SEE THROUGH A GLASS DARKLY
When Peter woke up, he looked around at the four walls of a hoapital room. He looked and saw the quilt he had been wrapped in spread over him on the bed. There was an IV in his left arm and a heart monitor attached. Then, he saw Kermit standing leaned against the side wall watching him.
He then turned to his right and there, the face he had seen, this was his father, Kwai Chang Caine and his name, his name was Peter. "Pop." Peter said and smiled at the almost automatic reply of, "Do not call me Pop." Then, Caine smiled and cupped Peter's face in his hand. "My son, can you forgive me for pushing you away?" Peter nodded, "I was afraid, when you couldn't find time to spend with me, I worried."
Caine nodded, "I was becoming wrapped up in my work and did not realize you wanted to come with me." Peter pulled up the sleeves of his hospital gown and both men stared at the brands on his forearms. "Dad, when I accepted these, I knew what I was doing but, how can I ever become a real Shaolin priest if I cannot watch and assist you in what you do?"
Caine nodded, "Now, I understand my son. Whenever you wish to accompany me, please, come to me." Peter nodded and smiled then, looked over at his friend and colleague. Kermit peered at him over the top rim of the green shades. "Does this mean you'll be leaving us at the precinct, Peter?"
Peter shrugged his shoulders in a characteristic gesture. "I don't know yet, I want to keep my options open. Kermit, did they find my car?" Kermit straightened up and nodded, "Yeah, at the bottom of that lake. It was pretty well busted up. They found your jacket with your identification in it and your gun. The gun can be repaired but as for the car, it's a total loss. By the way, how did you manage to cut the seat belt?"
Peter stared at him. "Cut it? I unbuckled it when I saw I was heading for the lake." Now it was Kermit's turn to stare. "Kid, it was sliced clean through. I looked at it and it was sliced just above the buckle." Peter looked at his father and then smiled. "Later, Dad," Peter said softly and Caine nodded. Kermit shrugged and left, leaving Father and son alone.
Peter laid back against the pillows and began telling his father about Michelle. Caine then told Peter about her visit. Peter looked at his father, "Did you know who she was?" Caine shook his head, "No, my son, she simply told me she was a protector and that you and I had unfinished business." Peter nodded, "Dad, she said I would know who she was when I saw her again."
Caine drew in a sharp breath. "No wonder I had the idea to bring this with me." Caine pulled out a small photo album from his satchel and handed it to his son. "This was your mother's. I was to have given it to you earlier but, as things passed, I forgot." He laid it in Peter's lap.
Peter opened the cover and drew in a breath. The first photo was old, black and white and it was a wedding photo but, the face of the bride was very familiar to the young man. It was Michelle. Peter smiled. "That's her, Pop, that's Michelle. She must have gone into the lake to get me out. Funny how we seem to have guardians watching over us." Then, he looked at the face of the groom next to her and something about him was familiar. Then, Peter's eyes widened. The groom looked like him! "Dad, what was his name?" Caine looked at the photo and smiled, "Her husband's name was Ryan Carter." Peter looked at the photo, "So that's why she called me Ryan." He mummured to himself.
Then Peter saw something else in the photo. He blinked a few times and peered at it closely. "Dad, look at what's behind them." Caine took the album and looked closely and his eyes widened. Behind Michelle
and Ryan, folded on a table, was the exact same quilt that was now covering Peter, the same one Michelle had wrapped him up in. Peter whistled.
Caine pulled his son to him and hugged him tightly. "I am very glad she was there for you, my son. I could not bear to lose you again." Peter burrowed his face into the comforting shoulder, feeling the warmth of his father's love wash over him. "I love you, Pop." Peter whispered. "And I you, my son." Caine whispered back. Michelle smiled as she watched, and slowly faded away to continue to watch over this very, very special descendant of hers. She had the feeling he was going to do great things.