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Illicit Affairs

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Tell me something, girl.

I couldn’t remember how I got up from the cold bathroom floor of the hotel room. I remembered Geillis helping me undress and take a warm shower, because I was practically unable to move myself. She helped me dry off, put on fresh clothes and led me to the bed. I was sitting on the edge of the bed and she brushed my now short curls, singing something quietly in a language that must have been Gaelic.


“What’s this song?” I ask my friend when she’s done with brushing and puts the hairbrush on my bedside table.


“Ye’ve been living in Scotland for, how long, almost three years? And ye never heard this song? It’s called The Skye Boat Song.” Geillis said proudly, changing position and sitting next to me.


“It’s beautiful. What is it about?” I ask, becoming very curious, ignoring her mocking me.


“Well, it tells a story about Bonnie Prince Charles who escaped from the English troops, in a small boat, dressed like a serving maid, following his defeat at the Battle of Culloden in 1746.” 


“Amazing,” I whisper, settling on the pillows and putting a blanket over myself. “I wish I could have escaped like that, too. Get on a boat and disappear.”


Geillis purses her lips and lets out a sigh, before getting up from my bed. “Well, hope ye at least tell me if ye really decide to escape, aye? Should I turn off the lights? Ye need to sleep,” she adds.


I quickly grab her by the hand. “No. I thought… can stay with me? I don’t want to sleep alone today.”


“Of course. But let me change my clothes first,” Geillis says with a smile and disappears into her room.


In less than ten minutes my friend joins me in my bed and we lay in silence for another ten minutes.


“Ye awake?”




“Ye scared me today, Claire.”


“I’m sorry.”


“When ye turned off yer phone and disappeared for the entire day. And then ye locked yerself in the bathroom with the scissors, and everything ye did and said later... I was so scared and didna ken what to do. I was afraid I was gonna lose ye.”


“I’m really sorry, Geillis,” I whisper and turn in the bed to face her. She looks back at me. “I felt so confused and scared, too. And you know, you were so right. From day one.”


“I love to hear that. But, when was I right exactly?”


“When you said I shouldn’t fall into this black hole called Jamie Fraser. I don’t even recognize myself anymore, and it’s because of him. I don’t know what to do. For the first time in my life I really don’t know what to do. What will I do with the baby if I’m really pregnant? How will I live? I was not ready for that...getting pregnant from a married man. What a reputation!” 


I feel hot tears well up in my eyes as I speak, and I’m wiping them away with my blanket.


“Is it alright if I ask what makes ye think you’re pregnant?” Geillis asks, carefully, and everything inside me turns into knots. “I mean… ye said ye think, so yer not sure?”


“I’m three days late on my period, and I’ve thrown up twice this morning...” I reply as I remember one of those two times happened in front of Jamie. Mentally, I slap myself into the face.


“Ye should take a test to be sure. And then, go to see a doctor. It could be just stress, bad food, change of climate and so on. Do ye want me to buy ye a test tomorrow?”


“No, I have to do it myself. And, I know. I know all these things...” I say firmly. “I’m just so scared, you can’t even imagine. I didn’t think it would happen to me. Christ, what was I even thinking when I stopped taking my pills?”


“What? Ye stopped taking pills? Claire… I canna believe!”


“Please, Gee, no judgement, remember? I just didn’t think I would...”


“I’m sorry... When do ye think it happened?”


Suddenly, my lips curve into a smile. “I think, that night after my birthday… We fucked like animals, we just couldn’t stop...”


“Oh, please, lass, keep the details to yerself,” Geillis softly interrupts me, with a smirk.


I smile and playfully smack her on the shoulder, before my face gets serious again, and my lips start to quiver. “I’m just so...lost. And so mad. Yes, I am mad at him! For everything he has done to me. And, I’m mad at myself for allowing that for so long. Because now I face nothing but the consequences.” 


“Listen, Claire…” Geillis starts as she sits up in the bed and leans on the headboard. “I ken ye feel lost right now, ye dinna ken what direction to go next. Ye feel like ye gave yer love to someone who destroyed ye. Ye feel that the universe throws the lessons at ye instead of...blessings. And ye feel like giving up because the more ye give, the more pain ye end up in, am I right?”


I’m blown away. “Yes,” I blurt, and wipe away the tears with the back of my hand as I sit up myself. “Yes, all of this.”


Geillis smiles at me. “I ken that ye feel a lot of things at this moment, but ye are strong, and brave, and ye will overcome them all, do ye hear me? This universe is fucked up and it’s taking ye through all this shite just to help ye find yer true worth, and realize how special ye are.”


Utterly speechless I stare at my best friend who just turned out to be the therapist I didn’t know I needed. 


“I just want to kiss you right now!” I gasp.


“Nah, no, that’s not necessary,” she brushes it off, grinning. “I was in a dark place too once, Claire. I ken what it is like. But I pulled meself back together.”


“I just want to be happy…” I say.


“Ye will be, lass.”


I don’t realize I’m crying again and tears are burning my eyes as they roll down my cheeks. I close my eyes and the next moment I feel Geillis’ hands wrap around my trembling shoulders, she’s holding me, whispering sweet and soothing words into my hair. 


“I wish I could let him go. I wish I could let it all go.” I say and pause, staring at the ceiling. “You know what? When we come back, I will move out from my old apartment, and buy a new one. Thank you for reminding me that I’ve lived there for three years already. I can’t rent that place anymore, I should own my place. So… Oh, and I will buy a car.”


“A car? I didna ken ye had a driver license!” 


“Imagine that I have!” I let out a laugh. “I will need to get used to driving again, though, but… fine, that decides it!”


“I love yer enthusiasm. This is the Claire I love. Dinna get me wrong, I will always love ye what ever ye are. It’s just…seeing ye suffer breaks my own heart.”


I bit my lower lip. “I’m sorry again, for making you worry.”


“It’s okay.”


I give Geillis a small smile and lay back on my pillows. “There’s one thing...”


“What thing again?”


My voice starts to shake. “I can’t just let him go, because I love him. I can’t just turn it off, you know? I can't stop thinking about him. I can’t help it. I can’t help the dreams I have about him. I can’t snap my fingers and make it all stop. I yelled at him today because I love him, but he hurts me, again and again. And now he thinks that I hate him. After I told him I loved him. After it took me so long to get brave enough and tell someone I love them, after everything I’ve been through.”


My voice gets angrier with every word that I utter, and I feel Geillis hold me tighter. 


“You know, when you asked me today what I wanted from life… I think that I just want to have someone who will always be there for me. Simply be there for me, you know? Who will wait for me when I come home, and hug me, and ask me how my day has been while caressing my hair. Someone who will make me feel safe, who will tell me everything will be alright when I’m feeling like shit. Someone I can rely on, someone I can trust. Someone who loves me, wants me and accepts me the way I am. And I don’t think I want it to be someone who is not Jamie. I just want Jamie.”


It was past midnight.


Exhausted, I didn’t notice how I drifted off to sleep.