by: Essy Jane
Two days later…
Another parking lot, another place to sleep; Jose didn’t mind it too much.
He loved sleeping in the parking lot. The noise from the cars whizzing
through the streets seemed to help him sleep at night. With Jesse snuggled
up in the back seat they slowly fell asleep. This had been a long road trip
for both of them. They had a lot of fun. Soon they would be at home in their
nice comfortable beds.
Jose watched his cousin sleep wondering if he was going to be able to drive
tomorrow. Jesse had taken over the driving for most of the trip mostly
because he wanted Jose to relax. Jesse was always looking out for his older
cousin. He loved Jose with all his heart and didn’t know what to do with him
sometimes. Jessie had a great attitude that made people feel accepted. Jose
couldn’t help but love his cousin about that.
Jesse yawned and opened his eyes. “You still aren’t asleep?” Jesse asked.
Jose jumped he was sure that Jesse was asleep. His cousin could fool him
easily though. It made Jose wonder if he really was asleep all the times he
thought he was.
“You were awake the whole time?” Jose asked.
“I don’t fall asleep until you do. I don’t know why. I think it is something
to do with making sure you feel safe.”
“I have a question for you. Why do you always want to help people? I mean do
you feel you have to do it?”
“Jose, sometimes that’s what makes me a person, when I was younger I told my
dad that I was going to save lives one person at a time. That’s what I am
doing. I don’t want to do any less. I would throw myself over a bomb if it
meant saving someone else’s life. I don’t want anyone to suffer pain.”
Jesse was too giving of himself. Jose noticed at school that he would give
half his lunch away to people that never brought food to school. He would be
hungry but didn’t care. Jesse wanted to make sure everyone was fed even if
it was only a little bit. That’s just the way Jesse was. When he stepped in
front of the bullet, it was to save a life. He wouldn’t even wish his
enemies to be in pain or to be hurting.
Jose wondered on how he could do things like that. He had closed off his
heart for so long. “I want to do things too Jesse but I don’t know how. I
guess I try to but can’t seem to get the hang of it,” Jose finally broke the
“It will come to you. I know it will Jose. You will know that moment when
you have to help someone. Maybe it will be not helping them. But you will be
a great guy. I know you have it in you,” Jesse responded.
“Don’t be so sure. I don’t think I have ever had the potential to do well.”
“You are just as good as the next person now buck up and be good. Oh, and
get some sleep. We have a long day ahead of us tomorrow.”
“We should phone them to let them know we’re coming home.”
“That’s the best idea you have had all night.” Jesse smiled and drove around
the streets of Jasper. He really wanted to find that phone. Jose pointed out
the phone and Jesse pulled over to it. He reached into his pocket and pulled
out what little change he had. He was lucky to have found thirty five cents.
Jose reminded Jesse about doing a collect call. It was after 6PM so it
didn’t matter too much if the boys used it.
At the Duke Farm…
Jo was the only one home. She hated being so alone and missed her brother’s
weird sense of humour and her cousin’s strange behaviour. It didn’t seem to
be Hazzard without them. Jo looked at her watch and wondered when the adults
would get back from their dance. She was offered a few baby-sitting jobs but
Jo Anna would only think of what was missing. She hadn’t had a good time
since the boys were gone.
When the phone rang Jo walked to it at snail’s pace. She lifted the
receiver. “Hello, this is a collect call from Jesse and Jose, who else. If
you would like to accept please press one, one now,” The operator said. Jo
didn’t hesitate for one minute. She pushed the buttons fast.
“Where have you guys been?” Jo Anna screamed.
“Settle down. Look we’re coming to town as soon as we can. I missed you
too,” Jesse replied on the other line. Jose was laughing in the background.
Jo didn’t care. She missed everything about those two boys.
“You better be coming home. Can you imagine being smothered by six adults to
be careful and all that other stuff? It’s embarrassing. I mean I feel like I
am a pancake.”
“You’ll get used to it. Maybe we should stay up here a few days longer. This
seems like a good city. Well for the most part.”
“You better not. I miss the action with y’all around. I need that to
“Okay we’ll be home soon I hope.”
“No, you will be home and that is that.”
“Alright, I have to say goodbye Jo Anna Duke.”
“Bye Jesse JR.” Jesse hung up the phone and looked at Jose. He hated being
away from his twin sister just as much as she hated being away from him. Now
it was back to their dark parking lot. It was a place surrounded by trees, a
good place to be hiding from police cars and whatever else might be going on
in the outside world. But they weren’t the only ones who thought that.
Jesse heard the screaming in the parking lot that night. The girl was
screaming for help and he couldn’t ignore it for anything. Jose pleaded with
him to just stay in the car. Knowing Jesse, his cousin’s advice wouldn’t be
any good to him. Jesse opened the door and slammed it. He walked over to the
trees where three men where beating upon a young woman. Jesse rolled up his
sleeves and cleared his throat. The three men turned at the sound. You could
see the clear red fire in the men’s eyes.
“Let her go!” Jesse screamed. The three men circled Jesse and laughed. But
Jesse wouldn’t back down for anyone. His eyes slowly turned to a pit of
black ice. He wasn’t willing for anyone to turn on poor young girls. Jesse
punched the biggest man, Shawn, in the face. The blood dripped from his nose
like a leaky faucet.
“You’re going down now little man,” Shawn said as he grabbed a baseball bat.
Back in the Neon…
Jose was ready to get out of the car and help. But the other two men took
the bats and wedged poor old Jose in the neon. The frame was too bent and
surely if he tried to get out one of the windows he would be shot. Jose
could see the pearl handled guns in their jackets. He swallowed hard and
hoped they wouldn’t kill him too.
All Jose could see from the car was the shadow of something being hit and
another shadow running faster than the wind. It must’ve been the girl; it
had to be. She wasn’t about to stay around. Now as they finally saw that
Jesse was down, all three of them huddled. The shortest grabbed something
from his pocket. It was a homemade bomb with a timer. Arshad attached the
bomb to the bottom of the neon and set it for one minute. That was enough
time for the boys to speed out of there.
Jose kicked on the windows in desperation. He couldn’t think about opening
it I guess that’s what happens when you’re afraid. Jose couldn’t think about
anything else except getting out. He didn’t want to be blown up but more so
he wanted to see if his cousin was okay. Jose had no time for this. He took
his fist and smashed it through the window without anything to cover it. The
blood trailed down his hand.
Jose didn’t care even if it hurt that much. He kicked the rest of the glass
away and jumped out. He ran as fast as he could but with the clock and 2 he
didn’t have a chance to steer totally clear of the bomb. Jose was flown
through the air. His clothes on burning; he rolled as best as he could.
He couldn’t fight the darkness or the loss of blood. Jose slipped into the
darkness. He had horrid dreams once more; mostly about his father going into
the twin towers and never making it out. He woke up screaming. His brow
chilled to the bone. “Where am I?” He questioned. Luke glanced at his son.
He was so happy to see him alive. After all, not seeing your kid for a few
days can be nerving.
“You’re in the hospital, just rest,” Luke replied. Jose lied back down and
looked at his father with huge eyes. The tears rolled down his face. Every
time Jose would have that dream he would wonder if Luke was killed when he
was there. But his thoughts were brought to ease as he saw Luke’s face.
“Jesse!” Jose finally remembered his cousin. Luke’s head dropped. He didn’t
know what to tell his son about the condition Jesse was in. “Dad I know that
look. Something is wrong and you are going to tell me right now!” That’s
about the time when Bo walked into the room. He smiled as he saw Jose. Bo’s
eyes were red from crying. He had huge bags under his eyes. They all looked
Luke left the room knowing by looking at Bo that he was about to tell Jose
the horrible news. “Jose, I know that you boys did some amazing stuff. You
have been wonderful together. Jesse is pretty bad. I know that you can sense
it by just looking at me,” Bo commented as he sat at the edge of Jose’s bed.
“I don’t want him to die Bo. I saw that boy hitting Jesse over and over. The
other two wouldn’t let me out of the car. I didn’t know what to do. How bad
is bad?” Jose rambled.
Bo took a deep breath. His eyes filled with the salty tears once again. He
wiped them away with his tan shirt and looked into Jose’s eyes. “Jose, his
hip bone is broken. He had to get his jaw wired shut. He was hit in the head
many times and they cracked his skull; internal bleeding and just plain old
damage. They told me he has a 50/50 chance of living,” Bo cried. Jose hit
his hands hard on the small table. The pain shot up his arms. Jose didn’t
“Why didn’t I follow him?! He would do the same for me! I didn’t help him
Bo!” Jose screamed. Bo grabbed Jose and hugged him tight. He cried right
along with the young man.
“Jose! You couldn’t have done a thing. I know you would have but you were
scared,” Bo commented. That wasn’t enough for Jose. He had minor burns and
stitches. Jesse was scared. How could this have happened? They were so close
to home; so close to being back on that farm just working again. How come
Jesse always had to help people? Jose couldn’t stop thinking about that
screaming girl and the gun handles. He remembered their faces. These people
were going to pay, one way or another.
The days rolled by and Jose’s anger grew. He hated those boys and their
faces became more apparent in his mind. Jose picked out every detail of
their features right down the scar on Arshad’s forehead. Luke knew that
Jose’s heart was becoming cold once again and he didn’t know what to do
about it. It had become apparent that something was going to be done about
it. Jose was getting better by the day and more vengeful with each passing
He didn’t know what to do with his time. Finally he was going to go out and
kill them. Jose didn’t care how but he was going to get them. He threw off
his blankets and looked at the clothes that had been brought for him. He put
them on and ran out of the burn unit as fast as he could. Jose knew where to
find those guys; they were his kind of people before he came to Hazzard.
There they were standing on the street corner with a cigarette in one hand
and a smile on their face. Jose took out the street bought gun that was semi
automatic and flashed it in their faces. “Give me your weapons!” Jose
screamed. The boys dropped knives, bombs and guns, throwing them Jose’s way.
“What do you want with us man?” Arshad asked. He looked at the other guys.
They were all cowering behind their shivering leader.
“You tried to kill my cousin. What do you think I want with you? I certainly
don’t want you to live. He’s lying in a hospital while you pry on more
“We didn’t do anything to your cousin honest.”
“You must think I am an idiot or something.”
“No we don’t think you’re stupid. Just spare us please.”
“Why should I?”
“You’re a nice guy that’s why.” Jose’s fire in his eyes seemed to grow by
the second. He didn’t want them to see the light of day again. Jesse didn’t
deserve this at all. He shouldn’t have had to do what he did for that girl.
Jose wanted all of them to feel his pain. It wasn’t fair that they were fine
and that his cousin was hurt almost beyond repair. Jose couldn’t let it go.
He couldn’t let them have the pleasure of a free life. Luke rushed out onto
the street from the General Lee. He looked up at his son knowing that look
in the boy’s eyes.
“No Jose! You can’t do that!” Luke screamed.
“Watch me,” Jose replied. He held the gun closer to the boys. Luke glared at
his son knowing the capabilities of his young boy.
“Jose, I know what this feeling is like. My buddy got killed in the Marines
by Vietnamese soldier and I remembered that face and I shot him down. He had
a wife and three kids. I regret doing what I did.”
“Well you’re not me and I won’t regret this.”
“Yes you will, you just don’t know it yet Jose. You won’t know it until
you’re packed away behind bars or think about their families.”
“They almost killed Jesse!”
“You can’t count on that all your life as an excuse. What would he say if he
saw you doing this?”
Suddenly the words expressed by Jesse came into his mind and shot through
his head like a bullet. “You will know that moment when you have to help
someone. Maybe it will be not helping them,” Jesse’s voice reminded him.
Jose didn’t know what he meant about not helping people at first but now it
was plain as the nose on his face.
Jose was not supposed to help Jesse by killing these boys. Jose put down
the gun and fell to his knees. Luke snatched the gun from the ground and
held up the crooks with it. The police came and drug the gang away. All Jose
could think about was how he had done the right thing.
As he got back to the hospital Antonio was in his room. “Hey kid brother,
what goes on in your world?” Jose asked. Antonio kept his distance still
afraid of his brother. Jose still scared his brother something terrible.
However Antonio’s mom told him to see his brother and that is what he was
going to do. “Cat got your tongue Tony?”
“Who are you, and what have you done with my brother Jose?”
“What do you mean by that short stop?”
“You don’t talk the same.”
“What you mean like, get out of my way you jerk! I am not like that anymore
bro, people change.” Tony thought about that for a minute. He didn’t think
that Jose would ever change. That kid was destined to be the evil child of
the family. Tony didn’t think his brother would change. Many nights the
young man would worry about Jose.
“You could never change!”
“Antonio I know you’re hurting inside. I am sorry for everything I have
done. All I want is your forgiveness. Is that too much to ask Tony? I don’t
want to buy you. I want it to be from your heart.” Antonio wondered about
his brother. He could remember Jose breathing down his next as he finally
pushed him down the stairs. How many people can you trust that do things
like that? Luke was about to walk in the room but decided not to when seeing
the brothers talk.
“I know that you probably have tried to make small changes but…”
“They’re bigger changes than that bro. You don’t know what Hazzard has done
for me. But I will tell you one thing Tony, if you ever think life is going
to end, come here. If you ever feel that you can’t do it anymore, you come
and see me. I will show you there is more to life than everything in New
“I love New York. It is the best city in the world.”
“Yeah and this is the best County in the world. I want to show you how much
I have changed when we get back. I’ll take you fishing and driving and you
will have a great time.”
“Fishing sucks. I can’t believe you would even mention such an idea. I mean
you never wanted to go fishing before.”
“Not when you do it with the right person. Don’t worry about it; you will be
just fine and so will I. When I get out of this hospital I will show you
where the best places are.”
“You really have changed haven’t you? I mean you’re a hick.”
“I am not a hick.”
“You like fishing. You used to hate people that came from farms. I don’t get
you Jose, have you forgotten New York?”
“I am not a hick. Look, you have to live here in order to understand the
experience. I haven’t had this much fun in years.”
“Well I guess you’ll have to prove that. Jo Anna hasn’t done anything with
“Really Tony? I would have thought she would have wrestled you by now.”
“I haven’t had that kind of luck. I have been sitting there just looking at
the wall. No one has even given me a second thought. I mean I have just gone
to school and played my game boy. Those games can only entertain you for so
long.” Jose had to laugh. His brother was an interesting child. Jose just
had to take the time to get to know him. Antonio knew that things could
change between his brother and him. How much time would it take?
“Well I guess I can understand that.” Luke knocked on the door finally and
walked in. Luke didn’t have to say a word for his emotions were all on his
face. He loved his sons and seeing them getting along was the best gift he
could get. Luke brought them both in for a hug. Jose and Antonio both had
big smiles on their faces. The family was back together again. Though they
would head for New York later, this side of the Duke family was brought back
Later that evening…
Jose walked into Jesse’s hospital room and sat down beside his cousin. He
didn’t know what to say to him at first. The doctors said he could hear
Jose. But the young man felt an eerie feeling talking to one that looked
like he was sleeping. The tubes surrounding Jesse scared Jose. He didn’t
like the looks of any of it.
“Jesse, I am sorry for what I have done to you. You’re so important in my
life and loosing you would be like loosing a part of my world. I did
something foolish today. I was ready to kill the ones that almost killed
you,” Jose said. Jesse slowly opened his eyes. He looked at his cousin and
moved his hand over towards his bowed head. Jesse runs his fingers though
Jose’s hair as the tears rolled down his soft cheeks. Jose couldn’t believe
it, his cousin was alive.
After a few days of rest and relaxation, Jesse began to write down what
happened. He wanted Jose to understand why he felt that he had to do what
he did. As Jesse passed the finished story to Jose, he smiled at his cousin.
Jose read the words. It was so well written that it took him back to that
~In the parking lot~
Jesse got out of the car and straightened his jacket looking deep into the
girl’s eyes. To his horror she was from Hazzard. She had run away two months
ago stating that she was headed for Texas and then to Mexico. Her parents
were worried sick about her. Her name is Melody. The young woman couldn’t
understand why these men were going after her in the first place. They
encircled her and tried to get her. Melody tried to fight them off but they
were all too strong for her.
“Please don’t hurt me!” She exclaimed. That’s about the time when Jesse
cleared his throat.
“Get away from her,” Jesse commented as the five boys turned around to face
“What’s your name man?” Arshad asked.
“I am Jesse! I am not going to let you hurt her.” That was the last thing
they would let Jesse say. That was when the baseball bat came out. Jesse
looked at the cold steel plated bat and wondered how he was going to get out
of it. Melody ran away as Jesse tried to defend himself with only his fists.
He swung at the boys and wondered desperately where his cousin was.
As the others left Jesse questions if they are going to kill Jose. He didn’t
want anything to happen to his cousin. Jesse tried to look at the Neon but
it was just out of his sight. “Jose, where are you?” Jesse mumbled to
himself. There was nothing that could prepare him for what was about to
As the bat hits Jesse over and over he wishes his father was around. Arshad
laughs as Jesse is beaten into the ground. Jesse looks up to see Jose
rolling on the ground and tries desperately to reach him. But it is no use.
Jesse is just in too much pain. He couldn’t keep awake any longer. The
bright red vapour oozed through his eyelids and dripped off of his nose. He
couldn’t look at it any longer for Jesse felt tired. A mixture of dizziness
and loss of blood caused Jesse to faint.
Jose dropped the pad of paper and looked at the tube in his cousin’s neck.
He wished that it was him. Jose could handle many pains in life. He was
stronger then people gave him credit for. Jose took on illness when he was a
child. It was a tumour that grew on the back of his head. They removed it of
course and gave him lots of Chemo therapy. Luke could barely even look at
his son from how much he had to work. Maria stayed by his side as much as
she could but she was pregnant with her second son.
Jose sat back and thought about what Jesse had been through and still he had
a smile on his face. There was something about that kid that drove Jose up
the wall. Although at the same time he was sweet and kind.
“Jose?” Bo asked.
“Hey Bo, how are you? Jesse was just showing me how talented he is. You
should read this Bo, your son is amazing,” Jose replied.
“Have you been here all day?”
“Well of course. Do you really thing I would leave my cousin here all
“Not a chance. You know your dad did some things like Jesse did. He risked
his life for a lot of people.”
“He still does. Dad just does it for a living now. I guess he couldn’t
become a farmer for that reason.” Bo smiled at his cousin Jose knowing that
he was doing wonderfully. Who would have thought that he was ever in trouble
in New York? Now he was calm. The change that was brought on in so little
time; it was remarkable.