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We Can’t Be Friends
You do know that you are an idiot, a blithering idiot. What did you gain from all of this? You lost plenty but what did you really gain? You’re not happy. If you even know what happiness is. You’re not in love with Natalie. Are you even capable of love? You’re miserable. You’ve lied. You’ve left a man to rot in jail because of what, he asked you to? And you agreed to that, you idiot. You’re an officer of the court and you’ve withheld crucial evidence in a case. You should lose your job for that and it not that at least a reprimand.
Evangeline called you on your s***. She didn’t mince words.
· “You had him locked up so that you could be with his wife.”
· “You withheld that little nugget of information because you were figuring how to move from me to Natalie.”
· “You played me John. You truly played me and I let you because I was so in love with you.”
We were trapped in the prison with Carlo Hesser and Hayes Barber. Hesser confessed to brainwashing Christian Vega to be a killer. Maybe someone brainwashed me to be an idiot. I’ve blown it. I’ve really blown it. She will never trust me again. When I walked out of the prison and saw her there I wanted to take her in my arms. Natalie was so cruel to her. Natalie was always cruel to her and I never noticed it or just didn’t pay any attention to it. “You can have him now”, Natalie said to Evangeline as if she needed Natalie’s permission to be with me. Natalie had it all wrong. Natalie needed Evangeline’s permission to be with me. If I had it my way Evangeline and I would still be together. Even Hayes Barber saw that otherwise why did he kidnap Evangeline when we were no longer together. Because he knew that I loved Evangeline. Not loved, that’s not true, not in the past tense. I love Evangeline. Even he could see that. Only I, Mr. Idiot could not see it. What a mess I have made of everything. I don’t know what to do. I know maybe I should change my name to Mr. Idiot, no John just Mr. Idiot. Wear a badge and have it in all capital letter, DETECTIVE IDIOT.
Made it to Capricorn after the prison riot and saw here there. She looked beautiful as usual. I asked Michael to hold back while I talked with Evangeline. She didn’t want to talk to me.
“I don’t think that we’re ready to have a drink together John. I don’t think we’re ready to do anything together.”
And after Christian Vega was released from prison and Evangeline and I were in Angel Square for the tree lighting I asked her, “How long is this going to go on? You and me treating each other like strangers, like we were never even friends.”
She answered, “I can’t be just friends yet.”
That broke my heart. How do I fix this? I don’t know. Then at Michael’s wedding, she said. I love her voice. She gave me information about my fathers’ case. Then the tornado and she lost her sight all because she waited around to give me information. Once again I’m the reason for her pain. Maybe it is better that she and I are not together. But we’re not together and she still gets hurt because of me. But I need her in my life. I need her. Why didn’t I see that before? All that time that I wasted, truly wasted with Natalie I could have used that time to build my relationship with Evangeline.
Now Evangeline’s with Christian Vega and Todd Manning stays ever present. I’ve lost her now. I’ve tried to make things work with Natalie but it’s like trying to put a square peg in a round hole. It does not fit but we keep trying. We keep trying to force it. All of this time lost and it seems like the distance between me and Evangeline is insurmountable.
Then this happens. She’s in a coma from a carbon monoxide gas poisoning in Christian Vega’s studio. She and Vega are no longer a couple and she and Manning are only friends. Manning has Blair Cramer in his blood and she’s like a leech that won’t detach. Anyway they have children together and that means that they will be in each other’s lives forever. Good then hopefully that will keep him away from ‘my Evangeline’.
She recovers from the coma and decides to leave Llanview. I didn’t hear this from her. I overheard Nora talking to Bo in his office. Evangeline doesn’t want many people to know. She wants to quietly leave town. I don’t know where she’s going but I did hear that she’s leaving on this Friday. Today is Wednesday. Nora said that she plans to help Evangeline drive to her new destination. She’s already closed her law practice and has packed her apartment and shipped what she needed to the new place and sold or donated everything else. She’s staying with Nora until Friday. I heard Bo ask Nora what Evangeline plans to do. Nora said that Evangeline already has several job offers but she plans to just rest for maybe a month or two before returning to work.
“Wow Nora can you believe it! I’m actually doing it. I’m leaving Llanview. Don’t get me wrong I’m glad to leave. I have a rough time here. I’m looking forward to better things for me ahead. I will miss you though. I’m glad that you offered to drive with me to my new place. That will give us more time together. Nora, you have been the one shining moment for me during my time in Llanview. I thank you for being my friend.”
“Evangeline don’t say it like it’s all one-sided. You’ve been a friend to me too. I will miss you but we will keep in touch, I promise.”
“I promise too. And Nora thanks for not telling anyone about my leaving. I kept it quiet about closing my law office. I don’t want to answer any questions from anyone anymore. I don’t owe anyone any explanations. With Todd once again engrossed with his drama with Blair Cramer I’ve stayed off his radar so I don’t have to worry about him pounding on my door. No one but you and my family know where I’m going and I like it that way.”
“All right let’s call it a night because we have any early start tomorrow.”
“Okay Nora, good night.”
Evangeline and Nora left early the next morning. It was great weather for a drive. It took several hours for them to reach their destination. Evangeline’s new apartment was all cleaned, furnished and waiting for her. After unloading the car, unpacking and showering, Evangeline and Nora ordered in, ate and then went to bed. Nora stayed for two days then flew back to Llanview.
Evangeline was in her apartment clearing things out of the dishwasher when she heard the buzzer notifying her that the front desk had a message for her. Evangeline had moved into a building where visitors had to stop at the front desk before being allowed on the residence floors. She also had installed a camera at her door so that she wouldn’t have to look through the peephole to see who was at the door. The front desk informed her that she had a delivery. She left her apartment and took the elevator down to the desk to retrieve her package. When she arrived the front desk clerk gave to her a bouquet of flowers. She asked who delivered them and he told her to check the card. No one knew she was here so how could someone deliver flowers to her here. She thought, oh maybe her Mom had them delivered, or maybe Nora arranged for the delivery.
Evangeline took the flowers back to her apartment. She sat them on her end table and then sat and read the card.
“If I know that there’s a chance I will stick with you forever.”
Her heart stopped. No, there is no way that this is real. She had only said those words to one person. No way he knows where I am. Nora wouldn’t tell him and my mother for sure would never tell him. Evangeline ran back downstairs to the front desk and asked the clerk to describe the person who delivered the flowers. The clerk looked at her and asked it there was a problem. She said no but she just wanted him to describe who delivered the flowers. The clerk said, “I won’t have to, he’s right there. He said that you would react like this. He knows you pretty well.” The clerk then turned to assist another resident.
Evangeline backed away from the front desk and refused to turn around. She wasn’t ready for this. She cannot handle this right now. Then she thought, I have faced death twice and won the victory, I can and I will face John McBain and send him home with his tail between his legs.
John saw her go to the front desk. He knew that she would question the clerk about who delivered the flowers. He saw her stiffen when the clerk told her that the person who delivered them was behind her. She won’t turn around to face me. She’s too stubborn to do that. She’s thinking now how she will blast me and then she will try to send me away. I’m not going anywhere without her.
After mustering all of her restraint Evangeline turned around to face him. She couldn’t really believe it but there he stood, John McBain. She thought that she had left him in Llanview. Boy was she surprised.
“Why are you here John? How did you get here? How did you find me?”
“Can we have this conversation somewhere else?”
“No John we can’t. I really don’t want to have this conversation at all. So answer my questions.”
“All right but remember, for the record, that I offered to have this conversation somewhere else. I will answer your questions and then will ask one of my own.”
“I am here because you are here. Next how did I get here, I drove. Last how did I find you? I followed you. I heard Nora tell Bo that you were leaving on Friday so I staked out Nora’s place and when you two left, I left too. I stayed far enough behind that you didn’t notice me. Don’t forge I’m trained in this.”
“Okay John you’ve answered my questions, but for what purpose are you here and what was the question that you wanted to ask me?
“The answer to my purpose is answered in my question to you. The answer you give must be either yes or no. Those are the only options but before you say no hear me out. Can you agree to that before I ask my question?”
“John, I won’t agree to anything until I hear the question.”
“All right here goes.”
I knew in that moment that everything in my life hinged on this one moment in time. My present, my future and my happiness all weighed in the balance on the results of my actions now. I looked Evangeline in the eyes, knelt on one knee, took her hand and said,
“I was blind but now I see. I was lost but now I’m found. I, John McBain, love you Evangeline Williamson with all of my heart. Please open up your heart to me and I promise that I will love you, I will be true to you and I will never leave you. I know that you have your doubts but never doubt that I love you. Will you marry me?”
“John get up! Stand up now! You have the gall to come here and propose and think what, that just like that I’m supposed to swoon into your arms because you say that you love me. What are you on the outs with Natalie now and I’m your fall back plan. I’m not your rebound girl John. I’m not your anything.”
John thinks, ‘this isn’t going how I planned but I’m not giving up’.John stands up and Evangeline walks with him to the front door, opens it and motions for him to leave. John stops and looks at her and smiles,
“You don’t believe me do you?”
“No John I don’t”
“If you believe me would you answer yes?”
“I don’t know John.”
“Can I try again Evangeline?”
“Go ahead John give it your best shot but I can’t guarantee that the answer won’t be the same.”
“Well at least that’s something. Okay I ask you counselor and as I ask each question I want you to answer before I ask the next question.”
“Okay go ahead John. It’s your funeral.”
“Ha, ha Evangeline. Question 1 have I ever told you that I love you?”
“No John you have never told me that you love me.”
“So why don’t you believe that I do when I finally say that I do?”
“Because it took you so long to say it John.”
“But that doesn’t mean that it’s not true Evangeline.”
“All right I concede that point, next question.”
“Just so that I’m clear you now believe that I love you.”
“Yes John, I now believe that you love me.”
“Question 2 will you marry me?
“I don’t know John, we just met. I don’t really know you.”
“Evangeline what do you mean we just met. We’ve known each other for years. You know me better than most people.”
“At one time I thought I did but I was wrong. Anyway I don’t know the John that’s standing here now. The John who can freely say that he loves me that’s a new John. I don’t know him.”
“Yes you do Evangeline. He was here all along just buried beneath all the junk that I put in the way of freely expressing my feelings. I let go of all that junk. Counseling sessions with Dr. Crosby allowed me to let go of all that guilt that was weighing me down. When I heard Nora say that you were leaving something in me died. I always thought that with time we would find our way back to each other but when I heard that you were leaving I knew that my chance at happiness would leave with you. That’s why I’m here. I’m here to find my happiness with you. You’re the only one for me Evangeline.”
At that I pulled John back into the lobby, took him over to a small room on the side, closed the door and said,
“Ask me again John.”
“Ask you what Evangeline?”
“Ha, ha John. The window of opportunity is closing very fast mister.”
Once again John knelt before Evangeline, took the ring box out of his pocket, opened it and asked,
“Evangeline Williamson, the keeper of my heart, I love you, will you marry me?”
“Yes John McBain. Yes John I will marry you. I love you too.”
John stood, took her in his arms and kissed her with an all-consuming kiss. In that kiss he expressed his regret for hurting her and his overwhelming joy at having her in his life again. Evangeline reciprocated the kiss pouring into it her release of pain that she endured because of him and her joy that she survived to this experience this moment.
The kiss ended and they stood and looked at each other smiling.
“What do we do now John?”
“We get married Evangeline.”
“When. When do you return to Llanview? How do we plan a wedding with us living in different cities? I definitely don’t want to get married in Llanview.”
“I’m not returning to Llanview. I live her now.”
“What do you mean you live here? Since when do you live here? You are full of surprises today John. Hold that thought. Let’s go up to my apartment to finish this conversation.”
“That sounds good to me. Lead the way Williamson, soon to be McBain.”
“Ah, who says that I will take your last name mister?”
“Evangeline I don’t care what you call yourself as long as you call yourself my wife and the mother of my children.”
“Who said anything about children?”
“Evangeline you’re just joking right?”
“Yes John I’m just joking. Professionally I will continue using Williamson but legally I will be McBain and yes I would love for us to have children. Come on let’s go up and we can order some food. I’m hungry.”
“Whatever my fiancé wants, my fiancé gets.”
“So kind of you fine sir.”
“My pleasure my love.”
As they passed the front desk the clerk gave John a thumbs up and John returned the gesture. Evangeline didn’t notice any of that. They made it to Evangeline’s apartment. She gave John a tour. He noticed that it looked nothing like her apartment in Llanview. It had more room and had an amazing view. John asked her about the changes and she said that she wanted something new and fresh. She had all new furniture and had a different color scheme. She said that Llanview was her past and she wanted a new view for her present and future.
She said that she had saved money when she worked and also invested well so she was financially stable. Plus she had the proceeds from winning that lawsuit against the hate group that gassed Christian’s loft. The now defunct hate group whose money now pays her bills. Others also received funds from the lawsuit. Those that that group hurt with their hate.
Evangeline and John sat and ate and talked until late. Evangeline offered John the use of her guest room but he declined. He said that he didn’t want the temptation of being that close to her and not making love to her. They both agreed that they would not be intimate with each other until after the wedding. The wedding. They looked at each other, shook their heads, smiled and said at the same time, “We’re getting married.”
The End (Maybe)
A/N: So do we leave this as a one shot or should we make it a story? Cast your vote in a review.