A few weeks had passed since ‘that’ event and Rufus was still rather distraught. After all, Amy was such a huge part of his life, that he didn’t really know how to live it without her. It was the small things he missed - getting up and seeing her standing at the fridge, which was her favourite place to lurk, waiting for him, or hearing her ghostly whispers as he walked past.
Cynthia tried all she could think of to get Rufus to buck up his act, but it really was to no avail. He just moped around doing nothing.
“Claire, I’m worried,” Cynthia said.
“I am, too, but there’s nothing we can do.”
“Nothing at all?”
The situation had gotten so bad that Claire decided to move in, just in case there were psychic repercussions, but so far, the only repercussions were on Rufus. He was worse than when he had the accident. The restaurant and his other businesses had started suffering and Gloria had to practically take over.
A knock came at the door and it was Gloria.
“Rufus, that bloody chef of yours is a nightmare,” she complained.
Rufus just moaned and poured himself another vodka - his fifth glass of the day, bringing the total up to a whole bottle. He’d been really pounding them since Amy’s disappearance and a bottle a day was pretty normal by now. Gloria had enough of watching her son wreck himself and grabbed the bottle off him. She smashed it against the wall.
“Rufus, you’d better get your damned act together. Amy is gone, she's not coming back, get your priorities right, you bloody loafer. Your damned business is going down the crapper and all you can do is sit and mope after your damned ghost. Get a bloody grip, Rufus, or I’ll just not be around to keep the business running, you hear me?” She yelled at him.
“Go away, mum, I can’t be arsed with this,” Rufus groaned.
“I’ll go away when I’m ready to believe that you’re back on track. I’m worried about you. Claire, Cynthia, your employees, everyone. Wherever Amy is, I bet she’d be kicking your arse to get you to move it, too.”
“Mum, come on, lay off!”
Cynthia went to the kitchen to make tea.
“Want a cup?” She offered Claire and Cynthia, her voice softening.
“Please. Looks like it’s gonna be a long night. Again,” Cynthia groaned.
“He’ll come around eventually,” Claire sounded awfully sure of herself.
Gloria took the tea into the living room and gave Rufus his cup.
“Get that down you and then get to bed!” Gloria ordered, her mum voice back again.
Rufus had no energy and just agreed. He went to bed and went to sleep. He drifted off, his head feeling like a marching band caught in a stampede. Cynthia didn’t want to disturb him, so she slept in the living room that night. Dazed, Rufus got up in the morning.
“Bollocks,” he croaked, stumbling into the room, noticing Cynthia and Claire already gone. On the table was a note:
I’m not helping with the business any more. You’ve been too reliant on me, on all of us, for too long now. It’s time to get back on your feet. With or without Amy, you need to do this. I’ve prepared breakfast for you, all you need to do is heat it up.
Get your act together, son, or I’ll get mental on you.
Love mum, Cynthia and Claire.
P.S, you’re out of groceries. That might be a good place to start. I’m going out with Cynthia and Claire tonight, so no drinking. Be good.
“Feck,” he moaned again.
He heated up his breakfast and chowed down. Afterwards, he went to the couch and put the TV on. Flicking through the channels, he found nothing to watch and reached for a bottle of booze. Finding none, he went to the cupboard.
No booze. And don’t you dare get any more, a note read.
“Great!” He said humourlessly.
Reluctantly deciding it was time for a shower, he went and got ready. As he walked out of the shower, completely naked, he felt something cold going through him. He wondered what it was, but dismissed it. His psychic powers weren’t at full tilt yet.
He got dressed and headed out to the shops.
‘Better walk, might do me some good,’ he thought.
Rufus walked through the street where he first saw Cynthia. He remembered back and, for the first time in ages, he smiled.
“I love Cynthia,” he said aloud.
He went to the supermarket and grabbed all the groceries required, and some which weren’t. He decided to invite his mum over, but then remembered the note.
‘Yeah, she’s going out with Cynthia and Claire. Guess I’ll make it up to them tomorrow,’ he thought.
Dropping the groceries and putting them away, he couldn’t help but feel that familiar sensation. It was as if he was being watched, but by whom? Suddenly, he had this realisation.
“Good lord, that dream last night!” He exclaimed to the empty room.
He sat down and contemplated.
‘That dream had to mean something,’ he thought.
His brow furrowed and he made tea. Sitting in his chair, he took sips and thought what it could mean.
‘Was that Amy in the dream?’ He thought.