by Jason Hart
Part 5 of 6
Nate checked his watch as soon as he saw Lara's bedroom light go out. 20 minutes He thought to himself, then I'm going in. Nate paused and considered what he was about to do. His calm spirit surprised even himself. He pulled a Ziploc bag out of his pocket, plucked each cigarette butt from off the ground, and dropped them one by one into the bag. He sealed the bag and put it back into his pocket. He wasn't a criminal mastermind, but he figured he'd seen enough police shows to know he shouldn't be leaving cigarettes just lying around.
Nate tilted his head slowly from side to side, and shrugged his shoulders. It was time. He reached behind his waist and pulled out a revolver which had been wedged between his pants and the small of his back. He pressed a lever and the six-chambered cylindrical block swung out from underneath the barrel. He dug into his pockets and found the six bullets that he had brought. He gripped them between his thumb and pointer finger and slid each one into it's respective chamber. He pressed the cylinder back underneath the barrel, and slid the gun snugly back into his waistline. Nate took a deep breath, braced himself on the ground with his right hand, and slowly rose to his feet.
-Sometime in the Past-
After their "survival" of the train crash, Paul and Abby felt compelled to focus on what was important - and now, a family seemed more important than ever. But the roller coaster of events, not to mention emotions, the past several years started catching up to Abby. Even though a casual observer might have never caught on, inwardly she was falling apart. She never wore any jewelry, hardly ever laughed, and NEVER walked anywhere alone. Even though Paul and Abby made a comfortable living, Abby forced herself to wear simple clothing, and tried her hardest to draw as little attention to herself as possible. After months of quiet suffering, Abby was completely overcome and suffered a complete mental breakdown.
Paul was devastated. In a final act of desperation, he paid for her to receive 6 months of treatment at the best psychiatric hospital in the country, which just so happened to be located 300 miles away. At first Abby wasn't up for it, but after she could bear the pain no longer, she finally agreed to try it. "I guess we'll just have to put our family plans on hold." Paul told her as he was kissing her goodbye, "When you come back, and you WILL come back, I'll be waiting." He wiped away the tears from his eyes, and quickly slipped a pocket watch from inside his jacket. "Here," he explained, "take this, to remember me." And so it was, Paul and Abby, after weathering storms of all stripes were now forced to be separated.
And all the townspeople declared, "Paul, this is bad."
...to be continued.