Author: Lilith Lunatic PM
Cathryn visits Willard in Bellevue and gives him a surprising early Christmas gift.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Drama/Romance - Words: 1,033 - Reviews: 6 - Favs: 10 - Follows: 2 - Published: 12-24-06 - Status: Complete - id: 3306241
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"Merry Christmas, Willard," Cathryn said as she sat down at the cold, metal table that was placed between her and Willard in the puce-colored visitor's room of Bellevue Asylum. It was no wonder not many people visited their relatives and friends up here. The air in the room was barely above fifty and the seemingly always angry guards' remarks and cattle-calls didn't do much for the atmosphere. The most Christmas-y thing she'd seen were some battered reindeer horns on a sullen clerk in the front office.
But Cathryn was determined to make the most of the short time she had here; she had to. She felt so guilty after just leaving Willard in that old house, left him to the rats and the police. Well, there wasn't much she could do about the police, but the rat-bit, that was just plain mean. She admonished herself for it daily.
"I brought you something, Willard," Cathryn tried again. He still wasn't responding. She wasn't sure if it was because he was angry with her, or if these horrible people had broken him. She hoped to God it was the first. Willard had the gentlest spirit of anyone she'd ever met, even her sweet old grand-mum. He'd always been so kind to her, and she really wanted to repay him. So she came up here to Bellevue every other weekend to see him since February of the year after Mr. Martin had died, and Willard had been arrested. This would be his first Christmas here, or it would in two weeks.
"It's nothing much, but I thought you'd like it," Cathryn continued, trying to catch Willard's eye. He was staring blankly over her left shoulder, knees hugged to his chest; he looked as though he were trying to make himself as small as possible, perhaps disappear altogether.
Cathryn dug around in her bag, pulling out a small box with a bow. He made no motion to open, or even take it. Cathryn's heart hurt.
"Please open it, Willard..." she asked softly, leaning forward a little, metal chair legs raking the floor.
Willard looked at her for the first time in months, looked her right in the eye. Cathryn felt a chill go down her spine as she realized it was the latter; they had broken his spirit, and she could see it in those blank, blue orbs.
"You left," he whispered in a voice that hadn't spoken to anything human in a little under a year.
"I know... I'm sorry..."
"I was calling you and calling you," he went on, his voice rising a little, eyes narrowing, "and you just ran away. You left me, like everyone else..." So he was angry with her, but he spoke not in the voice of the vicious killer the tabloids made him out to be or in that soft, tentative voice he had before any of this started; he spoke in the voice of a little boy lost and not understanding why his mother and father were gone, not understanding why no one loved him. Cathryn wanted to cry.
"I know, and I shouldn't have, Willard. Can you forgive me? Please?"
Willard said nothing. He just stared at her, lost in his own thought, or perhaps his own insanity. Cathryn had expected as much.
"Time to go, lady," a scruffy and deep-voiced guard said, his baritone almost deafening compared to the silence of their soft conversation.
"Alright..." Cathryn sighed, scooting back her chair. "Can I say goodbye?"
The guard shrugged; he didn't care.
"Please open your gift, Willard," Cathryn asked again, pushing it toward him a little. This time he took it, but kept his eyes on her. He untied the ribbon and removed the lid to reveal a heart shaped locket on a silver chain- not the manliest gift, but Cathryn felt it was the right one. He open the locket. Inside a picture was already placed inside: a photo of a small white mouse.
"Socrates..." Willard whispered, his voice cracking. He'd taken the picture himself of his little friend; he liked having it back.
"Yeah..." Cathryn said softly. "Look in the box again, there's a couple of other things in there..."
Willard pulled out a packet of paper and a key.
"What...?" he asked; he didn't understand.
"That's the key to your house, and orders for your release. I had my sister check over your case and apply for an appeal." Willard couldn't do anything but stare at her. He slightly remembered going into a courtroom a couple of weeks back and being asked questions. He just figured it was follow-up or something. There were three judges and a recorder. Two men, one indifferent- the one asking questions, the other making harsh remarks in a voice that was made to hurt and give insults- a voice like Mr. Martins. Then there was the woman, nice and blond, rather like his own mother before her disease had stolen her senses. He most likely owed his freedom to her, and Cathryn, as well as Cathryn's sister.
"Merry Christmas, Willard. Come on, let's get out of here," Cathryn said softly, offering her hand. Cathryn's sister had always told her she liked them weird. Of course, Cathryn assumed she meant the leather-clad, metal-pierced freaks in tat shops at all hours of the day and night. Cathryn had moved past that phase after high school. Willard wasn't weird; he was sweet.
Willard took her hand, and she lead him out of Bellevue.
Something soft brushed her wrist. She looked down to see a little white mouse.
Willard wasn't weird; he was sweet and a little strange.
Cathryn opened her car door for him. They smiled at one another.
Willard was also her love.