CHAPTER 76 - A DECENT HUMAN BEING
A WHILE AGO
“Are you sure it’s a good idea?” The doctor eyed me carefully. “It’s already quite a high dosage.”
“I can take it.” I told him, confident.
“I can take it. Really.”
“We could always try new ways ...”
“Like what?” I snapped. “Go back in time and avoid it all from happening? Well, if you have a time machine you haven’t told me about, then let’s go. Otherwise just give me the medicines.”
He sighed, writing something down. “I shouldn’t have prescribed them in the first place ... you’re getting addicted.”
“Silvia ... you just snapped at me for not complying. That’s drug addict’s withdrawal symptoms 101.”
I rolled my eyes. “What is it with you Americans and your obsession with drugs? It’s a medicine. You of all people should know.”
Dr. Martinez arched an eyebrow at me. “An answer to that statement would require a lot more time, which I don’t have right now. So let’s just give you the meds, and we’ll see what happens.” He finally handed me the receipt, but before I could grab it, he withdrew his hand. “On one condition, though,” he said, dead serious, “at the first sign of problems, be it even only a feeble headache, you immediately cease taking them, and call me.”
“I’ll be fine.” I waved him off. It’s not like it’s this big of a deal. I just asked for stronger antidepressant pills, what’s the problem with that? I can handle it. The old ones were like candies.
“Silvia ...” Dr. Martinez warned, furrowing his brows.
I snatched the receipt from his hands, and stood. “Fine ... at the first sign of a problem I’ll call you.”
A FEW MONTHS LATER
“You need to stop. Right now.” Dr. Martinez spat, as angry as I’ve never seen him. Normally he’s this very posed and kind middle-aged man, but right now he seemed really pissed.
“You don’t get it, Silvia,” he slipped the meter out of my arm, “your blood pressure is unstable. It’s too high.”
“Well, you gave me pills for that, didn’t you?”
“They’re not working, the antidepressants simply are too strong.” He sighed, rubbing the bridge of his nose. “If you keep this up, you’re going to suffer heavy consequences.”
“Like what?” I arched an eyebrow at him.
“Nosebleeds, for starters. You already say you have headaches.”
“Yes, but that’s a previous condition ... I’ve been having headaches now and then since I was 14, you know that.”
“Yes, but this could be related.” He sighed. “It could be the first sign you’re developing a form of hypertension.”
“Well, it’s not that bad ... I know people that serenely live their life with-”
“You’re not listening, Silvia.” Dr. Martinez snapped, his gaze genuinely concerned yet also mad. “Headaches, nosebleeds, dizziness, short breath ... these are all symptoms of hypertension, and they usually lead to a hypertension emergency. The kind of emergency that may bring to organ failure, and therefore kill you.”
I’ll have to be honest, his words didn’t affect me in the slightest bit. “It wouldn’t be much different from my mind killing me every single fucking day, doctor.”
“It wasn’t his fault.” I sighed for the fifth time, tired of Tess’ rants.
“Oh, really? Then who was it that upset you that much as to cause your heartbeats to increase so suddenly?”
“You heard the doctor, it was a pre-existing condition.” I pointed out in a sigh, more concerned about my past than my present. Doctor said that what I had was a hypertension emergency. I didn’t even know I suffered from hypertension, but apparently I do. And wanna know why? Antidepressants.
Absurd, right? I suffer from hypertension because in the past I’ve overused antidepressants. Just what kind of trauma did I go through? How could it be so heavy as to push me to overuse antidepressants?
“Yeah, but hadn’t he upset you, it wouldn’t have-”
“Tess.” I hissed, exhausted. “Drop it. It wasn’t his fault.”
“I got upset for no reason, my system reacted accordingly, and there you go, hypertension. That’s it. Jake has nothing to do with it.”
“Why do you keep on defending him?” She scoffed, crossing her arms. “After all he put you through, why do you keep on taking his defenses?”
“I’m not taking anyone’s defenses, I’m just stating the truth.” Maybe his flat out rejection upset me, but not as much as everybody seems to think. I doubt it was that to cause this trouble. I think it was more of a mix of things. Lately I do feel tired, and the doctor said it might also have to do with the brain trauma, or ... well, one of the other troubles.
Whatever it is that caused the coma – and I don’t believe for one moment that it happened the way Tess says –, it left scars, as it’s obvious. It’s true that I’ve healed, but there are consequences that I will keep with me for my whole life. It’s scary, but there’s no use in denying it.
Like the scar on my abdomen. I’m not stupid. That’s a C-section type of scar. So the question is, do I have a child nobody has told me about? And if I do have it, why hasn’t anyone told me?
“Tess, stop grumbling against Jake, and tell me this.” I spat, tired of going slow. I’ve tried the peaceful route, but it didn’t work. I’ve tried resorting to the one man that I am utterly sure has all the answers, but he refused to help me, following his pursuit of a life without me – which is perfectly fine with me, by the way. But now I’m tired. I want answers. And I want them now. “Did I have an abortion?“She gulped, predictably. I rolled my eyes. “I take that as a yes.”
I rubbed the bridge of my nose, trying to dig up any sort of memory related, but there was nothing. Could it be that that’s the trauma? I lost my baby, it was too big of a blow, so my mind refuses to let me remember it? It would explain why do I have these dreams lately, of two little girls playing together. Were they twins? And who’s the father? Ryan or Jake? Does Jake know? Does anybody know? And if they know, why aren’t they telling me?
Ugh, I’m so freaking tired of everything.
“It’s complicated, you-”
“I had an abortion, I get it.” I spat. “Was it voluntary or was it closer to miscarriage?”
“Tess, I’m tired, okay?!” I snapped, my voice as loud as I don’t think I’ve ever heard it, or not in this life. “I’m tired of you all treating me like I’m made of glass!” I sat up, feeling dizzy, but nevertheless fine. “I need to gather every detail of my old life, you cannot keep on hiding the highlights.”
“You lied about Jake. And about the accident. You lied about everything.” I barked matter-of-factly. And here I thought I could at least trust my best friend. But it’s like everybody here is working against me. On one side they want me to remember them, yet on the other side they hide everything from me. It makes me so mad, you don’t know.
“Sissy, it was to protect you from-”
“From what? Or should I say whom?”
She sighed, raking a hand over her face. “See? That’s exactly what I meant. One date with him, and look where you wound up.”
“Like I told you, it wasn’t Jake’s fault. It was a pre-existing condition. Why are you so hell bent on blaming my every problem on Jake?”
“Because he’s the source of it all!” She cried out, tears in her eyes as she sat beside me. “Sissy, it was him, all him. He may have not abused you, but he did cause the coma.”
“How?” At least we’re getting closer to the truth now.
“He did. I know he did. Police reports say that much.”
“That doesn’t answer my question.” I scoffed.
“Alright, fine.” Tess spat. “You wanna know the truth? Here it is: your moronic ex boyfriend was involved with a criminal organization that was way bigger than he’d ever considered. When you broke up with him, he took refuge in it, because boo-hoo, the cheater’s heart got broken.” Cheater? “When you went to drag him out of that place, because clearly, he was going to die there, as a thank you he nearly killed you in front of over thirty witnesses. That’s it. That’s all there is in the police report.”
I furrowed my eyebrows together, baffled. “I don’t believe it.” Did Jake seriously send me in a coma?
“Well, you should. Because that’s precisely what happened.”
“Maybe there’s a grey area, something we’re missing ...” That can’t be right.
“No. Police investigated and that’s it. Hadn’t they barged in right at the nick of time, he’d have killed you.”
“No, there must be something else. It can’t be just that.” I bit my lips, making an extra effort to try and remember any possible detail, but nothing. I can’t believe that it went like that. Yet even Jake confirmed it ... all he said, could it be that I’ve seriously been wrong all along?
“You know what? I’m just gonna say it. You’re a jerk.” Lucas glared at me, but I yawned.
“A jerk?” Lukas – not a typo, different name, different person – scoffed. “That’s putting it lightly.” He slammed his beer onto the coffee table. “I could think of so many names to call you, Jake, but I’m trying to keep a rinsed mouth, wifey orders.”
“I hear you,” Eric sighed, sipping his beer, “Natalie has forbidden me to use any f-word in front of the kids. I keep telling her that Noah knows even more cuss words than I, thanks to Uncle Jake here, and Amelia is too little to even understand anything, but you know how she is ...”
Lukas grinned. “To think they’re the sailors most of the time.” And there they are, those lovesick grins. Ugh, disgusting.
“I thought we said boys night,” I scoffed, “not let’s tear down Jake night.” I grumbled, head against the sofa. I can’t even drink. I surrounded myself with people that drink beer alcohol, which I bought for them, and I can’t even taste one single bit of it. Ugh, this is torture. Pure torture.
“Come on, you seriously thought we wouldn’t say anything about it?” Lucas scowled. “Do you realize that she’s in a hospital right now? Because of you. Again.”
“I didn’t do anything.” How could I know she suffers from hypertension? Hadn’t Lucas himself told me tonight, I would have never known Silvia had been hospitalized right after our meet-up the other day.
“You yelled in her face that you’ve never loved her.” Lucas spat. “And you call that nothing?”
I sighed, covering my face with my hands. “God, where’s Colin? He’s a pain in the ass, but never like you, Grant.”
“Colin? Oh, you mean the guy that’s busy trying to ease your own sister’s heartbreak, which, by the way, you caused?” He scoffed. “You’re a disaster, Jake. A full-blown disaster.”
“Then why are you here?” I snapped my eyes open. “All of you, why are you here tonight?”
“Because we all share something very important.” Eric butted in. “We’ve all encountered our soul mates, and we’ve all been through shit with them or because of them.”
I scoffed at my cousin’s boyfriend. The nerve this kid has. I only saved his ass because of her and their son, otherwise, had it been for me, he could have rotten where he was. “I really don’t need any lessons from the guy that abandoned his girlfriend. Twice.”
“You know I had no choice.”
“Yeah, yeah, we all say that.” I rolled my eyes, my migraine killing me all over again. Ever since my daydream with Silvia was cut off, migraines have been drilling my head over and over again, so that now I even need to take pain killers every two days. If I’m not careful I might wind up sucked into my morphine addiction all over again.
“You really can’t blame Eric right now. You’ve done the very same.” Lukas sent me a dirty look.
“The same? He’s done even worse!” Lucas with a c scoffed. “At least Eric stuck to his plan, stayed away. But you, Jake ... you keep on tugging at her leash.”
“I’m not doing anything of the sort. She came to me. I could hardly tell her to fuck off.”
“Maybe it would have been better, given the consequences.” Bennet, aka Lukas with a k, scoffed. I think I’m gonna start using last names, that way we don’t get confused.
“Seriously, have you all come to make me feel like shit? Because believe me, I don’t need your help.” I scowled. I’m pretty good a self destruction, I don’t need any help.
“We’re here because we’re your friends.” Grant stated. “And because we’re friends, we’re trying to stick some common sense into that thick skull of yours.”
I stood, tired of their holy attitude. As if I’m the evil ogre and they’ve been nothing but perfect boyfriends and husbands. I stood before them, glaring at each of them. “Coming from liars and cheaters, that’s really funny.”
“Liars and cheaters?” Grant scoffed. “And where did you get that from now? Can you take your own blame for once, Jake?”
“I do take my blame.” I poured myself some coke, which is not the damn same as a beer, but I can’t do else. “But you should also take yours.” I eyed them all, those sanctimonious faces, and one by one, I reminded them of their faults. “You, Grant, we both know what you did to your wife.”
“She still has no idea as of today. If that’s not lying, I don’t know what is.”
He gritted his teeth. “It was a different matter. The only solution.”
“Sure, sure, whatever you say, man.” I then turned to the other Lukas. “Should I even begin?”
“If you’re talking about that kiss, it wasn’t me. She kissed me, I just didn’t react in time.”
“That’s still cheating in my book.”
“You fucked your ex!”
“I did not.”
“You would have.” Bennet scowled. “Don’t think Silvia didn’t talk about it over and over again with Tara and the other girls.”
“Fine, I cheated. But I own it. Does Tara even know about the kiss?”
“She does.” Bennet gritted through his teeth. “And she’s forgiven me.” Just because you’re a piece of shit, doesn’t mean you gotta make even the other feel the same.”
“I’m just saying, none of you is entitled to judge me, given your own faults.”
“That doesn’t change a thing, Jake.” Grant butted in. “It still remains that you’re a damn jerk. You keep on playing with that girl, going back and forth whenever you please.”
“Ha! Shut up and listen.” He stood, holding up a finger, while the other Lukas pulled me back onto the sofa. “You keep saying she’s better off without you, but the truth is, she’s only half, because so are you. We all would be, without our complementary selves.” Cue the others’ smiles as they thought of their women.
“That doesn’t mean-”
“Shhh.” I glared, but he didn’t even care. “The point is, either you cut off the ropes once and for all, allowing her to move on, or you choose the braver path, giving her every memory back.”
“That’s not up to me, I-”
“It’s precisely up to you.” Grant stated, a feeble smirk appearing on his lips. Not sure what it meant, but he did eye the other two that were sitting at my sides. “It’s precisely because it’s up to you, that we’re here.”
I felt a sharp pain to my temple out of the blue, something hitting me. I could barely get to see the small stick in Bennet’s hand, that I blacked out.
Slowly, I opened my eyes, still feeling my head pounding. Remind me, next time I see Lukas Bennet, he’s a dead man.
“Sorry about that.” A familiar voice sighed. “I told them it wasn’t necessary, but ... Eric said he didn’t want to hurt you by fighting you.”
I frowned, turning to the side. Silvia stood there, bracing herself in her cardigan, her eyes closed as she took in the cool breeze. Only a moment I realized we were out in the open, or rather, on a terrace, in a house on the beach. “Eric? That kid still reeks of breast milk and he thinks he could take me down?” I scoffed.
She rolled her eyes. “From what I gather, he was secret service or something of the sort, so ... yeah, he could take even you down.”
“Did he also tell you I had to save his ass?”
She rolled her eyes yet again, turning to me. “That’s not the point, and not at all the reason why we’re here.”
“You mean why have you had me abducted by your minions?”
“It was the only way. And, believe it or not, it was your sister to give me the idea.”
I blanched. “Serene?”
“Yeah, I met your sister Serene.” Silvia turned her whole body towards me. “And I gotta say, she’s the nice sibling between you two.”
“That’s because you didn’t meet her when she was a child.”
“Either way, Serene said, and I quote, the only way to get something out of my brother, is to force him; so unless you basically tie him down and carve every single word out of him, you won’t get any answer.”
“And here I thought my baby sis was a pure little angel.”
“I think she was also driven by resentment. You did treat her like shit, apparently.” Silvia scoffed, going to sit at the table that faced the ocean. “Now, I would have tied you down, but it would have been inhuman. So I’m just gonna believe you’re going to choose to be a decent human being this time.”
“If you think I can be a decent human being, then you don’t know me at all.”
“That’s the whole point, Jake.” Silvia turned to me, her hazel eyes piercing into me like fiery blades. “I don’t know you, but I need to. So, will you sit down, and start over where we left off, or are you going to leave me with nothing again?”