Half of Me
by Paul Diaz
by Paul Diaz
Chapter 11: Fish
One sunny September day Adam was up early preparing a small boat. His hair had grown long and he could not be recognized with his beard and mustache. Darlene came out of the house and confronted him about financial matters. “Adam you barely have nothing left, if you cancel this last concert you will lose this house too” she said but the young man was busy humming as he pushed the boat towards the water.
“Adam are you listening to me? You are almost broke and eventually you are going to lose us too because you won’t be able to pay us anymore” Darlene told him and the young man stopped and looked at her. “If I can’t pay you anymore will you still be my friend?” Adam asked and his assistant was surprised. “Of course” she answered. “Well I wish you well in finding another client. You should start searching since I have no intentions of singing again” Adam told her.
From the back of the house Kristine came out carrying two paddles. “All set?” she asked so Darlene turned around to look at her. The young blond woman was wearing a bikini top and very high short pants to where the older woman raised her eyebrows. “What are you trying to do?” Darlene asked. “We are going for a boat ride; do you want to come with us?” Kristine replied.
“Adam this is a serious matter I am presenting and you prefer going for a boat ride?” Darlene asked. Adam got on the boat as Kristine handed him the two paddles. The young woman got on the boat and waived at Darlene. “I am telling you Adam so listen carefully; you are going to lose this house. If you want that to happen then be childish and if not get your act together” the angry assisted said as she turned around and walked towards the house. Adam pretending not to hear anything kept humming as he started to paddle.
Minutes later they a few meters away from the lake, Adam stopped paddling as he started to catch his breath. “I really need to get some exercise” he said and the young woman smiled at him. “Do you want me to paddle?” she asked. “No, lets just stay here for a moment” Adam replied as he stared at his lake house. Kristine turned around at looked at the house and pouted. “Darlene said you are going to lose that soon if you don’t start singing again” she uttered.
“I heard what she said but I just can’t sing without Aimee” the young man replied. “Adam its almost six months already. She does call but she doesn’t speak to you. You have to accept and move one already” Kristine told him. Adam took a deep breath and looked up at the sky and leaned backwards. “I am never going to find someone like her. I can’t even imagine the thought of looking for someone else” he softly said.
“Adam, there are so many fishes in the sea. You will be able to find one” Kristine told him holding back what she really wanted to say. “There are so many fishes on the ocean but there is only one fish that I would like to swim with. Kristine I know what you are trying to say. You are pretty, kind, and a dream girl to many but I don’t mean to be rude but Aimee is my dream girl. I may fall in love you with you but I can’t promise to love you the way I love Aimee. It would be unfair to you if I loved you half heartedly, or much less than half” Adam told her.
“Maybe one day I would get over Aimee and maybe one day you would become the fish I would like to swim with. For now you are not that fish so I am sorry. I won’t ask you to wait that would be unfair, but right now I am still hoping for the best. Hoping that Aimee would come back to me, but when that hope dies I promise to swim and look for you” the young man added and Kristine smiled at him.
Kristine had mixed emotions but somehow she was happy that Adam notices her. Her heart was beating fast but she accepted that while he is hoping for Aimee’s return her own hopes to be with him continues to burn. “Come on let me paddle, lets follow the lake until where it reaches” she said so Adam sat up and grabbed the paddles. “You sit pretty and smile for me, let me do the hard work” he told her and the more Kristine’s hope burned brightly.
A few minutes passed and Kristine stood up and pointed towards a cabin. “Look Adam there is someone there preparing a boat too” she exclaimed as she waived at the man by the lake. The man waived back and shouted. “That is a dead end you should go back or move south” the man said. Adam looked at the man and nodded his head as he turned the boat around.
“Look at the cabin, it looks so simple but I am sure it is cozy inside” Kristine said as they both looked at the wooden house. “It’s much smaller than my house but if ever I lose mine I could live in a place like that” Adam said. “I don’t want you to lose your lake house. It would be a waste, it’s beautiful to look at but that house is a house of love. There are lots of houses built just for the sake of having shelter but you built that house because of a dream of someone you love. I hope you don’t lose it” Kristine told him.
“Saving the house would mean I have to sing again” Adam said as he started to paddle. Kristine put her hands on top of Adam’s and helped in paddling. “She may not be here, but I am. I am not trying to replace her, I can never do that. I can help you sing again. I may not be able to play as good as her but I can play. I don’t mind if you imagine it was her playing and not me. I just want you to sing again and I am sure Aimee, wherever she is, would love to hear you sing again” the young woman told him.
“She became a fan of my singing, and she even went to every concert I had. Maybe I can win her back by singing again” Adam joyfully said. Kristine did not want to hear that but she managed to smile. “Help me now and row faster” the young man said as he was suddenly filled with new found energy. “Hey keep smiling, come on it helps me focus” he added and Kristine was elated as she flashed her sweetest smile.
Thirty minutes later they were home, the two quickly entered the house singing and laughing. Darlene who was on the phone was surprised to see the two getting along well so she put the call on hold looked at the two. “You seem to be happy” she commented. “Darlene I am not losing this house. Tell them that the September 25 anniversary concert will push through” Adam said and the more surprised his manager was.
“What are you trying to say?” Darlene asked. “Well I am going to sing again. Book me for night gigs for I need the practice” the young man instructed. “You are going to sing without Aimee?” Darlene clarified. Adam stood head up and pointed to his heart, “She will always be with me in here. So stop asking questions and get working. Call Henry to pick up shaving stuff oh wait better schedule me for a haircut” the young man said and Darlene quickly got busy on her phone.
Adam turned to Kristine and walked towards her; he embraced her and kissed her on the cheeks. “Thanks for understanding” he whispered and let go. Adam walked away and Kristine turned to Darlene, her cheeks were all red and she was giggling. Adam suddenly ran towards Darlene and likewise kissed her, “Thanks for everything” he likewise said softly. Adam stood up and looked at the two, “Thank God Henry isn’t here or else I would have to kiss him too. Thank you so much for bearing with me” Adam told them.
A few miles down the lake Harvey was pushing the wheelchair out of the house and on it was Aimee. “Slowly Harvey! She might fall off” Rebecca yelled as she waited by the boat. “Oh calm down Rebecca, why don’t you get on the boat now” Aimee said as Harvey pushed the wheelchair slowly. “I don’t understand why you want to go on a boat ride all of a sudden” the elder woman said. “Would you like to push my wheelchair through the woods then?” Aimee shot back and they both laughed.
Harvey carried Aimee and seated her on the boat. Rebecca got on the boat and help the young woman tightly as the boat started to shake. “Are you sure we are not going to sink?” she asked and the middle aged man laughed. “This boat can carry five people, I am sure we will be safe” Harvey replied as he too got on.
They started to travel upstream and Aimee closed her eyes and took a deep breath. “See I told you not to go on a boat ride, your fear of deep water is attacking you now” Rebecca told her. “It’s not that, I just can feel him. He is so close by” the young woman whispered as she opened her eyes and smiled. “Oh by the way I saw a couple on a boat a while ago” Harvey said and the two women looked at him.
“The girl did she have blond hair? Was she pretty?” Aimee asked. Harvey nodded his head and smiled. “Yeah she was a pretty one, what a lucky guy. She had a nice body too” the man said and Aimee bowed her head and smirked. What was planned as a happy boat ride turned sour as Aimee kept her head bowed for the whole ride. After thirty minutes Harvey stopped and the two women looked at him.
“Its okay if you are tired you can rest” Rebecca told him but the man pointed towards shore. “That is a beautiful house” he said prompting Aimee to quickly turn her head to look. There stood the lake house; it still looked the same as the time she left. Tears filled up Aimee’s eyes as memories started flooding her mind.
“Would you like me to move closer?” Harvey asked and Aimee shook her head. “Here is fine, but could we stay here a little bit longer?” she asked and the man nodded. “If only you talked to him and told him you could still be living there” Rebecca suddenly said prompting Harvey too raise his eyebrows. “Is that hers?” he asked.
“Was…it’s his now and probably hers” Aimee said softly as tears started flowing down her face. There was silence but Harvey moved the boat closer, “Listen, just listen” he said. They heard the piano playing and seconds later a man’s voice singing. “I told you he will sing again” Aimee said as she turned to Rebecca and leaned her head on her former manager’s chest as she started to cry.
“He is singing without me Rebecca and she has replaced me” Aimee cried and the elder woman embraced her and shook her head. “I think we should go” Harvey said. “No, I want to hear his voice a little bit more please” Aimee begged so the boat remained steady as more tears came out. As soon as she heard the final word Adam sang she nodded at Harvey so the man started to row away.
“Do you see the foolishness of what you have done?” Rebecca asked as she wiped the tears off her ward’s eyes. “He is singing again without me, that was my goal” Aimee replied. “Yes, in order to achieve that you had to hurt the both of you. And now he is singing again you remain hurt” the elder woman stated and Aimee started to sob again.
“Did you think that hearing him sing again would make you feel better? Now, you heard him then why are you crying? This is what you wanted so why are you still crying? He learned to sing again you should be happy right? But no, every time you will hear him sing you will feel helpless and regretful but there is nothing you can do anymore. You should have thought about that before but you never listened to me” Rebecca scolded her ward.
“Now in order for you to move on you have to completely shut him out. You can never listen to his songs, you can never watch him. That is the only way because this is the path you have chosen” the elder woman added. “That is enough! Leave her alone!” Harvey snapped and Rebecca was frightened. “You too are at fault. I don’t know the whole story but if you really knew this would happen you could have stopped it so stop scolding her because you are to blame too” the man said causing Rebecca to bow her head.
Back at the cabin Aimee wanted to be alone in her room so Harvey and Rebecca took a walk outside. “I am sorry for yelling at you back there” the man said. “No, its okay I deserved it. You were right I should have gone against her will” Rebecca replied. “I somehow understand what’s going on and I must tell you I went through the same situation” Harvey said and the elder woman looked at him. “What do you mean?” she asked.
Harvey stopped and took a deep breath and looked towards the lake. “You see a two years ago I was someone respected. I used to earn six digits a year and I was good in what I do. Me and my fiancée, we were living the dream. We had a beautiful home, we had a nice car and everything seemed perfect until recession hit our country. I lost my job and I had a hard time looking for another one just like my old job that pays like my old job. Slowly we lost everything; I lost myself and felt so low. I took a job that pays way lower than my old pay grade and you know what she still married me” the man narrated.
“I thought I lost everything but she reminded me she was still there and she was the most important of all. She gave birth to our son so I had to double jobs. I promised her before that she won’t work for the rest of her life and I broke that promise. When our son got sick she had to work to pay for his operation. I know it’s a different story but she stuck with me even with all the broken promises and dreams. I am sure Adam would have accepted Aimee still and they would have made new dreams” Harvey said.
“I guess we will never know anymore” Rebecca told him. “Do you really believe that he has moved on?” Harvey asked and she looked at him. “You said it yourself you saw them” Rebecca replied. Harvey nodded his head but grinned, “I said I saw them, I said couple because they were two, I never said couple as in together in a relationship” he clarified. Rebecca was mystified and was a little bit confused; she looked at the window of Aimee’s room then sighed. “I guess there is only one way to find out then” she softly whispered.
Inside the cabin room Aimee was staring at her hands while Adam’s song kept playing on her head. She was grimacing in pain as she tried to move her fingers, she knew every key to press at the piano to accompany his song but her fingers were not moving. In her head she was playing the piano, she was trying to get her fingers to follow but she just could not. “Come on just one key” she whispered to herself as she focused on moving her index finger.
“Move!!!” Aimee shouted as her face was full of anger. Her fingers were all wrapped up and even though how hard she tried they just would not move. Rebecca and Harvey rushed to the room to find the young woman in pain. “I said move!!!” Aimee once again shouted but Rebecca held her two hands and looked at her. “Aimee, it takes time. Let them heal well” the elder lady told her.
“I should be the one playing! He is singing without me!!!” Aimee shouted in anger. “Aimee, this is what you wanted. You wanted him to sing again so he is singing” Rebecca explained calmly. Aimee bowed her head as she sobbed, “He told me he would not be able to sing again without me playing” she whispered.
“You said he will learn to sing without you, so he did” Rebecca countered. “So was he lying to me?” Aimee asked and the elder lady shook her head. “No, he is just doing what he is good at. He chose to keep singing, he does not want to be worthless just like you said. This is what you wanted him to do Aimee, you should be happy for him. I know Adam through your stories and I think he is singing with you in mind. Someone else might be playing but maybe in his mind it’s you behind the piano” Rebecca told her as she looked at Harvey who was nodding his head.
“You heard him sing a while ago, does his voice sound off? He sings differently right? I know you noticed that” the elder woman added. “Yes, he sounded different” Aimee replied. “Because you are not the one playing, you told me yourself he sang better since you came to his life. Now you are gone he still sings but not like before when you were with him. So you are not worthless Aimee, you can go back to him to make him sing better. You might not be able to play but I am sure he will sing better if you are by his side” Rebecca told her.
Aimee raised her head and smiled at her former manager. She shook her head as tears flooded her face, “I don’t want him to stop singing, if I go back now he might stop and focus on my recovery. I already hurt him so much, he has moved on without me. Even though it hurts so much I don’t want him to stop singing. I wanted him to sing again but it hurts so much, I was wrong, I really am worthless” she said.
Rebecca embraced the young lady and looked at Harvey, with her stare the man quickly understood and he nodded his head.