Michael had arrived at the main shopping mall area to find a wave of shoppers now noisily moving towards the exits, chatting loudly in relief and complaint as they left the building. He paused for a moment to consider what had just happened. Helen was in the building still. She was possibly in danger, but was most likely eating Mandrake and Ray alive. The main thing was that he knew that she didn’t want him dead or alive. It was over. Everything was over. Now he just needed to leave.
Jane’s flight arrived 25 minutes late the following day. Michael’s head and stomach kept churning. He had mixed feelings as he stood waiting. Once the flight arrival monitor displayed that her flight had landed, Michael realised that he felt relieved to finally be seeing Jane, and also sickeningly empty. His friend was dead. At least the one he had known and there was no going back.
When he spotted Jane through the opening in the customs gate, he saw immediately that she was also stressed. As the ginger haired beauty walked through the sliding doors her eyes were glassy from the lack of sleep, and her skin was flushed with stress. Michael ran to hug her. The stiffly rigid Jane tried to act pleased to see him but she had other things on her mind.
“So, what’s going on?” was her first question.
“Hang on, aren’t you glad to see me? I’m glad to see you.” Michael asked indignantly.
“Now you need to tell me what’s happening with Helen. Why isn’t she here, and why didn’t she make it to the flight?”
“I’ve kept you up to date. And as far as I’m concerned there is no Helen anymore. Let’s go somewhere to eat. You must be hungry.” With this Michael bent down to grab Jane’s bags.
“I want you to tell me what’s happening,” Jane stubbornly demanded.
“Let’s talk more when we’re sitting down somewhere.”
Jane didn’t respond to this suggestion, yet stopped battling with Michael as she let him take her bags. As they walked towards the terminal exit, Jane saw something through the sliding doors and stopped.
“What’s wrong?” Michael queried.
A large smile grew on Jane’s face as she suddenly began to run towards the glass doors. “It’s Helen!” She shouted behind her.
Michael stood still, his blood running cold. There wasn’t enough time to react, to pull Jane back. All he could do was watch in apprehension and amazement as Jane and Helen cheerfully embraced each other, then the taller and apparently fitter looking Jane drew back suddenly shaking Helen. Michael made a move towards Jane, but Helen looked over Jane’s shoulder at Michael, subtly raising her hand as if to say “it’s ok.”
“Where have you been and what have you been doing?” Jane yelled, in a punishing, yet relieved voice. “We’ve been worried sick about you. You didn’t even make it to Fiji! I came here for you… you stupid girl!” Michael could hear fury in Jane’s voice.
“I’ve been alright,” Helen sighed, and continued in an exhausted yet calm voice “I’ve been alright. I’ve gone through a few changes…” Michael interrupted with a gasp. Helen didn’t change composure, even though Jane turned around to glare at Michael. “It’s been a rough ride. But I feel stronger now that I’m this side of the journey.” As she ended her words she smiled at Michael.
“Jane, sweetie,” Michael tried gaining Jane’s positive attention. “I think we should go now. Wasn’t it nice to see Helen?” He recited in an uncomfortable voice, casting a smile at Helen. “Now we need to let her get back to her new life, and we can get on with ours. Let’s go and eat.”
“Oh, can I join you?” Helen pleaded exclusively to Jane.
“Of course you can, can’t she Michael?” Michael could see the angry pulse pounding in Jane’s forehead.
“No she can’t. Aren’t you on a different diet these days?”
“Not that I’m aware of Michael. Thanks for asking.” Helen added between her teeth.
Jane suddenly took two steps back to look at the both of them. “What’s going on between the two of you?”
“Nothing!” Michael cried in amazement. “Where the hell did that come from?”
“I came back early because I had a feeling about you two. I got the feeling when all this drama bullshit started happening that you two were having an affair. And now that I’m seeing you, I know something’s there. There’s something between you, I know it, and I’m not going to stand here acting like a blind fool. I’m going home.” Jane grabbed her bags from a stunned Michael and started moving towards the queue of waiting taxis.
“Wait! Let’s talk about this.” Michael shouted in desperation.
“There’s nothing to talk about!” Jane was moving as fast as she could.
“Yes there is! At least let me take you home.” Michael stopped, exhausted, as Jane had already jumped into a taxi and begun to head off.
Michael turned, completely broken to face Helen and pleaded, “Why the hell did you come here? What do you want? Don’t you have more monsters to drink from?”
Helen silently smiled, “I’m just warning you.”
“Warning me about what?” But with this Helen had vanished.