Dark Places

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Chapter 22

Elaine and Steve though they enjoyed their Christmas with his family, were pleased now that Boxing Day had appeared and they could both relax in peace and quiet, just the two of them.

Elaine snuggled up to Steve and said “that was a lovely Christmas but I am so pleased we can now sit back and relax today and I can spend it with the one special person in my life; the one who has made this Christmas all very positive”.

“Thank you my sweet” whispered Steve “I have loved spending my Christmas with you too and so look more and more forward to the many happy days we have to share with each other”, following that the pair shared tender kisses and then Steve placed his hand on Elaine’s stomach and said “you are going to have a great time too”. He had never expected to meet someone so special as Elaine, that had been a gift from God but of course he had another special gift for them both, that of course being the baby growing inside Elaine and both these thoughts made him a very happy man indeed.

Mike was certainly glad that Christmas Day had been dealt with and was gone for another year. Today was the reckoning as to whether Mike would definitely leave the hospital and return home. He was feeling happier than he had yesterday so now he was actually looking forward to making a life of his own again.

The sister walked over to Mike with a paper folder in her hand and said “Mr Fear can you come to my office please?”

Mike smiled and sat down before the sister began to speak “I have your case notes here Mike and from them and what I have seen I know things have not always been happy and positive with you. However, we are comfortable that you can go home but only on the understanding that you are to attend a mental health group that we run. I know you did one previously but I do think you would benefit from this and we Mike are determined to get that lovely smile permanently on your face, if you have that determination too”.

Mike smiled at the thought of going home and the compliment that the sister had just made but could only simply say “thank you”.

“You are welcome Mike. I do not know how you feel but Elaine will be coming to collect you and promises that she will stay with you for a few hours whilst you get settled back into your home”.

Mike was happy at the thought that Elaine was still caring enough to collect him from the hospital and to stay with him and he knew what he needed when he left the hospital and re-entered his home and that was a friendly face so he was pleased that despite everything he had put Elaine through she still cared and considered herself enough of a friend to do these things for him.

“Thank you again and thank you so much for all your care and support that you have given me, which I imagine the way I have been has not been easy”.

The nurse laughed before saying “I have had worse”.

“I am only doing my job, Mike but you are welcome. I know things are not always good for you but I hope that being able to leave here and move back home will bring about positive thoughts.”

The nurse was right he should be feeling glad to be returning home but he still could not take the thought of being alone, without his beloved Elaine.

“Your friend Elaine will be arriving in half hour and will take you home”.

Friend? The word friend did something to Mike and made him feel sad again. He did not want Elaine as just a friend but he had to face facts and admit that was all that she would be. He had long lost her and now she had Steve and the baby and was happy in her world without Mike in his life and he so wanted to be happy for her but the other half of him was pining for her. He had to sort his life out; that much he knew but he had spent so many years with Elaine that she was his life. The move was something he wanted but in the back of his mind would always be Elaine’s image.

“Elaine, is here for you Mike”, the nurse had returned and Mike had been snapped out of his thoughts. He had only had a cup of tea whilst he was waiting for his release so where had the half hour gone?

Mike took one glance at Elaine and his heart once again skipped a beat. She was still as beautiful as the day they had first met and she had that glow that he recognised when she was pregnant with his two children but now of course the child she was carrying was another man’s and that made Mike even more upset.

“Ready?” was the simple question that Elaine asked of Mike.

Was he ready? Thought Mike, well it was now or never so he simply smiled that old Mike smile and replied, “yes, let us go”.

The couple soon arrived at Mike’s flat. He unlocked the front door and picked up the post that was waiting for him. He felt strange being back here but happy that his journey had led him to this.

Mike did not have much in way of possessions to unpack from the hospital so was soon relaxing with Elaine with a cup of tea.

“Thank you very much for your support, Elaine. Also thank you for your help. I do not know if I could have faced this alone but I do know that you did not have to do this for me”.

“That is okay. I still want us to be friends. I know I said some hurtful things in the past but we were both angry with each other but I know how much you need support so I am going nowhere for a while”.

“Thank you again” smiled Mike “I say it again I really do appreciate your help”.

Elaine remained silent and continued to drink her cup of tea. It was a bit strange for her sitting next to Mike again being civil to each other so why had what happened took place?

Mike felt so comfortable with Elaine that at first he asked her for a hug, to which she obliged and yes he still liked having her in his arms and she wore a nice perfume. He could not hide it; he was and always would be still in love with Elaine. Even so he was not sure why he had done what he had but whilst he was still hugging Elaine, he stroked her face and suddenly realised he was kissing her, not just a peck on the cheek but a proper full on kiss and he had to admit that he missed feeling her breath on his face.

Elaine was taken by surprised and admitted to herself that there was still a spark there for Mike but she pulled herself away from him because she knew that what had just happened was wrong and so she said “no, Mike you know I am engaged and have a baby on the way and though that kiss was nice I cannot hurt Steve like that”.

Mike did not regret what he had done and wanted his ex-wife back so much and said, “I am sorry Elaine but I cannot give you up”.

Elaine hated what she did next to Mike because she had never been tempted to raise a hand to him before but she gave him a resounding smack across the cheek.

With that Elaine rose and said, “I will leave you to settle in and you must promise me that you will never kiss me like that again”.

Mike rubbed his cheek, which was smarting before allowing her to go out of the door but he could not promise that he would never kiss her again. He missed her so much that he started to cry again. What was going to happen to him now?

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