Forgiveness

by: Marlene Martin

As I slowly open my eyes,I find that I’m not behind the steering wheel of Rebel anymore but lying in a strange bed in a strange room somewhere in a long white gown with an IV slowly dripping into my left arm,covered in bandages,and hooked up to a beeping heart machine by a bunch of wires as well as to a hissing breathing machine by a long clear blue tube,which I noticed was coming out of my throat. My mind slowly starts to wonder if I’m in some sort of nightmare as I look around the room,trying to find out where I was at and why I was suddenly experiencing a lot of pain,when I suddenly hear a door beside me open and close. I quickly looked to see where the noise that I heard was coming from and noticed that an elderly gentleman in a long white coat with a stethoscope hanging around his neck had entered the room.

“Well I see that our young patient here is awake.” the doctor said to me when he noticed that my eyes were open and moving around a little.

“Awake?” I surprisingly thought to myself as I tried to painfully sit up to ask the
doctor what he was talking about.

“Easy there now,” the doctor said as he calmly approached the bed and gently helped me lay back down “we don’t want to do any more damage to ourselves any more than we did in the accident now. At least,not until I’ve had the chance of examining you.”

“Accident? What accident?” I tried to say as I watch him put on his stethoscope,hoping that he would be able to hear me,but all that came out of my mouth was
nothing but air.


“Now,lets take a listen to those lungs.” the doctor said as I watch him placed the
stethoscope under my gown and onto my chest.I flinched a little when I felt the cold steel
on my bare skin,however I managed to hold still long enough for the doctor to hear me
breathing.
“Well your lungs sound a little clearer today.” the doctor said as he removed the
stethoscope off of my chest. I was relieved a little when I heard the good news untill I
suddenly feel the doctor start to gently poke around my ribs. I tried not to move or scream
out when I feel the sharp pains going up and down my sides,but the pain that I was
experiencing was a little more than I could stand and I quickly jerked to the side as I silently
groaned out in pain.
“Well,it feels like there’s still a lot of damage around your chest area.” the doctor said when
he finished examining my ribs,which greatly relieved me from having to feel all that pain
again. I then watch as the doctor walked over to the end of the bed and pick up the
clipboard that was hanging there.
“You know your family out here,waiting to see you.” he said as he scratched down
something onto the clipboard before placing it back down on the bed
“I let them know that your awake.”
I watched as the doctor walked out of my room leaving me all alone in this strange
nightmare that I wish I could wake up from. However I soon find that I’m not alone for
very long because my cousin Roy stopped by for a visit. I’m glad that Roy is here,because I now have someone that I can talk to.
“How are you feeling?” Roy asks
“A little worse for wear but otherwise all right.” I replied
“That’s good” Roy says as he smiles at me.
“I only wish I knew where I was at and why I’m hooked up to these gadgets.” I said
“I’m sure that you’ll find out in time.” Roy says to me as he walks over to the edge of the
bed and gently places his hand onto mine.
I notice that his hand is not warm but cold and clammy “Where have you been cousin
Antarctica? Your hand is like ice.”
“Well I must have forgotten to warm it up before I left from there.”Roy jokingly says to
me.
“Left from where?” I asked,trying to find out what he was talking about.
“Someplace special where I can’t take you yet.” Roy says
“Take me?” I replied confused “Roy what are you talking about?”
Roy goes silent after I ask him which as me fearing that he might not speak to me again.
“I’m sorry” I said
“Its okay,you were just curious.” Roy says as he removes his hand off of mine. I suddenly
notice him starting to walk away from the bed.
“Where are you going?” I asked him as I hear the door beside me open.
“Back there”
“Back where?”
“I promise that I’ll be back.”
“Roy wait!” I cried,hoping that he would come back but I noticed that he had
vanished. I feel a little sad that my cousin left and wished that he didn’t leave me alone in
this nightmare. However my sadness soon disappears when I see my big cousins Bo and
Luke,my other cousin Daisy, and Uncle Jesse enter the room. I smile weakly at them as I
watch them approach the bed, glad to see that I’m not alone in this nightmare.
“Hey there sleepy head” Bo says to me as he sits down on the chair next to the bed and
gently picks up my left hand and holds it.
“Welcome back cuz.” I hear Luke say to me as he enters the room
“How are you doing sugar?” Daisy asks as she gives me a small peck on my forehead.
“All right I-” I start to say until I realize that they can’t hear me talk like Roy could.
I wish I could tell them that I’m okay and that Roy was here.
“We miss out at the farm cousin.” Luke says to me as he stands over next to Bo.
“Yeah things are too quiet there with you and-” Bo tries to say to me as Luke holds him
steady “and Roy not around.”
“Roy was just here not to long ago.” I tried to say. I then suddenly noticed tears
starting to form in Bo and Luke’s eyes.
“Has something happened to Roy?” I asked.
“Coy and Vance stop in yesterday to see how you were doing.” Uncle Jesse said as he
placed his hand onto my right hand.
“Yeah even Rosco,and Boss Hogg pulled me and Luke over to ask how you were doing.”
Bo says
“What about Roy?” I asked again.
“Enos stopped by the Boar’s Nest today to say that he was really sorry to hear about Roy
being killed and that he hopes you recover from your injuries real soon.” Daisy says to me.
“Cooter and JT say that they can make Rebel look as good as new,”Luke says “despite all
the damage he sustained in the accident.”
“Repair Rebel? Accident? Roy Killed?” I said as I looked at them in frustration
“What in the world are you all talking about!”
“You and Roy were involved in that car accident at the railroad crossing on Cotton Road
remember?” Bo says to me as he gently squeezes my hand.
“I think so.” I say, trying to remember.
“You were seriously hurt in the accident,” Luke says as tears stream down his cheeks “and Roy was killed instantly.”
“NO!” I say as tears start to form in my eyes “Roy can’t be dead!”
“Settle down CJ.” Uncle Jesse says as he gently pats my right hand.
“Roy can’t dead!” I continue to say as I shake my head “My blood cousin and
best friend can’t be dead, he just can’t be!”
“Just calm down cousin,” Bo says as he tries to calm me down “before you damage
something”
I calmly lay my head back down on the pillow as I close my eyes and allowed my tears to
stream down my cheeks. I truly didn’t want to believe what my cousins were telling me
was true but the tears in their eyes told me it was.
“It’s alright CJ. Shhh, its alright honey.” Daisy says to me as I continue to let myself cry
until I hear the door beside me open. I slowly open up my eyes to see who else is paying
me a visit and notice that a young lady in a white outfit has entered the room with a needle
in her hands.
“Time for your medication.” she says to me as she slowly approaches the bed.
“NO NEEDLES!” I said as I try to struggle out of the bed when I see the big long
needle in her hand.
“Take it easy CJ,” Luke says to me as he gently pats me on my shoulder “the nurse here
only wants to give you some medication so you can get better.”
I calmed a little when I felt Luke’s hand on my shoulder, however I didn’t really relax
though until I saw that the nurse was injecting the medication into my IV and not into my
left arm. After awhile I started to feel a heaviness going throughout my body which
frightened me a little.
“Whats happening to me?” I started to say as I tried to sit up again.
“Just take it easy,” the nurse said to me as she helped me lay back down in the bed “its just the medication taking effect.”
I tried to fight off this heaviness that I was suddenly feeling,but I soon found that I starting
to feel very tired and sleepy.
“Try to get some sleep CJ” Luke says to me when he notices me starting to yawn and my
eyes beginning to close.
“Yeah will all be here when you wake up.” Bo says as he smiles at me. I smiled tiredly at
my cousins and Uncle Jesse before I slowly closed my eyes again,not knowing that the
medication had triggered my memory about the accident which I start to replay in my
dream.

Roy and I are speeding down old Ridge Runner Road in Rebel trying to lose Rosco,who
is right behind us,after going through one of his speed traps at 55 mph.
“You better move it CJ” Roy says to me as I step on the accelerator
“I’ve got the pedal to the metal cous.” I said as I quickly glance at my side mirror to see if
Rosco’s patrol car is still behind us.
“Well you better hit it to the floorboard,” Roy says to me “Rosco’s coming up fast.”
“Wish I could Roy,” I said “but Rebel here is sputtering and choking something fierce.”
“Oh great,” Roy says when he hears Rebel sputter “the carburetor flow valve must be
clogged.”
“Either that or he’s got a bad case of the vapors.” I replied
“Well we’ll just have to have JT take a look at Rebel’s engine when we take him over to
Cooter’s Garage.” Roy says
“Yea, after we lose ourselves one Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane.” I said as I look for a
side road to turn onto. I quickly spied old Cotton Road off to my right and quickly do a
180 degree right turn onto it, leaving a trail of dust which Rosco went through as he went
passed us.
“Well, it looks like we lost Rosco.” Roy says as he smiles at me.
“Yea,but it looks like we’re not going to be heading down this road to far either.” I replied
as Rebel sputtered to a halt across the railroad crossing. I try to start up Rebel a few times
as Roy talks to Bo and Luke on the CB radio but his engine wouldn’t turn over.
“I called Bo and Luke on the CB, and they said they’ll be out here with Cooter to give us a
tow back to the garage.” Roy says as he sets the mic down
“Well in the meantime,you and I are going to have to push Rebel off of the tracks.” I said
to Roy calmly “cause he won’t start.”
“Yea we best get him off before we have any more trouble.” Roy says to me
“Sounds like we’ve already got trouble!” I said as I suddenly hear a train whistle. Roy and
I quickly look out of Rebel’s right passenger window to see a freight train heading towards
us.
“We’ve got to get out of here!” Roy cries as he scrambles out of the window. I try to
climb out of the window on my side but soon discover that my knife pouch is jammed
between the seat and the gear box.
“I can’t Roy, I’m stuck!” I cried out to Roy. Roy quickly climbs back inside and
immediately tries to free my knife pouch.
“Never mind about me!” I said to Roy “Save yourself!”
” I ain’t leaving you here cousin!” Roy says as he looks at me.
“Roy!!!” I screamed as I watch the train come barreling down on us before everything
went black.

I come around a short time later to the sound of metal being crushed and voices all around
me. I slowly open my eyes to the sight of flashing lights and people moving around me
before I close them again.
“Roy what happened?” I asked weakly
“Take it easy CJ,” someone,who sounds like Bo,say to me calmly “the firemen will have
you out of Rebel.”
“Roy?” I said again when I didn’t hear no reply.
“Just hang on CJ,” someone,who sounds like Luke,say gently to me”they’ll get to the
hospital in no time.”
“Roy?” I called out again as I slowly opened my eyes again and looked over at my cousin
Roy. I see that Roy is still seated next to me,covered in a little blood,and lying against the
window perfectly still.
“Come on cousin,talk to me.” I said,hoping that he would hear me when I suddenly feel an
enormous amount of pain rushing throughout my chest. I quickly cry out in pain as I feel
something on my shoulder and hear someone shout out my name before blacking out.

I quickly wake up to find that I’m still lying in the same strange room and that I was in
before but covered in a cold sweat. I try to tell myself that what I was dreaming about was
just a dream however deep inside my heart I know that it really happened and that I’m the
one responsible for the accident that killed my cousin Roy. I let my tears roll down my
cheeks as I lay there on the pillow until a feel a hand laying on mine and hear Luke say
“Hey grease monkey,have a nice nap?”
I slowly looked over to see him and Bo seated at the side of my bed keeping a visual watch
on me like they always do. I then noticed that Daisy and Uncle Jesse wasn’t there with
them and started to look around to see if they were anywhere around.
Its ok cuz.” Bo says gently to me as he gives me a smile “Daisy and Uncle Jssse went to
help Aunt Bessie and Uncle Albert. They’ll be back here shortly.”
I relaxed when I heard the news and also gave them a smile as a couple of tears roll down
my cheeks
“Don’t cry CJ.” Luke says reassuringly to me as he carefully wipes away my tears “It’s
going to be ok.”
“Thats right.” Bo gently says as he places his hand onto mine and Luke’s “So you just
concentrate on getting well. All right cousin?”
I smile at my big cousins again as I say ‘I Love You’ to them when I suddenly see a bright
white light appear in the room. I’m not sure what to make of this strange light untill I see
someone familiar standing in the light.
“Roy?” I said when I see my cousin step out of the light.
“I told you that I would be back.” Roy says as he smiles at me.
“We love you too CJ” I hear Bo gently say to me “more than you can ever imagine”
“I’m glad that you came back Roy,” I said as tears streak down my cheeks “I
missed you”
“What wrong?” Roy asks when he saw my tears.
“I’m sorry about the accident.” I said,trying not to cry.
“It’s okay,” Roy says “I know that it wasn’t your fault.”
“But its my fault that I got you killed.” I said as I let my tears fall.
“No it isn’t cousin,” Roy says to me
“Roy I-” I started to say before Roy interrupted me.
“CJ,I don’t blame you for what happened to me.” Roy says as he walks over to the bed.
“So don’t go blaming yourself.”
“Its all right CJ,its all right” I hear Luke say reassuringly to me before he nervously tells Bo
to go get the nurse and doctor.
“Thanks cousin.” I said as I smile at him.
“Besides, I had to come get you.” Roy says as he wipes away my tears “So I could take to
someplace special.”
“Someplace special?”
“Thats right,” Roy says as he looks at me “I’m taking you home.”
“Home?”
“Yes home cuz.”
“Roy I can’t” I say to my cousin as I start to feel a warm fluid enter my right lung
“I know but it is time” Roy gently says to me as I hear an alarm go off and Bo frantically
calling out my name
“No I can’t go.” I replied as I stated to gasp for air and felt my heart start to beat
faster
“CJ please,don’t leave us!” I hear Luke say as he squeezes my hand as I see the doctor and
nurse come rushing into my room
“I know that your scared CJ,believe me I was too when it was my time.” Roy said as he
smiled at me “However I can assure you that it will be already all right and that nothing
bad is going to happen. I promise.”
“Please CJ don’t go!” I hear Bo says with a choke in his throat
“I can’t go Roy and leave my big brother cousins Bo and Luke” I replied as I
started to taste blood in my mouth and tried to catch my breath as my heart raced “I
just can’t”
“I know that you don’t want to leave Bo and Luke and that you also don’t want to leave me
either.” Roy says as he gently places his hand,which is nice and warm,onto mine “However
I can assure you thats its going to be all right,but I let you make the decision cuz.”
I looked at Roy and smiled as I felt a warm sensation suddenly flow through me and my
pain slowly fade away “I think I already did cousin” I said as I felt my heart and
breathing slow down as well as a sense of peace before I slowly let out a sigh and close my
eyes.
I open my eyes a little bit later to see that I’m standing beside Roy,wearing the same
clothes that I wore in the accident.
“I figured that you might want to wear some comfortable clothes for the long journey
home.” Roy says to me.
“Thanks.” I replied
“Your quite welcome”
“No, I mean thanks for not blaming me for the accident.” I said to Roy as I give him a
warm hug.
“Why should I blame you for something that you couldn’t stop.” Roy says as he hugs me in
return. Roy then gently takes my hand “Time for us to go CJ.” he says to me. I gently place
my other hand onto his as I nodded in agreement. I take one last look back to see that I’m
still lying there in the bed,except that I am unhooked from all the machinery and looking
quite pale but peaceful. I start to feel a little sad as I watch Bo and Luke grieve over my
death,knowing that I’ll never be with them again. However my feelings of sadness are soon
replaced with feelings of joy as I feel Roy’s hand upon my shoulder. I then look over at my
cousin and best friend Roy,knowing that he forgives me for what happened to him in the
accident and that we will never be separated from each other ever again.
“Come on cousin,” Roy says as he smiles at me “Dad and Uncle Jack are waiting for us.”. I smile back at Roy as I walk with him through the light and on up to the pearly gates.

Written By
Marlene Martin (CJ)
9/7/99
revised 1/25/2000

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