'Please tell me you're still in Australia?'
Rylie looked down at the message on her recently turned on phone. It was Niall. She was walking back to her hotel, not able to catch a cab, and he had been blowing up her phone.
'Rylie, you can't ignore me forever.'
She put her phone in her pocket, ignoring the constant buzzing. She was in no mood to talk to Niall...or anybody for that matter. She had left Michael's house in such a hurry, fearing Karen would see her so distraught. All she had on her mind was Michael, and she was tired of everyone offering their condolences. She was actually happier that Katie had given up on her. Now she could attempt to grieve over her pathetic life in peace.
Rylie's phone buzzed again, and she pulled it out, quickly glancing at the screen.
The name Michael immediately registered her mind as she looked down at the text. Did her eyes deceive her? She closed her eyes, and counted to five before looking down again. She frowned seeing Niall's name. She wished it was Michael, but that was a ridiculous assumption.
'When you're ready to talk, I'm here for you.'
Niall was such a great guy. She had always been closest with him through everything, and now she felt so ashamed she had alienated herself from the people who could help.
Rylie tucked her hands in her trench coat, and tried to keep steady with the powerful wind wanting to sweep her off her feet.
She looked up, seeing the outlandish hotel sign, and nodded a thanks to the doorman as he kindly opened the door for her.
It was a fairly decent hotel, and Rylie really hadn't paid attention to it the day they checked in. She was lost in sadness, stressing over Michael's funeral, and it went even worse than she feared.
She took the elevator up to her room, and let her hand trace down the hallways as she scanned for her room number.
Rylie breathed out as she stopped in front of her door, and rummaged through her bag for the key card. She hoped to plop down on the bed, and disappear to another world where there was Michael and Luke waiting for her. A world where there was no drama, and no dying. Most of all, your heart couldn't break.
Rylie pushed the door open, and stopped in her footsteps as she looked up at the odd scene before her.
"What's going on?" she said, knitting her eyebrows together in confusion.
She pulled her coat off and threw it to the floor before crossing her arms, and waiting for an answer.
Katie sat a the small table provided with a strange looking woman. The woman's hair was intimidatingly long and voluminous. Her lips popped out with cherry red lipstick, and her eyes were a dark brown. She dressed unlike the average person in a dangling shawl that gently touched the floor. Other than that, she could fit into society easily. She wasn't that old; maybe in her 30's. What perplexed Rylie so deeply was that what was a woman she had never seen before doing in her apartment?
"Rylie, this is Jenna." Katie waved her hand, motioning Rylie to the empty seat beside them. "She's here to help you."
"You did not get me a therapist!" Rylie shook her head at the horrid thought. There was no way she would talk to a useless person who was paid to say wasteful lies for her benefit. She had no use for a therapist, and she slowly prepared her feet to leave immediately if Jenna was one.
"No!" Jenna touched her chest, and chuckled lightly. There was a huge diamond ring on her finger, indicating her marriage.
"Then what are you doing here?" Rylie asked obviously.
"I'm a medium, also known as spritualist." Jenna said proudly. "Do you know what that is?" Her Australian accent was lighter than most Rylie had heard.
"Of course I know what that is." Rylie spat. "The question should be whether I believe in one. Which I don't." The whole idea of someone given a special gift to talk to the dead sounded like a false statement to Rylie. It just wasn't possible. The living could not talk to the deceased.
Jenna laughed again, and dabbed her eyes with a tissue she pulled out of her large snakeskin bag. "You'll believe once I connect with your friend Michael."
Rylie shuttered at her lips forming those words. "Don't say his name!" she screamed. "You have no right to say his name!" She was so irritated at everybody. Why couldn't she come home and go back to sulking? Everyone continued to help her, but they weren't getting the memo she didn't want it.
"Rylie.." Katie started, and she glanced at Rylie in a pained expression.
"Don't look at me like I'm helpless!" Rylie shouted loud enough for the people below them to hear. She turned briskly to leave, but Jenna spoke.
"All you have to do is sit down for a minute, and I can prove to you that Michael is here with us."
"Don't say his name!" Rylie screamed again, and slid her fingers through her hair. Tears streamed down her face. She didn't even know why she was so pissed all of a sudden. The mood swings were making her sick, and dizzy. She suddenly felt nausea over take her, and she slid past Jenna and ran to the tiny bathroom. She had no time to decently close the door and she barely made it to the toilet as she threw up contents of the half eaten sandwich she had earlier just to say she ate something.
Her throat burned as the acid slid up her esophagus, and her stomach had mini seizures, searching for more food to puke up. Rylie hated puking. Food was supposed to stay down. Tears brimmed her eyes as she gasped for breath again, and was able to gain her body back in control. She gripped the toilet as she pulled herself down, and grimaced at the contents spinning down the drain. She wiped the wet sweat emitting from her forehead, and realized she actually felt better. No matter how ridiculous it was, Rylie convinced herself to just put up with the bull that Katie had planned for her. The least she could do was give it a try, and prove her initial thought.
Rylie sniffed stepping out of the bathroom, and dizzily walked over to the table. She sat down, taking an uneasy breath.
"Are you ok?" Katie asked, touching her hand.
Rylie nodded, and pulled her own hand away. "Let's just do this stupid thing."
She had been feeling sick for the past week, and she assumed it was side effects of a mild depression.
Jenna looked into her eyes with such an intensity that Rylie wanted to look away, but couldn't bring herself to do it.
"Do you need proof?" she asked.
"I would like some, yea." Rylie said bitterly.
Jenna closed her eyes, and breathed out, emitting an eye roll from Rylie. The whole thing was fake.
"Does a silver necklace with a music note ring a bell?"
Rylie stiffened in her seat, and reached for her neck, feeling no loose jewelry. She had taken it off before going to Michael's house. Katie didn't even know about it. It was only her...and Michael. It wasn't possible. How could she know?
Rylie racked her brain with all the possibilities of Jenna knowing about that necklace.
"That's not proof. Everybody knows about the necklace." Rylie lied. She wasn't ready to believe Jenna was actually talking to Michael on the other side. If he was in that room with her, she wouldn't be able to handle it. The fact that he was there but she couldn't see or touch him would be torture.
Jenna smirked, and scanned Rylie's face. "What about the words written on that letter. 'Rylie, I will see you again.'"
Rylie slammed her hands on the table as she stood up. "How do you know about that?" she shrieked. There was a fact only her and Michael knew about the note. She had it hidden away in a special, untouched place.
"Michael told me!" Jenna slightly raised her voice. "And now he says to stop being so stubborn so you two can make things right."
Rylie shook her head in disbelief. She was left with no choice but to believe her. He was there. In that very room. Rylie pictured his smile as her looked at her, and she couldn't smile back. She imagined his ghostly figure almost transparent in the room, talking to Jenna where only she could hear. It was a bitter torture knowing he was there. She had been dreaming about hugging him for a full week now, and he was so close...yet so far away.
"Now sit back down." Katie commanded.
Rylie gradually planted herself in that ridged seat, and nervously bit at her bottom lip, waiting for Jenna to say something.
"Now do you believe me?" Jenna smiled, feeling accomplished that she had convinced yet another non-believer.
Rylie nodded slowly, glancing around the room.
"Michael says hi."
Rylie's stomach lurched with butterflies. "He's really here?" she asked in a small, innocent voice.
Jenna nodded in sympathy.
"Hey, Mikey." Rylie darted her eyes around the small space, hoping she could magically catch green eyes staring back at her.
Jenna closed her eyes again, and spoke without reopening them. "He says to stop feeling so down."
"Tell him I can't help it." Rylie spoke quickly, having so many things she wanted to say to him flood in her mind. It was such an unnatural experience, but it was the closest thing to reassurance Rylie had. "Tell him I'm sorry I killed him." Her voice cracked as her body reeled with tears yet again.
"He's right here, Rylie. He can hear you. I don't have to tell him. "Jenna laughed at Rylie's foolishness.
Rylie nodded sheepishly. She repeated, "I'm sorry I did this...I should have let you leave when you planned, and not...use you for my selfish needs!" She sobbed slightly, and rubbed under her eye.
Jenna shook quickly. "Oh, I can feel his power building." she smiled. "Michael says that don't you DARE blame yourself. " Her voice was firm, yet soft, and she spoke viciously, as if she was gnawing at the words, trying to emphasize. "He said he's tired of you blaming yourself! He saw you in such agony over you thinking all this was your fault, but it's not. He didn't have to leave when he did. It was a fluke accident, and he's honored he got to spend his last day with you."
"Did he really?" Rylie cooed happily, tears mixed with grief and joy filled her eyes, and splashed down her face. "Is it really not my fault?" she grinned, delighted at the fact Michael didn't blame her. She had been tormented thinking he hated her for doing that to him, but he was right. Rylie saw now she shouldn't blame herself. No one should. She guessed it just took hearing it from Michael...or hearing it from him through Jenna...to fully understand her stupidity.
"It's no one's fault." Jenna flashed almost yellow teeth.
Rylie couldn't be more overjoyed. All that weight was lifted off her shoulder. She felt like a new person. She was finally able to say the goodbye she had been desperately wanting to say. It may not have happened how she planned, but it was even more perfect than she pictured. Sure Rylie would have those days when she saw Michael's face, and she would grip her body in traumatizing misery. She would miss him everyday, but now, they could clear everything, and say goodbye.
Rylie thought of Luke, and how he deserved to speak with Michael, too. Boy, she missed him. Why did she think pushing him away would be a good idea? She thought she was a monster, and she made the biggest mistake a human being could make. She let him go. The last string keeping her from jumping off that balcony was gone, and the sorry part was, she still had a chance to touch him again. She could fix things with him. She could've been able to touch his cheek, and kiss his soft lips.
"I love you, Michael." Rylie smiled at a blank space between her, but she could practically feel his green eyes on hers. She felt the power in the room.
She loved Michael. She loved him as a brother, but she also loved him as hers. If things didn't happen like it did, she saw a future with him. He could give her happiness just as well as Luke. He could give her beautiful children, and they could've been a beautiful family. She still loved Luke more than life itself. Nothing could change that. He still had her heart that he couldn't return. Luke was still the only one who could make her feel untouched and innocent every single time he kissed her lips. Luke was still hers in every way; but nevertheless, she loved Michael, too; in her own, different way.
Jenna spoke, but Rylie's ears heard Michael's voice speaking. "I love you, too."
She shivered in sudden cold, and blushed as she possibly imagined a feeling on her cheek. A soft touch. It was Michael. Rylie touched her cheek, knowing she would feel only her finger, but she pictured Michael's hand beneath hers.
"Goodbye Rylie." Jenna said through Michael's words. "But don't forget, Luke's still there, and you two deserve each other."