34 days. It’s been 34 long days and nights since Scarlett left Tristan at the antique shop. Life has more or less returned to normal. Nothing dangerous happened in the office. Those threats stopped as anonymously as it appeared. It seemed like she was paranoid about nothing. It seemed like it was a different life altogether. Anchorless and rudderless, Scarlett continued to work in the office. She had also lost the thrill she got from working day-in and day-out. It was now just that, work.
How much more lonely will her life get? What kind of phase was this? She had everything yet she felt she had nothing. It was worse sometimes… Her parents knew something was off but didn’t dare have the courage to ask her about it. It was like they didn’t know who she was anymore. She saw how desperate they were to get back their daughter, yet didn’t know how to. Neither did she know.
“Good morning Scarlett. How are you today?
“How am I? I don’t know. Fine, I guess…”
“Well, then I might have some good news that will make your work easier today…
“It’s not the work I need to be easy. It’s my life…”
“Whatever the hell happened to you, Scarlett… The way you are now… You scare me to death. I wish you would tell me whats going on…”
“I wish I knew myself, Leah… I wish…”
“Anyway, what I came to tell you is that… There is a small rescheduling of the meetings for today. The one with Chase Holdings has been canceled. They’ll let us know about it later this week. Apparently, the missing son of Mr. Chase has returned. It’s all over the news.”
The world seemed to have paused in its movement. All celestial bodies, forces of nature seems to have stopped to see her reaction. It felt like her whole self had revved itself ready for a chase, every hair alert, like her dead heart had been given CPR and brought back to life, like her chest was filled with sand and she was unable to breathe.
Oh God. Tristan has come back. He is alive. When? How? Oh Sophia…
“Scarlett… You okay? Breathe Scarlett… You forgot to breathe. Are you having a panic attack or something? Deep breath Scarlett… please… You look a bit… Crazy… Don’t freak out okay… I am sorry… But I couldn’t find another word for your… Your.. condition.”
Scarlett laughed and Leah looked at her in utter disbelief. “It’s okay Leah. I know how I might have looked. I am okay.” And then she laughed some more.
“Are you freaking kidding me, Scarlett? Don’t ever do that again. Damn. Shit man…”
Thank the Lord. Thank God. Oh God.
Scarlett laughed again. When was the last time she laughed? It was with Tristan, over some inane comment of his on her choice of shoes.
Dazed and drunk on the news of Tristan, Scarlett floated through the office and reached her cabin. She had indeed become crazy. Only in the sanctuary of her cabin did she dare to let go of the dam of tears of relief. Scarlett could not stop from thanking all the gods she had called to listen to her vehement prayers. She turned on the news and of course, it was full of Tristan. But he did not appear in any of them. Only old photos and she was familiar with each and every one of them available online.
He is back. He is no longer cursed. He is alive. He can go to Paris, watch football, have breakfast with his Mom. He can protect Michael from the corporate wolfs. He can now smell, eat. He can now sleep. Oh, Lord. He can now talk, touch. Breathe. Feel. And finally, she can see him. Full and whole. Flesh, blood, and bones, outside the frame in a different color shirt. She can see the color of his eyes, the smile. Those half hidden lips. Jesus… She will be seeing him soon.
“Tristan is currently under observation at the Kim’s Hospital. He is not wounded or hurt. But exhausted and weak. We believe he was kidnapped and kept captive and he somehow broke free and escaped. We are waiting for the doctor’s word to get his statement. We will definitely catch the criminals behind this.”
“Hahaha. Good luck with that gentlemen. You would need more than revolvers and batons and handcuffs to catch a witch and stop a curse,” Scarlett chuckled mischievously at the officer’s words.
Maggie calling. Oh no. I can’t take her call now and talk about this. I’d better go and meet her. She deserves better than a conversation over the phone.
“Hey Leah… I have something very very too too urgent to do. I am taking the day off. Please cover for me. I am sorry I can’t attend the meetings.”
“Don’t do that…! Urrgghh…”
“What? I cant take the day off?”
“Not that. You are killing the language woman. Don’t use ‘very very too too’ in the same sentence. Why can’t you talk in normal proper English? It’s not a really tough language, is it?”
“You are scolding for that?”
“Yes, I am. I hate it. It annoys me like hell.”
“Okay. The very the well the saids.”
“Oh, Scarlett. Just kill me okay. Butcher me, but mind the language. Please…”
Scarlett laughed again and Leah was also not very successful at hiding her smile.
“Can I leave now, Ms. Grammar?”
“You know I am still mad at you for frightening me from before and also for the murder of English. But I’ll let you off today…”
“Thank you, darling…”
“No wait, just this once okay. But only on one condition…”
“Please, get yourself consulted with a psychiatrist. You are seriously mad. One minute you are under depression. Now you come all beaming and glowing. You got bipolar or something man… I don’t know…”
“I don’t need it anymore… Trust me on that. I am cured of my disease.”
“Magical disease. Magical treatment. Is it?”
“Well Leah… that was close enough…”
“That’s it… I am taking you to therapy.”
“Oh Leah… Really… Hahaha… I am fine. Really, don’t worry. No more crazy mania or depression. It will be just me now.”
Leah looked at her like she couldn’t believe her eyes. Very slowly she smiled and said, “Only if for your smile Scarlett… I’ll cover for you today. Just be like this okay, always…”
“Thank you, my love…”
“Yeah yeah… You owe me big time Scarlett. Go now… James and Kelly will be here anytime. You should leave before that.”
Scarlett raced to Magic Brew. She had an apology to make. There was a lot that she wanted to talk with Maggie. Volumes, in fact. That is if she didn’t grab her by the neck and throw out like a stray cat.