chapter 4 the one where he asked her to help him
As last time he asked her to lock her doors. He had come the day before her wedding knocking so loudly on her parents front door. When she opened it he grabbed her hand and walked straight up to her room. He looked so tired and haunted and she’d hardy seen him at all for almost a year! He hadn’t shaved for a while too. She followed him wordlessly. Not even uttering a single question when he locked her door. She watched him glare at the roads from her windows before closing and locking it. She got an uneasy feeling though.
“Where are your parents ? I’m cold! I need blankets and take a.c. off!”
Then he lay on her bed and pulled the sheets over himself. “And we need to talk.”
“They would be back soon. A little later. And the air conditioning is off.”
And why did he need to talk to her parents ?
She had noticed then too that he wore her ring. Her heart soaring at the sight of it on his left hand middle finger. She remembered her joy when she saw it in his finger at one of her visits from college. She’d bought it for him as a don’t forget me ring when she left. At dinner that night he whispered to her that he would never take it off after she told him what the bird represented.
Long ago the Egyptians believed that the swallows were powerful stars that were the guardians of souls. But it was the British Navy’s anchor, for sailors, that harbour was safe. Despite the rough seas and tumultuous waters, they made it to land safely. Some even took tattoos of the birds when they crossed the equator.
And he didn’t.!
She had asked for a photograph of him and he gave one to her in a frame before he left. She still had the frame on her dresser next to her bed. If he saw it he made no mention. She glanced at it and even without watching it she memorized it. He wore a plain long sleeved, off white cotton t-shirt with the top button, unbuttoned and a blue coloured long straight jeans. Sandals on his feet and two leather bands, one brown and the other black on his right hand and a matching chain with an anchor pendant. His hair was much shorter and looked black. Sometimes his hair has a brown colour. But it was the look that had her captivated. A very calm and peaceful expression was on his face. His eyes. Every time she glanced at it she felt he was there watching her. She fancied that he took that picture especially for her, her heart always full of love for him, for she saw that he had taken it sitting on the floor of his bedroom on that very day!
"I want to talk with you." he muttered in his sleep.
Her? About what?
Even then when she was about to get married she still loved him. Heck, when he told her he had a fiance it still didn’t matter so what’s the difference now? And she hadn’t seen him in almost four years except for glimpses of him here and there about a handful of times but still her love grew!
She couldn’t help but think of how good he looked under her sheets, on her bed, in her room. Her parents would return with his family in a few hours to take her to the church for her wedding.
She just didn't think she wanted to get married today!
She got the blankets and opened her bedroom door. She took a quick peep to make sure no one was home as she had to go to the kitchen for the glass of water for him then she woke him to give him the pills he requested. She felt like a teenager.
She knew exactly what he wanted from her.
He had claimed to be working for a company that studied viruses and he tested something on himself and he became sick. But it wasn’t deadly or contagious. But very dangerous to him as people were looking for him now. She didn’t believe him much back then. She believed he was on drugs and was having an episode. It almost broke her heart to think of him being dependent on drugs! To reach this state he was in. She wants to care for him.
Was it too late to cancel her wedding?
When he woke up that night he was having a hard time to keep food down and had about five seizures in that night alone! He went into his backpack and give her a syringe.
“Use quarter. Every four hours!”
No explanation just that.
She left him once it to feed her puppy Ryu. Yes, she had named him after the character in her favourite video game, as a child, Street Fighter! A pup she ended up giving to her neighbour a week after she got married.
Max had gotten up clutching his chest at one point screaming, “Leave me alone. Help me Kailey!”
At first she was startled at his outburst but didn't question him.
And another time, “Don’t you know I love you?” And both times she pulled him into her arms kissing his face telling him everything’s going to be okay, although she didn’t understand his inner battle.
Who did he love? That part bothered her.