Time Heals All Wounds
Three days later, Steve found himself driving Mia home. Home, he never thought he would be able to say that again much less driving Mia home. The psychologist had paid them a visit last night and then pulled Steve aside to answer his questions. She had just repeated what Mia’s doctor had already told him. Take it one day at a time and try to hold off the fact that she had a daughter at least until they had their first therapy session, which was scheduled in two days. They did, however, tell Mia about the explosion that took place a year ago and how everyone thought she had been dead for this entire time. The doctor and him thought she had taken it rather well, considering, unless she was hiding her true feelings very well.
“So this is where you live?” Mia asked as she stepped into what she was told was Steve’s home.
“Yeah,” Steve said glancing around absentmindedly still finding it difficult to believe Mia was here but at the same time the Mia he knew and fell in love wasn’t.
Mia took in her surroundings frustrated that she couldn’t remember this house or Steve or anything else for that matter. Turning around she faced Steve who was standing by the stairs looking at her. “Do you live alone?” she asked nervously. Somehow this man intimidated her but at the same time he intrigued her and she didn’t understand why.
“No,” he said simply still not taking his eyes off her. He longed to just walk up to her and take her in his arms. Steve knew he had to be patient with Mia and he could not just go up to her and kiss her without frightening her. He missed the days when he could just hold her and kiss her for no reason or where he didn’t have to hold back on what he felt.
Mia twisted a strand of hair around her finger in a nervous gesture as she avoided Steve’s gaze and walked to a book case holding picture frames. “Why exactly am I staying here? I could have stayed in a hotel,” she said as she spotted a frame of a cute baby girl who looked to be only a few months old in the picture.
“You’re safer here until we know who you’re running from, besides, this is your home too,” he stated as he moved closer to where Mia was standing.
“A home I don’t remember,” she returned in a soft tone filled with sadness. Lifting the frame of the baby girl she turned it to show it to Steve, “Cute baby, is she yours?”
Steve took the frame from Mia’s hands and looked at it with a proud smile on his handsome face. “Yes, she’s mine,” he responded after a minute, looking straight into her eyes.
Mia subconsciously placed a hand on her flat stomach and when she realized what she was doing she promptly removed it embarrassed. “When will you tell me how I know you? Scratch that, you already did. What I mean is how we ended up together again. The last thing you told me was that you had left the island. You’ve been avoiding the topic since then,” she said walking to the window facing the backyard.
Steve sighed. “I’m willing to tell you anything you want to know Mia, whenever you feel like you’re ready.”
“Whenever I’m ready?” she asked sardonically. “I just woke up not so long ago with a blank mind and this fear inside that I have no idea where it’s coming from. I think I’m more than ready to know who I am and what the hell happened to me.”
“I will tell you anything you want to know but I think we’ve both had a long and tiring day. You need to rest and I have a few calls to make,” Steve said not giving Mia any chance to rebuke. “I’ll show you where you’ll be sleeping.”
Mia hesitantly followed Steve up the stairs into the first room on their left. “Whose room is this?” she asked as she hugged herself.
Steve turned to face her and said. “At one point it was ours, then it was just me, but you’re back now so,” he paused gauging for her reaction and saw how she immediately tensed.
“I could just sleep on the couch downstairs,” she said looking at the big and comfortable bed with longing.
Steve walked towards Mia and placed a hand on her arm gently turning her to face him. He saw Mia flinch at his touch and he quickly removed his hand and placed it in his pocket. “There was a time when you would love when I touched you,” he whispered.
“Yeah well there was also a time where I had a life I knew of and now I don’t have anything,” Mia snapped as she walked around Steve towards the window and turned to face him. “You have to understand I’m not the same woman you once fell in love with and married. I don’t remember you, I’m sorry, but now we’re just complete strangers.”
“You have no idea how I wished I could help you bring back your memories,” Steve said in a wishful tone. Remembering what they were here for he sobered and walked to the door. “You’ll have the room to yourself for now. Your clothes are exactly where they’ve always been. Somehow I never got around to getting rid of it. Feel free to look around.” With one last look at Mia, Steve walked out closing the door behind him not being able to take another minute of Mia being afraid of him or his touch.
As soon as Steve closed the door, Mia slid to the floor and hugged her legs to her as she let the tears fall from her eyes. Why was this happening to her and why couldn’t she remember anything. She noticed the pain she was causing Steve even if he did try to hide it. All she knew was that everyone thought she was dead because supposedly the hospital she was in exploded but how had she survived was everyone’s question. Slowly she got up from the floor and wiped her tears as she took Steve’s words and went around exploring the insides of the room they’d once shared.
On top of the dresser she found a frame of the two of them together smiling at the camera. It appeared to be taken at the beach and she was hugging him from the waist as he draped an arm around her shoulders and both of them were wearing swimming attire. Right next to that one was one of them but a much younger version. She wondered how long exactly she’d known Steve for. Opening the drawers, she found the top one belonged to him. It contained t-shirts and sweatpants. She closed it and opened the next one. In it, she found women’s sleeping attire. She assumed it belonged to her so she took out a silk pale pink camisole and closed the drawer.
Mia needed a shower so she took the camisole and walked into the bathroom closing the door behind her.
Steve had just gotten off the phone with his sister who had Sophie with her and was staying with Danny until Mia got settled back in the house. It was difficult not having his daughter with him but he was doing it for Mia. He didn’t want to just throw everything at her, especially the fact that she had a daughter. Those things needed to be told calmly and he would do it once she had an idea of her life before they all thought she’d died. This was why he hadn’t told her the baby girl on the picture was hers as well; although he didn’t know what she might have been thinking when he said that was his daughter. Steve still didn’t know whether this was all a dream or some kind of nightmare but he did know one thing, he wouldn’t change it for the world. Having Mia back, alive, was a miracle, even if he didn’t believe in them and even if Mia had no memory of them together. He would help her as much as he could but most importantly, he would find out who did this to her.
Steve had been having trouble falling asleep even though he knew the house was secured. Around two in the morning when he was finally succumbing to sleep a piercing scream jolted him awake. He was instantly alert and grabbing his gun as he dashed up the stairs where the screaming was coming from.
Mia was deep asleep when she started hearing voices and a baby crying. It started off low but soon grew in intensity. She began tossing and turning trying to get rid of the noises but soon it was becoming too much and the agonizing pain in her head was unbearable. She jerked awake letting out a loud scream and as if her body had a mind of its own she found herself rushing out of the room an into the room right across. She dropped to her knees right in the middle of the room unaware of where she had walked in clutching her head.
“Make it stop, please, make it stop,” she cried into the darkness.
Steve checked his room and found it empty but before he could start to panic he heard a muffled voice filled with pain coming from the room right behind him. He made a u-turn and walked into Sophie’s nursery stopping dead on his tracks. The sight that greeted him tore at his heart. Mia was on the floor clutching her head and it was obvious she was in so much pain. He quickly put his gun on top of a shelf and dropped to his knees wrapping his arms around Mia.
“Shh, it’s okay, it’s okay,” he whispered placing his lips on her hair.
“Please, make it stop,” she cried. “She won’t stop.”
Steve was confused. “Who? Mia, sweetheart talk to me, who won’t stop?”
“She’s crying and it’s too much, make her stop!” she demanded in a frantic voice turning to look at him and clutching his shirt.
“Mia, there’s no one here. It’s only you and me,” he tried to explain as he placed his hands on top of hers while they were still holding onto his shirt as if her life depended on it. “I think your just dreaming.”
“But she’s right there!” she cried pointing with her left hand to the crib as the tears continued to pour out.
Steve turned to look at the crib and sure enough it was empty. Mia must be having some sort of dream or nightmare. He sighed and then carried Mia in his arms. “Come on; let’s get you back to bed.”
He walked back across the hall and into his room laying Mia down on the bed and covering her with the sheet. “Are you feeling any pain?” he asked her in a soft voice.
Mia looked at Steve not understanding what he meant. Pain? Why would she be in pain, she thought.
“Mia?” he asked sitting on the edge of the bed. “Mia you were just doubling over in pain a minute ago. Are you feeling okay?”
“I’m fine,” she said in a daze. “Would you mind turning off the light, please?” Mia turned around giving her back to Steve signaling the conversation was over.
Steve was confused and worried. Mia had just seemed like she was in so much pain not even a minute ago and now she seemed perfectly fine. He really needed to talk with her doctor. Steve stood up turning off the bedside lamp in the process and walked out of the room leaving the door slightly open so he would be able to hear downstairs if she had another nightmare.
The next morning Mia woke up feeling tired. She remembered very well the short episode where she had been experiencing unbearable pain but just like that, it had quickly faded away. Mia remembered vividly the loud voices but was not able to make them out and the crying, a baby’s cries. Why would she hear a baby cry? Stretching out and pushing the covers away from her she got up and walked to the window opening the curtains to let the morning sunshine in.
“Hey I didn’t Know you were awake,” Steve said.
“Ah!” She yelped in surprise quickly turning around to find Steve by the door of the bathroom covered in just a towel from the waist down. “You scared me,” she said clutching a hand to her heart.
“Sorry,” he answered sheepishly. “My clothes are all in here and I figured I might as well just shower in here. I hope I didn’t wake you. You looked like you really needed the sleep.”
Mia took in his muscled chest and arms and couldn’t help the blush that crawled up her cheeks. She felt like she was burning and the way he was looking at her wasn’t helping matters either. Remembering what she was wearing, or better yet, what she wasn’t, she quickly hugged herself to try to cover what little she could. She wasn’t wearing anything underneath the silk camisole and she knew she was probably giving Steve an eyeful.
“It’s not like I’ve never seen it before,” he casually said shrugging as he opened a drawer and took out pants.
Mia averted her gaze and cleared her throat. “Can you please get dressed,” she said her voice coming out raspy. She saw he was about to drop his towel and quickly added, “Somewhere else, preferably, if you don’t mind.”
Steve simply nodded and grabbed the rest of his clothes before leaving the room.
Mia quickly changed into jeans and a loose red shirt she found last night while looking for her clothes. She was walking out of her room when something made her stop. Last night when Steve showed her to her room she noticed all the doors upstairs were slightly ajar, all of them except one, the one right across from her room. She checked the hallway to make sure no one was coming feeling like what she was about to do was wrong and walked to the closed door. Mia turned the knob thinking it was going to be locked but to her surprise, the knob turned and she pushed the door open. Stopping at the entrance, she took in the room. “A nursery,” she whispered taking in the room she had walked into last night. Mia walked in and took in everything. She walked to the crib but it was void of any baby except for a lone teddy bear. Mia smiled as she picked up the teddy bear and inhaled as she caressed its soft fur over her cheek.
“Sophie,” she whispered without thinking. Mia’s eyes widen in shock as she let the teddy drop back into the crib.
“Sophie,” she repeated placing a hand over her pounding heart. Mia couldn’t explain the sudden anguish she was feeling. She began pacing back and forth feeling like she wasn’t getting enough air. “Sophie, Sophie, Sophie,” she continued the anguish becoming stronger. Suddenly Mia found herself throwing objects around the room, destroying them in the process and causing a big mess. “Sophie!”
Steve was finishing making breakfast when Danny, as usual, walked into his home without walking. Steve rolled his eyes and turned to face his partner pointing at Danny with the spatula in his hand. “You know Danny, one of these days -” he stopped short when a loud bang coming from upstairs interrupted him. Steve exchanged a look with Danny and soon they both bolted to the stairs.
Steve froze at the sight in front of him and from the corner of his eye he saw Danny pull his gun out. “Mia, put the gun down,” he said firmly. “Mia come on, put the gun down.” Steve felt like kicking himself for forgetting to take his gun with him last night. This never happened to him and now he mentally berated himself. Somehow Mia located the gun he had left on top of a shelf and now she was pointing it at him and Danny with unsteady hands. He looked around the mess in the room, Mia. What was she doing in here and why had she practically destroyed the whole room?
“She’s dead, Sophie’s dead,” she cried pointing the gun with unsteady hands at Steve and Danny.
“Mia put the gun down and then we’ll talk,” he said in a gentler tone as he tried taking a step forward but that only caused Mia to become more agitated.
“Sophie’s dead! She’s dead!”
Danny was worried. He’d never seen Mia this way. He hated himself for having to point at her with his gun but at the moment she was a danger. She was unsteady and pointing a gun at Steve and Danny. One wrong movement and she could fire it.
“No, I promise you, she’s not,” he said gently taking another baby step in her direction his hands still raised to let her know he meant no harm. “If you give me the gun I promise to tell you where she is.”
“It was an accident,” she whispered as she slowly brought the gun down and pushed strands of hair away from her face.
Steve didn’t waste any time and quickly moved in to take the gun away from Mia’s hands. He handed it to Danny and then hugged Mia. “She’s not dead, I swear.”
“It was an accident,” she said in a muffled voice against his chest. “She didn’t mean to push me down the stairs.”
Steve closed his eyes realizing what Mia must be thinking. She must have remembered the time her mother pushed her down the stairs and was confusing it with her second pregnancy.
Steve led Mia downstairs and helped her sit on the couch while Danny went into the kitchen to get her something to drink. Steve sat on the coffee table right in front of Mia and placed her hands in his. He felt her hands shaking and cold.
“Mia,” he started. “Tell me what you remembered.”
Mia hesitated when she saw Danny join them.
“It’s okay, it’s just Danny, he was at the hospital and he’s our friend,” Steve said trying to ease her nerves.
Mia nodded and took the glass of water Danny brought her. She took a small sip and gave it to Steve, which he placed right next to him. “It’s all very confusing,” she said in a small voice twisting her hands on her lap.
Steve nodded. “Okay, start from the beginning,” he said searching her eyes.
“After you left, I got dressed and was going to come downstairs but something made me stop. I don’t know, call it curiosity or whatever you want, but somehow I found myself walking into that room. Everything was fine but suddenly I felt this anguish here,” she said placing a hand on her chest. “Then that’s when everything became so confusing. I saw myself falling down the stairs and then the doctor telling me Sophie was dead. I was pregnant wasn’t I? Is that where the scar on my stomach came from?” Yesterday when Mia was putting on her sleepwear she had been standing in front of the mirror and noticed a horizontal scar on her stomach. It didn’t look recent and she had planned on asking her doctor about it but after this morning she began adding things up.
Steve exchanged a look with Danny who was standing behind him to his left with his arms crossed watching the whole scene with worry. Then he turned to look back at Mia. The psychologist had told him to hold off on telling Mia about Sophie but they wouldn’t be seeing her until tomorrow and Mia had to know Sophie wasn’t dead.
“Mia, listen to me, okay?” he asked bending his head a little to look into her eyes and make sure she was paying attention.
Steve sighed as he got ready to tell Mia the story about her first pregnancy. “When you were fifteen, shortly after I left the island, you found out you were pregnant.” Steve paused to let that sink in. When he saw Mia was going to say something he raised a finger to let him continue. “I had no idea until you came back on the island about two years ago now. That’s how we reconnected again after many years but I think that’s another story. Yes, you were pregnant but that baby was never born. Your mother,” Steve took a deep breath to continue because just remembering what that woman did brought back so much rage in him. “Your mother pushed you down the stairs in your old home. That was how you lost that baby.”
Mia was processing everything Steve was telling her. So she was right, she had lost the baby and her own mother was responsible for that. How could a mother be so cruel and do that to their own daughter. Mia understood she was too young to become a mother but no one had the right to take that away from her. Mia shook her head to clear the confusion. She did remember seeing a woman when she fell down the stairs but she had no idea it was her mother.
Then something clicked. She looked up and into Steve’s eyes. “What do you mean by that baby? Was there another one?”
Steve took Mia’s hands in his and gave them a gentle squeeze. He had seen the myriad of emotions cross Mia’s features. “We had another baby,” he stated simply.
“What?” she asked confused.
“That scar you mentioned? That was from our daughter, Sophie,” he said. Steve stood up and walked to the shelf against the wall. He grabbed a picture frame and returned to his spot in front of Mia. “This little girl right here,” he said, his voice coming out raspy from the emotion he was trying to hold back, placing the frame in her hands. “This little girl is Sophie, our daughter.”
Mia looked down at the picture of the baby girl. She felt the tears in her eyes but didn’t bother stopping them when on landed on the glass of the frame. Mia ran a finger over the baby’s face.
“She just turned one almost two weeks ago,” Steve said.
Mia looked up at Steve with tears in her eyes. “You mean I missed out on a whole year of her life?” she choked out.
Steve hesitated and then nodded. “We all thought you were dead, Mia” he reminded her. “We still have HPD and the rest of the task force I run looking for any clues that might tell us what you were doing in the middle of nothing.”
Mia handed the frame back to Steve and stood up placing a hand on her forehead. “This is all too much. I don’t think I can… I just, I just need some time alone,” Mia said rushing to the back of the house and out the doors that lead down to the beach.
“Mia!” Steve called out after her retreating form.
“Steve,” Danny said placing a hand on his arm.
Steve turned to look at Danny.
Danny shook his head and said, “Give her some space. She needs to process everything you just told her and let it sync in. She’ll come back when she’s ready.”
Steve turned to look back out the glass doors and then nodded. “Yeah, you’re right,” he agreed.
Danny patted Steve on the shoulder and gave him a small smile. “Why don’t I feel you in on what the team and HPD have so far?”
Steve and Danny walked to the kitchen for a cup of coffee and took it back to the dining table as Danny filled in Steve on what they had so far.