A Touch of Passion

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Chapter 25

The following morning Nina was awakened with a startle. A sound coming from outside the room. drifted up under the bottom of the door. she could hear the faint rumble of voices. She walked tentatively over to the door and slowly cracked it and peered out, there wasn’t anyone in the hallway but the sounds seemed to be coming from on the half opened door of a room further down the hallway.

She tiptoed quietly down to the room, hid behind the door and peeped through the opening in the corner of the door. Mike was standing at one side of his bed, wearing only a sweat bottom. He was talking to a young woman. Nina wasn’t able to identify either her voice or physical appearance, due to the fact that she was hidden behind the door. And speaking softly.

Their discussion has suddenly gone extremely low, she could only make out a few sentences of what they were saying. The young woman said “It’s the truth.” Mike responded. “I honestly don’t know what the truth is.” She stood there and listened to them for several minutes, knowing they were unaware of her presence.

A few minutes later, Mike’s phone rang and he turned around to pick it up from off a night table, and Nina was speechless. Her hand flew immediately to her mouth in a bid to mask the horrified gasp that escaped her mouth. Instantly Mike turned and looked in the direction the sound came from and their eyes met. For a brief moment their gazes held through the opening.

Nina moved away from behind the door, breathing as if air was being forced from her lungs. She placed her hands over her face as she stood there speechless in the hallway. She was unable to think clearly, unable to walk. Every part of her body went on pause, she was unable to speak, totally stunned.

Mike walked out of the room hastily towards her. She found some energy and slowly backed away as he approached her. Nina’s eyes bulged frighteningly, as she stared at him in horror.

“Nina, please.”

Michael began as he stretched out his hand in her direction, while walking towards her.

“A lot has happened. I don’t know where to begin to explain-“She cut him off instantly.

“Don’t come near me!” she shouted as he attempted to hold onto her arm.

“I swear to God, if you touch me as much, I’ll scream the roof off.”

“Nina,” he began slowly, his voice soft and low , here me out. There is an explanation for all this, I need you to listen.”

“I don’t want an explanation Michael. I honestly don’t. And when I leave here, I never want to see nor hear you again.”

He went closer to her, grabbed her arm and pulled her forcefully into his arms.

“Don’t be so willful, damn you.” he said harshly as he pressed his lips down onto hers. Nina struggled to pull away but she realized it was pointless. She decided to remain stiff in his arms, willing her emotions to remain under control. Even after all he’d put her through, she was still feeling the compulsion to respond.

He released her as quickly as he’d grabbed her, Nina stepped backward using the back of her hand to wipe her mouth. “How dare you,” she spit.

He just looked at her and walked away, his angry footsteps speeding down the hallway.

Unable to move or think straight. She stood where he had left her for several moments. The emotional tumult she had experienced over the past several years was nothing compared to what she had just gone through. She thought desperately, how on earth did her life come down to this?

She sniffed quietly, as the uncontrollable stream of tears split from her eyes.

She walked away. Few minutes later she entered a taxi and was on her way home.

That night, after she got home, she was finding it difficult to sleep. Tormented and in total confusion. She tossed and turned constantly, unable to stay still.

“This can’t be real,” she thought.

“How could Michael have done such a cruel act to me? There has to be an explanation, but what could that possibly be? Couldn’t he have trusted me enough to share with me, whatever the situation was? instead of doing what he did. I would have thought, the right thing to do would be to confide in me, and together we could have come to some amicable agreement, now it’s too late?”

In the morning she tried desperately to pack her bag. Her fingers kept jumping rhythmically as if in spasm. She was still terrified from her recent discovery. When she finally did accomplish her task. She hurriedly placed the suitcase in her car, went back, grabbed her handbag, and raced out the door. She knew there was something about Mike but she had not in a thousand years, expected this.

And as she was going through the door, just then, Michael, showed up on her doorstep.

“What’s the hell are you doing here?”

She uttered angrily. Her eyes bulged. He stepped towards her but she backed away from his touch. Her jaw tense and lips tightened.

“Nina please, we need to talk.”

Michael pleaded as he kept walking towards Nina and she kept pulling away.

“It wasn’t my intention to hurt you in any way.” She ignored him.

“Nina, just hear me out, only a few minutes.”

“Stay away from me” she shouted as he stretched out his hand to touch her arm.

“How dear you, come near me, I swear to God, I’ll scream as loud as I can.”

Her eyes became filled with tears and she broke down.

” How could you do this to us?” She murmured desperately. “What could possibly cause you to deceive us in this way Michael? Do you know the trauma you put me through?”

“Honey believed me; I know exactly how things must appear to you right at this moment but I can explain.”

He pleaded in despair for her comprehension but she couldn’t bring herself to that.

“You don’t. Stay the hell away from me and my son. I never want to see nor hear from you as long as I live.”

“Honey, please don’t say that. I can explain the situation. Just give me the chance to do so.”

“To hell I won’t, you had all the opportunity to come forward, but you didn’t. I’m no longer open to any explanation from you, right now anything that comes out of your mouth will be lies, and more lies. She then stormed off towards her car, parked in front of her house.

" Nina please, Mike insisted.” Suddenly she stopped, turned around to face him. Furiously, she stared at him.

“Go back to your happy life Mike or Michael whatever your name is. There is no repentance in the grave.”

She then resumed walking in the same direction. Nina, please, he pleaded, as he kept moving towards her.

“Stay away from me, ″ she hailed as she desperately tried to get away from him. He caught up to her and again he attempted to touch her.

“Don’t you dear” she said out aloud.

“How could you do this to us? Get this; I don’t want to hear anything, I don’t want you near me and my son, I don’t want to see you period.

“I know you must be feeling betrayed, but there is an explanation for it.” She looked at him and muttered

” Explanation, really now” she shivered uncontrollably. She couldn’t seem to shake the nightmare of the drama that had unfolded in front of her.

Holy shit, she thought frantically, this isn’t real, I’m dreaming, Michael wouldn’t commit such a wicked act against me, no he wouldn’t, I must be having a nightmare she thought in confusion. This isn’t happening, please God I need to wake up. She pinched herself.

“My God, … this is real, I’m awake. Oh my God, was he that desperate to get out of the marriage? That he has to go as far as to pretend to be dead? That couldn’t possibly be it. He could just easily ask for a divorce. I would not be happy about it but I wouldn’t refuse to. No, it has to be something else for him to go as far as to devise his own death. There has to be a logical explanation. Why has he been alive all this time and has not contacted me.”

She turned to him in anguish. “I’m not interested in anything you have to say, just stay the hell away from me.” Burning rage hissed through her body like a deadly poison, screaming a demon of hurt. It was like a volcano erupting.

He held onto her arms with a firm gripped, shaking her.

“You fool, you need to listen to me and stop behaving like an immature little child.” The hurt only consumed her more like engulfing moralities.

” Damn it, how dare you, speak to me in that tone, I’m not your child.”

She pulled away from him and entered her car, slammed the door closed, and sped off down the road, leaving a ton of dust behind. If she were to stop and dwell for even a fraction of a second, her face would be once more wet with a glassy layer of tears.

A muscle twitches involuntarily at the corner of Michael’s eyes. And his mouth formed a rigid twist. He stared amazed and wondered what had just happened. He folded his arms tightly across his broad chest, tapped his foot furiously, then walked towards his motor vehicle. As he drove along the long stretch of road. His eyes blazing with pain, unable to come to terms with his dilemma. A look of despair settled over his face. He was in a crisis and he felt powerless.

“How in God’s name I’m I going to get through to this woman, she is as stubborn as a mule.” he whispered.

Some weeks later, still despondent, Michael went to see Lisa with the intention of getting some help from her concerning Nina. She opened the door, and straight away she uttered.

“Well, well, well, what do you want? And before Michael could respond, she continued,

“Honestly, you really looked good for a dead man though, even more handsome than before, lovely muscles, instead of a cripple hand. How on earth did you manage to pull this off for so many years? Boy, you’re good.”

He combed his fingers through his hair. “I want you to tell me where Nina is.”

“Seriously Michael, you know I can’t do that.”

“Listen Lisa, you have to, I need to speak to her. She’s not answering my calls, I’ve looked everywhere, I’ve even hired an investigator and nothing. It’s as if she has disappeared off the face of the earth.

“Well, you can’t possibly blame her, can you?”

“Absolutely not.”

“Not even if you wanted to, you couldn’t, she’s simply following in your footsteps.” Michael was getting a bit annoyed, he clinched his fits and bit down on his lips, but instantly he snapped himself out of it.

Lisa, can you just tell me where she is? I would really appreciate it.”

“Sorry Michael I can’t.” she attempted to go back inside but Michael held unto her hands,

“You have to tell me please.” but she still refused to say anything.

“Okay, I’m sure if she knew the truth, she would behave differently, by the way how is she doing?”

“Health wise good, but mentally, I’m not so sure, you have put her through hell. I think you should just call it a day and let her be. Shaking his head, he responded,

“No, I can’t, I want to try and make things right.”

“Are you kidding me? Don’t you think it’s a bit too late for that now?

“What are you talking about? Absolutely not.”

“Tt’s a pity you didn’t think of what was at stake, before you went into hiding. You could have saved yourself from this”

“I can’t just give up yet. I have to fight.”

“Fight for what Michael?” A critical tone lined her voice.

“My marriage.” Lisa scratched her head instantly, and gave him a sidelong glance of utter disbelief.

“Michael, you need to be realistic. Your marriage ended, the day you pretended to be dead. I doubt she will ever forgive you.” He stepped closer to her, ran his hand through his hair, another time. “That’s not up to you to decide Lisa, thanks for nothing”

He turned away from Lisa and started walking towards the gate. Lisa felt sorrowful. She stopped him and invited him inside to hear the reason why he did what he did, but he was so hurt he turned down Lisa’s request and continued on his way.

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