A Tragic Wreck
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“I don’t know, Olivia. Our brains sometimes take our deepest wishes and try to turn them into reality.”
She sat and thought about everything that the doctor had been saying to her. “I don’t know if I can. I don’t think I can tell Alexander that I love him.”
“But you do love him, don’t you?”
Olivia shrugged her shoulders, hoping to avoid answering that question, desperately trying to convince herself that she didn’t love him.
“Think about that feeling of total contentment you had when you would play music with your mother. Do you remember what that felt like? The love you felt for her?”
“Yeah. So what?” Olivia rolled her eyes.
“Have you ever felt something similar when you were with Alexander? And don’t focus on when you’ve been intimate together.”
Olivia sat there and thought about it. She remembered how she felt when she abandoned Alexander all those months ago. How she felt when he found her in Florida and she lied to his face, saying she didn’t care about him. How, when she found out he was engaged, she didn’t think she would survive. How, when she came back and poured her heart out to him, he turned her away. It was painful, but was it love? Why did he have to say those three little words? Of all the words in the English language, the word “love” scared her the most.
“Olivia, I know you. I know that you have trouble expressing your feelings normally. I know this is scary for you. Love is scary, but it’s part of the human experience.”
Olivia remained silent, thinking about what the doctor was saying. She wasn’t just scared of her feelings for Alexander. She was petrified, worried that something would happen to him. She cared deeply for him, but would it always be enough? Olivia knew that she was an extremely frustrating woman. Would Alexander always stand by her side?
“I’m sorry, dear,” Dr. Greenstein said, interrupting Olivia’s thoughts. “We’re out of time for today, but I want to pick this up on Thursday. In the meantime, remember that pain you felt when you walked out on Alexander back in October. And the pain you felt when you thought he was about to marry another woman. Relive that pain somehow. Remember the heartache. Think about whether that pain was from loving him, and express those feelings to him.”
Olivia left the office, thinking about what the doctor said as Carter drove her home. She cared for Alexander, but it couldn’t be love. She made it her mission to take the next few days and really convince herself of that.
IT WAS DAY TWO of no contact from Olivia, and Alexander thought he was going to lose his mind. He tried to respect her wishes and give her time to think about things, but it was driving him crazy.
He had spent the last few days going through all the stuff that his father had boxed up in the safe room…photos, trinkets, and tons of paperwork. There were deeds to property owned by a corporation set up by his father years ago…the beach house on Cape Cod, the house in Mystic, a house in Charleston, a house on Folly Beach. Alexander soon found the corporate paperwork. Sarah Adler was named sole shareholder.
He scoffed. She doesn’t even look like a Sarah!
As he rummaged through box after box, his thoughts were consumed by Olivia and the past that she knew nothing about. He couldn’t stand the thought of another second without her. She had asked for time and Alexander wanted to give it to her, but there were more pressing issues now. He felt like she was slipping through his fingers yet again. He swore to protect her and, with the new information he had learned, that was becoming more and more difficult, particularly considering that her true identity was known by people who could do serious harm to her. He had two of his best people on her protection detail, but he felt lost, not being able to see her himself.
So many times he had dialed the first nine numbers of her phone number, stopping before dialing the last. How much longer could he possibly go on feeling like this and how could he possibly tell her everything now? That they were kids together? That he swore he would always protect her? That he cried at her funeral? That he never gave up hope she was alive? That his father kept her protected all those years and gave his life for hers? That her own father had found patterns in various kickbacks and government contracts? That some of these politicians were found to be in bed with known foreign terrorists? That her father had tried to force those responsible to come clean or he would expose them? That they were killed by a “cleaner” in order to silence him? That someone knew the evidence Olivia’s father had collected was never destroyed? That they seem to believe Olivia has the answer to the location of the evidence? That they would stop at nothing to destroy that evidence, including destroying anyone who got in the way?
His cell phone rang, waking him from his thoughts. “Hey, Carol. What’s going on?”
“Alex, thank God. I’ve been trying to get in touch with Olivia and she’s not calling me back,” she said frantically.
Alexander stood up and walked over to his office window. “Slow down. What’s going on? Is something wrong?”
“Simon is being released this Friday. And his lawyer was good. He got the protective order thrown out. The board agreed that he had been punished enough, and all evidence indicated that he had turned things around and that his attack on Olivia was just an isolated event. He’ll be free to contact her with no repercussions.”
“That protective order was just a piece of paper anyway. Don’t worry. Marshall and Carter have been keeping an eye on her,” he responded dryly.
There was a long pause. “Is everything okay, Alex? I heard about what happened. Granted, I never know if anything on those gossip websites is true.”
Alexander slumped into his chair. “I guess it’s true. I freaked when I saw pictures of us together. There had always been some out there, but now they know her name. And, with everything going on, I was just worried for her safety. I’m pretty sure Kiddish knows who she is.”
“You’re right about that,” Carol said.
“Yeah. So I may have overreacted a bit, knowing that it would be even harder to protect her with her name being associated with mine. She thinks it’s because I’m ashamed of her and still sleeping with Adele and Chelsea. Which I’m not, but I know it didn’t look good.”