As promised, here is Chapter Three.
I hope you like it. Next chapter will be ready early next week. 🙂
Love – Gry
Love Comes Twice – Chapter Three.
What the hell, where did she go? Emma was right there, but now I can’t see her anymore. Getting away from these girls is hard, but I politely try to get myself out of their grip. I start walking and see Sophia is still there, but she looks out of sorts and is pale. She’s watching someone. Is Emma sitting on the sidewalk? Something weird is going on, and I make my way through the crowd to get to them. Another fan is grabbing me by the arm, but thankfully, she quickly picks up on the fact that my mind is elsewhere and lets me go. I turn to apologize to her before I turn back around, only to find Emma lying on the ground, obviously out cold. I rush over there, asking Sophia: “What the hell is going on? Is she sick?”
Sophia is just standing there, her hands hanging down her sides, one of them holding a phone. She seems lost. I gently lay my hand on her shoulder and give her a quick shake.
She slowly looks at me, confused.
“What’s going on with Emma?”
She suddenly snaps out of it and goes: “Oh my God, Tom died!”
Oh shit. Oh shit! He died?
“How, when, what happened?”
“Emma, oh Emma, she passed out!”
Sophia is looking around. She’s agitated and restless. Sad. Looking at the phone again, then at me, she suddenly comes to life.
“You gotta help me get Emma out of here! We need to get her out of here!”
She’s loud. I nod her way and bend down to take a closer look at Emma. She’s passed out alright, poor girl. Her hair is covering the ground, spread out like flower around her head. Careful not to tug it, I put my arms under her neck and knees and lift her up. I position her close to my body. She’s still out, but I feel her breathing against my neck as her head rests on my shoulder. I start walking towards the bus as I yell to Jack, “Jack, I need you to open the bus door for me, help me out!”
Being such a good friend, he’s there in a flash, pushing his digits into the panel next to the door. I carry Emma inside, careful not to bump her into anything, and head straight for the couches in the front. Once there, I lay her carefully down on one of them. I remove her shoes and cover her with a blanket. I turn around and bark orders to Sophia and Jack.
“I need some water and a towel, and probably a bunch of hankies if you can find any. Sophia, I’ll take care of her, okay? Just call back to whoever called her and ask for more information.” Sophia nods and picks up the phone again. Being absolutely confident that Jack will take care of her, I turn my attention to Emma. I stand up and take two seconds to figure out what she needs. She’ll be crying. A lot. I rummage through the closets until I find a couple fresh handkerchiefs, not wanting to wait for Jack and Sophia. Someone pats my back and when I turn, I find Jack with two bottles of water and some towels. I give him my best thank you look and turn my back to him. I kick my shoes off and remove my jacket. T-shirt and jeans. Perfect. Then, I turn my attention fully to Emma, who is still out cold. I grab one of the towels and open a bottle, soaking it in water. I sit down next to Emma and gently clean her face with the cold, wet cloth. She stirs and slowly opens her eyes, adjusting to the dim lighting inside. As I look down at her, I scan her face for emotion and find her eyes slowly filling with tears to the brim. My heart breaks for her. A single sob leaves her body and I do the only thing I can think of; I lie down next to her, pull her as close to my body as I can, and hold her tight while she cries.
I don’t know where I’m at, but I’m lying down. I open my eyes and see a mirrored ceiling. I’m cold, freezing actually. My hands are icy. My mind races to my toes. Where are my shoes? And why is there a blanket covering me? Startled, I realize; Tom. Just as I was going to get up, I remember. Tom is gone. I can’t breathe. That’s what happened. My heart hurts and the tears start falling. Someone is holding me, but this sadness fills me too much. I don’t know who it is, and I don’t care. I just cry. I still feel like I’m having trouble breathing. What am I going to do now? I can’t live my life without him! This is the worst joke ever. I need to call my mom. She’ll laugh and say it was a joke. Right? My body isn’t cooperating with me. It’s shaking, sobs leaving my body in an ongoing stream and my face is wet, but my mind is travelling. It’s like mind and body aren’t connected. I’m at home, in bed with Tom, and he is holding me. We’re on our sides, towards each other, and I have my face buried in the crook of his neck. I can smell him. He smells like home. Breathing in that scent, focusing solely on that, I feel like I’m slipping away again. Not wanting to feel anything, I welcome the darkness.
The feeling of utter anguish and sorrow wakes me up. Where’s my phone? I don’t know. I need to call my mom. Someone is dabbing a hankie in my face, wiping my tears. I open my eyes and see Parker. He is lying next to me, tight as can be, and I surprise myself when I realize I don’t like it. I want to go home to Tom! I start to cry again but somehow manage a blubbering “Where’s my phone?”
Parker lets go of me and sits up. Leaning on one arm while scratching his head with the other, he turns to look at me and says: “I think Sophia has it.”
I feel raw and vulnerable. I shouldn’t be here. Not with him, not now. I need to bail. Trying to get up, I’m stopped by Parker’s hands on my shoulders.
“Stay here, I’ll get Sophia.” he says.
“Stay here and rest. You’re safe and I’m going to take care of you. I’m so sorry for what happened. Just know that whatever you need, I will be there for you!”
He looks my way again, running one hand through my hair. I jerk my head back, what the hell?
“Don’t!” I say.
He tilts his head to one side, makes a grim face and quietly says: “I’m sorry.”
He gets up and walks away and I’m suddenly alone. All alone. I can’t be alone. I sit up, trying to figure out what to do, all the while tears are still running down my face. Sophia is right there, sitting on the double seats in what can only be the tour bus. She takes one look and practically jumps over to me, grabbing me hard and holding onto me. I release everything as I hold her like she is my only lifeline.
I don’t know how long it’s been, but Sophia and I are clutching onto each other, both still crying, me worse than her. My chest feels so heavy. I have tears and snot everywhere. Pulling back slightly, I look at her sweater. It’s wet and slimy from all of my crying. She hands me a towel and I start to wipe her clothes and my face. She grabs a hold of my hands.
“Don’t worry about the clothes, sweetie. Cry as much as you need to.”
Sitting on the edge of the couch, I lean forward and put my face in my hands.
“Did you talk to anyone?” I whisper.
She rubs my back.
“Yeah, your mom.”
“What happened?” I ask her, in between sobs.
They keep coming.
“He went cruising with his friend, remember?”
“They were at an intersection when a truck hit them. Drunk driver. Honey, the truck hit the passenger side where Tom was. He didn’t stand a chance.”
That last sentence comes out like a whisper and along with her hand gently caressing my back, I feel her pain from having to tell me that.
“Sweetie, I don’t know what to say. I’m…I’m so sorry! I wish I could do something, well anything that… that would make this better. Easier.”
I pull her in for a hug.
“No. It’s okay. There’s nothing you can do, it’s…..nothing you can do. We just need to get home.” “Yeah. Uh. I think Parker’s on it.”
“Parker? What’s he up to?”
She looks at the door.
“He’s sorting it out, said something about a jet.”
“What? What do you mean, a jet?”
My hands are busy fiddling with a handkerchief.
“I mean, he’s trying to get you home.”
“Why would he do that?” I ask.
“Well, because he cares?”
“I don’t even know him, this feels weird. Awkward.”
“Yeah, well, don’t you think you should take it? If it gets you home faster?”
“I don’t know. What do you think?”
She’s gotten up and is pacing back and forth in what little space there is.
“Look. Do whatever you need to do, you know? You need to get home, to see him.”
She won’t even look at me saying that. I get it. Seeing my dead boyfriend. The one solid thing in my life. Who is now gone.
“Yeah. I want to. But, I don’t. You know?”
“I know! I know, sweetheart.” she says.
My hankie is crumpled in my hands.
“I don’t know what to do without him. I can’t think straight. I can’t breathe. I don’t understand! What happened? What did I do?”
These questions are falling out of me.
“What did I do to deserve this?”
Sophia turns to look at me.
“Sweetheart. You didn’t do anything. It’s just that sometimes, life is hard.”
“No, it’s not hard, it’s unfair!” I argue.
She wipes her forehead.
“Yeah, I know.”
Someone is entering the bus again.
“I don’t wanna see anybody right now, but I can’t stay here either.”
“I’m guessing it’s Parker. You should let him in.”
Sophia walks over. Parker is standing just inside the bus door, phone in one hand and a bottle of water in the other.
“What’s going on?” he says.
I sigh. The tears have finally subsided to a minimum, not stopped, but they’re not overflowing. I look at him and I feel I need to thank him.
“Parker. Um, thank you for taking care of me.”
“Yeah, no problem, I mean, this has got to be hard.”
I can’t say anything, so I just nod. He walks in and sits on the bed.
“What do you wanna do?”
“What do you mean?” I ask.
“I mean, do you wanna go home tonight? Our jet is fueled and ready at the airport for you the second you need it.”
I look up and meet his eyes. Thankful, all I can say is a hoarse “Yes.”
It took 15 minutes to get everything ready and into a taxi. We made a stop at our hotel to pack up and check out. Parker insisted on coming with us, even though I told him over and over that he needed to stay for the next show. He clearly disagreed. So, there we were, Sophia, Parker, Jack and me. Jack’s excuse was wanting to go where Parker was going, but I suspected he had his eyes on Sophia. I was happy for her, but too worn out to joke about it, or even say anything. It’s funny how being a celebrity makes everything go so much faster at an airport. We rushed through security at Schiphol and were immediately taken to the private jet that belongs to Dangerous. It wasn’t huge, but it had all the trimmings and I couldn’t help being impressed, even in my misery. Parker grabbed my bag and pulled me inside, then proceeded to put me in a huge, soft seat.
“Do you want a blanket?” he asked me and I nodded.
I was wiped out, feeling empty and let him tuck it around me. We were airborne shortly after and I let my thoughts trail, memorizing the last time I talked to Tom, so I would never forget. I could almost feel his eyes on me, his arms around me. Almost. The thought of it had my eyes watering again. It would only ever be almost from now on. I closed my eyes and tried to visualize him. He was a tall guy. That was one of the first things that caught my eye about him, that and a smile to die for. I still remember the first time I saw him at school. He was wearing a flannel shirt and jeans, of course. He was that kind of guy. The “boy next door” who took care of everyone around him. He was talking to some friends as I walked passed him in the hall and he checked me out. It was such an obvious move I couldn’t help but laugh and his lip pulled up in this massive grin. I was done, right then and there. We started dating that weekend and it was like it was meant to be. I felt as though I had never not loved him and the thought of it brought me back to reality. My heart tightened. Again, my body started shaking and I was suddenly crying heavily. I let out a wail as the pain hit me in the chest. Actual, physical pain. Sitting there, I leaned forward, sobbing. Putting my head in my hands, I just let the tears flow. I heard this about grief that you’re supposed to let it all out. I don’t know, it wasn’t helping me much. I couldn’t think of anything that would. My light was gone. Everything I lived for, the reason for getting up in the morning, my favorite person in the world. Gone. And I wasn’t there. I couldn’t save him. I never got to say goodbye. Guilt flooded my mind and the pain got worse. So much worse. Oh my God, I would never make it through this. I felt a hand on my back and looked up. Sophia was on her knees in front of me and as I lifted my head she pulled me in for a hug.
“Sweetie,” she said, and we cried together.
I don’t know how long we sat there. The feeling of being lost and alone weighed heavy on my chest, even in the company of these people. Knowing I could lean on Sophia was just about the only thing that made me want to go on right now. Slowly becoming aware of what was going on around me, I saw Parker sitting right in the next seat. He held a couple small towels in his hands and handed them over as I looked at him.
“Thank you,” I said.
He smiled back, probably thinking I meant the towel.
“No, I mean thank you for this. The plane, flying us home.”
I didn’t know if a single thank you would even begin to cover it but I had to start somewhere. “Emma, I will be here through this. I’ll get you what you need, support you through the next few days, and help you with anything and everything.” I wrinkled my forehead.
“You have shows to do, you need to go right back!”
He looked over at Jack.
“We cancelled the next few shows, blamed it on some personal stuff.”
I stood up.
“You can’t do that! You have so many people waiting to see you and they will be disappointed!” I was almost yelling. He stood up and walked the two steps he needed to come over to me.
“It’s gonna be okay, Emma. You’re right, but I also want to be there for you.”
I shook my head. Was he stupid? I didn’t need him for anything other than playing his God damned songs. Feeling angry, I took his hand, shook it hard and told him “You’re an idiot!” Jack literally choked on his water, trying to hide his laughter under his coughing. I wanted to slap him. Feeling utterly useless, all I could think of was that I was about to ruin the second best thing in my life, Dangerous. I glanced over at Jack and silently wished him to hell.
“What are you laughing about?”
He straightened in his seat and pulled himself together.
“Nothing. But, Parker is right. You need someone to lean on for a few days.”
I couldn’t agree with them. I wouldn’t. Truth be told, I had no one but my mom, and she certainly had enough on her hands. I’d just be a burden if I stayed there. Sophia still lived in her parents’ basement and it wouldn’t be fair to her or them to crash there. So, what I had to look forward to was our apartment. But, that would hold too many memories right now for me to be able to handle. Tom’s imprint was all over that place and I wasn’t sure I could handle it yet. I needed to check into a hotel for a few days to get my head screwed on straight, and there was no way I could afford that on my own. Admitting to it was hard. Jack and Parker were right. I needed them. It felt awkward having to lean on them. I didn’t really know them and they were fucking famous. I knew one thing for sure. I did not want any part of the publicity surrounding them. We needed to set some boundaries.
“Guys. I don’t mean to be ungrateful. What you’ve done, heck – what you’re still doing for me, it’s amazing. I feel like I’m losing my footing, that’s all, and I don’t know how to deal with it.” Parker hugged me, held me maybe a hint longer than a friend would. I would have jumped up and down with glee a few hours ago. Now, it just felt weird. He wasn’t Tom. I cut loose and sat back down, buckled up to get ready for landing. It wasn’t a long flight, but I couldn’t wait to get off of it and felt relieved when the pilot announced that we’d be landing at Heathrow shortly. Sophia had spoken to my mom earlier and she said they were all at the hospital. He was dead, so why he would be at a hospital I had no idea, but Tom’s parents, Rosalyn and Deacon, were there alongside his two sisters, Erika and Charlotte. Getting off the plane, I realized Parker had arranged transportation for us. A van was waiting as we stepped out of the jet. I put my hand on his sleeve and he met my eyes. I silently tried to convey the rush of emotion I was feeling, as I didn’t trust my voice right now. I would never be able to fully thank him for this. He put his hand on my back as we walked over to the car, carefully steadying me as I got in. He grabbed my bag and put it in the back before he made sure I had my purse in hand, and then he handed me my phone. I switched it on. Missed calls, texts that I didn’t want to open, voicemail…I stuck it in my purse as the car rushed off the tarmac.
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