A short add-on to the end of the book I did for a class. I tried as hard as I could to keep it in the same style that the original book was written in to make it seem more like an official additional ending. (It was a goal of mine as well as a sort of bet.)
I always knew it would happen, of course. But it's finally time. Somehow I find that I don't want to leave. But no parent should ever outlive their child.
Kayla's hand grips my own tighter. "Mom?" She quietly whispers, and I force a smile. My angel smiles back at me.
Chilly winds nip at my cheeks and nose, and Kayla's as well. We both walk on.
Once again the world has changed.
My angel has grown up. She's the same height and physical age as me. It's time for me to leave her on her own. However much I secretly wish not to, I must.
Alyss had her suspicions about my plans, but in the end, she let me go. Somehow we mutually understood without words what was going to happen. When we left, she hugged both of us with wet eyes and wished us to be safe.
And so here I am. Boston. It's been two-hundred and seventy-two years after I have last seen these same streets.
It's odd how time changes us and our surroundings. Amazing. Indescribable.
Somehow, I feel like I am from an old time-traveling movie. Everything is both old and new. Familiar and foreign.
Soft snowflakes drift onto my nose and face. Kayla smiles at the crystallized water, and licks one at the corner of her mouth. Pains—right where my heart should be—grow and ache, but I ignore them.
As we walk, my feet have minds of their own. They seem to know the cracks in the sidewalk better than I ever could. I let them lead the way for us, down streets, backup them, in old stores and to houses.
Searching, maybe. But for what? Was this another part of the neurochips that I hadn't prepared for?
I slowed, almost to a stop, and realized where, exactly, I was.
And how do I still recognize this place?
"Mom? Mom, what's wrong?" Kayla persisted, glancing from the old house to me and back. The ancient house wedged between much more new, glossy ones. And to think it used to be brand new, too. How sad.
Swallowing the mass in my throat with difficulty, I made one side of my face curl up. Then the other. A rather awkward smile, but a smile.
"Nothing. I'm fine," I kindly insisted. Kayla didn't seem to trust my words.
A small silence was exchanged between us. "Then what is this place?"
Another went by before I decided to tell my angel. "I used to live here. A very long time ago."
Her eyes, a copy of mine, looked back to the run-down building with a different light to them. The building meant nothing to her before. Now, it meant a hidden past worth discovering.
"I don't think we should go in, though." Was all I could do to discourage Kayla from dashing inside. She always did have my knack for finding answers, and I knew better than to not warn her. "It would probably collapse, being the state that it's in."
Her eyes continue to question the meaning behind my statement, but the rest of her relaxes to the normal. "Right," she nodded, "It might collapse on us. I didn't think about that."
Moments tick by.
I know she'll go in that ancient building one day. But I pray that day won't be today.
Once again, we both seem to watch the house, like we are waiting for it to move and talk and dance before us. Only I don't see the house as a circus act, I see it more as a haunting memory. How ironic. A house that haunts more than it is being haunted.
We keep walking, past the haunting house, down more streets, back alleys, and past people. We just walked, Kayla and I, content without a purpose or reason. It felt good. But things, small things—trees, buildings, birds, even—reminded me of the three-hundred years I was without this place, just memories of it. And even the days I was without the memories.
Eventually the sun must have grown tired of being blocked out by the clouds, and the day turned to dusk and then into a night. Kayla and I checked into our hotel and we chatted about trivial things until my angel decided to curl up with a book and fall asleep.
Her breathing was soft and rhythmic by the time I decided to turn off the television and the bedside lamp. I kneeled down to her height and rubbed my thumb over her still cold cheek.
"I love you, my angel, forever and always." Was the only whisper I offered to her, and lightly brought my lips down on her nose.
Quickly, in the dark, I grabbed a notepad and pen, let my eyes adjust, and wrote only a few words. Few, but very important. Feather-soft, I laid them back down on the dresser and stood.
Being ninety-percent computer had its few advantages after all. Like seeing in the dark, for example.
I'm out the door, down an elevator, and back onto the streets before five minutes are up. Just like before, I let my feet guide themselves. Somehow, I've realized, they were searching for something earlier. But they found the wrong thing.
A quiet search through the city proved to be more relaxing at night. The occasional streetlamp keeps the sidewalk bright enough to see. Not that I need the light, but it, too, was comforting.
Soon enough, I'm walking along the edge of a highway. I think I know exactly where I'm headed, but it's too early to tell. I slow at a bend in the road, and my breath catches. My feet keep going.
Where else could I have been looking for?
My hands gripped the metal railing, and I finally forced my legs to stop walking.
Kara. Locke. Accident.
A bittersweet smile formed on my lips. So many happy memories, however long ago they were, can still bring such a display of a emotion to me. It's another comfort, if anything.
Taking off a glove, I re-touched the metal and resisted the shiver. Eyes fluttered shut and another bittersweet smile. Tears, salty and sweet.
I lowered myself to the ground and dared to dangle my legs off the edge of the cliff. The view of a city below me was beautiful, there's no denying it. But It was still faintly tainted by the horrible events that happened.
The smile stayed on my lips as I put my cheek against the metal railing, closing my eyes. There was no need to be bitter about what had happened, but it still hurt to think about it. We were just too out of our element. Geeks surrounded by punks. And everyone knows how well those crowds mix.
It all just happened too fast.
But it's alright.
I let my eyes open again, taking in the city's lights and various noises. It's true, so much has changed in all the time I've been away. Everything looked the same and different at once.
A thick shiver spread across my body. Taking a deep breath, I watched the air wisp into smoke and up to the sky.
Why didn't I just stay here? For good?
Well, that is what I came here to do. Right?
Right. And I don't think there's anyone around to stop me.
Maybe this is just what I was trying to find. Unintentionally, I wanted to be here one more time. I nodded, because it made the most sense in my head at the moment.
That, and for Kayla. All for Kayla. Because no child should have do die before their parents.
It'll be alright, after all, I tried to convince myself. I told her everything I needed to. She knows how to get Alyss if she needs to, how to take care of herself.
I've played my part; my angel will be perfectly fine on her own now.
Resting my cheek back against the cool metal, I contently sighed, swinging my legs back and forth on the ledge.
This is how it has to be, I know that.
At least I'll enjoy it, in a way.
She'll be just fine. Kayla will be fine. Just without me.
My eyes were shaky. Vision a little blurred. It was just so hard to read the note and actually understand it.
I love you. Always remember that, my angel.
Please never forget.