When we got to the top of the hill, I could already hear the sirens in the distance. Cole was panicky, I could see the sweat leaping off his brow as we approached. He was scared, and with good reason. Jack made a noise so Cole would know we were there. He was noble that he hadn’t even drawn his pistol, leaving it in the clamshell holster under his arm.
“It’s over Cole.” Jack said as he put his hands on his hips. “Let’s just go down and make this end nice and quite. I’m fairly certain I can get you a light sentence.”
“You can go to hell Collier, and take that bitch with you.” Cole rasped and fired four times.
Jack shouted, or at least he made a noise. There was some blood, but not much, he would never bleed much. He reached into his coat and pulled out the big revolver and aimed it. Cole was so dumb struck that he didn’t even shoot again, even thought Jack gave him time. Jack fired a single shot and then struck Cole in the chest, knocking him down.
“You’re done.” Jack said and started to walk away.
“Jack?” I asked him.
“I think I’m done too.” He smiled at me and a bit of blood rolled past those ever prefect lips of his. “Too bad really, or we could have been history’s greatest lovers.”
He collapsed too close to the edge of the hill and fell down it, I watched him vanish over the lip and heard him roll away from me. I looked at Cole, and picked up his gun. I stood over him and squeezed the trigger. A bullet struck him in the leg and he screamed like a little girl with a frog down her pants. He started kicking and yelling about the pain. I pulled back the hammer again and put the gun to his temple, just like Jack would have done I he were there.
“Put it down sweetie.” A voice said behind me.
I turned, but could barely make out the people who were coming up the hill because of the tears in my eyes. They were police, or government people, or something. Someone took the gun out of my hands and tired to lead me away. I looked around for Jack, and only then remembered him falling down the hill.
Someone tried to put their arm on my shoulder, but I shook off their rude touch and went in search of my love. I couldn’t see him anywhere though, he had vanished. Then I remembered him falling after being shot, and saw a patch of dark blood on the grass where he had fallen.
“Jack.” I ran to the edge of the hill and looked where he had dropped away. He was lying in a heap at the bottom of the hill, blood clearly pouring from his head. I ran down the hill, tripping and tumbling down the rest of the way, only stopping when I hit his still body.
“I’m sorry this happened to you.” I said and pressed my lips against his.
His eyes fluttered, and then shut. I out my ear against this his chest and heard his heart beating. I don’t know how long we lay together like that, looking like leaves that had been blown away or nuts that had rolled to the place where they would be planted. I wondered if a pair of trees would grow up where we lay and if their branches would be intertwined like our hearts were destined to be.
Eventually, someone came to gather us up, taking me away from him. They put him on a gurney and closed the doors, to separate us. I watched at the red and white lights faded into the distance before I collapsed into tears. I wanted to be strong around him, not to let him know that I wasn’t strong like him. I wanted him to think of me as being strong for him.
Then there was the police and the lawyers and daddy. I don’t remember everything that happened, or all the things they asked me. They kept asking me the same thing over and over, and I kept getting confused because they’d go over something over and over again. I can’t remember any of it very well now, so I have to just go quickly over it. That’s what you have to do, gloss over a situation. Jack would make it so you thought he was telling you things but wasn’t, he would play dumb, but I can’t do that.
I do remember the lawyers kept telling me that they had to get the story right so they could put Cole in jail, but then all the sudden it didn’t matter anymore. All the sudden he was confessing to everything and I wouldn’t even need to testify to anything. There was some thing about some dead Mexicans that would have gotten Cole into even worse trouble, so they dropped that and just got him to confess to kidnapping me.
Then there was the state psychologist, and then daddy said I needed to see a private psychologist. They were going to have to put me through a lot of therapy because I’d been so traumatized. I’ve been seeing one doctor after another ever since. Even Mom came home to help take me to the appointments.
All the while, Jack was still in the hospital. They said he’d broke his skull or something, which I didn’t even know you could do. They don’t know if he’ll come of the coma, and if he does he might not remember me. That might be for the best really, because if he doesn’t come out for five years I’ll have time to purify myself and I’ll be old enough for him to take on as a lover. I would need to be pure for him, I need to be clean.
That’s why I keep going to this psychologist, because he might be able to tell me how to be pure again. I want to be clean for Jack, I want to be pure. I’m sure that when I’m old enough that he’ll fall in love with me if I’m purified. I’ll keep doing what I’m supposed to do, so I can be right and good for him. I don’t need to be pure in some religious way, but in the way he would have thought was pure and good. I need to be good enough for him, so that if he lives we can be together one day.
I never tell the shrinks about this, because they wouldn’t approve of it. I found out quickly that they don’t approve of a lot of things, but if I’m careful I can get what I want out of them. While all this has been going on, I think I’ve started to understand Jack better. They keep telling me how he was paranoid, how he was troubled, but they’re wrong. Jack isn’t was anything because he’s still in the present tense. And if Jack is paranoid it’s with a good reason. He helped me understand that everyone is only working for their own goals and if I’m going to get ahead I need to make them work for me.
The best way for me to do that is to get them to tell me how to be pure again. I need to find out how to cleanse myself of the touch of evil. I know that one day it will require me to kill daddy, and if I get a chance I’ll have to kill Cole King too, but that will be okay. When I’ve done those things I can be clean, I can be pure, and I can be worthy of my sweet love.