Ennis was coming home from a day spent taking care of cattle and mending fences. Now he was anxious to get home to Jack. He urged Big Red on and the horse galloped back to the ranch.
Ennis pulled up in front of the stables and unsaddled his horse.
JT ran along side, eager to get back home too. Ennis didn't know how long he'd been in Heaven, time didn't matter up here. He worried about how long Jack had been up here alone. Jack assured him it hadn't been that long for him. And besides he had been watching Ennis. He'd sent JT to keep him company, he couldn't stand the thought of Ennis being lonely. Their time apart was over now, they were together forever.
Ennis turned around, a big smile broke out on his face when he spotted Jack looking over at him from the front door.
"Hi rodeo." He joined Jack on the porch and they hugged and kissed.
"I missed you Ennis."
"I ain't been gone long."
"Don't matter, I still miss ya."
Ennis dropped his eyes
"What's the matter, Ennis?" he lowered his voice.
"Well I was just thinkin on Junior and Jenny. I was wonderin how they were doin. How my grandkids are." He looked down at his boots. Jack placed his hand under Ennis' chin and raised his face to make eye contact.
"You can check on em if ya wanna Ennis."
Jack reached out and grabbed Ennis' hand and intertwined their fingers. "Come on Ennis," he led Ennis outside.
"Where are we goin?" Ennis asked.
"Not far, just this way." He led Ennis to a lake that was in a glen a short distance from the ranch.
The lake had the purest water and you could see the mountains on the other side.
"How come I never saw this place before?" Ennis' grip tightened on Jack's hand.
"Cause this is a special place, it's a place we can watch over our loved ones." Jack pulled him close. "It's where I came to look at you. See how you were doing."
"You watched me all them years huh?" Ennis whispered softly.
"Uh huh," I had to watch over my cowboy. I saw how torn up ya were. I wanted more than anything ta see ya again. Knew it couldn't be like it was before, but sometimes I'd visit ya."
"Visit me? When? How come I never saw ya?"
"Cause I was a spirit, only ones that can see spirits are children."
"You mean if I go see Junior and Jenny they'll be able ta see me?" he looked at Jack quizzedly.
"Naw, they're grown women now. Probably when they were still real young they woulda seen ya. I wished so hard that Bobby coulda seen me. He was seventeen when I died. He sure was havin a hard time. To top it off he found out his girlfriend was cheatin on him."
"That's rough. There weren't nothin ya could do for em?"
"Well the only thing I could do is talk to him."
"Talk to him? How could ya talk to him if yer dead?" Ennis had his hands on his hips.
"Well here's a little secret I'll let ya in on. Ya can talk to the livin, specially when theyre asleep. I'd go to Bobby's room and whisper to him while he slept. Told him stuff to ease his mind. When he woke up he'd think he dreamt it. Or sometimes he'd think I was with him, which I was of course."
"So I can do the same with my girls?"
"Sure Ennis, I'll show ya."
"Wait, one thing I gotta ask ya. How come ya sent me JT?"
"I don't have all the answers, Ennis, but I can tell ya that all the people down there on Earth have someone lookin out for em. Ya always got an angel or a loved one checkin on ya. I seen how lonely ya were, I know ya weren't' gonna find someone else to love ya."
"I could never find someone else. You was the only one I ever give my whole heart ta."
"Aw, Ennis. I known. So I wished for you to have a new friend. Knew you loved dogs like I did. So I made sure ya got JT. He needed you like you needed him."
It dawned on Ennis just then that all the times JT would be barking and wagging his tail at nothing in the room, or so Ennis thought, it was Jack he was seeing.
"Yeah animals can sometimes see spirits too."
"So can ya tell me how I can see my girls/"
"Sure let me show ya."
Jack took him by the hand and led him to a rock jutting out into the lake. They knelt down on their knees onto the smooth surface.
"Look into the water, Ennis and think real hard about your girls."
Ennis did as Jack instructed. He could see the water churning like a small whirlpool then Ennis could slowly see a vision.
Junior's home came into view. Junior had married Kurt and they had given Ennis three grandkids Ennis watched them gather for Junior's birthday. The grandkids were all in college.
Jenny came by with her husband, Tommy, and her two kids.
Ennis watched with interest. Tears welled up in his eyes.
"What's wrong Ennis?" Jack asked.
"I wish I could be with my girls and their families."
"Come on." Jack took his hand and they jumped into the water. Instead of getting wet they found themselves in Junior's house at the party.
"Junior," Ennis called out wanting to go hug her but Jack pulled on his arm.
"We're spirits, Ennis, they can't see or hear us."
They watched the party. Presents being opened cake being served. Ennis heard his grandkids talk about their future plans, their girlfriends and boyfriends.
"I sure wish Daddy was here," Junior mentioned. "I know how much he loved chocolate cake." She laughed sadly. Felt her sister's arm around her shoulders.
"I bet Daddy's lookin down on us righ t now, Junior. I know he's real happy that we're all together."
"I think that would've made him so proud. He didn't get to have this growing up. I know wherever he is he's at peace."
Ennis was choked up with joy. "My precious girls," Ennis whispered. He reached out and touched their cheeks. Smiles sprang out on both girls' faces as though they could feel the touch of their father's callused hands on their faces.
Junior raised a glass as a toast. "Daddy I hope wherever you are you're happy. Just remember your family loves you and we miss you."
"We'll never forget you." Jenny stated, her glass held high.
Jack wrapped his arms around a sobbing Ennis and took him back home to their ranch on Brokeback.
A few days later Ennis and Jack were outside chopping wood for the firewood.
Suddenly a bright light lit up the sky, it was so bright both men had to shield their eyes. Then a bright rainbow shined across the mountain.
"What the hell was that?" Ennis walked to the fence and looked out over the pasture. The horses seemed oblivious to the commotion.
"A new arrival. Whenever there is a bright light it means someone entered Heaven.'
"We gonna see bright lights all the time?"
"Naw Ennis, just happens sometimes. If we could see it here must mean it's someone we might know. But I can't say for certain. Like I said I don't know how it all works."
"What does that rainbow mean?"
"It means someone has died young."
"You mean like.." he swallowed hard at the thought that a baby or child died.
"No," Jack put his arm around Ennis' shoulder. Babies and children are brought up here by special guardian angels."
"So what does it mean?" Ennis looked at Jack.
"Means someone has died real sudden, before his time. The angels brought him up here over a rainbow bridge."
"Why did we see the light and the rainbow?"
"I'm not sure, but I think we're supposed ta help him." Jack started walking along the lake on a path that wound into the woods. Ennis wasn't sure what was going on but he followed Jack.
They came to a big willow at the water's edge. A man was sitting on a rock. He was barefoot, his blond head was bowed and his face hidden by his arms, which were wrapped around his knees. You could hear he was sobbing.
"Fuck! Damn!" the man muttered as he ran his hands through his long hair.
"Ahem," Jack cleared his throat. The man looked up and their eyes met. "Hello, I'm Jack Twist." Jack noticed something familiar about him. There was some similarities to…"
"Jack?" Ennis came over. The man slowly stood up. The two men looked at each other. If it could be said that everyone had a twin then this man was Ennis' twin. Though he was half Ennis' age and his hair was longer, the rest was like a mirror.
"This is Ennis Del Mar, who are you?"
"Heath Ledger. Look I'm not supposed to be here. This is a mistake."
"I know this I hard. It's always hard at first, it sure was hard for me. Didn't expect to die at thirty nine that's fer sure."
Ennis came up behind Jack and pressed his body close to his.
"H-how did you die?" Heath slowly uncoiled his long legs and faced the two men.
"Accident, I was out on some back road pumping up a flat tire when it blew up. The rim hit me in the face. I fell back, was unconscious. Drowned in my own blood."
"Sounds pretty dodgy." He looked over at Ennis, he looked much older than Jack did. Jack looked like he was still thirty-nine.
"What about you, how did you um.."
"Buy the farm?" Ennis used an old adage about death. "I guess if ya listen to what the docs probably said I died from too much smokin and drinkin and not eatin right. My weak heart couldn't take it. But if you ask me it was from a broken heart." Ennis took Jack's hand and squeezed it and they gazed into each other's eyes. "I was the same age as Jack when he died, I tried my best to go on. Mainly for my girls, but I never got over Jack' being gone. I was sixty-three when I died. I've only been up here a few months, I think. Funny how time don't mean as much up here."
"So, Heath, how did you…"
"I'm not dead! I can't be. I got too many things to do." He began pacing. "The movie with Terry to finish. I-I was going to be a director, Queens Gambit, I had it all planned out." He stood by the water's edge his arms wrapped around himself, panting.
Jack and Ennis came closer to the young man. Trying to offer moral support. "Oh my God, Tildy!"
"Tildy?" Ennis whispered the name.
"Matilda Rose, my daughter. She's two years old." He sobbed. "How is she going to take her daddy being gone. Oh I'm so sorry baby." He sobbed again.
"You can still see her you know." Jack put a hand on Heath's shoulder.
"Huh?" Heath wiped the tears off his cheeks as he looked at Jack dazed. "What do you mean? I'm gone from their lives forever."
"The way you were before, yeah, but we're spirits now. We can still watch over our loved ones."
"Come on," Ennis reached out his hand and led him back to the water's edge.
Jack stood next to them but remained silent. He watched Ennis help Heath.
"Look into the water and think about yer loved ones."
Heath looked at Ennis then down at the lake. The water churned then a vision slowly came into view. He saw it all, from his father handling the press so eloquently to seeing his mum and the sad expression on her face. His dear sister Kate, who was also his closest friend, she stood next to their parents trying to stay strong. The memorials, from the flowers and notes outside his home in SoHo, the services in LA. Jake sneaking into Sony Studios. He knew how the media hounded him worse than they did Heath. One good thing about living in New York the paparazzi didn't hound you nearly as much.
He was going to miss him and Trevor and all his other mates.
The churning water changed the scene to Perth. Heath fell to his knees when he saw Michelle carrying Matilda in her arms.
"Oh God, Michelle, Matilda.' He started to cry again.
"Come on, let's go see her, your baby girl." Jack and Ennis took Heath by the arms and they jumped into the water.
They were in a house, Heath looked around and recognized the setting. "It's me Mum's house." He whispered.
Heath recognized a cousin coming slowly and quietly out of a bedroom. She left the door ajar. Heath was drawn to the room like a magnet. He quietly crept in and saw Matilda, she was lying on her back. She wasn't asleep yet. Heath slowly walked over to the bed and knelt next to it.
"Hi Tildy, baby." He reached out and pushed her hair off her face. She looked right at him. "Daddy." She smiled at him and wrapped her little fingers around his. Just like she had many times before.
"You can see me baby?" she touched his face. "Oh Tildy honey, I love you." He hugged her against his chest.
"Heath." Jack said softly. "Heath." He repeated and placed a hand on his shoulders. "We gotta go now."
"But I don't want to leave her."
"You'll never leave her. You'll be able to see her for the rest of her whole life until the day you're reunited with her."
Heath kissed her on her cheek and covered her up and made sure her favorite teddy bear was in her arms. "Go to sleep now baby, remember daddy loves you and always will. I'll always be with you." He watched her eyes close, stood up. "She could see me."
"Children can see spirits."
"One last thing to see." Ennis and Jack took Heath to Cottesloe Beach. "I recognized this place it's my favorite beach. I used to surf here." They stood by the water's edge watching Heath's family and friends frolicking in the water. He was happy to see Michelle and his sister Kate arm and arm. Laughing and splashing about.
The sun was setting and the group gathered to watch the setting sun. His family stood looking at the sunset. Two members said
"The sun goes down on our love," they said. "But it will never go down on Heathy."
Heath watched the crowd disperse.
"That was nice," Jack broke the silence.
"Yeah was real nice. I have a great family and friends."
"You lived a wonderful life. Ennis and me didn't have this kind of turn out fer us."
"No one remembered you?" Heath asked them.
"OH no, we have kids. Ennis has two girls and I have a boy. They're all grown and have kids of their own now. They remember us. It's just that Ennis and me led quiet lives so our send off wasn't like yours."
They all found themselves back on Brokeback Mountain.
"Why did I end up here. Why were you the first ones to welcome me up here?
"I dunno, maybe because we're something familiar to you? There are so many mysteries even up here. I wish I could answer all your questions. I know I've had many questions myself. All I can tell you is that you're in a safe place and not to worry about your loved ones down there. You'll always be able to keep an eye on them. And time up here isn't like time down there on Earth. It won't be too long before you'll be able to see your little girl again. But in the meantime you'll be able to see her, what she makes of her life. And I have a feeling there is so much of you in her and not just because she is the spitting image of ya neither." Jack explained to Heath.
"You'll see." Jack said
A light shined from the west, not unlike the sun only this one was a blue light and it seemed to pull Heath towards it.
"What am I supposed to do now?" Heath looked over at them uncertain, a hint of fear in his voice.
"Go to the light, your loved ones are waiting on the other side." Jack told him.
"It was good to see you guys, I always did enjoy Ennis best." Heath told Ennis. They all hugged and Heath turned to the light and started walking towards it. He turned and said to them "'See ya around huh?" In his Ennis voice.
Both Ennis and Jack nodded and watched Heath disappear into the light. It slowly faded. A peacefulness settled in both of them. They knew that Heath was home.
Here is a music vid I chose to go with this story. It is Eric Clapton's "Tears In Heaven" it has scenes from Brokeback Mountain in it. I decided to use this one since my story is set on the Brokeback Mountain in Heaven. This vid has a tissue alert. So if you just want to read the story and skip the video I certainly understand.