The Forgotten Children – Part 2
Synopsis: The Cullens have returned to Forks after about 40-50 years. As they settle in, Edward discovers a strange boy in the forest. Christopher, instantly becomes one of the family, until taken by a strange man. Christopher resurfaces at the Cullens, but his presence threatens the future, and a secret unknown past.
Carlisle had had a busy day at the hospital today. He’d seen several patients with the stomach flu that had been going around, and he had treated a girl with a broken arm. Carlisle had told the township many years ago, that the monkey bars at the local playground were just too unsafe for small children. Well… now it was time for his lunch break. Carlisle quickly went through the cafeteria line adding just a few portions to his tray. He no longer even paid attention to what type of food he added… he would just throw it out anyway. He ducked quickly into his office where he knew he could easily dispose of the food. Carlisle ignored the smell coming from the disgusting human food and let his mind wonder. It had been over a year since Edward had discovered Christopher in the forest. Although all of his family had eventually continued a “normal” pretence of reassembling their lives. Carlisle knew that all of them had the same questions. Who and what was Christopher? Why wouldn’t he speak even though he could produce the most beautiful singing voice? Why was his body so alike, but yet, so vastly different from the human norm? Why couldn’t Edward read his thoughts? Hell… He could ask the same questions about Bennett and Arvil, the two strangers who came and left with Christopher. The two men apparently had abilities that even left the vampires stunned and powerless. His family had continued to resume their lives. Edward had piqued Bella’s interest in college. They were both attending a college about two hours from Forks. Esme had smitten Jasper with the designing bug and he was working as an architect in Forks and the surrounding area. Alice was even starting her own online fashion line, and was glued to the computer. Emmett… well he usually did whatever he damn well wanted, which was usually trying to please Rosalie. Emmett had tried to talk Rosalie into going on a luxurious pleasure trip, but she’d refused. She’d been quite solemn after Christopher had left, but her spirits were finally beginning to lift. Carlisle’s thoughts finally drifted to Esme. It had taken everything he had to convince her that he was coping with the loss of Christopher. Of course Edward knew the despairing thoughts of his father… there was no way to hide that. But for his beloved Esme… he couldn’t allow her to know the torture he indured within himself. The darkness he attempted to slip by her every day. Why had Christopher affected him the most? Why did he feel such despair when one of his family members brought up the name? He’d told no one of the brief visit that Bennett gave him, forcing his thoughts to other places when Edward was near. Carlisle couldn’t bring himself to repeat the words that Bennett had spoken to him. It left him broken and confused, as if his head was bouncing off a brick wall.
Rosalie was sitting near the coy pond pondering what she’d do this particular day. Emmett, always the avid hunter, had tried to persuade her to go with him to Goat Canyon, on a bear-hunting trip. Although a vampire, Rosalie didn’t particularly love hunting the way the rest of her family did. Yes, she felt hunger, and her throat burned at times, but she considered blood only sustenance. Rosalie could never get into the hunt and produce the “fun” that Emmett and even Jasper felt. She hadn’t felt thirsty despite her husband’s enthusiastic urgings and had sent him off to fend for himself. She was about to go back inside and see what Esme was up to then suddenly she smelled the scent again! It had been over a year, but she recognized the sweet scent at once. She got up and surveyed the wooded area behind her… searching for a glimpse of Christopher. Suddenly, a boy popped from behind a huge oak. Rosalie fought her disappointment, this was somebody older, a boy about twelve to fourteen if she had to guess. Suddenly, she glared… What right did this kid have to come on their property? Rosalie gave an evil glare and snarled, “Get out of here.. you have no right being on this land!!” She opened her mouth with more threats, when the boy just smiled at her, waved, and began run to her with his hands wide open. She stood there as the boy ran up to her and embraced her. “Rosalie!” he said. She studied the boy.. he was strangely beautiful, at the in-between age where boys weren’t handsome or pretty. He possessed an almost androgynous beautiful appearance that belonged to neither sex. He had soft dark hair cropped just above his shoulders, eyes that were so dark blue, they almost appeared midnight. Despite the cloudy day, his pale skin seemed to radiate brilliance. The boy looked her in the eyes and shook his head in dismay, “You don’t remember me anymore, Rosalie?” She studied him closer… he was wearing a plain white buttonless shirt and something that looked like black knickers. His feet were bare and covered with whips and lacerations from the forest outgrowth. Inhaling deeply she recalled the sweet smell… now accompanied with a delicious smell due to his cuts. “Christopher?” but she knew it was impossible, the boy was too old, he almost reached her shoulders. “Of course!” the boy grinned at her and giving her another hug. “Did you think I wouldn’t remember you?” he teased. “You used to swing me and you’d take me to the fish pond!” Rosalie couldn’t help but hug him back and enjoy his sweet scent. She kissed both his cheeks and his forehead as the boy giggled. “I got away from them!” the boy rejoiced, “I knew if I had done it before, that I could do it again!” he said with an impish grin. “I have so many questions!” Rosalie spluttered, “You can talk?” The boy froze and eyed the nearby forest while listening carefully. “I probably can’t stay long,” he said quickly. He then continued, “I’ve learned again so I could come back and visit.” Rosalie sat down on the bench and grasped his soft warm hands, “What did you learn?” she asked him as she dragged him to sit beside her. Christopher rolled his eyes and laughed, “Well… how to talk silly! I sort of understood what all of you were saying when I was here before. I just didn’t know how to make the sounds back.” Rosalie gaped openly at the boy before her; this was even a lot for a vampire to take in. Suddenly they both heard a swallow sing high in the air. ‘Hmm… animals don’t usually make much noise around us,’ thought Rosalie. Before she could ask another question, the boy began to try to disengage her hold on him. Christopher suddenly stood and pulled at his trapped hands, “Rosalie, you have to let me go!” “No!” she shouted back, “Have you any idea how much we love you?” The boy only looked imploring to her, “Listen… don’t you hear the difference out there?” as he gazed into the forest. “Can’t you smell them? They’re after me… let me go!” Rosalie didn’t want to injure the boy in the struggle so she released him. Christopher ran to the huge oak tree, she could hear his heart beating like a loud drum. “Tell Carlisle that I haven’t forgotten him,” and with those words the boy seemed to all but disappear. She used her vampire abilities to run after him and track him, but she couldn’t locate him. Rosalie took a huge gulp of air… she could still smell Christopher’s unique sweet smell, but… there were other foreign smells nearby that were somewhat similar to the boy’s. She was never scared in the forest, as she was usually the strongest thing out there. But something felt wrong as she hurriedly ran from the forest and back to the safety of the Cullen house.
As Carlisle entered his home, he noticed a strange tension in his house. Edward rushed to Carlisle and whispered, “Is it possible for a vampire to go insane?” “Why would you even need to ask that, Edward?” Carlisle asked in return. “Well, I try not to read all of your minds… I do my best, but I can’t help it if somebody’s mind is literally screaming!” Edward said. “Please check on Rose, she’s been a nervous wreck. I noticed the minute Bella and I came in from school. She’s not said anything, but the things she thinks are just impossible and don’t make sense,” Edward finished. Carlisle was instantly up the stairs and knocking on Rosalie’s door. “Come in, Carlisle,” she said. Rosalie sat on her bed, eyes blank. “Are you all right?” Carlisle asked. “I don’t know,” Rosalie, answered him haughtily. “It’s been centuries since I’ve dreamed, but I can’t explain what happened today… I saw him!” Before Carlisle could ask, Rosalie said, “I saw Christopher… I talked with him.” Carlisle sat down beside her, and Rosalie repeated the entire experience to him. “When I searched for him in the forest… I can’t explain it… I’ve not felt scared in ages… but Carlisle… I was totally creeped out! I don’t even want to go back into the woods at this point.” Carlisle comforted Rosalie the best that he could, and said, “I believe you. You won’t have to hunt alone, one of us will go with you.” He began to open the door to leave when Rosalie said, “Christopher asked me to tell you that he still remembers you.”
Esme and Alice were waiting outside Rosalie’s door. “Is she okay… will she be all right?” Esme said with broken sighs. Before Carlisle could answer Alice cried out, “Why am I missing things? I should have seen something that would upset her like this!” Carlisle looked at Alice and said, “Call Emmett and tell him to get back home as soon as possible! When he gets home we’ll have a family meeting, minus Rosalie.” Six hours later, the Cullens sat at their dining table. Carlisle knew what they all were thinking… that it seemed almost like yesterday when they had met here a year ago to discuss Christopher. Carlisle repeated Rosalie’s story to his family, with the exception of Christopher’s message to him. “Anyway,” Carlisle continued, “Someone or something in the forest scared the hell out of Rosalie. We can’t let her starve… so some of us will need to hunt with her for a while.” Emmett had felt guilty at his absence, but now he said fiercely, “Don’t worry about her, Carlisle, I can take care of Rosalie.” Carlisle looked at his second son and said, “Emmett, this is something all of us need to do together. I’m getting tired of all the crap we’ve had to deal with since coming back together. I don’t know why these things have happened… why sometimes Alice can’t see… or why Edward can’t hear. I just know we all have to get through this together, as a family.” Esme took Carlisle’s hand and kissed his cheek. Jasper did his best to make Alice feel less responsible due to her ability not working right. Bella tried to do the same thing unsuccessfully with Edward. Emmett just glowered. “All I know is that somebody hurt Rosalie when they stole Christopher… and now somebody has tried to scare the livin hell out of her.” Something like a roar and snarl combined emanated from Emmett’s chest as he said matter of factly, “I’ll kill whoever hurts her again.”
The next week Carlisle was having a slow day at the hospital so he struggled with keeping his private thoughts away from work. His nurse, Linda, came by his office to let him know he had an appointment waiting. Carlisle waited for the preliminary paperwork but it didn’t arrive. He was about to call his nurse when she came and said, “There’s a Mrs. Rachel Lapp wanting to see you… immediately!” Linda said as she rolled her eyes. “Where’s her paperwork?” asked Carlisle. “Listen Carlisle…” Linda began, “the lady’s a weirdo, trust me on this. She refused the paperwork and said she was here to see you about a ‘Christopher?’” Carlisle immediately stood up, “Is he with her?” he asked quickly. “No, she’s all alone,” replied Linda. “Okay.. Send her in…no calls or interruptions please,” replied Carlisle. Linda gave him a funny look as she left the office. A few minutes later, Linda ushered the woman into his office and left. The woman appeared middle-aged, her dark hair was neatly pinned-up under a white bonnet. She wore a black pinafore dress over a gray blouse. Carlisle quickly looked her over… he hadn’t seen anyone dress like that since he was young. He stared openly at the woman as she took a seat.. soon her dark eyes were upon him. “All right,” Carlisle began, “I’m sick and tired of what’s going on. I mean SICK! I demand you tell me just what’s going on?” Carlisle had rarely felt himself so furious. He actually found himself swearing.. using words that he didn’t even know that he knew existed. Something he’d not let happen for an eternity was happening… he was unleashing the monster that lurked within him. “What in the hell is Christopher and what does he want with us!? he demanded. “And don’t you deny that Bennett and Arvil have a piece in this as well!? Carlisle sneered. He’d just had had enough of this ridiculousness. Rachel gave him a look and a smirk that had nothing to do with being a middle-aged Amish woman and said, “Hmmmm…. Bennett said you were a pretty nice guy… for a vampire of course.”
“What do you wish to know?” Rachel asked. “Why don’t we start with everything?” Carlisle retorted. Rachel raised her brows, “Hmm… You don’t want to know much.” Carlisle continued his serious gaze. “Please….” Rachel began, “I know you’re upset and I’m sorry about the things you’re thinking.” Carlisle’s eyes widened as he hissed, “You’ve read my mind?” “In a way” Rachel continued, “It’s not exactly what your son does. Hmmm.. It’s more like our method of…communication.” Carlisle looked confused. “Bennett did send me… but because I’m adept at articulating spoken language. It’s very difficult for most of us to learn the way your type communicates… I’m just one of the few exceptions.” “Who exactly are all of you?” Carlisle asked seriously. “And what’s the boy got to do with all of this damnation?” Rachel gave him a kind look, “Mr. Carlisle, I know you’re a good man. Bennett knows that too, we’re actually on your side.” Carlisle rolled his eyes, “I’d appreciate some answers.” “And I’d love to give them,” stated Rachel, “but I can’t possibly tell you everything… you have no idea how dangerous this all is.” She eyed Carlisle carefully, “You’re kind doesn’t know about us, it’s not safe. You should know that. But… we find compassion within your family.” “Hah!” laughed Carlisle, “You weren’t there to witness what Arvil did to my family! His powers seem to extend well past any vampire’s that I’ve ever encountered.” “Arvil is just an example of one of us,” Rachel said, “Do you really believe that all my kind have Arvil’s powers and abilities?” “And… you don’t know the entire story behind Arvil, so try not to judge him so harshly,” she chastised. “He killed my son!” Carlisle roared. The woman began to weep, huge tears coursed down her cheeks. “But he also restored his life… it was wrong to take it, I know,” she said. “Arvil’s also removed what he did to Rosalie… she will no longer be frightened as she was.” Before Carlisle could respond Rachel continued, “I know what a good man you are. I’ve been aware of your superior goodness for several hundred years.” Carlisle raised an eyebrow, “I’m not quite as young as I look either,” she said with a wink to her eye. “Are you… I don’t know… a different type of immortal? Possibly a hybrid?” asked Carlisle as he listened to her heartbeat. “No,” she replied softly, “at least I’m not an immortal… none of my people are. When our life force is complete, we depart.” She seemed to sigh in relief. “Anyway, I’ve come to alert you that Christopher had disappeared again… you obviously know that.” “Yes, I do,” Carlisle replied tersely. “We almost caught him,” Rachel sighed, “we knew where he’d be…. we were so close but then he was gone again. Before we knew it, your daughter entered the forest interrupting our chase. We didn’t mean her any harm, but Arvil became angry and put the ‘fear’ into her. He’s been punished and Rosalie has been released from her ‘fear’,” Rachel finished sadly. “Thank you for explaining that”, said Carlisle, “I just don’t understand…” “I know you don’t… and in many ways you’re better off, and so are we.” She continued on with a more serious look and said, “But, I’ve come here to help you… don’t let Christopher anywhere near you,” she pleaded. “Why?” Carlisle asked astonished. Rachel let out a small sob, “Christopher has certain abilities… abilities so rare that they’re almost unknown among our kind.” She looked into Carlisle’s eyes, “He is also unwell… in fact, he shouldn’t be here…his…his life force should have ended long ago.” “I don’t understand,” repeated Carlisle, “How can I help the boy?” Carlisle’s thoughts and feelings about Christopher began to go awry. Why did he give a damned about this lousy kid? Then he remembered what Rachel said about Christopher. Bennett’s last words began to echo in his ears… Carlisle didn’t know how much longer he could contain himself. The child… he was going to die? Rachel abruptly looked up at Carlisle and said, “Bennett had no right telling you that!” She could tell that Carlisle was reaching his breaking point. Rachel began to plead, “If you do one thing… just ONE thing… you and your family can be released from all this.” “What do you want us to do?” Carlisle asked between clenched teeth. “You must help us recapture, Christopher,” she pleaded. As tears streaked her face Rachel said, “Bennett’s was right… we know how to find him, because Christopher will always come back to you, Carlisle.” She leaned in further.. “You will help us… Please!!” “Yes” he managed to hiss, “I’ll help you.” Rachel quickly left Carlisle’s office knowing she had overstepped her bounds, but also knowing she had Carlisle’s word. Carlisle quickly jumped out his office window and sprinted into the forest. He ran until he began to see the boundary to Canada. He wondered how he looked at the moment… his wild hair, his clothes were now in tatters. He wouldn’t think for now… he’d head back to Forks in the wilderness… he’d let the monster out that he’d kept trapped for centuries. He would run, rant, rave, and feed and be oblivious for a few precious hours before he would recall that he would betray Christopher. “It doesn’t take a mind reader to know how upset Carlisle is,” Alice told Esme. “That’s because he’s really hurting,” Esme replied. It’s a pain that even I can’t even begin to understand in order to help him.” It had been a week since Carlisle had come home an absolute mess with his clothes in tatters. None of the family had experienced this before with calm, collected, kind-hearted Carlisle. He had stayed home from work the next few days saying little until they were all sitting in the living room, listening to Edward play one night. “Edward, could you come in here?” Carlisle suddenly said. Edward was there in an instant, all eyes upon Carlisle. “I recently heard from some of Christopher’s family,” Carlisle said as he noticed Rosalie taking Emmett’s hand and biting her lower lip. “It appears that he’s ill, and they’re searching for him.” He looked carefully at Rosalie and added, “I’ve already told them that we’d help them however we can.” “But Carlisle.” Rosalie began, “I’ve seen him!” She rolled her eyes as she said, “Christopher’s not sick! He can even talk. Heck! I wish you guys could have heard him! Sick my ashes!” “Stop Rosalie!” Carlisle commanded. Everyone took notice because Carlisle never spoke in this way. “You, yourself said the boy had changed drastically! His people are telling the truth, there’s no way he could have aged from seven to around thirteen in less than a year. Something’s drastically wrong with the boy.” Carlisle finished. “So… what exactly are you wanting us to do?” Emmett asked. “We mustn’t let the boy get away if he reappears, at least not until his people can get him.” Rosalie looked upset and glanced at Emmett, who took a deep breath, “Well.. here’s what I..” he began. Carlisle cut him off cleanly, “Enough Emmett, these people have powers that we can’t contend with…. you’re evidence of that.” “Well hell…,” Emmett grumbled, “if they’re so powerful why can’t they catch the kid themselves?” Jasper intervened, “Look, it’s like Carlisle’s already said, the family needs to stick together through this. We need to stay together, united until all this is over.” The entire family agreed…although Emmett and Rosalie not too enthusiastically. A few days later Esme noticed the sweet honeysuckle smell when Christopher first began his appearances more than a year ago. She and Alice walked throughout the house noticing the odor. When Rosalie and Emmett entered after hunting, Rosalie’s eyes grew huge as she looked at Esme. “He’s been here,” whispered Rosalie, “his scent is all over the place!” “Did you smell him outside?” Esme asked them. “No,” Emmett admitted, “we didn’t smell a thing until we came inside.” Carlisle was the last of the family to get home that day. He tried to think of Christopher’s favorite places… he usually had eaten in the kitchen… he often would find Carlisle in his lab…. he sometimes played around the coy pond, near Renesmee’s old play area. The Cullen family was on “Christopher” alert and they were combing the woods carefully. Carlisle began to head back to the house, as he neared, he spied Rosalie sitting on the bench near the small fishpond. “Are you okay?” Carlisle asked carefully sitting beside her. “Yes, I just don’t know if I can give him up,” she confessed. Carlisle took Rosalie’s hand in his own. Then, mysteriously, Carlisle felt a small warm hand take his own. He looked to his other side, and there was Christopher sitting right next to him. An older version of Christopher, as Rosalie had said, but there was no denying the scent or the dark blue eyes. “What are you guys doing?” Christopher whispered to them, eyes wide. Carlisle was taken aback by the gentle voice, but clamped his hand hard down on Christopher’s. “Ouchhh!! You’re hurting me!” the boy lamented. Carlisle lightened his hold but kept it firm. Rosalie smiled tenderly at the boy and rose and seated herself on Christopher’s other side, taking his other warm hand in her cold one. Carlisle looked at Rosalie then said in a louder voice, “We have him.” In minutes the entire Cullen family were surrounding them. Christopher gazed warily as Edward neared, remembering their first meeting. But as Edward neared, the boy glanced shyly up into Edward’s eyes and said, “Hi Edward.” Edward smiled, then kneeled and placed his cold hand against the boy’s warm cheek. It seemed like a family reunion with everyone reacquainting themselves with Christopher, as he laughed and spoke with them. “I told you I’d come back, I wouldn’t forget you,” the boy said as he squeezed Carlisle’s hand. Suddenly the wind shifted, and brought a strange new scent to the vampires. Christopher’s face sprang to attention. “I’ve got to go… let me go!” Carlisle and Rosalie kept their hands tightly on the boy’s. “Please!” he pleaded! “They won’t let me come see you again!” A small group of four emerged from the forest heading straight for the Cullens. The Cullens tried to comfort the boy, but he would have none of it. Carlisle looked at the group of four and noticed Rachel and Arvil among them. Arvil nodded to Rachel and she carefully began to approach the boy. Christopher cast a loathsome look upon Rachel and then Arvil. “Leave me,” the boy said. All traces of fear seemed to have evaporated. “I know and remember now,” he said to Arvil. “The boy’s unwell,” Arvil said to the Cullens. “Take him,” Arvil again said to Rachel. The boy then put his head on Carlisle’s chest and cried, “I’ve changed my mind, I want him to know… I want him to know!” Rachel and the other man, carefully took hold of the child carefully and tightly. As they secured their tight holds on the boy, Christopher suddenly went ballisticly wild, attempting to free their hold. It was then that the Cullens witnessed something they couldn’t believe. Christopher’s eyes suddenly rolled to the top of his head and his entire body convulsed as if having a seizure. “Let me help him,” Carlisle pleaded as he leaned nearer the boy. “No,” Arvil replied. It took everything for Carlisle and his family not to intercede. Emmett had just about had enough when a change took place. As Emmett gasped, the boy’s shaking body seemed to still. The Cullens stood in awe as the boy slowly began to breathe again. For as he seemed to take each gasping breath, he grew younger, smaller, his clothing now seemed to dwarf him. Esme stared shocked at the boy saying, “He can’t be any more than six or seven years old?” “I warned you that he was ill,” stated Arvil. He looked at the other man with him and said, “He’s plenty small enough for you to handle him.” The man began to gently raise Christopher easily into his arms. As he began to walk, Christopher suddenly became alert gazing in shock at the strange man. In fact, Christopher didn’t seem to recognize anyone else as well. Except for one. The boy looked into Carlisle’s golden eyes as in full recognition and began sobbing. To everyone’s surprise, Christopher began talking franticly, however he sounded different. The child now spoke in a childish unfamiliar but definite clipped English accent. Christopher looked desperately into Carlisle’s eyes. The boy streamed tears and begged, “Dadee!.. Please Dadee.. no!! Carlisle felt his family’s eyes upon him. Suddenly the man and Christopher were gone. Carlisle looked into Rachel’s eyes as she avoided his face in shame. “I warned you the boy was ill,” repeated Arvil as in explanation. He reached for Rachel’s hand and soon the Cullen’s stood alone in the empty playground. Carlisle stood there…as if Christopher were still in front of him. His family attempted to regain his attention, but Carlisle stood as motionless as a statue. “What’s wrong with him!” Esme sobbed. Bella glanced at Edward and then again at the stationary Carlisle. “I’ve seen this before,” she glanced back at Edward, “with him.” Edward glared at Bella, “I’ve never done that,” he said. “Yes you did,” she replied, “when I first told you that I was pregnant. You totally freaked and didn’t move for like five or ten minutes.” “I don’t remember that,” Edward replied dumbfounded. “Maybe it’s some type of coping strategy?” Alice said. Esme just sighed and continued to stroke Carlisle’s face. “The rest of you go on inside, I’ll stay with him.” Carlisle recovered about thirty minutes later, having no memory of being stationary. She took him inside to his study. “What happened to Christopher?” Esme asked, “Why would he say what he said to you?” “I truly have no idea my love,” answered Carlisle. “I know that I’ve always had a strange pull towards him… like a magnet…I can’t explain because it all makes no sense. Even though he’s always seemed familiar… I don’t know the child.” “Can’t I do anything to help you?” Esme pleaded. “No, let me just concentrate for a while and collect myself.” Esme kissed Carlisle gently on the mouth and exited his study. As Carlisle sat, he recollected his last memory of Christopher… how he had begged for help. Carlisle had recognized the strange English accent. Nobody really spoke it anymore, because it was the accent of his English youth. How would the child know to speak in that way… and why was the child so disillusioned that he mistook Carlisle as his father? He could still smell Christopher’s sweet scent nearby. He entered into his lab, where he had studied Christopher one night. He needed to destroy the lab samples or get them out of the house… the sooner he put the young boy behind him the better. The samples were locked inside an airtight box, inside the small freezer in the corner. Carlisle was surprised he could still smell the sweet heady scent. Suddenly, he spied a small piece of paper folded in half with his name on the front. It was just a sheet of ordinary copy paper, but when he picked it up he knew at once it had been touched by Christopher. Hell, the paper was full of Christopher’s sent. He opened it and began to read: Dearest Father, Please forgive me when you find this.I thought when you saw me again, that you might just remember me. I guess my work is better than I thought. I was wrong to do what I did. I can see that so clearly now. I thought I could leave this lifetime, and be content with you not knowing. But I realize how stupid, petty, and even selfish I’ve been. I know you don’t remember, but years ago I made a contingency for this. Just in case for some inexplicable reason that you might need to know. You wear a pinky ring. I know about it because I’m the one who gave it to you and told you to wear it for always. The ring opens, if you open the latch, you will remember. Your loving, Christopher Carlisle’s hands began to shake as he glanced at his left hand and saw the ring that he always wore. The ring that he had always had. He forced the ring from his finger and studied it. The stone was a sapphire, a midnight blue sapphire…a shade of blue that was so dark it could have matched Christopher’s eyes. Carlisle then noticed the smallest gleam of gold on one side, almost like a hinge. He pulled at the stone, but nothing happened. Carlisle realized that he was always trying to perfect his imitation of being human. He always had to watch his strength with his patients. Carlisle reached down again and broke the ring, forcing the stone from its mount. Inside was a small picture or cameo that would be difficult to make out with weak human eyes. But Carlisle could easily see the delicately beautiful woman sitting in the picture… and leaning against her, was a young boy wearing Christopher’s face. Suddenly Carlisle felt a wall come crashing down… the one that he sometimes felt his head would hit when he thought too deeply about Christopher. The wall in which Christopher was the clever architect, reconstructing and hiding the past, keeping the secrets of long ago well hidden. Carlisle knew everything now.