Here's the second chapter of my fic, hoping you'll enjoy it and you'll see an ending you didn't expect...

WARNING: Tons of philosophical stuff ahead!!

************************************

Chapter 2

Monica looked through the window, and saw the city of New York covered by heavy drops of rain. The gray sky with dark, stormy clouds, covered the city.

"Rain, dark sky...dark, like I am feeling inside" she whispered, and shook her head "I don't like it"

Two hours passed by, and a beautiful sunset appeared in the sky, at 6:30 p.m. Monica looked again through the window.

"The sun goes down, life's wilting away, my life's fading away" she said "I don't like it"

She looked at a magazine she had in her room (she usually liked to see the pictures in the magazines, specially landscapes, because they reminded her of the freedom she couldn't have), and her eyes rested in the picture of a beautiful sunshine, the sun was appearing through the mountains.

"The morning...the beginning of a new day, of a bad day" she said again "So strange, so useless...I don't like it"

What do you want? What do you need?

"I don't want to be alone" Monica said.

What are you afraid of?

"I'm afraid of rejection"

Afraid that the world will hate you?

"Afraid that I will hate myself"

Why would you hate yourself?

"I'm such a horrible person...I left David...I'm so selfish...I don't like myself" she said.

A new light appeared in the dark room, this time behind Monica's body. She looked behind her, and found a little girl with short, brown hair, pale skin and brown eyes, wearing a long, pale blue dress. Monica gasped when she recognised her 9-year-old self looking at her with a blank, cold look in her brown eyes, reminiscent of her own.

"I'm afraid of expressing my feelings" the girl said "That's why I'm always trapped in the middle of my life"

"Who are you? You look like me" Monica asked, and the girl smiled.

"I'm the reflection of yourself when you were 9 years old" she answered "When you were young and innocent...like David"

David again...always haunting her. Like a stone in her shoe, like a lump in her heart. She sat still, her hands resting in her chin.

"Like David? How do you know about him?" she asked.

"He's in your mind" the girl explained "You and me are the same person, so we share memories...but I'm not here to explain that. I'm here to know what's in you, what's really on your mind"

"How can you do that?!" she yelled "You can't"

"You can't do it either. You have too much problems, too much frustration, hidden guilt..." the girl smiled "You haven't met yourself yet"

"I'm trapped" Monica said.

"Yes, you are" the girl said "But it doesn't seem like you wanna even crawl out of that hole you're in"

"I do! I really do! But...I don't know how..." Monica whispered "I'm just trying to find the sense of where I am"

"And how can you find it here, in your own closed world?" the girl said "You created a world of your own, where you can feel safe and comfortable...but do you feel loved?"

"Love? What is love?"

"When I say 'love', the word leaves my mouth and hits the other person's ear, causing a sensation to my words" the girl said "And I'm not talking about sensual matters. The only word I'm using is love. The love a child feels for his or her parents"

"Love..."

"Yes...love. How long has it been since you loved someone?"

This question broke a gap in Monica's mind. She tried to think, in despite of the horrendous pain it caused her...and there he was again...

"David" she whispered. The girl looked at her, blankly.

"Did you love him?" she asked, and Monica bowed her head "I guess you didn't"

"Yes, I did" she said.

"No, you didn't! You could have kept him if you did!" the girl yelled.

"You don't know anything! You can't understand me! Nobody can!" Monica cried out.

You can't understand yourself if you don't understand the people around you. They're your reflection. Your image is reflected on them.

"My image..."

Yes. But you can't do it here, because there's no one but yourself. You have no existence out of the closed garden of your mind. You must try to find yourself in other people. You can't see yourself but through other people around you.

"That's why I'm alone. If I'm alone, I'm alone everywhere"

What do you want? What do you really want?

"I want to be loved...I want company...I don't want to be alone" Monica cried, in a thin whisper "I don't want to disappear"

You can reach anything you want. There's always time.

"How can I do that?"

Get out of you dream...of your eternal dream. Just...wake up.

Monica opened her eyes, and, for the first time, a white light covered the room. A tiny, soft voice spoke into Monica's ear.

Can I be with you?

"Who are you?" Monica asked "David?"

Can I stay here?

"Where are you?" she yelled, and a white flash covered her eyes...

------------------------------------------------

"Mommy? Mommy, wake up!" David's voice said.

Monica opened her eyes, and saw a room that looked so familiar...it was her room, the one she used to sleep in when she lived with Henry, and Martin, and...David...she rubbed the sleep off her eyes, and stood up, straightening up her pink nightgown.

"Hmmph...Good Morning, David..." she whispered.

"C'mon, Mommy!" David said excitedly "We'll be late for school!"

"Okay, okay...lemme take a shower and get changed" she said.

"All right" he said, with his little-boy smile "I'll have breakfast with Daddy and Martin, then"

"Good idea, hunny" Monica said, and entered to the bathroom.

Monica had changed in a pair of jeans and a blue sweater, and she was walking to the kitchen, when she saw David, Martin and Henry having breakfast, Henry still was in his sleeping robe.

"Henry, when will you get changed?" Monica said, looking at her husband, who was reading a newspaper and drinking his coffee.

"Just a second, Monica..." he said "It's not like I'll be late to work"

"Well, you're not the one who has to bear with Dr. Hobby's complaints when you arrive late" Monica rolled her eyes.

"Mommy, we have to go" Martin said, and he and David stood up.

"Right, I'll drop you off at college, and then I'll take David to his school" Monica said, and stood up "Good bye, honey" she added, and kissed Henry.

"Have a good day" he said.

"Bye, Daddy" David said with a smile.

"See ya, David" Henry smiled too "Come here, my boy" he added, and hugged David.

"C'mon, we're late!" Martin said, tying up his sneakers and picking up his backpack.

"Let's go, David" Monica said, and took David by the hand, but she stopped in the doorway to shout "Henry, will you stop reading? You'll be late!"

"Oooooooooooooooooookay!" Henry said, and went back to his newspaper.

"Men...they never learn" Monica rolled her eyes, and Martin and David blushed "I wasn't talking about you, guys...OLD men never learn!" she explained, and both boys giggled.

------------------------------------------------

Monica (the REAL Monica) was looking at the scene from above.

"I got it" she said "This is a different universe, but it can also be mine"

There can be another Monica Swinton who has this happy family, who has this happy life. But you can be that Monica, if you want to.

"If I want to accept the possibility that lies inside me" she said.

Looking by that way, this world isn't so bad as you may think.

"No, it isn't s bad. But I still hate myself for doing what I did" Monica bowed her head.

You hate yourself, yet you can learn to love yourself and the people around you.

"It's my decision?"

Yes.

Monica felt a slight weakness in her body, and she suddenly heard a voice she knew too well...

"Do you remember me?" the voice said, and she looked up...there he was...

"David?" she whispered wearily. In fact, David had appeared again, with the blue light around him. He kneeled in front of Monica, and she lied down her head in David's lap. She was so tired...so weak...

"You don't hate yourself, Mommy" he said, caressing Monica's hair "It's your mind that makes you think so"

She looked up at him, he was smiling, always with that innocent charm she loved so much, she had yearned so much. David looked at the window, the sunset still there, the pink sky...

"You're happy in a sunny day, and depressed in a rainy one" he continued "If that's what people tells you, you'll believe that because you'll think it's true"

Monica looked at the sky, and started crying.

"But you can enjoy the rain" he said "The truth can change...there are as much truths as there are different persons in this world...as many stars in the sky at night. But your truth is only one, only yours"

"So...nobody hates me? You don't hate me?" she asked, surprised; feeling the blissful sensation of David's soft hands touching her hair.

"How could I hate you?" he smiled.

"B-because I left you there...I left you on your own...I threw you away..." she sobbed "I'm such a bad mother, I've been bad to you"

"You haven't been" he comforted her with a loving hug "You just took the wrong decision...but I still love you, Mommy"

"How can you love me?, I'm such a coward, weak person"

"If you accept yourself, you can accept other people...like me" David said.

"I hate myself...but I can love myself, and love the others..."

"Do you love me?" he asked, and she looked up.

"Do you love me?" he repeated the question. Monica buried her head in David's chest.

"I do...I've learnt to accept you, David, for who you really are" she whispered "I just...I didn't want to leave you there, David...but Henry and Martin...they made me...if only things were different" she said, and he lifted up her chin, looking her in the eye.

"They CAN be different...everything is possible, if you want it" he said "So you love me?" he asked again, and Monica smiled, looking into his ocean-blue eyes.

"Yes, David. I love you, I love you very much" she finally answered.

David's eyes sparkled with happiness, and he hugged his beloved Mommy tighter.

"Thank you, Mommy...thank you so much...I love you too..." he whispered into her ear "I have a last gift I want to give you..." he added, and nestled his head in Monica's shoulder.

Monica started to cry happy tears, and suddenly began to feel horribly weak and dizzy...her eyes were closing against her will, and her heart was beating slowly...more and more slowly...

"I love you, Mommy..." were the last words she could hear before closing her eyes...

------------------------------------------------

"Oh, my God!" the nurse screamed when she entered the room "Ms. Swinton?! Ms. Swinton?! Wake up!" she said, shaking Monica's limp, unconscious body "Dr. Richardson, emergency in Room 101 come quickly!" she yelled desperately.

Monica could barely see the nurse's rushed desperation, hear her cries for help...because she wasn't there anymore...she was in a place where she had no problems...no sadness...no anguish...no guilt...a place where she could be with David...her beloved little one...the both of them, together again.

THE END.

"All you have to decide is what to do with the time that's been given to you" -- Gandalf. Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

********************************

AUTHOR'S NOTE: Another fic done! What did you think of it? Reviews, please!

Well, it's the first fic I make where I don't throw up a "happy ending". If you read carefully, it's one of the darkest endings you can have, but with a strange sweetness to it. Monica dies, but she gets to be with David...or doesn't she? It's an open ending, so you can discuss what might have happened.

First of all, I'd like to thank my cousin, who took me to watch "Waking Life", the film that gave me the main idea for this story.

I also wanna say that you should watch the Japanese anime series "Neon Genesis Evangelion" -chapters 25 & 26- because most of

the story is inspired in those chapters.

I didn't EXACTLY copy them, I added my own stuff! Just for you to know!

Thanks to all my reviewers, and I hope I'll finish "Imprinting Conflict" ASAP.

L8ters!

Danielle