20th October 2012.
She stared at the ceiling. Her alarm bell rang, for the tenth time maybe.
Move, she told herself, but her body refused to. She reached out for her phone and sighed. There were ten missed calls, from work, friends, family. Everyone was concerned. Everyone cared.
But no one understood. No one could.
She took a deep breath and sat up in bed. It was time.
She had taken a bath and eaten a proper breakfast after almost three weeks.
She looked around her house. It was a mess. She hadn’t stepped out since….she squinted as she drew the curtains aside and the sunshine streamed in…since….
You can do this. She told herself firmly.
She’d cleaned up most of her house. Tired, she sat on the couch.
And then the tears started again. She let them flow. It would be a while before they would stop. It was good, according to Wikipedia to let it all out. Or was it?
“Hey Tasha, its me; Rachel. I’ll be joining work from tomorrow.”
“Rachel! How are you?”
She winced. There it was. The familiar twinge of pity. She didn’t want pity.
“I’m fine, i’m fine; I have to go.”
She cut the call and took a deep sigh. She would have to get used to the sympathetic looks once she got back tomorrow. Damn.
She put on her jogging shoes. It was time to go out, get some fresh air.
She was just stepping outside her house when she bumped into Lin. Her best friend. Who looked furious.
“So the boss told me that you were joining from tomorrow.” Lin smacked her on the head with her purse.
“Ow! Hey stop it.” Rachel rubbed her head.
Lin scowled,”I have been worried sick about you…you…you..”
Rachel smiled,” I know…I know…I’m sorry. It has been hard…” She looked away sheepishly.
Lin took her hand and squeezed it. “I know sweetie. I want you to know that you are not alone, all right?.”
Rachel hugged her and felt herself tearing up.
” So I guess I’ll see you tomorrow?” Lin looked at her expectantly.
” Don’t go.”
They were at an old chinese restaurant. Lin was talking animatedly about her new dog.
Rachel smiled. She was so tactful. She knew how to keep her mind off depressing topics. But it was time to talk about it.
” I miss him.” Rachel stated quietly.
” I know girl, I know…I miss him too!”
Rachel stared at her hands,” They say it gets better with time? I guess it does. I am still alive, breathing. But I feel so hollow. Like I’m alive…but I’m dead on the inside.”
Lin squeezed her hand, ” It will get better. And I’m sure Ryan wouldn’t want you to be sad. He’s want you to go on living, like you always did.”
” I know Lin, I’m trying. But its so hard. How often do you find the true love of your life? I don’t know how to go on without him. I just don’t.”
” You have to, Rachel. Someday, you will find happiness again. I know I sound dumb when I say it, but I mean it!”
” I’m so angry at God. I didn’t deserve this. HE didn’t deserve this. He was just 27!”
Lin patted her on her shoulder,” Rachel, everything will be fine. We are all there for you. Trust me. I promise you. Things will be better one day.”
Rachel blew her nose on a tissue and nodded her head.
She was lying in her bed, willing herself to sleep. The doorbell rang. She got up, groggy.
” Jack? ”
Jack stepped inside and hugged her.
She stiffened and returned the hug awkwardly.
” What are you doing here? ”
” I know you will not believe me but I just came to know through Lin…girl, I’m so sorry! I flew down as soon as possible. ”
Rachel smiled wryly. ” Jack, you shouldn’t have.”
Jack pushed her towards her room, “You go to sleep. I’ve taken a week off. I’m going to take care of you. Cook, clean. Anything. ”
Rachel stared at him.
” Are you serious?”
26th October 2012
She was at a restaurant with Lin,Jack and a couple of other colleagues.
” We need to talk. Ladies room. Now.” Lin whispered.
” What? Ow…did you pinch me..ok!”
Lin closed the door behind them. ” I know you will freak out but you should know Jack is still in love with you.”
Rachel scowled,” Lin..now’s not the time..”
” No, listen!” Lin interrupted her, ” I know it is too soon. But you should know. Because he will never tell you. He’s a good guy Rach, and you should have ended up with him NOT Ryan”
Rachel sighed, ” What’s your point? ”
Lin smiled sadly, ” When you are ready, give him a chance, will you? ”
” I can’t have this conversation right now!” Rachel walked out of the room.
27th October 2012
They were at the airport.
” So you promise you’ll take care? ” Jack looked down at her, his brown eyes making her heart melt.
” Yes, I will! ”
He hugged her.
” Jack…” Rachel protested, he was holding her too tight.
He bent down and kissed her on the cheek,” I’m not a cad, you know. But I care. I always have.”
She looked away embarrassed.
” Rach…its ok. I’ll wait.” He kissed her on the forehead and walked away.
May 10, 2013
She had reached his mailbox for the third time.
Jack its me…Rachel. I’m in New York. Let’s catch up for a drink? Call me.
She lay down on her hotel bed and within a minute, she was asleep.
Change. It was happening.