“Nik, how do you feel now?”
“Fine, pretty good actually. I-I really don’t know what came over me. I feel like such an idiot; it was probably just a combination of not taking my painkillers properly and moving around too quickly.”
Jenna nodded, placing another cushion behind Nikolai’s back.
“Perhaps. But why weren’t you experiencing this level of pain just after it happened?”
“I Wish I knew Jen, but I don’t.”
“This- this is going to sound awful but..”
“Uh oh, what is it? That’s like saying no offence but..”
“Jen shh please listen! Don’t you think it’s odd?”
“You’ve lost me.”
“Whenever I experience pain; Cordelia is always with me.”
“Please let me finish, I just think it’s weird.”
“Nikolai, the boat isn’t huge. Of course she’s going to be around you most of the time!”
“I think it’s time she found someone else to stay with and…”
“She’s stayed with us a considerable amount of time now; we’re going home soon. Surely it would be better to get her used to the idea than saying; hey you’re on your own now.”
“Why do you want rid of her Nik?”
“I really don’t know. She knows things that she’ll never be able to explain to me. I need to move on; as soon as we get home I need to wash my hands of her. It’s messing up my head even more.”
“That isn’t fair! You cannot go around blaming innocent people for your obvious insecurities. Sort it out Nikolai, you’re the one who upsets her, not the other way around.”
“We both know that Cordelia can be a bit sensitive.”
“As can you Niko! I don’t want to talk about this, I’m quite shocked and disappointed that you’ve even said and suggested those things.”
“Just, leave me alone for a little while. I need some time to think.”
“While you confide in Tim.”
“You tell him everything. Well then, I might just have to give Mikayla a call!”
“Wow, that’s childish!” Jenna snapped, slamming her hand on the table. Jake walked past, raising an eyebrow.
“Christ! What on earth has got into you two?”
“Mind your own bloody business!”
“You heard her Jake, keep your nose out.”
“Jenna, you’re turning bright red and Nik, well you can’t really tell but..”
Jenna spun on her heels. “Well that’s racist! Shut the hell up Jake!”
Nikolai paused. Was she sticking up for him even though they were in the middle of an argument?
“What are you going to do Jenna?”
“Get lost Jake, I have no time for people like you!”
Jake laughed again as he casually walked away and Niko started to leave in the opposite direction.
“Nik, don’t you dare walk away! I might have just defended you, because I will not tolerate racists, but- but this is not finished!”
“Just leave it Jenna.”
“You’re selfish and so fucking blind! You don’t see things even if they hit you in the face!”
“I don’t have a clue what you’re waffling on about.”
“Okay, I’ll list things to make it clear and simple for you. One, Mikayla saved your life no more than I did. She’s a complete and utter bullshitter, it doesn’t take a genius to realise that! Two, I love you Nikolai, I have loved you since the day that we met, but still you fail to notice and have no clue. Why do you think that I’m always going out my way to help you or cheer you up? I adored you once; now I’m not so sure.”
Nikolai’s mouth dropped open as he placed his good arm on the wall for support.
“Don’t just gawp at me like a coy carp! Say something.”
Nikolai swallowed, clearing this throat.
“I-I didn’t know.”
“You -did-n’t- know.” Jenna repeated, accenting every single word as she shook her head again.
“Why do you think I can’t stand to see you with Mikayla, why did I stay with you at the hospital for all those long hours and why am I even still here, working on this shitty project Nik? To be with you!”
Nikolai’s eyes widened as she stroked his cheek. He let her do it, having no real clue to what to say next.
“Jen, you- you’re a beautiful girl but.. you can do better.” He whispered, pressing his lips together. “You don’t want me. I’m selfish and upset you, you need a guy who will brighten your days and lift your spirits that man isn’t me I’m afraid. I don’t think, in fact I know that I’m not ready to commit to a serious relationship.”
“She’s fun to be around, but it wont last. Jen, you’re a stunning, intelligent woman with a brilliant head upon your shoulders. I have a lot of growing up to do, too much. By the time I’ve finished we’ll be about 60 Jen and that’s no good. I’m not proud of myself, I’m sorry.”
He sniffed, resting his arms along the hand rail. He and Jenna departed, not making any eye contact. He snuck back into his cabin, climbing into his bed with difficulty his body hurting a great deal. He groaned, gritting his teeth as the hot tears stung his face and his chest cavity ached from within.
Cordelia awoke from a light sleep, overhearing small sobs coming from next door. It was Jenna, Cordelia pushed the door open and tiptoed up to her bedside. Sure enough, the tears flowed down her swollen cheeks and soaked into the damp pillow. Cordelia stroked her hair. Jenna acknowledged her, placing her arms around her neck.
“I told him.” Jenna whispered. “Told him how I felt, I shouldn’t have but I did. I couldn’t keep it secret for any longer, it was eating me up inside. I love him, but I don’t think he loves me.”
Cordelia sniffed and nodded.
“What is it about Nik and women! Was he purposefully put on this planet to mess with our heads?”
Cordelia shrugged, continuing to hug Jenna to her.
“Why is it okay for him to be with Mikayla? What is it about her? He came out with a load of excuses as usual and said he has a lot of growing up to do, well that’s complete and utter rubbish. Maybe I’d be better off without him, perhaps we all would! He’s so God damned insecure it’s unreal ! I hope Karma gets him!”
©Sophie Bowns 2011-2014