Beauty and the What?!

The Final Chapter

Shawn spins around, facing the corner Anson’s father pointed to. A small cloud of dust was slowly dispersing and he could see her body lying on the cold, concrete floor. He takes a breath, moving his feet along the floor to get closer to her. She’s not moving and he can’t tell if she’s breathing. He walks under the hole in the ceiling, with his eyes glued to Sally.

“Is everyone alright down there?” Anson calls from above them.

Shawn ignores the question, letting the other men answer. His only focus is the girl. He gets to her side and kneels down next to her. She still isn’t moving and he takes a hand and gently brushes the hair out of her face.

“Sally,” he whispers, gently shaking her shoulder, “please wake up.”

She lies unmoving, unresponsive to his words. He can’t tell if she’s breathing or if she’s gone completely. He shakes her shoulder once more and speaks her name a little louder. He can feel the eyes of the others staring at him and he shrugs them off. He puts his arms around her and lifts her from the floor, holding her body against his chest.

“I need you to wake up,” he whispers into her ear, “Please, Sally wake up.”

Her eyes don’t open and she doesn’t flinch when he shakes her a little harder. He feels like his whole life has wasted away as he stares at her lifeless form in his arms. He spent years waiting to gain control over his life and when he finally gets it back, the person he feels he can’t live without might be gone forever. He begs her to wake up one more time and feels a hand on his shoulder.

“I think she’s gone, son.” Anson’s father stands behind him, a solemn tone to his voice.

Shawn shakes his head back and forth, not wanting those words to be true. No part of him wants to lose the only good thing to come to him. He says her name one last time, ordering her to open her eyes for him. Still, she does nothing.
“Sally,” he speaks through tears in his eyes, “I love you.”

He leans forward and presses his lips upon her own. They are warm against his and he lets a few drops of tears fall from his eyes and onto her cheeks. He squeezes his eyes shut tight and holds her against him, never wanting to let go of the woman he came to love.

He hears footsteps of the others limping away and Anson’s father leaves him to be alone for a moment. Shawn holds her for what feels like hours, sitting on the basement floor as a cold chill runs up his spine. His eyes are closed and his hands are clenched. A gasp catches his ears and he feels a slight movement coming from the girl in his arms. He opens his eyes and looks to her face. She blinks her eyes open and takes a few, staggering breaths.

“Sally.” He exclaims. “You’re alive.”

She nods, “Like I would leave you.”

He smiles and she slowly wraps her arms around him, holding him in a tight embrace. She forces her lips onto his, letting all of her love and emotion flow through them.

She breaks away from him for a short moment to say, “I love you too, Shawn.” Then she returns her lips to his.

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