Recuperating is the twenty-eighth chapter of Zak Saturday's Immortal Love Life. It was first published on January 28, 2016.
I was sitting on the couch watching TV, trying to recuperate from my break up with Sarah, which was really hard, when Zack and his girlfriend Selena entered the room.
Selena sat down on the couch next to me with a mad look on her face. Zack sat next to her with the same mad look on his face. Selena grabbed the remote from me and turned off the TV.
“Ok, Zak,” she said calmly. “Zack and I are quite upset about what you did to Sarah. But before we jump to any conclusions and yell at you, possibly even hit you a few times, we’re going to hear your side about what happened yesterday, ok?”
“Ok,” I replied, and I sat up.
“So what happened?”
I told them my side of the story. When I was done, the expressions on their faces turned from being mad to pity.
“Ok,” they both said in unison.
At least I know they won’t yell or hit me.
I slumped back against the couch. “Yeah.”
“Did you tell Sarah that?” Selena asked.
“I tried to,” I said. “But when I mentioned Zack, she became very defensive of him.”
“Yeah, she and Zack are really close.”
“That’s true,” he agreed. “I’m not surprised that she wouldn’t listen after you said my name, because our mom told her that if she sees her exes cheat on her to not listen to his excuse of his reason why, and to stop any kind of contact with him.”
“I thought she said to actually listen to the excuse and debate on whether or not to believe him, because sometimes the guy is the victim. But if she can’t decide, she should talk to her mom and friends and get their opinions on it.”
“Maybe that is what our mom told her, but I don’t know. I’m not her daughter. I’m her son.”
“Yeah, but doesn’t she tell you the same thing about girls?”
“Ok,” I interrupted, trying to change the subject back to me. “So, since you guys are her best friend and brother, what’s your opinion on my excuse?”
They made eye contact with each other.
“My powers say that he’s telling the truth,” Zack said.
“I don’t think this time we’ll need your powers to confirm the truth,” Selena said. She turned back to me. “We believe you, Zak. But Sarah obviously doesn’t, which is understandable since this is her first break up ever.”
“What should I do?” I asked.
“Be patient with her. A lot happened yesterday, and I’m not just referring to what you accidentally did to her that she thinks you did on purpose. Give her time and she’ll eventually feel up to listening to your side of the story from beginning to end. Hopefully.”
“Zak, I can’t guarantee it for you. But I will try to help you.”
“So will I, since it was kind of my fault,” Zack said.
“No, it wasn’t,” I said. “It was an accident.”
“An accident or not, I still caused it. So I’m going to go see if I can fix it now.”
He stood up from the couch.
“Zack, you really shouldn’t,” Selena said. “She needs time.”
“I know, but I also know my sister. My twin sister. She’ll listen to me.”
And with that, he left the room.
“Why does he and Sarah always add ‘twin’ when they refer to what their relation is to each other and emphasize on it?” I asked Selena.
She shook her head. “I don’t know. It’s a habit of theirs.”
I was holding my cell phone in my hand, dreading to dial the number because I was afraid of what she would tell me. But I knew I would have to hear the news sooner or later, so I worked up the courage and dialed the number.
She answered on the third ring. “Hello?”
“Mom?” I said.
“Sarah? Are you alright?”
“Yeah, I’m fine . . . Well, actually, I’m not. How’s Dad and Emily?”
She breathed in and out heavily before she answered. “Not good.”
“Do I want to know?” I asked.
“Can you still tell me?”
“I can try.” Mom’s voice became a whisper. “They are both in serious condition, and they are really disturbing to look at. They’re really struggling to hold on, especially Emily. They’ve already been gone twice.”
“What do you mean by ‘gone’?”
“I think you know.”
Tears began streaking down my face. “But they’re at least still here, right?”
“Maybe Zack and I should come and—”
“No,” Mom interrupted.
“No, Sarah. I don’t think that you and Zack will be able to bare the sight of them like this. The only reason I’m able to is because I have seen worse than this many times, and I’ve been in this exact situation before.”
“I believe that, Mom. But I don’t think you’re baring well, because you sound like you’re crying now.”
She sobbed. “You know how sensitive I am.”
“Yes, I do. And it’s probably because of what you’ve had to bare the sight of at your job.”
“Actually, I’ve been sensitive since I was your age, and that was a very long time ago.”
“Yes, it was.”
“But anyway, don’t come. I promise I’ll call you on any update when something new happens, ok?”
I sighed. “Fine. But, Mom, I want to ask you about what happened yesterday. About those two women.”
I could tell she wanted to hang up without answering me. “Sarah, I can’t.”
“But they said that you were raped by those men that killed Nick. What men? And who’s Nick? Who were those two women? And why didn’t you ever tell me that you were raped and got pregnant?”
“No one likes to ever think back to the day that they were raped and impregnated, Sarah.”
“I know, but you’ve got to tell me. What happened to the baby you had gotten pregnant with? Do I have another brother or sister somewhere?”
“I can’t talk about it,” Mom said. “You know how I like to keep whatever happened to me in the past to stay in the past and never be brought up again in the present or future because it hurts too much.”
“It can’t always stay that way, Mom. You don’t have to tell me about the people, but can you at least tell me about the baby? I guess, my half-brother or sister?”
“I can’t. It hurts too much,” she said. “I will try to tell you someday, but now’s really not the best time, especially not with your dad like this, ok?”
I sighed. “Fine.”
“So what happened with you yesterday?”
I told her everything, even about Zak kissing Wadi and me breaking up with him because of it.
“Wow,” Mom said. “I’m really sorry about that, Sarah. How are you feeling?”
“Hurt,” I replied.
“Yeah. You’ll get through it eventually.”
“Have any of your past boyfriends ever cheated on you?”
“Umm, one, but we ended ok.”
“What do you mean?”
“Never mind. I had very few boyfriends before I settled down with one and married him.”
“What about when you were a teenager?”
“I only had three, but neither of them lasted long.”
“Well, the first one lasted about a month, even though we only spent half that time together. His mom didn’t want him dating, so he broke up with me a couple days after our very first kiss, but I wasn’t really into him. My next boyfriend lasted about five months. I met him on a cruise ship and ended up kissing him less than 24 hours after meeting him.”
“Wow,” I said.
“I know. I was that drawn to him. But he lived in a different state, so when the cruise ended, we had to separate, but stayed in contact through phone.”
“Why did you break up?”
“For a few reasons. I didn’t like the way he talked to me half the time, I don’t like having a long distance relationship, and he was way too obsessed with me for my taste.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, whenever he would call me, and I don’t answer, he’ll keep calling me until I answer the damn phone instead of leaving a damn message and waiting for me to return it. It was so annoying.”
I laughed. “I’ll bet.”
“Yeah,” Mom agreed.
“And your third one?”
Mom was silent for a little while. “The one and only date we had was horrible. After that one, I wouldn’t go out with him again.”
Mom was silent again. I could swear I heard her sniffle. “I don’t want to talk about it. Let’s just leave it at it was bad when it started and just got worse as it continued.”
Then Zack entered my room. “Hey, Sarah. Who are you talking to?”
“Mom,” I replied.
“Oh, ok. How’s Dad and Emily?”
“Sarah, are you still there?” Mom asked.
“Yeah, I am. Zack just came into the room. My brother. My twin brother.”
“Oh. Then I should let you go and you can tell him what happened, ok?”
“Ok. Bye, Mom.”
I hung up the phone and turned back to Zack. “Mom said that Dad and Emily are in critical condition.”
I told him the whole story.
“Wow,” he said when I was finished.
“I know,” I said.
“Do you think they’ll make it?”
“I don’t know. But I hope they do.”
He nodded in agreement. “Umm, I was wondering if I could talk to you for a moment.”
“Sure,” I said. “What about?”
“Umm, ok. What about him?”
He sat down on the bed next to me, looking hesitant. “Sarah, it wasn’t his fault. It was mine.”
I stared at him. “How could it possibly be your fault that Zak kissed Wadi?”
“Easy,” he said. “By accidentally running into him, and pushing against her.”
“On the lips?”
“I don’t think so,” I said. “I’m not forgiving Zak . . . Zack”—we both laughed at that—“unless Wadi kissed him first, which she might have since she did call him cute, but I won’t believe it unless I’m shown proof.”
“What about your powers? They never lie.”
“They’re not saying anything, so you’re probably wrong. Besides, why would you defend him since he hurt your sister? Your twin sister?”
“I’m only defending him because I know he’s innocent,” Zack replied.
“Well, I don’t think he is, and you’re not going to convince me otherwise, so I suggest you stop trying to.”
He sighed and stood up from the bed. “Fine. But you will realize it yourself someday.”
“Maybe I will, maybe I won’t,” I said. “I really don’t care right now. And if you don’t mind, I’d like to be left alone now.”
“I’m going.” He walked to the door. “Now I’m gone.”
And he left, the door closing behind him.
I sighed. “Powers, did Zak really kiss Wadi?”
They didn’t reply, so Zack was probably wrong.
It didn’t matter though, because I don’t care. I’m too hurt to care about anything right now.
Yeah, this was a really short chapter. But the next one will be longer.
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