We are the same/What a mess we'll make
Kill Monsters in the Rain – Steel Train

A few things occurred at the same time.

In the same moment that Cassandra Weathersby, sweat-soaked and exhausted, gave her final push, Isaac Mendel regained the confidence he had lost so long ago. It was a moment of clarity for both of them. For Isaac, it was the past. he was able to revisit his encounter with Richard. He realized what it was about that night that scared him so deeply. It wasn't Richard himself, it was what he represented in Isaac's mind. Everyday he spent countless hours saving the lives that were put in danger by accident or fate, but Richard had put himself there. And while it scared him to death, knowing his fear's true form made it conquerable. For Cassandra, it was the future. She didn't want her son to end up alone as she was, but she realized that that wasn't entirely up to her, or him, for that matter. She could love him and lead him and show him the world, but she couldn't protect him from death or heartbreak. All she could hope was that when or if it happened, he was strong enough to pull through.

In the same moment that Isaac Mendel, revitalized and invincible, decided he would ask out a certain diner waitress, Laurel McDonnell decided to say "yes" if a certain young EMT asked her out. The thought struck Isaac suddenly and without warning nearly shocking him out of the focused trance he had entered to deliver this baby. The idea made Laurel shift uncomfortably in the ephemeral arms of her ex-lover. They had a connection, fostered by late-night conversation and an inability to sleep. Mathematically, their chances for love were minimal at best. Logically, they were both so emotionally damaged, it was probably just a passing attraction. But, both fully aware of their insignificant probability of success, they decided to take a chance.

In the same moment that Laurel McDonnell saw the ghost of her former lover disappear for the last time, Patrick saw his perfect ending. James could move on now. So could Laurel. She no longer needed him the way she had for so long. She never knew if he was truly a ghost or just her mind playing tricks on her, but in the end, it hardly mattered. Laurel could continue. Patrick could continue. A spark flashed, igniting his entire brain. The final paragraph, the final words, they were all in his head so suddenly. He dropped the half-eaten sandwich to the floor and sprinted back to his typewriter. His finger were a blur before his sleep-deprived eyes, but he was so close. Finally, everything he had sacrified, his job, his life, his girlfriend, it would finally be worth it for that feeling. The feeling he had been chasing for months. The feeling of completion

In the same moment that Patrick Gonzalez, tingling with anticipation, finished his novel, Rebecca Evans finished her pie. For Rebecca, the pie was everything she had imagined: light flaky crust dusted with cinnamon, sugar, and nutmeg enclosing a fresh and tender apple slices in a rich thick syrup. And the ice cream! Like a volcano of icy flavor cascading over the sides in sweet milking magma. However, for Patrick, his achievement felt hollow and pointless. The sudden wave of excitement and victory he'd associated with that illusive final period of that final sentence didn't come. Rather than a mental Ode to Joy, he heard the silence. He had made a mistake. He had chosen the wrong one.

In the same moment that Rebecca Evans, suddenly unsettled, began to vomit, Richard Evans pulled the trigger of his gun sending a bullet tearing through his brain tissue. Though quick to deny claims of similarity outside appearance, the Evans twin recognized their nearly supernatural empathic abilities toward one another. The first time they could remember ever exhibiting the behavior was the day after their tenth birthday. Rebecca had been in their room watching a movie when a pain erupted in her arm so intense she began crying. Her voice, however, was quickly drowned out by a louder shriek. Richard had fallen out of the apple tree in their front yard and broken his arm. Later that day, in the hospital, when she told her brother what happened, his response was pure awe. "So we're kinda like superheroes, huh?"

In the same moment that Richard Evans, bleeding and peaceful, died, Cassandra Weathersby's child was born. Anyone with the omniscience to see this life and death occur so simultaneously would have laughed at the timely employment of such a literary device, but, as there were none, single emotions encompassed each situation respectively. Joy and relief filled the ambulance as Isaac, his partner, and Cassandra took in the new life they had worked together to bring into the world. Dread and misery encompassed the twin's bedroom as their parents raced to the room, awoken by the gunfire, to find deep crimson blood pooling around their son's head. Juxtaposition, that's what it was. That was what someone would have called it if they had been able to see the wide world of possibilities open up for the tiny baby cradled in Cassandra's arms as the tumultuous downpour in Richard Evans head subsided, allowing him, finally, to get some sleep.