A Tragic Wreck
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The following evening, Olivia pulled off the Mass Pike and onto Huntington Avenue, heading toward her house, feeling overwhelmed as she drove past Boston Common Park. She missed her home, and that’s what Boston was. It was home.
She pulled her car in front of her house and grabbed Nepenthe, wondering how she would feel being back in the place filled with so many memories of Alexander. Her hands shaking, she punched her code into the keyless entry and opened the door before disarming the security system.
She walked into the kitchen and let Nepenthe out of his cat carrier. After helping him settle back into the house, she ran out to her car and finished unpacking her items before driving down the side alley, parking in the back.
Leaving all her things in the living room, she walked up to her master bedroom. Everything was exactly as she had left it. Nothing had changed, but everything was different. Everything reminded her of Alexander. She walked over to the bed that was still covered with the clothes she haphazardly threw around as she was packing to flee town. She flopped down on what had become Alexander’s side of the bed and inhaled. Months had passed, but it still smelled like him. She shot up, tears threatening to fall once more. She couldn’t stay there.
She ran downstairs and put Nepenthe’s bowls out, filling his food and water. “I’m sorry, pal. I just can’t stay here, but I’ll be back every day to check on you.” She picked up her cat and gave him a kiss before he leapt out of her arms, more interested in his food.
She grabbed her suitcase and re-armed her system, leaving her house again. But this time, she wasn’t running. She just needed to collect her thoughts. And she couldn’t sleep in that bed, not when it smelled so much like Alexander.
She drove around town and soon found herself on her way to Arlington. She didn’t know why, but she wanted to see Mo. About twenty minutes later, she parked her car outside Mo’s house and sat there for several long moments, staring blankly at the steering wheel before finally gathering enough courage to get out of the car. As she walked up the front steps and rang the doorbell, she thought about how Mo would react when he saw her standing on his doorstep after being gone for so long. A few moments passed and she didn’t hear anything stirring. She rang again and finally heard some shuffling.
Mo pulled back the door to his house, curious as to who it could be that late at night. He almost couldn’t believe his eyes. Olivia stood at his front door, looking frail, a shell of her former self. He had seen her at her lowest of lows, but this was unlike anything he had ever seen before.
“Livvy?! Oh, my god! Get in here!” he said, pulling her toward him, hugging her tightly.
Olivia tried so hard to stay strong, but she couldn’t take it anymore. All her emotions and everything she had felt over the past several months came rushing forward. She sobbed as Mo walked her toward his living room. He gingerly lowered her to the couch and simply held her as she cried. He was so thankful that she was okay. Or as okay as she could be.
After several minutes of just sitting there, Olivia’s tears started to wane. Mo kept holding onto her. He didn’t want to say anything. He just wanted to hold her, hoping that he wouldn’t wake up and it all be a cruel dream. Brushing her hair behind her ear, he placed a gentle kiss on the top of her head.
Olivia looked into his dark eyes. “I’m so sorry, Mo,” she exhaled, tears starting to flow down her face again.
“Hey. Don’t cry, Livvy. It’s okay. Just tell me what’s going on and I’ll do whatever I can.” He had a feeling that after news of Alexander’s engagement got out, she might return to Boston. But never did he expect to see her looking as horrible as she did.
“I ruined everything, like I always do. I push people away trying to protect myself, but it never works out, does it?”
“I won’t ask if everything’s okay because that seems like such a stupid question. I know things aren’t. But tell me what I can do right now.”
She looked at him and snuggled into his embrace once more. “You’re doing it. Thank you.” Before Olivia knew it, she had fallen asleep, grateful to be back where she belonged.
Alexander’s phone had been buzzing all night, but he was enjoying his time out with Chelsea. She had become a breath of fresh air those past few months, and he was actually starting to look forward to their wedding. While he still thought about Olivia more than he should, Chelsea was a nice distraction.
He walked Chelsea out of his favorite Italian restaurant in the North End, the memory of taking Olivia there after the Red Sox game all those months ago was still strong. But he was eager to replace all those old Olivia memories with new ones. Happier ones. It was the only way he could continue to move on.
Martin pulled up outside of the restaurant. “My place, Miss Wellington?” Alexander asked, taking Chelsea’s hand and kissing it gently.
She giggled. Alexander cringed a little. It was a high-pitched squeal type of a giggle. It wasn’t Olivia’s giggle. “I’d love to, Alex,” she said, pushing him aside and getting into the SUV. “But you do know that, at some point, we are going to have to move in together.”
Alexander had been putting that off, wanting to enjoy his last few months of being single. Plus, Chelsea wanted him to get rid of Runner and he wasn’t ready for that just yet. He loved that dog, although he was another painful memory of Olivia. He started to wonder whether he would ever be able to fully rid his life of her. He didn’t think he could even if he wanted to. And he wasn’t sure he really wanted to, as much as he knew he should.
As he walked around to the other side of the car, Martin stopped him. “Sir, Carter has been trying to get in touch with you. He wouldn’t say what it was about, but you should probably call him.”
“Okay, Martin. I will when I get home.” He opened the door and climbed in beside Chelsea, grabbing her hand and planting a sensual kiss on it. Her heart fluttered a little, loving the feel of Alexander’s lips on her skin.