Chapter 38 - Dreaming of Black Wings
Even without smiling the man had an angelic face. Short was his hair, with blonde streaks overlapping the overall gray ones. He had a well-toned body and looked quite tall, probably an inch taller than Lorde.
I had to ask myself who was this man that had kept a steady eye on me the moment I entered the room? He doesn’t seem to be Lorde’s attending physician because he wasn’t wearing the signature white coat, but then again, doctors do sometimes check on their patients without one on.
Auntie Marcella immediately hugged me when I approached the bed. I embraced her back of course in order to make her feel that I appreciated her words in the email.
“Andrea, why haven’t you replied my texts?” That’s her immediate question when we withdrew.
I know I looked sheepish in her eyes when I answered, “I’m sorry Auntie. I left my phone in the mansion.”
I don’t even know how or why I left this specific gadget of mine in the kitchen though. I guess this would be another piece of me left unsolved just like those questions I was bombarded myself with when I woke up.
“How’s...how’s Lorde?” I asked when I saw him sleep peacefully in the bed with monitors hooked above his headboard.
“He is doing fine dear,” she answered directly, looking at her step-son at the same time. “The stitch in his head is not too big to confine him in bed for days. His doctors say he can be discharged after two days once his vitals show normalcy and his head wound healing well.”
I released a relieving sigh.
“Uh, that’s good to hear,” I said.
Auntie Marcella then smiled and went to sit back on her chair. “He’ll probably wake up soon. I’m sure he can sense your arrival,” she commented looking at me.
I smiled back with her account. “Don’t worry Auntie, I plan on staying here for as long as it takes. I’m sure you need someone to take over watching him, and also you need to return in the mansion right? The meat business won’t be the same without you.”
Her mouth opened for a moment, surprised by my offer no doubt.
“Are you sure you want to relieve me?” she asked, looking suddenly a bit hesitant to leave her son. This is exactly her, showing her caring side again.
I touched the metal foot railing and smiled slightly. I watched Lorde in his vulnerable state and briefly, it brought a slight pang on my heart. I hadn’t exactly remembered what happened yesterday, but I felt that it was my fault he was in this condition. “Of course I’m sure Auntie,” I said after clearing the melancholic thoughts away. “It is for Lorde, and...I feel guilty anyways.”
“Oh Andi, just know that I’m always here to listen okay?” Her face turned sad and she eyed me with great worry, more than she showed with her step-son.
I gave her a light tap on the shoulder and forced a wide smile. “Yeah, thank you Auntie.”
The whole of our conversation was too deep that we actually forgot there was another person in the room. He seemed to have good upbringing though because he never interrupted me and Auntie with a clearing of the throat just to show his presence. By the time Aunt Marcella noticed him, she was already in a shy red face.
“Oh my! I’m sorry for the lack of attention!” she expressed, frantically turning her focus from me to the stranger in our midst. A stranger, yes, in my eyes.
“Andi dear, this is Ralph by the way,” she stated, gesturing her hand towards the man. “This handsome Good Samaritan brought Lorde in the emergency hospital. I feel that if it wasn’t for him, Lorde would have incurred severe injuries from the car blast.”
“Oh really?” My brows arched, but I wasn’t skeptical at all. I was actually surprised with it. This man would be clue number one about the events of yesterday.
So, Lorde was riding his BMW car, but then it exploded and this man right here was somehow in the exact time of the blast and saved my childhood sweetheart? I hope I am in the right track with this theory.
“A pleasure to meet you Ralph,” I said, beaming him a smile and holding my hand up, ready for a handshake. “Thank you for saving Lorde from the car blast.”
He took my hand and shook it appropriately. Weird now, because his hand felt like soft cream pie. Very, very smooth like he had placed lotion in his skin more than women do.
“No worries, I was just doing my job,” he answered, and I was sure it had a calm ringing effect in my ears. Definitely what I would call ethereal.
“Your job? Are you a nurse or something?” I asked when my curiosity peaked.
His lips curved into a smile and then he actually chuckled lightly. “No Andrea, I am...what you call a protector of some sort. A security personnel if you may. I had seen Lorde’s life in danger, so I simply took action and saved him.”
“Oh, that is so valiant of you,” I answered, mesmerized by his chuckle but mesmerized in a way that I was being lifted up to heaven.
“How are you feeling though?” he suddenly inquired, turning his lighthearted mood briefly a notch down.
“I beg your pardon?” I said and gave him a confused stare.
I noticed Auntie was just listening to us, like she couldn’t butt in with our conversation even if she wanted to and I found this unusual for my eccentric Aunt.
Another thing that I found queer was seeing a brief golden reflection in Ralph’s eyes. It was like Edward Cullen’s eyes shifting colors in the Twilight movie.
Ralph blinked a couple of times and shifted to a more reticent stance. “Uh, nothing,” he promptly concluded. “Forget what I said. I should get going probably. I have...more pressing matters that need my attention. I am happy to see that Lorde is fine and that you are finally in his side.”
I was taken aback by his words. It felt like he had known me longer than the passing twelve minutes we introduced each other in the room. I would have asked to where he was heading to, but my Auntie abruptly cut in.
“Thank you again Ralph for helping us,” she said as she stood.
“It’s a pleasure of mine to help Madame Marcella. Have a pleasant day ahead for the three of you,” he said eyeing Auntie, then me, then Lorde.
I gave him a nod of acknowledgement and then he, in his fluid movement, excused himself out of the room.
“He seems a good man,” I commented as soon as the door closed.
“He truly is,” Auntie agreed quite quicker than I expected.
Well, for starters, Ralph did save Lorde’s life, so it was only right for Auntie to feel that way. But I have a feeling the word ‘good’ wasn’t suffice to describe the man. ‘Holy’ would seem better to fit it.
“Andi, will you be fine here?” Auntie interrupted my thoughts. “I probably should go also.”
“Yeah Auntie, I’ll be fine here,” I answered. “I will take care of Lorde, don’t worry.”
“Oh, thank you dear. See you tonight.”
She hugged me after carefully slinging her designer bag in her shoulder.
“Yeah, see you tonight,” I said with a brief wave.
Twenty minutes past and I just sat silently in the seat next to Lorde’s bed. As soon as Auntie left, I remembered that I was supposed to ask her if she knew what had happened yesterday; exactly after she and her friends left me and Lorde for privacy purposes.
I do remember my answer to him when he proposed to me. Yes. I basically didn’t turn him down or accepted his marriage proposal. What I don’t remember is why?
Lorde and I had been close friends for quite sometime. A love bloomed in between us and it was only fitting that it should be finally blessed by the Heaven’s above with a union.
Although he did left me suddenly for two years without an explanation, he did explain to me yesterday why, so I see no point in declining his heartwarming offer. I just don’t understand what came over me yesterday why I gave him a vague answer.
Looking at Lorde as he slept, I realized maybe it was high time for me to set things right.
As if right on cue, I noticed him stir. His eyelids moved slightly and in just a minute, they opened wide.
“Lorde, hey. Good morning,” I greeted softly and with a smile.
“Andrea..?” he replied groggily. His face turned to me and scanned my sitting state.
“How are you feeling?” I questioned as I lightly brushed a lock of hair from his forehead.
I noticed his lips twitch before he answered, “I am not dreaming am I?”
With his question, I immediately contained a laugh. “No, silly,” I said, putting a palm on his warm cheek. “You’re not dreaming. I can surely vouch for that.”
I thought his mood was as carefree as mine, but his face went from relieved to depressed. I noticed the instant change so I backed slightly away.
“I’m sorry Andi. I wasn’t sensitive with your feelings. I fully understand why you ran away after my proposal.”
Again with the running away thing? How did I do it anyway? I seriously don’t remember at all.
“Lorde, it’s...it’s fine. Don’t worry about it. Whatever-whatever happened yesterday, it’s all in the past,” I answered with equal depressed mood; depressed because I feel so lost with my memories. I am just lost....empty, but I know sooner or later, I will be able to remember it all back.
“Know that I am not forcing you on something that you don’t want to do. I can give you as much time as you need,” he said as he took my right hand and secured it with his.
Now that I think about it... I did say yesterday that I needed some time, a lot of time to think things out. But again, what I don’t understand is why?
“Thank you Lorde,” I answered with a smile. He was really thoughtful with my feelings and that just made me feel even more loved. “I do need to sort out things, but I just...I just forgot what it is. However...”
I stopped, trying to clear my throat. Hesitation slowly crept inside me but I pulled it out away. I did say that I will get all of this right; to fix whatever it was that I did wrong.
He continued to stare at me, and stare at me with great wonder, but when I said the words, his eyes immediately brightened.
“Lorde, with your marriage proposal, I can accept it.”
He tightly squeezed my hand and expressed, mirth clear in his voice, “Oh Andrea, you don’t know how much you made me happy today!”
Yep. The cardiac monitor just showed his pulse increasing as he attempted to straighten himself in bed.
“Hey! Hey! Doctors need you on bed!” I exclaimed in alarm and pushed him back, but he, in a cliche move, pulled me on top him and kissed my lips.
Dry was his mouth, but I didn’t find it bothersome. I actually find it romantic that he was desperately trying to make this memory well...memorable even if we were in the hospital.
“I love you Andrea. With all of my heart,” he abruptly stated while staring at my hovering face with warmth.
This could be the effect of the pain medication that he is in, or that he is just showing his soft side on me after the past two years of being away.
“I...I love you too,” I said it without any hesitation, but I couldn’t dismiss the fact that it left an aftertaste in my mouth.
I felt that it wasn’t directed to the right man at all. I felt that I am supposed to give these resounding three words to another man.
But I have to ask myself again, who?
By evening, Auntie Marcella came to take over my place. Lorde told her of the joyous news and of course, she was very happy and pleased for both of us. There was just one thing that I noticed in her though, she gave me a stare that was deep-seated, like she was telling me something, something I couldn’t still fathom.
“You just made Lorde’s day wonderful, Andi,” she told me when we were outside of the room, standing hand in hand near the nurse’s station.
“Yes, I know. I guess I will be extending my stay here in Luxembourg huh?” I said, showing half a smile.
Her expression suddenly turned serious when she stated, “But do you think this is what your heart is telling you to do? Or is it just your mind?”
I stared at her without so much as a blink. Well that stunned me alright.
“Huh? What are you talking about Auntie?” I said, confusion clear in my voice.
She released a deep sigh and said, “Andi dear, I know you have feelings for my butler.”
“Yes, Eriol. My very efficient butler,” she clarified.
I immediately pulled my hand away from her hold.
“I don’t...know...what you are saying Auntie. I don’t...I don’t have feelings for that man,” I answered with clear hesitation. Why am I even hesitating anyway?
She stared at me long and true which made me feel very awkward and uneasy.
“As you say so,” she finally stated after releasing a disappointed sigh. But you know, as eccentric as she was, she easily changed from one sulky mood to the other that was jovial.
“Well then!” she exclaimed after clearing her throat. “See you tomorrow. I am pretty sure Lorde will persuade the doctors to discharge him right away. I bet he is eager to spend time with you.”
“Yeah, see you tomorrow Auntie,” I said in finality, shoving her previous words about Eriol in the back of my head.
Seriously, why does she think that I have feelings for her butler? As far as I am concerned, he is just a butler to me and nothing more.
When I returned in the mansion, I still had my high spirits but the moment I stepped inside the foyer, I immediately felt awfully bad. I scanned the spaces; from the paintings, to the grand stairs, to the dining room door and the hallways; and then I suddenly found this palace-like abode terribly hollow. It doesn’t seem as quite colorful and welcoming to me as before.
I dismissed the thought away and went on with my nightly routines for twenty minutes.
When I hit the bed, I stared at the ceiling with a smile before falling in a deep sleep.
I expected to have wonderful dreams because I just accepted Lorde’s proposal, but that night, in my bed, I didn’t have at least one.
I instead have my very first dream about a magnificent black-winged faceless angel saying goodbye to me.