Luke awoke from his dream in a cold sweat. He sat upright in bed panting quietly so as not to awaken Haley. He looked over at his wife and felt flooded with guilt. He had been with Addison in his dream. They were at school, in his apartment watching the Red Sox game. She was lying in his lap with her head resting gently on his chest. He could almost smell her just remembering.
The dream always ended the same way, Addison would get up from wherever they were for some reason, the topic of medical school would come up, and the fighting would begin. He woke up after yelling at her, telling her to leave, and watching her slam the door, not a tear on her porcelain face. It didn't matter what the setting in the dream was, it always finished as a nightmare, reflecting the truth that had taken place nearly twenty years ago. Luke walked around his house, getting some water, hoping to push all thoughts of Addison out of his head, after all, it had been nearly twenty years since they had seen each other; he continued to remind himself of his beautiful wife, and his three children as he went to sleep. Despite his attempts to coerce himself to sleep with thoughts of his beautiful family, Luke was plagued by thoughts of Addison, her straight chocolate hair, her fine unblemished porcelain skin, her clear blue eyes, and her long eyelashes, that rested on her rosy colored cheeks. He finally drifted off to sleep, thinking of her.
The next morning, Luke went for a run around the neighborhood. He had grown up in this neighborhood; his parents were just down the street from them, his brothers and their families in neighboring towns. They led a relatively quiet life. Luke was a doctor in family practice, he dealt with life's little annoyances, mostly prescribing baby aspirin and writing referrals for his patients. Addison would have hated his job, she wanted desperately to be a Cardio Thoracic Surgeon, she loved the blood and the guts; the blades, and the sterility; the panic, and the adrenaline. She would actually save lives; she had the power to give people their life back. Sometimes, when he ran Luke thought about Addison and envied the passion she had for her job, or future job, he had no idea what she was doing now.
He made it back to his house and got ready for work. Haley was still asleep; he kissed her on the forehead lightly and leaned over to kiss their youngest, Madison, on the cheek. The seven year old must have crawled into his bed when he went to run. In the middle of his shower he heard laughter; Madison had woken her mother. It was Madison's birthday this weekend; after work, Luke was going into the city to get her birthday present. An extraordinarily talented older gentleman ran a shop in the middle of the hustle and bustle and he had handcrafted Madison's dream dollhouse. It was finally ready, and Luke was going to pick it up. When Luke was ready for work, Haley was already downstairs making breakfast for everyone.
"Hi Honey," she said smiling brightly at him, he kissed her on the cheek and she handed him a plate full of pancakes. He sat down as all three of his kids fought. Jake, the oldest was fighting with Cliff who was teasing Madison. Madison was still in her pink pajamas and she crawled on her daddy's lap as he read the paper. She wiped at her eyes and he smiled lovingly at her.
"Jake stop picking on Cliff. Cliff, be nice to your sister, it's her birthday soon," he said sternly. Madison kissed her daddy exuberantly before jumping off of him and running upstairs, following her two brothers.
When Luke left for work, he was still thinking of Addison, after all it was no coincidence he had named his daughter Madison instead of a name rhyming with his wife's. Upon actually arriving at work, he didn't think about Addison at all; the clinic was flooded it was flu season. He got right to work seeing patients and had forgotten about Addison by the time he called Haley to tell her he was on his way to pick up Madison's gift.
Consumed by his frustration at not finding parking nearby, he stopped in at a coffee shop to quell his anger. As he walked out, he laid eyes on her, Addison, completely unchanged. She looked up at him from her book, her favorite book, The Fountainhead. She greeted him as she always did, raising both her eyebrows momentarily before they relaxed again. Luke stopped in his tracks, rooted to the spot.
It was like she was some mythical creature who never aged, although her hair had gotten long, as it had been their freshman year. They had been next-door neighbors. She had come out of the coed shower, with a dark blue towel wrapped around her, she greeted as she just had, by raising her eyebrows and then squeezing her dripping hair as she walked to her room. He was hooked from that moment on.
Realizing he was staring, he moved over to the lids and napkins island. He fumbled with the lid for his coffee and looked down to put it on his cup, mumbling what he would say. Variations of hello stranger, and hey there ran through his mind, and when he finally looked up at her, she had vanished.
He looked around to see if anyone else had noticed, but why would they? She was just a girl in a coffee shop. He contemplated her age as he walked to the dollhouse store. He chided himself for hallucinating; he must be tired from waking up in the middle of the night. He convinced himself that he had indeed been hallucinating Addison. After all, she would have changed, she would've looked older, she'd be 40, she would no doubt still be gorgeous, and her eyes would still hold him with their intensity, but she would have aged.
On the drive home it was all he could think of. He was consumed by thoughts of her, he replayed moments their shared in his head. Was he experiencing a midlife crisis? Where was Addison now? Was his constant longing of Addison a form of cheating on Haley? These questions battled each other for his thoughts, and as he thought of them, their terrible implications frightened him more and more. He had to put Addison out of his head; it had been nearly 20 years, almost to the day. The sheer fact that he remembered the day made him shudder as he pulled into his driveway.
A/N: This chapter is a bit short I know, but I wanted to really develop Luke in this chapter without introducing anything more because his thoughts are really important. He's not crazy or obsessed you'll see; he's just a guy who was in love with a girl once. Anyways, I hope you'll keep reading!!