Remembering Hannah by Holly
Various spoilers and more of that first person type stuff. This is cade's point of view.
Disclaimer: these characters belong to Pearson, Peace Arch and First wave productions and Chris Brancato. I humbly beg leave to borrow them for no profit.
Remembering Hannah By Holly
I'm doing all this for you Hannah. My love.
Hearing a noise I rise from the motel bed and walk with curiosity towards the window. Your car is parked out side. I think nothing of that for aren't I always seeing your car? Most towns I visit it's parked in a lot, on the roadside, in a driveway, passing me at an intersection. In the same way I am always catching glimpses of you from the corner of my eye. Just there. Elusively in my peripheral vision. It was unsettling at first. But now-now I'm used to it.
Nevertheless I see that stationary car and my heart skips in anticipation. Then there you are, in a sleeveless dress looking just like you used to on hot days when the sun seemed to shine like a thousand candles and our love was going to last forever. You turn towards me and you are smiling with such fondness my eyes begin to water. I mouth your name in awe and clutch the necklace in my hand so tightly I know the imprint will still be there tomorrow.
The door opens slowly. I am frozen to the cheap matting. How long have I waited for this moment? There is not a muscle in my body which is willing to co operate with my brain. I want to rush forward and slam the door shut against whatever demon might be hidden there.
Deep in my stomach a sick feeling rises up from my digestive tract. My chest is tight when I suck my breath in.
My heart is pounding against the bony cage of my ribs.
This feeling is the same as when I first saw you. I was waiting to cross a road when a car pulled up to the lights. The passenger side of the car was level with me and I was aware of a gorgeous mass of curly dark hair. When I was young I saw a picture of an angel in a magazine which captivated me so much I tore it out and hid it under my mattress. From that angle you looked just like that angel. I knew then that you would be my redemption, my guardian angel.
You turned your head and our eyes met.
Do you believe in love at first sight? I do.
A confusion overcame me. It was like I had lost control of my body as nothing seemed to be working properly; my heart was racing, I felt faint, my head and palms were clammy. Was I coming down with the flu?
I flexed my fingers to regain feeling and blinked hard to clear my vision. Riveted, my eyes captured yours. Rich brown eyes and long dark lashes. I found the will to raise my hand slowly and wiggle my fingers as if to stroke those alluring lashes. You were the most beautiful thing I had ever seen in a life deprived of much joy. You shone with cleanliness and wholesomeness. The clothes you wore were store-bought, not good will offerings and your teeth when you smiled at me were white and they shone so much I closed my eyes against their radiance. Whenever I look in the mirror I see sadness in my own eyes. I thought that just a few minutes in your presence would allow me to catch that happiness.
I've seen too much pain, but you, you were obviously untouched by the evils of this world. Evils I had learnt about and suffered from an early age.
Then my eyes drifted past you as you turned your head away from me in the direction of the driver of the car-I wondered if he was your boyfriend until he turned to look past you at me. I felt the color drain from my face like a wash of paint across a canvas. My heart sank; yes it really felt as if it were sinking right through my body to puddle in a mushy heap at my feet. That vision of divine beauty was with my probation officer, I had no chance.
That's what I thought then, it was obvious you were his daughter. I was Romeo to your Juliet. He would never let me alone with you knowing that I was a thief, knowing my history. He would not want his darling daughter corrupted by my base morals. The lights changed and you were gone. And I could not get you out of my mind, out of my dreams. I did not even know your name. All I knew was that I loved you.
So now I stand by a motel window and listen to the door creaking open slowly as I turn, slowly, in expectation. A few seconds that seem to stretch out like rubber defying time. It takes a lifetime for you to step gracefully across the threshold into my line of sight.
Then you are here.
My eyes are stinging.
I hug my chest with one hand to quell the pain.
Hannah? I question aloud, My Hannah.
I thought I was never going to see you again. This is like my dream come true: the dream of a last touch, a last sigh, a last whispered, I love you. My heart bleeds for you Hannah, my soul weeps for you. It does. It really does.
I hold out my two bare arms in welcome. Come to me Hannah and you do. I feel your warmth against my skin. We are falling to the bed and you are smiling at me, a sweet smile of passion. In your eyes-total devotion. What did I do to deserve you?
This love is unbearable in its intensity.
I lie back and my eyes close themselves slowly. I have no need to look at you. I want to surrender to the feel of you: the pressure of your legs against mine, your stomach on mine as we close the gaps between our bodies. My arms are open to receive you.
My Hannah returned to me.
The first time I told you I loved you was way back, years ago. Do you remember it, Hannah? I called you on the phone and asked for a date regardless of any consequences. Prayed you would pick up-not your mom or Dad. And I was lucky I guess because they were out and you did pick up. You laughed at me. I didn't tell you I knew your Dad but you already knew that. You pretended you didn't know who I really was. I made up a story about getting your number from a friend of a friend of a friend. I don't know if I ever expected you to believe it. At that time all I wanted was to hear your voice and maybe, hope against hope, hear you agree to meeting me. So where does a loser with no money take a beautiful girl on a date? The movies. Do you remember what the picture was, Hannah, cos I don't?
You were the best thing that ever happened to me, you know that. Without you I would have fallen back on my old ways. For you I turned myself around, put the past behind me. It wasn't easy. I was good at what I did. The best around at cracking open locks, getting in and out of places unseen. I was well known for it.
I'd see old friends on the street, in the Mall, in a bar. Hey Cade there's a job going down, hey Cade wanna score some real shit? Hey Cade want in with an easy robbery?
Yeah, it was hard saying no.
So in my mind I would picture you and what I needed to do to earn your love. I imagined the person you would want me to be and tried to behave that way. I said "No" to deserve you.
Of course I was risking it. Every "no" was a danger for me. When you say "no" to my kind of friends it's a risk.
And I suffered for it. Suffered for you Hannah. Did you even guess?
Remember that time you called to my apartment and I wouldn't open the door? You waited and waited, was it for over an hour? It felt like it. You wouldn't leave so I had to let you in. I remember your tears Hannah. They were harder to bear than the injuries from the beating I'd been given. Any physical injury was easier for me than to see you crying. Crying for worthless scum like me. I could hardly move, just managed to get to the door then back to the couch without puking or falling over.
I'd been a jerk-opened the door to three of them who lay into me before I could even draw breath to protest. I didn't stand a chance. Didn't let me explain how I was trying to go straight. "Once you're with us you never leave," they said as they kicked and punched. My mind was screaming, hey guys I thought we were friends, but my mouth would not open. Ya know I never felt fear when I did all those jobs, but when this happened, I was so scared I could not even protect myself from them.
I felt my lip split open, then a pop in my ear followed by the warmth of something trickling down my neck. My blood. I would have passed out but two of them held me upright whilst the other threw water at me and laughed and slapped me across the face till my nose bled. Another punch, this time to the ribs, I was almost past feeling anything by then. Leave me alone. "You've gone soft, bye Cade."
It was a relief when I finally blacked out.
It was you knocking that roused me. I wanted to stay in that blackness where the pain was only a muted hum. Coming to consciousness was unbearable. For a start the knocking noise sounded like heavy duty pounding, a sledgehammer at a demolition site. One ear was working too well, the other not at all. I lay still trying to calm myself down, slow the pounding of my heart. Tried to breathe deeply but the pain blackened my sight for a second. I tried to work out exactly what it was that was hurting most; my bloodied nose, my ribs, my eyes, my ears? All seemed to be vying for the prize. Shaking my head to clear the ringing sound only made me nauseous, for the moment moving was not an option. I opened my mouth to try to speak through my damaged lips but nothing came out. So I lay on the carpet listening to you plead for me to open the door, your sweet voice getting more panicked by the minute.
How did you know I was home? Did we have some psychic link right from the get go? Remember we often said the same thing at the same time? Guessed what the other was thinking. It scared me at first. I always thought we were two halves of one whole, destined for each other. I read somewhere once that each soul is incomplete till it finds its other half. Some people search all their lives for the half to complete theirs and some never find it; we were lucky that we found each other when we did. You made my soul complete Hannah. You mended it and made it healthy and whole because I was only half alive before I met you.
As your tears fell on my face, I thought, this is it-she'll never want to see me again. But no, you gently washed me, cleaned up the wounds and respected my wish to not go to the ER. I closed my eyes and let you care for me like no one else ever had. I let you be my guardian angel. I could hear through the buzzing of my damaged ear the drip of water falling from the washcloth into the bowl as you squeezed it dry and then the coolness on my aching cheeks, as you caressed me with it. I squinted through swollen eyes to see your blurred face above me. Your curls brushed my cheeks and I moaned in pain and desire. You never looked so beautiful.
"Oh Cade," you whispered, not in accusation or anger or disappointment, but in sorrow. When I breathed in to answer you the sharp pain in my ribs made me cry out. My legs ached, my stomach ached and I heaved but had no strength to even turn my head before the sweet smell of vomit assaulted my nose. I moaned again, how you must hate me for putting you through this. I was so ashamed that you should see my weakness see me puke without any awareness. But no, again your calming voice reassured me, your gentle hand stroked my clammy forehead and I could just make out your words telling me you were getting clean water and some clothes. "No," I whispered, through the pain. "Don't leave me." I must have been a pitiful sight to you, Hannah, I did not deserve you. You can't have been gone long but the desolation I felt was endless.
Your voice roused me from whatever black pain I'd sunk into. You had returned with aspirin which you pushed into my mouth after wiping the sick away. And you were crying still. I sucked in a breath and whispered, "Sorry," it came out as a sigh through my split lips. I raised a feeble hand to wipe your tears away. You caught that bruised hand, trapped it in yours like it was a delicate creature and brought it to your lips. Tenderly you kissed my fingers one by one as your face came closer to mine. I sucked in another pain filled breath as your lips softly brushed one eye lid then the other then traced a path to my nose moistening it with another kiss then onto my ears my cheeks, my lips. I was in agony as I sighed through the hurt and reached out to you with my tongue.
"Shhh," you whispered as you undid my shirt buttons, "close your eyes, Cade." Do you remeber then how you proceeded to plant kisses across my discolored chest, lingering over every bruise. "I'll kiss you better, Cade," you promised. This time I moaned with a mixture of pain and yearning before firecrackers exploded in my skull and the blessed numbness engulfed me.
Seems you called your father when you realised I had lost consciousness. You got him to come over to my apartment and check whether I needed the hospital. Sure enough and as efficient as ever, he called an ambulance and I ended up in ER anyway. I had a concussion, craked ribs, a broken nose and a perforated eardrum.
After my discharge a few days later do you remember how your parents almost adopted me? They let me stay in the room above your garage so they could keep a close eye on me. I was very weak for quite a while in spirit as well as in body and your mom made sure I ate properly. She used to cook meals for me, welcomed me as part of your family. tried to cheer me up and treated me like I was a normal guy not some waster. Your family rescued me and supported me. Without you all I would be back in prison again, you know that, don't you. Still I could soon be back in prison, on the run for your murder. That's a great irony, isn't it?
Your dad helped me get a job that used my skills-well the few skills I had. Who'd have guessed that breaking and entering skills could be turned to good use? Not me for starters.
I loved that job and for the first time in my life I felt good about myself, in control and successful. It was a fantastic feeling. When you've been beaten down all your life like I was, even little words of praise make a huge difference to the way you look at yourself.
I was good at that job and that gave me confidence- confidence to feel I could make commitments. Yeah, there was a time back then when my life couldn't be better: I had a great job, a girlfriend who promised to marry me, and an apartment in a decent neighborhood close to your house. I felt I had everything, and to tell you the truth I was waiting for that hammer to fall cos I could not believe I deserved such fortune. It seemed so incredible, like it was a dream and that I would wake up from it any minute to find I was lying in some muddy alley in he darkest part of town, or in the cellar cold and afraid back home.
It was a beautiful dream while it lasted, wasn't it? Hannah and Cade, Cade and Hannah.
It was no surprise to me, then, when I lost it all: my sanity, my job, my money, my house...my wife, my freedom. I-we could have coped with those losses together; but without you-no it was too much to bear. The worst thing anyone could do to me was just that-taking you from me. My Hannah. And now I can only touch you in my imaginings.
Nevertheless I have to keep going, I had to find out what was going on and why my life had turned upside down. All I had left, all I have left is my compulsion to fight back, to get them and stop them. To get my revenge. For you.
And now here you are again like my dreams have come true. You know the dreams I'm talking about, don't you? The ones where you get your heart's desire. The dreams in which you are there for me when I need you, as if you never left. That dream in which you meet me from work arms open, you enfold me in your warm arms, kisses and laughter. Happy Hannah. You kiss and caress me as I hold out my arms to you. I open my eyes and you are gone.
There is nothing. My arms ache in emptiness as they embrace the cool ungiving motel recycled air.
I'm aware of my ragged breath and the thudding of my heart in my chest. I have never felt so desolate, no, not even that night I found your dead body near me.
Tears fall uncontrollably down my face, I don't fight them. It is a welcome release when I fall into the oblivion of a dream troubled sleep, sobbing.
copyright Holly C Nov 2000