As soon as you would call me as your mine, I would melt away in your arms. For, I always carved for your belongingness.
“What do you mean, you don’t know?” I asked perplexed. My hands were shivering as I put them on my forehead, trying to get a grip of myself. “You are her best friend!”
“I don’t know, okay?” she shouted, tears running down her cheeks as Zack held her by her waist, supporting her. “I got a call saying that S-Smith had p-passed away due to heart attack…” she sobbed. “I was with her then, we both came here together. Then… t-then she stopped saying anything much.”
“Amber,” Zack said, handing her a glass of water. “I don’t want you to stress.”
“Well, I’m stressing! What do you think?” she shouted at him, pulling herself away from him. “She didn’t even cry, Miles. Not a tear, not once.” she wiped her eyes. It was pretty dark already and by the time I reached Amber, I was told that I was late. Smith had already been passed away and had been given a death certificate by the doctor.
Hannah was a wrecking mess, but I was sure she was holding up quite good, like she guessed that it was going to happen one day or the other. But the tears which flew down her face now, was for Megan, the only girl in question. I was still not understanding what was happening.
“S-she was there when we were calling the others who… who were close to him.” Amber continued. “She started going out of the house and when asked she said that she needed some alone time.”
“We obliged her, Miles.” Hannah said, nodding at Amber, who walked into Zack’s open arms. I nodded at Hannah wanting to know what happened exactly. “It was very late and we didn’t see her coming back. We were worried and searched just to find her missing.”
She wiped her tear and I was surprised to see her so composed to see her even after losing her husband and the only girl whom they always thought to be her daughter. “We searched for her everywhere, Miles.” She said, tears flowing down her cheeks.
“Hannah,” I said as I wrapped my arms around her. “I’m sure she is somewhere here. I’m sorry I couldn’t come early.”
I felt her nod her head against my chest. She pulled away, holding my cheeks at her gentle hands. “I don’t want to lose my daughter, Miles.” She said, with hurt in her voice. “We first thought she would be with you.”
I nodded at her understandingly. “I’m so sorry Hannah, but I promise I’ll bring her back to you.”
She let go off me and went towards Amber to console her. I put both my hands on my head, trying to let everything in. Smith is dead and Megan is missing! It was all happening very fast and my mind was not co-operating with it at all.
Smith is dead!
Megan is missing!
“Megan, where are you?” I muttered to myself as I walked towards my car. I passed Mark, who just patted on my back, as I nodded at him in return.
“Everything okay, sir?” Steve asked as I reached my car.
“Can you cancel all my programs for two days from now?” I asked, opening the car door. “And I need the car, I’ll call you once I make sure everything here is okay.”
Steve nodded, understandingly.
“Thanks man. Take some time off Steve, you need it.” I said, sitting inside the car. The whole scene was depressing and I wanted to get out of here as soon as possible. There were only few people in the front porch of Smith’s residence and I could see few of them were leaving.
Smith’s dead, I thought to myself. He was the greatest man I had ever seen. As Steve, had said to me, he had passed away round six in the evening, just as I had caught my flight. I knew he had loved Megan more than her parents ever loved her. He was practically like her dad, protecting her, being a godfather in her flower business.
I put my head on the steering wheel. I knew Megan’s history and with everything I knew she was in a lot of pain. Where did she ever go, leaving Hannah and Amber behind? Did she… did she do something to hurt herself? I could feel my nerves tremble within me and I wanted nothing more than to see her in that dark night.
The last time I saw her was this morning and we didn’t even talk to each other. I started to blame myself for it as I had been nothing but an ass to her this morning, not bearing to have a decent look and a few kinds words at her. I remembered seeing tears trickle down her face, as I departed for my meeting.
I was definitely messed up.
I took a deep breath trying to clear my head. I had to find her. I remember Amber telling me that she liked flowers more than anything, that was the reason why I started giving her flowers in the first place. Would she be in her shop now, since Smith loved flowers too?
As if I had cracked the Morse code, I hit the gas, ignoring the traffic rules, as I traveled down the same path I had taken that morning. I halted the car and made a run towards the shop. Though the shop looked ghostly with faded painting and all the plants hanging at the sides hauntingly, I walked past the footpath, shouting her name.
The door was closed. I cupped my arms as I peered through the glass window. There was nothing out of place. She was not there - that was clear. Cursing under my breath, I ran my fingers through my hair frustrated.
A chilly breeze flew my way, as I kicked the small rock that lay on the footpath.
Where was she?
Suddenly I thought hit me, bringing me back to my senses. I knew her too well to find her exactly where she had hidden. I hit the cold air with my fist, sure that I would find her this time.
I ran to my car and with compelled force, I closed the door and made my way towards the destination I had in my mind.
After about fifteen minutes of driving, I was staring at the local park, the same one we used to go when we were together. The park held so many memories of us.
I walked slowly, entering the park, scared to expect anything. There was a small pond at one corner of the park and I remember Megan telling me that she usually wound up there, whenever she was carried away with her emotions.
It was already dark and no one was there in the park. It was eerily silent as I made my way towards the pond. At the corner, there was a figure, I could hardly see who it was. I wondered if it was the one who usually maintained the gardens in the park.
“Megan?” I called out, my voice came out low, but the figure turned its head. The light from the lamp-post highlighted her figures and I instantly knew who it was.
“Megan.” I said again, letting out the breath that I didn’t know I was holding. “You are here.” I was now talking to myself, consoling that nothing had happened to her and she was just in front of me.
I walked towards her, as Megan’s eyes never drifted away from mine. As I saw her, I noticed that there was not a drop on tear on her face, except for a face of pure betrayal. There were about five steps separating me from her and I started to wonder, if I was in the right place to go and talk to her. I should have asked Laura or Amber to come with me.
“Megan.” I repeated again, as I stopped in my tracks, not able to step further. Megan who was watching me intently all this while, ran towards me, closing the gap between us, as I welcomed her with open arms.
I held her close to me, the feeling so strange yet comforting at the same time. I realized how much of a fool I was in letting her go. I gripped her tighter against me, kissing her hair.
“Miles,” she said, her voice cracking. “S-Smith… I…”
“Hush, now.” I said, still holding her, rocking her gently. I pulled her away, looking at her eyes. All the emotions that she held, was now pouring out. Her blue eyes were in pain, as if someone had sucked the life out of it.
“No, no,” she said, as if she grasped it was me. “What am I doing?” she spoke to herself, wiping her tears away.
A wave of nostalgia hit me harshly as she took a step away from me. I had done a mistake of letting her go the last time, I was not going to repeat it again. “Darling, please.”
“Stay away from me.” She said, as I took a step towards her. “I’m a bad person. The more you stay with me, the more damaged you will be. Go away.” She turned away from me, walking towards the pond.
“What?” I asked perplexed. “Wh—who told you all that nonsense?” Feeling confident, I walked towards her, holding her arms I turned her forcibly to meet my gaze. “You and I both know its damn bullshit.”
A tear trickled down her face, as she watched me. “Miles go away. I don’t want to hurt anyone.” Her voice seemed dejected as if she was tired of this whole thing.
“You think you are not hurting me by shooing me away?” I asked, surprising myself more than her. “You have no idea, how much worried Hannah and Amber are.” I sighed, closing my eyes. “Come let’s go.”
“Smith died, Miles.” She said, “He’s gone.”
“I know, I know.” I whispered, cupping her face. “I understand it’s hard, Megan, but we will all be there with you. We can face it together.”
“That’s what you don’t understand.” She said, pulling away from me. “I’m not a good company, okay?”
“Megan, that’s not—”
“My own mother, biological mother left me when I was born, Miles.” Tears started streaming down her face. “My adopted parents knew me for what I was and kicked me out of their lives, before I could spoil them.”
“Who has been filling all these in your head?” I asked, cupping her face in my arms. “Look, at me. Just look at me. You are not bad.”
“Peter left me and you…” She sobbed, closing her face with her palms. I could feel that her breathing was ragged and she wobbled in her steps. I clutched on to her, before she could fall. “You… and now… now… Smith… all … everyone leaves me. I… I’m not good.”
“Megan, you need to sit down.” I held her as she fell back again. “Megan, please listen to me. Take a deep breath now, okay? We can talk about it later.”
“I’m no… good, Miles.” She said, crying to herself. Her eyes were swollen and I could feel that she was feeling giddy. “Go… go away, before I hurt y…you.”
“Megan… Megan.” I shouted as she fell unconscious. “Darling, please… talk to me. You never hurt me… please.” I begged, but there was no response. “You are the best thing that happened to me, Megan!”
I was standing outside the hospital room, leaning against the wall, hoping that nothing would happen to her. Though Amber and Hannah shared a known look among each other, they didn’t seem to find it important to let me what was happening.
I let of sigh as I moved towards Amber who was sitting with Hannah on her side, resting her head on Hannah’s shoulder. Her eyes were bulged due to her continuous crying.
“What’s happening?” I demanded, crossing my arms across my chest. “Can anyone of you enlighten me? I dying here!”
“She suffers from panic attacks.” Amber said, standing up from her seat. “I’m sure it’s one of her attacks now. Thank God, you found her before it was too late.”
“What?” I asked perplexed. I ran my fingers through my head, picking my hair at the ends. “Panic what?”
The only thing that was getting my nerves was the calmness that Amber held in her voice. How could she be so calm about it? Only… only if it had occurred before.
“Did… had this happened before?” I asked slowly, my eyes slowly widening. When Amber didn’t reply, I knew the answer. “It did, didn’t it? Shit!”
Hannah walked towards me. “Miles, calm down.”
“How can you tell me to calm down?!” I walked along the long corridors of the hospital. “It’s Megan… she, God! From when?”
No one spoke and the hall seemed to be quite for the night. The only sound was from the zero-candle bulb that lit the hospital. “Zack?” I asked, my voice almost pleading.
“Since she left you.” his voice was low and was barely above a whisper.
“She’s hardly herself anymore after you, dear.” Hannah supplied, wiping her cheeks. “Having nightmares of the same fight, unwinding in different ways every time.”
“I’d even seen her cry to sleep one of the days.” Zack said, walking towards me.
“I thought she leaving me was her choice.” I stood there dumb folded, taking in everything they said. “I didn’t even call her after that thinking that she didn’t need me anymore.”
“You think you were the one who was hurt?” Amber shouted, pulling me by my collar. I didn’t protest. She had every right. I took every happiness from her, from my Megan. “I blame everything on you! Her sleepless nights, scared that she will end up crying again, her nightmares, her panic attacks, her medications, her moving to Chailey—everything!”
Zack, pulled her away from me. “Amber, clam down.”
“What’s the noise here?” a nurse came into the corridor. “I request you to keep silence here, it’s a hospital.”
“Sorry.” Zack apologized as I stood there motionless. “Hannah, I’ll drop you home. It’s late and you must be really tired. We will stay here and make sure Megan is okay.”
“I’ll stay too.” Hannah said, not wanting to go away.
“You can come here, first thing in the morning.” Zack said. “They have given her a doze of medication, she will not be waking up anytime soon.”
“You can get her favorite food tomorrow.” Amber said, giving her a hug.
Hannah reluctantly agreed to go home. “You don’t start your fight’s now once we are gone.”
Amber nodded. As Zack and Hannah made their way out, Amber sat down on those chairs and patted a seat next to her for me to sit.
“I’m sorry.” She said, sniffing.
“I still don’t understand.” I said in a low voice, sitting next to her. “Why—how did this all happen?”
“I’ve been with her for more than six years and I still don’t understand how her mind works.” She smiled, trying to lighten the mood. “Maybe it’s all dependent on her past.”
Probably. She had told me how she was always abandoned by her people just before she passed out.
“One thing hooked with another and those might have lead her here.” She said, not looking at me. “At least that what the doctors say.”
“She went to a doctor?”
“Yeah,” Amber said, looking at me. “She became insomniac and wanted sleeping pills. But she couldn’t get them without prescription, so, doctor.”
“And you never called,” Amber gave me a pointed look, still blaming me. “That made her assumptions correct.”
I closed my eyes. “There’s a reason I didn’t call, Amber.” I said, leaning my head, against the cool wall. “People always walked out of my life no matter how much I begged them to. I had kind of started accepting it.”
“You both are so messed up.” Amber sighed.
“But she always looked so happy.” I wondered out loud. “I thought I was the only one who was still hung over the dead relationship from three years.”
“She has her ways, Miles.” Amber said, “She stopped telling us about her panic attacks or why she ends up crying every now and then. She didn’t want us to take trouble for her.”
That explains why she was crying when I had been to Laura’s place. Was she having another nightmare about me then?
Damn! What have I done to her?
“She moved to Chailey on a suggestion from the doctor.” Amber continued. “Change of environment and all that. But I swear that was of no use. She came back here just because Smith asked her to.”
I put my head in my hands, shaking my head unbelievably.
“Smith told me that she was one of the rare gems and I was too lucky to have her.” I remember the conversation I had with Smith the first time I went over their place. “He told me to take care of her and to keep her happy.”
Amber put her hand over my shoulder, in an attempt to console me.
“I’ve broken his promise.”
“See, the doctor’s here.” Amber said, standing up. The only thing that surprised me was she was so calm about all this, which made me wonder, how many times did Megan actually go through this.
I ran my fingers across my hair, wiping a layer of sweat that lay on my forehead, as I stood a minute later than Amber.
“Is… is she alright?” I managed to ask, too afraid to look at the doctor in the eye. Though I had googled what panic attacks—which mostly said that they were more psychological than physical pain, there was a part of me that was expecting something darker to be said. “She will be fine, right?”
“Yes, Mr Jackson.” The doctor spoke, as I lifted my eyes to meet his. “She was under stress, we have given here medicines to calm her down. But it’s all left for her will to analyse the situations better.”
I nodded understandingly. The last thing she said before she passed out was she was a bad company. I noted that she has been blaming herself for everything that has happened to her ever since.
“She’s getting consciousness in…?” Amber left a hanging question in the air as I turned to the doctor to see his answer.
“Early morning or so.” He said, adjusting his glasses on his nose. “The medicines usually lasts till four-five hours.”
“Um, can I go see her?” I asked, hesitantly. I mean, she would be sleeping and she won’t even know that I was, around right?
“Sure.” The doctor said. “But weren’t you the one who was with her, when she got passed out?”
I nodded, unsure of what he was telling.
“You can go in now, but I don’t think it’s a good idea to meet her when she’s awake.” He looked at Amber for a brief second and then his black eyes shone back to me. “She might have got her attacks from you, considering your… past with her.”
“But shouldn’t we make sure that she over comes her fears and all that?” Amber said, defending me, for the first time since the whole night.
“Yes, but not right away.” He said, looking at me, with all seriousness he could muster in his eyes. “She might want to know that she’s not alone and she can rely on someone. Being her doctor, I have tried to get her talk with me, but she wouldn’t budge.”
Zack came, dropping Hannah. He eyed Amber and there was some unspoken communication between them as Zack finally nodded at her. The doctor continued.
“As I have said before, just make sure that she wouldn’t stress.” He cleared his throat. “Sometimes, they might go into shock and have a heart attack instead.”
Amber gasped in horror as I turned white thinking of the possibilities.
I don’t want to lose her again and definitely not forever.