Chapter 83:

My Secret

New Leaf!

After we spent a while sitting on the ground beside that building — after I spent a while crying and composing myself, we decided to leave. Where? About an hour ago, we got on a bus and rode back to Tronito. I didn’t know why we took the bus instead of Mr Morales’ car — and I didn’t ask Bailey about that… Bookmark here

But now, I am sitting on a bed in the guest bedroom of Bailey’s apartment. It was small, definitely smaller than the one I’ve been staying at, but it was comfortable. Bookmark here

Bailey was wearing sleepwear similar to the one she wore at the hotel. And I was wearing some clothes she lent me — her underwear, cotton shorts, and plain pink tee-shirt.Bookmark here

“It’s late, so you should try getting some sleep. I’m in the room next to this one, so just bang on the wall if you need anything…”Bookmark here

I watched as she was leaving the room… Bookmark here

“Um… B-Bailey?..”Bookmark here

She attentively turned to me.Bookmark here

“Yes?”Bookmark here

“I… um… I want to… Um…”Bookmark here

I wanted to tell Bailey about my past. Or at least tell Bailey about how I know Mr Morales. But why? Well, she asked about it back when we first met, and not telling after all this time wouldn’t be right. She seemed genuinely curious about it — I don’t know if she really was, but her interest was convincing…Bookmark here

But I’m torn about it. After all that happened, what might be Bailey’s reaction? Will she hate Mr Morales? Will her opinion of him improve like it did Connie’s? Hm… Whatever happens, I can’t concern myself with Mr Morales anymore.Bookmark here

“Um… B-Bailey? I… um… I want to tell you how I met Mr Moral- I-I mean Ren…”Bookmark here

I stuttered at the last part. I guess I can no longer call him by his first name… Bookmark here

“Huh? Are you sure? I mean, back when I first asked about it, it seemed like a sensitive subject to you…”Bookmark here

She sounded weird… But it doesn’t concern me.Bookmark here

“Yeah… Well, you seemed like you really wanted to know about it… And I don’t think keeping it from you would be right…”Bookmark here

I started caressing the back of my neck and looked away.Bookmark here

“And… Oh, never mind… Sorry for making it seem big…”Bookmark here

Bailey walked to my bed and sat beside me, putting her hand on my shoulder. She could tell that I had a lot on my mind and I was really sad about something.Bookmark here

“Okay… And you don’t have to tell me everything if you don’t want to…”Bookmark here

I was hesitant, but I continued…Bookmark here

I decided to just tell her a really condensed story of how I met Mr Morales.Bookmark here

“Basically, I was homeless for six months… And sometime during the last few days of June, we met…”Bookmark here

I think I had another motive for telling Bailey about this. I think… I think I was hopeful that Bailey would take pity on me. But that’s odd — I really shouldn’t guilt other people, and I’ve tried avoiding using that tactic for so long. But I could no longer hold it in — my desire took over.Bookmark here

I saw Bailey nod her head.Bookmark here

“I see…”Bookmark here

She put her hand on her chin.Bookmark here

“Thank you for sharing… You were pretty unsure about doing it, right?”Bookmark here

I turned to her.Bookmark here

“Eh!? That’s not the reaction I was expecting…”Bookmark here

She shrugged.Bookmark here

“Well, what reaction were you expecting?”Bookmark here

“I-I don’t know… I guess… I guess I was just expecting you to hate me…”Bookmark here

It just makes sense to me… Bookmark here

“Hate you!?”Bookmark here

Bailey shook her head and smiled.Bookmark here

“That’s odd. Who’d ever hate someone that went through a tough time? That’s stupid.”Bookmark here

“But if you heard the whole story…”Bookmark here

“I don’t need to. You’ve been homeless for six months… Camryn, just by hearing that, anyone would feel sad you had to go through that — anyone would feel proud of you for persisting through such hard times…”Bookmark here

Are you sure?.. But she doesn’t know the whole story… She said she doesn’t need it, but I don’t think it’s true. If she just heard it… Bookmark here

No, I don’t want Bailey to hate me as well… Bookmark here

“Camryn, you’re a girl that’s very hard to hate…”Bookmark here

“Huh?”Bookmark here

“Yeah, you’re very lovable! I probably don’t know about you as much as Valerie and Ren do, but I think I know enough! And I know that you’re the most helpful, nicest, and most cheerful girl I know! I love you — and in fact, everyone loves you!”Bookmark here

No… I’m just deluding her… Bookmark here

“No, that’s not true… You shouldn’t love me — I’m horrible!”Bookmark here

“And who the hell told you that!”Bookmark here

She raised her voice and was angry about something. She then flung her arms around me, squeezing me tight.Bookmark here

“Who made you think that!? That’s just not true…”Bookmark here

Not true?.. No, what she’s saying isn’t true. I am horrible. If only she knew my crimes, she’d know as well. But…Bookmark here

She leaned closer to my ear, lowering her voice to a whisper.Bookmark here

“And if you think you’re horrible, you’re wrong… It’s just not true.”Bookmark here

W-What?Bookmark here

“Camryn, love yourself… And if you ever find it hard to do so, just remember everyone you met, and it’ll be much easier to do…”Bookmark here

H-Huh?.. What is she saying? Am I actually… Oh, I guess I never confirmed it. That Mr Morales hates me — that anyone hates me. But I was so certain that they would… Was I wrong?Bookmark here

This time, I returned the hug… It was comfortable… It was relaxing… I wanted to stay like this forever…Bookmark here

“B-Bailey… Thank you…”Bookmark here

Bookmark here

After a few minutes, we sadly departed… Bailey stood tall in front of me. She smiled.Bookmark here

“And Camryn, always remember that…”Bookmark here

She then started scratching the back of her head.Bookmark here

“Um… Tomorrow, we should get you back to Ren’s…”Bookmark here

I leaned forwards in surprise towards her.Bookmark here

“Huh? W-Why!?”Bookmark here

Although I sounded a bit distressed, Bailey maintained her calm demeanour.Bookmark here

“Ren must be really worried about you.”Bookmark here

That’s not true.Bookmark here

“But don’t rush yourself… Anytime, just tell me and we-”Bookmark here

“No, you’re wrong…”Bookmark here

She looked up at me in puzzlement and I slightly raised my voice.Bookmark here

“Bailey, I know it — he doesn’t give a damn about me!”Bookmark here

She narrowed her eyes.Bookmark here

“I came to the realization last night… Yeah, he doesn’t care about me. He pretends to care. He pretends to be concerned about me. He just acts that way! He’s just a puppet controlled by the feeling of being good… His only concern is the feeling of being better than others!”Bookmark here

There’s no money involved, so that has to be the reason… It’s just my experience with being a trophy — kept by others to make themselves feel better…Bookmark here

“I…”Bookmark here

I sighed after a few seconds of my heavy breathing.Bookmark here

“Sorry… I know I’m just acting like a spoiled child. I’m just a kid whining for attention right now…”Bookmark here

I looked down again.Bookmark here

“It’s just selfish to expect love… And because of my selfishness, I tricked myself into thinking that he cares… And it hurt so much when that illusion finally disappeared…”Bookmark here

But Bailey put her hands on my cheeks and brought my head up. She smiled kindly at me.Bookmark here

“As his former high school and university classmate and current co-worker, I think I know a bit more about Ren than you do…”Bookmark here

She kneeled so that we saw each other eye-to-eye and spoke in an equally kind tone.Bookmark here

“Remember what I said earlier? You’re lovable and impossible to hate… And you two have been together for the longest time. Ren is worried about you — I guarantee it… It seems counterproductive because I took you away from him, but when I saw that you were sad, I thought you needed some time apart to recollect thoughts…”Bookmark here

She was slightly embarrassed about the last part, she regained her composure.Bookmark here

“Anyways, Ren is worried about you and is waiting for you. And he loves and cares for you so much…”Bookmark here

I was doubtful. I think it was harder to decide because he acts so stable, but I didn’t really sense that he cared over that month-long period of living together…Bookmark here

But…Bookmark here

“I think I’ll believe you for now… But I don’t think I’ll know what I’ll do if he isn’t…”Bookmark here

But Bailey put a reassuring hand on my shoulder… Bookmark here

“Camryn, you don’t have to worry about that part…”Bookmark here

She flashed a smile and quickly rose to her feet.Bookmark here

“Okay… My schedule for tomorrow is flexible, so we can go anytime — don’t rush…”Bookmark here

“Okay… Good night, Bailey.”Bookmark here

“Yeah, good night, Camryn.”Bookmark here

I swung my legs onto the bed and brought the comforter over me as Bailey silently turned off the light and closed the door. I was staring in darkness at the ceiling.Bookmark here

Hm… I wonder how things will go…Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.