Gaining So Much More

Summary: "Very slowly I start cutting the photograph to size", post 2.11 'The Berrisford Agenda'

Member Prompt October 09 on Raising Hell: How To… frame a picture


I stare at the picture in the newspaper announcing her death. I still feel numb, shocked and again mesmerized by her eyes, her beauty. Unexpectedly, I got the chance to say good-bye yesterday, apologize, tell Rachel how much I love her; and it means the world to me.

Very slowly I start cutting the photograph to size. As delicate as my fingers are, I'm trained for taking guns apart, assemble bombs, destroying rather than building things. The scalpel's movements are precise though, nothing like being prodded with a stun rod to teach you to slice perfectly along the line.

Next I open the silver amulet and move the clear plastic cover carefully aside in order to insert her picture. On the first attempt it slips away and I pick it up again. Suddenly my hands are shaking and it slides from the trinket once more. I can't do this, I can't.

The fact I might fail at a task as simple as this one, is ridiculous enough to make me huff, half amused and half annoyed. I breathe until I calm down. X5-494 doesn't fail at anything – I don't fail at anything!

This is too important to me, so I try again. And this time, her photo sits right where it's supposed to be when I close the cover with care, smiling despite the pain.

Finished, I look at the necklace reverently. For everything Robert Berrisford has done to me over the course of the past few days, I can never make up for what I did to him… to her. But now at least I'm able to keep Rachel close to me forever.

The End