I Can Wish

Disclaimer:  The CSI characters and premise do not belong to me, I’m simply borrowing them.  The song lyrics used here belong to Delta Goodrem.
Rating: Trainee
Summary:  Lindsey’s POV a year after her father’s death.
A/N:  I originally started this story in October last year for the Graveyard Shift October anniversary challenge, but it took on a non-G/C angle, and I also couldn’t figure out how to end it. But I was sorting out my computer a few days ago and decided to complete it.  It is the first not specifically G/C CSI fic that I have written.
The song lyrics are from “A Year Ago Today” by Delta Goodrem.

~Another year older

~A little bit stronger

~A little bit wiser than a year ago today

As I look back now, it’s hard to believe that a year has passed.  I thought I would never make it.  To live without you seemed wrong.  I couldn’t imagine myself doing it.  I thought I wouldn’t be able to cope, that I would miss you too much to be able to concentrate on anything.

~Looking over my shoulder

~I was so much younger then

It was a lot for a child to handle.  It was the first time real life had really found me.  I had been protected and hidden from pain.  Apart from the confusion caused by the divorce, I had always felt safe.  I knew you would do anything to keep me happy.

~I can't believe what happened

~A year ago today

~And I just can’t forget about it

~Or it wouldn't mean a thing

I still have nightmares about that night.  The water rises around me.  I can’t see you.  I can’t see anyone.  I have to fight to keep afloat, to stay at the top of the car where the air is.  My heart is racing, I feel sick.  When I breathe water slips into my mouth.  I cough and splutter.  I feel the tears pricking my eyes.  I’m so scared.  The phone won’t work anymore, and I know Mom’s on her way, but I couldn’t tell her exactly where I was and I’m so scared that she won’t make it in time, that she won’t find us.

In the dreams she saves us both. 

And when I wake up, for a second I’m not scared anymore.

~You went away

~A year ago today

Then I remember.  And I’m angry at her for not saving you.  And I’m angry at you for going away.

~Another year gone by

~All the tears have run dry

And I’m angry at myself because I don’t cry.

~Life seemed so unkind

~A year ago today

I used to cry every day.  Then as time went by, I cried every other day.  Now, I don’t cry. 

I used to think that meant I didn’t care anymore.  My anger would come out in fighting at school, or picking arguments with Mom.  I couldn’t understand how I could have stopped loving you. 

But now, I understand that I haven’t stopped caring, I just know how to handle it.  And I’ve learned how to remember the happy times, rather than dwell on the way it ended.

~And I just can't understand it

~And I don't think I ever will

I will probably never understand why you had to go.  It’s difficult to understand why anyone has to die.  But I know now that no amount of anger could bring you back.  So when I get angry, I can calm myself down and let it pass.  By remembering how much you loved me.  And that you wouldn’t like to see me getting in trouble, and fighting with Mom. 

I know you two used to fight, but you always told me that she loved me.  When we’d had silly arguments, you never let me stay angry at her, you always told me that whatever she did was for my own good.  And the only reason that you and I didn’t fight as much was because we didn’t see each other every day, so you got to spoil me, she had to discipline me.

I always smile when I think about you saying that.  It seemed like a crazy dad-thing to say at the time.  I remember thinking you were silly, and giggling.  And you looked at me seriously and said:

“Lindsey, your Mom works so hard for you…  And she loves you so much.  I bet it upsets her when you’re mad at her.  Nothing she would ever do could be so bad that she deserves your anger.  Be nice to her.  Okay?  There’s just the two of you.  You have to look after each other.”

~You went away

~A year ago today

I thought she deserved my anger when she didn’t save you.  She explained that you weren’t near the car, and she had no way of knowing where you were, but I still thought she deserved it.  And when I asked her if they’d caught whoever hurt you, and she said they might have done, but they couldn’t prove it, I was furious.  I was glad she’d told me the truth and not treated me like a little kid, but I thought she should have tried harder.  They all should have tried harder!

Then, when I heard her crying, your words came back to me.  She wouldn’t let you die on purpose.  She must have tried her best.  So I went to look after her.  She needed me, just like I needed her for months afterwards.

Even when I’d been horrible to her, she would always hold me as I cried.  I guess she knew I wasn’t really angry at her, I was angry that it had happened.  I knew that I wasn’t really angry with her, and I apologised each time, but I couldn’t stop doing it.  She still held me though.  No matter how many times I did it, she was always there.  Looking after me.

~And though we're so far apart

~You're forever in my heart

And when I was angry at you for leaving me, she wiped my tears and said:

“Baby, your Dad loves you so much, he will always be with you.”

At my confused sniffle she continued:

“Wherever you are, and whatever you are doing, he will always be a part of you.  He has taught you so much, and you have so many memories of him that he will never leave you.”

When I came home from school that afternoon she had a present for me.  A picture frame holding several photographs of me and you.  Beneath each one she’d written the date and occasion.  They ranged from my first birthday, to 24th October 2002.  I was surprised that she’d remembered the date on the last one.  It was no special occasion, we’d been shopping and passed one of those photo booths, and I said I wanted to have some pictures taken.  You reluctantly agreed, after I pouted at you.  I knew I could always get my own way if I sulked like that.

I’d shown her the pictures when I got home.  She acted as if she was as excited about them as I was, but I thought she was just pretending.  When I saw that she’d remembered about those pictures, and remembered the exact date, I realised she was excited because I was.  For the event, she had written “Just because…”.  This made me laugh too, because that had been what I said to you when you asked why I wanted us to have the pictures taken.  She must be psychic.

In the centre of the frame she had written:

“Memories of happiness,

Of a smile on a face,

Of fun, joy and laughter,

Memories time can’t erase.”

~Another year older

~A little bit stronger

The frame hangs on the wall beside my bed.  I’ve added some more photos to it; some that you had given to me; some that Grandma has given me.  I smile every time I look at it.  I guess it’s serving the purpose Mom intended.

~On this anniversary

~You're watching over me

But as I look at it today, a tear rolls down my cheek.

~You went away

~A year ago today

I know neither of you could change what happened, and no amount of anger could re-write history; I am learning to be strong; I am slowly moving on.

But I can wish.