There’s something missing. Robin- the image of that harsh blue light before his soul was obliterated burned into her memory. Another scar on a battered and bruised body. His presence in the lingering smell of pine, in the shirt that he’d misplaced, now worked as an extra comfort on the nights that dragged. He was almost there. Almost but not quite.
It wasn’t just Robin she was grieving. She was missing part of herself. She didn’t quite know how to feel. She kept telling herself she was fine. I’m fine. Did she mention she was fine. If she kept telling herself, repeating a now familar mantra maybe she would start to believe it. No one was that stupid, least of all her step daughter.
The truth was that Regina didn’t know what fine was. She wasn’t sure she’d ever been fine. How do you know? Are you fine when you accept the life you have even if you aren’t happy. Or are you fine when everything seems to be working but you’re waiting for the other shoe to fall. Perhaps the very fact that she wasn’t fine meant she was- she knew she was unstable, that’s why she’d been reluctant to confront hyde at first- magic is emotion. Emotions weren’t her forte. Especially not today,
A feather. This was how it started, A simple feather. It wasn’t the feather. It wasn’t even the memory, the only thing she needed to remember Robin, and Roland was her heart- that was where they were home, It was what the feather represented, the feather was a continuation of a story she’d thought had ended. It was hope. Not hope that he could come back, she knew to dream of that would only lead to her being burned. No instead it was hope that a story doesn’t just end mid sentence. Without so much as a goodbye. An I love you. She had parted with Robin in this world. Love, love can transcend every realm. She knew that, in her heart. The feather was a physical reminder. She’d almost had it.
Returning to the office had been painful, gut wrenching. He’d been there, Now he was gone. Her sister turning up hadn’t helped, She loved Zelena, she was after all family, but she couldn’t shake the blame, the anger that comes along in tidal waves. She needed space. Time. Time to figure out what was going on.
This was their spot, on days when it all became too much she’d come to
find him sitting their, a cup of coffee in hand, a smile on his face. He
would offer words of wisdom, convince her that she wasn’t a monster.
Sometimes they wouldn’t say anything, just hold each other. This is
where they’d come to talk about baby peanut, they’d poured their souls
out , every concern- would she be part of the childs life too, robin not
wanting to betray Regina, There had been so many tears but they’d
worked through the painful honesty. Together. It was the place she’d come to on the day of the funeral. Just a few minutes away from everyone, to be close to him. To say I love you. She had it all planned out. Defeat Hades, then come here, she’d be shaking, an emotional wreck, tears sliding down her cheek, Robin gently kissing them away. She’d smile, sweetly, laugh because she was the great and evil queen and she couldn’t say three words. Robin would look confused but not say anything. She would take his hand in hers, bring it to her heart, “Robin our story began long ago when I was a lonley princess, afraid of the world, you were the man of my future. The man with the lion tattoo. I cannot change the past, nor can I predict the future. I do know that my love, I’m in love with you. “ It had almost worked.
She looked at her daughter, the woman she had tried so hard to kill. She was horrible a true bitch, yet despite everything this girl, now woman had forgiven her. Had believed in her and why? because she’d chosen to have faith. Snow White as annoying as she was had never quit. Had never given up. It was a trait that had grated on the evil queen no end.
She’d thought they were pathetic. Cowards. Hiding in a world where there stories didn’t have to play out. Where heartbreaks didn’t come to pass, where love was never found. Where they could hide from the world. From pain. From fear. She had realised though that that’s what she’d done. Except she’d gone a step further. She’d created Storybrooke where she’d prevented not just her own story from being told, but those around her too. Snow was right she had never been one to shy away, except when faced with the truth. She created the perfect disguise. Hiding in plain sight. She let herself believe she was the Evil Queen. that her life was defined by a chapter. A passage, that somehow becomes more important than the context that surrounds it. That the words cut deeper mean more.
She was not just one story. No one was.She was a villain. She had hurt, and would continue to hurt people, in ways that she couldn’t make up for. She was a hero- she had a strength she didn’t even know she’d possessed- shown to her by the ones who loved her the most. She had faced and overcome challenges, even when she hadn’t thought she could. She was a mother, a sister, a friend, she was Regina.
No matter how much she wanted to start a new story, where the Evil Queen was nothing more than a distant memory, that recurring nightmare. She couldn’t forget her story. She could though change the ending, this time the Evil Queen- fear, hatred, pain, revenge would not win. Instead love, hope, faith and family would. Her strength now had to come from her vulnerability. She accepted long ago that she wasn’t fine. She was loved by so many, hated by more.
She linked arms with her former enemy and walked towards tomorrow. Had she looked behind she would see a single feather, floating down to the bench. His feather. She took a steadying deep breath. She was where she needed to be- among the familiar chaos that was home.
Ma poi è arrivata quella mattina. Dove misteriosamente ho sentito che non faceva più così tanto male là dove faceva male. O che forse, ormai, a quel dolore mi stavo abituando. E che in un modo o nell'altro, insomma potevo andare avanti.
what she means:no but do u understand what Hamilton means to poc? people think it's just some fun quirky musical that decided to cast ethnic minorities as the old white founding fathers but do u kNOW what it mEANS to reclaim your country's history??? a country that was built on the broken backs of your people? a history that brutalised and slaughtered your people and tried to erase you from their narrative? do u know what it means to immigrants for their stories to be told? what it means for immigrant families who studied and worked and wrote their way out of hell? what it means to make people understand? this is not a story of the american revolution. the real revolution is people of colour putting themselves back in the narrative.