The Journey Home Ch. 05bysweeteuphoria©
"Sorry to disturb you two, but I thought you should know that there's a search party out here looking for your woman!" Max said, concerned and then he turned away not wanting to make Laura feel any more uncomfortable that she probably did already.
"Oh, thanks man." Ben said, ashamed for being so rough on Max.
Ben turned to give Laura her clothes and then pulled up his jeans, zipped them and fastened the belt buckle before bending down to get his shirt that had fallen to the floor. Ben finished dressing and walked a few steps away from Laura as she finished dressing. "What's going on up there now, Max?" Ben asked quietly.
"Like I said, they formed a search party to look for Laura. That nurse Emma is distraught because she thinks Laura took off. I don't know what they'll do if they see you with her like this." Max said, pausing to catch his breath and then he continued. "I tried to hold them off as long as I could, but if I don't say something soon I could be held as an accessory. I suggest you get her dressed and get out of here. Go upstairs and get a bite to eat or something and then I'll let them know I saw her and she is safe."
Ben waited for Laura to finish dressing and then told her they had to go back upstairs. On the way toward the escalator he told her that her nurse and doctor along with a cop and Betty had formed a search party for her.
"I don't think any of them would appreciate finding you in the situation you were just in." Ben said, grabbing her hand as they stepped on the escalator. Ben continued as they neared he top, "Max suggested that we go get something to eat. Are you hungry?" he asked her.
"Of course I'm hungry. Can I eat you?" she said in a sly voice and then gave Ben a cute wink. Ben should have been prepared for her answer, but was distracted by the search party information Max delivered.
"That sounds wonderful, but right now I'm referring to food." he stated and then winked back at her.
"Well, if that's the way it has to be then soup and a sandwich sounds good right about now," she answered and they headed down the concourse to the sandwich shop.
Laura hadn't had a vision since she recognized Ben, but when she walked into the shop tears filled her eyes. She pulled her hand from Ben's and ran out of the small eatery. "I can't eat there," she sobbed.
Ben had no idea, but that's the same place she had lunch with her girlfriends when her nightmare first began. Ben calmed her fears and said they would go eat someplace else. As they walked in search of another place to eat they were spotted by Betty.
"Oh my God! It's her!" Betty said with excitement in her voice.
"Where?" asked the cop.
"Right over there!" she squeaked excitedly, as she pointed to the other side of the concourse and continued. "She's with a man and they're walking away from the sandwich shop. Do you see her now?" Betty asked as she began walking their way.
Betty and the officer were approaching Ben and Laura quickly. When Betty thought she was close enough for Laura to hear her she called out, "Laura! Hey Laura wait up!"
Everyone within earshot stopped and stared at Betty except for Ben and Laura; who were in their own little world as they walked and talked, holding hands. Betty walked faster as she dragged the police officer behind her weaving through the oncoming crowd.
"Flight 458 to Miami now boarding at gate three," was heard over the intercom and the concourse traffic increased as Betty tried to catch up with Laura.
"Will you just slow down and stop pulling my arm!" The officer shouted to Betty, who immediately stopped in her tracks.
She turned to look the officer in his face, "There's no need to shout," she said, with a slight tone of anger in her voice.
"Well just slow down a bit, okay? I'll keep my eyes on them for you." The officer said as he stepped up beside her and they began to walk side by side through the crowd. "She doesn't appear to be in any danger," the officer said as they continued weaving through the crowd.
Ben and Laura, still looking for a nice place to eat, decided to check out concourse B. They had been up and down concourse A and either they didn't want to eat at a particular eatery or the line was too long and neither felt like waiting. As they walked they noticed the sign overhead and an arrow that directed the way to concourse B.
When they got to the sign, they turned and walked to the escalator that took them to the second level. As they neared the top Laura took another step, now standing in front of Ben. They immediately saw where they wanted to eat and simultaneously said, "Hey, Look! They have a Fuddruckers here," as they pointed to the sign above the entrance to the hamburger shop across from the escalator.
Laura stepped off first, pulled Ben's arm and teasingly said, "C'mon slowpoke, I'm starving!"
Once inside, Ben told Laura to go save a booth and he would bring her food. She agreed and then told him what she wanted. "Can you get me a medium swiss melt with a strawberry malt and fries?"
"Sure thing baby, whatever you want," Ben said as Laura walked over to a booth in the corner.
Ben walked up to the counter and placed his order. "I'll have two swiss melts, two fries, a chocolate shake and a strawberry malt," Ben said as the cashier punched his order into the computer.
"Will that be all sir?" the girl asked as she looked up and smiled a cute little smile.
"Oh wait!" he said, almost forgetting Laura's favorite dessert here. "Give me two white chocolate macadamia cookies and one brownie with that," he added.
Just before the cashier told him the cost Laura ran up to him and asked him to get her a cookie. "Already taken care of sweetheart," Ben said as he turned to kiss Laura's cheek.
Ben waited at the counter for his food and Laura returned to the booth she saved a few minutes earlier. It was only a few minutes until Ben had their food and brought it back to the booth. He slid in beside Laura and she turned her entire body to face him. She leaned in to return his kiss and then smiled sweetly at him.
"C'mon now. You didn't actually think I would forget your favorite dessert did you?" he asked her as he took the food off the tray and placed it on the table.
Laura didn't respond except for another smile as she turned back in her seat to face the table and thought to herself, "He's so damn sweet. I'm so lucky to have him."
As they ate, Laura wondered to herself why everyone was looking for her. "Ben, did I do something wrong?" she asked him after swallowing the bite of food in her mouth. As Ben chewed then swallowed his food she continued, "Why is everyone searching for me?"
Ben reminded her of the plane ride from Florida and why she was there, then said, "When we finish eating we will watch for them so we can end all this and finally get you home where you belong."
"Oh damn, what the hell is going on in there?" the officer questioned half to himself and half out loud as he and Betty passed one of the little shops in concourse A. "I have to check this out," he said to Betty as he let go of her hand and walked into the shop.
A confrontation between a customer and the sales clerk broke out when the customer wanted to return a soiled shirt he said he purchased a few hours ago, but didn't have the receipt.
"Do you need help miss?" the officer asked as he stood beside the clerk at the counter.
"Well officer, this man states he purchased this shirt here a while ago and now he wants his money back," the woman said as she held up the soiled shirt and then continued. "I told him he needs to have the original receipt to return anything in here and then I took a closer look at the shirt and discovered it isn't even one that we sell here."
"I'll take care of it from here miss," the officer said as he escorted the man out of the store and told him to either get to his departure gate or get out of the airport and then he called security to follow the man.
Once the guard arrived, Betty and the officer continued their search for Laura. In all the confusion they had lost sight of her.
Emma and Dr. Tate were asked to start their search in the baggage claim area of the airport and as they left the security desk they headed down the escalator. There wasn't much to see down there when they reached the bottom. Emma walked one way while Dr. Tate walked the other and they met back where they started. "This is useless," Emma said and then started to rub her temple.
"Oh my, it appears as if you are suffering from a stress headache," Dr. Tate said as he approached and then sat beside her, his hand on her back.
"No shit Sherlock," she thought to herself, not looking at him.
Emma just wanted this whole ordeal to be over so she could go to a hotel, head right for the bathroom and fill the tub with the hottest water her skin could tolerate and then soak for hours.
"We should probably get moving again," Dr. Tate suggested as he stood and reached for Emma's hand helping her to her feet.
They headed back up the escalator and when they reached the top they headed back to concourse A. They walked half of the concourse and located the walkway to concourse B and C. Turning at the walkway they headed toward the other shops and services to continue their search.
"So tell me a little about Laura," Dr. Tate asked.
"What would you like to know, Dr. Tate?" Emma replied and before he could speak she continued. "I can't tell you much, but I do know she was the sole survivor of a plane crash several months ago. When she was brought to us she was unconscious. She came to about five days after her admittance and all she could tell us was her first name." Emma paused as she reached in her pocket for a tissue.
After she wiped her nose and the tear that formed in her eye as she recalled Laura's first days; confused and lost she continued to tell Dr. Tate of Laura's accomplishments after she was released from the hospital.
"So now you're here in hopes that she will remember her past and make sense of all the visions she'd had?" Dr. Tate questioned.
As Ben and Laura ate their burgers, Laura recalled a memory of eating at the same joint, but a different location when on a date with Ben before they went off to college.
"I remember that day," Ben said and then he continued after he drank the last of his shake. "You had the same burger you ordered today and when you sipped your malt some of the whipped cream stuck to the tip of your nose and I had the pleasure of removing it for you!"
Laura laughed as that vision returned to her. "Are you about done?" she asked after she stopped giggling.
"Yep," he replied and then gathered the wrappers and empty drink cups from the table and placed them on the tray.
He stood and helped Laura to her feet and she followed him towards the door, her hand around his waist and head on his chest as he tossed the trash and returned the tray to the stack on top of the bin. Ben held Laura close as they left.
"I wonder if Max made it home yet," Ben said as he grabbed his cell phone from his belt and looked at it to check the time.
As Ben started to put the phone back in his belt Laura suggested he call Max and make sure things are okay. Ben agreed and dialed Max's number. One ring, then another followed by a third and just when Ben was preparing what he would say in the voice mail Max answered, "Hello?"
"Hey Max, it's Ben. Just checking to see if you made it home yet," Ben said as he snuggled closer to Laura.
"Home? Oh I'm still at the airport. It was rough trying to get a cab so I decided to just wait it out for the mad rush to end. I'm hoping I run into that flight attendant from Laura's flight. She's a real looker ya know," Max said.
"Where ya at?" Ben asked and without waiting for an answer he continued. "We should meet for a drink!"
As Ben listened to Max give his location, he and Laura stopped walking and stood near the entrance of the coffee shop a few doors down from where they had eaten.
Emma, just about to answer Dr. Tate's question, looked up and bumped right into a man who stood near the entrance of a coffee shop.
"Oh excuse me sir. I should watch more closely where I'm walking," Emma said as she looked at the man's back, not recognizing him.
The man stood beside a woman and she also had her back to Emma. When Ben had Max's location he told Laura. "Okay that sounds fun," she said and she began to look around the concourse for the lounge.
The woman's voice startled Emma from her embarrassment of bumping the man in front of her. She nudged Dr. Tate in his ribs and whispered, "That sure sounds like Laura's voice. I don't know who the gentleman is, but I'm certain that's Laura."
When she finished talking to Dr. Tate she slowly walked around the couple to stand in front of them, not wanting to startle Laura and when she looked up again, her suspicion was correct. "Laura?" What's going on here? Where have you been? We've been looking all over for you."
"Oh Emma, I'm sorry, we seemed to have lost track of time," she said and then introduced Ben.
Emma, very angry with Laura, but thankful at the same time that she was safe reached in her pocket, took out her cell phone and opened it with a flick of her thumb. She dialed the number the security desk gave her and asked the guard to call off the search for Laura as she informed him Laura was standing right in front of her.
Emma pulled Laura to the side and scolded her for taking off like she did and then hugged her. "You had us scarred to death," Emma said and then continued, as she put her cell phone back in her pocket. "We've been looking for you for hours!"
Dr. Tate walked over to Emma and Laura, introduced himself and then told Laura he wanted to check her out briefly as he pulled out the stethoscope he had in the pocket of his lab coat. Right there in the concourse he took Laura's vitals and began to ask her a ton of questions. Laura answered most of them without hesitation.
"Well, she seems fine," he told Emma and then continued. "She knows what day it is and says the man she's with is Ben, her fiancé. She said she remembers the crash and losing her friends."
Dr. Tate talked with Emma and Laura for quite a while before Emma's cell phone vibrated in her pocket. She took it out and answered it. She walked a few feet away so she could talk in private and not disturb Dr. Tate and Laura. A few minutes later she returned to Laura's side and told them Betty and the police officer would be there shortly.
Ben stood in silence as the doctor observed Laura's movements and her recollections. Emma, unsure what she should do next, phoned Dr. Stone in Florida.
"Hello Dr. Stone. This is Emma. I have fabulous news," she said, with excitement in her voice and continued after a deep breath.
"Well Emma, it's good to hear from you. Are you still at the airport? I thought you would be at your hotel by now." Dr. Stone said.
"Well we ran into some problems with our luggage, but honestly I'm glad we had to wait," Emma said. She didn't want to get into the details of losing Laura and having to call Dr. Tate for assistance.
"Did I hear you say you had good news Emma?" Dr. Stone asked. There was a moment of silence and the doctor continued. "What is the good news?"
"Laura has her memory back again!" Emma said excitedly and then paused to catch her breath.
"I don't think you are experienced enough yet to make that call nurse," Dr. Stone voiced, concerned.
Emma not paying any attention to him continued, "She ran into Ben here. You remember the man that came to your office and inquired about Laura? Well, he followed her back to Michigan, but on a different flight and he saw her asleep in a chair where we departed our plane. I had gone to check on our baggage and when I returned she was gone."
After another deep breath, her hands trembled from fear of another scolding she moved the phone to her other ear and continued again. "Anyway, to make a long story short, I'd like to know what I should do next."
"Is Dr. Tate with you now?" Dr. Stone asked.
"Yes he's right here, I'll put him on. Excuse me Dr. Tate, Dr. Stone would like to speak with you," she said and handed him the phone and then walked back to Laura and Ben. "It'll be over very soon and we can all get out of here," she concluded with a hand on Laura's shoulder.
"Hello, Tate speaking," Dr. Tate said, as he put the phone to his ear and walked a few steps from Emma.
"Well hello Samuel, what does the situation look like to you? I must tell you, I do trust Ben and his love for Laura is not one we see everyday. If it were just up to me I would have to say let her go with him, but then again I'm not there and can't see things for myself. I will however, trust your judgment on this. Do you think Laura appears happy to be with Ben?" Dr. Stone said and then paused to hear Dr. Tate's response.
"Well, I would have to agree with you Paul," Dr. Tate said to Dr. Stone and then he continued. "They both appear very happy and very much in love. If I hadn't known about her symptoms before I met her a few minutes ago I would never have known she suffered from amnesia. I say it's okay for her to leave with Ben right now if that's her wish."
"Well, that's it then, but I will let Emma tell them. Can you put her back on the phone please?" Dr. Stone asked.
Dr. Tate walked back toward Emma, Ben and Laura and handed Emma the cell phone, "He wants to speak with you again." Dr. Tate said with a grin toward Laura before he turned his head slightly and winked at Emma.
Dr. Tate stepped aside when Emma began to talk. He looked down at Laura and smiled again, giving her the thumbs up signal to let her know everything was okay. Laura overheard Emma say goodbye to Dr. Stone and waited anxiously for his answer. Emma closed her cell phone and put it back in her pocket as she walked back over to the others who stood in a group and patiently awaited the news from Florida.
"Well Laura, it seems today is your lucky day. I just got off the phone with Dr. Stone and it's his belief as well as Dr. Tate's that you are over your amnesia and you may leave the airport with Ben any time you guys wish." Emma said with a smile and then continued. "Dr. Stone would like for you to visit Dr. Tate's office as soon as you get settled so we can track your progress though."
"Oh thank you," Laura said as she bounced slightly, thrilled to her core. "I will definitely make an appointment first thing Monday morning," she told Emma. After a brief pause she changed the time to late afternoon when she remembered she had to start her new job that morning.
Emma told Laura she would be the last appointment for the day so she could tell them how her day went as well as the coming week. "So, we'll see you at five thirty Laura. I'll call Ben and let him know the address and give him the phone number," she said and then toward Laura and gave her a hug. Ben held out his right hand for her to shake, but she opted for a hug from him as well. Emma wished them both well as they walked toward the exit doors.
Excited that everything was over and they were now free to leave, Ben called Max and cancelled their meeting, telling Max; "I'm just going to take her home now. I'll talk to ya later."
Ben led Laura through the concourse and into the parking lot as he reached into his back pocket for his wallet. He removed it and flipped it open, holding it with one hand as he searched through it with his free hand. "Now where the hell did I write my parking number?" he questioned, somewhat to himself. Laura just giggled and slid her arm around his waist as they walked in search of his car.
"Well Emma, now that Laura's taken care of what are your plans? Are you going to fly back to Florida now or will you be staying for a few days?" Dr Tate asked as he pulled her into him, a look of want on his face.