Chapter Five: Close your eyes and make a wish.
Bart had moved back home and into his old bedroom, which is also in the basement. Anthony and Amanda had to be even quieter than normal at night when she sneaks inside. Bart moved back from Fargo and got the same job he had in high school, working at the local Goodyear repair shop. He didn’t make much money but without having to pay rent his expenses were low. He helped the family out by buying groceries and keeping the lights burning. He hated being back in Jamestown worst of all. Anthony, on the other hand, loved having his brother back. In between spending time with his mom and Amanda Anthony was able to have some time with his brother. Anthony was always eager for Bart to get off work.
Anthony and Amanda would spend a lot of their time in his room during day because the hospice nurse was there. Theresa did not like the idea of anyone but her taking care of her mother and would be unapproachable while the nurse was there. These days Theresa controlled her contempt for Anthony and would rarely, if ever, snap at him. After the nurse leaves they would be able to go talk to his mom before Amanda had to leave too. On this particular day they were sitting on his bed talking about his upcoming birthday.
“So, what you do want for you birthday, hun?” Amanda asked as she pulled her hair behind her ear.
“Good question. I haven’t really thought about it.” Anthony replied with a sheepish grin.
She returned his smile. “We only have a few days left ya know.”
“As long as you’re with me on my birthday I don’t really need anything else.”
He still after three months of dating knew how to make her blush. She always appreciated the way he would always turn everything into a compliment. She was afraid this would not last forever because life is hardly ever fair to those in love. She never enjoyed feeling so negative but her life’s experience has taught her to be that way.
“I seriously want to get you something; it just doesn’t feel right for me to not get you anything.”
“There is one thing I want but it’s something you can’t afford. You don’t even have a job.”
She raised her eyebrows, “Like that’s gonna stop me. If it’s reasonable I might be able to work something out.”
“The only thing I want is a car of some kind. I hate having to walk everywhere I want to go.”
She thought about it for a second and then responded, “I might know where I could find one for you without breaking my piggy bank.” She smirked while staring him straight in the eyes.
He could tell from the look on her face that she had something up her sleeve. He really hoped she was would be able to deliver. He has had his license for over a year now but could never afford to get his own car. He dreamt of the freedom of the open road like so many other teenagers do. He had a preference in the type of car he wanted, one just like Jonathans. However, he does follow the old saying, “beggars can’t be choosers.”
“If you could pull something like that off I would be really grateful ya know.”
She smiled devilishly while leaning in for her kiss that she knew he wanted. There was a sudden knock on the door that neither of them expected. They bumped their heads together when they jumped at the rude interruption. Anthony held his head and spoke in a voice that shows both his pain and his annoyance. “What is it?”
“Uhhh, Sorry to bother you. I just figured I should knock first.” The voice was very familiar to Anthony but he did NOT expect to hear that voice. That was Jonathan’s voice who it appeared had decided that he would come to Jamestown to surprise Anthony for his birthday. He rushed to the door and flung it open. “Surprise, man!” Anthony stood there in shock, speechless. “I see you are very surprised to see me.” Jonathan began to laugh as he watched Anthony’s comical reaction.
Quickly composing himself, Anthony replied.“ Yeah, surprise doesn’t even cover it! Why are you here man?” As he said that Amanda walked up behind and to check out their visitor.
“I am here for your birthday. You know I am already 18 and my parents didn’t have a problem with me coming. I wanted to surprise you man.”
“Mission accomplished.” He noticed Amanda directly behind him now he turned and decided introductions were in order. “Amanda this is my friend Jonathan. We were at the Seminary together in Fargo.” Turning to Jonathan he spoke again, “This is Amanda, my girlfriend.”
Jonathan stuck out his hand for a handshake and said, “Nice to meet ya. Anthony has told me a lot about you.” She firmly shook his outstretched hand.
“Yeah it’s very nice to meet you too, Jonathan. Anthony has spoken very highly of you.” She replied with a bit of nervousness in her voice. They all stood there in a kind of awkward silence for a moment then she decided to break the ice. “Hun, I should get going. I need to check on your birthday present anyway.”
“You’re serious about that aren’t you?” he asked with bit trepidation in his voice.
“You got that right.” She said as she kissed his cheek. She politely nodded her head towards Jonathan and walked away. Anthony then suggested they go upstairs to grab a pop and talk outside. Jonathan agreed and followed Anthony as he led the way. They made it out the backyard and sat down on the picnic table that was on the patio.
“So besides it being my birthday, what made you decide to take a five hour car ride? That couldn’t have been too much fun.” He sipped his Diet coke casually.
“I have my reasons for wanting to be here. You want them all?” Jonathan spoke with an air that Anthony did not recognize. It was as is if something was different with his friend and he couldn’t quite put his finger on it.
“Yeah, if you don’t mind telling me.”
“First off, you’re my friend and it’s your birthday. It’s an important day for you. You only turn 18 once, ya’ know. Second, why didn’t you tell me personally your mom was sick? I had to find out from a mutual friend that your mom was in the hospital and dying from cancer.”
Anthony’s jaw dropped and he thought for a second before speaking. “I am sorry man. For a while there I barely spoke to anyone. Then when I finally stopped feeling sorry for myself I didn’t even think about telling you. Who told you because I don’t remember telling anyone?”
Jonathan took a deep breath, “That is a conversation for another time. On your birthday I will tell you everything but for now let’s talk about something else.”
“Like what?” Anthony queried.
“How about how you’re feeling about not coming back to the Seminary?”
Anthony thought to himself, “Where did that come from?” before replying, “I am happier now than I ever thought I would be. So I guess you can say I am fine with it.”
“I think I figured that much out actually. I am happy for you my friend. It’s a blessing to see you this happy considering the circumstances. Although, there is much more happening in your life than you know.” Jonathan took a drink from his pop, adding a bit of suspense to what he would say next, “I was told to tell you from our mutual friend that you need to talk to your mom about the day your dad died. “
Anthony could feel two strong emotions tear at his insides. He felt extremely confused by the conversation and at the same time very annoyed. He hated not knowing what was going on and even worse when the knowledge was so close. He sat there just staring at the backyard. He remembered playing a lot of football here as a kid. Charles would have to be the quarterback and that made him the wide receiver. They were always on the same team together while the Sager brothers from across the alley would be the other team. He remembered how many times he got blindsided by another player. He would always end up with some degree of injury and this was no different. He felt as if Jonathan was blindsiding him. He had no idea why his friend was here talking about this subject.
“I am not sure what exactly is going on here…I….I feel so lost. Where is this coming from?”
“Sorry man. Something I can’t tell you yet. I promise you I will tell you everything I know on your birthday. We will continue this conversation after you have spoken to your mom. I will say this much, I have NO idea what she is going to say. I was just told to tell you that you need to talk to her, either today or tomorrow. I am staying in room number 202 at the Holiday Inn. I will be here back to your house for your birthday or maybe earlier if you manage to talk to her before that.”
“Ok. This doesn’t make any sense but alright.” Anthony said as he wiped his forehead.
“Have Faith my friend and you will see.” Those were Jonathan's departing words as he turned to walk away. “Faith? How could Faith help me here?” Anthony said to the empty spot at the table that once just a moment ago occupied by Jonathon. He was more confused than ever. The cryptic conversation he just had only served to add to the mounting confusion he was already facing. He doesn’t need this. The dreams are confusing enough for him. He did not need anything else just as confusing in his life.
He sighed deeply, Why not?.” He thought to himself as he made his way inside the house. “No time like the present.” He walked through the kitchen to the hallway leading to his mother’s room. He felt his heart race and it his feet were weighed down like he was wearing concrete shoes. It seems he didn’t want to know or didn’t feel like he was ready to hear this. He felt like he was being forced into something that he wanted NO part of whatsoever.
He finally made it all the way to his mothers room and was about to open the door when the phone rang. He couldn’t help but jump when that sound reached his ears. He rushed down the hallway and picked up the receiver. “Hello?” he asked.
“Amanda? What’s going on?”
“I think you should come over. I want to show you something.”
He laughed before saying, “Is this what I think it is? That sure didn’t take very long huh?
“Just get over here you silly goose.” Then returned his laughter.
“I will be right there babe.” He hung up the receiver and looked down the hallway to his mother’s room. “I have time for that.” He thought to himself. He walked out the front door and felt like he was disobeying some authority figure by leaving. He had his opportunity to talk to his mom as Jonathan had instructed yet here he was going to Amanda’s. He realized that this is how he has been acting all summer long. Everything in his life, including his mom, came second to Amanda. He saw the dangerous road that he was on and as his feet carried him away he fought the urge to stop.
He walked up the steps to her house and it happened. He didn’t know for sure at first what was real and what wasn’t. The world was melting before his eyes like acid had been poured over everything. The house in front of him was no longer there. He was inside a hallway, the very same hallway that is inside and upstairs in front of him. He was walking towards the door that opened to her parents’ bedroom. He saw his hand reach out and open the door. There were pictures everywhere and what looks like hundreds of video tapes. He just stood there dumbfounded as he realized that he was the person in every picture.
Slowly the world melted once again and he was in a bedroom that he hadn’t been inside for years. Charles was on the bed on top of Amanda and they were struggling. Charles held her wrists with one hand and laughing hysterically as he tried to rip her clothes off with the other hand. Anthony felt the compulsion to rip Charles off of her but couldn’t move. Then just as quickly as the vision started he was back on the front steps to Amanda’s house.
He looked around to see a man mowing his lawn across the street. There was a woman sunbathing in her front yard down the block. He could hear some kids laughing but didn’t know where they were. He knew he had two choices in front of him. He didn’t even pretend it was a choice as he started running as fast as his feet could take him. He was going to Charles’s house and towards his destiny.
He reached the front to Charles’s house and tried the handle but it wouldn’t turn. He stepped back and kicked the door down. He ran in and straight towards the second door to the right. He put his shoulder into it and saw them there. They both looked at Anthony and Amanda screamed for help. Anthony pulled Charles off of her and flung him into the nearest wall. He held Charles on the throat with his left hand and with one punch from his right hand knocked Charles out cold. Charles’s limp body fell to the floor. He kicked Charles a few times for good measure then turned to Amanda.
Her shirt was torn and her jeans were halfway down her legs. He could see she still had her underwear on which means Charles did not get that far. He was unsure on how to proceed. He once again found himself on the winning side of a fight, something he never wanted to become a habit for him. She begged him to get her out of there but he decided to take a different road. “I will be right back; I am going to call the cops.”
He walked out into the living room despite her begging him to stop. He dialed 911 and explained the situation to the operator who immediately sent out the police. He walked back into the bedroom where she was sitting crying on the bed still. He felt bad in spite of himself and walked over to her. He held her close until and guided her into the living room while keeping an eye on Charles. He sat her down on the couch and sat next to her. The police showed up not even a minute later. They took statements from both Amanda and Anthony then placed Charles under arrest. The police called for an ambulance to take Amanda to the hospital which she only agreed to ride in after some convincing from Anthony.
Anthony promised her that he would meet her there soon. He watched as the ambulance and the police car with Charles in it pull away. Charles was staring out the rear window at Anthony with a look of death on his face. Anthony wanted to go back to Amanda’s house now and check out that room. She wouldn’t be able to move anything out of it while at the hospital. He turned to leave and saw Jonathan standing there.
Shocked, Anthony asked, “What are you doing here?”
“I am here because you made a mistake and it’s time for you to know the truth, or at least as much truth as I can tell you. Come get in my car and we can go for a ride.”
Anthony did so and eagerly waited for Jonathan to continue. “You weren’t ready for this. This shouldn’t have happened yet. You received a vision a little while ago and it showed you two things right?”
Anthony blinked. “Yeah, how did you know?”
“I will get to that. You shouldn’t have had a vision like that yet. It wasn’t our time to do this.” He sighed deeply and then continued. “Events are in motion now that cannot be undone. You and I share a connection that goes much deeper than friendship. I have the same kind of dreams you do and when you had that vision a little while ago I had one of my own.” He drew in a deep breath before continuing. “Before you ask, we don’t get to see the same things but we do share a bond that allows each of us to know when that kind of vision happens.”
Anthony was only starting to get confused when he asked, “What the heck are you talking about?”
Jonathan pointed to the backseat and Anthony saw a box that was sitting diagonal from behind his seat on the floor to the back window behind Jonathan. “I have your birthday present back there. I am pretty sure you wouldn’t be able to get it on your own.”
“So how are we connected?” Anthony asked barely believing anything he is hearing.
“We have different kinds of visions. You see the ugly side of things and I see the better side. It’s as if neither of us can be shown the whole picture. I am guessing this is because the whole picture is too much for any one person to handle.”
Anthony’s confusion multiplied so he then asked, “So why are you really here? I am guessing my birthday was just an excuse.”
“I am going to help get your prepared for what’s coming as much as I can.”
Jonathan stopped the car then looked at Anthony saying, “Plagues, earthquakes, wars and death.”
“That’s kind of vague man. Those things are already happening right now.” Anthony replied.
“They are only going to get worse.”
“So you have been having dreams like mine the whole time I have been? Why didn’t you say something to me three months ago? When I told you about mine?”
“Father Byrnes told me not to tell anyone. I had to confer with him before going forward and he asked me to wait until now.”
Anthony thought for a second and something bugged him. “You said earlier that I made a mistake and that’s why you’re telling this now.”
“Your mistake is you set a dangerous precedent for yourself today. You chose to run towards danger as opposed to seeking out knowledge. I understand why you chose to come here but there has to be more to what’s going on here than Charles seeking revenge” He paused there and thought for a second then said, “I am afraid that you might always make this choice.”
Jonathan put the car back into gear and drove Anthony’s house. “I have to go talk to Father Byrnes and found out what we should do now. Your decision to leave the Seminary couldn’t have come at a worse time. Take your present but don’t open it in front of anyone else. Also, don’t show it to anyone and that includes Amanda.”
Feeling even more confused than ever, Anthony asked, “What does this all mean?”
“I don’t know man but you can’t tell anyone about this and once again that includes Amanda.”
Anthony decided to just go along with this and said, “Alright. I will do ask you ask. Good luck my friend.”
Anthony pulled the present out of the backseat and noticed it was kind of heavy. Jonathan pulled away and was gone as fast as he had arrived earlier. Anthony walked inside his house and went straight for his bedroom. He put the present down on his bed staring at it. He couldn’t help but wonder if this box was some sort of Pandora’s Box. It felt like opening it would be something there would be no coming back from but decided it may be worth the risk. He unwrapped the present and hesitated as he noticed there was a note attached to the box.
I wrapped this in a hurry today and left this note to say one thing. There is only one truth to the world and it’s been given to you. Use it well my friend.
Amo Te in Christo,
Anthony opened the box and started laughing to himself. He guessed there really was something to what Jonathan was saying. He looked down at the sword and it was just like the one he saw in his dreams. Over five feet long with a blue grip on the hilt and an engraving on the balance. He looked closely at the engraving and it was of a fish. “A fish? Why would he put a fish on there?” He pulled the sword out of the scabbard and held it with both hands. Suddenly, he felt like things were starting to make sense, if that was even possible.
He put the sword back in its scabbard. He placed the sword under his mattress and left it there. He was suddenly afraid for what’s to come. He pushed the fear away and decided he had to know more now. He decided it was time to go to the hospital to find the woman he loves. He had to know how this all happened today and more importantly why. How did she get from her house to his so quickly after the phone call? What was she doing that put her in that position with him? All of this and more had to be answered.