CHAPTER 32 . I
Kathleen and Hansen stumbled into the house, holding the almost passed-out, Anderson. He was barely standing, as he was thoroughly intoxicated. They were on either side of him, with his arms flung around their necks, while they guided him up the staircase to his room. It was not an easy task because he kept slipping and falling to the ground. But when they finally managed to get him into his bed, they collapsed on the window seat, exhausted.
While Kathleen took off her shoes, which were hurting her toes, Hansen loosened his tie with a long sigh. Glancing towards the bed, tears pricked his eyes at the sorry sight of his now passed out brother.
He had never seen his brother in great pain as he saw him this evening. The tears he had shed, the tables he turned over, the glasses he smashed, the anger in his eyes and the amount of alcohol he consumed all showed how much pain he had in his heart.
“Hansen.” Kathleen reached for his hand, entwining her fingers with his. Turning to her, he saw tears at the corners of her eyes as well. “I am sorry.” Her voice trembled with emotion as she locked gazes with him. Her lips quivered because she was trying hard not to cry.
He quickly threw his arms around her and brought her into his chest. At that, both of them did not hold back any longer. Their tears broke out from their eyes, making clear the pain that was in their chest.
They just returned from a wedding that was cancelled because the bride runaway.
Hansen had not expected to find his brother on his knees, head hanging sadly and hands clenched at his hand sides, when he went looking for the groom. And he certainly had not expected his brother to utter the words, that did not only shatter the dashing groom, but the best man as well, when he asked of the whereabouts of the bride.
He had thought his brother were kidding, but soon realized it was real when he saw the pain and sadness in his eyes. He tried to wrap his head around why she left. Up until now, he was still trying to understand why she left. Was she not in love with his brother? Was she not happy about the marriage? He knew that their wedding was rushed, but she did not have a problem with it.
“Why did Sydney do this?” Kathleen’s snuffle brought him out of his trance.
He was still trying to think of an answer for that. “I don’t know.” He replied, trying to calm her by rubbing her back.
“I can’t believe she did this.”
No, he could not believe she did this. In fact, he was disappointed in her. How could she hurt Anderson like this? How could she hurt the man who loves her? He did everything she asked so why did she run away? Why did she have to shatter the heart of his brother?
Hansen blamed himself for this. It was his fault his brother fell in love with her. If he had just found someone else as Anderson had asked him to since the very beginning, all this would not have happened. If only he had not been stubborn and forced Sydney on him. If only he had not insisted that he, fall in love with her for real. If only, he had listened to his brother_ but he did not.
Anderson was in pain now and he was to blame.
“I will never forgive myself for this.” He grunted.
Kathleen pulled away. “No, it’s not your fault.” She cupped his face and gazed into his tear-stained eyes.
“It is.” He broke away from her hold and rose to his feet. “I am to blame for this. It is my fault he is hurting now. I brought this upon him when I pushed him to get involved with her.” He rushed his fingers angrily through his hair, tugging and pulling. “I led him to this heartbreak.” He glanced towards the bed, at his brother who was clutching a pillow to his chest.
“No, Hansen.” Kathleen went after him, taking his hand. “It’s not your fault but Sydney’s.” She said. “She brought this pain upon him.”
Hansen could not agree more. It was Sydney’s fault. She was the reason he was in such great pain. And he thought she loved him. Who hurts the person they loved? He knew that he would never hurt Kathleen, because he loved her with all his heart.
“Hansen,” she touched his cheek with a soft hand, turning his face towards her. “Do not blame yourself for this.” He placed his hand over hers.
“I do not know what I would do without you.” He confessed, gazing longingly into her eyes. “You are the best thing that has ever happened in my life, Kathy.” He lowered his head and planted a kiss on her lips. When they pulled away, she wrapped her arms around his waist and placed her head against his chest.
A whimper interrupted them and they separated. Looking towards the bed, they saw Anderson turning on his side. His face was now turned to them and they could see the string of tears slipping out of his eyes, soaking the pillow in his arms. His lips quivered as another whimper escaped them.
Seeing his shoulder trembling, Kathleen decided to check on him. She moved out of Hansen’s arms, going to the bed. Placing her palm on Anderson’s forehead, she gasped when his skin was as hot as a stove. “He is running a fever.” She declared.
“Oh no, let me call the ambulance.”
They soon found themselves in a hospital. Hansen quickly informed the parents about what happened to Anderson and they rushed to the hospital. The media also found out someway somehow and came to report on it. In one night, two tragedies were reported, all of which involved Anderson.