I'm Here to Fix You

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Chapter 86

CHAPTER 86 - YOUR MOOD SWINGS ARE GIVING ME WHIPLASH

SILVIA

I waited. And waited. And waited. Ever since I got here, I must have barely uttered one or two words. Actually, only one: I just said hi, then I shut up. The truth is, I was bold with Tess while I claimed my feelings and my intentions, but now ... eh, now what?

What do you do when he’s right there in front of you, and you’re surrounded by a dozen strangers? I don’t know whether I’ve ever been much of a romantic girl, I doubt it, but ... even for me, admitting my feelings in front of all these people, and under such circumstances, it kind of spoils the mood.

How am I supposed to tell him we’re going to have a baby while he’s in prison? How do you even break out such news? Especially to a guy that has already made it brutally clear he has no intention whatsoever of being with you.

Because, in the end, that’s it. How do I tell him we’re bound to each other for the rest of our lives, if he doesn’t even want a right here, right now with me?

And aside from that, how do I talk about the letter? How can that come up? How can I tell him I know his intentions and it frightens me? I haven’t even had the courage to check the box he said. The one labeled Angel with Horns.

I don’t know why. It shouldn’t be so difficult, it’s my past after all, right? It’s the one chance to recollect my memories, or at least see clearer. And yet ... I’m scared. I guess it’s because I’m not as ready as I thought. When you realize your past life involved much more darkness than you’d ever fathomed, it’s easy to be tempted to just close the lid, and leave it there.

However, let’s get back to the situation at hand. Me sitting in a visiting room surrounded by a dozen people that, like me, sat before someone thy were divided from by a thick glass that allowed no sound.

When I was told I could finally come visit, I was overjoyed, then reality dawned on me, that I would have to tell him everything ... but now sitting here, both of us holding the ‘phone’ to our ears in silence, Jake simply staring at me, a silly smile on his face ... I don’t even know where to begin anymore.

“How-uh ... how are you?” Yeah, genius move, Silvia, let’s start with the lamest question ever. Ugh.

Jake shrugged. “Peachy.”

“I was ... I know about the-uh ... solitary confinement.”

“I know. The warden said you were a pain in the ass, he basically released me out of exasperation.”

I chuckled. “Well, I didn’t do much. I just connected the right people. The combined power of your uncle’s lawyers and Lucas’ did the rest, I guess.”

“Yes, but ... it was mostly you.” Jake said, pursing his lips, his voice lower as he inched closer to the glass. Unconsciously, I mimicked him. “You scared him.”

“That means he’s got something to hide.” I shrugged. “Also, if he does that, if he just randomly puts his inmates in solitary confinement for weeks, if he treats them like that ... then maybe he should be investigated.”

“He probably will be.” Jake laughed. “You poked the bear, now I doubt he’ll stop.”

“You mean Lucas?”

“Yeah ... he’s got this ... self-proclaimed call to do good, you know. Didn’t I know him any better, I’d say he’s atoning for something.” Jake said, leaning back. “Judging by the amount of charity work and everything, it must have stained his soul pretty badly. Hell, to act like that, you’d think he’s killed someone.”

“I don’t know him enough to judge.” I admitted. I only met Lucas Grant and his wife because, together with Jake’s cousin, they came to see me when I was at the hospital. I’ll admit I was amazed to realize I knew such a famous person.

I mean, when he first introduced himself, I had no idea who he was, but then a younger nurse that had seen him in my room started asking questions, and she showed me all the magazines with him on the cover. Apparently, I have a billionaire as friend. Well, Jake does. I’m more friends with Lucas’ wife, since apparently, just like me, she’s Italian. I’ve actually discovered that I don’t have just Tess, it’s just that she’s the closest friend, but there’s a whole gang, and we’re so incredibly close that it’s even absurd that I hadn’t found out before.

They say Jake asked them to take a step back for a few weeks, not to scare me. He was right. I was already overwhelmed by the number of kids that call me auntie even though I have no actual siblings.

“Either way, in the warden’s defense, my case was right.” Jake claimed. “He had no other choice.”

I frowned. “Yeah, he said that. He said it was for protection ... to protect the other inmates from you.”

“Maybe.” Jake laughed, as if he hasn’t just admitted to having scared off some of the worst scumbags. I wonder, can he seriously be that frightening? And how? I mean, sure, he does look intimidating, and ever since he got arrested, his features have hardened ... but he doesn’t look so scary to me. Even without our past, I wasn’t afraid of him when we first met.

“Either way, you’re here now. And that’s what matters.” I sighed, knowing that, since we have limited time, I needed to speak now or never. Well, now or in a week or two.

“Yeah.” He smiled silly, watching me. “By the way, has Byron called you?”

“Byron?” I frowned. “Uh ... no, why?”

“There are a few things he needs to discuss with you. Nothing to worry about, just routine legal stuff, a signature here, a signature there.”

“What kind of things? And why are you being so weird?” I frowned, getting more courage. I’ve been here 10 minutes, and he’s so different from the usual. It’s like ... a huge load was lifted off his chest. Is it the solitary confinement? Does he feel better now that he’s no longer locked up with his own self?

“Weird? I’m not weird, am I?” Jake laughed, leaning closer. “I’m just ... glad to see you. You look ... glowing.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“Nothing, you just ... look great, that’s all.”

Okay, this is weird. “Jake, last time I was here you ... you basically told me you’d never see me again.”

He laughed. “Well, I say many things. I don’t always mean them all.”

“So when you told me to read you ‘without the deceptive eyes of love’, you didn’t mean it? When you said that, once I’d learned about your past, I wouldn’t want anything to do with you anymore, you didn’t mean it?” I scoffed, irritated that he would take everything as a joke.

“So we’re finally there, huh? Took you look enough.”

“Jake.” I called sternly, tired of his shenanigans. “This is serious.”

“Did you read it? The letter, did you read it?”

“Yes, that’s why-”

“Rip it.”

“What?” I frowned.

“Rip it. It holds no meaning anymore.”

“I don’t understand ...”

He shrugged. “The parts about my past, oh, those are all true, definitely. Sorry. I’m not Prince Charming, I actually come with a lot of baggage, but I think you’d already figured that out. The rest, though ... nah, I’ve changed my mind.”

“About ... what?”

He pressed his lips together, as if to suppress a smile. “Did you know, experts say that children don’t remember anything up until they’re 3 years old.” Jake claimed. “I mean, yeah, they remember easy things, like the people they see the most, but their memories, their memories are all fuzzy.”

“What ...”

“That means that if, say, they were to spend their first 3 years of life fatherless, they wouldn’t recall it when they grow up.”

What the ...

Jake leaned closer, enough for his hot breath to fan the glass that divided us. His voice was low and somewhat soothing in my ear through the phone as he claimed: “For instance, there’s a high chance he or she will not remember that his or her father spent those early years in prison.”

“How ... h-how did you ...” who told him?

“Funny, huh?” Jake grinned. “They call it childhood amnesia, and it’s an entirely normal thing. I find it comes in handy. I mean, if you don’t even remember it, there’s no trauma, right?” He covered his mouth with his head, laughing, while I blinked my eyes, taken aback. “Oops ... too early for memory loss jokes, sorry.”

I furrowed my brows. “How ... who told you?”

“That you’re pregnant? A little bird informed me.” Jake grinned, as if he were ... even happy about it. But why?

“And ... you’re ... glad?”

“Honestly? Not one bit.” He laughed, confusing me even more. “But I don’t know, I’ve thought about it, and some friends made a solid point about how this may actually be a blessing in disguise, so ... why not?”

“But ... I mean ...” I blinked my eyes repeatedly, unable to wrap my head around it. “After all you said, all you did ... I mean, Jake, you got yourself arrested not to be around me.”

“Idiotic move, sorry about that.” He claimed, cheerful. Ok, either he’s high or ... I don’t know! This attitude freaks me out, after the cold shoulders and all.

“You can’t be serious ...”

“Why not?” He frowned. “Or is it not mine?” He gulped, actually looking disappointed. “Wait ... it’s not mine? Are you still seeing that physiotherapist?”

“No, I broke up with Joe, but that doesn’t-”

“Is it Sir Douche, then?” Jake rolled his eyes. “It’s him, isn’t it? I guess it’s karma. I got where he didn’t have time to, he got what I should have.”

“What ... what are you even talking about? Are you drunk?”

He laughed. “In prison? Highly unlikely. Not that I wouldn’t have the chance, but ... nah, I’ve actually been cleaning up. The hole does that, too.”

“Jake, you’re scaring me.”

“Why?” He laughed again.

“Because ... you’re being weird.” I leaned back. “I ... I don’t know what to think! First you say all that stuff about not wanting you back in my life, you even leave me all the evidence I need for that. Now you claim you want to be a father to this kid, yet you doubt me ...” I sighed, rubbing my temple. “Your mood swings are giving me whiplash.”

And there he goes, laughing again. Didn’t I know any better, I’d think he’s gone crazy. But he did that before, too, at least in the hospital, laughing at everything I said. This guy is everything and the opposite of everything. For the life of me, I cannot figure him out. Yet I know there’s something that binds us, and we’re kind of ... destined to each other, whatever that means.

“Okay, let’s put this way.” Jake said, after having sobered up, and I bet because the guard was starting to warn visitors that time was up. “I’ve got 3 years here. Nobody’s gonna change that, not even the almighty friends we have. So we better just ... plan around it.”

“Meaning?”

“Meaning ...” he placed his open hand on the glass, smiling like a fool, “that I want this. I don’t know if I can’t be any clearer. I want this. You and I.”

“But ...”

“I was stupid. I thought that leaving you behind would be the answer, but ... it’s not.” He chuckled. “If anything, only because you’re so terribly stubborn ... so I want this, you and I, our baby ... we should have had a long time ago.”

“You mean ...”

“You know what I mean. But that’s in the past, thankfully.”

“So it’s true, I had an abortion ...” I mused out loud.

“Like I said, it’s water under the bridge. The point is, we’re getting a second chance at this. And ... I don’t wanna throw it away this time.”

“You’re serious. You’re actually serious.” I commented, disbelieving. After all he said, for things to end this way ... it can’t be. It can’t be so easy. There’s something he’s not saying. There must be.

“Yes, I’m serious.” Jake stood when the guard came to grab him by the arm, and I did the same. “I want this, baby. I do.”

***

JAKE

“Someone’s cheery today.” The guard escorting me and the others back to gen pop smirked. “Good news?”

“What do you think? I’m gonna be a father.” I grinned like a Cheshire cat, actually super-hyped about this. I don’t know, last time it was as lightning in July, but ... this one seriously feels like a second chance to be what we could have, hadn’t things gone so down South.

I thought amnesia would be a chance for her to start over, but maybe ... it’s for the both of us. Maybe this is actually a chance for us to try again, this time without so many burdens.

I thought of Luke, what he did, how he took that chance to give his wife a better life, and I realized ... I was handed the same chance, why not exploit it?

Without the whole Sokolov drama, by now we would have been already parents. Yes, I know, we said we were going to give it in adoption, but come on, you seriously think we would have? We’d have probably changed our minds at the last minute. Well, I would have. I know, because I did, in the end. The sad part is, I changed my mind when it was too late.

So this is a second chance for us. The one we can use to start over and ... you know, all that cliché stuff. Start a family and all that. I cannot even begin to see myself as a father, but I guess it was ... fate? Whatever it was, it’s here now, so ... why spoil it?

By the time I got back to my cell, I found a surprise. New cellmate. Well, the old one. I got so used to being on my own that it was weird to see someone sharing my living spaces.

“Hey, there.” I greeted, actually feeling in a great mood. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so full of energy since this whole trouble began. I guess it’s true what they say, parenthood gives you superpowers. And here I thought Lucas exaggerated when he said he felt invincible when he held his children in his arms. I haven’t even seen my kid, he’s barely even there, actually, yet I already feel over the moon. Weird, huh?

“Hey, buddy, I know we started on the wrong foot, but I guess we can change that. We are going to be here for a while, after all.” I said, going to sit on my cot. “I’m on a new lead, I promise.” I lay down. “I’ve actually received some pretty awesome news today.”

I grinned, unable to retain myself. After the whole hitman drama, thinking of a life to come, it feels refreshing. I gotta tell you, those two, Eric and Vince, they’re pretty convincing liars. When the bamboozled the warden, claiming they’d witnessed a car crash and, seeing my orange uniform they’d immediately thought about taking me back where I belong, hadn’t I known everything, even I’d have fallen for it. I should warn Natalie, her husband’s a little too good of a liar for her to trust him so blindly.

Either way, the warden got so scared that I was going to rat him out, that he agreed to every single demand I had. I only asked to be put back in gen pop, to get back my call and visiting duties, and to forget the whole thing about adding extra years to my sentence.

I’m gonna be out of here in 3 years. 3 years. That’s 27 months of a child’s life. I won’t lose too much, will I? I mean, I won’t see him ... sorry, it, walk, but I’ll be there for the rest, I guess. I don’t know why, I keep thinking it’ll be a he. But I guess I’m just thinking of the one that could have been. Hopefully I can make things right this time.

Taking a deep breath, I closed my eyes, and, for the first time in forever, I actually relaxed. Everything looks bright when you realize you’ve contributed to creating a life.

Nah, okay, I’m only thinking of the life we three will have. I never imagined I could want the suburbia kind of life, but ... now that I realize, it wouldn’t be too bad. After all, it’s not about where, it’s about who, isn’t it?

I relaxed so well that I nearly fell asleep. For a minute or so, I think, I actually fell asleep peacefully. I woke up to something pressed against my face, though.

“What the ...” a pillow, pressed against my face, enough to nearly keep me from breathing. “What the fuck, Hank!” I fought against it, and managed to get rid of it. When I did, I realized my cellmate was kneeled before my bunk, looking sad and grim, a pretty rusty yet sharp blade in his hand. “What ...”

“Sorry. It was me or you.”

I rolled my eyes. “Oh, come on ...”

Well, then. No rest for the wicked.

THE END

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