She was unpacking her life into her new room. I watched her deliberate where every treasure would now reside, which shelf would hold which candle, what wall would bear her only mirror, and precisely how every framed photograph would stand and present itself to her mournful ebon eyes. Allison had taken each of these pictures herself, captured images of the world as she saw it, placed them in carefully chosen frames and I knew each one by heart, I knew what each one meant to her. I watched her pulled a last photo from the bottom of the box on her neatly made bed.
From where I stood on the ledge outside her window, I couldn’t tell what picture it was. It must have been a new memory and the realization sent a tight ache through my chest. Allison absently swept an errant bit of hair behind her ear. She gazed at the photo and her face lit with love. She gently touched its surface and her face filled with longing as if she could reach back in time to feel loved again and safe again. Her face was always so easy to read, every emotion flashing there like heat-lightning in a summer sky. I muttered to myself with an admitted pang of resentment, “Scott.” Oh, Scott. He was her first …Love. My head throbbed. With a concerted effort, I fought to control the visceral flash of anger I still felt upon recalling their “relationship.” I grimaced.
My internal battle ceased abruptly. A feral, menacing growl in Allison’s room. My eyes flashed and hyper focused. My body tensed to move, to defend. But I froze mid stride. Allison was still alone in the room. Before I could make sense of what I’d heard, Allison hurled the frame across the room with surprising force, exploding against the far wall it into bits of glass and wood and most certainly destroying the image within. Okaaay, NOT Scott. Me. It’s the picture of us, I thought. Rather, it was the picture of us, the one Chris took without me knowing, the last thing I’d seen before…
I moved then, all silence and speed, opening the window and entering her room in a blur. “Temper temper, young lady,” I chided. She wheeled and her knife was at my throat before my newly born reflexes could alert me. Allison’s face contorted like I’d never seen. Intensely ferocious, she hissed, “No more mind games. Tell me who or what in the hell you are. And make your answer true or I will slit you open before you can take your next breath. Do you understand?!” My nod was nearly imperceptible. “SAY IT!” she shouted and the blade bit my flesh, the heat of my own blood surprised me.
“Like mother like daughter,” I said and I laughed, in spite of myself. “My Allisaint.” Allison took a wavering step back and blanched. The knife dropped dully to the carpeted floor, marring the cream surface with a dark smear. I saw her knees begin to buckle and I wrapped my arms around her and laid her on the bed in an instant.
“Easy now,” I drawled. She stared at me, and her lips moved but no sounds came. “You’re speechless?! Well, THAT you get from your father,” I chuckled, “Not from me.” I smiled to reassure her, but she only looked more frightened and it worried me.
“Deaton said– Deaton. He said we wou — I would — like Death. Seeing things. Not real,” she stammered.
“It’s okay. Shhh. I know. I know. You’re okay,” I said and stroked her hair. “You’re more than okay. Breathe, Allison. Just breathe.”
She took a deep, jagged breath and said, “How?”
“Through the window,” I said, knowing that was not really the question she was asking. “Since Scott so often came and went through the window, I thought it might be appropriate if I came back the same way.” I forced a laugh, trying to be light-hearted, but I heard the accusation in my own voice. Yet, Allison didn’t seem to notice.
She sat bolt upright. “I knew you knew!” She blurted with a stifled laugh. “I’m so stupid! Scott said — well, he didn’t think — ” and then she did laugh, which made me laugh in ernest and the tension bubbled out of us, relief uncoiling the muscles in my body. Our eyes watered and neither of us could catch our breath. But the laughter evaporated as quickly as it had come.
She locked her eyes with mine and I saw a coldness I never imagined she could possess, hoped she would never posses. She said, “How could you.” It was more of a statement than a question. The words hung in the air between us, time froze and pure fear crystallized at the top of my spine, a shiver crawling across my scalp. This person was a stranger. I had forfeited the Right to know her, to call her Mine. And I was afraid. I was afraid my Allisaint, my daughter, had left me. Forevermore.
The fear gripped me and I felt The Shift begin. I saw the crimson glow of my eyes reflected in her distant, dark irises. “You’re an — ” she began.
Without another word, her arms were around me and I my heart pounded in my ears. She said, “When you…died…I died, too. Mom. An important part of me died.” She buried her face in my shoulder, tears soaking my shirt. I thought of Derek Hale.
“Don’t ever do that again!” she said, voice muffled. “Don’t ever leave me again.”
I said nothing. I just held her. I held this young woman in my arms, this young woman who was still my baby girl. I held her just like I held her in the picture. And as I looked up, he was there. My love, my rock, my compass. I don’t know how long Chris had been in the room, standing utterly still in the doorway, peace easing the lines of his unshaven face for the first time in months. He raised his hands in front of him as if taking a picture. I rolled my eyes in feigned exasperation. He smiled. I smiled.
“Allison?” I said. “Love, there are things you need to know. And there are people who don’t want you to know them. We need to talk, Allison. You’re ready.”
*prop photo taken on “Teen Wolf” Season 2 set. (using my phone, btw :)
Pardon the lack of updates lately. My mom and her family came over here to Florida to visit me and have a mini reunion. This was from yesterday while I took my mom and grandma to one of the state parks. The ones at night were from downtown Disney after watching La Nouba. Photos taken with my phone btw. Hope the week doesn’t end!