Our Memories: A Short Story by The Bracelet Writer

1.

A little girl, aged 5, just dropped her ice-cream to the ground as she was on the verge of tears. When a boy, aged 9, comes up to her and offered her his gummy bears instead. He managed to persuade her not to cry.  “Thank you. My name is Lucy,” he smiled and patted her head.

“I am your new neighbor. I just moved in next door. My name is Leon.”

Suddenly that wonderful dream was being awaken by the sound of the alarm clock ringing.  A beautiful fair hand slowly shut the alarm clock off and a moan of a man escaped into her hearing.  Both of them were in nudity and he was kissing her neckline as she tried to avoid it with a smile. “Richard stop it will yah?” That dream she just had, it was unexpected.  It was about Leon her best friend that turned to be her boyfriend in high school.  They broke up when she needed to fly to London for studies after high school graduation.  Since then, it never occurred to her to text or call him since. It has been five years since she last spoke to him.  Now she was living in Britain and he was in Texas.  Last she heard he was working in an old car garage as his career, while she was a top Journalist in Britain.

“But you smell so good Lucy.” He pulled her into his arms and kissed her lips.  She smiled as he kissed her.

“You are one sweet talker,” she said as she got up from the bed, pulling a blanket over her to cover herself.  A beautiful diamond ring could be seen on her finger.

Lucy walked straight to the bathroom and put on a bathrobe instead and throw the blanket back onto the bed where Richard, her fiancée, was laying on.  “Lucy, lets skip a day from work and spend the rest of the day with me in bed.”  His suggestion made her chuckle sarcastically.

As she walked into the bathroom to shower, Lucy said, “In your dreams Richard. You know how important today’s meeting is to me?”

“I know,” he bid a small laughter.  He loved it when he teased her.  The sound of the water running from the bathroom was all to clear for him.  She was showering.  He got up from the bed and joined her in the shower.

2.

Leon was under an old Volvo car fixing up a leak.  When he heard someone calling out to him, he slid his body back out and grinned.  A non-lighted cigarette was in his mouth as he greeted the man before him. “Charlie Jones. How nice of you to stop by my garage,” said Leon as he wiped his dirty hands with a rag from the counter.

The man looked at him sternly.  “Mr. Stevens you owe the bank 20,000 dollars. I believe you should pay up by the end of July. If not I’ll say you better get your things pack and move away from your house you currently living in. Because you have stopped paying the house loan for nearly 7 months now,” explained Charlie.

Leon just smirked, “I’ll get back to you on that one. 20k you say? Alright.” He pulled out a cheque book and wrote one for eight thousand dollars.  He handed it to Charlie.  “Take that for now and I’ll settle the rest soon. Just don’t ask me to move my ass out of my house by end of July.”

Charlie took the cheque and walked away. “You are safe for now Mr. Stevens.”  Leon saluted him and went back to repairing the old Volvo.  For him to repair five cars within two weeks and get that amount was pure insanity.

Leon’s eyes caught upon his picture with Lucy.  It was of their first day in high school.  He took it in his hand and smiled a little.  “Lucy. I missed you babe.”  He let out a shrug.  He held the picture frame.

{flashback…}

“Hey no fair! You bought a bicycle and I don’t have one!” Shouts Lucy at him. He smiled looking at her. “Oh come on Lucy. I’ll promise you to give you a ride on my bike everyday after school, and we can cycle to the park every evening.” Both were in different high schools but they could care less. “Fine you win.” She pouts as he gives her a kiss on her lips making her blushed hard. He loves it seeing her that way. Since that day, they started dating and fell madly in love with one another.

Leon’s day dream was interrupted with his cellphone ringing.  He answered it.  “Hey mum. Ya.. Everything is just peach perfect.”  Still holding the picture frame.

3.

A few weeks later, Lucy came home to find a letter was mailed to her from her hometown Texas.  She eyed it with curiosity then opened it up.

Dear Lucy,

It’s me Darla May, I am currently unwell you see and I really hope that you could come visit me as soon as possible my dear child. I believed, God loves me more now. For all we know I might be taken by him soon. In my condition right now, I am being admitted to the hospital. Please do come visit me. I missed your presence little one.

Darla May

Lucy’s eyes turned tearful as she wiped her tears away.  She folded the letter back nicely and walked into the kitchen to see Richard was on the phone with his client Mr. Robinson. Richard worked as an Insurance Broker.  He stopped talking after seeing Lucy’s teary eyes.  “Mr. Robinson, I’ll have to call you back. Something urgent came up. Yes. Yes. Tomorrow at 9.30am. Alright. Good day,”  with that he hung up the phone and went to her. “Hey what’s the matter babe?” He wiped her tears away.  She slumped into his arms as he hugged her tight.

“Its Darla May -”

Before she could finish her sentence he cut in, “Darla who?”

She sighed and teared up still. “Darla May. She used to babysit me from a baby till I was 13 years old. She sent me this letter–” she showed him the letter.

He took it and read it, then looked to her quizzically. “Don’t tell me you’re planning to fly back to Texas babe? What about me??”

She looked up at him and her eyes were firm on him suddenly, she snatched the letter away from him. “You are always self-centered you know that? Always your way. What about my way for once Richard?!” She raised her voice at him. He was stunned, this is the first time he ever heard her stand up for herself.

“Fine then! Go back and see that old dying fit, and leave me here untended without a fiancée’ to attend to my needs!”

His words were harsh and cold for her ears to bare.  She slapped him hard and cried as she made her way into their master bedroom.  She shut the door and locked the door from within.  He went to the door and banged it hard not caring less if the neighbors could hear it. “Open this door Lucy!”  She ignored his yells and pulled out her passport and her luggage bag.  Quickly she threw in things she thought she needed and zipped the luggage bag.  As Lucy opened the door and saw Richard stunned seeing her all dressed up and ready to leave for the trip.

4.

It was not easy for Richard to see Lucy all dressed and ready to go.  He grabbed hold onto her arm as she walked passed him from the bedroom doorway.  “Wait!”  He said with a voice halfheartedly wanting to let her leave.  She turned her face to look at him.  Her wavy brunette hair was pulled up into a ponytail with a soft scrunchy that made her look very indifferent retro vibe at the moment, but she looked good.  She pulled her arm away from his clutches.  “What do you want now Richard? Are you tell me I am a dying fit too now?!”  Her words was sharp as a knife.

It actually made him frown.  “I am sorry for saying what I said Lucy. Can’t we just sit down civilly and talk?”  He was doing it again.  She knew his tactic already and knew he was trying to manipulate her decision makings again.  Many times he succeeded; as was the case with her car.  She wanted a small vehicle for working purposes that could be easy to get around.  She set her sights on a Volvo, but he manipulated her.  Yes, she thought as the word MANIPULATED was circling her mind.  He manipulated her in purchasing a Honda Civic instead.  Or even the clothes she wore to work.  She would rather go in plain blouses, black pants and 2 inches heels.  Yet he bought her many corporate attires including elegant gowns of which she rarely used them, but she had to admit at times that his selection was by par very excellent.

“There is nothing to discuss Richard. I am leaving to head to the airport. I am to go back to Texas today. And I’ll stay there for a week or two.”  Her confession made him shrug and he tried to reach for her arm again but she backed away a few paces.  “But Lucy, our dinner with the Daniels is in two days. I promised them to bring you along. Jack Daniels’ wife adore you.”  His explanation actually ignited the lost fire and fury in her.

She raised her voice at him, “You are one seriously self-centered man I ever met! You did not even asked me if I wanted to go. You assumed I’ll tag along last minute like I usually do for your sake, well good luck seeing your client without me!”  She headed for the door, out she went and shut the Villa door behind her.  Richard kicked and banged the kitchen counter to release his tension when she left.

She headed for the next flight to Texas and nobody could and would stop her.  She put on her shades and called out for a cab, got in it and off she went heading for the airport.  She bought a ticket and sat in a Coffee Bean Café and drank A cup of Decaf Latte’ while waiting for her flight to board in two hours time.

5.

Leon was under a Toyota car when the sound of footsteps came to his hearing, at first he ignored it but then a familiar voice called out to him unexpectedly.  “Leon,” he slid himself out from under the car and his eyes went wide with astonishment.  He quickly got up on his feet and wiped the car oil off his hands. “Lu–Lucy?”  He swallowed his own saliva and still had a feeling it was purely a dream.  She can’t be real could she?

“Leon. Leon!”  She waved her hand to catch his gaze.  He looked spaced out.  He shook his head.

“You’re really here! I thought I was daydreaming again.”  His comment made her laugh.  Oh that laughter, he shut his eyes and smiled warmly.  He hadn’t heard that laughter for nearly four years.

“I am back for now Leon. I got a letter from my old nanny Darla May this morning. She is bedridden is all I know of,” she explained as he took a swig of his half drank Diet Coke from the table.  It was placed beside the tool box.

“Ahh yea, she is stable at the moment but,” his words made her panic.  She took off her shades giving him the opportunity to see those beautiful green emerald eyes once again.  “Wh-What happened to her?!”  She was shaking his left arm just like she used to when they were younger. He just looked downwards and replied to her straightforwardly.

“She is in coma.”  His words made her burst into tears.  Not because of hearing coma but she was glad to hear Darla was still alive nonetheless.

Leon pulled her into his arms as she cried her eyes out on his chest.  It was like old times.  Old habits die hard as she did not realize that she was in the arms of her ex-lover.  She left him for pursuing Education path four years ago.  He wiped her tears with his fingers. “You never changed huh?” He teased her as she whacked his chest playfully, it made him laugh.  He hadn’t laugh that sincerely and loudly with the feeling of happiness in such a long time since she left him, but to have her in his arms at that moment was somehow a very awesome moment.

“I missed you Leon.”  She admitted it to him softly.  He caressed her hair and rested his chin on her head.

“I missed you too.” At that moment they both were wondering among themselves, why all those four years there was not even a single call or text coming from either sides.  Maybe due to awkwardness after they split up.  Yea that might be the reason then.

6.

That night, Leon was holding the picture frame with the picture of him and Lucy during high school.  He even caressed her figure a few times on the glass. “You look just the same Lucy. God please don’t go away from my sight again.”  He was so into thinking about her that he did not realized that his cellphone was ringing.  He shook his head after the fifth ring and picked it up hurriedly.  “Hello.. oh hey,” Lucy was on the other end of the Line.

“Mmm..I just call to ask you if you…” she paused, holding the phone with a hand and the other mixing her cup of warm chocolate at her mother’s house.  Her father was asleep soundly on the couch with the television still on.  The sound of the weather news forecast could be heard by her a little.  Her father became a mule when her mother died, but was still seen as a good man in the eyes of the public.  Lucy cleared her throat, “I wanted to say goodnight–” She pulled the phone to her lips to breathe and whacked the house phone to her forehead a couple of times when she heard him respond to her.

“Good night then,” he said unsure of which one of them should disconnect the call.

She was thinking that she just called him and that she could not be the one hanging up on him that fast. “I..I..wanted..to ask..you..”  She was actually nervous to ask him out tomorrow for a walk.

He then interrupted her, as he chuckled.  “Same old Lucy. You are to ask me out on a date huh?” His statement made her jump on the other end of the line.

“How…how did you know I was to ask you out?” She asked him as she brought the hot chocolate in the mug into her bedroom.  It had been ages since she stepped in her old bedroom.  The bedroom she grew up in and bonded so well with.  Her set of China Dolls is still on the bookshelf.  Just how she last saw it. It was all the same.  There were no changes made.  Her bedroom still scented of lavender and mint.

“Simple. I have known you my whole life. You used to be my girl remember?”  He chuckled on the other end making her pout on the other.

“Fine. You win.”  Her way of admitting defeat made him laugh happily and she smiled.

“Good night Lucy. See you tomorrow at noon, I’ll come and fetch you at your house at noon.”

He told her softly. “Sorry I can’t come sooner. I got to finish up fixing an old Honda Accord in the morning.”

His apology made her grin happily sipping the hot chocolate and sitting in her single bed. “Its all good Leon. Career comes first. Besides, noon sounds good to me. We can grab something to eat too on the way out.”  Her suggestion made him nod and smile more.

“Alright then. Bye.” With that she hung up the phone without saying goodbye to him, but he knew she was very much looking forward to his company.

7.

Lucy that morning helped her dad clean the garage a bit.  When her cellphone started ringing a few times and a few text messages came in, Mr. Johnson looked to his daughter and asked her while rearranging boxes out of the garage, “You’re not going to pick that up sweetie? Its been ringing off the hook.” Lucy shrugged hearing her father’s question and statement.  She flipped the cellphone, answering the cellphone after it started to ring for the eighth time.

“Babe? Are you well? Have you arrived in Texas?” Soon after that his voice trailed off waiting for her to say something back.

Lucy shrugged and rubbed her temples. “I am fine Richard. Yes I have arrived yesterday evening safely.” She paused trying to control her voice back to normal. It was not her to be agitated with Richard extended periods of time.  Her thoughts vacillated: I should forgive him right? No I shouldn’t. Selfish pig.  She shrugged and sighed. “Richard I still think that us as a whole is still to be something I am thinking about. The thing is, yes I am a bit pissed off with what you said yesterday… But I guess I should forgive you. Since I do love you still.” Her eyes caught on the diamond ring on her finger.

She was his to be and she knew she was going to marry him by the end of the year. “Alright Babe, I understand, thank you for not leaving me.”  His last words hit her like a rock, thank you for not leaving me.  Now that was something she thought what he said may have been a dream.  An epic dream.  Because, she had a feeling to leave him for good just a couple of minutes ago.  Well it seemed her intention was long over.  He was still her fiancée’ with that she shut the cellphone.  He just shrugged even after the call ends.

Mr. Johnson looked at his daughter and with an emotionless expression he asked, “Love trouble sweetie?”  Her father’s timing in asking questions personal to the heart was precise and right on the dot.  She looked to him as she pulled her hair off from being tied up as a ponytail.  She let it be free and wavy.

“Yea..Its Richard. We had an argument of me coming here. He made me feel inferior last night. I just hope he does not let me down again in the future.”  Lucy explained to her father and making him a bit uneasy as he did not know how to reply to his daughter’s statement.

8.

Leon came ten minutes almost noon to fetch Lucy using his rental car.  She got inside his car as soon as she saw him.  He thought it was supposed to be romantic right to let the man come up on the doorstep and bring the lady the bouquet of flowers, but she had entered his car before he could get out offering her smile while looking at him.  “Lucy.. you look beautiful,” he could not help for complimenting her look.  She tied her hair up in a ponytail and wore a red polka dot dress.  A white pair of heels were matched with it.  She looked really stunning.

He quickly snapped off from his daze thinking about her and presented her with a bouquet of white daisies. “Aw-wee thank you Leon, you still remembered…my favorite flower,” said Lucy as she took the bouquet from him and a swift scent of the flowers he gave her before leaning back on the passenger seat and putting on the safety belt.  He smiled at her and nodded.

“For you anything…” he noticed the diamond ring on her finger but said nothing.  He pretended to act normal after that, he hit the pedal and off they went, but in his mind a thought was circulating ‘is she with someone already?’

“So…where are we heading?” Leon asked as the car stopped in front of a traffic light. Lucy turned to look at him.

“Lets grab a sandwich and coffee at the old Macy’s Café. I haven’t been there in years. I missed her food.” She would confess her cravings.

He smiled faintly and shook his head. “Sorry, Macy’s Café has stopped 2 years ago. Some guy bought the lot and built a seafood restaurant there.”

Hearing that, she frowned. “Mmm.”  At that moment she knew she had missed old good Texas and the hometown she grew up in Greenville. How on earth did she ended up living in Britain all these years after taking up her Degree? Ahh yes ... she soon recalled why she never returned to Texas.. because of one word … Richard.

As Leon made a U-Turn, he stopped by the Lakeview and shut off the engine, “Lets have something to eat by the lake. There are tons of food stalls around.”  She smiled hearing his suggestion, and leaves the bouquet of flowers in the car as they got out.  Lucy walked along side with him heading to the lakeside.  They spent their time together talking for a couple of hours, chasing each other almost like the lovers they used to be.  Lucy was panting and breathless, smiling up to him.  He drew himself closer, touching her cheeks and caressing her warm pink lips.  Their eyes were locked upon each other.

“Leon I….am engaged.” She said softly, her expression was emotionless yet her heart ache because she knew what she revealed might hurt his feelings.  It hurt him but the thing was he had that one figured out a couple of hours before they got out of the car as they were trying to decide where to hang out.

He moved back a few paces, smiled and acted as if it didn’t bother him. He bowed his head playfully, “Oh, congrats then. Whomever got you is a lucky man…..” his voice trailed off as there was a minute of silence between them both. They both were staring out to the lake view feeling uncertainty, guilt and confusion all mixed up in one shot.  It was pure awkwardness.  Neither of them knew how to break the silence, but within a few minutes Leon slid his fingers into her right hand, gripping it tight and not wishing to let her go.  Lucy knew instantly, his love for her was still in full bloom.  She began to attack her decision: I must have seriously lost my mind ever leaving him 5 years ago and going off studying and meeting Richard instead. What was I thinking? What am I to do now?

9.

Scent of sweat circulating the bedroom, the sounds of a woman’s moans fill the whole bedroom.  Her hand runs up his neckline as their lips meet.  He licks her inner earlobe and whispers softly into her ear of how good she felt.  The night were intense, sexy, a good old one night stand.  He was half drunk yet he knew he was not himself that night. To him he just needs to release his tension upon something even as bedding another woman other than his own partner. “Oh Richard. That was amazing,” her voice made him grin and lean forward to kiss her lips once more.

“You’re not bad yourself Rachel.” His husky voice complimenting her made her face flush red.

As she was pulled into his arms on the battlefield of where Lucy and him had locked it to be only for them, sacred.  If only she knew what he had done, going behind her back.  “I am glad you’re still single Richard,” her voice once more made him smirk and nods.

“Very much single at the moment..” his engagement ring was locked away in a drawer in the wardrobe he and Lucy shared. She kissed him again.

“Good. You are mine now.”  He did not know how to respond to that, but he could always play around with her while Lucy was away for another ten days.  Both Richard and Rachel fell asleep in each others arms that night.

Meanwhile, in Greenville, Texas.  Lucy was giggling when her father poked her rib-cage.  It was her sensitive spot since she was young.  He somehow started to recover from his silent state since she returned home and had been staying with him.  “Morning sweetie, so what’s your plan for today?” Mr. Johnson asked.

“Mm.. I might go visit Darla May in the hospital today,” she almost forgot her true intention of coming back in the first place.  Due to Leon’s presence by her side, she seldom got distracted being around him.  He was somehow a very addictive drug that had been buried in her blood since they first became friends in their youth.  She could never get enough of hanging out with him, hearing his voice on the phone and even when they were face to face.  It had been four days since she arrived from the airport.  It felt really great to be back.

Suddenly, her day dream was interrupted with the sound of her father calling out to her numerous times until she finally snapped out of it. “Oh.. sorry dad. I had something on my mind.” Her answer made him shake his head as he handed her a plate filled with scrambled eggs and toasts.

“I asked you, is Leon tagging along with you to meet Darla May today?”

Her father’s question made her look up at him from where she was sitting at the dining table in the kitchen. “I did invite him along yesterday night. He said he will come fetch me at noon later.” She explained to her father as she held the mug of warm coffee with both her hands. Her eyes were looking out the kitchen window. It was a clear, sunny morning. A morning she wish it will never go wrong, a morning she wished it was fast and she could see Leon once more by noon.

Her father took his newspaper and coffee off to the living room to read and drink in a calm manner like he usual does every morning. Lucy’s mind was on Leon, Leon and Leon over and over again, but it got distracted when her fingers accidentally touch the diamond ring on her finger.  ‘ Ahh..right I got a fiancée’ back in Britain. I wonder how he is right now?’  She ate her breakfast and went off cleaning up the dirty plates, pan and the spatula in the sink as her eyes darted upon her cellphone which was left laying on the dining table.  She really ought to call Richard by today and check up on him.  Since she still was his fiancée’ as he was to her. She still cared. Yes. That’s the right word to explain the bond she had with him nearly three years of being together and just recently about few months back they decided to get themselves engaged.

10

Leon couldn’t take it seeing how Lucy was crying in the ward room. Darla May was in critical condition. Lucy sat beside her and held her hand with a loving grip looking at the 65 year old woman. “Darla May.. I’m here.. I’m finally came home..” said Lucy bailing her eyes out. Darla just shook her head and touched Lucy’s head.

“You never changed my dear. Always either easily emotional or easily satisfied with what you get from someone as a gift.” Hearing Darla said that, it made her choke up a chuckle as she wiped her tears away.

Leon stood a few feet away from them. Yet Darla knew whom he was, and called out to him. “Aren’t you Leon Stevens..” she asked him softly trying to reach out to him with another hand.  Leon quickly goes to her and stood on the opposite side of Lucy.  Darla took his hand and rubbed it. “It is you, ooh you have your late father’s eyes and your mother’s smile…” Darla’s compliment made him smile sheepishly.   Lucy smiled hearing it too.

Darla pulled his hand and placed it on Lucy’s hand, making them look upon each other.  “If God’s will, I wish he could grant my last wish before I die,” Darla paused to breathe.  She suddenly was having a heartburn, but she tried to endure it and continued her words to them both.  “I want to see..you both wed. You both are meant for one another.”  Those were her last words as she took her last breath and passed away.  Her grip on both Lucy and Leon’s hands were slowly release.

Lucy hugged Darla May in her arms and cried her heart out as Leon held on to Lucy a few minutes later. “Thank you..Darla.. for taking care of me,” Lucy said her last words to her old nanny.   The Doctor and the nurses rushed inside to check the pulse once more and then they shut off the heart monitor that rang out a long siren sound to indicate that Darla’s heart was beating no more.  Leon pulled Lucy into his arms and hugged her close to him as she cried intensely on his shoulder.

A few hours later, Leon drove Lucy home using his rental car.  He stopped right in front of her doorstep and pulled over.  He turned her face to look at her.  His hand slowly caressed her warm cheeks and wet eyelids. “She is now in a good place Lucy. Don’t cry. I’m always going to be here for you,” he said as her eyes gazed up at him, trying to search and analyze him.  Trying to figure out what’s in his mind about them but she just could not do it.  He looked normal like any other day.  He looked just like the best friend she knew since their youth.

She sighed and looked away, “I know.. I will keep a strong mind now,” she said softly.

He smiled and nodded. “Good. I’ll see you tomorrow then, I’ll fetch your tomorrow morning at 8.am for Darla May’s Funeral.”  She nodded and got out the car, waved him goodbye and walked into her house.

When Leon left to head back to the garage, Lucy headed towards her room and fell on her bed.  She flipped her cellphone and saw three missed calls from Richard.  She shut her eyes and let out a sigh before hitting the green button on her cellphone to call Richard.

Richard’s cellphone started ringing he was eating a ham sandwich in his apartment and drinking hot coffee.  Rachel was on his lap.  His eyes darted upon his cellphone.  “Just a minute, let me talk to my client. How about you just refill my coffee?” Hearing that, Rachel got up grinning thinking he was telling the truth.  Richard flipped his cellphone in his study room and answered Lucy’s call.  “Finally you call back,” he said softly not wanting Rachel to hear his conversation.

“Ya, been occupied with stuffs..” her sad voice caught his attention as he raised an eyebrow.

“Is everything alright babe?”

Lucy nodded on the other end. “Ya. Darla just passed away a few hours ago.”

Her reply made him smile happily. “So, you’re coming home in a day or two right?” There it was in his voice. Such emotional vacuity in the way he asked her made her heart thud and her agitated feeling precipitated.  Its was not sympathy she heard in his tone of voice, but he sounded glad she was dead.

“There you go again! You are being self centered again.  She just passed away Richard! Don’t tell me I have to skip her Funeral tomorrow just to catch the next flight to Britain for your sake?!” She took a breath as she shouted at him over the phone.  She ended the call instantly and slammed shut the cellphone.  She could not believe how selfish he was. Who is Richard really is?  She wondered hard now.  He really had changed or had he always been this way and his true self was starting to show.

Richard shouted to the phone a few times.  Hearing she had disconnected the call, he flipped the phone and threw it aside on the carpet floor in rage and anger.  Rachel came swinging by and into the study room holding his refill cup of coffee.  He held up a hand to her to stay where she was as he slammed both his palms on his study desk in anger.  Her eyes darted upon the cellphone he threw to the floor.  She frowned and asked him softly, “Did something happen with your client?”

He shouted at her, “Will you shut up! And get out! Get out!” His words made her rush out the door, put the cup of coffee aside.  She was perturbed as she raced into the bedroom and slam the doors behind her.

11.

“Lucy.. come let me drive you back home..”  Leon placed a hand onto her shoulder.  Both were standing in front of Darla May’s grave.  She was still crying her eyes out. She looked at him and shut her eyes.  He went to her and wipe away her tears with his fingers.  “She’s like a mother to me…” said Lucy as he nodded and pulled her into his arms.  They both wore black ensembles as their look.  Even Lucy’s father Mr. Jackson stood there trying to comfort his daughter.  “Leon, bring my daughter home I’ve got to go back to work straight away.”  With that Leon nodded and pulled Lucy slowly to head to the car.

Meanwhile, back in Britain…

Richard and Rachel were back into each others arms again.  His apology by giving Rachel a bouquet of roses worked.  As she stood up to go take a shower after their sex session.  He smirked, “Women.. why does it have to be roses as their weakness?”  A text message came through his phone from Lucy that read:

Lucy : I don’t know if you would even cared, but Darla May is safely buried. I’ll be coming home in 4 days.

He stared at her text message and smiled and thought: See, even Lucy cannot resist my charm. Besides it’s about time she comes home. I am getting bored with Rachel. I just might dump her a day before Lucy arrive. Yea. I’ll do that.

Richard quickly replied to her text.

Richard: Really? Alright babe. See you soon.

He did not want to sound self centered through the text message.  With a matter of minutes later, Rachel came back out with a bathrobe.  She climbed into bed with him. “Missed me hun?” She asked him as she leaned in to kiss his lips.  He grinned devilishly and pulled off her bathrobe and kissed her neckline slowly laying her back down to the bed making her feel startled.  “What are you doing? I just finished rinsing,” asked Rachel. He ignored her words and continued to lure her to bed once more.

12.

Two days later …

Lucy started packing up little by little and did some laundry.  Her mind was on Leon once more.  Whenever she thought of him, she found that her focus upon him was always diverted by the engagement ring on her finger. “I think its best I stay loyal to Richard. How about I give him a surprise by coming home a day early?” If she does that, it meant she needed to cancel the flight she booked in two days and change it to tonight.  That was exactly what she did.  She changed the flight she had booked directly from her laptop she brought along and sighed a little.

She dialed Leon’s number straight away.  He was fixing a Porsche’s left front tire when his cellphone started to ring.  He quickly picked up the call with a smile on his face.  “Hey Lucy, I can’t wait to pick you up later for dinner. So why are you calling me at this time?” He looked at the clock on the wall it was nearly one in the afternoon.

She shut her eyes and forced herself to tell him.  “Leon, this past week had been great. To spend time with you and you accompanying me at Darla’s Funeral and all but–” She choked up a tear.  He could hear her tearing up.

“Hey-hey.. what’s wrong Lu..” he asked her.  Hearing him call her Lu made her smile faintly on the other end.  It was her nickname he gave her when they were dating back years ago.

“I don’t think dinner will cut it tonight-”

Leon interrupted her before she could finish her sentence.  “Oh. Are you busy tonight? Did something came up? We can always have breakfast tomorrow at–”

Now she was the one cutting his sentence.  “I am going back to Britain tonight!” She shouted into the phone line not too loud but it made him become silent on the other end.

For more than a minute he did not utter a word to her.  He swallowed his saliva and closed his eyes.  “You–you– said your flight is not until two more days. Why tonight Lucy??!”  Now he was crying a little on the other end.  She knew she had done it again, making him cry.  Making him suffer her decisions like she did before.

“I missed Richard my fiancé’ ..” she lied to him.  The reasons she wanted to go home early was for Richard and the guilt she could not relieve herself of leaving him there alone without her there.

And then the silence stop, “Richard….” is all Leon said as he disconnected the phone call from Lucy.  Lucy knew well she was falling for Leon all over again, but she was engaged to be married soon to another man, of which she cared about a lot.  Yes.  Most people would think that she had lost her marbles!  To love someone else but to marry another.  She cried her heart out in the laundry room knowing that Leon abruptly disconnected their conversation not because he was angry, but because he was heartbroken and disappointment once more.

Leon was kicking tires a few times to release his tension as he looked to the ceiling tears were flooding down his cheeks. “Don’t go Lucy. Not now. Not today. Lucy please stay. Stay by my side,” he whispered to himself as he slumped onto an old armchair in the garage.  He admitted it, he truly missed her while she was away for 5 years, but  Lucy returning into his life once more made him feel as if he could not bare to be separated from her again, not even for a split moment. This time around, if he could not persuade her to stay, he would lose her forever towards that man known as Richard. “I must see her later. Yes. I must. At the airport. I must persuade her to stay and be by my side once more.”  He would rather die trying than not try at all.

13.

That night at nearly 7pm, Lucy had checked in.  Leon arrived at the airport searching for her whereabouts.  After checking in, Lucy shut off her cellphone early after texting Leon.  She soon was to board her plane back to Britain.  She had a feeling he might chase after her which is why she shut her cellphone without giving him the opportunity to do such thing.

Lucy: Take care of yourself. See you soon.

He flipped his cellphone and read it. He quickly dialed her number but it went straight to voicemail.  He tried several times yet he failed tremendously.  He was panicking and ran straight towards the departure virtual board.

Britain – Boarding..

He swallowed his saliva and put his left hand on his head as he pushed his hair back.  He was sweating yet he did not manage to get to stop her in time.  Lucy boarded the airplane and departed of heading back to Britain.  Leon left the airport and headed straight to the mini mart and bought himself a few cans of beer.  He needed them to ease his thoughts away from Lucy that night.

The arrival of the flight from Texas to Britain arrived safely.  Lucy went off and got her luggage bag and halted for a taxi.  The taxi driver drove her off towards the Villa where she and Richard resided together for nearly 2 years.  She had not bothered to switch back on her cellphone.  She did not bear to see how many missed calls there were from Leon.

She grabbed hold onto the doorknob twisted it to open but it was locked.  She knew Richard was out if he locked the front door.  She tip toed and took the spare key on the top shelf of pot and plants they decorated at the entrance door.  She unlocked the door and entered.

She smelt something wonderful coming from the kitchen.  She closed the door behind her and left her handbag and luggage bag by the door entrance and smiled warmly.  Its not like him to cook breakfast for himself, she thought.  The sight of untouched omelet set for two on the table and two mugs filled with hot coffee, one was half empty but the other was three quarters full. Something was not right.  Her curiosity piqued she stood akimbo in the center of the kitchen with her brows furrowed attempting to figure out what was happening.

The sounds of a woman’s moaning could be heard clearly a few minutes later.  The woman’s voice were saying out dirty words. “More..deeper.. harder…” Lucy heart was beating fast as she tip toed to head towards the master bedroom. The door was not locked.  There was at least a three inches gap that allowed her to see Richard’s body in nudity.  He was on top of Rachel but towards Lucy. Lucy did not know Rachel personally, but the fact that Richard was actually making love to another individual in their bed left Lucy feeling heartbroken.  Tears were flooding out of her eyes.  After standing outside the master bedroom for nearly ten minutes, she could not take it in any longer.

Lucy barged inside the door and startled both Rachel and Richard.  Rachel quickly pulled the covers up to cover up her exposed body. “Richard.. who is she? And what is she doing in our Villa?” Lucy shut her teary eyes as she looked towards Rachel and back at Richard.  She pulled up her hand with the diamond ring on it. “I am his fiancé’! We’ve been engaged for a few months now!”

Richard rushed out the bed and puts on his boxers and held up a hand towards Lucy trying to ease her down a bit. “Lucy Baby … I can explain … its not what you think it is …,” Richard said.

Lucy shouted at him and threw things at him.  Rachel was speechless.  She grabbed her clothes and shouted at him.  “You son of a bitch! You lied to me! You said you were single!”  Rachel rushed out the master bedroom. Nearly bumping herself upon Lucy.  “I am sorry Miss Lucy.  He lied to me.  If I knew he was engaged.  I would have backed away.”

Lucy kept quiet a little as she pointed to the door, “Just get out from my sight.  I have things to discuss with Richard.”  Rachel, after she put on her clothes, her shoes and gather her stuffs, she left the Villa without a single word being uttered.  Lucy knew it was not meant to be and that it was too good to be true. He was only taking advantage of poor Rachel while she was gone. It turned out Rachel was his victim.

14.

The discussion was no discussion at all between Richard and Lucy. Things thrown about the bedroom. Both shouting at each other without thinking straight anymore. She looked at him and was crying her eyes out while having rage too within her for him. “Who is she?! Tell me the truth Richard!”

He was in a T-shirt and short pants. He looked at her and sighed. “The truth?! Do you think you could even handle the truth?!” He shouted back at her.

“Oh.. if its not the truth. Then should I ask for you to lie further towards me?!” She rubbed her temples. “Do you know I came back a day early just thought of surprising you on my early return. Turns out I am the one whom is surprised, stunned and heartbroken!” She cried harder and sat down on the couch in their bedroom. She looked downwards and cupped her head with her hands. Thoughts were circulating in her mind. Should she leave Richard or stay?

She went towards him and pulled out the engagement ring on her finger.  She threw it to his face. “I am leaving you Richard!”  As she did what she did, she picked up a few more things of hers from the wardrobe.  He was walking back and forth getting restless. Not sure of what to say to stop her.  She rushed out the master bedroom doorway with a few things and took them to her luggage bag and handbag that was still by the front entrance doorway.  She stopped and looked at him.  He looked restless due to her wanting to leave him.

“Rachel is only a girl I knew. She does not mean anything to me.”

Hearing that she growled angrily, walked out the door after throwing him her spare key to the Villa. Lucy looked back at him once again. “I don’t even care of the car you gifted me. And the job you helped me have! I am moving on!” She rushed out the door for good and halted a Taxi and got in. She looked at the Taxi driver. “To the airport please.” With that being said, the cab driver pressed the accelerator pedal and off they went.

After buying a ticket to Texas and checking in, she slumped onto a chair in a small coffee café within the airport while waiting to board her flight.  She teared up again.  The hot coffee was in front of her untouched.  Her flight was in an hour.

Leon was fixing a faucet in his house. It was busted.  He was under the sink in his kitchen. When he was about to reach for a spanner, his eyes caught a glimpse of a figure. It couldn’t be Lucy?  He got out from under the kitchen sink and he was shocked to see her.  At exactly 9:45am, she was standing right in front of him. “Lucy? Lucy,” he stood there speechless.  Lucy rushed into his arms and hugged him close.  She started to cry once more.  He quickly held her in his arms.  She could see the grease stains on his fingertips but she did not care about it at all.  The only thing she cared about was him and only him.  “I thought you left last night?” He asked her softly.

She looked up at him as he wiped her tears away with his fingers. “Richard. I found him in bed with another woman, we had a very bad argument. I left him and returned here after that.”  She paused to cup his cheeks with her hands making him stunned and continued to gaze down on her.  She felt his fingers running through her wavy brunette hair.  As she said those magic words that made him smile.  “I love you too Lucy.Always.”

He responded back to her as they kissed deeply. “Will you do the honor of becoming my wife Lucy? I cannot bare to live another day without you by my side.”  He proposed to her and waited for her reply.

She smiled and nodded as they kissed once more.  He picked her up by her waist and twirled her around as she leaned in and kissed him with love.  For she knew one thing was for sure, those memories she had about him and her, the dreams she had too from time to time was all precious to her.  As she thought: It was not only my memories, not only his memories but, its is our memories.

The End

_________________________________

New Novella from author Gregory A Waits, Jr. available on Amazon.com

New Novella from author Gregory A Waits, Jr. available on Amazon.com

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