He realized he only had two days worth of clothes. He took a leave to try to sneak in the unit in the morning, while Will would be at the office. He was not able to get much sleep, despite all the drinking the night before.
The images of Will and Benedict continued to haunt him. His memories, and all the feelings that came with them, were all jumbled up. He knew Ben was just a call away, just waiting for him. Yet he couldn't bring himself to make that decision. What was stopping him?
Wasn't this what he had been planning all along? Wasn't the plan to leave Will and go back to Manila and be with Ben? Benedict represented what was new and exciting in his life, something that contrasted with his life with Will. He was young, and still full of fun, even silliness. Oh, he could make Joby laugh. But he also knew that a life with an up and coming doctor would be a challenge. He would still need to study for the next few years. His career would just be starting, and with it the sense of security, including financial security. How would he manage? Or the irregular hours he would be keeping once he starts his hospital duty. The emergency calls in the middle of the night, or of a movie or dinner.
His youth and all the sexiness is one thing. Now he realized that these wouldn't be the foundation of relationship. There would be so much uncertainty in a future with Ben. And that contrasted again, sharply with the certainty that he had always had with Will.
Certainty, security and that sense of being home. Their home life has become routine, yes. And even boring. But curiously, that was what he loved about it. He loved the everyday-ness of life with Will, even if there were fights, and shouting matches. He loved that Will had always known what he wanted for them. And he made sure to achieve that. He was never selfish about anything. He was actually generous to a fault.
And now, had all that been just thrown to waste because of his stupid indiscretion? Has he just ruined what could be the perfect future? What was he thinking? How could he have been so stupid, so insensitive and so short-sighted?
Looking around the place just strengthened his resolve to fix his broken relationship with Will. He was going to win him back, no matter what. He was going to show him that he was still worth it. And that he is so full of remorse over the hurt, the pain, the infidelity.
He needed to plan how to do it. But it had to start with making one final call. To Ben.
He sent a message first. "Is it a good time to talk?"
In a few seconds, his phone was already ringing, with Ben on the other line.
"Hey. How have you been?"
"I'm ok. I'm back in the apartment."
"Oh. He took you back?"
"Ah no, not really. I sneaked back in. How's your school?"
"It's ok. Taking a break from reading."
"Ben, I need to tell you something."
"It's going to be that kind of call." Benedict replied slowly, sadly.
"Ben... I need to fix what I have with Will."
"Yeah, fix that and break up with me, right?"
Joby paused a bit, his own heart was breaking as he had to deliver the good bye line.
"Ben, you will always be special to me. I just don't think it will work out in the end, you know, the two of us."
He heard quiet sobbing on the other line. "That's so different from what we used to talk about. What changed?"
"I don't know, Ben. I never realized how deeply I would get into this with you. And that pain that I have caused Will." He also felt tears rolling down his eyes.
"You know, I didn't realize this was going to be the outcome. I thought with what happened..."
"I'm sorry, Ben. I really am."
"Me, too." Ben sniffs a bit. "Fuck. And exams are coming up."
"Oh shit, Ben. I'm sorry."
"I better hang up now." And Ben did. Just like that. He got out of Joby's life.
Joby could still feel the tears rolling. He hated goodbyes. He hated breaking up. He was never really good at it. He hated having to break Ben's heart. That young heart. He hated himself.
But he had made a choice. And as he looked around, he reminded himself of what needed to be done. He needed to win Will back.
He left the unit to go back to the hotel. He picked up his stuff and checked out. He was going to be back in the unit. And when Will comes home, he will be waiting for him.
Will arrived from work, a bit earlier than usual. He was still in zombie mode, just going through the motions. So he decided to forego working out that night. He was just in no mood. He was still so angry and so hurt.
The betrayal was the worst thing. He kept on replaying what he read. And imagining all sorts of rendezvous scenes behind his back. He started recalling the alleged business trips he took. Maybe they weren't business trips at all. They were really illicit encounters with this medical student.
Yeah, he had gathered as much. It was easy to find his social media profiles. He was able to piece together the profile of Benedict. He saw pictures. Yes, he was attractive, even hot. He had loads of bare-chested pictures, displaying the pecs and abs. Fuck. No wonder Joby fell all over the guy. He was a picture-perfect profile of a mistress. Young, sexy. Will just became more depressed as he compared his own aging body, his never-going-away flabby midsection.
He was pouring through the pictures, thinking he would see a picture of Joby and him together. The kid was careful. He never saw any picture. He covered his tracks.
Lies. All the lies. All the cover-ups. All the while, he was looking stupid. No, he WAS stupid for just believing all of it. He fell for each and every excuse. They must have been laughing themselves silly thinking they were getting away with it. He hated them. He hated Joby. He hated him for destroying their home. And their dreams. And all the memories they have built together.
And here he was again, in the unit they have called their home. And the memories will rush back in.
He opened the door to see white roses and petals artfully scattered on the floor, making some sort of path.
"Job? What are you doing here?" He wanted to be angry. But at that moment, he was more curious than furious. He followed the path of petals and roses to the bedroom. He noticed that the linens have been changed. And on the glistening silky duvet cover, the petals spelled "I AM SORRY"
He didn't know how to react. "Job, are you here?"
Joby stepped out of the bathroom, carrying another bouquet, white roses.
"Yes, Babe. Please, please forgive me, Will." Joby pleaded and offered the bouquet.
Suddenly, Will remembered his anger. But with less ferocity this time "Your theatrics won't erase the pain."
"I know that, Babe. I just wanted to show you how sincerely sorry I am. I have no excuses. But please, Babe, please take me back."
Will left the bedroom and got himself a beer. He deliberately stepped on the petals and roses.
"How could you do this? I trusted you. I gave you all."
"Babe, I am just so sorry..."
"I want to just hit you, to make you feel the pain!"
"Then hit me, Babe. I deserve it."
Will just shouted. "Arrgh! I HATE YOU!"
"But I love you, Babe. I love you still."
Will turned to him. "So, where is this hot young intern now?"
"Babe, he is out of our lives. Totally out of it. I ended that. I want you, Babe. Take me back, please."
"How sure am I that it's all over? How will I ever trust you again? YOU MADE ME FEEL STUPID!"
"No, Babe. I didn't mean to. There really is nothing anymore between us. Honest!"
"Oh fuck, you even dare say "Honest?" Are you fucking kidding me?"
"No, Babe. You have to believe me."
Joby approached Will to hug him. Will did not resist anymore. He was still crying as Joby hugged him. "I'm so sorry, Babe. So sorry." He whispered in his ear.
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