I had planned to update over a week ago, really I did. I'm so sorry that it took so long! The past week just flew by, I really have no idea where all the time went. This Friday school is out for the summer, and that will probably mean some new stories from me - though I have a busy summer so that might not be a 100% true statement.
Thank you for your lovely reviews, and I hope that the person that did not enjoy this story doesn't read this chapter. I have to say to this person, and everyone else, that I am sixteen, I have taught myself English (not the basics though) and writing, and I do this inbetween school work and friends. Half of this story was written during a week in October, and the rest was written two days in January - take this in mind please.
Hope you enjoy this chapter!
It was simple, just a few people for dinner. The candles were red, her favorite color, the food was junk, just like she wanted when she was a child, and the table was set for six. It didn't matter that the dinner felt unnecessary for her, that it had been a long time ago since she wanted this food for her birthday. It didn't matter that the color red made her feel queasy. All that matter was that someone had cared enough to do this; someone had seen her and dared to draw attention to her.
The dinner would be lively, she knew that, and she did not mind. There would be old friends of hers that she had not spoken to after she had gotten married, only occasionally on her cell on her way home from work, but then there was no work to go to, no place she could take any calls. They put away all the phones into a distant room that was only used when absolutely needed.
In the mirror in the guest room she watched herself with fascination, because there in front of her was a woman who started to resemble the person she had been before she met her husband. The blond her was falling down on her shoulders, more golden than grey now, as if colors were starting to seep into her again. Her eyes were blue green in this light, when the sun was starting to set just outside her window. Even though lines were starting to form on her face, around her eyes and mouth, she looked younger now. She felt younger. As she touched her hair, she couldn't help but to smile at how she looked; she looked like a woman who was going to be ok.
The fancy table cloth, the candles, the plates, the glasses, and the forks and knives, they were all such a contrast between the food. No one complained, they all laughed when hamburgers were served under the name Ham Du Burger. It was John who presented it, with a glint in his eyes. It reminded her of the time he had snuck out in the middle of the night and she had caught him. With a similar glint, he had talked her into not saying anything to mom and dad.
Everyone laughed; her friends hugged her, introducing her to their spouses. No one questioned her lack of speaking, though that could have had something to do with John or Dana, since they often took precautions to avoid anything ruining their plans. This was in this case Cameron's happiness.
It all was working perfectly, until that unexpected knock. That was when everyone was reminded of what had been going on the past years. When it all came running back to Cameron.
He thought it was silly at first, the secret phone call from Cameron's brother and how eager that John guy was for him to come, even if just for a minute. At first he had not planned to go, Cameron had after all not been so friendly the last time they had seen each other. However, it was Wilson who persuaded him to go. It could have had something to do with tickets to a monster truck rally. He could not argue when they were on the line.
The corsage though, that one was completely unnecessary, but it was a birthday party, and he could not show up empty handed. He stopped on the way to her brother's house, it was the same shop he had bought the corsage the last time. Back then he had mistaken her positive outlook on the world as naïve, seen her blind faith as stupid, and taken her for a coward. He had been mistaken.
As soon as he had paid for the corsage he pulled it out of the florist's hands and with a grumble he walked out into the warm spring air. It was only weeks before summer was here, all traces of winter were gone. Dandelions filled up all of the green patches as he speed by them.
The scene was a nightmare. Everything had been too good, she realized now as he stepped into her brother's house, his stature threatening. Her whole body cowered back into her seat as she watched her brother and her husband stand in the doorway. Charlie was tall, and her brother was not. The scar on Charlie's cheek seemed like a battle scar, a reminder that he was capable of doing things that John could not even think of.
"I think it's time for my wife to come home now," he said, his voice smooth and clear, drowning all of her thoughts of fleeing. He was there, and he would take her back to the home they had bought together, whether she wanted to or not. What she wanted was the ability to run away.
"She is home," John argued through clenched teeth, but when Charlie stepped into their house, John took a step backward, his eyes flickering over to the stunned group sitting by the table, glad that his daughter was at a friend's house.
"I am her husband. Where I am, her home is," he walked up to her, standing next to her chair, staring down at her small frame, dressed in pretty little clothes, looking almost like she had when they met so many years ago. Maybe this could be a new start, he thought, maybe this time she would actually learn.
"Her home is where she wants to be," John stood next to Charlie now, pushing his shoulder in the direction of the door.
"I am her husband! I decide where she should be!" He roared, his eyes were fixed on John's, his hand curling around Cameron's arm. There was something about the way he stood, the guests would ponder about later that made his anger more pronounced, more threatening than a man with a gun would have been. Everyone at the table instinctively tried to move away from him, pressing their bodies into the back of their chairs. Even John seemed to visibly shrink as he looked up at Charlie when he yanked Cameron out of her chair by the arm, and pulling her towards the door. She had not had a chance to react; her mind could not understand that she was seeing him again, after all this time.
That was when she saw a flash of blue, a blue shirt, a blue flower, blue eyes. The air flew out of her body, as she saw the rage in those eyes, saw him throw away his cane, saw him lunge towards the two of them, his right leg slower than the rest of his body.
It was when she saw his rage she realized really what was happening, she found that she was dead scared to go back to him, go back to the life he had made for her. Just when she was about to open her mouth and scream help, House raised his fist and soon both she and Charlie was tumbling to the floor.
It was in the middle of the day when she walked out from the kitchen. The dishes were washed, the clothes were folded into the drawers, yesterday's trash was taken out, the town house was sparkling. It looked like it did every day, she thought as she looked around the apartment one more time. Her bag was standing by the door, the only thing that differed from how everything always looked.
She looked down at her ring, the one she had proudly accepted, and easily pulled it off of her finger, laying it in the bowl that stood on the table by the door.
For weeks she had planned this, stared at the door as if it was something impossible to reach, and stared at the gloomy sky as if it was something to desire. She had wanted it to be perfect, to be final. Now she just wanted to go, forget.
She wanted to sleep.
The sun tried to peek through the thick grey clouds, tried to reach the cement, tried to warm up the ground that was almost frozen. It was impossible to find any warmth in this world anymore. As she picked up the bag and slung it over her shoulders, she wanted nothing more than to curl up in her bed, turn off all the lights and just sleep.
The door opened easily, too easily, and she stopped on the threshold. Here she had two choices; walk out of this life forever, never see the man she loved again, or stay and slowly die. She wasn't sure if there was much left of her, if there was anything worth saving in her. All she had was her lungs and heart; all of her organs, but not much more than that. Her body was battered, screaming with every step she took.
Her ring finger was empty, she just needed to take one step out of the door, out onto the pavement. Everyone seemed to pass so easily outside of her home, some stared at her as she stood there contemplating her future.
Only one decision could save her, and she wanted to live so badly it hurt.
When she took the first step outside of the home they had build themselves, she could swear she felt something shatter within her, possibly the last thing that had been intact. There was no going back, because she had been long gone for a while now.
A small glimmer of hope suddenly sparkled inside of her as she stood up from the floor, and saw that this time it was not she who had been hit. It was him. She couldn't help but to feel a bit smug at the thought of him suffering.
The room suddenly burst into life, she was gently pulled up and sat on a couch, people were talking at the same time, but all she could concentrate was House who was holding a bag of frozen peas to his fist while wincing. He had saved her, literally saved her. Never in her wildest dreams had she thought it would be House who would be the one to do that. As people rushed around trying to make themselves helpful, the men pulling Charlie up from the floor and carrying him outside as he started to come to it again, she offered him a smile. He watched her intently, not a look of worry or curiosity. There was a frown on his face, that she misinterpreted as disappointment.
What she saw as disappointment, was actually confusion. When he came into apartment, the door had been wide open, and a man was holding Cameron's arm tightly, pulling her against her will towards the door where he stood, something had come over him. He could not explain it, it was more than rage; it was fear too. These feelings had no logical explanation; they just exploded out of nowhere. Thank God for that, though, he thought as he heard the man starting to pick a fight outside again.
The night was cool, reminding her that it was still just spring. Above her the sky was void of clouds, the stars shining brightly far away in the distance, letting her only see a glimmer of them; a glimmer of stars that probably were dead a long time ago.
She pushed herself off of the ground, letting her fly through the cold night for a few seconds before landing on the ground again. The swing under her could go high in the sky; let her fly next to the stars if she wanted to, if she let herself be up there. Just like a child, she closed her eyes, and imagined herself up there, feeling the air with her finger tips, flying next to the birds.
"It's better to look at once you open your eyes," she heard House say, and opened her eyes to look at him. Despite what happened today, she felt an unbelievable happiness that overwhelmed her, and all she could do was to smile back, give him the brightest smile he had ever seen on her.
God, she is beautiful, he thought as she lifted her head up to stare at the sky. The thought scared him, because before she had not been beautiful, not in this way. Her happiness seemed almost misplaced, but that was what intrigued him now; the way she could smile after she had almost been kidnapped by her husband. Nothing could rob her of her happiness in the long run. He knew in that moment, she was happiness even if it was hidden.
He sat down on the swing next to her, and it creaked under his weight. His leg protested slightly, but he sat down despite the screaming muscle. He could name all of the star signs; he had a period in high school when he read everything he could get over about astronomy.
"Thank you," she suddenly said, and his eyes immediately looked away from the sky to look at her, wide with shock. For a moment he could not speak. It was his turn to be mute.
"I guess you can have coffee now, then," he said after a while, turning back to the sky, and she laughed.
He hoped she wouldn't go back to being mute, that she would start living again.
It was still spring. Everything had a potential to bloom or die prematurely. It did not matter to them, whose seed had just been planted. They, who just realized that they could start over. Summer was around the corner, if there was too much heat everything would dry out and if it was too wet they would drown.
Despite what would happen, the smile she offered him as they walked to the house again, was brighter than any sun in the universe, and he wasn't going to let her go again. They were going to have summer before fall came again.