Chapter 17 – A Helping Hand
In the blink of an eye, days following the chaotic breakdowns for both Brooklyn and Emily, everyone keeps a close eye on them. To no surprise, they’re returned to medication, attempting to help ease their post-traumatic stress.
Lucas refuses to return from Europe even after all his father’s affairs are in order. Kyle’s lonely nights are spent on the couch rather than lying in bed.
“I don’t know how long I can do this.” He tells himself with his arm tucked comfortably under his head and pillow.
“I love you, Brooklyn, but if you can’t come home, I guess we’ll handle that in time.”
When there’s a knock at the door, he gets up to answer it.
After he swings the door open, there stands Sharon in a vibrant red short silky night robe.
“I don’t think she has a clue.” She whispers, licking her lips, and looks into Kyle’s eyes, reaching out for his groin.
“Good, come in. I was feeling horny tonight.”
They embrace in a prolonged kiss as explosions erupt in the sky.
Brooklyn sits up and screams “no” until one of the nurses’ barges into her room to calm her down.
“Mrs. Parker, it’s alright, you’re safe! No one can harm you here, I promise.” She calls out wrestling with Brooklyn.
“It wasn’t a terror; my husband and my therapist are sleeping together!” She screams, which draws the attention of everyone around her room.
“Do what?” The nurse comments and takes a step back.
“I know it. I saw them in my mind. They’re fucking in our house at night!” Brooklyn repeats with her face rushed to a shade of red.
“How honey, your therapist is with another patient right down the hallway right now. She barely ever goes home because she’s always on call. Want proof?”
Brooklyn shakes her head yes and waits while the nurse calls Sharon down the room.
“Hey, I understand you had a dream about your husband and me? Brooklyn, I would never betray your trust, plus I’m not attracted to men.”
That’s when Brooklyn feels horrible when Sharon struts up to her bed.
“Although it’s not a flattering moment, that sort of dream is better than reliving anything you suffered. So, if that’s what it takes to send you home, then dream away.”
She pats Brooklyn on her hand and returns to her rounds on the floor for the night. Brooklyn’s mind begins to ease; she finds it easy to fall back asleep for once. When she’s breathing easy, she’s transported to a place she’s never visited in her life.
“What is this? Where am I?” Brooklyn says as her voice rattles through the air.
“This way…” A mysterious voice calls out straight down the path.
There’s no hint of fear within her body when she begins to gingerly stroll the dirt path until she comes into a clearing of an abandoned campsite.
“What the hell is this place, and who are you?”
Within the blink of an eye, her mystery voice answers her questions when they appear right behind her.
“You mean to tell me you don’t recognize your favorite uncle’s voice?” Justin says, scaring Brooklyn half to death.
“Jesus Christ in Heaven, what the Hell, you’re dead!”
“I’m not Jesus, but he is a pretty cool guy to learn from about things in the world,” Justin replies with a hint of laughter in his voice.
“Not cool, but what are you wearing, and why are you here, Uncle Justin?”
Justin wears a dark royal ruby red style toga with a gold sash around his waist. He also has a silver crown of thrones.
“I am now your guardian angel, my dear sweet child.
Brooklyn has an excellent question for her uncle.
“Why isn’t it, dad? Why isn’t he here?”
“He has his own agenda and about to wake up finally.”
Confused at his statement’s context, she takes a seat on the old log seat placed there by her father years ago when he and his friends were teenagers stuck out at junior boot camp.
“As for this place, it holds a special meaning for your father and me. We spent two weeks in turmoil out here. We concocted plans to wreak havoc on anyone who got in our way. This is where we started to come into our own.” Justin explains, standing in front of Brooklyn.
“I miss you both very much, and I am sorry you had to die to save us.”
He says nothing allowing her to spill out the venom from her heart.
“I don’t know why it was us that was taken. If I could swap places with you, I would so you could be here with everyone. I’m not strong like you and dad. I can’t handle this. It’s driving me crazy.”
He motions her up to her feet, where she stands, feeling a little uneasy at first.
“You have the strength to beat this child. You are your father’s daughter; you need to remember that. Nothing can stop you if you hold onto the teachings he gave you. Peace comes from acceptance, and courage comes from facing that demon and smashing through it. I always had faith in you girls to rise above and soar with the majestic eagles.”
“I can’t. I’m too damaged for any of that. I can’t do this on my own I’ve been trying, but I can’t.” She says to prove her point.
“I know better. I’ve been watching you from the time you were a child. You grew up to become a strong independent mother and wife. You are your own worst enemy. Now do us proud and show me, your guardian, why you can go home.”
Brooklyn shakes her head with her eyes shut, arguing against Justin.
“No, no, no, no, you are wrong about me. I’m not the strong one Aaron is, and he can’t save me this time as when we were little.”
In deep anger, Justin’s voice raises in pitch.
“You are stronger than this, and I am NOT wrong young lady. You have a beautiful family at home, crying themselves to sleep. A husband who feels like he’s failed because he can’t protect you from yourself. Now, remember who you are and go home! Now say it, who are you!”
“I am my father’s daughter…” She whimpers with her head low.
“Louder!” He orders as he grows in size.
“I am my father’s daughter…” She repeats in a similar tone.
“LOUDER!” He bellows in her face.
“Repel me back; otherwise, you will never see the light of day again!”
The sky grows dark as a fire begins to glow behind Justin.
“You have to save yourself, or else the fire of despair will truly consume your soul forevermore.”
“I am my father’s daughter! She speaks a little louder afraid of what’s going to happen
“AGAIN!” She is told with the fire burning brighter.
“I AM MY FATHER’S DAUGHTER!” She screams, this time bringing the flames down a little bit.
“Make me believe you!” He continues to yell with his arms wide open.
“I AM MY FATHER’S DAUGHTER. I AM STRONG. I AM POWERFUL. I AM NOT WEAK OR BROKEN ANYMORE!”
The fire dies, and the sky’s clear with Justin back to standard size.
“You’ve done it; you can now face the final demon to break through the glass and make your way back home.”
She stands there with a look of misunderstanding in her eyes.
From the clearing, a shadowy figure appears, coming closer. The man in the form of a shadow sheds the shroud as he makes his way between Justin and Brooklyn.
“Hi,” Robert says with that evil smile stretched across his face.
“How are you here? You’re supposed to be in Hell!” She says, feeling the fight enter her veins.
“But I’m back, and I want to finish with your soul. You’re going to Hell with me, little girl, and he can’t save you!”
Robert quickly takes Brooklyn by the wrist, dragging her back to where the fire burned, but the second time around, the flames glow an ominous black dance with a sinister laugh emanates from the flames.
“Not a chance!” She yells, breaking free from his grip with a right hook to his face.
“I’m not your prisoner this time. I can and will fight!”
She’s amazed at her fighting skill. She tramples Robert with a series of powerful blasts to his face that sends him into the black flames.
“No!” He yelps when he slips back into the fire consuming his body.
“Go to hell!” She yells as the fire pit opens with the ground glowing red with hideous creatures pulling Robert’s body underground and then reseals.
“I knew you had it in you to fight back. You’re ready now. Just rest up, and soon you’ll be well enough to go home. Goodbye child, I’ll see you when you get here one day. I love you, Brooklyn.” Justin says, beginning to vanish.
“No, stay please, I miss you!”
Seconds later, she sees a clear sunny morning.
“Goodbye, Uncle Justin. I love you too.” She speaks softly with a smile across her face.
The smile doesn’t leave her face at all that entire day. The weight that has attached to her soul has lifted away. A new day begins when she sits in the window to soak in the sunlight.
“Would you look at that smile? If I didn’t know any better, I’d swear you weren’t relying on any medications for once.” Sharon shares when she sits down beside Brooklyn.
“I’m not, actually! I feel the shadows over me have lifted away thanks to an old family friend as he rescued me in a dream last night.”
That statement strikes Sharon odd. She begins to dig a little deeper.
“Tell me about this dream, if you don’t mind, that is.”
Brooklyn begins to describe the entire scene from the campground. Details of Justin there to lift her spirit and remind her of who she gets her strength.
“Wow, talk about some powerful messages there, and seeing that smile says it all. We’ll talk again in a couple of days, and if you want to try to create another scenario with Kyle.”
Brooklyn doesn’t hesitate to give her response.
“Please, I think I can do it this time. I want to go home.”
Once again, a room is set up for an intimate setting. Lights are dimmed down low, candles create a romantic ambiance, and Brooklyn waits patiently for her hero to arrive through the door.
“Alright, let’s hope for better results this time around,” Sharon mentions as she and Kyle stand at the door.
“I’ve been praying and hoping that an angel comes to help her. I can’t keep doing this, Sharon; it’s not fair to the kids either.”
With a nod, she steps aside to allow Kyle to enter the room. When the door shuts behind him, he makes his way to his seat, where they sit and stare at each other.
“I’ve missed you…” Brooklyn finally admits breaking the awkward silence.
“I miss you too; I’m ready for you to come home.”
The candles flicker to give them a chance to glare into the other’s eyes.
“Your eyes, I can see a sparkle in them again.” He says, reaching out for her hand.
Sharon observes in the hope that things won’t sour again. Brooklyn surprises them all when she not only takes his hand but takes him to the center of the room with a simple request.
In a panic, she runs to the door to slide in her portable stereo with a romantic song playing and watches as they dance together. Brooklyn turns her head, relaxing it on Kyle’s chest.
“I love you so much! Thank you for not giving up on me.” She expresses with her eyes closed to listen to his heartbeat.
“I love you too. I always will.” He whispers.
“I’ll be damned she’s doing it. She’s created a new bond without fear!” Sharon cries out when the couple comes to a stop embracing in their first kiss all over again.
Overjoyed by the fact of the vast improvement, she bursts into the room.
“A couple of days of observation, and I do believe you will be ready to head home.”
The two ignore her as they kiss, reigniting the passion that’s kept them together for so long.
While there’s reason to celebrate for one of the two damaged sisters, Emily is about to undergo her hand at faith when she’s presented a similar experience.
Unlike her sister, Emily’s vision doesn’t take her to the junior boot campground; instead, it’s somewhere that releases the misery.
She’s walking along a beach with a blurred city background without any of the noise.
“Hello… Anyone out there?” She calls out, squishing the sand between her toes.
No one replies, but that doesn’t keep her from searching for anyone. She seems to stumble upon a cooler that stubs her toe.
“Ouch, son of a bitch that hurt!”
“Hey young lady, don’t cuss!” A voice says when Justin appears out of thin air in front of her.
“Uncle J, it’s you!” She screams, scared when he appears in his dark ruby robe.
“Hi, kiddo, figured you could use some divine intervention. Well, not really, I am your guardian angel now, and well, I’m here to give you the strength to overcome the fiend that’s invaded your heart. I can’t fight ’em for you, but I can give you the tools to defeat the ugly little turd.”
His remarks don’t make any sense at first, but suddenly he takes his hand shoving it into her chest to pull out a figure that’s laid out along the sand.
“Your mind and soul are good, but your heart is tainted. You need to break that spell holding you back.” Justin explains with a serious tone taking a few steps back.
A sinister laugh begins to come from the shadowy figure. That laugh causes Emily to quiver with fear.
“I can’t beat him; you couldn’t beat him, so what makes you think I can do it?” She shrieks, watching Robert climb to his feet.
“Your soul is next, and I’ll take you to Hell with me for good. Are you ready to die and lose that baby and that spineless husband of yours?”
“No! You can’t take me from them, Justin; make him stop, please!” She pleads, stepping backward, falling on her ass.
“I can’t… You must defend yourself.”
Emily tries to scoot away, but every time she attempts to get back to her feet, Robert goes to lunge at her cracking his voice with that cackle piercing her ears.
“STOP LAUGHING!” She screams, forcing the waters along the beach to begin to rock a little more.
“Not a chance. I want that mind, body, and soul. I have your heart, and after you’re gone, I can haunt your child and bring your family to Hell with us!” He taunts her when he kicks sand in her face.
“FUCK YOU! You sorry dumb son of a bitch, you will never lay a hand on my kids!”
Robert laughs as he dives onto the sand to get in her face.
“Too late, looky here, mommy dearest.”
Up in the sky is a vision of her child. Scared and crying captures her attention as his body begins to merge into hers.
“Not them. I’ll be damned if you or anyone else touches my baby!”
“Release that rage now!” Justin hollers with an earth-shattering voice, with the ocean water swelling into the sky.
“Use the power of the water to cleanse yourself of this monster!” He preaches with his arms wide open, lifting himself into the air.
“GO TO HELL, YOU MONSTER!” Emily screams, kicking Robert off her body able to stop the merger. She allows the water to form a tsunami type wave crashing over the beach.
“YOU WILL NEVER HOLD ME AGAIN!” Emily enlightens her attacker with the waters crushing him with each wave that helps separate their bodies.
Her anger begins to subside as the waters draw away from the beach. Justin lowers himself back down to the sand, where Emily struggles to get back to her feet.
“That’s the Emily I remember, the survivor from endless amounts of pain. I couldn’t be prouder of you.”
She’s long-winded from the waters crashing over her body that cleanses her from the torment.
“Why, why you and not my dad?” She begins out of breath.
“Because he is about to wake up. I always was the religious one of the three of us. I didn’t leave your side in that darkest of hours, and I will always be by your side.” Justin says as his crown of thrones shines brighter in the sunlight.
“Thank you, Uncle Justin. I couldn’t have done it without you to guide me. I miss you so much, and I feel so bad about what happened to you and dad and Owen. I didn’t want you all to die for me.”
“We died doing what we were meant to do, my sweet child. We protected the innocent for a long time, and we weren’t about to leave you behind.”
Emily isn’t sure what to say now as her heart begins to beat harder and louder.
“See, your heart is healing, and I know Josh would be beyond proud. My memory will always guide you to remember how strong and determined you are inside.”
At that moment, she looks to the sand with tears in her eyes.
“Thank you,” she screams when she rushes him and wraps her arms around him, but when she opens her eyes, he’s gone like a whisper in the wind.
“I wasn’t ready to say goodbye.” She whimpers, wiping her eyes staring into the sky.
Out from a dead trance, she sits up with her hands, gripping her chest.
“I’m back…” She says to herself as she looks around the room.
“Everything feels better! I don’t feel like I want to die now!”
Ready to face the day, Emily slides from her bed and down the hallway where everyone at the nurse’s station stares in shock.
“Mrs. Lockhart, you’re alert. Is everything alright?” A male nurse asks, going over to assist her back to her room.
“I want my kid, I want my husband, and I want to go home. Don’t touch me! I’m fine, just get my stuff. I want to leave.” She demands when she jerks away from the nurse.
“Okay, we’ll call your therapist, and she’ll be here shortly, I promise.”
Sharon arrives to see it for herself that Emily is somehow functioning on her own in no time.
“How is that possible? It’s like she and her sister one day just woke up perfectly fine. I don’t understand it at all.” She explains to the staff before she walks into the room.
“Hi there Emily, I am Sharon Springman. I’ve been tending to you and your sister Brooklyn. How are you feeling today?”
Emily gets to her feet with a look of determination.
“I want regular clothes, and I want you to evaluate me and get me the fuck out of here. I want to go home to my family as soon as possible, please.”
Sharon stands there trying to piece all this together.
“How, how did you wake up and start functioning without help or medication?”
Emily breaks it down for her.
“My Uncle Justin, he came and helped me through the pain. I couldn’t have done it without him. Now answer me this. How do I get to go home?”
Wide-eyed and stunned beyond words, Sharon goes over and motions for Emily to take a seat on the bed.
“Justin, your dead family friend helped you. Wow sounds like a guardian angel standing with you. I’ll tell you what, let me observe you both together for a couple of days. If I don’t find a reason to hold you here, I’ll send you home. Just comfort my piece of mind is all I ask.”
“Fine, I’ll give you a couple of days, but I am hungry, and I want to see my sister,” Emily demands, intending to get home in her mind.
“I’ll put you both in the same room, and we’ll keep an eye on you. From there, and in a few days, we’ll assess where you both stand.”
The ladies exchange a firm handshake before Sharon exits, getting everything in place for the sisters to share a room as they’re monitored heavily.
“Who came to rescue you?” Brooklyn asks with a whisper.
“Uncle J, what about you? Anyone come to your side at the beach?” Brooklyn reveals that it indeed wasn’t a coincidence when she gives details about the campsite.
“No, I was where dad and them spent time as kids after getting in trouble. What beach are you talking about?”
“Uh, from the pictures, I remember the beach in L.A. I guess. I couldn’t make anything out, but I beat the crap out of Robert, sending him to Hell.”
Brooklyn reveals that’s something they have in common.
“I did too, I pushed his ass into a fire, and the ground swallowed him whole.”
The girls giggle and laugh, which gives the staff hope that everything improved over the time allotted.
It astounds everyone when the girls’ spirits continue to improve. They spend time with Kyle, Gracie, and Chip. Which shows the most significant improvements when they all play and have fun.
“You know you’ll have to call Lucas in London, right? He’s doesn’t plan on coming back.” Kyle explains, handing over his phone.
“Watch and learn…” Emily states when she opens the phone.
“Hey, Kyle, ole boy, good to hear from…”
He’s stopped dead in his tracks when Emily speaks into the phone.
“Hi honey, you ready to come home because I want you here when I get released in a couple of days.”
She listens to him breathe with a heavy sigh of shock at first.
“Brilliant! I thought you weren’t coming back to us, but if you can come home, then yes, we will return headstrong and ready to go on.” Lucas yells in complete shock.
Emily smiles in the chair by the window.
“Hurry up then because I miss you, and I want you to scoop me up and never let me go again!” She tells him, feeling her heart expand with more love than ever before.
“I’ll get us, packed love. I’ll come for you! I love you!”
“I love you too. See you soon.”
The call ends, and Emily hands Kyle his phone as they return to enjoy the fact they are on their way home sooner than anyone expected.
Three more days pass before Emily and Brooklyn have their bands cut from their wrists.
“Finally, going home!” Brooklyn shouts, shaking her arm, feeling good in street clothes.
“Thank you, Uncle Justin,” Emily says when her wrist is freed.
“It feels so good being back in normal people clothes.” She continues to say, following behind Kyle and her sister.
The elevator dings, and in the door stands the final piece of the puzzle.
“LUCAS!” Emily screams at the top of her lungs, running into his arms.
“I told you that I would be here waiting. Kyle picked me up last night. Now let’s go home. We have little ones waiting to welcome you both home with pizza and punch!” He lets it slip from his lips.
“Never sounded better!” Kyle says.
They all walk into the elevator, feeling everything fall back into place as they focus on themselves for the first time in years as the storms controlling their lives at last dissipates.