Alexandra stood in front of a row of candles, she lit her candle and looked up at the cross above her head
"Hello Alexandra, I thought I would see you today. It’s been 3 years hasn’t it
"yeh, it's getting easier"
The nun gave her a comforting smile, she new Alexandra was lying "would you like to stay for a cup of tea and a chat"
"I'm about to go on duty, thanks sister"
"My dear you are looking pale, can I get you a drink of water"
"It's the weather, the humidity." Alexandra feeling her fever coming back. Her fever always returned when the weather changed and rain threatened.
Her arms ached as she put her lab coat on, closing the door to her locker. She headed out when a nurse grabbed her
"Dr Taylor, we have a person coming in with gun shot wounds."
Just as she finished the door to the ER crashed open and the gurney came in. The guy was screaming, blood pooling around his body. The stain on his shirt stopped her for a moment, the sight bringing back memories in a big rush
"Doctor we are losing him. " Alexandra snapped back to reality
Alexandra put the sheet over his head and walked with the orderly to the morgue. Once he was loaded into the draw the orderly turned to Alexandra
"Doctor Taylor are you ok, you seemed to be perspiring a lot"
Alexandra throat was dry "I'm fine thanks, it’s nice to be in a cool place"
The orderly left and Alexandra stood alone when a voice spoke up
"Don't blame yourself, you did your best." Voice came from dark side of corner
Alexandra strained her eyes as a figure slowly moved from the shadows. Alexandra gasped "Chloe”
Her eyes focused on side of Chloe’s shirt, the red stain. "Alexandra" she called out and stumbled forward reaching for her. Alexandra tried to catch her " Noooo"
"Dr Taylor... Alexandra" she felt herself being slightly shaken. A soft voice brought her back. Alexandra sat up slowly supported by another colleague
"Oh my head" she groaned
Alexandra focused on her colleague "you fainted in the morgue, have you been taking your medication. Your temperature is up."
Alexandra got to her feet "It's not working like it used to."
Alexandra let herself into the pharmacy and rumbled around in the draws until she found the drug she was after. She dosed up a syringe and gave herself the shot. She knows that using painkillers could get her fired and disbarred but she was finding it harder to cope with the fever, each bout worse than the last.
Her head was still cloudy after the dose but continued to do her rounds. The corridor was cool the fluorescent lights flickered occasionally. She pushed through the door when she smelt something burning. It was familiar, sandalwood. The same scent that Chloe would burn in their apartment. She caught a glimpse out the corner of her eye, and followed around the next corner before stopping dead
"hello Alexandra, its good to see you again" came Chloe’s soothing voice
Alexandra backed up against the wall " it can't be... How" she stumbled
"I told you I would find you, it was a promise" Chloe touched side of Alexandra’s face
Alexandra started to cry "I looked... I stayed in Africa and looked for you for months. They said you were dead but I didn't believe them. Tanyarn thought you might have made it across the border."
Chloe smiled and stepped forward taking Alexandra in her arms "shhhhh it’s alright….I’ve missed you... I looked for you too" Chloe looked down and her eyes narrowed when she spotted wedding band on Alexandra’s finger
"you got married... I thought I was your only" Chloe stepped back
"we are not together anymore, I couldn't love him... I can never love another person after you. I've lost my son because I'm an unfit mother and this fever. I can't cope anymore, I miss you so much" tears of pain and frustration flowed
Chloe kissed her "shhhhh, I've found you and I'm not going away. Come on lets go home"
Alexandra walks through the door to their apartment, it was lit with candles.
"your brother cleaned up your apartment, when did you unpack and... "
the smell of sandalwood distracted her for a moment when two arms slipped around her from behind and a kiss planted on her neck
Alexandra turned around and found her lips locked with Chloe’s "I've missed your lips baby" coos Chloe. They collapse onto the bed and continue of with their sexual reconnection.
Alexandra eyes open as Chloe put her shirt on and got up "where you going sexy" called out Alexandra
Chloe sat down on side of bed and wiped Alexandra damp fringe "I have to go"
"NO..." yelled Alexandra " I've just got you back, you can’t leave me"
"shhhhh, it's going to be alright Alexandra. Just sleep and I'll see you soon" Alexandra eyes felt heavy and closed.
Alexandra woke, the rain had started, the humid air was cooling. Alexandra closed the window and looked around. This wasn't the apartment she shared with Chloe. It was the one she moved into when she came back from Africa, she couldn't face returning to their apartment.
Alexandra picked up the mail that had been piling up all week at her front door flicking through bills until she came across unusual envelope. The writing was familiar and the air stamp caught her attention immediately. She ripped the envelop open and pulled out the letter. Something shiny fell onto the table. She stared at it for a moment before picking it up. It was a gold chain with a half love heart pendant. Tears started to drop onto the letter.
Dear Dr Alexandra Taylor
I am sorry to bring you this news, but I believe it is closure we all need. I promised you that I would not stop looking until I found Chloe. I was told of some graves and when I investigated I found this chain in the grave along with the skeletal remains of the person. I remember you having a similar chain around your neck.
Alexandra felt her chest, she withdrew her pendant and matched her half of the heart with the one she just received, and they connected.
We all hoped that she had made it over the border but this grave has spoken. Again I'm truly sorry but hope this brings closure to your pain.
Alexandra looked at the photo that came with the letter. It showed a grave with bones and she immediately recognized the shirt. The one Chloe always wore because it was a present from her.
Alexandra slide down the wall and screamed hysterically, something she had suppressed that day on the side of the valley when she heard the gun shots. The screams continued until she passed out.
Alexandra injected herself with the drug and sat on the couch waiting for the wave of europhia to wash away her sickness. "Oh Chloe I miss you so much... "
Alexandra phone rang "I've just come off duty, can't you call. Fine... I'm on my way "
Alexandra walked to streets, her clothes heavy from the rain. Her head fuzzy as the painkillers numbed her senses.
"watch out" called someone.
The sound of screeching tyres didn’t register with Alexandra at first. She stood still in the middle of the street and looked up as the car hit her, her body thrown forward and rested in silence in front of the gathering crowd..
The room was quiet, only the sound of machines echoes the room along with a small whimper and sniffles
Alexandra looks over at her young son and ex-husband standing other side of her. She drops her eyes down to see her body invaded with tubes, she felt cool. The flicking of a fluorescent light outside her room broke the attention from her body to someone just outside her doorway
"Alexandra, it’s going to be ok"
Alexandra stepped forward to Chloe "I don't understand, please come in here"
Chloe didn't move "I can't come in, but you can come out."
Alexandra moved "but... If you do... you can't go back... to your life to your family."
The alarms started to get louder on her machines and people were rushing around. Alexandra looked at her son crying for her. She watched the paddles hit her body and she collapsed at the pain
"Chloe ... Help me" she calls out
Tears flowed from Chloe at her lover’s pain "I can't... you don't have to come now... I will wait, I will wait for you Alexandra."
Alexandra watched as they worked on her body, her son yelling at her. Chloe watched on "It's ok Alex... I will wait for how ever long it takes."
Alexandra stepped closer to the doorway and looked back at herself in the bed.
"I can't... I can't wait anymore" Alexandra stepped through the doorway into the corridor. The light above flickered continuously again, the alarm bells screamed from Alexandra's room. Alexandra’s legs buckled, Chloe caught her.
The sheet was put over Alexandra’s body and her family left. Alexandra watched her son and ex-husband leave and felt a sense of lost. “Alexandra”
Alexandra faced Chloe who was looking down the corridor. A bright light illuminated from beyond the doors
“It’s time” Chloe says distractedly
“No…. I won’t let you go” Alexandra clutched Chloe’s shoulders fearful of losing her again. Pulled her in for a passionate, fiery kiss something she hadn’t done since that first night.
5 years earlier
Alexandra looked at herself in the mirror for about the 50th time. She finally got up the courage to ask Chloe over to help her study for her final exams. Her real motive was to admit her feelings and as she has never felt this way about a woman was at a lost on how she was going to communicate without making a fool.
Alexandra looks in the mirror again “Chloe there is something I need to tell you, and that is ahhhhhh like she is going to even want to know about my feelings to her.” She groans to her reflection
Alexandra smirks “so Chloe you want to take these study books into my bedroom” Alexandra groans “I can’t do it, I can’t tell her….I’m doomed to feel this way.”
Her self loathing was disturbed by knock which sent her heart racing.
The door opens and Chloe walks in “Hi Alexandra, hope you know your stuff cos I will be brutal.”
Alexandra smirked. Chloe sat at table with all the books and flicked through “so where do you want to start… anatomy”
Alexandra was melting “ummm so how did the demonstration go” eyeing off Chloe’s t’shirt 'free medical aid to Africa'
“well Red Cross is communicating with Cameroon’s government so we will see.”
Alexandra paced "Can I get you a drink, cola, orange juice, water”
Chloe was bemused by Alexandra’s flightiness around the room “ummm water will be fine”
Alexandra turned to leave then back “did you want tap, cold or spring”
Chloe cocked her head to the side and smiled “surprise me”
Chloe sat back stretched in her seat looking at her watch. She yawns “wow we have been at this for nearly 3 hours, you must be exhausted”
“umm no I’m fine” said Alexandra “maybe we should review…..”
Chloe closed the last book and gets up “Alexandra you everything there is to know, you really didn’t need me here. That is unless you were trying to show off how bright you are.” Teased Chloe
“no.. I wouldn’t do that… I just…”
Chloe waited “what…. Have you got something on your mind you want to talk about”
Alexandra paces again “well….. ummm” she turns to find Chloe in her personal space
“Alex…. We have known each other 6 months, I know when something is bugging you so you might as well tell me”
Alexandra didn’t know what to say instead grabbing Chloe’s shoulders and pulling her in for a kiss. She snatched nervously at Chloe’s wanting some sign until Chloe broke
“ok… well it’s about time you caught up” jokes Chloe
“what…. You knew…. Why didn’t you say….”
“well I tried…. I mean didn’t you wonder how I was on every one of your rounds this year. How I always forgot my stuff in the change room and had to borrow yours. Or how there was always manages to be a spare seat next to me in the cafeteria”
“I didn’t catch that, look I’ve never been interested in a woman before, so this is all new”
Chloe rests her hands on Alexandra hips and pulls her in for a more controlled, lingering kiss. Her tongue exploring Alexandra’s mouth.
Chloe broke the kiss and whispered in her ear. “so you want to continue studying in bed, I’m pretty good with female anatomy”
Alexandra laughs “I just know I’m going to fall in love with you Chloe” kisses her
“Well….. I’m a patient girl Alexandra I can wait for you to catch up.”
Chloe pulled back “hey there I’m not going anywhere without you. I liked that memory.”
The maintenance guy came towards the flickering light, opened his ladder up and started to climb
“I’m scared Chloe….”
“don’t be…. I’m here… and I will never leave you again…promise”
Chloe wrapped a comforting arm around Alexandra waist and they proceeded towards the doors, towards the light
The maintenance guy was momentary distracted by the doors flapping open and closing all of a sudden
He looked up and down the corridor “huh…. Okkk”
He was about to take the faulty light out when it stopped flickering and came back on.
He felt a sudden chill come over him and climbed back down “ok now that was weird, I can’t wait for them to close this wing down.”