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2.26 Maria Goes Home

February 20, 2011

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Maria walked slowly up the stairs. For most people, there are only a handful of times they will feel anxious as they prepare to enter their own home. For Maria, this was one of those times.  She’d stayed at Bianca’s for three days, and though no one had said anything, she felt her welcome wearing thin.  The girls were off doing school things day and night.  Allie had been gone non-stop, and on top of that, was secretive when she was home, and Maria could tell Bianca and Joel were ready to have their private time back now that both were happily retired.  And she was really looking forward to getting out of Bianca’s stuff and into some of her own clothes.

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The house stood empty and still, quiet as a graveyard.  Where was Red? The cats still milled about, aimlessly wandering, stopping only for the occasional leg rub.  She looked for Emmy, the little red kitten she’d picked out last week.  Maria chose the little cat because it reminded her of Red, and then she’d named her Emmy, in honor of Miss Emmy.  She hadn’t known the honor would be in memorial.

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Snuggling little Emmy, Maria walked through to the kitchen.  The house was spotless.  Had Red left?  Had he made his decision after all?  How could he not tell her?

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Maria was standing in the center of the kitchen, still clutching the kitten when Red walked in.  He was shirtless, and dripping with sweat.  She was momentarily stunned into silence.  Of course, she thought, his morning yoga.  She’d only been gone three days, how could she have forgotten something so simple?  The mind does play tricks on us, when we’re weak, when we’re vulnerable.  She knew that well.

“Maria,” he said, staring straight ahead.

“Hi,” she said, setting Emmy down. There was so much to say! “I…”

“I wasn’t expecting you,” he said, with an edge to his voice.  Maria bristled.

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“You weren’t expecting me?”  Maria exploded.  All the built up anxiety from the last few days turned to rage.  “What were you expecting?  That I would just live with Bianca forever and you’d never have to decide?”

“No, Maria,” Red began. “That’s not what I meant.”

“Not what you meant?  Not what you expected?  Just what am I to you Red?  What do you want – to be my Protector or to be my love?  Apparently you can’t be both.”

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“Now, just hold it,” Red said.  “I don’t deserve this.  I’m trying here.”

“You think I’m not?” Maria raged on. “You think I deserve to have to make these bloody choices again and again in my life?  Love or safety? Over and over.”  Maria threw her hands in the air.  ” What do you want, Maria?” she said in a sing-song voice.  “Love or safety?  You can’t have both.”

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Red’s shoulders slumped.  “I don’t have to listen to this shit,” he said, and turned away from Maria.  “I’m going to go shower.”

Maria stood there, stunned.  Where had that come from?  The last thing she’d wanted to do when she left Bianca’s today was to come here and scream at Red.  She hadn’t thought it through, she realized.  Some part of her expected to walk into this house and find him here, waiting with arms wide open.  She hadn’t thought of Red, or what he wanted, or needed, or the choices he had to make.  She hadn’t thought of what she was asking of him.  To give up immortality.  Would she give it up for him, if that were her choice?

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A sofa in the sitting room beckoned.  Maria wandered into the small room.   She and Red had called it the family room.  Now, she wondered if she would ever have a family of her own.  She was getting older, she felt it down in the depths of her belly that there weren’t many years left for her to have a child.  If she couldn’t with Red, well, then she just wouldn’t.  That much she knew.  Maria curled up into a ball on the sofa.  She wanted to cry, but the tears would not come.

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She must have fallen asleep.  Red stood over her, fully dressed and smiling.  Was it a dream?  “Wake up, wake up,” he was saying.  Maria got up from the couch and Red embraced her in a big bear hug.  He squeezed her so hard she thought she might burst with love.  “I’m sorry,” he was saying.  “I’m so sorry.  It’s you I want, and you I’ve only ever wanted.  I choose you.”

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Potential_fate permalink
    February 21, 2011 12:49 am

    hmmm, is it a dream? or no?

  2. pieridae permalink*
    February 21, 2011 1:00 pm

    😉 Hopefully I will be quicker with the next update than with this one.

  3. Lissabry permalink
    February 22, 2011 5:41 pm

    awwww <<<333

  4. pieridae permalink*
    February 24, 2011 12:06 pm

    🙂

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