He just stood there watching me, and the look in his eyes was intensely strange. "I need to say this," he said. "Just this one time. I love you. I've loved you for half my life, it seems like. And I always will love you, even though I know it's not possible for you to love me back. If you hadn't met David, it might have been-things might have been different. But I know when I'm beaten."
I was stunned. Lewis, of all people, was not a confessor. He didn't blurt out his emo secrets, not to anyone, especially not to me.
"I…have no idea what you want me to say," I said. "You know how I feel about you, you're-you're Lewis. God, why are you telling me this now?"
"Because I can. Because you won't remember anything about it in about thirty seconds from now," he said, and reached out and touched his finger to the exact center of my forehead.
The world exploded into jagged shards.
-Cape Storm, page 82
That was a few hours ago. But to Lewis…he had just said those powerful words a second ago. Why had he said those words? Why had he opened his mouth at all? At the moment it felt good to get that confession off his chest but now and he looked back on it all…he added it to his mental list of mistakes. It was right up there with having sex with Jo when they had still been in school, learning about their powers. Images from that night came back to him. The late night project that left them alone in the science lab that night; the raging storm that had been created from their passion; the storm that would fuel the love he hid from her for the rest of his life; and the shock that he had been the one to take her virginity. That was something he could never give back to her (not that he wanted to). How old had they been that night? How old had they been that she had allowed him to be her first. Jo had always been a beautiful woman, her strong personality made her sexier to Lewis every day, and the fact that he had been her first was a feeling that ranged from dear and immense pride. He was the one she had chosen, the one she wanted to take that precious cherry from her. Would things have been different if he wasn't her first? He would never know; all Lewis knew was that he loved Jo and every day that feeling grew.
Everyday Lewis beat himself up inside. Every morning he woke up knowing that he had let the girl of his dreams go and now she was in love with someone else, married to someone else…David, the Conduit of the New Djinn. When he saw the two together and how Jo's face brightened and her worries wash away at least for a moment, his heart sank. The look on Jo's face when she saw him wasn't anything like that. It was worry, horror of what could happen, looking for someone to help keep her in line (even if she never admitted it). He was happy for Jo; don't take it the wrong way. He was happy that she had someone she loved and someone she could always depend on…Lewis just wished it was him that she felt those things for. But like he had told her, he knew when he was beaten and clearly he was. 'Unless something happened to David…'
Lewis shook his head. How could he think that? He was friends with David. They thought the same way on many things and even though David knew that Lewis loved Jo, he never did anything about it because he knew that Lewis would never try to take Jo and if he ever did, David wouldn't hesitate to kill him. David had made a sacred vow with Jo, proclaiming his love in his wedding vows that strengthened the bond that already held the two close. They could feel how the other was feeling, know when the other was in trouble and give each other extra power when they needed it. Even though Lewis had admitted defeat doesn't mean that he stopped loving Jo. He often wondered what would happened if he hadn't run away that night in the science lab. What if he had stayed instead of letting his shock of having done such a thing in the lab and taken her virginity, take over and making him scared. What if he stayed and just marveled in Jo's beauty, of letting his ego inflate a little from that experience, what if they had become lovers…husband and wife…instead of Jo and David? Lewis couldn't allow his mind to be overtaken by these what-ifs. He had a whole organization to run, something that had just been dumped automatically onto his shoulders when the Djinn had turned on the Wardens. Lewis was now the go-to guy and he couldn't afford to slip up because his mind was too focused on Joanne Baldwin.
Today was different though. He had allowed himself some personal minutes and his conversation with Jo had resurfaced. It had felt so good to let out his confession but now Jo couldn't remember it and his heart ached. He could feel it rip off piece by piece like it was paper. He could feel the pressure of someone stepping on it and Lewis felt ready to cry though he never would. He was Lewis Orwell and Lewis Orwell doesn't cry. Even in private. Rubbing his face with his large hands, the look of shock that had been on Jo's face when he confessed probably hurt more than her not remembering. He had expected that but actually seeing it was worse. Lewis was strong, he would get over all of this, he knew. It was just a matter of reaching that point. Of course, the next thought to cross his mind was the biggest what-if since he erased her memory. What if she remembered it after they killed Bad Bob? Things would surely become awkward because David would instantly find out he had confessed. Would he lose both friendships?
Sighing, Lewis realized that he should have kept his mouth shut or pray that Jo would never remember. "Me and my big mouth. I love you Jo…I always will…" And for the first time in a long time, Lewis Orwell cried.