Rosemary never met her father. He died when she wasn’t even a week old. Her mother never talked about him often, but when she did she mention his bravery, his courage, and his love for them both.
Her mom was remarried now, to a guy named Hank. And out came a baby brother, not two years younger.
Once she turned fifteen, Rosemary and Andy, at age 13, were best friends. Their parents always worked and they went to the same school now too, since Andy had just turned fourteen, and soon Rosemary would be sixteen, in just one week.
“Rose!” Andy called to her as she ran down the track. “Dad’s here!”
School had just let out, and they were usually the first ones gone.
Hank wouldn’t let Rosemary run in track, even though she loved it. He said a woman didn’t need to run, that it’s a mans job. Ha! She had laughed right there.
“Just—one—more—lap!” She tried to call between breaths. The air was dead cold in mid October, and her lungs begged for life. But she kept pushing.
But Hank’s car horn bellowed and she veered from the track, to the bleacher, grabbing her backpack and back onto the lawn on her way to the car with Andy on her tail without a single break in her stride.
She leaped into the car before it started to move, Hank’s hand held hers.
“I told you,” he growled. “No track.” Rosemary just stared out her window, letting Chester Bennington’s voice in her AirPods block his shouting out on the long drive home.
Rosemary woke with a start.
Her heart was so fast. Why? She asked herself. The dream she couldn’t exactly recall was so unnerving. But it was when Andy had mentioned his old memories from day care and Miss Whelting’s long hair did she remember it at all.
Rosemary is assigned to babysit some kids in a largely spaced room. The room has one large wall that’s flat and another that’s more of a semicircle, the walls are a Luna-blue, the floor is more sapphire-blue with fish colors on it. The kids aren’t cooperating and a girl comes up and asks if she needs help. The girl is the same girl who plays in the Numb music video.
Then they’re with Chester in some church lobby!!! Suddenly they’re in the sanctuary getting the sea cadets settled for some lecture when Chester is locking the doors while Rosemary is inside. So she figured ‘ok my boss is nuts and I’ll just sit here and wait’, but when she goes to sit down in her usual place, the girl from the video comes up to herand says Chester wants her. So she goes, obviously in a hurry because herboss wants her. So they go. They find Chester in some abandoned gift shop, browsing at jewelry. His black sunglasses hide his eyes so they don’t know if he’s crazy or scared or anything. He gives them each earrings and rings and other assortments as they move through the store. They ebb around to the other side when Chester goes back, but tells them to stay put. The girl tries to make small talk but Rosemary doesn’t say a word. Then they decide to check on him or see where he went. He had already paid for his stuff when they find him outside. The detectors outside, the ones that scan you to see if there’s still a tag unscanned, are a little ways off. He’s on the other side but she and the girl won’t risk getting caught, so they toss the stuff over the top to Chester and keep walking. Then she woke, drenched in sweat and tears. Just how exactly could he leave his many worldwide fans? She cried the rest of the night.
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