Chapter 14. Dreams
Some part of me knew that It was a dream. I had this dream for a long time. However, this dream meant something else entirely when I had it before. There was no sound or movement on the street except for Aria, walking away from me. She threw her head back and laughed. Even when I had been trying to kill her, I found her laugh so appealing. It used to confuse me, but now I understood it.
It was like a part of me always knew she was more than a target. I couldn’t count the times I asked Bohai if I had met her before. He told me she had been my target for years because she killed my sister. One thing Bohai never mentioned was that the Chinese and Latin Kings did business.
Something about the dream was different. The location changed. Suddenly we were on the beach, and Aria walked away from me as usual. Usually, I couldn’t catch up to her, but in this dream, I did. I spun her around and pulled her into me.
A smile spread across her lips when I caught her. She threw her arms around my neck, stood on her toes, and pressed her lips to mine.
Everything disappeared again, including Aria.
I stood in the corner of an unfamiliar bedroom. A man sat on the edge of a bed wearing nothing but shorts.
“What the fuck?” My voice came out shaky and distant.
The man didn’t answer me. He couldn’t hear me. The man that sat on the edge of the bed is me, but somehow not me. He is different from how I am. I could tell from the look on his face. I knew it by the way he held himself. He was wiser than I am. He knew things that I didn’t.
Curiously, I gazed around the room. There was a balcony off of the bedroom and three white wooden doors. There were huge windows that lined the back wall that I stood against. The ocean crashed against the rocks outside.
Am I in a beach house?
A door opened up across from where the man on the bed sat. Every muscle in my body went rigid. I prepared myself for something bad, an enemy, perhaps. Danger was the only thing I knew or understood. However, it wasn’t anything dangerous like I suspected.
Aria stood in the door frame. My eyes widened, and I swallowed hard at the sight of her. I couldn’t describe or understand the feeling because I never felt it before.
Am I nervous? How many times have I thought about seeing her naked? Is this a sex dream? I raised my eyebrows, and my lips parted.
The man on the bed didn’t look remotely nervous. He smiled when he saw her. “Bebita, so beautiful,” he said to her. He beckoned to her like he knew her.
What the fuck is a bebita? A different kind of emotion ran through me that I couldn’t describe. My pulse quickened, and my stomach turned. My nostrils flared, and I glared at the man. Suddenly, I realized the emotion I felt was jealousy. How could I be jealous of myself? It’s not as if she is with another man. The man on the bed is me, but also not me. I’m jealous because he experienced her in ways that I hadn’t.
The man turned his head and looked back at me. Aria didn’t look at me. She didn’t move. It was as if someone hit a pause button. It was strange like suddenly, he could see me. The man on the bed disappeared, and I was the one sitting before her.
A small smile played on her lips as she moved closer to me. My heart pounded against my ribs as she untied the robe. My breath caught in my throat, and I sat perfectly still. I didn’t know what to do. She stopped in front of me. I looked into her eyes as she let the robe slip off her shoulders.
The air escaped my lungs. She was, without a doubt, the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. She bit her lip and crawled onto my lap. My hands gripped her hips, and it somehow felt real. Her skin was soft, and it burned against mine.
As she pushed me down onto the bed and straddled me, a loud beeping filled the room. I looked up at her, confused. She gave me a heartbreaking smile and disappeared into thin air.
“No!” I spat. My eyes opened, and I shook slightly as I pulled myself from the dream. My alarm clock blared. “Fuck me,” I muttered. I ripped the alarm clock from my stand, angry at it for waking me, and whipped it across the room.
The clock hit the wall and shattered into different pieces. My chest rose and fell from the anticipation of the dream and from the irritation of waking up.
I threw the blanket off and looked down. My cock stood straight up beneath my shorts. I had never woken up with an erection — at least not that I could recall — a strong desire to see Aria bubbled up in my chest. I groaned in irritation and jumped out of bed. I just need a cold shower.
I couldn’t focus on anything but the dream and the other night at the club. The cold shower did nothing, so I turned on the hot water. We came close to kissing that night at the club. The desire to be near her grew more intense over time.
The more time I spent around her, the more I learned about myself. I found out that I could dance. It was sort of instinctive. I never tried dancing before the other night. A lot of things were different about me since I found out the truth. I wasn’t as robotic. Before, the only thing that meant anything to me was killing Aria. I can’t possibly feel this way for her when I don’t even know her. I didn’t understand it, but it was real, and it scared me.
I stepped out of the shower and got dressed. I checked my phone. Aria texted me and told me to come over. She informed me the other night that they had to meet with the Chinese that resided in San Diego. We concluded to take them out first.
Several vehicles were parked outside the mansion when I arrived. I pulled in behind one of the other cars and got out. Before I could knock, the door opened.
“Hello, Ace,” Andersen said. Aria informed me that Andersen had been a long-time butler and a family friend. Andersen knew everything about the Latin Kings.
“Hello, Andersen,” I greeted him. “Where is Aria?”
“She’s in the study with the others,” he said and gestured toward the study.
“Thank you,” I said and walked past him. I didn’t bother knocking because Aria knew I was coming. She sat in the chair behind her desk. Her father poured a glass of Bourbon. Luis, Benny, Abel, Joey, Austin, Miguel, and Diego were here as well.
Aria answered her father in Spanish. It stunned me. I stopped dead in my tracks.
Aria looked up at me. She stared at me, confused when she took in my expression. “Ace, what’s wrong?” Aria asked.
“N-nothing,” I muttered. I shook my head in an attempt to regain my composure. Did I just understand what she said? I thought back to the dream I had but tried not to linger on it too much — I knew what would happen if I did. I called her bebita. At first, I wasn’t sure what it meant. I realized that it means baby girl. Am I getting memories back? No. No way.
“The boys are going to meet with the Chinese today and make the trade. However, we have learned they are having a party at Chao Lei’s place tomorrow night. We thought that would be the best time to wipe them out. We’ll need your help with that,” Aria explained.
“Okay,” I said and shrugged.
The boys left the study. Carlos kissed Aria on the cheek before he left.
We were the only ones in the study.
“Are you sure you’re okay?” Aria asked.
I’m great. Just having weird sex dreams of you — I thought sarcastically. There was no way that I could voice that thought aloud. I have to get out of here before I say something stupid. “Yeah, look, I got some shit to do, but I’ll be back. Are you busy later? I want to take the kids out. You could come too,” I said quietly.
Her gaze met mine, and a small smile played on her lips. “Yeah, sure,” she said.
“Alright, I’ll be back around three o’clock,” I said.
The more I got around Aria, the more different I became. I understood Spanish but never did before. Does that mean my memory is coming back? I need to see that doctor. As I pulled out of the driveway, I dialed the number to the doctor that Benny found.
The receptionist informed me he had no availability today. I argued with her and explained that it was urgent I see him. She sighed in agitation and put me on hold.
I waited for a few minutes.
She picked the line back up and said if I could be there in fifteen minutes, he could squeeze me in.
I thanked her and hung up.
In a haste, I whipped my car the other direction and sped toward the hospital.
I made it there in ten minutes.
The receptionist smiled flirtatiously at me. “Can I help you?”
Why is it that when she smiles at me like that, it doesn’t faze me, but when Aria does it, I go crazy? “I’m, uh, Ace Garcia?” The thought of Aria made my head feel fuzzy as if I were in a state of confusion.
Her flirtatious smile faded, and she raised her eyebrows. She gave me one stiff nod. “Take a seat. They’ll be out shortly,” she said.
I sat down in the waiting room. A thought washed over me. Why did I tell her Ace Garcia? Oops. I mean, sure, it is my real name, but I’m not supposed to go by it until the Chinese are all dead.
I thought about the differences between Aria and the flirty receptionist. I glanced up at her, confused. She wasn’t ugly by any means. She had plump pink lips and blonde hair. She appeared to be short and curvy, but it was hard to tell since she sat behind a desk. I tilted my head as if I were trying to piece together why she didn’t tempt me the way Aria did.
I had no recollection of sex or anything of the nature apart from the one dream I had with Aria, not that it got very far. The thought of it not getting very far because my alarm clock made me angry at my alarm clock all over again. I squeezed my phone in agitation. I shook my head and shoved the phone roughly into my pocket. I crossed my arms over my chest and balled up my fists. What the hell is the matter with me?
A nurse came out and called my name. I followed her down a hallway. She checked my weight. She asked me if I knew how tall I was. I told her my height, and she wrote it down.
We entered a small warm room. She gestured for me to have a seat. “What’s going on?” she asked.
“About a year ago, I was in a plane crash. Recently my family found me. They explained to me who I really was and what happened. I have no memory of being such. Some small things have resurfaced since I got around them. I’m hoping you guys can tell me if it’ll come back or not,” I explained.
“Okay, I understand.” The nurse typed something into the computer. She took my blood pressure. “The doctor will be in shortly.”
“Thanks,” I said.
About ten minutes passed before the doctor knocked on the door. He walked in and smiled politely at me. “Hello, Ace, right?”
“I’m Doctor Bryan Kobus,” he said. “So, Ace, my nurse said you were in a plane crash and lost your memory. She mentioned you think it might be coming back?” he asked curiously.
I launched into the story but left out certain details. I explained to him what I told the nurse.
“Well, how about we do a cat scan?” he asked.
“Sure,” I said.
He told me a tech would come to get me shortly and left. I had a feeling it would take much longer than I wanted it to. A part of me wished I had brought Aria to keep me company. Another part of me didn’t want her to know. The last thing I wanted to do is get her hopes up. It was hard not to get my own hopes up. I wanted to remember her and my kids.
After they finished taking images of my head, they took me back to the room.
It took a long time before the doctor came back in. “Sorry for the wait,” he apologized.
“It’s fine. What did you find out?” I asked impatiently. My right leg bounced up and down. I hated hospitals.
“Well, the part of your brain where your memories would come from is damaged. What exactly have you been experiencing? You said you think it might be coming back. What makes you think that?” he asked.
“Well, before, I couldn’t speak Spanish or understand it, and now I can remember it. I had a dream about my wife, but it felt more like a memory,” I explained. I sounded crazy to myself.
“Ah,” he said and nodded. “Well, I wouldn’t count on that. You may regain some recollection of who you are. You may even have dreams that are memories. I hate to tell you this, but I would say it is unlikely that you’ll get all of your memories back. As a matter of fact, I doubt you’d even get much more at all. Not having a memory doesn’t mean you’re a different person. You may find yourself acting more yourself with no memory of being such. If you do have more memories come back, but it’s likely only to be a few,” he explained. “I’m sorry these things can be sometimes unpredictable and unexplainable.”
“Thanks,” I muttered and stood up. He shook my hand, and I walked out the door.
So, the last doctor was right. I would never get my memory back. I’m glad I didn’t bring Aria — I thought to myself. I debated on how to break the news to her. I considered keeping it to myself might be best.