Can you ~ hear the whispers of my silence?
It’s whispering my hidden love.
Oh, oh oh, baby~
I’m here, but where are you?
Let’s stop this hide and seek.
I miss you, I need you,
I love you~
Whisper of the Silence. A ballad romance song. Preparation for his comeback stage.
His voice was getting choky at the second verse. Kyle ran his bare fingers across his face, erasing the marks of the tears. Rushing out. They weren’t listening to him. Music beats were left playing. He couldn’t sing.
Too many feelings inserted, tugging the edge of his heartstrings.
Brandon at the opposite side, behind the clear glass, nudged Marco, another talented composer to stop the recording immediately.
“Kyle, you alright?” he asked, pressing the button on the audio mixer, allowing his voice to be transported.
His shoulders jerked at the sudden noise, slapping him awake. Sticking the tips of his thumb and index together, forming a circle and the other three fingers left untouched, okay, he mouthed.
“Do you need a short break?”
He shook his head. “Let’s continue.”
Weeks passed by. Kyle had been back to work. Photoshoots, interviews, recordings. Perhaps he didn’t look the same as before. His glow dimmed a little, smiles shrunken a little. But the fame was still with him. Nobody questioned much about the scandal few days after it was cleared, faded as if it never existed. And just like how Clover wanted it to be, her name was being forgotten by the media. Other hot issues were being focused on, making the title ‘Kyle Lee’s Personal Assistant’ no longer sat at the top place in the search engines. Surprisingly, things had been going on rather smoothly,
which was against the task he was ordered to do.
“Spread these around!” he tossed the stacks of papers onto the floor with a loud thud. “If not enough, make more.”
He was furious.
The shivers on his hands crumbled the papers. “...Spread...where...?”
His sharp gaze was enough to get Kenny on his knees. “Wherever the f*** you think can get Clover back to me and the others mind their own businesses!”
“...But...troubles w..would get to you if you expose these...” he stammered.
“Don’t worry. Evelyn will never reveal about me.” Jack smirked. “She can’t.”
He stepped closer to him, gripping Kenny’s arm to make him stand on his feet. “I hope you don’t disappoint me again, my Kenny boy,” Jack whispered softly behind his gritted teeth, itching the fine hairs on his ears. “I gave you a lot to make this plan succeed.”
The big boss’ voice melted the energy in him to stay still. Kenny crushed onto the floor, crawling on four to retreat. His mouth was trembling so badly, salivas being spat as he forced out his words. “Y...y...yes! I’ll...g...get her! I’ll...g-get h...her!”
Everyone in the public office space stared at him weirdly, looking at him being rained by his own cold sweats. The man in formal attire glued his eyes on Kenny, not knowing the amount of sugar he was adding to his cup of tea was enough to invite diabetes. Another young lady in pink lacy blouse stopped typing the documents, pushed down her round specs and drew in her brows. For quite a few seconds, the only sound was the soft blowing hisses from the Panasonic air-conditioner. No wonder, his room was sound-proof, Kenny thought. Never in a thousand years these humans would have thought the boss of a law firm they served all this while, was an ill-minded perverted old man.
“Kenny!” he froze instantly. There wasn’t any need to turn back. “Do you need any help to send you back?” Jack ran over, resting his arm on him, five fingers tapping at the end.
Their secret language.
It was a sign of telling him to get lost.
Shoving away the panic on his face, he smiled and shrugged away his hand politely. “Thanks Jack. I’ll be fine on my own.”
And off he went, to the lift.
Another heavy case, Jack?
He heard him laughed. Well, it seemed to be that way.
The basement was dim, and the noises from his Loafers were loud, making him uneasy. There was only him breathing right at the moment. Holding the stacks of papers close to his chest, he paced up his steps and approached his car parked at the corner. The papers were chucked into his boot without giving a second look. Kenny then got to the driver’s seat, feeling useless out of a sudden. Taking out his phone, he ran through his search contacts desperately. He frowned, clueless on how to spread those papers without getting busted.
Suddenly, his index paused at a not-so-familiar name. Few more lined up at the back as he scrolled. Through the rear mirror, his high arch brows relaxed, and the terror on his face a while ago was gone.
“What’s so difficult? I have them," he muttered, dialing the number on the screen.
The other line picked up. “Yes? Mario from everydaytalks.com.”
With an evil grin, “I have something good for your company,” he hissed.
Rummaging under her fluffy blanket on the single bed, she rubbed her feet together to shake away the chill and stuck her hands in between her laps. She was awake and so was Danise. He was sitting at the round table next to the clear casement windows, reading the romance novel that he had been staying on since the first day they reached.
Chirps of the birds sitting at the branches of the trees were heard, stimulating a tiny smile on her. Fresh air escaped from the gap between the windows tapped her mind, allowing her to forget the reality for a while. The Sun was up, past noon, but it was hiding behind the layers of grey shapeless clouds. Water droplets sliding down the casements of their hotel room, telling her the presence of the ended rain.
No wonder it’s so cold, she murmured silently.
Exposing her legs under the blanket, her feet tinkled at the touch of the coldness on the floor. She quickly stuck into the slippers placed beside.
“Hey, Danise,” she greeted, blowing air onto her palms, generating some heat.
“Oh, you’re awake!” he smiled, offering her the sliced tropical fruits on the plate, “Here. Have a taste,” he said.
She shook her head, moving to take the other seat.
A slight hint of disappointment certainly flashed across his five features. Retreating his hands hesitantly, “Feeling... better?” he asked in a careful tone.
Clover faked a smile and lowered her head, avoiding to hold his concern gaze in hers any longer. She stared straight at the carpet floor through the glass table, counting the foreign particles got stuck in between the red yarn strands. Biting her lips, she pushed back the verging tears. She was afraid her stream would leak again, seeing the overflowing kindness portrayed in his dark brown eyes. He canceled his schedules for her, spent his precious time with her. Till now, he was still with her. Panda eyes were up, skin was dry.
I don’t deserve so much of you, Danise.
Just then, a rhythmic knock was heard.
“Brandon?” Danise uttered, stepping towards the border. “What’s he doing here at this hour? Shouldn’t he be with Kyle?”
Kyle. The name hammered hard on her heart.
“Danise!” he called as he stepped inside. “I bought you guys some meals.”
“I thought you are with Kyle?” he asked, helping him taking the packages and putting them on the table he was sitting a while ago.
“Yeah. Should be. But I told him that I needed to go somewhere.” Brandon pulled out the mixer from its plastic and poked it into the lid of an Oolong tea, “Yours, Clover. Careful, it’s hot.”
“...Brandon...You didn’t tell Kyle,” she asked, fingering the tea cozy of her cup, “did you?”
That struck him. But, he didn’t respond to her right away. He crumbled the plastic bag into the shape of a ball after clearing the contents, keeping it in the drawer.
Walking towards the bed, “Even if I want to,” he whispered, taking a seat at the corner of it, facing her, “I can’t bring myself to expose this horrible truth to him.
“Don’t tell,” she breathed, eyeing the vapours escaping through the small hole at the lid of her tea, “I don’t want him to know.”
“You’re not gonna see him again, Clover?” Danise asked, slurping in his Biang Biang noodles Brandon got for him.
“Really??” Brandon sounded surprised. “Clover you gotta know that the reason he’s back now is because I told him that the only way to see you is to live his life in a better way.”
“OMG. The snail sucks!” Danise interrupted. He clipped them with the wooden chopsticks and yanked inside the dustbin underneath the table. “Who would add snails to their Biang Biang noodles!! Yucks!”
Clover made a soft chuckle at the side, “Snails.”
Brandon was waiting for her answer. “I don’t know. Brandon," she said after realizing Brandon's intense stare. "Can I actually still see him? Do I have the guts to? What am I going to do if I see him? Kick? Punch?” her shoulders sank. “I really don’t know.”
It was well understood though. Anyone would probably give the same answer if they found out the reason behind their broken family was because of someone closely related to the person they know.
“I hope everything turns out well for you,” he stood up, digging for his car key in the pocket, “and for him.”
“I hope too,” she said, but it was too soft to be heard by Brandon who was already behind the door.
The Oolong tea was put on the table. Not even a sip was drunk by her. Holding it in her hands was just an act to show Brandon she accepted his kind gesture. She wanted to break down, letting them know being alright was far beyond her reach. Leaving Kyle wasn’t the main factor. It was the fact that his mother played the evil character in her life, stealing away her happiness.
Her heart twitched whenever she reminded herself of this.
Danise came and stood close to her, as if he heard her inner voice, “Clover,” he said, wrapping her in his embrace. “It’s okay. You don’t have to hold it back.”
That was it. The cracks on her walls could no longer be glued together. They crumpled, straight into his cuddle. And her tears fell for the nth times.
He sighed, “I’m sorry... Clover. For not being able to help...” Danise patted her head, calming down her sobs.
She shook her head vigorously. No, Danise. Thank you for staying with me, she meant. Tears were streaming so much, blocking her own voice. Holding him tightly, she buried her face back in him and clenched her fists behind his back. He didn’t flinch even though his shirt was stained with the salty liquids from her eyes. It wasn’t the first time, having her crying in his arms. It repeated for so many times, ever since they stepped into this room. In fact, the Clover in front of him right now looked so weak, so fragile.
Running through her hair tenderly like a brother loving his sister, “From the bottom of my heart, I really wish you would be happy after this traumatic experience, Clover,” Danise hoped.
“I love him... Danise...” she cried, sucking in her breaths. “...so much that I can’t even forgive myself.”
She punched his solid back repetitively to express her frustrations. “I’m in love with that evil lady’s son. How does this even make any sense?!”
Danise sighed, locking her securely in his brotherly embrace. He tilted his head upwards, staring the beige ceiling, pushing back his manly pearl-like liquids. The tip of his Roman nose was turning pink. None of them said anything further. Only the sounds of her painful hiccups filled the air. Her overpouring sadness was affecting him. He might be good at singing or modeling, sadly he wasn’t very good at expressing his emotions. He didn’t know how to say anything to make her feel better.
Right now, all he could do was be her little listener,
wishing for nothing but her safety and happiness.