It was like I was in a haze or a dream. There. On the dance floor was a girl that looked just like Ginny Malcolm!
As I got closer I saw her orange hair, her petite face, her little mole above her lips. Without thinking, I wrapped my arms around her and whispered, “Thank God, you’re alive!”
Instantly, she pushed me away. “Hey, what’s your deal? Get off me!”
For a split second, I’d forgotten all about the curse and my idiotic problems. To Ginny, I was a woman. Charlene Darby. A stranger.
My shoulders sunk as I stammered, “S-Sorry, I thought you were someone I knew. Forgive me.”
She lurched her head back. “That’s okay. I have that kind of face. Don’t worry about it.”
Next, I heard a gasp and Charlene exclaiming, “Oh my GOD! Is that Ginny Malcolm?”
In a flash, Ginny’s face beamed as she flung her arms around Charlie. I’d never wanted my body back more in this entire nightmare. At least I wasn’t dreaming. That WAS Ginny Malcolm. She was alive and living here in Sulani. But how? And why hadn’t she contacted me in all of these years?
“Liam!” Ginny breathed. “I can’t believe it’s you! How are you?”
Charlie was at a loss for words. She just shrugged.
Then Ginny said, “Hey, I want to introduce you to Kaleo. He’s my…”
“Husband,” said a gruff voice coming from a guy who looked like he belonged in an action hero movie.
The word, “husband” took a moment to register and then it stung like a poison dart.
“No…no…” I whispered, “that can’t be true…” My stomach tightened so much I felt like I was going to puke. I had to get out of there.
What the hell kind of psycho drama was this? If it’d happened in the movies, I wouldn’t have believed it. But here we were in Sulani and I was staring at none other than Ginny Malcolm, love of Dr. Day’s life. WTF????
Oh she SOOOOO had some explaining to do.
“I…um…am shocked to see you but…glad.” I stuck out my hand to shake with Ginny’s husband’s. I noticed Dr. D’s face went pale and he’d fled the scene. Can’t say I blame him.
“Liam…you don’t know how many times I thought about you over the past two years. How are you?” Ginny beamed at me with a touch of sadness in her face.
I glared. It was time to get my bitch on. If Dr. Day couldn’t defend himself, I’d do it for him. This soooo wasn’t cool. “Two years? It’s been six. I thought you were dead, Ginny. Why the hell didn’t you contact me all of these years? Do you know what I went through? We were going to be married. You were my fiancé. Didn’t you think I had the right to know where you were?”
“I’m…sorry, Liam…it’s a long story. I didn’t regain my memories until two years ago and then by that time you’d moved on.”
I cocked my head. “Moved on? Why did you think that?”
“Ginny…why don’t we invite Liam over to our house so you can talk more? I don’t mind.”
I wanted Dr. Day to be there. I wasn’t sure what was going on with him right now but I knew he needed closure. “Can I bring my girlfriend, too? She’s worrying about me right now. I saw her leave in tears earlier.”
Ginny nodded. “Of course. I’d love to meet your girl.” Then she grinned at me and said, “I’m so glad you found someone special, Liam. I truly am.”
I searched everywhere outside the nightclub and then followed sand prints to a tiny lava springs.
God, Reed was even hugging Dr. Day. He must have known something was up. Like I wouldn’t have been upset by seeing Ginny. Only Dr. Day would care that much.
I walked up to them. “Hey…um…can I talk to Dr. Day…alone, please?”
The guys nodded. Reed blinked at me sort of giving me telepathy that he now understood the situation. Like yeah…this was the real Dr. D in MY body. It was like I knew our romance was over right then but I honestly didn’t care.
I stared at his stricken face and said, “God, Liam, I’m so sorry.”
Just hearing Charlene call me by my first name at this moment sent me into tears. I had been so emotional lately even before I’d seen Ginny. I’d heard that’s what happened to women during that time of the month–my emotions were definitely all over the place. And to make matters worse, seeing Ginny and her husband was like I was reliving her disappearance all over again only this time it hurt even worse. There was a finality to it. The death of our relationship for good.
“Is there anything I can do?” Charlene asked when I couldn’t respond. “God, I just want to slap her face and kick her ass.”
Tears streamed down my cheeks as Charlene wrapped her arms around me. And then I gave in, body shaking, crying on her shoulder.
Suddenly, rage shot up through the pain. “Why, dammit? WHY? Did she hate me so much that she had to make up a lie to get away from our life together? I don’t understand!”
Charlene shook her head. “Honestly, I don’t think that was it at all. She said she’d lost her memory until two years ago.”
“Then why didn’t she call me two years ago?” I was panicking and losing my shit. I hated being out of control. Hated the familiar terror seeping into my body as the reality of the situation gutted me. Just like what happened with Brandy. Just like when she first disappeared.
Holding me even tighter, Charlene breathed, “It’s going to be okay, Liam. I promise.”
At that moment, I really wanted to believe her, but I just couldn’t.