*

Three days later.

*

Sydney's office.

*

Sydney was sitting at his desk. Staring into space. He still couldn't believe it. Everything was so unfair. She didn't deserve to die. Of course she hadn't exactly been a saint. But no one deserved to die like Miss Parker did. All alone, burned alive. Sydney almost started to cry as he thought of it. He felt so sorry for her. He couldn't help but wish it had been Lyle who had died, instead of her. But that bastard survived. He'd managed to escape with only a few burn injuries. Sydney hadn't even talked to him. He didn't think he would be able to handle it. Not yet. But he would. He would tell that self absorbed, callous bastard what he really thought about him. Sydney had heard from Mr Parker that Lyle claimed he'd done anything he could to help his sister. But didn't had a chance 'cause Miss Parker had broken her leg and the flames had separated them. But Sydney knew that was far away from the truth. He knew Lyle didn't give a damn about her. And he'd just left her there to die. And the fact that Miss Parker probably had broken her leg made it even more tragic. He could imagine the pain and the fear she must have felt. He could see the image of her, fighting for her life. But all in vain. He also imagined her screams as the flames got hold of her. Suddenly a signal from the phone broke the silence. It brought Sydney back from his thoughts. He stared at it for a while. Then he picked it up.

"This is Sydney" He answered.

"Hi Syd. It's Jarod."

Sydney wasn't surprised. He knew Jarod would call, sooner or later. He needed someone to talk to after what happened.

"Sydney, where is Miss Parker? I've tried to call her a thousands of times. And I've been at her house. But there's no sign of her.." Jarod continued.

Sydney was shocked. Didn't Jarod know? He sighed sadly.

"Jarod, haven't you heard?" He asked warily.

"Heard what?! Have something happened?"

Sydney heard the fear in his voice.

"I don't know how to say this." Sydney started.

"Just do it! What happened to Miss Parker? Is she hurt?!" Jarod almost screamed. Sydney sighed heavily. He wished Jarod didn't have to find out this way. But he couldn't lie to him. He would find out anyway.

"Miss Parker and Lyle were trapped in a burning cabin. Lyle managed to escape. But Miss Parker. she died. I'm so sorry Jarod, she's gone." Sydney said miserably.

There was a silence. Sydney wondered if Jarod was still there.

"Jarod?" He asked warily.

"Oh my god! Sydney, when did this happen?" Jarod asked in a trembling voice.

"Three days ago."

"Oh no. Oh god, no.." Jarod mumbled.

"I'm so sorry."

"How could. how could Lyle survive and not.and not Parker?" Jarod asked. Sydney could hear the sorrow and the anger in the younger mans voice.

"Lyle left her there to die. God, I could kill him for that."

"But it doesn't make any sense. Miss Parker should have escaped. She would have" Jarod cried.

"No, she couldn't. she had broken her leg. She couldn't do anything but to wait for the flames to. oh god, Jarod. She got burned alive." Sydney said. struggling against his own tears. He heard the dial tone as Jarod hung up. With a sigh he put the phone back down. He buried his face in his hands and wept silently.

*

Jarod was shocked. He couldn't believe it. Miss Parker was dead. He had killed her. he had killed the only woman he had ever loved. Jarod felt his whole body tremble. He needed to sit down before he would faint. He managed to make it to the couch. Then he collapsed into the cushions. He closed his eyes. His head was spinning. It felt like the whole world was spinning. He didn't know what to do. He just wanted to die. How would he ever be able to live with himself after what he'd done? It was impossible. He could never forgive himself. If he only could turn back time. Then he wouldn't have set that damn cabin on fire. It had seemed like the perfect plan back then. He would have got rid of Lyle. And the Centre would have understood he ment business. That he was tired of this game. But it all had backfired completely. Now, it seemed nothing else than stupid. Why the hell did he do something like that? His crazy idea had cost Miss Parker her life. If he'd known Miss Parker was in there. God, if he'd just known.

"I'm so sorry Parker. I didn't know. I wish I could have saved you.." Jarod whispered. Tears were streaming down his cheeks. He'd never regretted anything more in his entire life. He felt so empty, so lonely without her. Not that he'd ever been real close to her from the beginning. But it didn't change the fact that he loved her. How could everything have gone so wrong?

"Oh Parker, I love you.." Jarod cried.

His Cell phone rang. He ignored it. He couldn't talk to anybody now. He didn't know if he ever wanted to talk with anybody ever again. He came to think of all the late phone calls with Miss Parker. All the times he'd promised her he would always be there for her. All the times he'd promised her he would never let anybody hurt her again. He shook his head sadly. He had let her down. Not only let her down. He'd killed her. Locked her into a cabin. Burned her alive. He couldn't even imagine the pain he must have caused her. And the fear. The image of her fighting for her life, screaming in pain as the flames burned her skin, would always haunt him. For the rest of his life. She had died alone. With no one who cared about her. No one who held her. Jarod didn't know what he was going to do. He didn't know how he was going to survive without her. Miss Parker had been his only reason for living. Except the search for his family. But right now, all he could think about was her. How would he be able to live without her?. A life without Miss Parker was no life at all. He'd loved her from the first time he'd seen her. And he'd never given up on her. Even when his life seemed hopeless. Even when he was running away from her. He'd always had this ray of hope in his heart. That someday they would be together. But now, all that was shattered, all his hopes and dreams were gone. He'd made them go away. He'd killed them when he'd killed Miss Parker. Jarod's heart ached. It felt like someone had cut it into a million pieces. Pieces that would never heal. Unless he didn't make it all end. He knew it was only one way to make the pain go away. Only one was to stop the quilt that ripped through his soul. Jarod knew suicide wasn't exactly his way of coping. But this time. It was the only way out.

*

Hours had passed. Jarod was still sitting at the couch. He hadn't moved a bit. He realised he couldn't kick the bucket without saying goodbye to Sydney. He would write him a letter. Calling him would be too painful, for both of them. Jarod slowly got up on his feet. He only went to fetch something to write on, and with. Then he parked himself in the couch again. He started to write. His hand was trembling and tears were streaming down his face. He hadn't cried like this in his entire life. His eyes were blurred, he could hardly see the paper in front of him. But it didn't matter. Nothing mattered anymore. Jarod took a deep shaky breath. Maybe he and Miss Parker would meet again. In a world, far beyond this.

*

Two days later.

*

Sydney's office.

*

Sydney was sitting at his desk, staring at an envelope. When Broots entered.

"W. What did Y. You want me to see?" He stammered.

"This. It's from Jarod. He told me to open it with you."

Sydney opened it and picked up a paper and unfolded it.

"It's a letter." He looked at Broots. With a sigh he started to read it loud.

"When you're reading this, I'm already gone. I don't want you or Broots to grieve. But I couldn't stand this any longer. I couldn't stand the pain to know that I was responsible for Miss Parker's death. Yeah, you heard right. I killed her. I was the one who set the cabin on fire. But I had no idea that Miss Parker was in there. When I found out she'd died. I didn't know what to do. I loved her with all my heart. She was my reason for living. She was my hopes, my dreams. And it all died with her. Left nothing else than, emptiness, regret and angst in my heart. I knew a life without Parker was no life at all. I just couldn't take it. I'm sorry Syd. You must hate me now. But I don't blame you. I hate me, so it's okay for you to hate me too. I only wish I had a chance to meet my family. Every moment since I broke out from the Centre. I have been searching for my past. For them. You know, my dream have always been - finding my family, having a normal life. A life with. this hurts so much I can barely put it down on paper. With Miss Parker. Deep in my heart I've always held on to the thought that we could be together. And I ruined everything by killing her. it's my fault she got locked in there. That she got burned alive. I caused her all that pain. God, Sydney, I'm a terrible person. Even the thought of being reunited with my family didn't make me feel better. I don't think I would like to meet them anyway. Not after what I've done. I'm sorry it had to end like this. But it was the only way to get rid of the agony that would have killed me, eventually. But in a slow, painful way. I hope you can find it in your hearts to forgive me. And don't forget that I love you. Sydney, I love you as a father. I always have. And Broots, you have been a really good friend. Take care. And please, remember me. Love Jarod."

Sydney slowly folded the paper. Tears were streaming down his cheeks. He glanced at Broots. He cried as well. Sydney sighed heavily. He wasn't angry at Jarod. He didn't hate him. How could he? Not until now, Sydney understood how much Miss Parker had ment for Jarod. He must have been real devastated. And of course, that wasn't strange. Poor Jarod. Sydney sighed sadly.

"At least he doesn't have to run away from The Centre anymore." He said. his voice a bit shaky.

Broots nodded slowly.

"D. Do you believe in life after death?"

Sydney was quiet for a moment.

"In this case, I do. Jarod and Miss Parker's love for each other have survived the most difficult moments. Death can not take that away from them. Maybe they will finally be able to have what they've always wanted. Each other."

*

The end.