Loving Michelle by Carla Chapter 19

Republisher’s Note: Michelle and Ben go back to Springfield.

Loving Michelle by Carla – Chapter 19

Michelle closed her eyes and breathed in deep, reminding herself for the tenth time that she was doing the right thing. Amelia needed Danny more than she did right now. She knew how it felt to try and get past the loss of a child. It was the hardest and most unnatural thing imaginable and she knew first hand how devastating it could be.

She knew in her heart that Amelia hadn’t actually been pregnant but Amelia thought she had been and she would need time and support to get past this. She recalled how Danny had tried dozens of time to help her when Will died but she hadn’t allowed him to come near her, never mind help her. Perhaps by allowing him to help Amelia through this, she could somehow atone for pushing him away when she should have been pulling him close to her. Pulling him close so that they could share in their grieving instead of suffering alone and eventually parting ways.

They should have been able to get through Will’s death. Their love had been strong enough. The guilt that came afterwards had just been stronger than the love they had and she took full and complete responsibility for their marriage failing. She hadn’t been strong enough to let Danny help her through that difficult period.

She made up her mind that this was how she could help to atone for her past mistakes while they had been married. She would give him his freedom and allow him to try and rebuild his relationship with Amelia. It shouldn’t be so hard now that the ghosts of their past had been laid to rest. He deserved to be happy and she had no doubt that Amelia loved Danny and would try and make him happy. That was all that counted. Danny’s happiness.

She had come to that realization while she and Ben had been riding in the cab back to the hotel. No matter how much she loathed Ben Warren and wouldn’t mourn him if he dropped dead right now, he had a point. A valid point.

It pained her to admit it and she hated to recall it but the fact remained that Danny had chosen Amelia to marry after their divorce. If she hadn’t read about her divorce lawyer being a fraud, Danny would be married to Amelia right now and they would be on their honeymoon in some exotic location, possibly similar to where they were right now. They would be together and none of this unpleasantness would have occurred.

Ben had been right on another point and this realization was more painful than the first. Danny had gone to Amelia only after she had completely shut him out of her life. She had no one to blame but herself, but Danny had moved on. He had put her in his past and had gone forward with a new woman. She hadn’t don’t that with any new man, but Danny had been able to go into the future and no matter how much she wanted it to be different, there was no turning back now. She had just forgotten these facts last night when she had gotten carried away by finally being able to come to terms with Will’s death. It was only natural that they share a moment of closeness as they recalled their son.

The moment had passed however, and now it was time to face the cold, hard facts of the situation. Danny was not hers anymore, no matter how badly she wanted to be reunited with him.

The flight attendant roused her from her serious line of thinking by offering her some dinner. The thought of food bode ill on her stomach and one glance at the unappetizing meal being set down on her tray, only served to solidify her queasiness, but she needed to eat. The last thing she had eaten were those sausages that had ended up making her ill. She needed to get some nourishment in her body, no matter how unpleasant looking the substance disguised as food on this tray appeared to her. She thanked the flight attendant and smiled while opening the plastic utensil set included with the meal.

Just behind the flight attendant, she could make out Ben’s face as he was watching her from his seat. The ever-present smirk was on his face and she wondered if it was permanently painted on since she rarely saw him with any other expression on his face. She had agreed to go back to Springfield with him on the condition that he find a seat far away from hers and that he not attempt to talk to her. So far, he had kept his part of the bargain and had actually been acting in a gentlemanly manner. He had checked her luggage for her as they boarded the plane and found her a nice comfortable seat up front while he chose on several rows behind her.

It all had happened so fast, she recalled. She had thrown her things into her suitcase in record time and went downstairs and paid for the two days she had stayed in the room. She had told the receptionist that Mr. Santos was still using the room and she didn’t know how much longer he would be staying but he would be responsible for the room from this point on. The young lady had taken Michelle’s credit card and room key all the while smiling coyly at Ben.

What was it about Ben that attracted women, she wondered? She just couldn’t see it. He was so phony that she couldn’t believe that everyone couldn’t see right through him, but apparently some women found him madly attractive. She pushed the enigma, that was Ben Warren, out of her mind and went back to her previous thoughts.

Once they had left the hotel, Ben had escorted her to a lawyer he knew and before she knew it, or could think better of it, she had signed divorce papers and given the lawyer directions to send them to Danny for his signature. This was what she had come down her to do and she had done it, however with a very unlikely ally by her side.

She deeply regretted all of the unhappiness that stemmed from Danny following her down here, but she would never be sorry for the one night of healing that they had shared. The night that they had finally talked about their darling Will and laid the pain of the past to rest forever.

She had foolishly hoped that they could make a future together built from that new found closeness, but the tragedy resulting from Amelia following him, changed all that. Danny didn’t belong to her anymore and she needed to deal with that. Realizing that fact was the first step and she felt certain that she could deal with it in time. She had accomplished what she had come down here to do and she felt good about that. It was the only thing she had left to give Danny and whether she liked it or not, it was the right thing to do.

She set the tray on the seat next to hers and forgot completely about the food as images of a future without Danny flooded her mind, and as before when she had left him, the feelings threatened to completely undo her. She didn’t even bother to wipe away the wetness that was beginning to form under her eyes. She had a feeling, her eyes were going to be in that condition for a long time.

Danny began his walk down the shiny, waxed hospital floor with only the sound of his shoes as they made contact with the sterile floor echoing throughout the empty hallway. He looked and felt like a man walking to the electric chair for execution. His life, as he knew it, was over.

There had been a glimmer of hope that he would be able to reclaim the one bright spot that had been in his life. The time that he had been married to Michelle was the only time he could recall that he had been truly happy. Their happiness had been short lived however and the fates had played the cruelest of tricks on them by allowing them to have one brief interlude before reminding them that they were slated to be apart forever.

He looked down at the floor as he walked, dreading the conversation that was going to take place in just a few short minutes. He tried to rehearse some words in his head, but none would come. All he could think about was pulling Michelle to him and holding her close and reassuring her that things were going to work out for them.

That wasn’t going to happen though and it would behoove him to put those kinds of thoughts out of his mind. He wasn’t going to give up his dream of some day being reconciled with Michelle, but to think of that now would be pure torture for both of them and he would not mention it to her now, but he would hold that hope in his heart and it would get him through this trying time with Amelia.

Soon, he was at the swinging double doors that separated the waiting room from the trauma rooms. There he would tell Michelle that they couldn’t be together as planned. There he would look at her beautiful face that he loved more than anything on this earth and break her heart again.

He breathed in deep and swallowed several times and then pushed open the doors to find Michelle and end their second chance that they had somehow miraculously found.

His eyes searched for her the moment he opened the door. She wasn’t in the chairs that they had been sitting in when the doctor had found them earlier. He walked outside and checked the parking lot to see if she had merely stepped outside to get some air. She wasn’t there either.

Something was wrong. Where was Michelle? She must be in the ladies room, he thought and he settled into the chair to wait for her to come out. After twenty minutes, when it became apparent that she wasn’t in the rest room, he began to get worried. Something else suddenly occurred to him. Ben was missing also.

Chills began to run down his spine and he lept from the chair and went and asked the admitting clerk if she had seen either Michelle or Ben, describing them to her as he asked.

“Yes,” the desk clerk answered. “They left together over a half hour ago.” That was the last thing Danny heard her say.

They had left together? Why in God’s name would Michelle leave with Ben? He had to have done something to make her leave with him. Panic began to set in and he went to the pay phone and grabbed the telephone book that was hanging to it by a long metal coil. He looked up the name of the hotel they had been staying at and spoke with the receptionist who informed him that Mrs. Santos had checked out and had left instructions to hold the room for him.

Where had she gone? Surely she wouldn’t go anywhere willingly with him. She loathed him. So help him, if Ben Warren had done anything to Michelle he would kill him with his bare hands.

Did she go back to Springfield? With Ben? Why? She knew how much he needed her here. She knew he needed her support. She knew……

Oh dear God, what was he doing? He had no right expecting Michelle to be here for him when he was going to tell her they had to postpone being together. No, he decided, it was better this way.

It was better that she leave on her own terms. She must have sensed something was wrong when he didn’t return right away and then took action to preserve herself. He didn’t blame her. Not at all.

He walked outside and glanced in the parking lot one more time, hoping that he had been wrong and she was merely getting some fresh air but she was nowhere to be found. He accepted in his heart what he had already known. He and Michelle’s dream of a second chance at happiness would have to remain just that, a dream and he would be resigned to taking care of a demented woman whom he would be responsible until he died. He selfishly wished the process would be expedited and that his tenure as Amelia’s caretaker would be short-lived and he could just say goodbye to this life and be reunited with his son. That was the one thing he had to look forward to now, he thought as he turned around and began his journey back down the hall to where his future awaited him in a cold sterile hospital room with a woman who had lost any real hold on reality and he was astonished to find that right now, he envied her. He envied her a lot.

The airplane landed on schedule and Michelle stood up to stretch her legs and get her stomach to resume its normal position in her body instead of up in her throat. She didn’t have any trouble when the airplane made it ascent into the air, as a matter of fact, she felt weightless and it made her feel like anything was possible, but when the plane began it’s descent, she grabbed the arms of her seat and held on for dear life until they were firmly planted on the ground.

The nausea she usually experienced was worse than ever and she knew it was because of the circumstances in which she had come back to Springfield. She had left Danny and came running back to Springfield with her proverbial tail between her legs. She had run away from him in a cowardly fashion but she still held on to the belief that it was for the best.

Ben came up behind her and offered to take her home but she declined. He walked with her to the baggage claim and stuck close to her. She tried to be polite and told him that she could take it from here but he wouldn’t take the hint.

She collected her luggage and went outside to hail a cab. She said goodbye to Ben and thanked him for accompanying her back to Springfield and jumped in her cab before he could try to share this cab with her.

She hopped into the back seat, closed and locked the door and told the driver where she wanted to go. There was only one place she could go to find solace now. Only one place she could go to pour her heart out and cry the tears that she had been battling ever since she left the Dominican Republic. The only place she could go where she could feel close to Danny.

Will’s grave.

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