It's 4:03 and I can't sleep without you next to me. I toss and turn like the sea. If I drown tonight, bring me back to life, breathe your breath in me. The only thing that I still believe in is you, if you only knew.
Let Me Know
my guardian angel sequel
The office was barren, and he didn't know if that made him feel nervous or at ease. There were tiny taps coming from the corner of the office where the secretary typed away on the computer; to him, the room smelt like a hospital, opposed to the acclaimed relaxed clinic that it was.
Scratch that, he felt irritated by the entire situation.
His walk to the secretary was with purpose. Blue eyes appraised him calculatingly, and before he could say a word, she pointed to the chair with a surprisingly warm smile.
"Alex West? You're right on time. Dr Kennedy will be with you in a moment."
He forced a smile on his face and turned his heel, just as the door opened.
"See you next week, James," came a warm, musical voice. Alex felt his whole body freeze.
"Dr Kennedy? Your next appointment is here."
The laughter sounding from behind him made lightheaded all of a sudden.
"I guess you're my surprise client." The smile was in her voice, and he turned around because he was compelled to do so.
Green eyes met hazel ones, and the former widened considerably.
She seemed to stare at him in shock, and he watched the different emotions play across her face. He couldn't help but think she was easy to read for a therapist; shouldn't they mask their emotions in front of their clients?
She took in a sharp breath and there was a comforting smile on her face. "Please, Alex, right this way."
Her office had a relaxing atmosphere, and as he took a seat, he felt her eyes probing his face. He was usually good with people, calm and relaxed around strangers, especially. But with this Dr Kennedy, he felt transparent. With the way she was staring, she could probably see right at his soul.
"You were put in by Mr Morris," Dr Kennedy noted as she flipped through her clipboard. "You're under his name. What's the story behind that?" She looked up expectantly, her gaze genuinely curious, and it refreshed him because lately, he's been getting tired of all the bullshit in his life.
Probably why Tom Morris practically shoved the appointment schedule down his throat… great friend, he was.
He eased himself into the couch and smiled lazily in her direction. "He thinks I need to let someone know about my life."
Her look was perplexed. "So you're paying one-hundred and twenty dollars per session to talk?"
His lips twitched. "You're complaining?"
A strange expression crossed her face, and he felt his spine straighten. Did he say something wrong? "Of course not. Anything particular about your life you would like to speak about?"
Was it just him, or did she seem sad?
Almost immediately after he noticed her mood, she straightened, and the soothing, gentle smile was once again on her face. He couldn't help but stare at her, because she was the most beautiful woman he has ever seen. Her fire engine red hair tickled the back of his mind, but he pushed the anomalous feeling away. He's been getting a lot of strange feelings ever since the accident.
"I would say no," he said, "but since Tom is paying, I'd make this his money's worth. He thinks I have mental disturbances."
Her look was vaguely amused. "Oh? And why is that?"
"There was this incident," he said in the same way he's had to explain his memory loss. "I don't… well, I don't exactly remember, but I was protecting someone, I knew that. But before that moment, I can't remember anything."
"I see." Her green eyes were unreadable, and his eyes stole to her hands. She wasn't writing anything down. "Do you remember who you were protecting?"
He shook his head. He's tried everything to remember. "I don't."
"This memory loss of yours… does it affect your way of living?"
"No." He thought of the answer again. "How is it supposed to affect me if I don't remember anything?" he asked.
Her grin was easy. "Well, there must be a reason Mr Morris sent you here. He doesn't do this often."
"Tell me about it," he murmured. "Well, sometimes I see something and I remember quick flashes, just feelings. They're nice feelings," he commented, noting her light smile, "but nothing more than that. I told Tom and he told me to see you."
"Because of feelings," she said skeptically. "There must be more."
"OK," he admitted with a grin, "Tom told me a little. We've been friends since high school, and he said that there was someone involved - that girl I protected - but he wouldn't tell me who."
"Doesn't that bother you?"
"I was curious, yeah." He shrugged. "But if I don't remember her, it doesn't really bother me."
"I see." She paused. "Did he say anything else?"
"Christabel knows," he said before he could think of another answer.
"Who is Christabel?"
He shot her an easy smile, "My fiancée."
"A fiancée," she repeated, a strange tone in her voice. He looked away from the wall to her face and saw the smile on her face. Taken aback, he watched her cross her legs over her knee. "So Christabel knows about the incident?"
"She was there at the hospital. She's been there the whole time."
"What did she tell you?"
The questions she was asking were questions he asked himself long ago. They didn't bother him, and the answers came out mechanically. He tried to make it light, but the nagging feeling at the back of his mind was growing pronounced.
"That someone hit my head. I lost my memory of the last few months." He frowned, shaking his head. "Someone else was with her. Red hair, like yours." He eyed her hair. "She left quickly, though, and Christabel said that she didn't know who she was."
There was some sort of silence he couldn't describe. He watched her watching him, the mask on her face making her look unfeeling. Suddenly, her lips tilted into a slight grin.
"Alex," she said, leaning forward slightly. He frowned a little, nodding in expectancy. Looking at her, he managed to catch the leak of pain in her eyes and he felt his own chest ache. She was too beautiful to hurt. "Have you ever had your heart broken?"
He looked at her blankly. "Not that I recall," he said slowly.
She giggled a little, leaning back and let a breath out. "That's good." She didn't wait for him to say anything. "How do you feel about this incident?" she asked.
"Indifferent," he said after a pause. No, not indifferent. He's been feeling strange feelings, but he didn't not how to describe them. He didn't pause to describe them, didn't think to describe them, because if he did, where would that lead him? Frustrated, he knew, and agonized, because he would never be able to know the absolute truth.
"You're not curious?" Her head was tilted to the side, her eyes focused on him squarely. "Ever wondered exactly how your forgot your memory?"
He frowned a little. "Clearly whoever hit me must've put force behind that throw." He winced, as if remembering the pain. Dr Kennedy was staring off a little over his shoulder. Her posture gave the impression of concentration, but he noted the way her eyes glazed. He saw her swallow lightly before sending him a slight smile.
"Did the hospital brief you with the details?"
He looked at her. "Christabel took care of that. She told me not to worry, and I didn't really ask." He tapped his fingers against his leg. "The cause of the trauma was a vase. You'd think it was more dramatic." He gave a short laugh, suddenly feeling his chest clench and it was difficult to breathe. It was suddenly difficult to think.
She laughed softly. "I would call it more than enough drama," she said lightly. "You spoke to the doctor, I presume?"
"Yeah. He said it was temporary memory loss as I started to recall memories. He said that I've recovered." He paused, his body heavy and empty. It was the same feeling he experienced for the past few months. "But I know I didn't." He smiled crookedly. "I know something's missing. But if I don't know it, then I can't exactly feel ache at the loss, can I? It seems pretty pointless."
"That's extremely interesting." She scribbled something on her notepad, but she surprised him by ripping the sheet off and handing it to him. "I want you to start a little assignment; it won't take long, I promise." She smiled sweetly and he couldn't deny her. "I would like for you to write anything down - anything you remember - about the incident. Any flash, how you felt, what it may have possibly looked like…." She stood up and crossed to where he was sitting. "Keep a notepad with you at all times, in case you remember, until our next meeting. It was nice to meet you, Alex."
He grasped her much smaller hand and shot her an easy grin. "Thanks for your time…" he trailed off, realizing he didn't get her name. "Do you prefer Dr Kennedy? I bet you aren't that much older than me." He nudged her jokingly, watching in completely fascination the way a light shade of pink lighted her cheeks.
She smiled beautifully, and he saw a hint of dimples on her cheeks. "Actually, I do prefer Kennedy." She nudged him back a little. "Maybe I'll tell you soon."
"Drinking already?" Tom Morris slid onto the stool next to him. His grin was crooked, his eyes crinkled in amusement.
Alex nodded to him with a slight grin, "I've been nursing this for a while," Alex responded, leaning against the counter. His eyes strayed to the band playing at the front and the large crowd in front of the stage. Tom followed his gaze, presumably to find where Christabel went. Alex knew what he thought of her.
"Where is she?" he asked, the familiar tinge of distaste entering his voice. Alex had to snicker.
"She's with her friends." Alex felt his head pounding, but since Tom was there, he didn't bother reaching to rub the ache away. He would only jump to conclusions. It was because of him that he was now seeing a therapist. "You wanted to talk?"
"Alex, my man, do I need a reason to talk to my best bud?" He flashed a toothy grin, but quickly sobered when Alex appraised him with a calm and expectant look. "How did the session go?"
He shrugged. His mind flashed to the red-haired beauty, and he frowned at the instinctive feeling of protection he felt towards her. It was ridiculous, but it was there. "We just talked about the incident." He traced the rim of his cup. "Told me to write anything down if I remembered."
"It was only about you?"
Alex had to laugh. "Well, you are paying her to have me talk about my 'problems'," he quoted wryly. "Tom, seriously, I'm fine. This is only a waste of money."
Tom's expression was unreadable, but he detected a sort of sad look in his eyes. "It's not a waste," was what he said.
They were silent. Ever since he told Tom that he was proposing to Christabel, the former seemed to act disturbed. The questions came, the accusations, and finally, Tom's demand for him to see a therapist. Of course, he questioned his best friend's sanity. Tom was fine with the incident; he didn't pressure him to remember. But now….
"So tell me why I'm doing this again," Alex sighed.
Tom chuckled. "Because you'll be making the biggest mistake of your life if you don't. Whether you know it or not, it'll be there."
She was wearing a green blouse with a white skirt. Her hair was a cascading waterfall of red behind her back. Alex straightened from his sprawled position on the chair he claimed to be his, and watched Dr Kennedy rush into the room.
She seemed to freeze midway when she realized that he was inside. Biting his lip to stifle his smile, he raised a hand in greeting.
An embarrassed giggle spilled from her and she straightened. "Alex! Hi!" she greeted brightly, the pink rising to her cheeks quickly. Amusingly fascinated, he watched her tilt her head, her hair slipping over her shoulders. A small frown quirked his eyebrows at the sight.
"A what?" she asked quizzically as she tilted her head to one side. He watched the way her silky hair would fall over her shoulders and he resisted the urge to tuck her hair behind her ears.
"I am so sorry, I'll be with you in a moment." She dropped large files on her desk and turned her heel.
Dazedly, he watched the spot she was previously standing in, desperately trying to search the memory in hopes of an extension. He clenched his hand, and without thinking, he grabbed the blank notepad in his pocket she handed him a few days ago and wrote what came to mind.
Unseeingly, he stared at his scribble, not bothering to read what he'd written. He knew that he would find it absurd and scratch it off. Maybe he'll keep it, this one time. Not for him, of course, but for Tom… because he was paying for this.
Alex chuckled darkly at his thoughts and pocketed the notepad. God, I'm going crazy.
When she reentered, her smile was brilliant. "I'm sorry about that. Gloria mentioned that you were coming in today, but I'm so used to my old schedule…" she trailed off. "Sorry, that makes me seem unprofessional." She grinned sheepishly and took her seat. "But I am, I promise."
Her reassurance amused him. "I believe you," he said. Dr Kennedy's smile was sweet.
"So," she began, gesturing towards him. "How are you?" Her voice was genuine, as if she truly cared about his well-being. Alex shook his head and leaned forward, his elbows supporting him on his thighs.
"I'm fine." He grinned slightly, nodding towards her. "And yourself?"
"Oh, I'm fine," she answered automatically, but then straightened. "Wait, this is your session," she playfully shot him a look and folded her hands on her lap. He, almost reluctantly in awe, noted the way her green shirt brought the colour out of her eyes brilliantly. "How is life at home?"
"I live alone," he replied listlessly, "so there isn't much, except for work and lounging in front of the television." He shot her a crooked grin. He felt at ease in her presence, almost as if he were talking to an old friend.
"Do you cook?" Her smile was amused.
He rubbed the back of his neck sheepishly. "Uh, not exactly. Does the microwave count?"
She waggled her eyebrows with a giggle. "I don't think so, Mr West." Sighing, she leaned back. "Okay, so now that I've eased into the conversation," she shot him a smile, "how's the notepad going?"
He practically felt the burn of the words he wrote. Strangely enough, he didn't want to show it to her, at least not yet. Instead, he shook his head. "Blank."
"I'm sure the memories will come around." She smiled reassuringly. "What did your fiancée say about your sessions?"
"Ah, actually, Tom made me promise not to tell her about it until my fifth session."
Her eyebrows shot up. Somehow, he expected that reaction from her. "Don't you think she'll be a little upset?" she asked skeptically.
His laugh was short. "Maybe."
Her tone was vaguely amused and interested. "Elaborate, please."
He waved her off before sighing. "Tom and Christabel don't exactly get along." He was frowning. "Before the incident, I knew for a fact that they were good friends. But they got into a huge fight - she still won't talk about it - and now I'm the one stuck in the middle." He shrugged at her concerned glance.
"Did Mr Morris - Tom - tell you about it?"
"Trust me, I've tried. Now I just leave them alone and try to ignore it."
She was tapping her finger against her knee, a thoughtful expression on her face. "Tell me about Christabel."
He didn't expect that. For a moment, all he could do was stare blankly at her before a smile tugged his lips at the reminder of his best friend. "She's great. We grew up together and she's just… she's just always been there." He made a useless gesture with his hand and dropped it with a chuckle. "She's temperamental and she can be a bitch, but I can't help but put up with her." He smiled a crooked smile. "She's all I've got."
Dr Kennedy's tap slowed down and she was observing him through a soft, but calculating gaze.
"You love her," she said after a pause.
He smiled slightly, "I'm marrying her, aren't I?" His voice was gentle and soft, but he couldn't help but feel that there was a strange tone to those words. He was marrying Christabel. He figured that since they started dating, the natural next step would be marriage. Wouldn't it? She told him she loved him, and she knew he loved her… what was stopping them?
"Touché," she giggled and leaned back. "If you retrieved your memories, what are you planning on doing?" she questioned, tilting her head to one side. Alex zeroed the movement and couldn't help but feel warmth spread through his chest.
And suddenly, it was just the two of them in the world. He stared straight ahead, conveniently at her, trying to remember the feeling that suddenly overcame his body. It was soothing, but it made him feel powerful. He could almost feel her small hand in his, and he unconsciously clenched his hand.
He was pulled out of his reverie with a sharp exhale. "I'm sorry, what did you say?"
But she was watching him closely, "What just happened, Alex?"
He couldn't lie to her eyes. "Just the strange feeling," he admitted with a shrug, silently begging God not to have him repeat what he felt because he knew he would sound ridiculous. She waited patiently, and he inwardly concluded that he had no choice but to tell her, because he knew that he wasn't going to write this down. "Sometimes I would get an odd, comforting feeling. I don't know. It's a really happy moment, but I don't know why I'm happy. I just am."
He shrugged awkwardly, trying to avoid the sudden small smile that graced her features.
He was just happy? How bizarre did that sound? he thought wryly.
"Is it safe to assume that Tom has no idea of this?" her laughing tone cut through his frantic thoughts.
He looked up with a slight smile, "That's a safe bet," he agreed.
"Do you believe that these flashes have anything to do with Christabel?" Dr Kennedy's sweet voice reached his ears.
He observed her for a moment and sighed. "No." Did that make him bad? That he felt happier than he's ever been in that one moment than he ever has felt in the presence of his fiancée?
"And why not?"
"Because if it had anything to do with Christabel, I would be feeling the same way with her all the time, opposed to those useless flashes I get," he muttered bitterly. He ran a hand over his face, feeling the exhaustion ripping inside his body. If he stayed on the topic of his incident too long, especially the unanswered questions, he started to feel a little tense.
God, why did he have to lose his memory?
"What do you think these flashes relate to?" Her voice was gentle, as if realizing his state. He smiled in appreciation, and exhaled.
"It's not exactly what, it's more of a who," he replied lowly. He stared hard at the ground, tracing the pattern of millions of tiny stones. They weren't even patterns, but it entranced his eyes all the same. His chest was tight with the unrelenting desire to just know, to stop wondering.
But as always, it was no use. No matter how long he sat in silence, racking his brain, he would never remember clearly.
"I think I loved her," he said suddenly, looking up from the ground. He was startled to see that she hasn't moved from her position, and upheld the focused look in her eyes. There was a sort of consoling, sweet smile on her face that made him stop and stare. Not because she was beautiful, but because he felt like he's seen her smile somewhere, before, long ago…
"You think?" she questioned.
He was pulled out of his reverie. Shaking his head, he lowered his chin. "Yeah," he muttered. "I think I was in love with someone. I can remember her laugh, sometimes," he smiled a little, almost self-deprecatingly. He missed the look of misery that flashed through Dr Kennedy's eyes at his demeanor. He shook his head roughly. "I'm sorry, but what time is it?"
Dr Kennedy slowly looked at the clock hanging above the wall and swallowed lightly. "Right. Your time is up. It was nice to see you, Alex."
He could barely smile politely at her. "Likewise."
He was already out the door when she stood up from her seat.
When he said that it didn't bother him that he didn't remember her - he lied.
He lied straight through his fucking teeth.
He stopped running; he didn't care for the sweat soaking through his shirt, or the ache shooting up his legs. He grinded his teeth, and with a snarl, pulled his fist back before punching the tree conveniently to his right. He ignored the ache and blood on his knuckles.
He felt a frustrated sob rise to his throat, but he didn't release it. Instead, he swallowed the pain and collapsed on the grass, leaning back as his arms supported his upper body. He stared up at the clear, blue sky.
He wanted it to rain, long, hard and heavy. He wanted to feel the raindrops beat against his skin until he couldn't feel anymore.
Tom wasn't stupid. He knew what he was doing, telling him to go see a therapist; he clearly needed one. Alex sometimes wondered if he was clinically depressed, because what else would this feeling be? It was rampaging his entire essence. It was an agonizing feeling, practically feeling and knowing the memory… but at the same time, he didn't. It wasn't his, it didn't belong to his mind.
It was within his grasp, but no matter how hard he pushed himself, he couldn't seem to reach it. He - just - fucking - couldn't.
"Fuck," he muttered lowly, agonizingly, letting his head roll forward. Suddenly, he felt his cell phone vibrate, and unenthusiastically, he pulled it out of his pocket. Christabel.
What was he doing? His mind flashed to the session, feeling the pain intensify within his chest. What was he doing to her? To him?
"Hey," he said, trying to inject as much life into his voice was he can. He felt the sting of his hand, and he scowled, briefly berating himself. He was not the type of person to take his anger out on… trees. He felt stupid.
"Hi, Alex!" Christabel's animated voice reached his ears. "Oh, my God, you won't believe it. You know Rachel? Yeah, well, guess what?"
He smirked slightly, closing his eyes; he tilted his head towards the sky, letting the sun's rays warm his skin. "What?"
"She's pregnant," she breathed, her voice almost fascinated. "We're all so excited, Alex. I just wanted to tell you." Her voice was playful.
He chuckled. "That is exciting news." He rubbed the back of his neck.
"I can't wait to have a family with you."
He froze. The words suddenly made his whole body go cold, and his chest felt empty. A family, huh? Well, they were getting married. Why wouldn't they have a family?
His head snapped forward, and his eyes met brilliant green. Her gaze was worried, but that clearly wasn't the reason as to why he couldn't look away.
"Alex? Are you with someone?" Christabel's voice was puzzled.
Dr Kennedy laughed a light, helpless laugh before motioning to his cell phone. "You're leaving them hanging," she said lightly and bent down to his level unexpectedly.
"Shit -" He focused his attention to Christabel. "Uh, sorry Christabel, but I'm going to have to call you back."
"Alex -" He shut his cell phone closed.
"What're you doing?" His words were abrupt.
She stopped midway from rustling in her giant purse to look up at him in bewilderment. She looked at him blankly, before slowly, deliberately, dragging her gaze to his injured hand. She looked back at him expectantly.
He had to smirk. "Touché."
She only smiled and pulled out a green handkerchief. He never knew people still carried those around.
"I don't have a mini First Aid kit," she said jokingly, "so this'll have to do."
He watched her wrap his hand; he didn't bother asking why she was doing this. He had a feeling that she'd only evade his question. "Shouldn't you be at work?" He didn't sound rude, only curious; because after all, he wasn't her last appointment.
She didn't look at him. "I should be, actually." She smiled briefly at the spot over his head. "I was just worried, that's all." She pointedly looked at his injured hand, before finally, her eyes met his.
Her voice was gentle. "Sometimes you need someone to watch over you."
He opened his mouth, but she was already walking away.
The sheepish expression was already on his face as he slowly pushed the door open and stepped into the office growing steadily familiar. She was bent over her drawer, her red hair falling over her shoulders. Inhaling sharply, he tapped the opened door lightly.
She looked up, surprised written on her face. "Mr West," she breathed, before a breathtaking smile lit her face. "Hi."
That one word made him feel pleasant. Even though it sounded stupid, it was just the way it was. He smiled a half grin, "Hey."
She straightened, before she placed a hand on her hip, a playful frown on her face. "Can I ask you where you've been? I haven't heard from you in almost two weeks."
Alex closed the door behind him, but didn't take a seat quite yet. Dr Kennedy went around her desk to face him, a playful determined look on her face. Oh, he knew that she was expecting him. Tom let him know too. He just couldn't find it in himself to pick up the phone and tell her that seeing her wasn't a good idea. He couldn't even listen to her messages for fuck's sake.
It still wasn't, but the level of his willpower decreased. He couldn't stop the gravitational pull between them.
Yeah, he admitted it. Dr Kennedy provoked feelings in him that, honestly, scared the shit out of him. He couldn't even talk about his turmoil to his therapist because - well would you look at that - it was about her. The irony.
Honestly, he wasn't as bitter as he let on. Life was just a downward spiral. How was he going to admit to Christabel that maybe marrying her wasn't such a good idea, mostly - mainly - because he was starting to feel unexplainable feelings for this Kennedy enigma. And he was pretty sure that you shouldn't go into marriage if you aren't one-hundred percent sure about your decision.
"I got your messages," he let her know… too bad he didn't listen to a single one. God knows what her voice does to him. He rubbed the back of his neck, hating that he was lying. "They were busy weeks, is all. You know, wedding preparations, and Chris wanted me to be there."
He could've sworn her smile fell, but it was probably just him. Her smile was still brilliant. "It's fine," she assured cheerily. "Take a seat, I'll be right back."
She walked out of the room and closed the door behind her form.
She was back in two minutes. "So, Alex, tell me about these past two weeks?" Was it just him, or did her smile seem a little too forced?
He watched her intently. "They were busy, as I said. They couldn't decide on two types of the same colour." His voice was dry. "So I'd also say it was boring as hell." He expected her to giggle, but she just nodded with that same smile. "How was your two weeks?"
"Fine," she said absentmindedly, making notes about god knows what in her notepad. What the hell was she writing? She never wrote anything down. "Have you been writing anything down?"
Startled that she went right at it, he stared at her for a few moments incomprehensively. Dr Kennedy had a concentrated look on her face, but when she looked up, she looked confused.
He snapped out of it. "No," he answered with a lie. It was stupid to tell her that he almost associated the feelings in his memories with what he felt when he thought of her. How completely unprofessional. He almost snorted at his thought.
She nodded in understanding. "It's fine," she assured him, and he felt himself relax in relief. There was the Dr Kennedy he knew. She smiled a warm smile. "Actually, we were going to try something today. You up for it?"
"Do I really have a choice?" he asked jokingly, opposed to the wry, sarcastic one he had on default.
She smirked rather cutely. "No, I'm sorry." She paused, and seemed to be inwardly debating a matter in her head. Her eyebrows were narrowed ever-so-slightly and watching her, he felt his hands rise on their own accord, almost like - like he wanted to… pull her to him.
Tensed, he straightened and awaited her words.
"Bear with me, okay?" she said rather wryly, and he saw her cheeks turn a light shade of pink. "We're going to the amusement park."
His eyebrows shot up. "The amusement park," he repeated, unsure if he heard correctly.
She inhaled sharply and smiled. "Yes, the amusement park." But if he didn't know any better, it were almost as if she were forcing the words out of her throat. "Well, to be honest, Tom inputted the idea. He called just this morning to get an update of your progression. What we discuss is confidential," she hastily reassured as if she were afraid I'd sue her or something. "But he wanted to know if anything has changed at all." Her lips tilted slightly. "He's worried about you."
Alex watched her, an unreadable expression on his face. Tom was worried. As if he didn't know that.
But the way she said it made his chest clench.
"So he suggested the amusement park?" he asked dryly.
"Yes, sir," she said cheerily, but she sensed his mood. "Why? Do you have a problem with amusement parks?"
"No." They just made him completely miserable.
"I'm a therapist," she reminded him. "You're paying me to discuss your problems. You don't need coaxing if you came here willingly."
"But Tom -"
"But you came here today. Willingly." She shot him a pointed look, but it wasn't condescending. It was sweet and it made him smile. Sighing, he rubbed the back of his neck. Where was he supposed to start? He felt like the life is sucked out of him whenever he stepped into an atmosphere remotely like an amusement park resonated? He knew it had to do with something he forgot. Maybe something horrible happened. Maybe something wonderful. If anything, it had to do with the girl he was once in love with.
God, strong feelings were provoked even after memories were erased… it had to mean something. It can't not.
"How is Christabel?" Dr Kennedy asked lightly when he made no further indication that he was going to continue with the previous topic. Alex shook himself out of his reverie, his mind flashing to his best friend. She was fine; great, even.
But that was because she didn't know about these sessions. He briefly wondered what she would do if she discovered it was all Tom's doing.
"She still doesn't know I come here," he said.
"Oh? What do you tell her?"
"Nothing. She assumes I'm off with Tom." He shot her a crooked grin when she shook her head good-naturedly. "So… the amusement park?"
She quirked an eyebrow. "You sure? It'll certainly surpass your one hour requirement." She hesitated. "If you have plans, then -"
He nodded, cutting her off. "As long -" as you're with me.
What the fuck?
"As long as what, Mr West?"
He looked away from her. "Nothing."
He couldn't stop himself from laughing. She was just so… unprofessional that he couldn't help but smile. The way she tried to eat her cotton candy reminded him of a child; she wasn't neat. She was scowling and struggling, muttering god-knows-what under her breath. He thought it was cute.
He swiped a strand that managed to attach itself in her gorgeous hair. "You missed a spot," he said cheekily.
Her responding smile made his chest clench in the way where all he could think that she was too beautiful to be alone. Why the hell didn't she have a boyfriend anyway? Did she have a boyfriend? For some strange reason, the thought didn't settle too well with him. It almost made him feel… jealous.
"They're so good," she said with a laugh, "but I always struggle with them, no matter what."
"May you should try eating it with your hands instead of shoving it all down your throat?" he suggested, smirking when her head shot up to him. Dr Kennedy looked disappointed.
"But then I wouldn't get the real feel for an amusement park," she said.
"It's all in the rides," he drawled, casting his eyes to the roller coasters with people screaming, completely exhilarated. He took in a deep breath, quelling down the dark sensation clawing at his chest. God, he completely had issues. Why did he feel so fucking wretched whenever he was here?
He felt something grab his hand. And everything was suddenly okay.
"Let's go," she said eagerly, already tugging him towards the nearest coaster. She stopped abruptly. "Oh, but if I pass out from screaming my heart out, then…" she hesitated, "actually, wait and see if I get up after five minutes, okay? If I don't then you can get… why are you laughing?" she demanded, a smile threatening to pull at her lips. "I'm serious!"
"Sure," he drawled.
"You don't believe me?" She sounded completely offended.
It was a girl's voice. "You… are totally wrong."
The voice was humoured. "Really."
"Yes. You don't know what on earth you're going on about. You're hallucinating. In fact, you're in a dream, right now. This conversation is not happening, and the last five minutes of the car drive never happened either."
She sounded offended. "What, you don't believe me?"
He blinked out of his momentary daze, but when he looked at her, she was looking at him not as a joking companion, but as his therapist. The calculating and alert look in her eyes made him feel tense, but he relaxed when he acknowledged the softness in her gaze. He felt his chest tighten, and the notepad he carried everywhere he went - it felt heavy in his pocket.
He smiled slightly with a shrug, "Felt it again." He sighed, running a hand through his hair. "You did something that reminded me of… that time." There was no use in lying to her. Why would he lie? There was no point, not anymore. She was there to help, so he was going to let her help. What's the harm in that?
Apart from the obvious attraction, but he didn't count that. It was all science; all chemistry. Their pheromones reacted… remarkably well. Yeah. Just science.
A smile peeked through. "Do you remember?"
He frowned, his thoughts muddled. "No." He wasn't even going to wrack his brain. He'd rather spend all the time he could with her.
Alex stopped at that thought.
She hummed under her breath in understanding. He wondered how she went through school and the competition in this field of psychology. She seemed too nice to survive. He wanted to know about her school life, so he asked her. She told him about her late nights and near-depression moments. He knew the feeling; university almost destroyed him.
But she loved her job, so she said it was all worth it. Of course she would say that. He smirked at her in silence. They were waiting in line. He didn't understand how this contributed to his session, but he wasn't complaining. He was enjoying himself. More so than he has in the past few weeks.
"Oh no," she said, her voice completely horrified as if she just remembered. "Did you tell Christabel?"
He blinked, staring at her blankly. "What? No."
"Because… she doesn't need to know what I'm doing every second of my life?" he answered impulsively. She smacked him, as if automatically, making him laugh. "What," he said with a smile, rubbing is biceps jokingly. "I texted her saying I'll be home late."
She frowned. "That sounds… ominous."
He waggled his eyebrows. "Completely."
Dr Kennedy rolled her eyes, but he caught the smile on her face as she turned away. "It'd be nice to know," she said after a pause. "If… I had a boyfriend - fiancé - it'd be nice if he told me where he was spending his time."
He observed her. "But for you - you'd want to know so you wouldn't worry." She cast him a confused look. "You're the type to worry about someone," he explained, "the only reason you'd want to know where your boyfriend was -" Was it wrong to feel the need to destroy this hypothetical boyfriend? "- is so he's okay."
Her puzzled expression didn't slip. "Isn't that the reason?"
He shook his head. "Christabel wants to know because she's controlling." He laughed a short laugh. "God, if she found out I was with someone like you…" He trailed off. He didn't even want to imagine that scenario. She would immediately lash out and accuse him. It wasn't her fault; it was just the way she was. Christabel has always been insecure, and he did his best to assure her.
But sometimes he needed time to himself. She wanted to squeeze into every aspect of his life. He couldn't even use the washroom without her knowing, for crap's sake. She was like a hawk.
Gotta love his best friend.
"I'm safe," she assured, laughter in her tone.
He cast her a dry glance. "You sure?" Because he sure as hell wasn't sure anymore.
Her eyebrows shot up, as if she were ready to defend herself. "Of course!" She grinned brilliantly, her eyes shining with amusement. He felt himself hold his breath when her eyes locked with his. Damn, what her eyes can do. "I mean, I couldn't even do anything to you if I tried," she said wryly.
"What do you mean?" he chuckled.
"Like… hurt you." She nodded sagely. "I couldn't hurt a fly."
"Looks like it," he teased, tugging her red hair. He eyed the hair in his hand, newly entranced. An odd expression settled on his face. He… couldn't stop staring. "This your real colour?"
She seemed like she was holding her breath, but when she answered, she sounded perfectly normal. "Yep."
"Hm." He released the strands, an odd silence between them. It wasn't awkward or uncomfortable. It was, well, unexplainable. He felt like he was missing something. He looked at her from the corner of his eye. She seemed to be deep in thought, her eyes faraway. He cleared under throat discreetly. He didn't like her being silent. He felt like she was slowly detaching herself away from him. "It's nice," he offered lamely.
He almost smacked himself. Amazing. He should've thought of what to say before blurting anything out.
She blinked out of her reverie, glancing at him with a slight smile. "Thanks," she said quietly.
Oh fuck. This was just great. He felt his heart sinking. Did he do something? Dr Kennedy was never quiet like this. Something was tugging at him inside, but he couldn't place his finger on it. He resisted the urge to whirl her around to face him and demand what was wrong. He really didn't like seeing her like this.
"Uh," he ventured, his mind blanking. "Dr Kennedy?"
Her eyes shuttered before a smile lightened her face. "Sorry about that," she apologized. "I was just thinking. I keep forgetting to stay professional with you," she joked. "You make it easy to be myself."
He stared at her. He didn't know what to say about that.
"I don't care," he told her bluntly. "You can be yourself. We're not in your office, are we?" She opened her mouth to protest. He set her with a challenging look. "I don't." His voice was hard. "So you shouldn't either."
They eyed each other silently, willing for the other to break first.
"You were always stubborn," she sighed, looking away.
He smirked in triumph - until her words hit him.
He frowned. "What do you mean?"
She seemed to freeze, and if he weren't watching her closely, he wouldn't have noticed. She had a way of hiding her feelings. Her body betrayed her, but she reacted fast enough that if someone who wasn't paying attention would've missed it completely.
"I know you well enough to say that you're stubborn, I believe," she said casually, her tone perfected to sound joking.
But no. The words were strange. She used it as if they were long time friends. She also said it under the breath, as if without much thought. He knew she meant more. There was more. His brain began to go overdrive, filing through his memories. Shit, this was something else.
"Oh look," she said. "We're at the front!"
He quirked an eyebrow at her back. She sounded too relieved. He smirked to himself, following after her. Oh yeah, there was definitely more.
The sky had a golden glow to it. Kids were running around happily with their mothers chasing after them in agitation, but he was suddenly hyper aware of all the couples around them. It was like a scene straight from the movies. Of course he'd start to notice couples holding hands around this time. It was picture perfect.
"Let's go on the Ferris wheel," he said, looking up at said ride. "We haven't been on that one."
She nodded in agreement, her face stuffed with orange popsicle. He chuckled to himself, following her. The line wasn't long, but it was long enough to notice the silence between them. Dr Kennedy hasn't said much, but he noticed her watching him when she thought he wasn't looking. He figured it had something to do with her job, but - damn it.
Forget it. It was stupid to think that maybe - maybe -
"Look troubled," her voice reached his ears. He looked at her. "Let's talk about it."
"Aren't you blunt."
"You are paying me for it," she joked.
He smiled faintly, but didn't continue. She didn't press the matters. Soon, they were sitting in the cart, slowly watching the ground grow farther and farther away.
"I forgot to mention," came her voice sounding short. He looked up. She was tense, holding onto the side of the cart. "I'm afraid of heights."
He barked out a laugh. "What? But you love roller coasters."
"There's no time to notice how high I am," she protested. She actually looked a little pale. "This is slow enough for me to think of ways I can die."
He couldn't stop laughing. "Do you want me to come there and hold your hand?"
She shot him a look that made him freeze. "Don't you dare move from your side," she warned, "it'll completely throw us off balance." And just because she said not to move, he started to get up. "Alex, I swear! Don't you dare -"
And of course, he started to shake the cart for fun.
"I'm going to kill you!"
He stopped, unable to breathe. "How professional," he managed to comment. He looked up at silence, seeing her eyes screwed shut. He felt his heart soften. "Hey, you're alive aren't you?" He really did want to hold her hand.
She was forcing herself to breathe evenly, and when she opened her eyes, she automatically looked out the window. "I love sunsets," she said after a while. They weren't moving anymore, so they had an amazing view of the park and the sun. The golden glow was more pronounced, and it reflected off her majestically. She was gorgeous. She really was.
"Me too," he said, finally tearing his eyes from her. He felt a peaceful sensation settle over his chest. He could breathe easier, and… he could just be like this forever. It was nice. He closed his eyes to relish in the moment.
"You know," he said after a while, looking up at her with a smirk, "I haven't been here in a while," he grew silent, picking his words carefully. "Places like this… they made me feel miserable. But now I think I just imagined that feeling." He shot her a crooked grin. "With you, it's almost bearable."
She cracked a smile, but didn't say anything.
So of course he frowned. She always had something to say.
"You okay, doc?"
She made a sound at the back of her throat, nodding her head rapidly. "Yes."
He laughed a little. "Liar. Your eyes get big when you lie, you know?"
"Why are you looking at me like that?"
"Liar. Your eyes get big when you lie, you know?"
She grinned a small grin. "I know." Her voice was barely above a whisper. "It's horrible."
"I know. It's horrible."
His smile began to fall. The words escaped him without much thought. "Whatever happened to the girl that said lying was bad?"
Time seemed to freeze. There was something powerful in this moment; he felt it. His whole body was scorching fire because he knew it was there. Dr Kennedy was staring at him with eyes he couldn't even begin to describe. He saw fear and apprehension. He saw the sadness. He also saw the dying hope.
Oh God, he wanted to make her smile.
"Still in here," she finally answered in a thick voice.
"Still in here." The girl put her hand over her heart.
The ride stopped moving. When did it even start again? They were jolted out of the moment, and he never wanted time to go back as badly as he did in that moment. Because whatever transpired between them - he knew that she wasn't going to talk about it. She would hide behind the therapist card. She would evade the question stealthily.
He knew she knew what happened. But he didn't know how to bring it up without her closing him off just as fast.
So neither of them moved.
"What," he began slowly, "was that?"
Dr Kennedy looked at him with a smile. "Why don't you tell me?"
The cart door opened and she stood up. When the hell did they even get down? He watched her exit, a playful smile on her face. She knew. What the fuck. She wasn't going to tell him.
Shaking his head, he stood up and followed her. He didn't feel frustrated, to his surprise. He felt… content, almost.
"Christabel," he began the next session with those words, "thinks I'm cheating on her."
Dr Kennedy's gaze was amused. "What'd you tell her?"
Alex leaned back in his chair, a smirk on her lips. "Well, I let her yell for a while, trying to think of ways to escape," he joked. She giggled. "But then I told her to shut up and that I wasn't." He sighed, rubbing his head. "Unnecessary stress."
"Well, gee. I wonder why she thinks that," she shot him a pointed look.
He smiled cheekily. "Me too." She rolled her eyes on cue.
"How are you?" she asked the same was she usually did. He shrugged in response, trying to think of words to explain the thoughts plaguing his mind. He played with the notebook in his pocket. To his surprise, it was halfway completed with his scribbling. He never read any of what he wrote down, but he knew what was there. Of course he did. The feelings were sharper. He could almost remember -
"It's been more than five sessions," her voice broke through his thoughts. "Does she know?"
He looked up at her. "No."
"Are you going to tell her?"
He shrugged. "Maybe." At her reproachful look, he sighed. "Trust me, I've thought about it. I don't even know where to begin explaining this to her." He smiled crookedly. "She's… temperamental and judges quickly. I don't have the patience at the moment."
Dr Kennedy laughed. "Well, why doesn't she come here then? I'll be your mediator." There was something else in her eyes. A sort of quiet wistfulness.
He felt guarded. "You sure? She'll probably yell at you too."
She smiled. "I think I can handle it."
Christabel was humming. Alex felt himself tighten his hands on the wheel. She didn't know where they were going, telling her it was a surprise. God, he hoped that she wasn't expecting him to bring her somewhere fancy. They were going to a clinic, for crap's sake. He always chuckled out loud at that. Yeah, she was definitely in for a surprise.
"Alex?" the pretty brown haired said in confusion. "Why are we at a clinic?"
He sighed, taking the key out of the hole. "Remember when we got into a huge argument of me cheating on you?" She stiffened, but nodded. She wasn't frowning, so he knew that she wasn't mad. She was only listening, and he thanked God that she was doing so. He rolled his eyes. "Still can't believe you'd think that."
She scoffed. "Well, Alex, if you're gone during the week without so much of a word - and you cancel dinner plans out of no where - obviously I'd start to wonder." But she started to look worried now. "You're not sick, are you? Is that why we're at a clinic?" She reached for his hand. "Oh God, Alex, why the hell did you keep this from me?"
He laughed, shaking his head. "Chris, it's nothing." He stopped. "Well, it is something." He sighed, getting out of the car. She followed suit. "I'm in therapy."
He nodded, walking inside the building. "Tom signed me off. He's paying. I've been going for the past three months."
"Why… why didn't you talk to me?" Her voice was small. "Did you not think I could help?"
He sighed, trying not to get frustrated. She didn't understand. "Christabel," he said slowly, stopping right in front of Dr Kennedy's office. "They're about the incident. My memories. Me not knowing is fucking killing me, and you turn your head away whenever I ask you about it!" He tried to stay calm. "Tom noticed so he's helping me out."
Christabel suddenly looked angry. "Alex, the only reason I don't dwell on it is because nothing happened! You were in this freak accident, and now you're better. There's no use in -"
The door opened and curious eyes peeked through with a pretty head. "Hi," she said, her voice with suppressed laughter. Of course she'd find this amusing. A smile began to tug at his face. "Am I interrupting something?"
"Yes," he said teasingly. He turned to look at Christabel - only to see her gone completely white. She was staring at Dr Kennedy with wide eyes. "Let's go." He didn't give her a chance to rebut and gently guided her inside the room. Dr Kennedy closed the door behind her and walked to her usual seat.
The doctor took one look at the girl beside her and smiled. "I take it he just bombarded you with his situation?"
Alex shrugged. "It was the only way to bring her here and avoid the yelling." He grinned at Christabel to show that he was joking, but she was tense and pale. He frowned. "Chris?"
But she wasn't listening.
"I told you to stay away," Christabel said, her voice raw with emotion. He saw her eyes start to fill with tears and she stood up. Alex recognized the stand; she was ready to blow up. He narrowed his eyes, looking from his best friend to Dr Kennedy who also stood up. "I told you to stay away!" she repeated furiously.
The redhead held her hands up. "Christabel, if you can sit and -"
"No!" Christabel wiped her eyes roughly. "What're you trying to do, huh?" Her voice broke. "How'd you even know we were going to get married? I love him. He was mine first." Her voice caught. "He's been doing fine without you. He can do so for the rest of his life."
There was tense silence. Alex's mind was whirling. He looked at Kennedy, and he saw her take a step back. She inhaled and smiled a forced smile. God, that didn't look right on her.
"Christabel, please, if you can -"
"Fine." Her acceptance made his blood run cold. She sat down, her back ramrod straight. "What do you want?"
Dr Kennedy sighed. "I missed you," she said so quietly that Alex thought he imagined the words.
Christabel said nothing.
"Hold up," Alex said, rubbing his temples. "You two know each other." He stated the words.
"Yes," Christabel answered.
Dr Kennedy smiled apologetically. "I didn't think it was my place to tell you."
He felt confused. He didn't know what to feel. "Why not?"
"Don't," Christabel said the word dangerously low. But he looked at her and she was gazing at Dr Kennedy with plead in her eyes. "Please."
The redhead started to talk but fell silent. She cleared her throat, smiling a small smile. "Of course," she replied softly. "You love him."
"Well I want to know," Alex interjected. His mind began to whirl and he looked at his fiancée. "Christabel, I took these sessions from Tom because I knew I needed help. You wouldn't help me, so I took it." His voice was hard. "I've been dying inside, Chrissy," he said, his words now soft. "There's something missing, and I needed to know what it was."
Christabel looked at him, pain in her eyes. "But Alex…"
He shook his head. "Dr Kennedy's helping me remember." He smiled slightly. "It doesn't hurt as much to think about it. I don't always feel agonized. Sometimes I even feel happy."
"Why?" The word was sharp. "Did I not make you happy?"
He didn't bother biting. "You know what happened," he said, trying not to sound accusatory, but it was just that. Christabel knew what happened to him, but she refused to speak about it. What he wanted to know was why. "Just tell me what happened. If I don't know, then I'll never get over it."
Her next words surprised him. "You were in love with her." But she said it with a broken tone. There was also venom in her voice. "God, you were so in love with her."
"Who?" the word escaped him without thought.
"No one." She said after a pause. "She's gone."
Alex frowned. "She didn't love me?"
"She did," Dr Kennedy's soft voice reached his eyes. Heart pounding, he looked at her. What did that - "I mean -" she giggled a little, "I knew her too. In a different way." What the hell? His mind was spinning. Dr Kennedy knew her. She's been listening to him rack his brain while she sat there patiently when she knew the whole time. Alex expected himself to be completely pissed off at her.
But in the end, he sort of felt relieved. He didn't know why.
Christabel was quiet for a while. "No, she loved you too." She paused, looking at Dr Kennedy with unreadable eyes. Something dangerous transpired between them that caused Dr Kennedy to look away with a sigh of acceptance. "She was the reason for your memory loss. If it weren't for her, you wouldn't have had this scar. She almost made you go into a coma." Her voice was vicious. "So forgive me from wanting to protect you from that."
"It wasn't like she intentionally did that," Alex snapped, running a hand through his head. Maybe - maybe if he met this girl. Maybe he'd remember. Maybe he'd finally know the whole truth. "I want to meet her," he finally said.
There was choked silence.
"Alex…" Christabel said, hurt anger in her tone. "God, why?"
"Because," he practically yelled. "God, Christabel, this is why I didn't even tell you of this!" He motioned to Dr Kennedy, the room, to himself - "You don't understand. You're not even trying to understand! I feel like a part of me is missing. Does that not mean anything to you? You watched me during those nights when I felt completely tortured. And you knew. I know you know, but I didn't want to press you - but now," he exhaled.
He turned to Dr Kennedy.
"You know her, right?" His voice was lilt with hope. "Is there any way I can contact her?"
Dr Kennedy seemed to freeze and she smiled a little, her eyes shuttered. "Maybe. Maybe not."
He frowned. "What the -" Why was she so reluctant?
"I'm leaving." Christabel stood up abruptly. He caught sight of her tears. He felt himself start to stand, but in the end, he just wanted her storm out of the room like it was on fire. He felt the headache coming on and he leaned his head against the palm of his hands.
"Aren't you going after her?" Her voice was soft.
His voice was muffled. "What's the point? She's not going to listen to me." He felt his heart ache. "I can't marry someone who's not completely open with me, Dr Kennedy." His voice was thick. "She watched me rack my brain, trying to remember who this girl was. I was fucking in love, even though I had no idea who she was, how she was like. It was just engraved in my existence. And she knew. She knew and she pretended like it never happened."
He laughed a false laugh. Rubbing his eyes, he looked at his therapist with a tired look.
"I can't do that anymore. I need to find her."
He wasn't stupid. Tom Morris knew there was something between him and Dr Kennedy. And he wasn't going to stand by and let it drag forever anymore because - because now he wanted to know. He needed to know.
So he cornered his best friend at his house, making sure there were no means of escape.
Tom was in the kitchen. Alex called by earlier to talk to his wife to make sure they were alone and that Tom had nothing to do so he could escape. Fuck that, Alex was on a mission. Tom knew what happened that day. He knew everything. The question was, why did Alex let it drag for this long?
Tom watched him with a smirk. "Are you just going to stand there all day?"
Alex presented him with a glare. "You know."
His best friend raised an eyebrow. "Know what?"
He inhaled sharply. "You know what happened to me. You know who was involved. You know everything." His jaw clenched. "So tell me what you know."
Tom lost his arrogant expression and he looked at him with an unreadable look. Alex was sick of getting that from him, especially his best friend. Tom knew him more than he knew himself, literally. Weren't they supposed to tell each other everything? He was so fucking sick of not knowing.
"How are those sessions going?"
"Don't change the subject," Alex growled. "You sent me to Dr Kennedy for a reason. I know she had something to do with it. Why don't you just come out with it?"
Something flashed in Tom's eyes, but it was too quick for him to decipher. "What makes you say that?"
"Tom," he said, his voice agitated.
Said person appraised him with a cool look. "I'm not kidding. What makes you say that?" He motioned to the table and took a seat. After one long moment with Alex gazing at him with a hard expression, he followed suit.
"Start talking," Tom said.
"What I want to know is," Alex started slowly, "is how you knew that going to Dr Kennedy would help me. I haven't remembered this much throughout all these years. And suddenly I'm talking to this beautiful girl and I'm getting bombarded with these feelings that leave me confused and -" he exhaled. "Tom," he said, his voice deadly, "tell me. Was I in love?"
Tom Morris didn't say anything for a long time. But then he smiled, a sort of quiet satisfaction in his eyes that confused Alex even more. "Yeah."
That was it?
Alex frowned. "Well?"
He laughed. "Well what?"
Alex hesitated. He didn't really ask about the incident under a serious light. There was no need to before. The past was the past. But now… Now everything was different. He frowned. He wanted to know so much. He wanted to remember, for crap's sake. But - "Was she…" His tongue burned. He knew what he wanted to ask, but he didn't. "Was she nice?"
Tom barked out a laugh. Alex couldn't help but snicker as well. What a question.
"She's the most sweetest person you'd ever have the pleasure to meet," Tom answered with a smile. He looked like he was enjoying himself. "She's amazing. Jesus, if only you knew how incredible she was." Tom made a useless gesture with his hands and sighed. Alex watched, feeling his chest tighten. Why didn't he know this person? It wasn't fair. Tom quirked an eyebrow at him. "And damn, is she beautiful."
Alex's mind instantly flashed to Dr Kennedy's brilliant smile. Was this girl as beautiful as her? He didn't ask.
His heart pounded in his ears. The words were stuck at his throat, but he forced them out. "Did she love me?"
Tom looked at him like he was crazy, but he only nodded. "She loved you." He paused a little. "She was like your little princess. And you…" he smiled crooked. "You were her angel."
"Then why did she leave me?" The pain was unexpected at those words. He tried not to touch his chest. God. If this woman loved him, why wasn't she with him?
Tom observed him, an inward battle going through his eyes. Alex could see it. His next words knocked the wind out of him.
"Christabel forbade her to."
Christabel forbade her to. She made - oh God, fuck. He didn't know what to think. All this time…
He breathed in deeply, rubbing his face. He confronted Christabel. He asked her, why the hell would she do such a thing. He was breaking and she let him break. He felt a little sick. If she loved him, why did she let that happen?
"Because I loved you," Christabel said. "I loved you. She was never supposed to love you."
Alex couldn't say anything, inwardly tortured. In the end, he left her apartment, running as hard as he can as far as he can. He somehow found himself in front of the clinic. He knew subconsciously that this was where he wanted to be, next to her - he just needed to hear her voice. She was the only thing going right in his life right now.
He walked inside, expecting to wait for a while, but he saw her standing there, as if waiting for him. Dr Kennedy had a smile on her face, her hands clasped in front of her lightly.
"Christabel called," Dr Kennedy said with a light laugh. "She wanted me to make sure you're okay." She paused delicately and he tried to think through the cloud in his mind. Christabel wanted to make sure he was okay, huh? How about that? What about her, was she okay?
As if reading his thoughts, the redhead smiled.
"She's fine. She's… sorry, Alex." Her voice held a soft note, one that compelled him to forgive his fiancée. Was marrying her even right now? After this huge rupture between them? It didn't feel right, not when his heart was in love with someone else. And Dr Kennedy - she was becoming too special to him. "She didn't mean to hurt you. She's just scared. She's completely in love with you." She smiled a crooked smile. "Of course she'd want to keep you away from this other girl. Maybe I would too."
"That other girl," he said slowly, his voice hard, "happens to be someone I'm irrevocably in love with."
"What I'm trying to say is…" The voice drawled out slowly. "I'm irresistibly… irrevocably… in love with you."
It was his voice. He knew it was his.
Breathing hard, he stared at Dr Kennedy, the words becoming sharper and clearer in his mind. And if he searched deep enough, he knew he would find her face. But all he could come up with was… red hair.
His expression went slack and he blinked, trying to clear his thoughts. But he knew - it was his. The memory was his, and he remembered red hair.
Dr Kennedy crossed over to where he was standing and smiled at him. He felt completely muddled, but he also felt hopeful.
"Let's go out for a walk," she suggested. All he could do was follow.
The walk was silent. They had no particular destination, and he didn't mind. Knowing that she was there with him - it was enough. The sun was bright over their heads and there were people jostling around them. The sidewalk was pretty cramped, actually, but that gave him more the reason to be close to Dr Kennedy and watch out for her. He didn't know what kind of psychos walked the streets.
He frowned a little, glancing at her neutral face, the faint smile on her lips as she curiously observed her surroundings. He… didn't know her name. He opened his mouth to ask casually, but something else came out.
"This girl," he began, his voice tense as he realized what he started. But he couldn't back out now. No, he was going to go through with it. "What's she like?" He asked Tom, yes, but he wanted to know more.
Dr Kennedy tilted her head, a sort of bright smile covering her face as she laughed almost to herself. "Gosh, what a loaded question," she giggled, running a hand through her hair. "What makes you so sure I can answer you?"
"You did know her," he said, trying not to sound confused. "I mean…" he hesitated. "Why didn't you tell me?" his voice was quiet. "Why did you let me go on about it without saying anything? Knowing what you know about her could have helped."
She tapped her chin, shaking her head. "Actually, no. You needed to realize what you wanted to know. I could be spewing out lies and if I said they were true, you'd believe me. I think you remember her a little better." Her grin was reassuring.
He shook his head amusedly. "So are you going to tell me about this infamous girl?"
"Infamous," she snorted lightly, laughing under her breath. "Okay, let me try." Her face went deep in thought. She actually looked like she was thinking. "Well, she's… she's a bit clumsy," she said slowly. "When you knew her, I mean. She was the greatest klutz you ever knew." She smiled lopsidedly. "But I think now she has a bit more grace, if I do say so myself."
Alex felt stricken and he stopped breathing. "You mean - you still talk to her?"
Dr Kennedy smirked. "You could say that."
He didn't know what to say to that.
"She's content with her life, you could say." She wrung her hands, thinking the words through. He was entranced by her for several different reasons. "She tries not to dwell too much on the past but…" she laughed lightly. "Gosh, she misses you so much." Her voice was full of raw emotion, and when she looked at him, she smiled.
He was speechless.
Dr Kennedy giggled, probably at his expression, and he shook his head with a smirk on his face. "I feel for hot chocolate," he muttered as they passed by Starbucks. She followed him silently and he ordered their drinks. She tried to pay, but he silenced her with his glare. She huffed but the smile on her face made him shake his head amusedly.
He wanted to know more, but he didn't know where to begin. How did she look like? What did she do? Did she have a family for crap's sake?
They exited the café and continued to walk. Dr Kennedy was sipping her hot chocolate thoughtfully, while he enjoyed the heat in his hand.
"Did she ever tell you," he said, looking at the redhead, "why she listened to Christabel when she said to stay away?"
Dr Kennedy looked at him for a moment, her eyes unreadable. "Because… she was afraid you'd hate her," she admitted looking down with a small smile. "It was her fault for this." Her small hands reached up to trace his scar lightly. He felt a jolt throughout his entire body at the gesture. He smelt her scent, and everything seemed so familiar it was almost killing him inside.
She reached forward and traced his scar.
"I'm sorry for this," she whispered.
"She's sorry for it," she whispered.
He shook his head roughly, a curse word erupting from his throat. God, he wanted to just - he couldn't handle this right now. He felt mixed emotions rampaging throughout his entire being, he just wanted to settle on one. He lifted his hands to gently push Dr Kennedy away because she seemed to be the cause. They reacted too well with each other. She was almost like…
Dr Kennedy lifted her hands up at the same time, just as someone bumped into her sharply from behind, causing her to jerk forward.
Without thinking, Alex released his cup of hot chocolate, catching the beauty in his arms.
He felt her breathing stop.
"Oh, my God. I am so sorry," she said instantly. He looked down at her and watched his cup fall.
It clattered, rolled, and stopped. He stared. He almost didn't hear her voice.
But he did. He heard her voice from two different times.
"I'm sorry. I-I'll buy you a new drink!"
He looked expectantly at Dr Kennedy. He felt strange. He knew exactly… what she was going to say. He knew he did.
She straightened, her gaze tinged with horror but she looked up at him nonetheless. "I'm sorry," she blurted, glancing over her shoulder to probably apologize to the person who bumped into her. God, she was just like that. She smiled nervously at him, tugging her hair. "I have really horrible stamina and -" she winced. "I'll buy you a new drink," she said, already make her way back to the coffee shop.
He didn't move, he didn't even tear his gaze from where she was standing. He only clasped her elbow, right when she was about to pass by him. She stopped moving as well. They weren't even facing each other, but he felt like -
Well. He felt like he finally found her.
"Your favourite colour is green," he said, his voice strange sounding. He felt her tense, but she was still immobile. He felt his heard pounding hard against his ribcage. He didn't know how this was happening, but it was. "Your dad abused you." The words were choking his throat. "He called you a mistake. You're fucking not."
They were the only two people in the world.
"You tried to hook me up with Christabel. It didn't work." It was all coming back. "We went to the amusement park. We watched the sun set." He paused. He could see it clearly. "I told you I loved you."
He felt her shaking lightly. His hand went from her elbow to her hand. He laced his fingers in with hers and smiled to himself. Perfect fit.
"I went to see you that day. He was beating you. I tried to stop him, but he struck my head." He trailed off slowly, and that's when he turned his head to look at her. "…With a vase."
"Autumn," he said, his voice stricken, "Get out of the way!"
He saw the tears in her eyes and she was sobbing openly. But God - that smile on her face.
He felt like whatever heavy shit he's been carrying for the past few years was lifted from his shoulder. He could breathe easily, and when he smiled at her, he knew that's how he wanted it to be for the rest of his life.
"Dr Kennedy," he said, tasting the words on his mouth. He couldn't help but laugh. She giggled with him. "What's your name?"
"I'll see you around," she whispered, "my guardian angel."
She smiled. "Since you've recovered," she said, in a whisper, "I guess I could tell you." She paused, looking up at him, as if tracing his face with her eyes. He slipped an arm around her waist, pulling her close. She smiled her smile, "It's Autumn."
"I thought so." He smiled a faint smile. Memory loss for a few months? Fuck that. Reason is powerless in the expression of love.
She tiptoed to give him a sweet kiss on the lips. Their hug completed his entire being. "Welcome back."
Love is longing for the half of ourselves we have lost.
Quotes from Cielo Quotes on xanga!
My Guardian Angel was created in 2007. Autumn and Alex's story always played in my head but I never actually got down to write anything down until December of 2009. It's been sitting in my laptop until today, when I finally finished it. (: Ending is disgustingly cliché and sweet, but I think they deserve it.
We all need cookies once in a while, yeah?
Thanks for reading!