My morning patients go by in a blur. I try to be attentive to their problems but my mind is bogged down with my own issues. With Jeremy. With the future. With the man who hired Evan. With the man at the bar.
Grace strolls into my office at a quarter to one and sets a plastic container on my desk. It's a Caesar chicken salad - dressing on the side.
"You worked through lunch again, huh?" Grace asks me.
She leans against the edge of my desk and gives me a sad smile.
"You really should take your breaks. They help clear your mind."
"Thanks for the salad," I say, completely ignoring her suggestion.
"How are things with you and Evan?"
Not now Gracey.
"Ahhh we're - well, we had a fight."
"Oh? Do you want to talk about it?"
"Not really Grace. But thanks. I have a patient coming in at one. So…"
Grace stands and gives me a sarcastic salute. "Didn't know I hired such a hard working girl," she says with a faint smile.
I just roll my eyes and do my best to scarf down my salad in record time.
My one o'clock doesn't show and my two o'clock is with Todd. He knocks on my door at 1:45 pm and glances around my room to see if I'm with anyone else.
"Come on in Todd," I say with a friendly tone and gesture to his favorite leather chair. "Take a seat."
Todd sits down and starts his germ-X mantra. He pulls a folded piece of paper from his pocket and clears his throat.
"I had a dream last night. I wrote it down, like you asked," he says.
I try not to show my excitement, but I practically trip over my desk to get closer to him. My notepad shakes in my unsteady hands.
"Go ahead," I urge.
Todd gives me a weary look but then starts reading from his sheet of paper - word for word.
"He's becoming two different people," Todd begins. "This angel person. He is showing me his anguish and his confusion with it all. There are images of Heaven mixed with images of earth. It's like he can't decide which one he belongs to anymore."
My breathing strains and I try to remain calm.
"And then this like - explosive firework went off inside his head. He wouldn't show me what happened but it impacted him like crazy. His emotions for that woman are in overdrive and it's like he's going crazy because of it. He doesn't think of anything else but her and knows it has to stop."
Todd looks from his paper and gives me a quizzical look. I try to mask my emotions at this new information, but I know my worry is cracking through in my expression.
"Why what, doc?"
"Why does the angel have to stop?"
Todd shrugs and looks back down at his paper. "He didn't say. Ok so where was I…..oh right. So he knows it has to stop. So then I got all these flashes of sadness, like he was crying. And then I saw him leave the earth, like he was floating on up to heaven or somethin'. He kept looking back and shouting for the girl but she didn't hear him. And the last thing I remember was this super bright light blinding me. I couldn't see or hear anything. And then I woke up."
My mouth hangs open and my mind is running rampant. What does it all mean? My stomach churns slowly and I have an ill-sitting feeling that when I go home, I won't find anyone there.
I somehow manage to make it through my hour with Todd and as soon as I'm done, I pack up my briefcase and race home. With clammy hands I get out of my car, slam the door and jog to the front door. I fumble with the keys, and when I turn the lock my heart is pounding so loud that I'm afraid I'll go deaf.
I swing the door open and call Jeremy's name. I wait for a response.
I start making my way through the house, tears welling up in my throat with every room that turns up empty. I go to my bedroom and see the bed is made. I turn around and look down the hallway. Jeremy's bedroom door is closed and I hope beyond hope that he is in there.
I give a tentative knock on the door and then let myself in. The bed is made and the room is immaculately clean. I start checking the drawers, pulling them open in a frenzy and then slamming them closed when I see there's nothing there.
I check his bathroom just to be thorough, but the eerie silence around me tells all. I am alone. I crumble down to a helpless ball on the floor, tears careening down my cheeks and into my hands. Todd's dream had been accurate. Every damn bit of it.
Jeremy was gone….
…And I will never see him again.