RATING: G
NOTES: New series. See Part One.
DISCLAIMER: I do not own the West Wing or any of its related
characters. Don't sue.
SUMMARY: Different people of the West Wing reflect on their lives so
far.

Gina seems lost in thought this morning. I hope she's okay. Maybe
she's just thinking about her birthday. I'll bet she doesn't know
that I know it's coming up. I still have to pick up the book I got
her and wrap it. How am I suppose to pick up her present with her
always watching me like a hawk (not that I mind her watching me like
a hawk)? I'll get Charlie to do it. Or maybe David Arbor. He owes me.
A lot.
Where is Charlie anyway? Damn I missed them. Good ole dad, always
on the move. I swear he's got more energy than the Georgetown
University student body combined. Even when he had a bullet hole in
his side, he had to be his happy-happy-joy-joy self, making jokes
while I'm standing there, desperately trying not to cry.
I still feel bad for ralphing all over the damn car.
I hope no one knows how scared I was that night. I hope I'll
never be that scared again. Never in my wildest dreams had I imagined
that my life would lead to that moment in Rosslyn. When I was little,
I would imagine the man I was going to marry, but it had never
occurred to me what color he was going to be. It had never crossed my
mind.
I'm almost positive that Charlie is the man I'm going to marry. I
can't be 100% positive about it because I'm never 100% positive about
anything. Not any more. I doubt ever again.
I have a class in an hour. I want to study in dad's office until
they get back, or at least until it's time to go. Studying isn't
what's on my mind right now though.
My dad's been a politician forever. For as long as I've been
alive, people either address him by a title or by the word `sir'. No
one had ever tried to kill him before. I know Ron and Gina say that
my father wasn't the target (which was not entirely comforting) but
those shooters were declaring war on my father the moment they pulled
their triggers.
I'm still scared sometimes, but I know that I have my family and
Charlie and my friends and Gina and so many other people that make me
feel better. I think about it and I realize that originally, I wasn't
going to be there. My father asked me to go with him that day, so the
shooters couldn't have known that I was going to be there. I wasn't
supposed to be there.
They wanted to kill Charlie, but not me. In a pair of people
whose relationship inspired those creeps to open fire, they only
wanted to destroy him. He's only one half of the whole, but he was
the only one they wanted.
I love him.
Maybe they did want to kill me too. I know that I'd been getting
death threats as well as Charlie. Maybe it was just a stroke of luck
for them that I was there. After all, they had to have known I was
there by the end of the night and they fired anyway.
I don't know why I'm thinking about this. It's stressful to think
about it, but I feel like it's good for me. I feel like, if I keep
thinking about it, pretty soon I can think about it without getting
totally stressed out. Thinking about it is almost therapeutic.
My teachers and friends behaved kind of strangely when I came
back. I wonder if they all felt sorry for me or something. Maybe they
were proud of me for pulling through, I don't know. I'm not even sure
about how I feel about the whole thing, except that I'm glad everyone
important is still alive and we all made it through.
By important, I mean everyone but the shooters.
I have no sympathy for them. No one has asked me in a long time
how I feel. I suppose they want to put the past behind us. The
shooting was nearly six months ago, right?
They tried to kill the man that I love because I love him. That
just doesn't go away.
I stop and I think about my life so far. I grew up the child of
an economics professor and a medical doctor. My two parents were also
politicians, for a politician's wife is a politician herself. My two
sisters grew up and moved out of the nest. I'm trying to do the same
now, but my parents are such a big part of my life; I think I'll
always be close to both of them. My sisters decided on distance;
that's not what I want.
They called as soon as they heard about the shooting. I hadn't heard
from them in ages, and suddenly I hear their voices, crying out of
fear and joy that we're okay. They were heartbroken to hear about
Josh, but they kept coming back to saying that they were so glad that
dad and I were okay. My sisters were glad we were okay.
They didn't ask about Charlie.
It's good to be alive. I guess it's kind of ironic for me to say
that, but it's true. It's good to be alive and to be able to continue
living. I don't know if I'm saying that because of the shooting or
I'm just saying it because I want to say it or because I need to say
it...
It's good to be alive.
I don't know where I want to go right now. I'm happy just sitting
here in my father's office, staring at the window, curled up on the
couch. The morning sunlight is streaming in, which is kind of
refreshing in the winter season. We're not used to sunlight in the
winter; snow is more common than sunlight this year. I think this
year got off to a strange start, so the weather decided to go with
the flow and be strange with it.
I wonder where I'll be in ten years. I hope I'm somewhere where
I'm as happy as my parents are today. I want to be a doctor and
Charlie told me that he wants to go into politics. Maybe I really
will end up like my parents. The doctor politician's wife and the
politician headed for greatness.
I wouldn't mind that.
Time flies a lot faster than it used to. I feel so much older
than I am. I feel like it was just yesterday that I was playing games
with my sisters in the Governor's mansion back in New Hampshire.
Then, all of a sudden, I'm back at Rosslyn; There are people
screaming and I'm in the limo, vomiting all over the floor, and all I
can think about is my father and Charlie.
And somewhere, Josh is fighting for his life.
Was it my fault? I asked Charlie out. If I hadn't...
I really need to stop thinking about this. My entire life does
not consist of that one night. My life consists of so much more than
that. I am not just the result of that night. I am the result of my
entire life, a life that existed before Rosslyn and it will continue
to exist now.
It's almost time to head for the school. It's almost time to step
back into my role of the resilient Bartlet daughter. The whole thing
is like old news to everybody; except for Josh's PSTD, it feels like
we've forgotten about what happened that night and all the
repercussions of it. We've moved on; we explore other venues; we try
not to dwell in the past. I think I need to talk to someone from
ATVA. Maybe I can just talk to someone in general.
Would that look bad? The President's daughter needs a shrink?
Maybe I just don't know if I can walk around with all this stuff in
my head without the ability to spill it out to someone, anyone. I
feel okay about the shooting; I've moved on; I'm exploring other
venues; I don't dwell in the past... But I just want to be able to
talk about it and not be consumed by the memories.
I want a car. Or maybe a dog. A friend of mine has the sweetest
dog in the world and the little guy has been there for her through a
lot. She says he's "there" for the food and her hand that feeds him,
but there's something about a dog that's comforting. I could use some
comforting right now.
Maybe my friend will lend me hers.
I'll talk to Charlie later. Right now, I think Gina's happy to be
going back to the limo. She likes the limo, I think. I'd gotten used
to them. She says they're good protection-wise; only so many ways in
or out. Personally, I think she just likes the mini-tv.

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