Downfall (159)

As Redmond and Annette stood with their baby girl finally in their arms once again, they could not help but notice the wailing wreck that shrunk before them. Samantha Flint sat sobbing in her own misery. She had failed so often before, and she had failed once again. This time though, it seemed all the more permanent.

The Gardners looked at each other somewhat apprehensively. The rage that burned inside Annette was slowly cooling as she looked back at her baby girl. Somehow, she could no longer let Samantha suffer alone. Fighting every logical thought that floated through her mind, she moved towards Samantha with an inkling of compassion.

Bending down towards her, Annette said, “I don’t know exactly what I’m supposed to feel right now, Samantha. Not thirty seconds ago, I wanted you dead. I wanted every possible awful thing to happen to you because of what you’ve put my family through. As I look at you now though, I can’t help but pity you,” a touch of scorn managed to seep through the sentiment, “No, you don’t deserve punishment. What you need is help. I can’t say that I’ll ever be able to forgive you, but I’ll sure as hell make sure you’re back in your right mind, for your sake and everyone else.”

Samantha turned her head toward the woman she had come to despise over time. Annette’s eyes were no longer filled with anger, but a sadness tinged with confused sorrow. The two women rose. Samantha began to speak, “I just…I just don’t know what to say.” She wiped tears from her eyes. “No amount of apologizing will ever be enough…”

Annette crossed her arms. “…It’s a start…”

Samantha smiled awkwardly. “Well then…Annette, Red, I’m…I’m sorry for what I’ve done to you both. Actually, all three of you,” she said. She outstretched her arms towards Annette, who could only look at her in confusion. Samantha mustered, “Please?” Annette raised her arms to embrace the woman she had loathed for so long.

“Yes, Annette, I’m just so, so sorry!” wailed Samantha, her grip tightening,”That I’ll have to get rid of you!” Suddenly, Samantha’s arms turned into vices, wrestling Annette back and forth. “No one pities me! No one!” Annette fought to break free, moving closer and closer to the edge of the balcony. Samantha had her pinned against the railing and stared into her eyes.

“I guess that’s what it looks like when you’re about to die,” she seethed. She hoisted Annette farther onto the railing.

Redmond rushed inside and placed Olivia on the bed, then darted to the balcony, gripping Samantha’s shoulder with all his might.

“Get off me, damn it! Get off me! She’s got to die!” screamed Samantha, haggard as ever. A hand broke free and clawed Redmond’s eye, then delivered crushing blows to his face, sending him reeling backward.

Annette managed to break free and gripped Samantha, fueled with anger for having let down her guard. She turned the blonde abomination around to look her in the eyes. “My mother always told me never to trust a woman who dyed her hair,” she hissed, pinning her against the balcony, “She was right.”

Samantha struggled to break free, climbing and writhing anyway she could, kicking and screaming, “She’s mine! She’ll always be mine!” A hard slap burned Annette’s cheek, causing her to push Samantha away. The only thing she heard next was a scream of terror, followed by the cracking sounds of breaking bones.

“Oh my God! Oh my God!” shouted Annette, looking over the balcony. Beneath her lay Samantha Flint in the drained swimming pool below, her body twisted and mangled from the three-story fall. Blood began to pool around the crown of her bleached-blonde locks.

Redmond rushed towards Annette and looked downward, wincing at the sight of the woman who put their lives in jeopardy on more than one occasion. He could not help but sigh with relief. Annette leaned into him and began to cry. He put his arms around her and held her close. Olivia began to cry in the background. It a morbid way, it was the first time the Gardners had been a family, and it was all because of Samantha Flint.



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