|At Arm's Reach
Author: JoJo Jones PM
This story follows Oscar Choi, and how he found his true love, right before his mission. Summaries are not my strong point, so please R & R! More chapters to come.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Romance/Drama - Chapters: 3 - Words: 14,774 - Reviews: 4 - Favs: 5 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 10-21-09 - Published: 01-11-08 - id: 4006657
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: I don't own any characters from Armageddon nor do I own any part of the movie. I am not seeking a profit for this story and have no connections with the actors, writers, directors, ect.
P/L: This is the story of how Oscar found his true love, right before his mission.
Author's Note: I would also like to add that this is the first fan-fic that I ever wrote. After watching Armageddon for the first time I felt like I had to commemorate Oscar in some way. Ya gotta love 'em! I've been hooked on writing ever since.
Prologue: The Ending
I caressed the cold golden metal ring I had in my hand, my undivided attention focused on the small radio that I had placed inside my red truck. I can still remember when I first received Oscar's note, the address being NASA-Houston, Texas, that is, since it was yesterday. It seemed pretty silly to me when I found out it was from Oscar, considering we'd been broken up for at least a month or so. In fact, the first thing that came to my mind was, God Oscar, what'd you do this time? I thought he would be asking for me to pay his way out of trouble since that's always what I did when we were together. But right before I threw it into my fireplace, something told me to read what it said. Wouldn't hurt, I thought, I can always burn it after I read it. So I opened the letter and this is what it said:
Hey, this is Oscar. You may have known that it was from me, but I wasn't even sure if you'd read this so I put that anyway. I bet it seems weird that I'm writing this to you. I'm sure you hate my guts even at this moment. But I have something I want to tell you. Now I can't tell you why or what I'm doing, it's top-secret stuff you know?
But I got arrested yesterday. Now wait a moment before you stop reading this! I'm not done with my story. Good. You are reading this aren't you? Anyway, me and my friends went to this uhhh… I don't know how to put it. Uhhh… Well, this place called Love and Rockhound (You remember him?) got into this fight with this big biker dude and so everybody starts joining into the fight so I had to too, right? Well somebody calls the police and that's how we got arrested but, while we were lined up against the fence getting our hand cuffs put on, I thought about how big this mission I'm doing is and if I come back I'll be a real hero! And just getting arrested made me think of you and I want you to be proud of me, for once. So while everybody was yelling all this stuff and resisting to be arrested I just rested my head on that fence and stayed quiet.
This means a lot to me, (this is like deep blue hero stuff you know?) and I want you to be there to see it. And listen, if I go through with all of this all of my parking tickets will be wiped off my record! I'll be clean! Well almost. If this note has touched you in the least bit, please hurry before tomorrow and go to Florida, at the location of the Rocket launch site, which was given out on the news. Please come. Now I better go, since I've been training for this day we've had an early bedtime. Well, hope to see you there.
With lots of love (even if you don't care),
When I read that note, my heart crumbled. Oscar's not the sharpest tack in the shed but he covers up for it so well. I could feel my eyes get a familiar blur and sting. I quickly began rubbing my face to pull myself together. Oscar, why do you have to sound so pitiful? This was my old boyfriend; I shouldn't have any feelings for him now right? But I did. Dating a guy like Oscar is an experience no one could forget. That's what brought me to the launch site today. But to tell you the truth, even when I met Oscar it wasn't the normal boy meets girl…
"Blue Cobra this is Red Leader we have a nine-twenty on Greenspring Avenue. We need you over there to check it out. Over." Came onto my radio as I was driving around in my police car. I picked it up and spoke into it, "Rodger. I guess this is a last day mission right Red Leader? Over." I was going to quit the NMPD (New Mexico Police Department) today; I was tired of being a policewoman and ready to get home. "Affirmative. We need to make your experience in the NMPD a rememberable one. And the person you're going to be seeing is quite familiar with the law. In fact, six states know him very well, and that's not including us. Over." I had a feeling I knew who the police department was talking about. Oscar Choi, a Geologist who lives just outside of El Paso. In six states he's gotten fifty-two parking tickets. In New Mexico he's gotten fifty-one. I guess I'm going to even that up for him.
I've never met or seen this man. But I sure have heard of him and several of his friends. As I pulled into the Avenue I recognized a beaten pick-up truck in the parked in the fire lane of several stores. I parked right behind it and got out with my note pad. When I got beside the truck I began to issue the ticket. Almost finishing it I heard someone, most likely Oscar, calling out to me. "Officer, hey Officer! Hold on just a sec. ok?" He said coming toward the car. I ignored him, illegal parking is illegal parking. And he can't change that. "Are you listening to me? I haven't even parked this car very long, and nothing's happened right? Ain't that all that matters?" His words stopped abruptly as he came around the car, getting a full view of me. Probably just realizing that I was a girl. I do that on purpose too, for some reason girl cops aren't always respected as well as the guys.
I wore my hair up into a tight bun that was covered up by my police hat, and I wore my clothes loosely so my figure wouldn't be noticeable. After I finished the ticket I handed it to him. I also was surprised with how Oscar looked. He was quite handsome, though he had a rugged appearance. He had a barely noticeable shadow of whiskers and long blond hair that reached halfway down his neck. His eyes were a beautiful blue and it looked like nice lips too. "Your right sir. Nothing has happened. But let's say that something did happen. Like that store right there caught on fire and they called the fire department. Well, when that fire truck turned the corner it'd have to wait a few minutes because of your illegal parking. And who knows what would happen then? Someone might loose a life because of you. And that's nothing to be proud of is it Mr. Choi?" I told him.
"No ma'am. It isn't. Hey, how'd you know who I am?"
"Just a guess. Considering that this is your fifty-second parking ticket in this state."
"Oh. Uhh… could I ask you what your name is?"
"You can call me Officer Madison. Now sir if you could please move your car."
"Officer Madison eh? Has anyone ever told you that you are the hottest policewoman they have ever seen? You know you can't hide your figure under those police clothes right?"
I was loosing my patience.
"No sir, I didn't, but it sure seemed to work with you for a moment didn't it?"
Oscar was silent.
"Now please move your car. Even at this moment we are chancing blocking a fire truck that could be coming."
"You're not very optimistic are you?"
"Sir! Don't test my patience. It's people like you that's caused me to quit my job." After saying that I could've slapped myself.
I sighed. "Yes. Now what will make you move this truck? I'm sure you don't want me to arrest you."
"Uhhh…Well that wouldn't seem so bad as long as you're doing it. Does it involve handcuffs?"
I rolled my eyes. The nerve of men sometimes. "Then what?"
"No. No, listen after I quit my job I'm going home. And nothing's going to stop me. Not even you."
"That was harsh. But I guess this truck's gonna stay where it is."
I was defiantly mad now.
"Give me your keys."
"What if I don't want to?"
"Oh you might if you even want to get a chance of dating me. But right now with all this resistance I may never consider it."
"Fine." With a sign of reluctance he handed them over.
I then unlocked the door and cranked up the car, parked it in a parking space and got out. Oscar quickly jogged over. "Does this mean that you'll consider dating me?" I looked away; I didn't want him to see me laughing. Gee, he's quite persistent with what he wants. I finally looked him straight in the face and saw a what appeared to be a hopeful expression. We were quiet for a few minutes, just staring at each other. I don't know about Oscar, but it was very hard not to come closer to him. Even not to kiss him, because the way his lips were, so full and well, I don't know. It looked almost like he was beginning to pucker up.
I took a deep breath. "How…how about we meet tomorrow at the coffee shop and talk it over?"
"Would that be a date?"
I looked down at the ground. I'm sure that a part of me was saying yes but I didn't want to show it.
I smiled. "How 'bout you figure it out?"
I then saw a rush of excitement come into Oscar, he was lost for words. He then excitedly let out a "Yes!" as I began to walk to my police car. But he quickly followed me and turned me around and placed his hands on my arms and brought me toward him. And then he kissed me! What a wonderful kiss too. This time I was the one who was speechless. Fighting not to smile I still felt it come through. "Now I never said it was a date."
"You didn't have to."
I got out of his grip. I mean, what if another police drove by and saw him hugging me! I'd be the laughing stock of the whole Police Department! "Let's meet at the coffee shop here cause I live down in Culbertson, Texas and to find a place between there and El Paso is something I don't want to think about."
"Ok, but you better move your car. I mean, what if some fire truck needs to get by? I can't believe it, a policeman doing illegal parking. Do you want me to give you this ticket? I will unless you move it." He joked. I laughed all the way to my car. Then as I left I drove past him and said, "Is this better Officer?" He smiled, "Yep."
Sometimes I wonder why I have the radio turned on. It's not like I'm listening to it. There're too many memories to count that I've had with Oscar. And just thinking about them gives me that warm feeling. Well, at least most of the memories do. Our break-up, you might say, is quite original. But as hard as I can think, I don't believe I can come up with an odd break-up. They've all been covered.
For once we were going to Oscar's house. Seems pretty odd that we don't go to his house often, this is only the third or fourth time. Maybe that's why I was so excited. The sun was close to setting as we pulled into his dusty driveway. And of course there were certain matters that Oscar had to attend to once arriving home, such as feeding his horses. While it was the usual routine that occurred when I visited him, I had no problem with it. There was something about Oscar that could turn the most ordinary things into extraordinary.
We stared at the horses for a moment when I looked up at the sky as it began to turn pink. Turning to Oscar I noticed that he seemed to turn to me at the same time. We both began to speak and said together, "How about a nice sunset ride?" We laughed and both agreed. As Oscar began to walk into the pin he turned to me and said, "Sometimes I wonder if I spend too much time with you. We're even beginning to think the same thoughts."
The wind flowing through my hair felt wonderful and the air had a nice earthly smell. It'd been awhile since I had rode on the nice long plains of Texas. Such a beautiful sunset, too. As I looked back, Oscar came trotting beside me. "Gosh, that sunset's so beautiful," He said. I agreed. "But y'know the best way to watch a sunset like this is: let go of the reigns, raise your hands in the air, and lean back." As I did a smile came across my face. Oscar was right. The things he comes up with never cease to amaze me. Along with the fact that even when he leaned back, his cowboy hat stayed on his head. And then I heard a howl, not from a coyote, but from Oscar. I laughed, "You know you are the worst sounding coyote I have ever seen!" He smiled. "Just try it." I leaned back again and let out a howl.
"Yes?" Oscar asked.
"Well, I sound better than you," I smiled. And so we continued until the stars appeared.
Once the stars were out Oscar and I lied down on the hard plain ground, pointing out constellations. "I love staring at the stars," I said, "I don't know what it is but just looking at them seems so magical. I dunno. I'm probably sounding stupid to you."
"Oh no, go right on ahead. I sounded stupid to you when I howled."
"It's like, so amazing to think about our solar system. And, whenever I feel lonely, I just stare up at the stars."
"How's that supposed to help?"
"Sometimes just to think that when you're away from someone you love, that they can be staring at the same star."
"Oh. Which star are you staring at?"
I pointed it out, "That one."
When we got back to the house, the first thing Oscar did was check his mail. I followed over behind him, even though it wasn't my business, Oscar wouldn't need to hide anything from me. One address, however, stood out when I read it, "Oscar, who's Marie?" I noticed him getting a little uncomfortable. "Oh umm…She's my uh, cousin. Yeah. My cousin who lives in Illinois." For some reason I didn't like Oscar's discomfort. It made me wonder whether he was telling the truth or not. "It's getting late," He said, "let's go ahead inside."
I woke up early that morning to find myself in an extra pair of Oscar's pajamas and in his own bed. My head was resting on his shoulder while one of my arms was wrapped around his body. The arm of the shoulder I was resting on was placed lightly on my side. It was a nice surprise but I felt rather eager to read a certain letter of Oscar's. I leaned forward and kissed him on the cheek. He quickly turned his head and kissed me on the lips. "I love you," he said in a sleepy voice. I smiled, I didn't know Oscar sleep talked. Much less kissed in his sleep. "I love you too," I whispered, at that moment I was hoping so bad that Marie was just a cousin and not what I thought. So I then got up and headed into his living room.
I quietly opened the letter and began to read it. What I read could've never been from a cousin. It was filled with sentences like, "I can never forget what a lovely experience it was" and "I hope we can meet again" and the one that hurt me the most was "Love like this is something you can't ignore. Why don't you dump that girlfriend of yours and stay with me for a while?" I didn't know how to feel after reading that letter. Anger, pain, sadness, and confusion were all of what I was feeling at that moment. I tried to hold back the tears, but they still flowed. It didn't seem real to me. He just told me that he loved me, how could he just go out on me? I quickly grabbed a pen and one of his sticky notes and began to write:
I just wrote this note to say good-bye. Because I'm not sure what you thought of me but I like a guy that's fully dedicated to his girlfriend. Don't try to talk me out of it. You've hurt me bad enough and I hope never to see you again. Love that you have for Marie is something you can't ignore. So why don't you date her? I'm walking to El Paso and then getting a ride home. So don't worry about me (not like you would). Don't follow. I still love you. But, I can't carry on if that love's not returned.
I then went and changed into my clothes and got my stuff. As I left I unfortunately had to walk past Oscar who was still in bed. He looked so innocent; it was almost too hard to believe that he ever cheated on me. I couldn't help but get one last kiss. And right before I walked out of the door I whispered, "We had something Oscar. But you let it slip away."
I find it kind of funny that a note would not also tear us apart but also bring us together. And now as I pray that Oscar will be safe up there in space I have that great love for him again. Not just because of the note either. I guess you could say I have no choice now, considering I'm his fiancé. Yep, believe it or not, this very morning he proposed to me…
As I came toward the giant doors of NASA I felt a bit of anxiety. I had no idea of what Oscar was doing. Well, I had a clue, but Oscar? No, I don't think Oscar would do something like this. Would he? I walked up to the front desk and asked where Oscar Choi would be. He pointed me toward the astronaut suit up room. All of a sudden I felt scared. I don't know why but I did. I ran into the suit up room as fast as I could. When I walked in, what I saw surprised me.
Bear, Chick, Rockhound, Max, A.J. and a lot of Oscar's other friends were all suited up in astronaut outfits. I searched the room for Oscar but couldn't quite find him. Then I heard a familiar voice from behind me, "Hello Princess Leia." I quickly turned around. A rush of relief came over me. I basically jumped onto Oscar and clung my arms around his neck. "Oh Oscar—I mean Han Solo! Don't scare me like that!"
"I didn't think you'd come." He told me changing the subject.
"Well I wasn't planning on it. But, well, I don't know. I came."
"Cause it didn't seem like you read any of my other letters, considering I never got a reply."
"Do you think I got over what you did to me real easily?" I then realized that I was still hugging him around the neck. I quickly let go.
"What about me? You don't know how I felt when I woke up to see you gone."
"Well, you shouldn't have done anything with that Marie girl."
"I didn't! She was all over me! I tried to shake her off but I couldn't."—He then parted my golden brown hair and held it up kind of like Princess Leia's hair—"Y'know? Your hair's kind of like Princess Leia's."
I smiled and without thinking began to fiddle with his hair. "Yeah, well you're the blondest Han Solo I have ever seen." He smiled considering that I was flirting when I didn't even want to. "So uh, what's with all the astronaut suits?" I asked.
"Well, you watched the news about that big asteroid that's gonna cause the end of the world?"—I nodded—"Well, we're the team of astronauts that are going to stop it."
I felt that scared feeling again. "But… Oscar you could die doing that mission!"
"Oh so you do care." He smiled. I noticed he tried to sound comical but he couldn't hide his own fear. I felt so overcome, sure I hated Oscar for what he did, but, I still loved him. I wish I didn't but I did. Then I looked over at A.J. and Grace. I remember a while back when I first met them that they had to keep their love a secret considering that Grace's dad, Harry Stamper, probably wouldn't stand for it. But it seemed that they weren't keeping it a secret any more. Oscar saw what I was looking at said, "They're engaged."
Oscar then gave a questioning look to both Bear and Rockhound. They both nodded. And to my surprise, Oscar got down on one knee. I tried to conceal my excitement but I'm not sure if I could. "Connie," He said, "now I know you're probably still mad at me. And I understand that, but you… you are the only person that stuck out in my mind that I had to see if this was my last day on Earth. And I never meant to hurt you. You know I would never mean to hurt you. And… and you don't how bad it hurt me. What I'm trying to say is… is…"—he searched his pockets until he brought out a ring, a cheep simple golden ring that was most likely bought from a twenty-five cent machine, and held it out to me—"is… God why is this so hard… Connie Madison, will you marry me?"
I held the ring in my hand, studying it for a few minutes. A look of uneasiness came across Oscar's face, "I know that it isn't the best engagement ring. But when I come back I'll buy another, better, ring. I was rushed and that was all that I could come up with." I fought the tears real bad at this moment. Then I heard Rockhound say to Bear, "Who would've ever guessed that Oscar would marry a policewoman?" And Bear's reply made me smile, "Yeah, but she's a hot policewoman." Oscar turned around toward them, "Hey! That's my fiancé you're talking about"—he then turned to me—"right?" I smiled and decided to let the tears flow. "Oscar, I have loved you ever since I handed you that parking ticket, and I always will."
"Is that a yes?"
I then replied the same words as when we first met. "How 'bout you figure it out?"
And once again Oscar showed that same rush of excitement as before, "She, she said yes! Did you, did you hear that?! She said yes!" And when he got up he embraced me in a hug and kissed me so passionately that I believe that nothing else has been better. We stayed like that for a while, even though it was quite an awkward position with him in that bright orange astronaut suit. Once we broke apart I saw Oscar had a serious face as he realized what he was getting into. "Y'know? Now… now I have a reason to live and come back to Earth. Maybe it was stupid to propose today. I…I don't want to, to die on you."
"Oh Oscar, don't think like that. Besides, Han Solo doesn't die. You should know that."
Oscar seemed to take my joke seriously and just said, "Yeah." Before I knew it a N.A.S.A personnel came in and told everybody it was time to load up. Oscar began to leave when I grabbed his hand, "I'll be watching you on my T.V."—I smiled—"my hero, my husband." He then kissed me one last time. "I'm coming back," he said, "cause I'm getting married, to the most beautiful woman in this galaxy!" And as he walked out that door, I silently said through strong tears, "Bye Oscar." He looked back, though I couldn't see his expression because of the blurriness in my eyes.
And now here I am, waiting for news to come in about our brave astronauts. I decided that for any personal information the radio wouldn't help, so I turned it off. Now I'm just busy staring at a picture of Oscar and me that was taken when we were dating. I tried to imagine Oscar's strong arm resting on my shoulder like it was in the picture. But it didn't seem to take the same effect as in real life. I couldn't wait for Oscar to get home, to hold him in my arms again. I've decided that we're going to have a farm, with everything, horses, cows, chickens, pigs, and we'll raise a kid. I'm not sure what its name would be; I'll let both of us figure that one out. I smiled, Connie Choi, I like that. It has a nice ring to it.
I looked up and noticed Grace coming toward me. I wonder what's wrong? No, it can't be. It can't be what I'm thinking. I jumped out of my car and quickly came over to her. I saw tears streaming down her cheeks. "Grace, Grace what's the matter? Oh God, don't tell me. Please, don't tell me—" I felt the fear and pain inside of me, my eyes began to water. Grace looked up, "Oscar's dead."—After that sentence I completely broke down—"And so is A.J, and Bear, all of the Independence team. Connie, they hit an asteroid. They're dead. They're all dead." She them embraced me with a hug. Both of us crying hard. The pain was so great, oh so bad. It was like I had been torn, ripped to shreds. It was unbearable. It didn't seem real. More like a dream, no, not a dream a nightmare. One I wanted to wake up to. Yes, that'd be nice to wake up and be back in bed with Oscar. I looked at Grace, "Please…please tell me this is a dream, tell me this isn't real."
"I wish." She replied.
Oh all I wanted to do was lie down, I was already feeling quite dizzy.
"But he… he said he'd c-come back. He said he'd come back. He…he just can't die…he can't… Grace, I'm getting married to him. He can't die. I…I told him he can't die…" I cried sounding stupid.
"I…I know Connie. Me too."
"I'm going to get in my car now. And…and I don't know what I'll do. I might just go on crying. Grace, I want him back. He was taken from me Grace, he was…he was taken from me…" I then got back in my car and closed the door. Why? Why'd he have to die? He can't! He just can't! I felt so empty, so alone. I stared at the engagement ring. It only made the tears come harder. I couldn't imagine Oscar anymore, him holding me or anything like that. He seemed more like something I made up. It didn't matter, he was gone. I became a widow before we even married. No farm, no animals, no kid, I'll never see Oscar again. I scrunched up into a ball and continued to cry.
I watched the remains of the astronaut teams walk out of the space shuttle. Who knows why I was watching, maybe hoping that somehow Oscar would walk out. I saw everybody getting hugs and welcomed back home. Not me, I stood back in the corner just watching happiness spread over the world. They didn't care that Oscar was killed. All they care about is that we're safe. Which, I guess that's the important thing. It even turned out that A.J. and Bear lived through Independence's crash. It made me feel worse to watch Grace and A.J. hugging. That could've been Oscar and me… I couldn't take it anymore. I was going home. As I walked off I felt Oscar's ring slip through my fingers. I didn't care; it'd just be another bad memory.
What I didn't know was that Grace and A.J. had followed me. "Connie!" Grace called out, "Connie wait!" I turned around, "What?" My voice cracked from so long of crying.
"You dropped your ring."
"I don't care. I meant to. There's no use in keeping it."
Grace then took my left hand and placed it on my ring finger.
"Keep it. Oscar gave it to you for you to keep and wear. It's like having a part of him with you."
I looked down at the ring, I began to cry again.
"Connie," A.J. said, "I'm sorry about Oscar. He was a good friend to me, and I know he wouldn't want you to cry."
"It's so tough," I said, "You don't know how bad it feels—"
"But I do! I saw Oscar die. I held his dead body." He then went over and hugged me, a strong powerful hug. For a moment as I closed my eyes and it almost seemed like Oscar was hugging me.
When we let go I said fighting the tears, "Thanks. It feels good to get a hug from somebody returning. At least I didn't come here for nothing. Thanks. I'll… I'll see you again at the wedding." Then I left, to go home and get some time to collect myself.
The night of the wedding, I came over to the hotel Grace and A.J. were staying at. I rapped my hand on the door. Grace answered it. "Hi," I said, "Hope I'm not interrupting anything."
"Oh no," She replied, "Come on in."
It was a nice room they stayed in. Though I'd have to say the Hotel wasn't cheap. "I brought ya'll a present." I told her.
"You didn't have to do that," A.J. said, even though he showed eagerness to open it. When they unwrapped it they found inside two toy NASA rockets. "I thought you might like it. One says Freedom and the other says Independence." I saw Grace's eyes begin to water and she looked up at me and said, "Thanks."
"Would you like to go outside on the balcony and talk?" I asked.
She gave a simple nod as her attempts to speak were hindered by her tears. As we walked out I saw A.J. place the rockets next to a picture of Grace's dad.
"Grace, I'm sorry about Harry. But I'm sure you're proud, he sacrificed his life to save the world." I told her. She just nodded and fought back the tears. I looked up into the sky, "The stars are beautiful tonight. Nice and bright," I said, though it hurt to think about Oscar, and yet at the same time it comforted me. Grace looked up, "Yea."
"You know, about a month back I was staring at these stars with a person I love. And I told him that I loved to stare at the stars, they're just some magic to it. That looking up at these stars comforts me, makes me not feel so alone. And… and that it's nice to think that someone you love just might be staring at the same star."—I looked back down at the ground, feeling the tears come—"But now I have another reason. Cause whenever I look up at these stars, I know Oscar's up there staring right back at me. And…and I don't feel alone anymore, cause I know he's still here, not just up in space, but right here in my heart. And you know what Grace? Harry's staring back at you too."