Hello readers! I was looking back on some of my old work and got the idea to write an unexpected sequel to "Here After". This story will make most sense if you have read that story, but it won't be completely confusing or anything of you haven't. It might be a good refresher to give it a quick read again if you have forgotten about it, but that's up to you. This story will be similar in the fact that it will be written in the same style, switches perspectives, is humanized and will be a relatively short story. It takes place about two years after the end of "Here After" and you'll have to read on to see what events unfold! Just a reminder, Cars and associations with Cars are property of Disney Pixar, I take no credit for them and make no profit off this. However, Levina is entirely my creation and my poll shows that you guys like her, so hopefully you'll enjoy another fic with her :)
Chapter One – Immortal
"Happy birthday, dear Sally. Happy birthday to you!"
I close my eyes and blow out all the sparkling candles on the cake in a single breath. After all, I want my wish to come true. Even if I have been wishing for the same thing every year, I have to make sure it'll become more than just a hope. So, for the eighteenth time, I make a silent prayer from my heart that Lightning is looking down on me with happiness in his soul.
I open my bright blue-green eyes and the first face I see is my daughter's. She's smiling gently back at me, with a tiny hint of mischief just like her father always had when he was thinking. I immediately start wondering what she has on her mind.
My thoughts are interrupted momentarily by a well-endowed woman who asks me energetically, "Would ya like to cut the first piece, honey?"
I gaze up at her like child and respond, "Sure, Flo."
Flo nods with a grin and passes me a plate, knife and set of utensils. I look down at the rectangular cake in front of me and slowly begin to slice between the numbers three and eight. Watching the numbers separate, I start feeling bittersweet like I do on every birthday. It is a reminder that I'm a year older, that I've spent another year without Lightning and that another year of his life has went left unlived.
As I finish cutting out the first square of sugary dessert, I'm already onto the next phase of my contemplations, the more painful phase. I let my mind begin to conjure up new ideas on where I would be in my life if Lightning were still alive. I'd be on a nice vacation with him right now, sipping tequila in some secluded destination. We'd be all alone, because he knows that's how I like to spend time with him best.
"Mom? Are you going to eat that or pass it?" Levina, my daughter, inquires impatiently.
I stare at her thin brown hair, tied into a messy bun behind her head and the deep blue eyes framed so pleasantly by the shape of her face. I change my imaginings to something different; a sandy beach with Lightning and Levina on either side of me. I could never leave her out of the picture. We have a difficult relationship sometimes, but I know I love her just as much as I did Lightning.
"Sorry," I try to apologize, "Here, pass this down to Mater." I give her the plate and it starts to travel across the hands.
I can't help smiling as I hear him shout out, "Oh, boy!"
Some things really never die.
When the eating is done, I thank everyone for their gifts and both Levina and I help Flo deal with the post-party dishes.
I notice Levina is drying the dishes at an unusually quick pace, and she still hasn't lost that excited vibe.
"Vina, be careful," I warn as she puts away a stack of plates into the cupboard.
"I know," she replies and looks back to see if everything is done.
I hear the gurgling of the sink after Flo lets out the water and asks, "Do you two have plans for tonight? If you're not-."
"Yes!" Levina interjects before I even have a chance to hear the rest of Flo's sentence.
I give Levina a strange look but she nods back at me, as if I should already know what she means. I shrug at Flo, "I guess so."
Flo chuckles lightly, "You go on then, I can tidy up this little bit."
I start to protest but Levina dashes forward and grabs my arm. She drags me towards the café entrance and throws a thank you over her shoulder.
Once we're outside, I tug my arm out of her hold. "Levina, we should have stayed and helped Flo, she took time to put that party together."
Levina rolls her eyes and continues walking down the street in the direction of Doc's clinic. "Mom," she argues, "We live in Radiator Nowhere, Flo had nothing to do all day anyways."
"Levina!" I start to scold her disrespectful behaviour. I mean, I know Radiator Springs is about as lively as a brick wall but that doesn't mean it doesn't require upkeep. As estranged as we may be, I still like to think we have purpose.
"Come on!" she cuts me off and picks up her speed. I can hardly keep up with her without breaking into an almost jog.
Finally we arrive at one of the town's most run-down buildings. It looked like an abandoned hunk of concrete when I first moved into town, and oddly enough it seems to have held strong to that image. I'm pretty sure it was either a motel or garage at some point in its existence, but it's beyond telling now.
Levina leads me over to one of the crevices, the only one with an actual covering on it. Mater must have helped her put some kind of a garage door on it. I'm now betting I know what is awaiting us inside.
She heaves the door open without a word and flicks the switch to turn on an uncovered light bulb hanging from the splitting ceiling. All the light casts intensely upon the beautifully crafted race car that rests beneath it.
The air catches in my throat and I suddenly felt tears of disbelief and bliss in my eyes. This is it, Lightning's car, lying right in front of me. It was the car that he had spent his last minutes in. It was everything, it was him.
I let my hand touch the cool metal hood and try to memorize the feeling of its texture. I attempt to grasp the famous red paint, pretending it's coating my fingers in its colour. I let my hands run further along, not once lifting them from the surface of the car. I stop abruptly as I reach the left fender. My thumb strokes carefully over the sticker and I'm aware of the silent tears now streaking my cheeks. This is more than a gift; it is an event that will never fade from my brain.
I push my blonde hair out of my face and turn to Levina who is standing soundlessly by my side. Her eyes are glistening with a mixture of pride and sorrow. I pull her into a heartfelt hug and regain my composure.
We separate and look at each other, not saying a word for a good ten seconds. Then she eagerly proclaims, "I think it's ready to race."
Yeah, a few of you probably saw that coming :P Oh, and just so you know, the building I'm referencing is that empty motel, I believe it is on the same side of the road as Doc's clinic. I just remember it from the Cars video game and catching glimpes of it through-out the movie. Anyways, I'm not sure if there is still people interested in this humanized story of Sally and her daughter, so if there is I would really appreciate some reviews to let me know. Thank you for reading :)