Heal with my Heart

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Chapter 10

Jack’s POV:

I saw Hannah rushed out of the house in anger. Anger and confusion clouded my mind. What is she talking about? Why did she say that I never verified the facts? More than that, why did Ruby look with guilt and fear?

“Dan, you better go to Hannah. Something had happened. She is so angry now. Don’t leave her alone.” Mathew said to Hannah’s parents.

“I will go now, Mat. But I want to know what is going on.” Her dad said in a stern voice, looking at me.

Mathew nodded at him, and they left, following Hannah.

“Jack? What happened? Do you know Hannah already? I cannot understand what you said about her?” Kelly asked me.

“Ruby, what did you say to Jack?” Mathew asked Ruby.

Ruby was sobbing with tears.

“Ruby?” Mathew called her sternly.

“Mathew, please. Ruby is already crying.” I tried to stop him.

“I am sorry, dad. I am sorry, mom.” Ruby said in between her sobs.

“Sorry,” I asked her in a whisper. My heartfelt a chill as a sudden fear gripped me.

Ruby cried more, clutching both my hands. “Dad and Mom were angry with me. I don’t want to face your anger too. So I lied.”

What? What did she lie about?

Kelly spoke in a tense voice, “Will both of you tell me what happened? Ruby, What did you say to Jack?”

“You see, when Amy died, both of you were not talking to me. I knew you were angry at my actions.”

Kelly interfered softly. “Oh Ruby, We were not angry at you. We were mourning for Amy.”

Ruby said in a guilt-filled voice, “I thought you were angry because I made the accident. At that time, Jack came here. I did not want Jack also to hate me. So I lied to him that Hannah was drunk and she sis the accident which killed Amy.”

“What?” Mathew asked in a shocked tone.

“Why?” I whispered at Ruby. I could not come out of the shock that she lied.

“What happened on that day?” I asked her again.

Kelly nodded at my words. “We haven’t that question to you till today. But now, we want to know what had happened.” She told in a determined voice.

Ruby looked pleadingly at us, but none of them barged. She sighed and started talking. Her words hit me like a hammer and made me realize what a big mistake I have made.

“On that day, Hannah, Amy, and I went to celebrate as I gotta admission in my favorite law school. While coming back, I was fully drunk. Amy did not let me drive the car. Hannah was sitting at the back. I did not want to come back home so soon, and I pestered them to go somewhere else. Amy did not listen to me, and out of anger, I turned the steering wheel. We lost control and hit the opposite vehicle. I am sorry, mom. I am sorry, dad. I killed Amy.” Ruby bent on her knees and started crying into her hands.

I slumped on the couch in shock. What had I done? I had made a grave mistake to Hannah. Hannah… Hannah… Words jumbled in my thoughts, and I could remember only Hannah’s name. How would I be correcting this? I destroyed her dream, life, future. Oh, God! Oh, God! Oh, God! How would she have suffered? That too for something she hadn’t done.

I felt a hand on my shoulders. I looked up to see Kelly and Mathew looking at me. I turned to and found Ruby gone.

“She had gone to her room,” Kelly said.

“What had you done to Hannah?” Kelly asked me.

I looked at her with my eyes misting with tears. “Kelly…” Words failed me as I drowned in guilt.

“Tell me, Jack. What did you do?” she stressed again.

“When Ruby said that Hannah killed Amy in an accident, I went to see her. But I saw her going on with life happily. I thought she never had any remorse for killing her friend. So I decided to avenge for Amy.” I stopped there, ashamed to say what I did.

“And?” Mathew prompted.

“I heard from Ruby that completing the Masters was her long-time dream. So… So I decided to destroy her dream just like she destroyed your lives. When she was about to finish her course with her project, I learned that Robert was Paige’s professor. So I made him go on sick leave and took his position as a replacement.”

I am now disgusted by myself for my actions. I sighed and continued, “I made her think that I was interested in her. When she thought we were dating, I took her project and framed her that she had stolen it from my company. As a result, the University expelled her to be on good terms with my company.”

Silence filled the room with silence. I looked up to see Kelly looking at me, mortified, and Mathew’s face was full of disappointment. I could not face these reactions from them. That made me realized Hannah would be in the same situation when they expelled her? No, her condition was even worse. At least I know what I did, but Hannah?

“What you did is not just a mistake, Jack. Even if Ruby said, you should have spoken to us. Ok. For argument’s sake, let us think that Hannah made a mistake. If it was an accident, don’t you think we should move in life? Do you think that she should always mourn for her friend in her life? Even if she made a mistake, who are you to destroy her life?” Mathew questioned me.

“I am very much disappointed in your actions, Jack,” Kelly told me.

“Kelly, please. Don’t say that. I know I made a big mistake.” I told her back

“Mistake? You destroyed her like Jack, and you call that a mistake? And how are you going to correct it? Can you bring her respect that was lost? Can you give her the future that was gone?” The enormity of the situation hit me badly, as Kelly asked.

I looked back at her, determined, “I will correct what I did, Kelly. I don’t know-how. But I will do it. Please believe me.”

“It was easy to destroy. But it will be damn difficult to correct. I hope you do it.” She told me.

“I will, Kelly. I will.”

Mathew looked at me with a frown. “Are you?” He started, then shook his head. “No, it is not my place to ask or tell.” He said and went inside. And Kelly followed him.

I leaned back on the couch, looking up. Oh, Hannah! Will you forgive me? I will get you the justice. I knew it was me who wronged in the first place, but will you give me the chance to correct it.

A small voice in my head asked me back, ‘Leave the chance to correct, will she even talk to you. Will she even listen to what you have to say?’ I knew the answer is No.

I have to move mountains to make Hannah listen to me again. What am I going to do?

I remember Hannah looking at me mesmerized when I asked her the way to the office. The way Hannah flushed when I held her in the classroom. The way her eyes brightened when she spoke about her project.

I sat straight, remembering that night. The way she thrashed in her dreams talking about Amy’s death. She said that she suffers from that day as she could not remember what happened. But today, she challenged me to ask Ruby? Had she gained the memory? Was she not suffering from those dreams anymore?

My face was crushed in remorse remembering the last day in her college. I could not imagine what she would have felt on that day? Getting punished without knowing the reason. And the day when she looked at the University one last time before going from there.

“Jack, were you sitting here all night?” Kelly’s voice woke me from my sleep. I looked around to see the living room. I should have slept on the couch last night. I sat up, rubbing my eyes.

Kelly looked at me and smiled sadly. “Let me bring you a cup of coffee.” With that, she went to the kitchen, and I followed her.

I was sitting in the kitchen and sipping the hot cup of coffee. My face turned hard as I saw Ruby entering the kitchen. Her face fell seeing my reaction. She came and sat next to me.

“I am sorry, Jack. I should not have lied to you.” She said.

I sighed heavily. “I shouldn’t have taken action just listening to your words. As Hannah said, what is the use of running such a big company if I am not capable of finding the truth? I won’t say that I am not upset. I am still angry with you, but I accept your apology. It may take some time for me to come over it completely. If I don’t accept your apology, how can I expect Hannah to accept mine?”

With those words, I nodded at Kelly and left the house.

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