Caroline entered the entrance of SM Mall and went straight to Cafe Montana at the end of the hallway. The mall was crowded today because it's the weekend.
When she entered the cafe, only a few people occupied the establishment, she chose the fifth table near the entrance.
Allison was still nowhere in sight, she received a text message from her a while ago informing her that she's now driving her car on the road and she encountered some heavy traffic along the way.
She picked up the menu and scanned the appetizing desserts and variants of coffee on the list and there were also choices of fruit shake. She smiled broadly when she saw the Avocado Strawberry Layered Smoothie listed on the menu.
Hmm, refreshing drink! She craves one!
She went to the cashier's section and ordered her favorite smoothie.
Outside the Cafe Montana.
Alex saw Caroline in the cashier's section, it looks like she was going to order something, he will just wait for her to finish ordering and return to her table, then he will go inside the cafe and order his favorite Avocado Smoothie, then he will sit near her table.
A minute later.
He saw Caroline walking back to her table.
Alex entered the cafe and went straight to the cashier's section and ordered his favorite smoothie.
Back in Caroline's table.
She was happily sipping the smoothie with the straw and roamed her eyes outside the glass wall of the cafe. People were milling around outside the cafe. Then her eyes drifted to the cashier's section and saw a guy standing with his back facing her. His posture looks familiar...
She dismissed the idea that she had seen that guy before.
Then...the guy holding the tray turned around and Caroline was stunned to see that it is Daniel!
Damn, it's Daniel! She can't be mistaken!
She immediately covered her face with the menu and pretended she didn't see him, hoping he will proceed to the farthest corner and sit there away from her so that she can get out of the cafe without seen by him.
Dang! Of all places, why do they have to be in the same store?
She counted a few minutes and then took a peek...
Daniel was occupying the table in front of her and also happened to glance at her location and their eyes locked for a few seconds...
Caroline instantly hides her face again behind the menu, she will remain in this awkward position until Daniel finishes consuming his Avocado Smoothie. Grrrrr!
On the other hand, Alex was smirking and was having a hard time containing his amusement. Does this woman stupidly think she can hide behind a piece of a small menu cover? lol.
He decided to torture her a bit.
He coughed a little. "Miss, do I know you? You look familiar..."
Caroline ignored him.
Daniel persisted. "Hello...Miss..."
Caroline played deaf ears to Daniels calling. After a while, silence took over, he was no longer talking. She took a deep breath and was about to leave the table but she felt someone sat on the chair in front of her.
With a sigh she put the menu cover back on the table - she comes face to face with a smirking Daniel looking intensely at her face.
"So...it's you dear Caroline!" he chuckled.
"Get out of my table!" she hissed at him. "There are many vacant tables around, why do you have to sit in mine?" she grumbled.
"Calm down, Caroline. It's just a coincidence that I met you here. For your information, this is my favorite cafe in this mall. I always visit this cafe every time I go shopping in this mall to relax and unwind or buy something," he explained.
"No need explaining! You are not welcome here on my table. After what your girlfriend has done to me in the bar, your woman should rot in jail!" Caroline clenched her teeth in anger.
Alex sighed. "I want to apologize on behalf of my ex-girlfriend's bad manners. I'm so sorry Caroline, please forgive me. I already broke up with that annoying woman after the mess she had done to you. I'm so sorry," his eyes pleaded.
Caroline was shocked after hearing that he broke up with his girlfriend due to that debacle in the bar. She doesn't know if she should feel pity for that woman... but in the end...she felt that she already got her revenged, well, that if Daniel was telling her the truth, he looks serious though.
Alex was studying her reaction under a hooded gaze. Time is ticking! Now is the perfect time to tell her why he was here in the first place.
"I have something important to tell you. Please come with me, Caroline. My brother Lucas needs to see you," he begged.
Caroline's brows furrowed. "Huh?" then her eyes widened.
Daniel mentioned of Lucas, his phone stalker was named Lucas and Daniel's brother also named Lucas...was he talking about the same person? Or just a coincidence?
Suddenly her heart was beating hard against her rib cage, she felt nervous all of a sudden.
"I don't want to come with you and meet that stranger you mentioned, I'm not interested to see your brother. I don't trust you, Daniel!" she glared at him.
She picked up her shoulder bag wanting to leave the place...
"Wait! You got to see this..." Alex has no choice but to show her his brother's picture on his phone. He thrust his phone on her face for a few seconds and put his phone back in his trouser.
Caroline's eyes widened upon seeing the photo of a gaunt-looking guy in Daniel's phone. Suddenly, she froze, then slowly sank back on the chair.
"Holy shit...." she muttered to herself.
No mistaking who is in that picture...
It's Greg! It's him, her ex-boyfriend! They never had a formal break up, no closure, they just drifted apart and lost communication with each other when he was declared as a wanted man by the PDEA (Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency)
Her feet wobbled, all the strength was leaving her body, her face paled.
She doesn't know if she will feel happy or feel worried that he finally resurfaced after he went missing.
But her life is different now, she already had a young daughter to take care of, stable life and a loving boyfriend, Mike.
She doesn't need to go back to her turbulent past, she can no longer go back to Greg!
"Caroline, please come with me. My brother begged me to see you. He needs to see you, he missed you very much!" Alex was now in the state of begging.
Caroline released a deep sigh. "How he become Lucas? And how the heck did he become your brother?" she asked suspiciously.
"Come with me. I can explain to you everything. Just see him please...even for once," Alex asked earnestly.
"I'm sorry Daniel. Greg and I are no longer a couple, therefore we don't need to see each other again," she said firmly.
Caroline chose her bright future with Mike. She no longer wants to go back to her turbulent past with Greg.
"You still don't want to see my brother? Even once?" he asked her sadly.
"No, I'm sorry," she answered shaking her head.
A flashed of anger appeared on Alex's eyes for a split second.
"You are so cruel, Caroline, to think that he was your first love. He kept loving you and nurtured his memories of you during his darkest time," Alex murmured sadly.
Caroline massage her temple feeling torn inside. Some part of her wanted to see Greg one last time. But the biggest part of her no longer wants to do anything with Greg because he is a wanted man, it's not a wise decision to associate herself with a wanted man.
She must avoid him like a plague!
"I'm so sorry Daniel, I can't see him," she refused firmly.
Alex breathed deeply, 'Caroline you're so cruel!" he muttered to himself.
"Even if he only has six months to live? You still don't want to see him?" he released his final card.
Caroline's breathe faltered..."What-?"
"Yes. He only has six months to live. He was suffering a terminal illness that has no cure and it produces many complications in his body, weakening his immune system. My brother is going to die soon, I just hope that you will honor my brother's dying wish and that is to see you again before he leaves this world. Your presence would make him very happy," said Alex.
'Now this is different,' Caroline muttered to herself. "I have to think about it, Daniel. Please give me enough time to decide. I will call you if I decided to see him for one last time," Caroline said wearing a somber look on her face.
Alex's face suddenly brightened up. "Thank you, Caroline. I hope you will see my brother soon. It will help him greatly," he was still trying to convince her.
"I have to go now, Daniel," Caroline bid him goodbye and walked towards the entrance of the cafe.
Alex followed Caroline's departing figure, he saw his sister walking towards the cafe, she and Caroline meet halfway.
Outside the cafe.
Allison was all smile upon seeing Caroline. "Hi, Caroline...ready for shopping? I'm so sorry I kept you waiting, I was caught in the traffic on my way here," she reasoned.
Caroline smiled back at the woman. "Allison, I'm so sorry, I need to go home. Something comes up in the house, can we reschedule our shopping spree some other time? Promise, I will make it up to you," she concocted an alibi. To be honest, she's no longer in the mood to go shopping after learning that Greg was somewhere in the city suffering terminal cancer and dying. Deep inside her, a part of her wanted to see the guy that was her first love. She was confused right now. To see him or not to see him?
Allison pouted a bit feeling disappointed, then she smiled. "It's okay. We can always go shopping some other day. Next time then?" she asked wanting her to commit on their next meet up.
"Sure, we'll go out soon. Thank you for your understanding, Allison. I have to go now and hurry home. Sorry again," she apologized.
"It's okay, you go home now. I will just buy some grocery then go home later. Bye Caroline, take care and drive safely," Allison said.
"Bye, Allison, text you later," Caroline said and began walking hurriedly towards the entrance of the mall.
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