Chapter 15 – 2nd Chance
“Do you know the fright that you gave us?”
“Sorry la bro… Kena langgar by truck, what to do…..”
Jack had heaved a sigh of relieve. He had come to visit Eng Tat before his flight later in the morning. When he got to the ward, he saw Eng Tat’s and Jolene’s family together, some of them wiping tears away from their eyes.
Fearing the worst, he quickened his pace to them. Eng Tat’ mother saw him first and smiled at him. She told him that Eng Tat had woke up and was now allowed to have people in his ward, but only for short moments.
As he was walking into the ward, Jolene walked out. Her eyes widened in surprise.
“What are you still doing here?” she asked softly.
“I couldn’t get an earlier flight. But I’m be going, later.”
She smiled and nodded. He smiled at her as well. He knew all was going to be alright between her and Eng Tat.
“So, how are you feeling now?”
“Like that lo…. Pain….” answered Eng Tat with a grimace.
“Don’t worry bro, we’re all with you in this,” comforted Jack. He knew how Eng Tat must be feeling.
“Anyway, you have another thing to worry about now,” said Jack with a cheeky grin on his face, tilting his head outside.
Confused, Eng Tat looked out of the glass panel and saw Alex talking to his sister, Ping Hui. He was sitting close to her. Too close, in his opinion. She was smiling sweetly as she listened to him.
Shun Yee sat on the plane with her parents. They were initially worried that she would have a phobia of some sort of sitting on an airplane again, but she assured them she was fine. It was the truth, she was not as scared as she expected herself to be when they boarded the plane.
She looked out of the window by her seat.
Her thoughts were a whirlpool of emotions. Before they boarded the plane, they received news from Malaysia saying that Melvin had died falling off his apartment balcony in a drunken state. She and her parents had been stunned into disbelief. Melvin? Dead?
And then there was Jack. And his letter.
Dear Shun Yee,
I’m sorry for not writing or calling for all this time. I thought going away from you to somewhere far to pursue my dreams would dim my feelings for you. I thought not writing, not calling, not having any contact with you would make me forget what I feel for you.
How wrong I am.
I still remember the first time we met, the things we said to each other, the endless messages we sent to keep each other awake in class, the laughter we shared, the mamak sessions together with our gang, the photographs we took, the places we went.
How I wish I could tell you how I feel about you. How I wish that I had been braver in the past. How I wished that I had the courage to tell you back when I had the chance. I don’t really know what are your feelings towards me, but for myself, I have been very happy to meet a person such as you. There have been times where I’ve thought of competing with Melvin.
But today, something happened. Something that made me thank God that we are not together. I was involved in a rescue operation for 2 prisoners of war. Seeing the soldiers who became my friends dying in front of my eyes proved to me how fragile life can be. Who knows, the next one to die might be me. I could be hit by a stray bullet, shot down on purpose, or caught as a prisoner of war. I live the kind of life that no woman would ever want her partner to live in.
I can’t let you spend the rest of your life with a guy whose life hangs by a thread. You have Melvin, who is the kind of guy that every girl dreams of; handsome, smart and rich. He is able to provide everything that you want for. You will have the kind of life that is well-provided for, safe and secure. There is no better life that I could wish for you, and I am not the guy who can give you that.
Shun Yee, my letter to you is to ask you to treasure your life with him. Treasure the fact that two of you can have a happily ever after together. As for me, I’ll always remain as your friend. Nothing can change that, I promise you.
With love, Jack
Shun Yee closed her eyes. You idiot, she thought, do you know how much I wanted you to say those three words to me? How long I waited for you to prove to me that your feelings to me were not my own illusions? How much I suffered torn between my feelings for you and my guilt to Melvin?
The plane continued its flight back to Malaysia.
“Oh shit! I’m going to be late for my flight!”
Talking with Eng Tat’s and Jolene’s family, spying on Alex and Ping Hui (he had promised Eng Tat that he would try to snoop more about their “status”) and joining them for breakfast at the hospital cafeteria, Jack almost lost count time. The relieve of finding out Eng Tat was out of danger put the 2 families in a happy mood and Jack was part of it.
“Bye guys! Tell Eng Tat that I’ll come back to see him as soon as I can!” said Jack as he rushed off to the airport.
Shun Yee’s plane touched down safely in KLIA in the morning. She and her parents gathered their luggage and headed out of the arrival hall to the taxi counter.
Jack jumped out of the taxi and sprinted through the large hallways of the airport.
Please let me be on time!
Looking at his watch and running, he didn’t see clearly where he was heading.
“Ohmygosh! Sorry sorry! ! Are you ok?”
Time seemed to stand still around them.