“Nooooo” I shouted as I lost control of my skies and collided into the tallest widest pine tree I had ever seen in my life and why? Because of the sexiest, most handsome man I have ever seen in my life. “Are you ok?” the voice asked.
I muttered, “hmm yeah, I’m great just great thanks”, brushing the snow off my jacket.
“Hey, whoa,” he said grabbing a hold of me before I fell, I thought I had died and gone to heaven when I felt the grip of those strong hands, I started to imagine his triceps and biceps and all the other muscular places. I suddenly felt a rush in my head.
“You are not ok”, he continued.
“I am quite fine” I insisted honestly feeling woozy but afraid to admit it.
“Listen I’m taking you back, you cannot go any further, he said still holding onto my arm.
Trying to release his hold, I said “If I said I’m fine, then I’m fine. Please excuse me while I try to catch up to the others, they may miss me and get worried.”
Folding his arms, he looked at me, “Really? “He said, “We have been here for about five minutes, and no one has come looking for you and you are worried?” he proceeded to say.
Feeling ashamed and abandoned I shrugged my shoulders and said, “Everyone is having fun, they just haven’t noticed that I’m not there,” I declared in my defence still glaring at this hunk of a man standing before me.
“Oh, I see, I see, interesting. Oh well, I hope they miss you soon because you will need to see the doctor when you get back,” he blurted out as he skied ahead of me.
Why are men like that? I thought to myself. They think they have it all figured out. Well, guess what bucko, yah don’t. As I prepared to shove off, a dizzy spell came over me, “you are ok Mel, don’t panic. Even though if you faint right now, there is no help nearby, since you were the last set for the day,” I said to myself as fear made its way up my spine. My legs began to speak a language that was unfamiliar to me, one that suggested quitting, my arms started to lose strength and my eyes began playing a game of open-close, not to mention my mouth, it became an internal spring. What do I do, I thought to myself, if I call for help who will hear? But right now, it’s worth a try. I opened my mouth and yelled but my ears got disconnected. I didn’t hear a sound, then suddenly the lights went out, everything was pitch black.
“What is that blinding light?”3 I asked as I covered my face with the sheet. Then suddenly it hit me, sheet, wasn’t I just in the snowy mountains of Freemount? I pondered. What am I doing in sheets and where am I? “My clothes” I shouted as the thought of being in a bed tied itself to nakedness or a change of clothing. Hesitantly I peek beneath the sheet to realize that I did not have my clothes on but someone’s pyjama that fit just right. I flung the sheets off and jumped to my feet only to find myself falling forward and again being prevented from an encounter that I would surely regret as I am now regretting the previous. Ugh, those damn strong arms again, what is this a nightmare? “Please let me go and where am I? I questioned. Lifting my head to gaze into the most beautiful bronze eyes I have ever seen in my life. I choked, then babbled something then got my footing. “I asked a question,” I demanded.
“And I am more than happy to answer as soon as you get back into bed,” he said in the sweetest tone I have ever heard in my life.
Trying to act tough, even though my head was complete jelly, “I demand an answer now.” I shouted.
The man just scooped me up, put me back in bed, pulled the covers up and sat beside me. Unable to budge, I looked at him, “who do you think you are? Why are you holding me hostage? Where are my friends? Where is my cell phone? I gutted all this time talking to his back. Folding my hands like an obstinate child, I waited.
Slowly turning to face me he spoke, “firstly, you should be thanking me for saving your life, secondly, you should also be saying thanks for taking you to my house and taking care of you for the past two days, and finally, I am not holding you hostage, you are free to leave whenever you are ready. Let me warn you, however, that concussion has not treated you well. I doubt you would make it to the entrance.”
Feeling stupefied and at the same time annoyed I asked “Why didn’t you call my friends? They would have come and gotten me, as a matter of fact, may I have my phone, please?”
“Melissa,” he said.
“How do you know my name? Did you search my phone? Oh my God, I exclaimed as I covered my mouth. How could you?”
“How else would I be able to call your parents and your so-called friends?” he said with disdain.
“What? My friends came and you turned them away?” I asked knowing quite well what the answer was.
He turned his back to me once more and sighed before speaking, “I called, one Patty answered, and her response was… quite unkind if you asked me.”
“Well, I didn’t know. Can I have my clothes so I can go, please?” I tried to get up and again I was met with that feeling of being pulled to the ground, “As soon as this feeling goes, I will be leaving,” I told him.
“Did you call a doctor to check me out to see what what is?” I questioned.
He looked at me, smiled and said, “I didn’t need to.”
Now I was livid, now I lost it completely, “What? So, you have me here not knowing what is wrong with me? What if I died?”
He exploded into laughter, so much so he leaned back resting on my leg, I could feel every vibration as he laughed, strong and manly. Oh my God, it felt great. It’s been so long since I had an experience like this. I wanted him to stay right there laughing. Lost in my thoughts, I didn’t hear him calling, “Melissa, hello.” Snapping back into the present I responded, “No need to shout, I heard you the first time. what’s so funny anyway?”
In his manly, sweet sexy voice he answered, “your expressions are priceless.”
“Well, that’s nice but can you please call a doctor so I can know what is happening to me and how long I will be like this?” I asked.
Standing to his feet he looked at me and said, “There is no need for that, I am a doctor, and I gave you a thorough examination, from your head to your toes.”
My cheeks burned; thank God you can’t see cheek blush on very dark skin. “Oh, ok, so what is wrong with me? Why am I falling over? “I asked.
Looking straight at me he responded, “You hit that tree pretty badly and apparently you haven’t eaten much for days. I’m curious as to why.”
Well, that is because I didn’t have much to eat since no one wanted to share what they brought or bought, I thought to myself. Well, I could not say that out loud, it would have caused another interrogation session. “I have just been having too much fun, that’s all, I haven’t had time to eat”
I lied. He just stood there, not a flinch, not a sound, not a word. “What? You don’t believe me? well, you don’t have to, I don’t owe you an explanation.” I told him.
Still nothing, I began feeling a bit perturbed I touched his shoulder, “Is everything ok, sir?”
“Bryce, my name is Bryce Scottfield. My friends call me B,” he responded.
“Oh, ok. Are you ok Mr Scottfield? You’ve gone really quiet.”
Turning to face me and just like that…” Why are you lying? You are right, you don’t owe me an explanation but, at least try to do better at lying. You can’t be helped if you don’t speak the truth.”
Quickly sitting up, daring not to stand lest I fall, “Now look here Mr I don’t need your help. So, what if my parents blocked my credit card because they don’t like my friends? So, what if I have the worst friends in the whole hemisphere? So, what if every guy I’ve ever dated cheated and were nothing but losers? So, what if I choose to help the poor and not practice in a fancy clinic?” There it was, I said it all before a complete stranger and then it happened, my fountain broke. My eyes gave way and my heart door flung open, I was exposed and for the first time, I did not care. Life has been cruel, but I still choose to do what I love even though I was dead broke without my parents. I wanted to escape for just a little while, my parents had the cottage and so here I am. Without money and the most detestable bunch, I called friends.
A hush fell over the room, I’m sure for minutes. Bryce just stood there leaning against a column. I had to break the silence, I had to speak. Between sniffles, I said, “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to offload on you like that, we just met for crying out loud.”
I tried laughing to lighten the atmosphere. Hands folded, and a straight face, he spoke.
“Maybe that is what you needed, an avenue to vent, to offload. I’m glad I could help.” He smiled and walked towards the exit, “Get some rest, your parents should be here later today to take you home.” and with that he was gone, leaving behind him a cloud of fear at the thought of my parent’s arrival.
I opened my eyes to the sound of my name, and there she was, my mother tall, stately and just class epitomize, dressed in tennis gear. Oh Lord, it was Thursday, her girl’s day. I am so done. I tried to get up quickly but was held down by those arms again, Bryce. “Bryce, I need to get up.” I cried.
“No, you don’t,” my mother said, scolding me.
“Mother, let me explain,” I begged.
“Bryce has told me everything. I told you to drop those so-called friends of yours. now look at what has happened? You could have died.” She declared. as though at her wit’s end she spoke sadly “Melissa, please try to understand what your father and I have been trying to tell you, and haven’t you been eating?”
Looking away flushed with embarrassment, “I had no money and Patty and Korah refused to share what they had.” I confessed.
Out of nowhere, Bryce shouted, “And you wanted me to call them to come and get you?”
Mother looked at him with a smirk on her face, “Welcome to our world?” she said.
I lay there waiting for the verdict, waiting for the comparison of my siblings or college mates or childhood friends, but it didn’t come. I waited to hear about how I was wasting my degree on what doesn’t even pay, I heard nothing. I became scared, I looked at Bryce a man that I’d only known for two days but feels like such a long time. Then I looked at my mother and for the first time, I saw her disappointment, her hurt and her fears. I decided to speak. “Mother, I am sorry, so sorry for breaking your heart and dad’s. So sorry for being such a stressor, but I have truly learnt my lesson. During my two weeks here, I have given much thought to my life, and I guess these last two days was God telling me that it is time. Time to get my life on track and in order. I’d like to stay at the cottage for a while, get my head together and then let you know what my plans are if that is ok with you.”
My mother looked at me with a concerning look, “Well now, this is the very first time that you have apologized for all the craziness that you have done. I appreciate that. But listen I’m not so sure about you staying at the cottage alone, you don’t know anyone here. Are you sure about this Melissa?” she asked.
“All the more reason for me to be here. Mommy, I am an adult, adults do these things sometimes.” I told her.
“She will be fine here, ma’am, there are other persons living in the cottages these days, so she won’t be alone,” Bryce told her.
“Promise me that you will check in on her from time to time, will you?” mother asked Bryce.
Smiling he responded “not a problem, whenever I have time, I will. My job keeps me quite busy and quite often I’m out of the country.”
My heart fell when I heard those words, don’t ask me why, it just did.
“I have a friend that lives in her area, I’m sure he won’t mind checking in as well,” he added.
Is he trying to pawn me off to someone, like I’m some kind of a burden to him? I won’t have it, nope. “You do know that I’m standing here, right? and I can hear the conversation,” I asked quite annoyed.
No one answered, then my mother began examining my forehead, my hands and all over while Dr Bryce just stood there with his hands folded across his chest looking away. I have never seen a man as complete as this one standing in my view, never in my life. I wonder if he is married or has children. It would be nice if he wasn’t and also walked with the Lord, hmmm that would be a dream. I wonder what kind of doctor he is, the fact that he examined me and could tell what was wrong, he must be a medical doctor. I never liked that profession, as much as I loved medicine, dental did it for me. That was my first love and still is. I’d do it for free any day, well that is what I’m doing now anyway. If anyone can tell me what is more fulfilling than helping the poor and leading them to the Lord, I will listen, but until then I shall continue that path. My mother stayed a while, Bryce cooked, we ate and then she left, well after video calling daddy to talk to me, see Bryce and leave his two cents on the matter. They released my credit card, sent home the girls and had our helper Martha pack my necessities and send them off. Mother left, for her five-hour journey back home, all that is one evening. When you are a priority flyer you can get a flight out on any airline at any time, make one phone call sending the girls back home and have my things shipped to me, that’s what happens when you have money, things get done in a flash, and that’s the truth. I went to bed, with a little assistance from Bryce.
We said good night and that was that.
A whole week had passed, and it was time to go to my cottage. I have been ready for days, but Bryce would not let me. I took the opportunity to probe into Bryce’s life. I found out that he was three years older than me, he was a medical doctor and a Christian. He was single but not seeking a mate because his life was too busy now. I found out that he enjoys travelling to various places on missions. He has two brothers, and his parents were Jamaicans. He is a great cook and loves working out. He has a home gym and wakes at 5 o’clock every morning.
“Mel, Mel.” I heard him calling. “Here” I shouted in response. “Are you ready to go?” he asked as he approached me.
“Yup, as ready as can be.” I looked at him for a minute, feeling sad that I won’t be seeing this face every day anymore, nor will I have breakfast on the balcony with him. Oh well. I’m going to miss you,” I told him.
He stepped closer, pulling me into a hug, he said “and I you. Now let’s go young lady.”
I walked by his side as we exited the cottage. He held my hand as we walked to the car. I did not resist his hold this time, I simply embraced it. My hand fit so perfectly into his, why have it any other way. Maybe one day this will be our home and we will have children running around or maybe we will be too busy doing the Lord’s work we won’t have children. I don’t know what it will be like but right now, I’m just dreaming and praying that this hunk will be mine. He walked me to my door and opened it, then went to his side. I stood looking for a bit.
“Hey, can we go already?” I heard Bryce ask.
I took my seat in his Jeep Grand Cherokee. As we drove away from his cottage, my surrounding became unfamiliar, nothing jagged my memory. Only because when I came here, I was asleep but now that I’m leaving, I’m wide awake. Awake to life, awake to me and somehow, I felt awake to love.