Author: Raven's Hymn PM
Part 2 of 3: It's been a year since Helen made her choice. Now the past is back, and is determined to change everything she knew. A diary will give a glimpse into the heart and soul of another, and will uncover a secret that will change everything.Rated: Fiction T - English - Spiritual/Suspense - Chapters: 51 - Words: 61,065 - Reviews: 41 - Favs: 5 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 07-22-11 - Published: 01-06-11 - Status: Complete - id: 2879914
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He had changed so much, even though it had been just over a month since I last saw him. He looked weary, like he had struggled so much and for so long and just now realized that it was all in vain.
For a moment I was speechless. I had nearly erased Don from my mind, and now here he is, in the one place I would never have expected him to be.
"What are you doing here?"
"I had to see you. I have a promise to keep."
For a second I thought he was going to try to convince me to go on another of his tragic adventures. And then I finally realized what he meant: he was going to tell me the truth about what we were doing last summer.
"You finally found what you were looking for?"
"Then what promise is making you be here with me?"
"The one to tell you the truth."
He gestured me to sit down on a couch close by. I didn't hesitate, just waited for him to speak. Only one thought went through my mind: If he didn't find what he was looking for, why is he going to tell me the truth?
"I'm guessing you have a lot of questions. If there is something you want to know, just ask."
"Please, let me explain. I know I haven't been honest with you, and I know you must resent me for it, but you have to know that I was trying to protect you, and…I was being selfish. I didn't think anyone would understand what I was going through, and I believed that, if anyone knew what I was doing, they would try to stop me. But things have changed, more than I could have imagined. And it's all because of me.
"The summer before we met, my family took in two girls. We were not given any information about them, just that they needed somewhere to lie low for a while. Scarlet was one of them, and I was ok with her, but her friend, Jessie, was…not what I had expected.
"We didn't get along for months. We always tried to avoid each other every chance we could. But things changed, and we started to warm up to each other; we had almost become friends. And then everything just fell apart. We started fighting again, each day it became more intense and more frequent. The last time I saw her…I messed up, and because if it she left. It was my fault. I denied it for so long, I began to believe it; I had even convinced myself that she left because she was trying to get away from something.
"So two weeks after she left, I tried to find her so that I could bring her back. Everywhere I went, I asked if anyone fitting her description was around. Then I found you. For a second I thought you were her, but you two are like night and day, so it wasn't hard to realize that you weren't her.
"Later I had discovered that I couldn't look for Jessie on my own. So I thought you could help me, and that's why I asked you to come with me. I was ready to continue looking, but something drew me back to my family. They must have been worried about me, so I went back. I didn't want Scarlet to come at first because the last time we spoke, it was obvious she thought the worst of me for what I did. But when she told me that she knew more than I did, I thought I needed her. So despite everything, I let her come with us
"After we left, I tried to do everything by myself. I thought that she would not be afraid and when she knew I was around, she would try to find me. But she never did. Even after I left the both of you, I kept looking.
"I discovered the asylum when I was in town. I thought the people there would know something about Jessie. I know I shouldn't have asked you to help me again, but I was so desperate for answers, I was willing to try anything, and I believed that you would seem like less of a threat to them, since you never knew her. It wasn't until I discovered what was going on that changed things. That's when I found out that Jessie wasn't who I thought she was. I snapped, and I took out my disillusionment in a way I shouldn't have."
Realization hit me like a frozen wave. "You were the one who burned down the asylum."
"I didn't realize what I had done until the place was nothing but ashes. But I was so consumed by everything I thought was real I was blind to the truth. When I had finally come to my senses, I saw that what I was doing was only hurting people. So I stopped.
"That's why I'm here. I wanted you to finally know why I have been hiding things from you and everyone else I've hurt in the process. I just hope it isn't too late to fix my mistakes."
I thought I would be mad, but I wasn't. He didn't know what he was doing, and he wanted to redeem himself for all that he's done. Maybe it wasn't too late.
The others came in from a door neither of us noticed. They must have been watching the whole thing. Cedric seemed to be registering everything, and then spoke to Don.
"When did you stop?"
"The first of this month. Is that important?"
"As a matter of fact, it is."
I didn't understand, but then memories came back. I woke up in the middle of the night at around three in the morning. It was July 1st, the day my dream changed.
Cedric went over to a confused Don and looked at him. He seemed to know something we didn't, and we all were in shock at what he said.
"I believe that you might just have saved her life."
Cedric explained. "We have reason to believe that the people who are after Jessie have been following you, Don. At first they may have felt threatened by you because you were looking for the same thing. But then they must have discovered that you knew more about Jessie's location than they did. So they were most likely following you to find her so that once you did, they could take her. But since you stopped, they had nothing to go by, so now they have absolutely no idea where she is or where to look for her."
"Are they...are they trying to kill her?"
"Having her die is not their intention, but we are afraid that, if they ever find her, she might not survive."
Scarlet was close by with fear evident on her face. "Is she safe?"
"That would be easy to answer, but we have no idea where Jessie is. We are positive they don't have her, but right now, she could be anywhere."
I went back to my room, still reeling over the events of the day. So, he was looking for Jessie the whole time. He never gave up, even with Scarlet always there to remind him of how she felt about him.
I wouldn't put it passed Scarlet to try to derail him, since she probably knew what he was doing, and-the car crash! She must have known it was the same people after Jessie that tried to kill us. That's why she never told us who they were: she was trying to protect us!
I wondered if Don misunderstood her silence, and that was why he abandoned her to begin with. I don't think he's holding her secrecy against her, not when he regrets what he's done.
Well, I finally know what was going on: the hours he spent away, the questions he wanted me to ask the locals in Mexico, all that was related to him finding Jessie. But why did he ask me, someone who looks like Jessie to help him? I mean, it must have made things kind of…
That's when it dawned on me: when I said something and he looked at me strangely, the odd glances, the things he said that didn't make sense, and those moments when he looked at me like he was seeing someone else, all those little things that I hardly ever thought of until now.
He wasn't seeing me, he was seeing her.
A knock at the door dismissed my thoughts.
"Helen, are you there?" Scarlet.
"I know this is short notice, but there is something you need to see. But we have to drive there. It's…out of limits."
"What is it?"
She seemed to hesitate, like she was afraid of answering. "You'll know soon enough."
I didn't know if I should go, but my curiosity took over. I was so impatient to figure out what she wanted me to see that I almost missed the note on the desk. It was small and ordinary, like it was just a reminder or a list. But it was folded, like the sender was trying to keep its contents a secret. I didn't want to keep Scarlet waiting, so I took the note with me.
We drove out of the limits of the safe place. There was no hiding from the monsters in the darkness now; they could see us in the open, their desire to change us becoming the driving force for our capture.
As we kept driving, my thoughts kept coming back to the note in my pocket. Someone went to a lot of trouble to give it to me, but who would do that, and why? What are they trying to tell me? What is so important that they would risk being caught?
I couldn't stand the suspense any longer. Scarlet's eyes were on the road, so she wouldn't see the note.
I took out the note, ready for whatever it said. There was enough light in the car to allow me to see. It was only a few words, not much. It wouldn't take long to read the message. With one last glance at Scarlet to see if she was looking, I read the note.
Always and forever
Just three words. But that was all it took.
My breath has escaped me, my fingers began to shake, and my skin became as cold as ice. Walls that stood for so long inside my mind began to fall, exposing what it had been hiding for years. Memories flooded my thoughts with abandon, allowing everything to pour out. Unshed tears blurred my vision to the real world and made the past so much clearer.
Before I knew it we had stopped. I didn't recognize the place, but I didn't ask questions. I walked inside with Scarlet leading the way. I knew everything would be revealed, and I know the truth is going to hurt more than I could have ever imagined because of one thing:
I remember everything.
I was running. I can hear them calling for me, but they don't understand; they have no idea what I'm going through.
I can barely hear them now, which is what I want. I need to be alone.
I tripped and fell, but I don't care. Tears cloud the world around me, blinding me from reality.
How could this happen to me? How could I live like this: a live of lies and sorrow, of pain and secrets? How could the people I thought were my parents hide all this from me? How could they hide who I am from me?
I feel like I'm dying, but I know I look healthy. My soul is dying, dying from the pain. Age-old scars are now open and sting as if they were fresh. The ache in my heart is almost too much to bear. There is no escaping the truth now: I am wounded, broken beyond repair.
I can't handle it anymore. I just want it to stop. There is no hope for me, not when I am so broken.
I don't listen to the voices from my past as I take out the knife. I don't see the visions of a history long gone as it touches my skin. I don't feel the pain that has hurt me for so long as the sting of metal cutting flesh opens my arm, then the next. In the end I am left with a throbbing ache on both my arms, blood coating my skin in a crimson veil.
The salt from my tears mingle with the red on my arms. All this time I had been trying to change and now I was back to where I had begun: empty and in pain.
Is this going to be my life? Was I doomed to repeating my mistakes? Is there any hope of forgiveness for someone like me? Was it too late to change?
A small voice told me that it was never too late. Then I remembered something someone told me so long ago.
There is hope for even the lowest of the low, because whoever believes in God will always be forgiven.
Is it really that simple, just believing in Him?
I was afraid that I wasn't true, but something inside me told me that I would never be turned away, no matter what.
God, I hope you're there. I have messed up in more ways than I care to admit or count. But, if it's not too late for someone like me, I want to be closer to You. I am asking you to forgive me for everything that I have done wrong in my life, and I want You to be in my life forever.
In that moment all the pain, all the sorrow, was gone, replaced with a sense of peace. I wiped my tears away, feeling that a burden that I have carried for years had finally been lifted. Everything is different now, a brand new chapter in my life. One look at my arms had convinced me that everything is, and always will be, better than I could have ever imagined, and all because of love.
The cuts that I had created, and all of my scars, were gone.
That is the end of Part 2. The final story will be submitted once I fix all of the kinks in the storyline (and when I try not to make it as long as the other stories). If there are any questions of concerns anyone has concerning Shadows and Forever, or with the other story, feel free to send me a PM. The last thing I want is to end the series with more questions than answers. I hope you have enjoyed the series thus far, and I will try to write the final story ASAP so you will not be in too much suspense. C.R.