Follow Tristan and Amy on an adventure as unpredictable as the sea.
Follow Tristan and Amy on an adventure as unpredictable as the sea.
Panic. It consumed me all of the sudden. As Amy walked back to her house I couldn’t breathe. I laid down and tried breathing deeply but it didn’t help. I ran inside and upstairs to my room.
I grabbed the bottle of pills. My hands were shaky and they spilled all over the floor. I grabbed two of them and ran to the bathroom and swallowed them with some sink water.
I laid down on my bed drenched in sweat and my heart beating fast. I tried to calm down but it wasn’t happening. I got up and headed back outside. I ran to he ocean ripping off all of my clothes except my boxers. I dove into the ocean and began to swim.
The cold water instantly shook me back to reality. What the hell had just happened? I floated in the water thinking about what had just happened. Everything was going fine, I didn’t understand what had happened.
“Tristan!” I looked to the shore and saw Josh standing. I swam back to the shore shivering as I sat on the shoreline.
“It’s about to start pouring, what’s wrong?” I looked at Josh not having an answer.
“Well come on let’s go inside,” he said. He grabbed me helping me back into the house. He took me upstairs and laid me on my bed and threw the covers on me.
“Damn Tristan you look like a mess what’s going on?” I was still shaking bad and the panic had yet to subside.
“I-I-I d-d-don’t know,” I said. Josh sat down on the bed.
“Tristan I’m your best friend man, what’s going on?” I wasn’t lying all I know is that as soon as Amy walked away my body went into full panic mode.
“I just need some sleep,” I said, the medicine finally kicking in and causing me to begin to drift. I closed my eyes and the dream began.
“Hey Tristan,” Aaron was standing across the green pasture from me. I stood frozen. I pinched myself. This was a lucid dream. I was definitely asleep.
“Aaron are you really here?” Aaron looked down at the grass. Suddenly everything went black.
“Great it’s happening again,” he whispered. I looked up and saw a red CRASHING sign illuminated with a green STABLE sign desperately trying to revive it’s light.
“What’s going on?” I asked.
“I’m dying for the twentieth time.”
“What the hell? You’ve crashed twenty times?” Aaron looked at me. He nodded.
“It’s obvious we don’t have a lot of time.”
“Well that’s comforting.” Aaron managed a chuckle.
“You know I thought I’d be mad when you finally came, but the truth is I don’t blame you, I wonder why what happened did, but all in good time I guess.” I looked down trying not to have to face Aaron.
“I’m so sorry. I just let my mind loose for one second and then, well…” Aaron nodded, understanding what I meant.
“Look you are here for a reason, and luckily on my excursions through this green pasture I’ve found numerous things I have to fix.” I looked at him puzzled. He held up a book.
“I found this the other day. It’s a journal full of things to tell people when I see them, so far I’ve helped Ian and Josh, now it’s your turn and then Amy’s.” I was really confused right now.
“Let me just read what your page says and see if that helps.”
“Ok,” I said.
“Tristan will come at a time where he stuck at a junction. The junction is wether on not he should let go and move on, or continue to believe that he has satisfied his life’s goal of love. He will have panicked with no explanation, but it’s much simpler than that. Tristan needs to make a deduction. Jaquiline is gone, and Amy is here, but should he choose to hold on to a mere memory his life will become turmoil, and things will only get worse,” Aaron read.
“I don’t get it.” Aaron closed the book and looked at me reading the confusion on my face.
“Do you remember the other night when Josh attacked you, but then everything was fine, it as because this book told him to hit you. Then it said no matter how many times he did or how hard he wouldn’t feel anything, because deep down he knew it wasn’t your fault.” I sat down allowing it all to sink in.
“But I have let Jaquiline go,” I said. Aaron came and sat next to me.
“You’ve accepted the fact that she’s dead, you haven’t stopped loving her, and until you do your body will reject Amy in every way it can, because the brain is a powerful machine and it knows what your real desires are.”
“I…well I guess I haven’t really thought about that. I mean I just thought that by letting her go it was in every aspect.”
“Tristan think really hard about the face you see walking down the isle on your wedding day.”
I closed my eyes. Jaquiline was in a beautiful white gown, but as I stared more closely her skin began to fade and her face became a blur.
“I think it’s time you came down to the hospital and look at room ICU 5, it’s right next to mine. It’s a Jane Doe who was shuttled here after washing on shore in coma state.”
I woke up, panicking again. I was drenched in sweat. There was no way. It took an hour to get ready and get to the hospital. I ran my heart beating at a thousand beats a minute. I ran into the ICU area and right past Aaron in ICU 4. ICU 5 was locked but it had all glass doors and windows. The lights were off.
“Nurse! Can you let me in here please!” The nurse at the desk looked startled.
“Son no one knows who she is, do her a favor and let her sleep in peace.”
“Nurse I think I know this woman.” The nurse looked up shocked and grabbed a set of keys. She ran over and opened the door. The lights flashed on. The sound of the breathing machine and heart monitor were blasting in my ears. I looked at the woman on the bed.
“She’s had seven surgeries, been cured of a staph infection, fought off phenomena, but she’s been in a coma for almost seven months now.”
“Jaquiline,” I whispered. A tear streaming down my face.
Jaquiline looked up from the magazines she’d been reading in the green pastures. A young man was walking up to her. She’d seen him once before, but she couldn’t place it.
“Hello Jaquiline, it’s time,” he said holding out his hand. Jaquiline stared at his hand stuck in confusion.
“Who are you?” The boy laughed as if it must be the most obvious thing on Earth.
“I watched you graduate from your rescue swimming school with my brother and his best friend,” the boy said. Jaquiline stood up quick and hugged the boy.
“Aaron!” she shrieked as her arms flew around him. Aaron returned the embrace.
“It’s been a long time Jaquiline,” Aaron said. Jaquiline pulled back and smiled at Aaron.
“You’re so grown up, how did you get here?” Jaquiline hadn’t quite figured out this place.
“I’m in a coma just like you, but it’s time for you to wake up,” Aaron said. Jaquiline looked at Aaron and smirked.
“There’s no way I survived that fall back onto the boat,” Jaquiline said.
“You sure did. You washed up on shore and were sent here to Cateret General Hospital as a Jane Doe, and now Tristan has identified you,” Aaron said. Jaquiline lost her breath.
“That can’t be,” Jaquiline said. Aaron frowned.
“It’s a lot to take in trust me, but your next on my list to help, but there’s one condition before I walk you back to real life,” Aaron said. Jaquiline looked at him confused.
“Anything to go back, how long has it even been?” Aaron looked down.
“Only a couple of years, but Jaquiline I’m afraid when you wake up you have to do one thing.
It had been a long six hours since the nurse let me into the room with Jaquiline. I squeezed her hand every so often to see if she would wake and every time nothing happened. Her family had been contacted and were on their way down.
“It’s such a small world down here in Newport isn’t it?” Josh walked in scaring me.
“It’s just me bro calm down. Wow she looks so pale,” Josh said. I wiped the tears away from my face.
“Yeah she’s survived a lot apparently. The hospital was going to turn off her machines by court order next week, luckily her family found her or she might be dead and no one would’ve even known she was here,” I said. Josh say down next to me.
“How’d you know?” Josh said staring at Jaquiline’s face. I didn’t answer.
“It was Aaron wasn’t it?” Josh asked. I looked at him surprised. His face still concentrating on Jaquiline.
“He came to me too, that night I attacked you on the beach, he told me not to blame you,” Josh said. I looked away back at Jaquiline.
“Yeah it was him,” I said my voice quivering. Josh let out a deep breath.
“I wonder if once he’s done with that book he’ll be able to come back,” Josh said. I looked at him ready to speak when suddenly Jaquiline coughed, gagging from the air tube down her throat.
“Nurse!” I screamed. A whole squad of doctors walked in the room. One man, a middle eastern doctor, grabbed a small flashlight and made sure Jaquiline’s eyes were dilating.
“Jaquiline my name is Dr. Mohammed. Can you tell me your full name?” Jaquiline looked pale and confused. Her eyes met mine for a second I could’ve swore she smiled.
“Jaquiline Rose Fluer,” she answered.
“Very good, can you tell me what you last remember,” the doctor asked.
“I was just accepted into the most prestigious school in the Coast Guard to become a rescue swimmer,” she paused locking eyes with me again, “Everything after that is a blur.”
I looked at her in disbelief. She was lying I could tell.
“Jaquiline do you know these men?” Dr. Mohammed was pointing at Josh and I. She studied us for a second, a look of pain crossing her face as she shook her head no.
“Jaquiline it’s me, it’s Tristan!” I said. Jaquiline just stated at me.
“I’m sorry Tristan I don’t know who you are,” Jaquiline said. I looked at her dumbfounded.
“You’re lying!” I screamed and got up grabbing her hand.
“Let go of me!” she screamed.
“Get him out of here,” Dr. Mohammed said. Josh grabbed me and took me next door to Aaron’s room. I was crying hard.
“There’s no way she can’t remember me!” I screamed.
“When someone wakes from a coma it doesn’t mean that they’ll remember the last thing, sometimes they remember everything before, it’s the brains way of ensuring that no anxiety or post trauma stress occurs. Our brain protects us,” Josh said. He’d obviously been reading up since the accident.
“It’s not fair,” I whispered through tears.
“Come on I’ll take you home,” Josh said.
It took an hour to get back to the hospital to see Josh again, by then Josh had said hello to all of Jaquiline’s family as they were leaving with her to their home in Hawaii to get her better recovery at another hospital.
Before Josh could walk into Aaron’s room he heard someone whispering to him.
“Aaron you said I had to forget everything, and that one day Tristan and I will get another chance at the life we didn’t get to have, but you never told me what grave loss he’d have to endure first. I wish I could talk to you again, wake you up even. Thank you Aaron and I’m sure I’ll see you again. Since you probably won’t remember, tell Tristan Vandt I’ll always love him, and don’t worry this will be our secret until you call me on the day he needs me again,” it was Jaquiline’s voice. Josh hid on the side of the vending machine and watched Jaquiline leave with her family.
He walked into Aaron’s room and sat down grabbing Aaron’s hand.
“What are you up to little man?” he asked.
“I’m so sorry Tristan,” Amy said hugging me tightly.
“I’m glad you’re here Amy, I honestly don’t know how I’d make it through this without you, you’re such a blessing. Maybe that’s why you moved down here to be my miracle,” I said. Amy blushed and smiled holding me close.
“Amy honey could you give Tristan and I a second?” Aunt Kathy walked into the kitchen. Amy nodded and kissed me then headed out back.
“You okay champ?” she asked.
“Yeah, I should’ve known better, plus what was I thinking. I have Amy now and I don’t want to ruin that,” I said. Kathy smiled.
“It’s alright to be sad, but you have to move on kid,” she said giving me a hug.
“Sometimes it’s not holding on that’s hard, it’s letting go,” I said. She hugged me tighter.
“Amen kid, amen.”
“Amy Amy Amy!” I heard Ian running down the stairs the next morning. He turned the corner at a fast pace and was suddenly sitting upon the bar stool in the kitchen. Ian’s face was beaming like it would be on Christmas morning.
“You’re super excited about today aren’t you?”
“YES! DUH!” He said the last line with emphasis.
We were going to the zoo for the first time here and I had heard it was one of the best zoo’s in the east coast. Mom and dad used to take Ian all the time to the zoo when they were still alive. He loved to go and read more about them and even draw the animals sometimes as well. He got really good and then began to do it every time he went. I hadn’t seen him drawing animals as much recently so I was hoping this would bring him back to his creative side and what was once his passion.
I was glad he was eager to go. It made me feel that this was actually going to be a great thing for him.
Pretty soon we left the house and were on our way. The zoo was filled with so many people and was super crowded, but the animals were out and about. I sat down in front of the gorilla exhibit and pulled out a notebook and pencil from my backpack. Ian sat down next to me and watched as I started to draw the ape.
“What are you doing?” Ian said with a puzzling look.
“What’s it look like? I’m drawing.” I said with confidence.
“No. If that’s drawing then I’m Brad Pitt.”
I looked down at my picture and realized how horrible it was. We both started laughing at my idea of what a gorilla looked like. Ian grabbed the pencil from my hand and then I gave him the notebook as well. He began to draw the animal and it was beautiful. You would’ve never thought that he stopped drawing.
“There” he said five minutes later. “That’s what you calling drawing.”
A random woman was behind us. “That is a wonderful drawing kid. You really have a knack for that.”
“Thanks!” Ian smiled at her and was proud of himself.
“Did you ever think about entering something into a contest? I work for a school for creative artistic children like yourself and we are hosting a competition in three weeks. I really think you should enter a piece or two. Here’s my card.” She handed him a business card with her information on it.
“Oh wow, thank you!” I said to her. “What was your name?”
“I’m Victoria Blakenship. And you are… his wonderful mother?” She inquired.
“hahaha, no this is my brother. I’m Amy and this is Ian. We will definitely be in touch with you.”
“Take care and have a wonderful time Amy and Ian.” Victoria walked away calling a little girl, who I assumed was her daughter to follow her.
“Ian! Did that just happen?” His face was still glowing and in shock.
“I… I think so!”
We continued walking through the entire park and Ian drew every single animal we saw. When we got home we went into the house and as we ate dinner I decided to ask him about the woman we met today.
“So do you want to enter in that competition?” I inquired.
“It sounds like a fun opportunity. I just don’t know.”
“It’s worth a shot.” I replied. “You are very good.”
“I think I’m going to combine some of the animals in one picture and send that in. I never thought about doing this, ever and that would be amazing to get something recognized.”
“Alright, yeah, I’m going to do it!” Ian finished up the last bite of dinner and ran off to his room to get started on his art piece.
Lynn pulled up an hour later from her shift at work.
“Amy, I’m so glad to hear you had a great time with Tristan the other night. I think he’s true to what he says, but I found out something today at the hospital.”
“What’s up Lynn?”
“Well, the other day we had a Jane Doe come into the ICU. Today I found out that Tristan actually knows her, it’s Jaquiline.”
I dropped my glass on the floor and it shattered into pieces.
“I thought she passed away.” My heart was beating at warp speed.
“Apparently she’s still with us. Tristan was the one who identified her and was there last night. She’s still in a coma though.”
I couldn’t say anything. My mind was thinking everything, but nothing was coming out.
“I’m sorry, but I had to tell you.” Lynn said with remorse.
“Thanks.” I replied.
The rock led me to the campfire; next to the campfire was a log that had another riddle on it which led me to the fridge. On the fridge was a magnet “The birds and the bees, true love is all you need. Your mom is a blessing to me. In the night, by only starlight, we’d say our prayers and sleep.”
I walked over and searched under the bed, then under the mattress. It was there I found his letter.
To my dearest daughter Amy,
I wanted to make sure you were ready and an adult before I gave you the inside scoop on true love. Not the hokey stuff you see in the films, but the kind you can’t make up or mistake it. This is the story of how your mom and I met.
It was the eve of October 12th, 1985. I met your mother at a friend’s party, and I thought she was gorgeous. She was and is the most beautiful woman I have ever met. She was sweet and charismatic. Her confidence beamed like a light from her soul and her personality overflowed into the room. The second I laid eyes on her I knew I had to make her mine. I pursued her for some time after that, even though she was going after some other guy who wasn’t right for her at all. He was a jerk, and I knew he was dating other women as well as your mom. He didn’t deserve her. I finally put my foot down one day and asked her out. (Technically I gave her no choice). I wanted to wow her and sweep her off her feet, and that’s exactly what I did. We only dated for about four months, but I got down on one knee on the one year of meeting her and proposed. That was one of the happiest moments of my life. Then we were married that December.
Amy, what I really want you to know is to be sure of who you get involved with. True love is something you don’t have to worry about. When you have found that person you’re meant to be with it will seem like the easiest thing and decision you’ve ever made in your life. You won’t feel like you are tied down with the burden of having a relationship, but quite the opposite. Amy you will feel a sense of freedom and comfort you never even dreamed of. When I finally dated your mom, I didn’t even recognize I was in a relationship because it was that simple. It wasn’t complex at all, I just knew. She got me to talk to her as if she was one of my old childhood friends. I told her secrets not even my best friends knew, but she did. I felt like I could be myself and that she wouldn’t pressure me to be perfect. She loved my imperfections as well. Trust me honey, I’ve done some wrong in my life and I couldn’t even imagine that a woman so amazing like your mother would ever take a chance on me, but she did. I don’t know why, but I am the luckiest man alive.
So Amy, don’t settle for what works. Don’t fall for the cheap tricks some guy is bound to play one day. Don’t fall for the boy who just wants to romanticize you but not love you or give you his heart. If you have to force something to work, it will break apart eventually. Love is like a puzzle piece. It should be as simple as setting the piece in its spot. If you have to push hard to make it work then he’s not the guy for you. Toss that piece aside and move on! I can’t wait for the day when I get to walk you down the aisle towards the man who fits perfectly into the puzzle of your heart.
I love you always and forever my little baby girl.
Oliver Franklin Robertson.
I knew that I had to start letting some walls down if I was ever going to be able to let someone I care about into my life. With Tristan though it was different, I felt like I had no walls. Just being with him and spending time together he had taken those walls away. I felt comfortable with him; I wasn’t trying to be something I’m not. He allowed me to be myself around him whether I was in a good mood, or a bad mood, he seemed to not care either way and accept me for me. This feeling was weird, but I liked it. I’m not perfect, and he didn’t force me to be or have any expectations of me. So this is what dad was talking about in his letter I found on the island last week with Ian. These feelings were true and natural and something so beautiful. I was too afraid to admit to it, especially so soon, but I’m pretty sure this is what real, true, unconditional love was all about.
“Amy!” Lynn hollered upstairs at me from the kitchen.
I folded the letter of my dad’s that I was making a comparison too, shoved it in the top drawer of my dresser, and hurried down to the ground floor.
“What’s up?” I asked.
“I’m going to go have dinner with Clayton tonight so I’m about to leave. Do you and Ian need anything on the way home?” She offered graciously.
“No I think we’re good. Where’s he taking you tonight?” I asked with a wink.
“I don’t know, it’s a surprise.”
“Well you’re going to have fun anyway because that’s just who you are.”
“And I’ll be with him.” She replied.
“True beans.” We both giggled together at my funny phrase I’ve used for years now.
After Lynn left Ian and I sat down and watched an episode of one of our favorite shows on TV. Then there was a knock on the door.
“Hey Tristan!” I smiled.
He gave me a kiss on the cheek. “Hey beautiful. I was wondering if you and Ian would like to come have dinner with me and Kathy tonight. She’s making steaks!”
A free dinner, and a cute guy, how could I say no?
“Sounds good. You want to go Ian?” I turned to ask his opinion and realized he had already shut the TV off and was at my side.
“Yes!” Ian took off running towards Tristan’s house.
Dinner was lovely and delicious as always complete with mashed potatoes, beans, green beans, and cornbread. I loved southern home-style cooking and Kathy was always amazing at it.
After a few rounds of gin-rummy Kathy went up to bed.
“Goodnight you crazy kids, I’m going to go get some sleep.” She kissed us all on the forehead and went upstairs.
Ian was passed out on the couch all snuggled up in a blanket Tristan had draped over him.
“Let’s go outside.” He suggested.
“Ok”. I said.
I could see down on the beach by the lighthouse there was a blanket and a candle lit. Tristan led me down there, our hands intertwined. As we got closer I noticed there were two plates with cheesecake on them, only the best desert ever, and a wine bottle with two glasses.
“Tristan what is this?”
“This is for you. I wanted to just do something nice and special for you. I hope you like it”. He smiled sweetly at me.
“I do! How did you know cheesecake was my favorite?” I questioned as I sat down under the stars and moonlight.
“I just knew.” He sat down next to me and kissed me ever so lightly on the lips. It left me wanting more but I didn’t want to spoil it by going too fast. So I grinned like a fool instead.
We spent that night talking about things that mattered, and things that didn’t. What was important about that night was that we just enjoyed each other’s company. I found myself so welcomed and at peace in his presence that I never wanted to leave, but when it came time to go home I didn’t get sad like I would’ve with my past relationships. I was so secure in my feelings with him it was easy to go home and rest knowing that he was all mine, and I was his.
“You really should go try and talk to her,” Josh was throwing a ball with Koda on the beach. I was sitting at the piano just playing a never ending melody.
“Josh I’ll do it when I’m ready to.”
“The longer you wait the harder it gets bro.” Clayton was sitting with Lynn in the hammock they were holding hands.
“Thank you Clayton.”
“Tristan he’s only trying to help. Amy told me last night that she just couldn’t believe that it was literally the last person connected to her parents,” Lynn offered.
“If that was supposed to make me feel better it didn’t. She probably thinks I’m some kind of omen,” I said.
“No I just don’t understand why you have such an impact on my life when I’ve only known you a couple of months,” Amy came from behind.
“That’s all you have to say?” My face was flushed.
“No, I guess I should apologize,” I offered she sat down next to me.
“I’m not mad at you Tristan Vandt, I’m a little confused with God, but I’m not mad at you.”
“Josh! You’re not going to believe who Tristan killed! Where’s Aaron we have to tell him!” Ian was running along the shore carrying my manuscript.
Josh’s face turned blank, no one had told Ian about the coma.
“Hey bud!” Josh said as Ian ran up and flowed through their secret handshake.
“Get Aaron! This is huge news he won’t want to miss this!” Ian exclaimed. There was a silence in the air.
“Ian lets go for a walk.” Josh grabbed his hand.
“Josh I can do it, I just hadn’t gotten around to it,” Amy stood up.
“Amy if it’s alright with you I’d rather be the one.” Amy nodded watching the two fade into the distance.
“I think he’d be more hurt if it was Josh, but none the less I’m sure he’ll come back wanting to go and see Aaron.” I grabbed Amy into a hug as she started to tear at what she was saying.
“Please no more tears, Aaron doesn’t want that,” I said.
“Yeah we all seriously need to just relax and have a good time,” Lynn chimed in. Amy wiped her eyes and laid her head on my shoulder.
“So are y’all dating now?” Clayton asked.
“I could ask you the same question,” Amy countered. Clayton laughed as the back door opened.
“Hey y’all I’m going down to the hospital, anyone want to come?” Kathy popped her head out.
“We do!” Ian was back. Josh nodded in agreement.
“He wants to read Aaron the next chapter,” Josh said.
“Alright Ian and Josh lets go then,” Kathy said. Ian gave Amy a hug and walked inside with Josh.
“Those two have a connection,” Lynn said.
“I know it’s crazy,” Amy replied.
“It’s cute though,” Lynn said. Amy smiled softly.
“He’s not like that with anyone else, I don’t know why it happened but Josh is like a role model to him. Months ago I never would’ve imagined that my little brother would be best friends with Josh, all things considered. It’s really just crazy,” Amy said.
“Well it’s been a summer full of craziness,” I said. Everyone laughed.
“Feels like the world just keeps shrinking, I honestly wonder what’s coming next everyday,” Amy said. I nodded in agreement.
“No kidding,” Lynn said giving Clayton a kiss on the lips.
“Hey you two, there are rooms for a reason,” Amy teased. Lynn and Clayton laughed. They got up and headed inside.
“Do you believe in destiny?” Amy asked as the back door closed.
“Define destiny,” I countered. Amy looked down at the piano keys.
“Like the knowledge that no matter what obstacles came in your way you would end up with someone for sure,” Amy clarified.
“You mean that two people will end up together no matter what, even when it seems impossible?” I asked making sure I understood.
“Exactly,” Amy said. I grabbed her face and pulled her into a kiss. When I pulled away she was blushing.
“Does that answer your question?” I ask. Amy smiles.
“Tristan, I was wondering if we should take this to the next stage?” Amy asked.
“Like dating?” I asked. Amy nodded.
“If it’s what you want,” I offered. Amy looked into my eyes.
“I want to know everything about you, even the things you’ve sworn into secrecy. I feel like the only way I’ll be able to do that is if we date,” she said. I looked out out to the sea.
“What is Tristan?”
“It’s crazy that this is happening. After almost dying its like the puzzle pieces are falling into place.”
“What are you talking about?”
“What about her Tristan?” Amy wore a look of confusion.
“By agreeing to go out with you it’s the closure that I need. It’s a scary thought and a scary position to be in.” Amy put her arms around me.
“She’s gone Tristan, and the longer you hold on the longer you’ll be alone.”
“I know she’s gone, it’s just I never thought I would be the one giving the closure, seems like its a job for the dead.” Amy smiled.
“Trust me closure is one for the living,” she said. I smiled and faced her.
“I would be honored to date you Amy,” I said. We kissed and that was that.
It wasn’t enough that he had completely ignored me today, then I get awoken to screaming outside and now I find out that he has killed my last adult link to my parents. I had just started to get to know Eddy and there were so many questions I wanted to ask him about my dad. I thought Tristan was different. I felt such an instant connection with him and felt as if he and I shared something special. Apparently he was just like other guys. I was sick of men who hid everything and didn’t communicate well. A relationships main ability to stay alive and thriving is due to how well the two people communicate with one another. If he wasn’t going to talk to me about what keeps happening with him then I can’t do this with him. I thought we were meant to be, I guess he just feels like he can’t trust me.
Luckily during this whole ordeal Ian stayed asleep. I didn’t want him to hear about this at all. I watched the group of people muster about outside. Then all of the sudden I saw Lynn bolting towards the door. I tried to stabilize myself for a verbal beat down.
“AMY MARIE ROBERTSON!” I tried to shush her down so she wouldn’t wake Ian. “How in the world could you react like that? This is Tristan we’re talking about, you just ran away from the situation like a little girl!” She was screaming in my face.
I got up and tried to walk away. She pulled me back down.
“AMY!” My head was spinning.
“WHAT?!” I yelled back.
“Re-evaluate your attitude and actions.” She demanded.
“You don’t understand! Eddy was the last person left to tell me about my father. He showed me something and I felt my parent’s presence. Now he’s gone!” I slammed myself back down on the couch.
“I’m sorry Amy, I didn’t know.”
“NO, you didn’t. I hadn’t gotten the chance to tell you about it yet. I know it wasn’t Tristan’s fault but, its just like fate is coming for me and the devil is out on the attack.”
Lynn put her arm around me and cradled me tight.
“I just need to do my own thing. I love Tristan, but I’m going to have to take a few days to myself to get over this and make sure I don’t have any hard feelings towards him about it. That’s the only reason I’m so upset right now, because he’s the only one I can put the blame on.” I tensed up while trying to hold back the tears.
“Then go Amy. I’ll stay here and watch the house, I’ll even watch Ian if you need me too. You do what you think is best for you.” Lynn gave me a smile.
“I think I need to take Ian with me. We need to go spend some bonding time. I know just the place.” I ran upstairs and packed my things and then packed Ian’s.
Early the next morning Ian and I left without saying goodbye to anyone and went to spend some days where I wanted to be most right now.
“Amy?” Ian asked. “Where are we going?”
“It’s a surprise honey, you’ll see.” Was my only response.
We made our way down the road and then through town. I stopped at the local market to buy some quick food supplies and sodas for the next three or four days. Then we were back on the road flying down towards the forest area. Finally, we had arrived at our destination, Amy Island.
This was the place where I could rest, and rediscover myself. It was so soothing here with the memories of my parents dancing in my head. I could picture dad making breakfast for my mom and them eating out on the little deck that he had made with his own bare hands.
I wanted to find out more, believe that true love actually did exist, and just explore the depth of my parents relationship when they were young. Here on this trip I vowed to change myself for the better and figure out my feelings.
Was Tristan really the man of my dreams or am I just compensating for having been treated like trash by Gavin? How should I change things to be a better friend to Lynn, and our neighbors, and a better sister to Ian. I knew dad always liked to play games, and if this was now my island, he sure would have it filled with games and clues of things he wants me to figure out. I was bound and determined to dive into that right now.
We used to play board games, card games, and the like. Unfortunately that’s not the kind of games I’m talking about. He also used to train my mind with word games, and teasers and riddles. It was going to be one of those but on a bigger scale. This was going to be a scavenger hunt and it wasn’t going to be easy.
“You’re a brilliant young woman and I’m not going to let you take the easy way out” He used to say to me when we’d play games like this before. He always wanted me to learn and to push myself so I would be challenged in many ways.
I began to walk around the island in search of clues and different markings on rocks. It was then when I found a tree with my parent’s initials on it from before they were married. The heart that surrounded their name was drawn on really crooked though, it was then I realized it was pointing to a rock. Underneath the rock was a riddle written in sharpie. This was the first clue.
“Give me your worst dad” I looked up into the clear blue sky and smiled.
These games held the answer to questions unanswered still, and I was going to try to dominate them all.
It was black. No one around, no sounds, just blackness. Aaron was lying down on his back. He sat up.
“Hello?” No one answered. His voice trailed off rather quickly in fact absorbed by the blackness.
“Hello!” He tried again. A desperate plea with yet again no answer. Aaron got up and started to run, but no matter how fast he ran, nor how far, the blackness never ended. He fell to his knees tears pouring his face. It all suddenly came back to him.
The car crash, and then Josh slamming into him causing his head to collide with with the window with such a force that the memory ended. Was he dead?
No there was no way this could not be heaven. At least he hoped it wasn’t, but it didn’t seem to be hell either. Aaron sat down and as he did a sign appeared. Red lights lit up the word “CRASHING.”
What did that mean? He sat and watched the sign for five minutes as the green word next to it sparked trying to come to life, just like a person who was being shocked back to life. Finally after three attempts the green light turned on “STABLE.”
The blackness faded and was replaced by a blue sky and a green pasture that went on for as far as Aaron could see. In the sky the green word stayed lit. That’s when it hit Aaron. He was in a coma.
“This can’t be happening.” He sat down in the lush green grass allowing himself to calm down as the panic surges through him.
As he sat down everything went black and the red word lit up again. “CRASHING.” Aaron desperately tried to catch his breath but it was difficult. After five minutes he felt back in control. The “STABLE” green light back on and the sky and green pastures back.
“Ok note to self, no panicking.” He started to walk the green pastures. He wasn’t heading anywhere in particular, just walking.
Suddenly the pasture faded and he was in the back seat of an escalade with Kathy at the wheel and josh as the passenger. They were dressed for some sort of formal event.
“Kathy! Josh!” Aaron screamed, but they couldn’t hear him. He watched as the two talked and laughed before suddenly Kathy seemed to pass out and the car lights from a blue suv came slamming into the car with a deadly force. Josh screamed, but right before impact the blackness was back along with its friend “CRASHING.”
Aaron took a breath and after three minutes and several failed spark ups the word “STABLE” illuminated once again. What was going on here? Was he seeing the future or was he just remembering the events differently?
Suddenly Aaron was under water. “CRASHING.” Aaron was swimming desperately to the surface when he noticed Tristan.
Tristan was not conscious and was drowning in the sea. Aaron swam desperately to Tristan and pulled his hand. Then he disappeared. “STABLE.”
It was as if an angel had touched me. Suddenly I was conscious again. As I opened my eyes I saw Aaron for just a second and then I blinked and he was gone. I swam for the surface with all my might. When I broke I was gasping for air.
“Tristan?!?” It was Lynn’s voice. She ran out into the ocean followed by someone who looked like Clayton and they both started swimming.
Once they had me on the shore laying down I closed my eyes.
“Tristan what the hell!” Lynn shrieked. I didn’t want to answer. I didn’t want to say anything, but I knew I had to.
“We went out to eat, and we drank. I was driving and my mind was just somewhere else we crashed and Aaron…Aaron…” Lynn grabbed my hand as I trailed off.
“What happened Tristan?” she asked her voice filled with horror.
“He’s in a coma,” Lynn began to cry.
“It’s not your fault Tristan, it could’ve happened to anyone,” Lynn said rubbing my hand with hers.
“It could’ve happened to anyone. Tristan open your eyes and look at me. Now! Sit up!” I opened my eyes and sat up slowly. Lynn grabbed me into a hug. It caught me off guard. Tears just started to fall.
“Now you listen to me, and you listen well. You were driving, but you didn’t know what was going to happen. Stop blaming yourself. This is God’s plan, and it may seem so unclear as to what he’s up to right now, but give Him some time,” Lynn whispered into my ear.
“Lynn?” Amy walked over to the scene. “Tristan! Are you okay?” Amy ran up and sat down next to me.
Lynn let go and her hands were replaced by Amy’s. Amy held me close and tight. My tears still falling.
“What happened Tristan?” I couldn’t answer.
“There was an accident, Aaron is in a coma,” Lynn answered. Amy looked horrified and sad.
“Are Kathy and Josh okay?” Amy whispered. I nodded a yes. Amy stroked my head softly.
“Who did you hit?” Amy asked. I pulled out of her embrace.
“The man who was at your home earlier, his truck just came out of nowhere…” Amy looked at me as I spoke. Every word her face looking more and more horrified.
“Oh my God, no. Seriously this cannot be happening. Of all the people that you could’ve hit. I just don’t understand.” Amy said. I looked down at the sand, everything was in ruins and there was nobody else to blame except for me. Amy walked back to the house.
“Amy! Amy! Get back here!” Lynn called after her. Amy hesitated turned her head crying and whispered, “I can’t.”
I fell back onto the ground and closed my eyes again. Tears were falling like crazy. I heard footsteps running towards us. Josh picked me up and right hooked me. I stumbled on the ground, more confused than dazed. He came at me again.
“Josh stop!” Lynn screamed. I blocked his punch and grabbed him into a hug. He tried so hard to get out, but he started crying and hugged me back.
“I’m so sorry,” I whispered.
“It’s not you fault,” Josh said. I let go of him and we both sat down on the shore. My jaw burning.
“Lynn and Clayton would you mind giving us some privacy?” Josh asked. Lynn and Clayton nodded and walked inside Kathy’s house.
“It’s my fault,” Josh said. I didn’t look at him.
“It’s not anyone’s fault…”
“I wasn’t wearing my seatbelt Tristan! I smashed his head into the window with my full body weight,” Josh snapped.
“If I hadn’t crashed it wouldn’t have mattered that you weren’t wearing your seatbelt,” I said. Josh started to cry again.
“I just can’t believe he’s in a coma. Do you know how long those can last…I’m speechless,” Josh said.
“They told us the ocean was a cruel place to be, they forgot to tell us land was two times the terror of the sea,” I said.
“I just can’t believe he took off like that.” I sat down on the couch next to Lynn. She had just gotten home from work and Ian was still outside dancing around the fire.
“So you have no idea why he was running around out there?” She questioned.
“No, none at all. He just looked at me and then took off. It was almost as if he didn’t even know me. I mean we’re a couple now, he should be able to tell me anything. That look on his face was unforgettable.” I took in a deep breath and sighed to release some tension I could feel building up in my shoulders. “His eyes were so sad, and scared all at the same time. He could hardly look at me, but that one look he did give me, I felt it go straight through my soul.”
“I’m sure he’ll explain it to you, he’s just a man though. They deal with things differently and a lot of the time they have to have their space. They just need to go think.”
“Lynn I don’t even think it’s anything with me, I hope not anyways. I think something bad happened with Kathy. I haven’t seen anyone come home next door all night. Where are they?”
“Amy, I’m sure everything is alright. This isn’t your family though. You need to focus on you and Ian and take care of each other. Tristan will come around, like he always does, but in the mean time try to relax okay?” Lynn gave me a big hug.
“Alright, I’ll try. I’m going to outside and call Ian in for bed.”
“Okay, Goodnight Amy.” Lynn called out to me. Then I took Ian inside after putting out the fire, put him to bed and went off to get some sleep as well.
After Ian and Amy had gone to bed I was able to sit and think about things. I still couldn’t shake off the memory that had been stirred up so recently. Maybe walking would help my mind release of these thoughts.
As the wind and tide blew the waves up against the shore my feet were becoming encrusted with sand. I saw a figure with a flashlight and a dog walking along the beach as well and they were coming my way.
“Hey Lynn” I stepped back, “it’s me, Clayton.”
“Oh hey! Sorry, I couldn’t recognize you in the dark.” He must have just gotten back from his two week training camp because I hadn’t seen him since the big welcome home party we had for Tristan.
“It’s all good, just taking Koda here out for a walk. No one is home which is a bit odd, so I figured this little rascal needed to go outside and get some fresh air. I just got back from my two week session in Florida.“ Clayton announced.
Wow, funny how fate works. I want to go for a walk to get Clayton and that whole deal out of my head and he shows up right in front of me. Almost like an easy button telling me to just get it over with and approach him about it.
The full, bright moon illuminated the sky and the water mirrored it’s beauty. I looked up into Clayton’s face. His features were still as they were when he and I had first fallen in love. His smooth, rounded, lips. Those soft, delicate eyes complimented his tan skin on his comforting, strong, face. I knew I had to do this quick before I lost the nerve.
“Hey, I actually need to talk to you about something.” I started to stammer out the words to what could be the best or worst talk of my life.
“Yeah, what’s up?” Clayton sat down in the sand and I followed his motion.
“Well, I… I… just wanted to say that, after this time, I still love you Clayton.” I looked straight into his eyes.
“I still love you too, but I always thought you didn’t. You never wrote me back, I tried to contact you, nothing. I thought I had done something wrong. I’m used to being the type of guy that messes everything up anyways. I just thought you had realized that I wasn’t good enough for you or something so I threw all my effort into my job.” He let out a sigh as if he had been holding all that in for a very, long time. “But… why did you do it? Why did you just run away from us if you still loved me?”
This was the question I had been preparing all night for. There were no right words to tell him. So I handed him the sonogram picture.
“So you cheated with me, got pregnant with someone else’s kid, and then decided to not even tell me anything?!” Clayton got up with anger and started to walk away.
“Clayton!” I yelled while running after him to stop him from going any further. “I did not cheat on you. This was your child, our child.”
He turned back around with a confused look on his face. “From just that one night?”
“Yeah, I was too afraid to tell you while you were working and I didn’t want to bother you with it.” I continued on.
“Well, where is he, or she?” Clayton walked back towards me.
“That’s the thing. I was going to tell you the day you got back, but before that day had come I had fallen. It was a bad fall and I lost the baby. I felt awful and depressed and couldn’t hardly look at myself in the morning. There was no way that I was going to be able to tell you, so I decided the best thing to do was to push you away. As far as I could so that you would never know that I killed our kid.” Tears started streaming down my face and my head sunk into my hands.
I felt Clayton put his hands on mine and move them from my face. He gently wiped the tears from my face and caressed my face in his palms. Then as I looked up at him he gave me a delicate, sweet, kiss on the lips. He smiled.
“I would have never been mad at you. I love you, always have and always will. I just wished you would’ve told me. We would’ve probably been married by this point!” He chuckled in amusement.
“So, you’re really alright?” I questioned.
“Yes.” He kissed me again and hugged me securely. “I’m glad that you finally told me. I would have loved the baby as well, even with my busy job, I would’ve been happy to have a child with you. You are the greatest woman I have ever met. You, Lynn, are strong, courageous, intelligent, gifted, whimsical, spirited.. I can’t even begin to describe you because the list would never end.”
I just stood there in shock and continued to smile at him. Our fingers intertwined as we began to rekindle our love again, at last!
“Would you be my girlfriend again? I sure have missed you.” He looked at me longingly.
“Of course. I’ve missed you too my love. I know I didn’t get to say this at the party years ago so, welcome home.”
We stayed out there for another few hours just talking, making up for lost time. This was right where I needed to be, this was true love blossoming and all the stars in the night were there twinkling brightly witnessing it.
The ambulance sped along Mill Creek road to the hospital. Aaron laid on the stretcher unconscious. Josh’s mind was a blur. All he remembered was looking out the window at the sea and smiling about how everything in life was going so great for a change and then Kathy screamed.
Josh didn’t have time to react he went flying to the opposite side of the back seat slamming into Aaron with a bone crushing force. Josh had glass scrapes and blood all over his arms and legs.
Tristan was stable with nothing but some minor bruises. Kathy was the same, just a little shook up. Aaron however was in a coma. The impact his head had against the window had knocked him out.
“We are here,” the ambulance driver said. It took an hour to get Aaron in an ICU room and hooked up to a life machine.
“Are you his guardian?” A woman asked. She was Indian, skinny and very attractive.
“His brother Josh actually,” Josh answered.
“My name is Dr. Fuji. I am the head of neurology here in this hospital. Your brother is in a coma, and he’s lost a lot of blood. He is an organ donor and has minimal brain activity. Now the activity can pick back up, but it’s not guaranteed. We need to know if you want him resuscitated or not,” Dr. Fuji explained.
Josh’s head started to swirl. Kathy came up running.
“What’s going on, how is he, who are you?” Kathy was looking at Josh, as tears began to fall from his eyes.
“They want to know if we want to sign a DNR,” Josh said. Kathy looked at Aaron in the bed. His facial injuries had been taken care of, but he was barely alive. In fact with the amount of brain activity he was holding on by a thread.
“No we aren’t going to sign that. This boy is a fighter. You resuscitate him whenever he crashes,” Kathy said firmly. Dr. Fuji nodded politely.
“Ma’am at this stage of a coma this severe the chances of survival start small and get smaller as every day passes,” Kathy looked down to the ground as Dr. Fuji said this.
“I know as a doctor there’s an agenda to get organs that are healthy to know when it’s time for a reality check and know when it’s time to let go, but never does a doctor put themselves in the shoes of the patient. Keep him hooked up and when he codes you had better do everything you can to save him,” Kathy said just as Tristan came running down the hallway.
This could not be happening. Things like this didn’t just happen, it wasn’t possible. Where had the truck from? It all had happened so fast.
The man was dead, and Aaron was in a coma and it was my fault. The guilt was consuming me. I felt nauseous in my stomach. It was in knots. I was having the worst panic attack.
“Tristan are you ok?” Josh asked. I fell to the floor.
“Sir are you ok?” Dr. Fuji asked.
“I need Klonopin or something now!” I said.
“Nurse get my five milligrams of Ativan stat!” Dr. Fuji screamed. The nurse left and came back after three minutes with a pill. I took it dry and after five minutes the attack subsided.
“How is he?” I asked while looking at the floor.
“He’s in a pretty severe coma,” Dr. Fuji answered. Josh was over holding Aaron’s hand and crying. I walked to the opposite side and grabbed Aaron’s hand.
“Aaron I am so sorry,” I whispered, tears building in my eyes. As I squeezed his hand a machine began to ring. A blue light in the room started flashing and his pulse went flat.
“Code blue in ICU three I need a crash cart now!” Dr. Fuji screamed.
“Charge! Clear!,” Aaron’s body popped up and then down on the bed. His pulse had returned.
“Normal sinus rhythm,” Dr. Fuji said relieved.
I backed away out of the room and ran. Out of the hospital and just kept running. It was three hours before I was so worn out that I couldn’t run any longer.
I had made it to Mill Creek Road. I sat on the side panting and crying. As I say a blue ford escape drove by. It was Amy’s car. She slammed on the brakes as her headlights flashed over me.
“Tristan! Are you ok?” Amy asked running towards me. I just got up and started running again. Amy ran with me.
“Tristan!” she screamed before stopping and watching me run out of sight. I just ran and ran nothing was fueling me except pure adrenaline. It was another two hours before I was at the driveway of Kathy’s house.
I ran towards the shore and fell in the water and just started swimming and swimming before my body could not take anymore. It gave in and I began to sink under the water.
I deserve this, I deserve to drown. I deserve death for what I did. I should’ve known better. What a fool.
“Remission,” Kathy whispered. The doctor looked at her, his smiling not fading. Kathy felt like she was going to pass out.
“You mean it’s gone?” The doctor started to laugh.
“We did it Kathy. We beat it, the scans are all clean. There’s not a single trace of it anywhere in your body,” the doctor pulled the scan and handed them to Kathy. Kathy grabbed them and stared at a cancer free image.
“Lung cancer is terminal usually though,” Kathy protested.
“Some people get lucky, we don’t know why, but they do. You just happened to be one of those people,” the doctor was trying to comfort Kathy. Kathy allowed it to sink in and started to cry.
“I don’t even know what to say. Do I say thank you? What do people say at this point?” Kathy sobbed. The doctor let out a soft chuckle.
“At this point they’re just ready to get out and go live their lives cancer free,” the doctor answered. Kathy started laughing.
“Now we still have to do the occasional scans every month for six months and then every three months after, but hopefully it’s gone for good. We also recommend one last round of chemo and a transfusion to ensure all the particles are gone,” the doctor said. Kathy nodded, she never imagined being normal again. The happiness consumer her.
After some routine paperwork and a final round of chemo Kathy headed home. She was exhausted but her excitement kept her moving. She just couldn’t wait to get home and tell Tristan.
I lay in my bed just staring at the ceiling last night had been a lot of fun. I kept thinking back to the lighthouse and Amy. I had taken her to the top and allowed her to turn on the light.
“Wow this is honestly amazing,” she said. I looked down. She noticed something was wrong.
“It’s just that every time after a mission I couldn’t wait to see the light just spin and spin, knowing I’d made it home again. It just is a beacon of hope for me honestly,” I said.
“Do you ever wonder what if nothing bad ever happened?” Amy asked.
“Without suffering there can’t be any happiness,” I said staring into her eyes.
“Those who suffer might disagree.”
“Only as they grew impatient thinking they’d been forgotten,” Amy looked surprised by my counter.
“You can only be so patient,” she whispered.
“That’s what people who are experiencing a patience test say.”
“Well I admit defeat Tristan Vandt,” she smirked.
“Those who suffer and wait patiently with their faith receive happiness that seemed for so long impossible, it’s just a test to see if you can be patient and keep faith,” Amy’s eyes filled with tears as I finished.
“It’s hope I’ve lose not faith.”
“What were you hoping for?” Amy looked into my eyes.
“The pain to go away,” she said. I staggered for a second.
“But again without suffering how can there be happiness?” Amy smiled and laughed.
“I know, I know.”
“Sometimes Amy the happiness we try so hard to find is right in front of our own eyes,” I said. Amy looked down at the beach smiling.
“That’s true but sometimes it just seems too good to be true.” I don’t know what she meant by that but we didn’t say anything else we just sat and stared at the ocean.
Eventually Amy got up and left. I stayed up and laid down on the lighthouse just contemplating my life.
Back in my bedroom last night seemed to answer a lot of questions about my feelings. I heard the front door open. Kathy was back from the hospital. I couldn’t bear to hear any bad news, not when I was in such a good mood so I decided to not go downstairs.
I heard footsteps approaching my room and then the door opened. Kathy stood her eyes filled with tears and a big smile on her face.
“No,” I whispered in complete and utter disbelief.
“Yes!” I jumped up and hugged her. She was free from her suffering. I couldn’t believe it.
“Are they sure?”
“Well they want to do one month follow ups for the next six months, but yes the doctor said it’s gone,” Aunt Kathy sobbed. I hugged her again just holding onto living proof that God works in the most mysterious ways.
“Kathy this is great news! I’m so happy for you!” My excitement filled my voice.
“I just can’t believe it. I thought it was the end of the road for me,” she said.
“You never lost hope or faith though, and that’s what I admire most about you,” I said.
“How about dinner at the new Yacht Seafood Diner,” I suggested. Kathy cried and nodded yes.
“I’m going to go tell your brothers,” Kathy said. She waked out of the room. I walked back to my bed as I did I noticed an older man walk up to Amy’s house. I figured it was nobody harmful, so I just laid down on my bed. Koda got up and laid down with his head on my chest.
“Hey Koda, Aunt Kathy is better, can you believe it boy?” I asked. Koda yawned his tongue sticking out.
“Silly dog,” I said. Koda closed his eyes and started drifting off to sleep. Outside I heard a car engine start. I got up and looked out the window. Amy and Ian were driving off with the man from earlier. I wondered where they were going. I’m sure I’d find out sooner or later.
“Tristan, hurry up and get ready,” Kathy called from downstairs.
“Ok,” I checked the time on my phone. Six fifteen at night. Shouldn’t be too crowded. I put on a pair of swimming trunks and a white beater. I walked downstairs. The rest of the gang also had their swimming attire on. It was time for dinner.
“Did you invite Amy?” Kathy asked.
“No tonight is about you, not her,” I answered. Kathy gave me a hug.
“Thanks, for everything,” she was crying softly again.
“No worries,” I got into the driver’s seat of the Escalade and drove to the restaurant. When we got there the hostess greeted us with a warm smile.
“Four,” Kathy answered.
“Right this way,” she said. The restaurant was built on a giant yacht and you sat in a heated pool that had a bar that ran along the outside of it. It was Kathy and my favorite place.
Dinner went by fast, but by the end, and after five victory shots we headed home. What a day. Kathy was going to make it after all. I was just so happy.
“TRISTAN!” Kathy screamed I came back to the real world and slammed into a white truck. The impact was hard and Aaron and Josh went flying in the back. The escalade rolled and rolled. It landed back on its tires.
After everything processed I got out and walked over to the truck I hit. The man inside was familiar, he was the man I saw at Amy’s house earlier. I checked his pulse. My eyes filled with tears. What had I just done? There was no beating, he was dead.