Four Words



Scene Title Four Words
Synopsis …that Graeme never said.
Date November 12 2011

A motel on the outskirts of Boston

Graeme shuts the door behind him, looks back at it, rather than at the small motel room that he entered. The laptop's drawn out from the bag and he puts the thumb drive in, clicks play on the first song file.

I took my love, I took it down
climbed a mountain and I turned around

The envelope for the note that Ygraine handed him in hand, he had taken Odin for a walk, as far from the motel as he'd dared go. It's probably half a mile into the trees behind the hotel before he found a tree, sits at the base and began to read the note by the pale light of his cell phone and the moonlight that filters down through the trees.

And I saw my reflection in the snow covered hills
'til the landslide brought it down.

The flash drive that now plays on the computer was held for a moment, slipped carefully into his pants pocket deep enough that it wouldn't fall out, and the note read, and then read again, the former teacher fighting the blur of tears that finally decided to come.

Oh, mirror in the sky
what is love?

Leaning his head back against the tree, Graeme held the paper, and swallowed and looked down to read.

Graeme, I'm sorry. Thank you for reminding me that love doesn't always have to be complicated. You gave me something I needed more than I realized, and I cherish it.

The long moment is spent looking up at the trees, teeth catching at his lower lip. Even out there he could almost, almost hear the audiokinetic's voice in his head still. Heard the words as they would have been spoken aloud, not just letters on a page. But it's only when he tasted copper on his tongue that realised that he'd bitten his lip hard enough to cut into it, remembers how much being around Elisabeth helps him — helped him, past tense isn't something he's entirely ready to believe but the note in front of him is too real for anything else — not to do that as much.

Look out for them for me… Richard and Jaiden will both blame themselves. Don't let them.

There's a hard swallow, one knee pulling halfway up to his chest as he continues to read. As for a moment, Graeme realises that he also blames himself. For not being there. For being in Massachusetts and not there with Liz and the others. Because no matter what he might have said aloud, there was a part of him that was doing this for her and now, without that and in the privacy granted by the woods, he feels… lost.

Can the child within my heart rise above?
Can I sail through the changin' ocean tides?
Can I handle the seasons of my life?

The rest of the note is read, reread, reread again, before he carefully folded so that he can carry it in his wallet. He reread it twice more before starting the walk back to the motel room, the words committed to memory. But it's the last sentences that caught his throat and brought the tears back to his eyes. That undo the buffer that his ability built around the emotions of grief and pain until they are as sharp as a knife in his gut.

Be their bulwark against the hurt the same way you were to me. And know that I loved you. — Love, Liz.

In the motel room, Graeme draws his knees up to his chest, sitting on the bed, and looks up. "I hope, wherever you are, you can hear me," he says, speaking to the air. "I don't believe in all that afterlife nonsense, not really. But it'd be nice to believe in just about now."

He swallows, and then adds, "I love you too."

Words that he never said aloud, never got the chance to or the need to; it's four words that would have complicated something that already was complicated enough as it is. Instead, those words were conveyed through simple actions, through gestures. Through food and through camaraderie as he found himself getting caught up in all of the things, through her sitting with him when the nightmares were too much; through chocolate and too many sundresses and sitting in the park or on the roof, the few carefree moments that they stole from the madness of the world around them.

Those words were words they'd never needed to say.

But for a moment he wishes for nothing more than a chance to say them.

Well the landslide will bring it down
Oh, the landslide will bring it down.

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