Along with my usual PSA, I also want to add I mean no offense to the good people of Canada- except Celine Dionne and Justin Bieber. Furthermore, I have no intent to offend our neighbors to the north- or south, in my and Griffon8’s case.
Also, I have nothing but the utmost respect for the Armed Services, and those who serve in them.
Also, also, if this chapter makes you nervous, don’t worry; I’m a pseudo- professional. I sometimes know what I might be doing if I remember when the hooch wears off.
Chapter Fourteen: Oh, Canada
The end of January meant a return to classes, and a slow return to a normal routine. As the days rolled on, Misha became increasingly aware of her desire to confess to Lynda. At the same time, she still couldn’t shake the uncertainty of her youth, an uncertainty all the more apparent for its absence in Lynda. Despite Shizune’s advice, she found herself on Thursday afternoon not with Lynda and Will, but on the roof of the Kimmel building, looking over a .pdf file of the Articles of Confederation on her laptop while she sat on a bench overlooking the brightly lit city.
As was usual when she came to the roof alone, Kelly wasn’t too far away, hovering around. Misha was used to that; the girl seemed a bit shy, though she didn’t have any problems talking to people. She just needed an invitation where people were involved, unwilling to intrude on other’s lives, regardless of how welcome she was.
Misha waved her over from her pacing around the building, and Kelly sat beside her on the bench, a notebook and a bulky textbook in her arms.
“Hi, Kelly,” Misha said, looking up from her screen to give a weak smile.
“Hi,” Kelly responded. Kelly tiled her head at Misha’s smile, “something wrong?”
Misha sighed and looked up, needing to talk to someone, “have you ever told a non-family member that you loved them~?”
Kelly nodded, absentmindedly clutching her Saint Christopher necklace.
“Are you still with them?” Misha continued.
Kelly shook her head.
Misha sighed, prepared to go back to her work, when Kelly spoke, “why do you ask?”
“My girlfriend told me she loves me, and I want to tell her I love her, but it’s been weeks since she told me, and I’m worried about whether or not I actually do love her. What do we know about love? I thought I loved my best friend, and maybe I still do~… And what if I only love Lynda because she reminds me of my friend?” Misha looked at Kelly, as if hoping to draw an answer from her sitting form.
Kelly, surprisingly, had one, “do you love her?”
Misha blinked, “I just said I think-.”
“Then tell her.”
“No buts. You tell her, because no matter what happens in the future, it won’t change what you two had in the past, right?”
Misha nodded slowly.
Kelly smiled, “you’re over thinking this, you know that?”
Misha nodded, “I don’t want to screw it up, like I did last time.”
“Last time your friend didn’t love you- at least, not in that way.”
Misha smacked her forehead hard at the obvious information; she was still surprised sometimes by what she failed to notice or remember. Kelly held out her textbook, “here, you can use this.”
Misha giggled loudly at that, “thanks Kelly, I forgot how helpful it is to talk these sorts of things out~.”
Kelly jingled her cross, “it’s nice when the person you’re talking to actually answers sometimes, too.”
Friday afternoon. Today was the day. During dinner before the first movie night of the year, Misha would tell Lynda she loved her. She didn’t care why, or for how long. All that mattered was that they loved each other, and could be together as long as they could. That thought had spurred a brief internet search for Misha. It turned out Canadian citizenship was rather easy to obtain, assuming one was willing to learn French and live there for a few years. American citizenship wasn’t much harder; there were just more bureaucratic hoops.
But the future could wait. Right now, what mattered was the present. Presently, Misha waited for Lynda to arrive for their dinner date, Carla looking over her book on Carl Jung and occasionally uttering a muttered Italian curse.
When Lynda knocked at the door Misha bounded for it so fast she nearly ran into it, and she opened it so fast it bounced off the protector and nearly slammed into her. Her exuberance was quickly dashed when she saw Lynda.
She looked… upset. Upset and trying to hide it.
“What’s wrong?” Misha asked.
“May I come in?” Lynda asked.
Already nervous, Misha’s insides wrenched slightly as she nodded and stepped aside for Lynda to enter. Taking a seat on her bed, Misha sat next to her. Carla took a quick glance at the two and coughed.
“I’m gonna go into the hall for some air,” Carla said, quickly leaving the two alone.
Lynda smiled weakly, “she’s a good friend.”
Misha nodded, “yeah, she is. What’s wrong, Lycchan~?”
Lynda sighed, “this is complicated, and if you get confused, stop me okay? It is very important that you understand.”
Misha nodded, and Lynda held her hands in her own.
“My mother has been promoted to Head of Graphics and Design at her company’s branch office in Vancouver.”
“That’s good news, right~?” Misha asked.
Lynda nodded, “it is, but please, let me get through this. My mom pays for my trips down here, so me and Will can be together, help the blended family mix better. I can’t afford to come down on my own- most of my library wages goes to paying for tuition. Anyway,” Lynda paused for a moment, “my mom needs the money for the move, and I won’t be able to visit for a few weeks.”
Misha nodded; that was unfortunate, but not nearly bad enough for Lynda to look so upset; her face was twitching like she wanted to break down, but couldn’t. Or wouldn’t.
“After that, well… My stepdad is coming home soon; an improvised explosive device- a bomb, basically- took off his left leg, so he’s getting a medical discharge. He’ll get a prosthetic and he’ll be fine, so that’s no big deal. The problem is, my mom sort of… freaked out when she got the news. She’s having a sort of mid-life crisis, and she’s started focusing on their retirement plans. Even between Dad’s pension and Mom’s benefits, the two want to retire to Hawaii, and that’s not gonna be cheap.”
“You’re mom’s not paying for your flights anymore, is she?”
Lynda nodded, her hair shaking limply around her, “right.”
Misha felt something deep inside her break. Her heart, maybe.
“It’s so stupid!” Lynda shouted, making Misha jump, “all my work to pay for that fucking college in a goddamned welfare state, and she finally gets a promotion, and now she wants to save her damn money! Where the fuck was she when Will nearly ended up on the street? Where was Dad when Mom almost lost her job when the economy went to hell in a fucking handbasket!”
All the rage and despair Lynda had been trying to hold in for Misha’s sake came pouring out. Lynda was standing and pacing the room while she ranted on and on. Finally, she stopped and sat across from Misha, whose face was stricken with fear at the loss of their relationship and the expressed rage of her partner.
“…We have a chance, though,” Lynda said, looking slightly less upset now she had vented herself, “I’ve talked to Will and Henry, and together we have an idea. They’re going to get an apartment next year, and I’m going to apply for a transfer to NYU. If accepted, I can move in with them. I should be able to get a job on campus, but if not, my parents are willing to send some money- not much, but something.”
Misha digested this new information slowly, not really believing it. Finally, she spoke, “so… if NYU accepts you, we can still be together?”
Lynda smiled and nodded, “exactly. Though, I wouldn’t say we’d break up if I’m not accepted. Canada’s not exactly on the other side of the planet.”
Misha stared at the floor; it wasn’t a lost cause- they had a chance. Lynda leaned over and raised Misha’s head so they could look at each other, “which makes what I’m about to say sound really stupid. While I’m gone, if someone comes along that you… like… I want you to look into it. Understand?”
“Why?” Misha asked, knowing the answer.
“I want you to be happy, even if it’s not with me.”
Lynda got up and looked towards the door, “I need to go; I would’ve waited to tell you this, but I couldn’t hold it in, and I understand if you want to be alone now.”
Lynda started for the door but Misha stopped her, grabbing her wrist as she walked away. Casting her deep golden eyes into Lynda’s bright brown ones, Misha said it.
“I love you.”
Lynda smiled as Misha’s hand limply fell to her side. Leaning over her girlfriend, Lynda whispered in Misha’s ear for what she sincerely hoped wasn’t the last time.
“I know. I love you, too.”
And she was gone.
It can’t all be sunshine, happiness, and unicorns, folks. Especially if I shoot the unicorn to sell its horn and tail hairs online. Remember why I wrote this, and you’ll be fine. Tequila helps, too.
And to the obvious, I am well aware what a pain in the ass a prosthetic limb is, especially above the knee- I did read KS. I was trying to convey a point with what I said. Sorry about my defensive nature- I could hear the rage poised over the keys as the internet read my words.