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My Own Words

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My Own Words
by
SandraD

     

Part Two

I don't believe it. I won’t believe it.

Yet those words—they were hers. The tone, the fright, the realization—they were hers.

"I did it! I killed Martin Fitzgerald! I killed Luis’s father!"

The woman I love, the woman that I intend to spend the rest of my life with, killed my father! How is it even possible?

No! It has to be a trick of some kind. That’s all there is to it. Whenever Alistair Crane is involved, there is no such thing as the truth.

But it is her voice. It is! The same voice that only a few days ago spoke of love—
love for me—is now speaking of an unbelievable crime. Murder. The murder of my father.

I thought we were past this! Didn’t Eve tell us that Sheridan’s memories were just a manifestation of her guilt over the death of her mother? Didn’t Eve tell us that in the hypnosis session, Sheridan realized this? It was on tape!

The tape…

I look to Sheridan. Her eyes are squeezed shut, and I wonder what she’s thinking. I want to reach for her, but how can I? I don’t know what she needs. I don’t know what
I need.

I feel the blood draining from my face.

Papa.

So many years of waiting and hoping—and for what? He’s gone. My father, my hero, the man I aspired to be when I was a child—he’s gone. Has been for years.

Why?

Dear God, why?

My eyes dart around the room. My gaze rests on Miguel. How I wish he hadn’t come tonight! If only he could have been spared this. I knew he wanted to stay with Charity, that he’d almost remained with her, but didn’t want to disappoint Theresa on her big night.

What will this do to him?

Miguel didn’t know Papa the way I did. He was only a baby when Papa disappeared. Though he doesn’t speak of it much, I know it bothers him. He’s the only one of us without any real memories of our father.

Yet there is so much of our father in Miguel. His inherent kindness, his demeanor, even his eyes.

Our eyes meet. I know he’s looking for some kind of reassurance from me, but I can’t give it to him. I just don’t know how anymore.

I see him move toward our mother, putting his arms around her, trying to take away her pain.

But he can’t. No one can.

I look away.

I’m in danger of crumbling. I can’t let that happen.
I can’t.

My gaze rests on Julian. He looks almost relieved. It was as if he was waiting for this to happen.

He knew!

It is taking every ounce of my strength not to knock the smug look off his face.

I notice that Julian looks toward Ethan and my sister. Is he expecting something?

Theresa.

She’s always been a dreamer. As a child, she used to sneak outside at night into the backyard with her favorite blanket in tow and wait for a falling star—sometimes for hours. I caught her once and asked her what she was doing. She told me that she was wishing for Papa’s return. She was certain—so certain—that he would be back.

This is one wish that isn’t coming true. Papa’s gone.

Ethan is holding her closely, wiping away her tears. I want to think that he’s not like the others, but what if he is? I won’t let Theresa be destroyed. She’s too precious to me for that.

In so many ways, Theresa is much the way Mama used to be before everything changed for us. No, she’d never admit to it now, but I remember how it was when it was just Mama, Papa, Antonio, and me. We didn’t have much, but we had each other. Mama was always convinced that we lived in the best of all possible worlds. Nothing could take away our happiness.

But something did.

Someone did.

But how could it have been Sheridan? She was just a child!

I want to pull Sheridan close, whisper in her ear that everything is going to be alright, and touch her beautiful lips, but I can’t. How can I? Nothing is ever going to be the same again.

Alistair Crane’s cold, arrogant voice permeates the room. "We tried to protect you, Sheridan, but our protection is no longer available. It is time that you face up to your actions."

How could any father be as cruel as Alistair is to Sheridan?

I see her eyes flutter open. Filled with tears, sorrow, and pain, they lock on me.

"Sheridan—"

I start to speak, but I stop. Words simply aren’t adequate, and my own words escape me.

What am I going to do?

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