Three years ago
‘Lucy, I will be back next week, please be a good girl,’ Mike was looking in her eyes. They were standing at the John F. Kennedy Airport, and he was flying to his friend Nick to Mexico.
‘Ok, I’ll try,’ she smiled. ‘You be a good boy and don’t pick up girls.’
‘Never,’ Mike said disgusted, but he was laughing. ‘I have to go,’ he sighed after a while. ‘I love you Lucy Jones, and I want you to be my wife as soon as possible when I am back,’ he stroked her cheek.
‘I think we can do it this month,’ she agreed. ‘All that we need is two tickets to Vegas, Elvis Presley as a priest, who will provide wedding in trashy, shining chapel, oh yes, and we dressed as The Village People.’
‘Try to find the best clothing, I really have to go sweety, see you next week, I call you,’ he kissed her and went.
‘Lucy, wake up!’ Sandra was standing near stairs and shouting. ‘It’s nine o’clock, it’s your day today!’ in the meantime, she was trying different hairstyles on her long brown hair. Because Lucy didn’t answer, she went to her upstairs.
‘Lucy c’mon.’ She opened the door.
‘Ok, I don’t sleep.’ Lucy sat down on the bed and looked at Sandra her beautiful green eyes. ‘Give me five minutes, please. What the chef recommends for breakfast?’ she smiled widely.
‘Porridge,’ Sandra replied and left.
Lucy looked around the room. “It’s my last day here, and from today I will be Mrs Blake,” she thought.
Jake was fantastic man, very handsome fitness instructor with a funny dimple in the chin. She was a lucky girl, and she knew about it. Jake loved and looked after her like no one before… maybe except Michael. She has never talked about Michael; it was finished… because Michael died three years ago… no, it was two years, nine months and sixteen days ago… exactly. And today, she must finish it forever. She went to her dressing table and opened the drawer. Inside, there was a small box… the box didn’t open since three months… from Jake’s proposal. It was the best time to say “goodbye” these gifts and these memories. When she opened the box, all memories back. There were an engagement ring, photos, and stone from their first trip to Grand Canyon. Lucy looked at the mirror with tears in her eyes. “You are a very lucky girl; Jake loves you, and you love him. Mike must go away. Let him go, Lucy, be happy.” She said to herself and felt that it won’t easy.
‘Lucy, breakfast time!’ Sandra’s voice called her to the reality.
‘I’m coming,’ she answered and took one of the photos. It was from Las Vegas, and they promised, that they would come back there and get married… but they didn’t manage. She sighed and put this photo into the box; then she went downstairs.
‘Eat fast, because we don’t have a time.’ Sandra gave her porridge. ‘Hairdresser ten thirty, make up twelve, wedding four thirty… it’s not a lot of time, trust me.’ She added and went to the bathroom.
Lucy rolled her eyes. Sandra was her bridesmaid and treated it very seriously. Suddenly, someone knocked the door.
‘I open!’ Sandra shouted and went to the door. Behind the door, there stood a tall, good-looking, with black hair and black eyes, maybe thirty years old man.
‘Hello. Is here living Lucy Jones?’ he asked kindly.
‘Yes, one moment,’ she answered after a while. This man looked strangely familiar. ‘Lucy, it’s for you,’ she said louder.
When Lucy have come to the door, she stopped dead. She couldn’t believe what she saw.
‘Mike? Is it really you? Oh my God.’ She said incredulously.
‘Hi Lucy,’ he smiled and pulled out his hands to her. She has nothing changed, and she was still wearing this funny Micky Mouse pyjamas.
Sandra was just standing and watching in this situation. If she understood it was Mike, who has died and because of this, Lucy came to England from New York to start a new life.
At the first moment, Lucy wanted to hug him; she was waiting for this so much time. But suddenly she felt anger; she reminded how many tears lost, how long waited for his call or some sign that he was still alive, that everything was okay. And finally, this calls in the midnight and only one sentence: Mike is dead. In her eyes kindled the anger. How dare he come here as if nothing happened, with his cheeky smile! She stepped forward and slapped him in the face.
‘Get out of my house… and my life.’ She hissed, turned back and went upstairs.
Mike held his cheek, and Sandra stood with her mouth opening.
‘I think I should go.’ Mike said after a while.’Lucy is shocked, it wasn’t a good idea to come here,’ he sighed. ‘But I really wanted to see her. Can I leave you my phone number? Maybe when she calms down, she will want to see and listen to me.’
‘Yes, sure,’ Sandra shook off from the shock.
‘Thanks,’ Mike smiled weakly, left her the phone number and went away.
Sandra came to Lucy’s room without knocking. Lucy was lying on the bed and crying. The box with memories lied opening near her.
‘Hey Lucy, don’t cry,’ she stroked her hair. ‘Mike is still alive. It was your the biggest dream, do you remember?’
‘How do you know about Mike?’ Lucy sobbed. ‘And how do you know about my dreams?’ she was angry.
‘Everybody knows Mike… everybody who drank with you at least once. When you are drunk, you always talk about your only love… and don’t remember it the next day,’ she shrugged.
‘Why you have never told me about this!’ Lucy yelled.
‘Because you don’t want to talk about your past when you are sober.’ Sandra explained.
‘But it means that Jake knows about it as well.’ Lucy was scared.
‘That’s true,’ Sandra confirmed. ‘But he loves you and wants to be with you.’
‘Yes, you have right, Jake is the most important, Mike is only past,’ she agreed. ‘I must be ready for our wedding,’ she added and started crying again.
‘You should talk with Mike Lucy before the wedding,’ Sandra said softly. ‘You don’t know what happened and in my opinion, you should know.’
‘It doesn’t matter; it’s too late. Mike is only my past; Jake is my future.’ Lucy tried to be very hard. ‘Take this box, I don’t need it anymore. I start a new life today.’ She gave her box. ‘We have to go to the hairdresser. Give me ten minutes.’ She added and went to the bathroom. She turned on the water, sat down on the floor and started crying. She couldn’t cheat herself. She thought about Mike every day, and she would give everything to turn back the time…
‘Lucy are you all right?’ Sandra knocked on the door. She was anxious.
‘Five minutes,’ Lucy shouted.
‘I drop you to the hairdresser, and I have to do something,’ Sandra tried to be calm because she had a plan. She wanted to meet Mike and talked with him.
‘That’s ok,’ Lucy didn’t care about it. She didn’t care about anything.
After Sandra had left Lucy, she called Mike. He picked up the phone after the second ring.
‘Hi, it’s Sandra, Lucy’s friend. I have to talk with you.’
‘Ok, I live in The Midland Hotel near your house…’
‘I know where it is. I’ll be in five minutes.’
Mike was waiting at the reception.
‘Come to the bar, would you like something to drink?’ he asked.
‘No thank you, I don’t have a time. Lucy doesn’t know that I’m here. Tell me what happened in Mexico and why you disappeared?’
‘It’s a long story and very incredible. I had to die to protect Lucy.’
‘Are you criminal?’ Sandra was frightened.
‘No,’ Mike smiled. ‘But my friend was, and he is dead. It’s really long story.’
‘So now, everything is ok?’ she asked.
‘Yes, I can live as normal,’ he confirmed.
‘Today is Lucy’s wedding day, but I think you should talk with her before it. Here is her address, we will be there from two o’clock, the wedding is four thirty. If you want to try to talk with her, it’s your only chance. Tell security that you come to me, I am her bridesmaid…’
‘Thank you, but why do you help me, you don’t know me…’ he interrupted her.
‘It’s a long story, but I know that she still loves you, and she must know everything before the wedding,’ she smiled.
After two, Mike stood in front of the big house. He went there without problems. Sandra was waiting for him.
‘Come to her, I told her that she should talk with you.’ Sandra led him to Lucy’s room and knocked.
‘Come in,’ said Lucy. Her voice sounded tired and sadly.
‘Lucy you have a visitor, but please don’t hit him anymore.’ Sandra smiled weakly.
‘Mike?’ she was surprised. ‘It’s a very bad moment to talk, I’m sorry,’ she felt tears in her eyes, but she couldn’t cry. She had a beautiful wedding makeup.
‘Lucy, please, give him a chance to explain.’ Sandra asked. ‘You must know everything before wedding.’
Lucy thought for a moment. Sandra had right, she couldn’t say honestly “yes” on the marriage when she knew, that Mike is alive.
‘Ok,’ Lucy gave up. ‘I have only one question Mike; why did you send a message about your death?’ she looked at him very seriously.
‘Because of protecting you,’ he answered.
‘I wait outside,’ Sandra interjected and went out.
‘Protect me, before what?’ Lucy sat down on the chair and the second pointed out Mike. He sat near her and started talking.
‘I went to Nick to Mexico, but he lied dead in his house. He was a criminal and worked with the mafia. The police thought that I am a murderer, so they arrested me. In the jail, someone wanted to kill me, so they thought, I am innocent. But Nick had something belonging to the mafia, and they thought that he gave me this, so they started to chase me. American and Mexican police helped me, but I had to hide. They faked my death and started chasing the boss of this mafia. I had no idea it will be so long time. I’m sorry Lucy, you know, this was supposed to be a simple visit to a friend. I didn’t think that Nick was working for the mafia…’
‘Ok, but what about me, why you protected me?’ She interrupted him. First of all, she couldn’t believe in this story, and that Nick was a bad guy! And the second, how could he expose her to so much pain and suffering! He exactly knew how much she loved him!
‘It’s a huge organisation. Police feared, that they find and kill you. It’s a very, very long story Lucy and I understand, that you can’t believe on this…’
‘And now, am I safe? And what about you?’ she interrupted him again.
‘The police killed all four bosses last Friday, and now, I am free,’ he smiled.
‘Congratulations.’ She said ironically.
Mike looked at her sadly and stood up.
‘I’m sorry, that I disrupted your wedding day. If I knew, I wouldn’t appear today. I wish you only happy moments with your husband. They told me only where you live, I’m sorry again,’ he wanted to go away.
‘Who told you where I live?’ Lucy was surprised.
‘People who protect you all the time. It was my condition, I could die, but you must be safe. And I didn’t know that you have a fiancé, they didn’t tell me.’
‘It’s too much for me.’ Lucy bowed her head. ‘After you had disappeared, I imagined a thousand of times that you came back and everything is like earlier, but after this terrible message, my world collapsed. I couldn’t live without you, so I arrived to England. After a year of your death, I met Jake, and he fell in love with me. I couldn’t forget you, I still have our photos and my ring,’ she took a bag and pulled out of it a small box. Mike came to her. ‘Every day I watched pictures, every day I dreamed about our common life, and every day I tried to explain myself that it’s impossible,’ she cried.
‘Lucy, please, don’t cry,’ Mike crouched near her. ‘I’m very selfish, I’m really sorry. I survived this terrible time only by thoughts about you. I believed that one day we would be together again. When I was released, I found you immediately. I know that I caused you a lot of pain. I know that you couldn’t forgive me. I know, that you have your wedding day today, but I know as well, that I’ve never stopped loving you and if you give me a chance, I will prove you, that I’m the same Mike who disappeared three years ago.’
‘I can’t give you a chance,’ Lucy looked at him. ‘It’s too late Mike. I love you all my heart, but I love Jake as well. I can’t hurt him because you come back and want to be with me.’
‘Ok, I understand,’ Mike stood up.
‘No you don’t understand!’ she was furious. ‘My life fell apart after you disappeared, and when I put them together again, you come and will destroy everything again! I even don’t know that you tell me the truth! Maybe you have another girlfriend or family in Mexico or America; maybe it’s only your game! You left me, Mike, you didn’t give me any sign that you are still alive! It’s inhuman because you knew how much I loved you!’
Mike looked at her resigned and then he raised shirt and showed her his stomach, full of scars after cutting knife.
‘I couldn’t allow, that you met something like this or worse. And this was the only reason, which I agreed on police’s conditions. I had a big luck that they didn’t kill me that night in the jail.’
Lucy stared at his stomach with incredulously and could say nothing.
In the meantime, Sandra went to Jake and told him about Mike and all situation in the morning. In the first moment Jake wanted to go and throw Mike, but in the second he decided to go and talk with both. He knew everything about Mike, and he was sure that Lucy has never stopped loving him.
He just could have hope, that Lucy loves him much more than Mike, although he asked her to marry him five times before she agreed. He was walking around the room and tried to calm down. When he was ready, he came to Lucy’s room with Sandra. When he knocked, Lucy flinched.
‘Come in,’ she said after a while. She was still looking at Mike, and he covered his stomach.
‘Lucy, are you all right?’ Jake came to the room.
‘Yes, I’m ok,’ she confirmed.
‘Can you explain to me what happened here?’ he asked.
‘I have to go,’ Mike headed for the door. ‘I didn’t want to disrupt your wedding.’
‘Stay!’ Jake was annoyed. ‘I want to know what happened here!’
‘Nothing,’ Lucy replied calmly. ‘This is Mike, my… ‘ she didn’t know how she should call him.
‘Ex-boyfriend’ Mike helped her.
Jake looked at them very carefully. Lucy knew this gaze; he expected the truth, which he probably knew.
‘It’s not exactly ex-boyfriend,’ she explained. ‘Mike was my fiancé in America, three years ago, before he died.’
‘You look very well as someone who is dead since three years,’ Jake turned to Mike. ‘What are you doing here, and what do you want?’ this question wasn’t kind; it was very aggressive.
‘I wanted Lucy, but she doesn’t want me anymore.’ Mike answered. ‘It’s time to say goodbye. Have a nice wedding and the rest of your life. Goodbye, Lucy,’ he went to the door.
Lucy felt pain in her heart… the same pain when she found out that Mike is dead. She knew that this was the last time when she saw him, and understood that she couldn’t lose him again. Jake was very important… but Mike… it was MIKE!
‘No!’ she yelled.
Everybody looked at her… even Mike stood in the doorway.
‘Lucy!’ shouted Jake and Sandra.
Lucy looked at them after a while.
‘I would like to talk with Jake… only. Please, leave us and wait behind the door,’ she asked Sandra and Mike. ‘Mike stays with Sandra, please,’ she added.
Mike nodded and went outside; Sandra was going with him.
‘What do you want to tell me, Lucy? It’s over. Do you want to be with your Mike? I was only replacement. Tell something, because I don’t know what I should think!’ he went to her slowly when the door closed, but he was furious.
‘I don’t know what I should tell you! I don’t know what I should think! It’s our wedding day Jake! I love you, and I want to be your wife, but if I can be honest, I love Mike as well…’
‘I wish you weren’t so honest,’ Jake interrupted her.
‘I’m sorry,’ Lucy bowed her head. ‘I don’t know what I should do now. I can’t tell him: “get out of my life”. I know, it’s very hard for you but please, try to understand me.’
‘Lucy, this guy left you, he pretended to be dead almost three years, he didn’t care what happened to you, and you still love him! It isn’t normal! I understood that you had talked about him whenever you were drunk. I think, I know all your history… from the beginning to the end, but I can’t understand this situation. Why you cross out our lives, our plans and dreams because of the guy, who can disappear again. You don’t know him! You know only your dream about him… your memories… if you think it’s enough, that’s ok, it’s your life. I just want to tell you, that I could live in the triangle… you, me and your memories with Mike, but I can’t agree on alive Mike in our life. You don’t have a lot of time, but you must decide now. I give you fifteen minutes, and that’s all,’ he turned and walked out.
Lucy started crying. Sandra peeped to the room, but when she saw Lucy, she just went inside.
‘What happened Lucy? What did he tell you?’ she asked coming to her.
‘Nothing,’ Lucy blew her nose. ‘He told me a truth, nothing more. I feel awful, I don’t know what I should do,’ she sobbed.
‘Do you want to talk with Mike? He’s still waiting outside.’
‘Give me five minutes. I really don’t know what now. Jake gave me fifteen minutes to decide; he or Mike, wedding or the great unknown.’
‘Can I tell you something Lucy?’ Sandra smiled.
‘If you have doubts with this wedding, if you need fifteen minutes to think, if you are still not sure, in my opinion, your choice is very simple.’
‘Mike?’ Lucy asked shyly.
‘You don’t have doubts about Mike; you want to be fair about Jake. You don’t want to hurt him, but you did it anyway. You broke his heart, and that’s all. You can’t change it; you showed him that Mike is very important for you. Obviously, it’s your decision, but it makes no sense to make unhappy all of you. You will be unhappy, Mike will be unhappy and Jake will be suspicious and basically also unhappy. In my opinion, he couldn’t trust you as much as earlier.’
‘You have right,’ Lucy sighed heavily. ‘I love Jake, but Mike is my only love. I’m angry, I’m full of pain and don’t know what will be tomorrow. Maybe he cheats me or disappears like Jake said, but I’m the happiest person in the world that he is still alive. Maybe this is the biggest mistake in my life, maybe my dreams about Mike are different than reality, but I have to try to be with my love.’
‘So, do you want to talk with Mike or with Jake firstly?’
‘With Jake, because it doesn’t matter what happen next, I can’t get married today.’ Lucy felt much better when she decided about it.
‘Ok, so I’m going to Jake,’ Sandra said and went. She came back after a while. ‘Jake is gone. He left a letter for you.’ She gave her a piece of paper.
Lucy took the letter her trembling hands and started reading.
I couldn’t wait for your decision because I knew it from the beginning. I deluded myself that you can love me like you love Mike. I believe that you really love me, but if you have a choice…
I’m jealous of your love, but at the same time, I wish some woman will love me like you love Mike. I hope, he exactly is the same man who you remember. Be happy. Jake.”
Lucy had tears in her eyes.
‘He knew,’ she said to Sandra.
‘Lucy, everybody knew. You have no idea what you told us about you and Mike. You don’t know because you don’t remember it. Every word was full of love… it was very, very poignant. He is still waiting for you outside. I think you shouldn’t keep him any longer.’
Lucy came to the door and opened it with the smile. But Mike was gone. On her face appeared a panic.
‘Sandra, he is gone!’ she yelled.
‘It’s impossible,’ Sandra came to the door. ‘I had seen him, when I went with the letter, and told him, to give us a few minutes more, and he nodded. He must be somewhere,’ she went out to the corridor and started looking for him. Lucy was still standing in the doorway… she was scared.
A while later Sandra came back with Michael. Lucy breathed a sigh of relief.
‘I leave you now, and be nice please,’ Sandra smiled and turned to the Mike.’ If you hurt her now, or ever, I find you and kill you my hands… remember about it,’ she patted him on the back and went.
Mike looked at her surprised, Lucy snickered.
‘Come inside,’ she opened the door wider.
He smiled uncertainly and went.
‘Where is your fiancé?’ he asked.
‘Gone,’ she answered.
‘And what now?’ Michael’s voice was full of tense.
‘Hug me, Mike, I was waiting for this…’
‘Two years, eleven months and nineteen days,’ he interrupted her, and a while later he embraced her. ‘I love you so much Lucy, I missed you so much, I dreamed of this moment so long,’ he started kissing her… and Lucy… Lucy was the happiest girl in the world.
Two months later
‘Lucy, C’mon, we have to go now!’ Mike was standing downstairs and yelled.
‘Five minutes honey!’ Lucy shouted.
‘Two minutes or I go without you!’
Lucy leant out from around the corner.
‘Ok, go, and get married alone,’ she smiled.
‘That’s enough,’ Mike ran upstairs, Lucy hid in the room laughingly. After a while, he left the room with Lucy in his hands.
‘Let me down, I have to take my cosmetics,’ she was still laughing.
‘No,’ he answered. ‘You can buy everything on the site. We have the plane to Las Vegas for two hours. Come on, we can’t be late.’ He put her on the floor and looked into her eyes. ‘I love you Lucy, and I want to be with you forever,’ he kissed her.
‘I feel, it will be one of the best days in our life,’ she said after a while.