“I love you, ya know. I mean, I love the girl I grew up with all those years ago. And you should see the woman you’ve become. You’re a strong, beautiful, talented, exceptional woman. A woman I’ve always seen myself falling in love with, if you could believe that. Maybe the reason I never settled down before was because, deep down, I knew you were still out there somewhere and my heart was just waiting until I found you.” A smile crept across his face, thinking about the previous morning with Olivia and the things she did to him.
“But, you’re also scared,” he said, returning from his thoughts. “Scared of losing people. You’ve lost so much in your life that now you just push everyone away, afraid that you’ll lose them. And I don’t want you to push me away. I want you to open up to me. I don’t want you to be scared of losing me. I will never leave you. I’ve looked for you my entire life. And now that I know I was right, that you are alive, I will never lose you again.”
Alexander looked down, unsure of what to say next, a gentle breeze rustling through the trees as the horn on the drawbridge sounded in the distance.
“I brought you sunflowers again. You always loved them when we were kids. You used to call them giant daffodils.” He paused briefly, remembering arguing with Olivia when they were younger about the proper name for the flower that now lay in front of her gravestone. “You don’t remember anything about your past,” he said sadly. “You remember some things, but not much. It’s as if you are this totally different person than the girl that I remember. And I know that’s okay. I just wish you would remember, because it’s breaking my heart to know that I’m going to be the one to tell you. To tell you that you were taken from the people that loved you. That you were taken from me. That your entire life has been a lie.”
Alexander looked at the grave, his eyes brimming with tears. “And I don’t know if I’m strong enough to do that.” Taking a deep breath and trying to control his emotions, he stood up and placed his hand on the top of the gravestone. “I love you, Olivia DeLuca.”
He turned to walk away and heard a slow clapping. He looked in the direction of the sound. He should have known.
“Adele. Why am I not surprised to see you here?” He walked toward a tall, thin blonde woman dressed in a short black dress, wearing an over the top black sunhat and dark shades.
“Alexander, darling. So happy to see you. I knew you’d be here.” She walked toward Alexander and gave him a hug, which he returned weakly.
“Well, it’s not that big of a surprise, now is it? I come here every year, don’t I, Adele?” He glared at her.
“I know, darling. I know. Listen, Mummy and Daddy are having a thing today at the country club and I am in desperate need of a date, and I figure since you’re in town and I’m in town, you’d be more than willing to accompany me.”
“Adele, I don’t think that’s such a good idea. If I wanted to, I’d see you in Boston, but I don’t. Plus, I’m seeing someone now. Someone that I actually care about more than just an occasional fuck. Don’t get me wrong, it was fun while it lasted, but I’m not interested anymore.” Alexander started to walk away.
“Come on, Alex. As friends,” she said, running up to catch him, making him turn around. “I know you’re still in love with Olivia even though she’s been dead for like twenty years or something. Anyway, I’m not interested in dating someone who is in love with someone they can never have. No one can ever live up to that pedestal you’ve placed Olivia on.”
“You always have an ulterior motive, so what is it this time, Adele?” He crossed his arms over his chest and Adele visibly gawked at the rather impressive muscles bulging through his simple blue tee shirt.
“No motive, I promise.” She held up her hands in defense. “I just miss my friend. We used to have fun together. Before things got complicated. Let’s just hang out today, as friends, like we used to.” Adele walked up to him and pushed a strand of hair out of his eyes. “I miss the old Alex,” she crooned.
He was torn about what to do. All his thoughts lately had been of Olivia. The girl he once knew and the Olivia he now knew. Maybe some time away from it all was exactly what he needed to clear his head. “Okay,” he exhaled. “I’ll go.”
“Great!” Adele exclaimed, clapping her hands. “There’s a golf tournament that they’re all at now, but want to call it noon? It’s kind of an all day thing and I really didn’t want to go alone. I hate all those pretentious high school bitches who are all married and all they talk about are their kids. If I have to look at one more baby photo and pretend the kid is actually cute, I may lose it, so thank you for doing this.”
Alexander looked at his watch. It was only about ten in the morning. “Okay. I can do noon.”
“Fantastic. Pick me up at my parents’ place, okay?”
“Why don’t you just walk over to my place? It’s only three houses away.”
“Alexander, darling. You can’t honestly expect me to walk to you wearing heels, can you? You’ve been screwing trash for far too long, dear. You need to have higher expectations of the women you fuck.”
“We’re not fucking today, Adele.” Alexander started to walk away. “I’ll pick you up at noon.” It was not worth the fight.
Alexander had known Adele and her family almost his entire life. She was the same age as Alexander and, even at a young age, was jealous of Alexander’s relationship with the young Olivia. He remembered how inconsiderate she had been when she learned that Olivia died.
She wanted to become the new Olivia and had worked hard all during their school years to do so. They had slept together on and off for the past decade or so. She was a distraction, but no emotional attachment ever came of the relationship. Adele had become a means to an end. She was more than willing to give up total control of her body to Alexander, which was what he needed and craved. But since he had met Olivia, he wanted more than just an occasional screw.
Adele’s family came from old money, just like Olivia’s mother. She was used to a certain way of living and refused to settle for anything less than marrying a man who had a heavily padded bank account, even though she also had one without working a day in her life. She was the polar opposite of Olivia, who, even with her wealth, still worked and volunteered her time to valuable causes. Adele preferred spending her time around Boston at night clubs with her friends from Wellesley College. She groaned every time her father insisted she attend one of the many charity events she was expected to be at, but attaching herself to Alexander’s arm for the evening made it more bearable.