Caliente – 7.3: Late might meetings

Table of contents

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(Previous post: Mother and son)

Nina decides to stay in and spend some time with her son. They have dinner and she even agrees to discuss her daughter’s impending wedding, one she is not so happy about…

It was already nighttime when Nina finished her conversation with Krystal Hoves. She could see the sky was dark outside the classroom window.

“I just can’t thank you enough, for all you did Mrs. Caliente….” The teacher started before Nina interrupted.

“Please, if you insist to be so formal than it is Miss Caliente. And as I said you are welcome… I had been excited for this project as well. And I have enjoyed working with you. I hope work with the kids would be as fulfilling.” She smiled in hopes to make the other woman relax. It seemed to work because she had responded with a smile of her own. Nina spoke the truth, she had been having fun working with the Similish teacher on this musical adoption of an old classic. The teacher was young but professional even though she had been a bit starstruck at first, but Nina had been used to it. She wrote all the music for the musical and the plan was to work with the high-school kids who would be performing the said music. But that was still ways down the road… Right now Nina’s thoughts strayed to the meeting she was having right after this. She checked the clock on the wall. She still had some time left.

Krystal was collecting her things scattered all around her desk, books and folders of notes from their meetings. Nina decided to give her a hand.

“Oh really, Miss you don’t have to bother…” She said flustered picking up the entire stack of books.

“Nonsense, I still have a bit of time…” Nina went on still attempting to help. A flyer fell off from between the books the young teacher held. Nina bent down and picked it up from the floor. The picture showed a young girl with a slightly familiar face.

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LAQUITA HOVES FOR MAYOR was printed on the top of the flyer. “Elections are still a way off.” Nina said handing the flyer over to the flustered teacher. “Your sister?” She asked looking at the name again. The woman nodded.

“Yes. She wanted me to look at a few samples…” Nina smiled.

“I remembered when my sister ran for mayor. It seems like a lifetime ago…” She said still looking the flyer over.

“Lucky looks up to your sister a lot…” Krystal said taking the flyer from her hand.

“Really? That is so interesting. I would surely mention her to Dina next time I see her.”

“Oh please no, you don’t have to bother… You have already done enough…” The teacher went on. It was at that moment that Nina’s phone rang.

“It is my date.” She told her companion. “I usually like to make my men wait a bit but this one really hates waiting.” She sighed. “I should get going. The two women said goodbye and Nina left the classroom making sure to stop by the bathroom to put on some perfume. For this next meeting she needed to smell just dazzling.

The neon lights in the hallways were dimmed and there was no sound but the clicking of her heels as she closed the distance to the school’s front door. Someone else might be scared but not Nina. She walked the school’s halls as if she owned them.

She saw him the moment she exited the door opened to her by the nigh guard, even more starstruck than the teacher had been. His back were turned to her and he was looking into the distance, to the park that was empty at this late hour, not a soul in sight.

“Odd choice for a meeting stop.” He spoke without turning. He must have smelled her coming. She smiled without a word. He had a sleeveless shirt on exposing his muscled arms. It was there that Nina’s gaze went. Of all the men she had dated none had a body like that. She was so entranced she didn’t even notice when he turned around to face her. “Did our sons get into a fight again?” He asked and Nina laughed.

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“Nothing like that this time. I had some business to attend.”

“At the school?”

“Yes, believe it or not. It is a secret.” She added with a wink. He almost smiled. Almost. That was the thing with Aegon. He always had that strict, serious face and those dark blue eyes that always seemed cold, almost dangerous. None of it diminished his attractiveness, quite the opposite Nina felt as she looked him over once more.

They had started seeing each other last summer, they actually met at the school, when their teenage sons had really gotten into a fight during the summer dance. It wasn’t like Bran to cause such problems so Nina had been deeply shocked when it happened. Aegon managed to calm her down. They had coffee and talked and as the saying goes, one thing lead to another…

He had been married once but was now divorced and yet still living with his ex in some bizarre agreement. His current fiancee was a doctor, another redhead, she worked long hours and was almost always busy which lead to the wedding being indefinitely postponed. None of it meant nothing to Nina. She didn’t want a husband, she just wanted those strong arms to hold her. She wanted it that first day they met and she wanted it now.

She stepped closer to him smiling all the way. He stepped closer as well. He placed those big hands on her hips and pulled her forward to him. She let him. His touch radiated warmth all through her body. She closed her eyes feeling his lips touch her own.

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His kisses always melted her fast. They barely made it to her car parked just a few feet away. It was always the greatest challenge when they had been together, keeping their hands away from each other long enough to get into a private place. Their kisses were even more passionate when they got inside her house. They kissed passionately, undressing each other as they climbed the stairs that lead to the second floor and her bedroom.

In the back of her mind she had an information that Bran was out this evening, with his girlfriend, or some of his friends, she couldn’t remember. She could only hope he wasn’t home yet…

Rosie’s Emails – 9

Dear brother,

Our mother tells me a lot about you, she brags about your promotions and your success¬†at school, she is very proud and so am I!! Why didn’t you tell me any of it yourself?? I must admit I am a little mad at you right now ūüėõ I didn’t even know you have a girlfriend! I bet you told Tricia that but not me, so unfair! And there I am living in the big city, one long ride away… You can always come and visit bring Nan over if you want. It is going to be an adventure, I promise! There are clubs here, and bars, and partying… the big city is buzzing with life, perfect for young couples such as you two…

As for me… I have big news as well, ones I am going to share with you first! Like the sound of that? I was at home the other night, just minding my own business when out of the blue I get a call!

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And what do you know, I got some reward from the city of Bridgeport. It is called an “Investigator’s Trophy of Honor”. There would be a short ceremony at City Hall where they would put some pin on me or something like that. It isn’t as big of a deal as it seems otherwise I would have flown you all over but hey it is still something and you my dear Bran are the first to know! Now it is your turn, share something with your oldest sister!

Lots of love,

Rosie


 

Hi Bran,

So you are learning to cook? That is not exciting¬†news I was hoping for. As someone who digs up dirt for a living I think I am qualified¬†to determine what is juicy and what is not and that my friend is not… So try harder next time! Impress me ūüėõ

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As for me I did pick up that reward, like I said it was nothing special, a day time ceremony in the public offices downtown. I dressed super private investigator like, in a my beige trench coat, with a hat and stylish sunglasses to top it. The mayor gave me the award, we chatted a bit and that is it. The city needs me, they urge me to continue the good work. I feel like a super hero already!

Rosie Caliente, Superhero

Caliente (Latricia) – 7.4: The Show

(Previous post: Regret)

There was only a mild applause coming from the gathered crowd of teenagers. Latricia didn’t expect more, not with the song she picked to end her performance with. It was a piano ballad she wrote days ago, thinking heavily of her failed relationship with her high school boyfriend Mika. She did step away from the piano and bowed to the audience avoiding to look at either her mother or her manager who were both seated in the school’s auditorium where she had performed.

She knew they had expected her to play only the songs they picked, songs that would help sell her potential future album better and imprint her image into the minds of impressionable teenager listening to her today but she wanted to play this song. For her. That is what music was supposed to be about, the soul of the performer, not the pocket of the listener.

She knew her mother would say it was too early for her to do that, that would come later once she had gathered a following. Hazel, her manager, would as usually agree. Latricia was sick of that. Sick of being the good obedient daughter who did nothing for herself.

She told her friend Chiquita as much the other day while they were at the stylist’s. Latricia had to see Luther Prentiss to help her pick an outfit for today’s performance and she was happier to go with her friend than with her mother.

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“I wish my mother was more like yours…”

“Oh please.” Chiquita cut her off rolling her eyes. “You think my parents approve of all my decisions and the life I chose for myself?” When Latricia said nothing she went on. “My dear father often reminds me how I gave birth to a bastard, forgetting how I was a bastard myself because he was so busy chasing his stupid fencing, leaving me and mum to fend for ourselves… And don’t get me even started on mum and how she feels I am wasting my life working at the cash register at the supermarket when I could be so much more…” She sighed. “They were like that even as I lay in the hospital after that stupid meteor hit… Trust me Latricia, your life is a dream compared to what other people have.” Latricia knew that. Yet she still admired her friend how she bore all this and always appeared as she didn’t even care. So she told her that.

“Well it is all in the attitude my dear friend, if you let people stomp on you they will. You must learn to stand up for yourself, to go after what you want. Look at me I listen to all that and yet I still work at the supermarket, I raise my Jilly alone, for now at least and don’t give a fuck at what my parents or anyone else ever says. And I know people talk, this is a small town.”

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Latricia took all this to heart. That is why she played the song she did. And that is why she called Mikha’il right before the show. Her hands were shaking and she felt like she was about to be pushed from a cliff to a raging sea. But this was her life. She had it in her hands and she alone had the power over it. Not her mother and not her fears.

Mikha’il didn’t answer after four rings. She was about to give up, take it as a sign when he finally did. “Officer Kerry speaking.” He said in a businesslike voice. It was hard to picture him in a police station, surrounded by other cops, fighting crime, but that is who he was now. That was the life he choose. She introduced herself quickly before her voice failed and at once the formalities were dropped. “Well that is a surprise.” He said. “Unless this is work related, in which case you should have called the station instead of my cell.”

“It is not work related.” There was a brief pause after that. “I actually wanted to ask you… Well I am playing at our old school later today and I wanted to know if you would come. I am not sure I can have guests but screw it… I want you to be there.” She felt better as she blurted it all out. Also a little swearing helped as well. She was feeling more like Chiqy already, bold and rebellious.

“I don’t think I could make it, not today. I have got afternoon patrols…” Mika said sounding sorry. Or so it seemed to Latricia, she couldn’t really tell anymore. Maybe it was just her hope and desperation making her see something that was not there in a blatant rejection. At least he didn’t outright laugh at me… She tried to comfort herself as they ended the conversation in the usual pleasantries.

All that however was just a little too much rebellion for Latricia so when the show ended she sneaked out to the female locker rooms, changing quickly and sneaking out of the school’s back door instead of going to face her mother and Hazel. She planned to run home before they even notice her gone, she knew she would have to face them eventually, but she had no strength left, not today.

She had barely made two steps when she notice a man watching her. He was wearing a dark police uniform and his hat partly hid his face but she knew him in a instant.

“Mika?” She said surprised as he came closer smiling weakly.

“Hi Tricia.”

“You came after all.”

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“Not in time for it all… I heard just the last song. It was… Beautiful… And very powerful. It has been a while I guess, since I last heard you play the piano.” He added and she smiled.

“I wrote it for you.” She said softly. It was not a time or a place for holding anything back. He was there, Mika was actually there, he heard her song. And that should have been enough. The song was her heart laid bare. It was regret and sorrow, and it was love.

“For me?” He asked trying to smile but failing. He must have been afraid she thought, afraid of her breaking his heart again, like she did last time. But then the roles were reversed, he was the one giving out his heart and she was the one afraid.

“Well yes. Who else would it be for? You were always the one who made my hear sing…” She stepped closer to him. When he did this he got on his knee. He also had a ring. She had only her intent, and it was a strong one. She would not falter. “I made mistakes in the past, we all do, I have been stupid, and selfish, and I hurt you. I can’t promise I won’t make any more mistakes, but I promise to try to be a little less stupid, and a little less selfish.” Another step closer. “I know now that I love you, I know that I made a mistake, and that you have every right to hate me for that.” Another step brought her so close that they were almost touching, oh how she yearned for that. But she was not done yet. “I want to promise that I won’t ever stop making up for what I did. I want to spend my life doing just that. If you say yes, if you say you’ll marry me.”

His eyes widened and he opened his mouth as to say something but failed. The sun was setting in the background, the sky was a lovely shade of pink. Yet Latricia hadn’t seen it. She was on edge waiting for just one word. Whatever it was, she just wanted to hear it. Mika however seemed speechless. He closed his eyes and leaned closer to her. She didn’t waste a single moment.

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She leaned in as well and they kissed. It was a sweet kiss. Sweeter than any they had ever shared. And Latricia wanted it to last forever. They eventually parted however and when she looked at him he appeared to have tears in his eyes.

“Was that a yes?” She asked quietly.

“You know I loath to admit it… But you did the whole proposal thing slightly better.” He said breaking into a smile. Latricia did too. “And yes. This was a definite yes.”

Hoves (Jesse) – 7.1: Budgets and Boyfriends

Table of contents

Intro

Lucky Hoves blinked hard looking at her computer screen, all those numbers on the yearly budget report were kind of blending in together after a whole morning of staring at it. She took a deep breath letting all the negative energy flow out of her, pushed a lock of her unruly hair out of her eyes getting herself ready to start over. On most days city council work was a lot more boring than she thought it would be and there were days, days like this one when she wanted nothing more then to throw herself unceremoniously on a couch and yell I give up.

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But there was no giving up for Lucky, daughter of Jesse. She knew she was doing good, no matter how hard it got on some days, she managed to increase the town’s emergency budget and the pay of policeman and fireman and many other small things. People will always complain though and blame everything on the politicians, even the weirdest of things, like that meteor hit that took three lives, four if you count the little dog which Lucky always did.

But this would not stop Lucky, oh no. She was learning every day and she was surer than ever that this would not be her final post, no Lucky wanted more, she had always wanted more. She would make the whole world a better place as soon as the people choose her for its leader. And to get there she would go by step, that was how those things go she learned, you don’t just wake up to be Dina Caliente. Her next goal was to run for mayor next fall for which she knew she should better start campaigning immediately.

She sighed loudly willing herself to go back to work. ¬†She didn’t get a chance to go far however interrupted by the wail of the sirens she heard even trough her earphones. Being a cop’s daughter she recognized that it was a police car moving fast towards the town center. She held her breath as the sound came closer and closer…. Theirs was a peaceful town, real crime was rare yet her own father had been murdered, taken from the world by some criminal’s bullet, a harsh reminder that evil can hide behind even the most peaceful facade.

And now the evil might be back… Lucky thought as the sirens came so close she was sure she could see them trough the window. She rushed to it just as the police car parked behind the town hall and a lanky young man in civilian clothes stepped out. Lucky sighed as she recognised the man and returned to her seat waiting for him to come up.

She turned off her music and impatiently listened as he bartered with her assistant before the door of her office opened and he strolled in. He smiled widely, not taking his black hat off.

” Hey Lucky.” Her boyfriend greeted her taking a seat directly across of her.

“Hi Ahmed.” She replied holding back her irritation. Still his smile dropped.

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“Not happy to see me?” He asked.

“It is the middle of the day, I am working.” Lucky said calmly.

“Well I am here to take you to lunch!” Ahmed exclaimed grinning again.

“In a police car? With the sirens on?” Lucky asked making her boyfriend laugh.

“I was in a rush.”

” You are a civilian.” She said harshly and Ahmed sighed.

“You’re a good girl Lucky but some things you just take so seriously… It is Mika’il’s car, he is off today so he is sleeping in and I had to get away love… That brat is driving me crazy… You know I once thought if only he learned to talk he would be more bearable…” He let out a long sigh. “So I wasted time teaching him to form words and now he is more annoying than ever. Ahmed what is that? Ahmed why is that? Who is that?” He concluded the rant in a mock child’s voice. “I hate kids!”

Lucky felt her smile melt and get replaced with a frown. “Don’t say that…” She said softly.

“Why? They are the worst believe me….” Lucky didn’t like the way the conversation was going. She and Ahmed were serious, she loved him, they were together since school. They were going to get married, everyone knew that, and kids were part of that deal, not right now of course, Lucky’s career still had a way to go but someday… She bit her lip to hold the brewing argument back. Ahmed will come around, there was still time…

“Is your mother still having a party this Friday?” She changed the subject abruptly.

“I guess.” Ahmed said with a shrug.

“Am I welcome?” She asked. Years back Lucky used to work for Posie Kerry, Ahmed’s mother but they had a falling out when Posie gave birth to Kenny, Ahmed’s little brother, the annoying brat Ahmed mentioned earlier. She refused to name the father creating a big scandal and her career was spiraling downwards when Lucky decided to jump ship and run for City Council herself.

“Of course you are welcome.” Ahmed said. “You are still my girlfriend.” Lucky smiled. ¬†There was no better place to start a political campaign than a party.

Ahmed was planning on taking her to the local diner for lunch. Lucky insisted they walk, she could not in clear conscience ride in a ‘borrowed’ police car. They hadn’t even gotten through the diner door when her phone rang.

Screenshot_7Ahmed was not very happy when she told him she has to go back. “It is work…” She said trying to sound apologetic.

“Yeah? And that is more important than me?” He said annoyed. “You have your lunch break – take it.”

“I am really not sure…” Lucky said biting her lip. “We have this meeting and we have to prepare, I have gotten nowhere with the budget report…” Ahmed just glared at her and she had to sigh. “Fine. We’ll eat. Fast!” He smiled and took her hand leading her towards the diner door.

It wasn’t till much later, when Lucky headed home after a long day of meetings and budget proposals that she had time to think the state of her relationship. She did love Ahmed, she really did but things just weren’t as they used to be… It was different when they were both in school but now since she had started work, serious work, things had changed, she had changed and in a way he had not. He was not any different from the boy he was in high school… It was because he didn’t have a job, Lucky concluded. Not a real one at least, he was a poet and a photographer but he barely made any money from it… He could do so much more, he was smart, Lucky knew it, smarter than her even. So walking home she decided she was to do something about it…

/* I know it has been a while since I posted. AGAIN. I had this written and planned to take a few more screenshots and publish it last weekend but I was sick and then had a busy week at work… But here it is, the start of this rounds story line¬†for the Hoves sisters, with very little screenshots. */

Prentiss 7.5: The Grieving Husband

Table of Contents

(Previous post: The Lost Twin II )

In the days, weeks and months following the death of Tomas’ wife Rita, daughter Lena and eldest sister Alyssa a lot of people came to talk to him, family, friends, neighbors, even strangers. Tomas listened to their words but nothing came to him. He was the kind of person that needed to grieve on his own. Not many people understood that. Rita did. But Rita was gone. No one understood that either. Not fully at least. How could they? They didn’t love her as much as he did. No one in the world did.

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Maybe that was why he found it easiest to talk to Phoibe. Phoibe Santoro had been one of Rita’s best friends. They had been friends ¬†ever since they were little girls. Of all the people outside their family she was probably the one who knew Rita best and maybe, just maybe she could understand what a cold and empty place this world was without her.

Phoibe worked at the science lab with Thomas so they often sat together on their brakes. Sometimes they talked about Rita. Often that would end up with Phoibe in tears and Tomas found it hard to bear. They never talked about Lena. He never talked about Lena. That pain was Tomas’ and his alone.

And some days they just talked about life, well work mostly. For Tomas that was what was left in life and he didn’t know what else to talk about Phoibe anyway. He knew she liked classical music and that she played in a band. She never married or had any kids. Rita always said she had bad luck with men. Tomas didn’t understand it. She was a good looking and a smart woman. Still he steered away form those kind of conversations with her. Talk about work and the scientific world were enough.

And then one day he asked for a favor.

“You want Irene out of your lab?” Phoibe asked surprised. Tomas nodded, “Why? Is her work somehow inadequate? You always gave her good reviews…” Thomas sighed. He wasn’t a good liar, he knew that but he couldn’t tell Phoibe the truth. He couldn’t tell her how he believed his young and beautiful assistant was coming on to him and most importantly he couldn’t tell her he was starting to enjoy it.

“It’s just… She reminds me of Rita.” He blurted out. It was evil, pure evil doing what he was doing, playing that card but it needed to be done. Phoibe’s face became grave and she nodded.

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“I get it. They were sisters after all… ¬†Rita might have never said it that way but it was true…” There were tears in her lovely blue eyes and it made Tomas felt horrible. Still he knew it was the only way and the right thing to do… “Sorry. ” She said noticing his troubled stare. “I just get like this every time I think of her… She was one of a kind your wife… I miss her dearly… But then again I shouldn’t go one like this, not to you of all people.” She sighed. “Fine. I can get Irene away. It shouldn’t be that hard to reassign her…” Then she smiled slightly. “I’ll transfer her to my mother’s project! She had been asking for people for weeks.”

Tomas smiled. “Yes she spoke to me too.” When Phoibe looked at him quizzically he answered. “I said no, of course.” Phoibe looked relived. Her mother, the once famous talent scout, lyricist and manager of many stars, including Riam Gradle, the famous rock star from their small town, had recently joined the army. Why no one knew, not even Phoibe who wasn’t that close to her anyway. But she became a kind of a PR there.

And now, as they often do the army bullied their way to their lab to conduct some secret experiments or whatever and they were mercilessly trying to recruit scientist to their cause. Neither Tomas or Phoibe liked it very much and bitching about it gave Tomas the perfect excuse to steer of the current topic.

Yet the thought of that conversation didn’t leave his mind for a long time. Irene was gone from his lab and he was currently working alone, which was when he did his best work yet he felt guilty. In his mind he had used Phoibe, lying to her like that, invoking the memory of Rita in the process as well.

So on one of his days off, while the girls were at school and Tracy was at his sister’s he invited Phoibe to come over. He wanted to thank her, not only for the recent favor but for everything she had done from him from the terrible day of the meteor hit till today. He meant to surprise her with flowers and a lovely bracelet Della helped him pick.

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“Seems I’m a natural at picking flowers.” He said nervously as he handed Phoibe the bouquet first. “They seem to match your sweater.” Phoibe smiled a nervous smile herself.

“They are beautiful Tomas!” She said as she looked up at him with those lovely blue eyes. Her natural, interesting green hair was down today and she chose to wear contacts instead of the big glasses she usually wore inside the lab. The lab coat she replaced with a goofy green-blue dress and a short purple sweater. She was very pretty Tomas thought again still wondering how on Earth was she still single.

“It is a small something…. To thank you… For everything.” He managed to answer. “It all means so much to me, what you did…” It was hard to find the words so he quickly brought out the little box with his bracelet hoping it would speak for him.

“Oh my! Tomas… You shouldn’t have!” Phoibe gasped as she saw the pretty wrapped box. “You know I didn’t expect this… I didn’t ask for this… I would have done it all again, and again… I would have done anything to help you. For your sake, and your children’s… And… And Rita’s…” She said at last, tears pooling all around her eyes as they did every time she spoke her name.

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An ice cream truck drove past. Tomas heard its chimes but the world had disappeared for him. Nothing remained but those sad blue eyes and the tears in them. One of them escaped and Tomas watched as it rolled down Phoibe’s smooth cheek. He was ready to do anything to make them go away. And so he did, the first thing that came to his mind. He leaned forward and pressed her lips against hers.

It wasn’t a kiss fueled with passion, or romance, or love… Or any of the other usual reasons one has for such an act. The closest, most accurate description was that it had been a desperate act of a grieving man. And at first Phoibe didn’t reciprocate. And as they parted and Tomas opened his eyes to look at her he felt panic raising in his chest.

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Here he was,¬†trying to do something nice, to make amends, to say thank you and he managed to screw even that up. He kissed her. His coworker. His only friend in this dark times. He kissed a woman who wasn’t his wife, in front of his house, in broad daylight…

He was about to say sorry, to beg on his knees for forgiveness, to explain, in any way he could how stupid it was, how he wasn’t in control of his emotions, of his life, of anything… ¬†And hope she would understand. But then she moved closer, putting her long fingered hands on his hips before leaning in close, so close her whole body touched his and then her lips found him and this time it was different… It was maddening and wild and it made Tomas’ guilt disappear. It made all thoughts desert him and moments, or was it an eternity later as he led her upstairs and on to his hover bed it all made sense. They were two people, lost and sad, and alone and hurt and in need… In need of comfort, in need of love, in need of each other… And that was all that mattered.

 

Prentiss – 7.4: The Lost Twin II

Table of Contents

(Previous post: The Lost Twin I )

Maja was running the answers she wrote on her math test trough her head while trying hard not to bite her nails. It was a nasty habit she knew that, and her mother had bothered about it enough times, but it was hard to get rid of it especially at boring situations. Sitting in a  horrible waiting room, waiting for her regular appointment with the school psychologist qualified as such.

The school mandated those appointments to every student that had suffered some kind of trauma and at first Maja was okay with them, it was nice to vent to someone, someone outside her home, someone who didn’t go trough the exact same trauma but as time went on it was just getting annoying, how many times, and in how many ways could she say she missed her mother, she missed her sister, her twin? How many more times did she have to say she felt empty and incomplete and how sure she was that is how she was going to feel from now on until she died herself and could not feel anymore. It just wasn’t helping. Yet her dad didn’t want her to stop coming here and what could Maja say to that? The man had been trough so much, he didn’t need her disobedience on top of it all.

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She had even grown to hate coming to school. She used to like it before, in the times when her greatest problem was that her father was her science teacher. But now it was insufferable. She was almost always alone on recess, trying to catch up with all the schoolwork she missed and dodging people and their pitying stares. Even Domynika, her cousin with whom she didn’t speak ever since she stole Jacob Gradle from her would find excuses to give her a kind word, she even came over their house to see if she needed anything. She didn’t need that. She hated that. ¬†It was stupid and annoying.

She tried to push it all out of her head, force her mind back to maths when the door that lead to the hallway opened and a boy walked in. He was a bit slouched under the weight of his backpack, dark haired, with glasses and a funny little mustache.  He murmured a hello as he worked his way to sit in a chair next to hers dropping his bag on the floor next to his chair and looking relieved to be able to do so.

Maja hoped that would be the extend of their conversation. She had little interest in talking, she just wanted for her damned appointment to start so she could get away from here and back home.

The boy however had different intentions. “Do you have an appointment at two?” He asked turning to face her. “She had to reschedule mine because I had to go to the dentist yesterday, seems she forgot about you and gave us the same slot.”

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“Seems so.” Maja said politely still refusing to give the boy her full attention, hoping that might discourage him. It didn’t work.

“Well I hope she reschedules mine again – to never.” He said and smiled. Maja looked him over briefly. He did have a nice smile, it lit up his face. A part of her was glad someone else hated these sessions as much as she did but still she didn’t respond. ¬†“Be honest, do you find these useful?” He pressed on.

“I did a first.” Maja said honestly. “Now not so much.” The boy nodded and his eyes saddned a bit. Here we go again…. Maja thought fuming internally.

“I get it.” He said. “After what you went trough….”

“And why are you here?” She asked sharper than she intended at first.

“My mum died.” The boy said sadly and it made Maja feel bad instantly. “It wasn’t anything traumatic like what happened to you… But she died. She is gone.” He sighed. “My stepfather, Mr. Borders, the principal, he thinks this would to me good… Talking to someone about it since he is pretty lost about the whole ordeal himself, they had just gotten married you know…”

It was then that Maja recognized the boy. ¬†It had been a while since she had last seen him, and he had grown a lot since but she wondered how could she not recognize him earlier. His name was Waylon, Waylon Borders now, and he was Jacob’s little brother. Now she felt even worse, she heard their mother had passed away but she had so much on her plate at the time she simply forgot to call or say anything. She debated if she should say something now but he went on.

“There is one thing that helps though, I think it might help you too. ” He smiled when Maja turned to him curious and produced something from his pocket. It was a pill. A bright orange pill with a line etched in it.

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“What is that?” Maja asked.

“A magical malady. Helps with every ache.”

“And where did you get it from?” Waylon looked around before leaning towards her and whispering.

“Freddie Hoves.” Maja frowned. Freddie was a girl from her class, another cousin she was not close with. Her dad was a cop and she knew her mum worked for the hospital. Still she wasn’t likely to be giving people medicine…

“Is it… Legal?” She asked in an equal whisper. Waylon chuckled.

“I am not exactly sure. I don’t think Freddie is either if I was to be honest with you…. But it is good, better than weed or booze… It really is magical. And I have two left.” He added. “Maybe¬†you should try it, see if it will help you. We can get away from here together, ditch this appointment…”

Maja knew she should have said no. She should have stopped talking to Jacob’s little brother right away and patiently wait to her appointment. She should have gone there, talk about her problems and feelings caused by the traumatic death of her mother and sister. Then she should have gone home and done her homework. Yet she did none of those things.

Her father always said she had a scientist mind, she was naturally curious, eager to learn and experiment. But it wasn’t what made her come with Waylon that day. ¬†It wasn’t his cute smile, the one that was very like Jacob and unlike Jacob at the same time, either. She just wanted to escape… Escape everything, the appointment, school, her pain, her life… Everything…

“Where should we go?” She asked Waylon when they were out of the school. She felt adrenaline rushing trough her veins. She felt more alive then she had in months. “Behind the school?” Waylon let out a laugh.

“Hell no, if I was caught popping pills my stepfather would trow me out on the street…” Maja kind of doubted that but she said nothing. “I have an idea… Come…” And so she followed Waylon all the way to the most unlikely of places – the graveyard.

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She felt uncomfortable just looking around, she hadn’t been here since the day of the funeral. They buried mum, Lena and aunt Alyssa all on the same day. Waylon however didn’t seem phased. She wondered if his mother’s grave was also here, it had to be, this was the town’s only graveyard. ¬†He walked in big steps towards the mausoleum ahead.

“Come.” He said. “Inside, no one will come looking here.”

“How do you know?” Maja asked slightly uncomfortable.

“My brother works here part time. He told me when it’s empty. Come.” He added again waving towards the door with his hand. Maja sighed and she followed him inside. It was cold when she shut the heavy door behind them. The cold seemed to be emanating from the stone walls around them and she couldn’t help but shiver. Waylon offered his jacket and she took it. He turned on some switch and a weak light lit the chamber. Still Maja felt uncomfortable in this place. Suddenly she wished she had stayed behind.

“Is everything okay?” Waylon asked concerned. Maja just nodded. There was no going back now.

“Just give me that pill.” Waylon smiled and pulled two orange pills out of his pockets and handed them to her. She took one and just swallowed it. Waylon followed. “How long until it lasts?” He shrugged.

“It depends.” Maja sighed.

“So what are we supposed to do until it does?”

“Talk?” Waylon asked.

“What about?”

“Whatever you like.” He said. Then added. “Anything you wouldn’t talk about on your appointment today.” Maja laughed.

“I was in love with your brother.” She said. “I don’t think I am anymore though…”

“Which one?” Waylon asked and she laughed.

“Jacob.” She replied unsure why she was saying anything.

“He has a girlfriend.” Waylon said.

“I know.” She replied. “She is my cousin.”

“You are prettier.” Waylon said and she dismissed him.

“I don’t need to hear that.”

“What do you need to hear? That he is a tool?”

“No.” She said smiling. “It is over now.”

“Good.” Waylon said with a broad smile. “You know why? Because I don’t have a girlfriend!” Maja laughed and then Waylon laughed with her. And so they talked about silly things and laughed a lot. She wasn’t sure if it was the pill they took or if it was all just a placebo effect but she felt good, she felt happy… Better then she did in very long time. ¬†And she was ready to ask Waylon to get her some more of those pills, or even go to Freddie herself if it wasn’t for something that happened as they headed home…

The sun was going down but there was still some light left when they stepped out of the mausoleum and the brightness hurt her eyes. She had to squint and when she opened her eyes normally she froze solid.

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Before her stood something that could in no way be real. The figure had a feminine shape, complete with the long hair and she had her aunt’s features. Her dead aunt’s features. Her dead aunt Alyssa’s features. Her aunt died the same day her mother and Lena had died, the same meteor had killed her and her dog and nearly burned down her house. Yet the figure was transparent and glowed orange. If Maja had to describe it with a word she would have to use ghost. But there were no such things as ghosts.

“What is wrong?” Waylon asked concern obvious in his voice.

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“I think I am hallucinating.” Maja said not taking her eyes of the apparition. She thought it might do or say something. But it didn’t. It just stood there floating in the air.

“I think that is to be expected sometimes… The I’s have that effect….”

“I’s?” She asked puzzled but not taking her eyes off the thing that looked like her aunt Alyssa.

“That is how I call those magic pill’s. They have an I etched on them. Come, I’ll take you home.” Maja nodded finally managing to tear her eyes of her aunt’s ghost. She looked around hoping to see her mum, or Lena. But when she turned back even her aunt had disappeared. She sighed and let Waylon walk her back home.

The very next week Maja told her dad she wanted to quit seeing the school psychologist. Her father agreed. A week later she realized she was feeling better, she was not yet complete but something changed that day with Waylon. She didn’t take anymore I’s, the hallucination scared her too much but one day after school she found herself standing outside Waylon’s door.

She had come here many times before, she and Jacob had been friends for years. And all those times there was this same flutter of butterflies in her stomach, yet this time it was different and she knew it, this time she had barely thought of Jacob. Only about Waylon. He smiled when he opened the door and let her in.

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“Are you here to see my brother?” He asked.

“Nope.” She said and smiled herself. “I wanted to see you.”

“Do you need more?” He asked his face suddenly serious. She shook her head.

“I am done with those. I wanted… I guess I wanted to spend some time with you.” Waylon laughed.

“Me?”

“Yes. I think…. I had fun the other day. I didn’t have fun in a long time…” She said. Waylon smiled again. Such a nice smile… She thought.

“That is cool. I can do fun. Fun is how they call me on the street. Come with me.”

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They spend the afternoon in his backyard. They talked and laughed and watched the sun set. And then they watched the fool moon raise and light up their faces. And it was nice. Even for just a while Maja could let go of the pain, and although the emptiness was still there, and always will be Waylon made it hurt a little less at least…

 

Prentiss – 7.3: The Lost Twin I

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Maja Prentiss tossed and turned in her bed. Sleep would just not come. It wasn’t anything new, for the past few months more and more nights were like this. She sighed. What disturbed her most was the silence of her room. She knew she would never get used to that. Her whole life she had shared a room with her sister, from their time in their mothers womb to that terrible day¬†that would never leave Maja’s thoughts…

She looked over to Lena’s empty bed. Her pink covers were pulled back and unmade, just as she had left them the last morning of her life. Maja could never bring herself to make the bed, or take them off. She knew Della would freak out and do it one day but not even Della was herself these days. It would take time before everything gets to normal, if it ever does…

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