Paige’s father has Alzheimers, and her fiancé is shot and killed in an armed robbery. Paige fights her depression and pulls herself out of the dark place that she has succumbed to, with monumental effort and a new-found determination to live her life to the fullest, doing things that both terrify and exhilarate her.
When Paige meets Adam, the attraction is instantaneous. Adam grew up in an orphanage and has no recollection of his life before the age of six. Paige falls head over heels in love and embraces a happiness she never dreamed possible. Until the day she finds Adam in bed with another woman.
Wanting nothing more to do with him, Paige cuts Adam out of her life, until she receives a mysterious visitor, who reveals secrets about Adam’s past that shock Paige to her very core.
Determined to fight for the man that she loves, Paige finds herself on a journey that will change her life forever.
“I’m sorry, Mister?”
“Sheldon,” he replies, “Dr Carl Sheldon.”
“Well, Doctor Sheldon, I’m sorry but I’m just not prepared to discuss Mr Parker – Adam – with you.”
“He misses you,” he sounds detached, almost clinical and I stare at him, not understanding his intent.
I eventually decide to ignore him and glance obviously at my wristwatch.
“I’m sorry, Miss Petrova,” he begins. “I’m afraid there is much that you don’t know about Adam. I would like to explain it to you. It might help you make sense of what transpired between the two of you.” I raise my eyebrow, slightly embarrassed that this man obviously has some intimate knowledge of my relationship with Adam.
“Come in,” I sigh, resigning myself to listen for five minutes, after which Dr Sheldon is out of here. I lead the way to the kitchen and open the cooler.
“Can I offer you something to drink?” I ask politely. “Tea, coffee, fruit juice, water?”
“Tea would be lovely,” he replies and I set about making him a cup.
“Right,” I set it down in front of him. “Get on with it, Doctor, the clock is ticking.”
“Ms Petrova,” Dr Sheldon’s kind eyes meet my own, “Adam is a patient of mine. He has been for a few years now.”
“Patient?” I interrupt. “What do you mean patient? Is Adam sick?” Despite my anger, the thought that Adam might be seriously ill makes me feel faint.
“Yes,” Dr Sheldon answers simply and my heart lurches in dismay. He leans back in his chair and presses his fingers together. “Adam suffers from a condition we call D.I.D – Dissociative Identity Disorder.” At my blank look, he clarifies, “It was formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder.”
“What?” That doesn’t make any sense; he must be mistaken. Adam doesn’t have multiple personalities; I would have known.
“D.I.D is a dissociative disorder whereby the patient may adopt as many as 100 new identities all simultaneously coexisting inside one body and mind.”
“You mean to say that Adam is schizophrenic?” I ask, wanting to laugh at the absurdity of this whole situation.
“No, no, certainly not,” Dr Sheldon shakes his head vehemently. “Schizophrenia is a psychotic disorder. Adam’s is a dissociative disorder. The two are completely different from one another.”
“This is crazy. No. I’m sorry, but it’s just not possible,” I shake my head. “I’ve been with Adam for months. I’ve had an intimate relationship with this man. Believe me, Doctor, there’s only one person in there.”
“Adam has been in my care for over a year, Miss Petrova,” he explains gently. “There have been improvements beyond our wildest dreams. Adam is capable of reintegrating his identities through long-term psychotherapy. We had hoped that he would have completed his treatment within the next year. Unfortunately, against my better judgement, I allowed Adam a ‘sabbatical’ if you will, for good behaviour. He left my clinic about six months ago for a West-Coast holiday and did not return. We all now know why.”
He inclines his head at me and I sit back floored. Me. Adam didn’t go back because he met me. I remember him telling Frank he would probably be moving to California but he didn’t actually make that ‘decision’ until after that first night together.
“But he had a job offer,” I’m trying to justify, to rationalise. “He moved here because he got a job in Long Beach.” His next words leave me gaping.
“Adam is very successfully self-employed; he could get a job anywhere – he’s the boss.” Carl Sheldon continues, “He has his own construction company back in Manhattan, with a full staff complement and very competent management.”
I fall silent, considering this. It explains why Adam is always so flexible. He said it was a freelance position.
“Freelance,” I murmur, feeling foolish. “I should have known.” I click my tongue, annoyed at how easily I had been fooled. “I never questioned.”
“But, why would you have?” he asks gently. I don’t answer and he seems to understand that I do not want to.
“I finally tracked him down here about a month ago,” Doctor Sheldon gets back to the point and I want to put my hands over my ears. I don’t want to hear this. “He told me about your relationship.” Is it my imagination or is there something like pity in the doctor’s eyes?
“What about the woman?” I ask, not caring that I sound like a sulky, 15-year-old. “I caught Adam in bed with a blonde woman the day I ended it.”
“No, Miss Petrova,” he says, not unkindly. “You found Kyle in bed with a blonde woman.”
Wife, mother of 3, businesswoman by day and writer by night, Melissa is the author of The Legacy and The Legion (books 1 and 2 of The Legacy Trilogy), and she is currently writing the final installment of the trilogy, The Legend.
Melissa is also the self-published author of the stand-alone novels Rainfall and The Traveler (available on Amazon).
An avid reader herself, Melissa finally decided to stop ‘watching from the sidelines’ and to do what is her passion.
“I was driving home from work when inspiration struck, and a storyline started unravelling in my head. For a few days, it was all I could think about and eventually I realised that the only way to get it out of my head, was to put it all down on paper. I started writing, and that was that.”
She lives with her husband and three children in Hillcrest, South Africa.