• The Way—Chapter 12

    The recovery process took such a long time. And it didn’t really help that my heart was also in recovery at the same time. Yeah, Julian did bring me stuff everyday and eventually I got to see his face, which was a little different than before. He had huge bags under his eyes and he had more stress lines, and I could see from the way that he stood that I had a big impact on him, and I hated that. We didn’t even know each other for a year, and he already was falling for me. And I hated how I didn’t have the same feelings towards him, I hated to string him along like this…but he was my strength. He was just a band aid that you didn’t want to part with.

    Fakir came too, with more flowers and more pleading. I guess since Michael is out of the way, its okay for everybody to leave their own lives for me. But in reality, it’s not. I didn’t deserve any of this. The affection they had towards me. It seemed that all I had to do was look at them, and they would get on their knees, asking—demanding—for something they could do for me.

    But they weren’t like Michael. Michael would’ve just come on his red motorcycle and watch me sleep, and the silence between us would be enough. I missed his smile…I missed his eyes, his laugh, his voice…but most of all the way he looked at me. That must have been love. A picture flashed in my mind of him looking at Penny that way, him calling her name that way, him kiss—I couldn’t think about it. It made waves of anger flash through my body, and then I would weaken twice as fast, and the emotional stress.

    Julian wasn’t lying, his Grandmother lives near the Performing Arts College and it was driving distance. But, I couldn’t dance anymore—I couldn’t dance for 3 recovery years of my hip and even if I did, it wouldn’t be the same. I felt empty inside and that feeling could only be healed by the person who put it there in the first place.

    It was as if I couldn’t spend a day without thinking of Penny and how I regretted everything. I tried talking to Fakir about her, but he waved his hand and shook his head, as if the name Penny made him sick; it made me sick. But she was still my only female friend and I needed her here by my side more than anything. I needed both of them, hurt or not.

    “Knock knock, Jamie?” Julian said, opening the door with sweat glittering all over his body. My heart danced, but it didn’t jump up and down like it did with Michael.
    “Julian, how many times must I tell you? It’s Julie.” I said, rolling my eyes.
    “But that’s our little inside joke. Too bad I called you that at the hospital and now all the nurses call you it too. It was our thing.” He said, smiling down to me.
    I noticed he was gasping for air, so I moved my head. Signaling for him to sit down next to me, and just like an obedient puppy, he did.
    “Julian, I swear to God, if you don’t get more than 3 hours of sleep tonight, I won’t even talk to you for a week.” I teased, hoping he would still catch my seriousness.
    “I know, I know. But you’re all I think about at night. It’s too hard to sleep.” He fired back, smiling that crooked smile.
    “I don’t care. You can sleep now, so sleep NOW.” I said in a very stern voice.
    He laughed like a little kid and then climbed next to me on the bed, laying on his side with his elbow propped up and looked at me. He blushed and looking down, I caught him looking at my breasts and his eyes lingered there for a couple seconds. And the funny thing was, I didn’t mind; I actually felt flattered. Then he looked at my face as smiled once more. And he put his hand in mine, and then fell asleep so quick that I was left in my trail of thoughts once again.

    But looking down at his face as he slept, a sense of calmness washed over my body. And I fell asleep next to him, our hands still embraced in each finger.

    Michael riding his motorcycle and then smiling towards me, mouthing the words ‘I still love you,’ and Penny on his back, hold on to him for her dear life, and then they both screamed, waking me from my nightmare. Julian was still asleep, and the sun just set.