CHAPTER 72 - I’M SO GONNA KILL YOU
I’m finally out of the hospital! I’ve healed practically in everything, except, of course, my amnesia. There’s still something, whatever it is, that blocks out my memories and keeps me from recovering them, despite the help of my parents, my best friend, and Ryan. The good news is, though, I can walk on my legs, I am perfectly able to take care of myself, and, aside from amnesia, I’m perfectly fine.
Fine enough to go back to my old apartment on my own, and let my parents go back home. They wanted to stay more, also to help me with my memories, but, to be honest, I don’t want them to put their lives in standby just to help me. It’s already been too long. They’ve talked about moving to Boston once and for all, but that was a heck no for me. It’s not that I don’t want them here, it’s that I can imagine how hard it has been to leave their country, and I know they both miss Italy so bad.
Besides, dad also has his parents back in Italy. There’s a family waiting for him to come back. I mean, he’s only child, can you imagine being estranged from your only son for so long?
Well, ok, my parents have basically gone through the same thing, even before my “accident”, but I think it’s different. I mean, my grandparents are used to thinking their son will be there until the very last moment, while my parents knew I was young, they said, and I had to live my own life.
So, my parents have gone back to Italy yesterday, but they made me promise to go to Italy in summer. I think I have to, and probably sooner, because maybe seeing my childhood places could help better to regain my memories. We Skype a lot, also because there are details of the life they recounted me that sound weird, so I need to figure them out. I mean, mom and dad have told me about my childhood, my life in Italy, but ... I don’t know, it’s like there’s a huge hole in the story, as if there’s something missing. Could it be the trauma that’s blocking out my memories?
Wait ... could it really be that? Maybe, in order to protect me, they don’t want me to remember that trauma. I wouldn’t want to either, because it must be really heavy to cause all this, but it’s what blocks out my memories, so it’s basically my only chance of discovering who I was.
Anyways, as usual, let’s sum up my latest discoveries. Keeping a journal really helps.
So, I am only child. I’m 27, born in April. I am a translator and editor, like I said; I received my education in Italy, of course, but moved to Boston for work. I don’t have many friends, I lost contact with the very few I had in Italy long ago. As for friends in Boston, there are some, but mostly, the greatest one is Tess Doherty. She is one year older than I, and we met over four years ago, when I started working at her same publishing house.
Speaking of the publishing house, it’s called Lion’s Publications. Quite cool for a name. However, Tess says, I left it right before the “accident” because I received a juicy offer from another one. I was to start working there, but they gave up on me due to the whole conundrum I went through, so ... currently, I’m out of a job. Tess says it’s pretty certain that Lion’s Publications will take me back, though. I think she says that because her boyfriend is the editor-in-chief, so she can convince him. Oh, by the way, she advanced, from editor’s assistant, she became his deputy, though only formally, because basically she has the same powers as him, which makes me so proud of her!
I ... don’t have a boyfriend. But I do have the sweetest ex ever. Ryan is so cute and lovely, I wonder why did we break up in the first place. I mean, was I crazy? Ryan is like, the perfect man. He’s sweet, funny, adorable, sometimes naïve, but also clever. And hey, he’s so handsome! I mean, what could have possibly driven me away from him? Was I completely insane?
I asked, you know. I asked why did we break up, but he didn’t tell. He said it was for different reasons that don’t matter now. Said we remained good friends, and we shall keep it that way.
I ... am not very keen on friendzoning myself when it comes to Ryan, but, truth be told, it’s better if I focus on my memories. Love can come later. Speaking of love, well, speaking of relationships and boys, Joe, my therapist, asked me out. Finally. I mean, it took him so darn long!
Well, okay, I asked him out, but he said yes, so I guess it’s a good sign. I know, I know, I just said I should focus on memories, boys can come later ... but, to be honest, I like Joe, he’s nice and cute, he gets my references because, he says, he actually feels more Italian than American, and he also speaks my language, which is a great plus. I mean, Ryan is great, but with Joe I can speak Italian, which helps me rekindle with my culture even while being so far away, and now that my parents have left, I need that even more.
Besides, I’m young, and I may have amnesia, but I know how certain things works, and I can assure you, certain needs do not care about memory loss ...
Okay, maybe I’m horny. There you go, I said it. It’s absurd how I know what does that mean and how does sex work, yet I can’t even remember when was my first time and with whom, but again, amnesia is weird like that, so I’ve just learnt to roll with it. I cannot stop my freaking life just because I can’t remember how it was.
Also, he made it very clear that he wants nothing to do with me, so ... even though that freaking kiss is still stuck in my mind and if I think about it feel tingly all over again, I’m not going to just sit here and wait for him to change his mind. I mean, that would be so antifeminist and anti-modern. Who needs a creepy stalker anyway? I’ve never even seen his face. For all I know, he might be some 50-something creepy dude pretending to be someone else.
Okay, maybe I would rather the relentless pain beneath my ribs subsided a little, but if that means waiting for Mr. Stalker for the rest of my life, then heck no. I’ll just learn to roll with it. Plain and simple.
That’s why I asked Joe out. He’d been doddering for a while, hiding behind that ‘I’m your physiotherapist, there’s a bit of a conflict of interests’ excuse, so I just went straight for it, and asked him. He was taken off guard, I suppose because, apparently, guys still aren’t used to girls making the first move, ugh.
To start over in that sense I could have chosen Ryan, to be honest, it would have made more sense, but ... given my current predicament, I think simplicity is key, and sort of dating my ex a second time as if it were the first is all but simple. Besides, like I said, Ryan friendzoned me. Not sure because he doesn’t feel anything for me anymore, or because he thinks the same, that in my predicament starting over between us would be quite complicated.
I’m completing my timeline, by the way. I mean, the memories are still blocked, but thanks to my parents, Tess and everybody, I’ve been able to draw a somewhat complete timeline of my life. The problem is, there are huge holes. There are things in my childhood that sound odd, not sure why. And then ... there are the past four years in Boston. As great and reliable as Tess and Ryan’s recounts are, there’s something missing.
There are pieces, or rather, people missing, I’m pretty sure about that. And I don’t know about my childhood, but ... I’m pretty sure who is missing in the timeline regarding these past 4 years. That’s why I’ve decided to willingly skip it.
He walked out on me twice, he lied to my face, claiming we’d never met before, and made me lie to my people, so, pardon me, but I don’t think he deserves a place in my new life, whoever he is.
“Are you even listening?”
I rolled my eyes, yawning for the fifth time in an hour. “Yes, uncle, yes, I’m listening ... I gotta convince shareholders I’m reliable, you said. But how? And how do you plan to have our international partners meet me, if I am not allowed to leave this fucking city for the next 2 years? Hell, I can’t even go any farther than my place, your place, and the office. ” I argued, sitting up properly. “Maybe you could organize a pool party in your mansion, but I doubt your stuck up friends will enjoy the sight of me, aka the guy that basically handles their money, wearing a cute electronic bracelet to my ankle.”
Predictably, uncle Keith shot daggers at me. “That’s on you. If you had reported to your parole officer in time, he wouldn’t have suggested you wear that stupid bracelet.”
“Oh, come on! I was like, 5 minutes late. He just doesn’t like me.” I scoffed. And who does, these days? Not even you, I bet. You disagree with what I did, don’t you? I’ve finally manage to fall out of your graces even. I told you I would, I told you, you would come to hate me eventually.
“You were 2 hours late. That, to the Department of Correction of the United States, means escape risk.”
“Then how come they haven’t revoked my parole? How come I’m not stuck either in jail or at home?”
“Because the judge is my friend, and he knows how difficult it is for me to deal with a so-nephew like you.” Wait, was he going to say son?
“So basically you tipped him off.” I scoffed.
“I asked for a favor.” Uncle Keith corrected, gritting his teeth.
“Whatever you wanna call it.” I shrugged. Working side by side with my uncle is extremely tiring, but I guess it’s one way not to think. If my head is full of his ongoing rants, there’s no room for anything else, which is a bliss. I can’t drink, I can’t go to the gym, because it’s outside the bracelet’s range, so I’m left with sex, but it really doesn’t do much.
The next 2 years of my life are gonna be so fucking pathetic, I wonder how will I make it through them. But then, it’s not like it was such a party before. We make our own beds, don’t we? So I really have nothing to complain about, and to be honest I’m even sick and tired of repeating the same things over and over again.
At least there’s one silver lining in this shit. I can’t be tempted to go and see her again, because the hospital is outside the bracelet’s range, her place is outside the bracelet’s range, so ... unless she comes back to work at Lion’s Publications, and I’m really so damn unlucky ...
“I step off at the next,” uncle Keith barged into my thoughts with his gruff voice when we reached the 16th floor, “I need to speak with David. Or do you prefer to do the honors?”
“David Porter ... our editor-in-chief ... where’s your mind, kid? The guy that took your place at the publishing house!”
“Oh ... that David.” I nodded absentmindedly. “Uh ... why?”
“He’s been taking an ideological route I don’t like, sales have been falling.”
“What do you mean, ideological route?”
“I mean he’s one of those, believes in quality literature.” My uncle scoffed, somewhat disgusted.
“Ahhh ... he doesn’t publish shit just to sell. Is that it?” I laughed. “I don’t see anything wrong with that, uncle. It’s actually quite healthy for an editorial line.”
“It’s not when sales lose so many points.”
“Oh, come on, we can afford losing a few bucks. It’s not the end of the world.”
He only glared, but I could see him mentally facepalming as he sighed. “I should send you back to school, you really know nothing about business.”
“Correction, I don’t give a fuck about business. That’s different.” I scoffed. “Was it for me, I’d probably just hang out in a bar or at home.”
He sighed, checking his watch. “Don’t you have the slightest ambition? You’re 32, yet you still act like an immature brat. Is that what you want to teach your future children, that money grows on trees?”
“Since I won’t have kids, I don’t see the drama.”
“That’s a discussion for another day.” Uncle Keith rolled his eyes when the elevator doors opened. “I need to go talk to David now, you go and get started with the meeting upstairs.”
“Hey, am I your deputy or your secretary?” I joked, but he merely glared. He’s all glares, that’s never gonna change. I think his first wife might have succeeded in making him smile now and then, but that was just about it.
Sighing, I leaned against the wall. Ever since they decided to gather together all our main offices in one building belonging to us, these elevator rides have become never-ending. It was at the 17th floor, but I had another half stack of floor to endure, because of course, the CEO’s office is at the top, 30th floor. I wonder, did anyone ever taught my uncle to delocalize?
Then again, I think he just wants to control everything. I think he feels the competition lately, because he’s moved mostly the tech offices and the publishing house. I don’t understand why does he see this big bad enemy in Lucas Grant. I’ve met him, he’s a nice guy, and he doesn’t seem in the least bit interested in battling with Watson Holdings, so what’s the problem?
Speaking of Lukas, I’ll have to cancel Saturday’s game because ... well, I don’t really feel like socializing these days. Also, soccer bores the hell out of me, I only agreed because he really looks like he needs a break from family life. I’m not sure what’s going on between him and his wife, he rambled something about her being untreatable now that she’s pregnant. Poor guy, I don’t envy him.
You’d think that, such a hot shot, would forget about family life, would see his wife and kids every once in a while and simple give all himself to the business, but no, he’s a really devoted father and husband. People are weird, I know.
Trying to tune out the crappy music playing in the elevator, I grabbed my phone, and started scrolling through Instagram. Yes, even I have social media accounts, wanna add me? Oh, wait, right, you hate me these days. Sorry. I guess you’ll miss my extremely hot selfies.
Nah, just kidding. You think I’d take selfies? Seriously? I’ve been down the gutter, I am down the gutter, but Jeez, not that low. Have some faith in me-oh, right. Sorry again. Let’s move on, shall we? I need to talk to the maintenance guys about this goddamn music.
In all this, I’d forgotten to press the button to go up. Thanks for reminding me, eh. Jeez, you women are so annoying with your silent treatment.
Eyes on the booty-text I just received, I blindly pressed the button for the 30th floor. Before I could tell Janae here how to get to my place tonight, something blocked the doors.
“Sorry.” A female voice apologized, somewhat wheezy.
I shrugged, without even looking. “Just press the button.” Wait a minute. This is ...
“Does your hand hurt perhaps?”
I frowned. “Huh?” When my eyes snapped open and I saw her, my heart dropped to my ribs. No. No, no, no, no. Fuck, no. Not some déjà vu shit again.
“Um, hello? My hands are a little busy at the moment, could you please press the button?”
No, I’m hallucinating. I hung out with Trey last night and he smoked some pot, so maybe that’s it. This is the aftereffect of passive exposure to weed smoke, right? I’m not seeing who I’m seeing, no. Because that would send to fucking hell all my efforts, it would fuck up my every intention, and I’d need to have a not too nice word with the author.
“Ok, fine, I’ll doing it on my own.” She rolled her eyes. Her hands were busy with what looked like a box full of her stuff, so she resorted to using her nose to press the 0 button. “Thanks, eh.” She scoffed, going to lean right next to me.
Swallowing the lump in my throat, I slid a little farther away, but she noticed. “Yes, sorry, the smell ... my friend thought it was funny to stuff my desk with chocolates, but she didn’t consider that it’s really warm in the office, so they all melted and yeesh, it was such a mess! Now I gotta go throw out all this stuff.”
Maybe this is her bubbly secret twin. She wouldn’t talk this much. Then again, “accidents” like hers tend to change you a lot. No wonder she looks so different. Even her hair was different, and she wore no glasses.
“You’re not much talkative, are you?” She laughed to herself. “Oh, wait, maybe you don’t speak English?” I didn’t dare reply, I was too focused on not dying of a heart attack, or worse, succumbing to the dire need to either pin her against the wall and kiss the hell out of her, or blurt out who I am and what we were and what she’s doing to me right now, or maybe both. I don’t think I’ve ever been this embarrassed, yet aroused, yet anxious, yet confused and so many other things altogether.
“Mmh ... Sprichst du Deutsch?” She asked. “Or ... parle tu Français? Oh, wait! Parli italiano??” She asked, excited.
I cleared my throat, my gaze fixated on the floor as I tried to make myself as tiny a possible, which is not exactly easy when you’re in a small cubicle and you’re six foot four tall. “Un ... poco.” I admitted in a low voice. I’ve been learning, yes. Despite my role as deputy CEO, I’ve got a lot of time to waste.
“Oh! That’s great! I mean ...” she laughed, such a beautiful and long lost sound ... I think I swooned internally, “sorry, I just ... well, you know, aside from Joe I don’t know anyone that speaks my language, so it’s really cool that you do.” Who the fuck is Joe? “But maybe you don’t wanna talk to me and ...” she laughed nervously, “sorry, I’m harassing you. It’s that everything is so new for me, and ... oh, well, never mind. Sorry! I’ll shut up now.”
How ... has she ever spoken that many words altogether? It’s impossible, she hates wasting breath for worthless talks. She seemed to bubbly, so energetic, so ... happy. Really happy. As happy as I’ve never seen her, as happy as she never was with me.
I guess there’s a silver lining in memory loss. She didn’t only forget her whole life, she forgot her every trauma. This is ... my God, basically this is what Silvia would have been, hadn’t all that shit with her sister happened.
I dared steal a glance, just for a half second, and I saw smiling to herself, humming a song I didn’t recognize. I ... have never heard her sing. She said she quit singing when Matilde died, because that was their thing.
“You really are a silent type, huh?” She laughed. “You know we have like, 10 floors to go? You could at least try to spark up a conversation.” Suddenly, the smile vanished, and she dropped the box, turning to face me. “Or maybe you could try, and grow some balls.”
“You’re a jerk, you know that, right?” Silvia spat, angry as ever, coming to face me up close. “You’re a fucking jerk, Jake Watson.”
“Oh, seriously, you think I wouldn’t remember you at some point?” She slapped me, so forcefully that I think my whole brain got reset. “This is for walking out on me.” Slap number two. “And this is for being so stupid.” She pushed me against the wall, glaring. “I’m so fucking mad at you, right now, I’d want to kill you.” She growled.
Then, she did the oddest thing, she gripped my shoulders, and crashed her whole body against mine. “But I’ve also missed you so fucking bad.” She sighed, leaning in enough to kiss me. God, this must be Heaven. Maybe I’m dead after all, but the kiss sure felt goddamn real. I circled her waist, and pulled her against me, deepening the kiss as much as I could. After two whole years, I didn’t even know where to start.
“Are you even listening?”
I blinked my eyes open, confused as fuck. Oh, shit. Not again.
“You hear me?” Uncle Keith growled. “I asked you a question! Are you even listening?” He shook me, and I awoke from my lovesick daydream.
“Yes, I ... what were you saying?”
“You’ve been up all night, haven’t you?” Uncle Keith scoffed, starting his rant about how am I supposed to grow up now that I’m 32, but I couldn’t care less. This ... daydream, it’s the third time it happens ever since I came back to this building. Thank uncle Keith’s bright idea of merging the major offices all in one building, so that now the CEO too is in the very same fucking building as Lion’s Publications. Good thing she doesn’t work here anymore.
Tess does, though. And ... she’s still in the silent treatment phase, mixed with cold-stone glares and some muttered curses here and there. I supposed she still hasn’t gotten over the fact that I nearly got her best friend killed. Who can blame her, right?
Once uncle Keith had finished with his rant, he stepped off the elevator. I barely caught the words talk and David. He’s probably gonna tick off some careless employee that dared overstep his boundaries. For having married two of his secretaries, my uncle cares a lot about boundaries.
Ignoring the damn annoying song playing in the elevator, and the obnoxious feelings of déjà vu and the crawling hope that my daydream would become reality, I scrolled through my texts. I think I’m getting old, I’ve started bedding the same girl more than once. I’m definitely losing beats.
With one hand I pressed the button to the 30th floor, where the CEO’s office, aka my prison, is, with the other hand I texted Elise to tell her I wouldn’t make it tonight.
Don’t judge me. She insists on claiming it’s only a friends with benefits thing, and honestly, I’m too depressed to argue. It’s a good lay when I need it, she’s fine with it, I’m fine with it, nobody gets hurt. Hey, she’s still hung up on her ex, so I’m basically a rebound, so really, nobody gets hurt.
Before the doors could close, something blocked them. “Sorry.” A female voice apologized, somewhat wheezy.
Ah, fuck. Did I seriously inhale too much of Trey’s pot? I can’t be daydreaming every two seconds.
“You okay?” She asked when I pinched my cheeks, to make sure I wasn’t seriously going nuts.
“Peachy.” I huffed, shaking my head to delete every image. “I really don’t have time for this.”
“This what?” She asked, confused.
“Ugh, you.” I spat, meeting her gaze. Bad, bad move. Daydream or not, my heart dropped to my ribs nevertheless.
“I’m sorry, what-”
“I don’t have time for these daydreams, alright? This is ... it’s insane. Can’t you just ... disappear from my life without harassing me? It’s already enough complicated as it is.”
She blinked her eyes, as if she truly were falling from the clouds. My brain must be pretty fucked up if hallucinations are this vivid. “Um ... I’m sorry, but I think you’re mistaking me with someone else ...” she blinked her eyes, pressing the button to the ground floor.
“What?” No, I’m hallucinating. This is the aftereffect of passive exposure to weed smoke, right? I’m not seeing who I’m seeing, no. Because that would send to fucking hell all my efforts, it would fuck up my every intention, and-shit! Even what I think sounds so familiar.
Yet she was there ... she really seemed, well, real. Dressed in simple jeans and a blouse, holding some papers to her chest, glasses resting over her head instead of on her nose. Maybe this is a look-alike or something. This shit doesn’t happen in real life, so it cannot be happening to me right fucking now, because I had expressly asked for something to a certain author.
“So ... is she your girlfriend? The girl you mistook me for, I mean.” She chuckled. “Do I look so much like her? Oh, by the way,” she stretched her hand to me, a wide smile on her gorgeous face. “I’m Silvia.”
I’m gonna kill you, author. I’m so gonna kill you.