Category Archives: Last Caress

Last Caress, Chapter Twenty-Eight

Chapter 28

I’ve sat and watched as Terrence’s minions turn themselves in to the police. I am astounded and can only think and shudder what his end game has become. He is not stupid by any means but this is a turn of events I never thought I would see. I hope the investigation into my jobs and their testimony will bring justice to those who deserve it. With that being said, I must conclude this.

Dearest Hannah, my daughter, thank you for reading this to its end. You know how important it was that I write this and give you an explanation for why you never knew me, your father, and it was because I had to do what I have already described.

That day, when I was supposed to meet your mother for brunch, I knew I was going to “meet” you. She and I had spent many nights together leading up to that day and affection was growing. At some points I did love her. I can’t stress that enough. Two nights previous to that morning, her and I had spent another night together and as I was getting ready to leave I made a stop in the washroom. I found the positive pregnancy test in the garbage and I knew that my life was going to change forever. At first I was shocked but with everything I knew about your mother and how we got along, I knew that no matter the speed bumps and detours we would have to maneuver, everything would be alright. I was excited to have her tell me the news that I already knew. I couldn’t wait to place my hand on her stomach and meet you for that first time. Obviously that plan was disrupted by the events that followed as she and I weren’t the only ones that knew of your eventual arrival and Terrence’s plan usurped any and all moments of joy for me for the next twenty years.

While I feel a sense of relief finally being able to explain why you never knew me, that relief is obliterated by also having to tell you about that picture in the manila envelope from when I was held captive in my storage unit a few weeks ago. Until I saw your mother’s face in that picture, I was sure there wasn’t any more horror I could bring to you or the world. Revealing all of my sins by way of this letter would bring more than enough grief to your life. But having to tell you that you will now have to live the rest of your life without your mother as well, shatters any penance I could have hoped to perform. Sorry, doesn’t do it justice but it needs to be said regardless. The murk and darkness I will live with – even if just for the few more hours that remain in my life – will hopefully provide someone some comfort. I made sure she felt no pain and passed with ease. As I see the final darkness close my vision I will be hoping that the next thing I see – if anything – will be in line with all that I have done.

You deserve better and as my final act I have tried to make that a reality. The key that accompanies this letter is to a safe deposit box that contains everything I have saved from every one of my jobs. It should be enough for you to start a new life doing whatever you feel will fill your heart to its brim and never have it empty. I have taken steps to compensate everyone I have harmed with my work and you are my last and most important victim.

It is odd knowing the day you will die, but I welcome the sweet touch of death because I know that at the very least you know the truth of your life and have the opportunity to have and do anything with the time you have been given.

I love you and I will always be desperately regretful and apologetic even from beyond the borders of this life. Please find the borders of your own and push them until they break.

Love, Your Father, Travis”

Hannah looked up from the letter and focused first on the beach immediately before her. Her eyes then settled on the infinite expanse of ocean beyond the billions of grains of sand. The previous twenty-four hours had been a whirlwind that began with retrieving the contents from her father’s safe deposit box and ending, just now, with her sitting on the farthest beach from her reality. She had read the letter a dozen times, the last reading being the most clear and giving her the focus and direction on how she would act. She agreed that she had one lifetime to love, to live, and to experience and she wanted to use her time to the fullest possible degree, but she knew she had to take care of some business first. A sly smirk crossed her lips when she realized her future business had sort of become the family business in a way, however, she was forced into it in a different way than her father. She promised she would love and live and experience, but over the last twenty-four hours she had learned first-hand that there were people out there who took advantage of others, sometimes to lethal levels, and she wouldn’t rest until she had taken every one of those motherfuckers down.


Last Caress, Chapter Twenty-Seven

Chapter 27

While I still have your attention – and before I destroy it – I want to touch on one last thing: Love.

Love connects us all. Love is inspiring and debilitating. Love is an illusion. Love is real. Love can make the impossible possible. Love can transport you from your worst moment to your best in less than an instant. Love heals. Love destroys. Love is hope. Love is for the hopeless.

If you haven’t already, I hope you find the love of your life. May it be in a spouse or a random person or a missed connection or each and every child you decide to have.

Life is definable in so much as it can be a moment or a lifetime, but love and more importantly your love, I hope, is not definable at all. Be in love with each second because no matter how hard you try you will never get it back. I know that is an impossibility but that is what parents, who unconditionally love their children, hope for them. And unconditional love. Is that even possible? It’s insanity but attainable over a lifetime. Re-enactment is also insane, but what is sane is trying and trying and trying again. Trying, especially with love, is another definition of life. Making the same mistake continually is not as crazy as giving up when one day you might succeed, even if that day is your last. You succeeded at something. You might be classified insane by others and maybe even by yourself, but you succeeded by your own definition of success.

Last Caress, Chapter Twenty-Six

Chapter 26

This day has not been without its drama. Making sure the plan went into action and that my friends came through has been a stress to say the least. That, in addition to writing you this and not knowing your reaction, I don’t think I have felt this uneasy since the first time I pulled the trigger on Andrew the Porsche lover.

There isn’t much left to cover. I can see Terrence’s goons on each corner of this intersection but none have moved a step since the police showed and they keep checking their phones for instructions. I realize that this entire thing might end in vain if his desire for retribution outweighs his desire for freedom. I never actually thought about that outcome. Losing you after writing all of this and having it end in eruption would be fitting in a way. You would receive an answer to questions you might have had, but no explanation. And this letter would end up in the detritus of the aftermath. If you lived you might find it, but more than likely it would be just as much of a target as you. If things do end that way, then I apologize for bringing even more upheaval to your life but if they don’t then at least you will know everything. And I apologize for that as well.

Still no movement beyond nervous pacing from the corners. Thinking about everything coming to an end one way or another is bringing a calm I haven’t felt in twenty years.

Last Caress, Chapter Twenty-Five

Chapter 25

Almost a year ago, the first time I thought I had lost you, the fire began to burn on a plan as to how I could take Terrence out. When I was a prisoner in my storage unit, thinking I had lost you again, I knew that I made the right decision. During that first hour when you were simply late, but I thought you were gone I made a list of every possible lifeline I could use. What and who did I know that could help, without tipping anyone off and actually ending you and me and any other possible targets?

In fifty years you meet a lot of people, however, due to my unfortunate circumstance the majority of the people that I knew I met in my first thirty years. Anyone else was simply a passing acquaintance. This is unfortunate for anyone looking to build lasting friendships and relationships with people, but for me this could actually work to my advantage.

I started heading back out for my walks and I began engaging more with those people on the fringes of mainstream society. I tried to think of ways I could use them to deliver messages to the authorities without having them get caught in the crossfire. I thought about the possible implications. How much more bloodshed was necessary to finish this once and for all? As long as that blood wasn’t yours I was able to accept any amount.

The plan was simple: write down all the addresses, the names I can remember, and the dates I haven’t forgotten. Throughout the year, I met with my various shelter friends and gave them $20, so as to not stir any suspicion if they were searched by one of my tails, with the promise of much more upon them holding up their end of the bargain. At 10:00am on this very date (according to my watch, just over two hours ago) my friends were to head to the nearest police station with a key they had purchased on the way. They were to tell the officer behind the desk the address of this restaurant, the address of my storage unit, and hand them the key and leave. If there was any hassle I would clear it up afterward.

I would make sure that every bit of info I could remember would be in that box along with all of the pieces of the people I ended and come to brunch to make sure that no matter what, I would keep you safe. It was simple plan but a gamble nonetheless. I played the numbers and figured if enough of my acquaintances followed through, each station couldn’t ignore the oddity of the situation.

As I’ve been writing this and staring at the two police cruisers stationed outside, I feel like the messages were delivered loud and clear.

Last Caress, Chapter Twenty-Four

Chapter 24

I remember the time I thought I lost you and it was also the third time I came in for my weekly brunch almost a year ago. I walked through the doors and you weren’t working. I didn’t see you anyway, but it became apparent you weren’t in after twenty or so minutes passed. I asked my server if you were coming in and no one had heard anything. It was at that moment I knew you were gone and much like months later, standing in my storage unit surrounded by your pictures, I figured I had overstepped my bounds and the last nineteen years were a waste. When you rushed in an hour later in a huff with sleep still crusting your eyes complaining of the TTC and alarm clocks and cell phone chargers I gripped the sides of my table and held myself back from giving you the longest and most intense embrace of your life, relieved your demise was a thing of imagination.

But I did spend that hour planning out the end game. It is amazing how one event can trigger a flood of thought and inspiration. I thought of everything that Terrance had planned out but I also thought of everything he hadn’t. His entire ploy was based on the heartstrings of the individuals or individuals that he blackmailed. What if I, or we, didn’t play along? In a way it was too late for me to undo any of the wrongs that I had done, but I did know a lot of things that could help an investigation into him or them or their organization.

The emptiness I felt that day when I thought you were gone turned into fuel and even when I heard you walk through the door and saw your perturbed look, I knew that it was time for me to fight back. I would use my last year to formulate my own plan to prevent someone else from ending up in my situation and hopefully prevent two more decades of horror.

Last Caress, Chapter Twenty-Three

Chapter 23

With my conclusion set I can’t help but think about my “in between years.” The best way to describe them would be the years between youth and middle age. They are the years where you build and move into your life, similar to the “glory days” that are defined by the mundane paradise of routine. I like to think of them as the years between “friends” and “The Big Chill”. Between 30 and 50. The years that you reflect on but with a different sort of nostalgia. They are characterized by exploration of life in a different sense. It is not about discovery in so much as it is about relation. Lessons are learned for the second, third and fourth times, with the intended goal of personal growth being second to the goal of sharing knowledge, which, in thinking about it, is probably another reason I’m writing this. By the time we reach our “in between years” we have lived some and while new stages of life are achieved they are passed with more fluidity than a simple threshold moment like a graduation. Maybe the best way to describe them is the “life goes on years” or “the tomorrow years” because no matter how grand and life changing the accomplishment we experience today, tomorrow is a reality and it presents its challenges with no thought to the successes of the day before. So then in effect, today is just “in between” yesterday and tomorrow and the best we can hope for is that failure today doesn’t negate success tomorrow and whatever we do or have done in between will lead to us understanding something more about ourselves than we did yesterday.

Last Caress, Chapter Twenty-Two

Chapter 22

As this whole thing draws to an end I’ve been grappling with the definition of “home.” Jason Lytle has a song called “Yours Truly, Dear Commuter” and there’s a line in it about being tired and bruised but he’s coming home. I’ve listened to it on repeat because I relate to it but I have no idea of the home I’m coming to.

Is a home a physical space or a place where we feel comfortable and defended against the harsh realities of the world? I haven’t had either for an extended period of time in the last twenty years. I’ve known for a while how I plan to end this “journey” (for lack of a better term) but I’ve also been debating if my intended ending is the best conclusion. It makes sense only in so much that I don’t really have another suitable alternative for myself. I don’t have a comfortable space to retire and if I did I have no clue what I would do. It’s said that home is where the heart is. What the hell does that even mean? My heart has eroded to the point that I wouldn’t trust it even if I found myself in a spot where I felt “at home.”

I think the decision I’ve made is the best solution for everyone involved. I’ve spent enough time tearing things apart for myself and others that my final act should be in congruence with that. It’s probably not the best solution but its finality belies that it is the only solution worthy of pursuit.

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