DANE'S CAR - SOMEWHERE ALONG
Grace Davis stammered awkwardly as she tried to push him away, "Dane,
there's a...car coming."
Manchester's head immediately popped
up and he peered out the windshield to see two bright headlights approaching
them from the distance. With a nearly inaudible grumble, he maneuvered himself back into
driver's seat and hurriedly began to adjust his clothes.
"I...I just don't know what got into
me," Grace mumbled, half to herself and half to Dane, as she also began to
As she anxiously watched the headlights,
they came to a stop along the side of the road where she's wrecked Douglas'
car. Within seconds, she could see the dim figure of a man get out of the
car and rush to the driver's side of the other vehicle. Clearly seeing no
one inside, the man quickly walked over to Dane's car. He's identity
became apparent as he drew closer.
"Oh, Dane!" Grace called out as
she fumbled with the handle to the passenger side door. "It's
She bolted from the car and raced into her
brother's waiting arms.
what happened?" Douglas asked as he wrapped his arms around her and gently
stroked her hair. "Are you all right? You're not hurt, are
"N-no," she muttered as she
fought to keep her teeth from chattering because of the crisp January
wind. "But...your car..." She nodded in the direction of
Douglas' car which was resting against a tree. "I...I wrecked
"But are you okay?" Douglas asked
"I...I'm fine," she sighed.
"Oh, Douglas, I'm so sorry I..."
"Let's not worry about that now,"
he interrupted. Taking a step backwards, he lowered his head and looked at
her sternly. "What the devil were you thinking going out on the road
in weather like this? My god! You could have been seriously
"I...I...had to, Douglas," Grace
sobbed, nearly overcome by emotion. "I had to go to Momma! I
had a dream. I...heard her calling out to me. She needed me!
Oh, Douglas, she's sick. She's really bad. Dr. Maynard said that he
doesn't think she'll make it through the night. I just had to get home to
you so that we could be with her. I...."
"It's okay. It's
okay." Douglas again took her into his arms and let out a weary
sigh. "I...know all about Momma. Dr. Maynard phoned me a
little while ago and told me about your visit and about her condition."
"The phones are back up?"
She looked up at him curiously. "Well...we have to go! We have
to get to her!"
"No, Grace, we don't," he sighed
as he tried to find the words and the strength to break the horrible news to
"W-what do you mean, Douglas?
Why...why don't we?"
"Momma's gone, dear," he finally
spoke. "When Dr. Maynard called, he told me that Momma died."
"Oh...oh, no!" Even though
she tried to hold back her emotions, she couldn't fight the tears that began to
stream down her face. "Oh, Douglas! I...I should have gotten to
you! If only I hadn't been so stupid as to slide off the road then..."
"Honey, stop worrying about 'what
ifs'," He smiled as he gently wiped away her tears. "It's not
going to bring her back. She's better off now. She's in a better
place. She's in a place where she knows who she is and she knows who we
are and she's always going to be there to watch over us."
Grace found a sense of uneasy comfort in
her brother's words as she continued to cry on his shoulder. Louise Davis
did know who she was now. She did remember. She remembered
Grace. She had finally remembered her own daughter. As Grace sniffled
and tried to choke back her tears, she realized that maybe her mother had fought
her way out of her fog long enough to give Grace the one thing she'd longed for
for as long as she could remember. Louise's dying gift was to finally give
Grace her mother back, if only for a few brief moments.
After a few minutes of mournful silence,
Douglas pulled away from her and directed his eyes to the other car that sat
along the side of the road.
"So, Grace, whose car is that?"
she confessed as an uneasy sense of guilt and shame swept over her.
"He was...um...driving along when I slid off the road. I slid right
in front of him and he swerved to miss me. That's when I hit the
"Dane! Dane!" Douglas
called out as he waved his hand to motion for the young man to get out of the
car and join them. "Dane, come here!"
Reluctantly, Dane pushed the driver's side
door open, got out of the car, and slowly made his way over to where Douglas
and Grace were standing.
"Hello, Douglas," Dane spoke
carefully. "I...um...stopped to help Grace after I saw her go off the
road. I would have...um...brought her home but...I managed to get myself
stuck in the snow, too."
"Well, at least she wasn't trapped out
here all by herself," Douglas nodded with a smile as he stuck out his
hand. "Dane, thank you so much for taking such good care of
her. I don't know what I'd do if anything were to ever happen to
"Y-you're...you're welcome," Dane
replied as her shook Douglas' hand and a broad smile covered his face.
"Now, it's late and it's freezing out
here!" Douglas let out a small chuckle. "Let's all get
home so we can get some rest. I've got to see about getting my car towed
into town tomorrow and start making arraignments for the funeral. Dane,
let me take you home first. I'm sure you're car will be fine here until
"T-thank you, Douglas," Dane
As the threesome quickly walked back to
Douglas' car, Dane glanced at Grace who replied only with a silent shake of her
head. They both knew that there were things that had happened that night
that were better left unsaid and never mentioned again. However, Dane
couldn't help but allow a sly grin of victory to slide across his lips.