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A Second Chance

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Dawson found himself exchanging a baffled face with Lena, looking just as stunned as him. Her emerald eyes were wide, with the same question ringing within Dawson’s own: What had this woman done? This was inspired from the video game: "To The Moon" I loved the concept about "Wish Fulfillment" at the end of a person's life and couldn't help but write a story including the Corp. from the game. Asides from that single name and concept, everything else is original in its own right.

Drama / Scifi
Age Rating:

The Choice

She stayed up almost the entire night debating over the decision. Jennifer glanced over at the clock hanging above the stove across from where she sat; the long hand pointing at four and the short hand at eleven.

I take that back, she thought. This decision did take up the whole night. She sighed, then after a brief moment, chuckled. Here she had a second chance–another chance for her life to go the way she always wanted it to–yet she found the weight of it almost as unbearable as her parents.

Her parents… Her fists clenched as she recalled the years of sitting alone in the living room with her brother, the drunken yells of her elder brother, and overall absence of love. Everything a parent ought to be, everything a family should’ve been, they hadn’t.

She rose from her seat and walked to her bedroom. The juniper patterned sheets of her bed beckoned for her to lie down and rest, but she refused. She had something far greater to take care of, and besides, she’d get plenty of sleep when she was dead. She sat on the bed with a sigh and gazed over the room she’d called her own for the past eighteen years: the grass green walls, the oaken wardrobe next to the bed, the rows of black and white photos on the ivory desk next to her.

Jennifer’s eyes found their way to the photos of her past. Each scene within their wooden frames tugged at something warm within her chest, bringing a tiny smile to her lips. But when her eyes reached the last, the one at the far end of the desk, pushed away behind the others, that warmth vanished. This was the photo–the one with her entire family. In it, everyone stood in the backyard of her old home, not together of course, but scattered. Her parents in the corner, leaning against an old beat down,’52 truck. Her older brother and his pal in the other corner talking with two of his pals, oblivious to the camera. Only two real family members were together: two children in the center. One was a ten-year-old girl, herself, holding onto the handle of a homemade wagon she and her siblings had managed to jerry-rig together with the spare car parts and scrap found in the junk pile. Her messy, wavy blond hair ran past her shoulders. A small frown came to the Jennifer’s lips when she looked at the girl’s old hand-me-down yellow t-shirt. She’d hated that shirt, hated its Chinese lettering on the front, and the tears and wrinkles that hinted to its place of origin–a swap-shop in some dump. The little girl’s sunken smile and dim almond eyes only made Jenny’s own glaze over.

She saw the reflection of the old woman within the glass of the photo, as the tears welled up. Gray hair, still carrying the same waviness as a child that trailed over her shoulders; the same eyes, now a dull chestnut than a bright almond, and the same depressed lips. She’d changed in many more ways than just her age. She regretted more than that little girl in the photo that used to be her.

But most of all, she regretted what had happened to the little boy beside the little girl–a small blond, poking his head above the wagon with his mouth open in surprise that matched the look of innocence within his hazel eyes–Peter.

Jennifer closed her eyes, biting back tears as images of flashing red and blue lights, police tape, a smoldering pickup truck, crying wails, and the regret of doing nothing pressed against them. She wanted these images gone. She wanted this regret gone. She wanted it all gone.

She sniffed, opened her eyes, then looked down at her clenched hands. She opened the right one to reveal a small, wrinkled business card she’d held onto this entire time. Printed on its top in shiny red letters, it read, “Sig. Dream Corp.” The phone number was beneath it.

Maybe there was a way for it to go away after all. Just maybe…

She set the card down and picked up the cordless phone on her wardrobe. She dialed the number on the card without even looking at it, she had it memorized. The phone rang once. Then twice. Then thrice, before,

“Hello,” said a cheery voice, “this is Robert from Sigmund Dream Corp. Granting your final wish you missed doing in life. How may I help you?”

“Yes, hello. My name is Jennifer Lance. I believed I called earlier?” It was a statement, not a question.

There was a brief pause on the other end of the line. She could hear the sound of fingers hammering on a keyboard before the voice returned. “Aw, yes,” the voice said, “Mrs. Lance, we have you marked down as undecided—”

“Not anymore,” Jennifer cut him off. “I’ve made my decision, and the answer is yes.”

“Yes, ma’am,” the voice said immediately, the sound of more keys being hammered away. “I’m marking that down now, aaannnddd there! You’re set. Now, you are aware that you must have your Final Will and Testament filled out, the waiver preventing any retaliating lawsuit from friends or surviving family members, and the transference of sums–”

“Yes,” she said with a flatness, looking over to the old black and white photo once more. She knew exactly what the operator was asking for. “I’ve already e-mailed my lawyer with the forms filled, along with the promised sum to your company.”

There was a brief, audible exhale from the other end of the line. She could tell the operator was surprised. “Y-yes ma’am,” he stammered, before resuming a more business-like tone. “I’ll be sure to get everything set on our end. Is there anything else I can help you with or discuss? The terms on the procedure–”

“No,” Jennifer said. “That will be all. Thank you.” She hung up.

Her eyes returned to the boy in the photo. “I’m sorry, Pete.” She whispered. “Maybe this time I can help you.”

She leaned over and flicked off the light switch, and went to bed.

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