Chapter 11

That night after Tim had spoken to John, Savannah and Tim had made plans to divorce. He decided to move back into his beach side house with Alan. It wouldn't be that much of a change since they'd used the house on the weekends. He'd make sure that he'd be out by the time John was ready to be discharged. First he had to break the news to Alan. This situation would be difficult for any child to understand let alone a 16 year old autistic teenager. So one afternoon after Alan had been riding, Savannah and Tim sat down with him.

"What's going on?" asked Alan.

"Alan we need to tell you something. It's not pleasant but we want to tell you together," said Savannah.

"What's going on?" Alan said whilst hitting his right knee continuously, an obvious sign of stress.

Tim extended his hand, placed it on Alan's and smiled, "Alan it's OK...listen things in life change and people change. Savannah and I have reached a stage in our lives when we need to go our own ways. We still love each other...but as dear dear friends, not as husband and wife." He looked at Savannah and smiled trying desperately to make the explanation as simple and non-threatening as he could.

"Alan sweetie...we decided to get a divorce. But I want you to know that this house is still your home. You can come round anytime you want and even stay over if you want. We will still do things together as friends. My love for you hasn't changed," said Savannah sweetly.

Alan's demeanour changed. At school he had heard his friends talk about divorce and how angry and sad it made them. But Alan couldn't quite feel those emotions yet. The news had come as a shock but the ramifications were still too abstract for him to understand. "OK then. Can I go and rub down Sunset?" he asked. Tim nodded.

Savannah looked at him, "Do you think he understood?"

"He understood...but it won't be until he experiences it that the fallout will begin. I'll get a counselor for him and prepare visual stories for him as well. He'll be OK Savannah," explained Tim. Savannah nodded and gave him a hug which he drank up avariciously.

The next couple of days saw Tim packing and moving his stuff over to the Beach house. He found the packing up of his last 7 years difficult and often became overcome with anger and regret. But deep down he knew it was the right thing to do. Finally it was over and he invited Savannah over for a commiseration and house warming dinner. So far so good. Before leaving the dinner table Alan turned to Savannah and said, "Why are you going?"

Savannah smiled, "Remember our talk last week Alan about living in different places?"

Alan nodded, "Yeah, yeah, Ok, OK, goodnight." Then he got up and left the table.

Savannah looked over at Tim and he smiled helplessly, "He's doing better than expected the counselor said. Come on it's getting late. Let me walk you to the car." As they were walking Tim asked, "So when's John coming home?"

"Tomorrow the doctor said. It'll be good to have him home...sorry," realising that was the wrong person to have said that to.

"It's OK...there are no hard feelings but wounds that need to heal. We'll make this work Savannah. Your friendship and your love is too important, more than my ego," he said laughing and then they both broke into a laugh. He gave her a peck on the cheek and she left.

The next day brought happiness and excitement as she picked up John from the hospital, "Hey is someone looking for a ride?" she said and ran over to kiss him.

He hugged her and said, "Please get me out of here."

They said their goodbyes to the hospital staff and Dr Andrews and went to home to start their life together.

They drove up to the house. Savannah got out and went to open John's door but he was already out, looking at the house. He pulled her into him and kissed her, "This time we do it right Savannah. Me and you...the way it was always meant to be forever." Then they walked slowly, arm in arm into their house and their destiny.

A couple of days had passed and Alan visited for the first time. It was the first time he saw John. Savannah had prepared him for it. "So you live here now?" asked Alan.

"Yeah I do Alan," said John looking nervous.

"Did Savannah stop loving Tim because of you?" he asked not really understanding the appropriateness of his question.

Savannah and Tim both jumped in trying to stop the overall embarrassment. John said, "Stop!" to Tim and Savannah then turned to Alan, "You'll have to ask Savannah that question."

Alan continued, "My friends say that there's always someone else that breaks up a marriage. I guess that's you." Then he turned to Tim and Savannah, "So when he leaves, Savannah will you and dad get back together?"

John wasn't expecting this third degree but he tried his best to stay cool and under control, but Tim answered this one, "Alan I think these questions aren't very polite and we can talk about them at home. Now you've had your ride it's time we get home." Alan nodded. He hugged Savannah and ignored John. Savannah and Tim both gave him a 'I'm sorry' look and John just brushed the whole situation off.

The next couple of visits, Alan stayed out of John's way and John did the same. He really wanted to build a relationship with the boy but he had to be patient. While Alan was rubbing Sunset down, he heard some yelling noise from the house. Curious he went over and saw John and Savannah chasing each other and kissing, suddenly something snapped in Alan. It all made sense. The emotions he hadn't been able to feel came rushing to the forefront. Hate became his driving force.

He remembered Savannah's father hid a shotgun in the stable behind the saddle cupboard. He went over, pulled down the remaining 4 saddles and opened the cupboard. He found the shot gun and the ammunition. He loaded it and started for the house. He could still see John and Savannah. This time they were talking and laughing. He didn't have a plan, he didn't need one. He was at the back door of the kitchen when he heard Savannah yelling, "Tim it's open. Come in."

"I can't I need a hand, these boxes are heavy," Tim yelled back.

John offered to go but Savannah motioned for him to stay and she left. John was standing with his back to the sink drinking a bottle of cola when his hand froze, "Alan, hey whatcha got there?"

Alan's gaze was icy steel, "It's Granpa's shot gun."

"I can see that. Now why don't you put it down," said John carefully and quietly whilst trying to move closer.

Alan raised it higher, "Don't move. It's all simple now I truly understand. YOU came into Savannah's life and stole her from my dad. YOU destroyed our family. YOU made us move out. It was all YOUR fault John. YOU are the sole cause of everything. So if I remove you, things will go to normal," he cocked the gun when Savannah and Tim came walking in laughing.

When they saw the sight in front of them Savannah yelped, "Alan put it down please, honey, put it down." He just shook his head.

Then Tim tried to move closer but Alan said, "Don't dad...he is the cause of everything we have lost. If he goes things will go back to the way they were."

"No Alan, I'm sorry. It's nobody's fault. Now put the gun down!" said Tim loudly.

The Savannah pleaded, "Please Alan...please put it down."

" don't believe me, then I'll show you," hissed Alan at John.

Then before anybody could move a shot went off. Tim ran to Alan, grabbing the shot gun out of his hands and knocking him down. Meanwhile John looked down at his abdomen and then at Savannah with eyes wide open. Savannah responded in shock, "Johnnnn..." She ran to him just in time to ease him onto the ground. She grabbed the teat towel and pushed it onto his wound. He kept his gaze fixed on hers, tears started to fall and his eyes started to flicker.

Tim looked over in horror. Savannah started panic, "No, no, no John...stay with me." Then her eyes went down to his abdomen and it was completely stained in crimson. Her hands frantically tried to stop the blood flow now they too were covered in her lover's blood. But the shot had been at close range. Her efforts were useless.

Tim stared in utter disbelief. He pulled out his cell phone and dialed 911.

"Don't leave me again...don't!" she started to cry.

John lifted his hand and pulled her face towards his, "I love you and always will," and he kissed her.

Then his eyes closed and his body started to go limp. Savannah shook him, "John! John! Wake up!"

His eyes briefly opened to slits, "John I'm pregnant!" she said.

He smiled. "Thank you," and he fell into her arms and took his last breath.

Savannah cried out like a banshee, "NO..NO..NO!" . Her howls of pain echoed throughout the house as she rocked her true love back and forth. His blood on her hands.

Tim looked in horror at Savannah and John's bloodied body. Then he heard the sirens. He looked at his son Alan who sitting looking annoyed, "Now will you and Savannah be together?" Horror and despair formed a cloud around his head. Everything that happened after that, became a blur.

Years later...

It was a warm summer evening and Savannah was sitting on her porch while John jnr. was playing video games with his best friend Mark. He looked so much like his father and shared his Grandfather's love of coin collecting. Ten years had passed since that tragic day and every year she thought it would get easier but it didn't. She worked as a Special Education teacher at the local primary school and ran a weekend riding camp for children at the house. Those things kept her busy. They kept her from thinking about John all the time. After the trial, she severed all contact with Tim. The only joy left in her life was her son and gazing at the moon at night.

It was then, that she felt and saw him, "Hey..beautiful night. Full moon too."

"Yes it is," she said smiling at him.

"John jnr, he's growing well."

"A lot like his dad...I love you John," she whispered.

"I love you too."

Then she turned to her left, lifted her chin, kissed him and then he left. Every night she did the same thing; her, the moon and John.

Mark paused the game and motioned to John jnr., "What's up with your mum?" he asked quizzically.

"Oh nothing, she does that every night. She kisses dad goodnight. Come on I want to finish the mission before we have to go to bed!" said John jnr.

Mark kept looking at Svannah until he heard John jnr. restart the game, he shrugged his shoulders and continued to play.