~ Growing Up (Accident II Part 2) ~
by Eveh

General Disclaimer: These characters are mine although two of them may represent two characters, which we all know and love. This is also an uber.

Content Warning: I really don't think that one is necessary. Yes, two women are in love in this story but nothing major. It's more mentioned than anything.

Personal: This is the third part of "Accident" I gave it a different name because it just seemed appropriate to do so for this part. Please send your comments to xengab01@aol.com. And as always, Enjoy!

You're probably wondering where Sam was during this little fiasco; well she wasn't home at the time because she was working. I don't know if it would have been different if she was there, but I would like to think so. I would like to think that she would have stopped me from saying those four words before I even got the chance.

The fact of the matter is I said what I said and I couldn't take it back. I desperately wanted to take it back but I couldn't take it back. My behavior in the situation was less than admirable. The rest of the night I didn't leave my room because I was afraid to face Dana. I was afraid to see the hurt that I caused in her eyes again. I didn't want to deal with the consequences of my actions. As a matter of fact I came up with this diluted I idea that the whole fight was Dana's fault. I decided that she forced me to say what I did.

You know that's not the truth right? I mean there was no excuse. I figured that out when Sam got home. She walked in the front door a little after one in the morning and I could hear her go into Dana and her bedroom. I don't know why, but I decided to leave my room and go get a 'drink of water'. When I passed by their room I heard a soft murmur of voices, Sam's and one very hurt Dana's.

I positioned myself right outside their door and slowly sunk down to the floor, so I could better hear the conversation behind the door.

"I don't know what to do with her anymore." It was Dana's voice. "What did I do?"

"Honey, it's just something Tori's going through right now. You didn't do anything." Sam's voice was compassionate.

"She said?" Dana's voice was struggling. "She said I wasn't her mother." I heard a soft gasping noise come from Sam. "I don't know why it's affecting me this way." Dana was crying. "I know I'm not her mother and I know I don't deserve her love, but it still hurts."

"Dana, it hurts so much because you love her and we've taken care of her for the last three years. If she had said that to me I don't know what I would have done." Sam then whispered something to Dana that I couldn't understand, it sounded something almost like, and "She is our daughter."

Well, I didn't want to hear any more. It hurt too much. So, I went back to my room and laid myself upon my bed, stared at the ceiling, and thought about the past three years of my life. I thought about my parents and I realized I had truly become their little girl. I was popular and I made all the right social choices to further my status in the high school hierarchy. I was a star basketball player, who used my talent to get away with little things, like failing classes.

I was something that I had always hated. I had become Victorianna Elizabeth Ann Marcus. I was no longer Tori. I treated people like shit and two of them were just a door down the hallway, one of which I had just hurt rather badly. Needless to say, I wasn't that proud of myself and I promised to change. I wanted to be Tori again and I was willing to do anything to get her back. That included begging forgiveness from Dana and Sam and proving that I was sorry; because words this time just wasn't going to cut it, actions were.

I planned on doing better in school. I planned on making new friends. Friends that actually cared about me and what I thought. I wanted friends that would fight with me if they didn't agree with my opinion, not like those floozies that were calling themselves my friends. I planned on changing my attitude and most importantly I planned on treating Dana and Sam differently before it was too late and they decided to give up hope on me.

I wasn't so na´ve to think that by the time the sun rose I would be different. I knew it would take time, and I prayed that I would get all the time I needed to rectify what I had done. If I didn't then I would find some way to come back from the dead and make up for what I had done. That all decided I was able to finally go to sleep and get all the rest I could before my alarm went off to tell me it was time to get up.

The next morning came only three hours later. When I first woke up I could have sworn that the previous day was just a long horrid dream, but the conversation I had heard the other night went over again in my head; and I remember everything. It was going to be a long day.

I slowly extricated myself from the bed and wobbled off to take a shower. I luckily wasn't faced with any contact with Sam or Dana. I wasn't ready for it yet. Actually, I was just scared. I knew there would be pain in Dana's eyes and I knew there would be disappointment in Sam's. It wasn't something I wanted to deal with first thing in the morning, or ever for that matter.

The feeling didn't go away after I was done getting ready for school. Dana and Sam didn't have to go to work that day so I guessed they would sleep in. I didn't want to disturb them so I left for school and wrote them a note telling them that I was just going to take the bus to school. Now, I know that you might be thinking that I was just being a chicken and running away. Well, I was. I'll admit it, I was procrastinating.

If it makes you feel any better that whole day in school I couldn't think of anything else, but just leaving that morning not saying anything. I thought it was cowardly and it was, but there was nothing I could do about it. So, I would just have to wait until I got home, which would be after the basketball game that I had forgotten about.

I wasn't really excited about the game that night, because my thoughts were so preoccupied. But as I was going through warm-ups I saw Dana and Sam enter the gym. Amazingly after all I had done, Dana had still come to my game. What had I done to deserve such love? As of recently nothing.

Dana and Sam took a seat in the crowd and my eyes followed them the whole way, and to my surprise so did my body. I unconsciously walked up to where they had chosen to sit and just stood there in front of them and stared. I think I was trying to decide if they were real or not. They both looked up to me with questions clearly written on their faces. I just decided to go with what I was feeling and I threw myself into Dana's arms. "Thank you so much for coming." Dana seemed surprised at first, but she eventually enveloped me in her arms. "Why wouldn't I be here?" She whispered into my ear.

"Marcus get your butt back on the court!" I heard my coach yell from behind me. "You can hug mommy later we've got a game to play!"

Dana pulled away from me and looked directly into my eyes. "You better go back. We can talk later."

I made a decision. "Yeah Mom, we can talk later." I turned to Sam and gave her a quick hug too then ran back to my fellow teammates.

That night I played the best game I had ever played up to that point. I felt free and able to do anything that I wanted. I felt like I had started getting the old Tori back. The night was also a night to be etched into memory forever.

After the game, which we did win, we all decided to celebrate by crashing the nearest Pizza Hut with a bunch of fans, players and parents. Dana and Sam didn't hesitate to come and we had a lot of fun. It was the best time that we had all shared together in awhile. As of late it had just been the fighting and the yelling, but not that night. That night was special for me. It showed me that no matter what I did, Dana and Sam would be there for me because they loved me and that's what people who love you do.

Sure there was stuff that still needed to be worked out, and it was. That night after we got home, Dana, Sam, and I had a long talk. Man, it wasn't easy. It was actually very hard, because I had to face the consequences of my past actions. Let me tell you, it's not a simple thing. Owning up to what you have done and seeing the effect first hand is hard, but hey we all gotta do it sometime.

" I want you guys to know that I am really sorry for the way that I've been acting. You don't deserve the way I've been treating you." We were all sitting in the living room. They were on the couch side by side while I sat directly across from them on the coffee table. We had just returned from Pizza Hut and I had decided to just bite the bullet and get everything over with. "I promise you that I will work harder in school and I'll do whatever you think I need to in order to earn your forgiveness."

"Tori, I think it's great that you want to do this, but doing it just for our forgiveness isn't good enough. You should want to do it for yourself too." Sam gently explained to me.

I thought about what Sam had said for a moment, and had to ask myself the question whether I was just changing because I didn't want them to hate me or was I doing it because I wanted what was best for me. "It's what I want too." I whispered almost to myself. "I don't like the way that I've been feeling lately and I don't like the way I have made other's feel," I looked directly into Dana's deep blue eyes, "especially you." One lonely tear traveled its way down Dana's face. "I imagine that I feel like my parents did. Empty inside."

"You're not empty inside Tori. If you were you would have never thought twice about the way Sam or I felt." Dana reached out and ran her hand gently down my cheek. "And you wouldn't be here now apologizing."

"I'm so sorry." I was crying now. "I am so sorry that I hurt you. I won't do it again."

Dana and Sam both enveloped me into their arms. "Yes you will." Dana took my chin and looked me directly in the eyes. "You hurt the ones you love. It's just part of life, but because you love them and they love you, you are forgiven. And Tori believe me when I tell you that you are forgiven."

"And loved." Sam added.

After that night, things around the house got better. There was still some tension between Dana and me, but that eventually went away after I proved to her that I was working hard in changing my attitude.

About a year later after my 'attitude change' Audrey graduated from college and decided to go into medical school. Personally I was a little surprised that she wanted to be a doctor. I thought that it would be more beneficial if she went into the WNBA or something. She was an extraordinary basketball player and she was offered a contract for the Houston Comets, which she refused. She gave up my chance to meet Sheryl Swoops.

When she told me that she wasn't going to take the contract I thought that I was going to cry, but she explained to me that she wanted to be a doctor so she could help those who are sick like Lauren was or even get a chance to make a difference in a person's life like Sam and Dana had done for me. What argument did I have for that? I didn't, so I supported her in her decision and even told her that I'd pay for her medical school. She refused my offer and said she'd do it on her own.

I'm going off on a tangent so get prepared. Do you know how confusing it is to have a very large amount of money just sitting around in some bank account that is available to you at anytime and offer to help someone and they refuse? Anytime Dana or Sam or Audrey needed money for anything I was always willing to help, but they were never willing to accept. No matter how much I argued with them about it they always said no and that was their final answer. It was frustrating, but I guess I can see why they said no. They just didn't want to use me. I couldn't really get angry about that, but they just wait and see when I'm eighteen and old enough to do whatever I please I'm sure they'll find themselves with some extra presents every so often. Tangent over. I feel much better now that I have vented.

Where was I? Yes, Audrey was going to medical school and I was a sophomore in high school turning sweet sixteen. Life was just moving right along with no major incident. I went to school everyday and I did well in all my classes. The teachers liked me and I got myself a new bunch of friends that I would do practically anything for and they seemed to return the sentiment. I even started to play my violin again. I got myself a private lessons teacher and I would practice with them four times a week. It wasn't really that hard to get back to.

One day I was cleaning out my closet and I found my violin stuffed way in the back. I took the violin out of the case and stared at it for a while. Then I picked it up and decided to see if I still knew how to play a single note correctly. Well, after you play a note you might as well play some scales; and of course if you play the scales its just natural to play an intro to a song and since you've already played the intro of the song it's not much more to just finish the rest.

Actually, I got completely enraptured in playing again. I was surprised that I had remembered so much after such a long time. When I finished the song I realized that I was no longer alone in my room. I looked to the doorway and Sam was standing there with Dana behind her with her hands encircling Sam's waist. I smiled self-deprecatingly then looked at the violin that was still in my hands. "I just wanted to see if I knew how to play anymore."

"Well you can. That sounded beautiful Tori." Sam smiled gently at me. "We've never gotten to hear you play before."

I looked away from them so they couldn't see the blush that suddenly covered my face. "Why don't you play something else." Dana gently encouraged.

"I'm still rusty."

Sam's gentle green eyes captured my own soft blue. "It doesn't matter. We just want to hear you play."

"What do you want to hear?" I could never refuse Sam anything.

"Anything you want to play." They both said simultaneously.

I closed my eyes for a moment and thought about what I remembered well enough to play. Then I set my violin up on my shoulder and gently began to play one of the first classical pieces I was ever taught. It wasn't a very difficult piece but sounded like it would be.

I didn't open my eyes again until I was done. I was afraid that if I looked at either Sam or Dana I would get all self-conscious and would mess up more than I already was. I honestly wasn't playing that badly but I knew all the mistakes I was making. I guess it's just that I judge myself harsher than anyone else does.

"Why don't you still play, Tori. I've never seen you take that violin out all the years you've been here." Sam had moved into the room and was now sitting on the floor with me. Dana was standing against the doorway looking down at the both of us.

I'm going to feel you in on a secret of mine. The only thing besides my blue eyes, I got from my mother was her musical abilities. It was always the only common ground that my mother and I had. We never got along and we never did any mother daughter activities together, except the music. You know that my mother specialized in alternative rock, but she could sing anything. I often would play my violin and sing with her at parties or even sometimes just to make music.

I think it was the only way she really knew how to connect with me. Every time my mother would sing she would get this light in her eyes. You could tell that she had found her passion. I never saw that in her eyes when she looked at me. I guess when we would play something together I became part of that passion, and it was a way that I could be part of something that she loved; because I never really thought she loved me. When my mother died I guess I thought that since she was gone, so was the music. Funny huh?

I never really talked to Sam and Dana about my parents. It was a very delicate subject. All they really knew about them was that they were my parent's and we weren't very close. That and whatever Audrey told them, but she really didn't know that much either; but then again no one did because to the outside world we were the happiest family that there could ever be. So Sam's simple question of 'Why don't you still play?' had an answer way more complicated.

Now was a time as good as any to tell them, I guess. I took a deep breath and looked up to Dana. "Why don't you join us on the floor?" I patted a place on the carpet next to me and Dana moved into the room and took a seat. Neither of them said anything, I guess they knew that I was about to open up. "Playing the violin has always been something that I have associated with my mother." I could feel both pairs of eyes on me and I immediately found something interesting on the carpet to play with. "When I played the violin it was something that connected me to my mother in a way that nothing else ever did." I tried not to cry really I did. "We used to play music together. It was the only thing we ever did together. When she died I guess I felt that that part of me died too." Sam wiped a tear from my cheek. "So, I just stuffed my violin away thinking I had no need for it anymore."

"Do you enjoy playing it?" Sam gently asked and gave me a small peck on the top of my head.

I had somehow gotten enclosed in Sam's arms so I shifted to look into her eyes. "I think I do."

"I'm sure playing is something that will always connect you to your mother, and if you enjoy playing then you should just play. Your playing is as much a part of you as it was a part of your mother." Sam's emerald eyes easily displayed the conviction of her words.

We then decided to get me a private lessons teacher so I could start playing again. To this day I don't regret it. When I play it does still remind me of my mother and to be perfectly honest, I cherish those memories. Cherished memories with my parents aren't really a thing that I have an abundance of. So, I'll take what I can get.

Something else happened significant in my sophomore year in high school; I started dating. You know that age where you are just confused about everything that has to do with relationships, well sixteen was my magic number. I was confused mostly about what I wanted; and by that I mean I was confused if I even wanted a relationship or not. I would go on dates, have a good time and never really talk to the person again, that is until I met someone really special to me.

When I started to play the violin again my private lessons teacher set me up with the city orchestra. I would go almost every weekend and play with them. Well one weekend I went there was this group of volunteers that were helping out. They were from another high school and that's where I met my special person. I was walking down from the stage and I looked out into the group of volunteers standing in the middle was this incredible person that looked to be a little taller than I was. They had dark hair with incredible dark eyes to match. I was lost immediately in this person. Then our eyes met and before I knew it they were standing in front of me asking me my name and when they could see me again. I know that I must have answered the questions, but I don't remember doing so.

That same day we had our first date. We decided to just get something to eat after we were both done at the concert hall. At dinner we just talked with each other like old friends would. When we parted company I got a soft kiss goodnight and that's the moment that I decided to try out a relationship.

I actually called them and they called me, and we would go out every chance we got. The relationship got to such a serious point that I actually wanted Sam and Dana to meet this incredible person that had become an important part of my life. I remember when I sat down to talk to Sam and Dana about it. That was a scene.

I had walked into the kitchen where Sam and Dana were both conveniently cooking dinner. I called out their names of course before I entered the kitchen. They both turned to me and their faces were a little red. I decided to attribute it to the stove, which they were somewhat close to. "Can I talk to you guys for a moment."

They both looked at me then looked at each other. "Of course why don't we just sit down at the table?" Sam answered me.

We all walked over to the table and sat down. "I want to tell you guys something important."

They both looked at each other again then looked back at me. They didn't say anything so I took this as permission to continue. "There's this person that I would like you to meet?"

"What kind of person?" Sam asked curiously. I had their full attention.

"It's someone that I met when I was practicing with the city orchestra." I was just leading them on.

"How old is 'this person', are they an orchestra member?" Dana suddenly seemed to come to life with inquiry.

"They're my age." I answered.

"Who is it?" Dana was getting impatient.

"There's something that you should know first." I said trying to stay serious.

"What?" They asked simultaneously worry etched in their faces.

I took a long exasperated breath then released it. "I don't know how to tell you this." I paused for a moment. "I'm straight. I'm a hetero," I faked like I was crying. "I'm seeing this guy, his names Richard."

Dana looked at Sam. Sam looked at Dana. Then, they both turned to look at me. They didn't seem amused, but I was laughing. I looked into their eyes and they just stared back at me. "Oh crap." I said almost under my breath then sprinted out of the kitchen only to hear two pairs of steps close on my heels. I sprinted out into the backyard, which let me tell you, if you're trying to run away isn't a good place to go. Dana tackled me down and Sam suddenly appeared with a water hose and then all the sudden I was drenched.

"What, you didn't think that was funny?" I asked them as they had finally stopped spraying the water on me. If you ever find yourself in the same situation make sure that the hose it put away before you comment, because I didn't know that and found myself being sprayed with water, again.

As soon as they had decided that I had gotten a good enough soaking I went to call Richard and invite him over to dinner the next night. When I got back from changing out of my wet clothes, Dana and Sam were sitting on the couch watching TV as happy as they could be. I looked at them and I thought about my relationship with Richard and their relationship.

"Can I ask you guys something?" I tentivaly asked.

"That depends if you want to end up changing clothes again or not." Dana answered smiling.

"No. I'm serious this time." I walked up to the couch where they were sprawled out and took a seat between them. They both let out a grunt but moved over to make room for me.

"Okay kid what do you want to know?" Dana asked as she turned off the TV.

"I want to know about you."

Sam and Dana looked at each other and not finding their answers there looked at me. "What do you mean you want to know about us?" Sam asked confused.

"Ever since I've known the two of you, you've been together. I've never known you to be apart. I was just wondering how the both of you just became? one?" I hoped they understood me because I knew no better way to ask.

"You want to know how we met?" Sam provided helpfully.

"No. I don't just want to know how you met, I already know that you met at the hospital. I want to know how you became Sam and Dana. I want to know the whole story."

"That's not really important." Dana moved away from me.

"It's important to me. I want to know." I looked into Dana's eyes trying to convey exactly how much I did want to know.

"Look, we met and fell in love and now we are where we are. Nothing much to it." I had a feeling that Dana was being purposely vague.

"That's not a story Mom, that's a synopsis." I don't think Dana was used to me calling her mom yet. I wasn't really used to it myself and I wouldn't use the endearment all the time. It's just that this situation seemed to call for it.

"Tori, why do you want to know?" Dana seemed to be getting defensive. She was shutting me out.

"Because it's a story that I've never heard." I was getting annoyed.

"If you want a story, go read a book."

"Why are you being so difficult? I'm just asking you to tell me about what would seem to be a momentous occasion in your life and you're getting all psycho on me!"

"Why don't you go to your room Tori?" Sam quickly intervened and gave me a small pat on my back.

I looked at Sam's emerald eyes and then turned to Dana. She turned her head away from me. "I don't not what just happened here, but I do know that it's not my fault and I'm not going to feel bad about it." I stood up then marched off to my room and slammed the door shut behind me.

I know that as soon as I left Dana and Sam had a 'talk'. I'm not sure what about because I couldn't hear them from my room but from their tone it seemed serious. I didn't do anything wrong, but whatever I asked didn't really seemed to hit Dana in the wrong spot. What could be so awful that Dana wouldn't want me to know about it?

I was seating at my bed pondering just that, when there was a light knock on my door. "Come in?"

"Can I come in?" Dana stood at my doorway and Sam seemed strategically absent.

I patted a spot next to me on my bed and Dana came and took a seat. "Are you angry with me?" Dana gave me a little nudge in the shoulder.

"No. Just frustrated. I thought that our relationship consisted of me and you being able to tell each other everything." I let out an exasperated sigh. "I guess I was wrong."

Dana's face contorted in pain. "You're not wrong Tori, it's just a very difficult story for me."

"That's not a very good excuse." I snapped and moved further away from her on the bed. "I've told you a lot of things that are very difficult for me, and I told you because I love you and I want to be able to share that with you. Do you just not love me enough to want to share with me?"

I was all the sudden pinned in Dana's blue gaze, "Don't you ever think that. I love you with all my heart Tori." Dana's voice was sharp and precise. She looked away from me for a moment they she let out a small sigh. "Do you still want to know about how Sam and I met?"

I nodded my head and moved closer to Dana. Dana looked down at her entwined hands and began her tale. "When I met Sam I was at a very difficult time in my life. Everything around me seemed to be coming apart. I was in a relationship where my partner was abusive and I dealt with that by drinking, drinking a lot. My job was being affected and I was in jeopardy of getting fired. I didn't handle the situation very well and ended up in the hospital after I had gotten in a car accident that was entirely my fault. I ran a red light and forced another car off the overpass. The car had a family in it. Everyone in the car died except the little girl." Dana stopped talking and looked up at me, then looked down to her hands again. She was ringing her hands together in vigor.

I thought about what she had said and was waiting for her to continue with her story. Then I was hit by a dose of reality. It couldn't be right. I mean what were the chances. I jumped from the bed and started pacing the room. "What are you telling me, Mom? I don't think I understand." I stuttered out.

Dana wouldn't look me in the eyes. "I met Sam when I came into the hospital and she treated you. She helped me get my life together after that."

I know that she said you. She distinctly said when Sam was treating you. Suddenly the walls were closing in on me at some incredible pace that I couldn't keep up with. The room was spinning and I just wanted to flee the situation. If I ran then it wouldn't be true. So, that's what I did I ran. I looked over at Dana and she looked up to me in with sad blue eyes and then I ran away.

When I got to the front door to the house Sam was right behind me telling me something but that didn't matter. I just needed to get away. I had to get away. I couldn't breathe. I just needed to leave. I opened the front door and ran away. I didn't care where I was going or what direction I went, as long as it was away from the house and Dana and Sam. I was afraid that Sam or Dana might chase after me so I ran as fast as I could and didn't stop.

Eventually, I realized that my legs hurt and I was out of breath so I stopped running and looked around to see where I was. I was in the middle of the city park eight miles away from the house. I walked over to the playground and sat on one of the empty swings. The park was almost empty besides a mother playing with her little girl in the sand to my right and to my left another mother playing with her little girl on the slide.

I watched both pairs of mother and daughter for a while and then I allowed myself to think about what had made me run away. I buried my head in my hands and cried. I couldn't help it. The only thing that went through my head was 'why?' Why did it have to be Dana that ran into my parents and took their lives?

The police told me it was a hit and run. They said they couldn't find the other driver. There was no justice for my parents', and now I was living with and calling the woman who had killed them, Mom. Well, what god thought up that irony? What god was playing with my life like this? What had I done so terribly wrong to deserve this sick twist of fate?

I loved Dana. I loved Sam. I loved the life that I had with them. But, all I could think about now was that they had kept from me. I guess I could understand why. I guess I could understand, but they never gave me a choice to decide what I wanted. Dammit why? Why did life have to be so complicated?

When I finally took my head out from my hands the sun had set and the park was completely empty. I was the only one sitting there. I was alone, utterly and completely alone. I turned my head to look around and I saw a figure coming towards me. As the figure got closer I could make out the face. It was Dana. She had a jacket of mine in her arms and when she reached me she held it out to me. I took it from her hands and then she knelt down to me, but didn't move any closer.

I looked down into her blue eyes and I saw pain there. They were puffy and red and I wondered if she had been crying as much as I had been. I don't know why, but I started to cry again. My chest hurt so much. I didn't want to hurt anymore. I didn't want to be alone anymore. I looked to Dana again and pinned her with my eyes. "I don't want to be alone." I meekly said through my crying fit.

"You're not alone baby. You never have to be alone." Dana tentatively reached out and wiped a tear from my cheek.

"Mom." I choked out then threw myself into Dana's massive arms. I needed comfort at the moment and I could think of no person better to provide it except maybe Sam. I needed to be held and cry. I wanted Dana's arms to protect me from the outside world.

After I had been in Dana's arms, for I don't know how long, Dana guided me to her car and she sat me down inside. "We need to get home, Sam's probably going crazy with worry."

Dana drove us home and I just huddled myself together in a small ball near the car door. As much as I wanted to be close to Dana, I also wanted to be as far away as possible. I had many questions that where running around in my head, but I didn't want to ask them. I reasoned that the more I knew about what had happened that night the more real it would become. So, I just remained silent until we reached the house and went inside.

Sam was waiting for us and she ran over to me and told me how worried she had been. I hardly even acknowledged that she was in the room. My mind had gone to a state of almost complete numbness. My emotions had started to become callus. It was with this attitude that I asked those ever so pertinent questions.

I walked over to the couch and just fell into it. I closed my eyes for a moment and when I opened them Dana and Sam were standing across from me. "Are you going to stand there and stare at me or are you going to fill me in on what exactly has happened five years ago when my parents died?"

Sam took a chance and took a seat next to me on the couch. Dana wasn't that brave and just took at seat across from me on the coffee table. A very wise move on her part. "What do you want to know?" Dana asked in almost a defeated tone.

I looked deep into Dana's eyes and with the hardest set look I could muster said, "Everything."

Dana closed her eyes for a long moment and when she opened them a far away look had crossed her features. "My girlfriend and I had gotten into another fight so I went out to get drunk. Well, I decided to drive home and I ended up running a red light. There was a limousine coming from the other direction. The driver saw me and tried to swerve to get out of my way and because we were on an overpass the limousine rolled right over the rails." Dana paused for a moment and wiped a tear from her face. "When I saw the limousine go over I also saw something fly out from the inside. I ran out of my car and saw the vehicle explode and when I looked around I saw this young girl lying in the middle of the road. I immediately went over to the girl and began CPR.

"I rode with the ambulance to the hospital and told everyone that I had just shown up and saw a girl in the middle of the road and then saw the limo. I said that I had stopped to see if I could help." Dana stopped talking and took a chance to look me in the eyes. I managed a look of total indifference although every one of her words had struck me like a knife to my heart. "I met Sam in the ER that night and told her the truth about what had happened."

I turned my gaze abruptly to Sam. "You knew about this the first night and did nothing!"

Sam was unprepared for my sudden assault. "It was more complicated then that." Sam tried to explain. She seemed suddenly panicky.

"Complicated how? You knew and did nothing! I'm not seeing how it was so damn complicated." I was frustrated and just didn't get it.

"Tori don't talk to her like that." Dana surprisingly had the gall to scold me and I surprisingly listened to her and of all things I apologized to Sam. I guess so things are so automatic you don't even think about it when you do them. If I had been thinking there would have been no apology made.

I took a deep breath and for a moment let my anger subside. "Why was it more complicated?" I enunciated every word precisely and refused to raise my head to either Sam or Dana.

"I wanted to help Dana in any way that I could. She promised me that she would change and I promised her that I'd help her. I didn't think she would be given the same opportunity to change if she were identified as the person responsible for your parents' death. I saw a soul that could be saved." Sam carefully placed a hand on my shoulder and I immediately shifted as far away from her as I could. I didn't want anything to do with Sam at the moment. I was actually angrier with her than I was at Dana.

I know it may not make sense to you, but you must understand that Sam was the first person that I ever trusted after the accident. She was my protector and she had failed me. I couldn't help but think that these two individuals who were the most important people in the world to me, except Audrey, were part of this big lie. I felt that the only reason they ever cared about me was because they felt guilty. To me they had only become part of my life as some sense of obligation.

My life now was a lie. My last five years of my life had been one big wonderful lie. I wasn't sure if I hated Sam and Dana more for telling me the truth or for waiting so long to do so.

Yes, I hated them. I hated them for what they had done. I hated the sense of betrayal that I felt; and I hated that they let me love them with such blindness and devotion, and most of all I hated that my love for them was unconditional. I promised myself long ago that I would love them no matter what. Well, I ask you how do you continue to love someone who has kept something so important from you?

I could think of doing nothing better at that time then getting away. I needed to just get away and not have to deal with the situation at all. I looked around the living room and took a quick glance at Dana and then Sam. I didn't want to be near them anymore. I got up from the couch and went to my room; Dana and Sam didn't see fit to follow. Once in my room I called Audrey and asked her to come get me. When she had graduated she got herself her own apartment and I knew she never minded if I stayed with her. I didn't tell her anything over the phone I just told her I wanted to stay with her for the weekend. It wasn't a usual request so she didn't seem worried about it and said she'd be right over.

I packed myself a bag of clothes, picked up my violin and made my way back out into the living room. Sam and Dana were in the exact positions as when I had left. They each looked at the bag in my hands and then looked up to my face. Neither of them seemed surprised by the bag's presence.

I looked at the two of them and in a monotone like voice told them that Audrey was on her way to pick me up. They didn't seem much surprised by that either. I just stood there a looked at them and they just stared back at me. Saying anything at this time would only be a waste of breath. I was emotionally worn out and talking wasn't going to help me at the moment. All that which had yet to be said would just have to wait until my head and heart were ready to listen again, if I could ever listen again.

The doorbell rang and I practically ran to the door. I wanted to leave the thick coat of tension that had settled over the room. When I opened the door Audrey took one look at me and knew immediately something was wrong. I could see the concern on her face. She took a step into the house and looked over to Dana and Sam, they had yet to move. "Hey, what's wrong lil' sis?"

"We'll talk about it later. Can we just leave now, please?" I think Audrey saw the desperation in my eyes and immediately capitulated. She picked up my bag and walked me to the door. Just as I was exiting the door I heard Dana's voice call out to me. "Tori, let us know when you're ready to talk again," almost as an after thought she added, "Please?"

"Good-Bye." I couldn't promise her anything. I walked out the door and softly shut it behind me. I got into Audrey's car and without looking back we drove off.

Continued in Part III

The Athenaeum's Scroll Archive