The Dream- Chapter 7

Christina was annoying me. She had me go over everything I had already told her before. She was so into the fucking details and that it was really starting to piss me off.
“I already told you! I took her to the friend’s house and she went over the whole thing with me and she pretty much knows what happened but she doesn’t suspect anything.”
“I just find it so amazingly convenient! Daniel you are a genius! Once you’re married to her, can you imagine? I mean… think about the millions this bitch is gonna get? I’m just thanking God you were on the boardwalk that night!”
“I know”. She was so excited. I was happy to know that soon, everything I wanted to do for Christina would be possible. She was a pain in the ass but her ass sure did make up for it. Once I had her face in the pillow I really could care less what she said or did. I told her I would call her later when I got off of work.

I started thinking about how long the case would be and how long I would have to keep up the charade. If it wasn’t a few millions involved I wouldn’t do it but it was going to be worth it. As I started letting my thoughts wander I got a call from Tara.
“Hey you!” She was filled with this enthusiasm that was almost childlike.
“Hey yourself. How are you feeling?” “Well I am trying too get through the day. I’m working through the madness I guess… trying to recount the events accurately.”
“You’ll be fine. I may stop by later”. I wanted to reassure her that I was the one she could trust. I didn’t want to use her but all I could see were dollar signs. Soon enough, I would be on an island somewhere. I sweet talked her and hung up. I wanted to freshen up before heading over to see her. In the shower, all I could see were signs. Getting dressed… dollar signs. Driving over… dollar signs, but once I got there and looked in her eyes, they left.


The Dream- Chapter 6

This was when things got complicated. This was when things become too much to handle.

I was released two days after admittance, and decided to make my way back to New York. I stayed by a close friend because I couldn’t deal with my worrisome parents that would ask me if I was ok every five minutes. I couldn’t stand to see the pity in my mother’s eyes. It really annoyed me. The more I thought about it, the more I couldn’t bear living there for the duration with my case.

My landlady back in Connecticut actually allowed me to break my lease. She was surprisingly understanding, which was the total opposite from her usual cantankerous moods.

Daniel came and got me from the hospital and took me home to pack a bag and help me load my car. We both drove separate vehicles down. My friend was conveniently out off town for two weeks. She had been planning on going to California for a few months and I always had the spare key in case of an emergency. Once inside, I began putting myself to work. There was a spare bedroom next to the office room. We began putting my things in there. Daniel was pulling a box in when I walked over to him and we made eye contact. He stopped looking at what he was doing and searched my eyes for answers. My eyes must have seemed distant. He walked over and drew me in close to him. I put my hand on his face, resting it gently on his cheek; all the while our eyes remained locked. He began slowly sliding his hand down the side out my back and I couldn’t stop him. He started reaching in to kiss me but I tilted my head and he went directly into my neck instead. I felt as if I had no control anymore. He kissed and sucked my neck until I was weak and pleading with him to stop, but I could hear the yearning in my voice for him to continue. Now his hands found a resting place on my backside. The comfort I felt with him was beyond explanation. I wilfully pulled away and said “what are we doing”?

Daniel looked confused. It was as if I were speaking in tongues. “We’re spending time together. Is that okay?”
“I’m not sure. I want to know if I feel uncomfortable will you stop and protect me”? Daniel took my hands and walked over to the guest bed, leading me behind him. We sat down and he looked me in my eyes. “Listen, I know you’re apprehensive about everything but you can trust me. I’m not sure where this is going, but I’m finally trusting my feelings and I promise you, I’m not here to hurt you.” He kissed me softly on my forehead. I was still full of questions.
“What were you doing on the boardwalk that night Dan”? He took in a deep breath and said “Honestly, I mean I knew that was your spot and I was hoping I would see you. I felt like shit the way things went down that day. Christina was being her usual self and I wanted to explain myself and…”
“…Where does she stand in the picture?” I know I caught him off guard but I waited to hear his response. I had to know.
“She isn’t in the picture. Tara the divorce…”
“… wait a sec. You didn’t tell me you were divorcing her!” I wanted to smile and say ha ha ha!
“Well yeah. After that night I realized that if anything had happened to you, I couldn’t imagine not being able to see you or tell you I had always liked you. It just never seemed like the right time. Being in the hospital and wondering if you’d ever wake up was an eye opener. I kept wondering if I’d ever get a chance to admit my feelings for you.” He seemed honest and it all made sense. I hugged him and whispered in his ears “so how do you feel about me “? My hands were wrapped around his neck as we sat face to face on the bed.
“Well I was hoping to wait until the divorce was finalized in about two months but I guess now is the best time to let you know that I want you to be my girl.”

I was officially in heaven.

That night after Danny told me he wanted a relationship with me, I was pretty much on cloud nine. This was the guy I had always dreamed of getting the chance to get close with and be the father of my unborn children and my future husband. When I found out he was married I was devastated, which was the prime reason I was out jogging so late that night when he saved my life. That night, Danny helped me go through the evening of the assault. We started the recount of what took place and afterwards, I went and made dinner for us. He didn’t have to stay but he did, once again catching a nap on the sofa in the living room. I yearned for the evening he would lay beside me and hold me until we both fell asleep.

The Dream-Chapter 5

I expected a text or a call, but there was nothing. I decided that it would help if I were to get some groceries. I had nothing in my refrigerator and my cupboards had nothing special. I felt like I should have some sort of junk, even though I had been a very healthy eater. I felt that now I had the given right to pig out as I pleased. At the supermarket, I walked up and down every aisle, plagued with indecision. By the time I had gotten home, something had taken over me and had a grip in my soul. It was tight and stifling. I figured it was like final destination and because I had cheated death and was meant to die that night three weeks ago, the sensation of the very breath being taken away from me was just that. Death. I called 911 and told them I was dying. I gave them my address. Then I blacked out.

Fire and Smoke

I was back in a hospital, and I knew it once I felt the IV in my arm and the shooting pain in my skull. I did not expect to see him there, sitting, waiting for me.
“Hey”, I said. It barely even came out.
“Hey. How are you feeling?” He got up and walked over to me, with a look of disdain etched across his face.
“Tired. Real tied.” Without warning, he leaned over and kissed me on the lips. I slipped my tongue in his mouth and the kiss became passionate. He pulled away and began speaking to me and for a moment I felt lost, or as if I was having an out our body experience. “I want you to move back to New York City”. His voice sound so serious. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to, but at that moment I could not concentrate. I was wondering why I continued to pass out. I just wanted him near. So many things were running through my mind and it bothered me that I didn’t have a way to clarify it all. I was so used to being on top of things that at that moment I felt totally useless. What was happening to me?

Some say that a life is a journey and I was beginning to understand exactly what that meant. Each passing day was torture for me. It was almost as if I was becoming someone else. No one saw what was happening and no one cared. Somehow the labyrinth continued to expand and I would continue to shrink. Life gets kind of crazy like that. Through it all, I knew there was one person I could count on and his consistency, though sudden, had proven to be faultless.

“When you get out, we have a lot to talk about. I’m involved in this case and we need to get lawyers involved too. We also have to get our stories straight because this is going to become big and as much as I hate the idea of this, and you may not want to go over what happened to you, we have to sit and talk about it.” He kissed me again and said “Get some rest. I”ll let your parent’s know what’s going on and hopefully we can get you out by tomorrow.” He made his way to the door slowly and, before walking away, added ” if anything, don’t hesitate to call me.”

How did we get to this place? I didn’t know what we were, or if we were anything at all. Maybe that was my mistake? Maybe Daniel was just being a friend that didn’t want attachments because of his marriage? I closed my eyes and promised myself I would worry about everything in the morning. I said a prayer through the splitting headache and left it all in His hands.

The Dream- Chapter 4

The next couple of weeks were difficult. I moved back home to Connecticut and found that it was not easy to sleep alone in a lonely apartment after recently being sexually assaulted. The nightmares and reoccurring dreams were horrible and of course, I wouldn’t dare find myself out at night. I decided that I would press charges. I didn’t know much about this guy, but he was apparently on probation, and also was found not guilty to a few murders based on the evidence bring tampered with, but many people felt it was shady business, and that people were paid off to let him off easy. He was related to the Morgan family, and they had riches beyond the Walton’s and the Trumps, but they lacked the prestige of the Kennedy’s. Nevertheless, he made his way back out, but since his release, authorities were searching for a way to get him back behind bars for good.

I would occasionally receive a text from Daniel, just to check on me. I was feeling scared and tired of the constant fight between sleep and violent nightmares, and so  one night, I called him.
“I hope I didn’t wake you?”
“No Tara you’re good. Are you ok though?” I broke down crying. I wasn’t used to not having him around to make me feel protected and comfortable in my own skin and I had grown so accustomed to it since the attack.
“Text me the address and I will figure it out.” He had sound so tired, and I was sure he was talking in his sleep. I felt guilty. So incredibly guilty. In three hours, he was there, in my livingroom, sleeping on my sofa. I could finally rest.

Smoke Without Fire.

Around six I was up. I would have to start going back to work if I wanted to keep my spot. It wasn’t this huge pad, but it was mine. I had one bedroom, one office, a large livingroom with high ceilings and a decent sized kitchen. I made my way to the kitchen, being careful to avoid this dust bin and broom that always found a way to make me trip. Daniel was already at the table. I was shocked when I saw him. I screamed out loud, loud enough for the neighbors to hear, but he calmed me down. “damn keep it down!” He walked over to me. “You okay? ”
“Yeah”, I said, a bit frazzled.
“I didn’t mean to scare you.” He took me in his arms and hugged me. I pulled back a bit and looked up into his eyes. It was inevitable, but I fought it. I pulled away. I wanted to congratulate myself. “We are friends right?” I had to ask him.
“We are”.
“Good, because I need my friend.” I walked out and headed back to my room.

“I’m headed out. I gotta be at work by 9.” Daniel looked so handsome with his backpack on one shoulder, standing at my bedroom door.
“Did you have breakfast? I can make you something.”
“Nah, I’m heading out.” Daniel started out towards the bathroom, but soon I found myself standing behind him with my arms wrapped around his waist. I wanted to say thank you, but I wanted him to feel me. He pulled one arm off and qpulled me away. Then, without warning, Daniel lifted me, my legs dangling over his right arm. He placed me on my bed and said “stop fighting me.” He hovered over me and gently sank down into my highly anticipated kiss. I felt uneasy. I pushed him off, but forced him to lie down. I straddled his body and inhaled the familiar scent of listerine on our tongues. I released the repressed passion I had for him that was locked away for years. I had been dreaming of a moment like that forever, and there we were, creating it. As it got more intense and I could feel him stiffening and growing between my legs, I drew away.
“I’m sorry”, he said. He got up, grabbing his belongings with one motion, and like that, he was gone.

The Dream>Chapter 3

Looks aren’t always what they seem. A man can pretend to be happy with the baddest chick on the side, when inside, he yearns for something new.

It felt strange not seeing Daniel in a few days, but it wasn’t long until we would see each other again. He called me and asked if he could take me out to have dinner. I told him I didn’t think it was ok and that I was not ready yet to start going places. He wouldn’t take no for an answer. We decided to catch a movie after a long debate on how I felt being around so many people after what had recently happened to is. I asked him if it was ok with his wife. “When I see you, we will talk”. He sound hurt.

I threw on some sweat pants, and my FSU jersey sweat shirt. I had to trek my parents a million times I would be ok. My father was taking it the hardest, surprisingly. When I got in the car, Daniel sarcastically said “what? No six inch heels and a miniskirt?” I laughed and closed the door. At the first stoplight, I turned to him and began the interrogation. “What is going on with you two? I want to know.”

“She left me for her ex. I guess she had an idea that there was something behind my not being there.” I wanted to make sure I processed what he was saying before I reacted.
“Your not being there because of what happened to me?” I turned my body towards him now, but the seat belt was so restricting. He was focused on the road. ” I really hope you are not telling me that I’m the cause? Just because you were helping me through this time?”
“Tara you are not the cause. This was a woman I should not have married, but I did, and I mean look, even though I did love her, she wasn’t supposed to be my wife.”
“Daniel, I’m confused. My head hurts”. I couldn’t understand how he could love her and let her go.
“Then let’s change the subject. I’m trying to relieve the stress and take your mind off of things.” I wanted to know why. He put his right hand out, for me to take it I guess, but I slapped it. He started laughing at me, which got me to laugh back. I wanted to just slap him in the face and ask a billion questions, but I didn’t want to ruin the moment.

“Are you guys legally separated? Do you still love your wife? How often do you guys speak? Why are we spending do much time together? Are we just friends? why did you come to the hospital everyday? Did your wife know you were coming to see me? Did your wife know about the kiss? Why did you kiss me? What are we doing? Where is this going? Do you have feelings for me? What were you doing on the boardwalk that night? What did you want to tell me?

When we got to the movies, I told him I needed I second. He came around and opened my door for me. “You ok?” I nodded and stepped out. He closed the door behind me and locked the car. Beep beep! I felt naked and exposed. Once in the theatre, I felt safer. There was a lot of light, a lot of people and Daniel, which made me feel better about being out of the hospital.

We decided to watch see a romantic comedy. I didn’t get any snacks. He got a soda. No matter how much he asked, I refused to let him buy me anything. w say at the back because I felt safest there, seeing each person as they came in. midway, through the movies and the laughter, Daniel leaned over to me and whispered “are you ok?” I turned and smiled and said “yeah. I’m actually glad you convinced me to do this. You’re a good friend.” He nodded and sat back. I few more minutes passed and I felt him looking my way, so I turned to him. I thought he would shy away, being caught, but instead, our eyes locked. I smiled, but I knew it was half assed. His stare scared me a little, even though I knew he was safe, and that I was safe with him. I just didn’t want to be looked at by any man. “I’m just glad you’re ok”, he said, with a serious look on his face. “let’s watch the movie. W came here to relieve stress… Remember?”
“Yeah, I remember”, Daniel said, and moved his arm from the arm rest we shared. I didn’t mind. I wanted some space.

The Dream- Chapter 2

“Yes”. I couldn’t explain how much pain I was in but I knew he would make sure I was ok. Somehow, I trusted him, despite his strange behavior in the past. Just the care in his voice alone reminded me why I felt so strongly for him all those years. Then, without warning, he started to leave the room, but walked back. I figured he was leaving keys behind or something. Daniel came back and hovered over me and said ” I care about you a lot. I need you to know that.” He reached in and kissed me on the lips so softly. I was so confused. Was I dying? Wasn’t he married, or was it because I was vulnerable. I blacked out again.

Recoup and recover

I slowly began the path to recovery over the next few days, but it started becoming apparent to me that I was going to be facing more difficult times up ahead. I began taking advantage of each new day given to me, after a week in the hospital. I noticed things that I hadn’t seen before, and I appreciated things I hadn’t cared about before. Daniel’s presence was really great. He came to check on me everyday and asked me how I felt and told me what was going on with my attacker. His name was Clyde Simmons, and he was on the loose for about 3 years. I was the 18th woman he had attacked, and thankfully, the last. Had Daniel not been there, I could have wound up like many of the other women. Only 2 had survived before me, and 16 of the women had been sexually assaulted and raped. I was fortunate. Still, I had a big decision to make. I would have to decide if I wanted to press charges. It would hit the news and Daniel would have to be involved. This was a registered repeated sex offender that was loose and prowling around in the New York City area. I was so confused as to why I was going through this.

That wasn’t the only thing bothering me. After the kiss, I wasn’t sure how to feel or react around Daniel. It was something I had dreamt would happen for years, since we were kids playing together at school, but I never thought it would happen the way it did. I felt like I never really knew him before then, and all I had known was just an illusion. I couldn’t imagine if it was just an “I feel sorry for you kiss” or an ” I have feelings for you kiss”. We never spoke aout it again. The day I was being released from the hospital after a long week and half of prodding and testing and healing, Daniel came into my room as I was getting ready. My parents and some family had been there on good days to check on me, but Daniel had consistently taken over. I wasn’t sure if he was doing it because he felt he had to, or because he wanted to. He told me he would take me home. He was there that afternoon, and it looked like he had rushed there. “Maybe he was coming from work? I can’t imagine how he’s running back and forth and also managing to go to work and deal with clients”, I thought to myself.

The hospital had a minor speculation that the press would show up on the day I was leaving, but we left from a back exit and I was covered with Daniel’s blazer to shield my identity. I had no clue what was going on. I just wanted to feel safe. I wasn’t sure how I would finish the semester. I decided that maybe it was in my best interest to take some time off of school until everything was squared away. The drive back to my parents’ home was quiet until I asked ” how’s your wife? You haven’t spoken about her”.
“I’m not really sure. I haven’t really spoken to her.” He seemed to be really focused on his driving? “Did you decide yet if you’re going to go through with the charges. I mean this guy is sick and he deserves the maximum penalty.” He sound so angry.
“Daniel… I want you to know I really appreciate all you’ve done for me and alll you are doing. I don’t want to make any situation worst than…”
“Tara what the fuck are you really talking about? You haven’t done anything wrong. Everything has been my fault from the beginning.” I got really quiet. He was clearly upset, but I wasn’t too sure why, so I felt if I stayed quiet, we wouldn’t get into anything. I wanted to discuss the kiss, but I wasn’t getting from him that it was something he’d talk about.

When he pulled up at my gate, I said thanks and motioned to leave when he took my hand and drew it to his mouth. He kissed my left hand said “I’m sorry for putting you through so much. I fuck up a lot but I want to make things right by you, as a friend. A friend that cares a lot for a friend.” I didn’t look at him. I couldn’t bear the thought of of even a glimpse into the eyes that I adored but could not give me anything in return. I felt confused, but as I stepped out the car, I knew that there was a new voyage ahead; one of lies being uncovered, a dark past jealousy and misery coming to the light.

Courts In Session

The Dream- Chaper 1

I couldn’t imagine that he would admit, after all these years, that I was the one he had loved all this time. I never thought I even mattered much to him.

I was getting in the car when I heard him behind me. I didn’t recognize his voice. All I could remember was the sensation in my scalp as my hair was being pulled, tugged on gently. It felt so sexual to me. He called me a dread and I turned to see who would bear the brunt of my blow. My fist was balled up in a reflex to strike the culprit, when I saw his face. The familiar face that melted my entire being drew close and he hugged me. I made sure to press my breast against his chest. I wanted my nipples to press into his skin. I wanted him to feel me.

I hadn’t seen him in such a long time. It almost became like an annual occurance, if I was even that lucky. We played catch up for a few minutes and then before he left, we exchanged numbers. A few days later, we began texting, but it hardly felt like anything special. A little text, initiated by me, maybe exery other day. A short response from him. After 2 weeks of trying to keep up, I decided that it was time to let go. I stopped texting him, hoping that he would miss the communication. It never happened. I decided to let him go entirely and get over my 15 year unrequited love affair. Daniel was just not that into who I was.

I moved a few months later to Connecticut for a masters program I had been itching to take. 2 years after that, there was some family business that needed taking care of, so I headed back home, taking a weekend drive. Upon visiting my parents, I went to my old home church. I couldn’t help but notice this handsome guy, sitting beside a beautiful woman. As I looked more and more it dawned on me that it was Daniel. He had cut his hair down into a Caesar, which really gave him a more sophistacated look. As if by fate, our eyes kept meeting up. I would try not to smile, but I couldn’t help it. He would smirk too. We were like two kids in a candy store. He seemed so giddy. The woman next to him peeked over his shoulder and caught me, mid- smirk. She wasn’t smiling. As a matter of fact, if looks could kill, I would have been six feet under. I could tell she was his girlfriend. She seemed like that ride or die kind of chick. Her features led me to believe that she was black and hispanic mixed. I knew she would have something to say to me if he and I hugged or said hi.

I waited until the service was over. I was expecting some sort of acknowledgement. I got up and went outside the church. It was a gorgeous summer day. He seemed to be in a rush to leave, but a church sister that hadn’t seen him in years had him cornered. I walked over to them and gave Sister Horne a hug. She began talking to me and he motioned a “thank you” as he tried to take his girlfriend’s hand and walk away. I thought it was strange behavior, but with his woman standing right there, I didn’t want to be disrespectful. I glanced over and noticed the two of them appearing to be in some sort of bicker match. Finally, they made their way back over to me. “Christina, this is my friend of many years Tara. Tara, this is my wife Christina”.

Wife? Wife! I thought I would pass out. Why didn’t he tell me he was getting married married?
“Nice to meet you Christina”, I mustered up the courage to say. I could feel my heart breaking slowly, and I knew she could see the blood just oozing. She seemed relieved and tickled.
“I just thought it was strange that my husband didn’t tell me about this friend grew had for many years, you know? But I’m glad we met and you know me now.” I smiled and they walked away. Her thick Brooklyn accent was no surprise to me. He turned back to mouth “sorry”. I was in the dark.

My number had changed since he and I used to text, but I was do tempted to text him and ask him all the questions running through my head. I honestly assumed he and I were cooler than that. That night, I had to take a jog on the boardwalk. My parents had a house about two blocks from the beach, and somehow, the beach always became my safe haven. The boardwalk was where I’d put foot to the pavement if I were stressed our confused, but if I ever needed clarity, or answers from the stars, I would walk straight into the sand. On rare occasions, and walk until the ocean and talk to God, but the ocean was always powerful to me. It could reveal things I did not want to know, our were too much for me to handle. That night in particular though, I wanted to put foot to pavement and just shake Daniel off.

It had been tormenting me for years; his smile, his touch, the way he spoke and how I felt about him. I was clearly living in a fantasy works and what I saw was not true. I had this reoccurring reverie that would haunt me. Daniel as my friends, then as my boyfriends, then fiance, and finally, my husband. I wanted to conquer him and know that I wad worth a guy like him. Didn’t he see this?

As I stretched, I looked up and noticed the moon. It was so bright and the curve reminded me of the tales like Mother Goose and the cow jumping over the moon. I remembered a guy I slept with that I regretted immensely and began an intense run.

Shake it off.

I didn’t even realize where I had been standing when I stopped to catch my breath. I was running back after jogging about thirty blocks and stopped to recuperate when I saw Daniel sitting at a bench, looking at the ocean. I didn’t want him to notice me, so I started jogging quickly, back in the direction I had just come from. I figured if I gave it some time, he would be gone. about ten blocks from where he say, I did some stretching and a few sit ups.
“Hey Tara. I thought that was you”, I heard, and as I say up, I saw Daniel walking towards me.
“Hey”? I didn’t want to really speak to him. He was the reason I was there attempting to clear my head in the first place!

I got up and started heading home. “Have a good night”, I said as I walked away. He grabbed my hand. “Wait, please”. I turned around, pulling my hand away and said “whats up”?.
“I’m sorry about today. I didn’t…”
“honestly, it’s cool. Take care”. I started walking away. I figured he would just let it go. It was so awkward.

“It’s not cool…” He started saying something but I plugged my headphones in and started jogging. Suddenly, I felt someone grabbing my arm. I turned to hit Daniel or push him off. This time, it wasn’t Daniel. The strength of this guy had me over powered. He threw me up against the railing and began trying to take off my jogging tights. He started rubbing his hands all over me and I could feel his dick hard as a rock pressed up between my add, poking me. He had my mouth covered, but I managed to bite down into a finger and as he pulled away, yelling obscenities at me, I managed to scream help. I was trying to fight him off when I yelled out again, only this time, I didn’t say help. “Daniel!!!!!!” I shrieked. I was losing strength. The attacker was just about to get his hands inside my pants when before I knew out, he was on the floor, getting punched in the face til he was unconscious. I collapsed on the floor and blacked out.


I woke up in the hospital. I turned to the left and there was Daniel, sitting in the chair beside the bed. “Daniel?”. For some reason, I felt like I whispered his name. He walked over to me and said ” I wasn’t going to let him hurt you. I’m just glad you’re awake. Let me call a nurse real quick.”
“Wait.” I wanted to say so much but I felt myself losing strength again. Everything started being black again. “Tara!” I heard him saying my name but I couldn’t hold on.

“Apparently her attacker hit her in her head. It’s been an ongoing thing we’ve been seeing in the victims that made it here or to the morgue. If the women fought back, he would punch them, knock them with his gun or inject them with a poison. She was fortunate to suffer a minor concussion. We just want to monitor her for another day or so to make sure everything is ok Mr. Brandt. It’s just great to know that she is last person he will ever hurt.”
I could faintly hear Daniel’s voice, but it was getting stronger. “I’m just glad she’s coming along and that hes behind bars.”
“There will certainly be some press behind this. You might want to start thinking about an attorney.” The voice was feminine, but strong.
The voices grew faint and I heard a door close. I heard foot steps and tried opening my eyes. I turned my head to the sounds. “Can you hear me Tara?”

I opened my eyes. It felt like such a difficult task, but just hearing Daniel’s voice made me want to see his face. There was a light piercing through, and then, the familiar face. I tried to smile, but then, out hit me. The pounding of my head caused years to spontaneously stream from my eyes. “Thank you” was all I could say, but Daniel placed his hand on my lips, and whispered “everything wil be ok. I’m not leaving.” I felt him wipe the tears away and ask me of I was in pain.