The Eighteenth Chapter
Once again, I have to move. Keith puts me in a wheelchair. Fuck, it hurts!
"Valeria, take Jame to our car and get in," Mayley demands.
"Only if you let us go," she wagers. Mayley looks to her husband for advice.
"Think about it. He can't move. They aren't really free. Besides, those brothers John and Jake really need our attention. They've killed more than these two combined," Tritt answers. Wait, our John and Jake? I knew they've killed a lot, but I didn't know they were next.
"Alright. I hope you have a car. I'm not driving him," Mayley leaves the room.
"Go or I'll change her mind." He puts something in my hand and smiles.
Valeria takes me out of the hospital and gets Ty's help with putting me in the car. I help as much as I can, but I never said I was stronger than Ty. He would be a good killer.
"The doctor called me and said that you need to be outside for thirty minutes a day. No excuses."
"Oh, and we're off house arrest," Valeria informs.
"Good." That's the last thing Ty says.
The next day, I wake up on the couch in a puddle of water.
"Next time, wake up the first time I tell you," Ty scowls.
"Are you trying to rust my leg?"
"It's rust proof. I'm driving you to the park whether you like it or not."
"I'm not a child," I get up and start climbing up the stairs.
"You need to be outside and your blood is still covering the ground," he yells up at me.
"Hey," Valeria greets me when I limp past her.
"Hey," I go to the bathroom to get dressed.
"What's wrong?" Valeria asks when I come out.
"Ty is taking me to the park," I say.
"Be a good little boy at the park."
"You're coming with us," I smile. She pulls away from me.
"No. I'm not," she glares.
"Ty is moving out and he wants us out of the way. He's gonna drop us off."
"Ugh. Let me get dressed then."
I grab the ring from it's hiding place in my drawer. Now that we're not on house arrest, I'll ask her. Just as we're about to come home, I'll put it on and grab her hand.
When Ty drops us off, kids start to make jokes, laugh, and point. We just sit on a bench, Valeria laying on my side. Hurts slightly, but I deal with it. Then, the orphans come. They don't make jokes, laugh, or point. They're filled with scratches and bruises. One has a metal arm. I feel so bad for them.
After about twenty minutes of watching children, I slip the ring out of my pocket and on my finger. I push it into Valeria's side.
"Ow. What was that for?" she gets up. "Where did you get that?"
"It was my mother's. And, I want it to be yours." I get off the bench, on one knee. This hurts more than Valeria laying on me.
"Jame," Valeria breathes.
"I've known you for so long. I was only eight when I first saw you from across the room. For my whole life, I thought I would be single because of what I did. I also thought that I wouldn't live past the day I told you my secret. But, this secret was bigger until today. I've done so much to keep you alive. All I need is for you to answer a question. Will you marry me?"
She doesn't answer for a couple seconds. Then, she nods.
"I need words," I say, smiling.
"Yes. Yes, Jame," I stand just as she pounces into my arms. She grabs my face and attacks my lips with hers. I take the ring off and put it on her, not daring to pull away. She does it for me.
"Guess what?" I ask.
"What?" she plays along.
"We're engaged. And Ty's here," I put my arm around her waist as we walk to the car.
"Isn't that the president's daughter?" Valeria lowers her voice. I look around. I find her on the swing, looking at her feet. She makes no effort to use the swing for anything other than a chair. What was her name? Terry... Tara... Tamara?
"Yeah. That's her. What happened?" We walk towards the car as we speak. His car is so cramped. He needs to learn how to drive my truck.
"Hurry up!" Ty yells. We start to walk faster, which hurts.
"We're coming. Hold on," Valeria sprints away from me. I hate to see her leave, but I love to see her walk away.