In An Infinite Universe, That Which Can Happen Must Happen
We here at Chuck This! have been wondering about our favorite couple’s future, and many of you have already put out your suggestions about exactly what happened right after that kiss.
But I found myself wondering what would happen later. How much later? I’m not sure. I’m more certain that a particular moment will come to pass.
No, I’m not sure at all when it’s going to happen. But someday (surprisingly soon, I think), Sarah is going to realize that she’s back to normal. There probably won’t be a moment in time that she’ll be able to point to and say “That’s when I knew I was my old self,” because she’s not exactly going back to her “old self”. As we grow older, none of us step in that same river twice. In fact, she may not even say the word “normal”, because Sarah was never normal, like other people. What she will mean is that she she no longer feels like a stranger to herself. Call it the new normal.
Sarah’s not going to be able to say that her life is the way it would have been, because it’s probably not going to be exactly like she, together with Chuck, had planned. There’s an old saying. “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.” All our plans change. There will be new plans, after all.
But there will come a time when she recognizes who she is. There will be a moment when Sarah realizes she knows who Chuck is.
Perhaps it will happen like this:
Sarah will be sitting in a restaurant with Chuck and happen to lower her eyes. It’ll be a sign that she’s looking inward, thinking private thoughts, and in that moment she’ll know that she’s comfortable. “We’re on a date!” Sarah will say to herself, and it will surprise her because she’s married to that man across the table. They’ve been working hard and, yes, they’ve been intimate, but it feels like a date without the nervousness. She won’t be on her guard at all, but relaxed just being with this man who is her husband.
Relaxed? Yes. Sarah will know that he’s ready to do almost anything for her. Chuck has never been a threat. He’s been a friend and a helpmate.
For a few weeks, or perhaps months, that’s been mostly about washing dishes and paying bills. Oh, and being there when she wants to talk (which hasn’t been often) and when she wants to hear more about – you know – what happened (which, despite herself, has been often).
Chuck will not be comfortable, by the way, on this “date.” He’s still a little on egg-shells, still wondering if there’s any way he can prove himself (no, there isn’t) or anything he can do bring the light back into Sarah’s eyes. You know, the light that was reserved for him alone at one time.
Chuck is patient, but he’s never been at his best when he’s nervous. He does know a trick to calm himself, though. It’s one he learned from his dating days. First, he’ll tell Sarah a joke about something he and Morgan did in high school and she’ll smile. Then just when he thinks that his best lines are going to strike out (again) Chuck will look at the woman sitting across from him, sigh and say something like “I’ll never get used to how beautiful you are.” He thinks that a lot when Sarah seems to be calm.
That will probably be the moment when Sarah looks up at him, realizes that he’s much more uncomfortable than she is, takes a sip from the straw in her Mai Tai and says with a smile, “I like you, Chuck.” Both Chuck and Sarah will know her affection is genuine, and that’s not new to them. But Chuck will smile because he’ll remember Sarah used those words before. He may even see a little light.
Sarah will see an elegantly dressed brunette walk up to their table, feel the hairs bristle on the back of her neck and hear Chuck exclaim “Jill! Honey, you – you remember Jill Roberts, don’t you?” That will be a watershed moment of a different sort.
She won’t remember Jill, exactly, but she’ll know she distrusts that woman with an intensity bordering on hate. That’s a fact that’ll become more apparent when Jill produces some artifact that comes from Bryce, a person she now knows a lot about from Chuck and from her own records. There’s something about Omaha she can almost remember.
Sarah may not be able to come up with specific memories, but she’ll react strongly when this happens. The rush of emotions will be an adrenaline-kick to the gut and Sarah will recognize that she feels a threat. It’s not a threat to Chuck, and not even a threat to her. Sarah will be startled to know that she feels a threat to them coming from this woman.
Because of the artifact, Sarah and Chuck will be involved with the people of their past. In the course of events, Sarah will find herself reacting both physically and emotionally for no apparent reason, except that it feels right for her to do so. In fact, she may even put them in danger deliberately (if reluctantly) with her only justification being summed up in the phrase “it’s the right thing to do.” That’s not a concept used by spies. Duty and even honor, yes. But “It’s right? It’s wrong?” No.
Thinking that thought, Sarah will have no idea where it comes from – until she looks at Chuck.
An opportunity will present itself for this threatening character, Jill, to take Sarah aside and say “You once told me to not hurt him. Sarah, don’t hurt him!” More than anything Sarah will be confused by this. No, that’s not a threat at all, she’ll think, but a plea. Why would Jill say that? “Why would I hurt him?” But after all the stories she’s heard, especially their story about Jill, Sarah will understand instantly what the message means. “Oh!”
And when Chuck does something unexpected and even dumb that gets them out of danger, Sarah won’t think that he’s an idiot. Unbidden, she’ll wonder why she didn’t think of it herself and then wonder, almost is amazement, that he did.
At that point, she’ll look at Chuck and smile a half smile. The time will come when Sarah realizes she had been thinking in terms of “them” unconsciously, ever since this Jill character showed up. But no longer. Now it’s “A threat to them” and “They are in danger” and “They are safe” and mostly, “their story.” Now it’s conscious.
When their adventure (together, she realizes) is over, in the evening, Sarah will realize that the man she’s with is special and that she belongs where she is. Is this love?
Sarah will come to ask that question, and will probably answer “I don’t know what love is. But – maybe.” What Sarah is certain about is that this is home, a place where she feels safe and a place where she comes to heal.
What Morgan or Ellie or Devon (and quite possible all three) could tell her is that this is exactly what happened the first time.
That’s weeks or months down the road from their start on the beach. Now please tell me – where do you see our couple then?