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Brenda Tierney -
Chapter 7
Making Amends
Clark rose feeling wonderful, the pain in his chest was abated, he could take a really deep breath without struggling. His left arm, wait a minute, he didn't have a left arm it would forever be apart of the Iraqi dessert. "Where am I now?" he wondered. He could hear the voices and the light was bright, "Loosing him!" Clark didn't care he could see his family. One by one, stepping forward.

His mother, her hair, her dress, her face - all perfect and that smile... the one he remembered from his early boyhood. The one she'd flash when he'd come home from first grade and had a snack and a hug waiting for him. "I'm sorry." He thought. "So sorry for what happened." She waved and faded away. Clark was more confused.

A man stepped forward from the mist, he saw the figure of his father sober. The man before him was the one apologizing, "I never meant to make your life so miserable. Forgive me?" Before Clark could think a thought, "Clear!" then the searing pain returned and Dr. Sawn's voice repeated, "Clear!" He knew he was back, back in the physical world or was he, the face of an angel hovered over him. "How are you feeling? Can you hear my voice? Squeeze my hand if you can?" It was Deborah Tulley, the nurse who was caring for him. "Stop that..." she was saying, "we thought we'd lost you. Where do you keep going?" She seem genuinely concerned. A faint smile crossed his parched lips, his throat was so dry he could not utter a word. "Crushed ice?" she was asking. "That beating tube sure can dry out a throat." Clark wasn't listening. discount wedding dresses

Chester hovered over his bed. blood dripping from his fingers where a knife had cut his hand. It was an older vision of him, late twenties... laughing. Clark could feel nurse Tulley's hand squeezing his as she checked his pulse. He willed himself to stay put in the physical world. Somehow he knew his destiny would be changed for the worst if he allowed himself to move around in the spirit realm again. Chester was motioning him to follow. Though the haze Clark could make out the scene of a slaughter.

In an instant the young mother, chest laid open, was struggling with Chester to get her heart back. Clark realized that a buzzer was going off somewhere in the ICU and carts and a gurney were being moved, nurses were running. What was happening? Nurse Tulley glanced up from her patient then returned to her duties.

Chester was transforming back to his teenage form. His apparition more like grains of sand than a complete hologram. Time passed, Clark wasn't sure how long. Nurse Tulley went off duty and the night nurses came and went. Clark awoke to Nicole Canton holding his hand. "I wanted to be the one to tell you." Clark knew what was coming. "Chester died last night at 6:45 PM." Clark had suspected as much when the spirit had faded. He realized that Chester had tried to get him to travel with him and if Nurse Tulley hadn't been there at that time, he probably would have gone.

Nicole was speaking, "Strangest thing, Chester was was muttering... 'You can't have it! You can't have it.' Those were his last word." Clark understood but was sure no one else would believe him if he told them. He knew that his own life would be forever changed, somehow he'd been graced with forgiveness. He knew he'd have to find the father of the baby and be apart of the child's life. He understood why the mother had squeezed the life out of her transplanted heart. He knew the world would be a better place without Chester having the chance to become a full grown man. Evil lurks in the heart of men and that mother wasn't letting it lurk in her heart. It was going to be a hard row to hoe but Clark was sure he was left behind to make life better for others, one life at a time.

THE END