Hannah, Cade and the American Dream

Hannah, Cade and the American Dream

Author HollyC

Rated PG

Disclaimer: Characters belong to Pearson, Peace Arch, Sci Fi, Chris Brancato, Larry sugar, Francis Ford Coppola.  I am borrowing them for fun, no profit is being made and no infringement of copyright intended.

There are spoilers for season 3 episodes up to Checkmate.

"Only through time time is conquered" TS ELIOT FOUR QUARTETS

 

It's a Spring afternoon, blossoms are just appearing on the trees in the yard and the streets, pushing their fragrance out into the blue sky, the air is full of birdsong every dawn and the long snow is forgotten.   I am driving home from work as usual, tired but ready to greet my adorable wife and tell her all about my day.  Each day is like this, even after a year of marriage we are still excited to hear about the way each of us has spent the day apart.  I hate being separated from her, and all the time at work I think longingly about pressing my lips against hers, crushing my body against her fine figure, burying my nose in her curls to smell the sweetness of lavender there.

  Hannah. 

She is the one who turned my life around and gave me hope.  She helped me put behind me a dark past in favor of the light of a future together, chasing away my despair till I hardly ever thought again about my impoverished childhood.  She gave me the love and attention I craved.  It's the future I look to now.  Not the dim and pain filled past.

I love this car, this red Camaro, roof down, wind caressing my short hair like a lover; I drive along filled with the anticipation of Hannah at the end of my journey.  This car represents to me the success I have become.  I have a great job selling security, which is ironic considering my criminal past.  Hannah says who better qualified than me to sell locks and safes? If it weren't for her and her encouragement, I wouldn't have this job.  We have a great life together, no worries, plenty of loyal friends, a house in the burbs and enough money to make life easy. I never had it so good.

The road is quiet this evening, not many cars about apart from mine, the driving is fast.  I am anxious to get home because Hannah rang me before I finished up at the office and said she had some exciting news for me.  I pressed her but she wouldn't tell.  Hannah can be a tease; that's one of the many things I adore about her.  She is so different from other women, from Harley especially.  Dark to Harley's blonde, happy to Harley's solemnity.  I had never had someone as graceful and honest as Hannah in my life before.  When I am driving along like this, the radio turned off, just the sound of wind and soft hum of traffic I wonder what would have become of me if I hadn't met Hannah.  Usually I conclude that I would be in jail, or worse, another fatal statistic on an eager cop's record.

I pull the car into the drive of our dream house.  I rush out, not even bothering to lock it, secure in the knowledge that we are safe here from people like me.  I push open the heavy door and stand in the hallway listening for her steps, on cue she rushes toward me bearing a tiny tray cradling it in her hand like a newborn mouse.  It is something I don't recognise and I stare at her puzzled as she approaches me with care, almost tiptoeing on those elegant feet of hers.

"What?  What is it?" I cry, breathless.

She doesn't speak, just bestows on me an enigmatic smile and offers me the tray.  I relieve her gently of its burden and look down with a frown at the circle with the blue cross.  My mind must be slow because it takes me a while to realise the significance of her gift.  I put the tray down gently and grin broadly, uncontrollably as I grasp her gently and press my lips against hers then rub my face in her hair.  When we pull away, we both realise that we are crying with joy.  A baby.  I never would have believed that I could take on that responsibility given my background until I met Hannah.  I swore to her that I would be the best father ever, that I would read every book available on the subject, that I would go to parenting classes.  I would give my child everything I never had.

We spend the evening making plans for our family.

I have been thinking about dreams a lot lately.  When I was young my dream was to have a proper family, you know a real American wholesome as mom's apple pie family. A mom, a dad (your real dad not some no good who beats you) and a sister or brother or even both.  I gave them names; my sister would be Annie and my brother would be Rob and they would be older than me.  When I got into trouble, they would come help me out and we would go to the lake in summer to play together and we'd practise hockey in winter.  Rob would give me his clothes when he grew out of them and Annie would fix anything that broke or tore.  If any kid set on me, Rob would defend me. When I got hungry, they would feed me but that wouldn't happen often because our Mom would always be there at home to cook for us all and Dad would have a real job in an office so there'd always be plenty of food.

 And we'd sit down together to eat as one big family round a big oak table with a starched white clean lace tablecloth. We'd all have good clothes on, Mom wearing a pretty dress Dad bought her from a real shop in the Mall not a thrift shop rag.  She'd wear make up and always be smiling showing clean white teeth all in a perfect row behind her painted lips.  Annie would sit by me and help me cut my meat and she would smile at me to show her train track braces.   The food would be piping hot and in dishes and we'd be able to help ourselves as much as we could fit in our bellies; but not before Dad in his suit said Grace.  We would all talk excitedly about schoolwork and our friends and no one would tell us to be quiet.  No one would hit us across the ear for venturing an opinion. No one would throw our food at the wall, call us useless bastards, and send us into the dark basement with the spiders and the rats and the water drip dripping down the crumbling walls and the dark shadows that hid the bogeyman.  Mom would tell us how she'd been shopping at the store and met Mrs Jakobs and Mrs Bertucci and then gone on to her part time job at the telephone company. There'd be pie and ice cream and soda to drink.

 After dinner, we'd all do our chores like helping with the washing up then there would be time for Dad and Mom to help us with our homework before they tucked us into bed with a goodnight kiss.  There'd be homework because I would be going to school regularly every day and not skipping off to take headlamp covers and insignias off of cars or smoke and write graffiti in the washrooms at the mall. I wouldn't spend schooldays by the rail yard throwing stones at box cars with Jeff Hudson and Mitch Pasquale.  My friends would all come from good homes with a Mom and dad each like mine and a car in the drive and flowers in the yard.   I'd come home from school each day to the aroma of freshly cooked food and fresh flowers and Mom's perfume, not damp, unwashed clothes, rotting food and alcohol and stale cigarette smoke, the scent of sickness and fear. The house would be bright and airy and full of laughter.

At weekends I wouldn't be joyriding stolen cars, but I'd be at the park with my dad, pitching and running and kicking and practising my slingshot. On sunny days we'd all bundle in our new van and go for a picnic right out of the city.  Life would be fun, I would be loved and looked after and never feel afraid.

  I still have those dreams sometimes, I try to make them real, a better childhood than the one I had.  I feel if I concentrate hard enough, squeeze my eyes tight shut and cross my fingers and click my heels three times, the old memories will disappear and be replaced by those in my dreams. I turn to those dreams in times of need, they sustain me through bad times, times when my life is so unbearable I feel like I want to give up.

 Why am I dreaming those dreams now?