Dr. Andy Yablonski could still picture his wife's face in his mind. He could see her gentle smile, the very smile that made him fall in love with the detective that she became again. He remembered caressing her long hair with his hands, the soft and thick dark brown hair that he loved to touch. Andy remembered Rena's voice. Her voice could be tender and loving at times, and at others, her voice could be as cold and as hard as the winter wind. Her lips too could be soft and yielding to his touch, and at times burning with passion when they made love. That was when they were happily married. Now, because of lies, deceit, and mistakes, Andy could lose the woman he loved. Did he love her still? He wasn't certain. Since their last meeting, Andy had not seen his wife. "Your date's waiting," she had told him. He swallowed his bitter anger and grief inside him. Rena had seen him with Dr. Lisa Reed, an ER resident. He recalled Rena's eyes, of how they burned with hurt and anger. Her voice was cold when she told her husband that his date was waiting for him inside. Andy hadn't seen her since. Where did it go wrong? Andy thought. He and Rena were passionate about their professions. She was cop, and he was a doctor. For years they had been content with loving each other even when there weren't enough hours in the day. Sometimes the couple wouldn't even see each other until the dead of night. Or was it just sex? A voice whispered in Andy's ear. It was true that during most nights they were together, they had made love many times. But Andy knew it had to be deeper than that. It had to be. Why else would his heart still beat frantically when he saw Rena Yablonski, his brunette beauty? Why would he feel that he would do anything for her? Now his feelings were confused and damaged. "Like our marriage, Andy." Rena's voice whispered in his ear again, and Andy had to choke down the bile in his throat. "It's over. It's been over for a long time, because I…"
Don't think about that, Andy told himself. He took a deep breath to calm down his breathing rate. He was becoming tachypneic. A moan escaped from his lips. She doesn't love me anymore. Against his will, the memory resurfaced. Rena had entered in his office, saying that they needed to talk earlier that morning. Andy could vaguely remember what they said to each other. Lisa Reed had come up during the conversation – no, argument. He remembered saying words that he didn't mean, and he burned with shame at the thought. Rena had told him that their marriage was over, it had been over for a long time. Andy had interrupted at that point, telling Rena that he remembered what she wore when he first saw her; frayed jeans with a pink t-shirt. She was wearing sandals, even in the early autumn of 1981; people said that if you truly loved someone, you could remember what they were wearing when you first met them. Andy had hoped that Rena too could remember the lost boy that had been him almost thirty years ago, but she didn't, she said. "I don't love you anymore, Andy." Andy pressed his head against the desk. He still fought to control his breathing, and bit his lip from crying out. "I'm sorry," she had said to him as he stood beside his desk, silent. He was numb, and didn't notice when she brushed her hand against his. Then she left his office without a backward glance. Andy had wanted to call to her, or even scream at her, but he couldn't find his voice. Another moan escaped Andy's lips, and he lifted his head from the desk. His eyes stung, and he clumsily moved from his desk, noting that every step he took seemed to take his all his energy. "You need a life, Andy. A life outside this hospital." Dr. Jordan was speaking to the broken man. "Someone to love, someone to hold you when you cry." Andy had come to tears once, when Scott Becker had died. Lisa had comforted him in more ways than one, but Andy was certain that Lisa wasn't what Dr. Jordan meant. That boy…he too needed someone to love him. The lost boy who had been Andy was now gone, a ghost in his mind. Now Rena was gone too. Andy felt the tears coming, but he blinked them back. I truly wish…
Andy turned around. Dr. Luc Bovell was behind the younger doctor. The arrogance that normally fixated his face was replaced by concern. He was looking at Andy's face, which was pale and his blue eyes were red-rimmed.
"Andrew," Luc licked his lips nervously, not knowing what to say. Andy knew that Luc, his colleague and rival, had not seen him in this state before. He waited for Luc to speak again. "Andrew," Luc began again, his voice more stable now, "are you feeling ill?"
"No," came Andy's answer. His voice was hoarse and hollow. It surprised him that he wasn't irritated by Luc calling him by his given name. "I'm not ill, Luc." He tried to feign a smile, but his lip muscles only twitched. "I'm…" he turned away, leaving the sentence hanging.
"Koul – " Luc began, but Andy's cell phone rang at that moment.
"Yablonski," he answered, closing his eyes and massaging his temples. He recognized the voice, and had hoped that he would not be hearing that voice again. "Michael –" Andy started to say, but Michael interrupted him. He listened as his uncle talked to him, his mouth becoming a more somber and grimmer line than it had before as Michael continued to talk. "Okay," Andy said, "okay." He listened to his uncle, not meeting Luc's bewildered gaze. "Now?" He couldn't understand why Michael had to meet with him now. "Michael, I can't. I have patient." He sighed, massaging his temples again as Michael pleaded with him. "Alright," Andy relented, running his hands through his short dark brown hair. "I'll meet with you now at the same place we've met before. I'll see you then. Good-bye." The call ended, and Andy faced Luc. "I have to go," he told his colleague. Before Luc could reply, Andy took off his white lab coat and put his brown jacket on. He didn't meet Luc's gaze. "I have to meet with someone."
For once, Luc was speechless. He could only watch as Andy set his stethoscope on his desk, and started to open the door to the office. "Don't worry, Luc. I know I'm supposed to have an appointment with Koul soon, but I'll be back before then." His voice sounded strange, even to himself. Luc made no reply as Andy exited the door. "What do I tell Dr. Jordan?" Luc shouted to Andy as he walked down the hall. If Andy heard, he choose to not to hear him. His mind remained focused on Michael…and Rena. At last the tears he held in fell, but he didn't stop to wipe them away. I truly wish I was that boy again.