The Bad Girl: Chapter 30 - The Bad Girl

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Story: Fiction, English · Categories: Romance · Tags: , ,
Date: August 5, 2019 (1 month ago)


It's been six months since she last saw him.

She had made it a point to keep herself occupied since she came back to Taiwan. She had her schedule carefully and methodically arranged in such a way that it would be improbable for them to meet, for her to see him or even just the tips of his fingers.

Now, he stood at the center of the convention hall, presenting to the Asian business community the benefits of having a one currency.

Reina inspected Sherwin in his neatly pressed Armani. He looked very dignified and aristocratic.

Except for the sallow complexion of his skin, he hasn't changed much. His handsome features were still framed by his long hair. His spectacles added effect to his already distinguished gentleman stance.

Reina smiled inwardly. Seeing him with his specs on brought her back to Thailand, where they first met, where she fell in love with him and where she had her heart broken for the first time.

Sherwin Xu, the Predator of the Asian Financial District, spoke with much conviction that at the end of his speech a thunderous applause was heard.

It's only a matter of time. The Asian one currency shall be realized.

Only did when the people break into a deafening cheer was she zapped back into reality.

Reina stood up and applauded.

"Sherwin is indeed a perspicacious businessman," Reina acknowledged as she gathered her things and left.

========================================================

The afternoon air was cool and crisp, and the smell of dried leaves hung in the air as it glided through the busy street outside the Taiwan Convention Center.

Waiting for the walk signal to turn green, Reina tightened the sash of her coat as a breeze blew against her, sending a cool tingle to her body. Not even the afternoon sun's rays could warm her.

Although there was a parking space inside the convention center, she chose not to park there. Instead, she opted to park about two blocks away. She did not want a reason to linger nor does she want to accidentally bump into him.

As the signal turned green seconds later, Reina pushed and shoved against the people blocking her path. It was hard as the traffic flow was just too heavy.

Reaching the other side, she looked back. She stood there for a moment, just overlooking the cars speeding by; her eyes centering on the convention center. Maybe, trying to get a glimpse of the man she had been avoiding.

As she turned to walk, a man ran against her, causing her to bow her head and offer an apologetic smile to the faceless person she bumped into. She then briskly walked to her car.

While opening her car, she felt an overwhelming sadness, a great deal of loneliness seeping through her skin, her veins, and into her heart.

Her mind wandered to how Sherwin looked throughout the convention. He was so vibrant as he conveyed his ideas, so persuading as he answered every question during the forum.

"He has moved on," She whispered as she slipped into her car.

"That's what you wanted, right? For both of you to move on," she blinked, trying to convince herself.

She drove her car and until she reached an intersection. She hesitated which way to turn, causing the other drivers behind her to honk their horns loudly and yell madly at her but she was deaf to them.

She heaved a sigh and turned right and went to the person she needed most at the moment.

========================================================

"Here you go," Chrissie handed her a margarita.

Chrissie Yan-Li sat herself to a seat next to Reina's. She folded her legs and sipped her margarita.

"Thanks," Reina smiled weakly and set her drink on the table and continued to look out into the garden; the sun was playing, spilling its last rays as it started to set.

Reina was at Chrissie's, in the gazebo, to be exact.

It had always been that way since they were younger and even until now. The troubled one would always run to the other to find solace and comfort in her friend's arms.

"Still lonely?" Chrissie poked her with her foot.

Reina wrinkled her nose and stuck her tongue out.

"Don't deny it, Yang. I know you too well." Chrissie shrugged her shoulders

Reina sighed. She rested her chin on her knees drawn to her chest. "I saw him today. He's moved on."

"I'm glad he's happy now," she went on weakly.

"Are you really?" Chrissie tried to delve deeper.

"Are you sure that there's not an itsy-bitsy part of you that wants him to be as miserable as you are now?" Chrissie continued to prod.

She wanted to get an honest answer from her friend. She knows Reina could be very evasive, but what the hell! Reina needed to admit it to herself. She needed to show Reina how it should be done lest she would lose everything.

Reina stood up and made a dash for the main house. "Look, I made my decision. I must live with it."

Chrissie caught up with her and grabbed her arm and dragged her back to the gazebo. "Damn it, Reina! Quit being such a coward!"

"I am not being a coward!" Reina tugged her arm away but to no avail. Soon, she found herself back to where she was seated moments ago.

Chrissie was huffing from the effort. "Convince yourself."

"Tell me, Reina. Have you ever told him how you felt?" she downed her margarita and reclined on her seat.

"Of course!" she replied indignantly. "I told him that the night before I disappeared."

"But it's all water under the bridge now," she bit her tongue to prevent herself from crying.

"Hah! All in the past… My ass!" Chrissie yelled at her.

"Why Christine Margaret?! When did you become so unladylike?" Reina raised an eyebrow at her friend.

"When was I ever a lady?" Chrissie's face was in disbelief. "You're diverting the topic, Yang."

"So, any plans of telling him again?" she pressed again.

"You just don't know when to stop, do you?" Reina was irritated by Chrissie's interrogation. "It's no use. It's over now. It would pointless broaching the subject again."

"Like I said, you're a coward," Chrissie shrugged.

"Yang, I'm sorry to give you a blast from the past but don't you ever wonder what could have happened if you went and met him the night of his ultimatum? Or told him how you felt when you tried to cook him burnt dinner?" she pointed out.

"I wasn't in love with him then!!!" Reina shouted defiantly.

Chrissie held out her hand. "Liar!!! Don't interrupt! I'm not done with my speech yet. Now where was I? Oh yes… If you had swallowed your pride when he went to Lo… Loi… Iol…"

Rainine laughed at her. "Iloilo?"

"Damn! I could never get that right," Chrissie cursed and made a face. "Yes that place… Back to the topic. If you swallowed your pride back then and just forgave him…"

Reina had to interrupt. "I was hurting, Yan."

"Like I said, pride and correction, you ARE still hurting. Now, question, what are you going to do about it?" Chrissie tilted her head in one side.

She took Reina's hands between hers, yet Reina did not face her. "Stop cowering, Yang. You're so much better than this. I don't want you living your life full of regret."

"Sherwin did his part. He went to you. He told you how he felt and still probably feels. He tried. He won't have any regrets."

"How about you, Bad Girl?" Reina's head snapped to face Chrissie, blinking back the tears welling up in her eyes.

========================================================

"How about you, Bad Girl? How about you, Bad Girl?" Chrissie's words rang like a litany in her head as she drove home.

"I'm not being a coward. I'm just living with my decision," she rationalized.

"Convince yourself," Chrissie's voice, much like her conscience, retorted.

Reina hiccupped and was not able to stop herself from crying, big drops of tears rolled down her face, blurring her vision while driving.

Her eyes darted to the car's clock. It was 9:43pm. She looked around. It was dark, save for the illumination of the big full moon and the strings of stars across the deep blue of the night.

She rolled down her window and welcomed the chilly wind against her face. She saw the branches of the almost barren trees bending and swaying to the cold night wind. Fallen leaves swirled around the car as she drove past them.

Reina felt the coldness of the weather and the loneliness it brought.

Autumn prepares people for Winter. Unlike Autumn, her heart was not prepared to love, nor was she prepared for love.

She was unguarded.

When she had finally recognized she was in love, it was too late. It hurt… the pain was excruciating… No one had told her about the heartaches love brought.

Her aimless wandering led her to an old familiar path and to an all-too-familiar structure. She hadn't realized it until she parked in the driveway. Even in her misery, she was surprised her heart still knew the place, her feet led her there.

The house was quiet. It stood serene but simple. It stood innocently, denying causing the pain she felt.

The silent lights on the outside corners created shadows, as if beckoning her to reminisce.

The windows of the bungalow seemed like screens in movie theaters playing short films of her memories with Sherwin.

She recalled that first night they shared in Thailand, the morning when she threw him the remote control, that day Sherwin pretended to slip and fall, that evening he took her home when she was tired, that evening she decided to cook for him which ended up with him having to cook for her, the passionate nights they have shared…

She got out of her car and walked the pathway that ended to the porch. She ran her hand on the bench, feeling the roughness of the pebble-coating, before sitting down and taking out her Capri to smoke.

The heaviness in her heart was too much to bear…too hard to ignore anymore. She felt that her life was being extracted from her…her heart squeezed painfully inside her. She began to realize that living would be a drag, a burden to bear.

She sank down onto the floor, clutched her breast and wept, her cares momentarily forgotten.

"I'm so sorry, baby," her ragged breathing was getting in the way. "I miss you so much!"

Reina flicked her cig and continued to cry, letting the tears wash away her despair, her hurt, her pain.

"I'm glad you've moved on. I will, too…" she whispered, looking up in the sky, seeing Sherwin in her mind's eye, "When I stop hurting."

Fresh tears flowed down her soaked red cheeks and again began wailing and whimpering in pain.

Reina stayed like that for about half an hour before regaining her composure. She sniffled and stood up, brushing away the dirt that clung to her clothes.

She looked back and walked towards her car.

She was about to get in when she saw headlights. She couldn't make out the car model because the lights were blinding her eyes. She shielded her eyes and squinted hard then the lights went off.

Her heart hammered as she saw an all-too-familiar frame getting out of the car.

========================================================

Sherwin was cursing himself while driving all the way to the bungalow. He forgot a very important file that was needed first thing in the morning. He had totally forgotten about the proposal since the night of the scandal that started to take Reina from him.

Sherwin was about to park when he saw a car parked up in the driveway. He frowned.

"Who could it be?" he thought.

Then his headlights hit a figure, female, and shielding her eyes. He lowered the beam and his eyes widened as he recognized who it was.

He was having a hard time believing it because although he saw her in the convention, he was not able to say hello. After all, she looked like she has moved on. It would be pointless for him to renew his ties with her.

Seeing her up close after six months gave him a blood rush. His heart pounded in his chest and the sound rang in his ears.

It has been six months after the Sherwin-Reina scandal. Six months since they parted ways in bad terms.

The scandal died a natural death. With Reina being out of the country, people lost interest in it. It seemed like a good thing that Reina left Taipei for a while. Now, the Sherwin-Reina scandal was a thing of the past.

He got out of his car and immediately went to Reina and tentatively asked.

"Reina?"

========================================================

At that moment, it was as if time stood still. Only the rustle of the leaves against the blowing wind can be heard. The chirping of the crickets was their only music. The fireflies provided tiny blinking lights around them.

Reina looked at Sherwin. She took a sharp intake of breath. Having him so close made her long to run to him, to embrace him and not leave his arms, to feel the warmth of his body. How she wanted to profess her undying love, that she has loved him since that night but she stopped herself. She stood there, letting the wind play with her hair, ruffling and tangling them.

Sherwin choked at the sight of Reina before him. She had never looked lovelier, with the wind softly blew her hair. How he longed to kiss her and run his fingers along those dark tresses of hers. How he wanted to gather her in his arms and make her truly his. Yet, he couldn't... Wouldn't.

"She has moved on." His inner voice told him.

Nobody moved, no one said a word.

"Sherwin," Reina smiled nervously, breaking the silence.

"It's been a long time, huh?" she tried to make the mood lighter. "I was at the convention earlier. So you're the Toast of Asia now, huh?"

"I guess so," Sherwin replied shyly. "I saw you, too. I would have wanted to say hi but there were so many people I couldn't get to you."

Reina nodded and smiled weakly. "I understand."

Another round of silence filled the air.

"So, um, what brings you here?" Sherwin asked. "You forgot something? I did, too."

Reina's small smile began to fade slowly. Her heart suddenly fell, crumpled to her feet. She had thought Sherwin came here because the bungalow meant something to him just as it meant so much to her but now, she felt stupid for hoping such.

"He's move on," Reina told herself. "It's now your turn, Reina."

She smiled at him, carefully hiding the pain in her eyes and in her voice. "I thought I did but I was at the door when I remembered I left it at my Dad's place."

"Oh I see," Sherwin looked disappointed but quickly masked it.

Reina nodded slowly. "So... I guess I better get going. It's kinda late. Nice to see you, Sherwin."

"Same here. Drive safely," Sherwin made no attempt to walk inside.

Reina smiled and said, "Thanks, I will. Goodnight!"

She positioned herself in the driver's seat.

She waved her hand at him and whispered, "Goodbye, Baby."

========================================================

Sherwin watched as Reina backed her car and slowly turned to leave. He looked down as he trudged the steps, sighing constantly, feeling his heart being torn apart.

"It's finally over," Sherwin sadly acknowledged before opening the door.

========================================================

"He won't have any regrets… How about you, Bad Girl?" Reina hadn't driven far enough when she heard Chrissie's voice again in her head.

"Chrissie's right. I'm such a coward," she finally admitted.

Her car screeched to a halt and made a U-turn.

"At least, this time I'll try. This time I won't have any regrets," she told herself, at last, finding the courage to do what she should have done years ago.

She hastily and carelessly parked her car and ran out.

========================================================

Sherwin abruptly turned to the direction where Reina's car screeched to a halt.

"She forgot something," he muttered.

His eyes never left Reina who was running toward him.

"Sherwin!" Reina called out.

Sherwin's face remained expressionless.

Reina stopped in front of him, gasping for air, trying to catch her breath.

Sherwin was worried when he asked, "You forgot something?"

"Yes I… No, not exactly… But yes, it's more like something…" Reina was breathless, she replied between gasps.

Sherwin tried not to laugh. She was amusingly charming this way. "So which one is it?"

Reina straightened up and took a deep breath and sighed.

"I…um…I…ahh," Reina kept stammering.

She looked him squarely in the eyes, grabbed his face and kissed him for all he's worth.

For a split second, it seemed that the earth stopped revolving and everything centered on them. The kiss was so heartily offered and passionately given, and yet, awkwardly sweet that it erased any thoughts of doubt still lingering in one's mind. If there was a heaven on earth, this was it.

When the kiss ended, Reina was apprehensive to open her eyes, fearing she might see contempt in his.

She slowly opened them and saw none but confusion.

"God, I miss you so much!" she whispered, tracing his face with her fingers. She gazed upon his confused eyes.

"I love you…" tears formed in her lovely brown eyes.

"Reina…" Sherwin swallowed the lump in his throat.

"Hear me out first," Reina pleaded. "I need to explain. It's okay if you don't feel the same way…"

"Reina…" Sherwin interjected once more.

"Shh…" Reina placed her delicate finger on his lips to silence him. "I just need to tell you. I don't want to regret… I love you and that I'm happy you've moved on. At least now, since I've said what I needed to say, perhaps I could move on, too."

She eased herself away from him. "That's all, Sherwi...

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Comments
J
joeturts1
August 5, 2019 (1 month ago)

Excellent ending...

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Crystalite
August 6, 2019 (1 month ago)

Thank you for reading ^_^

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cpp6473
August 6, 2019 (1 month ago)

Thank you for this wonderful story!! ☺☺☺

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Crystalite
August 6, 2019 (1 month ago)

Glad you enjoyed it ^_^

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N
nar888
August 6, 2019 (1 month ago)

wow bravo!!!

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Crystalite
August 8, 2019 (1 month ago)

Thank you

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Riot..haus
August 7, 2019 (1 month ago)

Simple but emotional ending. Appreciate the wonderful story.

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Crystalite
August 8, 2019 (1 month ago)

Thank you for reading.

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