Sunday, October 9, 2011

Past & Present Pt. 2

Santa Rosa Memorial Cemetary - Vista Glenn

Ep. 25_Sc. 01_01
“Please, please pick up.” The phone rang three more times before Isabella finally ended the call. She had been trying Eden all afternoon; at the house, on her cell, even Reese didn’t know where she was. She probably should’ve asked him to come instead of rushing him off the phone. She should’ve accepted when Lexie had offered to go with her. She should’ve, but she didn’t. Instinct had led her to dial the first few digits of Nico’s number, but involving him wasn’t an option at this point. So instead she sat there, glued to the car seat, terrified to get out, but determined to do so anyway. Stubbornness was the trait her father had passed down and she had gotten the lion’s share of it.

Ep. 25_Sc. 01_02
So what had her mother given her? Beauty? Definitely. Grace? For the most part. Her angelic patience? Absolutely not. As much as she reminded everyone else of her mother, she couldn’t think of anything she possessed that would hope to live up to the woman that her mother had been. Maybe it was her secret shame about that fact that had kept her away for this long. Maybe it was far more complicated. Whatever it was, hadn’t stopped her from being there now and it wasn’t going to chase her away either. The one big ‘to do’ on her long list of things to accomplish was getting done now, today, right this minute, no matter what; even if she had to do it alone.

Ep. 25_Sc. 01_03


Ep. 25_Sc. 02_01

The large trees shading the area he was standing in provided cover from the sun -- that was high and hot as hell for this time of year -- as well as from any prying eyes that might happen upon him. He wasn't really worried about crying, he had stopped that a long time ago - all he wanted was some private time alone with the birthday girl. He had put his phone on vibrate, so as not to be disturbed, but that was all it had done for the last few minutes, buzzing and wiggling in his pocket. He took it out and looked at it; A.J., checking on him, most likely at Blair’s prompting. He hit the decline button to ignore the call and then held it down until the phone turned completely off. He was fine and A.J. would get the message eventually.

Ep. 25_Sc. 02_02

A few feet away from him the gravestone stood planted in the ground, stiff and grey, clean, looking almost brand new, and as usual a large fresh bouquet of white lilies had been placed in the flower holder next to it. The sight of them ignited a slow and angry burn inside of him not only because they were there in place of the bouquet he had planned to put there, but because Skye had never liked lilies in the first place; one of the many details about her that the person who sent them had never paid attention to. That asshole will never learn, he thought to himself as he pushed aside a few of the buds in search of a card of some kind, but came up empty.
He shrugged it off and stared pensively at the inscription on the headstone. Skye Haughton Bolthouse, Always in My Heart. They were not his words -- qualifying what she meant to him in a short phrase wasn't possible, but the sentiment certainly applied. And he hated to admit it, but he knew that the person who had it inscribed felt the same way.

Ep. 25_Sc. 02_03

The contrasting emotions that hit him whenever he came here were a part of the reason why his visits were so infrequent. Grief, anger, and guilt all rolled up into a knot in his chest; a pain that had been unbearable at first, but dulled over time. He remembered the first few weeks after Skye’s death, he had practically camped out next to the soft mound of disturbed earth she was buried under, trying to make sense of it all, trying to understand how he could still be living when she wasn’t. Now that dirt was firm under his feet, compacted, and healing. But there were still hairline fractures here and there that matched the ones on his heart -- fissures that prevented it from working the way it had with her, the way that it should.

Ep. 25_Sc. 02_04

Until recently he had given up wondering if he would ever fully recover. He had accepted that the void she left was infinite and unfillable, despite his constant efforts to do so with all the women he slept with. But something had changed and no matter how many ways he tried to explain it away he knew that “something” was actually a beautiful blond someone who had awakened a part of him he thought was dead. Maybe Blair was right, he probably should leave his fixation on Isabella alone.

It was complicated for all of the reasons she named. But so was the feeling he got whenever he thought of her, or saw her, or heard her voice. She drew him in in a way that no other woman had since Skye, almost as if sharing the same space with her was like finding his way back to a home he’d never known. It didn’t matter that the connection made no sense, for the first time in a long time it was there, he could feel it, he could feel something, anything at all for another person. Was he really supposed to just walk away from that because it might be inconvenient?

Ep. 25_Sc. 02_05

He closed his eyes and let out a sigh, putting his flowers in front of the headstone. This wasn’t the time or place to think about whatever it was between he and Isabella. He bent down and read her name again, silently to himself like a prayer, whispered his “I love you’s” and then rose to leave. He had only gotten a few steps away when the sound of a soft whimper caught his ear. He turned in the direction it came from and stood dumbfounded as his eyes registered the sight before him.


Ep. 25_Sc. 03_01

Isabella sucked in a labored breath and slapped her hand across her mouth, trapping the end of the unexpected sob that had escaped. Until that moment she hadn’t realized that her mother’s death hadn’t been completely real to her. Thousands of miles away it had been easy to feed the fantasy that she had held onto in her mind; her mother was still vividly alive in her memories and everything that had happened, was on an indefinite vacation. But now, here she stood, face to face with a cold stone reminder that there had been an end point to her mother’s life, a moment that was burned into her soul forever.

Ep. 25_Sc. 03_02

She continued to take deep breaths and blink back tears, but the emotions were overwhelming her. Her shoulders shook as she tried in vain to control herself and her knees began to buckle under the weight of her pain. There was a reason she had put this off for so long, one that had seemed selfish before, but the physical affect her anguish was having on her became a validation for why she had stayed away. She could deal with all the rumors, the press, the angry board members, even the verbal beating that he father would bring with him when he finally showed up. She was strong enough to handle all of things by herself; but not this. Reliving this pain was one thing she couldn't handle alone.

Ep. 25_Sc. 03_03 Ep. 25_Sc. 03_04 Ep. 25_Sc. 03_05 Ep. 25_Sc. 03_06 Ep. 25_Sc. 03_07 Ep. 25_Sc. 03_08


  1. Awww :(

    Whether they ever get together or not, I think each of their presence helped the other here. The only thing worse than grieving is grieving alone.

    Hopefully Isabella can contact Eden soon... :S

    Very well-written chapter! Loved the shots too.

  2. I am blown away by the way you completely captured the sense of loss, the denial, the reality, the pain of losing a loved one. Not only did the words touch me, the images told a story on their own.

    Profound and incredible piece.

  3. Hey Van. These two definitely needed each other here and it is clearly more than pure coincidence that they keep finding themselves in the same place at the same time. I'll stop short at using the word destiny but there is definitely more at work here.

    Thank you so much!! I admire you writing a lot so a compliment from you means more than you know.

  4. Wow Gayl! Thank you! One thing about writing something is that you read it a thousand times so the initial emotion can get lost easily, at least it does for me. Thank you for bringing my mind back to what I had intended. I'm glad it came across the way I wanted it to. THANK YOU!!

  5. I reread this three times. It is stunning. Carefully and beautifully written and illustrated and so achingly sad, but so clean. Their grief feels real.

    Completely polished and totally perfect. I am in awe.

    And you're right, this is opening up different views on both Isabella and Blake.

  6. Hi Beth. Thank you very much. These two have been doing a cat and mouse dance for so long and I wanted them to come together and their mutual grief was a good catalyst for that. This is a turning point for both of them but especially Isabella. She's seeing a different side of him and that is going to mean something down the road. Thank you so much again.