Finally Unbroken(7)

By: Maria Macdonald

I take a moment to ponder my thoughts, and when I manage to clear them, I pull out my paper and pencil. I open my folder carefully, containing layers of paper, some empty and waiting for beauty, and some I’ve already used to draw. I sketch my dreams. It’s how I still function, by having dreams. I dream that someday, I’ll be rescued. Someday, someone will love me with their whole essence. One day I’ll be somebody’s everything. I look at my favorite sketch of the Eiffel Tower. I picture laying on the grass, staring up at the beautiful masterpiece in front of me. Amanda would be with me, and so would our respective husbands—Keith would not be in that picture—and we would all be deliriously happy. The only thing missing is the unicorns farting rainbows, right? Well, I guess that’s why they’re called dreams because most people don’t get to achieve them.

I fold the papers up and tuck them back in the box. Returning to the photographs, I pause at a group shot. I’m standing next to Amanda smiling wide, we were obviously giggling just prior to the photo. Keith is next to me with Tommy and Declan, at the back stands Rubén and the girls. Then there’s him… Danny. He stands at the other end to me, and while everyone is looking into the camera, he isn’t. Instead, he’s staring right at me, looking straight down the line of people to my smiling face. I didn’t know it until I had this photo developed. Then I kept it for myself. Kept a piece of Danny to have with me. We’d gotten close since I started dating Keith, at times I had told him things, problems or worries I had, whether they were about Keith or about life in general. I found him easy to talk to. He didn’t treat me like the others. He acted like I was worth something, even if I wasn’t from the popular crowd. We became really close, actually too close. Well, back then it was too close, for someone who was already in a relationship. I asked him once whether you could love two people. He told me he thought that it was possible to love two people, but you couldn’t be in love with two people. He held my hand, looked into my eyes and said, ‘The strongest love, the love that was meant to be, that’s the kind of love that will stand the test of time. That’s the love that will still sit in your heart fifty years from now… even if it’s a dormant love, remaining useless and unused. It will still be there and will always exist throughout time.’ I get what he meant now I’m older. He was mature beyond what eighteen-year-old boys should be. I wonder if he has that love. That same one I do, the one that sits dormant in my heart unused, because the person it was truly meant for left and has never come back.

“Welcome to Wentworth by the Sea Marriott Hotel, Mr. Quinn,” the over enthusiastic receptionist says as I check in. “Christoph will take your luggage up to the Presidential Suite, Sir,” she continues and I just nod. Weary from my flight and four days of phone calls from Shannon. Calls that I could have done without. I make my way to the suite, ready for sleep. The moment the door closes my cell buzzes and vibrates in my pocket. My heart is heavy as I pull the phone out, dreading another round with Shannon, but the day brightens slightly when I see it’s not her calling.

“Layla,” I answer.

“Mr. Quinn, I have spoken to Ms. Tinder. She wants to come and meet you to discuss the new venture and possible locations,” I sigh. Gabrielle Tinder is the best person to locate the real estate I require, but every time we have a meeting she practically throws herself at me.

“Layla, can you arrange for Ms. Tinder to have the details of where I’m staying. Advise her I’m not sure how long I’ll be here, but if she wants to come to my location, then she’ll need to contact you when she’s arrived. Then we can set up a meeting. Oh, and Layla… can you organize to fly out here, too.”

“Sir?” Layla questions.

“Since arriving, I’ve realized I’m not sure how long my stay will be. You’re needed here with me, and if Ms. Tinder insists on coming then I may need you to play chaperone.” She giggles at my statement and my thumb moves clicking the phone off knowing Layla will get everything squared away. She’s the best assistant I’ve ever had, which is why I’ve held onto her for over five years. I know she’s had offers, people who’ve tried to steal her away from me. She’s always turned them down, though. I’m not sure why, but I’m thankful to her for staying loyal. I throw my suit jacket over the chair and loosen my tie. I want to have a shower and get my head straight. Tomorrow I’m going to face the first town I lived in, the first town I had friends, the first town I played football for a team, and the first and last town where I had my heart broken.

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