The Exile: Final Episode

While we headed to Circe’s club Dark Pleasures, Blackbeard’s men stayed behind to clean up. The streets were quiet as we made our way through the city. Leaning my head back against the leather seat, I looked up at the clear night sky.  I had been on the run for so long that being free felt strange, a bit like a prisoner suddenly released.

Reading my thoughts, Achilles looked over at me.

“Still doesn’t feel real, does it?”

“Nope,” I answered. “It’s hard to believe that soon I’ll be able to get back to my life, to a routine I used to think was boring.”

“You won’t,” Blackbeard said from the front seat.

“What?” I asked.

“You didn’t tell him?” Blackbeard asked Achilles.

“I was waiting for the right moment, big mouth. He’s been through a lot,” Achilles scolded.

“What are you two talking about?” I asked.

“Wesley Graves is officially dead. Isabel saw to that once you escaped. She didn’t want anyone reaching out to you, helping you. She also let word spread that there was an imposter posing as you. That’s why those guys who were chasing you always seemed to be right on your tail,” Achilles explained.

“What? What am I supposed to do now?” I complained.

“You can’t get your old life back, Wesley. That’s gone. But there is one that you can assume, a life that ended suddenly. Since Isabel was the one who killed him, she didn’t bother with his identity.”

“Who?” I asked.

Achilles reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out a card. When I took it from him, I saw that it was a driver’s license with my picture but the name Bennett Graves.

“I’m supposed to be my brother now?” I asked.

“As morbid as it sounds, your brother is the best identity for you. Plus, with Jackson and Isabel out of the picture, Bennett Graves becomes sole owner of all the businesses they were running. We’ll clean up the illegal parts, and you can sit back and live off the interest,” Achilles smiled.

When we reached the club, I dumbly followed Achilles and Blackbeard inside and plopped down in one of the seats at the nearest table. Although the club had been closed to the public, I saw that it was filled with those who had rescued me and become my friends.

“It’s hard to look over everything and see yourself as the most important part, isn’t it?” Achilles asked.

I just nodded my head.

Suddenly Blackbeard’s phone rang.

“Yea,” he answered.

After a moment he ended the call and said,

“Calypso wants to meet him.”

“Calypso’s here?” Achilles asked, surprised.

“In the back. Come on,” Blackbeard motioned.

Achilles stood up to follow, but when he saw the blank look on my face, he reached out and helped me to my feet.

“You’re just in shock right now, Wesley. But you’ll be fine. Trust me,” he comforted.

We climbed the stairs and opened a door leading into Circe’s office.

Across the room was a second door. Blackbeard led us to it then paused with his hand on the doorknob as he looked at me and asked,

“You ready?”

I couldn’t answer. The words wouldn’t come out of my mouth. Too much happening too fast.

“He’s ready,” Achilles answered for me.

Blackbeard opened the door then moved out of the way to let Achilles and me go first.

Leaning against a high back leather chair was a young girl. A few strands of her brown hair had fallen across her face, and her green eyes watched me intently.

I stopped and stared in confusion.

“Carmen?”

The last time I had seen her was when I left her behind at the hospital to watch her grandfather.

Blackbeard closed the door and walked over to Carmen.

“Hey, Sis,” he said, moving in to hug her.

“You’re Calypso?” I asked in disbelief.

“I love this part,” Blackbeard laughed.

Carmen shook her head no and moved aside as the high back leather chair slowly turned.

Sitting in the chair, his kind eyes twinkling as he smiled at me, was Carmen’s grandfather Clifford Ross.

“Actually, my wife was Calypso. It was the name of the club where we had our first date. Just before she died, she decided to get a puppy from one of those shelters and give him the name. She really liked it,” he laughed.

“Not too long after that, she passed. I was still deep in mourning when I started to notice what was happening to the city she loved. After a while, I couldn’t stand it anymore. So with Carmen’s help and Fredrick’s connections, I started a mission to stop those polluting my city.”

At the mention of his given name, Blackbeard hid his face for a moment.

“I saw you leaving the warehouse that night. I knew you weren’t Bennett. He was dead. You had to be Wesley, and you were the key to everything. I never did get the chance to explain.”

The old man paused then said,

“There’s more of the story, but we’ll get to that later. We have a lot of catching up to do.”

“He can read about it in tomorrow’s paper,” a woman’s voice said from behind me.

A shiver ran down his spine as I slowly turned to see the face behind the voice. I knew it couldn’t be her.

But there she was, Dorothy Edwards my brother’s ex-wife. She looked a little different from the way I remembered.

“Hello, Wesley,” she said, flashing that smile that always made my knees weak.

“I thought you were dead!” I said. “Jackson had you killed.”

“He thought he did,” Blackbeard said, “but my people got to her first.”

“We can talk about it over dinner if you’d like,” Dorothy suggested.

“Well, she doesn’t waste any time,” Blackbeard teased.

“Hey! I’ve been away from him far too long, and thanks to you, I almost lost him!” Dorothy scolded.

“Relax. I was watching him the whole time,” Blackbeard dismissed.

In a daze, I just stared at Dorothy, my mouth hanging open. The darkness had finally lifted, and so much was being given to me.

“It’s okay to accept your rewards,” Achilles said. “You have suffered and through suffering earned them.”

I looked around the room at all the kind faces then back to Dorothy.

“I’d like that,” I said.

“You may be the exile, Wesley, but you’re one of us now,” Carmen informed.

“So behave,” Blackbeard added, shaking his finger.

“Cause we’re always watching,” Achilles said with a mysterious look.

 

FINI

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Published in: on December 16, 2015 at 7:17 pm  Leave a Comment  
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