Summary: Three teenagers are thrown into a fight for their lives and a struggle for their faith. Will they fulfill the reason for their kidnapping and escape with their lives, or will tragedy strike?
This chapter is also rated PG as well. And this is the final chapter.
Nick sat quietly holding his brother's hand. He was very tired, but he didn't want to go to sleep. Just as he was about to drift off, he felt a slight squeeze around the hand that was holding his brother's. He perked up, forgetting about all sleepiness as he looked at his brother. David looked about the same, and just as Nick was about to blow it off thinking that he had just thought he had felt it, he felt it again. His brother's eyelids twitched slightly as if he was trying to wake up. "Come on," Nick urged him on quietly. "I know you can do it. Come back to us, David. Wake up. We need you. Come on."
Slowly but surely, David fought on, a battle raging within him. It was a battle against the darkness. He had fought many other battles with the darkness recently, but this time was different. This time, he was going to win. Very faintly, he heard whispers in the background urging him to wake up.
Finally, one eyelid opened up slightly. The other followed. Nick gasped and panted, unable to do anything because of his surprise. Finally, he found his voice again. Tears of happiness streamed down his face as he cried, "Mom! Dad! Brittany! Wake up!" He pressed the button to summon the nurse and jumped up, dancing for joy. His parents and sister awoke with a start, asking what all the commotion was about. "He's awake!" Nick cried, running back over to his brother's bedside. "He's awake." He said this softer, more to David than anyone else.
The nurse all but flew through the door, preparing for the worst. When she saw all the happiness, she immediately looked to the patient. What she saw made her gasp in surprise and almost start crying for joy. The boy was awake. Then she remembered what she was supposed to do. She immediately went over to the boy's bedside and started checking his vitals and doing different things.
Meanwhile, Jason's parents had the same joy given to them. Neither one was awake, but Jason's father was a very light sleeper. A squeeze on his hand easily awoke him. He slowly yawned and opened his eyes, stretching. When he looked down and saw his son's eyes open, he almost fell out of his chair. He immediately reached over and woke up his wife. They called the nurse in, and she started to do a routine check, almost as joyful as the parents.
One family did not have as good a night, however. Sam began to give signs of coming back. She started breathing on her own. Her injuries began healing a little better. Some of the paleness left her body. But she did not regain consciousness. When her family heard of the joyful news of the other boys' conditions, they rejoiced with the parents. And though Sam had not regained consciousness, they rejoiced that she had shown signs of starting to revive.
Two weeks passed. Jason's, Sam's, and David's injuries were nearly healed. They had put on a little weight, but they would still need to start a special eating program when they were released. Sam had still not regained consciousness, but for some odd reason, she was healing and progressing just as fast as the two other boys.
This brightened the Hatchers' spirits, for it meant that she was healing and would probably regain consciousness soon. Everyday they saw a change in her appearance until, before long, she almost looked normal again.
However, as the days went on, the Hatchers' spirits began to dim. Sam had still not regained consciousness, and it was beginning to worry both the doctors and friends and family. The doctors could not explain it. They could only go with it and hope that it led to good things.
But dreams don't always come true. One night, Sam's parents went to get a quick snack from a vending machine. Jessica stayed with her sister. She was barely awake, and just when she was about to drift off into a deep slumber, she heard something that not only startled but worried her. There was a sudden change of breathing in the room. Sam was beginning to wheeze. Jessica reached for the button to summon the nurse even as Sam's body began to convulse. Jessica could see sweat beginning to drench her sister as she pressed the button to call the nurse with a very shaky hand.
Within a few moments, the nurse appeared in the doorway. One look at her patient told her all that she needed to know. She ran to a nurses' station just around the corner and announced to the remaining doctors and nurses that there was a code blue in room 113.
Within minutes, a defibrillator had been brought into the room. Doctors and nurses surrounded the flailing teenaged girl, trying to keep her still and get her back into a normal state. Finally, the inevitable happened. Jessica was forced to watch from the foot of the bed as her sister suddenly went limp. "Charge to 200!" one of the doctors shouted, grabbing the paddles and putting a special gel on them.
Tears ran down Jessica's face as she watched her sister's body jump with the electric current pulsing through it. The defibrillator was charged to 250, and the doctor tried again. Once again, Sam's limp body rose into the air and fell back onto the bed with the charge.
Sam's parents were just returning when one of the nurses rushed out of their daughter's room. "What happened?" Mr. Hatcher asked.
"We don't know," the nurse replied. "She was just fine. Then suddenly she started convulsing, sweating, and gasping. She just went into code blue, probably from the shock."
Mrs. Hatcher screamed and started sobbing, running into the room and trying to get to her daughter. "Mrs. Hatcher, please calm down," one of the doctors said, keeping Mrs. Hatcher from going any further. "You'll be no help if you accidentally mess up the doctor trying to help your daughter."
Mrs. Hatcher continued to struggle to try to get out of the doctor's grip, but Mr. Hatcher finally grabbed her and held her back, knowing all too well that it would be a fatal mistake if one of those paddles was to be misplaced because the doctor was hit. "No!" Mrs. Hatcher cried, sinking to the ground, covering her face with her hands, and crying with her husband.
Sam's body jumped with the last electrical charge they were going to try. It was the fifth time, and they couldn't risk putting too much electricity into her body, especially at such a young age and in such a vulnerable state.
"Time of death, 12:00 a.m.," one of the doctors announced.
"No!" Mrs. Hatcher screamed, bursting into hysterical sobs. "No, it can't be! My baby can't be dead! No!"
Jessica was still standing at the foot of the bed, and she could only let the tears pour down as she looked at Sam's limp body lying on the bed. Suddenly, one of the doctors covered her body with the sheet, and she was wheeled out of the room. The door was left open, and everyone but the Hatchers left. Mr. and Mrs. Hatcher were left sitting on the floor in a heap, and Jessica was left standing in a daze. She walked over to the wall and slid down it, the full impact of what had just happened hitting her like a brick. Her sister had just died right before her eyes. She couldn't believe it. Her perfect world had just been shattered. Nothing would ever be the same again. With this thought, she burst out into a new wave of tears. And the day that Sam had died was the minute it turned to December twenty-fifth.
Three weeks passed before Sam's funeral was held. It was delayed so long so that Jason and David could attend, though it made no one feel much better. Few people found any comfort in the thought that Jason and David had made it through at all. They probably would in a few weeks. But right now, they had been dealt a crushing blow. It would be hard to deal with.
Only about a week after Sam's funeral, the trial against the teenagers' captor was held. Jason and David were not yet fully recovered, but they were well enough to testify against him. It would probably reawaken memories they did not want to be reawakened, but they really didn't have a choice. If they were well, they had to testify against him.
David knew that he had to answer all the questions dealt him with a straight answer, but he also knew that they incriminated the man. He wanted the man to have a chance to live and share his faith like Sam had wanted him to. Suddenly, something popped up in his mind. He asked the judge if he could say something, and the judge let him. David remembered what Sam had told him in their cell one day.
"He'll change," she said. "I know he will. Then he will realize that everything he's done was wrong. Then he'll have a life to live. I want him to have the chance to share what has happened to him with others. Who knows? In time, we might not even have this sort of stuff anymore. People like him are the people that can use their testimonies in many different places to help other people. He only needs the chance. Look at Nicky Cruz. He killed. He robbed. He did all kinds of things. But you know how he turned out. He loves the Lord with all his heart, and he shares his faith with others. That's what this man can do if he gets the chance. And, if notfor all of that, he has a family. The least we can do is keep him from dying as well. There's too much of that in this world. What we need is for people like him to live and to share their faith and be with their families and raise them up to love the Lord and lead good lives. We have to at least try."
By the end of David's speech, there were tears in the entire courtroom. Not one eye was dry. "Now, as some of you may know, Sam Canter is not with us anymore," David continued, trying not to start choking on his tears that he was trying to hold back. "She is in heaven. Now, most of you may blame this man here; but he didn't kill her. True, he harmed her. He harmed all of us. But he regrets that now. There are not many Christians as it is. What good is it if they continue to be killed? Sam didn't want him to be killed. I don't want him to be killed. Jason doesn't want him to be killed. True, he has done a lot of damage and must pay for it; but does it have to be with his life and faith? Some of you may be Christians as well. I ask you to search your hearts and think about it. That's all I have to say."
By now, sobbing and sniffling could be heard all around the courtroom. Even the man who was being accused was sobbing. David's speech had been moving, but it had also aroused a new wave of pain and guilt over Sam's death. It was soon the defendant's turn to be questioned. No questioning was even needed, since he pleaded guilty as soon as he took his seat; but he was questioned anyway, forced to recount everything he had done to the teenagers while they were in his hands.
David, Jason, and their past captor were forced to try to swallow down memories that threatened to tear them apart, memories of darkness and pain, fear and sadness. Even memories that they had forgotten and thought were long gone resurfaced. They were lucky to have been able to fight them.
Finally, it was time for the jury's decision and suggestion and the judge's decision. The jury found the man guilty, but unlike what David and Jason thought they would have suggested, they suggested a thirty-year sentence. This brightened David and Jason's hopes. If they could only do one thing, it would be to have what Sam wanted done.
The next few minutes had the entire courtroom on the edges of their seats holding their breath as the judge thought about it. Finally, he spoke. "Thirty years. Case dismissed." He pounded his mallet on the stand and rose. The people in the courtroom also rose. As soon as the judge left, there was a buzz of talking. Most talked about how surprised and happy they were and how the case had been an interesting one, taking many turns.
David and Jason just smiled through their tears. They had done it. Sam's wish had come true. Maybe nothing would ever be the same without her, but at least her one wish had been fulfilled. Now they had to return to a somewhat normal life and not dwell on her death. It was what she would have wanted. David and Jason's parents put hands on their shoulders. It was time to return to the hospital for physical therapy and a few other things. The Hatchers accompanied them, and only a few words were spoken the entire trip. "With God, nothing is impossible."
That was the final chapter, as you probably read in the author's note at the top of the page. I hope you enjoyed it. Please review and tell me what you thought.