen. If you need something, please tell Wallace about it.” he said in an authoritative tone. “All I want is to have a minute to talk to you...” she said.
Chun closed his eyes, and took a deep breath. Hearing her voice was paining him even more. “Ella...” he muttered. “What's wrong? I... I thought we're OK now? I thought... I thought...” her voice was faltering. Chun stood up from his seat, and then faced Ella. “We're not OK. We'll never be.” he said to her. Ella was surprised at what he said. She was heartbroken. “I... I thought... I thought you treat me as your friend now... now that we got more closer. I thought...”
“For me, you will always be my employee. I will always be your boss.”
“I know that Chun. I know that.”
“It's Mr. Wu, Ms. Chen. I don't want you to call me by my first name anymore.”
Ella closed her eyes, trying to fight back the tears that were about to fall. “I only treat you good because grandpa have always liked you, and I promised him that I will treat you well. For me, you are nothing. You're just another employee under my wing. Do you understand that? And don't ever think that because you are my brother's good friend, we can be good friends as well. No, Ella... we can never be friends. You're not the type of person I would want to be friends with.” he said. Chun closed his eyes, and immediately turned his back on her, not wanting her to see the tears falling from his eyes. Ella opened his eyes, and glared at him. “I am nothing to you?” she asked. “You are nothing, Ms. Chen.” he said in a firm tone. Ella began to breakdown at what he said. “All the time that we're together... I... I thought you cared for me. I thought... I thought you have learned to like me... I thought... I thought I could be part of your life now...” she said in between cries. “No, Ms. Chen. You can never ever be part of my life. There's only one woman in life, and that's Ariel. The truth is, I want you out of my life...”
Ella could not believe what he said. She shook her head, hoping that what she heard isn't right. “You... you don't want me in your life anymore?” she asked again. “There is no place for someone like you in my life.” he confirmed. Ella took a deep breath to gather her remaining strength. She wiped her tears with the back of her hand, and composed herself. “I understand, Mr. Wu. I perfectly understand.” she said bravely. “I'm sorry. For everything. I'm sorry if you think I've ruined your perfect little world. I assure you that after this, I won't bother you anymore.” she said. Then, she turned her back and immediately rushed out of his office.
As he he heard the door close behind him, Chun turned again, only to find Ella gone. If theres anyone that's hurt right now, it's not Ella, but him. He never meant those words he said, but he was forced to say it so that Ella would stay away from him. He have to push her away, because he's afraid to hurt her in the future.
“This proposal is OK with me. So, shall we renew the contract?” Mr. Fang said to Chun. He looked at the younger man in front of him, and saw him in his deep thoughts. “Mr. Wu, are you OK?” he asked. Chun looked at him, and gave him a faint smile. “I'm OK, Mr. Fang. I'm sorry...” he said. “Something's bothering you... maybe I can be of help?” he asked. Chun simply shook his head. “It's nothing, Mr. Fang. So... let's meet up again next week to renew the contract?” he asked. The elder man smiled, and nodded his head. “By the way, where's your cute little assistant?” Mr. Fang asked. Chun gave him a confused look, and Mr. Fang laughed at him upon seeing his expression. “I'm talking about Ella... your assistant?” he asked. Chun let out another smile upon hearing her name. “She... she's doing some work at the office, I guess...” he said. “You know, Chun, you shouldn't let that assistant of your go. She's one of a kind, really. Ive seen how she works, and she's an efficient one. That kind of assistant is really hard to find, Mr. Wu.” he said. Chun just nodded his head. “I know, Mr. Fang. She... she's my protegee...” he said. Mr. Fang smiled, and nodded his head. “With her around, I believe your company will really do well. I love her ideas for this project. And another thing is, my wife seems to be really fond of her. You see, Ella reminds her of our late daughter, Eliza. She was only 18 when she died...”
Chun looked up at the elder man in front of him, surprised at what he learned. “You had a daughter? I thought it's only your son, Prince?” he asked. Mr. Fang just nodded his head. “I had a daughter. She was really close to me. I spoiled her with material things, hoping it would make up for the times that I am not there for her... but I was wrong...” Chun saw the smile on his face fade as he remembered the past. “I didn't know that while I'm gone and doing business, my little girl is suffering from cancer. Before I knew it, she was gone. Our daughter's death have devastated Louise the most, that we almost got divorced. She was blaming me because I wasn't there when our daughter was suffering. While her heart was breaking seeing Eliza slowly dying, I was abroad doing business. Louise said she couldn't live with a man who cares only for wealth. She said she would rather die poor in the streets that be with me. When I saw Louise walking out of that house, that's when I realized... I can live without the wealth around me, but I could never live without her in my life. She's my life, my world, my everything. Wooing her back is not an easy task, but I did it. 30 years later, here we are, still standing strong. And I know that no matter what happens, whatever storm that comes into our life, we could get through it as long as she's beside me.” Mr. Fang said.
Chun could not believe his story. “I... I never thought that... that you've been through a lot. I never thought that the two of you almost got separated. The two of you looked perfect together...” he said. “It's what you call love, Chun. When you reach to a point that you found the one you want to be with, you would do everything to have her by your side. No matter what happened, you will do everything to keep her. You will sacrifice everything you have for life. When you love someone, you should be ready to take the risk. When I first met Louise, I told myself, that's the girl I want to spend the rest of my life with. I said to myself I will give her everything... that's why I worked hard to stay on top. I wanted to give her everything that money can buy, that I didn't realize that we're slowly falling apart. I realized that I don't have to give her all the material things, but I can always give her my whole heart, my love, my devotion. I know that if even if I fall, this woman will stay beside me. She's the reason why I breath, and why I want to stay alive.” he said. Chun realized that Mr. Fang was right, and as he speaks, all he could think about is Ella. “I love Ella... and I can't live without her...” he thought. “How about you, Chun... have you met the one whom you want to be with for the rest of your life? Have you met the one whom you're ready to take the risk for? The one, who give you all the reason to keep on going?” Mr. Fang asked. Chun looked up at him, and smiled. He did not answer his question, but with the way he smiled at him, Mr. Fang could tell that he already did. “Then, never let her go. Tell her exactly how you feel. I wasn't able to tell Eliza that I love her before she died... you should always tell those three words to the people you love the most. Who knows, one day you'll wake up and you'll find them gone, and they won't be able to hear those words from you.” he said. Chun smiled and nodded his head.
“Mr. Fang... would it be OK if... if we end this meeting. I... I need to find someone...” he said. The elder man just smiled and nodded his head. “Go ahead, Chun. I think you've got some unfinished business to do.” he said. Chun said goodbye to him, and then he gathered his things. He rushed out of the hotel, hoping that he would be able to see Ella at the office. He have to tell her. He have to say sorry for the way he acted before. He have to let her know how much he loves her, before it's too late.
Ella was at the rooftop, watching as the sun sets down. She closed her eyes, as she remembered what Chun have told her a while ago. Then, a tear fell down from her eyes. “I knew it... I knew you wouldn't want to be someone like me... I know it's impossible for you to fall in love with me... it hurts so much, but I'm still loving you... and I can't even tell my heart to stop loving you...” she thought. She've had enough heartbreak. It's enough that Arron could not love her in the same way she have loved him. It's enough that she found out that Arron is in love with his brother's girlfriend. She never thought that she would fall in love with his brother, and would bring her the worst heartache ever. She felt as if Chun only played with her. He got close with her, and then he kissed her. The next thing she knew, he was telling her that she meant nothing to him, and that he wants her out of his life. No one have hurt her this way than Chun.
“I hate you Chun Yan Wu!” she shouted. “I hate you! You think you're all high and mighty?! You think I would fall for your charms?! No Way! You're the most hateful person I've ever met! I can never forgive you!” she shouted again. She took a deep breath, and then wiped the tear from her eyes. “I can never forgive you... for breaking my heart...” she said in a low voice.
She heard someone call her. She looked back, and saw Chun walking up to her. “What are you doing here? I thought you don't want to see me anymore? Why are you bothering me this time?” she asked angrily at him. She looked into his eyes. She was expecting to see hatred in it, but instead, she saw something different. The way he looked at her made her feel warm. “I... I regret what I said a while ago...” he said in a low voice. She wanted to be angry at her, but as she looked at him, her heart softened. She was too weak for him. With his voice, he swept her off to her feet again, and made her more vulnerable. She knew she should hate him for what he have said to her, but here she is, getting even more weaker as he stared at her. “Why? Why did you kiss me that night?” she asked. Chun looked away from him, not answering her question. “Are you playing with my feelings? Mr. Wu, I am not your toy. I am not someone whom you can just kiss and throw away the next day. I am a girl with feelings. I am a girl which you confuses with your action. Do you want to prove to me that you are better than your brother? Well then, let me tell you... you won, all right? You proved to me that you're way better than him, because you've hurt me more than you he have hurt me. Happy now?” she told him. Chun looked up at her sadly. “It's not like that, Ella...” he said. “Then what? Make me understand!” she shouted at him.
Chun moved closer to her. As he was inches away from her, he pulled her to a long and loving kiss. At the moment, everything seemed to stop. All the anger that Ella had for him was melted with his kiss. Her heart was then filled with love for this man before her. The world stopped. The time stopped. And she wanted to stay that way forever, with him. After Chun kissed her, he leaned down to her, his hand caressing his cheek, and wiping away the tear from her cheeks. “I love you. Can you understand that now?” he said in a low voice. Again, her eyes were filled with tears, but it's tears of joy. “I knew that moment that I kissed you that I am madly in love with you... but I also know that in the end I will only hurt you because things between us are complicated. You are the last person I want to hurt... that's why I tried pushing you away. But I realized I can't stand not being with you. I can't stand being away from you for so long. Without you... it's like I can't breath. Can you forgive me for what I did? Can you forgive me for not being man enough to admit how I feel for you?” he asked with tears in his eyes. Ella smiled and nodded her head. “I do, and I love you too, Chun...” she said in a low voice. Chun smiled at her as he held her. Then, Chun leaned down to her, and gave her another loving kiss.
Labels: fan fic, My Two Love My True Love