Lies that Destroy
Disclaimer: I do not own Good Luck Charlie
Chapter 40 (Yin and Yang)
Several years have passed by, twenty year old Charlotte Duncan sat before her therapist, Elise. She was finishing up yet another session, and informing her therapist that she was still taking the pills for depression. She had a mild case of what they termed multiple personality disorder, but the medicine she took helped that quite often. She blamed her mental problems on the tragedy that occurred when she was three years old. "I've told you every bit of memory that I can remember from that time," she muttered impatiently. She wasn't a teenager anymore, sure, but she still wanted to carry these sessions on. Or more, the therapist wanted her to.
The year was 2029, and from what she could tell, everyone else had moved on with their lives. April was now a successful star on Broadway thanks to their Aunt Martha putting in a good word to directors all around. She started dating that boy, Rick, shortly after high school. They married and had a child together, ten year old Jasmine Daniels. Obviously they named the baby after her birth mother. Rick was a full time police officer, and very supportive of his family.
PJ, now fully known as David Booth to everyone in the world, had become a college professor. He taught music and had three beautiful children with his wife, Skyler. His eldest son, Tyler, was a genius college student at just fourteen years of age! Lucy was a chipper, seemingly hyperactive eleven year old, and Zachary was an eight year old troublemaker. They lived just north of New York City now, with their fully retired father that lived with them.
From what she understood, Gabe's life turned out very well. He was a Detective that worked homicide, and had a beautiful wife, Jo, with a beautiful daughter. Jenny was just nine years old. They visited PJ and April frequently, vowing never to be out of touch with each other. She was happy for him, sure, his life turned out just as well as everyone else's. He remained close to his sister and parents, so they still lived in Chicago. Denise had grown and married happily, they had a son with the same exact birthday as Gabe's daughter! Amazing!
"It seems everyone's doing better than I am," she complained. She pushed her finger up to her temple and sighed. She'd cut her blonde hair to the point that it was shorter than her ears, just barely covering the tops. Her feathery bangs fell in a V over her forehead while the sides of her blonde hair did cover her ears. In the back, her hair was reaching her neck at least, she was thinking of letting it grow out further. "While everyone else has successful, happy lives, I'm just…sitting here…I still have nightmares of that man from time to time, I start associating myself with other memories, blacking out the trauma, but sometimes it comes back. I'm sick, Elise…and also the doctors told me that I won't be able to have children in the future. I don't know why, if it's a mixup of the medication I had to take growing up or whatever…"
"I know it's a bitter thing to have to go through all of this. It's good that you're still taking the medication, but are you not happy for your family at least?"
"Did I ever say I wasn't happy for them?" Just because she was a sarcastic bitch from time to time never meant she wasn't happy for them. She would never call herself that, but she often felt like it. "I'm extremely happy for them. It's just…I'm at a very hard spot in my life right now. I got dumped by my boyfriend because he thinks I'm going to be a mental basket case due to my medicine. I'm failing some of my classes, and the world still chooses to screw me over…"
Elsewhere in New York, seventeen year old Toby Brown was visiting New York on a Senior Class Trip. He'd been doing great over the years, and knew who his birth mother was. He'd learned the painful tale from his parents, from Gabe, and even from the Booths. He'd seen the news footage a year ago of the man that was his father. It had all been shocking to him, but at the same time, he'd been intrigued.
Now Amy Duncan was getting released from prison in a few days, so he wanted to pay a visit. He'd gotten permission and was waiting for his sister outside her therapist's building. She was going with him. They'd had fun whenever they visited, though it seemed he was the only one she ever got along with, minus April, PJ, and her father. She never had many friends. Though, the two of them had the same basic bond that April and PJ had, or Gabe and Denise, and he was thrilled to have a sister that loved him and he loved too. His real, flesh and blood sister, he could never take her for granted!
Toby marveled at the skies above him, excitement flowed through his veins as he dreamed one day he'd soar those skies. It had been a goal in life to become an astronaut. His girlfriend was supportive of his dreams and had given him her full approval so long as he never let it overshadow his love for her. Clearly, he wouldn't.
"Are you done gazing, wonder boy?" Charlotte's voice broke from behind. He jumped and spun around nervously, chuckling at her narrow gaze and flat lips. "Let's get this over with, all right?" She understood why he was so adamant about this visit, whether or not he actually ever saw Amy Duncan again. "Ask your questions and then we can go about our merry way. Let's see if the old hag chokes."
"Aw you don't mean that, Charlotte." She rolled her eyes as he hurried to her red pickup truck. She had a heart, even though she would be the first to deny it. There was some level of care she had for that woman, and he knew it. "You've said it yourself, she cared about you. Protected you from that man."
"I know…It wasn't her fault, and so forth." They entered her truck and started the drive towards the prison. Amy had once been imprisoned in Denver's prisons, but within the last three years, she'd been transferred to New York mainly because of heckling from other prisoners. "Maybe she's the reason my mental issues aren't worse, but what do I owe her?"
"Uh…your life?" Charlotte frowned in an instant and peered over the hood of the truck. It became eerily silent with that statement, but there was an enormous amount of truth to it. If not for Amy, Charlotte might not be alive today. They didn't know just how deranged Bob was, if he would have done anything to her or not, so she did owe Amy the fact that she was still alive.
"Fine. Another point to you." Toby laughed victoriously and playfully punched her shoulder, earning him a playful smack back in return. He watched with satisfaction as her lips curled up into a deep smile. She turned her eyes upwards and sighed. "I don't know why I let you talk me into this."
"Because I'm your brother and you love me."
"Okay kid. Whatever you say." He heard her mutter the fact that she loved him too, and normally he'd try to tease her into saying it out loud, but he'd let it slide for today. They were like night and day, yin and yang. He wasn't sure why, but as long as they were together, it was just a great piece of the puzzle that was their life.
When they arrived at the prison, they were placed in a room with Amy. Of course, the room was split in two, with iron bars and glass that separated them from her. Charlotte looked at the aging woman with a bit of bitterness in her gut, yet, a bit of love for her as well. She couldn't truly deny her roots. Toby gazed in wide wonder at his mother, the woman he'd never met in his life. He was intrigued, and felt a fondness that he wished that he could share with Charlotte.
"You two have grown so much," Amy said with a gentle whisper. Charlotte crossed her arms and rolled her eyes, displaying only the faintest smirk. Toby pushed his hand through his shaggy blonde hair, full of pride and spunk. "I'm glad to see you both. How are your lives?"
"Hell," Charlotte answered angrily. Amy recoiled and Toby quickly interjected, not wanting to hurt Amy's feelings too much.
"It's been good for both of us, she's just too stubborn to admit it." Charlotte groaned in annoyance and turned to him.
"Did I say you could tell her that?"
"Maybe it is, but maybe I don't want her to think that!"
"Why not?" He turned away from her as she gawked, speechless. He smiled at Amy and slowly breathed in. "I've heard a lot about you, I've seen news footage of our…birth father…" Amy tensed and let her eyes droop downwards. "He was a monster. I'm glad you got away from him."
"It was hard to go through," Amy replied. "I lost my best friend because of him." She looked from Toby towards Charlotte with an apologetic gaze. "Charlotte, I am truly sorry…that you've suffered because of me, because of that monster." Charlotte scoffed and turned her head away. "I loved you both, I wanted you to have good lives."
"We did," Charlotte admitted. She lowered her arms and closed her eyes, allowing tears to flow. Toby was shocked by this admission of hers, and intrigued to hear what she had to say. "Toby here wants to be an astronaut, and I'm not sure exactly what I want to be. April's on Broadway now, PJ's a professor at NYU, Gabe's a detective…I'm…I've been diagnosed with chronic depression, anxiety disorder, and I can't have children." Charlotte pressed her lips together and clenched her fists. Toby reached up and pat her shoulder, feeling her pain deep inside. He always wished that he could do something for her, but he never could do a thing. "They always say, one day medical advancements…it's all bullshit really, and I've just reached a point that…I don't give a damn. I've stopped caring."
Charlotte was afraid of becoming like her birth father, afraid of becoming that angry, that fearful. She'd expressed these fears to her therapist, who told her that since she knew the cost, she likely knew better. She was shocked when Amy reached through the glass and put her hand over her own. She looked up and met her mother's tearful gaze. "Charlotte, don't ever be afraid…You know, adoption is the best way."
"I know. I just don't want to be like he was."
"You won't be. I know you won't. You have a good family, a brother who appears to care deeply for you. You're going to be okay, I can see that."
"Y-Yeah…you're right…" She withdrew her hand and moved her arm around Toby, who smiled brightly at her. As long as they stuck together, everything would be just fine for all of them. She took a deep breath and looked directly into Amy's eyes. "I just…I wanted to tell you…I don't hate you, because I know you were blind or something. I grew up angry, I grew up mean, I had to learn my place in the world as the daughter of a psychopath, but I dealt with it. You know something? These mental issues…I can beat them. I know they're genetic, some of these things I have, but I think everything will be okay. I don't know…I hope so…but I forgive you. I don't know if I'm ready to see you when you're let out, but yeah…I don't want those memories to shape me."
"Good. I'm proud of you. I'm proud of both of you…" Amy drew in a slow breath and closed her eyes. Her thin fingers curled into her hands. "When I'm let out, I just want to live out the rest of my life in peace. I'm thinking of moving to Hawaii or somewhere nice. I'm not going to bother them, PJ, Gabe, or even April."
"It might be for the best," Toby said with a frown and a heavy heart. None of them seemed to want to talk about her. "They've moved on, but I'm not sure any of them would be ready to see you again."
"No, this is for the best. I'm just glad they've had successful lives. I really am."
Everyone was happy, so it was agreed that she wouldn't darken their lives by showing up. After the visitation, Toby and Charlotte left with heavy hearts but chipper spirits. Their outlook on life hadn't changed much, but at the same time, the conversation with the woman had a profound effect on the both of them.
Charlotte would never let her mental problems, or her anger get the best of her. She had ways to remain calm, had ways to focus on the important things in life, and that was exactly what she was going to do. She would let go of those memories and do the best she could to live life to its fullest every day, smiling because she was alive.
Toby would go back with honesty of what went on, his mom and father would be happy to know. He still loved them because they raised him, it never mattered that he was adopted, but he wanted them to know that seeing his birth mother indeed had a good effect on him. He swore also to always be there for his sister when she needed him, to help her stay strong and never falter. Sometimes before, he wanted to avoid her just due to some of those depressing thoughts she had, but not anymore.
From this day forward, they were going to let go of the past, both in their own ways, and move on with their lives. To be happy, like the rest in their families, no matter what troubles lay ahead. Of course, most of all, they would be honest. Never again would anyone have reason to be dishonest. For the smallest lie can turn into a bigger lie, and that lie can snowball out of control until everyone affected by it, and anything that snowball of lies touch, are destroyed and turned to dust.
At least fifty years ago, one man went insane with fear and irrational anger. He took an innocent woman and dirtied that innocence, blinding her. His anger and the lies he spewed ran out of control, and eventually he found himself brought to his knees by those very same lies. The lives of everyone he touched had been affected and changed harshly, to a point that even a three year old child would grow up with inherited and developed mental issues. Now, however, everyone had regained control of their lives, and they could be happy once again, without fear of certain doom hanging over their heads.
For Toby and Charlotte it came down to polar opposites, but they both saw a choice. For Charlotte, she could let her anger steer her onto a path of self destruction and destroy everyone around her. For Toby, he could choose to be weak and avoidant, letting his own sister walk all over him. Or they could work together, a strong brother helping his sister to face her own fears and to gain control of her own life, and a sister to help her younger brother follow his dreams and allow the both of them to be the best they could be.
After today, they would opt for that third option. For that was the power of Yin and Yang, to come together and be something great. A catalyst bringing peace into their lives, and the lives of those they loved. For the nightmares, the trauma and the fears were long gone. Amy Duncan could live her life, as could everyone else, without any gloom hanging over their heads.
Well, it has been a long, but fun road. I'm glad I was able to entertain you with this, and I hope you'll check out my other works as we go along ^_^. For instance, Witness Protection, you don't technically need to know the show, it's bound to be even greater and much better than even Lies was. I'm going to miss this story, I will, but I'm glad to see it completed, because it's just another legacy. I hope you enjoyed this final chapter ^_^