A LUNA NEW YEARíS EVE
Luna Moody Holden looked down upon the town of Llanview, Pennsylvania. She was the townís guardian angel and had always watched over its residents. On this New Yearís Eve, her heart was saddened. Not only had her special couple, Marcie Walsh and Michael McBain (Al Holden) drifted apart, but so had Michaelís brother, John McBain, and his soulís savior, Evangeline Williamson. Luna decided she would use Valentineís Day to reunite Marcie and Michael, but tonight, before 2005 ended, she would set into motion a meeting between John and Evangeline and let love take its course.
It was eight oíclock in the evening and Evangeline was sitting alone in her apartment thinking over the events of the last 13 or 14 months. Layla had left to go to work at Capricorn. She tried to convince Evangeline to come with her, but Evangeline wasnít in the mood to see others celebrating their cheer. It had been a long, complicated and confusing year for her. As she replayed the last yearís events over in her head, she realized that the watershed moment most likely was Thanksgiving night of 2004 when Cristian Vega returned.
Evangeline remembered making the bold statement to John, "If I know that there is a chance for us, I will stick with you forever."
The fact that sheíd made that bold statement still shocked her to this day. Lt. John McBain had come into her life and had a profound effect. She had never been totally in love with someone and now she realized that John was her first and maybe her only.
ĎIt seemed so real and true,í she thought to herself. ĎWhy could John never say that he was in love with me? Why could John not confide in me about Cristian? Was Natalie really the one he wanted all along?í
Luna didnít like the direction that Evangelineís thoughts were taking her, so Luna nudged Evangeline to remember the good times. Evangeline reached up to pull the cord on her Venetian blinds to look out on the skyline of Llanview and the vision of John tying a string around her wrist popped into her mind. A series of memories rushed her at once; throwing Johnís football into the Llantano River; the Christmas celebration at the Love Center; dancing together on New Yearís Eve; receiving Johnís Motherís pearls for her birthday; Valentineís Day; Johnís birthday; John teaching her to box; John taking care of her when she had a stomach Ďblugí; Aunt Ritaís funeral; and John being proud of her when she was nominated for Woman of the Year.
"Stop it!" she chastised herself. "Itís over. Too much has happened. I have to move on and accept the fact that John is out of my life in that way. I just hope heís happy."
Evangeline decided she needed to clear her head and prepare herself to start the New Year fresh. Due to the unreasonably warm and dry weather, Evangeline decided to take a run through the park and Angelís Square. She should have enough time to run, take a shower, make hot chocolate and popcorn and settle in to watch the ball drop. Evangeline put on her running gear and left her condo.
Luna smiled as she thought, ĎOne down and one to go.í
Johnís Office at the Llanview Police Department
It was nine oíclock in the evening and John sat behind his desk looking out the window while he contemplated the last few months.
ĎWhat a mess,í he thought. He was just beginning to realize how much his promise to Cristian had cost him. Once the truth had come out, Johnís life had taken a turn for the worse. Johnís brother Michael couldnít look him in the eye due to his deep disappointment in John. Bo and Viki couldnít understand Johnís motivation for leading Natalie on. Natalie was devastated that the two men she thought she loved didnít think she was strong enough to run her own life and make her own decisions.
Antonio and Carlotta were furious that John had let Cristian rot in jail for over 6 months and not considered the fact that Cris shouldnít be in jail and needed psychological help. The thing that truly hurt him the most was the look in Evangelineís eyes when she had confronted him with the truth. Evangeline had always had a special look in her eyes when she looked at him. However, when she began to comprehend all the ramifications of Johnís actions, he had seen her eyesí light go dim.
This last thought made him wince and he turned away from the window. ĎWhy?í he thought. íWhy didnít I tell her how I truly felt about her? All she ever wanted was for me to say I love you.í
John justified his actions by thinking that she deserved better than him.
Luna didnít like the direction that Johnís thoughts were taking him, so Luna nudged John to remember the pieces of hope that Evangeline had left him. Johnís room key poked him in his thigh and as he removed the key from his pocket, the vision of Evangeline standing in his room telling him that she wanted him to be happy, even if it wasnít with her, popped into his mind. That thought was followed by Evangeline standing in his office telling him that she didnít hate him. He had been moved when she instinctively reached out to comfort him.
John smiled and opened his top left desk drawer. He pulled out the picture of him and Evangeline at Nora and Danielís wedding, the DVD from Evangelineís hypnotism and his birthday napkin. John put the DVD into his computer and fast forwarded to where Evangeline was saying she couldnít stop thinking about him. Finally, he opened the folded napkin to read, "I love you, E."
"Itís over," he told himself stopping his train of thought. "Evangeline left me. Too much has happened. I have to move on and accept the fact that Evangeline is out of my life. Please let her be happy."
John decided to take a break to clear his head. He wanted to start the New Year fresh. John grabbed his jacket off the coat rack and told Officer Cerutti heíd be taking a walk in Angelís Square if anyone needed him.
Luna smiled as she thought, ĎLove, itís all up to you.í
Angelís Square Statue of Luna
At ten oíclock, Evangeline was finishing her run. She sat down at the base of the statue to take a quick breather and to tie her shoe. As she looked at the statue of Luna, the Angelís Square icon of love, she started to pray.
"Dear God," she said aloud, "Thank You for giving me the opportunity to experience truly loving someone, even if it was only from my side. I never thought I wanted love or that my job wouldnít be enough. Fortunately, now I know that I do want love in my life. I want to meet that person you have chosen for me that will put me first and be totally comfortable with saying I love you. In this New Year, please bring me to that person. Amen."
No sooner had Evangeline finished her prayer when she heard a familiar voice behind her.
"Iím right here," the voice stated. "Iíve been here all along."
10 Minutes Earlier
As John was taking his mind clearing walk in Angelís Square, he spotted Evangeline sitting at the base of the Angel statue. His heart skipped a beat like it always did when he saw her. He had been girding himself to approach her when she started to speak. As he stood listening to her prayer, his heart was lifted when she thanked God for letting her experience truly loving someone. Though he knew it was his arrogance, he believed it was he whom she referred to. A pain shot through his heart when she added that the love was only one sided.
ĎAll I had to do was tell her,í he thought. ĎAll she ever asked for were the words.í
He decided right then that he wanted Evangeline back. More realistically, he needed her. John knew heíd have an uphill battle, but he had to make her believe that he always loved her.
As soon as he heard her say, "Please bring me to that person," he took his shot.
Angelís Square Statue of Luna continuedÖ.
Evangeline slowly turned around and her eyes locked with Johnís. He was slowly approaching her with his hands in his pants pockets. As he took the last few steps to bring him directly in front of her, she could see in his clearly defined blue eyes the conviction of his words.
Their eyes stayed locked as her mind began to whirl. ĎGod,í she wondered. ĎAre you answering my prayer instantaneously? Is John the person youíve chosen for me?í
Past hurt made her decide it couldnít be. Evangeline mentally shook off her thoughts and said, "What are you doing here John?"
"Iím here for you," he said as a matter of fact. "Iím here because you want me here and I want to be here."
"I do not want you here," she said sternly. His arrogance caused her to clench her fists at her sides.
"I beg to differ," he started. John saw the spark of anger in her eyes. He couldnít help but see it because they hadnít broken eye contact since she looked up and saw him. Her instant anger thrilled him because lately she showed no feelings of any kind toward him.
ĎShe still loves me,í he thought triumphantly. ĎI have to get her to admit it.í
As she stood in awe at his statement, she was speechless. Seizing this rare moment of silence, John started his mission to get her back. "If my hearing is clear, you just asked God to bring you to me. Well, here I am."
Evangeline opened and shut her mouth a few times while trying to push out any words. Finally, she squeezed out, "Excuse me?"
"You thanked God for letting you truly experience loving someone and asked him to bring you to the person that will put you first and freely express his love for you. Iím saying here I am. I am that person."
Surprised by his verbal barrage, she laughed as she said, "You are going to freely express yourself to me? Yeah, right." She turned to leave as she said, "I canít do this. Please, leave me alone."
John grabbed her arm to force her to face him again. "I canít leave you alone. I can never leave you alone because I love you and I always will."
John searched the shocked look in her expressive brown eyes to see a glimmer of understanding from her. He could tell she was fighting him.
Evangeline gathered her composure and tried to choose her words wisely. "John," she started, "please let go of my arm and let me go. I know your life is in disarray right now, but I canít be there for you. I just canít handle it. I wonít be your second choice. I wonít be that person that you love when you canít be with the person you want to be with."
Evangeline felt Johnís grip tighten as she watched his eyes start to darken. ĎUh oh,í she thought. ĎI hit a nerve.í
As calmly as he could, but with clarity and candor, John said, "Donít ever say anything like that to me again. You are not second choice to me. You have always been the only one Iíve ever wanted. Iím telling you that I love you and only you. I need for you to tell me that you still love me. I need you to say it."
Exasperated and realizing that John wasnít going to let her go, Evangeline responded, "I donít have to say anything to you. I donít have to tell you if I still love you. Youíre assuming that I love you and thatís an assumption you shouldnít be making."
"Argh!!!!!!!!! Why are you so stubborn?" John yelled in frustration. His voice lowered a few octaves as he went on to say, "I know that I hurt you. I know that, but Iím telling you that I love you. Iím in love with you and only you."
Evangeline stood stoically, while inside she was freaking out. Could John be telling her the truth? Did he really love her? Either way, she remained silent.
Her silent tactic was eating him alive. ĎMy god,í he thought, Ďthis has to be the way she felt all those times I shut down on her. Iím such an ass.í
Loosening his grip on her arm slightly, but not removing his hand completely, he said, "I know youíre mad at me. I hurt you a lot, but Iím begging you to tell me that you still love me. I need you to say it to me right now before this year ends. If you donít, this year will go down as one of the worst years of my life and you know Iíve had a few. Please, tell me that you love me."
Johnís plea was met with silence.
Pushed past his limit of frustration, John protested, "You may be mad at me, but Iím mad at you, too!"
"Come again?" Evangeline asked, stunned.
"Iím mad at you," John repeated.
"You are unbelievable!" Evangeline yelled. "How is that possible?"
Inwardly smiling to himself because he had broken her silence, John decided to lay it all on the table. "Iím mad at you because you left me. You lied to me. You told me you would stick with me forever and at the first sign of trouble, you bailed."
Now Evangelineís frustration boiled over and she let it rip. "First of all, how dare you say I lied to you? I never lied to you. You were lying. Second of all, I did not bail at the first sign of trouble. I bailed at your continuously putting me second and shutting me out. Did you really expect me to stick with you the way you were treating me? You lied when you told me there was more than a chance for us. You knew you had some type of feelings for someone else. Is that what this really is? Have you decided you love me now because she wonít have anything to do with you?"
Hearing her words took a toll on John and he started to tear up. He placed his hands on her shoulders to steady himself. When he was able to speak, he said, "No, she has nothing to do with my loving you. Iíve loved you for longer than I can remember. I tried to tell you on the night of my birthday, but you fell asleep."
Evangelineís eyes softened with her recollection of that night.
John continued, "When I told you that I couldnít do this alone anymore, I should have said I couldnít do this without you anymore. I need you so much. More accurately, I want you. I use to feel that I wasnít worthy of you, but now that this big secret is out that was between us, I want to try to share everything with you. You are the only person Iíve ever wanted to share it all with. I just need you to tell me itís not too late. Tell me that you love me."
With her eyes misting over, Evangeline replied, "I canít. Too much has happened. I canít."
John slowly moved his hands to either side of her face, looked her deeply in the eyes and pleaded once again, "Cookie, I love you. Please tell me that you love me."
ĎDamn him. Why did he have to call me Cookie? God, can I trust this?í
Searching every corner of his eyes, she finally felt she could see into his soul. Evangeline acquiesced and said, "I still love you John. Iím in love with you."
John smiled, kissed her forehead and pulled her into an embrace. As they stood under the Angelís Square statue in a tight embrace, John said into her ear, "Iím so sorry. I will make it up to you."
Evangeline replied in his ear, "Itís okay. Iím sorry for a few things to." She followed her statement with a kiss on his neck.
At feeling the touch of her lips to his neck, John exhaled. ĎThank you God,í he thought. He knew it would all be okay. He was so grateful to have Evangeline, his angel, back in his life.
At feeling John exhale, Evangeline felt free to exhale herself. She was hopeful that it would all be okay. Evangeline was grateful to have an expressive John, her true love, in her life. ĎThank you God,í she thought. ĎHe really loves me.í
As John and Evangeline stood beneath the statue of Luna embracing, they each saw it glow. They both smiled to themselves and held on tighter.
ĎAll is right in Angelís Square tonight,í Luna thought. There were some tense moments there, but Luna knew that love would prevail. At 11:52 pm, love did prevail. As she smiled down, her statue glowed with hope. Luna knew that John and Evangeline would make it through any obstacle.
Evangeline and John remained in their embrace until they heard the church bells ringing in the New Year. John loosened his embrace and leaned back to look into Evangelineís eyes.
"I love you Evangeline," John said, "Happy New Year."
"I love you John," Evangeline replied, "Happy New Year."
John placed his lips on hers and gave her a soft, meaningful kiss, full of relief and hope. When their lips parted, John saw that Evangeline was crying. He wiped away her tears with the tips of his index fingers and said, "Are those tears of joy?"
"Partially," she said, "they are also tears of fear. I believe with my whole heart that you love me, but what if that loveís not enough? What if you canít share your life completely with me? Iíll always be here for you, but if your exposing your demons to me is going to hurt you, I donít think I want that."
John smiled with relief as he realized she was putting his feeling first again. He said, "Iím a little afraid too, but not of being unable to share everything with you. Iím afraid that I wasted so much time I can never make it up to you. Iím afraid that Iíll lose you before I can tell you how much I love you."
Evangeline replied, "I guess weíll be afraid together. As long as weíre together, I can handle it."
"Me too," John said with a huge smile. He grabbed her hand and pulled her toward the bench across from the statue. "Letís not waste any time. Iíll start with telling you what I tried to tell you that night at your condo. When Iím done, I want you to tell me what happened between you and your dad that made hearing the words from me so important to you. Is it a deal?"
"Itís a deal," Evangeline replied with her own huge smile. She couldnít believe how intuitive he was to her after all this time.
John began, "It all started when I was 10 years old and my dadÖÖ"