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This was it. Her past had been fused with powerlessness and fear. But now Ariel held her future with a firm grasp. No longer will confusion curse her from knowing all.
“The station is just a couple miles from here, I can take you…” Joe started to say but was interrupted by Ariel.
“Can I see Mike?” she says solemnly.
Startled by her question he asks, “What?”
“Can I see Mike?” she asks again.
“…yeah, sure. Um I’ll take you to the hospital and then we’ll go to the station k?”
As they enter the hospital Joe once again asks the nurses where Mike was located.
“Ariel, are you sure about this?” Joe asked hesitantly.
“Yeah, I’m sure.”
“OK. Just go through the door then. I’ll uh…I’ll wait for you here and give you a moment alone.”
Slowly, Ariel enters a plain white room with light emitting from the windows like God was slowly taking the patient’s soul.
“Oh, my gosh…” she says quietly to herself.
This was him.
“Mike…” she said quietly moving towards him. Lightly she brushes the hair off his eyes and kneels before him.
“You don’t know how much I have missed you!” she slowly said, taking a deep breathe before anymore tears dropped.
As Joe paced back and forth outside, he spots Rainie.
“RAINIE!” he screams
“Joe…shhhh” she said whacking him on the arm. “What the heck is wrong with you? This is a hospital!”
“Oh uh…what are you doing here?” he asks nervously. He didn’t tell her that the woman that her fiancé loved for so long was in the other room.
“I wanted to give…wait what is this? I don’t have to tell you!” she said annoyed.
“Uh, yes you do! I mean I have known him longer,” he laughed anxiously.
“What is the matter with you? Did you get shot again?”
“Then move I have hot soup waiting for Mike?”
“WHY? He’s not waking up soon.”
“…What did you say?”
Joe noticing his mistake widens his eyes and covers his mouth.
“JOSEPH ZHENG YUAN CHANG!!!!!!”
“Oh…that’s never good.”
“You have some nerve coming all up in this hospital just to PISS me OFF!”
“Don’t you ‘R-Rainie’ me!” she ordered.
“I am SOOOO sorry…”
“Nope, not this time…”
“R-Rainie…what are you planning to do?”
“I plan to eat. I am hungry, so maybe I should get some soup…SINCE MY UNCONSCIOUS FIANCE WON’T BE HAVING ANY!!”
“Rainie, there is no reason to be upset,” he reasoned.
“UPSET!! DO I LOOK UPSET???”
“Get outta my way, I’m going inside. Hopefully my BIG THIGHS hitting the ground won’t wake him up!” she yells sarcastically.
“Rainie I did not talk about your big thighs!”
“So you think I have big thighs???”
“NO!!!” Joe screams.
Rainie whacks him across the arm again. “What did I say about screaming?!”
“RAINIE! You’re driving me nuts!!” Joe says holding onto his head from imploding.
She just smiles at Joe and says “When you’re done having your little breakdown, you can come in.”
As Rainie opens the door she sees a glum Ariel holding Mike’s hand. Worry ran across her mind and she wonders if this was why Joe was trying to stop her from entering.
Ariel jumps from her seat and widens her eyes when she see’s Rainie, the waitress who had the bright smile the time she went to Happy Noodles.
“You…your Rainie.” Ariel said shocked.
“D-Do I know you?” she asked.
“You work at Happy Noodles. You were my waitress.”
“Oh, yeah” laughed Rainie nervously. “And you are…”
“Um…my name is Ariel. Lin.”
Hitting her like a ton of bricks the name swam in Rainie’s mind.
Ariel grew more and more nervous, so she began swinging her body back and forth, ready to hit the door.
Suddenly Rainie screams excitedly, “OH MY GOD!!!!” She had her arms opened wide open and Ariel saw once again that sweet smile gradually extend from one cheek to the next.
“I can’t believe you’re here!!! How did you manage to find Mike again? I heard so much about you, you have no idea!” ranted a very excited Rainie, hugging and holding onto a very scared Ariel.
“J-JOE!!!” Ariel screamed
“Wha…Rainie!! Let her go!!!”
“You!!!” she pointed at Joe with a stiff index finger. “Don’t take another step!”
“I’m sorry Rainie!” he said frustrated. “I will never doubt Mike’s progress and I will never call you fat again, but please, LEAVE HER ALONE!”
“Wha…why? We’re friends,” she said to Joe hooking her arms with Ariel’s. “Isn’t that right Ariel?”
“Ariel stared at Rainie’s genuine smile and cute disposition. She liked her spunk.
“OK…” Ariel said softly.
“See!!! Oh, Ariel, I have so much to tell you about Mike. We’re getting married soon, see? The size of the ring doesn’t matter as long as it came from the heart, right?” she asked.
Ariel couldn’t believe it. Mike had been hers for more than 2 decades and suddenly he was taken away. Again, life didn’t allow her to choose her happiness.
“Y-You’re getting married?” Ariel asked softly.
“Mmm,” Rainie hummed in agreement. “Let’s go eat together. You like Italian?” she asked.
“Rainie, you have no sense of social value,” Joe said insulting Rainie.
“You still talking??”
“Yes. Ariel barely knows you and you’re already asking her to eat with you.”
“Just because you’re too scared to ask this beautiful girl out, doesn’t mean you have to blame me for asking her before you did!” Rainie smirks. “Checkmate,” she whispers to Ariel. “We’ll be back soon.”
As they sat down together eating, Rainie hopes to open Ariel even further.
“So, you don’t like me very much do you?” Rainie asks bluntly.
“Wha…why do you say that?”Ariel said caught off guard.
“I mean, seriously. I guess…what I meant to say was…um…”
Ariel noticed the tension running in Rainie’s body. For the first time, Rainie was nervous.
“You still love him don’t you?” Rainie asks sadly.
Rainie quietly played with her cup while looking down. “I can tell. When I saw you in the hospital, you looked so sad. I think I knew what everyone was saying when they say that I looked sad seeing Mike in the hospital for the first time. I think I saw myself in you today. You still care for him that much huh?”
Ariel looked at Rainie with a horrified expression and says “Rainie, I don’t plan on stealing you’re fiancé.”
“Wha…WHAT???” screamed a shocked Rainie. “BWAHAHAHAH Of course not!! I mean please, I know you guys were best friends but…pppshhhh! Steal him AWAY!?!?! That’s rich!”
Stunned at Rainie’s awkward way of taking the news, Ariel just stared at Rainie as she laughed uncontrollably.
“Oh, Ariel you are one funny lady. I know Mike still has a side to him that will ALWAYS love you, but you can’t steal him away; that’s just kooky-crazy talk. Ariel you will always be a part of Mike’s heart; somewhere I can never take over or take place of and I don’t want to either. I just want to love, or at least tolerate, whatever he loves. That’s what our marriage will be about. That’s why I invited you to eat with me; I wanted to know who he once loved so much.”
She couldn’t believe this woman; Ariel was absolutely in love with Rainie’s disposition and personality. She had a great outlook on her upcoming marriage, confidence and a sense of humor.
“Rainie, I think I love you,” Ariel said light-heartedly.
Rainie shrugged her shoulders and held her cup in the air.
“That’s what Mike said on our first date too,” she said shyly. “Cheers!”
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