Mikey and Willow confront Martha and the Dark Man.
“Good one.” Alicia said leaning over and whispering in Willow’s ear.
Willow turned to her. “What?”
Alicia laughed, “Come on. You know all you have to do is stare at him and he thinks you’re listening to his thoughts. I saw that look he just gave you. You’re making the poor guy nervous.”
“I’m really not listening to them.” Willow said with a sigh, “But that’s how people usual react you know about my abilities.”
“Well I don’t.” Alicia said giving Willow a quick hug.
Willow was touched by her words. “Thank you.”
Alicia smiled, “Do you really want to sit here and listen? I’m kinda feeling like some fresh air would be nice.”
“Yeah, it would be.” Truth was Willow had developed a headache and the fresh air might help.
Alicia told Christa and Jamia that she and Willow would be back in a bit. Willow noticed that Gerard was staring at her as they left.
Once outside Alicia linked arms with Willow as they walked. “So girlfriend I’m gonna be totally nosey and ask you something.”
Willow laughed, “Okay, what do you want to know?”
“Well I saw you when you came back in from talking to Ray. You looked sorta upset.”
“Like I’d been crying.” Willow added for her.
Alicia nodded, “Yeah, like you’d been crying. Ray didn’t say anything to upset you did he? I mean he told all of us he was going outside to talk to you because we all felt bad about what happened with Brain.”
“He didn’t upset me.” Willow answered. “I’m just kinda having an emotional today.”
“Okay that’s good to know. I’d hate to have to smack him if he’d upset you.”
Willow laughed, “You’d smack him?”
“Sure, I would. Don’t want no one upsetting my friend.” They reached one of the wooden benches under a tree and decided to sit. “So I guess being here had been harder for you then you imagined.”
“Very hard.” Willow admitted. “There are so many restless departed. So many confused and lost souls.”
“So do you think you and Mikey will be able to reunite Martha and her daughter?”
Once again Willow sighed, “I hope so but Martha has to appear for us to even try.”
“Too bad you can’t summon her or some shit.” Alicia said sitting back to get comfortable.
“Yeah, it would be nice if it worked that way.” Willow agreed. “But it doesn’t.”
“I’m just glad Mikey is getting a handle on how to deal with all of this.” The relief in Alicia’s voice was obvious. “Last nigh when you were gone I told him I’d call you and Gerard if he thought he needed you but he told me he could handle it. I was so proud of him.”
“I’m proud of him too.” Willow said smiling. “He’s really doing much better than I’d hoped.”
Alicia looked over at Willow. “And how are you doing, really?”
Her question surprised Willow, “I’m okay.”
“I mean with Gerard.” Alicia answered looking into Willow’s eyes. “Yeah, I’m being nosey I know but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see you two are pretty tight. Even after that shit went down with Jessica you two are still together.”
For the first time in her life Willow felt like she had a friend she could confide in. “I didn’t handle that situation very well.” She said softly.
“I don’t understand.”
Willow took a deep breath and explained, “I listened to Jessica’s thoughts at the restaurant. I knew what she was up to.”
Alicia laughed, “Yeah, so did a lot of us. She’s a conniving bitch.”
“But I had no right to listen to her thoughts and Gerard knew I did it. It’s no wonder he doesn’t trust me.”
Who said he doesn’t trust you?” Alicia asked, “And really what woman wouldn’t listen in to the thoughts of a skanky bitch trying to steal their man?”
“He’s not my man.” Willow corrected her.
Alicia stared at her. “You two are together. I can tell by the way he acts he cares about you.”
“We’re together for now.” Willow said looking away, “Sunday when we leave here I’m going home.”
“Yeah, to Kansas.” Willow said softly.
Alicia didn’t know what to say. She’s been sure that the relationship between them had changed. Gerard spent every minute he could with Willow. They were sleeping together and everyone knew.
Willow sighed, “See I’m just like Jessica.”
“No.” Alicia said sitting up. “You are nothing like her. She uses Gerard. She likes to be seen with him.”
Willow stared into the distance.
“Willow, I love my brother-in-law but I know sometimes he’s an idiot. Still I don’t believe for one minute he thinks your anything like Jessica.”
Willow couldn’t hide the hurt in her voice. “What we have is sex. That is what we agreed on when this started.”
Alicia touched her arm, “Maybe that’s what you both first agreed on but I don’t believe that’s all it is now. I know you love him.”
“But he doesn’t love me. He won’t let himself love.” Willow whispered.
Alicia opened her mouth to say more but Willow cut her off. “Go get Mikey.”
“Go get him.” Willow repeated with urgency in her voice.
It was then Alicia noticed that Willow seemed to be staring at something. While she didn’t see anything out of the ordinary she realized that Willow did.
“Just Mikey and hurry.”
Alicia nodded and jumped up. She sprinted for the mansion as quickly as she could.
“Stay here okay?” Mikey said touching his wife’s arm. They had just come out the front entrance and he saw the two women in the distance. He hoped Alicia would understand. He didn’t want Martha to be frightened off by too many people.
“Sure.” Alicia nodded. She watched Mikey run across the grounds to the bench were Willow still sat.
Willow spoke to Mikey while still looking at Martha. “Mikey I’ve been trying to make her understand that she doesn’t have to protect Mary from anything here.”
Mikey sat down on the bench and smiled at Martha. His tone was gentle. “She’s right. Mary comes to look for you but she comes from a good place.” He wasn’t sure how to phrase what he wanted to say.
“She comes from the light.” Willow added gently. “Mary has passed on into the next world. Nothing here can harm her or keep her from going back.”
“But she wants her mama to go back with her.” Mikey added softly.
They both saw the confusion on Martha’s face. Willow believed she understood. “Martha, he can’t hurt Mary and he can’t keep you here.” As she said the words her mind was filled with images. It all became clear.
“I don’t understand.” Mikey whispered. He too saw the images Martha was projecting.
Willow’s eyes filled with tears. “Martha I understand you loved him. But his love for you was twisted. He tries to keep you here because of that love but it’s wrong. The love you have for your daughter is pure. Go with her. Leave this place.”
“What the fuck is going on?” Gerard asked joining Alicia just outside the front door. He looked across the grounds to where Mikey and Willow sat on a bench. To him it looked like they were talking about something serious.
“I think they are talking to Martha.” Alicia answered unable to tear her gaze away from Willow and Mikey.
“What?” Gerard took a step forward but Alicia’s hand shot out to stop him.
“Stay here. Let them do what they can.”
“Willow look.” Mikey whispered.
Slowly a form took shape behind Martha.
“She’s so beautiful.” Mikey whispered in awe as Mary slowly continued towards her mother. When she reached her side Martha turned to her.
“Go with her.” Willow said softly with tears in her eyes.
They both saw the look on Martha’s face. She was uncertain. Suddenly the air became heavy and what Willow feared the most happened. The dark man stood beside Martha.
“Shit.” Mikey was afraid. He could feel “evil” in the air. Not only feel it he could taste it.
Willow took a deep breath, “Martha do not believe his lies. He can’t hurt Mary.”
As the words left her mouth the Dark Man turned to her his face filled with rage. Willow cried out as the images he forced into her mind blinded her with pain and fear.
“Willow.” Mikey grabbed her hand in fear. While he saw nothing from the Dark Man he knew he was targeting Willow.
“No,” Willow cried out. She tried to stand but the images paralyzed her. She fell to her knees.
Gerard saw Willow fall and started to go to her.
“No,” He was grabbed, not by Alicia, by Ray who had silently walked up behind them. “Don’t do it, Gee.”
“Are you fuckin’ insane? Look at her. I’ve got to help her.” He tried to pull his arm out of Ray’s grasp.
“Think about it. Remember what happened before. If you go out there it will make it worse.”
Gerard shook his head, “I can’t just stand here.”
“You have to let Willow and Mikey handle this.” Ray tired to make him understand.
Mikey began to panic. Willow was doubled over in pain. “Stop.” He yelled out. The Dark Man ignored him and smiled at Willow while continuing to project the horrible images.
Willow reached up and grabbed Mikey’s hand. She needed his help. “Make Martha believe.” She whispered.
Mikey looked up at Martha, “Please, look what he’s doing to her. Go with Mary.” Suddenly Mikey’s mind was filled with images. It was at that moment he understood. “Martha she knows the truth. She loves you.”
Willow was trying to focus on what Mikey was saying. The images of death still crippled her.
Martha looked down at her daughter. As Mikey watched Mary held out her hand. Mikey held his breath waiting, hoping, Martha would take it. And then she did. She took her daughters hand.
Now the Dark Man’s fury was unleashed. Willow saw images of Gerard under water. She saw his eyes close and the breath leave his body. She saw…”
Martha glanced at Mikey one final time, turned with Mary, and then they were gone.
“She’s gone.” Mikey whispered. “She went with Mary.”
Willow braced herself for the wrath the Dark Man would release on her. She knew what she had to do. “It’s over, she’s gone.” Willow said brokenly. “You’ve lost her for all time.”
Mikey kneeled down by Willow and put his arms around her trying to shield her. He saw the murderous look on the Dark Man’s face.
Willow pushed him away so roughly he fell over hitting his head on the bench. She closed her eyes not wanting to see the look of hurt on his face.
“It’s fucking over.” Willow screamed. “You’ve lost.” She taunted the Dark Man.
Gerard saw his brother pushed roughly by Willow. “What the fuck is she doing?”
Beside him Alicia was trying desperately not to run to her husband. “I don’t know.” She whispered.
“This shit needs to stop.” Gerard ground out.
Ray still had a tight grip on his arm.
Suddenly the images stopped. Willow opened her eyes to see the Dark Man staring at her. His anger was gone, the fury dead. She gasped as a single tear rolled down his cheek and then he was gone.
Mikey sat up rubbing his head.
Willow fell to the ground, burying her face in the grass. Tears poured from her eyes.
“What the fuck.” Gerard had broken away from Ray and was towering over them. “Bro are you okay?”
Mikey stood slowly winching in pain, “Yeah.”
“Why the fuck did you push him like that?” Gerard yelled at Willow.
“Gee, stop.” Mikey yelled. “You don’t understand. She was protecting me.”
Willow had curled up in a ball and continued to cry. The hot, salty tears rolled down her cheeks.
“What?” Gerard didn’t understand.
Without another word, Mikey scooped Willow up into his arms and began carrying her to the mansion. Gerard followed behind, confused.
“What happened?” He asked again.
Mikey ignored him and continued walking. When he reached the door Alicia and Ray stood back to let him pass. Mikey carried Willow inside and started for the stairs. Alicia followed closely behind.
Gerard stopped just inside the doorway and watched as they went up the stairs.
Once they reached the hallway Alicia quickly went ahead and opened the bedroom door. Mikey walked in and carefully placed Willow on the bed.
“Mikey, I don’t understand.” Alicia said softly.
“Grab a washcloth.” He told her.
Alicia ran to the bathroom and quickly returned with a dampened cloth. Mikey took it from her and gently wiped Willows tear stained face. Her eyes slowly opened.
“It’s okay, now.” Mikey said softly, “It’s over.”
Willow’s voice cracked, “Mikey, I didn’t mean to hurt you.” Fresh tears rolled down her cheeks.
“I know that.” Mikey said with a small smile, “I understand what you were doing.”
“I don’t.” Alicia said sitting down on the bed at Willow’s side while Mikey continued to wipe away Willow’s tears.
“She was making sure that the Dark Man’s anger stayed focused on her. She didn’t want him to start projecting images into my mind.”
Willow was relieved he truly understood. She reached up and squeezed his hand.
“Oh.” Alicia whispered still confused.
“I’ll explain later.” Mikey said giving his wife a smile filled with love. “Just know Willow was protecting me.”
“So it’s over?” Alicia asked, “Martha has been reunited with her daughter?”
“Yes” Mikey nodded, “She’s left this place.” He felt an overwhelming feeling of joy.
Willow spoke softly. The pain was dulling, “His love was twisted but he did love her.”
Mikey nodded, “Yeah, when I put my arms around you I saw that.”
Willow’s eyes shot open, “You did?” Oh God, she thought, what else did he see? Looking into his eyes her worse fears were realized.
“I saw, Willow.” He whispered.
Standing in the doorway, Gerard held his breath. At that moment Mikey turned and saw his brother. He said nothing else. He simply squeezed Willows hand gently.