A/N This is just something I needed to write. April's a bad month for me, it marks the anniversary of the death of my parents, as well as my dad who raised me, so April always puts me in a melancholy mood. I wrote this for myself, but I want to share it with you. There's not a lot in the way of plot, just a lot of angst and reflection, but I hope you'll like it anyway. For those of you reading "Lean on Me," expect an update real soon, I'm sorry it's taking so long, but I needed to get this out of my system before I could write anything else and real life has been a bummer lately, filled with so much drama, that I've hardly had time to write at all.
Also, this hasn't really been betaed, so my apologies for any mistakes or if this doesn't make much sense or if it just plain sucks.
Disclaimer: Supernatural isn't mine. Never has been, never will be, but a girl can always dream, right?
Warnings: Contains some language and spoilers for the pilot episode and "In the Beginning".
When The Night Gives Way to Mourning
The shock that followed the horror lingers. Even hours later, after paramedics looked them over for injuries, after filling out a statement of what happened, after the fire was put out, after everything was done for the night and they slipped into a motel in the dead of night with nowhere else to go, the shock of what happened remains, overpowering and dulling out any other emotion. Surely it's just a dream, a horrible and freakishly vivid dream. Mary was on the ceiling for fucks sake, and that is impossible, impossible, surely it couldn't have been real.
John sits on the motel bed staring at the bed next to him. Dean's curled on his side, still smelling like smoke—they all do. He's alarmingly still, and is sucking his thumb, a habit that has never been an issue for him, so it's odd to see him start now. Despite the late hour, his eyes are wide open, the green in his irises are especially prominent as they stare blankly at Sammy who sleeps peacefully in the middle John's bed. His eyes stare at the baby, but they aren't really focused. Dean is lost somewhere in his own little world.
"Hey buddy," John murmurs, wincing at the hoarseness of his voice, "why don't you get some sleep, OK?"
Dean doesn't move, doesn't speak, doesn't give any indication that he hears him or that he even knows he's there.
John snorts suddenly, his lips quirking into a humorless smile and he chuckles softly, yet the laugh is on the verge of frantic. As he does so, a part of him knows that laughing in a time like this is horribly inappropriate but he doesn't do anything to fix his behavior. He shakes his head, of course this is just a dream. If the fact that Mary was on the fucking ceiling isn't enough of an indication then surely Dean's his biggest clue that this can't possibly be real.
The little boy in the bed is not Dean. He's not. He looks like him, a perfect replica, but Dean's never still, never quiet, not even in his sleep, and this little boy has yet to move or say a word. John knows his son and this boy can't possibly be him. He can't.
Putting Dean to bed had always been a challenge. He would often whine, and kick and fight, I'm not sleepy! and make such a fuss, or run wildly around the house, in a fit of laughter, playfully demanding that they catch him, that it sometimes took over an hour to get him to settle down. On the nights that he behaved himself at bedtime, it usually meant he was up to something. It was on those nights that he and Mary would usually find him sleeping on the floor of Sammy's nursery, surrounded by his toy cars and trucks with one of his books lying open beside him. He told them once that he was reading Sammy his bedtime story.
The little boy on the bed though, when John tucked him into bed the kid was so pliant and his movements were so mechanical, almost robotic that it threw John off balance. Dean moves with fluid grace and unless he's sick, the word pliant never really could apply to him.
That thought prompts John to lean forward and touch his forehead. Maybe he is sick, or hurt. Dean's temperature is normal, but he doesn't give any response to his father's touch. Other than the tiny, rhythmic sound and slight motion of Dean uncharacteristically sucking his thumb, he remains still and quiet.
John bows his head, unable to look at the shell of a boy before him. He shakes his head and wills himself to wake up because he has to be dreaming. There's no way Mary can possibly be gone. If he got in his car right now and drove home he would not find yellow tape and a house gutted by fire, he'd surely see Mary standing in the doorway wondering what he's thinking taking the boys out for a drive at such a late hour. And then he'll shrug sheepishly and tell her about the terrible nightmare he had and how it was so vivid that for a while he thought it was real. Then she'll point out how absurd it was for him to even consider it because spontaneously combusting while pinned to the ceiling was impossible. Then they'll share a laugh and tuck the boys back into bed, maybe Dean and Sammy would sleep with them because John's nightmare would still feel too real and leave him a feeling little shaken. Then she'll call him a baby but she will nonetheless be extra sweet and gentle and help him move Sammy's crib into the master bedroom and tuck Dean in between them on their king-sized bed.
A shift on his bed followed by a whimper and a cry draws John's attention to Sammy who is growing restless. He needs a diaper change from the smell of things. John lifts Sammy into his arms rocking him gently, whispering words of comfort to him. John's seriously unequipped to deal with a baby. Everything they have is back at the house, and John has no idea what, if anything, survived the fire. He was given a few of the necessities to last Sammy tonight and tomorrow, but John himself isn't really equipped with taking care of a baby.
He never realized the implications until now, but Mary has always been the one who changed the diapers and was the primary caregiver to the boys, the one who gave them what they needed. She embraced the role of housewife and mother so completely that she genuinely didn't mind the menial and dirty, unglamorous jobs that came with parenthood. The last time John changed a diaper was when Dean was about seven or eight months old. He never could do it right, and every time, Mary would have to take over. Finally she laughed at his ineptitude and gave up.
"Fine, I'll change his diapers from now on," she had said one day after John's umpteenth attempt at putting a diaper on baby Dean failed miserably. At John's sigh of relief she smirked, and with a twinkle in her eye she warned, "Don't think you're getting off easy mister."
John cradles the crying, and smelly baby and sighs, "Well Sammy, looks like you're going to have to put up with me this time." He spares one more look at Dean and frowns worriedly. The boy still had yet to move since being tucked into bed except his eyes are closed now.
He carries Sammy into the bathroom and grabs a clean towel and smoothes the towel on his bed, laying the baby on top of it. John's face scrunches into a focused frown as he tries to figure out how he's going to go about changing Sammy's diaper. He regrets not being more actively involved with taking care of their sons' basic needs. It's all his fault. When Dean was a baby, part of the reason he was so bad at changing diapers was because he simply didn't bother to try, figuring if he sucked at it, Mary would let him off the hook. He wishes now that his childish attempt at manipulation failed because while Mary rarely complained, she deserved to have a husband who did more to raise their children than just play with them. He would give anything to go back and make it right, but now it's too late. Mary is gone.
The thought forces John to take pause, his breath hitches and he shakes his head. No, no, no, no…she can't be gone. I'm dreaming. I'm going to wake up with Mary beside me. He throws the soiled diaper in the garbage, and cleans Sammy's bottom, taking extra care to be thorough. He has to do this job right. Mary's not there to fix it if he botches the job.
Changing Sammy's diaper takes John longer than it had ever taken Mary, but he finishes the job and he cradles his infant son in his arms until Sammy falls asleep again. As he sets Sammy back down on the bed he takes a deep breath, his mind bringing him back to hours earlier, to the fire, to Mary on the fucking ceiling, to handing Sammy to Dean and telling the boy to run as fast as he could outside.
It just can't possibly be real. This is Mary. Mary is life, she is happiness, she is home, she's light, she's love. People die tragically every day, but not Mary, it can never be Mary. Surely fate would spare Mary. She can't be gone, how can the world possibly keep turning with her not in it? It has to be a dream, an illusion. Lying on the ceiling and then spontaneously combusting isn't right, isn't possible, isn't natural.
For the first time since carrying Sammy outside, since fighting the paramedics who dared to try and take Sammy out of his grasp, Dean moves on his own accord, without someone else to guide him. He curls further into himself, and begins to cry, softly at first, but then the cry quickly turns to a wailing howl, then it becomes a screaming sob of terror and despair.
"Hey, Dean," John rushes to his side and tries to pull his thumb out of his mouth. Dean resists him without really acknowledging him, his muscles taut. When he finally pries Dean's hand away from his mouth he sees teeth marks on his thumb, the skin wrinkled from the moisture of his saliva. John then notices that the sheets and his pajama bottoms are wet. John sighs, trying to shush him, but Dean still doesn't give him any indication that he's even aware of John's presence.
"Come on buddy, help me out here," John soothes, "you'll wake Sammy. You don't want to wake Sammy do you?"
John tries to pick him up, but he fights him, every muscle is rigid as he thrashes blindly away from John. "Easy Dean, it's me, I'm not going to hurt you, just, shhhh….shhhh… easy, easy….it's going to be OK." Dean continues to scream and twist away from his father's grasp, lost in his own little world, trapped in the throes of a night terror John can only imagine. He screams and flails his arms blindly, his hands in fists, fighting off an unseen foe. When Sammy wakes up and begins to wail, the sounds from both his sons overwhelming him, John loses his patience and out of desperation snaps, "Dean! Wake up, now! That's an order! Don't make me give you a spanking!"
Dean's eyes suddenly snap open. He rolls onto his back and stares helplessly at the ceiling, gasping for breath as he sobs and screams. He's hyperventilating and it's scaring the shit out of John because he doesn't know what to do.
"Dean?" John reaches out for him, for a moment wondering if maybe he finally got through to him and he finally managed to snap out of it. Dean doesn't respond and with one look into his boy's hazel-green eyes, John knows that he's still not aware of anything beyond his own grief and terror, he's still somewhere else and even though his eyes are open, he's not really awake—his nightmare hasn't finished yet, his mind is still there. "Come on kiddo, breathe for me, snap out of it. Breathe. Come on, slow deep breaths, please?"
There is still no response, no hint of awareness from Dean. He just continues to blindly stare at the ceiling as he struggles to breathe, and John resists the urge to raise his hand and slap Dean across the face, hard—anything to get him to snap out of it. Taking a deep shuddering breath John follows Dean's eyes and shifts his gaze upward. He half expects to see Mary looking down at them in horror as blood drips from her abdomen and flames lick at her magnificent golden hair. There is nothing there of course, save a few water stains, and an odd mix of relief and panic suddenly washes over John.
Kneeling in front of him, John pulls Dean into a sitting position, wraps his arms around him and pulls him close. He holds him urging him to calm down and breathe as he rubs circles into his back, soothing him gently. John is vaguely grateful that the motel rooms on either side of John's are empty. With Sammy cranky and crying for attention, and Dean lost in the midst of a panic attack no four-year old should ever have to suffer, and at such a ridiculous hour of the night—or morning depending on how you look at it—the last thing John needs is a grumpy neighbor complaining about the noise.
John holds Dean in a gentle embrace, until the screams die down to sobs, and the sobs become hiccoughs, and finally the hiccoughs become soft whimpers. Finally John lets go and Dean curls back up in bed, either not aware or not caring that he was still lying in his own mess. He puts his thumb back in his mouth even as he gasps to catch his breath and with wide, frightened and teary eyes, stares at Sammy whose cries also finally die down as he wears himself out.
Scooping Sammy up in his arms John soothes him, bouncing him lightly, and rocking him, hurriedly trying to get the baby to settle down and go back to sleep so he could finish looking after Dean. He kisses Sammy's soft cheek and settles him back on the bed, stroking his brow until he's asleep.
"Come on kiddo," John whispers to Dean who has now completely retreated back into his hollow, empty state after his frightening episode. He has become completely still, completely silent and his normally expressive eyes that look so much like Mary's, reveal nothing but a vast emptiness in a sea of green. The word catatonic enters his mind, but John refuses to believe that's even possible. Dean is so loud and rambunctious, always talking, always moving, he's filled with so much life and energy that the notion is just as absurd as that of Mary on the fucking ceiling. He's just confused, traumatized. So much has happened tonight that he doesn't fully understand, there's a lot to process—more than a four-year old should ever have to deal with.
Dean begins to shiver slightly, his wet, soiled pajamas making him cold. John nudges his shoulder, gently pushing him forward and Dean sits up and lets himself be guided towards the bathroom. Just before turning the corner into the bathroom John can almost swear that he sees Dean take a quick glance in Sammy's direction, though he might be imagining things. It's the only sign Dean has given to show that while he's not ready to come back from whatever world he's retreated into, he's not completely gone.
"Sammy will be OK," John says, sparing baby Sammy a quick look. "Come on buddy, let's get you cleaned up, OK?" he murmurs, placing his hand on Dean's back he guides him into the bathroom and Dean is once again pliant as John takes off his wet pajamas and draws him a warm bath.
As he puts his eldest into the bathtub, he finds that a part of him is still waiting to wake up to find this is all just a bad dream. But this world is too tangible—taste, smell and touch too real to be imagined, despite the impossible events and the unnerving sight of his first born before him. He searches Dean's eyes, looking for any hint of Dean in them, but seeing nothing but a lost, scared little boy, "Hey kiddo, you with me?" he asks.
When he still receives no response, John sighs and pulls Dean's thumb out of his mouth and puts a washcloth in his hands. His hands drop listlessly into his lap, fingers curling around the cloth, clutching it tightly.
John squeezes Dean's shoulder reassuringly and steps out of the bathroom to check on Sammy who still lies sleeping, blissfully unaware of the tragedy and horror that had befallen his family. He positions himself to where he can keep an eye on both sons, leaning against the wall opposite the bathroom door, and prays silently, prays that he can go back and start over again and keep this from happening, or that he'll wake up with Mary at his side, resting in his arms.
Please, give us another chance. Get us out of this nightmare. This can't be real, please assure me this isn't real. I'll be a better father, a better husband, I promise. Just let this all be a dream…
Dean sits motionless in the bathtub, staring blankly at the tap, seemingly fascinated by the droplets of water dripping from the spout. Wherever he had gone before he woke up screaming, he's back there now, and John wonders if he ever left. He wonders if what he thought he saw when his head flicked towards Sammy was just wishful thinking. It worries him, makes him wonder if the paramedics missed something because this traumatized little boy is just not Dean. He's beginning to want Dean back as much as he wants Mary back. Dean is somehow still back at the house, still in the midst of the fire and chaos, leaving only his body, an empty shell, behind.
It makes John wonder just how much Dean saw.
With a heartbroken sigh John takes one more glance at Sammy and goes back into the bathroom and begins to wash his broken son. Bathtime with Dean had always been one of those chores that Mary and John both looked forward to and it always guaranteed that both parent and son would end up wet. Dean loved to play with his bath toys and splash around in fits of jovial laughter. But this time it's eerily silent. Dean gives John no indication that he knows his father is even there or that he's sitting in a tub full of water. He just sits there and lets John wash away the left over soot from the fire and the evidence of his bedwetting accident.
John pulls him out of the bathtub and vigorously dries him with a towel before wrapping it around him. John closes the lid on the toilet and sits his pliant son down; putting his thumb back in his mouth is the only movement Dean makes without his father's gentle prodding and guidance. They don't have a change of clothes so he washes Dean's pajamas and underpants as best as he can and hangs them to dry then wraps his boy's small, naked body in the robe John had been wearing when he ran upstairs to find Mary on the fucking ceiling, leads him out of the bathroom and tucks him into John's clean, dry bed, right next to Sammy.
Dean sighs mournfully as he continues to suck on his thumb, and with his free hand delicately runs his small fingers through Sammy's soft brown tuft of hair. Eventually his eyes close, and his body goes slack, his thumb slides limply from his mouth, the fingers absently stroking the baby's hair goes still and he falls asleep.
The sight is enough to take his breath away in despair.
He sits in a chair at the table by the window and watches his precious boys sleep. It doesn't take long for Dean to grow restless in his slumber, but he doesn't have an episode nearly as intense as he had earlier. He whimpers and cries in fear and sadness, curling into himself and shakes his head back and forth. John scoops him into his arms and settles him in his lap, unable to wake him.
Mary always held Dean in her lap when he had a nightmare. She would ask him what he dreamed about and he'd eventually tell her, "Ghosts." He often dreamed about ghosts, and monsters and Mary would always laugh patiently, and tell him that he needn't worry about that sort of thing because the angels were watching over him. John would then pipe in and remind him that monsters weren't real, now though, John isn't so sure.
Later, in a few months when Dean finds his voice again, Dean will have another nightmare, and John will ask him what it's about even though he knows that it will be about the fire, and Dean will tell him he dreamt about "the man with the yellow eyes" and that will be the catalyst that will spring John into action full force. But right now, Dean's not talking, and John still doesn't know what he himself saw hours earlier other than Mary on the fucking ceiling, and he will never know just how much Dean was a witness to that night.
As he rocks an unresponsive Dean comfortingly, trying to lull him back to sleep, he closes his eyes and the night replays in his head with clarity and he shakes his head in horror and despair. It has to be a dream, a horribly vivid nightmare and if it's not—god please let this not be real—then someone, or something had to have killed her and he wants answers, he wants the truth, he wants to find someone or something to blame. There's no logical explanation. His beautiful bride was lying on the fucking ceiling, pain and terror etched into her wide-eyed gaze, her stomach ripped open… the flames ignited without any source or accelerant. It's just not possible, it's not natural.
This can't be happening. Mary can't be gone, their home can't be gone, Dean can't possibly be this empty shell of a boy, suffering something so traumatic that he can hardly function, Sammy can't be helplessly in need for John's inadequate care. They need Mary back, all three of them. She can't be gone, it's not right, it's not right!
John wants to throw something, and the only thing that keeps him from grabbing the small TV and throwing it across the room are his boys so instead he gently tucks Dean back into bed, and picks up one of the extra hotel pillows and sits down at the table beside the window. He buries his face in the pillow, just in case the scream that's been stuck in his throat, longing for release escapes his control. He takes a deep breath and exhales quickly with a low, angry growl, the sound muffled by the pillow.
"What am I supposed to do?" he whispers, partly in prayer though he's not sure that there was anyone out there listening. A few hours ago he was willing to believe in Mary's angels, he believed in God and mercy and salvation, but now… Where were Mary's angels when she was stuck on the fucking ceiling?
Mary swore that she had met her guardian angel that fateful night when John proposed. Her father had gone insane that night, murdered her mother, and tried to murder John before he killed himself. Mary said he was sick and didn't know what he was doing, and placed no blame on her father because his illness had taken over him and he had no control. She believed whole-heartedly that an angel, her own guardian angel, visited her, tried to warn her and somehow protected her and John before taking her parents' souls home. Despite his Catholic upbringing, John never really believed in that sort of thing, at least, not completely. He chose to maintain what he called a 'healthy skepticism', but even John can't deny that something miraculous happened that night amidst the tragedy.
But now… John can still see with clarity his beloved Mary behind his eyes, dripping in blood on the fucking ceiling, bursting into flames. He blinks and inhales shakily, bitterness and despair washing over him in waves. He looks at his boys, first at Sammy who is still sleeping peacefully, blissfully unaware, but who will one day suffer the loss of his mother, and then at Dean. His eyes linger on his firstborn, a broken, empty shell of a boy who witnessed a terrible horror no one, especially not a four-year-old boy, should ever have to see, and John's heart breaks.
Angels? Mary believed with everything she had that angels were watching over them, and her belief was so strong that John was almost inclined to believe it too. But as John watches Dean struggle with another nightmare John wonders with a deep, soul crushing bitterness that he hadn't felt since his best friend died in his arms in the jungle, Where's your guardian angel now?
John's face hardens. Several hours ago, John and Mary tucked Dean into bed. Dean was very agreeable last night. He went to bed like a good little boy, a rarity for Dean (which made them both wonder what he was up to). After they read him his bedtime story Dean had asked John to check for monsters under the bed. John told him, "There's no such thing as monsters." Somehow he knows now that that had been a lie. Mary however checked both under the bed and the closet gave him the all clear and told him that the angels would keep the monsters away. John knows now that that too was a lie.
There aren't any angels watching over them and if there are, they're doing a piss poor job.
Show yourself, fucker, he silently dares Mary's alleged guardian angel. He pauses, as though he actually expects something to happen, and snorts, chuckling humorlessly to himself when nothing does.
After a while John heaves a sigh and opens the curtains to look outside. Dawn is breaking, and John is met with a beautiful sight. The leaves are a rainbow of greens, yellow, reds and browns. A light frost covers the ground, sparkling in the orange glow of the morning sun as it peeks over the horizon. Mary had always loved autumn because of the beauty and colors that autumn brought to tranquil scenes like the one he's looking at.
He sees the motel sign, and various cars driving by despite the ridiculously early hour, and the cars in the motel parking lot. As his eyes rest on the Impala parked just outside their room, John realizes then and there that he is now staring at all that is left of their home.
It hits him all at once. The motel, the Impala, the gaping hole in his heart where Mary used to be. This is life now. Morning has broken and this is not some lucid nightmare that John is going to wake up from.
They can never go back home. Even if the house can be saved, they can never go back. Life will never be the same. The tragedy has left its mark on them all and they can never go back. Home is a concept they'll never know again.
Without warning John begins to weep as the reality of what happened hours before truly hits him with a cruel finality that can never be undone. He buries his face in the pillow to stifle his sobs. Mary is gone. She is gone. She is gone. She is gone.
It's not possible, it's not natural but she is gone. Forever.
He wants to run away. He wants to go back to last night so he could have another chance, camp out in Sammy's nursery instead of head downstairs for some late night TV and prevent this from happening. He wants it so badly that even though he knows it's crazy, a part of him is almost certain that he can go back if he wants it bad enough. And he wants to go back and change Fate with every fiber of his being. He's almost certain that when he stops his uncontrollable weeping, he'll open his eyes and see Mary's sweet, beautiful angelic face looking at him, asking him what's wrong, because he desires it so badly that his wish has to be granted.
Surely there's a divine power out there willing to hear his plea.
What will he do without Mary? Mary was his saving grace, without her he'd surely go mad. Vietnam had unleashed a darkness within him, and it would have consumed him had it not been for Mary. She was his angel. She kept the darkness that the jungle had placed on his soul at bay, kept him sane, kept him going. John doesn't know what he would have done if he didn't have Mary to come home to after the war. How can he face a world without her now?
John weeps until exhaustion finally settles in and the tears abruptly stop. He draws in a deep, shaky breath and turns his head towards his boys. They're all that is left of Mary and it angers him that they'll be denied their mother, that Mary will be denied the chance to raise them. All she ever wanted was to be a wife and mother—such a simple dream for a woman so smart with so much to offer the world, but it was her dream, a beautiful dream and she deserved to live that dream. She deserved to watch them both grow, to raise them and teach them. While John felt he was a good dad, he's not sure how he can raise them on his own.
He slowly climbs to his feet and leans forward to kiss his boys on the cheek. First Sammy, who shifts slightly, licking his lips and turning into his father's touch, then Dean, who he kisses once and then nudges in an attempt to wake him because John hopes that maybe this time when Dean opens his eyes, he'll find Dean, and not the traumatized shell of a boy he's been sadly getting to know the last few hours. But Dean doesn't respond, doesn't wake, doesn't move.
"Mary," he whispers softly as he lifts Sammy into his arms, "how can you leave them like this?" With a sigh John lies down beside Dean. Lying on his back, he rests the baby on his chest, and holds him, feeling the last of his tears well up in his eyes and fall down his temples. "They need you, I need you. I can't do this on my own."
John closes his eyes and silently promises to make Mary proud by being the best father he can be. He also makes plans to find answers, because something happened last night that he doubts the police and fire investigators will be able to explain. How could anyone logically explain what happened?
He doesn't know it yet, but his need for answers will lead to a need for revenge and that will one day consume him and his entire life, forcing him to unwittingly break his silent promise to Mary. But for now, John's focus is on Mary's boys and being strong for them. They need him, and he needs them.
Sammy whimpers restlessly for a second and John shushes him gently, his voice breaking. John turns his head towards Dean and heaves a helpless sigh. He doesn't know what to do, how to help his firstborn or if he can even be helped. "Sammy and I need you too, kiddo," John murmurs, closing his eyes.
John's not aware that he's drifted off to sleep, but when he opens his eyes again Dean is awake, watching him. It takes a moment to notice it, because Dean is still curled on his side, thumb in mouth, but after the moment passes he realizes that Dean isn't just staring blankly ahead, but he's actually watching him. For the first time since handing him the baby and telling him to run outside as fast as he can, he sees Dean in those big green eyes. And not just Dean, but Mary too. Dean always had Mary's eyes.
"Dean?" John whispers. His breath hitches with emotion and he swallows hard, staring at his son. Welcome back kiddo.
With a whimper Dean scoots forward and settles into the crook of his arm and John pulls him close. With Sammy still resting on John's chest, Dean's free hand moves to stroke his baby brother's hair and he softly begins to cry.
"It's OK, Dean," John soothes, "It's OK. I'm here, daddy's here, it's going to be OK." He knows it's a lie, because how could it be OK? Mary is gone and he doesn't think he will ever come to accept that. He holds his boys close and quietly mourns his wife, and the life that could have been but that they will never have, now that she's gone.
There's a long road ahead of them, John knows that, but he doesn't know where that road will lead. He doesn't know yet of the darkness that is to come. He doesn't know that his quest for answers and later, revenge will ultimately be his downfall. For now, he knows that whatever lies ahead, he and his boys will face it together.
A/N I know, the ending is rather abrupt, I just don't know how to end it. Anyway, thanks for reading and any comments you may have would be very much appreciated.