Her condition was stable now. Stress was not good for her in her condition, she had a relapse. Luckily, the nurse had arrived just before the panic attack increases.
About thirty minutes later, Helena was watching the rain falling through the large window, looking worried, when three taps were heard at the door.
“-Dinner is served! said two little voices that she recognized when she heard the first syllable they spoke. The two children ran into the arms of their mothers. She kissed her daughter and son on their head.
-How are you? Asked Tim, seeing that Helena didn’t have the same expression as when he left her earlier.
Helena looked up at him, understanding that, even though she was an actress by profession, she couldn’t lie to her husband. And she didn’t want to either.
-I’ll tell you later, okay?
-Good! Now, let’s eat the dinner because I’m starving! What have you brought me bunch of little monsters?
-Lasagna! said Nell.
-Oh! My favorite meal! exclaimed Helena.
-That’s why we decided that it would be our family meal of the day, revealed Tim.
-And for dessert, we brought a black forest cake, says Billy.
-Yum! So we eat? » Asked Helena.
Billy and Nell were installed at the table that Tim had brought closer to the bed and he was sitting in the chair next to it. So they ate their lunch, gathered together for the first time since 2 weeks.
A few hours later, Tim and Helena were now alone in the hospital room. He was sitting in the chair, his left ankle on his right knee, and she was still lying in bed. The weather outside was dark, the rain was intense and some lightning were warning of their presence from time to time. The doctor came to see them a few minutes ago. He had described the long list of injuries that Helena suffered and had told them she would stay about three more days in the hospital. “It could be worst” she was telling herself.
“-So, what’s the matter? asked Tim.
Helena took a deep breath before launching into a description of her long story.
-Where would I start? said Helena, talking to herself.
-Maybe by beginning? said Tim.
-Yes, the beginning, of course …
Helena could still see how it all began.
-When I was 16, I spent my summer at my aunt Lydia’s in Venice. She lived in a neighborhood of rich people. She lived alone: my uncle died of pancreatic cancer when I was 8. My aunt suffered a very deep and dark bereavement that led her to depression, but she finally managed to get by. So, when I arrived, my aunt took me to my room, which was on the third floor. I had an unobstructed view of the city. It was wonderful.
So the next evening, my aunt had organized a party in honor of my arrival, to welcome me and introduce me to people I’d pass some time with during the summer. “
“-Helena! Are you ready? Lydia asked at the door of the chamber of Helena.
-Yes aunt Lydia! Well, almost, said Helena, looking in the mirror of her cabinet. A summer away from home could do her the most good she thought. She was always willing to escape the pitfalls of everyday life for two months, especially at her aunt’s that she loved so much. She opened the door of her room and saw Lydia as expected.
-Wow! You are beautiful Helena, said Lydia. It’s time to go now: we mustn’t make our guests wait.
-Of course. “
The two girls went down to the ground floor together. When they were there, Helena was impressed by all the people there was. All of those with whom she had the chance to talk to seemed really nice, but she was getting tired of being asked all the same redundant questions.
Suddenly, small strokes of spoon on a glass were heard. Lydia was on the fourth step of the stairs, calling the attention of her guests.
“Excuse me everyone. I’d like to have your attention for a moment. So, as you all know, I organized this evening to say welcome to my niece who will spend the summer here. So, Helena, I hope you have a great time with me. I also hope that you will fall in love with Venice as fast as your uncle and me did. I am very happy to have you with me for all this time, even if I already know it’s gonna pass so fast! And I also count on tonight’s guests to entertain you, because I can’t do it alone after all! So, I want to make a toast to my fabulous niece who deserves to be known. “
Lydia raised her glass of champagne and the guests did the same. Helena was very honored to be the recipient of this wonderful speech. She raised her glass and whispered a thank you to her aunt.
Then, a young man caught her attention. His brown hair, a little longer than short and his dark brown eyes made him look elegant and mysterious. He was moving confidently on his long legs. He seemed appreciated by a lot of people. Despite all of this, Helena thought he was releasing something interesting, something she had never seen before.
Suddenly his eyes met the observing ones of Helena. She immediately turned around, feeling embarrassed. She hoped he hadn’t noticed that she was looking at him from head to foot a few seconds before. A finger touched her shoulder twice so that she’d turn around. There was no doubt: she was caught in a trap. She turned and found herself face to face with the mysterious young man who intrigued her so much.
”- Well Helena, don’t you know that it’s not a good manner to stare at people like that?
-I’m really sorry, I…
-I was only joking, don’t worry, cut the young man with a radiant smile.
Helena looked down feeling a little intimidated by the boy.
-My name is Benjamin, Benjamin Barker.
-Helena Bonham Carter, yeah, I know, he cut her again.
-Are you going to let me finish at least one sentence?
-Well, I just did, he said with a victorious smile.
Usually, she always had something to say back, but now, she couldn’t think of anything.
-So, why are you coming to spend the summer here? He asked.
-Why should I tell you?
-First of all, because I’m asking you and second of all, because I want to know.
-And why do you want to know?
-To make the conversation and get to know you.
-Oh right, she said after taking a sip of champagne.
-So, why are you spending your summer here?
-I’ve answered that question at least a thousand of times tonight.
-Ok then, tell me one thing you haven’t told anyone here tonight.
-Oh, come on! Just do it!
-But, what’s the point?
-Look, we’ll do something: tell me one thing about you that you haven’t told anyone tonight and I’ll do the same.
-Ok then, said Helena playing the game. Hum… I have to pee.
He looked at her with surprise, and they both started to laugh.
-I wasn’t expecting that! said Benjamin.
-What were you expecting then?
-I don’t know, something more… private?
-What do you want more private than what I do in the bathroom?!
He started laughing again. He loved her sense of humor.
-Ok, your turn, she said.
-I came here tonight without any invitation.
-You really did?
-But everyone seems to like you so much.
-On that, I have my own little theory: One person cannot be appreciated by everyone but can’t be hated by everyone too. Some people have more enemies and some have more friends. But it’s not the number of each side that counts; it’s the one that has the strongest determination that makes the others think that there’s only one side that exist for a certain person. But, this person is the big master of this game: he has to choose whether to care of what people think of him (if that’s what he chooses, then he doesn’t do things for him, but to please the others just to keep his reputation and he’s not being himself, he’s not free) or to not give a fuck about the opinion of people and just do whatever the hell he wants just because he wants to do it. That one is the one who’s standing for freedom and that is not being fake. And that’s the kind of men I’m trying to be.
-Wow! Said Helena very surprised by the speech he just gave her. You’re a really good theory creator!”
He smiled and looked down, flattered but still thinking she was funny. She was showing an honest smile while looking at him.
“-So we kept on talking like that for the rest of the night, getting to know each other, Helena said to Tim.
-And then he became your boyfriend, presumed Tim.
-Well, we passed more days together and I did fall in love with him. Foolish teenage girl typical summer love.”
After saying this, Helena was seized by a violent cough. Tim got up quickly to see if his beloved one was alright. The cough wouldn’t stop, so he gave her water and the cough started to stop. All of her body was hurting. She was hoping this pain wouldn’t last too long. She had to have all of her energy if he was back.
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