A Time to Remember
"I'll get back to you as soon as I can Ms. Smythe. Those figures-"
"Uh, that's Mrs. Smythe-du Pres."
"Whatever, just call my office as soon as you know anything." Click.
"Ugh! Some people are just so stupid! They can't do their jobs to begin with and then they can't even remember something as simple as a freaking last name!"
Greenlee was really starting to feel the pressure of starting a business. There wasn't a second to yourself. For anything. Not that she wanted any spare time, because if she had any, she would only be able to fill the extra seconds with thoughts of Leo. Leo, That one perfect thing in her life. The one thing that had left her. When he plummeted over those falls, Greenlee's heart and soul went with him and she would never be able to get them back.
"Okay, okay!" She repeated while pacing across the floor. "I need to get over to Fusion and see if Kendall did that paperwork. Humph, better not get my hopes up. Man, she's such a flake!"
Just as she started to grab her coat, there was a knock at the door. When Greenlee opened the door, a beautiful bouquet of flowers sitting in the hallway greeted her. She bent over and picked them up, while searching for a card.
"Huh, no card. Maybe I have a secret admirer. Ha! Probably some stupid magazine sent them. After all, Fusion has had at least a little publicity. Whatever, it doesn't matter, I don't have time for this." Without another thought, she put the flowers in the apartment and left.
"Alright, so who has some news that will make me happ-"
"Kendall! What the hell are you doing?"
"Um, letting Jason sample our lip gloss? You know a male perspective is always a really good thing. And-" Jason was Kendall's newest playmate that she had met at some convention that Greenlee had sent her on. Big mistake that was.
"Ew! Never mind. I don't want to know. You, out. Kendall, give me the paper work that I told you to do. I have to get it over to Liza, like now."
"Okay, well I-"
"Unfreaking-believable! You didn't do them, did you? You really are a flake!"
"What? No, they're done. Geez, don't get your eyelashes in a clump. I had Mia bring them over to Liza because she was leaving, Simone was already gone, you weren't here and I, well, had other plans."
"Stop! Enough! Ew, again. Are you sure Mia got them to her?
Never mind, I don't want you to talk anymore. I don't think my stomach can take it. I'll check myself."
"What do you want me to do?"
"Nothing. Wait, scratch that. Go home."
"Go home? Cool, thanks!"
"No, no, no. Not only do I want you to go home. I want you to go home and shower. And after you get out of the shower, go out with that boy-toy of yours that was here before. Because if I ever catch you doing that here again, I will so kill you. Got it?"
"Yeah. Got it."
"Good. Ciao!" With a slight wave of her hand, she was out the door and on her next mission.
As Greenlee reached her car, she dug in her purse to pull out the keys. When she finally located them, she started to put them in the keyhole to unlock the door, when she realized the door wasn't locked. All of a sudden, she started to cry.
All different thoughts and memories began to swirl through her mind. That was, until they were suddenly interrupted by a hand on her shoulder. With a sharp intake of breath, Greenlee whipped around.
"Trey! Oh, you scared me. What are you doing here?"
"Well, I was looking for you. Are you okay?"
"I'm fine. Why?"
"Uh, because most people don't stand in a parking lot, outside their car in the freezing cold crying, for no reason. You know?"
"Yeah, I guess. It's just that all the stupidest things do it to me and there's not a damn thing I can do about it!"
"Wait, I'm not following. What are you talking about? Do you want to fill me in? Is it Leo?"
"Of course it's Leo! I mean you give me two seconds where I'm not thinking about work or whatever else and I start to think about him. Him and everything we had and everything I lost. I feel like that country song that talks about being lost in darkness and sinking sand. Do you know that one?"
"By Rascal Flats?"
"So, do you want to talk about all of those stupid things that do whatever to you? Oh, and if you do want to talk about it, can we do it somewhere else? I'm freezing and I don't think I can feel my toes." The attempt at humor may not have been a huge success, but it did seem to dry at least a few of those tears.
"You're a big baby, you know that? I'm standing here in a skirt and you're complaining about your toes being cold."
"Yeah, yeah, yeah. Trey the big baby, I know. Come on lets go to my car and we'll go out to get something to eat. You're in no shape to drive."
"And please don't argue with me. I've had a thoroughly tiring day trying to do all that legal work for the company. Which is really hard when everything is 'unofficial' and all, you know what I mean?" Judging by the look on Greenlee's face, Trey could tell that she couldn't care less who drove or what kind of problems he was having. And the tears that had started to roll down her face again made him very uncomfortable.
"Greenlee, what's the matter? Did I say something to-?"
"No, no. Well, sort of. It's just that Leo used to do all that sneaking around for everyone to try and help them. Which is why we never got to go to Paris. He could never seem to find it in him to let his family down, but it was okay to let his wife
"Greenlee, I'm sure Leo never meant-"
"Yeah, yeah, I know. That stupid shrink
Lysistrata or strata or whatever that Liza sent me to tried to tell me all about what Leo did and didn't mean to do. Bull."
"No. Please, just don't."
"Okay. Well, here are my car keys. Why don't you go on and get in and I'll run and put this paperwork inside. And then we can be on our way. Okay?"
"You listen to country music?"
"Shut up." They both grinned a little and then he turned and walked away towards the building.
She watched Trey walk towards Fusion until he rounded the corner and she realized that she was staring into darkness. Why was he being so nice? The only thing she ever did was yell at him. Humph. Men.
Brrr, it really was cold out. As Greenlee crossed the parking lot to go to Trey's car, she heard a noise. It sounded like, a groan maybe? Well, maybe not. She really wasn't sure exactly what it sounded like.
"Trey? Is that you?" No answer. "Trey? This is not funny. Come on." Silence. Fear started to rise inside her. All of a sudden whatever else she had been thinking of didn't even matter. She spun around and ran as fast as her spike heels would allow. Everything seemed so fuzzy. She couldn't see Trey's car anymore. What did it look like again? Oh God. Just focus. Oh! It's the green one over there-Slam!
Greenlee ran smack into someone and a blood-curdling scream followed.
"Whoa, whoa, whoa! Greenlee, calm down! What's wrong?"
"Trey! Oh, thank God. How long have you been out here? You stupid idiot!"
"What? I was walking out of the office to my car, where I had thought you would be. Why aren't you there? And why are you running?"
"Because you must have made some noise and it scared the you-know-what out of me! And then when I asked if you were there, you didn't answer and-"
"Whoa. Okay, slow down. I didn't hear you call me, but I'm sorry if I scared you. I didn't mean to. Come here." He gestured for her to come closer so that he could give her a hug. She knew he only wanted to make her feel better, but something in his eyes told her to stay where she was.
"Um, no. Thanks, I'm fine. But I'm freezing. Let's get in your car and go get something to eat."
"Okay. That's fine. Come on."
They began to walk towards the car together. Greenlee was trying to collect her thoughts and pull herself together, but Trey obviously wasn't going to give her a second for a breather. As soon as the silence bordered on awkward, he struck up the next conversation.
"So, why were you so upset before? When I found you outside your car?"
"Oh. That. Well, like I said, it was stupid, but I couldn't help it."
"Remembering. I always remember the little things. You know the ones that never used to mean anything? It's just that when I got to my car, I realized that the doors were unlocked. Leo could never remember to lock his door." With a soft laugh, she continued "I always had to remind him to lock the
door...Anyway, it doesn't matter, he's gone and I guess he had just enough time to teach me his bad habit before he died."
"It's not stupid, Greenlee. Those things may not have been what you two spent hours talking about, but it was part of what made Leo, Leo. And he taught you a lot more than just his bad habits and you know it."
When she didn't answer him, Trey couldn't decide what to say next. He didn't want to upset her anymore than she already was, but he couldn't let her live with all these emotions bottled up inside. She did say she was going to a therapist, though. That was a good sign. He wished Greenlee would just let it all out. Let it all out on him so that he could-The thought stopped him dead in his tracks.
What was he doing? He could not possibly be falling for his brother's widow. Could he? No. No, no, no. Those kinds of thoughts were going to end here and now. The last thing Greenlee needed now was her dead husband's brother trying to pursue her romantically. So he couldn't let her know how he felt about her, directly anyway.
"Trey!" Greenlee yelled his name for the third time. "What is wrong with you?"
"Nothing, nothing. I'm fine. So where do you want to go?"
"I don't care. BJ's is fine. Unless you want to go somewhere else."
"Nope, I'm easy. BJ's it is." Say something. Neither Greenlee nor I need this free time sitting here to think. That was actually the furthest thing from what they needed. "So, how's Fusion going?"
"Um..fine? I mean, you do the paperwork, wouldn't you know?"
"No, I mean how is the hunt for the lipstick, lotion, and whatever going?"
"Oh. That's going along pretty well. I mean we got all that stuff from the other company that went under so that is definitely giving us a little bit of an edge. The products are really great. They smell fabulous and Kendall and I are thinking that if we take some of the same ingredients and then add some of our own, we can make a whole line of different smells and market that."
"So you and Kendall are getting along better?"
"In business only. We're not going to hang out together after work and go to bars to bang on paint drums."
"Okay. Here we are. I'll drop you off at the door and you can get a table while I park the car, okay?"
"Great. I'll be right in."
"Thanks." Without letting him wonder what she was thanking him for, Greenlee shut the car door and walked towards the restaurant.
After they got finished eating, Trey drove Greenlee back to her car at Fusion. He made sure Greenlee got to her car and it started before he drove away.
Greenlee watched Trey drive away and all she could feel was confusion. Confusion about why he was being nice to her, what exactly happened at dinner, and there was something else in the back of her mind. It was the confusion about her strange reaction to a stupid noise she heard in the parking lot earlier.
"I need to go home." Greenlee put the car in gear and started to pull out of her executive parking spot. As she drove out of the parking lot, she saw a light in her rear view mirror. As she looked in the mirror, she could have sworn that someone ran across the parking lot. No. She was being stupid. The light was just one of the lights on the side of the building reflecting in her mirror. And the shadow? A product of her overactive imagination. Especially because she had just been thinking about her earlier experience. In any case, Greenlee didn't feel like she could handle all of this right now.
Five minutes after she arrived home; she made a call to Miss Lysistrata. She told her who she was and that was the only introduction that Greenlee gave before she started.
"Why does everything have to seem so complicated? Why can't life be spelled out for you so that nothing can go wrong and there's nothing you can't do?"
"Because then where would the challenge be? Where would the fun be? For example, you planned a picnic and when you woke up, it was the most perfect day you had ever seen out. But when you got to the park to have to picnic it started to rain. Had everything gone the way you had planned, you would have never gotten the chance to dance in the rain, or to feel the cool mud between toes. And that would have all been because you wanted life to be perfect. But more importantly, if everything went the way it was supposed to, you would have never met Leo. Right?" With a huge sigh, Greenlee proceeded to tell Lysistrata all about Trey and the strange things that had happened to her today. When Greenlee finally hung up the phone an hour later, she felt exhausted and frightened.
The shrink told Greenlee that it was possible that all of the strange things that she had seen, felt, and heard, had been her imagination. But she said that more probably, it was a result of something or someone else. Someone who cared for her, someone like Trey. Greenlee's jaw had almost hit the floor. Trey? How was that possible? She had asked her. Lysistrata told her that one possible reasons was that he was concerned about her, but he didn't want to crowd her so he was making sure she was all right from a distance. A knock at the door made Greenlee want to fall on the floor. She was in absolutely no mood for company. When she opened the door, she looked up to find Trey standing in front of her.
"Trey! What are you doing here?" Fear was rising inside of Greenlee. The same kind of fear that she had felt in the parking lot earlier. Every time she turned around, he was there. And it was really scaring her.
"What? You're not happy to see me?"
"What do you want?"
"Um, the phone line was busy for a long time and I started to worry about you so I came over to make sure you got home and you were okay."
"Can I ask you a question?"
"Why are you always there?"
"There, here, near me. Wherever I am, you seem to be. I don't know why, but honestly it's starting to scare me. I hear noises and I see people running in the shadows and that only seems to be at the times when you aren't with me. Why is that?"
"What are you getting at Greenlee? Are you trying to tell me that you think I'm stalking you?!"
"Then tell me exactly what the hell you are doing!"
"I'm not doing anything! I was just trying to find out if you were okay. Is that a crime? If you want me to stay away from you, just say it. You don't have to make up these ridiculous stories. If you want space, I can give it to you."
"I'm not making anything up."
"Then what are these 'shadows' that you're talking about?"
"It's not just the shadows! It's been so many things that have happened-"
"Have happened when? All day today? So what! It's one day!"
"No it's been more than just today it's been all week. And don't you dare tell me that it's my imagination because my imagination has not been running wild all week. I know that and you know that! And I know I haven't imagined you wanting to be there for me all of the time."
"No, you haven't. I have wanted to be there for you. I even thought I was falling for you, but when I thought about it, I realized I just felt a kind of bond with you because we were going through somewhat of the same thing."
"You don't know what I'm going through."
"Well, I don't know what else to tell you."
"Don't tell me anything. Just get out."
"Don't. Get out or I'll call the police."
"Are you serious? You really think I'm stalking you."
"I don't know what to think, but I want you to go. Now! I'm serious. Get out." She reached for the phone. "One...Two..."
"Okay. Fine. Whatever. Call me if you need anything."
"I won't." Trey slammed the door behind him and Greenlee sighed with relief almost as loudly. She couldn't decide if she believed what Trey had told her. If it wasn't him, who was it? She was not going to accept the answer that it was her imagination.
"Dammit!" She didn't want to deal with this. Now or ever. "Leo, if you were here, none of this would be happening. You wouldn't let someone stalk me, especially if it was your brother. I need you so much." As soon as Greenlee uttered the last syllable of her sentence, she felt like crying, but before she had a chance, a hand descended over her mouth and she screamed as loud as her lungs would allow. Cold hard fear ran through her blood and in that split second before whoever was behind her turned her around, she fainted.
Greenlee woke up in her bed. She was confused and still a little dazed. She looked around her trying to remember what had happened. She then remembered the hand over her mouth and began to panic again. She bolted up and looked over the room. She looked at the chair in the corner and couldn't believe what she was seeing sitting in her bedroom. It was-no!
"What's going on?"
"I came back."
"What? This is crazy! I'm crazy. This isn't real. I'm dreaming."
"No you're not. It's real."
"No. It's not. It can't be. I'm dreaming. You're not here. You're dead. I watched you die. I thought it was over. I can't take this. Not again. Please let me wake up now before things get worse."
"I'm real, Greens. I'm here, sitting in our bedroom, looking at my beautiful wife. I did it. I came back. For you."
"No, no you didn't. I don't believe any of this." He started to get out of the chair and come closer to her.
"Don't come near me. I know you're not real. I can't take the pain of realizing that once I touch you, it won't be for more than a moment before I wake up again."
"No. It's real."
"I can't-I don't understand. I watched you plunge into those falls with Vanessa. I called out you're name. I watched you die! I watched my life end that night! My hopes, my dreams. They all died when you left me. This can't be real."
"I know, but I made it. I didn't think I was going to. I hung onto a log forever, and then I went under and I thought I was a goner. But I made it. There was an angel watching over me, Greens. Over us. Nothing is supposed to come between us."
"No! You're dead! And something did come between us! Those falls did. You fell over them and I couldn't save you. No one could."
"I survived. And I came back. For you and for us."
"I don't understand. Why? I mean-"
"I've been watching you, Greens."
"Then it was you? You were following me."
"Yeah, it was me. I sent the flowers to you, I unlocked your car doors, and I was the one in the parking lot-both times."
"Because I wanted you to know I was still there. I wanted to try and tell you I was here before I saw you again. I was not trying to scare you."
"Well you did. And I still don't understand why you did it. You should have just come back to me."
"It doesn't matter. You're back. You're...you're alive!"
"Yes." Greenlee was crying so hard, she couldn't see straight. She stumbled off of the bed and ran to Leo. He picked her up and held her. He tried to pull her back so that he could look at her, but she wouldn't let him go. All of a sudden, she gasped.
"What is it?"
"Vanessa. Is she...alive?"
"No. Not anymore."
"What do you mean by that?"
"Nothing. It doesn't matter. She's gone. We're here. Together, and that's all that matters."
"It matters, Leo. Tell me what happened."
"She just couldn't be saved. She drowned. That's all."
"Shhh, it's okay. Come on, let's get you a drink."
"No! Don't let go of me. I'm not ready yet. I don't care about me, I just want to hold you."
"Okay, baby." They sat there for what seemed like an eternity wrapped up in each other's arms. There was no way Greenlee was going to let him go. Just incase he really was a figure in her imagination, she wanted to take advantage of it while it seemed real. But he never went away. Leo was real and he was alive and holding her in his arms.
"I love you so much. I still can't believe you're here. I missed you everyday. Why did it take you so long to come back to me? Did you forget-"
"I never forgot you. I needed to make sure that Proteus was dead. All of her. If there was any part of that mess left, I was not going to come back and bring you back to hell again."
"I was living in hell everyday without you."
"I know, but you're life was in danger with me around. But not anymore. Now, you're safe and we can be together. From now until forever. Run away with me, Greens."
"Today, right now. Let's go to Paris like we said and not look back."
"What about your brothers? And Maggie and Bianca? They still think you're dead!"
"We'll take care of that when we get to Paris. We can tell them to come to Paris because you are there and when they get there, they will see me and I'll explain the whole thing to them."
"Are you serious? I mean. I have a business that I'm just starting right now."
"Start a new branch of it in Paris."
"Are you in trouble? Is that why you want to runaway."
"The only trouble that I'm in is with you. I want to use the rest of our lives making up to you what I put you through. No one should ever have to go through what you did with Vanessa and everything she put you through. Or what you went through these past months. I would have died if I thought you were gone. I love you so much. I'm so sorry."
"I love you, too."
"What do you say, Greens? We wasted time before waiting for the 'right time' to go to Paris and we almost never made it."
"Let's go. Tonight. I don't need to pack anything. All I want is you." She managed to say the words through tears of joy, disbelief, and every other emotion she had in her.
Three days after they had arrived in Paris, Greenlee and Leo had managed to get David, Anna, Trey, Maggie, and Bianca to Paris and told them everything. The love that they all felt that day was something that none of them would ever forget. The newly reunited family spent two months together in Paris. The week before they were all supposed to go home, Anna had her baby. It was a gorgeous baby girl. Leo and Greenlee then told everyone that they were expecting their first child. More tears spread throughout the family, but they were the best kind of tears someone could ask for; they were tears of absolute bliss.
Page updated 5/26/10
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