Murphy's Law

10 Generations of real life problems.

This was supposed to be a legacy but it's turned into a story...

Anyway, this story is inspired by favorite books, movies, television shows and personal experiences.

Life is not a fairy tale but that doesn't mean it's not beautiful. After all, you love people in spite of their flaws, and sometimes their flaws make you love them even more.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Chapter 3.15 The Dance

Looking back on the memory of

The dance we shared 'neath the stars above

For a moment all the world was right

How could I have known that you'd ever say goodbye?
*        *       *       *       *       *       *
I looked around the small house, feeling as if I was but a witness, as if this was happening to someone else.  We had arrived at St. Claire early that morning and with a stroke of luck, had stumbled upon the modest rental property.  With its sparse furnishings and remote location, it made a perfect short-term hideout.  At least, I hoped it was short-term.  When we left Hidden Springs, I wasn't sure if I'd ever see my childhood home ever again.

When Tuck had stumbled in the door earlier at 3 am, I knew that our lives were forever changed.  Covered in blood, he was shaking so badly it was an hour before he was able to speak. 
"Ramona, we have to leave.  We don't have much time.  We need to pack only the essentials and get out of town immediately."
"Tuck, you're scaring me," I cried.  "What happened?"
He shook his head.  "They-they shot him.  Rusty.  He's dead and it's my fault.  But there's nothing we can do.  Our only chance is to leave."
So we filled suitcases, gathered valuables and bundled up Conner and Josie.  Tuck was sure they'd never look for us in St. Claire.  But once we arrived, the question on both of our minds was: now what?

*        *       *       *       *       *       *
And now I'm glad I didn't know
The way it all would end, the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance
I could have missed the pain, but I'd have had to miss the dance
 *        *       *       *       *       *       *

I managed to get a job at a small 50's diner in town.  The pay was dismal, but every cent mattered now that we were living on the run.  I had no skills worth speaking of and never had finished college.  I couldn't bring myself to admit this to Tuck, but working gave me a purpose, gave me something to do rather than sit at home and wait for Dante and his goons to track us down.  But if I was completely honest, I missed the carefree days.  Funny how things change so drastically in a matter of months.

*        *       *       *       *       *       *

Holding you, I held everything
For a moment, wasn't I a king?
But if I'd only known how the king would fall
Hey, who's to say? You know I might have changed it all
 *        *       *       *       *       *       *

I awoke to a loud noise.  Still half-asleep, my hand shot out, reaching for my cell phone on the bedside table.  "Hello?" I mumbled.
"Bright Eyes." 
"Baby, where are you?" 
"I'm umm...I'm in jail."
I gasped.  "What?"
"Look, I don't have much time.  Visiting hours tomorrow start at eleven.  I'll explain everything then."
A tear pooled in my eye.  I blinked rapidly, letting it roll down my cheek.  "Oh Tuck," I moaned.
He smiled.  Even over the phone, I could feel it.  "Ramona, try not to worry.  I have everything under control."
Long after he hung up, I sat there, feeling utterly helpless.  He said not to worry but how could I not? 
The next morning, I drove over to the county jail, expecting the worst.  I was brought to a cell and instructed to wait.  There, stood my husband..
"Ramona," he breathed, his grin stretching from cheek to cheek. 

"Do you want to tell me what the hell is going on?" I demanded. 
At my tone, he sighed and his expression grew noticeably more somber.  "We're at the end of the road, Bright Eyes.  Game over."
My eyes welled up with tears.  "We could have kept going, Tuck.  We could have kept running."
"We're cooped up in that shack like cows waiting for the slaughter.  That's no way to live, Ramona.  That's no way to raise a family.  No," he continued, shaking his head.  "The only option was to turn myself in.  In exchange for information about Savaglio, I'll receive a reduced sentence, and with any luck, Dante and his associates will be off the streets."  
"But what about you?"
"Half a lifetime ago, there was this kid.  He was a piece of shit, dealing drugs and skipping school.  But one day, he met this beautiful girl.  She had emerald eyes and she saw something in him that no one else had ever seen.  She believed in him.  When they grew up, they got married and had a little boy and girl.  This kid, who was born for nothing, suddenly had everything in the entire world that anyone could want.  But he threw it all away."  Tuck's voice thickened with emotion.  "I wasn't a good husband or a good father.  You guys were counting on me and I messed up.  I messed up so bad.  But at least this way, I can make sure that you, Conner and Josie can live without constantly checking over your shoulders.  I-I want you to believe in me again."
"Tuck, I--I love you," I choked out.  "And I'll be waiting for you when you get out."
 *        *       *       *       *       *       *

And now I'm glad I didn't know
The way it all would end, the way it all would go
*       *       *       *       *       *       *
The Savaglios had been in power for half a century and having an informant gave the police enough evidence to bring them to trial once and for all.  The warehouse, the guns, Rusty's murder and my husband would all ensure that Dante, Jay and Andrey would be locked up for a long time. 
We sold the house in Hidden Springs and I used the money to post bail for Tuck.  He came home for two weeks, until his hearing.  With any luck, he would be out in a few years.  Two weeks with the man I loved until he was dragged back to prison. 
One warm evening, we had taken a walk to the park.  Both of us were deep in thought, the impending trial weighing heavily on our minds.  However, there was something else that had been troubling me.
"What do you think, Bright Eyes?  I know it's not Noble Tome Library but I'm hoping this park can be our new spot." 
The sun had begun to set and the air smelled of sweet flowers and fresh, spring air.  The moment was ours, for just a little bit.  I looked deep into my husband's eyes and knew I could keep the truth no longer.
"I'm pregnant."
His brow furrowed.  "That's impossible.  We haven't-I haven''s been months since we've even slept together."
My eyes filled with tears and I lowered my head, ashamed.  "Tuck, the night Rusty died...I visited Jay earlier.  I begged him to leave us alone.  I..." my voice broke.  "I offered myself to him."
"You did that for us?" Tuck said quietly. 
I nodded, sniffling.  "He-he promised.  And then Rusty happened, and then the move and your arrest...I meant to tell you, it was just never the right time.  Please forgive me."
He took me by the waist, no reprimand in his eyes, just love.  "Ramona, no one has ever done something like that for me before.  I promise, once I get out, to love this baby as if it's my own."
"Even if it's Jay's?"
He brushed a stray lock of hair from my forehead.  "Even if.  Because it's not Jay's.  It's a testament of your love for me."  He embraced me, as my sobs eventually subsided.  "Now there's something I want to give you."
When Tuck brought out the small box, my heart stopped.  Lifting off the lid, nestled on a bed of cotton, was the one possession that meant more to me than anything else in the world.
"My necklace," I breathed.  "But how did you...?"
He shook his head.  "It doesn't matter," he told me, fastening the necklace around my neck.
I swallowed.  "Tuck, I just want you to know, if I had the choice, even after everything...I wouldn't have chosen differently.  I would have picked you every single time.  I've always loved you and I always will." 
"And I love you," he whispered fiercely. 
Then he took me in his arms, and there in the small park in St. Claire, we began to dance.  Closing our eyes, we were transported back to the night of the Homecoming Dance, where we had begun.  And after everything we had been through, I just knew we could handle whatever was to come.

Our lives are better left to chance
I could have missed the pain, but I'd have had to miss the dance
Yes my life is better left to chance
I could have missed the pain, but I'd have had to miss the dance

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