Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Can A Heart Really Break?


Chapter Twenty-One


I slept most of the way to Atlanta, about 6 hours which is some kind of a record for me; I never really rest in something that moves. Maybe there is a God and he heard my prayers, being unconscious seemed to be the only way I could make it. I felt as if my heart was literally breaking and I wondered how I was going to survive this. Yes, I know it sounds melodramatic, but this situation is pretty much a first for me.

We touched down smoothly and I exited the jet way, into the customs area and patiently waited my turn; no, I have nothing to declare, no, no one gave me anything to carry, etc. After I got through, I stood briefly trying to get my bearings. I had to go to a different terminal to catch the plane to Wichita, but first I needed to make a stop in the restroom.

I looked in the mirror, at a face that didn’t look so very different from the one I wore going to Italy, and yet I felt like a completely different person now. 6,000 miles away, there was a man who was holding my heart hostage, whether he realized it or not. Is this love I wondered? I felt as if I wouldn’t be whole again until I was in his arms, until I felt his heart beating along with mine.

I felt cold and empty inside and very alone.

I splashed some water on my face and ran a brush through my hair and made my way to the other terminal. I wish I had more time before the next flight; if I did, I would buy a phone card and call Adam. I wanted to hear his voice, hear him tell me it would all be okay. That he was missing me as much as I missed him. But by the time I caught the train to the next terminal, my time at Hartsfield International Airport would be about up.

I waited impatiently for the boarding call for my flight. I ran into a business acquaintance while waiting and cursed my luck. His name was Chris and I have never liked this guy at all; he was pushy and never knew when to shut up. He talked incessantly and I parried questions about where I had been; I prayed that God was still listening to me and that our seats on the plane would be far apart.

The boarding call finally sounded and we moved to join the line and I raised my eyes upward and mouthed ‘thank you!’ when I saw that we were 10 rows apart. On the plane I got belted into my seat and leaned my head against the headrest and closed my eyes while I waited for the other passengers to come on board and take their seats. It seemed an eternity before we were taxiing out to the runway and lifting up into the sky.

The seat next to me was empty and I hoped that Chris didn’t notice and want to come up and chat. I decided that if he did, I was going to be rude and tell him to get the hell out of my space. I was close to breaking at this point and just wanted this all to be done with. Cassie was picking me up at Mid Continent airport in Wichita and I could let it all go then. I was waiting very impatiently as we took off and for once, I was excited to be flying home. I needed Cassie right now. I needed her to hug me and make me laugh and tell me she was going to kick my ass if I didn’t snap out of it.

The last half of the flight into Wichita was rough, heavy thunderstorms were blanketing the mid-west. We might have flown around them had there been anywhere to go, so we just went on through them, bouncing amidst the clouds. A couple of times the plane dropped quickly, which made my already queasy stomach feel even worse. For the last few minutes as we were gliding down on the landing approach and the clouds were so thick we couldn’t see anything. We could hear the sound of the landing gear coming down and locking into place and it sounded eerie we floated down amidst the dense grey clouds. We touched down on time though and the pilot told us that he hoped we had umbrellas with us because it was 55 degrees in Wichita and raining the proverbial cats and dogs.

I jumped up as soon as the plane finished its taxi to the gate. Yes, I know, you are supposed to let families and the elderly go first, but I needed off that plane; I needed Cassie.

I practically ran down the long companionway ramp and I saw Cassie waiting down below. She waved at me gaily, but I just ran into her arms and the tears turned on automatically. She held me and gently rocked me for a moment and whispered, “Its okay Sarah, I’m here.”



I dug some tissue out that I had stuck in my pocket in Atlanta and blew my nose, oblivious of the racket it made and the stares it drew. Cassie led me to the baggage claim area and we waited silently for my bags. I was afraid if I started to tell her everything here, I wouldn’t be able to hold it all together. I thought it was best if I just waited until we got to the privacy of the car.

The baggage started to appear on the carousel and luckily mine was some of the first pieces that came by. We grabbed them and headed for the doors leading to the parking areas. When we got there, we stopped short, looking at the deluge out side. The pilot was right, it was raining so hard we were going to be drenched, and there was no way around it. It somehow seemed like a fitting ending to my trip and I humorlessly told myself that at least the rain would wash away the tears.

We stood outside under the awning for a moment, debating whether I should wait here while Cassie ran to the car and pulled it up here, but I didn’t want to wait that long. We were going to get wet, so we might at well get it over with. We both grabbed a bag and took off at a run for the car. It wasn’t too far away, but we were both soaked when we got there and got the bags in. We jumped in ourselves and sat there for a moment, shivering while Cassie started the car and got the heater and defrosters going. She looked at me then and simply said, “Okay, spill it.”

The rain was pounding down heavily on the car, and it made me feel isolated and yet somehow safe. We were wrapped in our own little cocoon. I listened to the sound of the rain for a few minutes, trying to decide where to start and Cassie sat there patiently waiting. I’m not sure I would have been that patient if the circumstances were reversed.

The defrosters had cleared the steamy windows and after casting me a furtive glance, Cassie put the car into gear and slowly started creeping toward the exit booths. There wasn’t much traffic moving right now, so it wasn’t too bad, but I wondered how it was going to be on the street. You couldn’t see very far at all and we would have to go slow. That thought made me miserable because the longer it took to get home, the longer it would be before I could talk to Adam.

Cass paid the attendant and we pulled out onto the road that would access Kellogg, the road that would take us across town to where I lived.

“Cassie, I think that maybe I love him,” I blurted out without any preliminary words.

“WHAT?” Cass shouted. The sound was almost a screech and hurt my ears. “You have got to be kidding me, you know it? Not you, not miss ‘keep the men out of my heart’ Sarah. What the HELL happened over there? Jesus Sarah, you were only gone 10 days!”

“Adam happened,” I told her, as if that explained it all.

“What does that mean?” she asked. She was leaning forward trying to see better and we were doing little more that crawling along the highway. We were on the flyover right now, an elevated roadway that skipped all the lights across town.




“It means I’ve never known a man like him before. He is tender and caring and funny and articulate and,” I trailed off, trying to think of good enough words to describe him and nothing seemed to fit. “He knows all about me and my issues, and he accepts them. He knows and he still wants to make this work. I don’t know how or why Cassie but he does,” I told her, shaking my head at it all.

“Well, he’s got good taste, I’ll say that for him,” she told me, slipping me a sideways grin.

“Thanks.”

“Okay, so what happened?”

“We met up on Monte Berico. Remember, I’ve shown you pictures of that? The overlook?”

“Yeah. The stone balustrade place, right? You told me all of this on the phone, remember?”

“Yes, I know, I know. Well, I told you all about Venezia right? Did I tell you we made out on the train coming back to Vicenza?”

At her nod, I continued on, trying to get my thoughts in order so it didn’t all sound like some kind of jumble.

“Okay, so the next day we went to his movie set and I watched them film two scenes.”

“Wow, that sounds like fun!”

“It wasn’t really.” I laughed ruefully for a moment, remembering how long and painstaking it was, getting it all right. I told her about that and watched her expression as she listened.

“I guess that blows our fantasies about the glamorous life of movie stars, huh?” she joked.

I told her about meeting Sunni and Rachel and Paul and William and directors and so many other people. “Oh, there was one other girl, Krista. She is a strange little goth girl. You know, all dressed in black and very intense.” I shook my head rather bemusedly as I remembered her. I thought about seeing her again in Firenza and realized there was something about her that I couldn’t quite place, it was almost familiar.

“Sunni sounds like a lot of fun!”

“Yes, I have had these fantasies about seeing the two of you together. I’m sure you could break down the castle walls with no help at all. I nick-named her Whirlwind Sunni,” I laughed. “She is amazing!”

“We decided to spend the rest of my time in Italy together and he planned this wonderful trip for us. Or rather Sunni did actually. Our first day of the trip we went to Pisa and something horrible happened to Adam,” I told her, tearing up again as I remembered how scary it had all been.

“Well, what happened?” she finally asked. I had been thinking about it all again and had been quiet as I relived it.

I told her about it then, how wonderful the visit was until Adam’s accident. I stubbornly refused to think of it any other way. I told her about the trip to the hospital and how the nurses all recognized him, but didn’t make a fuss at all.
“He got excellent treatment,” I told Cassie. “He luckily didn’t have a concussion so they let us go back to the hotel.”

“It sounds as if he was pretty lucky,” she agreed.

“Yes, he had a headache, but really that was all, after some initial dizziness. The next day some Italian policia came to the hotel and asked more questions. They seemed to have the insane idea that it was not an accident!”

“But you and Adam do?”

“Yes, what else could it have been? Who would do something like that?” I questioned thoughtfully.

“Oh, let’s see, some disgruntled fan who didn’t think he smiled nicely enough at them, or some actor who is pissed because he got a better part? Shall I go on?”

“No one knew we were going to be there Cass. No, it WAS an accident,” I stated finally.

“Okay, so what happened after the accident? Did you two finally do the wild thing?” she said to me with a smirk.

That was the kind of look and comment that only a best friend can get away with and I giggled then, wondering how much longer I could push the story before I got to THAT!”

“No, we spent the rest of that day and night in Pisa, then went on to Firenza,” I answered playfully, knowing it wasn’t what she wanted to hear. “I loved riding in the car. It was really cool. Cass, it was a BMW Z4!”

“Hot guy, hot car. This all makes so much sense now,” she said, that sharp facetious edge in her voice, the one she does so well and that I do actually love.
The rain seemed to be getting heavier and it was harder and harder to see if there were cars around us. We were only going about 30 mph and she actually slowed down a bit more when she saw some traffic up ahead. Her hands were gripping the steering wheel tightly and I could see how nerve-wracking this trip was for her.

“Oh Cassie!” I giggled.

“Yeah, I can tell he’s a real fast mover! Unlike this traffic,” she said, turning the defrosters up a bit higher since the windows were starting to steam up again.

“So, we got to Firenza and stayed in this beautiful cottage at the Hotel Dei Fiori Bei.” I told her all about the cottage, how beautiful it was and the view and everything. “We were there for two more days. That time was magical Cassie. I mean, we went to the museums and stuff the last day we were there, but the rest of the time we stayed at the cottage. We talked so much Cass, about who we are and what we want. And we had a horrible fight too. But we made up.”

Cassie looked at me for a moment then. “And?” she prompted me.

“Um, you’re really so very curious Cassie!” I teased wickedly.

“I swear I’m going to pull this damn car over until you start talking. Actually, that might not be a bad idea anyway. I can’t see shit here,” she said, peering harder out the front windshield. “Sarah, you didn’t come home in tears because you had a peachy keen time. What the hell happened to you?” she stated. Her voice was exasperated and I knew I had better stop toying with her.

“Well?” she demanded. “I’m beginning to think this is serious,” she told me. “Not just you, but this damn weather,” she said as she started to slow down even more since a car had pulled right in front of us and slowed down. She had to hit the brakes hard to avoid hitting it and the car fish-tailed a little bit on the rain slicked street before straightening up.

That’s when we heard a sickening screech behind us and an air horn blowing loudly. A moment later a semi truck rammed into the back of the car, apparently unable to slow down so suddenly. We heard a horrifyingly loud crashing and ripping sound then, and we were spinning around end to end. Then there was a sickening drop as we rolled over the embankment.

I remember the seat belt grabbing my shoulder tightly and the air bag exploding in my face and then my body twisting sideways against the side of the car as we tumbled down the embankment. I remember my head hitting the support of the car where it divided the car between the windows and the pain of the airbag crashing into my face.

I thought of Adam for a moment, waiting for my call. It’s the last thing I remembered for a long while.

44 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh man Hope!

I guess I know she'll be okay, but is the accident related to the other weird stuff?

This one is definitely a cliff hanger and I can't wait until Friday!

Anonymous said...

Wow, wasn't expecting this. It feels a little too real, thanks to your descriptive writing Hope!

I think I'm really liking Cassie. I hope she doesn't die or soemthing!

amy d

Anonymous said...

Holy crap. I never saw that coming. Is this an accident or is there more to it? I wonder if they are okay.
I am looking forward to Friday even though it won't come fast enough!
L

Anonymous said...

I had to read this twice to be sure I read it right!

Hope, our girl is hurt? Not too bad I hope. I can't wait until friday to find out what happens!

Awesome entry by the way. When it grabs you like this one does, it just shows how good of a writer you are!

Gina

Anonymous said...

Oops!

I forgot to tell everyone thank you for your kind words and thoughts yesterday, I really appreciate them.

Gina

hayley said...

I am absolutely speechless!

I know that Sarah won't die, but I certainly didn't expect this to happen.

Good job Hope! You keep us guessing.

La Shunda said...

This is getting even better than it was before. I really hope that both ladies are okay. I would hate for anything to happen to either one of them, mostly because they seem like really close friends, or even sisters, and losing one would be detrimental to the other.

Please let them be okay! And GREAT writing Hope. This is by far one of the best stories written on the net!

macy said...

Macy, here checking in with everyone else!

Amazing entry, and beautifully written as well. I could see Sarah and Cassie in the car, struggling to see out. I have been to Wichita and know the flyover and it would be kind of scary to be up on it in weather like that.

I'm trusting you here Hope that those two are gonna be okay!

TLC said...

OMG!!!!!!! This can't be happening, she's probably going to be in a coma and Adam is going to think that she is avoiding him. hhhhmmmmm I wonder if the car that pulled in front of them is the person that caused all the problems in Italy???????

macy said...

Oh TLC, I didn't even think of that! It could be the same person as in Italy!

I need to figure out though who the target is, Sarah or Adam. If the target is Adam, that doesn't make any sense.

kelli said...

Holy Cow, like every one else I didn't even see this one coming. I figured she'd get back and then freak out over the whole Adam thing and try to hide away.

But I sure didn't expect this!

Great job Hope!

deena said...

I love, love, LOVE this! How interesting. You really keep the level of excitement up.

Thank your for writing this!

Anonymous said...

I love how your mind works Hope. What a fascinating direction to take this, sort of gets our minds off of Adam! LOL (As if...)

I felt like I was in the car with them it was written so well.

Great story!

Linda

reeneez said...

No,no,no....NO!!! The first thing that went through my head was "Adam is going to think she is blowing him off!" LOL!! I knew something was going to happen with the rain, etc. I hope we find out soon who is behind all this. Please let Sarah and Cassie be okay and PLEASE let Adam find out ASAP! I'm begging you Hope. LOL!!
Can't wait till Friday - Rene

pat said...

Goodness Gracious!

Very interesting today, and like everyone else, I didn't suspect this would happen.

Hope, you are growing this story very well, you have giving us breathtaking locations, fascinating people and the most romantic storyline ever. Thanks so much!

I can't wait until Friday!

Anonymous said...

OMG!!! You are diabolical Hope, absolutely! We will all be squirming until Friday to see what happens.

What other roads will your fiendishly creative mind take us on?

tiki said...

Hi!

My first time posting, but boy do I love this story. Hope, you are a great writer. I feel like I'm there with those people.

Incidently, I ADORE Adam. He reminds me of an actor I really like. Wonder if it could be???

Jo said...

O-M-flippin'-G!!!!

She's probably going to be in a coma or something and Adam will think she doesn't want to see him anymore.

Or, holy carp, what if she gets amnesia!?!?!?!?! She remembers she wanted to call Adam but doesn't remember why....

Ooh Hope, you're an evil genius! LOL

Hope said...

Hi Everyone!

Enjoying the little bit of story today? I wanted to make something exciting happen. I've been enjoying being called 'diabolical' and 'evil genius', it suits me. My daughter called me a wicked, wicked wench! LOL.

Does it help any for me to tell you that Sarah will survive?

Anonymous said...

Oh Hope, you are such a teaser!

Tiki, what actor???

amy d

Tiki said...

Wow, now I feel self conscious! Doesn't he remind anyone else of someone?

I feel silly saying it...

Lecy said...

I just found this blog and it is terrific! And what really makes it cool is that I live in Wichita!

Hope, do you actually live here too, or just for awhile? I love reading about things that are familiar, or at least I hope to!

I love the story and will have to spend some time catching up on it.

Amused--NOT said...

Hi there Gang!

Hope, awesome entry, you just keep it up, I love the wondering what will happen.

Hey Tiki, Adam reminds me of someone too. Wonder if it's the same someone you're thinking about? More importantly, Hope, did you have someone in mind when you created Adam?

Anonymous said...

LOVE THIS!!! As most of the other readers I was previously a fan of DOV(that is how I found out about this link)...but I am proud to admit that I am no longer a reader. Hope you are absolutely wonderful. Everything is so descriptive that I feel like I'm actually there (even though I've never been to Italy or Kansas. Keep up the great work, long and frequent post. I adore this story line and I can't wait to see how it unfolds.

Robin

Holly said...

Wow, amazing is all I can say!

Hope you are a diamond in the rough. I absolutely love your blog and I check it on average of 3 or 4 times a day just in case you decide to update early.
Love the story, I was thinking about the coma thing too, I hope Adam doesn't give up her!

Becks said...

I truly hope today's title "Can a Heart Really Break?" and the accident are not a foreshadowing of more horrible things to come...

Another awesome entry, Hope.

Becks

Anonymous said...

What happens if she has amnesia? Hopefully she'll at least remember Adam...

So sad! But such a fantastic story!

Anonymous said...

LOVE YOUR BLOG.......GREAT JOB HONEY. YOU ARE MEANT TO WRITE..IVE BEEN READING IT FROM THE BEGINNING AND ONLY COMMENTED NOW BECAUSE I CANT WAIT FOR THE NEXT POST??? WHATS ON THE GO??? :)

Anonymous said...

Did not see that coming at all! Another great entry, as always Hope! It would be great if she has been out a long time, and when she opens her eyes, Adam is the first person she sees! Sorry, not trying to write your story for you. I know that whatever you have planned will be fantastic!!
Sandy

Hope said...

Good Morning Everyone!

This is a happy day for me. I have posted a story on my other site and I will post the link below for those who would like to read it.

A new life has come into our world!

http://hopefuljourney.blogspot.com/2006/11/life-is-precious.html

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to you and her family!
L

Hope said...

Thank you so much L.

I appreciate your good thoughts and your faithful readership!

Hope

x5head3pay said...

I just know that Adam will come to be by her side, but I must admit that I would rather be "hot and bothered" reading this at work than on the edge of my seat having to wait until tomorrow...

excellent writing!!!

KT

TLC said...

Macy,

I think the target is Sarah. I do not think it is Goth chick, though, that just seems to obvious. I think it is someone on the set that has either had a fling with Adam or thinks she is in love with him.

Now Hope don't be like "V" and take ideas from my comments for your story. Just kidding keep up the good work. This entry completely made me forget how sad i was with Sarah and Adams airport departure, i'm not crying anymore. :O)

Hope said...

TLC,

I hate to tell you this, but I read everything and need you all to tell me what needs to happen, LOL.

Actually, the truth may be more disturbing to you, the story is already finished. It should continue on for maybe 4 or 5 more months.

But I'm already working on a new one!

TLC said...

Adam doesn't remind me of any particular actor. I never really compared him to an acutall actor, which is surprising. I love to read and I usually do picture the character as an actor. SO with that said if I had to pick someone I would go with Sean Connery, he is so damn sexy for an older man.

Amused--NOT said...

Hey there TLC,

Hm, I somehow picture Adam as a bit younger, but I do agree, Sean is a fine looking man.

I was kind of thinking of him as Hugh Jackman. Except of course that he has straighter hair, and Adam has curly or wavy hair, I don't remember which.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I want in on this actor thing.

I think it is Johnny Depp!


amy d

Anonymous said...

I just happened to pop in to see if maybe Hope had posted early! =(

Hope, congratulations to your friend on the birht of her grand daughter, I read the story on the other site and it was beautiful.

Now, about this actor thing--I'm thinking Jude Law maybe?

Gina

macy said...

TLC,

I thought at first the target was Sarah, but now I'm wondering if that is so. It could be Sarah if the motive is jealousy, but she and Adam hadn't really been together too long before the Pisa thing. But, I can't really think of a good reason it would be Adam either.

Now, the actor thing, that's difficult. I mean, finding one that's about the right age and everything?

Maybe Hugh Grant?

megs said...

I hadn't considered it in terms of age and everything, but that makes sense. How about Pierce Brosnan?

Holly said...

I kind of envisioned a British Richard Gere.

kdy0 said...

Duh! It just "hit" me. Krista tampered with the brakes!

Great job Hope! You must be thrilled at the following you're getting.

Kristi

donna said...

hey hope, thanks very much cause everything u r writing is amazing... i started reading it last week and i'm already upto date..
keep it up ...