“You sure you want to do this?” Kevin asks.
Eric, head lowered, raises his eyes. “I’ve never been as sure.”
The car idles quietly, heat barely able to keep the brothers warm against an unexpectedly harsh winter.
“Are you going to be able to handle him? He’s a big guy.”
“Does it matter?” Eric asks rhetorically. “I don’t care if he’s armed. This is what I need to… I have to do.”
The serpentine dirt road gives a glimpse of the house a few meters away; a house Eric once visited over a decade ago. It is the first and last chapter of a book he never meant to write.
Eric grabs the passenger handle to exit the car when Kevin’s hand suddenly grabs his left wrist hard. “If it goes down as bad as we think, I can’t save you. In fact, I can’t do anything. You might get hurt, or worse.”
Eric nods, aware of the situation, aware the pain that has been inflicted and could come his way just as equally. A tear forms, but he turns to the door to open it. He pauses half way out “If anything happens K… Take care of them. Don’t seek revenge.” And he exits.
Under his breath Kevin whispers “This is the opposite of revenge. It’s suicide.”
Sleet pinging against dark glass behind him, wind whipped leaves stampeding past his feet on the unlit path, an eerie howl screaming through the treetops; he knew he had trespassed against all reason and common sense, yet he walked further, bent against the storm, forward to meet his nightmare face-to-face.
Each step more painful as the last, Eric squints his eyes, peering at the porch light, his goal, his final destination. His cheeks beginning to become red, his tears instantly freezing, he lifts each foot as if his ankles were chained to the world.
Moments like days, days as if they were lifetimes, he reaches the front steps before pausing.
This is the right thing to do. He mutters in his already plagued head.
He hovers his right foot above the wooden step so that he can close his eyes and pray.
I ask for no absolution Lord.
I only ask for peace.
Not for me.
But for them.
Every wooden plank creaks with each step, as Eric approaches the door. He points his finger to the doorbell when the door swings open, a willy figure standing in the opening.
“I heard you were out, but I never thought you’d come here.” His deep, ominous voice bellowed frighteningly. Eric pictured this moment, yet he could never anticipate the taste of fear.
Eric, quivering, offered a handshake. “Hello Mr. Killgore.” Understandably, he grasp his hand. Crying, Eric forces the two lines he practiced for years. “I killed your daughter in a drunk driving accident almost 10 years ago to the day. And I although I don’t deserve it, I’m here to say I am truly sorry.”