I never stopped loving Ace. We stayed together in the years that followed, even after we left Castle Rock. Eventually, I left Ace as well. I still loved him, I still do. He was on a path of destruction. I tried to get him off it, but no matter what I did, he continued down that path. I could no longer watch him spiral out of control, so I left. I don't regret being with him. He was the one.
After we left the Rock, I moved in with Ace in Mechanic Falls where he worked as a mechanic. He eventually got into the drug world. Ace began dealing coke and soon became addicted himself to the drug. Through the drug business he met the Corson brothers. He began running guns with them and they set up their own business. He left his job and I left him.
At some point he went back to the Rock to bum some money from his uncle, Pop Merrill. Pop never gave it to him and he ended up trying to rob the Mellow Tiger. Sheriff Alan Pangborn caught Ace with a few other guys and arrested all of them. My boy spent four years in Shawshank for that stunt.
When he was released from jail, Ace went back to Mechanic Falls and went back to working at Oxford Speedway. It wasn't long before he returned to cocaine and running guns. His demise began when he was stiffed on a big coke deal. The provider gave him one back of coke while the rest were baking soda. He owed the Corsons when he found out the batch was bad. Ace ran home to Castle Rock to try and find some money. He began working for a man name Leland Gaunt, who if you ask me was more devil than man. On October 15, 1991, Ace and another man blew up Castle Stream Bridge and the Municipal Building under Gaunt's influence. Ace Merrill died that night when he was shot by Deputy Norris Ridgewick.
I cried for days when I heard the news. Sure, I had left him, but I always hoped there would be a chance to salvage our relationship. I see now that was a false hope.
As for my other friends, they went on to live their lives in their way. Vern got married out of high school and has four kids. He works at Arsenal Lumber Yard as a forklift operator. Chris became a lawyer and did get out of Castle Rock although he never thought he would. He died after trying to break up a fight at a fast food restaurant. He was stabbed in the throat. Gordie became a successful writer and has probably beaten me to writing about this. He was a family now; a wife and a son. Teddy, good ole Teddy Duchamp, tried to join the army multiple times, but each time he was turned away due to his hearing problems and terrible eyesight. He did some time in jail; however, I'm not sure what crime he committed. My guess it was something crazy and stupid. The last I heard of him he was working on jobs in the Rock.
I thought about going back there. I miss it. I'd like to start over. Uncle Jim as been long dead and Teddy is the only one left. Something stops me though. Maybe it's because I know nothing will be the same. I'd like to remember the old days how they were. You can never go home.