“It was inevitable.”
“I don’t understand.”
“I don’t think anyone ever will. Sometimes in life we make transitions. In this instance, more often than not they are irreversible.”
Tim frowned as Cordelia smiled at his kind face.
“That’s awful! You probably wish I was Nik. I’m afraid I’m not much next to him and..”
Cordelia tried her best to nod, her pretty complexion changed.
“Tim, you should know that Cordelia made a sacrifice for Nikolai Capri. The biggest of them all. I cannot tell you the full truth, because you would never believe me, but you must know that he did unintentionally break her heart. Cordelia and I can never return to the sea.”
“You’re fishermen, um women?” Tim placed his arm around Cordelia.
“What? That’s impossible!
“Well, because they only exist in my-”
“In myths, legends and fairy stories? Yes; apparently so. Nikolai Capri is now fully aware that Cordelia saved his life, but I’m not sure if he would believe the full story.”
“I don’t know what to do. You’re not strong enough to go and see him, but…is there any where I can take you or anything I can do?”
Cordelia nodded, holding out her hand to him and pressing her index finger to his lips with tears in her eyes.
“Jen, I need to see Cordelia. again”
“Tim is with her, she’ll be okay. I don’t trust her; I don’t know what to think, except I’m so glad that you’re safe.”
“I missed you. Oh my God! Dad!” Nikolai gasped his face lighting up as Franco darted into the room.
Franco’s mouth spread into a wide smile.
“Thank God!” Franco whispered.
“Dad, I’ve missed you so much!”
“I’m so sorry Niko!”
“So am I. It’s so good to see you, how long have you been here?”
Franco sat on Nikolai’s bed, placing his arm around Nikolai’s shoulder, holding him close, tears falling down his cheeks.
“You’re cold, Nik.”
“Here’s another blanket, there. Hopefully you’ll warm up soon. Do you remember anything; I mean what actually happened at the time, just before hand?”
Nikolai shook his head. “What , about the coma? Not a great deal.” He did now, but this was not the time to explain.
Franco looked saddened.
“Hey, don’t apologise. I caught a glimpse of Tim, he looked a little upset do you think he’s with Cordelia?”
Jenna kissed Nikolai’s forehead. “He’ll be okay.”
“Jen.” Nikolai whispered. “Please would you just check? After all the support he’s given me, it’s the least I can do.” He glanced at Franco. “I’ll be fine, I’m in good company.”
“Baby, I don’t want to go.”
Franco nodded. “You should. I’d like to chat with Niko.”
Jenna sighed as she gazed into his glassy, sultry eyes, her expression softening. “Okay.”
Jenna went off in search for Tim. She walked along the nearby corridor, peering to see if any of the side room doors were open.
“In here.” Cordelia’s Grandmother beckoned.
“What’s happened?” She glanced at Tim’s tear streaked face.
Cordelia opened her eyes a little, gazing up at Tim, who smiled at her.
“I’m really sorry.” He whispered. “I wish I could get Nikolai for you, I know how much you adore him. I’m sorry I’m not him and…”
Cordelia shook her head and kissed him tenderly. He reciprocated the kiss.
“Cordelia, there’s one thing I have to know. Perhaps your Grandma could answer. Did-did you poison Nikolai?”
“Not intentionally.” The old woman stated. “It was a mistake, partly my fault and also her sisters. Cordelia wasn’t to blame, she only did what she thought was right.”
“What was it? The poison I mean.”
“Shit!” Tim gasped. “Cordelia, I don’t know how the hell he survived that! What did you think you were doing? It’s toxic, deadly!”
“She didn’t know, the dosage she gave him was too high. Had it been watered down like I told her sister Athena, Nikolai would have been no worse off than he had been, then again he might never have known the truth.”
“Where did she get it?”
Jenna coughed loudly.
“Jen, what are you doing here?”
“Franco is still with Nik. Nikolai insisted that I came to find you, he’s worried about you.”
“The coin has flipped. This has been the scariest week of my life.”
“Cordelia, don’t be scared any more. Tim, I have an idea.”
She fetched one of the red leather hospital wheelchairs, putting on the brakes.
“Cordelia, do you feel strong enough to sit?”
She didn’t, but she felt she had no choice. Tim lifted her with care, placing her in the seat, placing a pillow behind her and tucking a blanket around her knees.
“We’re taking you to see Nik. He keeps asking for you.”
The thought filled her chilled, malnourished body with warmth.
Nikolai held out his hand to her. “Hey beautiful.”
Cordelia forced a smile as she glanced at his thin face.
“You are an angel in disguise; you saved my life not once but twice. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to repay you, not properly. It’s a shame that I’m so stupid. Common sense has never been my strong point. You know, when I was in the coma I had a dream about you; I was lying on the beach. You put me there that morning and looked after me until help arrived. I owe you my life; you gave me a second chance to sort things out. Without you, I would have died and no-one would have cared. Cordelia, you saved me. You’ve made me realise that… I had to stop being so selfish, fickle and heartless. It was high time that I grew up.”
Cordelia placed her hand over her eyes and wept silently.
“Shh, shh. It’s okay.”
Tim rubbed his eyes as Jenna patted his shoulder. His chest ached from within.
“I knew it!”
“What can we do, Nikolai?”
“I- I’ve remembered something, from one of my nightmares, um dreams.”
“Cordelia isn’t human, are you?”
She shook her head.
“Did you see everything that day, be-between Jake and I, I mean?”
She nodded again.
“He caused my accident. I’m sorry about your voice.”
Cordelia shook her head, she wasn’t. Not any more.
“I know that there’s so much that you want to say. I see it now, every time I look into your eyes; they’re the most expressive eyes I’ve ever seen.”
Cordelia stroked his cheek with all her remaining strength.
“I’m going to be fine now, thanks to you, but Cordelia, you’re not well. I’m glad that you’ve had someone to support you, though.”
She glanced up to look at Tim.
“I care about you, you know. I always have.”
Cordelia felt a little surprised, but the news seemed to bring a little life back to her.
“You’re such a sweet girl and um, I like you. I like you a lot. I’ve just never really had the guts to say it properly. Like I said, I know I’m not Nik, but…”
She shook her head. Tim had been the one all along; he’d been there for her just like he’d been there to support Jenna. Nikolai smiled and nodded.
“I knew it.” Nikolai laughed. “You’re both so lovely together.”
Cordelia sniffed. It was almost time.
Nikolai looked at Cordelia with great concern, holding her petite hand in his.
“You look really anxious Cordelia, are you okay?”
She nodded, but it was a lie.
©Sophie Bowns 2011-2014