The first time I met Patrick Jane, consultant of the CBI, I hated him in an instant. The way he carefully observed my behavior and when he spoke in riddles that made my head reel. He had suspected I had killed my roommate Julian, who I had found stabbed to death on her bed. And then he framed me to catch the real murderer, her boyfriend Mark.
After he had left with the CBI, I had moved out of that apartment and into my parent's house. Then after a few weeks, I had found a new apartment building, more secure, and moved again. With my job it wasn't as hard to keep up with it and all the moving. I wrote children's books and comic strips for the local paper.
I had met Patrick Jane for the second time on accident. I had been on the way home from a little vacation and had stopped on the way back at a small fruit stand. Another car pulled up next to mine and he climbed out, stretching his arms above his head and bending his back slightly. Closing his car door, he walked up behind me as I tried to ignore his presence.
"Hello, Sir," the owner greeted with a thick southern accent.
"Ah, hello," he responded and reached for an orange to the left of me.
I grabbed a green apple and walked around him and towards the owner. "Just this one, ma'am?"
"Yes, please," I sighed out. As I pulled out my wallet to pay, a large hand passed my shoulder and handed the man a few bills.
"Here's for mine and hers," he said cheerfully.
I turned around to Patrick Jane and I swore I felt my heart pound erratically in my chest. "Thank you," I pressed out.
"You're welcome, Emily." My eyes widened and a sincere smile spread across his face, "You thought I'd forget you? No need to be surprised, I remember mostly everyone."
"I am surprised that you remember me," I nodded stepping back from the stand and heading over to my car. He followed.
When we reached my car, I turned to him, "I read about you in the paper about a week ago, about the incident in the mall," I pressed lightly.
His smile faded slowly, but he didn't let it fall completely, "Yes, that. I momentarily lost control," his eyes saddened.
I reached a hand out, but pulled it back. Who was I to comfort him? I couldn't even be considered a friend to him. "I apologize for bringing it up."
He stepped back from me and forced a smile, "No, it's fine," he assured me.
But it wasn't. As he drove away, I knew even if I couldn't see inside him and he was no longer in my sight, I had brought up a painful memory. One that would always haunt him, no matter what might happen.
As I turned in my resignation for the comic strip job, I headed home to my apartment. I had two weeks and then I was done with that piece of my life. Snow covered the ground and I slipped more than once going up the steps to my apartment. As I tried to open the main lobby's door I was greeted with the door smacking me straight in the face and it knocked me straight onto the ground.
Footsteps echoed in my head and I saw a flash of black dart across the street as my vision faded. I could feel the wetness seeping into my jacket and pants and the fluffy snow that landed on my face melt and run straight down into my ears.
Sirens blasted my eardrums when I opened my eyes. Why were sirens around my head? Groaning from the aching headache I was getting, I stared up into the pale green eyes of Patrick Jane. Another person was at my right checking my vitals and I watched as Patrick was pushed away.
"Emily Jensen, can you hear me?" a small light was flashed in my eyes and I moaned in pain.
"My head," I groaned out. "It feels like it is going to fall off. Did it fall off? Oh no, I can't let that happen, I still have to finish," my words slurred together and I couldn't hear the man anymore.
My eyes slowly trailed to the back of my head and I barely registered being lifted off the cold ground and a warm hand pulling away from my arm. I reached out for it, I think, wanting its embrace again but fell short. Wait, I wanted to shout, but my body wouldn't move.
The next thing I saw was the ceiling of a hospital room. I could hear the faint beeps of the heart monitor and smell the harsh scent of cleaner. Pulling my attention from the ceiling, I noticed a few vases of flowers on the side table and a jacket resting on the chair by the bed.
"That was a nasty spill you took," a voice from the window startled me.
I stared puzzled at the man. I had seen him before but couldn't place him. Another man stood beside him and he looked even more familiar. "Who are you?" I cringed when I heard my gravelly voice but stared straight at them.
"I'm agent Rigsby and this is Agent Cho," I interrupted him.
"From the CBI, right? You were the team with Patrick," I stated. "Yes, you are them, but why are you here?"
"We were investigating the murder that happened in you building and we were here to retrieve Jane for it. Have you seen him?" Cho bluntly projected.
I saw the glance from Rigsby at Cho for him to be careful with his words. "No, I haven't. I don't remember much from that day either. Was I at the murder site?" What if I was the killer?
"In a way, yes, but you were just entering the building when the murderer was leaving, which is why you're here."
"Ah, you're awake," I turned my head towards the door.
Patrick stood there holding two cups of tea. He sat down in the chair and motioned for me to sit up. Slowly pulling myself up into a sitting position, I breathed out a huge gust of air when the pain hit. A stab of pain went from my lower back to my head and made me want to puke. Staring up at the ceiling, I breathed through my mouth in hopes of not puking and motioned for him to hand me the tea he was holding at a safe distance.
Once the pain stopped, I looked down at Patrick to see him smiling a sad smile. The two men argued with one another until they excused themselves from the room. I took a sip of the tea and felt it warm my throat. "What did the doctor say?"
"He wouldn't tell me anything," he stated while sipping his tea.
I nodded and felt relieved. I was about to ask him another question when I saw my doctor enter. "Emily, how are you?"
"I could be worse," I replied.
He smiled at me and asked Patrick to leave while we went over the information on me. Once the door shut, my doctor's smile disappeared and I felt a lump forming in my throat. "How bad is it?"
He glanced down at the charts, even though I knew he had already memorized it, "It could be worse."
I nodded and started playing with my fingers. "It has sped up at an alarming rate," he sighed out. "At this rate, I don't even give you a year."
I felt a sob rising in my throat and nodded, "H-have you called my parents?"
"Yes, I got a hold of them last night, they should be here soon I believe," he paused and looked at me. "Do you want me to," he couldn't finish his words. "You know, I have been you fairly doctor since you were just a baby. I never imagined that you'd leave me and not the other way around."
A quiet laugh escaped my throat and I felt tears rush down my face. "Can you let him back in if he is still out there?"
My doctor nodded and exited the room as I wiped my face softly. I heard a few mumbled voices in the hall and watched as Patrick entered again still drinking his tea. He stopped drinking his tea when he saw my face that probably was a little red from the tears.
"Are you alright?" he seemed concerned and he reached for my hand as he sat down in the chair.
I let him embrace my hand and I shook my head. He tightened his grip and encouraged me to go on, "My conditions worse than it was before," I whispered.
"Organ failure. I was told a few weeks ago after I had a year check up that my body was starting to shut down slowly. After the fall when I hit the ice, it sped up the process and my time is really short now."
Patrick squeezed my hand harder and I felt more tears start falling. He was about to speak when my door opened again and my parents slipped inside. They seemed surprised to see Patrick in the chair but didn't stop and rushed to my side and embraced me gently. "Oh, Em," my father grunted out while hugging me tight against his chest.
"Hello Dad, Mom," I hugged her next. "This is Patrick, he's a friend."
"Hello," Patrick greeted as he watched my parents interact with me.
"Hello," my father shook his hand. "Thanks for being here for her."
"Yes, thank you," my mother agreed, pulling Patrick into a small hug.
Patrick smiled and stood up from his spot and threw the empty cup into the garbage, "I'm going to head out. See if they have finished. Nice to meet you and here is my number. In case you want to talk," he pulled his jacket from the chair and handed me a card.
I learned about his past and his family over the next few months. He told me about his regrets and how he wished that Red John had just killed him instead. And a few weeks after I had been discharged from the hospital, I felt the beginning of my body shutting down. And now months later, I could hardly wait to be gone.
Pain was everywhere in my body and I had to stay in my house with someone watching me at all times. Patrick was one of the people who watched me at night as I slept. The summer hit like a hot iron pan. I couldn't stand being stuck in the house all day and Patrick had the day off so we went to the beach.
He helped me down to the sand and say with me as the sun warmed my skin. "Do you think you were my second chance?"
I glanced at him and smiled softly, "No, I don't think that. I mean I have told you that I think I love you but," I trailed off and stared at two little kids screaming about the cold water.
"I think I was meant more for you to have someone to vent to, or a friend than a lover."
He glanced at me and smiled, "That would make sense too. Are you nervous?"
I nodded, "I think most people are at first but right at the end, they embrace it. I mean I want to go now, it hurts."
The day I knew I was going, I called Patrick and had him stay with me. He played chess with me and held me close while I slowly stopped breathing. I felt his arms tighten right before I couldn't feel them and I let my lips spill, "I'll love you, Patrick Jane, for a thousand years."