chapter 16 were you gonna put me in a looney bin?
Kailey pulled into her driveway and sat motionless behind the steering wheel. She pulled up the hand brakes and just stared at her front door. She didn’t even bother to go to the back shed to park. She should really paint! The wall and doors looked shabby. She knew it was because of the salted air and sea breeze. The paint was peeling and hanging off ...and the grass looked overgrown too.
She opened her door and stepped out unsure of how she was capable of moving at this time. How did she drive? From the way her legs wobbled as she made her way up her very sandy front steps, step siding and concrete brick, she was sure it was adrenaline. She took a least two deep breaths before she placed her trembling fingers on the door handle and turned.
He is sitting on a chair facing the door looking at her when she enters. Her eyes wide. He must have seen the shocked expression on her face for he was beside her shutting the door and steadying her. He takes her bag and guides her to the couch pushing her to sit. She is so cold!
Her entire body is in tremors. He quickly kneels in front of her on the floor and runs his hands on her palms causing a little friction. She feels the warmth and comes out of her trance like state. He straightens his back and kisses her on her cheeks before bending back down to remove her flats.
She always wear flats to work. Everyday.
He places them together at the side of the couch. He gets up and returns with two pain killers. She does have a headache. Did he read her mind ?
Max takes the seat next to her and turns to face her. He takes her hand.
“Are you hungry? I made vege chow mein... And fresh salad too! I made chicken for myself . Stew.!”
Kailey remembers he can cook. She likes lettuce with a little grated carrot or cucumbers she had told him earlier. She doesn’t answer but seems fascinated with his boots. He glances down at his Clarkdale Bud dark tan boots. Quite worn with the amount of footsteps he usually makes! He needs to make a trip home to get some of his clothing. She points his boots.
“I see the sand.”
She watches him. First thing he thinks is that she couldn’t stand sand in her place so he moves to get up. He plans on taking it off!
"How? ” she continues, ” How it it possible? ”
Ah. He understood what she meant.
“Well I told you. The lab exploded.”
" Yes I know. But still.... I still can’t believe it. And I saw you, ” she whispers.
IS SHE GOING TO BE OKAY MAX?
[YES SHE’S STRONG WILLED. YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT SHE’S CAPABLE OF ONCE SHE SETS HER MIND UP.]
YOU SURE? CUZ...
Max cuts him off
[YES! NOW GO AWAY!]
He holds her. He wraps his arms around her tightly. Kailey sinks into him. He’s her haven. Her darkness but still her haven. He kisses her head whispering sweet nothings to her. She doesn’t even hear the words but it soothes her.
“I know I know. It’s a lot to take in. We’ll get there love. Don’t worry.”
He kept kissing her face.
She didn’t know how long they were like that but the sudden grumbling of her stomach interrupted. Food!
“Let’s eat, shall we love?” She nods.
She admits to him the foods was delicious! And now that her strength was back and her brain somewhat in less pain she was ready for an explanation.
“I had to be careful to not exhaust myself tonight that’s why I walked to meet you but ran back. I want you to believe me. I proved it to you so you can erase all doubt now. The first night I came here I also ran. That why I became so sick. It weakens me rapidly but I also recover much more quickly than the any human. Like if I receive a cut on my finger it heals immediately. So a bruised limb takes about two hours and no scar tissue! Cells repairs at super speed. Regeneration turns mature tissue into stem cells that could divide and differentiate, giving rise to everything from nerves and blood vessels to muscles, bone and skin!”
He paused to let her process that. He wonders if she knows what that even meant. He doesn’t think she’s aware of whats that means but Kailey’s mind is over working ... When someone is injured the white blood cells defends it, it clots to prevent further infection while sutures and scabs form. And the healing is a long process. With scar tissue!
He does have faith in her though so when she doesn’t say a word so he continues.
“That’s part of what we were researching. And a few years ago we made some flaws with the gamma radiation and a lot of lives were lost but I’m all good. Well mostly at least.” He is still affected by the deaths of those soldiers and the other scientists. His guilt. They could have done nothing to save them he consoles himself.
Gamma radiation? Was she hearing him correctly? Gamma-rays have the smallest wavelengths and generated by radioactive atoms and nuclear explosions! It could kill living cells... Isn’t that what they use to kill cancerous cells? That’s as far as she knew!She shakes her head. Well you have to believe what your eyes saw didn’t you? She feels so chilly and hears the raindrops on the roof.
She walks to the windows and pulls the blinds to expose the outdoors. She normally loved the rain. The smell of it was so soothing and calming but she doesn’t open them. She just stares out in the darkness.
She takes a few minutes to let what he said sink in. Meanwhile, he decides to change the topic a bit so he tells her about her neighbour, Sheila. Who says hello and to remind her to stop by sometime. Sheila was very nice from what she knew but she only met her once and that was the day she moved in. She was with her grand-kids that day. And yes, she did invite her to have lunch any Sunday Kailey chooses to come over Sheila had told her. Soon Kailey thinks. She likes her.
...your fiance. So I told her I’d send her an invitation to our wedding if it was big but I wasn’t too sure. And she congratulated us by the way. ”
That’s the part she heard. She opens her eyes wider and stares at him, still sitting on a chair by her small table. Wow. She has a fiance now. Did he propose? Or was he just saying that to ease her neighbour’s mind? Great. She didn’t know if to be happy...She was still a bit zoned out. She lets it slide for now as its not so important.
“Max I thought you were crazy.”
“Yes love, I know.” She lets out a breath .
“No Max. Literally crazy. I thought you had a personality disorder.!”
They both were silent. She was thinking the same thing he had thought at first Max realized. He walks over to her and took her hand. They had been sitting at the tiny four chaired table by the window, their empty plates and glass in front of them. Now he stands quietly just looking at her. She pulls in both her lips and presses her teeth onto them. She walks back and takes the dishes with her into the kitchen. She does not have a dishwasher so she washes them immediately. She doesn’t hear him but feels the heat of his body! Max kisses her neck. She shivers. “Love,” he says , ” as in split personalities? ”
She fleshed eyes loving the feel of his mouth on her. His beard against her face.
She wasnt sure which she answered, his question or his lips on her! He moves her hair from her neck and turns her to face him. He then presses his body onto her. Kailey fights the urge to wrap her legs around his hips and grind herself against him! He possessed her lips. Softly. So sweetly she felt the urge to cry. He slowly pulls away from her sweetness. He chuckles a bit before asking her out of pure curiously.
“Were you going to put me in a looney bin?” She looks at him sadly. She was?
“I don’t know Max. I didn’t get that far ahead. I was trying to come up with an approachable way for me to convince you that you were.”
Well...he chuckles some more. Well that thought never crossed his mind! She ties her hair in a bun and she tries to delay her answer even by a few seconds.
“I figured that I would have to take videos of you. When you were different. And then show them to you but I guess I had to get to know you a bit first. I mean i know you but not the adult you. The new version you.”
He cups her face with both hands and moves her head up to look into his eyes.
“There’s no new or old me. I am me. I haven’t changed. Only my feelings for you did.” Her face brightens with that and Max feels his heart swell.
" Hey. I love you okay. ” He plays with her hair that falls on her forehead. “Don’t ever doubt that. Ever. I am yours. Till I die, I promise.” She goes on her tiptoes to capture the mouth that is saying those beautiful words to her!
With that he growls and pulls her into his arms for a bear hug. Kailey could never get enough of his hugs she thinks. His lips crushing hers almost painfully.
“Come on lets talk.” He pulls her to the couch to sit next to him. He flips on the television but keeps the volume low. Kailey folds her legs below her on the couch. She’s so cold.And exhausted. It was almost 11pm and she’s been up since 2am!
Max sees her shivers and walks into the room and brings a sheet which he drapes around her shoulders. He sits and takes her hands. He watches their fingers as he speaks and she dares not interrupt him. She notices he’s wearing one of her t-shirts that she usually sleeps in. They are big on her but fits his body perfectly.
“After the explosion I trusted them. For weeks I tried to recover our work! But they were lies! They were using us. We thought we were aiding men at war. Our Army! We were supposed to make them immune to fear. Genetically enhance them through radiation to make them heal faster. Move faster. Human weapons. Soldiers. But it was all lies. They were making an army but not for our government but as a secret team we never knew about! Human weapons! It was supposed to be for one team for extremely dangerous missions. Rescue missions. I don’t know what they had planned but I got out when I overheard a conversation one evening. They were planning on getting rid of the evidence and that included me! Kill me! An investigation into the explosion was pending and they were destroying all our research! All the evidence. I overheard one subject being told to get rid of the doctor that I knew too much. And they started to shoot at me but I had only infected myself just weeks before so my ability to heal was faster than they expected and as I was never in a battle field so as I was never injured, I healed almost immediately!”