Nick stopped to open the drawer. Look at her. "You know what? I want to think you are the one who is afraid of the ghost you made. You are the one who gave the stipulation and now you are the one who is afraid!"
"I don't mean about hacienda, Nick. You know I will give my life in exchange for your happiness." Tears welled up in her eyes.
Nick did not move and resumed what he was doing.
"She is leaving, Nick ..."
It was momentarily stunned.
Then he shrugged. "So, what else is new?"
"This time you might not meet again!"
Nick dropped the papers on the table.
"Stop torturing me! What do you want me to do? To beg on her not to leave me?"
"Why don't you atleast, talk to her?"
"We don't stop talking to each other, Claire ..." was his sarcastic answer.
"You're so impossible, Nick!" And get out of the library.
When Claire came out, Nick released the documents. Sitting and leaning back, he looked up at the ceiling. He also spent a few minutes in that order before thinking of leaving.
He go up to Jessica's room. He reached out to the maid who was lowering the suitcases from the height of the closet.
"What are you doing?"
"Cleaning, Manong Nick ...." the maid replied.
"Later, go out first ..."
The maid followed without hesitation.
Nick was left staring at the suitcases. He sat in the locker room stall when he noticed Jessica's passport. Nothing inside was picked up and opened. Her eyebrows met at what hee read ...
MEANWHILE, Jessica is talking to atty. Rocha.
"What's going on with you Nick, hija?" he asked her.
"Nothing Tito Alex. So I am here to let you know that I am leaving next week. Maybe I need to fix something or sign," she replied sadly.
The lawyer shuddered. "I am saddened by the fate of everyone, Jessica. Based on your decision, I am sure that Claire will also come to arrange the sharing of the hacienda del Mar ...
Jessica looked at the lawyer.
"What do you mean, Tito Alex?"
"Claire also gave a term to Nick, just like you. If you do not get married within eight weeks, all of Nick's hacienda del Mar land will turn to the hacienda del Mar employees. Except for the villa and the land around it.
" Jessica couldn't believe it. "But why, Tito alex, what right does Claire have to give such a stipulation? Isn't it and as siblings they will share the hacienda?"
"The whole hacienda del Mar is in Claire's name, only one hectare is the land that the villa occupies. That's all in Nick's name. I don't know why their deceased parents did that." The lawyer explained.
Jessica could not keep quiet. It seems that Nick is also stuck with such stipulation and provision.
But why doesn't Nick say it? And why doesn't Nick make a way not to lose his inheritance? Would he rather lose an inheritance than be with her again?
Jessica sobbed. "J-Jess, hija ..." the lawyer looked at her worriedly.
"I'm ... Alright, Tito Alex ..." And took a handkerchief and wiped away the tears.
It was afternoon when she decided to return to the hacienda. She first went around with friends and acquaintances and personally thanked them for sympathizing with her when his Daddy died. She did not have the opportunity to do that in recent days.
Before arriving at the big house she turned the car to the left towards the sea. She parked the Range Rover not far away and walked towards the beach. She took off her sandals and walked on the sand.
She let the waves get her feet wet. She was tired of watching the ocean. After that she would never see this place again. She will never come back again!
There is no reason for her to do that. Her dad is gone ... And ... Nick is gone too! She lost it two years ago.
She did not know how long she had been sitting on the sand. She hugged her legs as she watched the sunset. She looked at the legs we had next to her. She did not have to look up to recognize that. She turned her eyes again to the red sea and clouds.
Nick sat down next to her and at sunset her eyes were focused.
"It's cold, Jess ..." he said softly.
She does not answer. She does not feel that. She does not have to feel ... Her whole being must remain numb so that she will not be hurt.
Nick's left hand grabbed her right hand. And fingers antwined. Nick carried it to his lips. Still looking at the sea.
More than two years ago, I fell in love with a very young girl ... For the first time I saw her ... "
Jessica's chest heaved. She turned slowly but kept staring at the sunset. Nick continued speaking. "But I suppressed my feelings. Except for the seven-year age gap, her father trusted me a lot ..." And Jessica's fingers pressed against her lips again.
"Why did you say that?" there was a glimmer of hope in her chest.
"Because I married that girl .." and Nick turned to her. "And I had a taste of heaven for a month. What went wrong ...? I don't know ..."
Jessica turned around and leaned on his shoulder.
"Earlier, I saw that all your identifications were. Banks, driver's licenses, local and international, passports and other cards," Nick continued.
"Why do you use my name?" kind question.
Jessica straightened up. Keep your eyes on the sand.
"I married you, didn't I?"
"It's so easy not to use my name, Jess especially in the way you walk away ..."
"I-I want to stay married to you ..." she replied again.
"Obviously. You still have my name." Nick wanted to smile.
"What I want to know is why?" Jessica looked at him,
"What do you want me to answer, Nick?"
Nick turned to her and touched her chin.
"Try honestly ..." And Nick gently kissed her on the corner of her lip. And a few seconds stayed there and caused a thousand and one inexplicable feelings for Jessica.
"Each-you will not believe ...."
And remembered what happened in the villa.
"I want to hear from you, Jess ... And promise, I will believe everything ..."
Jessica swallowed first. "I ... Love you, Nick ... I have always loved you ... Then .. Now ... And Ever."
Nick refrained from hugging herself.
"Why did you leave two years ago?"
"Because ... because ...". And in the fragmented story Nick heard the whole reason.
Nick released Jessica. Not sure if to get angry or laugh.
"I can't believe it! You wasted two years in our lives because of a delusion?" exclaimed Nick.
"I..I was young at ..."
"You're still like that now, ..." he turned to Jessica again. "
I never became Melissa's girlfriend in the true sense of the word. "
"You don't have to explain, Nick. I know she lied to me," Jessica interrupted.
"You'd better hear these out. She talked to me about introducing her boyfriend to drive away a lover she doesn't want. I also don't know why I agreed. Maybe I wanted to help.
When I found out if the non-existent that lover, I ended up pretending, "she explained.
"I'm sorry ..."
"And my jacket I remember I laid on top of the pick-up the day Melissa arrived."
To be continue......