Sin Whispered Love Ch. 04byJulietteLaBelle©
They spent the afternoon enjoying the tranquility of nature. Zeke sat at the waters edge while Adam laid next to him, staring up at the puffy white clouds that drifted by at their lazy pace. He hadn't felt this kind of calm in the entire year since he'd woken up. Zeke hadn't spoken much, and Adam was content in the silence, but he was also worried. He felt like something was changing, but more than that, he felt like, maybe, he could finally move past who he used to be, the person he didn't know, a stranger. He thought maybe he could start to live instead of just exist. He looked over at Zeke, who was staring at the waterfall. He looked quite at peace. Adam noticed the same peace as it seeped into his own bones, and he sighed. Zeke looked over at him, one eyebrow raised in question. Adam just shook his head, and sat up.
It was then that they both heard a rustling in the brush behind them, and Zeke turned, quicker to react than Adam, but it was only a small fox, shuffling it's way through the clearing. It stopped when it saw them, standing perfectly still. Adam was surprised it would remain so close, the thought not halfway through his mind when his cell phone started ringing, startling the animal and it turned tail, darting back into the forest.
Adam frowned as he reached into his pocket, looking at the display screen. It was Dr. Nakato. "Hello?" He said as he put it to his ear. "Yea, thanks for returning my call, " Adam stood up and walked a few paces away from Zeke. "Yes, I'm ok, just a few stitches... Yea, that's fine... Alright, thanks. I'll see you then," he said and hung up. He didn't tell her about his newest dream. He had decided to keep it for himself, though he wasn't sure why.
"Everything good?" Zeke asked, still sitting by the water.
"Yea, just my doctor," he said, looking down at the time on his phone. As he did, his stomach made quite an interesting growling noise. Loud, too.
"Are you hungry? We can go get something to eat if you want," Zeke said with a smile.
"Yea, I guess I am kinda hungry."
"Alright, let's go. I'm rather famished myself," he said as he stood up.
It wasn't long before they fell into some kind of routine. Adam's appointment with Dr. Nakato was postponed for the rest of the month, as something had come up with one of her other patients, and that left Adam available throughout the day. Zeke worked the morning shift in his shop and came by in the afternoon to pick Adam up. They went lots of places, the mall, book stores, amusement parks. Zeke loved the rides, but Adam was too scared to go on most of them. Zeke talked him into going on the free fall ride, but afterward Adam was sure his heart was going to stop at any moment. Their days were full of laughs and good memories. Adam was slowly beginning to come out of his shell. To find himself. He couldn't deny that this was all because of Zeke, though what that meant for him, he was unable to, or refused to, understand.
While they were out one evening, walking around town, trying to think of something to do, Zeke paused to look into the storefront of a clothing shop. Adam stopped as well and looked inside. He had never noticed this store before. He had never been inside, he was sure of this, but for some reason, he knew this wasn't quite true. Because he knew that if he stepped inside, the counter was in the very back, beyond the view of the window, and around a corner. If he asked for the restroom, he knew it would be through the red door next to the registers, but the sales clerks weren't supposed to let customers back there. It stunned him, this almost memory, and he didn't hear Zeke's voice as he asked if he was alright.
Feeling the sudden need to go inside, he went to the glass door and pushed it open, anticipating the chimes that were attached to the door. There was only silence. He walked farther inside, past racks of jeans and shirts and jackets and shoes and belts and every other possible thing a clothing store could sell. There. That wall, and if he went around the corner...
The door was there, but it was blue, and next to it was a row of mannequins in various stages of undress. He turned around, looking around the store again. On the far wall was the counter. The store was the same, but it was different. Maybe he was just hallucinating. "Adam, what the hell? Are you alright?" Zeke sounded worried as he grabbed hold of Adam's shoulders and turned him around so he could look at him.
"Yea... I just thought... I recognized this place.." Adam's voice sounded far away, even to himself and he wondered if he was having some kind of relapsed trauma. Zeke didn't say anything for a while, only stared at him.
"C'mon, let's get you sitting down," Zeke said as he steered him towards the door and back out into the cool night air. There was a bench a few feet away and Zeke had Adam sit down before he pulled out his cell phone and made a quick call. "Hey, it's me.. I'm good, but my friend isn't, could you bring out some cold water? ...I'm sitting at the bench right across the street.... Ok thanks," he said and hung up. Adam wasn't paying attention to the conversation. He felt lost, out of touch. He had been so sure about that store, and still was. The lay out had been the same, but having things out of order left him confused. This sense of deja vu was enough to make his head spin and he was fighting to remain conscious. A minute later, a short guy with a shaved head and a pizza hut uniform stood in front of him, holding out a cup of ice water to Zeke. "Thanks," he said as he took the cup.
"No problem man. I hope he's gonna be ok, but I have to get back to work. The boss'll have my ass if she catches me out here," he said as he turned and started back across the street.
"Here Adam, drink this," Zeke said as he held the cup out for Adam. When Adam didn't take the cup, Zeke moved it towards his lips, tilting it slightly so the cold water could pour gently into his mouth. He went slow, not wanting him to choke, and was relieved when Adam swallowed on his own. The cold seemed to help, and Adam's thoughts slowly began to clear. After a few mouthfuls of water Adam was able to hold the cup on his own, and the far away look is his eyes began to drift into focus. "Are you ok now?" Zeke asked, concern twisting his voice.
"Yea, I'm really sorry about that. I don't know what happened. When I saw that store, it was like, I knew it. Like I remembered it, but it was different inside than I thought it was going to be," Adam shook his head, still battling his confusion.
"Well they changed it around a few summers ago," Zeke said, and for some reason the guarded tone of his voice made Adam look at him. Was there something Zeke wasn't telling him? The thought only lasted a moment. As soon as he thought it, it seemed rather stupid. What could Zeke possibly be hiding about a store's reconstruction? He attributed the feeling to his fugue and Zeke's obvious concern for him.
When Adam realized he might've actually remembered something, he pulled his cell phone from his pocket and dialed Dr. Nakato's number.
The office would be closed at this hour, but he left a message asking her to call him as soon as she could. Zeke sat quietly next to him as he spoke, and after Adam hung up he looked a lot better. He was smiling, excited by the possibility of having some kind of breakthrough, instead of a break down. "This is amazing! Do you know how long I've been hoping for my memory to come back to me? This is the first time this has happened since I woke up!" Adam spoke animatedly, getting up from the bench and pacing back and fourth in front of Zeke. As he went on about it and what it could mean for him, Zeke sat, watching him carefully. He smiled, chuckled, and let him go, enjoying the energetic rambling. It was another half hour or so before Adam calmed down enough that they could continue enjoying the evening. They walked the streets, Adam with a skip in his step, and Zeke with a smile on his face.
At one point, Adam stopped walking, and looked at Zeke. "You know, the doctors told me I would probably never recover my memories," he said, the smile on his face so wide it was a wonder his face didn't break. Zeke laughed and threw his arm around Adam's shoulders.
"This could open up a whole new world for you," he said. Adam couldn't help the sudden buzzing that raced through his entire body at the intimate contact. A blush erupted on his face, and he hoped Zeke wouldn't notice the sudden hardening in his jeans. Thoughts of the imagined scene in his shower flooded his mind, and he stood there like an idiot as Zeke observed the sudden reaction.
Adam wondered if Zeke noticed the tension radiating off his body. As Adam didn't have the ability to move, Zeke stepped back and dropped his arm at his side. Turning, he started walking again, hiding a wicked smile as his hair fell to cover his face. "C'mon, let's go get you something to eat. I don't want you going into shock from all this... Excitement," he said, and Adam wondered if he imagined the velvet of his voice as he said the word 'excitement.' He certainly didn't imagine the heated throb that went through his body.
The next morning, Adam was awake when the phone rang at 8am and he quickly snatched it up. "Hello? Yea, thanks for calling me... Last night, I think I remembered something. I was out with Zeke and we went past this store and I had this, I dont know how to explain it but I knew that if I went in I would know where the counter was and what the store looked like... Yes, I went in, and the floor layout was the same, but everything else was different. Zeke said they remodeled the store a while ago, but I'm sure I remembered it the way it would've been, ya know, before... Yea, I agree... Yea, that's fine... Ok.. Bye," Adam hung up the phone and stared at Pi sleeping on the couch next to him, thinking about the appointment Dr. Nakato would be making for him at the hospital.
Zeke was working most of the day, and had already said he would be busy, so that left his entire afternoon open. He decided to spend the day in his studio. He started on a new painting of a dying flower in a vase by a window, but couldn't manage to concentrate on it. By 10 he had given up and decided what he needed was something that required more focus. He grabbed a backpack and threw a change of clothes into it, along with his gym membership card and a few supplies for the shower. The gym was only a few blocks away, so after he poured a scoop of dry food into Pi's bowl, he threw the pack over his shoulder and jogged his way to the gym.
Once there he pulled his membership card out of his bag and went to the locker room. He swiped the card through the mechanism on an available locker and stuffed his bag inside, pulling the card around his neck. After he spent a few minutes stretching he started his work out. Push ups, sit ups and crunches, the bench press, the rowing machine, stair master, tredmil. He had a wide variety to choose from and made his way through everything, letting his thoughts drift away as sweat seeped from every pore.
By the time 3 rolled around every muscle in his body ached, though in a good way, and he had finally had enough. He went back to the locker room, grabbed his bag from the locker and headed for the showers. He swiped his card again, activating the stream of water and pulled out his soap from the bag. Once under the water he quickly lathered and washed his whole body, not wanting to be here any longer than he had to be. Being in the public shower wasn't something he enjoyed, but it was necessary if he didn't want to walk home coated in sweat. The showers stay on for fifteen minutes and then shut off automatically, but he only used five, and once he was rinsed and felt clean again, he stepped out, wrapping his towel around himself. He dried off and dressed in fresh clothes quickly, packing the work out clothes in his bag with the towel and soap, he made his way through the gym and out the front door. The aches and pains in his muscles reminded him that he hadn't been to the gym in roughly a month, since he sarted hanging out with Zeke all the time. It felt good to be active again.
When he got home the message light was blinking on his answering machine, and he pressed the play button as he walked past, emptying the gym bag on his bed so he could put stuff away. The robotic voice told him he had one new message. "Hey Adam, it's Dr Nakato. I made your appointment at the hospital with Dr. Kendle next tuesday at 2. If you have any questions you know where to reach me. Bye, and good luck!" The machine beeped and the voice informed him he had no new messages.
Adam sighed. He was looking forward to the idea that he might be able to remember stuff from his past. The things collected for him while in his coma were tucked away in a storage space in town. He used to go there all the time and look through stuff, hoping to jog his memory, but nothing ever happened and after a while he stopped going. The fact that he had almost remembered something on his own made him think of it. Maybe he would go there and try again. The decision was made before he even knew he was going, and he grabbed his wallet on the way out the door.
The bus took him within a two blocks of the storage facility, and he nearly jogged the rest of the way, unable to keep a slow, calm pace. He stopped at the gate, punched in his code and waited while the fence slowly opened to allow him passage. His unit was one of the closer ones, and he could see the lock he kept on it, with its shiny red face and blue numbers. As he turned the dial and popped the lock, he paused, hoping he might be able to stumble on another memory. He didn't really think he would though, because he had been through these boxes a thousand times. He had memorized the faces of people he met and didn't know. Gone through report cards from school where he maintained a B average. Read the books he must have liked. With a sigh he threw the garage door up and looked in at the dusty remains of his life.
He pulled aside the first box he always went through. The one with pictures in it. There was a school picture for every year of his life, and thousands in between. The ones of him with his family were the ones he focused on. His mother was a small pretty thing with red hair and green eyes, while his father had been almost the opposite. Tall and thick, with dark hair and eyes. He had his mothers eyes and his fathers hair. He looked like both of them equally now, but when he was younger he looked more like his mother. He sighed, feeling that same empty want.
He didn't remember them at all. They were strangers now, and even though he couldn't mourn for them, he still wished he had gotten to meet them. He didn't have any other family, both of his parents were only children, just as he had been. His grandparents on his mothers side had died when he was a baby, and his fathers parents hadn't spoken to his father since he was 17, which meant Adam had never met them.
As the day wore on, he made his way through box after box. In the bottom of a box full of posters and various odds and ends he found something that caught his attention. It was a bracelet made of worn braided thongs of leather. A large white bead in the center was painted with a Chinese symbol. He stared at the symbol, sure he should know what it meant. As he toyed with it, he flipped it over at random and there on the back was the word 'Forever.' It was a masculine bracelet, and he remembered seeing it in here before, but it was suddenly very important that he take it with him. As he tucked it into his pocket, he decided he would give it to Zeke. Zeke had that Chinese dragon tattoo, so he would probably like it.
He hadn't noticed that the sun was starting to go down until the light inside his storage unit started fading. He looked at the time on his phone and was surprised to see it was nearly 6. He quickly started putting the boxes back in order and was just clicking the lock shut when his phone rang. It was Zeke. "Hey Zeke, what's up?"
"Hey I just got off work, are you busy?
"No, but I'm not home," he said as he started walking towards the gate. "I was just about to start heading that way though." When Zeke asked where he was, offering to pick him up, Adam told him about the storage place.
"Alright then. Sit tight, I'll be right there," he said and hung up.
Adam smiled. Zeke was always so nice, always doing what he could for Adam. As he waited he played with the bracelet in his pocket. It only took Zeke ten minutes to arrive, Adam could hear the growl of his engine before he could see the car. As he climbed in, he pulled on his seat belt and took the bracelet out of his pocket, holding it out to him.
"Here, I found this in my stuff and I feel like you should have it," he said with a shy smile, but the dark look on Zeke's face when he looked down at the trinket dissolved that smile in a moments time.