This is Issue 40 of Hope On The Rocks, entitled "Whatever Happened, Happened".
This issue is Chad-centric.
402; Whatever Happened, Happened
I know I’ve yelled of him, Odin. I’ve said bad things about him. I’ve never showed him my respect. I regret that now. Now he’s dead, and me and my friends are no longer safe. I regret it. I regret not going with them that day. I regret not making Stanley go with them. I regret so much. So much.
One thing I regret, most of all, is pulling a gun at Garrett. it wasn’t a big thing, I just snapped. I regret it so much.
Axel, Peter and Kerri met the rest of us a few days after I were kicked out. Axel told why, and I didn’t want a criminal of that kind with me. Though, I got convinced. I regret talking to Axel like that. I should apoligize one day. Before it’s too late.
“Chad?” A voice says from behind me. I slowly turn around, seeing William coming up here on the roof of this old factory, two cups of coffee in his hands. He gives one to me, and takes one himself.
It’s a warm night. I am keeping watch this night.
William sits down on the lawn chair next to the one I sit in. He takes a sip of his coffee, and without any words, he just stares at the emtpy road.
Being with William for two months, you know him. This means he wants me to talk.
I sigh and begin: “I don’t know, William... It just seems like I could’ve done so much more.”
William looks and me, nodding, still not saying anything.
“You know... I were capable of leading the town. If it hadn’t been for Garrett I could... I dunno...” I look down. “I dunno.”
William places his cup between his feets, on the concrete roof.
“Chad, I know I’ve told you before, but Odin’s death wasn’t your fault.” William says, in a sympatic tone.
“I know it wasn’t. But I could have done so much to avoid it.” I say. I blame myself for his death. And not only his death; John Sheen, the boy killed by Sylvest, I could have saved as well. If I just had jumped in before Sylvest pulled that gun. It shouldn’t have been Kerri who killed Sylvest. It should have been me.
I never met Juan Valentina before. I knew who he was, but I never talked with him. I could have saved him, just like I could have saved Odin.
“Stop it, Chad.” William says. “It has been two months. You can’t keep blaming yourself. You need to... well... move on.”
“You don’t get it.” I say, not looking at William. I am now looking at an abandoned car on the road, just avoiding looking William in the eyes.
Willim is silent for ten seconds or so, before he talks again: “Did you know Garrett had a wife?”
I don’t care about Garrett, so I just say: “No, I didn’t.”
“She was bit, just down the creek.” William says, refering to the creek east of Rogersville. “I were there. I could have helped her. But you know what I did, Chad? I ran.”
I now look at William.
“I ran, because I could only focus on saving myself.” William continues. “See, Chad, I could have done something. I were right there. You were a mile away from where Odin and Juan were killed. You couldn’t do anything.”
I make one slow nod.
“You know why I left Rogersville, Chad?”
I shrug. “You didn’t want to live in a town lead by Garrett White?”
“I watched his wife die. I wouldn’t be able to live there, knowing what I did.” William keeps his look fastened at the road.
“What... are you trying to tell me?” I ask, partially confused.
“Whatever happened, happened, Chad. You can’t change the past. You just have to adapt to your actions. Live with them. Avoid confronting them again.” William says.
I nod, understanding. I’ve talked to William a lot of times, but this I understand. Whatever happened, happened.
I look back a the road again, and just as I move my head, a loud noise is to be heard.
“What’s that?” I mutter, and get up from the chair. I take my rifle, and looks thrugh the scope. William is taking out a pair of binoculars.
“Is that...?” William asks. He has found what is making the noise. I move the rifle to the direction in which he is looking.
And now I see it. The thing that is making the noise.
“It’s a... tank?”
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