The ambulance arrived sooner than expected... We had rushed father out of the building on a stretcher and my blasted stepmother had gone in the ambulance to the hospital with him. I had driven separately, and was now waiting outside his room, two hours later... He was in recovery of a heart attack from what I had been told thus far. It had been induced by stress, but they were doing further tests to ensure it was nothing deeper. Naturally my stepmother was in the room, groveling to him, while he slept.
I sighed, trying to think of the bigger picture... This wasn’t about me... He was ill, and he needed some help clearly. But I couldn’t shake the bad thoughts... The thoughts of him turning on me after his wife started the argument... She had planned the whole thing... She had set up the whole argument the way she always did... She was good at twisting everything... Whether she had planned the heart attack was a different matter... I know I certainly hadn’t...
For a moment, I had been terrified that I had indeed killed my father... But he’s stronger than most people think... At least I thought he was. The doctor came out and attempted an awkward smile at me.
"Your stepmother has said that you can go home; your father won’t see you now. He’s steady and sleeping."
I looked at the doctor quizzically. How could my father have made his mind up of whether he was to see me or not, if he hadn’t woken up from his sleep yet? Clearly my stepmother was telling lies again. I rubbed my temples, not wanting anymore arguments tonight. "Thanks. Will you call me if there’s anything serious in the tests?"
The doctor smiled at me and nodded. I said goodbye to him and made my way out of the hospital.
Upon walking out of the front revolving doors, I let my lungs inhale and exhale some fresh air... There was a lingering, floating, absorbing woman in the back of my mind... A woman who had been hurt by this evening’s events most of all... She had run away at some point... And now I didn’t know where she could have been... Perhaps checking at home would be best.
I rang Jeffrey immediately, but he told me that she hadn’t gone to the mansion. That didn’t surprise me. She was barely ever home now. I rang her work phone at her main office, but there was no pick up. At a last resort, I rang the office in the flower shop. They were closed... I doubt she would have gone back there... It would have been too far. I shook my head, shaking her from my thoughts. I didn’t care anyway... Yeah. I didn’t care now.
Remembering how she had turned on me in front of all of those people. Remembering how she had so willingly left me after Joe had attacked me... Remembering it all. Remembering how much she hated me despite all the things my father did... She seemed to always take their side. Everyone took their side. No one understood what was really going on.
I sighed, annoyed, outraged and unwilling to think about it any longer. I got in my convertible and went for a drive.
I sat on the bonnet of my car. The sea breeze washed over me and I tried to steady my breathing. My father was seemingly resting up after his heart attack... And since I was miles away, I’m sure he’d stay that way. Mile away... At the empty, cold and dark seaside.
If only I could get that gold digger away from him. If only I could make him aware of all the things she had done behind his back. The different men she had gone dancing with, the amount of pleas she had made to our family accountant to put her name automatically on my father’s will. The amount of times she had sneaked to mine and Viola’s bedroom at night just to beg me to take her... Make her feel something for just one night. She would wear lingerie under her gown... It definitely wasn’t for my father. It was for me. She was trying every trick in the book.
And now Viola was somewhere as well. Somewhere out there. I looked across the dark navy sea. A beacon of white light shone from yonder, on a boat. A sudden vision of when I threw Vi off the boat came back and floated around me as a wave of wind. I shook my head, shivering slightly.
She hated me now. So much. I... I...
She didn’t get it though. I could have accepted my stepmothers pleas and begs. I could have taken her, night after night behind my father’s back. I could have. Easily. After the treatment I had received from my father, no one would have blamed me... But I couldn’t. Every inch of me detested every single particle of flesh on the gold digger’s body. Such a vile woman.
I swallowed, hard.
My father telling me I was making a fuss?! His wife started it all! And then Joe suddenly interfered, and made it ten times worse...
I suddenly felt a sharp pain in my cheek and raised my hand to it. Faint blood was visible, but I wasn’t worried. If I stretched one side from my hip to my shoulder, I could feel pain... He had kicked me numerous times... I would feel that in the morning...
I shook my head. Why had he stopped? Had Vi pulled him off of me? Why had she done that if... If she hated me so much... She must have just done it to protect ‘him’.
I put my hands in my pockets, shuffling my feet slightly and staring out to the sea.
Even if I didn’t argue back... They’d still find a way to blame me... That gold digger wants to finish me... She wants my fortune, she wants my family history, and she wants my success... But she knows she can’t have it... Because she doesn’t dare do anything too serious... She knows how to annoy me... How to get me fuming, so that I kick off and my father gets angry, and then everything gets blamed on me. And Viola does nothing to stand up for me or her... Everyone uses her against me.
A woman’s voice shone through my mind as Vi’s small frame appeared before my mind... She was confronting me on the boat, on our weekend away...
"Though I may not stand up for myself, and try to please people; I’m still better than a selfish man like you! You only think of yourself; you ruin other people’s happiness to get what you want and you don’t even care. No matter how much love I and all the people around you give you... Including your father... You don’t even acknowledge it. You just don’t even appreciate it! You bully me, you’ve bullied your new stepmother and you always bully your father!"
Her face flowed like a flag as the wind hurtled around me... I sensed the anguish in her eyes...
"I won’t stop, Korbin. You can’t run. We’re in the middle of the ocean... So you have to stay and hear it this time... You have to listen to me saying the words no one has ever dared to say to you before! I don’t get you, you have everything! You have money, you have cars, you have a house and you have a brilliant reputation... You’re a master in your field of work! Girls love you-"
I shook my head. I didn’t want to hear her... I didn’t want to hear all of that... Not anymore... ‘Other girls’? I half-scoffed. She didn’t know what she was talking about... She was my wife at one point but now she was... She was...
Well she wasn’t anything to me now... Not after tonight. Not after she left me there with my father who could have died, and the other idiots surrounding me. I didn’t care about her now. I didn’t care. I was done playing the game. She would see that I didn’t care. She’d finally understand how much... How much...
I stood up and walked to my car door, inhaling one last time. "Your words don’t have anything on me." I got in my car, and drove back to the mansion.
Upon entering the foyer of my mansion I saw my father and the gold digger walking up the marble steps slowly. I called for them.
"You’re home already?!"
They turned, my father groaned and nodded, clearly struggling to make it up the stairs. I almost felt appalled that the hospital had discharged him the same night he had the heart attack... What if he had a relapse? I would have to keep a close eye on him.
They had disappeared from my view. I walked through the main foyer, into the bar. I sat down and took my usual glass and bottle, prepared to drink my sorrows away.
"Ahhhh... Master Korbin." Jeffrey’s voice woke me from my drinking joys. "Your wife is not back yet."
"I worry for her."
The butlers face dropped. "She will not answer her phone."
I placed my glass down. Suddenly it hit me as I felt my pocket and pulled out her phone. "She gave it to me..." I stared at it.
"Forgive me master, but I do think it is quite dangerous for her young soul to be out so late at night without any way of communicating us..."
I continued to stare at it. Wait... So late? "What time is it Jeffrey?"
"It’s just gone 1am sir."
I nearly dropped the phone as I swiveled from the chair and stood tall before Jeffrey. "And she’s still not home?!" I bellowed.
"No sir, this is why I worry!" He watched my eyes widen and my chest move quicker up and down. "Should I do anything sir?"
I didn’t respond. I ran out of the bar and up the main marble steps and into her guestroom. I checked her bed sheets, they hadn’t been slept in. I checked the draws, I checked everything and I wasn’t sure why I did it. After a full 10 minutes of searching I stood in the center of the room, hands on hips, panting, panicking and alarm bells ringing.
I checked her phone once more; she had a dozen missed calls from Jeffrey. But that was it. I slammed the phone down on the side table and began pacing.
"Where is she...?" I uttered in sheer annoyance and anxiety. "Where are you...? Where are you my..." I stopped dead, taking my phone out of my pocket and ringing the number I didn’t want to ring.
It rang... And rang... Just when I thought no one would pick up.
"Hello, accident and emergency hotline how can we help?"
"Have there been any accidents involving a girl in her late 20s, with brown hair. Her names Viola Farrington and she would probably be wearing a golden gown-"
"Let me just check on the calls for tonight sir... Do you have any specific time?"
"Any time this evening... It could be happening right now for goodness sake!" I spat, impatiently.
"No... There doesn’t appear to be anything here sir, sorry. Can I-"
I hung up and threw the phone across the room. It landed on the bed and I continued to pace.
Where could she be? How could she just do this? Disappearing again?! Where could she have gone? How am I going to find her now? For God’s sake Viola, come home. Come home.
She would have to come home... She would have to. All her stuff was here. I doubt she’d want to walk around in a ball gown all night.
I sighed. What if somebody had her? What if some idiot somewhere got hold of her and is now... What if they...
I shook my head which was now banging as if someone had throttled me around the face with saucepans. I wanted to scream, I wanted to roar. I wanted to go out there... I walked over to the window... I wanted to go out there and find her. She was somewhere out there. How could she just stay away? What if something had happened to her? What if she was laying somewhere, deserted, too afraid to come home?
Oh please Viola... Come home. Come home please. I’m begging you baby come home.