The noise outside the concrete room startled me as I sat on the wet floor, close to Jake but far enough that I could retain just a little sanity where no sanity remains save for a bit if you get a butter knife and scrap up along the inside edge. Jake sat with his head on his arms, crossed on his knees. Lanky and faded now, he is where he will always be forever and ever until Bridget dies which sometimes I hope is in ten minutes and other times I'm ready to take the devil's offer and live forever.
I don't want to be here. I want to be closer.
But the noise. It drives me out into the hall. When I exit the room, I see Loch coming down the hall, flashlight beam bobbing, rope clinking. He's taken the climbing ropes and clipped them around his waist so he doesn't get lost in here. He's taken every precaution to get us both out safely. He's here. He's never here and he's here.
He looks so scared and angry though.
I try so hard to keep you in the light, my whole life, up above ground where the lights twinkle and they make you dizzy as they go around. Every color of the rainbow in the night and then I find you down here where there's no color. Just ghosts and black and white. Don't do this, Bridge. Don't be here anymore. Come back with me.
Nine years ago today I left Cole.
Then Jake left me.
(Or the Devil.)
(I won't know which until the end.)
Even though the Devil offered me immortality in exchange for my soul back I refused.
You have that wrong. He offered to give me back my soul if I would agree to live forever and I told him to keep it.
And then Ben saved my life and I saved his and Lochlan came bursting out of my memories to be present again and this is Happily ever after, after all.