A/N -- Well, here it is. I never thought I'd see the day, but this is the last chapter of The Forgotten.
Maybe now would be a good time to reveal what I was always hoping to accomplish with this story. See, on opening night I fell in love with the Other Wybie straitaway. But when our last glimpse of him was clothes dangling from a flagpole, I found myself thinking, "What?! That's it?!" I thought that there had to be more to his story. I didn't think that it was a fitting way to bid him farewell. And out of those thoughts came what you now know as my OW-centric fanfictions: Stitches, The Sacrafice, and finally The Forgotten.
The Forgotten was never a fanfiction meant to save him. It was a fanfiction meant to give him a better goodbye, the kind of goodbye he deserved.
Oh, and one last thing: before you ask me what I'm going to do now that this is all over, I feel the need to tell you that it's not all over. I haven't explained everything. It's no coincidence that this was an Other Wybie story told from Coraline's perspective, but I haven't been able to explain everything I wanted to, and, well, one thing led to another...
Forgotten fans, look for The Abandoned, coming soon to a computer near you.
Coraline stretched luxuriantly as she stepped out of her mother's Volkswagen. Her left arm rose, extending high above her head, but her right arm stayed where it was – it was bound in a sling and a brand-new lime green cast.
"Hey, Jonesy!" called Wybie ecstatically. He stood next to his motorbike, which was propped up against the wall of the Pink Palace. "Nice cast."
"I wouldn't need such a beautiful cast if you hadn't gone and broken my wrist, Wyy-booorn," Coraline retorted, smirking.
"Can I sign it?" he asked, fumbling in his top coat pocket for a marker.
She brandished her arm as she trotted up to him. "Knock yourself out."
The marker squeaked over the ridges in the plaster as Wybie scrawled in a clumsy block writing TO JONESY FROM WYBIE. Coraline admired the signature as he capped the marker and put it away. "You have no idea how painful this is…" she drawled dramatically.
"Well, why are you telling me?" replied Wybie. "After all, I saved your life."
The cover story was that Coraline had nearly fallen down the well; she had snagged on to the edge but had been unable to pull herself up. Wybie had allegedly found her and assisted her in reaching the surface, but had broken her wrist in the process. Of course, they both knew that sooner or later, they would have to reveal the actual occurrences to Wybie's grandmother, but for the moment that could wait.
"Yeah, you're the greatest hero ever to walk the face of the Earth." Coraline rolled her eyes.
"We should celebrate my heroism," suggested Wybie. "Ask your mom if you can stay out here for a while."
Coraline hardly even turned around. "Mom!"
Coraline's mother was standing stiffly beside the Volkswagen, tracking the entire conversation. She pursed her lips, pondering the request. "Well…I guess it's all right. Twenty minutes, you hear? And then you come straight back. And if you break anything else, I swear to God I'll…"
"Thanks, Mom," laughed Coraline.
She and Wybie took off, sprinting across the grounds, whooping and hollering, never giving a thought to their final destination. They were blissfully happy, happy to be alive, happy to have pulled out of the dangers and back into their bright, ordinary lives. With a little luck, there would be no more calls to dark adventure, no more otherworldly loose ends to tie up. In these moments, they could be happy, regular children.
When they arrived at the old well, they stopped. They were puffing and panting, and it seemed a fitting place for a rest. The well's opening was like a blot of night on the ground.
"We should put the cover back on," said Coraline.
Wybie nodded, retrieved the circle of wooden planks, and dropped it atop the hold. But neither he nor Coraline could avert their eyes from the now-sealed portal. It felt like shutting the door on all that had occurred, and Coraline hoped that no matter what might happen in the future, she would always remember the Other Wybie – and all he'd done for her.
"I keep thinking we could have saved him," said Wybie, as if tapping into her thoughts. "We could have done just one thing differently, and then he'd still be…"
"No." Coraline spoke softly, but she surprised herself by speaking at all. "We did the right thing, I know we did. Thanks to us…" – she smiled despite the cold lump in her throat – "he'll never be the forgotten again."