What Lies Beneath: Epilogue : One Door Closes

"Healing takes courage, and we all have courage, even if we have to dig a little to find it."—Tori Amos

Sunday, September 22, 2002

1:30 PM

"Well that's everything I think." Christy zipped up her suitcase. "Mom should be here soon."

"Where will you go?" Jenna asked.

"We'll stay at Aunt Marie's house for a little bit," Christy said. "Anything's better than the hospital. Mom's looking for a place in Alexandria—I think she's already got me registered at Minnie Howard."

"And after that?"

Christy shrugged. "Who knows? All I know is that we can't go back to the house—not after what happened there. We're both going to get therapy I know but I can't—we just can't go back into that place. "

Jenna nodded. "I understand," she said. "I'll miss you, though."

"Yeah I'll miss you too," Christy said. "As weird as it sounds I'll even miss Lisa. Thanks for letting me stay here—putting up with all my stuff—the nightmares and all."

"Well thanks for putting up with sleeping with the lights on," Jenna said. "And believe me—when it comes to dealing with stuff I'm an expert."

Christy smiled. "Yeah I know you are. Does the stuff—does it ever get easier to deal with?"

"Yeah," Jenna said. "I mean it never goes away completely, but it will get better, Christy—I know it will. I've been there."

"But how?" Christy asked. "My dad is a monster, Jenna—he's killed and hurt so many people—including you. How do I get past that?"

"Just give it time." Jenna told her. "You have your Mom there with you—your Aunt—and if you ever need to talk you always have my number. Things will get better, okay? Trust me."

"Christy, your Mother's here!" Mom's voice floated up the stairs. .

This was it.

"Take care," Jenna told Christy. "I'll miss you."

Christy gave Jenna a sudden hug. "You take care too— and keep in touch, all right? Don't be a stranger."

"I won't be—don't worry."

Christy smiled. Jenna listened as her friend left the room and went downstairs.

The front door closed.


3:30 PM

"Watching the Redskins again?" Jenna asked.

Lee nodded. "Yes, I'm watching the Redskins again."

"Are they winning this time?"

"So far," Lee said. "But it's only the first quarter. Something on your mind, munchkin?"

"Not really," Jenna said. There was a long pause. "Mind if I watch with you?"

"No, I don't mind," Lee patted the space next to him. "Sit down."

Jenna curled up on the sofa, her knees drawn to her chest. She said nothing for a few moments as they both watched the action on the screen.

"I still don't understand this game," Jenna said. "Why is everyone cheering now?"

"Well the Redskins just got a first down."

"Is that a touchdown?"

"Well no, but it's a good start to getting one." Lee said. "It's progress--it means that the ball's moved ten yards forward since the last play."

"How many downs do you need?"


"And then that's--is that seven points?"

"No, it's six. You get an extra point if you score a field goal."

"A field--" Jenna shook her head. "Okay, this is confusing."

Lee smiled. "Jenna you don't have to watch this with me, you know. It's okay if you want to go and watch something else."

"I'm fine, Dad—really. I'm getting into this--trying to."

"Well maybe one of these weekends when your brothers and I go to see a game you can come along—I don't think you've ever seen RFK Stadium."

"Maybe," Jenna said. She stared at him. "Dad I –I just wanted to say—" for a long moment she paused, then shook her head. "No, never mind."

"What?" Lee asked. "What did you want to say?"

"Well—" Jenna twisted her fingers together in her lap. "Mostly I guess I just wanted to say thank you."

"What for?"

"For being here," Jenna said. "For helping me, just for being you, and not —I don't know, maybe it sounds silly but I just wanted to you to know that. I love you, Dad."

Lee pulled her into a hug, kissing her forehead. "I love you too, munchkin."

The End