|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: Out of pain Connie makes one of the worst decisions in her life… but she is soon visited by a stranger.
Chapter 2: The Visitor
But none of these things ever happened.
All of them—the terrible news of Oscar's death from Grace, nearly leaving behind my engagement ring as the astronauts exited the space ship, visiting Grace and A.J. after their marriage, Grace talking me into going to the funeral, A.J.'s tears, meeting the president, Blowing up in front of A.J. and Grace, visiting Oscar's grave, the strange appearance of the church—all of them only existed in my mind as I watched and waited for news of the astronauts accomplishing their mission. And then the pressure of those thoughts became too much, too overwhelming. I quickly jumped out of my truck and placing the engagement ring back on my finger I ran into the NASA building. Hurrying past security, ignoring the cries of officers saying, "Hold on there, ma'am! You can't go there!" I quickly pushed through a door reading: Restricted, only for NASA officials.
Seeing Grace I ran up to her and she looked over smiling teary eyed. Then I felt two strong arms grab hold of mine, "Don't fight, ma'am. This is security and this is a restricted area!" I didn't listen to them; I fought as hard as I could. "Oh yeah? Well I'm part of the NMPD and I want to know if my fiancé is still alive!" I didn't mean to yell but I was mad! If they think they're going to take me out of this room without hearing news about Oscar they were in for a surprise! A man by the name of Mr. Trueman rushed up to me and told the officers to let go. Adjusting my jacket and hat I looked back at them, "I quit my job but trust me; I can still pack a pretty mean punch!" And then a voice from the Independence came onto one of the small TV's, "It was a close one Houston, but we managed to avoid the meteor! Everyone's safe and we're still headed on course!"
I heard a cheer rise up in the room and Grace came over and hugged me nearly crying. I could feel my eyes watering also, the joy; it was like nothing I had ever felt! "They nearly died Connie. You should've heard them; I thought we were going to be widows before we ever got married!" Breaking apart I smiled. Thank God they're safe! I'm sure if Oscar had died I most likely wouldn't have been able to live with myself!
But Oscar didn't die at all; all of that had been one horribly detailed moment of imagination as I waited for our brave men to return home. And when they did, I could not contain myself with the excitement I felt! Watching the door to the Independence open and a large yellow slide inflating, and then them sliding down gave me chills. These were the heroes of the world. It wasn't something like the cold war where a successful mission in Russia was bad news for America. This was something that brought everyone closer together. After all, we all faced the bitter taste of death…and pulled through.
Watching the astronauts walk towards us I quickly searched for my fiancé. They all showed the grim sadness of losing their best friends, but Oscar wasn't one of them. Finding him I broke out into a run followed by Grace. Everything after that seemed to happen in slow motion. I cried out to him, "Oscar!!!!!!!!!" but the sound didn't seem as loud as it should, like everything was muted. Grace and I began to run past the NASA personnel and when one stood in my way I quickly pushed him down. Laughing Oscar began running towards me also along with A.J. toward Grace.
I could feel the tears of joy streaming down my face as I came closer and a one point he stopped altogether and spread out his arms ready to welcome me. Although he didn't expect for me to leap on him when I reached the right distance and catching me he nearly lost his balance. Grabbing his face I kissed him, a kiss that seemed to surpass all others in the past. "Don't ever do any of that hero stuff again!" I chided him, the tears rolling down my cheeks, "I don't think I can bare the chance of you dying again!"
And then through the beautiful smile on his face I saw a tear drop down his cheek, "But honey, don't you remember? Han Solo never dies!" I kissed him again and smiled.
"Yeah well I don't believe Han Solo ever risked his life like that once he became a family man."
"Who says we aren't going to have our own adventures in the future? This is just the beginning!"
Yes, it's just the beginning.
And it truly was the beginning, considering we got married the next week and had our honeymoon in Ireland. Upon return we bought a house and like I had wanted, we had a farm of about any farm animal you could think of. And by the next month we found that I, Connie Choi, was pregnant. And that next year I gave birth to a baby girl December 19th. Though it was years of patience and turmoil, our little girl seemed to grow up over night. By eighteen she majored in geology and had dreams of following in her father's footsteps as a geologist. We were both very proud of her when she moved to one of the most prestigious colleges there was in Texas. Although when she left, Oscar had to comfort me that she wouldn't be gone forever and for me to stop my crying, even though he was crying himself.
And our house seemed to have that empty feeling as my imagination had made my past house. Then one morning as I lied there in bed watching Oscar sleep, she called from college. I didn't answer it for a moment, the time I had spent watching him sleep I had finally realized how the years had worn us both. His face wasn't as smooth or young as it used to be, and there were wisps of gray and white hair coming through in his blonde. But I still looked at him as the same handsome young man who hugged me as he exited the Independence. Finally I rolled over and picked up the phone. She had called to say that she was engaged! A wonderful little boy who went to her college that she had been dating proposed to her last night! I could feel the tears come again and I realized that our little girl was all grown up. It was all too fast, I though. When I hung up I began to roll over to tell Oscar the news when—
There he lied back in his astronaut suit bloodied and bruised and…dead.
I quickly woke up to the cool atmosphere you feel in the morning at three o'clock tightly clutching my pillow. I could feel my heart thump deeply in my chest to where it pounded in my head. It throbbed and it hurt. I was sweating also, no wait, it wasn't sweat. It was tears. My pillow was wet with them. Somehow, even in my dream, some part of me knew the truth and cried because of it.
A dream, once again, what should've been a happy ending was a dream. I'm not sure if I can take this much longer. Looking out the window I saw that a downpour was on its way as there was the steady beat of rain. My bloodshot eyes moved their focus to a collection of rocks I hung up in a case on the wall. Actually, I had about two or three cases on that wall. Back when Oscar and I were dating he would always bring back a rock or mineral from his digs, even when he wasn't permitted to do so. I tried to smile picturing Oscar smuggling a piece of quartz for me or even a fossil that showed up in the rubble after dynamiting an area. But I couldn't seem to do it that night. He gave me diamonds the most though, saying that they reminded him of me. Beautiful but yet the toughest mineral there was. It just figures that a geologist would compare his girlfriend to a mineral. I began to laugh but I felt the tears come.
I looked over to my nightstand and decided to turn on the radio. Maybe it could fill up this silence and pain. Sitting up in the blurriness of tears I pressed the power button. I could feel my heart sting with pain as I thought back on the dream. I was tired of it all; even though I had just woken up (what little rest I had) I was exhausted. And it was because of the dreams. I had been having them every night since his death, and I couldn't stand it.
As one song ended on my station the announcer came on and introduced another. Absorbed in my thoughts I didn't catch what song it was and it didn't hit me until the chorus came. With disgust I realized it was "Life Goes On" by: Leanne Rimes. The chorus drilled in my head:
"Ohhh, life goes on! And it's only gonna make me strong.
It's a fact, once you get on board say goodbye 'cause you can't go back.
Ohhh, it's a fight, and I really wanna get it right,
Where I'm at, it's my life before me and it's screaming that I can't go back!"
I felt the tears come and I knew that's how I should feel, but it wasn't. I wanted to go back. I wanted Oscar to be with me. With a swipe of my hand I knocked the radio off the table and the song abruptly ended as it broke on the floor. "Shut up!" I screamed, "Don't tell me that I can't go back! You don't know how it feels! Just…just leave me alone! Why can't everyone just get off my back!?!"
Weakly getting up I walked into the bathroom and open up a cabinet. Pulling out a small plastic bottle I opened it up and swallowed some pills. It was Anti-depressant pills. I had gotten them the first time I had been showing signs of depression, but I didn't take them as regularly as I should. Staring at myself in the mirror I noticed I truly had changed. Besides my bloodshot eyes and unruly hair I had developed circles under my eyes and both my face and body had unhealthily thinned. There were some red spots also near my eyes from too much crying. Grace and A.J. were right, I didn't look very well.
I tightly closed my eyes and felt the tears run harder. I knew what I wanted to do, where I wished to be, but I wasn't sure if I could do it. What would my friends think? How would it be for them? Would they understand? Walking out of the bathroom I went into the kitchen and pulled out a piece of paper and wrote a letter. Then I entered the bathroom again and weeping harder than I believe I ever did, I took out another bottle of pills.
My body felt weak and almost like a burden to move, but I managed to place the bottle on the table. Then going into the living room I looked through the shelf of books I had till I found one which a little different than all the others. Opening it up, I found that the disguised box was empty. "Well," I said to my self, "I guess that narrows it down." But then sadly, I remembered where I had placed what I was looking for. "Oh yes…" the words felt heavy escaping my lips. Going into my bedroom I pulled out a drawer and grabbed my pistol. It felt heavy in my hand and seemed almost too much to carry.
Sitting down at the table I spun the pistol in my hand while staring at the pills. "Which one do I choose?" I weakly asked myself. Setting the gun down on the table and began to spin it. That would make it simpler. If the barrel pointed to the pills, I would overdose, and if it pointed to me, then I would shoot myself. Those thoughts stung and made my stomach churn. I can't believe it would come to this. I thought I was stronger than this. The tears fell harder now as I watched the gun spin over and over, no certain decision made yet.
And then, like a nightmare, the barrel pointed at me. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath, feeling my stomach tightened into a knot. Picking up the pistol I then placed it to my head, my grasp tightening. But it loosened and the gun lowered. "Oh God!" I wept. I brought it back up unsteadily and tried again, but it didn't happen. Finally giving one final sigh I raised it up to my head and began to tighten the trigger. Nothing in this world could help me imagine how painful this would be. I tightly closed my eyes letting a tear run down my cheek when—
—The doorbell rang. Thank you God the doorbell rang. It was like a wake up call to sanity. I lowered the gun and whispered, "What am I doing?" I couldn't solve my problems like this! The weakness lightened a little and I carried the pills and the gun over to the trash can. It felt so good to dump them in there, like a million tons had been lifted off my shoulders. The doorbell rang again, more impatiently than before. "Hold on a second!" I yelled. Grabbing the letter I'd written, I tore it into thousands of pieces and placed it in the trash can as well.
Walking up to the door I ran my fingers through my hair, and even though I looked horrible, and was wearing my pajamas, I opened the door to the stranger. "Ma'am?" he asked, he had dark skin and wearing a tuxedo. His hair was in dreadlocks and had calm sea green eyes, and though he looked to be around eighteen years old, he still towered over me. I knew this was a stranger and had never met him, but for some reason he seemed familiar; creepily familiar. "Yes?" I replied.
"I saw you at the cemetery and noticed you dropped this." Opening his large hands I saw my engagement ring in them.
Frowning, I slowly took the ring out of his hand, "I didn't drop this. I left it there on purpose."
The man looked up to the sky, letting the rain drops fall on his face, then brought his attention back to me, his suit was soaked, "It's raining pretty hard ma'am. May I come in?" Now I was no idiot, I watched the news and was a policewoman once, I know too well about kidnappings, murders, and rapes. And I had no intention of letting this man in, but something in my brain made me tell him, "Sure, wouldn't want you to catch cold." It was like I was hypnotized or something, like I had no choice.
He walked in and stood there rather stiffly as if he wasn't sure what move to make next. I held my hand up to my head trying to figure out why I did what I just did. Glancing at him I thought, I could take him on, sure. If it came to it I could quickly knock him out and send him to jail but… what if he has a gun? Of course, it sounds funny that I would consider my safety when I just tried to kill myself. So truly, I had nothing to worry about. "You know," he said breaking through my thoughts, "It's not good to let him go like that, you're throwing some of your best days away."
"Who are you talking about?" the picture of the dark figure that I had seen at the cemetery flashed in my mind uncontrollably.
"Oscar. Your fiancé."
"How do you know this? I was alone in the Cemetery!"
The man remained silent.
I squinted my eyes suspiciously at him and tried to see if I could read his expressions. But his face showed none. The only sign of life in that massive body was the piercing stare of his eyes, for his body remained unnaturally stiff. It was strange to watch him; it was as if he had no clue of what to do with his body, much less how to act in a house. All he knew was how to talk.
He spoke again. "You can't bring him back."
There was a pang in my heart. "What are you talking about?"
"No I don't!! I have no clue what you're doing here at this very moment!"
"You know too. You just don't want to admit it. You don't want to believe that he's truly gone, that you'll never see him again."
My eyes began to water, "No…no…"
"Face it Connie, you have dreams of him every night. You face depression every day. Just to mention him you hurt. People move on…and mourners get left behind. You've already died on the outside."
Tears were falling now. "What do you care?! I've never met you before in my life!! You can't know how I feel!"
"Oh but I do. I was there when your fiancé died, I was there when your Mother and Father died; I know more about you than you will ever know. Like, would you like to know how Oscar felt when he died? What his last thoughts were?"
I covered my ears and tightly closed my eyes, "Stop it!!! Don't talk about him like that!!"
He was silent for a moment, then in a whisper he said, "Would you like to know what he's doing right now?" Stop it! Stop it! Stop it!
I uncovered my ears and looked at him worriedly, "Who are you?" And for some reason the strange darkness popped into my mind again.
He became silent once more, though this time his face finally broke from its stone appearance and looked rather confused.
"Who are you?" I edged closer to him. I couldn't have the picture erased from my mind.
He still didn't answer. I continued closer towards him, tears falling down my cheeks, until I got right in his face.
"Get out," I hissed. He didn't budge. "GET OUT!!!"
I then pushed him back, and he slammed into the door. Quickly turning I began to walk away sobbing when I heard him softly say, "If you had the chance to go back and relive his last few days with him, would you?"
I looked back at him and in an aggravated yet calm whisper I told him, "I told you to leave my house. I don't know what kind of cruel joke this is, but it's not funny."
"Just answer the question, please."
I looked at him in disgust, "Why don't you answer mine?!?!?!"
The man sighed and glancing down at the ground and then back at me he began to speak. Not in the same voice, no. This one was more powerful, something that seemed like it could knock you off your feet, make you bow down and praise God Almighty. The voice in itself though, was indescribable. It was something beyond all imagination, resounding through the house. "Do you dare to look down upon me simply because of appearance? I am the Death Angel! Is that not what you requested?" He then perfectly imitated my voice, "Send an angel if you have to."
Oh my God, I thought recoiling at his out burst.
"No, not quite." He said to me, his voice returning to normal.
Is he reading my mind?
"I don't read minds, I know your thoughts, along with everyone else's in the world."
A slight smile crossed my lips. I never expected the Death Angel to look like this. I always figured he would look like Brad Pit. The thought almost made me chuckle, never knew I was still able to make a joke. The tears increased as my mood lightened and a small, "Oh my God" came from my lips.
"So now will you answer my question?"
"O-Of course! That's why I prayed."
"But you have to keep your half of the bargain."
"Many people who face extreme situations will pray to God asking for a favor and they make promises to him. But these people do not always keep their promises. They dismiss it as just luck and go on with their life. Will you?"
For Oscar? Are you kidding?
"Y—" I started to reply but he interrupted.
I slightly nodded.
"Now, what's going to happen is when you wake up in the morning you will be three days ahead of his death. In those days you should do all that you wish you could've done with him that you dwell on now. But you can't alter the past, for if you do it will throw everything off balance. So the fact that you're from the future must never be known or you should never warn people of their future. If so, your time in the past ends and you will return to the present. You cannot change the fact that Oscar is going to die, just what you do during that time can you change. This must be clear."
I looked at him shocked, "Three days?!?! You must be joking! Do you expect for me to do everything I want to do in three days? Give me at least a month or two; maybe start right before we break up, so I can be there when they ask him for the job."
"I can't do that. Already I'm doing more than I should. After all, if I let everybody have the amount of time they wanted, there would be no 'fact' because it would change so often."
"So have there been others that have done this?"
"You're only my second."
"Do not question. The other person that this has happened to will not affect you in any way, so there is no reason in knowing. It will not change the fact that you have three days."
Really at that moment I probably should've been smiling for all it was worth, excitedly jumping up and down and thanking him, but I didn't. There was something about being in the presence of death. It's like, something tells you that you don't act excited around something like this. And the only thing that does feel right is to be serious. It's like when you're in a library; it's not like you don't have a choice to be loud or not, just something inside you tells you not to.
We stood there for a moment just in plain silence. Then, he slowly turned and opened my door. Looking back he said probably the most haunting words anyone has ever said to me: "I'll be watching." And then he closed the door. Now, those words may have not seemed so threatening if it was by a friend or a relative or something like that because, let's face it, they aren't going to watch you the whole time. But when Death says it, something about it puts a chill down your spine because, Death is always watching. And if there is one slip up, there are no more chances.
As I went over the reasons why the Death Angel's last words were so freaky, a thing I forgot to do popped into my mind. Running to the door I opened it and began to say "Thank you" but as I looked out in front and on both sides of me I could find him nowhere. Shrugging my shoulders I closed the door and began to head into my bedroom when all of a sudden my TV turned on. It was the news channel. Again, pictures flashed in my mind, but this time it was the crackling and burning flames.
"Just last week, because of a wired circuit," The announcer began, "Three Crosses Baptist Church, located right next to the burial of the heroes who died in stopping the meteor, burned down. It was a tragic event and unfortunately the preacher, Philip Limming, was in the building when the fire broke out and died before help arrived. Nobody's actually sure how he got killed, but one hint might be that when the firemen arrived the doors were locked. Lately—"
I quickly changed the channel. Oh my God. My hand was clasped over my mouth and I couldn't help but feel the fear again. I had a conversation with a dead man. Not to mention in a ghost church. This has got to be a dream. Or well, I hope not. I want to wake up and be able to see Oscar again. But the Death Angel wasn't through with my surprises. As I changed the channel I came upon another news station.
"This just in, a car accident occurred on the highway about an hour ago. Driving home from a prom with his date, Casey Adams flipped his car when he lost sight of the road from the downpour of rain. The car slid and went rolling off the road into a ditch. The girl, though severely injured, is fine. But the boy, Casey, was killed." As the reporter spoke, a picture of the boy flashed up on the screen.
He had dark skin.
He had dreadlocks.
He had calm sea green eyes.
Oh my God. Now I know why the Death Angel looked familiar. This Casey Adams was the number one player for our county's football team. And the Death Angel arrived here about an hour ago. It all fit together. Oh my God. That was all that I could think of right now. This wasn't something normal. Not every day do people encounter ghosts. Oh God. Make that two dead people that I've had a conversation with.