Last night was the first night I slept at all, I became aware of my bones while I was still sleeping, I could feel their density, the feeling was too intense. I felt like something molten inside me. That is the closest I came to feeling alive. Other nights I stay awake; I can feel Andre’s presence with me. In my awake state I forget that he is gone and I pick up the phone then the deplorable enthusiastic agony hit me, the emptiness, nothingness, invades my soul. The torment is crude. The pain of loss has settled in my soul, I should be dead but I am alive, it is like someone has snatched a protective shield from me and made me vulnerable. I did that to myself, to him.
I replay Quinn’s yesterday’s message, “Hey love, it is me again these are the only moment I look forward to waking up the next day, (he chuckles), of course Theo too. I know it is pain keeping you away, I can’t dictate how long you mourn a loss of a friend and a brother, you cared and loved him, it should hurt. You may find it hard to rebuild that concept of reality because a part of you has left it. Hold on a little longer, with time you will crawl your way back into the world and the hurt will be a part of you and when that happens you will be able to live with it. I am still waiting, and my love for you grows each day.”
It is like he knows me and how I feel even when he can’t see me. I can’t fight the pain of loss I feel, not just Andre. His death just triggered everything I lost, my parents, brother, Quinn, my life as I knew it, my innocence, my joy, my quest for revenge, the lives ruined and all has been in vain and my life has been irrelevant. Despite coming out, more trouble awaits me back at home.
I don’t deserve him. He has so much hope in me that I don’t. he will be heartbroken with my actions; it is inevitable and I can’t change it.
No ones who knows where I am. Kelly begged me but I couldn’t, I was sure she would tell Quinn and he would travel across the globe to find me. She knows I will be arriving in few hours and so does he. I am more afraid at what awaits me. My own brother has disowned me and wants nothing to do with me. I bear this secret that weighs me down and is being used as a blackmail, I killed Andre. The world thinks he was killed by some muggers; his body was found on the wrong side of the city. Someone confessed to his murder. The guilt is eating me inside out. I can’t look at myself in the mirror without seeing him.
All I do is wait, and wait. And wait some more until I can no longer feel.
The plane lands seven in the evening. I feel shaky and fragile like my balance is off. I mailed Oliver, I hope he will be waiting. I am not ready to face Quinn, I want to face him at my convenient time and tell him the truth it is the least I can do, he deserves it.
Kelly he is the first to spot me. She has transformed over the years; she has matured out of the childish look she had. She looks more sophisticated now. She no longer waits table, she works at my father’s company, before I left I sponsored her three year course in fashion and modelling. She has emailed me about her progress. She jumps up and down full of excitement. She is beyond thrilled to see me and I attempt to smile but it feels foreign to me. Oliver didn’t come.
She can’t hold her tears back; she is paralyzed at one spot. The people around the airport stop to be part of the joyous reunion. Some now start to recognize who I am. Coming alive to the world was news that trended everywhere. Reporters camped outside my house begging for an interview. My brother wasn’t spared too when they followed him through the court process. The long wait for DNA results to prove we were who we claimed was torturous. All through that, I wish I could cease to exist if it would bring Andre back and relieve me of my pain.
She finally moves and meets me in a long warm embrace. I feel some weight lifted off my shoulder. Her tear burns through my shoulder.
“I missed you. “she cries.
“I missed you too.” I can’t hold my tears back.
“Why did you just leave?”
“I had to.” I answer when the hugs end.
“How is Oliver?” I ask.
Her face changes to worry. “He’s fine.” She says.
She is yet to realize I am not alone and I have someone with me. The man beside moves closer and puts his arm around me.
Surprise masks her face. “o..” She stutters embarrassed for unintentionally ignoring my company.
I look up and give a smile to my company.
Kelly grows uncomfortable, probably not what she expected.
“Kelly meet Nolan.” I try to dilute the intensity.
Nolan smiles, “I have much about you.” He says.
“I have heard absolutely nothing about you.” Kelly replies. I can tell she is angry and she doesn’t attempt to conceal it. I pray with time she will understand my decisions.
I look around maybe Oliver came and his anger towards me has dissipated. His absence shows otherwise.
I feel like someone is watching me, i turn to all sides. It just strangers going with their business and few whispering to each other about us. I am sure if I wait a little longer the media will show up here and Quinn might get the wrong information. The feeling of someone watching me is persistent, I have to confirm my instincts again. I am not wrong. I see Catherine at the furthest corner watching me intently. My stomach fills up with air, should have known I can’t run from them forever, but now I am ready to face my past and present.