Title: Ribbon of Darkness
Chapter 60 – Reflection & Rebirth
A/N: Okay so I wanted to end it on an even chapter. I hope you have all liked the story so far and to the ones that stuck with me to the end I can't thank you enough. I hope this ending will do the story some justice and bring a conclusion to a long, complex and dark story. Please let me know what you thought. And for those that will tell me that Bosco and Faith don't belong as a pair I say – GET A LIFE YOU'RE AT CHAPTER 60! Lol…I'll just delete negative and stupid flames like that. To the rest a bottle of champagne to celebrate! Goodbye!
1 MONTH LATER
"I want to take the kids to the zoo today," Bosco mumbled as he and Faith lay in bed in the early morning hours.
"What about Billy? It's fall and cold outside and Dr. Miles said that he can't get…"
"I know. But what if we wrap him in a blanket or something? I mean the kid's tough and…"
"But Bosco it's cold outside now and Billy could catch pneumonia or something," Faith said with a sad sigh. "Can't believe it's almost over for him. So young…his life hasn't even started yet."
"I know Faith, I still remember our first meeting," he said with a smirk, his gaze turning to the world outside, a world just starting to wake up. "Faith I have to do this. You know I talked to Al and this was his wish, you know his last wish before he dies, to go to the zoo."
"What? Really?" Faith asked in surprise.
"Yeah. How can I not fulfill it for him, especially after the hockey thing."
"You're right," Faith said softly. "Let's do it. We might never get another chance."
"Hey ma," Bosco said giving his mother a hug as him and Faith and the kids entered her and Paul's new home. "How's Billy?"
"Just fine," Angela smiled. "He's having some breakfast with Paul. He's really happy Bosco. Thank you."
"Anything to help Bil…"
"I meant Paul. Thank you. This has given him some life back and although Billy doesn't have much time I know this is what Paul needed to feel like a father again."
"It was worth it," Bosco smiled as he headed into the kitchen. "Hey squirt," he teased as he gently ruffled Billy's hair.
"Hey Bosco," Billy said in glee as everyone else sat down and chatted lightly. "Have you come for breakfast?"
"Sure. Hey ma any pop-tarts left?" Bosco joked.
"Funny," Angela responded in a dry tone. "In the freezer," she finally admitted, making them all laugh.
Bosco sat down and just watched Billy. He was so frail now, pale skin and a worn out demeanour. The end was near. The last month had been heaven and hell for Billy. Charlie played with him all the time and they all spent as much time together as they could. But it wouldn't be enough. His energy and strength was sapped with each visit and each time his life force gave a little more. But he didn't complain – never complained.
"Hey uh you guys want to go to the zoo today?" Bosco asked as he sat around the table with his new and extended family.
Billy looked down at his small bowl of yogurt and felt himself heave a large sigh. The rest of the room looked at one another in sorrow until Bosco made their frowns turn into smiles.
"And what do you want to see first Billy?" Bosco asked softly.
Billy looked up at him in surprise. "Really?" He asked in glee, almost spitting out the contents in his mouth. "I can go too?"
"Course," Bosco smiled.
"I want to see the monkeys," he said with a large smile.
"You are one," Charlie teased, lightly poking Billy in his skinny ribs. Billy let out a slight laugh and then looked at Bosco with a slight frown.
"Can mom and dad come to?" He wondered.
"You think of everyone don't you," Bosco replied in wonder. "Sure they can come."
"We'll find you something warm to wear," Angela said, mouthing 'thank you' to Bosco when Billy had looked away. She hurried upstairs to find the warmest clothes she could and then set out getting them ready. Billy practically drank down the last of his yogurt and hurried upstairs to get dressed by Angela.
"Thanks Bosco," Paul said firmly. "This means a lot to all of us."
Bosco looked at Faith and smiled. "How could I not?"
"I can't believe I'm going to the zoo today," Billy said as Angela gently pulled the warm thermal undershirt over his head and tucked into his thermal underwear.
"It's going to be fun," she said looking at him with an adoring grin. "I want to thank you for coming in to our lives Billy. You have shown us what true love really consists of," she said unable to finish the rest. Angela leaned forwards and planted a soft kiss on his cheek. "I do love you Billy."
"I love you too mom," he said giving her a gentle hug. He felt his lungs starting to constrict and pulled away quickly to let out a violent cough. He felt the burning in his lungs and felt himself starting to double over. Angela quickly caught him but when he stood back up she saw the faint traces of blood on his hand.
"When…" she said as he quickly pulled his hand away. "Please?" She begged in sorrow.
"A few days ago," he whispered. "Please don't tell Bosco. I just want to enjoy today. I know I don't have many days left," he said in sadness.
"But Billy," Angela started in concern.
"Dr. Miles said it would happen. I just want to enjoy today. Please? One last time for me?" He begged with eyes threatening to tear.
Angela nodded her head, against her better judgement and continued to gently dress him. When she was finished she hurried into her own room, wiping away the fresh tears and started to get ready.
Bosco watched Billy's face light up with joy as they slowly passed all the animal cages and finally came to the monkey cage.
"Silly monkey's," Billy smiled as he watched from the little push cart he was bundled into. He watched in pure child-like fascination as the monkey's started to jump and swing and almost dance before their friendly audience. Billy laughed lightly, not wanting to make himself cough and ruin the moment. They stayed as long as they could and only when Bosco noticed Billy offer up his first shiver did he tell them it was time to move on. About an hour later they were seated by a big tree, all wrapped in blankets and having a picnic.
Charlie got up to play Frisbee with Emily and Billy watched with sad open eyes, wanting more than anything to join in. And before anyone could react, he pushed his blankets aside and started to walk towards them.
"Billy…" Bosco started.
"I'm okay," Billy called back. But then much to everyone's surprise and dismay he started to run. He started to shout and to laugh and for the first time in months, just wanted to act like a normal little boy. Bosco watched the minutes tick by and knew he should stop Billy before he hurt himself. But inside he knew this would probably be the last time Billy ever got to act like a normal kid.
But then the worst happened.
Billy felt his lungs starting to constrict and burn. He started to stumble to his knees, his arms wrapped around his now heaving chest as he started to cough violently.
"Billy!" Bosco shouted as he pushed himself to his feet and raced to Billy's side, the others closely behind him. He grabbed the child in his arms and held him while Billy continued to cough up blood and saliva.
"Call 911," Bosco cried as his eyes started to water.
"It's faster to drive him!" Faith yelled as she rushed for her purse and then the car.
Bosco wasted no time in gathering Billy into his arms and charging for the now running car. He rushed into the backseat and Faith tore off in the direction of Mercy Hospital.
"Hold on Billy," Bosco whispered as he continued to cradle Billy's still trembling body.
"S-sorry," Billy mumbled sadly, his little body trembling and shaking from the cold and the coughing.
"I'm sorry. I shouldn't have…"
"I w-wanted to g-go," Billy managed with a sad smile and stare. "T-thank you."
"Billy shhhh. Faith hurry!" Bosco said firmly.
They finally reached Mercy and Dr. Miles, who had been called ahead of time, was waiting with a gurney to rush Billy into the ER. Bosco paced impatiently outside in the waiting area as Faith finally greeted the rest of the nervous family.
"Anything?" Angela asked with watery eyes.
"No," Bosco whispered as he hugged his mom close. Finally after a slow painful eternity Dr. Miles walked up to them with a glum face. "Please…please Doc tell me he's…"
"Bosco I'm sorry," his friend said in a soft tone. "Billy…well he doesn't have much longer. His lung tissue has deteriorated very fast and the coughing has seemed to aggravate the condition even more. His system is slowly shutting down other parts of his body and I don't think he'll last the night. I'm very sorry."
"No," Bosco said shaking his head, not wanting to believe it. "He's…he's strong right? I mean he'll…"
"Bosco," Faith said gently touching his shoulder.
But Bosco didn't respond, his eyes were fixed on the doors into the ER. "Can't be," he said numbly pulling away from her and heading for the doors. "I can't lose him," he mumbled as his eyes watered and threatened to spill tears down his face.
"I'm sorry," Dr. Miles said looking at Faith in remorse. "I honestly thought he would have more time."
"We knew it was coming," she said as she wiped her own tears away. "How much longer?"
"Not long now. I have managed to stabilize him from coughing and he's resting while we get him his own private room. You can see him if you'd like," Dr. Miles said with a kind smile. "I don't think he'll want to be alone at the end."
Faith turned and looked at Angela, who was now crying into the arms of Paul. "I think we should all go. We are all his family."
"Why does he have to die mom?" Charlie asked as they slowly headed for the ER.
Faith heard the question and knew Charlie knew the answer, only at this moment in time it just hurt to much to tell him.
"Hey buddy," Bosco said walking up to Billy's bedside. "How are you feeling?"
"Like…I could…run a…marathon," Billy managed in a strained tone, short painful breaths.
"Yeah?" Bosco asked, choking back his sorrow.
"Please don't…be sad…" Billy begged in earnest. "I'm going to sleep now."
"I know," Bosco said with a forced, fake smile.
"Will you miss me?" Billy asked in a meek tone.
"Miss you? Billy I love you," Bosco said taking his small cold hand and holding it in his large one. "I will miss you more than I ever thought possible."
Billy offered up a weak smile and let his eyes rest upon the people now entering the ER. "My family is here," he said in a dead whisper.
"I've heard they are preparing a room for you Billy. Your own room," Angela said, choking back the tears and gulping back the sobs.
"Cool," Billy said softly. "Will you all be able to stay with me?"
"Yes," Bosco said in reassurance. They all lightly chatted about their day at the zoo, while Billy offered up weak smiles and whispered comments. Finally he was transferred to a private room in the children's ward and the family went with him. Bosco helped tuck him in and sat down beside him to read him a story.
"Read…it…again Bosco," Billy begged in a soft whisper.
Bosco looked down at him and smiled. "Your wish is my command master," he lightly teased as he started the story once more.
Billy looked at Angela and Paul who were holding one another, lightly talking and smiling at him. His eyes then fixed themselves on Charlie, his new brother for a time and he smiled at the games they played. Then to Emily and laughed inside at her antics with the new boy in her life. Then to Faith. She was the strength Bosco had come to rely and depend on and he needed her in his life. Then to Bosco. His new friend and guardian. He had come into his life for a reason – to give him a feeling of hope and love if for even a short time. And it had worked. He had never known love or hope or anything before he met them all.
"I love you all," Billy suddenly piped up, bringing the room to an immediate quiet standstill.
"What?" Bosco dared to ask.
"I love you all. You have shown me what it's like to go from nothing to love. From a mother I never knew to a mother who loved me. From being all alone to having a brother (looking at Charlie), a sister (looking at Emily), being a son (looking at Paul and Angela) and a friend (Faith and then Bosco). You gave to me what I never had and I just wanted to say I love you all very much for it."
By the time Billy finished his speech, his lungs were all but spent. But he didn't care. He had to tell them while he still had the chance. He knew the end was close for him and he had to tell them. And by the time he finished talking the only sound was the soft beeping of the monitor and a few tears hitting the floor. What could they say? The beautiful words from the dying child said it all. Strength was something Billy didn't have, but love was something he excelled at. The end was close.
Faith watched Bosco and knew inside this whole experience must be tearing him to pieces. Yet he was putting on a strong face for Billy. He had come such a long way since this whole situation started. In fact he had matured so much through all his ordeals she knew that he would survive this one.
A few minutes later Bosco continued his reading and the rest went back to watching, talking and listening. The night started to progress, as Billy started to regress. His coughing got progressively worse and soon it was hard for him to even breathe. It was time.
"No," Bosco said looking up at Faith…"This can't be the end. Not yet."
"Bosco," Billy wheezed. "I'll always be with you," he whispered in torment.
"You can't go," Bosco said as his eyes started to water, the rest of the group closing in around them.
"You have to let me," Billy begged as he felt his life-force starting to leave his fragile shell.
"I'll never let you," Bosco said firmly, tears starting to slowly slide down his cheeks. "Never," he whispered in anguish.
"You gave me so much," Billy whispered, his voice strained and weak.
"You gave me more," Bosco replied firmly. "You gave me strength and courage and endurance."
"I did?" Billy asked in surprise as he finally found the strength inside to let his own eyes water.
"That and much more," Bosco said in a soft tone.
Dr. Miles, in the meantime had slowly walked to the doorway and was leaning on it. Billy's death would be hard on Bosco. It would be hard on all of them. It was just such an injustice.
"You gave me love," Billy whispered faintly.
Bosco continued to hold his hand while the rest of his family held theirs and cried.
"I love you Bosco," Billy whispered.
"I love you to Billy," Bosco whispered back. And then the unimaginable happened. Billy started to close his eyes as he felt his life force starting to fade.
"Billy no," Bosco said in haste. "Y-you can't go," he half begged, willing the child's spirit to return to give him life. But it was not to be, Billy would be gone in a matter of seconds.
"NO!" Bosco half shouted in torment.
"Bye…" was the last word Billy Hathaway uttered to the world that was both cruel and kind to him.
"Billy no!" Bosco cried as he pulled his little dead body into his embrace and started to hold him. "Billy come back," he cried, his sobs joined with the rest of his family. "Please…" he begged in torment. "You can't die…you're too little and small and…NO!" Bosco shouted in anger. "You have to…come back…" he said in a softer, sadder tone. He finally felt Dr. Miles hand on his shoulder and looked up with sad, pleading eyes. "Please make him come back."
"I can't," Dr. Miles croaked. "I…" he said softly. "I'm sorry."
"You can resuscitate him or something!" Bosco snapped.
"Bosco he signed a DNR form. You know that. We talked about it remember?" Dr. Miles said faintly.
"It's so unfair," Bosco whispered as Dr. Miles laid Billy's dead body back onto the bed and called a nurse to help him. He recorded the time of death and then looked up at the weeping family. "I'll let you say your persona goodbyes and then…"
"Thanks Doc," Bosco said, his eyes still fixed in torment on Billy's body. It was over. Billy was gone.
"I want to give him a nice funeral," Bosco whispered after several minutes of tormented silence.
"We will," Faith said as she sat closed and hugged and cried on his shoulder. "The best."
A few days later a very numb Bosco slowly walked to the head of the coffin a small mic standing beside. The small funeral home was packed with attendees from the department, all the kids he played with at the drop in center, friends and family and general supporters of children with AIDS. Bosco held onto the small podium with shaking hands. He looked at Faith and only in her eyes did he find the strength to utter his next words. Words of torment and pain, hope and sorrow, joy and most of all love. He allowed his mind to wander back to the time he first met Billy.
When you love someone - you'll do anything
"When I first met Billy I was in therapy," he said with a sideways smirk as he looked at Faith. "Against my will I went and to this day am glad I did. I'll never forget seeing those eyes for the first time. Eyes filled with hope and love and laughter. Eyes hiding a pain too great to deal with or share with anyone. Eyes that told the real story of Billy Hathaway."
Bosco paused as he looked at his mom and Paul. Both looked back at him with love and admiration. His legacy.
"I was pretty messed up when I met Billy as some might recall," he said looking down, his mind forcing away images of his past and why he had met Billy, under the special circumstances. "Billy he…well he wouldn't let me be down. He wouldn't let me dwell on my own sorrow. He was pretty amazing."
(What's your name kid? Bosco asked as he closed the door behind them.)
(Billy. He smiled.)
(Billy. I'm Bosco. Nice to meet you. He smiled as he extended his hand. Billy took it and shook it.)
(That's a funny name. Billy teased.)
(Yeah well be glad it ain't yours. Bosco teased back.)
"Right from the start there was something about Billy…something enduring…" Bosco started in a soft tone.
(Because he's an orphan. Came Arnold's voice behind them.)
(What?" Bosco asked in shock as he looked from Arnold to Billy. Sorry man. Bosco smiled.)
(It's okay" Billy said with a shrug. I'm used to it. Can I shoot a puck? Billy asked Arnold.)
"He was brave and strong and wanted nothing more than to be a regular kid," Bosco said with a sad smile.
When you love someone - you'll do anything
You'll do all the crazy things that you can't explain
You'll shoot the moon - put out the sun
When you love someone
"He had dreams and knew what he wanted from life," Bosco said as he allowed his mind to flash back images to his meeting with Billy.
(What do you do for work? Are you a hockey player?" Billy smiled.)
(No I'm a police officer." Bosco said as he pulled out his badge.)
(Cooooool." Billy said as he took the badge and ran his fingers over the gold shield while Bosco just laughed.)
(Yeah sometimes it's pretty cool." Bosco smiled not wanting to tell Billy the harsh reality of being a New York city police officer. Billy didn't need anymore problems to think about than he already had. "What do you want to be when you grow up?" Bosco asked.)
(A hockey player. Billy smiled.)
"But Billy Hathaway had an unfortunate life. But I'm not going to dwell on the sorrow that would have been his legacy. I want to tell you about the Billy Hathaway that loved life and to his best extent lived it to the fullest. The small child that wouldn't let you forget that life was worth living and if you didn't do it, he'd be mad at you," Bosco finished with another sad smile and a moment of silence.
You'll deny the truth - believe a lie
There'll be times that you'll believe you can really fly
Bosco stood before the crowd, his mind now drifting to the time Dr. Miles first told him of Billy's illness. It cut him even now to hear those words again and he closed his eyes and winced.
"Even when he was facing his darkest hour, Billy Hathaway always managed to see the positive side of everything. Something I wasn't able to do at times. He helped me. Showed me what real strength really and truly is."
(Bosco the tests um…well they…they…" Dr. Miles started and then stopped.)
(They what doc?" Bosco asked in fear. "What did the tests tell you?)
(Bosco, Billy has um…he…he's been diagnosed with stage three of the HIV virus.)
(What?" Bosco asked in horror. "Stage…three…" he managed weakly. "What does that mean?" He asked in a sad whisper, his eyes watering.)
(It means he has AIDS Bosco. Billy is dying.)
But your lonely nights - have just begun
When you love someone
Bosco paused for a moment, his mind trying to force itself back to reality to keep him from getting to emotionally bogged down that he wasn't able to finish. "God I miss him."
When you love someone - you'll feel it deep inside
And nothin else can ever change your mind
When you want someone - when you need someone
When you love someone
"Billy was an amazing boy," he said stopping to look at Charlie and Emily. They had given so much to him and he doubted they even knew it. That would change. He would see to it they would.
"His favorite color was red, the same color on the jersey of the New York Rangers, his favorite hockey team. Billy loved hockey. He could play better than me. Stevie wonder could play better than me, he once said," Bosco said with a smile, eliciting a round of smirks and soft guffaws from the crowd gathered into the small funeral home.
"He was special."
When you love someone - you'll sacrifice
You'd give it everything you got and you won't think twice
You'd risk it all - no matter what may come
When you love someone
"He gave so much back to me and I never had enough time to properly thank him. I thought I would have more," he said looking down as his eyes started to water once more. "I thought there would be time." He drew in a deep breath, looked back up and knew he had to finish his last few words – he owed it to Billy.
"But time isn't our friend. Billy was taken at too young an age and in too sad a way. He was an amazing boy that I loved very much," Bosco croaked, his voice cracking from the strain of sorrow.
"He gave all he had and asked only love in return. He will be missed. He will be remembered and he will be loved. That's all he really wanted. And coming from a life with nothing he leaves behind a mother, a father, a sister, a brother, a friend and a guardian. He was never alone and in spirit – never will be."
"Billy Hathaway," Bosco whispered as a tear slid down his cheek as he turned and faced the picture on the small coffin. "I love you."
You'll shoot the moon - put out the sun
When you love someone
Faith held Bosco's hand when he came and sat back down beside her, her face as swollen and red as his.
"Billy's gone," he whispered numbly.
"I know," she said squeezing his hand. "But not forgotten."
"Hey," Faith said walking up to him at Angela's house at the after funeral tea. "Everyone is wondering where you are. Don't you want to mingle?"
"Not really," he said looking down at the crumpled piece of napkin in his hand. "Still can't believe he's gone Faith. Just not fair really."
"I know," she said sitting down beside him and putting her arm around his shoulder to comfort him. "But we gave him hope and love at the end. Something he probably never experienced before and…"
"But it wasn't enough Faith," Bosco protested as he looked at her in anguish. "Why didn't we see this before? Help him earlier?"
"Bosco you know that wasn't possible. I mean you…"
"Yeah I," he said in half disgust.
"Come on let's go and talk to everyone," she said giving him a squeeze. "You need to take your mind off blame."
"But I am to blame Faith," Bosco insisted.
"Billy's mother was ultimately to blame and then Ralph and Linda. Put blame where it belongs. You gave Billy a second chance. Something no one else would have. Dwell on that. Okay?" Faith asked softly.
"Sure," Bosco said with a firm-grinned nod.
"Come on and talk to Paul. I think he's feeling kinda left out," she said softly.
Bosco gave her a nod and waited alone in silence for a few more minutes before pushing himself back to his feet and heading into the main living room area everyone had gathered. He chatted lightly with his mom and Paul, some of the guys from the station house and then finally his friend Dr. Miles. After the evening was over he didn't even remember climbing into bed and falling into darkness almost immediately. Sleep was welcome.
The next few days the family spent time doing things together, mostly helping Angela and Paul slowly take apart Billy's room and put the things into boxes.
"I…" Angela said as they were all in the small room.
"What is it ma?" Bosco asked softly.
"I don't know if I can do this," she said sitting down on the bed that Billy once slept in. "Give it all away. All his things I..."
"What should we do with them?" Paul asked sitting down beside her. "We can't keep them. We don't have a son anymore."
"We could," she whispered with barely audible words.
"What?" Paul asked in surprise.
"Ma?" Bosco questioned. "After all this you want…"
"I…I don't know…I…I mean it just gave Billy such hope and love. He never had those and…and I'm sure there are others…" Angela rattled off, her eyes casting themselves out the window and into the now setting sun. "I just don't know."
"We can talk about it some more if you'd like," Paul said touching her hand, forcing her eyes back to his. "We don't have to give away his things just yet."
"I'd like that," she smiled warmly.
And so they simply left the room half-packed, half-unpacked and headed downstairs for supper and some family association.
"I think it's great your mom and Paul want to try to adopt again," Faith mumbled as they lay in each others arms in their warm bed later that night.
"Me too. And speaking of decisions," Bosco said seriously. "We need to decide if we want to go back to the beat or…"
"Or move on up in the world," Faith smiled. "We could use the extra money."
"I really want to do the counselling thing though," Bosco said firmly. "I want to help other guys like Brent and whoever else needs help. I think I owe it to them."
"I think it's a great idea," Faith said warmly. "Course detective's aren't that safe either. How about a desk job?" She teased.
"Yeah right," Bosco snuffed. "Can you see my ass sittin' behind a desk all day? That's Sully's job," he snorted.
"Oh man that sounds like the old Bosco coming back," Faith said in shock.
"Well I didn't change that much," Bosco protested.
"You have grey hair now," Faith teased.
"That was only a few and only at the temples," he insisted as he poked her in the ribs.
"Oh really?" Faith laughed. "Come here old man and make love to me."
"Old man?" Bosco sneered playfully as he rolled on top of her. "We'll see how old you think I am."
The next few days passed by in relative normalcy. The family spent their time off together, the kids during the day at school and Bosco and Faith just resting and spending time together, talking and trying to decide what were the best paths for them and their family.
"Bosco?" Faith said as she came home one after noon a few days later to find the house empty. "Bosco?" She called out in anticipation. "Are you home?" But all that answered her was the beating sound of her own heart. The house was empty. She was about to head for the door when she spied Bosco's hand writing on a piece of paper.
"Gone to visit a special friend." Was all it said.
"Bosco," Faith sighed as she rushed back outside.
"I just can't believe you're gone," Bosco said as he sat before the small grave marker that read 'Billy Hathaway'. "There was so much I wanted to give you…show you…just do with you I guess. And now…I just can't believe it," Bosco said in sadness as he pulled his jacket closer around him to shut out the biting fall wind. Winter was coming and he couldn't believe how much time had already passed.
"Can you believe it's been more than a year since we first met? I mean…hell I've lost track of time," he said with a slight snort. "So much has happened," he said leaning back a bit, his mind now wandering back to the past, all the things he had to endure, all the change he had to face.
"I've changed. I know I don't look it," Bosco started once more. "Well maybe to some. I have grey hair now - well only a few. And wrinkles! Can't you believe I have wrinkles?" Bosco lightly laughed. "Faith thinks they are sexy but I think they are premature. I mean I'm only…wow I'll be like…man I'm old," he said quickly.
He glanced down and let his fingers play with a few pieces of grass by his runners. "I can't believe how much my life has changed," he said looking back up to the small grave maker with a serious stare. "I mean all the crap…I mean stuff I've and Faith…hell she's been through so much as well. Sid Lawson…" Bosco's voice said in a slow fading whisper. "That bastard changed my life forever. And not for good."
Bosco's mind drifted back to a time, not so many years ago when he first heard about the serial killer that would change his life forever.
"He was sick you know. Sick and twisted. He deserved to die. But sadly," Bosco said as he threw the bunched up blades of grass to the side. "I never would have met you…never met the people I know now…Don and the guys. Faith…man she…damn she killed Fred and…Billy I wish you were here with me right now," he said as he felt a lump developing in his throat.
"Me too," Faith said softly as she knelt down beside him.
"How long have you been there?" Bosco said quickly wiping away a stray tear.
"Not that long. I thought you'd come here," she said following Bosco's gaze and letting it rest on Billy's grave marker. "I miss him too."
"I was just telling him about the stuff I've been through," Bosco said with a sideways glance. "Remember how this all started?"
"Sid Lawson," Faith whispered in dread. "His name still haunts me."
"Me too," Bosco mumbled. "I still remember…god that was just…"
"I know," Faith said taking his hand and holding it firmly in hers. "It was for me too."
"He was so messed up Faith. Sometimes…I swear sometimes I can still hear his voice…inside my head. But then I just focus on the good stuff and it goes away."
"I'll never forget you falling out that window," Faith said closing her eyes. "My heart stopped for those few seconds."
"Faith I'm so sorry I put you through that," Bosco said looking at her seriously. "I never…"
"You did what you had to do to survive," Faith said with a faint smile. "I don't blame you for anything."
"I do…Faith you lost our little boy and…" Bosco said, unable to finish the rest of the sentence.
"Bosco you didn't…"
"Faith please," Bosco said with a soft smile. "But I mean all of it, Fred's death, that gay club, Clyde, Brent and what he went through, Dr. Miles, Billy…Ralph and Linda…all of it. Faith we've been through so much."
"Yeah we have," she responded in wonder.
"But we made some good friends," Bosco said softly.
"And that means a lot," she smiled.
"You know there were times I didn't think we'd make it. I mean I really thought at certain times the end was now," Bosco sighed sadly.
"I know," Faith said looking down in sorrow and remembrance.
"And it all started with a lonely sick janitor," Bosco mused.
"Ed Martin," Faith said with a slight shudder. "I guess even the most innocent-looking of people can have a Ribbon of Darkness in them."
"I think we all do," Bosco said softly. "Most of us thankfully don't act on it."
"Thankfully," Faith agreed.
"But in the end we managed to come out on top. Dr. Miles is still alive, we have a house, my mom finally found a terrific guy to spend the rest of her life with, Emily has a boyfriend who's normal, Jerry has some hope and we gave love to a very special child," Bosco said with a hint of amazement and humor in his voice.
"We have a lot of amazing things to be thankful for," Faith said looking at Bosco thoughtfully.
He turned to look at her and noticed a strange but happy look in her eyes. "What?" He finally asked after a few seconds of silence.
"I saw Dr. Miles today. He said the miscarriage didn't damage me too much and we can try again."
"We can?" Bosco asked happily. "Our own baby? A child of our own?"
"Just ours," she said happily. "Do you want that?"
"More than anything," he said eagerly. "Wanna go try now?" He teased, making her blush.
"Are you done here?" Faith asked softly.
"For today," Bosco said with a firm smile as he stood up and extended his hand to help her stand up beside him. They stood, arms locked together as they stared down at Billy's gravesite with a smile.
"You know what Faith?" Bosco asked softly as they headed into the setting sun.
"This isn't the end for us, it's just the beginning. A new beginning."
"Let's go home and have sex," Faith laughed.
"That's the best idea I've ever heard all day," he said picking her up in his arms and rushing for the car, the sound of laughter filling the now darkening cemetery.
And as they headed for home a peaceful calm started to wash over them both. Embracing them in it's endless arms. Wrapping them in serenity. And watching over them with a careful eye making sure they got the future they both needed and deserved. And tomorrow would come. The new beginning was theirs to share together. But tonight it would have to wait.
It's over! Can you believe it??? Well I wanted this chapter to wrap a few things up, reflect on a few things without going into detail and ending on a happy but expectant note. I didn't want to drag out Billy's death as that is hard to write. This whole novel took a lot out of me and covered some pretty deep topics and issues, ranging from male rape, to child abuse to children dying from AIDS. I wanted the story to not only entertain but make people aware of the certain tragedies that befall normal people.
I hope you will review and hope you liked the ending. I'm a sucker for happy endings. Especially after so much heartache!
Oh and the lyrics don't belong to me.
Thanks everyone and I love you all!!!