Roy Plae Sanaeha (Trace of Love Scars)- CH.3, [1/23/15]

I finally found the time to clean my desk earlier this week and found three memory sticks aka external hard drives in my cupholder. Two were filled with throwback photos and the other was one for school, including labwork, papers, and FANFICTIONS. I wrote the following way back when Buang Wan Waan (Jui and Tono) came out and thought man, they look good together! But back then, I wasn't a huge fan of Tono but more of Nadech so I wrote this FF and paired Jui and guys do the reading. I have about half of the story but to keep the hopefully excitement coming, I'm gonna post one chapter at a time. LOL.
“Roy Plae Sanaeha”
(Trace of Love Scars)
Jui Warattaya as Wipawun
Noey Chotika as Sriganda
Peemai Sumonrat as Mee
Nadech Kugimiya as Pranon Panprasert
Nat Theppasadin as Danthep Anansiri
Mu Dilok as Decha, Wipawun’s father
Sawitree Samipak as Khun Ying Tongthavy Panprasert
Tai Penpak Sirikul as Khun Ying Pikultong Anansiri
A middle class, indebted, NY woman meets a handsome and wealthy, recent NYU grad, who her father arranges for her to marry later not long after the acquaintance. Wipawun (Jui) weds the younger Pranon (Nadech) under the condition to eliminate all of his father's debts tracing all the way back to Bangkok. After obtaining their marriage license, she and Pranon move back to Thailand into Pranon's family home, a large estate that has been the Panprasert's residence for many years already. Pranon's mother and supposed fiance, Sri (Noey) hates Wipawun because they think she's just a bar girl who ran away from Bangkok to NY to escape debts accumulated by her father. There is problem after problem after Wipawun moves in with Pranon and much of it is due to Pranon's negative assumptions of his wife. Not long after, he gets into a car accident and loses his his mother and fiance an opportunity to eliminate Wipawun once and for all. Wipawun attempts suicide but is saved by a handsome lad and heir of Anansriri Properties, who falls heads over heels for her. She tries to begin a new relationship with him but meets memory-washed, Pranon...
Chapter One
“Pranon! Pranon! PRANON!”
Immobile and struggling to open his eyes, Pranon fainted in the arms of Wipawun, his wife, as onlookers watched on in utter shock. Wipawun choked on her tears and cried as loud as she could for help as her voice had weakened from screaming her husband’s name prior to his unconsciousness. She too felt as if she could also collapse into a state of oblivion from both fear and guilt. It was her entire fault that Pranon was involved in this accident. His attention was solely on her when he crossed into that traffic. Wipawun was avoiding him and intending to escape from his cruelty and irrational personality. Throughout their almost four months of marriage, he was anything but nice to her and many times she thought about leaving him. Now, it seemed like it was going to be the other way around.
“Pranon! Pranon!” Wipawun cried all the way to the hospital, barely pausing for breath. When the nurses wheeled him into the emergency room corridor, she wasn’t allowed to enter. Wipawun then slumped into a nearby chair and continued to cry, not even bothering to wipe her tears. Her eyes were fixed on the locked, sliding glass doors to the ER hall.
“Nang Wipawun!”
Wipawun jerked her head to the opposite end of the hall where Khun Ying Tongthavy was angrily marching towards her, accompanied by Sriganda, Khun Ying’s ideal daughter-in-law and Pranon’s supposed fiance.
“Nang Wipawun! What did you do to P’Non?!”
Before Wipawun could explain, Sriganda had struck her across the left side of her face, bringing even more tears to Wipawun’s eyes.
“That’s enough, Noo Sri,” said Khun Ying Tongthavy. “Don’t soil your hands with her filthiness.”
“Khun Non…Khun Non…
Wipawun gulped and was at a loss of words when Khun Ying Tongthavy demanded that she leaves. It was unfair. All Wipawun wanted to do was explain the situation. She did not expect any forgiveness from anyone that Pranon was in this situation.
“And you can also get the hell out of my house!” Khun Ying Tongthavy added. “There is also no need for you to do any packing since you only came here with your filthy body and mind!”
Not wanting to cause a scene or bring upon even more humiliation to herself, Wipawun left, her face soaked in tears and her heart filled with regret. She regretted agreeing to marry Pranon in the first place. If she hadn’t, none of this would’ve happened and she would still be the ordinary American woman living her life in New York as a nurse…and bar girl. Her life wasn’t perfect but at least she was happy. Despite her father’s massive amount of debt to multiple creditors, Wipawun was content and more than happy to help him to be debt-free. That only happened after she married Pranon.
“Vi, the patient in room 209 is all yours.”
“Okay, Shannon; thanks.”
Wipawun grabbed a new IV bag from the storage room and without knocking, slowly entered room 209. There was no one on the stretcher and the TV was on. Wipawun looked around and carefully opened the bathroom door but instead of swinging towards her, the door suddenly jerked open causing Wipawun to fall forward right on top of the patient.
“Oh my gosh! I’m so sorry!” Wipawun said automatically as she hastily got up. “Are you okay?”
She helped pull him up and realized that he was indeed very handsome. Instead of criticizing her for her clumsiness or scolding her for not knocking prior to entering the room, the patient smiled at her, causing her to blush.
“You’re not Shannon,” he said.
“My name is Vi,” said Wipawun, not making eye contact with him.
“Why do you have to be so shaky?” he asked, closing the bathroom door behind him with a soft click.
“I’m sorry,” Wipawun apologized. “This is my first day off training.”
“Then you should know how to knock before entering,” he said, pointing out her obvious mistake.
“I’m sorry, I forgot,” Wipawun apologized again.
She noticed his name on his wristband.
“Are you Thai?” she wondered aloud.
He smiled again and nodded before lying back down on the stretcher.
“I’m guessing you are too,” he said.
“Yes, I am,” Wipawun replied, feeling less awkward.
She walked over to change the almost empty IV bag and the patient watched as she re-attached the cords to its proper place.
“Are you sure you know what you’re doing?” he asked her.
“You don’t trust me?” she joked.
He laughed and replied that he does.
“You can call me Non,” said the patient. “Make us feel more familiar with each other since we’re both Thai because everyone else here calls me Mr. Pranon.”
“Then you can call me Vi,” said Wipawun. “Because everyone here calls me that since they can’t say my whole first name.”
Pranon snorted with laughter. “So what are you doing in New York, Khun Vi?”
“My father and I moved here a few years ago,” Wipawun replied. “How about you?”
“I came here to complete my studies,” Pranon told her. “Right now, I’m just hanging around for vacation.”
“Is that how you were shot?” asked Wipawun.
She was told that he was robbed a few days ago and got a bullet right under his ribcage in the process.
Pranon nodded once.
“You sure ask a lot of questions,” he joked.
“That’s how you establish a connection and build relationships with your patients,” Wipawun told him.
“Maybe that’s why I like you better than the other nurses,” said Pranon.
“Even when I forgot to knock and interrupted your privacy?” Wipawun reminded him.
“Everyone makes mistakes,” he said, not answering the question.
It was a rhetorical question anyway.
“If there is nothing else, I’ll excuse myself now,” said Wipawun. “You know what to do if you need anything; just press that red button on that remote.”
She casually dismissed herself, leaving Pranon to smile. So what he was robbed of his belongings and even took a bullet under his ribcage? If it weren’t for those guys who robbed him, he wouldn’t be in the hospital right now to meet such an interesting nurse. Now, he had a better excuse to extend his stay in NYC.
Just when she thought that Pranon was probably dismissed from the hospital already, Wipawun was instructed to care for him once again. She also learned that he requested for her only, making her life extremely difficult because her time was very precious than to just stay in the hospital all day long to take care of only one patient while there are several nurses up to the job. She had a night job at her father’s bar. Shannon, Pranon’s supposed nurse on-duty, was transferred to other patients who were in more critical states, so Wipawun had no choice but to agree to the task.
“Why did you request for me?” Wipawun asked a healthy and normal looking Pranon.
“Because you are Thai and it’s easier for us to understand each other,” he replied.
“But you should also be dismissed from the hospital by now,” said Wipawun.
“What kind of nurse chases their patient away?” asked Pranon.
Again, his question was irrelevant to their conversation.
“I didn’t mean it like that,” replied Wipawun. “Your records indicate that you should’ve been released two days ago, which means the doctor permitted it because you are all better.”
“But I don’t feel better,” said Pranon.
Wipawun eyed him suspiciously.
“I feel lonely,” he said, giving her the sad puppy look.
“You’re on vacation now, right?” Wipawun reminded him. “So you can now go out and do what you want instead of lying here lonely and bored on a stretcher in the hospital.”
“Because I don’t know if I will ever see you again after I leave here,” said Pranon sadly in a very serious tone. “As a thank you for taking great care of me, what do you say if I ask you to have one dinner with me? I just want to repay your kindness.”
His words hit Wipawun like a freight train. No guy has ever said such sweet words to her. Was this perhaps, flirting? Even though Wipawun had been married several times before, none of those men ever talked to her this way. She find it bizarre to even call them her husbands because she was never married to them by the name of love. This reminded her that it would be best that she should be involved with Pranon after his release from the hospital.
“You don’t have to repay me anything,” Wipawun told him. “I am a nurse; it is my job to take care of my patients.”
“But I don’t have any friends here,” said Pranon. “Is that what you see me as? You only see me as your patient? Or, we really can’t even just be friends?”
Just friends, Wipawun thought. Fine. She didn’t have any friends anyway. Besides her co-workers who knew her only as Nurse Vi, no one would want to befriend a low-class woman like her. She only had her father and she only knew that she was obligated to help him with his debts.
“We can be friends,” said Wipawun.
Pranon’s face lit up and he sat up straight on the stretcher. He probably only wanted a friend to accompany him while he vacationed around the Big Apple. Besides, he was a few years younger than her so a relationship beyond friendship would be impossible.
“Try it, it’s very delicious.”
Pranon scooped up some of the Italian dressing drenched salad onto Wipawun’s plate as she watched with a half smile. She was beginning to feel very uncomfortable. This wasn’t just a dinner to repay her kindness but more of a date. He had insisted that she dressed up formally because he had already made a reservation that she could not easily flake out of. There was fine wine on the table in addition to their extravagant meal.
“Don’t you think this is too much?” Wipawun asked him.
She had never dined one-on-one with any guy in a romantic atmosphere like this. Couples surrounded them and the restaurant was dimly lit. There was a slowly burning candle on every table adding onto the romance-filled dining lounge.
“Is that a serious question?” Pranon shot back. “Of course not! I think you deserve a nice treat.”
He began to cut up his herbs seasoned steak and then offered her a piece of it on his fork, which he held up near her mouth.
“Try it,” he insisted.
Wipawun shook her head but he did not move. She opened her mouth and allowed him to feed her. It was indeed very delicious, perfectly seasoned and cooked to please probably anyone who ordered it. Pranon smiled and offered her another bite but she thanked him and included that she had to work on her own plate.
“Why don’t you want to go home?” Wipawun wondered aloud.
She had been wanting to ask him this for a very long time but could never get the exact words out without sounding rude.
“Because I want to stay and sightsee and go out for a little longer,” Pranon replied. “I am not required to go home immediately after graduating.”
Wipawun guessed that was true. People do deserve breaks every now and then.
“How about you?” he asked. “Don’t you ever think about going back home to Thailand?”
Wipawun forced a smile and thought of an appropriate response besides the truth that she had to stay here because she has no choice.
“I have to help my father with his business,” she replied.
“What business is that?” he asked, with his fork in one hand and the steak knife in the other.
“A bar,” Wipawun replied, expecting a shocking expression from him but instead, Pranon smiled.
As much as he wanted to ask what is that she does there to help her father out, Pranon thought it best that he don’t question her anymore to make her uncomfortable. He definitely didn’t expect her to have such a total opposite job from being a nurse. Since her father owns it, he concluded his curiosity by assuming that she probably helped him manage it.
After dinner, Pranon dropped her off at her residence, an apartment near the subway station. It started raining while they were dining in the Italian restaurant and was still drizzling while they were on the way home. Pranon insisted on walking her to her door but Wipawun kindly declined his offer.
“But I have an umbrella and you don’t,” he said. “Plus, it’s dark out here, too dangerous for you to walk alone.”
Wipawun thanked him and he escorted her all the way to her apartment and even stood watch while she unlocked the door. The two were surprised by Wipawun’s father, who opened the door before Wipawun twisted the knob.
“Hello,” he greeted Pranon. “Come inside.”
Pranon returned the greeting and followed the father-daughter duo into the living room of their apartment. Wipawun disappeared into the kitchen to make hot tea while watching her father instruct Pranon to sit down on the sofa.
“My name is Pranon krub,” Wipawun heard Pranon introduce himself to her father.
“Vi was telling me about taking care of a Thai patient,” Wipawun’s father began. “So how did you end up in that hospital?”
“I was robbed and took a bullet under my ribcage,” replied Pranon. “Thanks to your daughter and the great doctors at the hospital, I am lucky to be alive.”
“It is fortunate that I happen to make a Thai friend,” Wipawun chimed in as she set the tray of hot tea down on the table before the two men.
She handed one to her father and carefully shoved one in front of Pranon, who politely thanked her and then thanking her father again for providing him shelter from the pouring rain.
“My pleasure,” said Wipawun’s father. “Please, call me Dad.”
Wipawun’s eyes widened and Pranon choked on his hot tea. He felt a burning sensation spread down his throat as he looked up at Wipawun.
“So what are you doing here in New York? Are you here for vacation?” Wipawun’s father began to question him.
Wipawun smiled uncomfortably while she listened to Pranon answer each question one by one.
“Why didn’t you go home after your studies?” Wipawun’s father continued.
“Dad, I think that’s rather a personal question,” said Wipawun, unable to handle the awkward situation any longer.
“It’s okay,” said Pranon. “Like I told Khun Vi, I decided to stay here a bit for vacation.”
“Oh, I see,” said Wipawun’s father. “Your family must be worried about you.”
“I reckon they are,” Pranon agreed. “Because I am an only child and they also expect a lot from me.”
“Vi is also an only child,” said Wipawun’s father. “I don’t expect a lot from her but I just wish her happiness and I will be happy too.”
“You are a great father,” Pranon told him. “Well, it seems like the rain has stopped. I think I’ll head out now.”
He got up from the sofa and straightened his jacket. Wipawun’s father instructed her to walk him out and she did as she was told.
“Your father is a very good man,” Pranon told her as they approached his car. “I had a good time talking to him.”
Wipawun smiled and thanked him again for dinner.
“I’ll see you tomorrow,” said Pranon, getting into the car.
“Whoa, wait,” said Wipawun, stopping him before he closed his car door. “Who said I was going to see you tomorrow? I have things to do na khun.”
“Well, I guess I’ll visit you at your father’s bar then because I’m sure they won’t let me visit you at the hospital,” said Pranon.
Wipawun watched him drive away without finishing her sentence. There was no need for him to visit her now that all was repaid and square. He wasn’t even indebted to her in the first place.
Wipawun went back to her apartment to see her father holding a thin black object in his hand. It didn’t take long for her to realize that Pranon had forgotten his wallet.
“He is Pranon Panprasert, heir of the infamous Panprasert Jewelries,” her father told her.
Wipawun grabbed the wallet from him and looked at the ID card inside.
Pranon Panprasert, birthdate February 14, 1990, she read. He was six years her junior.
“Even though he is a lot younger than you but age is only a number,” said her father. “He is a good guy and also very wealthy. I believe he is the one for you. He can take care of you.”
No, there was no way Wipawun will agree with her father regarding this matter. She had already agreed to three failed marriages her father had arranged for her in the past…all because he was indebted to those men. Wipawun knew exactly what her father was thinking but there was no way in hell she would agree to it. From now on, if she were to marry someone, it would only be out of love.
Chapter Two
The gushing waters below deemed worthy of a jump. One jump was all that was required and she was ready to do just that. That would solve everything. It was very tempting and the more she thought about it, the more heavily she breathed out of fear. She cannot let fear succumb to her decisions, though.
“What are you doing?!”
A loud voice from the right side frightened Wipawun but before she knew it, she was already on the other side of the rail.
“Stop!” the stranger called out.
He had pulled over and was breathing as heavily as Wipawun was.
“Climb back over the rail right now!” he screamed.
Wipawun turned around, closed her eyes, and jumped. Her body hit the waters in no time and she allow herself to sink deeper into the cold river. Her eyes remained closed and all she could see were her happy moments with Pranon back in NYC. She smiled and sunk even deeper.
“Khun! Khun!”
Wipawun could hear a loud male voice ringing in her ears and though her eyes were closed, she felt that the voice was getting closer and closer.
“Khun! Open your eyes!”
She could not breath but all of a sudden, she felt a warm sensation blanketing her body, particularly her face. Wipawun was lying on her back and she was damp from head to toe. Kneeling over her and breathing heavily was the stranger that demanded she climb over the rails earlier.
“You,” Wipawun said weakly, trying to get up.
He helped her to an upright position and took off his jacket to throw over her back, making her feel a tad bit warmer.
“You rescued me?” Wipawun asked him.
“Chai,” he replied with a nod. “Why did you do that? For whatever reason you’re doing this I am telling you now that your life is not worth throwing away just like that.”
“Why did you rescue me?” she asked.
“Because I cannot just witness someone die in front of me like that,” replied the stranger. “My name is Danthep.”
He helped her up and led her to his car.
“What’s your name?” he asked her after fastening her seat belt.
Wipawun was lifeless and she was as still as a statue.
“Would you like to use my phone to call your family?” he offered, handing her his black iPhone.
Still, she did not budge.
“I don’t have anyone,” Wipawun answered quietly. “There’s no need to use that.”
“Well, where do you live?” asked Danthep. “I can take you home.”
“I don’t have a home,” she replied.
Danthep gulped. “Well, alright then…I guess we’ll figure out things along the way.”
About half an hour later, they reached a tall building that Wipawun recognized at once as Clark Condominiums, an upper class residence.
“Why did you bring me here?” Wipawun asked him.
“Because I don’t know where else to take you,” he replied. “If I take you to the police station, I’m afraid there will be trouble. If I take you to a hotel or motel, you may misjudge me.”
“And you expect me to not misinterpret you that you bring me here?” she asked, realizing at once that he is probably up to no good.
“I didn’t…
“Let me tell you something,” Wipawun began. “Even though I may seem like it, I am not a woman who sells herself for a living.”
“Okay,” said Danthep, not wanting to argue with this insane woman he had just picked up off the streets. “I promise I will not harm you in any way. This is my condo and if you don’t mind staying with a stranger like me, you may temporarily stay in my guest room.”
“I don’t believe you,” said Wipawun, exiting the car.
“Khun, wait!” Danthep called after her.
He too got out of the car, just in time to catch her before she fainted on the ground. There must be much more to this woman that just her dignity and pride, he thought. She was going through something horrible and if he didn’t help her, who will?
Danthep carried her to his room on the third floor and set her gently on the bed in his guest room. Her clothes were still slightly damp from jumping into that river. If he didn’t change her now, there is a high possibility she could fall ill. Danthep began to unbutton her blouse but paused after undoing the first button. He should not take advantage of her while she was unconscious; however, if she doesn’t get out of those clothes soon, she will definitely succumb to a cold.
Wipawun slept into late afternoon the following day and was only awoken by the sounds of the maid who came to clean the condo. She walked out to see an older woman vacuuming the carpet in the living room, who stopped the vacuum cleaner at the sight of Wipawun.
“Sawadee ka,” said the maid, who introduced herself as Duang. “How are you feeling ka? Khun Danthep mentioned that you will probably sleep in very late into the afternoon so he wanted to make sure I serve you the porridge he made for you this morning. Would you like it now ka?”
Realizing that she was very hungry and hadn’t had anything to eat since yesterday morning, Wipawun nodded. She watched Duang warm up the porridge and set it on the table and carefully escorting Wipawun to the chair afterwards.
“Did you say that Khun Danthep made this porridge?” Wipawun asked.
“Ka,” Duang nodded. “He’s such a gentleman.”
Wipawun paused and checked out her clothes, a set of freshly laundered women’s pajamas.
“He’s not a gentleman!” Wipawun said at once, standing up from her chair. “If he’s a gentleman, he would not do this to me. I’m leaving!”
“Diew ka!” Duang called. “Would you like your clothes? I washed them for you last night after Khun Danthep asked me to change you.”
Wipawun turned around to face Duang.
“What did you say?” she asked the maid. “Who changed me?”
“I did ka,” Duang replied.
Wipawun let out a heavy sigh of relief. That’s more like it. Perhaps, this guy is a gentleman after all.
After finishing her porridge, Wipawun did the dishes and changed into her own clothes. It had a fresh lavender scent and Wipawun thanked Duang for washing them. In addition, she learned that Danthep had instructed Duang to take care of Wipawun the entire night through today. When Wipawun assured Duang that she was fine staying alone, Duang politely dismissed herself to tend to her job for the other tenants.
Staying with a stranger wasn’t the best idea, Wipawun thought to herself. Not only she is a burden for him but it is also immoral since they are neither friends or spouses. She needed to get going. Perhaps, she could return to her hometown in Chiang Mai. Her father was the only family she had left but Wipawun did not intend on returning to New York. She had already squared his debts for him when she married Pranon. She needed some time of her own, some time for her to think about what she really wants in life and what she really needs.
Wipawun left a thank you note on the refrigerator and left Danthep’s condo. Her mind was settled on Chiang Mai. She would catch a bus there and would arrive several hours later to begin a new chapter of her life. However, there was one last thing she wanted to do before leaving the city. She wanted to visit Pranon in the hospital to make sure his life was no longer in jeopardy. Most of all, she wanted to say goodbye to him.
Wipawun arrived at the hospital shortly afterwards at half past two. She promptly approached the check-in desk where she was greeted by two nurses. She had recognized one of them from last night. The other one turned around to file some folders and left the more familiar one to speak to Wipawun.
“Sawadee ka,” Wipawun began. “Uh…I’m here to see Khun Pranon…
“You’re the woman that came with him yesterday, right?” the nurse interrupted.
Wipawun nodded.
“What is your relationship with the patient?” asked the nurse.
“Uhm…a friend,” Wipawun replied.
“I need to see your ID ka,” said the nurse politely.
Wipawun felt uneasy but slowly took out her wallet and handed her identification card to the nurse.
“Wipawun Jaroensuk Panprasert,” the nurse read. “Oh, you’re his wife? Why didn’t you say so? Please come in.”
“Ka,” said Wipawun.
That reminded her that she also needed a new identity. Even though she and Pranon were legally married, a divorce seemed far from happening at the moment. Wipawun hoped that she would be able to obtain a new identity without any problems.
Wipawun approached Pranon’s room slowly and stopped to take a deep breath before entering. She knocked once or twice and a nurse emerged.
“Sawadee ka,” said Wipawun.
“Came to visit Pranon?” the nurse asked. “You came just in time.”
“What does that mean?” asked Wipawun, slightly scared.
“Oh, the doctor will be here soon and visitors won’t be allowed then,” replied the nurse.
“Oh…uh…well, Khun Pranon, how is he?” asked Wipawun.
“He is in a less critical condition now,” the nurse replied. “The only thing that we need to worry about is his head injury. Other than that, his broken leg and ribs are not as serious.”
“His…his head,” said Wipawun weakly.
“Ka, he suffered a severe damage to his head ka,” said the nurse.
The nurse walked away and Wipawun immediately went inside. At the sight of Pranon, her heart dropped and she was at a loss for words. There was so much blood yesterday when she cradled him in her arms that she failed to realize where his injuries were.
“Khun Pranon,” said Wipawun, softly touching his face with her hands. “I’m so sorry.”
Tears streamed down her face but Wipawun did not bother to wipe them. Her heart ached and her hands were trembling out of fear. The pain was uncontrollable.
“It’s my fault,” Wipawun wept. “I shouldn’t have came here with you. If you didn’t marry me, you would’ve been a happy guy. You don’t have to lay here with serious injuries and…
Wipawun paused and began to cry silently to herself. Then, she brought herself together and grabbed his left hand.
“I have to go,” she told the unconscious Pranon. “Maybe it’s better for us to go our separate ways.”
Wipawun took one last look at him and walked out of the room. As she descended the elevators, she wiped her tears with both hands, telling herself she must forget everything about Pranon. It will make both of their lives easier. Their existence in each other’s lives only made it difficult for each to cope with the consistent pain inflicted by each other. From now on, she will not see or think of him. Pranon deserves the best and Wipawun was more than willing to give him just that for both their own good.
Danthep returned home from work to his empty condo, no sight of Wipawun or Duang. He scanned the place and after realizing it was spot-clean, concluded that Duang must’ve completed her chores. He guessed that Wipawun probably left due to the awkward situation of staying with a complete stranger. Though he has good intentions, he could understand that she was probably scared.
Danthep noticed the sticky note when he went to fetch a glass of water. Thank you for everything- Wipawun, he read. Simple and to the point. She must’ve been in a hurry. He hoped that she gave up on the suicide ideas. Danthep shook his head. He needn’t worry of that now. Besides, it wasn’t his problem. He needed to pack for Chiang Mai for his business trip to the children orphanage. That was most important to him now because those kids needed him. If anything was pitiful in this world, unwanted children would place first for him under that category…unwanted children who were thrown away like dolls by their own biological parents…children like him.
Even though he was an orphan, Danthep was fortunate to have great and loving adoptive parents. He loves them very much and long tossed the idea of searching for his own biological parents. They didn’t need him so why did he want to find them?
Danthep’s reminiscence was interrupted by a phone call from his mother, Khun Ying Pikultong.
“Krub Mae,” he answered. “Krub. I’m about to pack now, krub.”
Danthep is a Mama’s boy, Khun Ying Pikultong’s most prized possession, and even though he isn’t her biological son, she showers him with more love than he ever could’ve imagined.
“Krub, I’ll pick you up at home,” Danthep told his mother.
This business trip to the children orphanage was Khun Ying Pikultong’s idea. They would announce a renovation project of the area so that not only the children will have a better place to live and learn, but also open new jobs to provide opportunities for many people.
“8000 baht a month ler ka?”
Wipawun looked around the small room, her new home, a place for her to began anew. She didn’t have any money on her at the moment but was confident that she would be able to come up with it somehow at the end of the month. Though the place was small, it was perfect for her. What she loved most about it is that it is located in the heart of the market and other conveniences, saving her vehicular transportation costs since everything is a walking distance.
“If you like it, you may move in today,” said the landlord.
“Ka,” said Wipawun.
She didn’t have a choice anyway. It was better than temporarily staying at a motel. This would have to do for now. Besides, it is actually a good start for her new life.
Wipawun didn’t have much to physically move in, only her large duffel bag and a carry-on tote. Khun Ying Tongthavy was right. Wipawun had no belongings when she moved to Thailand with Pranon because everything that she had Pranon had bought for her. She only had a few of her favorite outfits and two pairs of shoes that she kept over the years while she was in New York. After meeting Pranon, he spoiled her with everything that she would never ask or even dream for. “You look beautiful in anything,” he once told her.
So he bought her an entirely new wardrobe of professional attire, evening gowns for hi-so events she was expected to come across, and casual outfits for daily wear. He even bought her a simple but elegant diamond set…the diamond set…it was in her bag! Wipawun felt the diamond necklace around her and took it off at once. The matching earrings were in its storage box in her purse. Then, there was her wedding ring. How could she have forgotten?! Wipawun took that off at once too and put both the ring and necklace in the small, black velvet box and shoved in deep at the bottom of her purse. She decided she would somehow give it to him later. Now, she had to focus on herself.
“Right here, Mom.”
Danthep instructed for the bellboy to haul their belongings to their rooms, which he requested to be beside each other.
“I’ll meet you up for dinner later,” he told his mother. “I think I’ll go check on the kids first.”
“Okay, whatever pleases you,” Khun Ying Pikultong replied.
After walking his mother up to the room, Danthep descended the elevators to the lobby where his ride was waiting, a black Mercedes minivan with tinted windows.
“Are you sure you don’t want to rest first, Khun Danthep?” asked Vit, his driver.
“No, I am anxious to see the kids,” replied Danthep. “On the way there, I’d like to stop by the market and buy some gifts, some snacks for them.”
Vit nodded, slid the passenger door shut, and hopped into the driver seat.
“I think the kids will be very happy to see you and receive gifts too,” said Vit, when they reached the busy street of the marketplace. “And they’ll be even happier to know that you’re renovating their home for their better living.”
Danthep smiled and agreed, “I hope so.”
When they turned into the street, they realized how narrow and small the roads were, which actually weren’t roads at all but rather dirt paths.
“How can we get it if the road is narrow like this?” Danthep asked Vit.
“I think I should go back and park outside across the street and wait for you outside the market,” Vit suggested.
“Okay,” said Danthep.
Vit began to reverse but after noticing a woman in the rearview mirror, braked abruptly and sprang out of the car.
“Khun! Are you okay?!” he exclaimed.
“Aow khun,” said Danthep, recognizing Wipawun at once.
“Khun Danthep!” exclaimed Wipawun. “What are you doing here?”
“I should be asking you,” he shot back. “I went back to the condo and you were gone.”
Vit eyed the two back and forth with a shocking expression, misinterpreting that his jao nai was probably involved in an affair with this woman.
“I…I didn’t want to see you anymore,” Wipawun replied.
Vit’s eyes widened.
“Why?” asked Danthep.
“Because I didn’t want to be your burden,” said Wipawun.
“What burden?” asked Danthep, confused as to why she would think of him saving her life as a burden. “Well, are you okay?”
Wipawun nodded.
“Hey! How could you just park this monster right here in everyone’s way?! Hah?! Just because you’re hi-so means you can do anything?!”
A few people swarmed Danthep’s minivan and he instructed Vit to move it at once.
“Wait for me outside the market,” Danthep told him. “I’ll call you if I need help with the stuff.”
“Krub,” Vit replied.
He climbed into the van and backed out carefully into the street. Danthep turned to Wipawun.
“Are you going to the market?” he asked her.
“Ka,” she replied. “I was thinking of grabbing a bite before I head out.”
“Head out?” asked Danthep. “Where are you planning on going now?”
“Find a job,” Wipawun replied.
He followed her into the market.
“Why are you following me?” she asked him, feeling uncomfortable.
“Because I’m hungry too,” Danthep replied, even though he was supposed to have dinner with his mother back at the hotel later in the evening. “It seems like you’re planning to stay here for long run.”
“I don’t have anything else in Bangkok,” said Wipawun. “I think this place suits me.”
“I don’t get it,” said Danthep, glancing at her left hand. “Or, did you quarrel with your husband?”
Wipawun stopped and turned around to face him, “How do you know?”
“Oh, I was just guessing because when I rescued you, you had a wedding ring on your left hand,” he replied.
“That’s just a gift I bought for myself,” she lied, not wanting to discuss anything that had to do with Pranon right now.
Danthep smiled and apologized for his misinterpretation.
“You can stop following me now,” said Wipawun, stopping at a fresh foods vendor.
“I can’t do that because I want to help you,” said Danthep.
“You already helped me plenty,” said Wipawun.
“But didn’t you say you were looking for a job?” he asked.
She turned to look at him again, wondering what this man was really up to.
“I found you a job,” he said. “If you don’t mind being around children then I think it will suit you well.”
Wipawun thought for a moment. Anything was better than nothing. Besides, she loves children and whatever it is that Danthep had to offer, she would be glad to accept it.
“I’ll treat you to dinner as a thank you in advance then…if you don’t mind street food,” she said.
Danthep smiled and nodded. Turns out, he had no clue of the foods offered but thanks to Wipawun, he had a very satisfying and rather early dinner. She even agreed to accompany him while he shopped around for snacks and toys for the children at the orphanage. He did not tell her where the goodies were going but promised it would be a surprise.


sarNie OldFart
I like Jui and Nadech, but can't picture them together, so I'm imaging Cee with Jui instead. Very interesting story; feels like I'm watching a lakorn while reading it! I can't wait to read more and thank you for sharing!
Koy123 said:
I like Jui and Nadech, but can't picture them together, so I'm imaging Cee with Jui instead. Very interesting story; feels like I'm watching a lakorn while reading it! I can't wait to read more and thank you for sharing!
LOL. I made a poster of them too and I think Jui and Nadech look pretty good together. Lol. Imagine Nadech with stubbles, a bit of facial hair. Sexy and Jui is naive and beautiful. But yeah, I lost all of that data. Lost that artwork...
Thanks for tuning in!
Chapter Three
Not only he opened the door for her himself, Danthep even held out his hand as support. Wipawun did not take it but instead got out of the van herself. Danthep smiled shyly but Wipawun ignored it. She scanned her surroundings and saw a large group of kids at a playground a few feet away and a few others being escorted into the building. A sign nearby read 'Fahsai Orphanage', and Wipawun suddenly smiled. She suddenly felt good and happy and the sight of the kids only made her smile wider.
"You like kids?"
Danthep must've noticed her smiling because he was smiling at her too when she looked up to answer his question.
"I do," Wipawun replied. "I used to work with kids before but not this many at once."
"That's a start," said Danthep. "I'm sure the kids and everyone here will love you."
He led the way to the main building where an older man approached them, greeting Danthep and then looking at Wipawun. Danthep introduced her to the man and then mentioned that there was much to discuss. They were then led to a large meeting room with a long oval-ish table with rolling chairs. Khun Goh, the man that had greeted them, motioned for them to sit down. 
"First things first," Danthep began. "I hope everyone here is doing well. I haven't been here in so long and it feels great to be back and see all of these kids. I hope they like their gifts."
"I'm sure they will," said Khun Goh. "The kids here love you and everything you give them."
"If it's not enough, don't forget to let the staff tell Vit," said Danthep, who left the stuff with Vit so that the staff members could take care of them accordingly.
"I think it's more than enough already," said Khun Goh.
"If it's not too much, I'd like to leave Khun Wipawun here as a teacher," said Danthep. "I heard that you are needing a teacher for the pre-school age kids. I believe Khun Wipawun suits this position."
"If you believe so then we will take very good care of her," said Khun Goh, turning to Wipawun. "That's if Khun Wipawun don't mind small children."
"Oh, no, I don't at all," Wipawun said automatically with a smile. "I am very happy to be a part of this family here."
"If that's so, then that's great," said Khun Goh. "I will have the HR assistant to bring in an application and necessary documents for you to fill out."
Wipawun gaped for a second and thought this was easier than she had initially thought. Just when she thought that her life was crumbling, she was being shoved before a door of new opportunities. She would begin a new life out here and no one will know who she is and what she had gone through. She smiled at the thought of it. A young woman who was probably a few years younger than her came into the room and led her to an office so that Wipawun could fill out the necessary paperwork for employment. On the way there, Wipawun saw several kids of all ages. There were even babies and when Wipawun passed them in the nursery, a little part of her wanted to tear up. How could their parents abandon them?
"Right in here."
Wipawun went in after the woman, who introduced herself as Da, who sat down at the desk and pointed to the empty chair opposite her. Da opened a drawer, pulled out a folder, and handed it to Wipawun. She explained the highlighted areas and handed Wipawun a pen to fill out the application.
"I will also need to make a copy of your ID na ka," said Da.
Wipawun nodded slowly and wished Da hadn't asked for her identification card. She had yet to change her last name from Panprasert to Jaroensuk.
"Do you need it right now?" Wipawun asked.
"Ka, I will make a copy of it and staple it to your application after you are finished," Da replied.
"Okay ka," Wipawun nodded and pulled her wallet out of her purse to give Da her ID.
As Wipawun filled out her application, Da placed her ID under the scanner and made a copy of it. Then, she handed the ID back to Wipawun, who hastily stuffed it back into her purse.
About half an hour later, Wipawun handed the completed application back to Da, who took her to the lobby where staff members were distributing the gifts to the children.
"If it's okay, may I help distribute the gifts?" she turned to asked Da.
Da smiled and nodded, "Khun Danthep really has great eyes. He is right; you do seem to be the perfect candidate for this position."
Wipawun thanked her for the compliment and listened to her as she explained the distributing process. She would give one kid one of each gift. Easy enough, thought Wipawun. This should be fun.
"Khob khun krub."
Danthep stuffed the papers from Khun Goh into a manila folder and got up from his seat.
"The kids will be very happy to know that there will be two large playgrounds for them," said Khun Goh.
"I think it is a great idea to have one for each age group, smaller children and bigger children," Danthep agreed. "Well, we'll have several more meetings to get everyone on the same page because there is also a possibility of temporary relocation for some children."
Khun Goh nodded and said that he will inform the staff members.
"That should do it for today," said Danthep. "Anyways, I'll be here for a few days so we'll discuss anything that needs to be discuss, changes and what not. The sooner the better."
"Krub," said Khun Goh.
Danthep looked around and wondered if Wipawun was still filling out the application.
"Khun Wipawun should be done by now," said Khun Goh, answering his question before he could even ask. "Let's go check on them."
Danthep followed Khun Goh down the hall and reached the lobby, where he spotted Wipawun handing out snacks and toys at a table. She did not stop smiling and her smile seemed to be more beautiful and brighter.