"See you at the Amara Hotel tonight, 7 pm. Don't be late."
Throughout those five years we were together, I learned to submit myself to his plans and decisions. I never questioned him though sometimes, I felt suffocated. I even accepted the fact that if he brings me to any function, it's not because he wanted my company but because I was like a trophy for him to show off. He was always far from the man I knew every time important men in his social circle surrounded us. He became the gentleman that he never was, sweet and caring like a thoughtful sweetheart. Sometimes, I even wished there would be more events to attend.
I set my alarm clock to three hours before the event. It should be enough for my preparation, knowing that Eric was so meticulous. Perhaps because his call disrupted my train of thoughts, I drifted into a dreamless sleep as soon as my head hit my soft pillow...
I was in a boat, enjoying the sceneries around me. We were already sailing near the borders of the Pacific ocean when suddenly the captain stood in the midst of us, gesturing for us to give him our full attention.
"I would like to inform all of you that one of you here is tested positive for Bronc X virus," announced the captain, whose face I could not figure out clearly.
The rest of us shuddered at the announcement, grabbing the next moment our scarves and tied it around our faces. Some pulled out from their bags their bottles of alcohol and sprayed it into their hands and arms.
"No need for that," said the captain, his lips twisting into a sardonic smile as he watched everyone's reaction. "All of you are already infected with the virus as well."
"Whose the carrier of this malady?" shouted one of us, angry and scared at this pronunciation of our doom.
"That man! He escaped from the cruise ship to get rid of the quarantine, " said the captain, hurling his fingers furiously at the man behind him.
I followed the direction of his hand, and my knees wobbled in surprise upon realizing that the accused man was none other than Mr. Sean Grey. Drops of tears soon spilled from my eyes as my heart wrenched in pity for him. It then occurred to all of us, that because there were ten of us in this boat, the government would no longer allow us to go home. Whether we liked it or not, they would force us to stay until our last breath, depriving us of the chance to say goodbye to our loved ones.
"Let's throw him to the sea! He's bringing curse into our lives," snarled one of the men, throwing his fiery gaze at all of us.
"No, " I protested, "remember, no one wants this. No one ever wants to die," I begged. The threatening deluge of tears at the back of my eyes burst like a gushing river from a mountain.
"Shut up," roared another man, "if you don't want us to throw you out with him."
The men then sprinted forward and seized Sean like he was some wild boar on a forest. I stared at him with a heavy heart, and he looked back at me with begging eyes. What happened next was faster than I could figure out, and the next thing I saw was the men, casting him out of the boat and into the angry waves. Sean's eyes never left me until the waves plunged him into the sea.
"No! Sean! No!" I called out his name until my voice became too hoarse to speak, and until my tears dried out.
"Red! Red!" a harsh and vigorous shaking woke me up. The dream was still vivid in my mind even if my eyes flew wide, meeting Eric's angry face. I blinked to erase Sean's image, my heartbeats rapping on my throat.
"You're here," I commented, looking into his eyes, not expecting him to be here. He had a wardrobe in his office, and a room as comfortable as this one in the house.
"Who is that Sean you are calling in your dream?" he snarled, and I frowned in embarrassment to know that I called out his name.
"What?" I also raised my voice to deny his existence, but his fierce and piercing eyes, boring into my core, told me I couldn't outwit him.
I sat up and yawned, trying to ignore him. It was only a dream, and why would he fuss so much about it? Though I felt unusually and foolishly attracted to Mr. Grey, I only met him once, and perhaps, I'll never meet him again.
"Red, I'm warning you. If I find out that you are fooling around with someone else, I will not have a second thought of throwing you out of my life! Even if you shed bloody tears, I'll never take you back!"
Eric walked out of our bedroom and slammed the door so hard that I got afraid the hinges and screws, whatever were there, would disconnect from the doorframe. I closed my eyes and covered my ears with my hands, anticipating a hard blow on the floor that never came. I scrambled on my feet afterward, running to the bathroom for fear that Eric might finish ahead of me and that he would be barking at me again. I was just too tired to hear one again, too humiliated already.