Author: Cassie Jamie PM
The twins return to the house they lived in as children before it's demolished.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Drama - Chapters: 4 - Words: 7,859 - Reviews: 10 - Updated: 01-29-01 - Published: 08-28-00 - Status: Complete - id: 65063
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
I don't own Peter, Sophie, Shelby, etc. I'm not using this for money. Yatsa, Yatsa, and Yatsa.
I own Xan Noellesen, Nick Noellesen, Sammy Noellesen, Mae Noellesen, Michael Noellesen, Christy Tyler, etc.
In Remembering Sammy, I said that Xan and Nick were six when Michael killed Mae and Sammy. Checking the dates just now, I realized that Nick and Xan were two weeks shy of their sixth birthday when their family was killed. Just wanted to clear that up before anyone asked.
What's done cannot be undone. - MacBeth
October 17th, 2000
"Peter." I hear Sophie's voice through my dreams, "Everyone's up and dressed. We're just waiting for you."
I yawn and sit up. True to her word, the Cliffhangers are dressed and sitting on the floor and the bed watching the TV. An episode of M*A*S*H is on and the nine kids are thoroughly involved in watching. Even Shelby is watching and laughing.
Sophie smiles at the picture and walks away to get something from her room, while I get clothes from my suitcase and slip into the bathroom to shower and change. When I come out, a pillow fight has started and I see Sophie's camera on my bed. I decide to join in on the fun and grab my pillow and hit Scott followed by Auggie. Someone accidentally hits Xan in the leg and she falls to the ground.
"Guys! Stop for a minute!" I yell, and everyone stops. I walk over to Xan and help her up. She smiles as she looks around.
"That's fun! I've never done that before!" She says happily. Nick is smiling as well and I hate to think what will happen later on when we go see the park and Sammy's grave.
Driving around Syracuse has been interesting. It looks okay, but knowing what happens under cover of darkness makes it hard to believe how nice things are. However, this place seems genuinely nice.
Xan and Nick know the people who own the place (The same people who owned the house that left the toilets running), and they are happy to see the twins. They insisted on letting us have our food on the house, but Peter wants to pay anyway.
This place is great. There's a buffet with lots of food like eggs and grits and things that Horizon normally never makes. It tastes really good. Of course, Peter and Sophie won't let us have anything like Soda or Coffee unless it's decaf or caffine-free soda. None of us mind though.
"How have you been?" The older woman, Claire Maryland, asks. She's a nice woman with graying hair and gray eyes to match. She's short and wearing a flowered dress with a white apron. She the basic grandmotherly type.
"Okay, I guess."
"Everyone's heard about Bob and Emily." John Maryland says, "Sorry about them. We were all hoping that they would be the ones to take you two."
Nick looks up, "I guess it wasn't meant to be."
John grins and looks up at Claire, "Do we have any of that strawberry cream cheese shortcake?"
I watch as Xan's eyes spark at the mention of something sweet.
"As a matter of fact, I think we do. I'll go see if Sarah has left Cookie any."
I look at John, "Who's cookie?"
"Claire calls Xan cookie. She has an even more embarassing one for Nick."
"What's that?" Juliette asks and gets a quick glare from Nick.
"John!" Nick whines.
John just smiles, and Claire comes out of the kitchen with a cake that's different then any one I've ever seen. It's a cheesecake with a layer of shortcake on top. All over it is strawberries and strawberry syrup, and separating the two layers is whipped cream. I'm drooling already.
"Wow. That looks so good, Claire." Xan says.
"Well, I knew you were coming, and I knew you'd come by one day, so I made your favorite."
"How'd you know we were coming?" Nick asks.
"Susan Jane is the manager of the hotel you're staying in."
"Suzie? I thought she left for college." Xan says.
"She's in the community college."
I'm suddenly in awe of the twins. All it took was two old people who the twins knew as children to make them happy. I've never seen them act this way.
"Ezra? Earth to Ezra Friedkin!" Xan is saying.
"I asked if you wanted some."
"Oh. Sure." I take the plate of cake and have some, "Wow. This is good. Peter, are you sure we're allowed to have this? We're gonna be bouncing off the walls after this."
Peter just smiles and replies, "Yes, Ezra. A little sugar isn't that bad."
"A little sugar?" Xan laughs, "I know this recipe like the back of my hand. Peter, there's enough sugar in here to make an elephant bounce off the walls." She finishes talking and puts down her fork.
Claire notices and is the first to say something, "I know, Xan. We miss him, too."
I figure they are talking about Sammy.
"It hurts to miss him." Xan says.
Claire sits down in the booth next to Xan and pulls Xan into a hug, "Just remember he's always with you. Sammy's never really gone."
Xan looks up and then shuts her eyes, before releasing the woman.
We all get out of the van and follow Xan and Nick to this pond in the back of the park. It's green with rocks big enough for a small child to jump from one to one to get to the other side. Trees are dotted around the pond, as well as rocks and patches of tall grass. Picnic tables are all around the park.
I watch Xan walk over to a tree and touch the carving on it. I tilt my head to see what it says. I can't really make out what it says, but I can see an X and four N's and a backwards S.
"X.N. + N.N. + S.N." Xan says, "Sammy carved this the day before he died."
Every looks at each other.
"Sammy was always trying to write his name everywhere we wrote ours. He said that it would be so we'd be together in writing." Xan said. She looked at Nick, "Remember that night?"
"Our dear brother's death, the memory be green." Nick says.
"Isn't that Shakespeare?" Sophie asks.
"It's from Hamlet." He says, and then looks at Xan, "Blood Siblings."
"I still say that Sammy shouldn't have put our hands in the pond." She says, and the twins get curious looks from everyone.
"What are 'Blood Siblings'?" Juliette asks.
"The night before Michael killed Mommy and Sammy, we were out here playing while Sammy carved the tree. When Sammy finished, he mentioned that he'd been reading something about blood brothers, and we said we wanted to be blood brothers." Nick answers.
"He had to correct us. I'm a girl, so that made it siblings instead of brothers." Xan looked down at her finger. She holds it up to show us the scar. It's tiny and barely noticeable, but it's there. She sighs and walks over to one of the picnic tables. Everyone follows.
She puts her fingers on the wood, and lets them linger for a moment. She runs her fingers over the table, and looks up at Nick. She says nothing, but he understands her somehow. He takes her hand, as he has been for the last few days, and they walk over to the pond.
The twins pick thistles out from the tall grass, and use a reed to tie them together. They walk back to us and look at each of the group.
"Sammy liked thistles. They were the only things we could use in the house to decorate. We picked other flowers but they died after a week. Thistles don't. We just left them around." Xan says.
"Oh." Juliette says. She is apparently the only one who can speak. The rest of us are too sympathic to say anything.
"You guys don't have to come to the graveyard if you don't want. We can walk. It's just a few blocks from here." Nick says.
Peter looks around, "We'll go with you. If you guys want time alone, then I'll take everyone else and go back to the hotel."
"You mean you'll take everyone BUT Sophie." Xan says.
Peter grins and everyone jumps into the van. We drive a few blocks down the road, and drive into a cemetery. Nick and Xan direct Peter through the criss-cross of the dirt roads between sections of graves. The van stops towards the back near a section of graves marked by a sign that read 'Children'. Xan and Nick walk down a pathway to a grave with a tomestone of a cherub. Beneath the cherub is an engraving.
May 5th, 1979 – May 16th, 1989
A loving young man and brother.
"Hi, Sammy." Xan says, kneeling down to touch the face of the cherub. Nick kneels down next to his sister. He hands her the thistles and she lays them down on the granite.
"What did Sammy look like?" I ask.
"The cherub's face is Sammy's." Xan says, "He had these really cute curls even when he was older. They were brown, but during the summer his hair looked the same as ours. He had these hazel eyes that were brown or gray, except for some reason when we were together, his eyes were violet-blue."
Xan touches the cherub again, and then puts her finger with the 'Blood Siblings' scar on the stone. It suddenly starts drizzling and a droplet of water touches her finger. She picks her finger up and looks at it. She gets up and looks at Sophie, panicked. She looks at her finger again, and then pulls up her sleeves. "Nicky…"
"Xannie, what's the matter?" He asks.
"The blood. Nicky." She says, and falls to the ground.
We're packing. Peter, in all his glory, has decided that having Xannie pass out every time she gets overwhelmed with our past and the pain that comes with it isn't good for her (duh!!). So we're heading back to Horizon. He thinks that this was a good thing to do for us in order to get over our past, but it was too soon. Sophie disagrees. I disagree.
It was interesting to come back to our house, and see the past. It was something we'll never do again, since our house is going to be demolished today.
Shelby, Peter, and I took the liberty while Xan was asleep to go back to our house and get a bunch of things. We took our blanket and the candles and all the pictures from on the window. We took Xan's old coloring book and some of the crayons. I took the pictures from mom's room and Sammy's backpack. I even took the picture from the living room that's of the three of us. Shelby said she looked at it the day before and I should frame it.
"Nicky." Xan calls.
I walk across the hallway to my sister who's standing in the doorway, holding the scrapbook. She tilts the book so I can see, and I smile at the object.
The one picture that we had of our family was there – Aunt Christy, Uncle John, Mommy, Sammy, Xan, and I. Six smiling faces that didn't know the future, but were hoping for the best.
I look at Xan, smiling, and then close the book. I run my fingers over the letters. T-H-E P-A-S-T. I know what Sammy was trying to do now. If he were here with us at this moment, he'd be telling us to forget everything our father did, to forget all the pain and the hurt, and go on with our lives.
But we can't, so for now – we're going back to Horizon.