Saturday, November 15, 2008

part two

The rain had subsided some as he walked along the highway. His thoughts were set now on reaching Laredo and the woman that he hoped would make this all better. He tried not to think about one year ago,almost to the day. His mind seemed to go where it wanted to these day. A car approached from the East and slowed to a stop in front of him. Mark watched as it backed up until he was standing beside the passenger door. Slowly, the window came down and he was looking into the face of a young woman.
"You look like you could use a ride. If you want, climb in."
"Thank you very much, young lady. I might get your seat drenched though."
"Nothing it hasn't been before. Please, get in before you freeze to death."
He made no attempt to debate with her any further. The car was warm and he didn't know how much further he could have walked in the storm.
"You really shouldn't be picking up strangers in the middle of the night, you know. I appreciate that you did but..."
"Who says we are strangers?"
Mark looked at her as the lights from an on-coming car shined on her face. His heart skipped a beat and he blinked his eyes to try and focus. She smiled at him and then looked out the windshield. He sat staring at her until she spoke.
"Mark, you are staring at me. Is something wrong?"
"How do you know my name?"
"You told me when you first got in the car. I am sure the cold and rain hasn't been kind to you. It is alright. We should be in Laredo by morning. Why don't you try and rest some."
"Laredo? Why did you say Laredo?"
"That is where you are going isn't it? You said it was but if there is somewhere else you need to go..."
"No, no, Laredo is where I am going. I guess I just don't remember telling you that either. I must be more tired than I thought. I don't even know your name."
"Kellie. Why don't you rest and I will wake you when we are nearing Laredo."
Mark knew that he needed to sleep but he also knew what came with the curse of sleeping. he tried hard to fight it but the lull of the cars engine and the warmth coming through the vents were to alluring. He didn't know when he drifted off but he knew he had, just by the memories that flooded his sub-conscious.
"Let's go, ladies. Everything is packed but you girls. We should be to the resort by noon." He remembered the drive. The weatherman had promised fresh snow and it looked as if mother-nature was going to oblige. The snow increased as they drove up the mountain. It wasn't long before Mark found himself driving in a foot of fresh snow. He could feel the tires slipping under the wet snow. His mind raced ahead to just as the Explorer slid off the road. There had been loose gravel under the snow and the back end of the big Ford was pulled into the cravess made by the sliding gravel.
An hour of digging and winching had left them "Stuck! That is what we are ladies. We are stuck good."
"What are we going to do Mark? We can't stay here to long. The girls will freeze up here."
"We will be fine, Callie. I can ski down the mountain and get help. It won't take me long to get down and bring back help. The heater will still work for you."
He remembered the last kiss he gave to his Callie. The girls hugged him and told him to hurry. He fought to wake himself. He screamed out in his sleep and called their names. He reached out and grabbed hold of the dashboard, squeezing it tight. He was oblivious to the young woman beside him, stroking his face,whispering gently to him. "It's alright, Mark. We are going to make it all good for you, sweet man."
He remembered seeing the vehicle going up the mountain as he skied down towards the small store at the foot of the mountain. He wondered who was driving and if he would stop to help his girls. He heard the screams again. He saw their faces plastered to the windows, their fear still on their precious faces. He remembered thinking he should stop and go back up the mountain. Their perfect Thanksgiving was about to be changed forever.
The events that followed were known to him only because of what had been relayed to him and the police later. Tara screaming, clawing at the window, Liza calling his name over and over again! "Daddy, pleaseeeee, don't leave me here! Don't let me die down here! Pleaseeeeee!"
He heard Callie screaming as the man pulled at her body, yanking her from her seat, her legs entangled in ski gear, holding her inside tight. He struggled to hold on to her. Mark's armed flayed all around the inside of the car. He felt the warmth of an arm an held on to it with everything he had inside of him. He could feel the arm sliding in his hands. His grip tightened, he pulled it towards him. He buried his face in the warmth and cried.
"Hang on to me, Baby! Don't let go of me, Callie. I need you so much in my life. Please do not let go of me!" He heard his name being called. He saw the Vehicle falling. He remembered now, looking up and seeing the other vehicle stop right where his family must have been. Echoes of a wench being operated, the screeching of metal again rock and the moment he saw the headlights of their Explorer shine straight up. A huge beacon, telling him the Ford was standing straight up somehow. That was when he heard their screams for his help. Callie saying his name over and over again.
"Mark. Mark, you have to wake up! You are making it impossible for me to drive! please let go of me!"
Mark woke with a start. He saw the Young ladies arm held tight in his clenched fingers. He realized it was not his Callie calling to him. It was his saviour from the storm that he held to. Not his Callie at all. He loosened his grip and looked away. "Oh God, I am so sorry. I was dreaming and thought you were..."
"It's ok Mark, I understand. We will be to Laredo in less than 3 hours. We will make this alright then."
"I still don't know who you are or why you picked me up. And why do you look like someone I know? You need to give me some answers."
"I am what I am, Mark. You will understand when we get to Laredo."
"They died you know. I left them alone to die out there!!!!" He began to cry again.
"You did what you thought was right Mark. It is going t be alright... I promise you."

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