After his heartfelt prayer for Lock, William closed his eyes in silence. He felt a hand on his shoulder. It was Alex. Alex looked down at William with tears in his eyes and said, “They need you upstairs.” William ran from the altar and repeatedly pressed the elevator button but because that first minute felt like 20, William decided to race up the five flights of stairs. All he could think about as he ran was the distraught look on Alex’s face. As he continued up, he repeated out loud, “Please Father! Please!” as he made it past each floor. The climb from the fourth to the fifth was the hardest. At this point, William was nearly crippled with fear.
The tears poured from his eyes as he repeated, “Please Father! Please!” Once he made it to the door of the fifth-floor staircase he fell to the ground weeping and screamed in a crackling voice, “Father, I am not strong enough!” In that very moment, he recalled a memory.
Nearly two weeks prior while getting ready to pick Lock up for a much needed weekend getaway, he was interrupted by a knock on the door. He rushed to the door with a tooth brush in his mouth. When he opened the door the tooth brush dropped from his mouth as he was staring at Madison.
Madison was the young lady he dated throughout college. He had not seen her in a few years. She stood their smiling with a toddler in her hands. She could she shock in William’s eyes. She said, “Don’t just stand there. Say hello to your son.” William couldn’t speak or move. She walked around him into the apartment and said, “at least get the bags.” The child started to whine and that noise is what it took to snap William out of his state of shock. He grabbed the luggage out the hall and placed it inside the apartment. He picked up a stuffed elephant and walked over to the boy and asked, “Is this what you want?”
Madison said “We call him Bill.” Bill took the stuffed animal from William and stopped crying. Madison was talking to William however, his eyes were glued to Bill so her words fell on deaf ears. William looked at this child and couldn’t deny the resemblance. He turned to Madison and asked, “How could this be?” She smirked as she pointed to the couch and then to the floor and said, “I think we started on that couch and ended up on that floor.”
William whispered in annoyance, “You know exactly what I mean Madison.”
“Well it was clear that you didn’t want us and tried to deny him so I left to raise him on my own. But, I heard you were engaged so I wanted him to meet his stepmother. I figured maybe she would want to help me parent our child since you weren’t interested,” Explained Madison
William interrupted saying, “Madison. Please don’t re-write history.”
Madison snapped back saying, “You forced me to take a paternity test while I was pregnant and you knew how dangerous it was for me to do that!”
“You left me and were living with Professor Hall for nearly a year,” William replied.
“Yes, but after my father passed, you know how much you comforted me after his funeral,” Madison retorted.
“That was only one night,” William whispered as he stared at the boy.
“Yes, one rainy night without an umbrella,” Madison replied. She continued, “Besides, I couldn’t think, let alone remember my pills when I was dealing with the death of my father. Also, Jefferson was out of town and you knew this however, you forced me to take that test.”
William responded, “I told you I didn’t mind waiting until it was safer.”
Madison replied angrily, “So you could ignore me and not be there for me during my pregnancy. Of course I couldn’t wait, because I had to decide what to do. But that isn’t the point – What did the results say William?”
William whispered, “That I was the father.”
Madison remarked, “The look on your face when you read the results and then you tried to pity-marry me.”
“You said you couldn’t be a single parent and I wanted my child,” whispered William. “But wait,” William continued, “You said you lost the baby.”
Madison explained, “Because I didn’t want to be trapped with a man who didn’t love me, but wanted to control life.”
“You know that is far from the truth. I asked if we could co-parent,” said William.
Madison sarcastically asked, “So I could walk shamefully across the campus, carrying your child while you dated whoever you wanted?”
William grabbed his keys and said that he would be back in a minute – he needed air. He actually needed to see Lock and talk with her. He dialed her number as he began his walk towards her apartment, but no answer. He figured she was probably showering. Once he made it to her apartment after knocking, he let himself in with his key. He yelled out to Lock while entering, calling her name three more times as he headed towards her bedroom. However, she was nowhere in sight.
He saw her bags were packed. He decided to wait on the couch until she returned. After 30 minutes, he began calling her cell again and that’s when he noticed it was ringing but it was plugged up to the charger next to the couch. He remembered Marilyn was there when he was talking to Lock earlier. He called Marilyn and she asked him to wait there explaining that once Lock was done handling business they would both be there. Nearly an hour later Lock walked in with Marilyn. Lock’s eyes were puffy as if she had been crying.
William reached out to comfort her with an embrace yet, she rejected him by waving her hands as she said in a cracking voice, “Please leave William.” He watched her walk pass him and head straight into her bedroom. As he turned to follow her, she slammed the door and Marilyn said, “We met your family. Maybe you should go back home to them. Your family looks quite cozy.”
William exclaimed, “Marilyn, let me explain!”
Marilyn quickly replied, “No. Not right now William. My Friend needs me.” She gestured for him to leave.
William reluctantly walked out the door. His heart sank into his stomach as he waited for the elevator to take him down to the lobby. After nearly 24 hours of no answered nor returned calls from Lock, William went to her apartment to realize the locks were changed. The disappointment was unbelievable. He was sure once he had a moment to explain to Lock, she would understand.
After another 24 hours of no communication, William received word that Audrey’s cancer had come back so he wanted to be there for Lock. This time he decided to wait at her apartment until she returned. He sat on the rug outside her apartment and waited. Finally, as he was about to doze off, he heard the ding from the elevator and jumped up to go meet Lock at the door when they opened.
He saw the pain in her eyes turn into anger as she interrupted his plea to explain. In a crackling voice she says, “If you really love me, you would leave.”
Although it took everything in him to step back to let her walk pass him without embracing her in comfort, he said, “I can not leave, but I will sit out here on this rug until you feel like talking.” He showed up for the next few nights and slept in a seated position outside her door. Every morning he would ride the elevator down with her and walk her to her car as she pulled off without a word being spoken.
The noise from the fifth floor snapped him out of his reminiscing. He stood up, wiped his eyes, and took a few deep breaths. He then grabbed the handle of the door that led to the hall and coached himself, by saying, “Be strong.” He walked in the hall and could see her mother and father coming from her room in tears as they talked to the doctor. Following them was Audrey. When Audrey noticed William and ran towards him and started hugging him. She said, “You won’t believe it. She’s awake and talking!”
William was so excited by the news that he started walking faster. He was stopped by Mrs. Lock. “It’s a Miracle William. She’s awake!” Although Mrs. Lock was expressing her excitement, William couldn’t wait to see Lock with his own eyes.
He impatiently interrupted Mrs. Lock by saying, “Excuse me.” He headed further down the hall passing Mr. Lock and the doctor as Mr. Lock turned and grabbed his arm. William looked at him and said, “Excuse me,” as he continued toward the glass walls that lined the hall to her room near the door. He turned his head to see that Lock was in there with Marilyn and Alex.
She turned toward him and their eyes locked. Neither of them blinked. Their eyes stayed glued to the each other’s and finally, he was at the doorway. He stood there with his eyes still locked with Lock’s and once Alex saw that Lock was no longer paying attention to Marilyn, he followed her eyes to William. He asked, “What took you so long my friend?” as he headed to William to give him a hug. Although William hugged him, he didn’t unlock his eyes from Lock’s eyes.
Marilyn looked at William and headed his way. As they hugged she whispered, “Good Luck buddy.”
William smirked at Marilyn words, yet he didn’t unlock eyes from Lock. Although Lock had been radio-silent when it came to talking to William. Marilyn did keep in contact with William. thanks to the help from Alex. William wasn’t sure if he could hold back an embrace. However he feared rejection from Lock,therefore instead of following his gut to give her a big hug,he stood in the doorway and asked if there was anything she needed. His voice cracked as once he saw the disappointment in her eyes as she said, “,…,”
Thank you so much for reading my short story. This is a series that will explore the life of Josephine Lock. What do you think Lock is about to tell William? Follow the story on the following social platforms Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Email. and also on twitter. The series will pick up next Sunday. Please feel free to enjoy the previous posts Lock 1.1, Lock 1.2, Lock 1.3, Lock 1.4, Lock 1.5, Lock 1.6 and Lock 1.7. Thank you all in advance for your reading. If you are reading this post and like it, please enjoy the series. How did you like the story? Any suggestion? Please share in the comments below. I really would love to know.
Until next time, shine amongst the stars!
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