Disclaimers: I don't own any of the characters, except for the ones I made up. Gary Hobson belongs to CBS and Sony TriStar. Hope you enjoy it.
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by Ally McKnight
She pulled the box out from under her bed, and opened it, in a daze, almost like she was in a dream. There it lay. A beat up, old leather ball glove. It had belonged to him.
Before he'd gone, he'd given it to her. Long before he left. She remembered the hot summer days when he'd take her outside and they'd play catch. She'd never been very coordinated, but any time she dropped the ball, he'd just laugh a little, and tell her the sun was just in her eyes. They'd play on the cloudiest of all days, and he'd still tell her that the sun was just in her eyes.
She slid her hand into it, finding, with surprise, that it fit her hand
perfectly. She rubbed the soft, broken in leather, and sighed. She missed
him. The glove meant the world to him. His father had owned it before him,
and given it to him for his sixteenth
birthday. He loved to tell her the story over and over again, about how much the old glove meant to him. But the story was always the same, which made her happy. He never did exaggerate very much.
She had hidden the glove away, after he left, trying to let go of all the memories she had of him. The lone reminder she could bear the keep was a single picture of him. Handsome and bold, he looked like a movie hero, like the kind of man that all women dreamed of marrying. The picture was old, and she sometimes wondered what he'd look like if he was still alive.
Sometimes, she hated him with all her heart. Hated him for going like that. Hated him for dying just so those people could live. Sometimes she woke up at night, crying out his name, wondering why he did it. Why, why, why? Why couldn't he just let them live in their perfect harmony.
But, she couldn't hate him. Not ever a little bit, because she loved him more than anything. And she couldn't blame him for what he'd done. He never could ignore someone in need, and it never mattered to him what the consequences were. She knew he loved her too... but still she asked.... how could he?
How could he stand up to that boy with the gun and tell him not to do
it? How could he run into the school and tell the troubled boy that there
was a better way to go? How could he save her life, and all those other kids'
lives, and take a bullet to the head
for his work? How could he just stand there, and let the boy pull the trigger?
Years after Columbine, it had seemed that everything had calmed down. Schools no longer needed metal detectors when she entered high school. Everything was so normal. She lived her happy life, and nothing ever went wrong. Like living in a plastic bubble. Then the sky came crashing down, and the bullets echoed the hallways, as she heard his last scream of pain.
And the words....the words... his last words...his last words before he took his last breath, and said his final prayer...'I love you, honey.'
Those words..the words he uttered when she knelt down beside him, wounded as he was, not caring if she was killed. She wanted to be killed, wanted to go with him. But she didn't. The boy was stopped. She could never forgive the boy.
He was one of those kids. Kind of a loner, didn't talk very much. Probably
had problems at home. But that was no reason for him to start shooting people.
He had no excuse for shooting him. There was none. The boy was locked up now,
in jail for life. Funny, she knew he'd never want the boy to go to jail. He'd
forgive him, even if he was his murderer. Why did he have to be so
Many were wounded. There was only one casualty. Him. And that was all she could see when she closed her eyes.
The blood seeping out of his head, making a pool next to his leather jacket....
His gorgeous green eyes...vacant...
The bullet hole in his temple....
His last breath, ragged, and struggling....
She put down the glove. Those memories were never supposed to come out. She wasn't supposed to remember how it was. She wasn't supposed to remember the tears she had shed, and the darkness that followed. But once it started, it couldn't stop.
Why had he had to do it? Why did everyone matter so much to him? She picked up the glove again, and hugged it close to her body. It was his prized possession, and she was going to take care of it.
A breeze blew in from the open window. She rose quickly, and slammed it shut. It was a cold night. He used to love cold nights. He'd bundle her up carefully, and they'd take a walk. He'd always let her wear his big, beautiful leather jacket, that smelled like spices, and chocolate, and they'd look at the stars together. She remembered how he picked out their own special star. And he told her that whenever anything went wrong, to just go to that special star, and he'd be there waiting for her. She could almost feel the way he'd carry her if she was tired, and the way his cheek was always cold, when she leaned her head against it.
She could almost see his breath, as it was on those cold nights. She could see their star, twinkling in the sky, and she wondered if he was up there, thinking about her. Or maybe he was waiting there, waiting for her to come to him for help. The stars out there, never had names to them. They were just stars, there for their pleasure. The stars never looked half as good as they did when he was alive anymore. Now they just looked dull.
She pounded her fist into his beloved ball glove, and started to weep.
"I love you, Daddy," Courtney Hobson whispered the picture of her father. She fell asleep, her head resting on his glove.
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