Back in New York, Harold woke up the next morning and checked the phone on his bedside as usual for any news about Dave being found, He let out a huge yawn and stretched his arm and strained his eyes to see if any messages had been left but it was nothing. He groaned to himself in disappointment, It had already been a few days and still no news. He was growing more and more anxious each day but he couldn’t show it, he told himself to be strong for the family. He walked to the kitchen and called his wife’s name but got a response from his daughter Betty, who had stayed the night. She replied to her father “ Dad, mom went out. Sit down, I’ll make some eggs and coffee” she said with a sigh. She too was anxious about her brother but told herself to be strong. It was a family trait, no one talked about their feelings, they just carried on, no need to get too emotional, it wasn’t going to bring Dave back any faster. The kids were in the next room watching cartoons, unaware of the tension in the house. Harold loved his grandkids and smiled, knowing they were at home, they always cheered him up. “Maybe we can go the park today” he thought to himself. Lost in his thoughts, Harold looked outside and noticed Betty’s husband Mark outside, sipping a cup of coffee and smoking a cigarette. Betty noticed her father looking outside and they both looked each other and she mouthed quietly “I know”. Harold asked his daughter “Honey, what’s going on with you two?” Betty replied “ I don’t know dad, I mean, like we just have trouble communicating. I try to talk to him and he just shuts down, I ask him about things in his life and he just avoids the question, like he’s hiding something”. Harold asked her “ Are you both still going to marriage counseling?” Betty replied “ Yes, it hasn’t changed a damn thing, I will talk with the therapist and Mark will sit there quiet as usual, arms crossed, tapping his toes, just waiting for the session to be over. He even told me it is a waste of time and money” She added “ I asked him , so repairing our marriage is a waste of time and money. He said nothing and walked away from me. I don’t know what to do anymore, dad” She continued “ And as you can see, he doesn’t seem to be concerned about Dave” All of a sudden she broke down crying, dropping the spatula she was using to cook eggs “Oh daddy, I am so scared. Where could he be?” Harold held his daughter and comforted her “shh, its ok honey” he said. She knew that whatever was happening in her life, she could always turn to her father. Lisa ran in and exclaimed “ Mommy, why are you crying? Is it about Uncle Dave? Is he ok” She was really concerned, she loved her Uncle. She loved when he would visit and give her gifts, take her out to eat or play video games with her. Betty wiped a tear from her eyes and replied “ No, honey I’m ok, go back to playing with your brother”. She hugged her mother and ran back to the other room.
Mark looked up to the kitchen window and saw his wife crying and being comforted by her father, and shook his head and continued with his coffee and cigarette. All of a sudden, he got a text from Jennifer, his new coworker. It read “ Hey Hun, we still meeting tonight?” Mark replied “Still with the wife, I don’t know. Give me a minute and I’ll call you”. Mark took a walk and once the coast was clear, called Jennifer. She picked up and Mark said “Hey babe, sorry, caught up in family shit, you know”. Jennifer sighed to herself, she felt so guilty, she knew Mark was a married man but yet he had pressured her into this affair. It had only been a few weeks but she was beside herself and wanted to break it off, but a part of her really liked Mark. He was cute and so charming. She was caught up in this affair and had no idea how to resolve this. She replied to Mark “So her brother is still missing” Mark said “Who knows, maybe he just needed to get away or ran off to Vegas to get married. I know I shouldn’t say this but I never liked him very much anyways but whatever” Jennifer changed the subject “ So when do you want to meet” Mark answered “ Right now, I think we should wait a few days until things calm down. Maybe sometime next week. I will let you know. We always have our time after work” said Mark with a laugh. Jennifer replied “Yeah, in your car, real romantic. What are we 16?” “I know, look I’ll think of something for us soon, dinner and that bed and breakfast you suggested, I promise” Jennifer smiled and said “ I’m holding you to that” Mark said “ Alright, I can’t be gone or else the wife will suspicious. See you at work, babe” Jennifer blew him a kiss on the phone and Mark ended the call by saying “Right back at ya babe”
Jennifer hung up the phone and felt pings of guilt in her stomach, she had never been with a married man and all of her friends had warned her that this was terrible idea but yet she was turned on by the how dangerous this affair had become. She was attracted to Mark the first she met him at her new job. He was so confident and a real go getter. He took her under his wing, showing her the the ropes and in the process, they fell for each other. They both didn’t mean for it to happen but it happened nonetheless. Jennifer called her sister Rachel. Jennifer said to her sister “ I know you said I should break it off with Mark but we now made plans to go to a bed and breakfast soon, I feel so guilty, I had no idea it would lead to all this. Rachel replied “ Oh honey, you know I love you but you are making such a mistake, I worry about you. What’s going to happen when his wife founds out. What about your job? Is it worth the risk? You always fall for the wrong guy and you never think about the consequences” “I know” replied Jennifer. She knew her sister was right and had no more to say, she knew she was wrong. Jennifer asked her sister “ How do I break this off. I can’t do it now. His wife’s brother is missing or something and it’s chaotic with his family. He doesn’t need the added stress. And if I break it off with him, then I’ll still have to see him at work and that would be super awkward”. Rachel replied “ Honey. I get it. I would suggest at least avoiding the bed and breakfast thing, it would only entangle you more into this thing, you know. I don’t have answer yet but look, we can talk about this more, maybe meet for lunch, maybe Thursday” “Sounds good” said Jennifer. She hung out up the phone and smoked her last cigarette, and tried her best to forget about it for the moment. She was grateful to have a sister who cared because god knows, her friends all judged her and that was the last thing she needed.
Later on in the day, Dave was in Seattle in the house with his new friends, unaware of that his family ( that he couldn’t remember) was worried sick. Melanie who had been out all day, walked into the house and announced to everyone “ Hey, guys, just found out there is going to a poetry reading at the coffee shop this Tuesday, we should all go!” Susan nudged Dave on the shoulder and exclaimed “ Dave, you’re going to love it. It’s chance to meet some of our other friends and who knows maybe it will inspire to start writing” Dave nodded his head and said “Yeah I’ll go” Susan excitedly hugged him. She knew that this was just what he need to come out of his shell. He still was shy in many ways and they just wanted to help him. They had grown to care about him these past few days and just wanted to see him happy.
Iris was sitting on the couch quietly, sipping a cup of coffee when all of sudden she got a phone call. She looked nervous and took the call outside. She picked up the phone and it was her mother. Her mother calmly told her daughter “ Honey, I need to talk to you. I know we haven’t spoken in a while but it’s about your brother. “What about him?” she asked nervously. Her mother replied “ Well, he was in a car accident and he had been drinking, he umm well, he didn’t see where he was going and uh he crashed into a telephone phone, the other passenger died and he is in the hospital in coma” “Oh my god” Iris exclaimed crying. Dave noticed from the window and Iris motioned not to approach. Her mother continued “ I realize that things haven’t been the greatest in our family but he is your brother and I know you love him. Can you come home and see him? He needs you” Iris stopped for a moment and gathered her thoughts. She thought about Dave being alone and vulnerable in a new city with amnesia but she had a duty to her family, she couldn’t stay here while her brother was in the hospital. She replied to her mother “ Mom, of course I’ll come back home. I am in Seattle now but I am going to take the next train right of here. Ok?” Her mother said “Thank you, honey. Call us as soon as you get to town, we love you” “I love you too” she replied with tears in her eyes.
Iris wiped the tears from her eyes and walked back in the house. She said to Dave “ Hey can we talk for a minute” Dave knew it was serious. They walked back outside and Iris hugged Dave as tight as she could and started crying again. Dave asked “ What’s wrong, iIris? Iris said through tears “ I’m really scared. My brother was in a car crash and he’s in the hospital, he’s hurt real bad” Dave hugged her again, he hated to see his friend so upset. She continued “Honey, you know I care about you and I said that I’d stay with you until you found your identity but my mom wants me to come back to New York, I don’t want to leave you here all alone but I have no choice but to go back, I mean, you can go with me if you want” Dave paused and said “ I understand and I think you need to be with your family right now, you don’t need me there” Iris said “But, Dave you are from New York or at least that’s where we met” Dave said “ You may have seen me in New York but who knows where my family is, they could be somewhere else, it’s just confusing. Look please, go see your family and I will be fine” Iris replied “Honey, are you sure. Do you trust these two girls?” Dave said “Yes, I think I do. Just like I trusted you. I have a good feeling about them. Iris replied “You know, so do I” Iris overcome with emotion exclaimed “Goodbye, I love you, never forget that” She hugged him one more and kissed him on the lips tenderly. Dave all of a sudden in that split second changed his mind. He said to Iris “ Iris, I think I’m in love with you” Iris taken aback asked “You do?” He continued “Yes, you are beautiful and caring and have been my saving grace ever since I lost memory” She didn’t know how to respond but she felt the same way but wasn’t quite sure how to express it. Dave took a deep breath and said “ Iris, I don’t want to lose you and if it’s still possible I would like to back to you with to New York. I will be there for you like you have been for me. I don’t want to leave your side” Iris couldn’t hold back her emotions “ Yes, of course you can come with me! I need someone around who can help me through this. And Dave, I fell in love with you the minute I layed my eyes on you. You are a beautiful man with a wonderful heart and I felt like that this whole time, I just couldn’t say because I didn’t know how you felt” Iris continued with a laugh “ And you know, I was so jealous when I saw you talking with Susan. I thought you had forgotten about little old me” Dave laughed too and said “ Now, how could I possibly forget about you and if I made you feel like, I am sorry”. They sat out there for another hour or so, smoking cigarettes and just talking. Susan and Melanie wondered what was going that caused them to be out there for so long.
They walked back in the house and Melanie asked “So guys, what’s going on?” Iris said “Uh, guys, we have to talk” They all sat down and Iris said to the two girls “I just got a call from my mother and my brother has been in a car accident and he is in coma in the hospital” Susan asked “ That is terrible, do you know what happened exactly?” Iris said “ Apparently my brother had been drinking and he crashed into a telephone pole and the guy sitting in the passenger seat died” “Oh my God, is he being charged?” exclaimed Melanie. Iris didn’t like the way she worded that question and sternly replied “ I am more concerned about my brother’s wellbeing, not whether is going to jail, ok?” Melanie realizing her mistake backed off and quietly listened. Iris said “ My mother wants me to go back to New York and I am leaving as soon as I can. I talked with Dave and he offered to go with me.” Susan looking concerned turned to Dave and asked “ Is this what you really want?” Dave look confused and turn to Iris for an answer. Iris replied to the question with “ Yes, Dave and I already talked about it and he wants to go” Susan asked again “ Dave do you really want to go?” Iris was getting upset but she wanted to remain calm. Dave reiterated what Iris has said “ Guys, I am leaving with Iris. I really appreciate your friendship but Iris has been taking care of me since I lost my memory, I can’t leave her. Susan threw up her hands and said “Fine, whatever” and stormed out of the house. She, like Iris, had really grown to love Dave and was hoping to get to know him more and now he was leaving. She sat on the porch smoking a cigarette, just trying to calm her nerves. Back in the house, Melanie stated “ I apologize for her, she can be emotional at times. We just care about you, Dave.” Dave nodded his head and said he understood but he needed to do what he felt was right. He hugged Melanie kissed her on the cheek and thanked her for everything they had done for him.
Dave walked to the porch to talk to Susan who was still upset. She turned to Dave and asked “ Why are you letting Iris tell you what to do? I thought you were happy here and we were going to help you too.” Dave replied “ Look, you guys have been great and I really appreciate everything you guys have done for me but Iris was with me since I left New York. I can’t leave her side and I want to be there for her and her family. Also if we met in New York, then maybe my family is there. After all they are looking for me. Do you understand?” Susan nodded her head and hugged Dave. She said “ I am just going to miss you, Dave, I really like you” “I’m glad we are friends, said Dave” Susan told out a piece of paper and scribbled out the address to the house. She said “Please feel free to write us and let us know how you are. And when you get a phone you can call and maybe visit us. I really hope you get your memory back Dave. Take care” She like, Iris had tears in her eyes. She loved Dave but could never say it. What was the point, he’d be leaving forever and besides she knew that he was really in love with Iris, it was obvious, she had known it all along but was in denial. She knew know that Dave would never be hers. She had no choice to accept that. Susan said to Dave, I just need to take a walk and clear my head. I’ll be back later. She walked off into the distance. Dave sighed and saddened by the outcome. He knew that he was doing the right thing. He just sat on the porch, staying at the dusk sky, listening the hooting owls and cried silently to himself. He knew was going back home and didn’t know what would happen in this journey and he was gripped with fear but could take comfort that he loved Iris and she would be by his side so he could rest easy.