Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Chasse Secrets Chapter 15

  Ian called the police to let them know Olivia had been found. Olivia didn't utter a word the whole time, she hardly even acknowledged them. The police arrived within ten minutes, along with an ambulance for Olivia. Ian and Sophie started to get into his car, intending to follow the ambulance to the hospital when the officers stopped them, saying they had some questions for them. By the time they were done a hour had passed.
  They got in his car and hurried to the hospital. When they got there they were surprised to find Ian's parents already waiting. "Mom! Dad! How did you know?" Ian asked, as he walked towards them, Sophie in tow. Mrs.Nora and Mr.Webb quickly stood up to greet them. "The police department called us! Did she say anything?" Mrs.Nora exclaimed, frantically. "No, she didn't" Ian answered, clearing his throat. "Didn't y'all get to see her?" Sophie probed. "No, they rushed her back as soon as they got here. The doctor did come out though a few minutes after explaining that they needed to examine her" Mr.Webb elucidated. "They probably didn't want the media to know she had been found yet" Ian assumed.
  The press hadn't been as relentless as they had imagined they would be for those two weeks. Sure there was the occasional neighbor who told the Windsor Falls newspaper how she thought she saw Mr.Webb handing money to a man in black on the night she went missing, or the deacon who said she seemed like the type to just take off, or the news report saying she was dating her first cousin, but overall the media hadn't been as vulture-like as they could have been. In fact no mention of Sophie being a suspect was made by the local news channels at all. She figured that the police didn't want them to know what was really going on so they reported whatever trash they could get their hands on. Although it was moot to try to keep the town in the dark, seeing as she was sure almost everyone in town already knew about her rumored involvement in the disappearance.
  "Do you guys need anything?" Sophie offered. "Coffee would be great! What about you honey?" Mr.Webb said. "Um yeah, coffee. Thank you Sophie" Mrs.Nora replied, no expression upon her pale face. "You're welcome" said Sophie.
  Sophie began walking to the elevators, her hands in the large front pouch if her over-sized gray sweater. "Wait! I'll go with you" Ian called after her. She waited for him to catch up to her. He pushed the down button. They stood there motionless until the doors creaked open. They waited for the people to file out of the elevator, and then they cautiously entered the small chamber. Ian pressed the "close doors" button before he spoke. "I can't believe we found her" he said, a barely there smile on his lips. "I know! It's just so surreal. First she goes missing, then we find out about the cult, and now it's as if she's been handed to us". "Well whoever handed her to us, I'm glad they did". "I feel like I can breathe now, now that I know she's safe" "Me too". Ian suddenly looked as if he had just realized something horrid. "What? What's wrong?" Sophie questioned, an alarmed look in her eyes. "I was just thinking. How suspicious does this look that we're just walking in the woods and we find her not even a mile from where we started looking. And besides that, if she has been truly handed to us, who handed her?"
  When Sophie and Ian got back with the coffee they noticed that not only had Sophie's parents shown up, so did her brother, Carson, Meredith, Cassie, June, Mrs.Emma and her husband Walter, Mrs.Hamilton, and Mr.Lars. Apparently they had all heard through the never-ending grapevine about Olivia's re-appearance. June had heard from Cassie, Cassie from Meredith Meredith from Carson, and so on. "What were you and Ian doing in York Park?" Ted asked Sophie. Sophie hadn't really been paying attention  to any of the group's chit-chat, until then that was. "What?" Sophie mumbled in a daze. "I asked what were you and Ian doing in York Park". Sophie tried in vain to remember what she had told the police. "We were seeing if we could find anymore evidence that Olivia had been there. Lucky us, we found Olivia instead" Ian interrupted. "Oh I see! Ted nodded in his skeptical way. Sophie smiled at Ian as she adjusted her dark blue jeans. "What  made the police search York Park in the first place?" Carson asked "Easy place to go unnoticed" Meredith suggested. "No. Everyone looks in the so called "good" hiding places. If you really want to find something you simply look in front of you" Cassie said, her usually small voice replaced with a stronger, more certain tone. "Does it really matter?" Sophie said, her leg bouncing up and down, up and down. "Sophie, we didn't mean it that way" June apologized, clearly anxious of Sophie's behavior. "Sorry. I'm just worried about Olivia, she seemed pretty shook up the last I saw her" Sophie excused herself. "How come you seem so calm about everything, Ian?" Cassie wondered. "I've learned to be the calm one. When something like this happens it's all you can do" he enlightened them, cracking his knuckles absentmindedly. Everyone grew silent, careful not to say the wrong thing.
  "How did she look?" Carson blurted out. "A little startled, her dress was torn here and there, her hair had been cut" Ian answered. "She was wearing a dress! What did it look like?" Meredith probed. "Haha I can't believe you're so concerned with her dress" Sophie jested. "I'm just curious" "Um well it was short, it came to about her knees, and it was purple, and". Ian didn't get to finish his description, because as soon as he said purple a sickly look fell upon her fading golden face. "I need to go to the bathroom" Meredith mumbled, scurrying towards the bathroom. "I need to use the ladies as well" Sophie announced, bounding out of her stiff waiting area chair.
  Sophie gradually pushed the door open. Meredith was standing in front of the long counter, her hands resting on the counter, her eyes staring down into the sink. "Sophie" she exclaimed. She quickly smoothed back her hair. "Listen, I know how confusing and draining this all is right now, it is for all of us. I'm here for you if you need to talk" Sophie assured her. Meredith started to say something when a woman suddenly came out of one of the stalls. The woman had short sandy blond hair which was pulled back with a barrette. She was wearing a pair of mom jeans and a "I'm proud to be an American t-shirt. They waited there in pure silence while the woman washed her hands, dried them, checked her teeth, brushed her hair, and eventually left.
  Once she was gone Meredith went down the row of stalls swinging each door open. "I was fine until" she said, trailing off. "Until what?" Sophie inquired. Meredith habitually licked her lips before she spoke. "Do you remember that dream I had?". "Yeah, the one with Olivia and the mirrors". "Well, in it she was wearing a dress, a purple one". "You're kidding, right?". Meredith shook her head. Sophie josted herself upon the counter. "That's so....creepy!" Sophie grasped for words. "Tell me something I don't know" Meredith said dryly. "Has this sort of thing ever happened to you before?". "No! At least I don't think so". "So are you like some psychic now?". "I don't think one measly dream would classify me as a psychic, and even if it did I wouldn't want to be called that". "Why?". "I don't know, I guess it reminds me of some woman telling you you're either going to get a new job or get married within the next year, and neither of those situations will end well". "We should probably get back out there".
  When Meredith and Sophie went out to the lobby the doctor came out, as if on cue. He was a handsome young man, no older than 27. He had the typical doctor look. Tall, strong jaw, dark hair. "Hi, I'm Dr.Birch" he introduced himself. "How's Olivia?" Mrs.Nora asked, her eyes as wide as saucers. "She has post-traumatic amnesia. It appears it was caused by trauma to the back of the head" he explained. "What does she remember?" Mr.Webb asked. "All she's talked about is being in the woods and not knowing where she was. She knows who she is, her birthday, what year it is, she asked where y'all were". "Did she have any other injuries?" Mr.Webb inquired. "Just some scraps, but she did have a cut on her left wrist that was a little deeper, maybe from a razor blade". "Can we see her?" Ian asked. "Of course! Just try not to overwhelm her. I ask that only you and your parents see her tonight".
  With that said the rest of them started to drift away, not wanting to overstay their welcome and see her parents and brother in a more vulnerable, imitate state than they already were. Mrs.Emma compassionately embraced Mrs.Nora, saying things such as "we're here for you", "anytime", "take all the time you need", while Walter nodded sympathetically. Mrs.Hamilton followed suit, although more like a mother than a comrade. Mr.Lars groped for words of encouragement and meaning, but when he couldn't find them he simply said "I'm glad she's safe", and left never glancing at Carson and Meredith. Carol approached Mrs.Nora with Mr.Duval a step behind. She took Mrs.Nora hand in her's and said "She'll be just fine, after all she's your daughter". Mr.Duval shook Mr.Webb's hand firmly, Ted did the same. Carson, Meredith, Cassie, June, and Sophie said their good-byes finally, each one trying to sound optimistic, yet not irrelevant. And then they left Mr.Webb, Mrs.Nora, and Ian watching them disappear in the elevators, while Dr.Birch checked something on his clipboard. "Ready to see her?" he asked, as if they needed to think it over. They all nodded in unison, leaving the lobby with only the sound of the nurse doing paperwork.
  Sophie didn't go to church the next day, instead she went to the hospital to see Olivia. She made brownies for her, although she was sure she wouldn't feel like eating. When she got there Olivia was awake. Mrs.Nora was sitting to Olivia's left, stroking her hand. For the first time in the past two weeks Mrs.Nora smiled. "Come in" she said. "Hi! How are you feeling?" Sophie asked, as she crept into the hospital room. "I have a slight headache, but I should be fine" Olivia answered, no eye contact involved. How foreign her voice sounded. "I made you some brownies" Sophie put the container down on her tray. "Thank you". Sophie could see Mrs.Nora hadn't slept at all last night. "She hasn't even touched her breakfast" Mrs.Nora remarked. "I never liked eggs" she explained. "It's so good to see you again" Sophie said, afraid she might get emotional. "It's good to be seen" Olivia replied, the most heartfelt smile on her face. "I'm going to get something to eat from the cafeteria. Are you going to be here for a while?" Mrs.Nora grabbed her beige purse from the chair. "Yeah! Of course!". Mrs.Nora leaned over Olivia and kissed her forehead. "I love you, Liv" she uttered, almost choking. "I love you too, Mom" she replied.
   Sophie took the chair next to Olivia's bed while Mrs.Nora exited the room. "So had anyone else been by to visit?" Sophie inquired. "My grandparents. aunt Lillian, uncle Thomas, Rev.Grant, my dad and Ian left about a hour ago to pack me a bag so I have something to leave in" Olivia answered. "They're releasing you?". "Yeah, later today. They just wanted to monitor me overnight". "Have you remembered anything else?". "Just pieces". "Such as?". "Sophie! I really don't feel like being grilled right now". Sophie clamped her mouth close. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to snap. It's just that everyone's been asking asking so many questions I'm starting to feel like a living encyclopedia". "No. No, don't apologize. I shouldn't have pressed you".
  Sophie glanced downward at her figiding hands, her thumbs dancing circles around each other. "You know, I've never seen you so serene. You and Ian have that in common". Olivia's eyes narrowed in perplexity at the mention of her brother. "Calmness. He's been very calm through out this whole ordeal" Sophie informed her. "Oh" Olivia said, practically under her breath. "Don't get me wrong! He's been scared about you like any brother would be". "I didn't mean "oh" like that, I meant "oh" like it sounds like you've been around him a lot since I've been gone".
  Sophie wasn't quite sure how Olivia felt about that. She didn't want to speak too soon and say the first thing that emerged in her head. It would be no better than for her to walk in a room of broken glass, with the lights burnt out. "Um. I guess". Olivia didn't say anything right away, as though she was dissecting her reply.
  Then came Ian, duffel in hand. "Well I couldn't find your black sweater but I found your white one" he said, laying the bag at the foot of her bed. "Thanks" Olivia responded. "Hello Sophie". "Hi". "Where's dad?" Olivia somewhat resembled a small child. Her clover green eyes much like her mother's last night. "He's actually signing your release forms" he told her. "I bet you can't wait to be home" Sophie said, smiling warmly. "You can't even imagine".