soundtrack; hallelujah by jeff buckley
near wild heaven 2.0
LOOK A LO SET with A STORY!! :O
Note: story's a bit on the long side AND it sucks. I'm sorry to have disappointed you, lol
I folded my arms over my chest, pulling my sweater close to my body. My head was tilted back just far enough that I could lean it up against the wall. My eyes were closed as I listened to the doctor tell Mrs. Spelling all about Dan’s newfound condition.
“You’re telling me that my son, /my/ only son doesn’t even remember me,” she asked him. Her voice was shaking and it sounded like she was on the brink of tears.
The doctor sighed. “Yes, he has retrograde amnesia, Mrs. Spelling.”
Dan’s mother turned to me. “Have you seen him?”
I nodded. “Yeah, I was there when he woke up.”
“And he doesn’t remember you?”
She was hitting a sore spot. “No,” I mumbled and hung my head. I couldn’t bring myself to look her in the eyes, not now.
She exhaled softly. “What are we looking at here for a timeline?”
He shrugged and pressed his fingertips together lightly. “Only time will tell. These things do take timing Mrs. Spelling.”
“Please, it’s Lisa,” she unhappily muttered.
The doctor nodded. “Alright, well, Lisa, it’s really all up to your son how he gets his memory back. It might take awhile but you both need to be patient and strong.”
I snapped my head to look at him. “What?”
“You need to be patient and strong,” he repeated.
I rolled my lips together, pressing them together for a brief second. “Yeah, I get it.”
“Can we see him,” Lisa blurted. She grabbed my hand and squeezed it for support.
Dan’s doctor sighed and ran a hand through his fairly short hair. “I don’t see why not. Just remember Mrs. - I mean, Lisa, he probably won’t remember you. It’s going to take some time.”
Both she and the doctor stood up, ready to walk into the room. I found myself lagging behind a bit. Brendan was back home with Ara and here I was about ready to confront a stranger. I so desperately wanted to go back home and just put off what was in front of me.
“Are you coming Lola,” Lisa asked when she noticed I hadn’t budged.
She stuck her hand out and flashed me a faint smile. “Come on, dear.”
I stared out the window. Ever since I woke up, it was all I had been doing recently. Watching TV was pointless and confusing. There were so many people I didn’t know that were on the screen, so many things going on that I was clueless towards.
“Mr. Spelling,” a voice called and knocked on the door.
I turned towards the door. The man who was supposed to be my doctor stood there. What was his name anyways? Doctor Parcell? Marcell? Sheldon?
“You have some visitors. Do you want me to let them in?”
“Sure,” I muttered. “Hey, maybe they can help me out.” I tried to laugh it off and lighten the mood but the doctor simply grimaced at me.
He opened the door wider and immediately, a middle aged woman ran in. Her arms were spread out wide as she charged towards me. I tried to protect myself by blocking her with my hands but it was too late, she pulled me into a hug anyways.
“My baby,” she cooed in my ear.
I frowned and slowly patted her back, unsure of what else really to do. “It’s... uh... okay?”
She pulled back sharply and stared at me. It was like her dark eyes were piercing my soul like they were daggers. “You really don’t remember me, do you?”
I looked down at my hands and cleared my throat. “I’m sorry but I don’t...”
She allowed for it all to sink in and then she began to nod her head a little bit. “So, you really do have amnesia, huh?”
“That’s what they tell me,” I offered with yet another half hearted laugh but it didn’t even crack a smile on her face.
“I’m your mother, Dan.”
My eyes widened. “Oh, um, well, uh... hi.” I tried for a smile.
She sympathetically smiled and folded her arms over her chest. “Lola, aren’t you going to say anything,” my mother asked when she turned to the back of the room.
A petite girl delicately stepped out of the shadows. She looked up at me.
It was her.
“Nice to see you again,” I muttered.
He faintly smiled. “Yeah, sorry about before,” Dan apologized. “I really hope I didn’t offend you or -”
“Oh no, it’s fine,” I reassured him.
“Are you sure because it seemed kind of like I was being a bit of an as-.”
“It’s fine,” I nodded.
Silence sunk in. The doctor had left once we all walked into the room so only the three of us were in the room. Lisa was busy fixing the flowers someone had left. Dan was playing with the edge of his blanket and I was trying desperately to become a wallflower of sorts.
Lisa broke the silence with a single clap. “Well, Dan, I’m not sure how much you know about you and Lola.”
“Not much,” he sheepishly admitted. A hand rubbed the back of his neck as he looked over at me with this apologetic look on his face. “Sorry.”
“It’s okay,” I nodded. “It’s, uh, fine.”
I felt bad. For some reason, I felt bad.
She looked so... broken standing there towards the back of the room.
“Well,” my mom continued. “You two are married.”
I frowned slightly at that. Lola’s cheeks flushed at that. I looked over at her. “We’re married.”
She sighed and awkwardly tuckered her hands into the pockets of her jeans. “Um, yes.” She nodded. “Yes, we are.”
Married? I’m married. The word itself felt so strange.
“Was it a nice wedding,” I asked.
My mom snorted. “If you call getting hitched in Vegas nice, then yeah. It was beautiful.”
“It was,” Lola murmured.
I nodded my head slowly and allowed for it to sink in. “So, we’re married, huh? How long?”
“A little over a year,” my... I guess, wife filled me in. “A couple of months over a year.”
I nodded once again. It was something I felt like I was continuously doing. “Wow,” I mumbled. “Over a year? Uh, wow.”
She faintly smiled. “Yeah.”
Lisa clapped her hands together once again. “I have an idea. Why don’t you two kiss? Maybe that’ll help bring a few memories back.”
Lola looked away. I watched her lips as they moved slightly to mutter something. For some reason, I wanted to know what she was saying but I wouldn’t ask. I /couldn’t/ ask, not yet anyways.
“Come on,” my mother egged us on. “Maybe this will be the jumpstart you’ll need.”
I looked over at Lola. She managed to focus her eyes on me, holding continuos eye contact. “What do you think,” I asked.
She looked a bit shocked that I was asking. Lola tucked a loose strand of hair behind her ear. “Uh, it’s up to you.”
“No, no,” I shook my head. “You should decide.”
She looked down at her feet while my mother let out an exasperated sigh. “Just kiss, okay?” Neither of us said a word. “Okay?”
“Okay,” we both quietly muttered.
Lola walked over towards me. She took her time but eventually, she was by my side and inches away from me. She smelled good. She smelled warm like vanilla... whatever that was.
“Ready,” I asked with a sigh.
She tried to put on a smile. “Uh, yeah.”
We slowly started to lean in while my mother looked on eagerly. We both had pained looks on our faces as our lips puckered. We were centimeters apart when -
“I’m sorry,” I blurted.
“Thank god,” she sighed.
My mother threw her hands up in the air and sighed.
“It’s too awkward,” I mumbled. I turned to Lola. “Sorry.”
She sighed and faintly smiled. “It’s fine, don’t worry about it.”
“Ready to go,” I asked as I poked my head into his room.
He buttoned up the shirt I had brought for him to wear. Dan turned to me and smiled. “Yeah, I actually am,” he nodded.
I took a couple of steps in the room. My arms were crossed over my chest like they seemed to do a lot of lately. “You know, you don’t have to come home with me,” I told him. “I’m sure Lisa would love to have you back at her house or you could stay in a hotel for a bit. I won’t be offended or anything -.”
“It’s fine,” he cut me off. “I should stay in my own house. That’s what... normal people do.”
He shook his head. “I need to be... normal,” he sighed. Dan nodded his head.
I watched as he picked up his suitcase and walked over towards me. He had already gotten signed out of the hospital. Now the new chapter began and honestly, it scared the crap out of me.
Jerry the nurse came in and eased Dan into a wheelchair so he could lead him to the hospital’s entrance. Jerry flashed me a smile which I tried to return.
“Here we go,” Jerry announced once we got to the front doors. “Here’s where we say goodbye, Dan.”
He slowly exhaled. “Thanks Jerry,” he smiled and they shook hands before Dan stood up.
A surge of independence ran through my body as I took my first couple of steps. I felt a smile slowly spread across my face. I turned to look at Lola. She was staring at me but her face was expressing so many different emotions that it was tough to figure out what she was exactly feeling.
She hugged Jerry and thanked him before she turned back to me. “Let’s go,” she nodded.
We walked out the hospital. A gust of wind whipped against our faces for a brief second. Lola held her sweater a little closer to her body. Out of what had to be instinct, I slipped my jacket off and put it around her tiny shoulders.
She looked up at me with these wide, surprised eyes. “Uh, thanks,” she muttered.
I shrugged. “No problem.”
The drive back to the hour was eerily quiet. Neither of us said a word, unsure of what exactly to say. You could’ve heard a pin drop.
“We’re here,” I told him when I stopped the car.
He looked up at the house and didn’t say anything for a minute. “Wow,” he breathed. “It’s... big.”
“Well,” I sighed. I was going to explain why when Brendan stood up from the front porch where he stood.
He was holding Arabella in his arms like he usually did. Dan and I climbed out of the car while Brendan walked towards us, a huge smile on his face. He quickly passed the baby to me before pulling Dan into a tight hug.
“It’s so good to see you,” he sighed.
Dan shot me a strange look. He looked like a deer in the headlights. “Uh... you too.”
Brendan pulled back. “Oh yeah, amnesia, right?” Dan nodded. “Sorry, forgot about that. Uh, I’m Brendan. We work together at the firehouse. I’m actually, I’m kind of the reason you ended up in the hospital...”
There was another round of awkward silence but Ara’s crying broke it and we all turned to look at her. “It’s okay baby,” I cooed in her ear as I bounced her up and down, up and down.
“Who’s this,” Dan asked. He made goofy faces at the baby.
Brendan and I shared an awkward look. We weren’t exactly sure how to break it to him.
“This is,” Brendan started. “Uh... this is.”
Dan picked the baby out of my arms and started to bounce around with her. Ara’s crying shortly stopped as she looked up at him with this wonderstruck look on her face.
“This is Ara,” I spoke up.
“She’s beautiful,” he smiled.
“She’s yours,” I muttered.
He looked up at me. Dan’s eyes were wide out of shock. “Her?” I nodded. “She’s ours?”
“Well,” I sighed. “We adopted her.”
He stood there for a second with her in his arms before he cleared his throat. “You should probably take her,” he murmured and passed her back to me.
That hurt. I felt like I was being slapped across the face but I held her anyways. “Okay,” I murmured as I held Ara now.
“I’m gonna go find my room, okay?” Dan asked.
Brendan and I both nodded. “Uh, yeah,” he muttered.
The second Dan was in the house, I turned to Brendan. He quickly pulled me into a hug and began to stroke my hair. “It’s okay, it’s okay,” he whispered. “It’s just gonna take some time.”
I was surrounded by a bunch of people. Other than Lola, Brendan and my mother, I didn’t know anybody else. Everyone seemed to know me though.
“Happy birthday Dan,” a pretty blonde smiled as she pulled me into a hug. “I’m Lexi,” she introduced herself.
“Oh,” I nodded. “Lola talked a bit about you. You’re the one with the twins, right?”
She smiled. “Well, Ava has twins too but mine are about Arabella’s age.”
Arabella. My kid, right. I nodded. “Oh, that’s cool.”
She nodded. “Yeah.” Lexi was joined by a taller guy with blonde hair as well. “Dan this is David, my fiance.”
“Hey man,” David smiled as he extended a hand for me to shake.
I shook it firmly and tried to match a smile. “Thanks for coming out.”
“It’s no big deal,” she shrugged it off. “It’s good to see you home though.”
I smiled. “Thanks.”
They walked away and I found myself all alone once again. A couple of other people walked over and tried to start up conversations but I wasn’t in much of the talking mood.
Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted someone I was familiar with. “LOLA,” I exclaimed.
She looked around for a minute before she figured out it was me. She smiled and walked over. “Hey, having fun?”
“Uh, yeah,” I nodded. “I am.”
Lola laughed. “It’s okay. You can say no, I won’t be terribly offended.”
“In that case...”
She laughed again. God, it was a beautiful sound.
“Hey,” I cleared my throat. “Can I talk to you outside for a minute? It’s kind of hard to hear in here?”
She nodded. “Yeah, of course.”
I made my way towards the back door and we walked out on to the porch. Thankfully, nobody else was out there - just the two of us.
“What’s up,” I asked.
Dan sighed. “I just wanted to say thank you for all of this.”
I shrugged. “It’s no big deal, Dan.”
“But it is,” he told me. “I know that this isn’t the easiest thing in the world to deal with so thank you.”
I nodded my head. “You’re welcome,” I smiled. “And if you ever have any questions, feel free to ask. I’d really like to help out in any way I can.”
He smiled. “That’d be great. I actually have one question I’ve been thinking about lately.”
“Shoot,” I urged him.
“It’s about Ara,” he sighed. He looked around awkwardly. It was almost like he couldn’t bring himself to look me in the eyes. “I know that you said we adopted her so I just want to know... if, well, if you knew who her mother is.”
She looked uncomfortable at my question and I immediately regretted it.
“Forget I asked,” I muttered.
“Oh no,” she shook her head. “It’s fine. Ara’s mother is Aura.”
Lola nodded her head. “Yeah, she’s a friend of ours. Well, actually, she’s an ex girlfriend of yours.”
I frowned at that. “I’m not the father... am I?”
She shook her head. “Oh no, you aren’t.”
We stood in silence for a minute.
“You know what I found out,” I blurted. She looked over at me. I grinned as I pulled out a couple of M&Ms from my pocket. “I’m pretty awesome at catching these in my mouth.”
Lola threw her head back and laughed. “Oh yeah?”
“Oh yeah,” I winked. “Just watch.”
I threw one M&M in the air and caught it in my mouth.
“Beginner’s luck,” she teased.
So I threw up another but missed this time.
“HA,” she exclaimed. “Told you.”
I shook my head. “No, I can do it. Just watch.” I threw up another but this time she knocked it away. “Hey! Lola, not fair.”
“It’s Lo,” she faintly smiled and before I knew it, she stood up on her tiptoes and pressed her lips upon mine.
I closed my eyes as I kissed him. It felt so natural, so... ordinary and I loved it.
Dan gently pushed away. “Lola...”
“You call me Lo,” I reminded him.
“Uh, okay,” he nodded. “Look, you’ve been amazing these past couple of days but...”
“There’s always a but,” I muttered.
He reached out to touch me. “I’m sorry,” he started to apologize but I turned my back to him.
The push hurt. It felt like someone had dug a knife into my back and then twisted it with as much power as they could.
He sighed. “Maybe I should go stay somewhere else,” I heard him murmur.
“I can stay at my mom’s or something.”
“I bet she’d love that.” My voice sounded bitter and jaded.
We were interrupted by Ava as she walked out on to the porch with us. She held a cake in her hands lit with twenty three candles. Everyone crowded behind her.
“Happy birthday to you,” they started to sing.
Dan and I locked eyes.
“Happy birthday to you.”
I sighed and he looked away for a brief second.
“Happy birthday dear Daaaan.”
I scratched my neck as I looked down at my feet. When I looked up, Dan was still looking at me.
“Happy birthday to youuu.”
“Blow out the candles,” Ana smiled as she clapped her hands together.
Dan looked over at me one last time. ‘I’m sorry,’ he mouthed to me before he blew out the candles. Everyone started to clap and Ava delicately kissed Dan’s cheek. Our eyes locked on each other for one last time before I pushed my way through the crowd.
I watched as Lola - I meant, Lo walked away. I wanted to say something - anything - to make her stay. I wanted to grab her hand, pull back and just have everything be fine.
“What did you wish for,” Lo’s friend... Alaska asked as she nudged my side.
I shrugged. “Nothing much really,” I lied.
I just wanted my memory back.
- Dan + Lo
@curious-and-young, @buds-over-studs, @keziahh & @foreverandalways-jami - I hope it's okay that I included you guys!! :)