I'm Here to Fix You

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Chapter 40

BOOK 2

SILVIA

“How do you feel?” I asked, just to think of him other than of ... well, whatever, I’m not ... thinking about anything that isn’t good today. I know she wouldn’t ... uh, back to Jake. Jake is the main thought. Just Jake.

Just my-uh ... friend slash not exactly but soon-ish boyfriend that I was wheeling around the hospital’s park. This hospital is so damn high level that they actually have a park, a real, large park with fountains and all. Not even my hometown has a park like this.

“Like I got where I was headed.”

I frowned, stopping the wheelchair. “What?”

“Well, you know, ever since I was a teenager, I started thinking I would wind up like this someday.” Jake claimed with a careless shrug.

“In a wheelchair?”

“Either that or in a body bag. To be honest, I was betting on body bag.”

What ... I stepped in front of him, eyebrows furrowed. “Okay, if this is one of your dark humor jokes, it’s not funny, Jake, not at all. Not ...” I took a deep breath. Hold it together, Silvia, hold it together, damnit. Stop crying like a baby every goddamn time. “Not today ...” I took a deep breath. “But if this is a serious statement, then we really need to talk about it.”

Jake cracked a small smile, grabbing my hand to pull me onto this lap. “Sorry, I wasn’t thinking.” He claimed, pecking my lips. “But it’s fine ... it’s a ... nice day. Of course, for a first date I’d have preferred a better place, but I guess I can make do.”

I chuckled, wrapping my arms around him as I kissed him just a little deeper. “You’re such a jerk.”

“I am the King of Jerks. The Emperor of Jerks.” He laughed. “Emperor Jake of Jerkville. Yeah, it does sound good.”

I rolled my eyes, but secretly smiled. “I see ... pain killers again, huh?”

“You can be my queen.” He kissed me, wrapping his arms around me. “No, wait, Empress. You can be my Empress. Empress Silvia of Jerkville.”

“Mmh ... I don’t like the sound of that.”

He grinned childishly. “Yeah, no, right?” Jake captured my lips in his one more time. “Maybe you can be the empress of the nearby empire, like ... Empress Silvia of Smokesville.”

“Smokesville?”

“Yeah, because you’re so smoking hot ...”

I had to pulled back at that one. I laughed so hard, I nearly fell off his lap. “Seriously?” I cracked up. “That’s not even a lame joke, it’s just ... plain douche. Like ... sad and drunk douchebag at the bar pickup line kind of douche. You can do better than that.”

“Well, in my defense, I’m high on pain killers, so ...”

I huffed. “You’re gonna play that card until you’re healed, aren’t you?”

“Well, if you’re my nurse, I’m never gonna heal ...” He nonchalantly slipped a hand to my butt while he leaned in to kiss me, and I slapped it away, obviously.

“Keep it clean for once.”

“Clean?” He scoffed, pulling me into him, despite the pain at his shoulder. “You know that even only you sitting on my lap has given me a freaking boner, right? And you wanna keep on giving me blue balls? I’m gonna explode by the end of the month.”

“Ryan resisted.” I pointed out, just to tickle his pride a little.

Jake glared at me, and I tried not to laugh. “Sir Douche is a eunuch then.”

I laughed for real this time. “Oh, believe me, he is not ...”

“If he could snuggle up to all of this ...” he checked me out from tip to toe, “and not say screw it and just nail you, then he’s definitely a eunuch.”

“God, you’re so gross.” I grimaced, hitting his sane shoulder.

He laughed. “What, you want me gentle and mushy? Is that a thing you girls like? Sorry, but I’m not Prince Charming.”

I scoffed. “Of course not. You’re more like a ... Young Voldemort type.”

Jake squinted his eyes, confused. “Young Voldemort?”

“Well, I mean, when he was young he was handsome and hot, but in such a devilish way.”

“So that’s what I am? The devilish kind of hot?”

“Jake, you called yourself Lucifer last night.”

He laughed, which is a beautiful sound if you ignore the dark halo around it. “I meant Lucifer Morningstar, the character in the show, but I guess yeah, you’re right.”

I sighed. “We’re getting off topic here.”

“It’s actually good.” He claimed. “I mean, since you’re not gonna give me any relief, thinking of Tom Ellis might help get rid of this-”

“God, just shut up.” I covered his mouth with my hand, and he laughed, and I followed him.

To anyone that would look, ours right now would look like a really cute relationship, your typical love story where the two characters love each other and are mushy slash corny slash stupid together. It feels good. Even though, technically speaking, we’re not really together, I mean, not yet, not officially.

Jake smiled, and pecked my lips with his eyes half closed, his hand reaching out for mine to entwine our fingers together. “I’ve missed you so bad, baby.”

“You never told me where did you go and why.” I pointed out. Why do I feel like we’ve been together since forever? I mean, it hasn’t even officially started yet, but I already feel like we’ve been doing this for ages. It’s like it started the moment he pinned me against his desk and told me to call him if I wanted to get rid of my virginity a year ago. It’s like we slow danced into this without even realizing. And it feels so good.

I feel good. It’s not peaceful, it’s not gooey and cute and lovely. It’s haunted by a mix of heavy dark pasts that hover over us like Damocles’ sword waiting to cut the thread that keeps us unite, yet it’s ... us. Just us.

Normally I would have spent this day I my bed, crying my heart out, stuffed with antidepressants that don’t even work anymore. Yet I’m here, out in the open, in hospital’s park, wheeling around a sexy jerk that I never realized I was so damn in love with. How crazy is that?

It works only as long as I keep myself distracted, though, and Jake is pretty good at that. He’s been mouthing off nonsense since this morning, trying to keep me smiley all day. Believe me when I say, there’s no limit to the amount of nonsense that can come out that smart mouth of his.

“I went somewhere.” Jake answered vaguely, and I frowned.

He half smiled. “I’ll explain in due time.” He stroked my cheek, pecking my lips. “Now just ... let’s not be us for a moment.”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean us. complicated, stubborn, confusing, Often stupid ... let’s just be some random cute couple walking around the park.

“We’ll never be that. There’s just too much to us.” I pointed out, leaving my head on his shoulder. “We’re not just two random people that happened to fall in love, Jake. We’re two messed up, damaged souls that found each other. And maybe this is not going to work, but maybe it is. I’m just tired of living in fear and grief. You’re my way out of this ... numb state I’ve cradled myself in for so long, and I don’t wanna miss the chance. There’s always going to be something that threatens to pull us apart, like ... you’re probably gonna get jealous at some point, and I hate that kind of thing. I’m probably lash out on you more often than I’d want to, and you’re gonna walk out on me yelling because you don’t wanna snap and hurt me. I’m gonna drive you insane, and you’re gonna make me want to tear my hair in desperation. But ... I guess it’s us. We’re not a regular couple. We’re just ... us.”

When I was done speaking, I realized how many words I’d put together. What did I just do? What did I just say? I gotta be honest ... I’ve never spoken so utterly honestly from the bottom of my heart. I’ve never, never voiced words I didn’t even know I felt deep within me. This was a first. And it felt ... liberating.

Jake stared at my for the longest time, taken aback, but slowly, a smile crept up his lips, and he leaned in, readying to kiss me. “I thought you said you weren’t good with words.” He murmured.

“I’ve learnt from the Master, I guess.”

He chuckled, opening his mouth, I bet to say some dirty joke about the word I used, so I shut him up with a kiss, and thankfully he deepened in, squeezing me against his bandaged frame, despite everything.

This can’t be happening. I can’t be really sitting here on Jake’s lap, kissing him, being mushy, spontaneous and stupid. I can’t be seriously feeling ... lighter. I mean, in the back of my head there’s always that sense of oppression and depression lurking behind closed doors, readying to assault me, but ... it’s like it can’t, because there’s an armed Jake at every door, ready to fight it for my sake.

Nah, I’m kidding, I just changed my prescription, took heavier antidepressants before coming here this morning. I’d rather Jake didn’t know, if you don’t mind. I’d rather convince him it’s all his merit, which 50% is, no doubt.

Jake can help me walk down the right path, I know that, he can give me a chance to ... move past the veil of grief I’ve been stuck behind for 10 years. But I know it’s not gonna happen overnight, so meanwhile I keep my side help. These new medicines are actually better, but I’m not really ready to tell Jake about this side of things just yet.

There’s a lot, lot, lot we have to talk about, and I’d rather we take slow steps, otherwise it may blew up right in our faces. So maybe it’s just better to ease ourselves into this, start off with the mushy stuff, and then tackle one issue at a time. Slowly, carefully, safely.

There’s always going to be something that threatens to pull us apart, like I said. But the thing is, we don’t necessarily have to comply with it. We can just fight it. Fight it with all we have. And to do that, we need to build the basis first.

It’s scary to think I want this more than I’ve ever wanted anything, and that I’m actually starting off from a firm belief and hope that we’re gonna last, but I’m 100% in. I’d just rather bring down the walls one at a time.

***

JAKE

“How old was she?” I asked, just to keep the questions coming.

“17.” Silvia answered in a sigh, playing with my hand. She was oddly apathetic, as if her sense had been numbed. If I didn’t know any better, I’d think she’d taken some drug.

It was actually a surprise this morning, seeing her ... normal, more or less. She came here early, looking like she usually does, just a little more pale, as if she hadn’t slept a wink, which I can serenely believe. I didn’t want to let her go last night, I knew it’d be dangerous to let her sleep on her own, but ... first, as you may know, I’m not exactly a good sleeping partner, second, they wouldn’t let her stay after midnight.

We spent the morning being ... well, us. Or rather, ideal us. Bantering and bickering, kissing and laughing, like a common couple. I tried to distract her from today’s anniversary, but in the end we crashed right into it, so now there we were, lying in a hospital bed, as snuggled up to each other as it was humanly possible, given my predicament, trying to tackle the subject without too much stress.

“And how old was he?” I asked.

“20.” Silvia sighed. “It’s ... not really illegal in Italy. I mean, it’s utterly illegal beneath age 16, but above that, if it’s consensual, it’s fine.”

I half chuckled, rubbing the palm of her hand. “Damn, I should have stayed a year longer in Italy.”

Silvia chuckled humorlessly. “It’s funny. We never met. Yet you got so close ...”

“Yeah, I guess it wasn’t ... the right time.” I spent over six months in Italy, and I got real close to her area, so there’s a high chance we might have been in the same town at one time or the other, yet we never met. Weird, huh? Maybe we just ought to meet right here, in Boston, so that the odds would be perfect for us.

“Oh, no, it wasn’t. I’d have hated you. I’d have hated you so bad.” She laughed, which was a great step. I thought it would be easier to push her into talking yet not focus entirely on the subject. It’s what I usually do, keep more tabs open in my mind, so that it doesn’t remain stuck on one thing only.

“Hated me? Why?”

“Well, I bet you were such a self centered prick back in the day. You’d have disgusted me at first sight.”

I laughed. “Disgust even? I don’t believe it. You’d have probably drooled over me, like everyone else.”

She scoffed. “You wish. I didn’t drool as an adult, I wouldn’t have as a teen.”

“Mmh ... is it sick if I say that picturing 17-years-old Silvia all innocently going to school, books clutched to her chest, is actually kinda arousing?”

She grimaced, sending me a dirty look. “Ewww! Yes, it’s terribly sick! What is wrong with you?”

I laughed. “Oh, come on. It’s man’s basic dream: innocent girl to spoil.”

“I’ve never been innocent.” She clouded over, and that was cue for me to jump to another subject again.

“Right, you were the bad girl type.” I laughed, a little forcedly though. “Ripped jeans, heavy makeup, cigarette in her hand, tattoos and piercings ...”

“Nah, I was more like the grumpy nerd type.” Silvia laughed, which had me mentally heave a sigh of relief. “Big glasses, nose always stuffed in a book, a perpetual scowl on my face to keep people away.”

“Hmm ... sexy ...” I kissed her neck, causing her to laugh.

“Seriously, Jake, does everything have to always be a sexual innuendo with you?”

I smirked, biting her earlobe as my voice dropped. “Told you, I’m a very sexual man.” A sexual man that is gonna die of blue balls, if we keep this up. God, it’s day 1 and I’m already horny as fuck. Having her this close all the time doesn’t help.

In my defense, I haven’t had sex in a few weeks. My bones may be broken, but I can assure there’s one muscle that is definitely in perfect shape, maybe even too perfect, given the odds.

Silvia inhaled deeply, playing with my hand. “She thought he was the right one, you know.” Her voice began to crack, so I squeezed her hand. “Mom came from a difficult family, so he easily presented himself as her savior ... how could she not believe him? He was a cute neat type, your typical nice guy.”

In my experience, aside from Saint Ryan, whenever a guy seems too nice, he’s usually rotten to the core or just very, very lame. But I can see why would a young girl fall for that tale. Those like me get the reputation, but it’s actually those sneaky ones that smile sweetly and look all cute and write poems about your hair that are 8 times out of 10 the worst you could meet.

At least I’ve never lied to girls. Yes, maybe I do a bit of shameless flirting, but as a rule, I never lie. Or ... not unless I really have to.

“So they got together ...” Silvia explained, snuggling closer into me, her words a little drawled. I think she was starting to get sleepy. “And she got pregnant.” Silvia closed her eyes, leaving her head on my chest.

“You ok, baby?”

“Yeah, just ... the rhythm of your heart beating, it’s soothing.”

I half smiled, kissing her temple. “You wanna sleep?”

“No, it’s alright ...” she mumbled, “it’s just the medicine.”

I frowned, confused. “What medicine?”

“It’s alright ...” she drawled, “just the new antidepressant ... makes me sleepy.”

“What?” Silvia didn’t answer. Judging by her slower breaths, she’d fallen asleep. What did she mean with antidepressants? She takes antidepressants? Since when?

“Jake?” She drawled lowly, seemingly half awake.

“Yeah?”

Silvia raised our entwined hands feebly, and vaguely pointed to the left. “There is a lever in the pig ... eat it ...”

Wait, what?

“No ... letter.” She drawled. “There’s a letter in the bag ... read it.

“Why?”

“Because ... yeah ...”

Not much of an answer that was. Sighing, I made sure she’d fallen asleep for real this time, and when I was certain she wouldn’t wake, I started wriggling out of her grip, but it was no use. With my broken bones and her tight grip, it was near impossible. So I just pressed the button to call a nurse.

A bored middle aged woman came. “Yeah?”

“Uh ... I’m in a bit of a complicated position here. Could you please take the bag on the armchair over there, and look for a letter of some sort?”

She gave me a dirty look. “I’m not your maid. If you didn’t call because you’re in pain, I may as well leave.” Talk about grumpy pants here.

“Look, I’m sorry to have bothered you,” I chose the nice way because it was easier than shouting that I could have her fired, “but as you can see, my girlfriend’s fallen asleep, and I-uh ... I have some troubles using all my bones, so ... could you please be an angel and do that for me?” I threw in a sweet smile just for show.

She grumbled something under her breath, but she got to it. “She can’t sleep here.” The nurse spat as she handed me a white envelope.

“Yeah, yeah, she’ll be gone by midnight.” I brushed it off, eagerly opening the letter. “Thank you. Bye.” I didn’t hear her leave, I was too focused on the papers in my hand.

Three pages written in Silvia’s sharp handwriting. Two were stained by tears. Taking a deep breath, I read on.

Hi. If you’re reading this, it’s probably because I didn’t have the guts to speak up. You know me, I don’t deal well with emotions. I’m not sure how coherent this letter will be, but ... I guess I should try. It’s important that you know what you’re up against, then you can decide whether you really want to take a chance on us or not.

Believe me when I say, by the time you’ve finished this letter, you will see me with different eyes. Hopefully you’ll still love me even after this, but I’ll understand if your feelings for me will shrink.

So, let’s start from the beginning. Once upon a time ...

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