Dark Open Spaces
By Yuki Wildstar
12th of January, 2233
Marisa drove back to her parent’s house in tears. She couldn’t remember how she got back. She only wished that they were there to talk to, but her luck they were both called to duty for a few months. She threw herself on her bed and balled her eyes out to what he told her. How could he tell her that he didn’t love her? She didn’t understand why he was acting the way he was. All she wanted was to be there for him. She hoped that he would gain his memory back. Her heart broke to hear his words to her. She was sure when she looked into his eyes that she could see the old DJ that everyone loved and she fell for. She lay on her bed for hours crying not wanting to move. Her phone rang a few times and she ignored it until now. She wiped her tears and finally answered it. “Hello?”
“Marisa, my dear I have been trying to get in touch with you all day. Are you alright? Has there been any change in your little friend.” Gino voice came through the cell phone.
“Huh, um, no everything is just fine. I’ve, I just been busy. What’s going on?”
“Well I have some more designs for you to look over. Will you be able to pull yourself away from your love?” he asked.
She sat up in bed and wiped her eyes more and took a deep breath. “I don’t think tonight is a good time. I’m pretty beat and I just want to get some rest.”
He heard the shakiness in her voice and knew something was wrong. “Marisa Il mio amore, what is wrong?”
“Nothing, just that,” she tried to talk and broke down again.
“I’m coming to you, give me the address.” He said. She gave him the address and drove to her. It took him an hour to reach her and he stepped out the car and quickly went to the door. He rang the bell and waited until she opened the door. The door flew open and Marisa stood before him her eyes puffy from crying. She threw herself into his arms and he held her tight. “Shh, please don’t cry.” She wiped her tears away and tried to compose herself. He swept her into his arms and carried her into the house. Sitting her down on the couch he pushed her hair away from her face and said. “Talk to me.”
“He told me to go. He doesn’t want me in his life anymore. He broke up with me.” She said.
“I’m sure he didn’t mean it. He is going through a lot right now.”
“And I’m willing to deal with it with him. I want to help him. I don’t care how long it will take just as long as I’m there with him.”
His eyes soften at what she was saying. She would give up her life to be with him. Gino felt his heart ache for her. He wanted her to be his. “Marisa, Amore. You must put yourself in his shoes. He may never remember and then what. You watched your life past before you and your dreams slip away. He is only protecting you from sadness. He would rather hurt you now then years from now and you resent him for it. Don’t you think if it happened to you in your heart you would want him to move on with his life? How can he love someone he doesn’t remember or know? You have to do what he asks and live your life. That’s the one wish he would want for you.”
“I can’t let him go, Gino. I love him.”
“And you will always love him. But you have to let him go. One day he will remember and who knows.” Gino said but deep down inside he hoped that he would never regain his memory. “Now, you haven’t eaten? Come I will feed you.” he pulled her up off the couch and encouraged her to get ready. He brought her to Andrea’ and they sat her and him in a quiet corner of the restaurant. “This is a very nice place. It reminds me of home.”
“Derek and I came here often when he is home. His father and mother have been coming here for years. They are like family here.” She said sadly.
“Maybe we should go somewhere else.” He suggested.
“No, no it’s alright.”
“Well I have some sketches for you to look at. I think you will love them. I took your original idea and incorporated with mine. I think it will be a smash at fashion week in New York.” He said as he pulled out his portfolio. “As you can see here the hem line falls just prefect above the knee. See how it will flow in the back.” They talked about her ideas for the fashion show and he listened to her changes. He took out some more sketches of accessories that would work with her clothes. He could see her cheer up and her passion come to life again. How could she give up her life’s dream to be with a man that would never love or remember her? He was glad that he pushed her away. She was brilliant in her designs. It would have been a shame to lose such great talent. They talked for hours and he finally said. “Well looks like we should go. It’s late and I will have to head back to Italy tomorrow for some final checks on our fall wardrobe. And I can see you are tired. Come I will take you home.” He paid the bill and let his hand out for her to take. They went to the car and he drove her home. It was a quiet ride back as Marisa thought about him again. She wondered if she should call him in the morning to see how he was. But will he take her call? She wanted so much to hear his voice once again. Gino walked her to her door and kissed her cheek. “Goodnight Marisa. I will see you tomorrow at the store. If you need anything call me. I am here for you, my friend.”
The next day Gino and Marisa walked the floor of the new store. She went over the layout of the building and what will be needed to bring it to code. By the end of the day Gino thanked her for all she did. “Why don’t you come back with me to Italy?” He asked her.
“I don’t know Gino. I haven’t seen my parents in a while and their due back in a few days.”
“I will get you back before they come home. I promise. I only have a few meetings to attend to and then I am back here to continue with the store. Please.” He said with a sad pouty face.
She laughed at him. “I really shouldn’t.”
“Come on, what is keeping you here.” He told her.
She thought about him and knew that he would never return to her. He was a different man now. He needed to find his way back to who he was. She looked up to him and smile. “Why not, I can see what your grandmother has in store for me and the challenges of making it better.”
He clapped his hands and then gave her hug. “Bravo, Mi amore. We are going to have a fun time.”
15th of February, 2233
For weeks after she kept herself busy with putting the store together. Gino would fly back and forth from Great Island and Italy to see how things were coming along. Her loneliest times when Gino wasn’t there and she would sit outside her apartment looking up to the sky and thinking of him. What was he doing? Was he happy? Is he flying again? She would sit sometimes and look through pictures of them together. She would smile at them remembering how in love they were. Her heart would hurt thinking of those days. Now she buried her time into the store and her work. She would think of how Gino has been so sweet to her feelings. He never brought up his name and quickly pulled her away from the press when they were around. He was always there to shield her from the vipers that he called the press. He would take her with him all over the world for materials for her clothes. Once and awhile she would see a picture of him in the paper and her heart would feel a sinking feeling. How she missed him. Her phone rang and she race to get it. “Hello?”
“Ciao il mio amore. How are you tonight?”
“I’m feeling fine, Gino. How was your trip back to the states? Did everything work out with the stage?”
“Magnifico! Our shop is going to turn the world on its head. Your designs are going to be the talk of the town. So when are you coming out here to finish up everything?”
“I will be on the plane tomorrow evening. I’m getting nervous. Do you think they will like my designs?”
“Of course they will. And if they don’t then they have no taste.”
She laughed at him and said. “I will see you tomorrow evening.”
“Fantastico! I will have reservation at our special place. Good night mi cheri.”
She thought about Gino and wonder if he was seeing anyone special. It seems like he was driven to making her famous as a designer. She thought about his body, remembering it when she and he went on his grandmother’s yacht to swim. His muscles were firm and cut. She thought his body was amazing. She missed Derek’s body next to hers. She blushed to what she was thinking and headed to bed.
2nd of February, 2233
DJ sat behind the Cosmo Zero fighter and looked ahead of the tarmac as his brother took off. He looked over his instruments over and over while his father sat in the seat behind him. Nova fought with her husband until she caved under the condition that Wildstar would fly with him until he was capable of doing it on his own. Wildstar watched from behind as he look and check his instruments. ‘He still has it. He didn’t skip a beat.’ He thought. With ease he brought his fighter for takeoff. DJ looked past the takeoff point and closed his eyes. He could hear the tower tell him he was clear for takeoff and he replied that he was ready. He looked at his instruments again and began to shake. He let go of the stick and rubbed his hands to stop from shaking. He took in his oxygen mask and took a deep breath. Wildstar watched as he began to lose focus. DJ closed his eyes tight and opened them and everything started to get blurry. His breathing began to grow heavy as Wildstar listen in. The Tower called over to him again. “Cosmo 7 8 Tango 3 Niner. You’re clear for takeoff. I repeat Cosmo 7 8 tango 3 Niner, you are clear for takeoff. What’s the problem 7 8 Tango 3 niner. You must take off or clear the tarmac. I repeat you must takeoff or clear the tarmac.” His breathing became heavier and he felt a cold sweat hit him.
“DJ are you alright?” he heard his father’s voice over his helmet. He shut his eyes again and tried to steady his breathing when he felt the ship jerk back to the hanger. Wildstar opened the cockpit door and jumped up. He grabbed his son by the shoulders and brought him down. DJ fell to the floor and fought with his helmet. Panic stricken Wildstar reached for his helmet and took it off. His son looked pale and sweating profusely. He grabbed his son and sat with him on the floor holding him tight as he whispered. “It’s alright son, take a deep breath. Relax, you’ll be alright. Today is not a good day to fly anyway.” DJ began to cry in his father’s arms. “It’s okay son. You’ll be alright.” He consoled him. It was weeks and he always came to the same thing. He would get to the tarmac and break out in sweat and begin to hyperventilate. His heart broke knowing that his son was fearful of flying. Mark landed and ran to where they were and stood watching as his father held his brother. Wildstar waved him away and sat on the floor with his son as he cried. Mark sat down near them and placed his hand on his shoulder praying that his brother would get better. He was always one to fly and loved it and now he feared getting back into the pilot seat.
He slowly got up and tried to shake it off. He looked over to his brother and gave him a half smile. “Guess dinner is on me one more time.”
Mark helped him to his feet and patted him on the back. “It only counts if we were in the air. We can wait until you feel better. Don’t worry about it bro.” He took his hand and pulled DJ to him and hugged him. “Love you little brother. Whenever you’re ready I’ll give you a heck of a run for your money.” DJ squeezed him tight and thought that they cared a lot for him.
“Next time,” DJ told him.
Mark grinned and shook his hand, “Next time.” Wildstar watched as his two sons talked and felt proud that they raised a loving family. “Come on Deej, let’s make sure you didn’t barf in the cockpit.” He said and ruffled his hair. DJ rolled his eyes at his brother and gave him a sly grin.
24th of April, 2233
She wasn’t sure how it started but she knew she had to move on. She hadn’t heard from DJ in months and she was busy with her career. She flew back and forth from Great Island to Milan Italy for weeks at least three times a week. She worked closely with Gino going over the fashion show and putting the store together. It was on one of their many flights to Milan when he confessed his love for her. “I love you Marisa.” She tried to tell him that she wasn’t ready but he never came for her. His memory never returned and she began to think that DJ was right. He may never get his memory and how could he love someone he didn’t know. It was best to do as he said. Move on and live her life and follow her dreams. He lean over to her in the plane cabin and kissed her. A wave of guilt washed over her and she thought of him. When they landed she made a decision to move on. Gino was sweet and charming. He made it a fact that he was deeply in love with her. Her mother protested to her affair with the young designer, ‘it’s too soon’, but her father convinced her it was best that she live her life. He took her out for a romantic dinner and escorted her back to her hotel. She asked if he would like a night cap and before she knew it they were making love. Her nights where now filled, she no longer felt lonely for him. But she would find herself thinking of DJ. Always wondering what he was doing. Was he seeing someone else or was he alone. She looked out the window of her hotel which faced the Duomo the largest Gothic Cathedral in the world. It was a beautiful site to see first thing in the morning. It was built thousands of years and survived the planet bombs. She watched as the tourists walked in and out of the old building as some walked into the court yard where the pigeons flew. Some ran for cover as other stood in the center to take pictures of the birds taken flight. She closed her eyes and took in the warm breeze. Her life as a fashion designer was in full swing and she turn to rush and get dress. There was much to be done. New material had to be checked and sketches had to be approved. She stood in her bathroom and put on her makeup when she looked up and found him standing behind her. He slipped his arms around her waist and hugged her. “Where are you going my love?”
“I have so much to do before they ship all the materials to Great Island.”
“Why don’t you take the day off and we can see the city. I hear that they have a Moet hanging in the Vittorio. We can sit outside and have some cappuccino at the little café near the Duomo.”
“Gosh Gino I wish I could but I have to finish this and then my parents are coming in. I want to have time with them before they head to the states.”
He frowned and knew that her mother was not fond of him. “Yes, of course. Maybe we can all have dinner tonight.”
“Sounds great, I have to ask my parents if they will have time.” She finished her makeup and turned and kissed him on the cheek. “I will see you at the loft.”
She focused on her job taking notes and giving orders to the assistants for the models. By the end of the day she was still wired and rushed to meet her parents at their hotel. She ran to the front desk and tried to catch her breath. “Captain Pesci and Mrs. Pesci,” she blurted out.
“They are in the restaurant waiting for you, miss.”
She thanked the desk clerk and pulled herself together. Walking past a huge mirror she checked herself out. She wore a vintage beige Chanel suit and silk white Prada shirt. Her shoes were off white 6 inch heels patent leather Giuseppe with butterflies that flow up the strap. She walked into the restaurant and looked around to where they could be. She saw her father first, he stood up and waved her over. She smiled to see them and walk over to them. Pesci could see as men stared at his daughter as she glided towards them. She could have been a model herself, he thought. She hugged him and then her mother. “Mom, Dad I’m so happy to see you. How long are you going to be here?”
Denise kissed her daughter and said. “Just until Tuesday, he has to stop by D.C. and then off to the coast. How are things here?”
“Oh same ole same ole. We are wrapping up all the designs and will be shipping them to GI tomorrow.”
“So when will everything be done?” her father asked.
“We are looking for grand opening in two weeks. I can’t wait.” Her eyes dance and they both were happy that she was happy.
“So we will be attending the show?” Denise asked.
“You get front row seats. How many tickets would you like?”
“Oh I don’t know, there’s your Aunt Yvey and of course Your Aunt Nova.”
She sighed and smiled. “How is aunt Nova?”
“She’s well, but don’t you want to know about DJ?”
“Denise, this is not the time.”
Marisa looked down to her plate and pushed at her salad. “It’s alright dad, how is DJ?”
“DeReK, is doing well.”
She shook her head and said. “Nothing, though he is trying to get back to flying. Nova said it isn’t easy for him right now. He seems to be getting anxieties every time he tries, as for his memory nothing much.” She watched her daughters face and could tell she was still in love with him. “When was the last time you spoke to him?”
“Denise, enough, let it go. She’s happy now.”
“Mom, Dad is right I’m happy. I’m doing what I love to do and love someone very special.” She said putting on her best face.
Denise looked at her daughter and gave her a long hard look. ‘She’s lying.’ She thought. “Hmm, so how is Vino?”
“It’s Gino, Mom. He is doing well, he wanted to see about dinner before you go?”
“Well sweet heart I wish we could, what little time we have we would like to spend with you.” her father said.
“Oh stop the bullshit. Let’s call it for what it is, I DON’T like him!” Denise snapped.
“Denise, that’s it. We are not thinking of you. It’s your daughter that likes him. So please can we respect that.” Pesci said annoyed. “Now can we have a nice dinner for once? WITHOUT the mention of DJ or Gino. Thank you!”
30th of May, 2233
DJ sat in his room looking up to his ceiling. What was he doing? Every other day he would get behind the seat of his father’s Cosmo zero and the fear wash over him with a vengeance. He couldn’t shake the bad feeling of crashing. Why if he couldn’t remember the day of his accident. Why was it taking control of him? He would look over his awards and the photos that his family gave him. He was an Ace pilot and he had no trouble going over checks of the ship, but as soon as he was ready to take off is when it hit him hard. The shaking, the cold sweat, the way he couldn’t catch his breath. He wanted to know if he could and he was determined to do it once again. Wildstar poked his head into this room and asked, “Can I come in?” he nodded his head and step in and sat on the bed next to him. “How are you feeling today?”
“That’s good to know. I’m glad you’re doing better.”
“I’ll try again tomorrow.” DJ told his father.
“No, no I think you’ve had enough. Maybe it’s best to say that your heart isn’t in it anymore, for now. You’re pushing yourself to be what everyone has told you what you were. We never thought about how you are now. So let’s just say you are done for now. Give yourself some rest.” Derek told his son.
DJ sat and listened to the man that called himself father and he felt a huge relief lifted from his shoulders. He thought of explaining that he felt too much pressure of flying but now that he told him it was alright to let it go he wanted to prove his own curiosity as to flying. Can he do it, was he as good as they said he was. Would he panic and lose his confidence again? He looked towards his father and said. “Sir, maybe we can try again tomorrow?”
“No DJ,” Wildstar told his son. He didn’t want to push him anymore. It was a dream to him and he didn’t want to push it on him. His confidence wasn’t there and it would be too dangerous to fly.
“But sir, I can do it. I just have to keep trying.”
“No DJ, it’s too risky to send you up. I can’t take that chance.
Nova walked into the room and sat on the other side of her son’s bed. She stood outside of the room and listened as her husband let go of his dream of his son following in his footsteps. “Maybe it would be a good idea for you to go up with your father but let him fly it first. How about taking him up in the Cosmo Hound?”
“No Nov, his heart isn’t in it anymore.”
“I think it’s a good idea, Dad.” DJ said.
Wildstar looked at his son, it was the first time he called him Dad since he woke up. The spark in his eyes made Wildstar agree to his wife’s suggestion. “Okay but if your uncomfortable we need to find something different for you. Maybe work at your grandfathers company.” DJ grimaced at the thought.
31st of May, 2233
DJ Wildstar sat in the cockpit of one of the EDF Cosmo Hound with his father next to him. He watched as his father check over his instrument. In his head he did the same, surprised that he was able to go step by step as his father did. With skill and ease Wildstar move the ship out of the hanger and towards the tarmac of the airfield. He listened as his father spoke with the control tower and he felt his heart beat faster. Wildstar glance over to his son on and off making sure he was alright. “How are you feeling?” he asked his son.
The control tower came over the system and told him it was clear to take off. Wildstar turned to his son and put his hand on his shoulder. “Are you ready for this?” DJ nodded and sat back into his seat. Wildstar switched on his MP3 and said. “If you don’t mind humoring your old man, I like to listen to some music.” As the ship took off the sound of Aerosmith came on singing ‘Amazing.’ DJ grabbed hold of his seat and closed his eyes as he took deep breaths and let the music take him away. The ship lifted up and up. Wildstar flew with expertise as his son sat next to him. “DJ you can open your eyes now.” He told his son. DJ opened his eyes and looked out to the blue sky. His eyes widen to see the Earth beneath him. He lean forward and watched as the plane glided through the air. He smiled as he watched to see the clouds in the distance and the Earth move below him. “It’s the best feeling to have, isn’t it?” his father asked him. “Would you like to try?” DJ looked at his father with fear. “It’s alright, I’m right here to help you out. I won’t let go of the controls unless you want me to. Grab the controls.” He encouraged his son. DJ’s hands shook but slowly reached for the controls. His hands could feel the ships engines and it felt good. He held on to it as it flew through the air. A grin came to his face and he turned the wheel slightly feeling it move in the direction that he was heading. He moved again but to the left then pulled back on the controls and the ship headed up. Wildstar watched as he took control of the ship with a grin. Minutes later he let go of the controls and let his son fly the ship. Twenty minutes later he put his hand on DJ shoulder and smiled. “You’re doing it on your own. You’ve been flying for a good 15 minutes now.” Without a beat he began to push the ship harder. “Whoa there son, she’s not meant to do what you want to do. She is only a transportation ship.”
He looked to his father and said. “I’m ready.”
Wildstar could see the spark in his eyes and knew he was telling him the truth. “Well we have to land this old lady and trade her in for something sleeker and faster. What do you say? you think you can land her?” DJ nodded his head and took control of the ship completely. Wildstar sat next to him and watched ready to take control in case. Within minutes DJ Wildstar was landing her to the ground. He landed like a pro like his father. “Impressive,” his father said. They headed to the other hanger where his brother and a two seat Cosmo Zero were. He walked over to where it was and looked up to it. “We don’t have to do this DJ. We can go up in the Hound a few more times so you can get the hang,”
“No I’m ready.” He said. He turned to his bother and said. “Are you ready to pay for dinner?” making his father and brother laugh.
Wildstar sat in the seat behind his son in the two seat Cosmo zero. Once again he watched as he check his instruments and then move the fighter to the end of the tarmac. The control tower called to him and cleared him for takeoff. Wildstar began to say, “Now son don’t push,” the force of his takeoff pushed his father back hard into his seat. DJ Wildstar pushed the fighter up into the sky turning it as it headed further and further up almost making his father barf. “Are you insane!” His father yelled.
“Relax Dad, I got this.” He told his father. He reached over to his MP3 and switched it on. “Sorry Dad but your music is just a little dated. I hope you don’t mind this.” He said as he put on Pitbull’s song ‘Don’t stop the party.’ Wildstar held onto his helmet as the power of the bass came through his helmet. DJ pushed the ship harder and faster. Mark came along side of him and gave him a wave. DJ grinned and then pushed the ship faster. They flew towards the mountain range and DJ took the lead. He flew in and out of the mountain as his brother tried hard to tag him. They both sailed through the air chasing and outwitting one another. Both ships maneuver up into the sky then diving at full speed back to the Earth and mountains. Mark Wildstar would get his brother in sights and DJ Wildstar would dodge him quickly. He could hear him laugh at him as he tried to catch up. Wildstar’s heart pounded hard. ‘shit I must be getting old’ he thought. The G-force of the fighter broke speeds he never thought he seen before. All the while the music continued pumping in his helmet.
“Um DJ you think you can pull back just a little for your old man.” Wildstar asked.
DJ never heard his father, he push harder and faster defeating his brother. He brought the fighter into the sky making a circle. He snapped the control hard and flipped the ship upside down. He speed up the ship and even out with his brother’s ship. Mark looked up to see his brother give him the finger and laugh at him. Mark looked at the back seat and watched as his father held on to dear life. He laughed all the way back to the airfield. After landing they brought both fighters back to the hanger and jumped out. They ran towards each other and hugged tight. Mark and DJ slapped each other on the back and laughed at each other. Mark pointed to him and said. “You sly shit all this time and you were playing me up there. Next time I won’t take it easy on you.”
“You wish! You know I left you in the dust. You couldn’t beat me even if you had a wave motion gun attached to your ass.” He said laughing.
“You should have saw Dad’s face when you flew upside down over me.” They look around and wonder where their father was. “Oh shit is he still in the cockpit?” they both ran back to the fighter and climb up the latter. Admiral Derek Wildstar sat in the cockpit still grabbing hold tight to his chair. “Dad are you alright?”
Wildstar looked at his son’s and said. “I’m getting too damn old for this shit. Help me out of here. I think I wet my suit.” DJ and Mark Wildstar roared in laughter.
They drove back laughing and making jokes about what happened. As they grew closer to the house, DJ went silent. He closed his eyes and felt the flashes hit him in full force. His mind showed him pictures and he knew everything about them. He didn’t have to ask about them, he lived it. Derek noticed his silence and asked. “Are you alright, Deej?”
He grinned and said, “Yeah I’m fine, Dad.”
It was the way he said it that made him think what changed with his son. They entered the house and Miku raced into her brothers arms. “So did you like it?”
“Better than that, I took Dad up in the Cosmo Fighter and got him sick.” DJ told her.
Miku’s eyes widen and pouted, “That’s not nice Deej!”
“I didn’t mean to. I just got caught up in flying.”
Wildstar looked on to his children and smiled. “Well, let me see what your mother is making for dinner and get my sea legs stretched.” His legs still felt wobbly from the flight with his son and he thought at one time he would pass out as he stepped onto the ground. He smiled to see her standing over the stove stirring something in the pot. He slipped his arms around her waist and nuzzled his lips on her neck. “Mmm, it smells good. What’s for dinner?”
“Just some beef stew.” She giggled. She had her Ipod playing and Freddy Jackson was singing. ‘Rock me tonight’ Wildstar slipped his hand in hers and turned her around. “What are you doing? Dinner will burn.”
“So then we go out.” He took her in his arms and danced her around the kitchen. She placed her head on his shoulder and moved with him. DJ walked into the room and leaned on the wall and watched as his mother and father dance around. He smiled at them, happy to see them still in love after all those years together. As the music finished they kissed and DJ blushed.
“Ah for god sakes get a room.” Mark walked into the kitchen.
Derek turned to his son and slapped him on the head. “It’s our house and if you don’t like it you can move out.”
“Ah forget it.” Mark waved at them and headed for the refrigerator.
DJ stood there facing them grinning. “What’s the big grinned for?” Wildstar said.
He shrugged his shoulder and said. “Well I was thinking about you and moms 15th anniversary. You waltz her around the kitchen to the same song. You both looked so happy then too.”
“Your mother is my,” Wildstar began and then it hit him. “You remember that? Or is it another memory flash?”
“I remember, I remember everything.” They all stood silent then jumped up and raced to him hugging him and rubbing his hair. Nova hugged him tight, tears streaming down her face. He hugged back then said, “it’s alright mom. Please don’t cry.”
“It’s just I thought it would never come back and that we had to start all over again.”
He gave her his father grin and said. “Mom will it be okay to borrow grandpa’s plane?”
“I guess but why?”
“Because, there’s someone that I have to get back in my life.” DJ said.
Nova stood still and her lips gave a big smile. “You remember, don’t you?”
“Everything, up to ejecting out of my ship.” He told them.
Miku walked in and said, “I guess you told them you remember everything.”
DJ turned to his baby sister and said, “How did you know?”
“Cause you had that goofy look when you walked in the door. Plus you made Daddy puke.” They all laughed.
Nova immediately ran for the phone and dialed Alex’s number and cried into the phone. “He remembers!”
“Mom? Is that you?”
“Alex, DJ remembers it all. He is back!”
Alex held onto the phone and smiled. A tear build in his eye and turned to Anne that sat on his couch looking at some papers. She was in town for a few weeks and she was staying with him. “I’ll be right over.” He said into the phone. He hung up and took her hand. He pulled her up and hugged her. “He’s back.”
“Who, who is back? Who was on the phone?”
“It was my mother, DJ got his memory back. All of it. I have to go and be there.” He went to his closet and reached for his jacket. “I’m sorry baby, but I have to go. You can stay here.”
“Are you kidding me! I’m going with you.” she said excited. It was part of his life that she wanted to share. Alex and her have been on and off for years. Every time she was in town she would call and he insisted that she stay with him and when he was in the states he stayed with her. He never understood why she insisted that they go their separate ways. They always wind up with each other. To be excluded was something she wasn’t going to let him do to her. They were her family too and she care deeply for his brothers and sister. Alex feared his mother. Every time she came to town Nova was pressuring when they were finally going to settling down. He wanted to marry her but Anne was the one that wasn’t ready. Her career was finally taking off and he didn’t want her to give it up. It didn’t help that he was always away in space so whatever time they had they treasured. He helped her with her jacket and they dashed out the door. They drove the 25 minutes to his parent’ house and Alex was getting excited to see his brother. He walked in and his sister ran into his arms.
“DJ back!” she cheered.
“I know. Where is everyone?” he asked his sister.
“Outside, on the patio. Come on they are waiting! Anne you too!” she yelled.
They all sat outside and listen as DJ told them all the things he remembered. Wildstar asked him when did it hit him and he told him it was in the car ride coming home. Mark sat close to his twin brother relieved that the drama was over. He missed his brother and the special connection they had. Alexander walked outside tall and lean. He was the image of his father. He stood proud and confident. Anne stood next to him. Nova stood up and gave her oldest child a hug and then Anne. “We were just talking about the time DJ and Mark took apart that kids car.”
“So he finally fessed up to that. I thought he would take it to the grave.” He went to shake his brother’s hand and pulled him up off the chair. He held on to his baby brother not wanting to let him go. “Glad your back little brother.”
“I’m back not dead, but if you don’t stop squeezing so tight I might be.” DJ told him.
“So when did it happen?” Alex asked.
“On the way home from the air station. After I beat the crap out of Mark here,” DJ announced.
“You finally did it?”
“It was easy. Dinner is on him. So we should go. Anne I hope you’re coming. Mark is picking up the check and Dad, don’t you even think about doing it.” he warned his father.
“Yeah well he’s not me.”
“Oh, would you like to make a wager too?” DJ smirked.
“Any time little brother.” Alex said with a firm tone.
Wildstar rolled his eyes and pray that he wouldn’t have to be in the cockpit with him again. He was still feeling the force of the speed his son flew. Mark looked at his father and laughed. “I don’t think dad will be flying with you Deej. I really don’t think he can take it.” Nova gave a hardy laugh and kissed her aging husband. Mark laughed with her and said. “Sorry dad.”
“It’s alright son,” then started to laugh with all of them.
Anne gave him a hug and welcomed him back. “I’m glad that you are back. Does Marisa know?”
DJ shook his head and said. “Not yet, I’m heading to Italy tomorrow to get her.”
“Why would you do that?” Anne asked.
“Well that’s where she’s spending most of her time at.”
“You don’t know?”
Anne walked into the kitchen and looked for the paper in her bag and then went back outside. “Here, she’s not in Italy. She’s here on Great Island. I got the invitation the other day.”
“She’s right DJ, her show is Friday. I got the invitation yesterday.” His mother said.
“Is she staying at Uncle Tony’s house?” Everyone went silent making him confused. “Well where is she?”
“DJ sweetheart you should sit down.” His mother told him.
His heart began to beat faster and he felt something in the pit of his stomach. “What?”
Mark sat next to him again and said. “She’s moved on. I’m sorry Deej, she got engaged last month to that Gino guy.”
He sat in shock to what was told to him. She couldn’t have moved on, could she? He thought. I was the one that was supposed to marry her. She and I made a promise. What have I done? I pushed her away and now she is marring someone else. I can’t let it happen. I won’t let it happen. He could never make her happy. He stood up and stood straight holding his shoulders back and head high. “What time is the show?”
2nd of June, 2233
There was chaos behind the curtain. Marisa was in the mist of craziness. She was yelling orders and fighting with models as to what to wear. Marisa rolled her eyes at the French model that argued about the dress she was wearing. Gino walked around and watched as the models ran around half naked and racing to get into the next outfit. Marisa looked up from the accessory table and smile at him. A month earlier he asked her to marry him and she said yes. It was a romantic night. He took her to dinner at one of Milan’s famous restaurants and then to the opera. He took her for a stroll near the Duomo as a violinist followed playing a love song. The moon shone bright in the night sky and had them set up a bistro table in the court yard and helped her sit down. The waiter poured them Champaign in to the glass. By the end of the night he popped the question. It took a few minutes for her to say anything then she thought about DJ. She was supposed to marry DJ not Gino. But he told her it was over. To don’t look back, he would never remember her. She looked deep into Gino eyes and said yes. Now she smiled back at her fiancé. In the mist of all the madness a young boy with three dozen roses walked towards her and said. “Are you Marisa Pesci?”
“Yes that’s me.”
“Then these are for you.” he handed them to her. They were almost bloomed in the shape of a heart, in the middle sat white roses shaped in an arrow facing down.
She smiled and walked over to where Gino stood. “Thank you Gino. They’re just beautiful.” She said then kissed him.
Gino looked at her confused. “I’m afraid it wasn’t me aggettivo il mio.” He took the card from the flowers and saw the name of the envelope. She saw him frown and then handed the envelope to her. She looked at the envelope and recognized the handwriting. She put the flowers down on the table and stood to the side and began to read the letter.
My dearest Marisa,
Congratulations on your show. I know it will be awesome. You’ve work so hard to finally achieve what you wanted most in your life. I am so proud of you. You went out and live your dream. There is so much I would love to tell you, but I’ll keep this simple. I remember everything. Our lives, our love we share. But now you share that with someone else. I want to be sincere in saying congratulations to you on your engagement but I would only be lying to myself and you. I only hope that he makes you happy. I will always love you.
I’m so sorry that I pushed you away, but I was doing it so that you could live your dream. I never thought that my memory would ever come back. And now I have to live with our memories while you create new ones with someone else. It breaks my heart to see you in love with someone else but I will always respect your decision. Good luck with your show. I know it will be incredible.
Love you always,
P.S. I will be watching in the side lines.
Marisa read the letter over and over as tears streamed down her face. Gino watched from the distance until she folded the letter and put it in her pocket. She looked around then walked towards the stage. Her assist follow suit asking questions about the next outfit and model. She waved him away and peeked out into the audience. It was dark and the only people she saw were the only ones up front. Her assistant finally pulled at her arm and gave her a panic face. Marisa took a deep breath and turned her attention back to her show. “Who is next?” she asked. Fabricio gave her the list of models and she began to give them orders. As the show winded down Marisa took center stage and the applause roar over the music. Someone handed her another two dozen red roses with a white one in the center and the cameras flashed brightly as she took her bow. She walked back stage and the staff all stood up and gave her a standing ovation. She smiled at everyone and then said. “Thank you all for such a great job. I couldn’t have asked for a better crew. You all deserve a round of applause yourselves.” One by one they all began to congratulate her, giving her kisses on the cheek and hugs. Her mother and father gave her a hug and comment on the beautiful dresses. Marisa was in the middle of an interview with Gino at her side when she saw him standing in the corner. She quickly excused herself and walked towards him. DJ watched as she walked towards him and gave her his mischievous smile. “Well, well. Looks like you’ve made it.” he told her.
“Derek, my god you haven’t changed.”
“And you look more beautiful every time I see you. Hello Marisa.” He kissed her on the cheek and touched her face. “It was an awesome show. I’m proud of you. Did you get my flowers?”
“I did thank you. They were beautiful.”
“I hope Gino isn’t upset with me sending you flowers. I figured it was a special event and it wouldn’t look like as if I was stalking you.”
“It doesn’t matter Derek. I think the 5 dozen made him raise an eyebrow.”
“Sorry I didn’t want to start a fight with you and him.”
She ran her hand on his hair pushing it to the side and said. “Your memory?”
“About a week ago. I only wish it was sooner. I would have been able to stop the engagement.”
She looked away and blushed. “It just happened. I never thought that I would find someone else. You broke my heart.”
“Well now we are even. My heart is breaking now. I always thought you’d be the one I’d marry.”
“Derek, I’m engaged to Gino now.”
He slipped his arm around her waist and whispered in her ear. “But do you really love him?”
She took in his cologne and felt his body close to hers. “I, I, I’m engaged. Please, Derek.”
“Call it off, you belong to me.”
She pushed him away and tried to gain her composer. “I belong to no one. You out of all people know that. I am not going to play games.”
He grabbed her by the shoulders and looked into her eyes. “Tell me, do you love him?”
“Derek, not now.”
“If you tell me you love him I will walk away and let you live happily ever after. Now do you really love him like you love me?” She stared into his eyes and opened her mouth ready to talk when Gino walked over to where they were.
“Hello Derek Wildstar. Thank you for attending my Marisa show. She was a HUGH success. After today she will be a well-known designer worldwide. Has she told you that we are now engaged to be married? We haven’t set a date yet but I am hoping for a fall wedding. We already have a dress design for the occasion. She is going to be a beautiful bride. Don’t you think?”
DJ rolled his eyes and thought he was to girly for her. He gave him a nod and took hold of her hand. He raised it to his lips and gave it a kiss. “I hope to see you again. Maybe we can talk and catch up. I missed our talks, congratulations again.” He lean in and kissed her on the lips then turn and walked away. Marisa watched as he walked away her feet frozen to the ground.
Gino put his arm around her and said. “Marisa my love, the Press are still waiting. We still have to talk to Bogata magazine.” Deep down he wanted to punch DJ but feared of starting a brawl in the middle of a successful show. The rest of the night was a daze she spoke to many newspapers and magazines but heard the sound of her voice far away. At the end of the night she went back to her apartment with Gino. “It was a wonderful evening. We were incredible. We need to start working on our next line. I have some ideas that we should go over.” He wrapped his arms around her and held her. “We should celebrate.” He whispered in her ear with a husky voice.
“Um, Gino would you mind if we didn’t tonight. I’m really tired and I don’t think I have the strength.”
Looking disappointed he said, “of course, it has been a long day. I will see you tomorrow then. We can start on the new line first thing.” He lean in to give her a kiss and she quickly turned away as he caught her cheek. “Good night my love.”
“Thank you for understanding. I will see you in the morning.”
“I love you.”
She nodded her head and said. “Good night.”
DJ watched as he got back into the car and drove off. He got out of his car and walked over to her building. He waited until someone left and he slip into the building. He rode up to her floor and walked to her apartment. He stood at it looking and deciding whether to knock or walk away. This is it DJ either you win her back or you leave her forever. He took a deep breath and knocked on the door. He could hear her say something and then the door flew open, “Gino I really meant it when I said I wasn’t in the mood.” She looked up and saw him standing there. Without another word he pushed her back into the apartment and kissed her with passion. He pulled away slowly and she stood frozen with her lips pressed and her eyes closed.
“I’ve missed you so much.” She heard him say. He leaned down again kissing her once more. “I love you.”
“Derek, please don’t. I love Gino now.”
“But you never stopped loving me. Why are you marrying him? He seems like a little weasel. He could never love you the way I do. He wants a trophy wife. I just want you.”
“Gino is a good man. He loves me for who I am. He made me smile. He kept me busy to forget you.”
“Did you forget me? Or did you wish you could?” he held her face in his hand and lean down to kiss her once again. “You never answered my question.”
She exhaled out and said. “What question?”
“Do you really love him? Tell me you love him the way you love me and I will walk away forever.”
“Please Derek, I can’t.”
“You can only answer with one of two answers. Yes or No. pick one.” He said in low tone.
She turned and walked into her living room and looked at her ring that Gino gave her. She could feel him standing closer to her, his breath on her neck. She felt his lips press gently on her neck and felt her body go on fire. “No,” she said in a low tone that he barely heard her.
“No Derek, I don’t love him. I love you.”
He took her hand and slipped the engagement ring off her finger and tossed it on the table. “I didn’t think so.”
She woke up and looked over to him. She smiled to herself knowing that he was by her side again. She sat up and wrapped the blanket around her naked body. She leaned over and kissed him on the cheek. She looked at the clock and realized that it was late and she missed her meeting with Gino. DJ woke up and saw her up. He slid his arm around her waist and pulled her down to him. She laughed at him and he kissed her. “Good morning gorgeous.”
She looked at him with a serious concern. “Derek, we have to talk.”
“You know what. Gino.”
“What about him?”
“Derek, I am supposed to be engaged to him. How is this going to look? I have to break this to him gently.”
“Give me the phone, I’ll call him and tell him it’s over and you’re with me now.” He said reaching for her cell phone.
“Derek, NO! I can’t do that to him. I need to do this in person.” She said.
“Well you’re not going alone. I’ll go with,” he said when they heard her door bell ring. “Are you expecting someone this early.”
“It’s not early, its 1 in the afternoon.” She got up and walked across her bedroom and grabbed a robe. “It’s probably my assistant. I was supposed to be at a meeting at 1130 this morning. Wait here.” She ran out the room and ran to answer her door. She tightened her robe and opened the door. Her eyes widened to see Gino standing there. “Gino!”
“Grazie a dio! Ero preoccupata da morire per te! I was worry sick about you. Are you alright, when you didn’t show up for the meeting I began to worry. I have been trying to call you for over an hour. Are you sick? I know it was a long night but it’s not like you to miss a meeting.”
“I’m sorry I just over slept.”
“Thank god,” he sighed. “I thought you were ill.” He rubbed her shoulders and then saw him standing at her bedroom door in his shorts. “Che diavolo sta succedendo qui! What the hell is going on here!” he snapped. “What is he doing here? I demand an answer!”
“Gino, I didn’t want you to find out like this.” She said then gave DJ an annoyed look. “I was going to tell you, but”
“I’m sorry what did you call her?” DJ eyes narrowed and stepped closer to them.
Marisa move between the two men and pushed DJ back. “Derek, no. Please let me handle this.”
“I called her a whore! What are you going to do? She is my fiancée!” Gino yelled back at him.
“I thought that’s what you said. What I’m going to do is punch you in your face. The engagement is off. SO you can take that stupid rock and run along.”
He grabbed Marisa by the arm and yelled at her, “How can you do this. He is nothing! I made you! Without my help you’d still be a nobody! You whore!”
“That’s it!” DJ stepped forward and Marisa pushed him back.
“No Derek, please let me deal with this.” She knew that he would hurt Gino and she didn’t want a scene. She walked over to where DJ threw the ring and picked it up. “I’m really sorry Gino. I never meant for this to happen. I love you but not the way you want me too. I thought I could but I can’t. I would only be lying to myself and to you. Derek remembers everything. He never gave up on us, much to what I have. You’re a wonderful man and someday you will find someone that will love you the way you should be loved.” She handed him the ring and kissed him gently on cheek. Gino took the ring and placed it in his pocket. He turned his back at her and then turned quickly slapping her across the face. DJ face looked on as she fell to ground. His eyes saw red and walked quickly towards Gino and swung hard punching him in the face. Gino body flew across the room and landed on the floor. Marisa ran to DJ and held him back. “NO! Derek please don’t.” she pleaded. She grabbed his face and moved it to look at her. “Derek, please don’t. I love you.” she held him and waited until he calmed down. “I’ll take care of this, okay?”
“Fine! But make it fast because if he isn’t out of here in 5 seconds I can’t hold myself responsible as to what I’ll do.”
She helped Gino up and walked him to the door. “I’m sorry Gino. I didn’t want to do this. Or this!” she turned him around and kneed him in his groin, then pushed him out the door. “Have a great life!” she yelled and slammed the door in his face.
She turned to DJ and he touched her face. He gently rubbed where he slapped her and kissed her. “Are you alright?”
“I’ll live, thank you for protecting me.”
“Looks like you did a pretty good job in handling him. Gosh Marisa, if he put his hand on you now I hate to think what life would have been with him.”
“I’m sure if that would’ve happen you would have probably made sure he disappeared forever.”
He slipped his arm through her robe and pulled her close to him. “You’re my girl Marisa. I’m sorry if I ever pushed you away. I just wanted you to be loved.” She placed her finger on his lips and kissed him.
“Now what Derek?”
“Well I start EDF Officer School. My dad is getting my transcripts together and have some strings pulled. I’m behind half year but I think I can catch up. And when I’m done we get married. IF you will marry me?”
Her eyes softened and hugged him. She lean up to his ear and whispered, “Yes Derek, yes I will marry you.”
“Well looks like the rest of our day we will be looking for a nice big rock that will make that little thing he gave you look like a chip.”
“I hated that ring. It was too big.”
The End . . . .???
Songs mentioned in the story can be heard on the following links.