I'm Here to Fix You

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Chapter 77



“Why are we here? And what’s this place?” Jake asked, sitting in the sand. I wasn’t sure he’d follow me when I decided to come to the beach, but luckily he did.

“Didn’t we just agree that I ask the questions?” I scoffed, rejoicing of the cold water on my feet. I don’t think I’ve ever been much of a beach person, but this here, with a barely warm weather, nobody around, clouds covering the blue sky ... I like it.

“Well, I’m entitled to know where have you abducted me to, don’t you think?”

I rolled my eyes. “It’s a place somewhere outside Boston.”

“You know, I can’t leave the city.” He said, wiggling his eyebrows. “If I do, I risk getting throw back into prison.”

“Serene told me.” I pointed out. “And she also told me the full distance you’re allowed to go to from your place. This beach is within that distance, so don’t worry, you won’t have Marshalls come get you.”

“You thought it all through, huh?” He smirked. “I’m impressed. Say, should I worry? Are you gonna murder me without witnesses?”

I rolled my eyes, annoyed, yet secretly I enjoyed it. Not because his morbid joke was funny, although it kinda was. No, I secretly enjoyed it because, the truth is, the more we bicker like this, the closer I feel to ... I don’t know, unraveling the mystery that he is, I guess.

When Lucas told me he had a plan to force Jake to talk to me, I wasn’t too sure it would work. He said he had a beach house near Boston, and that I could use it to relax if I needed to, because clearly my hypertension problem was also due to the stress that is trying to live a normal life while attempting to recover the old one. Right then and there I agreed, thinking that maybe a weekend off might be what I needed, doctor agreed.

I thought I’d take Joe with me, we could spend a cozy weekend together, away from everything, and work on deepening our relationship. But ... it’s awful and stupid, but I kept thinking about Jake.

It’s awful because Joe is a great guy, I can’t just play with him like this, be with him while I think of another man. And it’s stupid because, let’s be honest, ever since I’ve known him, Jake Watson has been nothing but a jerk with me, so why should I even waste time thinking about him when he clearly doesn’t want me to?

And yet ... ugh, if only I could shake off that feeling that I need to remember him. If only I could just ignore that gut-feeling, I could move on and have a full life without having to deal with a jerk like him.

Instead look at me, I’m at a beach house in the middle of nowhere, alone with him. Any other sane person would have reject the sole idea of spending a whole weekend alone with an alleged murderer, but me? I basically had him dragged here. How stupid can I be?


When he brushed my arm, I recoiled. Not because I was scared, but because I felt like a sharp electric shock through my veins, as if a spark had lit me up at the unexpected. I stepped back, confused and mildly scared, because that has never happened before. I mean, yes, every contact with him is ... weird, it gives me shivers down my spine, but ... not like this, never like this.

“Sorry.” Jake murmured, taking a few steps back as well. Did he feel she same thing? “You’ve been silent for a few minutes ... I thought you weren’t feeling well.”

“I’m fine.” I blurted out, swallowing the lump in my throat. “I ... let’s sit down.”

“Silvia ...”

“Jake, please.” I sighed, sitting down on the sand, my loyal notebook with me. Well, I kept it, but I also had my laptop. I brought it because I haven’t been able to access it, not remembering the password, but since the security question keeps on telling me ‘Cliché’, I thought maybe it was something related to my ex here ... so maybe he knows.

Practical problems, guys. Because not everything is about feelings, and because, let’s be honest, accessing my laptop would make things a whole hell of a lot easier. I mean, accessing office data was easy, I just needed help from the IT guy. Accessing my personal laptop and everything is a lot harder. Apparently, I was a paranoid cookie in my past life.

“I don’t get it.” Jake huffed. “I keep telling you I’m bad news. I’ve treated you like shit. You wound up hospitalized because I upset you. And yet, at the end of the day, you’re still here, trying to remember me. Why? Why are you so stubborn about this? You can serenely live without me, Silvia. I assure you, you can. And you were doing just that before you met me. So why insist?”

“Because,” I grabbed his arm to force him to sit down beside me, and there it goes, that spark again, “you’re connected to a huge part of my life. Asking me not to remember you means asking me to live half a life.”

“Before the coma, I was in your life for how long, 2 years? Something of the sort. I’m barely a piece of it, far from being as essential as you think.”

“I told you before, it’s not about duration.” I argued, bracing my knees, eyes on the ocean. It was a fairly good day, the breeze was pleasantly caressing my skin, yet the sole fact that Jake was so close had me feel hot all over.

“No, it’s about meaningful moments, I get it.” He convened. “But I meant what I said last time.” He turned to me, those hazel-green eyes making my heart vibrate. I wonder why does he keep saying that he doesn’t really matter, when my emotional reactions seem to so clearly point to a tight bond between us. “Had I been this incredibly important piece of your life, even only hearing my voice would have sufficed.”

“You don’t get it. That’s not how amnesia works.” I sighed. “It’s not as easy as ringing a bell. It’s a long, long process that needs all hands on deck. I need to work on it, but I also need help.”

“Where have you gotten so far?” He seemed cooperative, phew.

I opened my notebook, and scanned my notes. “So far, I know I’m Italian, and that I moved here when I was 22. I know that I’ve always worked for a publishing house.” I turned to him, arching an eyebrow. ”Your publishing house. The one where we, apparently, met.”

“Tess, huh?” He cracked a sad smile.

“Serene actually.” I pointed out in a sigh. “To be honest, Tess wants nothing to do with you, and claims I shouldn’t either. Your sister, instead, she seemed very eager to have me remember you ...” I let myself smirk, “I wonder why ...”

Jake rolled his eyes. “Serene is a romantic soul. Anything that involves me with a stable girlfriend makes her all giddy.” He sighed, playing with the sand. “I think she craves to be aunt or something.”

I chuckled. “Well, why not?”

He grimaced. “She already has her boyfriend’s niece and nephews.”

“It’s not the same and you know it.”

“Well, she can grow old wishing for a little Watson, because she’s never gonna get it.”

I laughed. “She may always make one of her own.”

Surprisingly, Jake recoiled. “What? No!”

“What? She’s a woman, she’s in a stable relationship ... you think they won’t want to start a family someday?”

He shook his head, as if to delete the thought. “Ugh, let’s just not talk about my sister’s reproductive system, okay?” He curled his lips in disgust, and I felt something like déjà vu. Maybe that’s something he usually does, because I felt like I’d seen it many times.

“Alright, alright ...” I laughed, actually enjoying myself, “we were saying that it was your sister to give me some details, because, clearly, she’s much more keener than you when it comes to our relationship.”

“What did she say?” He grimaced.

I looked back at my notebook, scanning all the info Serene gave me. “Let’s see ... she said she didn’t know much about our relationship, because you never tell her anything.” Cue his rolling of eyes. “What she does know is that, you and I met at the office, that you were my boss, I was your translator. Correct?”

“Yeah.” He reluctantly admitted.

“She also said that we were friends before getting in a relationship. Correct?” He didn’t say anything. “Jake?”

“Yeah, yeah, correct.”

“Okay ... she said it took us long to finally start dating, but ...” I eyed him carefully, feeling awkward. What I was about to say would be definitely too personal, but I couldn’t do else. I cleared my throat, and resumed: “Your sister said it took us long to finally start dating, but-uh ... you ...” gosh, I didn’t know how to say it without embarrassing him and myself, given the odds, “you ... well ...”

“I fell for you long before you fell for me, yes.”

Uh oh. I didn’t expect that. I felt my heart do somersaults. I mean, I knew that was it, Serene told me. But for him to admit it so openly, without trying to divert the subject nor debase it ...

Jake sighed, clasping his hands together as her stared in the distance. “I’ve loved you, Silvia. God knows I have.” He finally admitted. Although the past tense worried me a little, not sure why. “I guess there’s no use in denying it at this point.”

I cleared my throat for the umpteenth time, my heart hammering in my chest, as if it felt the things I wasn’t able to. My brain was entirely unaware of every sort of emotion or reaction I should have, yet my heart seemed to be pushing and pushing towards epiphany. Maybe this talk will actually illuminate me. “And ...”

“You have.” Jake cut me off, biting his lips, as if he didn’t want to say it, yet he wanted to. He didn’t even look at me, as if he didn’t dare to, especially not when he laid it down thick and thin: “You loved me. Despite everything. Even though I warned you not to. Even though I kept pushing you away, even though I did all I could not to let you, you loved me.”

Oh, gosh.

“And the truth is, I miss it.” He swallowed, and I ... saw it, that tear falling down his cheek, I saw it, and my heart consequently clenched. “Your love was what gave my life a purpose. It made me, or pushed me to be, a better man.” He closed his eyes, I guess aware that tears were starting to stream down his cheeks. “I’m doing all this for you, Silvia.” Jake claimed. “I’m ...” his voice broke, and I bet that’s why he didn’t dare turn to me, but I saw it all, the pain, it showed on his face, “... it’s killing me. Whatever you and everyone else may think, it’s killing me, day by day, but it’s the only way.”

“What ...” I cleared my throat to speak louder, “w-what do you mean?”

“The reason why you want to remember me but can’t, is because I am the cause of your traumas, you know that.”

“Yes, but-”

“And don’t you think it was some sort of fateful intervention?” He finally opened his eyes, and turned to me. Gosh, the sight of his tears was heartbreaking, yet only on an empathic level. I just ... couldn’t feel it any other way, and it was frustrating. “Don’t you think that, maybe, this whole amnesia thing, was some sort of ... divine plan to push you away from your doom?”

“You keep saying that,” I sighed, bracing myself, suddenly feeling cold, “you keep saying you’re my doom, and I don’t understand why.”

Jake inhaled deeply, and wiped away his tears. “Because I’ve done nothing but hurt you. And I will again. It’s inevitable.”

“But how, I-”

“I cheated on you.”

“Oh.” I guess that’s why Tess called him a cheater.

“You were pregnant when I did.”

“What?” I gasped. Okay, that, I didn’t see it coming.

Jake nodded slowly. “The worst is, I have no excuse for it.” He turned back to gaze at the ocean. “I could say it was the pregnancy, because I was nowhere near ready for it. I could say it was a low stage in our relationship, or that I was simply frustrated because we hadn’t had sex in a couple of weeks. I could even say that Olivia threw herself at me. But the truth is, I have no excuse. I just ... did it.” He sighed. “I cheated because she was there willing, and I didn’t think.”

“I see.” I murmured, not sure what to say. I mean, I wasn’t even angry, simply because I felt nothing.

Jake cracked a small, demoralized smile. “No, you don’t.”


“You don’t even know what I’m talking about.” He lay down in the sand, exhaling loudly. “You just sit there, taking notes, but you don’t have the slightest fucking idea what I’m saying.”

“I’m not taking notes, I’m listening. Just because-”

“Don’t you see? It’s a good thing. You don’t know. And you shouldn’t.”

“Jake ...”

“I cheated on you for no reason at all. Isn’t that enough to say I’m not good for you?”

I pursed my lips, thinking carefully of what to say. “The point here is not whether you’re good for me or not, Jake.” I pointed out sincerely. “The point is not what I feel or don’t, the point is what I need to know.”

“Exactly. I-”

“No, you don’t get it.” I stared straight into his hazel-green eyes, to make sure he wouldn’t seek an escape route. “Your words can’t hurt me because I don’t feel anything.” God, that was so cold. I just hope he used the past tense for a reason. “But I do need you to say it. Because nobody else will.”

“Silvia ...” he stood, sighing.

“Jake, everybody else keeps me ignorant.” I admitted, tired of pretending I don’t see the truth. “My parents won’t tell me the whole truth about my childhood. My best friend has done nothing but lie to me, claiming she wanted to protect me. Everybody I ask to either doesn’t know or says only half truth.” I sighed once more. “You’re my only chance.”

He paused for a long moment, then claimed: “But has it ever occurred to you that, maybe, they lie to protect you?”

“I don’t need to be protected!” I snapped, leaping to my feet. “For God’s sakes, I can take it! Whatever it is, I can take it! I’m not made of glass!”

“Silvia ...” Jake stood.

“No. Do not Silvia me. It’s my freaking life, and I need to know the full truth!” I realized I’d shouted only once I felt my heart increasing its pace, dizziness clouding my vision again. Damn hypertension. Seems like every time I get the slightest bit upset, I get sick. Doctor says it’s only because I haven’t cured it until now, if I keep it in check it should get better.

I paced around, bracing myself, nervous and anguished. Everybody’s against me. They keep saying it’s to protect me, they just don’t understand that this is not protection, this is keeping me hostage. “I thought you of all people would help me. I mean, they say you’re blunt and careless, you don’t give a damn about the others ... I thought you wouldn’t have so many qualms in telling me the whole truth.”

Jake cracked a small, bittersweet smile. “You think? You’re basically asking the one man that loves you the most to grab a knife and stab your heart until it bleeds out.” He scoffed. “Not that I haven’t done that before, but as far as I can avoid it, I will.”

“I just told you, you won’t hurt me, simply because I can’t feel anything!”

“But you will! That’s the whole problem! Amnesia may not be like ringing a bell, but eventually, hearing recounts will be precisely like that. That’s why everybody’s ignoring your questions about deeper-rooted memories.”

“So I’m supposed to live half a life.” My lip trembled, and I inched my own arms closer to myself, because I knew I was close to crying, and I hated it. “I’m supposed to go on without a past, because you people think you can decide for me.”

“It’s not that.”

“Then what?! This is my freaking life! Mine! Not yours, not Tess’, not Ryan’s, not my parents’! It’s my life, and you’re taking it away from me! You’re not protecting me, you’re condemning me to be just a half of myself!” I blurted out, screaming at the top of my lungs, feeling my whole ribcage tremble more at the words than at the power of my vocal chords.

I realized I was literally quivering, that my whole body was shaking, only when I felt Jake’s arms around me. He pulled me against him, embraced me, and pecked my temple. “I’m sorry.”

That wasn’t enough. I don’t know whether it was out of nervousness, or because his arms around me set me on fire, or because I just felt overwhelmed, but ... I burst out crying against his chest. I sobbed and sobbed, crying my heart out while Jake held me close, and I knew, I was sure ... he’d done this before.

Holding me together, holding together the broken pieces of what I was, he’s done this before. Now as ever his words resonated in my heart more than just my head. There was no past tense, there could never be. Because he’s never ceased loving me, and he never will. And if I tell you how do I know this, you’ll laugh.

I know this because, his heart, I felt it against my chest. As absurd as that may sound, I felt it push against his chest, as if to reach mine. The closer he held me, the more I felt his heart hammering against his chest to reach mine. As if wanting to embrace it, protect it, the same as Jake was physically doing by holding me. And the truth is, I think my heart was doing just the same.

As I snaked my arms around his torso, and he hid his face behind my neck, I realized something. I don’t need to remember what I felt for him. Because, given the chance, my heart will feel it again on its own. I don’t need to remember loving Jake Watson. Because it will be inevitable to love him again. Be it today or in years, I will love this man again.

Simply because it’s stronger than I, stronger than him, stronger than any resistance we may oppose. “We’re connected, you and I.” I heard myself murmur, as if a memory deep, deep down the farthest recesses of my soul had spoken up. Jake stiffened, which confirmed my déjà vu. “We’re connected, you and I.” I repeated, quoting him. “For life and death. Through pain and sorrow.” I raised my head, to look him in the eyes as it dawned on me. “You’re ... you’re here to fix me.”

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