Here is the final chapter for this story, I enjoyed writing it.
I stand against the doors of the hospital, my shift ended about fifteen minutes ago as the weather was getting worse. The sky is consumed in numerous shades of grey and white and black. It looks like the sun has given up on trying to break through this iron curtain of clouds that it has become content to lounging out behind them.
I needed a few hours of sleep. As the car engine sang to the lone country roads, I still relished the roaring winds that twirled in my long brown hair and whistled in my ears. I always kept to the speed limit never into much of a rush these days, now if it was an emergency at the hospital, you would have seen the power my car really had.
I like drinking tea alone and reading alone. I like riding the bus alone and walking home alone. I like eating alone and listening to music alone. But when I see a mother with her child; a girl with her lover; or friends laughing in the sun... I realize that even though I like being alone... I don't fancy being lonely. I missed my son; it had been two weeks and it hurt to have him gone. I missed Vinnie, every day he was gone, even with him back we stay apart for Landon's safety. The house is warm when I walked in, but no sounds coming from upstairs, you could only hear the birds fluttering around the backyard feeding from our fountain or the weekend project that we called a birdhouse/feeder.
This was the life I chose, and there was never going to be any reason to complain. Even when I walked up to the stairs my legs feeling heavy, my feet on fire my body just wanting the comfort of my bed. Apple's and pumpkin filled the air, that was just the way this house has always smelled to me, my dad's cologne long gone same with my mother and brother, their smells are gone now.
My room was not very entertaining, it was boring with a Queen bed looking like a snowdrift, so white and feathery. A desk, chair, vanity table just a few things to fill the space I used daily. A picture of Landon and I, another of us at his father's grave, another of him and my brother, last was of Vinnie and I at the Winter ball not long after it was taken, he was gone. "Hey Dollface, I can't stay away anymore," his voice filled my brain, my heart jumped not from fear but longing.
There Vinnie was his eyes focused on me, it was as if I was the center of the Universe. "It isn't safe, Vinnie," but to hell with it, he crossed the room in four long strides and just crashed into me. His arms fit around me like they were made only for me, it was home. Then his hands and fingers touched my face, our eyes locked together.
"I don't care, I came back for you and need you," pulling me to the bed as he spoke with such a hurt tone. The bed was not safe, I was too tired to stay awake and maybe he knew.
He smiled, "I love you, Elizabeth. I am sorry for everything; sorry I never got to marry you and raise Landon. But now my time is up, Lawson is going to try tonight even without Muller," Muller was safe, but this couldn't happen.
My fingers traced his cheek just soaking him in, even his scent. "Don't do this, this is not the way. You made your choice's years ago and should live with them," but now my eyes felt too heavy as I drifted off to sleep in his arms.
But when I woke again it was getting dark as I bolted up, a note lay on the dresser as I pulled out jeans. "I can die again having seen you and our child even for the little time I had,"
A black sweater and jeans, shoes on as I tore through the front door heading for my car. The wind picked up harshly, this was a perfect night for a ritual as I took the I 10 to his grave, I never came here at night and with good reason, it was chilling as I stood looking down at the black marble gravestone.
"Sorry, but I need you,"
When I spoke, it was in Latin, the same language Lawson used in 1960 years before his death, I fixed it added to it but the end game was still there. I knew the price or at least I was pretty sure of it as I left, this would end where it started the now abandoned train tunnel. I walked this time leaving my car behind, the tunnel wasn't far now the wind knocking me a little but my feet stay planted in the soil.
Here come the drops steady and soft, falling from a sky of black velvet. They come all together and yet as pioneers. And though I am soon quite wet, I have the joy of the leaves, of everything that makes the world so green. I feel lost and confused, but happy and certain. I am like a ball of tangled yarn. The parts that are untangled are available, useable; the rest is a mess, useless until it is untied. That mess feels endless and at most times unyielding.
Not but one hundred feet in front of me I see the death car, shame it was such a beauty. But I can hear yelling and Scott crying as I move faster now this was how it was going to end, with me trying with all I had to save who I could because none of are granted tomorrow.
Vinnie turned as my shoes crunched the gravel, some of it still charred black from the accident so long ago. "Am I late to the party?" trying to act strong when I was shaking like a child inside. Scott was hidden behind Jim, but not like these boys would let them leave but Lawson had Sally his switchblade out.
Lawson gave me a look, "I wish you just would have stayed away," he meant it too, he didn't want me hurt and that had to do with Vinnie more than anything. I moved closer now none moved to stop me, North was giddy now.
My sigh blew a little dust that fell from the ceiling, "It smells like death in here, Vinnie look behind you," he did, maybe he saw it before and said nothing but on the wall was a large heart with our names, the date we started dating and the date of his death. A white cross on the ground with old vases of long-dead flowers. "I came here many time's with our son," it floored me, nearly knocked me to my knees seeing the pain flash on his pale face.
North moved forward; his body was too close now. "North make a single step closer and I will hurt you," I learned to defend myself after Joseph died it hit me I always had a boyfriend or big brother to fight for me and it was time I learned to fight for myself but tonight proved I still needed my brother and Vinnie.
Lawson gave him a stern look but North was done with it as he jumped at me, I stepped to my left and slammed my fist into his throat, I heard my knuckle break as it hit his Adam's apple. Vinnie moved like the wind grabbing North and tossing him into the wall, "I warned him,"
"Let her go, Lawson,"
He just touched her face with the blade, "Take me instead, if I die then you have Vinnie and not me. It's me you want; I was the reason you three died. I mean you could have run out of the tunnel and not tried to locate the keys, but in the end, it was me,"
His laugh echoed around the tunnel, "I do. But I am not that stupid doll, Vinnie he would be out for me. Just leave go be with your kid," venom was spat, I had banked on him wanting me dead and not caring about how Vinnie would act after.
Vinnie, he moved to my side, "Let her go, it's over, Lawson. We don't deserve another shot at life, I may not have killed his brother but I didn't stop it like I wanted to. I tried to only save Liz, I will face what comes after this," North was backing up Lawson to the bitter end.
Lawson looked gobsmacked, his face paled as he waved that dam blade around near Sally who was holding her belly with silent tears covering her face. I did that many times, just balling while holding my growing womb. I had too, I had too.
I tackled Lawson, my weight had nothing on his but it was the shock that had us rolling to the floor, Jim just grabbed Sally. "TAKE SCOTT AND RUN, DON'T STOP,"
She did, but Jim was pulling North off as Vinnie took it from there. He just pounded North into the train track, snarling like an animal. He looked evil at that moment, "I WARNED YOU, NORTH," he spat as drool or foam seeped from his mouth.
Jim was searching the ground for something, as was I the blade was gone as Lawson found it first. Though the blade had moved too fast to be seen, the blood poured out as if in slow motion. It came as a red fountain to spread over the already charred gravel. I raised my already blanched hand to my abdomen before Lawson's eyes got wide. "I didn't mean to," I was slumped to the ground, Lawson was putting pressure on the wound, my pulse thready and weakening.
Vinnie let out a howl, a howl of rage as he tackled Lawson. But now I couldn't move, it hurt to breathe as Jim rushed to my side. Vinnie jumped up, 'We have company," but his hands try now to hold his jacket to my bleeding. "You go get her help, okay. You GET HER HELP," he shoved Jim but Jim took off, he would be too late.
"I told you, my brother was going to kick your ass. I fixed the incantation just so that before I died, I see him again," my lips tremble.
Lawson and North panicked. But Vinnie, he held me, his own tears falling, "Please, Elizabeth, please don't. Landon needs you, I don't want this for you, you have such a life to live,"
At that moment we knew we were saying goodbye. "Nothing is going to fix it, he hit the right spot. But look," behind him was a white light it was the scariest but wonderful thing I have ever seen.
My brother still in his uniform came walking out, it was a good last sight. Vinnie, he snarled, "Lawson killed Liz," my brother moved to us, his eyes gazed down into my eyes, locked for the last time.
"Oh, Lizzie, why you do this?"
I gasped, "It was supposed to be this way,"
Joseph well the last sight I saw of him was a loud bellow and him, killing North and going after Lawson. Vinnie locked his eyes onto mine and he cradled me, each of us bathed in my blood. I felt my face crack into the look I'd seen so often at the hospital, that point of no return when love is torn apart. My hair tumbled over my face and so Vinnie swept it back, feeling the coldness of my skin, before gently kissing my lips. "I loved you for a lifetime, and will love you forever because it is enteral,"
My hand braced on his own cold face, "You are the man you were meant to be, and that's why I love you," I smiled so briefly before my breathing became a noisy rattle... then I was gone.
My body was perfect, younger, healthy. Casting my eyes around for the source of the music, it was the Beetles, saw her standing there. It was our song the one we danced to in 1963 before he was gone. A warm breeze blowing my long hair just enough that now I could see the ocean beyond. Every facet was as good as a mirror and a different hue of blue. How odd I thought, that I'd never noticed how many shades of blue there are.
But then a voice I never thought I hear again echoed behind me, "Hey doll face," my body spun seeing Vinnie leaning against the jagged rock. "Guess my actions in the tunnel this time saved me from that place. Come here, we have some people to see," behind him was all the ones I loved who passed, my brother, his parents, my own and the list went on.
But it hit me, "I left our son alone,"
Vinnie sighed, "He isn't alone, he found his soul in Heather and Peggy has him. She will watch over him until he doesn't need it,"
I trusted him as I let him lead me to our forever.