Monday, April 16, 2007

The Red Scarf

Chapter Seventy-Nine

“Bravo!” Sunni exclaimed, seemingly pleased that we had found them. “Well, Sarah, you are as bright as I thought you would be, figuring out that last note. And Krista, what the hell are you doing here? I should have known you would never be able to stay away. You wanted to know your daddy; the son of a bitch that deserted you. Well, Krista, you’ll at least get to see daddy die!”

“NO, Sunni!” Krista screamed. “You will not kill him; please promise me you won’t kill him. He never knew I existed, Sunni, he never did!”

“Of course he did! He came to see you once, even if you don’t remember it!”

“No; that was Brandon, not Adam. It was all in Mom’s journal about Adam, remember?” Krista was trying to explain it all to Sunni, who suddenly seemed very confused.

“No, no, it was Adam,” she said, shaking her head in apparent confusion. “He is your father, not Brandon.”

“Yes, Sunni, Adam is my father, but he didn’t know about me. Remember Mom’s journal? She left Adam before she even knew she was pregnant, so he couldn’t have known. Brandon came to Texas to try to get some money from grandpa. Do you remember that, Sunni? Brandon. Grandpa got the shotgun out and made him leave?”

“Y – you were only 4 when that happened, you can’t possibly remember that!”

“You’re right, I don’t. But you all talked about it for years afterwards. You all knew that he wasn’t my dad because you had found Mom’s journal after she died. Remember, Sunni? The journal, Mom wrote it all down.”

Adam and I were silent as all this went on. Sunni was obviously mentally ill, and it became more noticeable as their conversation continued. I wondered where Curtis was, though, because Sunni was the only one in here with us.

Adams feet were tied together, as were his hands. They were behind his back, and he leaned forward at bit so that I could try and get them undone. It was still very dark in here; Sunni hadn’t brought a light with her, but my eyes had adapted pretty well. There was an opening high up in the wall; maybe it was supposed to be a window, but it afforded us a bit of light to see. I could see Sunni standing by the door and Krista standing near her, trying to reason with her. Around the room I saw piles of garbage, and once or twice I think I even saw something move amongst it, and I shivered. I detested any kind of small and wild furry creatures and I couldn’t imagine this was anything but that.

The knots were tightly tied, but I thought I was making some progress on them when Curtis appeared. He had a flashlight with him, so I pulled away from Adam so he wouldn’t see what I had been doing. Adam leaned back against the wall and as Curtis passed the light over us, that was all he saw.

“Sunni, there’s a car coming up the road. It will be here in a few minutes or so. What do you want me to do?” Curtis asked her.

So Sunni seemed to be the one in charge, and given her mental state, that made her even more dangerous.

“Well, go check it out, for God’s sake. Do I have to tell you everything? It’s probably some lovers coming up to admire the view and do the nasty in the back seat of their tiny little car. Go on, GO,” she told him as she shooed him out of this chamber.

When the light from the flashlight passed over Adam it gave me the opportunity to see him clearly for a moment. His coat was missing; I was sure he had had it on when he left the set earlier. But otherwise he looked fine; his clothes were still in good repair, and I didn’t see any cuts or bruises on him, for which I was more than thankful. Without his coat, though, I was sure he had to be freezing, and since I didn’t know for sure how long he had been down here he could be seriously close to hypothermia. He had been missing for 12 hours by now, I realized.

“I think it’s time for a little walk, I really do. Adam, there is a wonderfully high tower still standing here, and I really think you should take a look at it. She handed Krista a knife and said, “Cut his feet loose so he can walk. And don’t even think about trying to help him, Krista, because I also have a gun. And you know what a good shot I am,” she taunted. “Stupid Lyle, hiring a private jet to bring us here! Do you know how easy it was to bring the gun? Ridiculously easy, let me tell you! Saved me the trouble and expense of having to find one locally!” She laughed loudly at that and then continued with her story.

“Easy, just like it was to get you all those messages, like on your computer, Sarah. Did you like those? I thought they were very clever, didn’t you? Curtis took the picture of your daughter at school in Kansas. A pretty little thing, and my, she looks just like her mom, I have to admit. But you,” she turned around to look at Krista, who had just cut Adam’s legs free, “what the hell were you thinking by going to the family celebration at Thanksgiving? More time with Daddy? Did you get to meet your brothers, Krista? Did that make you happy? Now give me the fucking knife back, Krista,” Sunni commanded, and we heard a ‘click’ that must surely have come from the gun.

Krista closed the blade on the knife and slapped it back down into Sunni’s hand. It made a loud thump sound and I’m sure it must have hurt, but Sunni never made a sound. Adam braced his back along the wall in order to stand up, and I tried to help lift him as well. If Sunni noticed she made no comment about it. He seemed a bit shaky on his feet, and I wondered how long he had been sitting there on the cold and damp floor.

He finally got to his feet and Sunni said, “Good, good. Now we can take that walk!”

All I could think of was that the longer we stayed down here, the better. Up there we had very little ability to keep any control at all, so I decided to try to talk to her some more. And Adam moved closer to me and sort of turned a bit so that I could try to work on his hands again.

“Sunni, the – uh, the computer stuff was very good. Really, it puzzled us all how you did it. H – how did you get those messages to us?”

“It was ridiculously easy, Sarah. I was so deliciously ecstatic when you asked for a computer to use in Texas; I knew it would provide a way to get to you that having that cop around all the time didn’t! So, we just used a computer in a public library. They have transferable modems; in other words, they don’t always use the same IP address every time because there are so many computers on the line. So they couldn’t trace it. And the second one was really quite fun, you know! Curtis took the picture and then sent it by camera phone to a special e-mail account that I set up just for that purpose. All false information, of course. But we knew that the police would waste valuable time trying to track the information down and it was so much fun, let me tell you. How it made me laugh!"

“Then Curtis stole a cell phone right out of a woman’s car, so we e-mailed the picture to that phone and then sent it in turn to your computer. Voila! It worked like a charm. Ooh, but I’ve had so much fun, planning all this. And you, Sarah, you are such a trusting soul.” She came close to me and said in a whisper, “You never even suspected me, did you, Sarah. You thought I was such a fun person and so helpful, didn’t you? You know, Sarah, I actually liked you, really. Doesn’t matter now, though.”

I had pulled back away from Adam as Sunni leaned in close to me. I listened to her words, and they hit me square in the gut; she was right. I never did suspect her, and I did like and trust her. So I was partly responsible for what was happening to Adam now, because I helped to make it all so easy for her. And Rachel was dead because of it all.

“Sunni, uh wait. Wait for a minute okay? I – you’re right, I never did suspect you; I liked and trusted you, in fact. You were clearly the better competitor, uh really.” Krista had moved in behind Adam, and I hoped that meant that she was working on the knots to free him.

“Of course I am! I’ve been planning all this for years!” she told us, and her voice had a slightly hysterical ring to it that sent icy shards up my spine. She was close to losing it, and all we had to do was wear her down, I knew it.

“Did you plan Rachel’s murder, Sunni?” I asked her as I tried to move farther away from Adam and Krista. I inched little by little away from them; I wanted to keep as much focus on me as possible.

“No, that mouthy bitch was just a little bonus. Or maybe practice is a good way to put it. Oh, she was magnificent, and so easy to set up! I went to her condo that night, to express my condolences for how badly she had been treated, and we had a drink, and then another. Too bad for her that I was the one mixing them; I made do with water instead of vodka. I literally drank her under the table, you know, but then she was half sloshed by the time I showed up. And in such a rage, I swear. She tore around that place like a madwoman, and you know what? I started to admire her after a bit. Oh, Adam, in some ways she hated you so much! We even talked about how much fun it would be to kill you and the different ways we could do it. She wanted to get some goons to beat the shit out of you, and I think she got kind of turned on talking about it. She got a little breathless, if you know what I mean?” She laughed then and it sounded more like a howl. It chilled me.

Out of the corner of my eye I saw Krista take a step away from Adam, and I hoped that meant he was untied. I thought I saw him nod at me, but Sunni caught the movement too and turned the gun toward him.

I needed to distract her and said, “Sunni, tell us how you beat Rachel. You really did, you know, tell us! And, why did she have to die?”

“In a minute or two. It’s time for that walk now. You,” she said pointing the gun at Adam, “move out of here slowly. Krista, you follow him, and then you go next, my dear Sarah. And Adam, remember, if you cause me any problems I’ll shoot her where she stands, so just be a good boy and walk where I tell you, all right?”

“I wouldn’t think of doing anything that would jeopardize Sarah. You should know that. Now just point me in the right direction, please?” His voice sounded so calm I could hardly believe it. I was shaking and trembling like crazy. And it wasn’t from the cold, which I realized was almost numbing as I tried to move feet that felt wooden and stiff.

Sunni directed us through a maze of hallways, and it was hard to keep from falling down as we constantly had to step over rubble and debris. I fell down onto one knee at one point, and I noticed Krista holding Adam back because it was apparent that his hands were free. She stood directly in front of him so that Sunni couldn’t see him, and I sent her mental thank yous for it.

We came to a stairway leading upwards, and I realized it wasn’t the one that Krista and I came down on. This one was very narrow and steep, and we each had to move very cautiously up the stairs in order to avoid a fall. My hands held onto the sides, and the rock was cold and felt wet, almost like it was covered in some kind of mossy substance. It felt slimy and I hated touching it, but the dark steps were too treacherous not to. And I decided that if the walls felt this way, the steps were probably covered in the same stuff, which made the steps even more perilous than we knew. I worried about Adam trying to navigate these steps since he couldn’t use his hands. He seemed to be taking his time, checking each step for firm footing before going up.

As I looked up ahead, I saw starlight that was fading in the pre-dawn light. And I saw Adam emerge from the stairway and stand close to it, waiting. I knew he was going to try to push Sunni back down it. Krista stepped out of the stairway and quickly to the side, and I did the same thing. But Sunni realized his plan and stood just out of reach and motioned him away from the doorway with the gun.

“Over there, Adam, against that rampart. NOW!” she said when he was slow to move. Krista immediately stepped behind him because it was light enough now that Sunni would be able to see that his hands were no longer tied. We moved slowly towards the rampart walls, walls that had gaping holes in them and were crumbling everywhere. I got close enough to look over the side and saw that we were about 20 feet or so above the ground. I wondered about our chances if we were to jump and make a run for it. But Curtis was the unknown factor; he had been gone for a good five minutes now, and there was no telling where he might actually be.

“So – so Sunni, what happened with Rachel then? Why did you kill her, Sunni? You uh, got her drunk and talked about how you were going to kill Adam? Did you tell her about this?” I could only hope she would go on talking. I could only hope that Ryan had somehow developed ESP and knew where to look for us. I could only hope that Adam knew how much I loved him…

“I killed her because she had figured out that Krista was Adam’s daughter, of course. The bitch knew, although I didn’t know how. But all that crap she said on the set convinced me that she knew. She had hinted at it once before.”

She laughed out loud, and it was harsh and unnaturally high, almost shrill, and I winced when I heard it. She seemed very close to the edge of something, but I didn’t know what. I only knew that whatever happened, I was not going to make it easy on her; I would not just lie down and let her kill any of us, not without a fight.

“Uh, Sunni, what did you tell her about killing Adam?” I repeated.

“Oh, I told her this long and terrific fairy tale about castles and lovers leaping off of towers because they just couldn’t go on with life. You know, the same old fairy tale bullshit we were raised on, Sarah. Prince Charming and happy little mice making us fancy dresses. God, I got so sick of hearing that shit when I was growing up. There is no Prince Charming, Sarah; don’t you realize that by now? Adam certainly ain’t one, that’s for sure. Abandoning his baby, nope, that ain’t no kind of Prince Charming. Although until now his life hasn’t been too bad, has it, Adam? You’ve gotten just about everything you ever wanted, including the princess, haven’t you? Even found her in an enchanted land, huh? And now you get to die with her in an enchanted land! It was just too good, too perfect, getting to come back to Italy. I could have hugged Lyle when he decided to do it; really I could have.” Her laugh reminded me of a cackle, I decided as she motioned out at the stunning view surrounding the castle with her gun; the powerful Dolomite's to the north and the city of Vicenza to the south.

“I got her drunk off her ass. I indulged her in that, you know, because by then it would have been so much more fun to watch her suffer in pain. But no, I got her so drunk that she passed out. But right before that I stuck a needle up her nose and plunged enough tranks in her to down a fucking horse while she was still lucid. And for just a minute she felt it. Felt that huge, long needle being buried in her nose, and I saw her eyes open wide in pain. It was very satisfying, watching that. She was always such a prima donna; what a way to go. Stoned out of your mind, yeah,” she trailed off for a moment, “What a fucking way to go!” She gazed off into the distance, probably reliving the moment of Rachel’s death. It was horrible hearing her talk about it, and I couldn’t imagine how you could be so cruel to another human being, especially someone you knew.

“I had to call Curtis then because we had to get her upstairs. Stupid bitch vomited all over herself and me, so we laid her in the bathtub and pulled her clothes off and used the shower to rinse her off. Curtis wanted to uh, have a little fun with her, but I wouldn’t let him. It somehow seemed demeaning,” she laughed, a big huge belly laugh.

“Having Curtis working for the security office was a real stroke of luck, you know. Really gave us entrance around the complex. Made things so much easier. But you should have seen Krista’s face the first time she saw her uncle there! Oh, Krista, that was so precious, that look on your face. You knew for sure then that we were serious about hurting Adam, didn’t you?” She smiled a horrific grin and then went on, “Since I wouldn't let Curtis have a little fun we made do by slicing her wrists open, except they didn’t really bleed very much and that wasn’t very satisfying; we had to squeeze out the blood that we got. And in the end I realized, Adam, that she was just another stupid woman who loved you. Loved YOU. What a joke; she loved the man she tried to hate. But you wouldn’t have been any better for her than you were for Penny; you would have left her alone and pregnant too, just like you did Penny. You would have told her you didn’t want the brat in her belly, you would have…”

She was back to thinking that Adam deserted Krista again. It seemed her hold on reality was coming and going more quickly now, and I wondered how much longer we could stall her. It was freezing cold; the wind chills had to be in the teens. As I looked out at the city that was brightening a bit every minute, I could see a dusting of snow on trees and rooftops, left over from the snow that we had had two days ago. They said that Vicenza had had more snow this year than they had in the last 15 years altogether. Up here on the castle ramparts I could now see icy patches amongst the snowy ones.

“Sunni, Sarah isn’t a princess, but she is a very good person. She liked you and Krista too. Why don’t you just let her go? She’s done nothing to you, nothing at all. Please, Sunni,” he said, his voice pleading, “Please, I’m begging you, let her go now.”

“You know, there’s a lot of temptation in that, Adam, because then she’ll always remember this little scene, of you jumping off the tower like the true hero you pretend to be. Do you think that will be a fond memory for you years from now, Sarah? Of the man you love jumping to his early death just for you? Will it make you feel loved and cherished? Hm, will it?”

“No, Sunni, NO. You don’t have to do this, you know that. He knows about Krista now, and he’ll love her and take care of her, you know that. Please, don’t do this.” I would have begged her; down on my knees if I thought it would help things, anything, I would do anything.

“I don’t give a shit about that. Krista has been fine all these years without him, and she’ll be fine in the future. This is for Penny; my bright and wonderful Penny who came home with no sparkle at all in her eyes. They were dull and lifeless; did you know that, Adam? All the fun and laughter was beaten out of her. She never smiled, she just sat there, staring off into some far-away place where she had lost her heart, and there wasn’t any way we could reach her. Not even Krista, not even her baby.” Tears were streaking down her face now unchecked. I’m not even sure she realized she was crying.

I held out my hand towards her; it was an unconscious gesture because of her pain. I didn’t know how I felt about her. Did I hate her or did I feel sorry for her? A little of both, I decided; she was obviously very ill. But I needed to remember that she had a gun and probably wouldn’t hesitate to use it if pushed. I watched the frigid morning air turn her breath into little white frozen puffs of air as she cried, but her hand was still holding onto the gun tightly, not faltering at all. I looked at Krista and at Adam; both of their gazes were glued to Sunni, and I knew that Adam was getting desperate and was going to try something, some kind of heroics, soon unless something happened, a break or a diversion. Krista looked very alert; she seemed to be listening to something, but I couldn’t hear anything over the pounding of my own heart.

“Sunni,” Krista said gently. “Mom wasn’t upset over Adam. It was Brandon she loved, she missed, she uh, needed. He broke her heart, Sunni, not Adam. Adam didn’t cause any of this. For God’s sake, Aunt Sunni, he’s my dad; give me a chance to get to know him, please. I – I love him, and I want the chance to know him; he didn’t do all these terrible things, you know it was Brandon!” her voice rose in the desperation of her plea.

Krista was crying too, and then to my surprise I realized I was as well. How sad for this family; this legacy of hatred and pain. I can’t imagine how Krista survived it all; how she could be as happy as she is. I knew that I wouldn’t be in her place.

Krista moved a couple of small steps towards Sunni, and Sunni’s flashing eyes saw that movement and she screamed, “Stop, Krista, don’t come any closer, I mean it! He has to die. I’m sorry, but you at least got to meet him. Now get out of the way.”

She motioned for Adam to start moving towards the tower and I started to panic. I couldn’t let that happen, but I didn’t know what to do. Krista was between Adam and Sunni, and I was off to the left of Adam. I thought again briefly about us going over the side of the wall. Most of it was crumbled away at any rate and while the fall might break a bone or two it probably wouldn’t kill us. At least I didn’t think so, unless we fell wrong. But then again, what is the right way to fall? And how did I communicate that to Adam? And what if Sunni shot us when we were on the ground and unable to run? There were too many variables in that plan.

I looked around me and saw that the sun was just peeking over the horizon to the east, which was in back of Sunni, so the sun wouldn’t blind her; I couldn’t count on that. I moved a couple of steps closer to her and she looked at me suddenly and said, “Stop right there, princess. Don’t come any closer or I’ll shoot him right here.”

“But then it won’t look like suicide, Sunni. And isn’t that the point?” I thought I would try logic on her, maybe confuse her a bit more. “You know, your plan depends on it being suicide, doesn’t it? That way they won’t be looking for a murderer, will they? Yes, Sunni, you have to get us up those stairs; it’s the only way, isn’t it? You know you can’t shoot him here, don’t you?” I spoke as calmly and in as soothing of a voice as I could, trying to appease her sense of reason.

Her eyes were wild then, looking at each one of us in turn, and I realized that for the first time she was starting to get flustered. And that gave us a chance.

“N – no! I can shoot him here and then you and it will look like it was murder/suicide, that happens all the time. Yeah, maybe that’s the way to do it, and Krista and I suspected it and came here to try and stop you but we were too late!”

I was still trying to move closer to her, inch by inch. “Sunni, that won’t work, you know; they won’t believe it because of all the notes you wrote and stuff. If you and Krista find us, they’ll just suspect you both. No, Sunni, you don’t want that, do you? Krista has paid enough for all this; you don’t want her arrested for murder, do you?”

“Notes? Notes?” she asked, and I could tell she was confused again.

“Yeah, all the little creative poems you wrote. They really were very puzzling, I never could figure them out, you know, because you were so smart writing them. You probably should have been a writer, Sunni, you know that?”

“No, NO, just shut up, Sarah, shut up!”

“Really, Sunni, you should give it a try.” She was close to breaking now and was focused on me; I wasn’t going to let up. “C’mon Sunni, tell me how you wrote all those notes, they were amazing, really.” Adam was almost directly behind me and Krista was a couple of steps in front of him, almost parallel with me, except about 4 steps to my right. We made a nice little triangle; in reality we had only moved the targets closer together, which was stupid.

“NO, you don’t know wh – just NO, shut up! I mean it, don’t say another word!”
She was screeching out the words, stammering and totally confused. Krista tried to take another step towards her and Sunni saw it and said, “Stop right now, Krista!”

And Krista held her position, her eyes darting to mine to see if I agreed. I nodded almost imperceptibly at her and she stayed put.

Adam took a step forward then, bringing Sunni’s focus to him. “Sunni, you don’t really want to do this, do you? Krista will always have to remember what her beloved aunt did, and that would be terrible, wouldn’t it? You don’t want her to remember this, do you?”

“Yes, he’s right, Aunt Sunni! I don’t want to remember this, you, this way. Please, let’s just all go home now and forget about it all. We can, can’t we, Adam and Sarah?” she looked at us and we nodded.

“Yes, Sunni, we can just forget all this, really we can,” I told her.

“I agree, Sunni. It’s best just all forgotten. Let my daughter and me have a chance to know one another.”

Sunni’s eyes were wildly shifting from one of us to the other, and she wasn’t sure what to do. And then we heard someone or something on the steps behind her. Adam’s eyes widened as we listened to the sound; it was soft, stealthy, but in the quiet of the morning we heard it clearly. But Sunni didn’t seem to have heard it; she was too agitated.

And in that moment Adam decided to take a chance. He made a run for Sunni and she saw him and started firing the gun. Krista leapt in front of Adam screaming, “No, NO, don’t shoot him!” and I was right in back of her when I heard the sickening sound of a bullet tearing into a body; a sort of dull thump sound, and Krista went flying backwards, knocking me with her.

She fell against the rampart wall which crumbled completely away and went over the side, with me close on her heels, and I thought, well this is it, you’ll soon know if you can survive this fall.

I fell onto a bush of some kind and felt it ripping my legs; sharp thorny branches that were biting my legs excruciatingly. But the worst thing was all the gun shots I heard from up on the tower, and I looked up and saw Adam, blood running from his side. He was close to the spot where Krista and I had fallen from, and I couldn’t decide whether to yell at him to jump or not. And then he yelled out loud and crumpled to the floor; I couldn’t see him anymore.

I think I blacked out for a minute because it was really noisy when I woke up. I looked to the right of me and saw Krista lying there. I tore myself free of the bush and ignored the pain from the lacerations all over my legs. I crawled over to Krista and called her name.

She was quiet; deathly quiet. I looked at her and there was blood leaking from around her neck somewhere, spread out across the pristine snowy ground like a vivid red scarf.

Copyright 2006 Cynthia Hope Hodge


Anonymous said...

Wow. Amazing.


Anonymous said...

Had to post twice, because I have something fun to tell you, and didn't want to include it above. Today's chapter seems to deserve a certain solemnity.

This past weekend, we camped at Disney, and had the occasion to visit Minnie Mouse's house. In her home, there is a painting that I recognized. It's the same one that is on your website's home page, with one difference; instead of the lovely period lady, it's Minnie wrapped in scarves! See, Hope, I'm thinking of you even while on vacation, LOL.


lena said...

need two post no dont do this!!!!!!!!! i cant wait till wednesday......this was a GREAT post i love this blog!!!!!

Leci said...

I've been reading this blog for sometime now but have never posted. I decided to this time because I just have to say it:
Hope, you are truly a MASTER story-teller. Everytime I think your writing cannot get any better, you surprise me. You have been blessed with a boundless talent. You are doing a phenomenal job!

Lynne said...

hey guys i got a question. anybody else seeing the new post in bold letters and larger then it normally is?

D said...

OH MY GOODNESS!! Hope!! I think you find pleasure in knowing we're in AGONY when you leave us like that!!! You can't kill off Adam!! Only myself and J.K. Rowling could be so mean! And poor Krista, I hope that she's okay. It can't be that bad right! They'll be able to fix her!

Kristin said...

K's right. Wow.... I truly don't know what else to say!

I was dreading Wednesday's post, because it is the last in the story, but leaving it as a murder in progress is going to be hard to bear. Hurry up Wednesday, no, stay away Wednesday, no, hurry up...

Kristin said...

Lynne - looks like same font to me on my computer, nothing bold. Hope you had an awesome birhday!

catrina said...


Anonymous said...

Great post but I'm not sure I can wait until Wednesday.


Mehreen said...

Wow, I never thought anyone would get hurt! I'm a sucker for happy endings I guess...wonder who was in the stairwell...

Anonymous said...

Of course this was amazing. I had to catch up on the posts from last week. I really thought that Jason was going to be involved. I am surprised by Curtis. I didn't see that coming even though he creeped Sarah out.
My grandfather is doing well and might come home tomorrow. He is anwry right now! I got to spend the last week and the weekend with my niece which was so special.
Thanks for all the warm thoughts.
Lynne, I hope you had a wonderful b-day.:)

Hope said...

Good Morning Everyone!

After near-blizzard conditions here on Friday it turned out to be a nearly perfect weekend; sunny and pretty warm. For Lynne's birthday on Saturday I baked her a pineapple upside down cake (what she wanted) and went to her house. It was a lovely day.

L - glad your grandpa is doing better and the new niece is the best, huh?

K - So Disney has turned Ecstasy into Minnie Mouse Ecstasy, huh? I'm not sure how I feel about that!

Leci - Welcome and I'm so happy you have enjoyed the story. I hope you will migrate over to the message boards and the website when it is up.

Sorry Kristin - Wednesday will come all too soon, we'll just have to wait!

Hope said...

Oh, I forgot to mention that G-man is off of work today and so if you are having any kind of tech problems, e-mail them to him at

Jaime said...

Gosh that was very riveting! I am going to go crazy until Wednesday!! I can't wait until Wednesday, but what sad day it will be! :(


Anonymous said...

Great Post Hope
Lynn like you the font is very large and bold on this post, thought it was my computer but everything else is normal. hmmm. was hard to read that way.
After the two tornados we had in the area Friday, things look good today. Nice weather.
l glad your granddad is ok.

Hope said...

Is anyone still only getting a blank screen when they go to the message boards?

becky said...

Oooooh, this was SO exciting today. As usual, Hope, it was a great chapter. Wednesday - that for sure is a love/hate feeling. This has been an incredible journey with Adam and Sarah, to see their love happen so quickly, and then it grew and blossomed so much along the way! What a great gift you gave us, HopeF! Thank you.


Anonymous said...

The font looks the same on my computer.
Great post Hope, I'm like Kristin, hurry up Wednesday, no don't hurry...

tita said...

hello everybody
Hope, AMAZING as are the best ever, and I love this story even more tnat at the begining.
Well, it's gonna be a difficult week this one.
Our favorite story is ending on wednesday and although we all are moving to the new website and message board I'll still feel as if something misses in my life....
Tomorrow will be a hard day too, I'll have to take my mom to have some tests done....she has thyroid cancer, and although she had a surgery 3 years ago it seems that this horrible thing came back....what a dreadful thing....I'm really uneasy about it.
Anyway I hope every one will have a good day!!!!

Kristin said...

Tita - Lots of good thoughts and warm hugs to you and your mom!

L - Great news regarding your Grandfather!

Lisha said...

OH MY GOD!!!! OH MY GOD!! UGH!!! I don't know if I can wait til Wednesday!!!

Tara said...

Hey All!

Hope- Great post today! I'm anxious to find out if Krista and Adam survive..

Just got my avatar and signature all set up on the new site. Excited about this new site, but sad to see the story end.

Tita- My thoughts are with you and your mother! I hope everythings is okay. I know how hard it can be dealing with a parent who has cancer. My mom has Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma that returned last year and she had to undergo chemotherapy and a stem-cell transplant. It was a really scary and nervewracking year. One thing that I learned was to take thigns one day at a time and pray that things will be okay.

Whats for lunch today ladies??

Kristin, where's the table we can have the party under?? lol.


Hope said...

Tita - My prayers are with you and your mother. It is very hard for you I know, but remember that you have people here who care about you and keep us informed about her progress.

SP said...

OMG can't do that us!!!! I don't comment often but just wanted to let you know that I'm really sad that this wonderful story will be over soon :-( My M, W, F won't be the same anymore. I will miss the story and all the wonderful people who comment here. Sorry for being all emotional!!

Anonymous said...

MAN O MAN!!! I just caught up on all the posts I have missed and WOW is all I can say HOPE!!!

I bet it was the police coming up the stairs or Ryan, and that was all the shots fired killing SUNNY!

I hope Krista is ok, I have a feeling Adam will be, if she isnt ok, it will be hard for them to go on, now knowing he has a daughter and if she is dead he would never be happy again!!

Anyway, great posts and cant wait till wednesday!


WyCo Becky. said...


I saw in these comments that if we are having problems to email G-Man. Well, unfortunately, I just tried to email him to let him know that my reply to HopesJourney came back as undeliverable. His came back as well. Are there problems with your sight today?
Great post, I too will be sad to read the final chapter. You are a terrific writer that makes you feel as though you are right there with them.
WyCO Becky

Hope said...

WyCo Becky - try this address for G-man,

Jo said...

Augh!!! Someone's dead! Who's dead!? Where's Adam!? What happened? Who came along? Where did Sunni go? What happened to Curtis? Why...!? What...!? How...!? Who...!?

If you leave me hanging like this, I'm gonna jump toooooooooo!!!!!!!

Hope said...

Jo - would this be a wonderful 'leap of faith' that you'll have answers on Wednesday? ; D

Kristin said...

Tara - In honor of of all of us Hopies, and to commemorate Wednesday's blog culmination I recommend a bar in Atlanta's underground district called Dante's Down the Hatch! As I recall, there are live gators in the water beneath the bar, which is fashioned like a marooned pirate's ship. You must walk the plank to get to your table, and in the back there is a live jazz/blues band. The tables are fashioned out of barrels, and hold alot of pirate rum guaranteed to blow the man down... Arrggghhh! And of course, our Delicious Pirate Richland is the host with the mostess!!! LOL

Lorena said...

Today at work I am extremely busy, but I just had to make time to read this post. And I'm glad I did. Thank you so much Hope!

Anonymous said...

All I can say is.... OMG AWESOME post. I am so excited to read the next chapter to find out what happened but sad it will be the end!!

Thanks for this wonderful story Hope!


Anonymous said...

I've got it in bold too Lynne.

Oh dear...I don't know what to say...I want wednesdays post...but at the same time I don't. :(

Hope you are amazing.


Tara said...

Now I want to make a roadtrip to Atlanta!!! That bar sounds wicked cool. Delicious Pirate Richland is definitely the best host. I would drink too much at this bar tho, dont want to fall off the plank and swim with the gators.


Kristin said...

Their little bitty gators Tara, and besides with each of us sitting on one of Richland's shoulders, we'll be oh so safe.... giggle! Gotta head out for the day, everyone be safe, be well, and let your loved ones know you care!

Anonymous said...


I have the blank screen after logging trying to log into the message board.


Hope said...

Twinkie2, email and let him know. He should be able to help.

Donna said...

While I'm sitting here waiting for our lake to recede from all the rain all I can think to say is...WOW!

reeneez said...

Gosh Hope, this was just awesome!! You're killing us with the suspense of waiting until WEDNESDAY!!!

tita said...

thank you all for your words of encouragement, they mean sooo much for me. It's great to be a part of this wonderful family (Hoppies) that we all became.
It's really hard this time, specially because my dad has throat cancer and it's really sad looking at both of them in this conditions...anyway, I just have to think of God and wait for their recover...thank you guys for your support...

Randi said...

I have to go back and check out the posts with Sarah's dreams! She had one about the Red Scarf... and then one other i believe and i cant remember!! grrr, I go on vacation on Wednesday for 2 whole weeks! What am i going to do!?!?!? But Iowa, here i come, i cant wait to get home!!

becky said...

Take heart, my dear Hopies, we KNOW our Hope wouldn't kill of our beloved Adam! Beside, she has already told us he & Sarah will be posting occasionally to keep us informed on their travels & lives. I am so sad that this is ending. WAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!


PS Kristin Awesome idea for Wednesday! A pirate party as the finale!!

Anonymous said...

I will keep you and your mom in my thoughts as you face today.
God bless you and give you the strength to face whatever will be.

Crazy day yesterday as the storm left us with no power. I would have welcomed the extra day off (heh heh) but SO was in a foul mood, so I saw it best to just go to work to shower and move on with the day. Good thing or I would have walked into a mess today. And SO seemed to have taken the day to straighted out his mood as well, so everything happened for the best.

I am anxiously waiting for tomorrow. I think Ryan will be the hero. He really needs to turn out to be Krista's Knight in shining armour, similar to Adam being Sarah's wonderful Pirate...

With the weather yesterday I needed some serious comfort food, but didn't have a lot of time. Made Lazy Pigs in the Blanket...turned out great without all the time of fussing with the cabbage and rolling the little buggers.

Hope everyone is having a great day!
Lauren :)

Anonymous said...

Friends I have only posted a few times but I love the care and concern that you all show for each other. I am sure that you have all head of the tragedy on the Virginia Tech campus. I am an employee of Virginia Tech. Fortunately I am off campus and did not have to witness yesterday's events but I do have friends and co-workers that were on campus at the time and both my kids have friends on campus. Please keep our University family in your thoughts and prayers as we try to mend from this disaster.


Anonymous said...

I emailed the address that was posted a few days ago to get an account for the new site and I haven't received anything. I'm not sure what to do.

Anonymous said...

I cannot fathom what everyone there is feeling. When I heard I had the same feeling I did on 9/11.
My thoughts and prayers are and have been with everyone affected.
Please take care.


Hope said...

Teresa - Oh my gosh, I will keep you and all the families there in my prayers. Since I work on a campus as well, it can be a bit scary wondering how those things can happen so quickly and without reason.

L - please email me at and we'll see what we need to do. We'll get you taken care of, I promise!

Engbunny said...

Tita - I will be thinking about you today. You and your Mom are in my prayers.

Teresa - *BIG HUG* It is going to be ok. People do horrible things for reasons we cannot even begin to imagine. 8 years ago here in Denver we had Columbine and our people healed. We have never forgotten, as you will never forget, the horrors of the day. However, you will heal and life will go on. I wish I could take away the pain you are feeling now and replace it with what time will bring you - a sense of peace and acceptance. The one thing that I don't think anyone involved with these types of situations will ever have is a sense of understanding because how can you understand someone causing this kind of insanity? You and everyone at Va. Tech are in my prayers. May God grant you all comfort in your time of need.


kmorales4 said...

The news are unbelievable.It feels like watching a movie where there's no happy ending.

Let's all keep the families/friends/coworkers of these 32 victims in prayer.

Anonymous said...

Prayers to Tita as well as to Teresa. I hope your friends and co workers are okay.

Anonymous said...

Prayers to Tita as well as to Teresa. I hope your friends and co workers are okay.

Hope said...

G-man wants me to post a new contact email address for him. He thinks he is having some problems with the other one.

Please don't hesitate to email him with problems!

Kristin said...

Teresa - The most heartfelt prayers and condolences of your fellow Hopies and of the Nation are with you and your V Tech community at this time. Draw strength from each other and know that you are not alone.

Tita - Sweetheart, you are a strong and loving daughter, and I know your family takes comfort in this at this trying time. Please let us know if there is anything we can do for you.

catrina said...

Teresa, my thoughts and prayers go out to you and the families of those who lost their lives so tragically. I just don't understand it! Your fellow Hopies here send you hugs....

Anonymous said...

I also have been readong this story for some time now and never posted. This is one really good story Hope, but I have a feeling it is coming to a end and that makes me sad. I hope that you have more stories inside that head of yours because I just don't know what I am going to do when this story ends.

Hope said...

Well yes, anonymous, it ends tomorrow. But Sarah and Adam will live on with journal entries on the new website. Please feel free to join us there and if you haven't registered for the message boards you can do that one of two different ways. Send an email to: or if you have problems with that go to: and you should be able to register.

Hope said...

Linds - I tried to e-mail you back but the message didn't go through for some reason. Please follow the instructions I listed in the post above to get onto the message boards.

Anonymous said...

what is going on with this story ? is it ending on wednesday?

Hope said...

Yes, this story will end tomorrow.

Linda said...

Hi Hope,

I sent an email to subscribe Tuesday evening and said email went through but never got an email back. I sent G-man an email just now. Hope to see ya on this site soon. TC and again wonderful writing!!!!

Linda said...

Hi again,

Just tried http: etc as u stated at the bottom of comments, that didn't work either. Hopefully, I will hear from G-man!!!!