PART I: Running Away

Why are you striving these days
Why are you trying to earn grace
Why are you crying
Let me

lift up your face
Just don't turn away

Why are you looking for love
Why are you still searching
As if I'm not enough
To where will you go child
Tell me where will you run
To where will you run

(Taken from By Your Side - Tenth Avenue North)

Decmeber 19, 2012

Slowly regaining consciousness, Ilana tries getting her eyes to focus as she takes in her surroundings. A familiar panic began rising up in her chest threatening to cut off her breath, despite the oxygen and IV she was attached to. She looks around her room at Presbyterian Inter-Community; her cousin's hospital. Dr. Juan Carlos Contreras is not only on the board but also a prominent and successful hospitalist there. In Ilana's opinion, he is arrogant and overbearing, at least to her. Eleven years her senior and each other's only immediate family. Perhaps she thought he meant well but was quickly tiring of his overbearing overprotectiveness. That was partially the reason that led her to accept Antonio's proposal. He was kind to her, not obsessive, and patient, considering her introverted personality. She wasn't quite in love and most likely never would be; this was just an arrangement or partnership. She thought this was a good way to try and overcome the past and get away from her cousin and Antonio would get all the perks of her family name.
At the moment, Ilana wondered how she came to be at the hospital and how she'd get out this time. Tears began to roll down her face. She tried to move her hands and realized they were tied to the bars of her bed. Her body had a bad habit of getting sick & ending up in the hospital. She has severe nosocomephobia, fear of hospitals; if they didn't keep her sedated she will manage to escape. Willing herself to stay calm before her heart rate elevated enough to sound the alarm on the monitor, she began breathing exercises. "Breathe, one, two, three, out, one, two, three," Ilana repeated this exercise until she managed to calm herself down enough to think. "What happened, why am I here?". Having been sick all week (again), with a bad cold, she begged Antonio to take her out today. Though not much better, she was tired of being cooped up at home and Nana fussing over her. Antonio had picked her up to meet with some of the young people from the company. They were all friends, having all grown up together. Well, they should have been Ilana's friends, but she'd withdrawn herself from everyone and everything almost fifteen years ago. Despite it being their annual Christmas gathering which Ilana never attended; she was desperate.

The restaurant, Lucky Strike, was a bar/nightclub/bowling alley and Antonio figured having appetizers and watching everyone bowl would not put a strain on her and would alleviate her boredom. Plus, this was a perfect opportunity for her to get reacquainted with everyone, they were all practically family. Ilana began to fit the puzzle pieces of her frazzled mind, together. "Now, I remember...I was getting restless from just watching and staying under the blanket." Antonio had insisted on her using his old snuggy blanket that had kept him warm many a winter night while studying at UC Berkeley. The club air conditioning was usually high and he didn't need her illness getting worse. "I was enjoying being out of the house and after a while, I almost forgot I had been sick. Had I ever bowled before? Perhaps before..." She remembered wanting to play and be part of the group for a change. Having managed almost an entire game, the ball suddenly felt three times its actual weight. "My cough started up again, the medication Juan Carlos made me take in the morning must have worn off." Her turn was next, but the cough made her tremble and the lane was suddenly blurry. "It was my turn throw the ball. Did I fall? Did I not get back up? Is that how I ended up here?" She didn't remember, exactly, but her wrist was wrapped and she did remember a sudden pain. Most likely that was what happened.
She sighed to herself, in frustration, when her cousin's voice broke her reverie. He was audible from just outside her room; she pretended to still sleep in order to listen to the conversation.
- "Antonio, it was extremely irresponsible of you to take Ilana out tonight. You knew she's been ill."
- "I'm sorry Dr. Contreras. It's just a cold and I couldn't resist her entreaties. I did my best to make sure she didn't overexert herself. I just wanted to make her happy."
Juan Carlos was very upset and taking it out on Antonio for going along with Ilana's scheme. He could see the guy was bristling a bit at being scolded. But that was his baby cousin in that room and he needed to make him understand how much he worried about her. Antonio decided to try a different approach with Ilana's annoying cousin. "Dr. Contreras, perhaps you are right, but I think she needed a change of scenery. She was covered up and resting comfortably, actually enjoying herself for a little while. She even felt up to playing, when her cough got the best of her. She tried to ignore it but must have stepped wrong and tripped. I didn't know she was weak enough to blackout. After all, doesn't the mind play an active part in the healing process? She was having a good time."

This guy is not getting it, Juan Carlos thought. "Look, Antonio, Ilana's always had a weak immune system and this 'cold', is actually an infection, that could easily turn into pneumonia. To tell you the truth…" He didn't know the type of relationship they were in but was about to put this young man to a test. "...seeing that you are engaged...she has hemolytic anemia. This type of anemia is often fatal."
- "What? Wait, she...she doesn't know this, right,"
a stunned Antonio asked.
- "No, she doesn't know and that's how I want it to stay. Since her parent's death, I've made it my responsibility to protect her, sometimes even from herself. Now, that you know, what are you going to do? Marry my cousin and love her through her illness...or if you cannot handle it leave her now before she gets hurt again. She doesn't need another guy who's just going to use her."

Antonio was stunned into silence. He didn't know how to respond and most definitely didn't know what that last comment meant. He hoped the doctor wasn't expecting an answer right then and there. Their relationship wasn't truly a love match, he knew this, but they were friends and comfortable with each other. Many marriages started with less. Could he care for a sick wife, while both were still young? If she were to get very ill would he have to put his career on hold? Of course she is the deceased Chairman's daughter, but still. He was making himself sick that he was even asking himself that question. What kind of a callous jerk was he?

This is a work of fan fiction using characters from the Korean TV series Boys Over Flowers and its world, which is written by Yoon JiRyun. The F4, Guam JanDi, Ha JaeKyung, and Chu GaEul are characters created and owned by J.K. Rowling, and I do not claim any ownership over them or the world of Boys over Flowers. Likewise, any other idols or actors mentioned are strictly used in a fictional world and not intended to reflect their real lives, though at times real-life events that occurred will be included in this story. The story I tell here about Ilana and the characters in Boys over Flowers is my own invention, and it is not purported or believed to be part of Yoon JiRyun's original storyline. This story is for entertainment only.