The Contingent

That One Regret

A TV on in the background playing a movie, while Wayne packs:

“My mommy always said there were no monsters – no real ones – but there are, aren’t there?”

“Yes, there are.”

“Why do they tell little kids that?”

“Most of the time it’s true.”

Click The TV goes off as Wayne says “Sorry kid…it’s never true.” He turns back to packing, behind him, standing leaning against the wall, and as angry as he’s ever seen her stood Josie.

“You are a fucking idiot Wayne!”

“Look, I have to do this, I’ve tried explaining it to you several times. I can’t just quit!”

“Wayne Hodges! Look at me when I’m talking to you!” She screams

He turns to look at her. As angry as she is, she’s still the most beautiful thing he’s ever seen.

“You’ve put in your time, you’ve fought the monsters, and you’ve saved the world! It’s time you let someone else do it for a change. This…” She points at a newspaper lying on the table with pictures of riots and news about what amounts to total chaos “…isn’t your fault, it ISN’T YOUR FIGHT DAMNIT!”

“YES IT IS!” Wayne yells back, not in anger, but in frustration. Josie’s taken aback for a split second.

“Look Josie, I joined the contingent to try to make the world safe for those who haven’t been exposed to the supernatural, so they have a chance at a normal life. That’s gone with Skaar’s announcement, the whole world has been exposed to this shit, and like it or not, I have a hand in that. I have to make it right, I have to help these people, cause God knows they aren’t prepared to help themselves. Millions of people are going to die…” He turns away, back to his packing. “If I can save even ONE person, I have to try.”

“So let that one person be you Wayne.” The fire back in her voice.

“I can’t Josie…the world can’t save itself.” He retorts, “And I can’t stand back and let someone else save me…or you…I can’t let someone else save us.”

“Make no mistake Wayne, if you leave, you are doing this for you, and you alone. You aren’t saving me, and there damn sure will be no us!”

“Josie, you know how I feel about you. I love you more than I’ve loved anything else in this world, on it or above it. And you know that’s unfair to ask, to give me that kind of ultimatum. But you knew my answer before you made it. Josie…I’m sorry, but I have to go.”

Josie, in tears at hearing the answer she knew was coming, rushed over to Wayne and slapped him. She then started banging her fists on his chest, while crying “You son of a bitch!” Wayne just let her hit him, knowing how angry and scared she is, but also knowing she didn’t want to hurt him, just knock some sense into him.

After a few minutes, she settled down, and sat on the bed breathing heavily while Wayne finished packing. He picked up his suitcase, and Josie grabbed his arm, not wanting to let it go. “Please Wayne, Don’t go…”

“You know me well enough to know I have to go. I don’t know what’s going to happen, I would like to think that everything will turn out fine, but I just don’t know this time. No matter what happens, I love you.”

“Wayne, I”m serious, if you walk out that door, you are turning your back on me…on us. I can’t keep going on wondering if you are going to come back. It’s killing me. If you make it back, I won’t be here, I’ll be gone, and it’ll be your fault!” She said with determination, and sadness.

“Josie, then that will be my one regret…” He turned and left.

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barrelv Deckon

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