The Beginning Of The End, And Back Again (in progress)

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 4 (v.1)

Submitted: April 08, 2012

Reads: 26

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Submitted: April 08, 2012

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Part IV

I’ll follow you and make a heaven out of hell, and I’ll die by your hand, which I love so well

-William Shakespeare

 

Love is when you shed a tear and still want her,

It’s when she ignores you and you still love her,

It’s when she loves another guy,

But you still smile and say, “I’m happy for you,”

When all you really do is cry

-Unknown

 

Now days have passed, and weeks have too,

All I think about is how I miss you,

She told me that I would be OK

Nevertheless, I feel the same that I felt that day.

-Unknown

 

Sometimes the littlest thing in life changes something

Forever and there will be times when you wish you

Can go back to how things used to be, but you just

Can’t because things have changed so much

-Unknown


 

 

Knock, Knock, knock.

Who could that be?  No one ever comes out this way.  It’s too far from town.  It’s too early to even be up.

She looked out the peephole near the middle of the wooden door. 

 No, it can’t be.  Why would he come all this way to see me?  Hasn’t he forgiven himself after all this time?  Hasn’t he moved on, met some other girl, and cheated on her with another slut?  She gasped.

Worriedly, Lucida Steelcold shoved home the dead bolt.

“Let me in!”  Kevin Kane thundered.  “I’d just like to talk to you.  Please.”

Breathing rapidly, Lucida leaned against the door and closed her eyes, deeply lost in thought of memories from long ago.

“I don’t want to talk anymore, there’s nothing left for you to say.  You broke my heart, and that’s all that I’ll let you ruin for me!”  She retorted.  “Now go away and leave me in peace you asshole.”

She budged over to the left, closer to the table that she had situated in the entryway when she had first moved in years ago.  She sluggishly shifted her hand until it was clasped around the wooden knob in the drawer. She reached inside, then pulled out an object wrapped in a rag.

“Please, I don’t think you understand.  I’ve listened to everyone shun me, but never once did you even tell me to F off.  Sure, you may have said it numerous times, but never aimed at me.  I just wanted to ask why you didn’t; you had all the right to, and I know that after a while things start losing their meaning, and start to sound a little hackneyed, but I want to apologize yet again fo-” Kevin started to reply.

Kevin was still standing in front of the closed door when the first of the bullets splintered through the door and slammed into his midsection.  The powerful .44 caliber bullet flew a short yet lethal course after propelling itself from the Magnum revolver; it ripped through the door, struck Kevin in the side of his head, then lodged itself into his flesh and propelled him backwards.  The sound of it was seared into Lucida’s memory forever.  As he fell to his knees, another bullet found its mark and pounded into his shoulder.  Lucida could see blood cascading down the right side of his face in a stream.

Oh god, what face? Lucida asked herself.

  Other bullets were fired, but they flew harmlessly overhead. Kevin wasn’t conscious of a single one of them.  In a sudden realization of what she had done, Lucida realized with a shock that it was crucial to somehow staunch the flow of blood.  She had to stop it now.  She stripped off the warm blanket she had wrapped herself in before she had opened the door, and then began to envelop it around Kevin’s head with a startling resemblance to one of those middle-eastern turbans.  It drenched through almost instantaneously.  Her hands felt as if they were wearing moistened gloves. She shivered, but not because of the chilly autumn breeze in the crisp morning.

Help me, Lucida wanted to scream.  Somebody better fucking get over here and help me.  Unfortunately, her voice wouldn’t cooperate with her, and all she could do was press the drenched sweater against the spongy side of Kevin’s cranium.

His hands were jolting purposelessly, the fingers kicking up little scatters of earth on the shoulder of the road.  His feet were shuddering too, she saw, and she could still feel the blood pouring out of him, through the sweater, and over her hands.  His solitary eye stared up at the clouds.  His left hand rested exposed on the warm desert sand alongside him, while his right hand unrelentingly twitched intermittently.

A little while later he divulged, “You don’t want to hear it, his mind is in the sewer, not the gutter.”  He laughed right after.  The resonance of his laughter was ordinary, astonishing, and it stirred Lucida, who had been deep in thought.  She saw how he was, and began to weep. 

The New Year’s party…  Lucida looks magnificent.  Now if only little Sean Bernard would stop bugging her, I might actually confess my feelings to her…  Oh, how he is embarrassing me….  I hope he doesn’t ruin her magnificent pink dress.  Would they tell if I kissed her?  Would she?

They were away from the parental’s ever-watching eyes.  Would she mind if I held her hand?  Probably shouldn’t….  Nevertheless, I want to….  God, what am I supposed to do in this situation?  Would she freak out if I held her hand?  There is no reason why she would, but she might anyways…  No, now’s not the time, I don’t think she knows I like her.  Anyways, I have to break up with Ida first.  Nevertheless, I really want to hold her hand so bad that my hand is starting to tingle…  

The credits were rolling; it was either now, or never.  She was texting; there is no way she knew it was coming.  It would surprise her as much as the idea popping into his mind surprised him.  Lean closer, she most definitely will not bite.  No, can’t, she looked up.  Here we go again.  Yes, finally!  Hope she didn’t mind me kissing her…  At least she hasn’t said anything about it…yet…  Wait!  Is she just not saying anything just because she is too nice to point out some silly mistake I committed?  What if she didn’t want me to kiss her for whatever reason?

Oh great, it’s been a month since Lucida and I have been dating…  I hope this’ll last longer; I like her too much to lose her after only a month.  I’m a little annoyed with everyone giving me shit about dating Lucida…  I am willing to take the dissension though; I care that much about her.

Oh my god, what have I done? How the hell could I have let it come to this?  Dammit…  Jabulani Kelelmsaytr and I were just sitting and talking, how the hell did it ever come to this?  I have to tell Lucida, even though it might ruin our relationship.  I need to tell her; otherwise, it will eat me up inside.

Why would I tell her?  Longest relationship kaput.  So much anguish.  All I have left are these photographs, which are nothing at all, just memories.

What time is it?  12:30 PM already?  Sigh…  I really wish I could have done things differently.  What is the point of it anymore?

Hmmm… wonder how she’s been, or if she already has another boyfriend…  One quick look won’t make me start crying again…  Maybe not the profile pic, but what Lucida has to say does.  “I get it, you feel bad, and dammit, you should” Did I drive her to start using language?  God, what have I done?

Well, this is different.  People starting to message me now…  Bung Hole!  What?  I don’t even know this person.  Sigh…  Well, I should probably try to find out who this person is.  Well, so a friend of Lucida?  Thanks, I've heard worse, I think this is the most original yet.  Anyways, fuck off.

So, he’s some random person that retaliates by writing 'No one cares' on almost everything?  Ha-ha!  How pathetic.  I know exactly what to say: Listen, I've been enough of a bitch to people I care about, Why are you taking it out on Lucida?  The least you can do is think before you say something, maybe you don't care, but I'm sure other people do.  Maybe now he’ll get the message.  Well, looks like he realized how pissed I was; seems like he’ll be taking a pie to her tomorrow…  Oh, if only I knew how to cook…  And if I hadn’t been a total ass…

What is this?  No, what the fuck is she doing?  What the hell is he doing?  Where am I?  No, why is he leaning towards her?  Now he’s whispering in her ear, she’s giggling.  “No, you get your filthy hands off of her!  I don’t know what the hell you’re doing, but you better stop before I come over there and tear the two of you away from each other.”  Why are they ignoring me?  “Please stop!”  Wait, why can’t I hear the words coming out of my mouth?  No, now he has put his arm around darling Lucida.  He’s leaning farther.  Where is his other hand?  What the hell is he doing under the table?  Oh my god, I think I’m going to be sick.  No, now he’s kissing her.  Did he just call her Sweetie?  Nooooo!  He opened his eyes, looking over towards the clock.  3:47AM.

Her face loomed over him.  She’s calling him to her.  He starts walking forward, not even sensing his feet scuffling across empty space.  She’s so close now that he can almost touch her.  The light starts enshrouding Lucida; he can no longer see her, but continues forward.  He feels an intense pain in his side.  He doesn’t look down, doesn’t notice the blood soaking his shirt.  He stumbles, but continues moving towards Lucida’s sweet voice.  The pain is almost over she is telling him.  However, he’s not ready to go just yet.  A solitary tear slips out of one of his hazel eyes.  Lucida, there’s something I need to tell you, something I’ve kept burrowed inside of me.  I want to get it off my chest, but I don’t want to cause you more pain.  I need to tell you a story, a story about a confused teen named Kevin and a girl named Vicky Minnot, but my time is short I fear.  I will find a way to tell you, I promise.  I know you won’t want to hear this, but you can’t fully blame Jabulani Kelelmsaytr, I can’t let someone take the blame for my mistakes.  He starts feeling shortness of breath; he worries that he’ll never get her to understand, and that that one event would forever scar his soul.  He opens his eyes momentarily and sees a figure.  He tries to get a better look, but the light intensifies.  He is able to tell it is Jeremy Artemis before another tear blurs his vision…  Then all that’s left is darkness.

Kevin’s remaining eye bulged in its socket; his lips pulled up at the corners, as if attempting a smile.  Then, abruptly, everything diminished.  He spoke a name that had no significance for Lucida -Jack- and his hand tightened one final time.  Then the fingers relaxed and his hand slowly unclenched.  Lucida allowed Kevin a couple more seconds to glimpse at the beauty of the sun slowly creeping up, and the snow-capped mountain range to the west. After a moment of silence, she proceeded to use the heel of her hands to close his stationary eye.  Lucida then proceeded to inch back to her house, slammed the door closed, and then fell to her knees, leaving Jeremy alone with the corpse in her front yard.

“You fucking asshole!  How dare you come back and bother my darling Lucida!  Haven’t I already told you to stop hanging around here?  Didn’t everyone tell you that to continue trying to talk to her would end in nothing but you getting hurt?  Tough luck, but you have no one to blame for this shit but yourself.  I have only one question for you, but it looks like I’ll never have the satisfaction of hearing the answer.”  Jeremy muttered callously.  “What the fuck was the reason that you did this to yourself?”

Overcome with anger, he started savagely kicking Kevin in the side.  Solid crunch after crunch were heard as more than a few ribs cracked.  By the time he was done, all that remained of Kevin’s once okay-looking face was a mixture of blood and desert sand.

The sound of the one-sided scuffle was carried off by the wind over towards the open windows of the house.  Lucida immediately stopped whimpering, and rose from her fetal position.  She worried that Kevin may have brought along one of his drunken “friends” that were always following him for whatever reason, who could possibly be pissed with her for what she had done to Kevin; this wouldn’t be the first time he’d done this.  No, it couldn’t be, it sounded like the gruff voice of her oldest friend.  She undid the bolt and latch then ran out the front door, leaving it wide open and the dry arid air to rush inside, replacing the cool air.

“Oh god, Jeremy, it’s been too long.  How did you ever find me?  I just sh-sh-sh-killed him.  I murdered him.  All he wanted to do was talk.  That is all he has ever come here to do.  And he’s always been decent enough to not come drunk.  I just was so fed up with him.  How will I ever be able to make it up to him?  I can’t apologize to his family, his brothers don’t need to know, and his sisters would definitely chew me out.  I can’t go to the police; even they wouldn’t have any luck finding someone that is worthwhile notifying.  Jeremy, what am I supposed to do?”  Lucida gushed.

“Eh, everything’s going to be okay honey.  He won’t just get up, walk to the police station, and rat you out.  Anyways, if you hadn’t shot him, he would’ve had an ‘accident’ sooner rather than later.  What’s done is done.  Hey, just think of it this way, at least the bastard’s dead.”  Jeremy replied smoothly.

They both looked down.  Kevin’s mouth was open, with a line of blood dribbling out and sinking into the hot desert sand.  Blood oozed from his mouth, his chest wasn’t moving.  Jeremy inspected Kevin’s injuries and checked his pulse.  Kevin’s nose had been broken in the brief scuffle, and sticky blood covered his face and coated his shirt.  One look at the uncharacteristically stationary figure and the blood mixing with the sand around his dark-haired head was enough to tell them that he was most likely dead, and if not, very close to death.  Then Lucida saw the gun.  It had slipped out of Kevin’s jeans pocket and had fallen silently next to Kevin’s broken body.  She bent down to pick it up, but then noticed the unusually clenched fist.  She opened his fist to reveal a crumpled piece of paper.  Before Jeremy could notice, she slipped it into her pocket.

Without thinking, she picked up the old revolver and flung it as far as she could away from her home.  It was then she noticed that Kevin’s left hand was once again balled into a fist.

“Oh, I almost forgot, I have something for you back in the jeep.  C’mon, it’ll look much better than…that.”  Jeremy interjected.

“Oh?  What is it?”  She asked disinterestedly.

“Uh-uh-uh!  Wouldn’t be a surprise if I told you, now would it?” he taunted, shaking his head at her while wagging his finger towards her.

Together they walked over to the jeep.  Jeremy reached into the passenger seat and pulled out a package wrapped in purple.

“Oh, Jeremy, however did you remember that purple is my favorite color?”

“I didn’t, just lucky I guess.  Doesn’t every girl like purple though?”  He admitted.  She’d think me crazy if I told her that some random stranger came to my office a month ago and told me to come out this way with some gift wrapped in purple on this day.  He said to himself.

“Ha-ha.  We’re all bound to get lucky sometime.”  Lucida countered.  Nevertheless, Kevin would never forget.

She unwrapped the gift and found it to be a scrapbook.

“It contains every article you’ve ever written for the papers.  From your college graduation, all the way up to the present.”  Jeremy explained.

“Thank you so much!” she said, throwing her arms around his neck.

“I was going to get you a bouquet of carnations, and maybe even would’ve brought along a potted palm tree with me, but the bouquet wouldn’t survive long in this desert climate, and I didn’t feel like dragging a palm tree out this far in the middle of desert.  Anyways, looks like there’s more than enough palm trees out here.”  He retorted.

“I really enjoy it, this is better than a temporary floral decoration.”  Once again, how did you know I love carnations?  Just another coincidence?

“C’mon, let’s go to town, go out, and eat at a buffet or something.”  Jeremy offered.

“Sure, I need something to get my mind off of him anyways.”

“Do you want to drive, or shall I?”  Jeremy asked.

“You can, I’m not in the mood to right now.  Let’s go to someplace that has spaghetti, if you don’t mind.”

“No worries, you know the town better than I do, so you tell me where you want to go.”

“Okay, let’s just get going.”

A couple of minutes later, they were on the road towards town.  While Jeremy drove, Lucida reached into her handbag and pulled out one of the books inside.

Darn, I can’t read this book again; I’ve read it before she told herself, tossing the copy of 101 Women Who Made a Difference in the World aside.  Her eyes started to droop.  Her mind may have been dealing with a million dilemmas, but none so traumatizing as killing an old acquaintance.

She was halfway to town before the sound of sirens rang out behind her.  She twisted around and saw the sheriff’s car zooming up the road with its lights flashing.

“Stop right there, Lucida.”  The sheriff commanded over his loudspeaker.

She decelerated her escalade and pulled over to the side of the road, wondering why she was being stopped.

It wasn’t because of the rolling stop, was it?  She pondered.  The sheriff ought to be looking for hardened criminals, not people committing trivial infractions.

“Hello there, officer.  What may I do for you this fine afterno-” She started to ask.

“Shut it!” the officer barked, all business.  “You shot someone over at your place earlier, didn’t you?”

Uh-oh.

“Why do you think that?”  Lucida inquired innocently.

“Don’t be a wise-ass,” he snarled.  “I know about everything that goes on in this town.”

 “Makes me think that you might have known him more than you let on to your friends.”  He added.

“Whoa, hold on just a second,” she said quickly.  “You don’t even know the full story.”

“That’s where you’re wrong.  I know everything about it.  In fact, I know more than you’d like to know about.  It all happened just over 15 years, didn’t it?  If you’d like, I can book you on suspicion of homicide and impeding an investigation,” He threatened, poking her in the chest with two fingers.

“Homicide!  I was just—” She stopped herself.  It wouldn’t be smart to admit to anything just yet.

“Get in the car” the officer instructed.

“Officer, I think there’s been a misundersta—”

“Get…in…the…CAR!” he shouted testily.

“What about my car?”

“Leave it,” he barked as he opened the rear door of his squad car.

He pulled a pair of handcuffs out and proceeded to handcuff her. He helped her clamber into the back. She grimaced as he slammed the door shut.  He got in and started the engine.  She heard him exhale, almost as if he was softly sighing.  And was he whimpering like a dog that’s been left alone all day?

“Why?” he demanded, his voice layered with desolation.

“Why what?”  She asked.

“Why didn’t you listen, give him a chance to tell you the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?”

“What are you talking about?” she challenged, wondering if he had lost his mind.  The sheriff was most definitely not following protocol, was he?

His answer was to hit the gas and speed away from her escalade…excessively fast for the narrow bend in the road.

“Where are we going?”  She demanded, thinking she had a right to know.  She wasn’t a criminal after all.

“He tried talking to you, didn’t he?” the sheriff said.  “But you just kept ignoring him, leaving him to the dogs, to himself.  Acted as if everything was all right, even though you knew it wasn’t.”

Alarms were ringing in Lucida’s head.  He turned around to face her.  His face was hidden in the shadows, but she still saw the tear fall off his cheek.

“I really don’t want to do this,” he whimpered.

“Do what?  Sheriff, please slow down!”

He took a turn way too fast.  The car slewed to the side, kicking up gravel on the shoulder, then continued.

“Let him do what he sees fit and don’t fight against him until you know everything that happened, all right?” begging her, like somebody at the end of their rope.  “If you don’t, he’ll just keep on coming back to you, even if you think he’s gone.  The more people he sees as an obstacle, the more who will be in grave danger.”

“Who told you that?  Who is he?”

“Give him what he wants,” the sheriff whined.  “Let him feel that he can move on.”

The headlights of an oncoming car materialized in the distance.  The oncoming car slowly grew closer.  The sheriff was gripping the steering wheel so hard she thought it would snap at any moment.  They drifted into the lane of the oncoming car.  It honked angrily at them.  The sheriff took one hand off the wheel, using his left hand to steer while redirecting the angle of the mirror’s reflection.  It wasn’t the face of the local sheriff that peered back at her.  It was the face of a recently deceased person.  It was none other than the face of Kevin.

The steering wheel abruptly jerked to the left, propelling them directly in front of the oncoming car.  The driver never removed his hand from the horn as it skidded off the road to the far side.  Kevin pulled his right hand off the rearview mirror, gripped the steering wheel with both hands, and restored the car back to its lane.  They turned hard, missing the car by no more than a few centimeters.  The sheriff’s car blew across the road and kept going…  Lucida let out a shriek as Kevin rotated the wheel in an effort to regain control of the swerving car.  He jammed on the brakes and she flew forward, slamming her head into the barred divider between the rear and front seats.

“Dead men tell no tales” Kevin chuckled, terrifying Lucida even more.

 The next thing she felt was a ferocious shudder, and then everything went black.

“Lucida wake up!”  Jeremy called, gently shaking her with one hand.

She opened her eyes, to see that she was back in Jeremy’s jeep.

Thank god, it was just a horrible dream.  “How long have I been asleep?”

“Only a couple minutes.  Nightmare?  Heard you moaning a couple times.”

“Yeah, a really bad nightmare” What does it mean though?  She wondered.

“You okay?  Did you cut yourself on something?”

“Huh?”  She wiped her hand against her cheek, and saw what appeared to be a small streak of blood.  “I must’ve accidentally cut myself with my nails while I was asleep” She admitted, embarrassed. It was then that she noticed that her wrists were red

Why did you keep insisting on walking away when I needed someone to talk with?

“What Jeremy?  Sorry, I couldn’t quite hear you.  You sounded very faint,” Lucida asked.

“All I was saying was that the sky is getting really dark.  Might rain soon.  You okay?”

“Did I ever tell you I love sunsets when it’s cloudy; the sky looks like a set from a movie” She remarked absently.

Do you still hate me?

“No, I don’t hate you, Jeremy.”  She replied

“What?  I didn’t say anything.  Are you sure you’re feeling okay?”  Should we turn around and just go back to your place?”  That dream must’ve really shaken her up badly.

“I’m perfectly fine.”  She stated adamantly “but I think it’d be better to just turn around.”

“Fine by me” Jeremy replied, turning off the road and making a quick U-turn.

Up ahead, Jeremy could see a figure staggering up the road ahead.

 I realize that I cannot change the past, but I hold onto the juvenile dream that we can wipe off the slate and begin afresh.  I cannot wipe the tears away; I also cannot go on like this forever.

“What Lucida?”

“I didn’t say anything.  I keep hearing a voice, a voice I’ve heard so many times, but I just can’t place my finger on it.  I hear it inside my head.  It’s starting to freak me out.  I want to get back to Kevin’s body, bury it, hope that no one has come by and seen him.  I don’t want to go to the authorities; I just want it all behind me.  Even he deserves a decent burial, at the very least.”

“Lucida, he was such an asshole to you, why do you want to respect him for that?  He fucking cheated on you way back then; do you still care for him or something?  He’s a nothing, a waste of space!  Why do you insist on being nice to a total fuck-up?”

“That’s enough, Jeremy.  If you’d rather, you can just drop me off here, and I can walk the last stretch home.  And for the record, I don’t care about him anymore, I haven’t even thought of him for almost 15 years. When he went and cheated on me like that, he did more than he realized.  Like I told Kevin all those years ago, when he did that, I don’t know what, but something came over me and I don’t feel the same.”  I don’t like him anymore, but truth is I merely pity him.

While Jeremy’s eyes were focused on the road, she pulled out the scrap of paper from her pocket.  She smoothed it out and started to read the sloppier than normal handwriting.

By the time you read this, I will either be dead, or close to it.  I don’t know if I’ll have been the one to pull the trigger, or whether or not I was accidentally hit by a bus, or what, but I’m most likely dead by my  own hand.  As if anyone would miss me, right?  I just want to tell you that I’ve forgiven you for everything you’ve said to me.  I’m sorry I’ve kept bothering you, but I needed to keep apologizing.  I can’t take it anymore; I’m tired of everyone treating me as if I can’t change.  I’m tired of trying to meet new people, and being told not to even try, not to break another goddamn heart.  I’m sorry if this has come as a disappointment that you weren’t the one to do it, but hey, you never could even tell me off.  All I really wanted was you to show that I meant something, that you were really pissed or sad, or any other emotion for that matter.  Anything besides indifference.  I’m tired of trying to decipher everything you’ve ever said, and trying to figure just how much you meant what you said.  I guess that I didn’t mean much, if anything.  Well, I don’t know what you’ll do if you ever do read this.  I can only hope and pray with all my soul that I at least told you the truth, of so many years ago, and none of that bullshit I had fed you about it only involving Jabulani.

Lucida glanced up and stared across the open road in front of the car. She looked off to the side of the road and noticed a slight shimmer. As the jeep got closer, the figure of a tall man began to materialize out of thin air. Lucida, lost in thought, didn’t notice that the figure hadn’t been there a minute before.


© Copyright 2018 robertkaban. All rights reserved.

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