Soon after Red's death, Shannon, as Red's lawyer, came to both Dominic and Jocelyn and gave them both a letter; Jocelyn also received a little pouch. Both never allowed the other to read their respective letters; they thought that was the way Red would have wanted it. Dominic's read:
Dear Mr. Dominic Everett Taylor,
I write you this simple letter in hope that you don't overlook my words. You have my highest esteem, sir, and I do not doubt that you will able to stay in my highest regards.
I ask only this, Mr. Gold, take care of Jocie as she is meant to be looked after. She truly is a lucky four-leaf clover and I hope you realize that. I trust you shall make her happy, happier than I ever could. Give her a cozy home, as many children as she desires, and your undying love. And if you can, give her the world, for she deserves it.
Never doubt her love, and she shall not find reason to doubt it. So long, Mr. Taylor!
Just as Red had asked, Dominic didn't overlook Red's words; he took them to heart. He became the only one to ever understand the line Red said on his dying day about Mr. Gold and the four-leaf clover.
The last line of the letter though, seemed to shock Dominic. It was as if he had known Dominic would say "So long, Mr. Ferris" after his death, and he wanted to return the farewell.
Jocelyn first opened up the little pouch. In it she found the valerians. The same ones that Red had given to her so many months ago. The same ones she'd taken with her to the library and dropped in Red's apartment when her fingers became weak from his kiss. He'd kept them all that time. They'd sat in his pocket, during the trial as well as all those days he stayed in jail. But on the day before his hanging, when Shannon came to visit him, Red set the old valerians in a pouch and handed them over to Shannon to give to Jocelyn. And now here they were: sad, crumbled little flowers. Almost all the petals had fallen off from their many journeys and they now either lay in Jocelyn's dressing room, the Cardinal Brook library, Red's apartment floor, his pocket, or in the little pouch. Jocelyn bit her lip upon seeing it, but she didn't cry. She couldn't.
She then read the short letter:
I hope you live a wonderful life with Mr. Taylor. Please try and learn to love him, though I know it may seem impossible to do right now. He loves you more than you know.
Try and forget me as best you can, thinking of me will probably cause more harm than good. But don't forget the time we spent together, or the things I tried to teach you.
Jocelyn and Dominic married the following October in a beautiful ceremony. Richard Taylor retired and he and Marietta moved to their vacation house in Vianney Bay permanently, leaving the Taylor's mansion to the newlyweds. In a sweep election, Dominic took his father's place in office and became Governor of Cardinal Brook.
Jocelyn continued her career at the theater, though as her family grew, her performances became more seldom. Dominic and Jocelyn had four wonderful children: Dominic Junior "Domy", Christine, Peter, and Adrian. Adrian, just as his namesake, bore a full head of messy red hair. Tears came to Jocelyn's eyes when he was born, for her and Dominic had already agreed on a name and the irony of his hair shocked her, but she didn't cry. She couldn't. She'd promised Red she wouldn't.
All though he was gone, Red affected the rest of Jocelyn's life more than he knew. She taught little Domy, Christine, Peter, and Adrian to taste the snow and she took them ice-skating though it still scared the death out of her to walk on the untrusting ice.
Jocelyn soon learned to love Dominic, just as Red had promised, but she could never love him as much as she had loved Red. Despite this, Jocelyn did love Dominic an awful lot, and she knew if she couldn't have Red he was the next best thing.
Dominic loved her more than he'd ever loved anybody or anything in his entire life. And he thanked God everyday for giving her to him. Red's words had affected him, and he never ever took Jocelyn for granted.
The valerians Jocelyn had received were never rid of. She had poured their contents into a little golden jewelry box and there they remained on her vanity for years to come.
At least one thing can be said of Red's death; almost all his last words were taken to heart by those who understood them.
The city of Cardinal Brook did not overcome it's blindness.
Mr. Gold, Dominic, appreciated and cared for his lucky four-leaf clover, Jocelyn.
The flowers, the valerians, had told their story and now lived with Jocelyn always. She even bought a little flower book, and from that day forward, she found the meaning of every flower she received. Dominic only brought her red roses.
The snow became the savior of Jocelyn's children. They learned to accept new ideas and not always go with the current, but to think of things in ways others could not, just as Red had.
And the lion, Leo, though he was rich until his dying day, was forever haunted by the memories of Johnny and Red. He couldn't look at a redheaded person without cursing to himself and becoming very fidgety and nervous, sweating like a madman.
Jocelyn lived a wonderful life with Dominic, though she always wondered what could have been if Red hadn't left her. His face, hair, violin, and ideas remained in her memories for the rest of her days, and she'd never be able to forget him- not even if she'd wanted to.
First off, I'd like to thank all my reviewers:
Pam, R.M. Whitaker, Em Crosthwaite, Misty Midnight, Stephanie, Akia Blakemore, jocelynxx, lila, babe anjwl, Erin, Nod-n-Smile007, Blayne, Anonymous, and Aasia
Thanks for all your comments, praise, criticism, and opinions. I loved hearing from you and your reviews really did make my day.
Next, a few comments:
R. M. Whitaker: Before I wrote that last chapter, I did a little research on hangings just to be sure I got most of the stuff accurate. And I found out that if the neck breaks instantly, as it's supposed to, the person will become unconscious in a second and a minute or two later they will be officially dead. Some of the quickest deaths by hanging occurred in as little as fifteen seconds. So it is completely possible that Red died as quickly as he did (and I never even specified an exact time as to when he became lifeless so . . .)
Everyone: Yes, Red really is dead. Again, I'm sorry. I was expecting some of you not to believe it, knowing how hopeful we all are at heart, but yes, it's true. It's not some sick joke, weird dream sequence, and I truly didn't mean to be cruel.
I'm glad you all liked and read my story and I hope you'll read my next; I hope to put it up soon. Like my last two, it'll also be a romance. Sorry, I don't have the title yet, but please be sure to check it out!
Farewell for now!