wednesday december 8 2010
I'm so happy that he agreed to go out and talk with me. I know this time for sure I can't hide anything. He had to know the whole truth of why I moved down to Chicago and lied to him about being a native to Chicago. I can't be afraid of my past and what will happen in the future. Not only do I want to fight for mine and Patrick's relationship, but I have to fight for unborn child.
Now that I've finished up with the appointment that I was luckily able to get earlier this morning before I see Patrick at my favorite spot, Hot Chocolate in Bucktown.
"Hi, thank-you for seeing me. It means a lot."
"Please, don’t be like that. I need you. I need you to understand where I'm coming from. The reasons why I've done things the way I did. So can we please just go inside and talk about this." feeling uneasy and the need to get inside quick and off the street I reach out for the door, but Patrick's hand beat me to it and he motioned for me to go in first.
I found us our usual table down in the back, luckily we've beaten the lunch hour rush and the area around our table is quite bare.
"So," he says as he pulls out the chair and I sit in the bench seat against the wall, "What is it that you need to talk with me about?"
Not having yet answered his question, a waitress came up and asked us if we were ready to order.
"The chai hot chocolate and the mac and cheese, please. Thank-you."
"And I will have the half and half with mac and cheese, thanks."
With wasting no more time, I start answering his question. "Well, how about telling you the name I was born with. I was born Julianne Thomson. I grew up in a small town off the BC coast, in Duncan on Vancouver island to be more precise. A few years after I graduated from high school, I moved to the mainland to Vancouver to go and continue my education and that is when I met him." I stop when the waitress arrives back with our drinks.
"Okay, so here is the chai hot chocolate for her and the half and half for him. Enjoy."
"Thanks." he answers her, then turns back to me hoping for me to continue.
"He is the reason for me moving here. Changing my name, and I'm also only here on a working visa. I just got it renewed a few weeks ago. That's the only way I am able to stay here in Chicago."
"So, wait a minute. Who is this guy? That is the only reason you moved to Chicago. To run away from this guy. Why?"
"You don't know what he's capable of."
"Try me. And you still haven't told me who this guy is."
"He's another hockey player. You've likely played against him before. He plays for the Canucks."
"Was he there playing against us in the game in Vancouver couple of weeks ago? Was he here playing in the game last week?"
"No. He wasn't playing. He's on the injury reserve list, but yes. He was here traveling with the team last week."
"Would I know him if I saw him? Which one is he?"
"Maybe. His name is Deacon Howes.*"
"Yeah, you know him?"
"Yeah. I played against him in juniors. He played with the Plymouth Whalers when I played with the London Knights. He played dirty hockey even then. I still can't believe he got drafted into the NHL though." he paused and looked over to our right and saw our waitress coming back with our food orders. He thanked her and turned he focus back onto me and continued on with our conversation.
"So, you still haven't told me the reason why you moved. Yes, you said it was because of this guy, Howes, but I sense there's a lot more than what you're telling me."
"Well your senses are correct." I reply feeling chilled about his instincts being right, I bring my hands and rub my arms that have suddenly felt chilled.
"You feeling cold? Here," he stands and takes off his jacket and brings it around and wrap it around my shoulders.
"Thanks." I pause for a few seconds, inhaling his scent that's ….. Off his jacket and I wrap it a little tighter around me before I continue, "You didn't have to do that."
"You looked cold and it seemed as though you needed some sort of safety blanket. I remembered you liked this jacket."
"And I still do."
With a quick exchange of half-smiles, he asks, "What happened? What did he do to you?" and as soon as the question was out of his mouth, a loud bang of pots and pans came crashing down in the kitchen and it made me jump. I know he noticed. He reached a hand across the table and placed it on mine. My first instinct was to pull away from his hand but looking across the table from me, I knew this isn't the man I want to be running away from.
With a few more moments of silence, I begin again, "I suppose you've been noticing a bit more of that with me, jumping at every loud sound."
"Being jumpy, skiddish, and closed-off, is all the result of how Deacon treated me. In the beginning he treated me like a queen. Lavished with gifts. I thought it was the really deal. I never saw it coming until I found with another woman, his fiancee."
"He was married!?"
"Not quite, but he told me later that night that she was the woman he had to marry because his and her family wouldn't accept the baby."
"She was pregnant!?"
"Yeah. And he promised me he didn't love her and that the baby wouldn't change his plans on being with me."
"How did you react?"
"After finding out how far along she was, I knew I couldn't stay with him and he didn't want to accept that."
"Why would you even entertain the idea with him that you'd want to stay?"
"Like I said. He treated me like a queen, plus I was young and naïve. But when I tried to leave and began dating other people he became violently possessive."
"He'd beat on me. He'd force himself on me. It got so bad that I was once was beaten so badly that I was in a coma for two weeks."
"Didn't you report him?"
"Of course I did, but the case got thrown out."
"How? By the sounds of it, there had to be something they could have case against him with."
"His wife's father is a police officer and his father's good friend is one of the best lawyer's in the country. There wasn't enough solid evidence that proved he was the one who done all that to me. And it even went as far as trying to convict one of my best friends for it all."
"So is that when you decided to change your name and move out to Chicago?"
"It wasn't the plan I wanted for my life, but with the way Deacon was making my life to be, I didn't necessarily have a choice. And there was a little bit more to just a name change and area code."
"And how was that?"
"Julianne Thomson, is actually dead. Or that's what everyone back there thinks."
"How is that possible?"
"Well, to tell you that, I have to explain how I got the name I'm using now."
"I got the name Cassidy from a friend's sister. She died in a fiery car crash. There wasn't much left of her by the time the firefighters arrived on scene. It was a terrible loss because she was my friend too."
"That's so awful, but how does it all work? What about the parents and other siblings?"
"They're parents died in a car crash when they were young, and it was only the two of them. They lived with their grandmother until she past on as well which actually wasn't that long before Cassidy died in her crash, and subsequently that's when Julianne died."
"So what you're saying is that you assumed her life?"
"Yes. With a great deal of help from her brother. He's the one who saw it as a way for me to escape. It came with a price for the both of us. He had to deal with the fact that his sister was gone, but yet not necessarily gone, and I had to cut all ties immediately with all my family." I pause, fighting back the water trying to well up in my eyes, "We had to make it as believe as possible. Although I still believe he has suffered the greater loss because he's all alone now. No parents, grandmother, and sister. He's left with no family. You don't know how awful I feel."
"From everything I heard, you suffered great loss too. You left your whole family behind to grieve over your death."
"It's all a lie! You have every right to hate me and walk away right now." I burst out, feeling the tears beginning to stream down my cheeks.
"No." his voice was firm and solid. "You have a right to live. Yes, it was at the cost of your friend's sister's life, but that's what saved you. And I'm grateful for that. If he didn't make that decision for you, you probably would be dead."
I drop my head in my hands, feeling so guilty. I hear his chair slide back away from the table and feel him sit beside me and wrap his arms around me. Then I feel him move in closer, hugging me tighter, he begins to whisper in my ear, "What I mean to say is, is that I'm indebted to him because I wouldn't have meet the best person I've ever met in my life."
That did it. I was in full blown sobs. And we just sat there like that until the restaurant closed.
*I've decided to use a fictional name for this character, due to the nature of the character I'm going to write him out to be.