Evangeline recovered from the gas attack. What happens next?
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How did I get here? Oh right, some racist group of degenerates tried to kill four of us. Everyone else recovered quickly but it took me several months to fully recover from the carbon monoxide poisoning. Now here I am in my apartment packing to leave Llanview. I haven’t told anyone, outside of my family, that I am leaving. Most of my clients moved to other attorneys while I was indisposed and the others, I, myself, referred them to other attorneys telling them that I needed more time before I resumed my practice. But I knew the moment that I opened my eyes in the hospital that I needed to make some major changes in my life and leaving Llanview was at the top of the list. Sure they found the people who had attacked us but it didn’t change my mind that I needed to put Llanview in my ‘rearview mirror’.
Someone from my past afforded me the opportunity to do just that. A month ago I received a letter from someone who several years ago had attended the symposium where I was the keynote speaker. They said that they were so impressed with my presentation that they decided to reach out to me and inquire as to my availability to join a law firm in Washington, DC. Her husband, one of the original partners, had decided to retire and wanted to bring in new people to continue building the great legacy started by the founding partners and she gave him my name. The law firm, White and Blazevitch, was one of the most prestigious law firms in the country. The partners wanted to offer me a temporary junior partner position with an assured full partner position after one year, to head a newly created division of lawyers who would work within all sectors of the firm to make certain that the firm remains one of the best firms in the country. They would provide my housing until I found a place of my own. Upon arrival in DC I would have a week to acclimate myself before I started work. The pay was quite generous and the benefits were unbelievable. I accepted.
Now I need to talk with the two people in this town who would certainly miss me, Nora and Todd. I called Nora and asked to meet her at her home. I spoke, she listened, she tried to convince me to stay, I refused, we cried, we hugged, we promised to keep in touch, and I left.
I met Todd at his penthouse. I spoke, he listened, he tried to convince me to stay, I refused, and he negotiated.
“Ok, you want to leave I understand but why so far away? Why not to Philadelphia? Ok, you have had a rough time here in Llanview but hey it doesn’t compare to what I have had to endure. I know, I know, that was a cheap shot. Alright you’re leaving but there has to be more to it than just the attack.”
“It’s funny Todd that of the two, you and Nora, you’re the only one to have asked me that. Yes there is more. I want a life. I want to marry and have children and I don’t see that happening here in Llanview. Before I didn’t believe in marriage partly because of my job and all the divorce cases that I handled but also because of what happened with my parents. But while I recovered from the poisoning I realized that I do want that life, a husband and children. I know with my job it will take a lot of my time but I have time. I didn’t die, even though those idiots tried to kill me, I didn’t die. I want more out of my life than just my job. I want someone to love and someone to love me. Can you understand?”
“Well if you want a husband and kids why didn’t you ask me? You know that I love you, right?”
“Todd, you are sweet and I know that our relationship has taken a turn in another direction but right now what I need from you is not a lover. I need a friend. I need someone who will support me through thick and thin. I need a big brother who will support and protect me. Can you do that? I need to feel that I have someone who will stand for me and fight for me. This goes totally against what I have previously thought but this latest situation has caused me to reevaluate everything. I never thought that I needed anyone to take care of me, to rescue me, to protect me but at this moment I am very fragile and I need you to step in, not as a lover, but as a friend, as a big brother and surround me so that I feel safe. Can you do that?”
“Alright since I can’t convince you to stay I will allow you to leave but on one condition.”
“What do you mean allow me to leave?”
“Okay don’t get yourself agitated just listen to me please. I, Todd, as your best friend and your newly named big brother, propose the following. No, I am not proposing marriage since you don’t want to marry me and have my children. I suggest that you allow me to assist you in this move. You say that the initial position is a temporary position with a permanent position after a year. Well suppose you don’t like it after a year what do you do then? You’ve relocated to another town and after a year have no job. Let me do this. I will set up a bank account for you to use. I will deposit five million dollars into the account and you can do with it as you please. Deal?”
“Todd, are you crazy? I can’t accept five million dollars from you. I can take care of myself. If the job doesn’t work out I am sure that I can find something else.”
“Evangeline, you just told me that you needed a friend, a big brother. Wouldn’t a big brother do this for his little sister?”
“Yes a big brother would do that for his little sister. I would do that for Layla if I had the money.”
“So, will you accept my offer? And, of course I can come visit you regularly right? And, we will call and write right so that I won’t miss you so much?
“Yes Todd I will accept your offer. Yes you can come visit. When I find a place of my own I will make sure to have a guest room that you can occupy when you come to visit. And of course we will call and write because I will miss you like crazy. Todd, thank you.”
“Anything for you my friend, anything for you.”
Evangeline took Todd’s face in her hands and kissed his forehead and his cheeks. She looked into his eyes and said, “You are the best thing that has happened to me during my stay here in Llanview. Don’t tell Nora I said that. I do love you more than I could ever love a lover. You see me as me and not as someone on a pedestal. I thank you for that. I know that trying to have an intimate relationship with you would destroy what we have and I need a friend more than I need a lover. Although I won’t physically be here know that you are always in my heart and my thoughts. Have a good life Todd. You’ve been given a second chance at life. Take advantage of it. Look at me. That’s what I’m trying to do.” She smiled as tears rolled down her cheeks.
Todd wiped away her tears and put his hands over her hands on his face and said, “I love you Evangeline, more than you will ever know. I understand that we can’t be lovers. I don’t agree, but I accept your decision. I’m just glad that we can continue to be friends and now I’m a big brother. I’ve never been a big brother before only a little brother. I will have to find the ‘big brother’ handbook and make sure that I abide by all of the rules. Go forth and conquer little sister and know that your friend and big brother is here always to support and protect you.”
Evangeline and Todd hugged and then Todd left and Evangeline was alone in her apartment with boxes everywhere. She resumed her packing and felt relieved that both Nora and Todd took her news so well.
Another view of Evangeline's life after the gas attack. The law firm name came from the movie, Pelican Brief.
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