Do you know why it's hard to say goodbye? Because we afraid if our memories might not be able to remember them, rightly. The fact is, goodbye means good. No matter how hard.
~Aurora Esterlia

Different Choices

Phoenix Andrea was a nerd girl with long straight yellow hair.
People used to call her a shy girl. She supposed to be a smartest girl but the bullying environment killed that thing. So, she never put her expectation to be the girl on top. She never sorry. She chose to let it be.
She was 17 years old. Her sweet seventeen birthday party was great. Her family was all there and made the party nailed it. But, she didn't have any friends come by. She never worry. She chose to keep it to herself.
She was 21 years old. Every girl deserves one time to get a boyfriend. She met Copper M. Copper was graduated from business school. He once met Phoenix on this night club, a fancy homecoming party. Phoenix was drunk and she's becoming changed crazy and open. Copper saw her beauty and he introduced himself to her. Copper was the only man who really loved her. Things changed. Copper taught her about be a woman with style and the personality of confident. Phoenix started to be a real woman. Copper was a great man and he knew the real Phoenix inside out, because Phoenix let him.
She was 23 years old. She cut her hair into man's look, started to wear man suit, in girl stylish way. She changed into a real woman. She worked as manager assistant of Jewellery of WV.
She was 24 years old. She ready to believe Copper is the one. One evening night, the exotic dining party at Copper's place. Phoenix was a stunning girlfriend. People kept whispering about Copper might asked her to marry him that night. Phoenix also thought the same thing. Instead, it's about 8 o'clock and Copper was gone for 30 minutes. His parents came and people tried to search him. Instead, Phoenix, as a smart girl, she remembered there's a woman, Copper's university mate, and there was Copper, kissed her passionately in the garage. Such a moron.

Phoenix Andrea, now six months after the tragedy, came back to the first time she met Copper. The night club. She decided to keep her hair like a boy, wore one earring, and man's suit. She came with her workmates, all girls. She didn't enjoy the party at first and she came to the men's room. She was drunk. She looked at herself in the mirror while men crossings her kind of disturbed with her heels, she said to herself, "All of this is his. What can I do without him?"

She back to the party and she started to give the night a try. She danced and drunk. But, she never will be like her friends. She realized all of her was Copper's made. She wanted herself back. She just never want anyone else, except Copper. So, when the girls tried to seduce all the handsome good-looking men on the dance floor, she pulled herself and back to the seat. She looked around and she started to order a sparkling water. Then, she heard that one song, Copper's favorite song. That's how Copper loved to be in this night club. Phoenix even thought if she could actually met Copper that night. And, there it was, a bunch of men, handsome good-looking with man suits, standing right in front of Phoenix-sight seeing to the dance floor. It made her enjoy the look of all of those guys.

She saw him. Geoffrey Rouge. Phoenix knew him. He was a local well-known writer and also a journalist from entertainment magazine. Several times, she found him came to WV, to report new jewels of the shop. She stood up and because she drunk, she seemed confident of herself. Actually, Geoffrey Rouge knew her,too. For him, Phoenix was a quiet-enchanted person in the shop that made him wonder and wants get to know her. So, they both chatted.
"I always wonder of how you choose to look like this."
"Well, I just read from one of your article. You said masculine or tomboy looks is on, now."
"Oh, yes. Last year October issue, wasn't?"
"Oh my, it's already new year. Am I already old fashioned?"
"No, exactly. You look extraordinary than other women in this club. Fascinating."
"Thank you. How should I call you?"
"You can call me Geoffrey."
"Yes, sure. Call me Phoenix."
"I will. Thanks."
"Are you single?"
"Recently, yes."
"Funny. Me too. Recently."
"Would you mind to tell me the break-up reason?"
"Busted. Kissing another woman. Passionately."
"Oh. Great details."
"How about you?"
"It's complicated."
"Do I look like complicated to you? Try me."
"Well, same as you. Kissing another woman."
"Woah. That's totally complicated."
"I mean, I'm drunk right now. So, don't worry. I won't ask you any further. But, you can ask me."
"Excuse me?"
"Ask me about the break up, again."
"Alright. How long you both had been together?"
"Hmmm. four, five years."
"I did, too."
"Such a coincidence! Ask me, again!"
"Well, was it love at the first sight?"
"You believe about it, too?"
"I do. What do you think?"
"Actually this place was our first met. And here's the place that first-sight happened. And, last song was the soundtrack."
"Are you kidding?"
"I'm not. And, I learn now, that I'm not crying."
"Do you regret it?"
"No. And, thank you for the question. I never regrets him."
"When I saw him, I thought it was never meant to be a reality. He came to me and asked me for dance. He fought for me and so the romance. Four, five years worth it."
"Yeah. Do you still love him?"
"I might drunk, right now. So, I never know if I'm gonna tell you the right answer of that."
"How about you?"
"Well... I do. I still do."
"How's your love at the first sight scene?"
"It's an interview and we looked at each other, a long conversation. After the hour, I came to the restroom and my heart beating so fast."
"Like, a heart attack?"
"Yes. Then, it just happened. I made the first move."
"Yeah. I don't know about its better great to have knowing each other, first. But, when it's love at the first sight, seems you know it. Like, if he's the one and you won't regret it. Even, you already knew about where the relationship might end. Oh, no. I'm in the crisis of wondering if he ever loves me right from the start."
"He must be."
"You do think so?"
"Yes. That song, I felt how much he must loved you."
"But, he kissed another woman. Passionately."
"And, that's also what happened to me. Maybe, he's not 100% honest with us."
"Maybe. Maybe, he's not 100% honest from himself."
"What do you mean?"
"If you know me, well, four, five years ago. I mean, honestly, I'm not this confident to be as I am right now. To choose him, seems like a battlefield with my own head. Do you get it?"
"It's still raw."
"You surely get it."
"Yeah. See my glass and yours."
"And, our fingerprints were our lover."
"You can see them but suddenly it can't be seen. Yet, it's still there if the glass not being wash yet."
"And how this thing related with our situation?"
"It's the fingerprint habit. While we, the glasses, can't see them, always. What they really want, what exactly they meant about what he did to us. Made the love inside our heart, our mind, and until we blind. Then, when the hands off from grab the glass, the fingerprint reminds us about that love, that it's still there, even when we can't see it, later."
"Why he hands off from the glass?"
"That's it. That's how 100% honest. Now, I wonder, if that's 100% honest or not?"
"Are we talk in a deep conversation, now?"
"I guess. And I get bored. Do you like to have karaoke?"
"What karaoke?"
"Well, sing with your buddies! I mean, I've made you bored."
"No, definitely not."
"Why not we exchange our business card?"

Phoenix gave Geoffrey her business card, also Geoffrey. He smiled to her full name, Phoenix Andrea. Suddenly, Phoenix excused herself, she said she wanted to puke. Geoffrey waited her came back to the dance floor, but she's gone.

Geoffrey Rouge was 29 years old. It was his birthday. He was in  South Africa, having long December vacation with his orphan nephew, Ferris, 12 years old. Ferris parents died in the accident last month, a jet plane crash. Ferris was so alone. So, Geoffrey brought him to another place of the earth when Ferris could enjoy the vacation season without sobbed. Ferris loves animals and South Africa gave him a real adventure from a wild zoo. Phoenix saw the journey on the TV. She watched it, randomly. It was work late at night, she was finished a financial report. She slept in the meeting room's couch with her workmate, Sally Hymn.
"Can you tell me what's the program about?"
"It's travelling program, Andrea."
"Why Geoffrey Rouge and his nephew in it?"
"It's his nephew's matter. Geoffrey's old sister, Alice and her husband, Frank Pauls. Died last month on jet plane crash. The son had only Geoffrey. All relatives has gone. And, basically Geoffrey now, earned the television's shares for be the guardian of his nephew."
"Suddenly he became rich. Or, it supposed to be so sad?"
"I don't know, Andrea. But the channel are from the stock they have."
"It's such a sad. Look, how he made his nephew smile brightly. I need a tissue."
"It's such beautiful scene."
"I think I really cry, right now."
"Me, too. Don't you think he's handsome, Andrea?"
"He is. I remember I've talked with him, like so long ago in one night club. I was so drunk and I puke on the toilet."
"Such a mess."
"I know, Sal. So, I left that night alone with a cab."
"You should greeting him or something, Andrea. His family just died."
"I know."

That night, Phoenix was thinking about Geoffrey so long night. Her hair still short, but she colored it to wine red. She's still single. She back to her apartment in the Sunday morning. She was so tired and she decided to sleep without wash herself, first. She then remembered about that business card. She woke up and searched. Later, she found it. She just stared at it. She could smell Geoffrey's perfume on that night. She wondered if she really want to call him because she wants to give condolences to him and especially his nephew, or it's because she just realized how handsome Geoffrey and now, he became luminary person. Could be famous through nationwide.
She decided to not call him.

It turns out became a daily activity. Phoenix search Geoffrey news on internet every day. Geoffrey still be a journalist but he also being invited to the stocking meeting of the television channel. His daily news also being reported. There's an issue that he's a gay, No pictures of proof, but they said it's from confidential report. On that day, February month, Geoffrey came to shop. He asked for Phoenix Andrea. Phoenix was in heart attack. She remembered what Geoffrey said that night, when it feels like a heart attack, it could be love at the first sight. Phoenix showed Geoffrey the catalog.
"It's nice to meet you, Phoenix."
"I was so sorry for your loss. Your older sister, Alice Pauls."
"It's very long days ago. I didn't expect that from you, now."
"I also sorry about that."
"That's fine, really. It's comforting."
"Well, what are you looking for? Is it for the journalist issue or it's for a gift of someone?"
"A gift for a woman."
"Sure. We have that. Our new catalog gives limited edition for Valentine's gift. With small chains and great pendants. Or, it can be earrings. Also bracelet."
"Yes, I would like to see the bracelet. Her hands are really beautiful."
"Great details."
"Funny, you just said things that I said long ago."
"Excuse me?"
"You don't remember?"
"I'm pretty sure I was drunk." Phoenix remember everything about that night. He heart beating so hard that made her lied, "I was puke on a toilet, that's the only thing I remembered. I took a cab and gone home right away. But, I remember you, because of the business card you just gave to me."
"Are you alright, I mean after that night?"
"I also don't remember that." This one was true. "But I'm pretty sure I'm fine, now."
"You're funny."
"Let's back to the bracelet, shall we? We have watch bracelet, silver bracelet, gold bracelet, and black bracelet."
"How about your bracelet?"
"Oh. It's rosary bracelet. From one of japan temple. Black beads and red cord."
"You didn't wear it on last time we've met."
"Yes. It's a new year gift."
"From who?"
"A friend. He was my classmate on university. He now works as engineer in Japan."
"You are from engineer school?"
"Yes. My parents, we are from this big island but with rich of earth materials. Silvers. My parents work in mine. So, I also want to follow their path. Then, they told me it's not a woman's job to be a miner. And, well, someone's told me about the alternative job."
"Work in the jewelry?"
"Secret jeweler."
"What is that mean?"
"I always sneaking back to my home island, the jewels made by the island industry, my island."
"And, there I was, to see how the jewels be made."
"So, you know how the details, each details of all of these jewels. You are proficient."
"Thank you."
"You can be a great person to be interview."
"Oh, Mr Rouge, I thought we here to find a jewel for your woman."
"Call me Geoffrey."
"What? No."
"I mean, I'm not sure. So, what do you think about the jewel?"
"I would like to give it as a birthday present."
"In February? How sweet."
"Yes it's 23rd February."
"Oh. That as same as,"
"Your birthday."
"How, how do you know?"
"I thought we could get a nice tea time in this month. I find your birthday on your social media. So, I want to see you, talk to you. And, buy you a gift. But, I guess I was caught on the scene."
"That's alright. I mean that's very thoughtful. I never be any good to you. Like, as you know. I was going to call you to show how sorry I am about your loss and your nephew. But, I decided not to do it."
"Really? Why?"
"I never thought you could remember me."
"I did. You said, I can call you Phoenix. May I?"
"Sure. Why not?"
"I would like to ask you if you can be my date on this company's diner. This Saturday."
"But, I thought you with," Phoenix remembered about the news of Geoffrey's different interest.
"I really want you to accompany me. It's really great meaning from my nephew."
"Okay, sure."
"I guess your bracelet is more beautiful than others in this shop. I change my mind."
"Oh, well. That's alright."
"I'm serious though, I want to buy you a gift. What things do you like?"
"I guess if you buy one of this jewel, it would be delightful for my boss."
"Funny. Yeah, sure. Which one that great for men's jewelry?"
"To you or someone else?"

Geoffrey noticed about the question. Actually, Phoenix was so nervous, she couldn't think wisely to speak that time, and it just happened. It's actually misunderstood, but Geoffrey then asked, "What's best jewelry to give to man to man?" Then, Phoenix showed this ring silver. It's from women catalog, she said, "It's narrow ring of Caesar leaf crown. If you choose to get the pearl color, it's suitable for a men. And, I can put a diamond on the center. It's custom-made. In this product, you also can engraved words or stuffs." Geoffrey laughed for the 'stuffs' word. He took the offer.

On the Saturday night, Phoenix got the evening gown present. She wore it and also the red heels. Phoenix always love red shoes. She was being pick up at 6 pm. it was a limo with a driver. And, Geoffrey came out, with the butler. Phoenix was stunning. Geoffrey said she's beautiful. Geoffrey gave something before she came in to the limo. It's a diamond turtle necklace. Turns out, Phoenix still look masculine with all of those feminine style. When, they arrived, all the press caught them both.

The blitz confused her. She never actually came to a public party after her break-up with Copper. She turned herself to stick with the boyish style for meant she never want to looks like moving on. But, a night like this, she realized Geoffrey are going make her life changing. Everyone cheered with her came as Geoffrey's date. They were whispering if Geoffrey could bring his man date. It would be a horror for the company. But, Phoenix didn't say anything. She just smiled, try to digest all those environments. She's afraid if Copper might be there. Then, Geoffrey introduced her to his nephew, Ferris. They both chatted. Geoffrey left them for a while.
"You look like a man."
"I know. I was glad you said it. I need those words."
"Are you gay?"
"What? No."
"Then why you came with my uncle? He's gay."
"He said it's complicated."
"How much do you know him?"
"It's only one night in the club. He was breakup with someone, me also at that time. And with the same tragedy, our lover kissing another woman. I mean, in his case, I have no doubt if your uncle turn into lots of depression."
"You talk too much."
"I know. But, your uncle. He made me break the rule."
"What rule?"
"To keep myself in the shadow."
"I never meant to fall in love again. To look be with a new guy in the public."
"But, its' okay. My uncle is gay."
"Why you keep saying that? There's no proof."
"You're in love with my uncle."
"Well, he said it's love at the first sight, when, when you hearts beating so fast and almost feels like a heart attack."
"Do you really love him?"
"I... I barely know him. As you said, there's no proof if he's gay or not gay."
"What if he's gay?"
"I must be in broken heart, again."
"There's no other woman he ever going out to or come for a party. He always be with bunch of men or just be alone. You're the only girl he ever date."
"So, if he told you about the breakup story of his lover kissed another woman, it's definitely a man. He's dating a straight or bisexual guy. You look like my mother."
"Excuse me?"
"Mom used to keep believing that my uncle was not gay. But, it's truly who he wants to be. And, Mom always cheated from Father with dating Uncle Gy."
"Uncle Gy, is that how you call him? No wonder he's being called 'gay'. That's rude."
"You're the one who's rude. I never meant to call him as defining 'gay' word."
"That's alright. I'm messing with you, kid."
"I hate you."
"I hate you, too."
"Mark my words. My uncle is gay."
Phoenix grabbed Ferris left arm so tight and she starred at Ferris like she's pretty serious about what she's going to say, "Mark my words. I. Won't. Stop."
Then, Geoffrey came back asking about what's happening and Phoenix asked if Geoffrey' nickname is truly called Gy. Geoffrey said yes. Geoffrey asked if Phoenix also had a nickname. Phoenix said she won't tell anybody about her past. She's still worry about it. Because, she didn't know what must told him, so she said the ring will be done for next three days. So, they both chatted.
"My nephew looks talk many things with you."
"He said I was like his Mom."
"Really? Why is that?"
"Do you think I look like his mother?"
"I guess."
"It doesn't matter. I hate kids."
"Wow. I didn't know."
"Your nephew hates me. So, we're fine."
"You knew he hates you?"
"He just told me."
"He never talk anything with any of my date. So, I guess that's an improvement."
"He also said," Phoenix wants to talk about the other guy who will get the ring, "I mean he thought I was a man. Or, gay. That's not nice."
"Oh. I guess he's talking about my specific interest, wasn't he?"
"But, if you're gay, I mean everyone has their own choices. Whether if it's different choices. I get it."
"Well," Geoffrey smiled, "Thank you."
Phoenix now can truly said it was all true. Now, she's then thinking if Geoffrey came and asked him to be his date because she's truly looks like a man. Then, she got a phonecall. It's from Copper. Geoffrey could see something's wrong with her facial. It's been long time since the tragedy and Phoenix was never meant to leave him. But, she also hate what Copper's did. No one's trying to call back one to another. And now, Copper just called her.
"You look beautiful."
"How do you know?"
"I saw you on TV. Po..."
"Don't say anything."
"I am sorry. Would you give me a chance to meet?"
"Oh, Dear."
"I will explain it to you."
"I was scared, Copper. I always trust you. I give everything."
"How about now? I want to see you, now."
"Don't you think it's kind of late?"
"I will wait for you in front of the shop. I will wait."
The phone hanged up. Phoenix almost cried. But, she hid it from Geoffrey. When she looked at him, the heart still beating so fast. But, finding Geoffrey was gay, it seems the hearts won't be recognized. That in the end, Phoenix knew, she would just have to keep it by herself.
"I need to go."
"Are you back home?"
"No. I need to meet someone."
"You look pale."
"Is it fine if I leave you, now?"
"Yes, no one will matter."
"Thank you, Mr Rouge."
"You really need to call me Geoffrey."
"Oh, sure. Geoffrey. Or Gy."
"Yeah. I'm okay with that, too."
"I'm not."
Geoffrey learned about the answer. But, he thought Gy was really weird nickname for Phoenix. Then, Phoenix kissed Geoffrey's cheek.
"Thank you. I will call you for the ring delivery. I wish you all happiness."
"You quiet save me, Phoenix."
"Am I?"
"You never know how much this night really means to me. I wish we can see each other again."
"We'll see each other again."
That's the last sentence Phoenix could give to Geoffrey. She wished to not say that. It killed her. She back home with a limo. And, she arrived in front of the jewelry shop. The limo stopped across the street. It's really empty street. Copper was there. It's the first time Phoenix look at Copper after long time. He looked has a beard, his hair longer, he's still him. Phoenix get out and asked the limo to go home and said regards to Geoffrey. Copper saw her walked across the street. She's truly getting beautiful and beautiful. Copper also walked to her. They both met in the middle.
"I know you would come."
"Copper, I don't think this is right."
"Walk with me. There's a 24/7 place we can hang out."
"There is?"
"You know. Would you like to take my hand? I want to hold yours."
Copper always know how to be romantic. He gave his left hand so the right hand of Phoenix would take it. Phoenix gave the hand. Copper smiled and escorted her through walk. They found the place and they both sat right next to the window. Copper never let go f her hand. He even kissed it.
"It's weird. What you just did."
"I'm sorry." He let go the hand. For a second, he realized about the new bracelet, "Did Geoffrey Rouge gave the bracelet to you?"
"This, no. He gave me the necklace. It's from Japan temple. A new year's gift."
"It suits you."
"Geoffrey said that too."
"So, is he the one?"
"The one who replace me?"
"Copper. There's no way you can be replace."
"I, I thought you would never say that again."
"Copper, how's," Even Phoenix forgot that cheater girl Copper made out passionately with, "I don't even remember her name. But, how's she?"
"She's married. I thought it's hard to let her go. But, I realised it must hard even more in you."
"I know you." His hand embraced her cheek, "You can't keep those feelings from me."
"Copper. Let off. It's getting hard. You cheated on me."
"I wish I can change it back. I was lost."
"That's because I might not enough for you."
"You're enough for me. If you let me, start over. I want to change."
"Is that so?"
Suddenly, someone's came in.
It was Geoffrey. He knows about Copper M. Copper M was broke. Phoenix might not know it because she never want to know about Copper ever since the tragedy. Geoffrey as a journalist knew Copper is searching a partner to keep his business survived. So, Geoffrey came to save Phoenix. Geoffrey said, "She's with me, now. And, that's enough for her." Geoffrey get her back and they both went home with a limo. Left Copper alone. They both chatted in a limo.
"Why were you return?"
"It's Copper M. He's bad in business."
"You didn't know that."
"I know him. Ever since he broke up with his long-time girlfriend, he lost one of a big sponsor. His business turned upside down. And, his new girlfriend just dumped him. Married the richer than him. Now, you. You should've know that he might use you."
"He never use me. You even barely know me."
"No. I know you were his long-time girlfriend. I also know your parents is that big sponsor. They knew he changed you to now. But, they want you to take this chance. Let him go is the best."
"How do you know all of my parents thoughts? You talked to them?"
"Well, yes. Where do you think I knew about your birthday?"
"You've been searched about my profile?"
"I lost you. You're the only woman I can trust. I mean, I didn't know you hate kids. Which not I expected. And, my research definitely advantage this kind of situation."
"You need me for what?"
"Well, to be my partner. I, I can't lose Ferris."
Suddenly his face looked sad.
"Ferris said it's Alice, my sister's will. She wants me to follow what she wishes."
"I guess that's the difficult choices I should take. Ferris is my only family."
"Never leave family's behind."
"He needs me. And,"
"I get it."
"I can see you still in love with Copper. I, I can help you to pretend."
"Pretend?" That's the only word Phoenix wished to never come out from anyone's mouth.
"That you moving on."
"I do. I've done moving on. I just care about him, that's all."
"That black bracelet. He must a nice man to be with you. Copper will be fine."
"What do you want from me, Geoffrey?"
"You, called my name."
"What do you want me to do?"
"Well, we can start with getting know each other. Until the lawyer sure I'm straight."
"No. It's all wrong."
"You don't want to help me?"
Her heart beating so hard. This was her chance. It was all true, even if it's just 'pretend'. 
"I do. I'll help you."

Phoenix Andrea decided to take the different choices. She let herself to be in another tragedy.
"My hearts beating so fast. I know I should fight this feeling. He needs me. I, I like him."
But, was all that enough?


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