Otalia Fan Fic: A Love Letter To Olivia…

Dear Olivia…

When we first knew each other, we were both broken, struggling with a loss of love in our lives, but it was this loss that brought us together even though we fought it for so long. You saw me Olivia, my heart, my spirit, not only for who I was but also for who I could be. You challenged me, believed in me, supported me and then you loved me. You gave me your heart.

There was a time that I was uncertain, confused, scared to love you, to let myself feel what I felt for you, but that time has long since fade. I truly believe in you, in us, in what we have as a family and most of all in the amazing love that we have for each other. I never thought that I would find happiness again after Gus's death but I was wrong. God brought you into my life, He brought us together and He allowed us to find love for each other…

There are so many paths in life. Some paths you know exactly where you are going and where they will lead you and so you just enjoy the view. Other paths are littered with rocks, undergrowth, and obstacles and the pain in our feet as we walk them serves to remind us of all the things we long for, acceptance, happiness and love. My amazing, strong, passionate Olivia, I will never regret the steps, joyful and agonizing, that I have taken on the path of my life because each of those steps have lead me to a love and a happiness I never knew that I could have, each of those steps have lead me to you…

PART ONE:

Natalia Rivera spent her childhood within the clamoring city streets of Chicago. Independent, loving and grounded by her faith in God's love for her, Natalia traversed life's passages as most normal girls did…school, family, friends…her faith guiding her movements.

Natalia had never had many boyfriends, which amazed some simply because Natalia was extraordinarily beautiful…and had no feeble number of men trying to acquire her attentions…but those that really knew Natalia, knew that she held fast to her faith…waiting for what she thought was right for her…a husband and children…and then handsome, quirky and romantic Nick Augustino…captured Natalia's heart.

Their romance was simple, deep, immediate…sitting on the steps of her family's home sharing slices of pizza, avid kisses and dreams for the future…and then Gus was gone…he had left Chicago and a pregnant Natalia behind.

Natalia gave birth to her son, Rafe and determined not to succumb to her fears of single parenthood…set about making a life for the two of them…they survived on love, faith and determination…the two of them against the world.

Through life's unforeseen designs Natalia discovered that Nick was living in Springfield. Natalia made her way to Springfield and found Nick…who was now living a life as Gus Aitoro. It seemed that fate had intervened…had given her a second chance with Gus…a chance to unite Gus with his son…a chance for them to be a family…the dreams that Natalia had locked away in her heart would finally come true…but life's illustration sometimes depicts our joys brutally and love presses us along arduous and unexpected crossings…

PART TWO:

Natalia Rivera Aitoro hesitated outside the hospital room in Cedars ICU. Her hand gripped the door handle, ready to pull the door open but she couldn't do it, not yet. Natalia pulled her hand back as if boiling water had scalded it, searing her fingertips. All at once the air in the corridor seem to disappear and Natalia fought for breath.

She backed up against the wall next to the door, out of sight, breathing heavily trying to calm herself. Gus was dead. The only man she had ever given her heart and soul completely to, the father of her son, Rafe, was suddenly and tragically gone from their lives.

Yet he would never be forgotten and a piece of him remained. Natalia glanced apprehensively at the door to the hospital room. Inside that room, Olivia Spencer, rested in the hospital bed, hooked up to all the right machines, all the right medications being pumped into her body through two different I.V.s. Olivia was recovering from heart transplant surgery. Olivia had a new healthy heart beating within her chest, the heart of the only man that Natalia Rivera had ever loved.

Olivia Spencer gazed around at the hospital room, typically drab, predictably sterile, barely even seeing it. Gus was dead, sweet, sexy, honorable Gus. The pain of that reality ripped through Olivia like a malicious arrow cutting into the chest of a lingering deer.

What kind of insane torture was the universe putting her through? The man that she had fallen in love with had been tragically killed and the one piece of him that was left, now resided within her chest, his heart, Gus's strong, generous and loving heart. How could whatever greater power out there see fit to burden her with this?

Olivia's heart had been failing and there was nothing the doctors could do. She was dying and so in one last attempt at happiness before death she had opened her heart to Gus, let herself love him, let herself believe that he had loved her and he had been there for her. Then by some "miracle" she had been given a new heart.

"Oh yes Olivia, we have a new heart for you but the man you love is going to die so that you can have it?"

Olivia didn't even attempt to stop the enraged flood of embittered tears that poured from her eyes. She was alive and Gus was dead and she was supposed to be grateful for the chance to live without him? Olivia seethed against the vicious irony of her new found existence. Olivia thought to herself, "I'd rather be in hell than to live with this, " and then scornful laughter dripped from her lips, "I already am in hell."

The door to her hospital room opened and Olivia slowly turned her head to see Natalia Rivera Aitoro standing there, beautiful and hesitant. Olivia watched as Natalia steeled herself and stepped further into the room, letting the door swing slowly closed behind her. Natalia's voice drifted to Olivia, soft and wary.

"I wanted to see how you were doing."

Olivia turned her head to look at Natalia, not caring that her face was still stained with recent tears. Before she could stop them the words left her lips stinging with disdain.

"No, you wanted to see the person who has Gus's heart. Go away I don't want you here. I have his heart and I'm not going to share it with you."

Olivia saw the brief flicker of distress in Natalia's eyes and then it was gone and resolve stood in its place.

"How are you doing?"

She isn't going to give up on this Olivia thought, the idea of if Natalia standing there attempting to hold polite conversation was unbearable. Olivia almost laughed aloud but then words flowed from her, in an uncontrollable embittered flood.

"How am I doing? How do you think I'm doing? The man that I thought I was going to be happy with is gone. I don't want to be alive and I don't want his heart, not like this—"

Olivia stopped herself, fresh tears threatening to cover her cheeks. She saw the parade of emotions advance across Natalia's stunning face; hurt, anxiety and finally indignation. Natalia spoke, her words etched with loathing for Olivia.

"I don't believe you-you've been given a gift, you should be grateful-"

Olivia did not let Natalia finish but once again barraged her, attacking her with all of her misery and guilt and not caring.

"Grateful! Grateful that I'm alive because the man I loved had to die so that I could have his heart! What a sick sense of humor your God must have, He must be laughing his head off right now!"

Olivia watched as Natalia's control wavered and then Natalia simply closed her eyes and breathed. When Natalia opened her exquisite russet eyes once again, they showed no hurt, no fear, simply loathing.

"I hate you."

"You wish I was dead too!"

Olivia lay watching Natalia looking at her.

"No, I don't, because you have what's left of him. You're not going anywhere."

"I'm not staying to make you happy."

Then Olivia simply turned away from Natalia once again, even though deep inside she knew that Natalia was grieving for Gus too, perhaps even more than Olivia was. The door closed softly as Natalia left the room.

Natalia raged, her hands painfully curled into fists, her body steeling itself against the oncoming wave of hot tears. How could she have let a woman like that have Gus's heart, a woman who belittled Gus's memory in her denial of the gift of life! Natalia did not know what to do to erase the rage and hatred that filled her spirit so she just began walking away from that room, away from that woman.

Natalia found herself in the chapel and she took at least some comfort from the quiet, dimly lit room. Natalia moved slowly over to the nearest pew and sat. She drew in deep shaky breaths to still her trembling body. Natalia then moved forward to kneel and began to pray.

"Dear Lord, please forgive me for my anger, my bitterness. Please give me your strength and guidance to help me get through this. Please, Lord, help me to do what is right."

Natalia continued to pray. She would find a way to get through this. She would find a way to hold on to Gus. She would continue to love him and let that love spill onto Olivia. Natalia could still have Gus in her life if she could find a way to open her heart and help Olivia Spencer….

PART THREE

Olivia Spencer didn't know what time it was, what day it was, nor did she care. She tried to think about her life but the only two things consumed her; Olivia had thought she was going to die but she was still alive and Gus had died so that she could live.

In essence it had been Natalia Rivera Aitoro, Gus's wife, who had saved Olivia's life. Natalia, knowing that Olivia had a young daughter, had made the incredibly difficult decision to give Olivia Gus's heart so that Olivia's daughter, Emma, would not be motherless.

So they had performed heart transplant surgery and now Gus's heart beat within Olivia's chest. What had Natalia said when she had come to visit Olivia that day in the hospital after the surgery, that Olivia should be grateful for this gift? The acrid guilt of those words was little by little, suffocating Olivia.

Olivia had prayed day after day for a new heart, for some miracle that would let her live and this was how Natalia's God chose to answer her prayers.

"All right Olivia, I'll let you live, but you have to do it without the man you love, Gus will die so that you can live."

How could anyone expect Olivia to go on living when the burden of Gus's death ravaged every part of her? How could she—

Olivia stopped, her thoughts interrupted by a soft knock at the door. Even though Olivia remained silent, another soft knock sounded and then the door to her suite opened.

Natalia stepped inside dressed impeccably in her housekeeper uniform. I can't even look at her, Olivia thought. How can she be here now, knowing that I am the cause of husband's death? How can she want to be near me when all she must feel for me is hatred?

"Go away, Natalia."

Natalia did not respond to Olivia right away but instead moved over to the window and proceeded to open the curtains and then she turned to look at Olivia, matter-of-factly.

"Okay, so I spoke to your doctors and got your schedule, you know for your medications and what you can and can't do, what you can and can't eat-"

Olivia watched Natalia as she spoke, moving purposefully around the suite, gathering laundry and straightening up papers. Finally Olivia could stand it no longer and with difficulty pushed herself up onto her elbows.

"Look I told you to leave, this is my suite so I expect you to do what I say. Now get out of here!" Natalia moved over to the end of the bed and looked down at Olivia. Natalia's body exuded tenacity.

"I gave you my husband's heart so that your daughters wouldn't be without her mother and I expect you to take care of that heart."

Olivia looked away from Natalia. She didn't want to deal with this, she didn't want to deal with anything.

"I don't want you here. I want you to leave. I don't want your help and I don't need to look at your pious face telling me what you expect me to do! I don't want this—"

Olivia started to get up from the bed but fell back weakly, anger and embarrassment flooding through her. Natalia waited and when she spoke again, her words were soft but resolute.

"What do you want?"

Olivia was shaking heavily, partly due to the fact that she was just barely recovering from heart transplant surgery, but mostly due the humiliation she was feeling at this moment.

Olivia prided herself on being strong, a survivor. She had made her way in the world not depending upon anyone, fooling herself into thinking that she had never needed anyone but herself. Yet in this moment, Olivia knew that if there were any way she could survive, if she even wanted to go on, she would not be able to do it alone.

"I asked you what you wanted."

Natalia's words brought Olivia from her thoughts. Olivia looked at Natalia. Olivia saw the slight self-satisfaction in Natalia's vivid eyes, yet beyond that, Natalia's eyes were filled with kindness, even for someone for whom she seemed to feel nothing but disgust. Olivia didn't know what else to do but to grudgingly accept Natalia's help. She began to speak, awkwardly.

"Look I need—"

"Yes—"

"Look you're here and I want to get up but I can't seem do it myself, so if you want to help me then—"

Olivia left the sentence unfinished unable to look at Natalia. A moment later, she felt Natalia's arm slide gently and firmly around her waist as Natalia helped Olivia from her bed…

TBC…