Dear Ellie - Part 34 (Conclusion)

Updated on January 22, 2018
Photo by jlgsgirl Photography: Used by permission
Photo by jlgsgirl Photography: Used by permission

Disclaimer

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Previously

We left Ellie as she deciphered Scott's secret code embedded in his supposed suicide note. Stella is fingered as the brain of the abduction ring.


It struck her as being odd and out of character for Scott. Some of the letters were slightly darker than others. She noticed the line, I'm so sorry for all the difficulty I've brought your way. I never meant for this to happen. I don’t how it all went wrong. I know I’ve caused you so much pain . . . Why was the s in the word so written heavier than the letter o? She continued on. The t and e in the word the were also darkened. The l in difficulty, the l in all, and the a in caused were all pressed harder by Scott's pen. s-t-e-l-l-a, She continued until she had deciphered Scott's entire message. "Stella betrayed us. She took your baby and murdered me. Forgive her."

Continuing

Ellie's grief was redirected by her discovery of the secret message. She immediately called Sharon. "Ell, you've got to let the police know about this."

An upset Ellie responded, "You forget, Shar. The police want to arrest Scott for the crime."

"Ell, sit down." Ellie sunk deep into the recliner. "Ell, Scott's dead. They can't touch him now. If Larson is looking for a suspect, he'll be glad to hear from you. Let's take a drive down to the station."

The two drove to the police station. Larson was the first to see them. "Hello, Mrs. Branson. I'm sorry for your loss. How may I help you?"

Ellie handed him the note but was speechless. Sharon explained. For once, Larson was sympathetic as he explained his part in the investigation.

"Mrs. Branson, we suspected Stella Washington for quite some time. It was hard. She was one of our own - and she was good. I went back and watched and re-watched the video of the press conference. Mr. Branson's reactions were quite normal under the circumstances. He was believable. We suspected David Martin, but we also noticed how Washington would never pursue the arrest. She agreed he may have been involved - even got a handwriting sample, but she never really pushed the issue.

"We left clues, notes and such things for your husband to find. We knew he would eventually lead us to the guilty one. I had to paint Mr. Branson as a suspect to throw Washington off the trail.

"I'm sorry it ended this way, but your husband was, and is a hero. He stood for truth and as a silent advocate for every missing child, past, present, and future. You can be very proud of him."

Although meant to be encouraging, Ellie's heart sank deeper. She whispered to Sharon, "Take me home." She was tired, and she knew what was next - finalizing Scott's funeral plans. Sharon promised to be by her side the entire time.

Ellie awoke to the sound of rain splashing the windows. She thought it was appropriate as it matched the rain in her heart. Scott would be laid to rest in a few hours, and Ellie needed to get ready. She dressed, applied her makeup and headed for the funeral home. Her family and friends would meet her there.

The long line of people made its way through the parlor and over to the chapel where Pastor Johnson would give the eulogy. Old college friends had come together with those from the high school where Scott once taught. Childhood friends appeared in numbers. Folks from the church filled in the line along with a few from the gym.

Pastor Johnson began, "Scott finally received the honor he deserved. He was willing to endure the shame as a suspect in his own daughter's abduction case. He was ridiculed and condemned by most who knew him. but he chose to put his own life in danger and investigated his daughter's disappearance in the hopes of finding the daughter he was accused of taking. He gave the ultimate sacrifice - his life but also discovered the truth.

"2,000 years ago another man endured similar circumstances. His name was Jesus. He endured the false accusations of the religious institutions of the day. He faced the shame and indignities of a brutal execution. He also made the ultimate sacrifice as He laid down His life for mankind.

"His mission - to reunite a lost human race with the God who created them. All He asks is for you to accept that sacrifice in your stead and follow Him. You see, it was the very blood of God Himself that fell from the cross. It was the innocent for the guilty. The sinless for the sinner. The creator for His creation. Scott recognized Jesus for who He is, God, the Savior of all mankind. But it is a choice. Won't you take Him today? That's what Scott would want."

For those who made the choice to follow Christ, Scott's death was not in vain.

Next, it was Ellie's turn to speak. She shakily walked to the microphone. She took a deep breath. This was something she really didn't want to do, but she did it for Scott. Struggling, she began to speak. "Four years ago. my little girl went missing. I was scared. I didn't know what to do. Like many others, I blamed Scott for what had happened. I trusted people - the wrong people. The very one I trusted was the one responsible for my daughter's disappearance - Stella Washington. I believed a lie.

"I know the truth now. God used these very painful circumstances in my life to lead me to Himself, and I've come to learn that God is always good. the bad things that so often take place are not of God but rather of man's sinful nature. We cause our problems because we are far away from God. God has allowed these circumstances in my life, but He did not cause them.

"Scott's final request of me was to forgive the one who took our daughter and eventually murdered him. I honestly don't know if I can do that right now, but with God's help and God's grace, I will find a way."

The procession made its way to the cemetery as the rain continued to pour. The dark clouds reflected the mood of the day, but Ellie knew that at some point, the skies would clear. She'd be whole again.

The rain tapped lightly on the tent covering Scott's grave as Pastor Johnson spoke once again. The wind picked up slightly drawing Ellie's attention to her right. Three people stood watching from a distance. A woman pointed at Ellie, and one of the other two ran toward her.

Not to be distracted, Ellie turned again to Pastor Johnson and his words of encouragement. But she was distracted - as a little girl was pulling at her dress. A little older now, but the face was still the same. It was the face of Carrie Branson.

Pastor Johnson's closing speech was interrupted as those around Ellie realized what was happening. Ellie held Carrie tightly as they embraced for the first time in over four years. It all happened so fast. Only seconds passed until Ellie glanced in the direction of the other two. Impossibly, they both disappeared from sight. They simply were not there.

Still holding Carrie close, she whispered in her ear, "Sweetie, who was that lady who brought you here?"

Between sobs of joy, Carried answered, "She said her name was Rosie Spenser. She was a nice lady."

"And, Honey, who was that little girl you were with?"

"Oh, that was Alise! She was nice, too. She'd come and play with me when I was lonely. When I felt better, she'd go back to Heaven until the next time I was missing you. I asked her to please help me find my mommy. That's when she got Rosie and brought me here. I missed you so much."


The years came and went. Slowly, Ellie was able to put the pieces of her life back together, but a sadness still hovered over her.

It was long overdue. The pile of leaves in the backyard needed to be gathered into the burn barrel and burned. Ellie began the task. Once the leaves were gathered, Ellie returned to the house and grabbed a lighter and Scott's note. She walked slowly back to the burn barrel.

She breathed in deep the autumn air and looked up into a gorgeous September sky filled with blue and an occasional white, puffy cloud. She spoke softly to no one in particular, "Stella Washington, I forgive you."

She flicked the lighter once and placed the corner of Scott's note in its flame. Once the paper began to burn, she placed in on top of the leaves in the burn barrel and returned to the house.

Ellie sat at the dining room table staring out through the French doors as a gentle, September breeze filled the room. Autumn’s golden garb was just beginning to clothe the mountains in the distance.

Photo by jlgsgirl Photography: Used by Permission
Photo by jlgsgirl Photography: Used by Permission

© 2018 William Kovacic

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    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 5 weeks ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      A beautiful ending, sad in some ways that Scott wasn't physically there with Ellie and Carrie, but somehow I think God would have let him watch from heaven!

      Great story, and a very powerful message.

    • Rhyme Vine Poetry profile image

      Tamara Yancosky Moore 6 weeks ago from Uninhabited Regions

      Oh! Poor Scott :-( A surprise in every direction! So glad the baby girl is back with her momma. A sweet ending to a dramatic story. God is Glorious!

      Hugs,

      Tamara

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      William Kovacic 2 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Hi Nikki, I'm glad you were able to catch the ending. Life is a bundle of surprises at times. But somehow, we all get through. Thanks for following along.

    • nikkikhan10 profile image

      Nikki Khan 2 months ago from London

      What an ending William,,didn’t really expect Scott to die but that’s what mystery is called.

      Life enfolds many expects which you never imagine of.

      I really enjoyed ‘dear Ellie’ so much and ending is wonderful too.

      Have left some parts but will read them through to find out how Scott died.

      I am glad Ellie has finally found out that God does His best for everyone though we don’t realise sometimes.

    • lifegate profile image
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      William Kovacic 2 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      I don't know of any perfect endings, at least in real life. Thanks for staying with it to the end, Jackie. I'm always glad to have you stop by.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 2 months ago from The Beautiful South

      Glad the little girl made it back to her mommy. A great reminder to us all though that happy ending can sometimes have some sadness too and not follow our patterns of the way things should be. I image really there are very few perfect endings.

      Great job, loved the story.

    • lifegate profile image
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      William Kovacic 2 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Dora, I'm a firm believer in the fact that our life is what it is supposed to be. Scott's job was finished, but he accomplished more than many do who live much longer. I know you prefer non-fiction articles so I.m all the more honored to have you follow this to the end.

    • lifegate profile image
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      William Kovacic 2 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Hi, Lori. It's finally over. I'm trying to decide what to work on next - more fiction or non-fiction. I appreciate your faithful following the story!

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      William Kovacic 2 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Hi, Peg. I'm glad you able to join us for the conclusion. It's always nice to have you stop by. Personally, I don't care for the smell of burning leaves, but I'm glad you able to sense it.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 2 months ago from The Caribbean

      So sorry that Scott did not receive the honor he deserved in this life, but his reward for the souls he influenced for the Kingdom will be worth it all. Glad that Ellie senses her freedom to move forward.

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 2 months ago from Pacific Northwest

      What a glorious ending, or I guess it's a new beginning. Very well written Bill. Your comment God is good applies not just when things go right. He's as good in the dark and stormy times. God bless.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 2 months ago from Dallas, Texas

      I like the way you wove the plan of salvation and forgiveness into the conclusion. Well done. I can almost smell the leaves burning as she lets go of the past.

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      William Kovacic 2 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      I wish I knew what was next, Eric. I guess we'll find out together!

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      Eric Dierker 2 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bill I can hardly wait to find out what "on to something else" is.

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      William Kovacic 2 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Thanks, Bill. Your encouragement has kept me going. Thanks for all you do as a teacher, an online mentor, and most of all, as a person.

    • lifegate profile image
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      William Kovacic 2 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Sorry, Eric. I forgot to send a box of Kleenex. I'll try to do better. Thanks for staying with it through all 34 installments. Now, it's on to something else.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I should have known I'd start crying at the end, darn it! Very touching ending, nicely done, very enjoyable story.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 2 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Dang you Bill, you had me weeping by the 3rd paragraph. Beautiful. You make one hell of a case for steadfast. I reckon we all need a jolt from time to time to remind us just who we are meant to be like.

    • lifegate profile image
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      William Kovacic 2 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Hi, Tammy. Well, I guess it's time to start working on something else. Thanks for following along. For me, it was a rather long series, but I had to get it all in.

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      William Kovacic 2 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Thanks, Kyle!

    • Tamarajo profile image

      Tamarajo 2 months ago

      Hi Bill,

      I was glad there was a reunion at the end. It was a bitter sweet ending.

      You ended it with a great message of eternal hope through forgiveness recieved and given.

      As it is with your story, so it is in life it is mostly realized through painful experiences that are inevitable in this earthly life.

      Nice conclusion and great message, Bill

      God bless

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      Kyle 2 months ago

      Well done!

    working