Part 10

Noah drove silently keeping a good eye on them in the back seat. He could see them holding hands and it disgusted him. She was his damn it, not Phil's and if he hadn't have come into the picture they would still be together. Getting rid of him will actually be more pleasurable than all the money in the world. The stopped the car on the dock of the river. Cracking the windows, the two men got out of the car. "Hope you can swim!" he laughed, releasing the brake and watching as the car plummeted into the water and sank beneath the surface.

Jan immediately started screaming but Phil yelled for her to stop. She looked over at him with tears in her eyes and obeyed, as hard as it was. The water rushed in but as the car nosed down a pocket of air formed in the back, just enough for them to keep their heads in and breathe from. After a few seconds the car hit the bottom and he prayed it wouldn't flatten out. As luck would have it, it didn't. They both fought against the ropes that held them but the cold water made them even tighter. He knew two things for sure, the bubble that they were in wouldn't last forever and would fill with carbon dioxide from them exhaling, soon enough and the cold water would have its effect too making them drowsy. "Take little breaths sweetheart, don't gulp" he told her and she listened. It was pitch black and the darkness made it even harder to think rationally. For Phil though the darkness was not as bad. He had spent many nights diving in the dark so he knew how to maneuver in water like this. The hardest part was losing your sense of direction and not knowing which way was up when you have no light above you to aim for. He had to try to get the door open and get them out of there. "Jan listen, I am going to try to open the door. I will be right back, ok?" Jan began to panic, "please don't leave me Phil, please don't leave me" she cried out to him. He searched in the dark for her mouth and kissed her tenderly "don't you know that I would never leave you?" he whispered to her and she knew he would be back. He took some deep breaths and moved toward the front of the car. He worked at the door handle with his hands behind his back, trying to push it down far enough to pop it open. Every muscle in his arm was screaming at him to stop twisting but it was the only way they were going to get out. The cold water had at least slowed the bleeding down but that was the least of his worries right now. He heard the door give way and felt the incoming pressure of the water. Pushing against the door was hard work but he could hold his breath longer than most so he concentrated on pushing it as far as possible. He could feel the car settling even more and knew that the bubble that Jan was in would collapse any moment. He could only get the door open a small amount, the lower edge of it was digging into the muddy bottom. Jan will be able to fit through that, he told himself knowing full well that he wouldn't be able to. He wasn't afraid to die if he could keep Jan alive. He was too spiritual to believe that this life was all there was. What tore at him though was losing Jan. He had her, then lost her and found her heart again and now they will be separated once more. He cried into the water against the injustice of it all. He had no time to waste though so he moved back to Jan and took a few good breaths. "Jan, listen to me. I want you to breathe as deeply as you can and follow me to the front. I got the door open so we can get out. You go first and head straight up. Don't wait for me, just go up. If you stop you will lose your bearings and you may swim down by mistake. Do you understand me?" she nodded yes, her lips blue from the cold and her teeth chattering. "When you get to the top get over to the side and I will be up a few minutes after you, alright?" again she nodded, very afraid but trusting him completely. He leaned his cheek against hers, pressing his lips to her ear "I love you Jan, I always have and I always will. Now breathe deep and follow me" She moved to the front with him and felt him push her through the crack in the door. The inward rush of the water had collapsed the bubble behind them, taking with it the last of the air so there was no turning back. Inwardly she wondered how he would fit through there but he told her to just get to the top so she concentrated on that. She moved away from the car and kicked upward until she thought her lungs would burst from the effort. Suddenly she broke free and inhaled the night air deep into her lungs. The moon helped guide her to the side of the river where she pushed against the muddy bank and waited for Phil to break through the surface too. One minute went by, then three, then five. She sobbed his name over and over, crying out into the silent night air. Ten minutes passed and she knew, deep in her heart she knew that she had lost the only man she ever really loved.

Part 11

It was around 30 minutes later that the police showed up. They found her almost incoherent sitting on the dock to the river. As quickly as they could they got some men to swim down with lamps to look for the car but they knew that they were too late to help the man inside. Lorne drove up with Dana, Mike and Dennis and sat with her on the dock. "Where's Phil" they asked, afraid to hear the answer. All she could do was nod towards the water. They held onto her as they waited for some news, each of them lost deep in their own thoughts of Phil. One of the men who had been diving said he had found the car and, just for a second Jan had a glimmer of hope. But that was dashed quickly when the diver was asked about the man inside. All the diver could do was shake his head sorrowfully. One of the policemen came up to them on the dock and took Lorne aside. "I think you'd better take her out of here, we have to bring the body up" Even hearing Phil referred to as "the body" was too unreal for him to comprehend. He knew though that he was right. "Honey come on, we have to go now" he said gently to her. She looked up into his face and understood what he was protecting her from. "No, I am not leaving without him" she stammered, "he told me he would never leave me, he promised he would never leave me so I cannot leave him." She sat defiant in front of him, and he knew she would not be moved. They held onto her as they lifted Phil out of the water and onto the dock next to her. He had a look of peace on his face, not of horror or fear. If she didn't know better she would swear that he was sleeping. She rested her head against his calm chest and touched his face with her hands, smoothing his hair back the way he liked to wear it sometimes. She wanted to go to sleep with him. She didn't want to let him go. She could feel arms lifting her off of him and the sound of a wounded animal filled her ears. Only after she was torn from him did she realize that the sound was coming from herself.

Time passed so slowly for Jan. Her thoughts ran in circles around that day in August. If he hadn't been there she would have drowned. He gave his life for her and she knew that she would never feel whole without him by her side. She would rage in anger at him sometimes, wanting to know why he left her and how could he break his promise. Then she would break down in tears and beg his forgiveness hoping beyond hope that he could hear her. Months past and all her friends from the show would try to cheer her up but they were still hurting too. Lorne was forced to bring in a few new people to help carry the show because none of the regulars had their heart in it anymore. Jan would just go through the paces of everyday existence, not really living. As more time went by she developed an acceptance of her loneliness. This was her life now she understood, devoid of pleasure. The only pleasure she had anymore was when she slept and dreamed about Phil. He would be with her and they would be walking along the beach. It was night time and the gentle sound of the surf filled her ears. He would hold her hand and suddenly the world was a good and decent place again. She could see his eyes even in the dim light and she would melt looking into them. Then they would kiss and suddenly she wasn't afraid of intimacy like she had been since the rape. She felt her passion rise as he stroked her hair and kissed her tenderly. She pressed against him and he was warm and wonderfully alive again in her arms. Then she would awaken, at first clinging with all her might to the dream but losing it as the seconds ticked by until it really was just a dream and nothing more. A memory like all the other memories she had of him to be filed away in her heart.

It was 1 year later and she made an important decision. She had to leave NY and go home to Georgia for awhile. She just had to get away from this place and maybe start fresh. The physical scars were fading but the mental scars remained. She had been on one date with someone the guys had fixed her up with but she spent the night in fear and loathing. It wasn't his fault, in fact he really was a nice guy. But he wasn't Phil and he was the only one she could ever trust. That wasn't Phil's eyes looking deeply into her, or Phils sweet mouth or enchanting smile. When he tried to kiss her goodnight she almost screamed. That one day had ruined her forever as far as getting close to a man was concerned. She had always been very sexual but now that part of her was gone. It had been beaten down until she couldn't find it anymore. In all honesty she really didn't want to find it anyway. She would just be going through the motions. That is why she needed to get away. She had enough money to hold her over for awhile and she would be moving into her parents old home so she didn't have to worry about rent. She just wanted to be alone and think. To come and go as she pleased, to lay in bed all day if she wanted to.

Part 12

"If you're lost you can look,
And you will find me,
Time after time,
If you fall I will catch you
I'll be waiting,
Time after time."

The loneliness wrapped around her like a shroud, its embrace as sure as any lovers. She had the phone disconnected and all mail delivery stopped. She had no need or desire for any contact with others. She barely ate and spent most of her time sleeping. She felt if she could sleep the days away then her life would go quicker and reach its end faster. The faster it ended the sooner she would see Phil again and that was all that mattered. Her family was concerned and would stop by sometimes unexpected, angering her. They begged and pleaded for her to come with them and get away from this old house but she knew that where ever she went her memories traveled with her. She didn't know what they expected of her. Did they think she would forget what happened to her? To Phil? Did they really believe another change of scenery would make a damn bit of difference. They wanted her to give love a chance again but the thought of that just made her laugh out loud. Love? There could be nothing more out there that could even come close to the true meaning of the word for her. She knew true, deep, soulful love once. You don't get to experience that twice. Many people never get to know that kind of spiritual oneness with someone else, even once in their lifetime. She knew she had been lucky?.very lucky to have loved like that. But she was selfish and cursed God and the heavens for taking it away from her. Her anger got her no where though, she knew that. She never received an answer to her cries of "why?", and she knew she never would. If there was a God he had a really bad sense of humor.

Summer was on its way out and with it came the first real hurricane of the season. She knew the house would be fine; it had withstood many storms in the past without much damage. In all honesty though, she really didn't care if it crashed and fell around her. As the sun began setting the clouds began piling up turning the sky into an ominous black and grey. She lay down in her bed and listened as the wind picked up. As if on cue the power went out and she reached for a candle she kept by her bedside and lit it. It cast eerie shadows on her walls. It made her think about simpler times when she was young and how she loved to make animal shapes against the light. She wished she could go back there, to be a child again if only for a day. She had a plan that she had been piecing together for awhile now and tonight was as good as any to see it through. The sound of the wind circling over and around the house sounded like voices whispering to her. They beckoned her outside. Is if in a trance she obeyed and stepped out onto her porch. The power of the ocean was an awesome sight. The last time she sensed that much power was when she and Phil had become one on her fire escape on that rainy night so long ago. If Phil couldn't possess her then she would let the ocean take his place. She tossed the lantern she had been carrying onto the ground and ran towards the surf, her toes digging into the cold sand. A small part of her knew she should turn back but that part, which was the voice of self preservation and reason was just a faint echo next to the crashing of the waves in her ears. She stepped into the water and walked forward, her nightgown billowing up around her as the water pushed and pulled against it. When she had walked as far as she could and still keep her head above the water she raised her legs up and let the waves pull her further out. She was caught in a vicious rip tide that spun her around. She thought to herself how Phil would have loved to have surfed these waves, then she was pulled under. She was not afraid. She was surprised how calm she was. The ocean, even with all its fury cradled and rocked her. She should have drowned a long time ago, she reasoned. She is just fulfilling her destiny. Even as her lungs struggled to force her to breathe she viewed it as if outside of herself. She saw her body curled in the fetal position, her hair like fine threads floating around her face. So this is what Phil felt, she thought. 'No it isn't' shot back a deep voice, a voice she hadn't heard in so very long. She looked around and saw a beautiful bright light just to the right of her. 'Phil?' her heart cried out, even as it strained against her chest to continue beating. She was drawn towards the light, pulled by a force even stronger than the tide. She sensed she could rest there, enjoy the peace that had eluded her for so long if only she could reach it. The tips of her fingers strained forward just enough to be bathed in its glow and it felt warm and soft, so different than the other water surrounding her body. She made a feeble kick towards it and almost reached her hand in up to her wrist when suddenly she was thrown backwards away from it. Her spirit slammed back into her body with a massive jolt and everything turned black as she passed out.

Part 5