I was just too darn excited for this one to not post it early
The visits were far from over. I’d thought Kyxa, Catarina and Edmund were going to be the extent of the people I was going to see during my stay at the hospital.
But boy was I wrong!
All sorts of people came to check on me as the days progressed.
First, the day after Kyxa had come to visit, a woman named Lilith came.
She managed to tell me all about how she’d seen on the news that a witch had caused some destruction down by the docks and all about how it had taken her a while to figure out it was me before I could tell her about my condition.
Then, per my request, she told me about herself and how we’d met, and I was pleased to actually get snippets of memories of spending time chatting on the internet with all sorts of people.
On my fifth day, I got a visit from a man and woman, Charlie and Tina. The hospital had called them since they were on my emergency contact list as…my parents. Something I was now confused about since I thought the man named James was supposed to be my father.
And that’s pretty much how I found out I was adopted. The two were really worried about me, and Charlie was outraged that someone had shot me.
I tried to tell them what Kyxa had told me, but I only managed to confuse them more, so I told them what the doctor had told me. In a little under a week I’d get discharged, and with time my memories would return.
And then, on day 7, someone came back.
“I didn’t actually expect you to come back.” I said, as he gently closed the door behind him.
I really hadn’t. He’d been too tense and quick to leave last time.
“Well you asked, and I said I would.” He replied. “And I wanted to see how you were doing. Have you…remembered?”
“Bits and pieces. Nothing really ground breaking.” I replied.
“You didn’t come here just for that right? Come on, the nurses gave me a deck of cards. So far I only know how to play solitaire. Know any good games?”
Edmund seemed hesitant at first, but then a friendly smile appeared as he nodded his head. “I sure do.”
For about two hours, we did just that, playing cards and talking at the same time. He was a lot more relaxed this time and I managed to sneak in a few questions without him reacting negatively.
I liked him. I couldn’t quite tell why, but that smile, those eyes…that way he’ll look up and catch me looking, only to look back at his cards with a small smile.
I know he said I had a boyfriend the first day I woke up, but I haven’t seen that boyfriend anywhere, and I’m pretty sure Edmund used the past tense, so I don’t feel any guilt in appreciating his company.
“Why are you in business again?” I asked after he’d told me a little bit about his main hobby. “From the sounds of it, you’d have a lot more fun being an author!”
“I…well my dad works in business so it’s only natural.” He said with a small shrug.
“Hmm…you mean you don’t think you could support yourself by just writing books?”
“No not at all! I’m pretty sure I could.” He said confidently. Then he seemed to catch himself. “But that’s just a hobby. From the moment I was born it was pretty obvious I’d be following my father’s footsteps.”
“But…you like working for your father right?”
To that Edmund had no reply.
“Oh come on, you can’t be doing that job just because your dad wants you to!” I said.
Edmund sighed. “I don’t have much of a choi-”
“Hey now! You’re an adult, you can make your own decisions. Don’t work under your father because he wants you to!” I said, tapping his knee like he was being ridiculous. Which he was.
“It’s…it’s more complicated than that.” He mumbled, just as his phone beeped, announcing the arrival of a text. “It’s Charlotte.”
“Who’s that?” I asked, wondering if I was supposed to know her.
“…my fiancé.” Edmund replied after a few seconds of hesitation.
Oh. I let my imagination run a little wild didn’t I? Liking him really isn’t practical.
“Ah…so do you still have time for another game? Or was that a text saying you needed to get home?” I asked, swallowing my disappointment.
“No, no, I still have more than enough time to beat you again.” He replied with a smirk, slipping the phone in his pocket.
“Oh really?” I said, gladly taking up the challenge.
We played for another half hour before Edmund got up to leave, this time really because he had somewhere he needed to be.
“And next time you come visit, try to lose the suit.” I said, eyeing him up and down.
“Makes you look too serious. You don’t need to have your suit on if we’re just going to play games and talk. You don’t need to impress me, wear some casual clothes, I don’t know! A suit makes me feel seriously under dressed. Already bad enough I feel like I’m in my pyjamas all the time.” I insisted.
“Haha! Fine alright.”
The visits really weren’t over. On day eight, the very next day, I got a surprise visit from four people. All of them a little peeved that they’d learned about me getting shot from Tina and Charlie of all people. But they stopped being angry once they found I’d suffered something of a memory loss.
But having these four interacting and talking in front of me really started to stir my memories. I would remember things about highschool and university. Playing in the band with Sam, painting with Eina, and a vague memory that Xenia and Teo might’ve been together at some point. But there was one thing that I was still a little curious about.
“Do I have a boyfriend?” I asked after a while of introducing themselves all over again.
“Uh well, you used to have one.” Xenia replied.
“Ah, okay. That makes sense. Edmund wasn’t really clear on that part.” I said. I’d guessed as much, but I still needed someone to confirm it.
“Edmund?” Xenia said, surprised.
“Oh sorry…do you guys not know him?” I asked, still unsure of who knew who.
“Edmund came to visit you?” Teo asked, clearly as shocked.
“So you do know him? Yeah, he came twice. What’s wrong?” I asked.
“Don’t know how he presented it to you but…he’s the ex-boyfriend. Two years ago, he up and left with his family without so much as a goodbye. We haven’t seen or talked to him since.” Xenia explained.
Edmund came back on day 10, the day before I got discharged. He’d done as I’d suggested and ditched the suit, opting for some baggier more comfortable clothes. He had a friendly grin on, and a board game under his arm.
“Hope you’re feeling up to it, I brought a board game.” He said, showing it to me excitedly.
As happy as he seemed to see me, I couldn’t reflect the feeling.
I mean…I guess I pretty much suspected it. I knew for sure there was something really odd about him that first day, but to know he lied about something like this? Why?
After Xenia had told me the truth, I’d started to remember more and more as I thought about it all. It was still just bits and pieces…apart from that one memory of slumping on an empty house’s doorstep, feeling utterly defeated.
“What’s up? You don’t look so good. Did…something happen?” He asked, and I could see it in his eyes. The fear that I’d gotten my memories back. He’d lied and he knew I wouldn’t react well to it.
I played with the bandages on my arm, they were about ready to be permanently taken off now.
It’s not that I’m mad, I’m really not, I’m just disappointed and a little sad. But I bet if I had my memories, if I remembered how it had all gone down, I probably would be mad.
“Remember that boyfriend you told me about?” I said, watching as his shoulders tensed. “You never did tell me what his name was.”
He opened his mouth to say something, but he seemed at a loss as to what to say, so he closed it again.
“You know, the bully?” I said.
“Right uh…I can’t really recall…” He cleared his throat nervously, I sighed internally. Did I actually expect him to suddenly start saying the truth? He lifted up the board game again. “I found this in a forgotten bookshelf and I thought we could try it out.”
Okay now I was a little annoyed.
I snatched the game he was practically shoving in my face and tossed it on the bed.
“Cut it out! I know it was you. I know you were that bully.” I snapped, watching his reaction closely.
“You remembered…” He mumbled, and that only made me more annoyed.
“No, I had to be told by people. Why Edmund? Why did you feel the need to lie about this?” I asked, really feeling like a fool.
“It…it was easier this way.” He said.
“I got pissed at you didn’t I? When we met up again after two years?”
“…you punched me.”
“So when you realized I’d forgotten all about it, you thought you’d take advantage of my memory loss? To avoid facing what you did to me?” I demanded. It’s a lot less okay to abandon someone you love. He clenched his jaw shut.
“I need to go.” He forced out, already turning towards the door, but I wasn’t having any of it.
I stopped him, almost shoving him into the wall.
“You’re greedy. What did you think would happen? How would I not find out eventually? Why do you even come here? Certainly not seeking forgiveness.” I said, leaning in close.
He refused to meet my eyes, gluing himself to the wall.
“So what is it? What did you think to gain by lying?” I demanded, a deep need to hear him sound genuinely sorry rising in my chest.
His eyes drifted to mine, before going back to avoiding me as he laid his head back on the wall. He let out a short chuckle.
“Even with no memories you’re still the same.” He said.
Still the same?
“You’re threatening me again! You don’t get it do you? Stop f*cking bullying me. It looks like you’ve got some pretty deep problems, but how about you take them out on someone else okay?”
“Does this make you uncomfortable? I’ll move away, if you either promise to stop getting on my case or at the very least tell me why you have it in for me. Well?”
“I can’t tell you that.”
Ah, that’s what he means.
My features softened a little and I brought my hand up to tilt his head towards me.
My heart unwillingly started to beat a little louder as I leaned towards him.
At first he seemed a little confused, but it didn’t take long for his eyes to start to close as he leaned forwards as well, our breaths now mingling together.
What a greedy man.
Just before the distance between us closed and our lips met…
“Don’t you have a fiancé?” I asked. It wasn’t a gentle murmur or a passing thought, it was a clear accusation.
Edmund’s breath caught, and he leaned back pushing me out of the way and heading straight for the door again.
“Seems you’re still the same too.” I said before he reached the door. “It’s all I remember now; your cowardly back. The back of a man who can’t stand up for himself.”
His hands curled into fists and he opened the door, leaving without another word.
I took in a deep breath.
He forgot his game.
Let me just go recover from writing this chapter.
I STILL SHIP THEM DEEP DOWN