I'm Here to Fix You

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Chapter 36

“Is it a coma?” a male voice asked, confused.

“No, he’s sleeping.” Another male one replied.

“Yeah, but, sleeping as in ... coma?” the first voice insisted.

The second person sighed, exasperated. “No, no coma. He’s just sleeping.”

Not really, but why would I spoil their banter now? Ah, I’m alive. You can quit crying now, Jake’s still alive and kicking.

Well, ok, kicking maybe no, I remember quite well that the motorcycle fell on me, so my left leg is injured. I woke over an hour ago, in case you were wondering, but when I heard people approaching the door I decided to play a little. It’ll be interesting to hear what they say about me if they think I can’t hear.

“Did they give him medicines?” the first voice asked, concerned.

“He just came out of surgery, of freaking course he’s sleeping.” Ah, there’s the female voice I was expecting. Well, one of those. I knew Tess would be here, and I’m pretty sure the first voice was Trey. I’m fond of the guy, we’ve been friends for ages, but he’s not exactly the finest apple out there. The second male voice was unfamiliar, though.

I felt someone touching my arm and strapping something on me. It was probably a nurse.

“How long will it take?” Ah, there goes Fitz. I spend so much time with these people, I’d recognize their voices anywhere.

“Not long.” The nurse said flatly. “The surgery took long, so he needs rest.”

“So he’s really just sleeping?” Trey wondered.

“Yes, he’s just sleeping ...” the nurse gripped my wrist, taking my pulse. Judging by the way she tightened my grip on my wrist for a slight moment, I think she realized I wasn’t really sleeping, but for some reason she didn’t give me away. “It shouldn’t be long now anyways.” Perfect liar. A girl after my own heart.

A moment later I heard the door, so she probably left. “Where’s Serene?” Tess asked.

“I didn’t tell her.” Fitz replied in a sigh. Thank goodness. My sister is too emotional, she wouldn’t handle it. I’ve worked hard to keep traumas away from her, I failed once, I won’t again.

“What? Why??” Tess sounded alarmed.

“Because ... it’s better if she doesn’t know.” Fitz claimed. I heard footsteps and someone came near me. I suppose it was him. “I’m sure he’d want it this way.” Indeed I do.

“But it’s his sister! She needs to know.”

No, she doesn’t. I’m alive. She doesn’t need to know the risks I took, all she needs to be sure of is that her brother is alive and well, no need to worry her with more than that.

“She’ll know if and when Jake decides to tell her ... which will most probably be never, if I know him one bit.” Awww, so cute, he does know me so well. I’m still mad at him for sleeping with my sister behind my back, but I think I can forgive him someday.

It’s something Silvia said, that night on the pier. She said: “Whether you like it or not, Serene is a beautiful girl, and she’ll get boyfriends. Are you sure you wanna try your luck with some dude come out of nowhere? Colin loves her deeply and won’t hurt her, you know that. Can you take the chance with anyone else?”

I can’t. I’ve been wrong once to let her convince me to give her more space and let her date Dave Murray, and we all know how it went. I know, I can’t judge all men based off some scumbag, I’m a man myself, I know that all too well, but still ... Silvia was right. As much as I’d like to think my sister won’t ever do what I do, in the end she’s a girl, and she’s bound to have her experiences. If said experiences are accompanied by the one guy I trust the most in this world, then that should keep me more tranquil, I guess.

It’s disgusting to think of my best friend even only kissing my baby sis, and I’ll probably cut off his hands if he dares do it in front of me, but ... I suppose I can come to terms with it. Forgiving the betrayal might take a while, though. He should have known, if there’s one thing I don’t tolerate, that’s being lied to, and he did it for months. I’ll forgive him someday, but he’ll have to roast a little before that.

“Where’s Silvia?” Ah, there’s the question I needed an answer to. Thank you, Paul. It’s kinda pathetic, but ... somehow, I felt she wasn’t in the room. I don’t know why, I just ... felt her absence. I suppose it’s a ... soul mate thing.

I’ve never really stopped to think about it, but ... I feel her heart. She feels mine. I know she does, even though she doesn’t want to admit it. I guess that, if I feel her heart, I can as well feel her physical presence ... does that even make sense? Sorry, I’m not on top of myself, I’ve just been submitted to a long, long brain surgery, you know.

I heard a sigh near me, and slender things brushed my forehead, right where the bandage was. I did all my best not to grimace. It kinda hurts, I’ll not deny it, but overall I’m fine, don’t worry. Like I said, most probably it’s gonna be me to kill me.

“She’s at home.” Tess answered. I’ll shock you, but I wasn’t in the least bit surprised. Mildly disappointed? Yes. Surprised? Nah.

“Right. She needed rest, after the night she’s had ...” Paul mused, not without a hint of reproach.

“It’s not that, I’m afraid.” Tess pointed out.

“No?”

She sighed, brushing my cheek. “She called Ryan ... to call her ex after he broke her heart so ruthlessly, it’s a big deal. Especially for one as proud as Silvia.”

Wait, what? “What do you mean, he broke her heart?” I sprung up, frowning. In the process I hurt my ribs, my chest, my leg and more importantly, my head. My head that spun like a child’s hula-hoop, but I didn’t bother, nor did I bother my friends’ flabbergasted faces.

“You ...”

“Yes, yes, I’m alive and awake, yes, whatever.” I cut it off quickly, turning to Tess, despite the migraine pounding in my head. “What do you mean, he broke her heart? How? Why?” I tried to slide out of bed, but the leg that was injured impeded my every movement that entailed doing more than just sitting. “More importantly, where can I find him and breaks his sanctimonious face?”

Nobody answered. Ugh. They all looked at me like the apostles looked at a resurrected Jesus Christ. Why all the fuss? It’s not like I was gone for so long. I just had a small vacancy in the no-thinking world. It’s nice, you know. Perks of brain surgery. You’re completely sedated, the brain’s on standby so you don’t have to worry about thoughts swirling around. It’s relaxing.

Of course, the contra is the scar where they opened, but that can easily be covered by hair, so no harm done. I’m still hot as hell, no worries.

“So?” I snapped, needing to know. “Is somebody gonna answer my goddamn question?!” Nothing. Jesus, it’s like talking to stones. Sighing, I pressed the button to call the nurse. Hopefully she’ll be more reasonable while my friends just stood there, petrified, as if I were a ghost.

A moment later the nurse came in, bored. “What is it?”

I furrowed my brows, eyeing my friends. “Can you see me?”

“What?”

“Can you see me? Am I in flesh and blood?”

“Uh ... yes.”

“Then tell these idiots to close those mouths before they get flies.” I turned to them, not at all keen on waiting any longer. I need an answer now. “I’m alive, I’m fine. What’s wrong to-ugh ... damnit!” A sharp ache erupted through my ribs, going all the way to my chest, through my left shoulder.

“Lie down.” The nurse told me.

“I’m fine.” I breathe out once the pain had subsided. “Just give me a goddamn answer, Tess. What do you mean he broke her heart? What do you mean she’s at home alone? Is she fine? What the hell is going on here?!” I raised my voice, uncaring of the harsher pain to my rib, nor of the migraine breaking my head in two.

In the end, finally, Tess regained her senses, and sighed. “It’s a long story, but ... basically, it was because of you.”

“Me? I wasn’t even here these months!”

“Exactly.”

“What?!”

“Lie down.” The nurse pushed me, glaring when I put up a fight. My bones hurt like hell, but I needed to know more.

“But is she alright?”

“Help me here.” The nurse called Trey and Paul, who were still dazed, and the silently came to grab my arms, pushing me onto bed.

“I’m fine.” I fought. “Just give me a goddamn answer. Is Silvia alright?” I lay down, aware that my bones were aching too bad for me to fight against both Trey and Paul. Normally it would be as easy as drinking water, but in my state ... okay, maybe it was worse than I thought. Forgive me, I woke up an hour ago, I still need to gain full consciousness of my conditions. But I’m fine, really. The doctor said as much.

“Physically she’s alright.” Tess murmured. “The damage is all emotional ...”

Damnit. These days you can’t even count on a Saint Ryan to make one thing right.

***

“She’s not answering.” Tess told me with a sigh.

“Try again.”

“Jake ...”

“I said, try again. Or go to her. Just do something, damnit. It’s your best friend!” Ugh, damn shoulder. Every time I raise my voice, every time I move a muscle, it hurts like fucking hell. I’ve had my bones broken so many times, but it was never this hard.

Tess sent me a dirty look. “Don’t act like I don’t care. I do. But she said she didn’t want to be disturbed. The moment the doctor told us you were fine, that they brought you here asleep, but you were fine, Silvia took off. Said she needed sleep, since we’ve all pulled an all-nighter to wait for your surgery to be done.”

“It’s not normal, Tess, and you know that ...” I argued, squinting my eyes when even breathing put my ribs to a harsh test. “We both know her, in normal times she’d be here breaking balls the same way as you do.” She sent me a dirty look, but I ignored it. “There must be something wrong.”

Tess sighed, phone in her hand. “She almost lost her best friend ... this is her way of coping. You leave everything and everyone when you need to, Silvia locks the world out.”

“Aren’t you in the least bit worried?” I accused.

“Of course I’m worried!” She spat. “I’m goddamn worried, but what can I do? She’s not answering phone calls nor texts. I sent David, but she won’t even open the door.”

“Go on your own! I can’t move from this fucking bed, but you can! Just go!” Why the hell do I even need to tell her? I thought she’d take off the moment Silvia did.

“I can’t, I ...” her phone beeped, and I held my breaths for a moment, “... there she is, finally.” She heaved a sigh of relief. ”I’m fine. Quit bugging me.” Tess read the text out loud.

I sighed, relaxing my muscles. It’s been two months, Tess said, yet Silvia’s still deep in the gutter ... ugh, how I wish I hadn’t left to-oh, wait. “Did anybody tell Olivia?”

“Olivia?” Tess questioned, suspicious with a hint of reproach. “Your ex girlfriend Olivia? Why would she need to know?”

“Because-”

“Jake!!” Eh. Speak of the devil ...

“No, no, don’t ...” Agh, damnit. She squeezed me into her, tightly, so very tightly that I think I saw tiny white lights in pain. “Liv ...” I rasped. “I’m ...”

“You’re hurting him, Sherlock.” Tess spat, her voice full of hatred.

“Oh! Sorry!” Olivia stepped back, tears still on her cheeks. “God ... good thing Colin came to your place to get some things! Otherwise I’d have never known! I’ve been so worried about you!” She grabbed my hand, squeezing it.

“I know, I’m sorry.” I tried to comfort, while Tess shot daggers at me. “But I’m fine, really. No need to fuss.”

“Of course I fuss.” Olivia claimed, teary-eyed, sitting on the edge of bed, beside me. She caressed my cheek, staring at me intently. “I love you, Jake. Of course I fuss.”

Uh oh. Damnit. We left a huge loose end before the accident ... that’s gonna be trouble. Ignoring Tess as she grumbled curses under her breath, I inhaled deeply which was, again, goddamn painful for my ribs. “Well, I’m fine.”

“That’s not thanks to your judgment.” A harsh male voice butted in from the door. Behind Tess appeared a tall, well-dressed man in his fifties, with sharp blue eyes and short grey hair framing a sharp countenance.

I groaned loudly. “Ugh, Tess, did you really need to tell him?”

“I-”

“She didn’t.” He spat, taking slow steps towards the bed. “I went to your place and found Colin telling the girl, because why on earth would you even consider telling your family? I see you get older, but you never get wiser.”

I rolled my eyes, letting go of Olivia’s hand. “Hello, uncle. Lovely to see you. As always, you bring a ray of sunshine in the room.”

“Always that cheek.” Uncle Keith scoffed. “You think your sarcasm will get you anywhere?”

“Um ... do you realize I’m in a hospital bed all gauzed? Aren’t I entitled to a special treatment for that? I can settle for a no ball-breaking period.”

He huffed. “And why are you in a hospital? Because you’re an irresponsible spoiled brat. That’s why. I always told you to sell those motorcycles.”

“It’d be like selling one of my children.”

“See what one of your children, as you call them, has brought you?” He reproached.

I shrugged, ignoring the pain to my shoulder. “It’s not like I’ve never been here.” On cue, his face reddened, while both Tess and Olivia seemed confused. “I should probably ask if they have a fidelity card of some sort. Who knows, maybe next time I’ll get a stereo for free.”

“With all the death you’ve seen in your life, one would think you’d be more careful.” Uncle Keith gritted his teeth.

I narrowed my eyes at him, gritting my own teeth. “Death’s been my loyal companion for long, I’m not scared of it. It’ll come when it comes. You can spare the two minutes you’ll weep for me, I don’t need it.”

“Jake ...” Olivia warned.

“What? It’s not like he’s here because he’s worried about me.” I scoffed, sitting properly. “He’s here only to see what trouble has that spoiled brat of his nephew gotten into this time. Am I right, uncle?”

“Still, that’s no way to talk to the man that raised y-”

“Ugh. Please. I raised myself.”

The tension skyrocketed all of a sudden. Yet my uncle merely glared, saying nothing. I glared back, in silence. It’s always like this between us, he comes in with all his mighty arrogance, we fight, then he storms out, cursing me for being such an immature spoiled brat. I was counting the seconds it’d take him to turn on his heels and go back to where he belongs. Anything he does or says seems made to unnerve me.

I dropped my head against the double pillow Tess had just settled behind me. I’ve never been a really peaceful kid, scratch that, I was a handful of problems for my uncle, and because we’re pretty similar in character, we inevitably fight a lot.

In the end, I sighed. “Well, as you can see, I’m fine, uncle. Thanks for coming. You may as well go back to your business.”

He sent me a deadly glare - one I receive pretty often, given how much I talk back. You see, my uncle is one of those mighty men that do not like to be contradicted, his word is like the Holy Bible, it cannot be argued, he is always utterly right. He never admits he’s wrong, which he is pretty often, if you ask me.

“You’re moving to the Sacred Heart tonight.” Uncle Keith ordered, ignoring my comment.

I frowned. “I’m perfectly fine here, uncle.”

“It wasn’t a question, kid.” I rolled my eyes. Try growing up with such an authoritative man whose tone is always nothing but categorical and dominant in everything.

“I’m fine. People here are competent.”

“You’re leaving in the afternoon. I’ve talked to your doctor, and he agrees.”

I glared at him. “You know, uncle, I’m 29, and despite the brain surgery, I’m in full possess of my mental faculties, so I can perfectly make my own decisions.”

His gaze hardened - usual. “It’s not up to you, kid.” He spelled, peremptory. You’ll almost never hear him call my name, unless he’s talking about me to someone important. He usually calls me ‘kid’ or ‘boy’, just to underline how immature I am, and when he’s actually pissed, I’ll be that ‘spoiled brat he was so unfortunate to have as nephew’. So lovely my uncle is, I know. He doesn’t have kids of his own, therefore he adopted Serene and I legally when our mother was hospitalized after our dad’s suicide.

Unlike me, Serene is the light of his life, while I’m only that messed up kid whose troubles he ought to clean up every time, because, you know, we bring a very important name, and press cannot know that the current heir to the mighty Watson Holdings is a jailbird that’s been convicted for battery and assault.

This name I bring, it’s heavier than you’d think. My family’s company is ranked fourth in USA, even though for all I know there is this fairly new company, Grant Enterprises, that’s been hot on our heels for a while now. Broadly speaking, the fields are different, but Watson Holdings controls so many different firms, is in so many different fields, that’s impossible not to butt heads with everyone.

I’ll be CEO only when my uncle retires, and it’s going to be one hell of a trouble. Were it up to me, I’d remain at Lion’s Publications forever. Well, were it up to me, I wouldn’t have even started working there, but hey, that’s beyond my reach unfortunately. I make my destiny only to a certain point, as for the rest, I’m tightly bond to this damn company as much as Hades is to the Underworld. Sadly.

“Oh, really? I thought it was my health we were talking about.” I scoffed, in response to my uncle’s statement. There was a minute-long stare contest that had Tess stay there, frozen, between us, I bet surprised my uncle and I were fighting even about something like this. Well, news fresh, we fight over every single thing we talk about, we agree on virtually nothing. It’s been like that since I was a teenager, it’s never changed. Olivia in fact wasn’t surprised.

“For as much as you like to forget it, kid, you belong to a prestigious family. The name Watson is -”

“The name Watson is well known in all Boston, not to mention the whole New England. Yes, yes, I know, so what?” I like to forget that my family name is heavy to bring because I prefer not to remember anything related to it. It’s already enough to live with the constant reminder of the losses I suffered.

My uncle glared at me. I couldn’t care less, but he had to explain why was he right: “Whether you like it or not, this name brings notoriety. Do you have an idea how many channels are already broadcasting the ‘tragic accident’ that involved the heir to the Watson Holdings? There are journalists camped outside this damn place since days.”

I frowned. Well, that’s new. I glanced at Tess, confused, and she nodded to confirm. “They’ve never seen my face, how-”

“I announced it three months ago, don’t you remember?”

Oh. Right. I like to think I’ve got time before killing my soul by sacrificing it to the company. My uncle gave his all for it, also to forget the loss of his brother, namely my dad, but I don’t wanna end up like him. Sure, maybe it would be a great way of distracting myself, but I’ve seen him be swallowed by that needy creature his father funded, I don’t wanna end up being the same as him.

Serene and I have been kept away from the spotlight all these years, just because it would have meant digging up in our past and obviously into our family curse, of which obviously only very few trustful people know about, uncle Keith and his father having covered it all up before news could slip, mostly not to damage the company.

“You might be safe for now, because they don’t know your face, but it won’t last long. And if you want to keep yourself away from the spotlight, you need to move from here.” Uncle Keith explained.

“Oh, and I thought you were just worried about your nephew getting the best cures.” Tess butted in, sarcastically, which had me smirk, but obviously my uncle wasn’t as amused, because he turned to her, ready to devour her, as he always does to anybody that dares talk him back.

Hence, I saw to intervene before he started saying things that might hurt my friend, despite her being so tough. Trust me, I’ve seen the most ruthless sharks of Wall Street hyperventilate in front of my uncle, some even cried. He’s got this peculiar skill, he’s able to dig up someone’s deepest weakness and use it against them, which is very useful when it comes to business, but very hateful and painful for common people.

“Fine, I’ll move to the Sacred Heart, even though there’s no need.”

“Ugh, do you ever even hear a single word of what I say, kid?”

I sighed, rolling my eyes. “Unfortunately, I hear pretty much everything you say, uncle. I wish I could say the opposite.” I pressed my head against the pillow. “Now will you please go? You’re worsening my migraine.”

Tess laughed, but I seriously felt tired. This goddamn migraine keeps on pounding in my head, and only when I take morphine it seems to relent. Doctor says it’s normal, it’s an aftermath of the surgery, it should go away in a few days, but goddamit, it’s like there’s a whole squad of machines drilling in my head at full speed. Maybe this time I really made it, I broke me.

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