Dark Places

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Chapter 17

Elaine had moved on with her life. She would never regret meeting Steve in the bar that night and she definitely would never forget all of those memories of emotions and feelings she had shared with Steve in Bath. Every time that she looked at her finger she would never be able to forget the love in her heart that she had for him. Her thoughts still came to Mike though. She had written her letter to him and she knew she had to tell him the truth about the divorce and her engagement but she was worried for Mike. Of course she knew that the mental state Mike was in would only have been made worse by what she had written in the letter but Mike needed to know how her life was and it was he who needed to sort his life out to, get on and be as happy as he could again. Elaine was so happy and did not want Mike to ruin that.

Mike would always be special to Elaine, maybe not in the loving way as they once had been but she had spent so many years with him so it would be hard to forget him completely. She had her own life to live now and that was something, which Mike needed to do, get better and start a new life too.

Charlotte, her best friend as always was at her house, having a girlie time with Elaine with plenty of wine, chocolate and pampering, nails, make up the lot but then as usual Charlotte had to ask Elaine a question.

“I know from your face that Steve has made you a very happy lady. I do have one question what are you going to do about Mike?”

“Yes I never believed that my life would be so magical again following the rape but that is how I feel with Steve by my side. I know I should not be heartless to Mike but things are over between us. We are now divorced and I have my fiancé Steve. Life is good for me at the moment and I cannot have Mike ruining all that is good for me.

I always thought that Mike was the one and that my life could never be better with him but things obviously changed when he hurt me. I know Mike hurts too and seems to have come off worse in this situation but he needs to move on and start a new life too. He could quite easily find a nice new lady to love because he is still handsome and fit and will always be a very gentle and caring man and a new love of his life may well be the key to his success and getting out of the situation he is in”.

“I agree totally but we both know that Mike is not capable of that in his current state of mind. We both know that he has suffered dark moments and depression over the past years, even when things were good between you two and that depression seems to have got worse. I would never have seen Mike attempting his life with a drugs overdose or have had the guts to stab himself. I know these are cries for help and I know he was in Avon House to combat his depression, which obviously did not work first time around but I also know that until he can get you out of his life and move on that he will never get to that situation. I know it sounds like I am placing responsibility on you but I do need to say just think about Mike”.

Think about Mike? Mike as far as Elaine was concerned was the one who had ruined their lives so why should she really be thinking of Mike? They were no longer part of each other’s lives.

“Mike set himself up to all of what has happened to him. Yes you are right even in the early days when he had his dark and depressive moments he was still a very loving and caring man and never seemed to be like he is now. I know that we both know that Mike has changed a lot because back then he would never have raped me or tried to end his life so what has changed, I do not know but I do know that I cannot have him in my life forever”.

Elaine started to cry. Whenever she felt happy, she felt that Mike was always getting in the way and making her unhappy again.

“Oh Elaine, please do not cry again. We will get through this. I know this is hard and I know you will hate me for suggesting this but I think we need to offer him our support…”

Charlotte never got to the end of her sentence before Elaine shouted, “offer him our support? That is what he wants but he does not deserve our support. I hate that man for what he put me through and seems to continue to put me through”.

Charlotte calmed Elaine down before continuing with what she was going to say before she was interrupted.

“I know my suggestion sounds crazy but I do think he needs our support. Mike is a likable guy but we both know that he struggles with conversing with friends and that does not help his depression. I know he was a bad man to you but I do not think he will leave the darkness behind if he does not have support and if we can help get him through this, maybe he will see that he does have a life without you and will be able to then have a life back of his own. At the moment he may as well be dead because he cannot see anything good in life”.

Elaine had now calmed down and was seeing the rational side of what Charlotte was saying but regretted having shouted at her friend.

“I am sorry, Charlotte that I shouted at you”.

“I know you did not mean it honey and hey I understand. As I say a million times I am your friend and if you need to use me as a sounding board to get things off your chest do because I am going nowhere, unlike Mike”.

“You are probably right but he has to be clear that if I do help him on the road to recovery it is with no strings attached. There will never be Mike and Elaine again”.

“Do not worry. We will make that clear when we see him. Are you up for seeing him today?”

Was Elaine up for seeing Mike today? That was a good question and though she had got angry with Charlotte suggesting Mike needed support she could see that was what he needed and the part of her heart that had loved him so much wanted to be there for him. Steve would understand that this was what she needed to do.

“I will never be up for seeing Mike but yes I will be willing to support him. I just need to make sure that Steve knows I am doing this for Mike as a person that was part of my life and not because I want him to be part of my life again”.

“I understand and Steve will be good with that. He is a very special man as he proved when he waited for you after the first meeting and his understanding when you told him about your rape so he will understand what you need to do for Mike now”.

Strangely the situation felt an odd one for Elaine as she was allowing herself to agree to support Mike but she knew deep down in heart that with the support he would move on and had to admit that she still wanted to be able to see Mike as a friend. Charlotte was correct Steve would understand this. Her next mission was to speak to Steve and then visit Mike. What a day this was going to turn out to be.

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