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Angel Tears

the lurker

She stood silently by the large bay window, and the rain just kept coming. It reminded her of the never ending mysteries of the Centre. Every time she rounded a corner, thinking that an answer would be forthcoming, she would uncover yet another lie. They were piled one on top of the other, just like the droplets of water on the windowsill. Maybe the trail was infinite and there was no end. That thought sent an involuntary shiver up her spine.

She lit a cigarette, the smoke veiling her face like the shroud of uncertainty which gripped her soul. She had experienced lousy times before, but the recent events of her life had ranked right up there with the worst of them. The doctors at Centre were still not commenting upon when or if her father would regain consciousness; and if the pretender Alex had spoken the truth, then the fact of her lineage was in doubt.

The truth.

That phrase almost made her laugh aloud. Who’s truth? Hers? Her fathers? The triumvirate’s? Her life was ensnared by a chain of falsehoods and deceit, perpetrated by.....whom? Her reality had once again been rattled to its core, and Parker was not convinced that the substratum of her soul would survive it.

The anonymously sent picture proved that her mother and Jarod’s mother knew each other; but was it real or fabricated? And if her father wasn’t really her father, was Major Charles Jarod’s true father? Her stomach churned as her mind moved to the next logical step. What if she and Jarod were related? There was a bitter taste in her mouth. It couldn’t be. At the deepest level of knowing, at the root of her soul she knew that they were not. However, that did not explain the existence of the picture.

The ring of her phone jarred her from her thoughts.

“How’s your father?”

Parker closed her eyes, “The same.”

Jarod’s voice continued quieter, “I’m sorry. I was hoping he’d have come out of it sooner rather than later.” Parker didn’t answer, so he continued, “I was wondering if you’d given any thought to what I posed last night?”

“I.....I don’t know, Jarod. Everything is such a jumble right now. I can’t think clearly.”

“I understand. Take your time. The mystery of our mothers isn’t going anywhere.”

Tears were falling down Parker’s cheeks, and for several moments, she could only choke them back. Jarod felt the pain of it through the phone line.

“Miss Parker, I know how you feel right now.”

An ironic smile lit Parker’s lips, “Yes, I know you do.”

“It’s like the world you’ve always known no longer exists, and everything everyone ever told you was a lie.”

Parker paused a moment, digesting his words, and when she continued, her voice was soft, like velvet, “Where will you go now?”

“I’ll be around, Parker...don’t you worry about it.”

The phone line went dead. Parker replaced the phone in its cradle, sat down on the nearest chair and melted into a puddle of tears. The idea that her father wasn’t really her father physically hurt. It was palpable. The window of her soul was obscured completely for the first time since she was ten years old.


A soft knock reverberated through the silence of her mind. Had she fallen asleep? Parker looked at the window, it was dark. She glanced at her watch, she had been asleep for three hours. She concluded that the knock must have been in her dreams. In answer, the knock persistently sounded again. Sighing deeply, Parker stood and walked to the front door.

She peered through the peephole, and shook her head. Of course he would show up on her doorstep. She could simply pretend that she wasn’t there, and not answer it. Damn the fact that the rain was still descending in buckets and he was standing there, soaked. And then a terrible thought entered her mind, shocking her: What if her father’s condition had worsened? She quickly opened the door, almost startling the man on the other side.

The panic in her voice was not hidden, “Is my father all right?”

In contrast, his voice was laced with calm, “Yes, he is the same.”

Her eyes narrowed in anger, “Then what do you want?”

His smile tried to cover his concern, “I came by to see if you were okay.”

She stared at him for a long moment, as though the answer to his question was incredibly obvious, “Well of course I’m okay. I don’t need a wet nurse, Sydney.”

He looked down, slightly embarrassed by the comparison. After a moment, he looked back up at her, water pouring down his face, “I don’t suppose I could come in out of the rain?”

For the briefest of moments, he wasn’t sure if she would let him in the door, then finally, she stood aside, irritation lining her features. Sydney smiled at her calmly, stepped past her and entered the foyer. He was dripping wet, and dripping all over her floor.

She appraised his appearance with a cocked eyebrow, “Ever heard of an umbrella Mr. McGoo? They’re rather handy when it rains.” He just smiled benignly at her, so she continued, “Let’s get you a towel.”

He followed her into the downstairs bathroom, where she pulled a towel from the linen closet and handed it to him. He removed his jacket, and Parker hung it up. She looked at him and suddenly had an overwhelming desire to giggle. For a brief moment she tried to suppress the urge, but it was stronger than she, and a chuckle escaped her lips.

Sydney wasn’t sure what to make of it. He was quite certain that he hadn’t heard Parker giggle since she was a little girl. It was most disconcerting on the one hand, and on another level, he was almost relieved.

“I’m glad you find this so amusing, Parker.”

“Come on, I’ll make you a cup of tea.”

She led him into the kitchen, where he sat at the table, and Parker began to putter about making a pot of tea. He watched her, carefully appraising her mien. He knew it was silly of him to worry; she had weathered so much more. But he found that he couldn’t stop himself, old habits were hard to break. As she turned toward him holding two cups of steaming tea, he knew that the smile on her face could not belie what was truly in her heart, and the redness of her eyes told him that she was trying to put up a good front for his sake.

Parker set the cups on the table and sat down across from him. He held her eyes with his for a few minutes, and the sorrow in her, was hard to look upon. It was like the heavy rain outside, only unlike the heavens, she was trying desperately to keep the droplets from falling. He hated to watch her go through this yet again.

Gently he reached across the table and touched her hand with his, “It’s going to be all right, Parker.”

Her eyes darted up to his, and he was struck again by how very much she resembled the little girl who was so vividly etched into his mind. The grey eyes pierced his with their intensity, and their need. She wanted to believe his words more than anything else in the world. And yet, Parker knew better. Sydney was merely trying to comfort her, as he had done on so many other occasions.

She looked into the steady deep brown eyes, and squeezed his hand before letting go, “I know it will, Syd.”

He frowned as he caught the flicker in the grey orbs; there was something else. Something he didn’t know about, something she wanted to hide from him.

“Parker? What else?”

“My father in a coma isn’t enough? I need something else?”

Once again, Parker’s actions could not belie the truth. She stood up, lit a cigarette and began pacing. Sydney leaned back in this chair, sipped his tea and watched her for a few minutes, as she walked the kitchen like a caged animal. He knew if he just let her go, she would start talking to him. She always had, he just had to be patient and give her enough time to put her thoughts into order.

Parker’s voice was edgy, “The pretender Alex....”

“What about him?”

“He--” her voice was not steady, but she pushed on, “He said that my father isn’t my father.” She stopped pacing and gripped the back of her chair, staring at him, trying to gauge his reaction. “Sydney? What do you know about this?”

He frowned, “This is the first I’m hearing of it.”

Parker leaned on the table, closer, “I’ve heard that before.”

Sydney looked away. After a few minutes, he looked back at her, his eyes slightly misty.

“I have never kept anything from you because I wanted to.”

“No, you just take it upon yourself to decide what I should or should not know and when.”


“--No. Why should I believe you now, Sydney? You knew my mother didn’t die in that elevator and you kept that one to yourself for 25 years. Why should this little secret be any different?”

“Did Alex offer any proof?”

“No, and my father collapsed before answering, but from what he did say, I think it’s true.”

The rain in her eyes threatened to fall once again, and she turned away from him. He could feel the hurt from across the room, and he wanted to take it away from her. He gave her a few moments, but when her shoulders shook from grief, he stood and went to her, stopping right behind her. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a handkerchief, and extending his arm in front of her, he silently offered it to her. Just as silently it was taken.

“It’s all right to feel confused, Parker.”

She said nothing, and didn’t turn face him. It was then that he realized there was yet more.

“Parker? You still haven’t told me all of it, have you?”

Her head shook imperceptibly, and the rain pounded on the roof above them. The rain in the kitchen was as dark and as permeating. Parker leaned into the frame of the window, staring out into the blackness, wondering if there would be sun tomorrow, and if it would ever shine through her own darkness again. Her mind jumped to Jarod. As a child, he had not been allowed to play outside. He had been shrouded by the darkness of the Centre all of his life; the sun never shined through. How had he survived it?


Sydney’s voice brought her back to the present, “What?”

“Tell me the rest.”

“Are you really going to stand there and pretend you don’t know Sydney?” She glanced at him from over her shoulder, “Fine. Someone from within Centre sent a picture to me.....and to Jarod.”


She turned to face him, “My mother and Jarod’s mother, together.”

“They knew each other?”

“Apparently so.”

Sydney shook his head.

Parker continued, “You didn’t know?”

“No, I swear to you, I did not.”

It all made sense to him now. Parker was upset about her father, but even more so at the idea that Catherine knew Jarod’s mother. He shivered at the thought of what other tales might be buried amongst the rubble of Centre, and how much more those he loved would be hurt. The intensity of Parker’s emotions overtook her, and she turned back to face the window.

For several minutes, they stood there, watching the rain inside and out. It hurt him more than he thought possible, to watch her torment herself with the maybes which Centre had placed in her life. It was so unjust; first Jarod, and now Parker. Sydney closed his eyes momentarily, shoving his own emotions down as far as he could. Parker needed his strength; and he was all she had left at the moment, and he would not let her down.

With tender regard, Sydney put his arms around her shoulders, pulling her to lean into him, “I’m sorry, Parker, I really am.”

Her voice was raw with emotion, “I don’t know who I am anymore, Syd.”

The tears fell harder down her cheeks, and Sydney leaned his head into hers, “You know, when Jacob and I were little, and it would rain, we would stand by the window for hours, waiting for it to stop, so that we could go out and play. Our mother used to tell us that the rain was really angel tears falling from heaven.” He wiped away some of the moisture from her face, “Angel tears......”

“I don’t want to be alone, Syd.”

“You won’t be.”

He turned her gently in his arms, and she buried her face into his chest, the taste of her own fear making her as vulnerable as she had been the day she thought her mother died. Sydney simply allowed her to lean on him; for his part in the messes of Centre, it was the least he could do. He looked out into the darkness beyond the window. The droplets continued to cover the glass in a steady stream. Somewhere in heaven, an angel was crying.


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