Heal All Wounds || Chapter 17. Wrennie and Two Pieces of News

haw17 (2)

You meet in a Chinese place not too far from his hotel, and you’re wearing a nice teal dress, and heels. You even put liner and mascara. You ask yourself why. Surely, you aren’t trying to impress him. You are so past impressing any man – or not there yet. He looks as delish as they make them, in his charcoal waistcoat over a white shirt, and you realise that’s the first time in five weeks you noticed a man’s cologne. He also has absolutely gorgeous hands, which is a big deal for you. They are large, but palms are narrow, and fingers – long and strong – are drumming on the menu on the table in front of him.

You’re no psychic, and don’t believe in them. But at the moment you’re more sensitive than usual, and you’ve just been through an emotional trauma. Your nerves are strained, and you’re like a satellite dish when it comes to any sort of tension. And at the moment your alarms are blaring.

You poke a prawn on the appetiser platter the waiter placed between the two of you when he brought the menus. You chew, swallow, and ask, “August, why don’t you tell me what it is that you so don’t want to share but think you have to?” His eyes fly up to your face.

“You’re a scary little thing, Wren Leary.”

You give him a small smile. He sighs. While he’s chewing a bit of marinated aubergine – to stall, no doubt – you’re patiently waiting, asking yourself again what you’re doing in this restaurant with this man.

“And only my mother calls me August. It’s weird hearing this from a woman. Well, at least a woman I’m hoping to sleep with…” He gives you one of his wide smiles, signalling that it’s only a joke, but it doesn’t reach his wonderful, coffee coloured eyes.

“So, Auggie…” You suddenly have no appetite. He twirls the fork in his fingers, and then sets it aside and wipes his mouth with the napkin. Not only you aren’t hungry anymore, you feel nausea rising. You almost don’t want to know.

“Five years ago I was representing Amrod pharmaceuticals in another Yamataki project. Rivendell Institute was involved as well. And Thorington was there most of the time.” Your head swims. You bite into your bottom lip painfully. “There was a girl. Yuri. I really liked her. She didn’t like me back. Happens a lot.” You doubt that happens to him often, if ever, but that’s beside the point at the moment. “Thorington offered her to be his mistress, for the length of his stay in Japan. She agreed.”

“He does do that, doesn’t he?” You sound bleak.

“He does. He was open about what it was he expected from the relationship. And of course, that ended up not being enough for her. The project was over, he left. She got hurt.”

“And you think he knew she’d get hurt, and went for it anyroad,” you offer, and he nods. “And yes, if you’re asking me, that’s exactly what happened. That does sound like him.”

“I cared for Yuri, I honestly did, and…”

“And we met all those months before, you chatted me up… what, out of petty revenge?” you ask. You almost don’t need his answer. What you need is to go home and wrap your mind around the fact that whatever you do, your private life still seems to be built around Dr John Thorington. You also need to suss out what you think about the fact that John was right, and Auggie was dangerous.

“At first, Wren. Only at first. When we met and I knew you were his fiancee…” He leans ahead, trying to convince you. His eyes are earnest.

“You pretended to be ignorant and asked me if I were single.”

Somehow all this is suddenly funny, and you snort and shake your head.

“Wren…”

“Please, don’t.” You lift your hand, and he stops. “Please… I believe you, yeah? I believe you. You saw an opportunity to arse him up. A young girl who can be charmed easily. His new shiny toy, that he seemed to even care about a bit. And then I broke it off with him, and we chatted, and you sort of started to fancy me…”

“Not sort of, Wren. I do fancy you. That’s why I decided to come clean on the first date, so it’s behind us, and we can…”

“We can’t,” you interrupt him, and sodding hell, why are you chuckling? It’s not at all bloody funny. “We…” You point at yourself. “…are going to ask for the bill now, and call a cab, and go home.”

He gives you a studying look, and then nods in defeat.

“I’m sorry, Wren.”

“As you Americans say, no worries.” You’re still laughing for some reason. Mostly because there’s no bill to pay. You haven’t even ordered anything.

You leave couple coins for the tip on the table, pick up your coat, and walk to the door. You could promise him you’d consider ringing him, but that would be a lie.

***

What happens next happens because you’ve recently developed this strange habit of turning off your mobile when you leave work. It’s some odd defence mechanism. You leave work at work, and at home you read and watch Netflix, buy groceries, and cook, and clean. Maybe, you’re keeping anything to do with Dr Thorington out of your private life. Or maybe, you don’t have private life anymore. Just work.

Two weeks after the ‘void’ dinner with Auggie, you’re leaving home early morning Monday, and pushing keys and your Oyster card into your pocket, while blindly pressing power button on your mobile. It lights up, and then a cacophony of beeping and yelling bursts out of it. The whirring of Tardis that is your notification signal, Sherlock’s insults that you use for email alerts, and beeps and squeaks that you’ve never heard before – all of these noises explode in your hand, and you are flipping through the notification while running down the stairs. They are from Killian, and Lan, demanding you to ring, to text, there are emails from them too, and you ignore them for now. The most astonishing thing is a voicemail from Graham Dwalinson. It turns out to be five of them, and you listen. He’s roaring into your phone, you’re told to ring, and then again and again, ‘emergency’ and ‘Thorington’ growled in the gyno’s thick accent, and then the last one makes you drop your bag and press your hand over your mouth.

Fuck me, petroica! Pick up the fucking phone! I don’t care if he killed your puppy, or what, but you’ll haul your perky arse in this hospital and you’ll be the first thing he’ll see when he opens his eyes!

He once again is giving your the address of the hospital, and the room number, and you’re running outside. You have to come back, to pick up your handbag from the floor, and you stumble out again. You yell at the man who’s trying to get a cab, and as much as push him away. He didn’t look like he was in a hurry, and you doubt his loved ones are in the hospital after a heart attack.

***

Through the ride you chew at you bottom lip so much that you have to wipe blood off it while you’re running through the halls of the hospital. There’s now a red stain on your sleeve. The receptionist is familiar, it’s the hospital you’ve had several classes in, and you had your vagina patched here a few months ago.

The first person you bump in is Phil. He’s standing in the corridor, speaking quickly and tensely into his mobile. You reckon it’s Deadre on the other end of the line. Phil lifts his eyes at you, and you have neither time, nor desire to read their expression. Graham is in the visitor’s parlour, and you grab his log like arm.

“He’s fine now. He’s resting. Where’s the fuck were you?” the Scot hisses at you, and you shake your head.

Your eyes are glued to the white door to the room, blinds on the window are closed, and your heart is in your throat.

“What happened?” You sound raspy.

“He collapsed yesterday morning. During a surgery. They say a mild heart attack.” It’s Killian talking. You haven’t noticed him in the room.

Everything is swimming before your eyes.

“We couldn’t reach you,” Killian continues. “He was asking for you.”

“What are they saying now?”

“The prognosis is good. Medications and rest.”

Graham’s giant hand lies on your back, between the shoulder blades, and he pushes you gently towards the door.

“Go ahead, petroica.”

***

You don’t know what you expected. You’ve seen plenty of sick people in your life, and yet your mind got stuck on some sort of an overdramatic image of a pale face, thinned features, and – even more absurd – a white shirt. Something from an Austen adaptation, perhaps, or some other sort of rubbish.

He looks just as he always does. He is indeed paler, there’s a greyish tinge to his tanned skin, but he just looks like he’s sleeping. One hand is on his chest, and you stare at the finger with heart monitor clip on it. And there’s no bloody daft white shirt, just a tee. And the hair is scattered on the pillow, and your lips start trembling.

“Stop staring at me, Leary. You creep me out.” His voice is low and velvet, and you jump up. The blue eyes open, and he gives you a small smile. “I have to say you look more like a person with a heart attack than I do.”

You suddenly don’t know what to do, and what to say. Are you supposed to politely wish him to get better and get your arse out of here? You have no right to be here, after all.

He pats the bed near him with the free hand. You edge towards it, and slowly lower your backside on the pristine sheets. You can feel the warmth of his body through the sheets and the comforter.

Katya Kolmakov
Katya Kolmakov. Mother. Writer. Artist. Fanfiction and Wattpad. First novel on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00XJ16W7W.

14 Comments

  1. Oh no..my heart was beating so fast when reading the 2nd part..the 1st part got me all antsy with Auggie’s confession and now this..should I feel sorry for Dr. T? *whispers I do*

    But they do have a happy ending in the end right? I still remember “Medical Cabinet”… *batting my eyeslashes cutely*

    1. Awwwww your cute eye lash batting is working! I’m helpless against it! 😀 and yes, I think it’s OK to feel sorry of Dr T. It’s not like he drank a bucket of his favourite Jameson and smashed his car into a wall. The man’s heart literally broke!

      And I do remember “Medical Cabinet” as well 😉

  2. Oh my word, my heart was in my mouth the entire chapter! I am so refreshing my page constantly; you do a fantastic job of leaving us on the edge of our seats! 🙂
    I must echo the comments of others referring to ‘Medical Cabinet’ and future mini John/Wrens, and how much I hope that comes about :-)))

    1. No need to refresh 🙂 It’s Saturday, and here’s the next chapter 🙂 And I was once told “cliffhanger” is my middle name 😉 I quite like the sound of it – Katya Cliffhanger Kolmakov 😛

  3. Hmmm…detecting a bit of Deus ex machina here. Doesn’t seem really fair to have Thorington win back Wren and the readers’ pity-he still hasn’t earned it after all. I’m really hoping that Wren doesn’t fall right back into his arms. If this life-threatening experience is to mellow Thorington and give him a new outlook on life, however, go you.

    1. Awwww and here I was hoping I was perceived as a writer slightly better than one to fall back on the cheap move and the cliche 🙂 And also, I was sort of hoping Wren is a somewhat realist character, with a marginal continuity built into it. No, she isn’t going to fall back into his arms. The man has had a heart attack, he hasn’t regenerated like the Doctor 🙂 And may I remind you, I promised a melancholic and somewhat hopeful ending to this story. And not an unrealistic saccharine happy ending.

      What I thought would be realistic, is a forty something year old man to have a heart attack if he is devastated, stressed, and works too much to compensate for a sudden void in his life.

      And I do think that readers and the author should feel pity for Thorington. His world and everything he thought was right and important has crumbled, and he lost the only thing that – as he now understands – was giving his life meaning. He is talented, intelligent, decent, though flawed man. Doesn’t he deserve a bit of patience and tolerance from us? 🙂

      I’m not sure about mellowing down, to be honest; but facing one’s mortality would push a person to make active changes in life, don’t you think?

      1. Maybe I am being hard on him but that’s because personal experience and observation have taught me that any woman who puts up with a controlling man is as good as dead. After all, what’s the point of living if you’re not allowed to have a life?

        1. I agree with you completely (also, based on personal experience, sadly); but we can make two concessions here, I suppose: A. it’s fiction and with a proper amount of proof we can assume that Dr T has changed his ways, and then Wren can consider building something new with him; and B. she didn’t put up with him at the end, right? She did break it off. So, hopefully, the rest of the story will unravel in a convincing way 🙂

  4. Yes! Now they can work things through and be good to each other! He’s discovered he isn’t invincible so maybe this will make him a bit more humble and thoughtful towards Wren. And she has discovered she doesn’t want to lose him so will be a bit stronger in looking after him and not rolling over and leaving him in charge. This is perfect!

    Hope I’m right!

    1. Maybe you are! Or maybe not 😛 But what you’re surely right about is John realizing he isn’t an immortal omnipotent god. That would shake a man, wouldn’t it? Up to the point of actually starting to make changes, don’t you think? 😉 Thank you for reading and commenting!

  5. Wow! Thrilled that Auggie is “not to be.” Wow re John … but hopeful because life-threatening events tend to change us and make us see life with new eyes … for sure! I just knew you would take this story into an totally unexpected exciting and twist! Kudos!!!!! Brilliant!!! 😀

    1. Thank you! This plot move has come naturally, and I think it makes a lot of sense. It isn’t the solution of any problems, but surely will make some new cogs move in the narrative! I hope you enjoy it! Thank you again for reading and commenting!

Leave a Reply