"Dwayne... Open your eyes."
His sea green eyes slowly opened... her smooth coffee cream colored face looked down at him.
She smiled and her smooth hand touched his unshaven face. "Take care of her, Dwayne... She's all you have left."
Before Hicks could look deeper into her dark brown eyes he blinked and she was gone. He sat up in his dark bedroom and looked around.
He called out into the darkness and knew it was another dream. His sheets were covered in thick sweat. He kicked them off and stood naked looking out the bay window in his apartment.
Earth had changed so much. He now lived in the city. Cars flew by, lights flashed and throngs of people walked around. It had been this way since he was born.
He was now trying to regain his life back. He was retired from the teams, on med. leave. He healed okay, still there were uneven scars over his lean, tanned chest and a small one of his left cheek.
The worst of it was he had gone stone-deaf in the left ear. He heard nothing. The doctors said he would never hear in that ear again, so his Military days were over for good. Now he did odd jobs around the city to be able to keep food in the two mouths that were living there now.
He worked hard but hated not being able to hear in that ear. He got so confused sometimes when someone was talking to him on that side. One day when he was working the fork lifts someone tried talking to him but he never heard it and almost rammed the lift into the wall. When he got off his boss called him a deaf-mute and walked away. When Hicks got home he locked himself in the bathroom and fell to the floor shaking and crying.
"I was a respected solider. I risked me life for others. Now some grunt called me a Deaf-mute. I can still hear in the other ear and I talk!"
He cried himself asleep that night.
Other then that he tried his best to raise the person that was now living with him. He gave that person everything that they needed, and love too... something he never knew he could give.
Some people talked. Once a young woman named Christine he met in a bar said, "You're a young handsome man. Why are you living this life?"
Hicks just couldn't answer that. How could she understand. All she wanted was a good time for the night and that was all. Little did she know he promised someone he only knew for a short time that he would take care of this life forever.
Hicks hated the fact he couldn't save Ripley. He had been lying in a deep coma when the aliens came back. People told her he was dead like the others but they lied. Why?
Hicks slowly got dressed in the dark thinking deep down inside that Ripley really was alive -- somewere -- maybe not the real her but part of her -- somewere -- and he knew he would see her again.
But not yet... Not yet.
The sun slowly rose over the tall silver buildings and lit up his room.
That's when he heard his voice down the hall.
"Hicks, are you ready!"
Hicks smiled and yelled back, "You're up all ready?"
"It's a little early..."
"I just don't want to be late on my first day!"
Hicks smiled and started to walk to the doorway thinking, guess you don't.
That day he found it funny he was a little nervous himself. As he drove he kept on looking at the person riding with him, and the person kept looking at there new blue dress, making sure there were no dirt marks on it.
"You look very pretty today."
They then pulled into the parking lot. The small brick building said, ST. ANDREW'S SCHOOL FOR CHILDREN.
Hicks unhooked the person's safety belt and both walked out. Hicks watched all the little kids lining up as their parents watched. Hicks then looked down at her big blue eyes and smiled. "Well, I guess this is it."
Hicks kissed her golden blonde hair and then turned to leave when her small pale hand took a hold of his coat. He turned and saw she was crying.
"What's wrong?" He asked
"I don't want to go... not without you."
He could see her point... since what happened he had never left her side until now. He smiled and leaned down
"Newt...I'm never going to leave you alone... never... I love you."
Newt smiled and hugged the side of him tight. She then heard the bell ring and turned a little. "You're going to be right here when they let out, right?"
Hicks smiled. "Right here."
Newt then kissed his hand and said four words that would change Hicks forever. "I love you, daddy.
Newt then ran to her teacher and went inside. Hicks stood there shocked. Then a small silly smile came over his face and it went into his mind again. I love you, daddy.
He then blew a kiss to the school and got into his car. On the ride back he could still hear Ripley's voice over and over in his head.
"Take care of her Dwayne. She's all you have left."
Hicks felt his heart make a small jump and it then hit him. He loved that little girl more than life itself. As he drove his mind kept on going to the four words that passed by over and over. Well, he must have been thinking too much about that instead of the road. The truck came from a blind corner and hit him head on.
The car flew into the air and then dropped into a ditch twenty feet away.
Hicks slowly opened his eyes and looked around. His car was throw over and glass and blood was everywhere. He heard people screaming. He tried to move but the pain flashed all over his body. He looked down at himself and saw that he was bleeding.
Two strong hands took him by the shoulders and dragged him out and on the soft grass. The sun blinded him. He laid there trying not to move. About ten people went around him and looked down. One voice belonged to the truck driver.
"He came out of nowhere!"
The other voices all said the same things. "Call 911... get help... he's bleeding real bad... call a doctor..."
One man sat down and held Hicks in his arms. "It's going to be all right, buddy. You're hurt but you're going to get some help real soon."
Hicks knew what pain was and this was it. Soon he became hard to even breath.
"My..." Hicks cut off speaking as warm blood jumped from his mouth. The young man wiped it clean.
"Shhhh... don't talk."
Hicks then tried again. "My daughter... Rebecca... she's at school make sure someone picks her up pleaseeee."
"Okay, sir. Someone will take good care of her."
Hicks bit his lip hard in order not to scream in the deep heated pain he was in. "Tell her that I love her... and that I'm so sorry."
Hicks hated himself. He knew his time was up, but who would take care of his little girl now. She would be all alone.
A young overweight woman with dark black hair sat down next to Hicks. He looked at her.
"Please take care of my daughter. I'm the only one left. Please take care of her."
It was hard to hear what the others were saying. The woman looked like she was ready to cry. She took Hick's hand and held it tight. "I'll take care of your girl, sir."
Hicks still was scared to death but knew his fight was almost over. He heard the sirens in the background coming closer.
"I'm sorry, Newt... I'm sorry."
Hick then drew in one last breath and looked at the caring faces around him. Just before his poor, weak heart stopped he remembered the lives that were lost so long ago.
they had died fighting. Now his blood was spilled on the side of the road. Newt was the last one left, and he hated himself for leaving her.
His eyes then shut and his chest slowly stopped.
Everyone around him knew it was done. They all started crying for the lone stranger that just wanted to see his little girl before he died. The young woman with the black hair took out Hick's wallet and looked at the school card.
St. Andrew's school for chirdren. Rebecca Jordan Hicks.
She looked up at the others then at the poor, young man laying dead there.
Much later Newt sat in the office. The young woman with the black hair was outside in the hallway talking to two police men. They had told Newt when she was in art class having a great time. She even made three more friends and was making a drawing for Hicks when they called her out and told her what happened.
Newt had been crying. Now she just sat there alone. Her eyes red and raw. She felt sick. Once again anyone she loved died.
The young woman came back and smiled. "Hey Rebecca. My name is Ash. I just talked with the two police men and they said you could spent a night or two with me. Would you like that?"
Newt then looked up. "Newt."
The woman smiled. "What?"
"My name is Newt. No one calls me Rebecca anymore."
The woman put on a sweet smile and brushed some of Newt's blonde hair away. "Newt. I like that."
Fifteen years later...
It was a crisp sunny day. Newt got out of her jeep and walked into the cemetery alone. In one hand she had a single red rose.
Newt had now grown into a beautiful young woman. Her body had filled out and her hair was now a little darker but she still had that sweet look in her eyes.
Her life had been okay after the death of Hicks. After a few weeks she moved in with the woman named Ash who was very nice to her. Newt was sad and always cried at night. Ash would always find her sleeping in her bedroom closet her arms wrapped around Hick's old army gear that she kept.
But soon she snapped out of it. She understood that Hicks would have liked to see her move on. So she did. She went back to school and made tons of friends and was very smart. The rest of her childhood had been good with Ash as her new mother. She was now happy.
She then came to the grave. The headstone read, Cpl. Dwayne Hicks.
She gave a sigh and put down the rose and kissed the headstone. She then stood up and smiled.
Next week she would be shipped off to Base one. She had just became a soldier. It had been a hard road but she worked hard and knew this was what she had to do. When she was filling out forms for getting in, the line came when it told her to put down mother's and father's name.
Cpl. Dwayne Hicks.
She smiled and knew that was right. "I love you daddy."
She smiled and then turned back heading for her car. There was a strong wind and she smiled. It was going to be a beautiful day.