How fascinating and wonderful God created this world. Up here, Pastelle saw everything so clear. The oh-so-stunning sunset she had been dreaming to watch and see so close, was setting just a stretched arm away from her, it seemed. The air which she thought was already so polluted became fresh and clean. She let the wind pass through her, hoping it would cleanse the flaws she had in her body, hoping the wind would carry them away, as it travelled back in the atmosphere.
Her vision turned cloudy with the tears formed in her eyes as her mouth gaped on the sunset, in complete captivation. She had never seen something so beautiful in her life. She only saw them in pictures, in her dreams and in her imaginations.
Pastelle wiped her eyes before tears could fall across her cheeks. She was so touched.
“Thank you.” She turned to the man beside her – the man who brought her here. “Thank you so much,” she began to sob, not being able to control her emotions anymore. He embraced her and she buried her head against his chest as she wept. His hand was stroking her hair, comforting her. He was not making any sound; He just let her cry all the pain out. “I’ve never been so scared in my life. I know the day will eventually come – the day when I’ll be leaving this world. So I prepared myself. I lived a cheerful and happy life. I was ready. Until now.”
She looked up to his face. “I don’t want to die.”
Pastelle stared at her house - her home - one last time before she leaves for France. Everything was all set. Her baggage was kept in the car and her dad, who was going to drive her to the airport, was already waiting inside. Her mother, however, was standing there by the doorstep, wearing that sorrowful face she never wanted to see on her. She was sad, upset that her only child was leaving them to chase her dream - wish - to go to Paris.
Pastelle had nothing else to do, besides tell her to smile, extending the corners of her lips with her fingers. Smile, mom. I need you to smile before I leave.
Looking at her melancholic mom, a memory suddenly struck her mind, when her family had to settle down in New York away from the Philippines, because her dad landed on a fairly good earning job. The expression on her grandmother's face, was exactly the same as what she saw on her mom's. That was what - oh yes, when she was just six years old.
Smile, she mouthed. Her mom did smile, but Pastelle knew how fake it was and how she obviously forced it for her sake. She was wrong though. Pastelle knew her mother so well. She was the one she ran to when she cried over her painful firsts. Her mom's face was always so soft and sincere - not this time.
She could see tears on her mom's eyes. They were on the verge of flowing, but her mom didn't want her daughter to see that, did she? The lonely mother immediately ran inside the house, leaving Pastelle with worries and doubts. Should I leave? But this is my dream - my very last wish.
Several seconds after thinking of backing out, she stepped into the car's front seat, where her dad was sitting patiently behind the wheel. "Don't worry about your mom. She'll be fine." He said firmly. Pastelle, although hesitant, said nothing but nodded and smiled. She felt her lungs closed, as if tears would burst once she would attempt to speak.
She leaned against the window as her dad drove. She only thought of her mom. How regretful she was for not coming back in to hug and kiss her. Every image of her, only brought her sadness and confusion. What was more important: her mother or her wish?
"Should we stop?" her dad asked, erasing everything she had in mind.
"Huh?" She asked back, lost in her own thoughts.
"Should we stop?" Once again, her dad asked, nodding towards the rear-view mirror.
Pastelle looked at where her dad pointed. She saw a boy - a man rather - riding on a bike. She narrowed her eyes, eyeing closely on the male figure who seemed to be following them. And that's when she recognized -
Connell John was a rising musician - a singer - in New York City. Girls around the city screamed his name. There were no questions why, because he was one good-looking creature, with fair and flawless skin, brown dazzling eyes, a lean and muscular body, a soft and shining raven-black hair and not to mention, a terribly amazing voice that can sweep any girl off her feet.
Pastelle and Connell were friends - neither close, at least not anymore, nor acquainted - somewhere in the middle. Pastelle was a transferee back in senior high at their school and Connell was the one who toured her around the campus. He, as well, accompanied her during lunch breaks. They were inseperable for months, until Connell started ignoring her for no reason she can think of. Pastelle was even surprised when Connell volunteered to help her raise the money she needed.
He did have good heart. He insisted to give half the money he'll earn from his concert to dear Pastelle. But of course, she didn't want it to work that way. So, the deal was closed - Pastelle took care of the ads and designed posters, inviting people to get their mind blown on his concert. As expected, she was paid for a job well done.
Not knowing what to answer, her dad pulled the car to a halt over the side. "You two should talk." he said. She can tell that her dad pitied the young man. Having no other options, she stepped out of the car as Connell stopped his bike in a tilted position.
"I forgot to say goodbye." Connell said as he wheezed in between words. "Goodbye!"
Pastelle didn't know what to say, but she managed to create words and open her mouth. "Connell. I am sorry, but I think it would be better if you stay away from me. Goodbye." As easy as to let go of those words, she turned around, closed her eyes and sighed. She felt guilt crawling in her veins, making its way to her heart. She didn't really want to say that. Connell had been someone special to her, but she would only hurt him more if he sticked with her. She cannot return her love. No. Not anymore.
Pastelle went back into the car, leaving Connell devastated to the ground. "Is everything fine?" her dad asked.
She put up her widest smile and said, "Yes dad. Everything's okay." - just a lie.
Connell said thank you and goodbye to the people who went to his concert. A lot had come, all thanks to the girl he loved - Pastelle Cray. He was thinking of confessing to her right after this. Like Pastelle's reason for wanting to go to France, he as well, had the same: there was no time to waste. He loved Pastelle so much that it was never a hindrance to him that Pastelle had Leukemia. He wanted to make her happy, and when he met Jonathan Kings, he had the feeling that the universe favored him.
"You're a brilliant singer, Connell John. I am Jonathan Kings." He offered his hand for a shake. "I am not a fan, but I can make you very famous!" He wiggled his brows. "I see you have potentials. I will promote you to other countries. We can go wherever and whenever you want to go. You and I will be rich!" He paused, "So, what do you say?"
"It actually depends on my manager." Connell said. Deep down, he found the offer tempting. He wanted to go and he knows exactly where.
"Oh I talked to him alright." Jonathan embraced Connell over his shoulder. "He, of course, said yes. He has no reasons to reject such offers. He's going to be rich! Who doesn't want that? Even idiots desire to be wealthy."
That was it. He confirmed his thoughts - the universe did favor him. He will follow Pastelle to France and he's going to make her happy, whatever it takes. That was, until the girl dumped the boy.
The young Narcissus creature stood with his bike on the spot where Pastelle dumped him for the second time. His heart was cracked the first time, and now, it shattered to millions of pieces. It was like nothing was left in there anymore. Every bit was scattered, missing.
Connell was once a fan of the Japanese TV series, Doraemon. He would watch it every after school when he was just five - or maybe seven. He wouldn't miss any of the adventures. Doraemon said, "The only person who can make you happy is the reason why you are not." His little brain then, didn't understand them. It made no sense to him, because as a child, he had nothing to worry about, except for finding a way to earn money, which he will use to buy his toys.
But now, it all made sense to him. No one in a million years, but a girl named Pastelle Cray would be able to bring his heart bits altogether again.
Standing in the middle of the barren road, Connell's cellphone vibrated inside his pocket, so he rummages for it. As soon as he got his hand on it, he flipped it open and said, "Hello?"
"Hey man! Jonathan Kings here. What's up? I want to know if you changed your mind. This is the last time I'm going to call."
"I did. I am going to France." he said, his tone flat.
"That's my man!"
"I can't come today though. Tomorrow, maybe. Where are you?"
"I am already inside the plane. I'll be in France in a few hours."
Connell hanged up, kept it back and pedalled his way back home. He'll never give up on Pastelle, even if she dumps him for the third time. Nothing will ever change his mind. Besides, he needed something repaired. Something that only Pastelle can do: his heart.
After an hour driving, Pastelle and her dad reached the airport. She grabbed her baggage lying on the back seat and stopped before the entrance to say their goodbye's. "Bye, dad." Pastelle said, with a grin so wide, assuring herself that it was the most beautiful smile her dad will see on her face. She didn't show any hint of sadness, only for one reason: She didn't want him to remember her weeping while she's away. "Tell mom I'm sorry. I love you both."
The next thing that happened was unexpected - her dad cried. She had always viewed her father as a hard man, who never showed affection, but what Pastelle saw was the contrary of her thoughts. She embraced her dad, patting his back. "Dad, I love you."
Her dad wiped his eyes, and caressed his daughter's cheek. "I love you too, Pastelle. I was not used to show my feelings all of the time. But now, I want you to know that I care for you - your mother and I care for you. Always remember that."
There were tears threatened to fall from Pastelle's eyes. What her dad said, was short and simple, yet it marked deep in her heart to hear her dad say something so touching, so new.
After a moment of silence, Pastelle cleared her throat and chuckled. "Dad, I have to go. I need not be late. Wish me luck and always pray for me." Her dad nodded with a smile and she walked away, waving back at him.
Pastelle sat by the window inside the plane. They had not flown yet, as passengers still entered, looking for their designated places. Some, putting their bags in the luggage compartment. A blonde man, wearing coat and tie, sat beside her. From her observation and instinct, she could tell that this man was engaged into business. The suitcase he was carrying was a clear proof to support her guess.
The man was also talking on the phone. All he said was, "I am already inside the plane. I'll be in France in a few hours." then he hanged up. Pastelle, not wanting to talk to the man, locked her view outside the window.
After a few more minutes, when everybody was settled down, they flew. A voice from the speakers announced, “Good afternoon passengers. This is your captain speaking. You are on board French Express” – the name of the plane “Flight number 621 bound for Paris. We will be flying at an altitude of 33 thousand feet and expect to land at Paris on time. ‘Til then, just sit back, relax and enjoy the trip.” Pastelle saw two long-legged American stewardesses in front. They were about six feet tall with their high heels on. They were performing different procedures – buckling the seatbelts, how to adjust them, releasing the air bags in case of air pockets and getting the life vest below their seats.
“Epic, don’t you think?” The businessman muttered, but Pastelle just nodded.
“Chicken or Fish?” A blonde blue-eyed stewardess asked.
She passed Pastelle a tray of food containing fish fillet and a piece of bread. ”Thank you!” The smell of it made her mouth generated saliva. But before pastelle ate her dinner, she prayed. She saw the man at the corner of her eye, smirked.
Religions aside, but Pastelle was raised by her parents with good morals and a burning passion for Christianity. She was not ashamed of it, as she owed the Lord a lot for giving her longer days to live than the span the doctors gave her. They said she won’t last a year. Well, look at her. She was breathing and alive. It was a big miracle for her family, but there was still one more miracle they're waiting for from Him – to fully recover.
A while after she ate dinner, the same stewardess picked up the empty tray in front of her. I’m stuffed! Pastelle pulled down the lid of the window and leaned her head back. There were still hours left before they could reach their destination. She closed her eyes, whispering the word that was a music to her ears, “France.”.
She immediately fell asleep.
Pastelle was in some kind of paradise. It was dusk and the rays of the sun touched the surface of the grasses on the ground she was standing on. Its light was also reflected on the long, narrow river a few yards away from her to the left. She ran towards it and her eyes widened, full of astonishment. It was crystal clear! The wind was also blowing hard. It was essentially refreshing. She breathed in the fresh air and when she got back to her senses, she spun around and asked herself, “Where am I?”
“Wake up,” a voice said as he shook his shoulders. It was only a dream. She realized her head was bent onto the businessman’s shoulder. Embarrassed, she sat back straight and said, “I’m sorry.”
“It’s okay. The important thing is you slept well. By the way, we’re here!”. Pastelle was impressed. He was not the snotty-rich-man type of a businessman. He was nice and friendly. She had to admit that she misjudged him.
The plane was still stirring its way to park. A voice came out from the speakers, “It’s your captain speaking again. Welcome to Paris, France! Please remain seated, while we park the plane. Thank you for choosing French Express. We hope you enjoyed the ride.” The plane stopped after a few more minutes. Pastelle grabbed her only baggage from the compartment above. While on the other hand, the businessman already left.
She forgot to say thank you.
This is my first novel. However, it's still not finished. Being an author is one of my dreams and your opinions will really help me improve this. I've been doing it for almost two years, but I've only written until Chapter Eight so far. I'm really taking my time.
If you want to read more, visit: http://www.wattpad.com/story/1486286-midday-sunset
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Thank you! :)