It made me smile watching the older kid wake the younger kid, cook his breakfast and throw his bag in the back of my truck. But the older kid wasn't smiling; not once – especially not at me – or his brother – or at all.
If only he could understand we were doing this for his own good as much as for Sam's but he didn't and he never would. Sam was abandoning him and I was the bad guy for encouraging it. That was all he saw.
'Drive safe.' Were the words he barked at me before turning on his heels and facing his brother. I made myself scarce quick smart and jumped into the driver's side observing the exchange between the boys out of the corner of my eye while listening to the conversation through the open window.
'You sure about this?' Dean asked Sam who stood even higher on the gutter, fists stuffed into his jacket pockets looking somewhat like a determined lost soul. Only Sam Winchester could work that look.
No he wasn't sure; he was petrified but he had no intention of letting his brother know that.
'Yep.' He nodded his head with vigor. 'It's going to be fine Dean.'
'You call me anytime. Anytime. Okay?'
'I will. Same for you.'
I kept watching as Dean closed his eyes and slumped his shoulders further altogether feeling dejected and rejected. Far too many times we'd seen him like that. Far too many times. 'Sammy, this doesn't feel right.'
'Bobby's waiting. We gotta go.'
'Sam.' Dean said grabbing hold of his little brother's arm and pulling him back. 'I'll see you soon. I'll come visit soon.'
'Yep.' Sam nodded and stepped away to get to the passenger door. Be damned if it didn't feel as uneasy as all get out but I started the ignition as soon as he took his seat. No one was saying nothin' so I ducked my head down and peered past him to Dean. 'We'll call you when we get home.'
He looked away.
And I backed out of the driveway.
'You doin' okay?' I asked the younger kid once we hit the straight, open road. Usually he struggled to fit his lengthy body in the front seat of my truck. This day though he'd somehow managed to curl himself up into the door so he could turn away from me and rest his forehead on the window. His sad profile ripped at my heart. The tears glistening in the sun and dropping from his cheek to his sleeve made it impossible not to notice his complete and utter misery.
He nodded his head but said nothing.
Mom, why is Dean taking so long to come in?' Ben asked turning around from the front window and glancing at me as if I knew.
'Is he out there?' I switched off the Hoover with my foot and stepped past him to check for myself. Sure enough there was the Impala parked in the driveway with Dean still inside. 'How long has he been there?'
'How long is ages?' Kids: so full of words - much like the man sitting in my driveway.
'Like ten minutes… Or more even.'
'Why didn't you tell me?'
'I just did.'
I moved towards the door eager to find out what the deal was but casual enough not to freak out Ben. He'd had enough on his plate lately without adding another issue to it. 'Stay here. Just watch TV or play the Wii or something.'
'Before lunch? You never let me play before lunch.'
'Today I am. I'd take advantage if I were you.'
This was way earlier than I expected Dean home. It was just after eight AM and for a split second, as I sprung off the last step and before he opened his car door, I thought he might have been sleeping.
'Hi.' I greeted cautiously and immediately stopping dead still as I caught sight of the cold and distant glint in his eyes.
'Hi.' He replied as gruffly as only Dean could and trekked heavily past me. Fury – or something - stiffened every inch of his body. Something was definitely wrong. Maybe he was still mad at me over last night. I couldn't blame him – I acted like a crazy woman but when he left everything seemed okay between us. Or so I thought.
'How's Sam?' I risked feeling nauseas and already close to tears.
'Gone.' He said as he swung open the front door and slammed it shut behind him. Even from where I stood I heard his footsteps stomp the floorboards all the way to our bedroom. Then, just as I expected; another bang of a door rifled through the air.
In no time Ben was standing on the porch, his eyes full of worry and apprehension.
'You want to go to Andrew's for a sleepover?' I asked him trying to control the shaking in my voice.
Dean's words echoed through my head as we drove. 'This is you and me Sam. That's it. You and me.'
Not anymore. Sam was always the one to change that. It was always my fault, my doing, my choice.
Lucifer. Always with me, getting closer all the time.
'You'll never see your brother again. It's you and me...Forever.'
'Lucifer.' I whispered.
'What?' Bobby said. 'What did you just say?'
'Sam, answer me kiddo.'
'Dean please let me in. It's been hours.' I rolled over and pulled the covers over my head again. Seemed to dull the volume of her voice the last five times she called out. Maybe it would work this time too. 'I'm coming in even if I have to break down the door.'
Break down the door. Her; break down the door. Right.
'Talk to me.'
What was the point of talking? No one ever listened anyway.
Please what? Please go away? If I asked, would she?
No she wouldn't.
But Sam would – he always did.
This was the right thing to do.
This was the right thing to do.
For the following reasons:
1. Dean could carry on living a normal life.
2. Dean could keep his relationship with Lisa and Ben.
3. Dean could go out and get a real job.
4. Dean finally had a chance of being happy and successful.
5. Dean wouldn't be tied down to me which meant:
a) Less to zero problems at home.
b) Less to zero problems at work.
c) Less to zero problems anywhere.
6. The list was endless.
'You want a hot chocolate?' I snapped my head up and glared at Bobby in confusion. How the hell did I get from the truck to his couch? The last thing I remembered was...I don't even remember what the last thing I remembered was; just the flicker of the road as we sped past probably.
'You're worrying me kid.' Bobby said scrutinizing me from his standing position in front of me.
'I don't...How?…No, no coffee, thanks.'
'I asked if you wanted a hot chocolate Sam.'
'No. Nothing. Thanks.' All night I was freaking out about stepping into this house without Dean by my side; lost hours over it doubting I could even do it. How did I just venture in without thinking about him being hundreds of miles away? And why couldn't I remember?
'It was a long drive.'
Was it? Because it felt anything but long, yet here I was sitting inside Bobby's house with the fire going feeling another tear roll down my cheek without me even knowing it was coming.
'It's gonna be alright.' The old man reassured taking a seat next to me. 'Once you settle in and get used to this being your home..' His voice trailed off. All I could think about was my brother's words and nothing else.
'This is you and me Sam. That's it. You and me.' Yet, once again I pulled away because to keep him felt so selfish.
He kept telling me this wasn't what he wanted. But he let me go anyway.
This wasn't what I wanted. But I left anyway.
Sure, the list sounded good on paper – and in my head - but inside it felt like the worst decision I could have possibly made.
And I made it; not Dean. Just me – and Bobby. My brother was right; I took that away from him. The one thing I hated him doing to me the most I did to him.
'You were looking out for him. Trying to do what's best.'
'Huh?' My head spun around expecting to see the Devil standing in front of me and possibly in the form of myself. 'What?' With great relief I realized it was just Bobby.
'You said –'
'I didn't say anything.'
Or maybe I did. I couldn't tell anymore, didn't know what the hell I was doing.
'You having second thoughts?' He asked me with a concerned expression.
'We didn't ask him what he wanted.'
'He'd want to give up everything to help you. You already know that.'
My heart sang and dropped at the same time but it made me think; if I was so hell bent on doing the right thing then maybe… 'Maybe we should've asked him what he wanted.'
Lisa was still demanding I open the door, but how could I? I couldn't even muster the energy to turn over again. She would have to break it down. I'd just let her break it down.
While Jim from next door helped her force the handle, my phone rang. I felt like calling out for them to just shoot the damn lock and walk in but couldn't really be bothered doing that either. So I let them bang and crash and pull and push while I forced myself to lift my head from my puffy, floral covered pillow. Bobby – The Traitor – said he'd call when they got 'home'.
Yes, that's what Sam needed and maybe I did too, but our home was where we made it, not other people's houses frickin hours apart. Not when he needed me like he did. This was all just chronically wrong. W-r-o-n-g! And I hated myself for letting it happen again. That kid got his own way far too much with me.
So did I want to talk to Bobby or not? Not really. I mean I wanted to know they got 'home' safe but judging by the hour, they had. So actually, I thought, I really ought to just ignore it and make them think I was at a barbeque with the Stantons down the road or something as trivial and meaningless. That would no doubt make them both happy.
The thing that changed my mind though was spotting my brother's name lighting up the screen instead of the old man's. Of course if it was Sam I would jump to answer it. The kid had me wrapped around his little finger. A million times over.
It was all kinds of ridiculous.
'Sam?' Was Dean's urgent greeting through the phone. The rustling of sheets and his sleepy voice made me guess maybe I woke him up.
'Did I wake you?'
'We got here okay.' I announced as if he should be proud of me or something as equally as pathetic.
Bobby was glaring at me hard not sure what I was doing. It was probably wrong but I hadn't consulted him on what I was intending to say or why I was calling him in the first place. Just reached into my pocket, pulled out my cell and pressed Dean to connect without thinking. Something was just not sitting right with me and I wanted to fix it.
I just didn't know how.
'So, we said we'd call.' I said.
'The drive was okay?'
'Yeah, all good.' It must have been right? Didn't matter I didn't remember more than a few minutes of it, just mattered we were home. I guessed.
'Yeah, so I'll speak to you soon then?'
I lightly threw Bobby my phone so he could disconnect the call while I leant back on the headrest of the couch and closed my eyes. If this was the right thing to do why the hell did it feel so wrong? And why couldn't I voice that to my own brother?
'It's gonna be okay Sam.' Bobby said, 'It'll just take some getting used to.'
'You'll never see your brother again...'
And once again Lucifer's words screwed with my mind.
(To be continued…)