According to a diary found in the motel room, Sarah had expressed her desire to have Ryan to herself and there was no way that she was going to let Sam continue to have a hold on him. She had threatened Ryan with a gun earlier that day and, as Ryan laughed at her, she pulled the trigger; this shot had done much more damage than her bullets did to Sam. Ryan bled out in a few minutes and Sarah decided that the only way she could be with him again was to kill Sam and then herself. The entire plan would take less than a few hours but she never intended for anyone to follow Sam and interfere with her master plan.
As AJ talked, he watched Sam’s face as she tried to process everything he was telling her. After all the months and days she had spent on the run, this was the moment where she was coming to grips with the fact that she would no longer have to do that. Even though the rational side of her mind knew that this was true, her heart and feelings wouldn’t let her believe that it would be as easy as this to gain her freedom.
“I want to see him.” Sam demanded as AJ finished his explanation. “I want to see his body. His and hers.”
“I don’t think that’s such a good idea.” AJ responded. “You don’t need to put yourself through anything else.”
“Let me say it in a different way, I need to see him. I need to see that what you’re telling me is true.”
AJ was hurt by the fact that Sam wouldn’t believe him when he told her they were both dead. He had trouble, seeing from her point of view, that this was something she needed to do. The amount of damage Ryan had inflected was evident all over her face and he truly didn’t want to put her through anything else.
“Can I talk to you for a minute?”
Lauren crooked her finger at AJ and pointed to the door; the morphine that the nurse had given her before AJ started to explain was kicking in and Sam’s eyes began drooping. He gave her hand a squeeze before following Lauren out.
“I don’t want her to do this.”
“It’s not your choice.” Lauren said bluntly. “None of us want to see her hurt any more than she already is but I think she needs to actually see what we’re talking about.”
“Why can’t she just believe me?”
Lauren sighed as AJ listed all the reasons Sam should take his word for it. She gave him a minute to rant and then interrupted him.
“Do you have any idea what’s running through her mind? Do you know what it’s like to be on the run?”
“It doesn’t matter…”
“Yes, it does, at least to Sam. We have no idea what it’s like to live in her shoes. She’s been protected or controlled by us and Ryan for years. This needs to be her decision and we need to respect what she is asking to do. Neither one of us may agree that this is the best way to reassure her but I think she feels like she needs to know, concretely, that what you’re telling her is true.”
Sam awoke a few hours later to find AJ speaking to someone in the doorway of her room. She couldn’t hear what they were saying but she could tell from the look on their faces that it was serious. After waiting a few minutes, she saw AJ shake the other man’s hand and then turn; when he noticed she was paying attention, he sat next to her and took her hand.
“Did you mean what you said earlier?”
She wracked her still foggy brain to figure out what he was talking about. AJ sensed her confusion and kept silent; he didn’t want to encourage her by reminding her of the conversation they had had about going to see Ryan. His hopes were snuffed out when he saw an expression cross her face and the corners of her mouth turn down.
“Yes, I meant it.”
AJ let out a slow breath and pushed the call button for the nurse before speaking again.
“I spoke to the medical examiner and he said they haven’t started the autopsies yet. The bodies are still in one piece.”
Sam’s stomach lurched slightly and AJ hesitated, wishing that what he said would discourage her from wanting to go.
“Please AJ, I want to go.”
He nodded and waited for the nurse to come; the psychologist who had come in to check on her while she was sleeping, agreed with Lauren’s opinion. She had been through so much with both her ex-husband and ex-friend that he felt it was going to do more good than harm to let her see for herself.
“Will you come with me?” Sam asked as they settled her into a wheelchair.
“I’m sorry,” he quietly responded, “I can’t do that; I just can’t.”