Something About You – Part 35 by ShellyLynn

Republisher’s Note: When things look bleakest, here comes Maureen.

Something About You – Part 35 by ShellyLynn

Michelle paced the long hallway of the Lewis mansion, wishing and praying that she would wake up at any moment and find that the last few hours had been some sort of nightmare. She looked in the intricate mirror on the wall and cringed at the face that looked back at her.

Bill had made it clear on the phone earlier that morning that she had better look like the blushing bride she was supposed to be, but the reflection she saw in front of her was anything but happy. Only the dark circles found underneath them overshadowed the sadness she saw reflected in her eyes. She had barely slept a wink the previous night, her mind replaying the look on Danny’s face over and over again. When she finally did drift off to sleep, she had the most delicious dream that ended when she woke and rolled over to find nothing next to her but an empty bed. She clutched her teddy bear tightly to her chest and eventually cried herself back to sleep, just in time to be woken up by an urgent “invitation” to breakfast at the Lewises.

She looked at the lavishness around her and felt the need to scream. She couldn’t understand how people who had so much money… so much to be thankful for could be so cruel and heartless. Weren’t they normal people too? Why didn’t they understand that love could make you happier than any amount of money they could possibly attain?

She heard the door to open behind her and she pasted on her best smile before turning around. “Good morning, Mrs. Lewis,” she offered, “It’s nice to see you again.”

“Of course dear. I was so excited when Bill told me of your engagement. Your mother and I used to talk all the time about the two of you getting married someday. I’m so glad that your friendship has blossomed into love,” she smiled as she put her arm around her daughter-in-law to be’s shoulder and began leading her down the hall, “I know how much Bill has always adored you, I just wasn’t sure if you’d ever feel the same. Especially after seeing you with that other gentleman recently.”

Michelle tried to keep her composure, but was failing miserably. How could this woman be so blind? She could remember a time when she used to think of her as a second mother almost, her mother and Mrs. Lewis were almost inseparable when she was a child. Had they really changed so much that the woman she once loved couldn’t see how much she was hurting, how badly this ordeal was hurting her?

“What was his name again? Doug… David… I think it started with a D didn’t it?” she asked, pausing to open the door to the dining room.

“Danny,” Michelle choked out, her voice cracking as she tried to hide the pain that permeated her entire being. It was amazing how badly it hurt just to utter the two syllables that meant so much to her, such a simple thing as his name. It was almost as if her throat constricted so tightly to stop her from giving herself away with the love in her voice.

“Oh yes, of course, that’s it,” Vanessa smiled, happy to have her question answered as they entered the room to see Bill and his father standing there. “Now, I know that this is short notice, so we are going to have a lot of work to do to get this thing put together. Do you have any ideas?”

“Excuse me,” Michelle said, darting from the room and making her way to the bathroom. She couldn’t handle pretending to love someone other than Danny. When she saw the victorious smile pasted on Bill’s face, she wasn’t able to take it anymore.

She sat next to the toilet bowl crying as she finished throwing up what little she had managed to eat the day before. She felt terrible and alone, her heart wishing along with her head that her mother were there to take care of her like she used to when she was sick as a child. She knew that what she was doing to her body wasn’t good for her, crying all the time, not eating or sleeping, none of those things were going to make this impossible situation any easier. She remembered the doctor’s words from her hospitalization not so long ago to take care of herself. The last thing she needed was to end up back in the emergency room again.

“Are you okay, dear?” she heard Vanessa’s soft voice drift through the door. “Bill and I were so worried about you when you ran out like that.”

“I’m fine,” Michelle choked out, wiping away her tears with the back of her hand as she stood up and washed her mouth out with water. “I’m just not feeling well, I’ll be out in a minute.” She wasn’t lying, she reasoned, she didn’t feel well, she just hadn’t informed them that it was the thought of going through with this bogus wedding that made her sick.

“Why don’t you go lay down in one of the guestrooms?” she said when Michelle opened the door. “I’m sure it’s just pre-wedding jitters. It’s not unusual to be nervous with the wedding so close.”

“I’m sure that’s it,” Michelle nodded, allowing the woman to escort her to a nearby room to rest.

“Come on out when you’re ready dear. We’ll get this planned out perfectly.” Vanessa said, kissing the younger woman on the forehead. “You’re going to be such a beautiful bride. I’m sure your mother would be just as delighted as I am about this wedding.”

“I’m sure,” Michelle said as the door shut, “she wouldn’t,” Michelle sighed, sagging down onto the bed. “Looks like I’m going to be here for a while, because I’m never going to be ready to go through with this farce.”

* * * * * * * *

Danny arrived at Mrs. Bauer’s room early, hoping that she was already awake and that she could be of some assistance. Despite the fact that Michelle repeatedly told him of her mother’s weakening condition and her Alzheimer’s, he couldn’t help but feeling that the situation wasn’t quite as it seemed.

He knocked on the door and impatiently waited for someone to answer him. When he heard nothing, he slowly opened the door and peeked in, finding only an empty bed. He walked into the room and over to the chair in which he sat the previous night, before Michelle broke his heart. He wouldn’t have believed then that his life was about to take such a drastic turn.

“Are you looking for Maureen?” a woman asked as she stopped and looked through the open door.

“Yes,” Danny replied eagerly.

“She’s having a radiation treatment right now, but she should be back in a few minutes. You’re welcome to wait,” she said before going on her way. “Are you family?”

“I would have been,” he muttered under his breath as he dropped his head.

“Excuse me?” the young woman asked politely, “I didn’t catch that.”

“No,” he answered, looking up to catch her eyes. “Just a friend.”

“Well, Maureen deserves more of those. She’s a truly special woman, the way she treats everyone, especially after all that she’s been through. Everyone loves her around here. Please tell her Alyssa said hi,” she told him before going back to work.

“Radiation?” he whispered aloud, his mind working furiously to put all the pieces together. “If she’s having radiation, then she must have something besides Alzheimer’s.”

“Sounds like you have it figured out,” a voice said from the doorway. “Some of it anyway.”

“Mrs. Bauer,” Danny jumped, not expecting her to be back so soon.

“Visiting hours haven’t started yet sir,” an orderly said as he wheeled her into the room and prepared to lift her into bed. “You’ll have to leave.”

Before Danny could say anything, Maureen took charge, “I have been expecting him. This young man is going to marry my Michelle.”

Danny began to protest, but something in her eyes stopped him, “I’m glad to meet you. You’ve snagged yourself a fabulous woman,” the orderly said, extending his hand to shake Danny’s. “I’ll leave you two alone.”

When the door was closed, Danny sat in silence for a few moments, regaining his composure. When he finally opened his mouth to speak, he found that he had no idea what to say or ask. Finally, after a few minutes, Maureen broke the silence. “I’m sure you’ve figured out by now that I don’t have Alzheimer’s.”

Danny nodded and she continued, “Just before Michelle was born, I had a nervous breakdown…”

She talked for over an hour as Danny sat in dumbfounded silence before her. He hadn’t expected to hear any of what she was telling him, but it made sense none the less. “So you were trying to protect Michelle all this time.”

“She’s my baby,” Maureen gave the simple reply through the tears running down her cheeks. “I thought what I did was the best thing for her at the time.”

“She deserves to know all this,” he told her, standing up and pacing the room.

“And you will be right there for her when she finds out,” Maureen coaxed, knowing that Michelle would need the support of someone who loved her completely to get through all that she would soon learn.

“She’s marrying Bill,” he said solemnly, turning away from her to hide his tears.

“No.”

“Yes, she told me herself,” he answered angrily, not at Maureen, although he assumed it appeared that way and backed off, but at himself for letting his heart be broken.

“NO,” Maureen repeated. “Things are not as they appear in that situation either. She loves you, she told me so herself, more than she thought she would ever be able to love someone.”

“Then why is she doing this?” his voice broke.

“Whether you believe this or not, she’s doing it because she loves you. Go find her and talk to her. Don’t give up on her and don’t let her give up on you. I’ll let her explain what is going on, but know that I am going to do everything I can to make this turn out right for both of you. You can trust me. All I have ever wanted was for my baby to be happy.”

Danny stood there shocked and confused, but he knew from the look on Mrs. Bauer’s face that he would get no more information out of her. He would have to go find Michelle and convince her to tell him the truth. He only hoped his heart could handle being broken once again because he feared with everything in him that was exactly what was going to happen yet again.

NOTE: I was able to retrieve all the rest of this fanfic, but chapter 36 I wasn’t able to get. If anyone has a copy of this fanfic that includes Chapter 36 please let me know. Otherwise join me for Chapter 37.

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