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“Caroline is turning her humanity on.”
She said it with such assurance. I wanted to believe her, but I knew that she had turned it off for the last four years of our marriage and there was no guarantee that she would turn it back on again.
I didn’t know what to say. I was internally debating whether or not this is something that she could control and if it would be worth trying again for the sake of our daughter, but before I had a chance to answer Caroline started talking about how much fun we should have taking care of little ones together.
Caroline became noticeably more human as she talked about her excitement at becoming an auntie to my unborn child in just two weeks’ time.
She’s so happy and excited that soon enough there will be one baby on each arm who knows? Maybe even today!
What?? It seemed like everything happened all at once because suddenly Jonathan came back out from his bedroom with clothes thrown over both arms yelling “He’s here!”
Caroline looked at me with pure joy and relief on her face, grabbed my hand tightly before taking off in a sprint towards the front door. He’s already here! Caroline had just started to turn human again – for our daughter this time.
We then went outside where everyone was standing around chatting excitedly when we saw that he was still cradling Hannah in his arms while rocking from side to side as if she were an infant herself.”
As you walk out the front of Mannor Hall you can see that it is starting to get dark–the sun has almost gone down completely by now and there are only few bright beams peeking through the clouds above us. The air smells sweet like a new day is just on the horizon.
“Caroline!” I look towards my right and see a red-haired woman running in our direction while waving her hands frantically in front of herself. “I can’t believe you’re finally here! It’s been so long since we saw each other last.”
The next sentence should be: The air smells sweet like a new day is just on the horizon.
The air smells sweet like a new day is just on the horizon. I can’t believe you’re finally here! It’s been so long since we saw each other last.” The red-haired woman yells as she comes to an abrupt stop in front of me, wrapping her arms around my neck tightly and squeezing tight enough that it hurts a little–but nothing compared to what happened between us not too long ago.
“How have things been?” She asks, pulling back from the hug reluctantly but still keeping one arm wrapped around my shoulder while walking with me down the street towards where Caroline should be waiting for us at this point. “You must have seen some pretty crazy stuff over there.”
“I’ve never felt better in my life.” I tell her, and it’s the truth–I’m not lying to you.
“But have any of those new feelings made you want to turn humanity back on?” She asks me intently, keeping her gaze locked with mine as we continue walking down this street that is so much like home but yet still different in some ways at the same time. “You don’t know what kind of things you’ve missed out on because Caroline turned your humanity off a long time ago.”
She tells me sadly before continuing on ahead without waiting for an answer from me after she notices something just up ahead of us. “We’re finally here,” The red-haired woman says, stopping once again and releasing our embrace as she turns to look at me with a hopeful expression. “Do you want your humanity back?”
“Yes.” I answer, and it comes out sounding like the truth–it’s not something that I’m just saying because of what this woman wants or expects from me. “I think so.”
She looks relieved as if my confirmation was all that she needed before turning her head away for a second in order to close her eyes and take several breaths before returning them back on me once again while still smiling brightly. “Good,” She says, looking up ahead of us where there are two people already waiting by the time we make our way over to them–one man standing beside another who is kneeling on one knee instead. “One last thing before we start.”
She removes a small box from her pocket and opens it to reveal what I can only assume is the key. “This hasn’t been used in centuries,” she explains, looking at me with concern as if there’s something that should be worrying about this detail.
“What does it do?” The man standing beside us asks curiously while his friend kneels down in front of him–holding out an open palm so he might place the object inside. Caroline turns her attention back on them for another moment before pulling my hand closer against hers until they’re holding each other’s hands tightly within their own, our fingers intertwined together as she prepares to explain everything one more time just like how she did when we were still in the woods.
“It’s what will open our door,” she says finally, looking back at me and nodding her head before turning to face them both again with a determined look on her eyes that I’m beginning to feel just from how hard she’s squeezing my hand as if this is really it–as if we’re about to get out of here alive for good. “We need you two now more than ever.”
The man reaches into his pocket and pulls out another small box similar in size but different enough so that I can tell they’re not the same key when he places it gently against Caroline’s palm without hesitation while watching him intently with an expressionless gaze as if there was something she’s missing.
“It’s the only way you’re coming out of here,” he murmurs, his voice low and soft as if it was a secret that no one else could hear before Caroline nods her head slowly–a thousand thoughts running through my mind at how much she has to be hurting right now with this decision but I can tell from the look on her face that there is absolutely nothing we can do about it because if I had any other choice in all honesty, even though I know what will happen when our door opens for me because of everything they’ve done to keep us locked up like animals without rights or anything resembling humanity..
I would still choose to bring them down with us just so there wouldn’t be any chance of them ever getting out and hurting anyone else. “You’re going to be okay?” I ask her, not really knowing what it is that she’s doing but understanding the pain in her eyes tells me everything I need to know as she continues to nod–one last look before we both move across the cell towards different sides–and when my fingers touch the door handle for a second time today, all I can think about is how much this decision will change things forever because there are no guarantees anymore–not even with love. There are some risks you just have to take.. I feel like Caroline has been struggling with humanity throughout the whole season- especially after being captured by Westmoreland at prom night