Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Half of Me: Chapter 5

Half of Me
by Paul Diaz

Chapter 5: Pain

A whole month has passed and everyone noticed Adam was already faking his smile. During breakfast he kept on spacing out as they were eating but they all knew better to pretend not to notice. The doorbell rang and Adam quickly stood up and ran to the door. He took a deep breath and his hands trembled, he quickly opened the door only to find David standing there. Adam bowed his head and walked away but David put his hand on the young man’s shoulder and pulled him aside.

Darlene, Kristine, and Henry looked on as the two sat on the couch. Two minutes later Adam covered his ears and bowed his head, David stood up and looked at three. The detective walked towards the dining table shaking his head but the three were more concerned with Adam who seemed frozen. “I guess he didn’t take it so well” David said. “Why? What happened?” Darlene asked. The detective sat down and Kristine offered him coffee. David took a deep breath and pouted, “We are dropping the case” he said.

“What?!!!” the three said in unison and all eyes were on the detective. “Look here, we checked all accident reports and there was no mention of Aimee. She is popular so if ever she got into an accident it would be a headline. We checked all hospitals; we checked at airports, we even checked morgues and funeral parlors. She has not used her credit card, but her bank we could not check since we need a court order. What I am saying is that she does not want to be found” David said.

“What do you mean she does not want to be found?! Are you crazy?” Henry yelled and the two ladies were surprised because their driver was always soft spoken but this time he was enraged. David calmed him down and looked at Adam who was still frozen on the couch. “Look, I don’t want to be the bearer of bad news but it seems that way. Don’t worry I won’t stop searching, if I have to bend some rules then I will. For now officially the case is closed” David explained and all eyes were now focused on Adam.

“For now leave Aimee to me, you have a bigger problem with Adam. I will do everything I can because I owe him that much, Darlene you should know that” David said and Darlene nodded. “I know he has stopped drinking so you better make sure he does not resort to it” the detective advised them. “How are we supposed to cheer him up? What are the right words to say?” Kristine asked. Darlene took off her glasses and wiped her tears, “There are no right words, but still we can try. I just do hope he listens” she said in a weeping voice.

“I still don’t believe that she doesn’t want to be found or she left Adam. I will never accept that” Henry said as he played with mug of coffee. “Wait, Darlene, you have access to her account right?” David asked. Darlene wiped her tears and now all attention was on her. “Yes I do, but all I do is deposit, I don’t have access to withdraw” she clarified. “Great! Why didn’t I think of this earlier, you come with me today” David told her. “What? What are we going to do?” she asked.

“You are going to deposit money to her account” the detective said. Darlene was quite confused since her mind was wandering. “Look Darlene, you deposit money and they give you a receipt right? So we shall know if she did withdraw money since I am sure you still have the last deposit slip?” David explained and Darlene nodded and smiled. “You are right! I still have a check for her to be deposited. Wait here I will get my things” Darlene said as she rushed towards the stairs.

“What are we going to do? How can we help?” Kristine asked and David looked at her and Henry. “Just be here for him. Give him space, talk to him. I will try to get my wife to come over she might help. The more friends he has the less pain he has to endure alone. So you two just stay with him” David instructed them. “I know what he is feeling, probably the same feeling I had when my wife died. I don’t know if it’s the same but I am sure he will need us. I will be here for him like he was there for me” Henry whispered as tears formed in his eyes.

Ten minutes later David and Darlene already left, Kristine and Henry walked towards Adam to comfort him. The young man still had his head bowed with hands on both ears. There was a wet portion on the carpet where tears still continue to fall from his face. Kristine didn’t know what to do but Henry signaled her to do something else. The old man patted Adam’s shoulder and massaged his back. “Adam stand up, lets go for a walk. I know you can hear me” Henry said.

Just like an obedient child Adam stood up, he still had his head bowed but Henry put his arm around his shoulder. The two stepped out of the house and walked towards the lake. Near the lake there was an old tree, and under the tree was a bench where Adam and Aimee would spend their afternoons together. Henry told Adam to sit down and the old man sat down beside him.

Adam wiped his tears and looked at the calm water of the lake. He took a deep breath and clenched his fists. “What have I don’t wrong Henry?” he asked. “You tell me” the old man replied. “I don’t remember doing anything wrong to Aimee. We were find, she just went to get me a gift. Why has she not come back yet? Did she leave me?” Adam asked. “Did you do something wrong? If you were to ask me you two are the sweetest couple I have seen. Did you do something wrong? I say nothing but you tell me Adam” Henry replied.

“Nothing! I did nothing. I love her so much and I would not even dare do something bad to hurt even her feelings” Adam said. “There is your answer. Now if you believe in that then why are you worried then? There is no indication that she is dead or has been kidnapped. She is alive and I know you can feel that she is. Do not believe in what David has told you. That is just a conclusion they derived but you should know better” Henry stated.

“But why isn’t she back yet Henry? Why?!” Adam asked and Henry took a deep breath and looked at the calm water. Henry did not know what to say so he remained silent, Adam took several deep breaths and leaned back on the bench. “Henry it hurts so much. Thinking of the reason hurts so much. I can’t find reason but there must be one. Henry it hurts so much, it really hurts so much Henry” Adam repeated several times. The old man even though irritated just listened to him rant for that is the only thing he could do, be there for him.

Outside the bank David was inside his car eating a sandwich while waiting for Darlene. Minutes later the car door opened and Adam’s assistant got in and started to weep. “Hey, stop crying. At least we now know she is alive right?” David said but the more Darlene burst in tears. “Why?! Why Aimee?!” she screamed and punched the dashboard. “Maybe she has her reasons, maybe Adam isn’t telling us everything” the detective added which infuriated her. “You shut the hell up! Adam is the kindest person and you must know that! You owe him so much and you have even the guts to think of that?! Shame on you!!!” Darlene shouted.

“You know what even if we say we have been with a person for so long and we know them well, there are still things that surprises us. Maybe if you just open your mind to that possibility” David said. Darlene opened the door but the detective stopped her, “Don’t go, I was just saying that. I don’t believe Adam could hurt Aimee. But how are we going to know the real reason for Aimee leaving? She isn’t here to tell us, we will keep asking why but if we stick to what we believe in then we shall never get answers. I am just saying we think of that possibility” David explained.

“So what will we tell Adam?” Darlene asked as she wiped her tears. “You tell him the truth. If you can’t do it then I will” David replied. “He won’t be able to take it, I just know he won’t be able to take it” Darlene said as she began weeping again. “I know, nobody can but its better if he knew this now. It can help him move on” David told her and the more she wept.

Around one in the afternoon Darlene and David arrived at the lake, they saw the three by the bench. Darlene took a deep breath and looked at David, “He has to know, right?” she asked and the detective nodded. “Okay, I am sorry but it has to be done” the assistant murmured and they started to walk towards the lake.

Adam noticed them at once so he looked at his assistant. The look on Darlene’s face spelled it all so the young man quickly looked away. “I think we should all eat lunch first” Kristine said to break the silence but Henry patted her shoulder. “I want to hear it. Darlene it’s okay tell me” Adam said. Darlene started to shake but David put his hand on her shoulder. “Aimee took fifty thousand from her account the day before she left. A week ago…another hundred thousand” Darlene said and she totally broke down. “I am so sorry Adam” she added as David embraced her as she wept.

Adam started to laugh to everyone’s surprise. “She is alive…Aimee is alive!” he shouted and the more he laughed. Henry signaled the others to go back in the house as Adam kept on laughing and giggling. “Did you hear that Henry? She went to the bank last week, she is alive! She got me worried” Adam joyfully said as he turned his back and see the others leaving. “Hey, where are you all going? We should be happy Aimee is alive. Hey guys!” he yelled but the others were not listening.

“Adam, its okay. You don’t have to hide it” Henry said as he tapped the young man’s shoulder. Adam looked at his trusted driver and friend and smiled. “Henry she is alive, why aren’t you celebrating with me?” the young man asked but Henry sighed and threw a stone at the lake. “Adam, let it out. You do not need to pretend in front of me. I know its eating you. Just let it out, go ahead just let it out” Henry said as he looked the other way.

The fake smile faded away from the young man’s face. His lips slowly trembled and his cheeks began shaking. Adam trembled, his eyes focused on the lake water and tears began flowing down his cheeks. Henry could feel the pain but he just let his friend cry it out. Adam didn’t hold back he gasped for air as more tears drowned his eyes. “I can feel your pain; just let it out for now. Don’t hold back, just let it all out boy” Henry softly said.

Minutes later Henry stood up and massaged Adam’s back. The young man was silent but tears still continued to traverse his face. “You have to eat, come on lets go inside now” Henry said and Adam nodded his head and slowly stood up. It was a slow walk back to the house, Adam had his head bowed the whole time and Henry just followed the young man’s pace.

The two men sat in front of the dining table, Kristine was there to serve them. As Adam was about to eat, he slowly turned his head towards the living room. He stared at the grand piano and he started to tremble and again broke down in tears. Henry took a deep breath and looked at Kristine; he shook his head and slumped on his chair. Kristine walked towards Adam; she blocked his view and gently held on the young man’s head and pressed it against her stomach. “She left me” Adam said in a shaking voice.

Kristine didn’t say a word but caressed Adam’s head. For a long time she was in love with him, and now he is weeping in her arms. “Adam, everything is going to be alright” she whispered. Henry glared at the young woman but Kristine avoided eye contact. It took Adam a few minutes to calm down and Kristine made sure he ate after.

The crooner decided to be alone in his room so everyone let him. Henry approached Kristine right after she got down the stairs and held firmly on the young woman’s arm. “What the hell are you trying to do? Why did you say everything is going to be alright?” he angrily asked. “I was just trying to help! I didn’t know what else to say at that moment” she argued. “You don’t say anything! What are you up to?” the old man asked. “I don’t know what you are talking about. I care for Adam just as much as you do. So let go of my arm you are hurting me!” she screamed.

Henry let go but he angrily stared at her. Kristine walked away and Darlene slowly stood beside the driver. “What’s wrong?” she asked. “Don’t take your eyes away from that girl. She is up to no good” he whispered. “Kristine? I know she likes Adam but I don’t think she would take advantage” Darlene said. “You think? I am just saying keep a close eye on her” Henry replied as his cold eyes followed Kristine up to the kitchen.

Another week passed and Adam fell pale for he barely ate. For seven days he shed tears and even when his friends tried to console him he they could not stop the tears from falling. On the eighth day he decided to join everyone for breakfast, a big surprise that they happily took.

Adam was slowly eating, everyone else was silent and watching him. “This omelet, it’s good” he softly said. Henry grinned and tapped the table, “Well I do have some cooking abilities too you know, just eat because I can cook more later” the old man boasted. Adam looked at his old friend and managed to smile, “Aimee was the one always cooking. I do know a little but ever since we moved in together she always wanted to be the one to do the cooking” Adam said and everyone was edgy awaiting for tears to fall but there weren’t any.

“Why are you all looking at me?” Adam asked and the three pretended to be eating. “Do I have tantalizing eyes?” the young man suddenly joked and Kristine laughed and the two followed. “Tantalizingly swollen” Henry commented and the three paused for Adam pouted. He soon burst in laughter so everyone had a good laugh. They missed his smile and laughter so Darlene, Henry and Kristine just kept laughing to keep the mood going.

The house phone rang and Darlene quickly stood up but Adam signaled her to sit down. “Let me, I need the exercise” he said. Adam walked briskly towards the ringing phone by the living room while the three breathed a sigh of relief. “Whatever is in this omelet Henry you better make them every day since it has a good effect on him” Darlene joked and the old man laughed. “I sure will, its better seeing him this way rather than not seeing him around at all” he said.

Adam picked up the phone and answered, “Hello” he said calmly. The person on the other end did not speak but the young man could hear breathing. “Aimee!!!” he shouted so the three stood up and rushed to his side. “Aimee I know that is you! Aimee? Please say something” Adam pleaded. Darlene sat down on the couch while Kristine tried to listen in. Henry paced the living room as all eyes were on Adam.

“Aimee I know it’s you. I recognize the way you breathe. Please say something Aimee. Aimee I miss you so much, when are you coming home?” he said. “Aimee please I beg you say something. Please come home Aimee, please Aimee” he again pleaded but after hearing a deep breath the busy tone followed. Adam closed his eyes and dropped the phone; he bowed his head and fell on his knees.

“It was Aimee” he whispered and Kristine knelt down and comforted him. “How sure are you it was her?” Henry asked. “I know how she breathes…when she sleeps I just stare at her pretty face and listen to her breath. When we are together watching television I listen to her breath. It was her…but why won’t she talk to me? Why didn’t she say a single word? What did I do to make her that way?” Adam said as tears once again traversed the contours of his face.

“Why did she leave me?”