For Better Or Worse 2/3

Drake woke up that day to the sound of loud music echoing through the house. He recognized Rihanna's song Cheers and knew it couldn't be his mother, she wasn't the type to listen to loud music like that and wasn't too fond of that kind of music. Nicki on the other end was, that song was one of her favorites and she used to listen to it all the time mostly whenever she was happy.
Drake rubbed his eyes and sighed before rolling out of bed and making his way to the door grabbing his robe on the way.
Drake descended the stairs and followed the sound of the music which lead him to the kitchen where he found Nicki who was making breakfast while dancing and singing along to the music.
It made him smile to see her glowing with happiness like that and it also reminded him of old times when they had just gotten married and moved in. On each and every Sunday for at least a year she would wake up early and turn the music at full blast before starting on cleaning the house and then she'd cook breakfast for the both of them meanwhile he just slept in or more like tried to sleep in with his earplugs. He'd always complain about that habit of hers but right then it just made him happy. He stood there observing her, just admiring her reminiscing, his mind going back to those moments that he could say were the best of his life.

"Uggh!! That damn music again!" Drake grumbled to himself before sitting up on the bed and stretching. He stuffed his feet in his slippers and stretched again before getting up. He walked to the bathroom and splashed some water on his face before brushing his teeth. After that he made his way downstairs to the kitchen where he knew he would find Nicki. When he got there he found her on a stepladder trying to reach the jars that were on a shelf that was clearly too high for her to reach. He chuckled to himself as he watched her struggling to get the jar, he could tell she'd never reach it without causing a catastrophe but he knew she wouldn't give up either that's how she was. He shook his head at her and walked up to her level, he stood behind her and placed a hand on the small of her back startling her, which caused her to almost fall of her stepladder but he was there to catch her and while preventing her from falling he effortlessly reached for the jar she had been trying to reach and got it from the shelf. He set Nicki on her own two foot and handed her the jar before quickly pecking her lips and walking away.

"Show off." Nicki mumbled trying to hide how she really felt as much as possible, truth was that right then she was amazed, she looked at him just like a teenage girl would look at their crush. She admired him.

"Me show off ?" Drake asked turning around to look at her as he stopped the loud music that was starting to get on his nerves.

"Yes you." Nicki answered walking towards him only to stand between his legs as he had taken a seat on the breakfast bar.

"You are a show off... Oh look at my muscles, oh I'm so tall and strong and handsome." Nicki spoke in a big voice showing off her biceps. 

"That's you." She said with a shrug and Drake burst out laughing and wrapped his arms around his wife's tiny body bringing her closer to him.

"Baby girl, I don't sound like that at all." Drake spoke through his laughter, releasing Nicki from the hug.

"Yes you do." She said hitting his chest before walking away from him and making her way towards the hi-fi system, she was about to turn the music back on she heard Drake's baritone voice behind her back.

"Don't do that." He ordered and Nicki turned around to look at him cocking one hip to the side.

"What was that ?" She asked raising a brow.

"I said, don't do that. What did we say about the music on Sunday mornings Nika ?" Drake asked walking towards his wife and wrapping his arms around her as soon as he reached her level.

"I know what we said about it but I can't clean up without music Aubrey. And I'm sure you don't want to live in a messy and unclean house." Nicki spoke wrapping her arms around him and laying her head on his chest.

"Ever heard of headphones ?" Drake joked and Nicki made a face at him.

"Ever heard of earplugs ?" She answered.

"Touché." Was Drake's only answer.

"And if I'm bothering you that much with my music you can still get up and we can clean up together." Nicki suggested and Drake looked at her like she had lost her mind.

"You are the only person who likes to get up at 7 on Sunday mornings to clean up Nika." Drake spoke and again Nicki got out of his embrace before she hit his chest and chuckled.

"Whatever fool, anyways since you're up now you can help me." Nicki said giving him an angelic smile. 

"Or ... We could occupy our time in a much funnier way." Drake said in sultry tone just above a whisper getting closer to Nicki who took a step back for every step he took forward in her direction. Nicki stepped back until her back hit a wall.

"Aubrey we don't have time for that." Nicki was able to let out before Drake's lips crashed on top of hers. His hands started softly rummaging her body as they shared a passionate kiss.

"Yes we do, we got the whole day for that." Drake spoke as their lips detached from one an other's only for his to attack her neck.

"No, I'm not done here and the grass need to be cut, and the groce..." Nicki spoke trying to show some resistance but the words coming out of her mouth where soon replaced by moans.

"Here let me give you a foretaste. We just need to get rid of those." Drake spoke with his face still hidden in the crook of her neck before reaching under the oversized shirt Nicki was wearing. Two of his fingers slipped under her panties, they tugged on them, only to rip them off her body seconds later causing Nicki to gasp. Once the panties out of his way Drake got his fingers back between Nicki's legs and started playing with her, observing the faces she made. The way her face was twisted with pleasure was a delightful sight to him. He roughly pushed  his lips against hers and Nicki's hands flew to his head as she pulled his head closer deepening the kiss. Once air became scarce, they pulled away from the kiss and Drake brought his fingers up to Nicki's mouth and slowly slid them in her mouth before bringing his lips back on top of hers so that he could taste her as well.

"I got a feeling I convinced you." Drake spoke in Nicki's ear causing her to quiver and wrap her arms and legs around him.

"You've got half of my day." She spoke as he picked her up from the floor and walked them towards the stairs.

"Yea right." Drake spoke before catching her lips again to stop her from responding which would have been useless, they both knew he had way more than the half of her day.

Drake stood behind the bar watching her as she didn't even realised someone was there until she turned around and saw him standing there.

"Morning sleepy head." She shouted over the music before going to turn it off.

"Morning beautiful."  He answered taking a seat at the breakfast bar. He still didn't know which Onika he was dealing with that morning. Was it his Onika, the one who at least remembered him being her best friend or was it the childish one who didn't know him at all. He had no idea so he simply waited for her to say something so that he'd know.

"I'm sorry did I wake you up ?"She asked him while fixing a plate.

"It's ok, I had to wake up anyways." Drake responded still unaware of who he was talking to.

"Good. I made breakfast." Nicki said turning around with a plate.

"I'm not quite sure but I think I remembered you like a western omelet and turkey sausages for breakfast so here you go !" She said sliding the plate across the bar. Now Drake knew it was his best  friend he was dealing with which felt like a relief and also he was overjoyed by the fact the she remembered what his favorite breakfast was. It might be a detail but under the circumstances it meant so much.

"That's my favorite." Drake said and out of habit he leaned over the bar puckering his lips towards a smiling Nicki who happily gave him her cheek unknowingly disappointing him.

"Is it really ? Or are you just saying this to be nice ?" Nicki asked him crossing her arms over her chest.

"I swear it is. Why would I lie to you ?" Drake answered his mouth full.

"In that case it's the second thing I remembered since I got up !" Nicki cheered and Drake rose his hand for a high five.

"That's great. What else did you remember ?"

"I remember that I finally got enough money to buy that damn Mercedes I wanted and bought it about a year ago only to crash it in that accident of course." Nicki shrugged and Drake looked up at her.

"You remember buying the car ?" He asked shocked. Shocked because that day when they went to get the car, he had let her think that she was buying it for herself but when they got there he surprised her by buying it for her. So if she remembered buying the car it'd mean maybe she remembered being with him

"Not really ." Nicki sighed disappointing both herself and Drake. "I just remember driving it to work like I got a flashback type of thing earlier." Nicki explained.

It had been a week since she got out of the hospital and she was obviously getting better mentally. She still had moment when she'd act childish and do stupid stuff but they were less frequent. It was only when she'd have a flashback and stress too much about it trying to remember too much stuff. Her breakdowns happened less often. While at the hospital it was at the very least three times a day but it had been four days since neither of these things happened.

"It's something at least. You're doing great." Drake encouraged Nicki who smiled in return.

"So . What are you going to do today ?" Nicki asked taking a seat next to him and starting on her own food.

"As you know I'm off today so nothing much." Drake answered with a shrug.

"That's great that way we can go get groceries, your fridge is empty Aubrey, I don't know how many times I've told you about that, you can't have your fridge empty all the time like that." Nicki told him and Drake chuckled at that, before they got married or even got together, whenever she'd be over at his old house Nicki would complain about the fact that the house was never clean and that he never did the groceries so she'd end up cleaning and shopping for him and then they moved in together and of course she was the one taking care of it and that's how it had been since then and then the accident happened and in two months Drake spent most of his time at the hospital and never ate at home, he'd always eat out so the groceries were the very last thing on his mind.

"I know, I know, but before that remember you have an appointment you need to get to." Drake reminded and Nicki pouted.

"Noooo ! Brey, I don't want to." Nicki sighed.

"I know, but you have to, it's necessary Nika." Drake reminded and Nicki was still pouting.

"I don't want to go talk to no shrink Brey, can you even imagine me sitting down and exposing all my emotions to that lady ?" Nicki asked Drake cocking her head to the side.

"You have to do it Nika, you know you do, but after that we can do whatever you want to alright ?" Drake said and Nicki nodded, she knew she needed to go through therapy, no matter how much she hated it. After such a traumatic experience, it was necessary.


"How are you feeling today ?" Dr. Miller asked Nicki. Dr. Miller was Nicki's psychiatrist. Therapy was one of the conditions Nicki had been released from the hospital under. It was the first time Nicki saw her since she got out of the hospital but while at the hospital she saw her every week so they knew each other already.

"I'm pretty good." Nicki answered. Looking away. That's how all of their session started, Nicki wasn't the type to just let it go and confide into people, let alone strangers so it always took Dr. Miller quite some effort to get something out of her. 

"I'm glad to hear it, have you been writing this week ?" The doctor asked. Before she got out of the hospital  Nicki was asked to start writing down every emotions she went through since the moment she got home. 

"Not really no." Nicki answered and Dr Miller sighed. 

"Why is that ?" She asked and it was Nicki's turn to sigh. She just wanted to get out of there and didn't want to answer that question but she figured it was the only way she'd be able to put this behind her.

"Well, because it would all come down to one sentence." Nicki shrugged.

"What would that sentence be ?" Dr. Miller asked Nicki who looked up at her.

"I'm lost, that would be it, I'm just lost, there's nothing more to say."

"It is perfectly normal to feel lost at that point Onika, it would be odd if you weren't feeling lost." Dr. Miller said smiling at Nicki trying to reassure her.

"That's what I try to tell myself but it doesn't help much." Nicki expressed.

"Do you think we can try to put this feeling aside and get to what's underneath that feeling." Dr. Miller asked and Nicki nodded.

"We can try, I guess." Did she want to ? Not at all but she had to spend the whole hour there no matter if she was talking or staying silent so might as well make the most out of this time.

"Great. So tell me about your social life since you left the hospital. Have you seen friends of yours ? Your family ? People you knew before the accident in general ?"

"Not really no, Aubrey and Mama Sandi are the only people I saw . I probably don't remember anyone I met during the five past years I don't want to be face to face with strangers that know everything about me. And I haven't seen Lauren and Candi since I left the hospital. I don't want to see anyone I don't like the way they look at me and it's frustrating when they bring up things I don't remember. Aubrey never does that."

"What about Aubrey then ? Tell me about him." Dr. Miller asked, she knew about the situation, she knew Drake was Nicki's husband and knew Nicki didn't know that.

"Do you feel lost around him ?"

"Yes and no." Nicki hesitated. "He is my comfort zone right now, just like he's always been, but at the same time it's all confusing, I feel like there is something I am missing." Nicki shrugged.

"That's interesting. Why do you feel that way ?" Dr. Miller inquired. 

"I really don't know. There are just things that have changed between us. He is the same person without being the same person. It's different but at the same time it's not. I don't know I guess it's just because he's five years older in his head and in mine or maybe something happened during those five years. I can't say what it is." Nicki explained expressing how she felt for the first time. Since the accident she had been feeling that way but never said anything. Drake was her comfort zone even if at some moments she felt like their relationship wasn't how it used to be she was afraid to lose her only landmark if you could say that. Even though he confused her sometimes, Drake's presence by her side was the only thing that kept her stable and she knew it.

"Does he know that this is how you feel ?" Dr.Miller asked and Nicki shook her head no in answer.

"Why is that ?"

"If I tell him such things, it might hurt his feelings and it's the last thing I want. Besides I don't know how to say this to him, as I said I don't even get how I feel myself so I need to figure it all out before I even mention this to him. " Nicki said looking down at her nails.

Dr. Miller sighed, she wanted to dig a little deeper thinking it might help Nicki to remember but she knew Nicki and knew it was a categorical no. For the first time they were having a pretty good session and Dr. Miller knew that if she pushed too much Nicki would simply shut her out again and wouldn't speak for the rest of the session or she might even go into a delirium and go back to her childish ways so she decided to just move on and change the subject.

"You're right, you can take all the time you need." She reassured before asking yet another question.

For the rest of the session Dr. Miller had Nicki speaking about her emotions, trying to get to the bottom of the situation taking advantage of the fact that Nicki was open.
At the end of the session Nicki said goodbye to her doctor before making her way back in the waiting room where she was supposed to wait for Drake who was coming to pick her up but was surprised to see that he was already there.

"Hey you !" Nicki spoke to Drake who got up when he saw her walk towards him.

"Hey !" He answered hugging her.

"So how did it go ?"

"Not so bad, I guess it wasn't that big of a deal." Nicki answered.

"What did I tell you." Drake said before there was a silence between them.

"Erm mind if I go speak to the doc real quick ? You can go wait in the car. " Drake asked Nicki handing her the keys to his car. Nicki figured he was going to schedule her next appointment or see about her prescription or the bill since he was the one who took care of all those things for her so she nodded and grabbed the keys before making her way towards the door. Drake watched her leave before knocking on the door to Dr. Miller's office. 
He opened the door and walked in after she had asked him to.

"Good morning Dr." Drake said shaking the middle aged woman's hand.

"Good morning Mr. Graham, what can I do for you ?" She asked taking a seat at her desk and motioning for Drake to take a seat too.

"Well, I have a question I need to ask you before I do anything stupid." Drake started. 
"I've been wanting to tell Onika about us. Like tell her the truth about us being married. I don't want to lie to her anymore. I spend my time doing so plus it's starting to be real hard, she wants to start doing things by herself, she wants to sort her own paperwork, pay her hospital bills and all, problem is it's all destined to Mrs. Graham. There's no way I can keep it a secret any longer. But I don't want to do anything that can jeopardize her recovery." Drake explained the situation he was in to the psychiatrist.

"Well, after today's session I can definitely tell that your wife does need answers,  right now seems like a good time to tell her, but you have to be careful about the way you do it. She has done good progress and this could be a shock to her. " The woman explained to Drake making him wonder about the consequences him revealing the truth could have on his wife's well being.

"And what could happen if she's too shocked, is she going to have another one of her deliriums ?" Drake asked and the woman sighed.

"Well as you may have noticed her reactions are unpredictable, it is definitely a possibility that she has a delirium just until the info sinks in but that is just one of the possibilities, she could take it in a worse way and completely shut herself to anything and stop making progress as a defensive mechanism to avoid any other shock, she could also start showing signs of depression or start having harsh feelings towards her own self. A marriage and children are the two things persons in your wife's case do not forgive themselves for not remembering. I know this sounds very  disturbing but those are the worst cases they are extremes, she could also take it well and move on. I was just listing possibilities to which you have to add the other personal / sentimental consequences for the both of you guys." Dr. Miller explained she was obviously feeling sorry for Drake who sat there defeated.

"I see ... Last question, is there a chance those possibilities lessen if I wait a bit longer to let her know ?" Drake asked.

"Well it could be. Depends on how her mental state evolves but she's doing pretty good so these extreme possibilities are probably not going to apply."

"I see." Drake answered looking down at his own hands. He knew these were just the extreme possibilities just like the doctor was saying but was he really going to take the risk, they might have been just hypothesis, there was still a possibility that they happen to apply to their situation after all how many chances was there that Nicki would get in a car crash and end up loosing her memory ?

"And last thing. No matter when it happens, it's best if you tell her or if she remembers on her own. You should definitely avoid external sources. You could lose her trust and we both know how much she needs you." Dr. Miller spoke with a sympathetic smile. Her last words warmed Drake's hurt. He was the reason Nicki was doing so good, he took care of her alone ever since the accident, even when he was at his lowest himself he still was taking care of her all alone, Nicki's well being depended on him but he never felt like he was important to the new Nicki. It's hard to feel important to someone when they can't even remember your name. That's why the doctor's last word made his smile.

"Thank you very much Dr." Drake said getting up and holding his hand out  for the doctor to shake.

"You are very welcome Mr. Graham." The woman said shaking Drake's hand. 

After saying goodbye Drake walked out of the room and of the building and made his way to his car where he found Nicki in the driver's seat. Her hands were firmly gripping the steering wheel, her face was tensed, she had tied her hair and her eyes screwed shut. Drake frowned at the sight wondering what was happening with her. He opened the door to the passenger side and got in the car and shut the door and even with all the noise he made Nicki didn't flinch and her eyes stayed closed.
Drake didn't know what to do. He sat there observing her and as he got a closer look he noticed the tears that were rolling down on her cheeks and that's when he started worrying.

"Onika ?!" Drake called nudging Nicki who jumped up and opened her eyes. She quickly let go of the steering wheel and her hands flew to her chest. Her eyes were wide open as she started panting. Drake didn't know what to do as he looked at her not even understanding what was happening.

"Onika ?! Are you ok ?!" He kept asking the same question and calling her name wanted to get at least a reaction but he got nothing. She was still heavily breathing when she burst out crying, the few tears that she was silently letting slide on her cheeks became a flow of tears that she couldn't seem to control. Instinctively, Drake wrapped his arms around her bringing her face to his chest, he rubbed her back, kissed her hair and softly repeated to her that everything was going to be ok and that he was right there. She was hiding her face in his chest and holding onto him so firmly. He couldn't see her face but he heard her breathing slowly getting back to normal, her crying cease and soon he could hear snores. Once he heard her snores and could feel that she was sound asleep Drake relaxed a little bit, he was very tensed during the whole thing, he really had no idea of what it could have been or meant. Was it simply another form of delirium, or did something happen while she was alone ? He didn't know which one he would want to be the right answer. After thinking for a while and calming himself down, as for a moment he felt like he was the one who was panting and crying and needed to rest, Drake decided it was time to get back home so he tried to get Nicki of him so that they could leave the parking lot and that's when it hit him, what was she even doing in the driver's sit ? It had been a hassle just to get her to step in a car again after the accident and she swore she'd never ever ever drive a car again, he knew her too well to believe that but knew she wasn't ready to drive yet. So it didn't really make sense for her to try now but at the same time it did, the old Nicki was the type to do something like that. At that point he didn't know what to think and figured the only way to know was to ask her later on, right then the only thing that mattered was to get them home. Drake was reaching for the handle to open the door and get out when he felt Nicki's head falling back on his shoulder. 

"Don't leave me."she let out grabbing his arm. 

"I'm not leaving you Nika, I'm right here ok ?!" He asked a sleeping Nicki who of course didn't give him any form of answer. Drake waited for a while not wanting to destabilize her by leaving the car, when he felt like it was the right time he settled her properly in the driver's seat and carefully got out of the car he ran to the driver's side and opened the door before picking Nicki up in his arms just like he would do all those times when she passed out during their drive back home from a party or a diner. After settling her in the passenger's seat and buckling her seat belt, Drake got into the car himself and buckled in before finally driving off. Once they got to the House, Drake had to park in the garage so that he could carry Nicki in the house without having to do it outside where everyone could see, he couldn't stand the look on the neighbour's face every time she saw Nicki. Since the accident he felt as if she looked at his wife as a freak, she'd ring at their door acting concerned, bringing pies and books, saying that she heard reading helped regaining memory, but Drake knew all she wanted was to see Nicki and see if it was as bad as people were saying or just like everyone else see if she remembered her. It seemed like it was the new game amongst their acquaintances, it all started at the hospital, every person that stepped in the room even those she met 20 years prior would ask the same question, ´ do you remember me ? ´ They'd ask with that extremely sweet tone, like they were speaking to a baby and they'd proceed to introduce themselves exposing each and every point of their lives talking ever so slowly it seemed like they were talking to a retarded person and they'd tell all the stories including Nicki that they could remember, like they were trying to convince her that they were important enough for her to remember them. It was nothing but a game though, a competition, people who she remembered would win and the others were loosers, Nicki wasn't stupid and played with it sometimes acting like she didn't remember people she remembered all too well. To Drake it was just hurtful to see, he hated how people looked at his wife and also the fact that people didn't even try to hide that curiosity was the only point of their visits. He knew just how bad she was feeling for being in that state and he didn't want people reminding her at every occasion and treating her like she was a freak because that's how it felt, it felt like they were coming to see a freak show and that neighbour had to be the worst of them all. Besides Nicki had always hated her and said that she was a hypocrite so Drake did his best to avoid her and avoid letting her get close to Nicki. She didn't remember her at all. His point here was to avoid performing another show for her he knew she'd grab her phone and call everybody she knew saying that Nicki had passed out or something like that. He carefully got Nicki out of the passenger's seat and went to lay her down on her bed, he put the covers on her body and turned around to get out of the room. He didn't shut the door all the way, he left it cracked open like one would do for a child and left. He descended the stairs and went to the kitchen it was almost lunch time and he knew Nicki would wake up soon, she never slept well when she was alone in her bedroom even at night, she'd always end up waking up very early only to go watch T.V or start cleaning up or if she woke up in the middle of the night then she'd end up sleeping in his bed. So he knew it wouldn't be long before she woke up from what he'd call a nap. He had to cook something to eat but just like she pointed out that morning the fridge was empty. It was the last straw for him. He felt like he was doing everything wrong and it was all going left, he hated that feeling of not controlling anything. Drake slammed the door to the fridge closed and kicked it out if frustration before grabbing his keys from the counter top, that's when he noticed his mother standing there in the doorway starring at him.

"Looks like someone is in a bad mood." She spoke slowly making her way to the fridge to go see what was wrong with it."

"Erm, yeah, sorry about that. It's just Nicki's asleep and the fridge is empty and I have to go run some errands so that we can have lunch, would you mind keeping an eye on her ?" Drake asked rubbing the top of his head feeling like he was asking too much of his mother, he felt like he had no right to ask her for anything after the way he lashed out on the day Nicki got back home. They never talked about it again, she never brought it up, never acted any way about it, it seemed like she had forgotten about it and was over it. She'd help as much as she could, was always there to lend a helping hand and that made Drake feel even worse. He never found the courage to bring it up too ashamed of himself.

"Aubrey there is more than enough in here for me to cook a meal for the three of us ok ?! You should calm down, all this tension isn't good for you or for Onika alright ?! Now you go lay down, you need a nap as much as she does. I'll fix something and you will take care of the groceries later when you calm down. Ok ?!" Sandi spoke firmly yet very softly as usual showing him that she was concerned and that she cared but that at the same time there was no negotiations he was to do as she said and that was it, she was in charge and he was ok with it because right then after the parking lot episode and everything he was tired of being in charge and felt like he was loosing it. 
Drake took a deep breath, he didn't know if it was relief, exhaustion, sadness, or anything else for that matter and went to take a seat in one of the stools. He brought his hands to his head and felt like letting go and cry in his hands but he didn't he had to be strong. He rubbed his hands over his head took another deep breath and got up from his stool. 

"I'm good ma. You go lay down, I can handle it." He spoke trying to suppress the shakiness if his voice.

"Boy, you are shaking for god's sake. Did you fly me out here so that I can lay down? I thought I supposed to help right?" Sandi asked and Drake shook his head yes. 

"Well then let me do that. I don't know what you want to prove to yourself Aubrey but it's not worth it. I know you can take care of her by yourself just fine, she knows she can rely on you, you are her rock. There's nothing more to prove. You need to take care of you just for a moment. Me helping you doesn't not mean that you are less capable ok ? Now go and get some rest. I don't know what happened but it's got you shaken and you can't stay like that. I'll take care of everything ok ?" She spoke softly looking up at him as his head was bowed down.  Drake shook his head at himself knowing his mother was right. He walked to her and wrapped his arms around her holding her close to him.

"Thank you ma. Thank you for everything." He spoke just above a whisper. 

"It's nothing you have to thank me for." Sandi spoke with a smile.

"You know I am sorry about last time, I didn't mean to lash out like that.. I was just.."

"being human." Sandi finished his sentence smiling at him as he had released her from the hug.

"No, ma don't say that as if my behaviour was normal, what I did wasn't ok, I had no reason to talk to you the way I did."

"You had plenty, you were exhausted, just like you are now. Let's just forget about this ok ? I'm not mad and I understand what you were going through alright, it's no big deal. Right now all I need you to do is go get some rest and let me handle everything alright ?" Sandi spoke looking at Drake who nodded.

"Ok, thank you again."

"Don't thank me, you know it's always a pleasure to help you guys out." Sandi answered brushing him off.

"Yeah, well I really don't know what I'd do without you." Drake said before going to kiss his mother's forehead.

"You'd be just fine even without me." She answered before hushing him out of the kitchen. 

Drake made his way up the stairs and before getting to the guest room where he was staying he made his way towards the master bedroom, he looked through the cracked open door and was surprised to see that Nicki wasn't laying on the bed anymore. He sighed before walking in the room and calling her name.  

"Onika ?!" He called for the second time as he started to get worried. 

"I'm right here !" He heard Nicki call back from the closet. Just by the tone of her voice when she answered Drake knew she had been crying so he hurried to the closet only to find her sitting down Indian style on the floor.

"What's wrong baby girl ? What are you doing on the floor ?" Drake asked with concern dripping from his tone.

"I don't know and I don't know." Nicki let out with no emotion looking down at the floor. At that Drake took a seat on the floor right next to her and gently pulled her closer to him. He held her tight and kissed the top of her head before speaking.

"You don't know or you don't want to tell me ?" Drake asked raising a brow and Nicki sighed.

"Well, I don't really want to bother you with all of that stuff." Nicki answered getting up from the floor and walking away from Drake who got up at his turn and followed behind her.

"Don't be stupid Onika, you know you're not bothering me. Now tell me what's going on ?"

"Well..." Nicki started before taking a seat on the bed.

"It's stupid but erm, I was just thinking about happened earlier in the car and I don't know it made me feel bad." She explained and Drake sat on the bed next to her, not really knowing what to say, he didn't even know what had actually happened in the car, yes he played a part in it but still he didn't know what it all meant. It all just happened without him even understanding what was going on.

"Feel bad why ? And may I ask you what actually happened in the car earlier, I didn't quite get it." Drake asked and Nicki sighed again, playing with her hands.

"While I was waiting for you in the car, I got the stupid idea to try and get behind the wheel again, thing is at the moment I grabbed the steering wheel I had a flashback, it was like I was reliving the car crash again, I saw everything, felt everything and it was just so scary and  yeah I freaked out that's it. But I'm good now, thank you. Thank you for earlier, for now and for everything else Aubrey." Nicki answered with a sigh and a half smile as she placed her hand over Drake's who smiled in return.

"It wasn't a stupid idea babygirl, you know it's normal for you to want to try driving again, but you shouldn't put yourself in such a state ok ?! We'll get you back behind the wheel again, I promise you that but we'll do it together, I'll be right next to you alright ?!" Drake asked and Nicki nodded looking down at their en laced hands.

"But Aubrey, what if I stay like this, what if I don't get back to my normal self ?! I can't ask of you to be there to hold my hand forever." Nicki spoke in a childlike tone still looking down at their hands, she sounded as if she was going to cry. Drake squeezed her hands a little to make her look up but she didn't so he placed his hand under her chin to make her look up. Nicki looked up in his eyes and smiled, that beautiful smile that caused Drake to smile as well. 

"First of all beautiful, you will get back to your own self eventually, this is just temporary. You just went through a traumatic experience and you are doing so good right now. You just need a little more time to adjust, we all need to make some adjustments and we'll be good. You're doing great Nika, I'm telling you. And of course I'll be there to hold your hand for ever isn't it the promise I made you all those years ago ?!" Drake asked but then he frowned remembering when he made her that promise, it was on their wedding night in the car, on their way to the airport.

"I can't believe we just got married Aubrey, I don't even realise right now." Nicki spoke grabbing Drake's hand as they sat in the back of the limo that were taking them to the airport, they were off to Turk and Caïcos for their honey moon.

"Me neither."  Drake answered looking at her, caught up in her beauty as he was every time he looked at her, she was simply mesmerizing to him.

"I think the craziest thing about it is that it took me all those years to realize that you are all I need to be happy, all those years you were right next to me and I took all of that time to realize you were the one for me." Nicki explained on the verge of tears. Drake smiled and brought his hand to her cheek to wipe off the tear that was rolling down her cheek.

"It doesn't matter how many years it took us to get here baby girl, looking forward we have so many more to spend together, we have twice as many years to spend together alright ? I just said it and I repeat it, I'll be right there to hold you and hold your hand until death do us part." Drake promised to Nicki who smiled softly and laid her head on his chest.

"I love you so much Aubrey." Nicki spoke slowly, her voice muffled by Drake's chest.

"Aubrey we were so young when you made that promise." Nicki laughed at him and Drake looked at her funny, there was no way she could remember that moment or could she ?

" I remember like it was yesterday, I was so sad about the idea of us going our separate ways for college." Nicki reminisced out loud and that's when Drake remembered as well, that day under that tree, she was so sad, he was almost willing to put a stop to all the formalities for him to get into the college he wanted just so that he could choose one closer to hers and make her happy again, but he knew he couldn't besides she was firmly against it.  That's why that day under that tree, he needed to reassure her on the fact that no matter how far they were from each other, he would still be there for her.

" I really don't want to be away from you Aubrey." Nicki spoke slowly and though he couldn't see her face Drake could tell she was pouting, he actually was glad not to be able to see her face because, he really couldn't stand facing that pout.

"I don't want to be away from you either." Drake spoke almost in a detached tone, but Nicki knew better, she knew that even though his tone made it sound like he didn't care, it was just his way of being strong for the both of them, and that was probably why he wouldn't look at her face, she knew it and she knew he cared, she knew he was probably as sad as she was.

"What am I going to do without you Brey ?" Nicki asked with a huge smile as she got up from the grass where she was laying and sat right next to him, they were both leaning on the tree now.

"Not much." Drake joked with a shrug trying to lighten the atmosphere.

"Very funny!" Nicki said pushing his arm away as he was trying to wrap it around her. 

"Seriously though, you know I don't know what I'd do without you either right ?!" Drake spoke still avoiding Nicki's glare and with that same monotone voice that didn't let any emotion show. But again Nicki didn't need him to show how he felt, she just knew, they connected on an other level.

"Trust me I know." Nicki joked in her turn before it all felt silent. They both sat there in the grass, their backs resting on the old tree, Nicki's fingers softly pulled the grass underneath them as a way to express her growing frustration as she couldn't seem to manage to let out the words she really wanted to speak. They were about to be separated either one moving to one hand side of the country and even the pain that was tearing her heart apart didn't give her enough courage to tell him that she was scared because not only she was going to be away from her bestfriend but also she was going to be away from who she had just recently realised was the love of her life, and he would never even know how she felt because she wasn't courageous enough to speak. 

"Nika ?!" Drake's deep voice was heard, getting her out of her thoughts.

"Brey ?!" Nicki called back, still neither one of them had moved and they were both still staring ahead of them avoiding to look at each other.

"No matter how far away I am from you, you'll still be my bestfriend and I'll always be there for you just as if I was holding your hand. I promise." Drake spoke for the first time since the beginning of their discussion he let his voice lace with emotion. Nicki didn't know if he was trying to reassure her or himself because this was something she already knew, she knew he wouldn't just forget about her just like she wouldn't forget about him, that's how strong their relationship was, even thousands of miles between them couldn't alter that.

After a moment in her own bubble, which Drake took notice of but didn't pick up knowing how hard her relations with her memory were and also because he was too busy reminiscing himself, Nicki snapped out of her bubble and smiled at Drake.

"How old were we? 18?" Nicki spoke trying to act as normal as possible and trying to erase the thought that had just crossed her mind, that was one of the biggest questions she had been asking herself since she had woken up. In that moment where she gave up on revealing her true feelings did she realise that she had mistaken her friendly feelings for romantic ones or did she make a decision that forced her to hide her feelings for ever ? She didn't know and those five missing years weren't helping did she ever speak on those feelings ? She didn't know.

"We were 17 about to turn 18, that's what we used to tell everyone who asked, remember how much it sucked to be born at the end of the year?" Drake reminded acting as if he hadn't noticed the way she had just seemed to be gone for a moment. Nicki laughed.

"Yeah, I hated being 17 when everyone had turned 18, the worst had to be when you turned 18, leaving me alone." Nicki spoke with a chuckle.

"But you know apart from that you never left me alone and never let go of my hand , so I guess I got to take you up on your offer and believe you when you repeat that promise right now." Nicki said with a heart warming smile. 

"Thanks for trusting me." Drake spoke and at that Nicki didn't answer, at least not with her words but her eyes said thank you and by a nod Drake answered to her thanks. 

"Now baby girl I need you to take a nap or at least get some rest." Drake said getting up, breaking eye contact with Nicki and he started catering to her the way he had done ever since she got out of the hospital. As he was laying her down on the bed, Nicki rose her head and hardly repressed a chuckle. 

"I'm fine Aubrey, I don't need to rest. I can't say the same thing about you though. You look super tired and you seem so tensed." Nicki spoke regaining her sitting position. 

"I'm just fine." Drake shrugged acting as if he didn't know what she was talking about when he knew how exhausted he was.

"Quit treating me like an idiot Aubrey, I can see just how tired you are. I'm better now, except from my memory everything is back to normal you know." Nicki spoke as if she was stating the obvious totally ignoring how contradictory what she was saying seemed to be compared to the way she felt moments ago. 

"Yeah I know, and what does this have to do with me being tired?!" Drake asked and Nicki shook her head at him.

Well, you have been taking such good care of me and spent so much energy making sure I was good." Nicki spoke before outstretching her hand for Drake to take and he did so.

"Now it's my turn to make sure you are good." Nicki said as she got Drake to take a seat next to her.

"And.. I am telling you, you need some rest." Nicki said getting up as Drake sat on the bed.

"While I cook something for you and mama to eat." Nicki spoke smiling hard.

"She's already started cooking though." Drake said in a last attempt to dissuade her.

"I'll help her then." Nicki shrugged walking away. Drake shook his head at her and got up as well.

"Where are you going now ?" Nicki asked  him turning around to face him.

"I'm going to lay down, isn't it what you just asked me to do ?"

"Yeah, about that. You know I didn't lose my common sense in the car crash, I know you've been sleeping in the guest room, there is no way this room isn't yours like the browns and gold those are definitely your colors, this room screams out your name, well almost considering it was decorated with a lot of taste." Nicki shrugged and Drake wanted to laugh at that as he remembered the argument they had when it came the decoration of the Master bedroom when they first moved in.

"Really though ?!" Drake let out looking at the pictures Nicki had scattered in the floor, they were all different ideas of designs for the master bedroom that she had gotten from magazines, catalogues and friends and she couldn't decide which one she like best so she had asked Drake's opinion. It was the first time since they bought the house that he'd show any interest in the decoration every time she asked he'd say that he was fine with whatever just because he knew they would never be able to agree on anything but then when he saw how on all the pictures the dominant colors for the room were different shades of purple, burgundy and pink he had to say something. 

"Yes really. Why are you making that face ? What's wrong ?" Nicki asked and Drake laughed. 

"I'll be honest. I can't see myself sleeping in a room with such colors on the walls, I hate all of these ideas Nika." Drake said and Nicki looked at him as if he had 36 heads before smirking and gathering all of the pictures that were on the floor. 

"Ok! She shrugged. And what ideas do you have then, what would you like Brey ?" Nicki asked a bit too sure of herself, she was expecting to get the usual 'I dont' really know, whatever' he'd give every time she asked him but he didn't give her that answer.

"I want like different shades of browns and also gold." Drake answered sure of himself.

"Well, I hate this idea." Nicki shrugged.

"Really ?! What are we going to do then ?" Drake asked.

"Compromise." Nicki let out with a smile. Seemed liked she knew that this was going to happen and had planned a solution already. 

"Ok, what do you want ?" Drake asked, he had just understood that she really didn't care about what color were going to be on the room's walls there were something more important for her at stake. It was all set out, she was trying to get him to grant her that other thing she wanted but he didn't say it. 

"If you get to choose the colors in here then I design the room respecting your colors of course and I get to have carte blanche for the living and for the kitchen." Nicki proposed and Drake frowned.

"How comes you get two rooms and I got one ?" Drake asked and Nicki rolled her eyes at him.

"Please don't act as if you cared." She spoke and Drake chuckled as a way to admit that he didn't care. 

"Ok, then it's a deal. Carte blanche." Nicki reasserted and Drake held his handout for her to shake.

"You got free rein baby." He said as they shook hands.

That's how he ended up having to see that mauve he really disliked on the walls of his living room for two years. 

After snatching out if his thoughts Drake looked at Nicki not really getting the point she was trying to make, he knew she'd eventually figure out that she wasn't in the guest room.

"So yeah, as I said you've done enough for me now so how about we switch rooms ?!" Nicki offered thinking it'd make Drake happy but little did she know that it was the one thing he didn't want to do at all. It was impossible for him to even lay in that bed without her next to him. He already had rough nights in the guest room just thinking about the fact that she was just a few doors down the hall yet he 
felt like she was so far away from him. That feeling would be amplified if he were to sleep in the bed they used to share, all the more so as he had never slept on it again since the day of the car crash. Every time he even laid on it he would see that image if her when she got up that morning, she had tried to wake him up but all she got from him was a muffled protestation and then as she was running around trying to get ready for work he had observed her closely for some reason feeling the need to do so, to capture the image of his wife and so he did, he spaced out for a moment that day as he was caught up in her beauty in that moment when she was standing right in front of the bed and talking about Lord knows what. He wasn't listening, he was just looking, looking at her hair as her natural dark curls were bouncing around her face as she spoke to him, he was looking at the way way her lips curved into a smile every time she took a break from speaking, he couldn't help looking at the way her tight dress hugged her curves either but all those details had nearly no importance when he perceived at the glimmer in her eyes, that same glimmer he had been looking for in her eyes ever since and which he never saw again. That day she was in a rush and to say goodbye she simply kissed his forehead and almost ran away, he still had sleep in eyes and didn't hold her back so as to get the usual kiss he'd get every morning and he didn't even get a chance to properly say goodbye or tell her how much he loved her for the last before loosing her. That's how he felt, he had lost his wife and didn't get the chance to say goodbye or tell her he loved her. Yes he knew it was a miracle that she was still alive and had all if her mental and physical abilities apart from her memory she was just as good as she was before the accident yet she wasn't the same person, she was Onika his best friend, the 23 year old Onika from back then but she wasn't his wife, she wasn't the 28 year old woman that left him to go to work that morning and that is what sleeping in that bed would have reminded him of.

"I don't think you'd enjoy the bed from the guest room Nika. It's no place for a princess." Drake joked half lying. The bed wasn't that bad but it was nothing compared to the comfort the bed from the master bedroom could offer.

"If you can sleep on it, I can sleep on it as well." Nicki shrugged him off.

"Are you sure ?!" Drake asked and Nicki shook her head at him. 

"Yes, I am." She confirmed before making her way out of the room, leaving Drake alone to his thoughts. 

Nicki descended the stairs and went to join Sandi in the kitchen, when she got there she found her chopping vegetables.

"I got this mama." Nicki spoke as she walked behind Sandi and careful got the knife from her. 

"Oh thank you sweetie." Sandi spoke as she walked away and towards one of the many cabinets to get some condiments and seasoning to add to the food. 

"How are you doing today ?" Sandi asked as she was facing Nicki again. Nicki shrugged before answering.

"I don't really know." Nicki answered. "I was kinda down after the Dr's appointment and everything, but I think I'm good now." Nicki explained. Sandi was and had always been the one person she was never afraid to talk to and since the accident you could say she had talked more in depth and more frequently to Sandi than she had to her psychiatrist.

"What exactly happened at that appointment, Aubrey seemed to be a bit shaken when you guys got back home."

"I think I scared him." Nicki started and she stopped chopping the vegetables so that she could male eye contact with her mother in law. 
"He was up talking to the Doctor about Lord knows what and had asked me to wait in the car but as I waited, I wanted to try driving the car you know. As soon as I grabbed the steering wheel it went left, I had this horrible flashback where I felt the car crash happening and he found me gripping the steering wheel crying and screaming like the crazy psycho that I am." Nicki shrugged and went back to her veggies looking down at them trying to hide her face. Sandi knew that play all too well and she sure wasn't going to let Nicki feel bad or beat herself up for something she had no control over.

"Look up here sweetie." Sandi asked Nicki hesitated before raising her head.

"First of all, you are not a crazy psycho and don't let me hear you call yourself that again alright?!" Sandi asked firmly and Nicki shook her head yes.

"And it's a good thing that you took it upon yourself to actually get behind the wheel and what happened is normal. You need to go through these kind of shocks before everything gets back to normal. Soon enough you'll be back to driving like nothing ever happened, I promise you that. But before that, if you decide to try again, you ask Aubrey to be there with you please, I don't want you to be alone in moments like that." Sandi spoke with a reassuring smile, it was basically what Drake had just told Nicki moments ago but still it made her feel a bit better.

"Thank you for saying that, but I think he's getting tired of babying me you know ?! I don't want to be such a burden to him, I'll ask the doctor to advise me someone, I'm pretty sure they have coaches for stuff like that." Nicki shrugged with a pout. It was heartbreaking for her to even think of the idea that she was a burden to Drake, ever since they had known each other he was the one and only person she never felt like she was a burden to. She felt like a burden to her mother, to her father and to each and every one of her exes that was for sure but never to him. Which was simply because he never considered her to be one, even in this tough moment, yes he could say that the situation was tiring, that it was harsh for him but never would he say or think that she was a burden.

"Aw Onika." Sandi shook her head making her way towards Nicki to hug her.

"I know my son honey, and let me tell you this, you are not a burden to him at all, you know how he is, he actually loves taking care of you, it's not babying you, it's just helping you get through this rough patch. You would have done the same for him if the tables were turned right ?" Sandi asked and Nicki nodded her head as to say yes.

Sandi hated seeing her daughter in law in such a state, she wanted to tell her the whole truth right then and may be it would have soothed her and stopped her from thinking she was no more than a charity case to Drake, may be if she knew that he was her husband, she was his wife and the only reason as to why he was taking care of her was because he loved her so much and had vowed to do so, then she'd at least feel better. But then again it could be the contrary so Sandi decided to respect her son's decision and wait for him to be ready to tell his wife the truth.

"I would do the same for him, that's true but it's no excuse for me to overstay my welcome mama, I need to get out of his hair, that way he can go back to his life and you can go back to Toronto. You must miss being home." Nicki said with a pout which made Sandi smile, she was touched to hear Nicki say that and at the same time it made her smile just because she was so far from the truth.

"There is not much up there for me to miss sweetheart, I'd rather  be here with you guys, you know I don't mind, don't say such things." Sandi reassured softly squeezing her hand.

"Thank you mama, it's nice of you guys to be here for me." Nicki said and Sandi pulled her into a hug.

"You do not have to thank us,we are family Nika, we stick together." Sandi spoke realising Nicki from the hug.

"Of course I do,I'd be stuck alone in that hosptal room if it wan't for you guys, so thank you." Nicki answered and kissed Sandi's cheek before walking away with the veggies she had just chopped.

"You are more than welcome sweetheart." Sandi answered as she went back to cooking as well.

"Can Iask you one thing?" Nicki asked Sandi who nodded with a smile.

"What was my life like? I mean how were those five years for me?" Nicki asked and right then Sandi wanted to run away hide as she felt so bad. She didn't know what she was supposed to say.

"Common mama, you know you can tell me, don't be acting like Aubrey please, everytime I ask him he acts like he is a CIA agent, what is it you guys are hiding from me?" Nicki asked obviously joking, Sandi shookher head at her.

"Don't be stupid, we're not hidng anything from you, it's jsut that we know for sure that you will eventually remember it all on your own, and we don't want to ruin that for you, besides you know how the doctor said it was better not to push you too much with all that." Sandi spoke busying herself about the kitchen so as to hide her face from Nicki.

"You might be right, but at the same time, there are a few things I absolutely need to know." Nicki explained with a pout, the pout Sandi could never resist.

"What would those things be?" Snadi asked with a deep sigh because at that moment she knew she would give up and may be give out capital information.

"In my head I am 23 plus 5 years that means I'm actually 28 so I'd like to know, did I ever get in a serious relationship, like serious serious, did I ever get over Keenan? Because to be quite honest, I keep thinking about him." Nicki asked looking down at her nails, ashamed to be actually admitting that she was thinking about that man when it had in theory been 5 years since he had thrown the heart she had willingly given him and had stomped on it.

Drake almost felt his heart sink when he heard the words come out of Nicki's mouth. As much as he wanted to hear the rest, he just wanted to scream and had to sprint back up the stairs.

Hi guys, I hope y'all enjoyed reading this, it was quite boring I grant you that, but I kinda wrote it in a hurry, I really couldn't have you guys waitting any longer. I hope you still enjoyed it and please comment and let me know what you thought about it, good or bad, you all know I love to get feedbacks from you.

Mucho Love xoxo


  1. Omg at the end I kinda knew she was going to say something like that but I feel like Drake should say something I know it is life threatening but if he doesn't he will lose her but other than that I loved this chapter.

  2. Omg at the end I kinda knew she was going to say something like that but I feel like Drake should say something I know it is life threatening but if he doesn't he will lose her but other than that I loved this chapter.

  3. I thought this was a good chapter they should've probably told Nicki the truth so she can understand more and I feel bad for drake

  4. This is so heartbreaking ... But I love it. I hope she remembers that they are/were married soon. It's breaking my heart, Drake is so hurt. And so is she. And I can't imagine how frustrating it must be. This is sooo good, I'm crossing my fingers she gets a lot better.

  5. I'm madly in love with this story. And iam begging you to update soon. Such an amazing plot line and it draws you in so well. I'm really curious to find out how's she's going to remember everything and how's she's gonna react. Update as soon as you can please. But again it was such an amazing chapter/part to the story

  6. COME BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :(

    1. Hi!!!!!
      So sorry for going MIA on y'all like that.. I was so caught up in so many stuff that I gave up and then when I thought about coming back I thought nobody would be interested still. Would U really care ?