Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Chapter 25

At 2.30am Leah and Richie’s hotel phone rings. Richie eventually decided to get up and answer it, ready to give the person on the other end a piece of his mind for waking him up. Turning on the bedside lamp, Leah watched as Richie’s expression changed from anger to a worried panic. Leah knew immediately that something was wrong. Getting out of bed and moving to where he stood on the phone she put an arm around him hoping it would comfort him from the news he was receiving. Hanging up the phone, Richie shook of Leah’s arm and rushed to get dressed, “I have to go to London.” Leah was confused as to why he would want to go there. “That was a hospital on the phone, Heather took an overdose and Ava found her. She’s there on her own,” Richie said as his voice filled with more panic. He was frantically searching the room for everything he would need to take with him. Leah stopped him and sat him on the bed to calm him down and explained that he shouldn’t go alone in the state he was in and that she would come with him. Opening the suitcase and throwing all their stuff into it, Richie had packed within minutes while Leah went to the next room to wake up Jon and Dot and tell them what had happened. Before Leah had finished explaining, Jon and Dot had already started packing telling her they were going too. A short while later they had met up at the front of the hotel and were getting into a taxi to the airport. Jon arranged for a flight to take them to London as quickly as possible since Richie seemed to only be able to mumble words so fast there were impossible to make out. Leah, Jon and Dot tried their hardest to calm him down during the flight as things weren’t moving as fast as he’d like.

Arriving at the hospital, Richie frantically searched for someone to take him to his daughter while the other three ran behind. They catch up just in time to turn the corner and watch just as Richie finds Ava standing in tears outside the window of a hospital ward and Richie runs towards her. Throwing his arms around his daughter and cradling her in his arms. Leah felt the tears well up inside her. She was suddenly hit by the realisation that she might never be able to give him a child. Watching him with Ava, Leah could see he was a great father and Ava adored him. It made Leah think of the times she had read interviews by Richie in magazines in the past where he openly spoke about wanting more children. Pulling herself together, Leah, Jon and Dot made their way over to Ava, each of them giving her a big hug. Richie spoke to the nurses about Heather who assured him she will be okay once she wakes up. They explained that she has been suffering from severe depression for a number of years now, which shocked Richie as she had never mentioned it to him while they were married. The nurse then led Ava and Richie into the ward to see her while the others waited outside. From the hallway, Leah could see through the same window that Ava was looking in. She watched as Richie and Ava stood around Heather’s still unconscious body. As Richie took Heather’s hand in his and held it tightly, Leah could see from the way he looked at her that some part of him still loved her. She turned away, unable to watch any longer but the thoughts of Richie and Heather still stayed in her head. They looked so good together and they had a beautiful child and could still have many more. Leah felt as though she couldn’t compete with that.

A short while later Richie and Ava return from the ward. They decide it would be best if they find a hotel in the area to spend the night and get Ava into her bed. Richie had gone with one of the nurses to speak to a doctor about Heather’s condition while the other three headed out of the hospital with Jon holding a sleeping Ava in his arms. Before they go outside they realise they don’t have Ava’s jacket and Leah goes back up to the ward to find it before they take her out in the cold. It didn’t take long for Leah to see the jacket lying over a chair beside Heather and she went in to get it. Just as she was turning to leave she heard Heather speak. “So you’re Richie’s new girlfriend,” she managed to say groggily. Leah looked at her confused as to how she knew who she was and unsure of what to say to her. “Ava showed me lot’s of photos from the holiday. She never stops talking about you,” she replied to Leah’s blank expression. “I’ll go get the nurse for you,” Leah finally managed to speak. “No, not yet. Come over here I want to talk to you,” Heather said, pointing to the chair beside her. Leah made her way over but chose to stand beside it rather than sit down. “I was really lucky to have a man like Richie love me and so are you. I ruined that by messing him around. I didn’t realise how much I loved him until he was gone and I still love him. I just wanted you to know that all I want is for him to be happy,” Heather explained to her. Leah felt awkward and unsure of why she was telling her this. “That’s all I want too,” Leah replied and left to find the nurse.

As she made to go back to Jon and Dot with the jacket, Leah replayed everything Heather had said to her in her head. She was now convinced that Richie should be back with his ex wife. She had thought about what she had told her and decided that the reason she had messed Richie around in the first place could have been because of her health. Her heart wanted Richie so much for herself but her head told her she couldn’t stand in the way of Richie’s happiness. With Heather he could be happy and they could have a big family together, what he always wanted. There was still the chance of Leah having a baby but it was slim and she wasn’t prepared to risk Richie’s happiness for it. As she made her way down the stairs she saw Richie coming down the opposite set and they met on the landing. Leah explained that Heather had woken up and was okay before telling him she had to talk to him. She explained that she wouldn’t be able to stay with him any longer and that she would be leaving tonight. Richie tried to stop her but she wouldn’t listen. Instead she took her engagement ring off and put it in his hand telling him, “Your wife and daughter need you.” She then turned and continued down the rest of the stairs as Richie watched her go. At the front door she hurriedly gave Dot the jacket and told them to take Ava to hotel and phone Richie to tell him where they are. She then made her way to the exit quickly, unable to hold the tears back any longer. Hearing Jon and Dot shout after her, she started to run and let the tears flow.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh... wow... typing through tears here. That was a great chapter but depressed the hell out of me