Sat. Feb 10th, 2024

EPISODE 29

 

Ryan

 

 

I got a call from the hospital that Aaliyah just got in an accident and with the speed of lightening I dashed to Brooks central hospital with a lot of thoughts going through my mind, would Aaliyah be safe? “Babe stop being all worried” Tasha said as she was in the Mercedes with Michael, Harvey, grandma, gramps and I. Grandma was obviously worried as she muttered prayers to her God.

 

“I’m fine” I breathed in and was happy when we finally got to the hospital.

 

I ran out while Michael helped grandma and Harvey helped gramps walk into the hospital. Tasha trailed after me wondering why I was all worked up. If anything happens to Aaliyah, I won’t be able to forgive myself because I made her angry and I felt bad.

 

“Stay with me Aaliyah” I ran my hands through my hair as the doctors informed us that she just got in surgery and with her medical condition, it’s a fifty-fifty percent chance she’d survive.

 

“Medical condition? What medical condition?” I asked surprised.

 

“You don’t know? Well I’m sorry to be the one to tell you but she has cancer” the doctor announced and patted my shoulders as I watch Tasha roll her eyes. “Grandma…”

 

“I know she has cancer” she replied weakly as Gramps shook his head.

 

I pray she survives. After hours of waiting in the reception, Gramps and grandma went to have dinner with Michael and Tasha while Harvey and I stayed behind waiting for any news.

 

The doctor stepped out and I quickly stood up “she is out of the surgery, it was successful but it would take her a few hours or even days to wake up so let’s just hope for the best”

 

“Can I see her?” I asked.

 

“Only one person is allowed to go in at the moment” the doctor said.

 

“I’d go, I’m her husband” I said firmly as the doctor nods and showed me her room. She was connected to so many machines and my heart skipped seeing her in such a state. I wish we’d switch places and why didn’t she tell me she has cancer? God please, if you exist save her and take me instead, I can’t watch her die. I took her hands as I watch her eyes clothes, her eyelashes was covering those brown eyes of hers and her pink and soft lips were now dry and pale but she still looked so beautiful and peaceful.

 

“Aaliyah, don’t die on me okay? Don’t leave me, let’s battle cancer together. I know we didn’t start off on a friendly note but know that you are very important to me and seeing you like this makes me realise that I can’t live without you in my life so don’t die okay? Come back to me” I placed a light kiss on her forehead and watch

 

 

her for a few minutes before stepping out. We took turns to take care of her and I’d take the evenings and Harvey, the mornings and Michael, afternoon. Gramps and grandma are too weak to sit in the hospital for hours so they just visit and go home to rest.

 

“Why do you care about her” Tasha yelled at me. “I don’t” I replied feeling really tired from my shift.

 

“Since I came back, you’ve been so cold and distant, what happened to us?” She yelled.

 

“What happened to us, you happened to us, you destroyed us” I yell back as she

 

sobs. I didn’t care, I needed to focus my mind on what’s important and that’s

 

Aaliyah!

 

***

 

Aaliyah

 

I opened my eyes and saw myself in an open white space.

 

“Hello” I yelled as my voice echoed across the room.

 

Where am I, I walked for a few minutes not having a particular direction as I kept moving, I saw nothing, no one not even a trace of a life. Am I dead? Did I die? What’s all this? Questions kept popping in and going out my mind and I prayed silently, yes you read that right, I prayed. “Aaliyah” I heard my names in echoes.

 

“Is someone there?” I looked around.

 

“Yes” someone came out and I saw him; the guy with the ocean eyes, yes you guessed right!

 

“Gregg” I found my voice and moved forward.

 

“Come with me” he gestured and I followed him walking and everywhere he stepped would shimmer and I saw him smile at me. “My dear, do you want to live?” He asked and I nod.

 

“Good, so what do you have to say? You still owe me a session” he smiled and even his smile shimmered.

 

“I- I do? Yes- of course I do” I swallowed hard as he sat down on a golden brick that I didn’t know was there.

 

“Sit” he pointed to the brick and I sat down wondering what was happening.

 

“We stopped at you being bullied” he smiled.

 

“Yes, yes we did and I said I dropped out of school” I put my head low.

 

“And? Why did you drop out of school?” He asked and I swiftly looked at him and

 

turned back.

 

“Because- because I- I- was diagnosed with cancer” I said slowly and he smiled.

 

 

“Let me tell you a story, many centuries ago, a man had a child, the child he loved with every bone in his body, he told his ten years old son one day, ‘you have the freedom to do whatever you want and however you want it’ and the child smiled and said ‘father, I love that you trust me but I don’t want you to be my father anymore since you said I can do whatever I want and however I want it, I choose to go solo and answer to no one’ and his father smiled. ‘Sure, you are free’ and many years later he got sick from a poison that only his father had the antidote to” he stopped the story and looked at me.

 

“What would you do?” He faced me and I turned to see his gaze on me.

 

“What?” I questioned.

 

“If it were you, what would you do?” He repeated his question.

 

“Well, I’d go back to my father and ask him for the antidote and prays he gives it to me” I answered and a smile curved on his lips.

 

“Nice answer” he smiled and pointed his fingers at a door which magically appeared.

 

“I guess that’s your queue, it’s time to go back home” he said and I wondered, this Gregg seemed different and more, I don’t know how to explain it. I stood up and walked towards the door but turned “about that story, did he later go back to his father and did his father give him the antidote?” “It depends”

 

“On what exactly?” I asked. “You’ll see, just trust” he turned his back and walked away. I went through the door as a light shunned on me.

 

“Where am I?” I gasped and woke up from my hospital bed. I saw my hands entangled with Ryan’s hands and I saw that he was asleep but jerked to life as I shouted.

 

“You are safe now” he breathes and I did too.

 

“What happened?” I asked as strength filled me like nothing happened.

 

“You got in an accident, I’d get the doctor” Ryan ran out and came back with the doctor who beamed with smile.

 

“Good to see you up, it’s a miracle” the doctor smiled and I swallowed hard remembering my dream or vision, it felt so real. The doctor checked me and concluded I could go home the next day, I recovered fast and it was unexplainable but my grandma had an explanation, she said it was a miracle. “Thanks” I took the lovely flower Harvey handed me.

 

“It’s good to see you safe” he kissed my cheeks as Ryan cleared his throat and glared at Harvey.

 

“Relax” Harvey smiled at me and walked out.

 

“So you are alright?” Ryan cleared his throat again and I awkwardly nod.

 

“Good, I thought I’d lost you” he avoided my eyes.

 

“I have to go, Tasha needs my help with something” he walks out but later walked

 

in and kissed my forehead. “Don’t scare me like that again Aaliyah and I mean it”.

 

“Errm Ryan” I called out.

 

“What?”

 

“Can you please help me call Gregg, tell him I really want to see him” I begged.

 

“Gregg? Who’s Gregg?” He asked surprised.

 

“Gregg Baldwin, he is the guy I stayed with in Australia” I explained and he nods. “Fine, I’ll if it would make you happy” he smiled and I did too. “It would make me very happy”

 

“Do you by any chance know how I can find Gregg?” He walked back.

 

“Yes, he is a therapist at the local center not far from the Church” I tell him and he nods.

 

“Hope he isn’t your boyfriend?”

 

“Don’t be silly Ryan” I giggled as he went away.

 

***

 

It had been three days since I got discharged, Ryan has been showering me with attention and Tasha hated it, she even pushed me down once and it got really bad for her as Ryan scolded her. I lay outside watching the stars as Ryan stepped out to join me.

 

“Star gazing?” He joined me.

 

“I wouldn’t say so but yes” I smirked.

 

“It’s so beautiful out here” I sighed as I caught him looking at me and then looked

 

away.

 

“So?”

 

“So?” I repeated.

 

“I’d be moving out tomorrow, I found a place” he says and I felt my heart hurt a little.

 

“Oh! You and Tasha?” I moved my mouth. .

 

“No, I plan on breaking up with her tomorrow” he fixed his eyes on the stars.

 

“Why?” I wondered.

 

“We don’t see eye to eye and besides I kinda like someone else now” he smiled and I felt a tingle in my heart.

 

“Wow, I thought she is the best thing that happened to you after Nadia” “I thought so too” he replied and fixed his eyes on the sky. “I see” I smiled happily.

 

“So who is the mystery girl, is it someone I know?” I asked hoping it was me, that’s

 

silly right? Yea, I know.

 

“Maybe” he replied vaguely.

 

“Hmm, oh now I remember, did you get through to Gregg?”

 

“No, apparently there is no Gregg Baldwin in Brooks town” Ryan explained. “What do you mean? I saw him the day of my accident in his office at the community center” I countered Ryan’s words hoping he was lying out of jealousy. “Well no Gregg Baldwin, if you don’t believe me, you can ask around” he tells me and I shrugged.

 

“But you saw him that day right?” I confirmed.

 

“Yea, I think he was kind of weird, maybe he faked his identity just to get through to you” Ryan whistled.

 

***

 

I couldn’t sleep that night, Ryan words about not finding Gregg hunted me and my dream during my unconsciousness started to scare me, who was Gregg? Was he a spirit? I toiled on my bed till I fell asleep in my thoughts. The morning was peaceful and the birds chirping woke me up, I quickly had a bath and ditched breakfast dashing out to Gregg’s supposed office, I got there and headed for the second floor just like I followed him here last time, I tried his office number, it wasn’t going through and I don’t have his personal number here in Brooks. I went for the fifteenth room but was surprised when all I saw was just a wall, no door or even a trace of the room.

 

“This was the room” I muttered. Yes this it, it’s not a mistake right? , I came here with him, what’s happening?

 

“Looking for something?” A voice interrupted my thoughts.

 

“Yes, I’m looking for Gregg Baldwin, the therapist” I said.

 

“There is no Gregg in Brooks and the only Baldwin we have is Dan Baldwin and he died two years ago”

 

“Are you sure? There is no Gregg Baldwin?” I asked again.

 

“I’m sure”

 

“Okay thanks but there was a room here right?”

 

“No, are you okay?” The person asked.

 

“I’m totally fine, thanks” I wandered away not wanting to believe what my head was telling me. Please someone explain to me what the hell just happened. .

 

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TBC

 

MARRIED AND STILL SINGLE

 

[Broken vows]

 

by berlie

 

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