"We have eight hours or so before we land in St. Lucia. Why don't you start from the beginning and tell me how you obtained those?" Liam said leaning towards Millie, his gaze diverted to the scars on her person.
She may be comfortably seated but opening up was a different story.
"It depends on what you want to know," Millie said, trying to skirt around the subject.
"Let's not be coy here Millie. I want to know the truth," Liam said.
"But why? You never cared about the truth when I went to see you. And all of a sudden, you want to be my new best friend." Millie said sarcastically as she avoided his gaze and stared out the window.
"When did you come to see me?" Liam said puzzled.
Millie laughed. It wasn't funny. She had to laugh because life was an obstacle. A mess. She laughed because what else could she say, or do. She laughed because, maybe this was fate's cruel joke. She couldn't stop laughing.
Liam looked worried, confused even. He just didn't understand anything and Millie was coming across completely out of character which was scaring him, "I don't think this is a funny situation."
"Oh, but it is," Millie laughed, "It is."
"Enlighten me, because I don't find it very funny," Liam scowled.
"Well, it's funny because after all that's happened- now you're concerned... now you want to know... when, quite frankly, there is not much to know. That is what is funny," Millie smiled. She was probably coming across as a complete lunatic but she just didn't care.
"Millie, you're speaking in riddles. What on earth are you talking about?" Liam asked.
"What am I talking about? What on earth are you talking about?" Millie said.
Liam looked at the woman who was sitting in front of him. Not only was she being difficult, there was sadness in her eyes and he didn't like it one bit. It was sunny outside and they hadn't incurred any turbulence. He could play this game if he had to, they were going to be in the air for eight hours, there was no escape-unless you called escape, the bedroom on the other side of where they were sitting but he tried not to think about that. He couldn't. How could he think about sleeping with her when it was obvious that those scars were disturbing him.
"What? Don't want to answer my questions? Don't like being interrogated?" Millie asked.
"I don't mind answering questions, if I have answers to them Millie," Liam said, taking a sip of his water, "I can see your reluctance in answering my questions leaves me with the assumption that whatever led to those scars was something pretty horrific, something you don't want to deal with. Not with me perhaps, not now, maybe not ever but I'm worried about, I really am. Whether you choose to believe me or not," Liam said looking Millie in the eye.
There was another silence. A silence that seemed to stretch. A silence that was both meaningful and full of anxiety. Liam could feel the vulnerability emanating from Millie, he wanted to help her. Understand her, if only she would let him in. When he looked up at her, her eyes watered.
"The day I came to see you at your apartment, it was the day you were flying out on location, do you remember?" Millie asked. Her face looked solemn, which made his insides go funny.
"Yeah, I do," he responded, "What about that day?"
"I stood in your apartment urging you to listen to me because I had something to tell you. You wanted to talk once you touched down on the other side and I needed to tell you in person but you just didn't care about me or our baby. You just cared about getting out of New York and on a plane far away from me!" Millie's voice rose but she stopped to take a breathe.
"I do care about you Millie, that's why I offered to call you when I touched down. I'm sorry I couldn't listen to you there and then, I had to be somewhere," Liam said and it suddenly dawned on him, "Baby?"
Millie ignored his last question, she just wasn't ready to touch on that just yet. She had to get whatever guilt, anger out of the way, "Yes, it was obvious back then that your work took priority over me. Your girlfriend?!"
"Millie you got it all wrong," Liam began but he was shut down by Millie's fury.
"No, you got it wrong!" She pointed at him, "I found out I was pregnant that very morning and in my utter joy and absolute happiness I thought I would share it with you because we made this life inside of me. Sure I was a little nervous to tell you, you only ever told me once that you deeply cared for me... never that you loved me. But on that hunch, I thought, if he's only mentioned once that he cares for me then it must mean he loves me. But how stupid and naive was I? I wanted to tell you then, because it made me happy and I hoped it would make you happy too but life doesn't work that way for me. It never did, when it came to you. When push came to shove, I thought maybe you would have changed, you would let me in or that there would be a place for me somewhere in your hectic life but that day, pretty much told me everything. And when you finished on location, I thought I would hear from you but I didn't and that was pretty much the nail on the coffin."
"Millie please... listen to me... I was an arsehole back then. I admit, I was too caught up in my work and I apologise but you should have told me, you should have tried harder," He was met with a slap.
"Don't you fucking dare turn this on me you arsehole, don't you fucking dare!" there were daggers in Millie's eyes, "I tried to tell you but you kept telling me that we'd talk after you landed... that wasn't good enough for me."
"So what happened to our baby then?" Liam asked.
"I was five months along when I was attacked," Millie said, wiping the tear that rolled down her cheek, "I was so tired being on my feet for so long that my boss sent me home. I didn't want to because I needed the money but he said, 'I was no good to him, if I was asleep on my feet' - so he sent me home. It was cold and I didn't have enough money for a taxi or a bus, so I walked it. I walked and walked and then I was cornered. There was no one around. I gave up my belongings willingly and then, they must have thought I had something in my jacket because of my bump. I tried to close my jacket because I was cold but I don't remember much after that... it was kind of hazy after that. I remember waking up in a pool of blood and someone reassuring me that everything was going to be alright. I think I blacked out then. I later found myself in a hospital bed and was told by the physician, the doctor that I had lost her. I had lost my baby girl," Millie said, her head in her hands as all the grief, the guilt ran through her.
Liam unbuckled his seat belt and brought Millie into his arms, she didn't push him away. She cried even harder into him and he hugged her, for dear life. It was a shock to the system, hell, it was more then a shock. Whilst he had been living his life with numerous film projects, she had been struggling to support herself and what, because of his pig-headiness. His greed, his selfishness. He couldn't forgive himself. His Millie was far from being alright, she was a mess. He need only hear her crying to know that she hadn't gotten over the traumatic experience and the loss of their child. If he had just stayed and listened to her, they would be going on holidays with their daughter. He would never forgive himself. He wanted to jam his fist into the wall or smash his head against it. He was angry more with himself then Millie. How could he be mad at her? She had done her duty by trying to tell him but he was a fool for not listening. God, he would make it up to her, he would spend his life trying to make it up to her. And as he was comforting her, he already knew that he would. -
The pilot spoke through the intercom to tell them that they had landed in beautiful tropical Saint Lucia. Millie had fallen asleep in Liam's arms after crying. He nudged her gently and she woke up, the look on her eyes reminded him of a baby. She looked so innocent, so vulnerable and something inside of him kick started. The feeling in the pit of his stomach was unfamiliar, "We're here Millie."
"Here?" she said dazed.
"Saint Lucia, remember?" he whispered.
She nodded, "How long do I have to stay here?"
He was taken aback by her question, she wanted to be rid of his company already. He was disappointed, he hoped that they could re-patch where they left off, he wasn't going to push her as she was like glass in his rough hands. He was going to give her a choice and they would take each day as it comes, ignoring her question he touched her face, "Let's take it each day as it comes, if you hate it here, you can take the jet back home."
She somehow nodded, reluctant but willing to take a teeny weeny bit chance on him.
Millie had taken a shower and dried her hair, slipped into a tea dress and flip flops. The weather was tropical hot, she wanted to wear a bikini but her body as well as her confidence wasn't the same after the attack and losing Lucy. She had decided to call her daughter Lucy, because she wanted to keep Liam in the frame. If it was only the letter 'L'. When Liam had driven them from the airport to his massive hilly mountain mansion over looking the azul sea, he had said that St Lucia was named after Saint Lucy of Syracuse, the first French colonizers. What a coincidence. She wasn't about to share that, she didn't want to think that there could be a future for them, because how could there be.
She walked out onto the balcony where a table full of fresh fruit and food were laid out, her stomach grumbled, only realising now that she hadn't eaten anything on the flight and hadn't had breakfast. She was famished.
"Don't be a stranger, help yourself," came the voice behind her. She spun around and saw him leaning again the door, clad in khaki linen shorts and a white polo shirt, "You must be starving."
"Thanks," she sat down and helped herself.
"You can take today to get settled, to sleep. If you want I can show you around, there's an infinity pool downstairs or a gym?" She could tell he was walking around eggshells around her.
"You don't have to do that, y'know," she said looking at him.
"Do what?" he asked.
"Try to be extra nice to me, walking on eggshells around me," she said, tucking into some guava.
He walked towards her and sat down, he waited for both her hands before he took them in his and she had a startled expression written all over her face, "I don't want to hurt you anymore Millie. I am such an idiot, a dick. I've been thinking, whatever I said, I did. I'm so sorry. I don't know what to do. Please, just let me make it up to you. I want to share your pain, I want to be there for you. Just... just take each day with me...and I promise you, I won't ever..."
"Please let's not talk about this... I just want to be someone other then me for the day or days or however long. Coming out to you, telling you has been a relief. I just want to move on," Millie said.
Liam nodded in understanding, "Of course, take however long you need. I'll be here for you."
"As my friend, I hope," Millie smiled.
Liam didn't like the word 'friend' but he was willing to take it and perhaps in time, persuade her differently.