Chapter 5: Preparing Yet Unprepared

Book Title: How Could You Tell

"Hi, hon. I think I'm too early; no one's here yet." Fred talked to her over the phone. "Hi, honey. It's okay, tomorrow you'll be home, and six days more, we are married." Kate consoled Fred excitedly.

"Yeah, I guess I'm just too excited to finish this transaction so that I can go home earlier," Fred explained.

"Call you right away, hon, when we're done. Byebye, love you." Fred lovingly bid goodbye. "Love you too, honey." She lovingly replied while signaling her hand to Jess, her secretary, to hand over some papers that she needed to sign.

Everyone in the office was in motion. They were busy bees. No one's slacking off. The office window is facing the street sparks as the headlights reflect on it. "Are we planning to stay all night or what?" Jasper, the junior executive, jokingly asked.

"Me? I don't, I have a date, so maybe I'll go ahead."He answered his own question, waved goodbye, and rushed out. " You all, go ahead, Enjoy your night and rest well. I'll stay awhile to finish this report. This will not take long." Kate was implying everyone to leave her.

" I can bring your dinner in before I go." Jess offered.

"That would be great; thank you, Jess," Kate answered. Kate filed the folders neatly on the table, looked at her wristwatch, and smiled. It's past ten in the evening.

Silence covered the building. She stood up and shuffled towards the door. As she is closing the door, footsteps are fast approaching.

The keys were clashing on the floor. It slips off from her shaking hands as she tries to lock the door. She stood still facing the door, clenched her fist, shut her eyes, and raised her hand to hit the figure standing behind her.

" Kate!" Her father's worried voice impels her to open her eyes and release a deep sigh of relief.

"Papa!" She turned around and embraced her father.

"We need to go home right away. Something dire happened." Rody explained, ignoring Kate's reaction. "Why? What happened? She was perturbed by his father's behavior.

"Let's talk on our way home. We must hurry." Rody answered in a pressing voice. Her father held her hand tightly, glanced at her, and nodded as signaling her to follow what he said.

"Have you had your dinner?" Rody asked her as he slipped on his seatbelt.

"Yeah. What is it, Papa? You are scaring me," Kate complained in a puzzled voice. "Kate. Fred had an accident." Rody slowly spoke as he reached her hands. "Oh, no! What? Where is he? Why? She uttered shakily. She took her hands from her father's clasp and covered her face. She leaned on the car seat. Tears were streaming down her cheeks. She was open-mouthed, but no voice came out from her.

" Kate. Fred is in the hospital in the city. He is not in bad shape, but he is not okay. That's what a woman on the phone told his father." Rody soberly narrated.

"I want to go to him, Pa. I want to drive to the city tonight," She demanded. "Yes, you should." Her father agreed. "But let's drop by quickly at the house so Arman and your uncle Brock could come with us. It's a long drive; I need someone else to drive for us if I get tired." Her father reasoned.

She nodded, and her face lightened up a bit.

"How about his Mom and Dad? Are they going?" She managed to query. "They're already on their way to the city. It's his Dad who informed us and asked us to let you know. They cannot do it by themselves. They would rather go ahead of us to the hospital than to deliver you the unpleasant news," Her father expounded.

She nodded, opened her bag, and dialed her phone."I'm calling Lilian." She informed Rody. Lilian Madrigal is Fred's mom. "I could not reach her," Kate complained in an anxious tone.

"Relax, try to get some sleep while we're driving. You'll need it. We'll drive fast so we can get there as quick as we can, maybe before nine am." Her father consoled her.

Kate stayed silent, and her eyes fixed on the road as she was clutching her phone.

The sun is glaring at her face that wakes her up. " We're here." Uncle Brock on the driver's seat announced. Kate quickly unstrapped herself, grabbed her bag, and got out of the car. Her father and brother strode behind her. Lilian met them in the hallway and guided them to Fred's room.

"How is he?" Kate anxiously asked. "He's still sleeping, but the doctor said he'd be fine," Lilian answered calmly. "Oh, God, thank you." Kate burst with relief.

Lilian slowly opened the door, and the four of them got inside the room. Vic was standing near Fred's bed, looking down on his son. Noel and Chris are sitting down on a corner, sipping coffee. Fred was sleeping peacefully. His left foot is covered with a thick bandage and is tied up on a rope, hanging slightly over the bed.

Kate moved slowly towards the bed and pointed to Fred's foot. "What is this?" She whispered to Lilian. "He fractured his leg." Vic answered in a low tone."Lucky for him, the car did not drag him." Vic continued to explain. "He was in a hurry, catching a taxi after he meets with the Alano's. He didn't notice the other car right behind him whose driver was on the phone and didn't see him backing off." Lilian recounted.

"That's what Ms. Ritz Alano told us. She's the one who took Fred to the hospital and stayed the whole night to take care of him." Vic added.

"We'll just wait for him to wake up. Maybe we should go, grab some breakfast." Chris chimed in. "You can all go, have your breakfast; I'll stay here with Fred." Kate hinted. "Okay, let's all go. Let Kate stay." Rody compelled. Everyone followed Rody. Kate stayed with her fiance.

Kate gazed down at Fred's face, gently ran her fingers on his hair, and laid a kiss on his forehead.

She silently sat on a chair beside the bed without taking her eyes away from Fred. Kate's face blanked. A knock on the door roused her. "Come in." She blandly responded.

The door creaked open, and a woman who moved with panache approached her. Ritz Alano, the famous Ritz Alano, was standing right in front of her. "You must be the fiancee?" Ritz started a conversation. "Yes, I am." Kate proudly admitted as she stood up and moved towards the bed.

"Ritz, Ritz Alano, your partner." She introduced herself and extended her hand.

Kate extended her hand and shook Ritz's." Kate Lorenzo." she answered back.

"Thank you very much for taking Fred here in the hospital. We owe you a lot." She politely thanked Ritz. "I cannot imagine what could have happened if no one is around to extend help to him, especially we are very far from here." She explained.

"Ah, don't mention it. It's just that I was right there when it happened." Ritz recounted. "I was catching him up because I have something I forgot to remind him. I was calling him on his phone, but he was not answering. I was a bit far behind him when the car hit him. I saw what happened. So I was obliged to take care of him." Ritz explained further."Besides, we are already partners, so I look at it as my duty to do the necessary." She added.

"For that, thank you very much, Ms. Alano." Kate gladly thanked Ritz again. "You are very welcome. Ritz, call me Ritz," She responded and smiled. "I have to go. I'm glad you and his family are here to take care of him. My worry is gone. So nice meeting you, Kate." Ritz formally bid goodbye as she headed to the exit. "Same here. Please come by anytime if you want to." Kate awkwardly replied.

Ritz left the door half-open, so Kate slowly pushed the door to close it. The door bottom creaked sharply as it touched the protruding tile floor. Kate slightly stooped and stopped pushing the door further. Fred slightly moved his body and slowly opened his eyes. His eyes were blinking, and he seemed to figure out what's got into him. Puzzled, he gradually turned his head from side to side.

Kate noticed Fred was disturbed and woke up.

"Honey," Kate whispered gently to Fred's ear as she touched his hand.

"Hon? Are you here? Where are we?" Fred asked in a weary and perplexed voice. "I cannot move my legs." He complained.

"Hon, you are fine. You had an accident yesterday, don't you remember? But you're going to be okay. You just need to stay in the hospital and rest for a few days, then you'll be up, and everything will go back to normal." Kate explained in a comforting tone.

"Accident, hospital? Yeah, I now remember. That was yesterday?" He clarified. "I am supposed to be home by now. Oh, that car!" He recalled.

"It's alright, honey; you are fine now. You will recover fast enough to pursue all our plans." Kate hugged Fred and kissed him.

Chapter 4: They've Found The Perfect Site

Chapter 6: Soon

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