Chapter One Hundred And One
Sunday November 17th, 2080: Late Night
Park / Rodriguez Residence
“The rest of the tale just covers me and Kolleen as we raised our twins. It covers my retirement from the DWL which wasn’t that important. It covers Marcos’ memorial services. They dedicated an entire show to him, before dedicating one for me the following week.” Randy stated. The sun had already set and the chilliness set in hard. “Hey grandpa? I need to take Charlie and Lori back home. It’s getting late and they have schoolwork to do.” Ellie stated. “Yeah, the twins need their rest as well.” Lorie added. “But where’s Dalton? Isn’t their father coming to this gathering? Furthermore, where are the twins’ parents, Tony and Amelia?” Randy asked.
He sat there in bewilderment wondering why all of the really young people were crying in front of him. “Kids, we should go.” Ellie stated. “I’m sorry Grandpa, I know why you’re saying these things, but they don’t. We’ll be in touch.” she added to him. She then walked her kids out of the park. “Yeah, I should get going. Come on you two!” She said playfully. Lorie gave Randy and Kolleen a pained expression and then left the park as well. Robert just kept staring at Randy and shook his head. “I’m sorry you’re going through this Dad.” he whispered to him.
He then hugged both his mother and father and left the two at the table. Randy kept gazing down at the story, running his fingers over the engraved title. “Ran-Ran?” Kolleen asked him. She shook him lightly to try and get his attention.
“Where am I?” Randy replied. “Who are you? What are we doing here?!” Randy started to get hysterical. “Ran-Ran, you need to calm down.” Kolleen stated. A wind came by, blowing her grayed hair around, but she swiped it from her face. “Ran-Ran, stay with me!” Kolleen added. Randy was beginning to fidget around as he became more and more nervous. He got up, and instantly crashed from the numbness in his leg. “Why can’t I walk?! What’s happening to me?!” he yelled. Kolleen’s heart was beginning to break as she watched him struggling on the ground.
“You got to get up Ran-Ran. Get up!” She was too old and much too weak to pull him up by herself. She cried hard as she tried to pull at him and failed with each attempt. “Just stay there Ran-Ran, I’ll get some help.” She withdrew her cell phone and started dialing. “What is your emergency?” a woman asked. “Yes, my husband is freaking out. He’s panicking and I can’t get him off of the ground. He has Alzheimer’s disease and he’s forgotten that he can’t walk without a cane. Please, send help…” Just as Kolleen was about to give their location, Randy was pulling himself back up onto the table.
“Ma’am, where is your location?” the woman asked. Randy sat down and Kolleen watched on with fear as he acted as if nothing had happened. “What’s up Kol?” He asked her. Tears were streaking down her face as she watched on. “Sorry ma’am, he seems to have snapped out of it. Sorry for the inconvenience.” Kolleen hung up the phone and kept watching on. “Why are you staring at me so much?” he asked. She gasped, realizing just how old he really was.
He had jowls and his face looked so tired. His hands were twitching this way and that and he was muttering incoherently to himself. “How can you just snap out of situations like that?!” she asked him. “Situations like what? Where are the kids. Or the grandkids and great grandkids for that matter?” “They left because you kept asking where the great grandkids’ dead parents were. Do you have any idea what that feels like to be reminded that your parents are dead?!” Kolleen asked him. She didn’t even care that she was shivering, nor did she care that Randy was.
“I-I didn’t know…I’m sorry.” “Let’s get you home Ran-Ran.” She sniffed hard and helped Randy until he got his cane. She had one hand on the book and the other in Randy’s free hand. “I know you’re sorry. All of the kids know what you’re going through and they want to try and make it work. But if this keeps happening, Randy, they won’t want to show up anymore. It hurts too much to keep hearing about it every time they turn around.” She helped him into the old truck that Randy had. When he was secure, she entered her side and drove off.
Their house, luckily, wasn’t that far away. She took the first left, on a two way intersection and just had to drive straight forward. The hill was only a few blocks away. The drive went mostly in silence, until they stopped at a red light. Randy sat there, gazing up at the mansion up on the hill, wondering who lived there. “I would love to live in a place like that.” he stated. “Yeah, thank god we do though, right?” “We do? Really?!” He sounded like a little kid in a candy store. “Yes; yes we do.” She sniffed as she felt the sadness coming back and drove onward.
“Ugh…” Randy groaned a bit. Kolleen gazed over realizing he was clutching his chest. “Are you okay Ran-Ran?” She had already began driving up the hill when he waved her off. “Of course. I shouldn’t have eaten that spicy mustard. It gave me a hellacious heart burn.” Kolleen didn’t like the sound of what she was hearing. “Maybe I should take you to a hospital.” she said. They were almost in their driveway when she made this suggestion. Randy shook his head at her, resting it against the cool glass. He gazed out into the city grinning at all of the shining lights.
“I’m fine…See? It went away already. I told you it was just a heart burn.” he stated. “Okay then. I’ll get you some milk when we’re inside.” “Thanks!” Randy turned and kissed her. “Let’s get inside.” They both exited the vehicle, and slowly made their way into the house. “Just go up to the room and I’ll be there with your drink.” Kolleen stated. They parted ways and she went to the kitchen. Randy ascended the stairs clutching his chest all the while. He stopped halfway up to gaze upon the Family Tree once again. This time, it brought him happiness, not confusion.
“I love you all so much.” He muttered. Randy then ascended the rest of the stairs, and stumbled his way towards the master bedroom. The house felt so quiet now, without the kids being there, though he quickly forgot about that. He went to the twins’ room and opened the door. “Are you two doing your homework?” he asked. When he realized nobody was there, he felt foolish and closed the door. His hands were sweating and shaky. He rested against the wall as his chest began to burn again. “Please make this stop…” Randy cried. He pushed himself away from the wall and entered the master bedroom.
Once inside, he tried to get to the bed quickly to get some rest. His legs gave out, halfway through and he collapsed. His left arm went completely numb, but he figured it was due to his injuries. Soon thereafter, Randy’s chest began to ache like crazy causing him to wheeze and groan from the pain. It felt like his heart was going to explode and he couldn’t take it. “H-Help…” Randy whispered. “P-Please…Help…K-Kol…” Randy was reaching towards the open door when Kolleen entered the room. “OH GOD, RANDY!” She dropped the glass and ran over to him.
“I’m here Randy! Don’t you die on me!” She yelled. “I c-can’t f-f-feel my l-left arm K-K-Kol.” Randy whimpered. “My chest h-hurtssss… UGH!” Randy’s lip trembled as the pain became too severe. He was reaching for his lover who grabbed a hold of his hand. “I’m here Ran-Ran. Don’t leave me; not now.” She told him. “It hurts so much…” His breathing was becoming labored and Kolleen could hear the crackling behind it. “I’m not letting you die on me Ran-Ran. Just hold on!” “I love you…” He cried out. “I love you too Ran-Ran, but you’re not dying.”
His breathing was slowing down and she knew it. He reached up with all his might, so he could kiss her lips. Their lips met and held for a short while as Kolleen sobbed into Randy’s face. Seconds later Randy’s head fell fast to the floor and his heart stopped. “R-Ran-Ran?” Kolleen called out. She was tearing up even harder now as she looked into the dead face of her soul mate. “N-No… No…RAN-RAN!” Kolleen yelled. “GOD NO!” She buried her face into Randy’s chest and sobbed hard. “NOOO!” Her hand was furled with his shirt as she cried out.
“Why didn’t you let me take you to the hospital? WHY?!” “Mom are you okay?!” Robert’s voice called out. Kolleen went into a state of shock at the sound of her child’s voice. “What are you doing here?” She replied. Robert was bolting up the stairs and it sounded like a small army was behind him. Oh god… Kolleen thought. Just then Robert appeared in the door, as did Lorie. The twins slid between them, followed by Charlie and Lori. “Why is great grandpa Rodriguez sleeping on the floor?” Lori asked. “Oh my god.” Robert muttered. Lorie looked at him and then Ellie appeared. “I thought I told you two not to barge into…Grandpa?” she asked.
Kolleen couldn’t hold it in anymore and broke down right in front of them. “He was complaining of heart burns but he told me it went away. He told me it went away; WHY DID HE NOT LET ME TAKE CARE OF HIM?!” Kolleen yelled. Lorie started to cry, holding tightly onto her brother who had a hand over his mouth and eyes glistening. “Great Grandpa Rodriguez is dead?” Randal asked. He fell to his knees, as did Roy, right at Randy’s feet. “I’m so sorry…” She whispered to them. “This can’t be right! We were just talking to him…” Lori added in.
“Come here!” Kolleen stated. Lori leapt into her great grandmother’s embrace and cried harder than Kolleen had seen her cry before. Charlie, trying to be the rock for them all couldn’t hold it in anymore. “Why did he have to g-go?!” he asked. He sat down, and wept as he gazed on into his great grandfather’s face. Robert, Lorie and Ellie all walked over towards Kolleen, and the twins as well as Charlie followed suit.. They all sat in one big group and cried into each others embrace.
Outside, lightning struck and a boom of thunder shot across the air. Hard rain drops plummeted the window of that bedroom. “It always does this when a loved one dies. It’s like the earth is mourning a loss as well.” Kolleen said. They all gazed upon Randy. Kid upon father, grandkid upon grandfather and great grand kids upon great grandfather. All three generations were there in that room, and their was love along with them. Kolleen broke down multiple times that night as she kept cursing herself for not helping him. The rest of the night went on like that as depression ran amuck through the Rodriguez Residence.