Chapter 5

Still another month passed by and Nic was no longer too eager to get rid of Wallace. Yet he was not warming up to Wallace either. Neither was Wallace. They tried to behave at times when they were forced to be in the same room. But that was for the girls’ sake. Possibly more Cyndi’s sake. Even if Wallace finally understood the siblings’ attempt to protect Cyndi, but it wasn’t like he would change himself completely to oblige with their plan. Instead, he had a plan of his own. He had been searching for someone to cure Cyndi’s condition. He did not believe there was no cure.  It was impossible. Unheard of even. His effort paid off two months later. Connections were the best, especially in this case. Why did people despise it so much? It was a powerful source when desperate times arrived.
“Will it work?” Nic asked, his voice doubtful – like many times before.
“Trust me on this one,” Wallace rattled out with his usual confidence tone.
“You said that the last…”
Wallace pointed at Nic accusingly. “Don’t start. Not when she’s not cured yet. Don’t you dare try my patience.”
Angela had been pacing back and forth in the waiting room. She stopped in her tracks and gave both guys a warning look.
“Yes, ma’am,” Wallace said, knowing she was running out of her own patience – with him, with her brother, and possibly the doctors.
Then the door to the doctor’s office opened. Angela walked over and waited for the doctor to step out. Wallace and Nic were on either of her sides. They spotted Cyndi still sitting inside at a comfy chair.
“What have you discovered?” Wallace asked when the doctor joined them at the door.
They took a step back to make way for the doctor. He had shut the door behind him. It was a private clinic so only the four of them were in the waiting room now. Still, the doctor was being cautious – not wanting Cyndi to hear. He walked toward the opposite side of the room before beginning.
“It’s not difficult to cure but will take time,” The doctor informed them.
They knew that. It was not rocket science.
“How long?” Wallace asked – instead of the previous statement he wanted to make.
“Depends on her will-power.”
The doctor was playing with the string of his glasses. Was he lacking confidence? Was he feeling threatened by their presence?
“You can tell us the truth,” Nic said. “We’re prepared.”
“It’s not impossible to cure like some of her past doctors have implied,” The doctor continued, his voice more confidence, more determined than before.
“Then…”
“If she overcomes this one obstacle then she could recover in no time.”
That was clear as mud. All three of them had that expression on their faces.
“Therapy.”
Their eyebrows flinched up slightly. It was like a prompt for the doctor to proceed – if he would just do it at a faster rate.
“And a change in medication. The one she’s taking right now doesn’t help her condition go away. It would only push back the episodes. It’s not healthy for her in the long run.”
“Do you know how the episodes occurred in the first place?” Wallace asked.
“I can’t say for sure at this point. But I have an idea that it had to do with her childhood. Some traumatic events triggering her. Probably normal for one’s reaction having grown up in such a place. That could possibly be why she did not think much of it. But the long regressed emotions had caused the disorder with her imbalance behaviors if she was triggered in the future. When she’s overly stressed or overworked herself, there’s a higher chance of the episodes occurring.”
The other three exchange a look. It was not a mutual complaint of the doctor’s vague talking style anymore. But more like asking one another, “What traumatic childhood events?” The doctor might as well make stuffs up as he went along.
“So…it would be best if you three encourage her to come in for the therapy sessions,” The doctor continued without their prompt. “This matter shouldn’t be dragged on too long.”
Wallace nodded. “We’ll try to persuade her.”

*****

Two months later, the four of them were seen walking along a park. The girls insisted they took a walk together. Even if it was in the chilling wind of November. Things had been going well. Or so it seemed with Cyndi’s improvements since her episodes were less frequent – if at all. As for Wallace and Nic, it had became too much of a habit that they did not get along. It was indeed an unbreakable obstacle. They maintained their manners as much as possible in front of Cyndi, but when there was only Angela, it was another matter.
“What are we going to do for Christmas?” Cyndi asked enthusiastically.
“I know what my wish is,” Wallace answered, eyeing Nic with a challenging look.
Angela caught that. “Don’t you dare start!”
Wallace raised his hands. “I didn’t say anything! In fact, I haven’t been triggering him.”
“Or so you think.”
“Give me a break.”
“You need one?”
“Come on, guys,” Cyndi urged. “Let’s not do this.”
“Cyndi!” Someone called out from somewhere.
They all turned around to see a girl running toward them. Only Cyndi reacted. Her smile was an apparent sign she knew this girl – whoever she was. The others stood aside and waited for her. They were actually introduced before actually being neglected. Not quite since Angela was occupied with trying to keep her brother and her boyfriend in line – like many times before.
“By the way,” Melody – the other girl – continued. “How’s it going with your asthma? Much better lately? You seem better. Must be a good choice to move.”
“Asthma?” All three pair of eyes turned to Cyndi.
“You guys don’t know she has asthma?” Melody asked, turning to the three. Then she decoded the signal from Cyndi a tad too late.
“Obviously not,” Wallace jumped in, giving Cyndi a glance-over like he had never seen her in his entire life.
“This is news to me,” Nic added, his voice not lacking of mockery anymore than Wallace’s.
Angela had her hands crossed, waiting for some clarification.
Wallace was doing the same though his eyes were more threatening than the other two. “Care to inform us, Ling Ling?”
“He’s your boyfriend, huh?” Melody asked, turning to look at Cyndi again, changing the topic on purpose.
“No,” Cyndi answered, glad to have a diversion. She tugged on Nic’s hand. “He is.”
“Although he doesn’t know a lot of things about her,” Wallace managed to input.
Cyndi gave him a look. The one that said she was going to take care of matters later if he did not shut his mouth at that very moment.
“Sure is good to know your girlfriend’s not temperamental,” Wallace commented, smiling widely. His challenging smile was aimed at Nic – as always.
Angela cleared her throat. “Ahem.”
Wallace slipped a hand around Angela’s shoulders. “I wasn’t talking about you, hon.”
“You guys sure are fun to watch,” Melody said, smiling at them with much fascination.
“We sure are, but it is not as interesting as Ling Ling’s past,” Wallace hinted, returning his observation toward Cyndi.
“Stop calling my girl that!” Nic yelled out.
“Oh yeah?” Wallace returned.
Both guys had detached their hands from their girlfriends and were about to line up for a faceoff.
“You must be hard of hearing!” Nic concluded.
“She’s my assistant,” Wallace said, his voice still full of confidence. “I have every right to call her that.”
“Off-work!” Nic reminded him, taking another step forward.
“Guys!” Angela and Cyndi yelled out at the same time.
“I had enough of you these past months!” Wallace continued. “Why do I have to pretend to get along with you?”
“Like I could get along with your arrogant ass!” Nic shot back, completely braving his chances.
“So you two have been pretending to get along?” Cyndi jumped in, looking from one to the other guy.
“We should be questioning your pretension, Ling Ling,” Wallace snapped.
“Stop calling her Ling Ling!” Nic scolded Wallace – though they were supposed to be on the same boat with accusing Cyndi.
“You guys done yet?” Cyndi asked, her annoyance way up.
“Stop it!” Angela shouted at the same time.
Cyndi turned to Melody. “Sorry that you have to witness this.”
Wallace turned to Cyndi. “Are you ashamed of us, Ling Ling?”
“Are you trying to change the subject on us again?” Nic asked at the same time.
“Stop trying to interrupt my conversation with her!” Wallace and Nic yelled out at the same time, turning their glares on one another.
“Stop it! All of you!” Cyndi yelled out above their voices. “So what if I hide about having asthma and not some hyperactive disorder? Look at the way you’re fighting!”
“You know the part about the doctor mentioning about bottled up feelings?” Wallace jumped in. “We’re going through that point right now! We’re trying to restrain our hatred for each other for so long that I think we need to let it out or we’ll end up in a worse condition!”
“I don’t know why you even want to deceive us into making peace with one another,” Nic continued. “It’s pointless because apparently someone’s too arrogant to see other things.”
Wallace turned to Nic. “What? I’m arrogant? Like you’re so modest! Old man!”
“You’re older than me!” Nic shot back.
“I’m sorry, you guys,” Melody spoke up timidly. “It was my fault.”
Wallace turned to her. “It’s not your fault, it’s Mr. I’m-So-Cool’s fault!”
“I didn’t say I was cool!” Nic clarified.
Angela and Cyndi had been tugging both Wallace’s and Nic’s arms respectively, trying to get them to stop. They were actually trying hard to restrain the guys from advancing another step toward one another.
“If you guys don’t stop it right now, we’re breaking up with you!” Angela declared at last.
“What?!” Wallace, Cyndi, and Nic exclaimed at the same time.
They had stopped fighting. At least for the guys. Cyndi had on the confused look. It was like she had forgotten when she’d agreed with Angela on that plan.
“You’re giving me the ultimatum just because your brother’s being unreasonable?” Wallace asked, his voice sounded wounded.
“If you don’t want to get along with him or see him again, I shouldn’t even force you to,” Angela said. Then she turned to Cyndi. “Of course you can decide for yourself.”
“I’m not breaking up with you,” Wallace said, his authoritative tone on. “Just because your brother’s a bit delusional, it’s not your fault.” He increased the pressure on Angela’s hand, indicating that he would not give up on her.
“Excuse me?” Nic advanced another step.
“Admit that you’re delusional.”
“You’re the one who’s delusional.”
“Enough!” Angela interfered. But that was it. She did not step forward to restrain Wallace or used herself as shield like in the past.
“Where are you going?” Wallace asked, alarmed – for the first time since…a time he did not remember.
“If you want to argue, go ahead.”
Wallace stepped in front of her. She stopped but only gave him a haunting look before walking away again.
“Angela!” Nic called out. He and Cyndi were chasing after her as well. He finally stepped in front of her, placing his hands on her shoulders. “I’m sorry, okay?”
“Maybe it is a mistake dating him after all. Or even try to force you guys to get along.”
“No, it’s not.” Wallace had caught up with them again. He took her hands into his – to which Nic already stepped aside to make way for him. “We were joking. We were just trying to scare Ling Ling so she wouldn’t pull such stunts on us anymore, okay?”
Angela had her head down the whole while. She did not want to be deceived by his words or changed her mind because of the look in his eyes. But now she directed her eyes toward him again. He nodded, turning to Nic for confirmation.
Nic nodded automatically. “We signaled to each other earlier when we learned that Cyndi had distorted some of the facts. We just want to teach her a lesson for messing with us. We didn’t have time to tell you.”
Angela still had the doubtful look in her eyes. Wallace pulled her into a hug, not allowing her to change her mind. He patted her shoulder, knowing that she wanted to cry yet was trying hard to be strong. He also used that opportunity to wink at Nic. For the first time, they had actually conspired with one another without the others knowing when the curtains were actually raised and when those were actually dropped.
© Wednesday, November 17th, 2010
Posted: Sunday, March 13th, 2011

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