Mary Brooding
Like socks?
Sun Jul 29, 2018 19:09
2601:1c1:8802:d69:a5cb:130f:174f:682e

The way Tabitha asked this last question, leaning back in her chair, made Mary think she was curious. This made sense, considering the conversations they'd had so far. However, the way Tabitha asked this last question, starting and stopping and only starting again after a pause and a sigh, made Mary think she was quite more than curious.

Mary wondered if there was a right and wrong answer, and she considered her words carefully.

For one, she was a generally happy person. She'd experienced the very worst of a normal person's life-- knowing, of course, that there was more evil and more grief in the lives of others-- and still made it through. She'd experienced the temporary love of a beautiful woman, and the beautiful friendship that endured a heartbreak. She'd traveled, and experienced, and laughed, and learned.

On the other hand, she was incredibly happy in this moment. The bright faces of students engaging with new friends, old friends, and friends that had become family brought a swell to her heart, and their laughter and chatter was positively contagious. They were the reason she was here, and she couldn't deny the happiness they granted her.

She was also a professor at a school that had practically saved her life. She was stepping out the door and on the first foot of a new journey. She had done it.

Then there was Tabitha. There was this beautiful, intelligent woman, sitting here beside her, eating toasted marshmallows and discussing travelling plans. This was a woman who could hold her own in any conversation, and she thought to care what made Mary the happiest.

She really wanted to say that these past few hours were her happiest, and in some ways it was true. Certainly, this time with Tabitha had brought Mary great joy. But she thought it might be a bit odd for anyone to say the first few hours of a meaningful friendship were the happiest of anything, and saying so would seem...superficial.

Whens he'd first met the woman, she'd been describing the school and this new experience as lovely and wonderful. She'd practically run out of adjectives expressing her joy. But her joy was not in its peak abundance here. Instead, she thought of a moment that hadn't left her, even when the memories of the worst that had happened threatened to overwhelm her. She hated to say it was her happiest, but she hated more to be dishonest.

She could feel a sheepish blush spreading on her cheeks, and hoped it was at least forming a rosy glow on her bronze skin, rather than the splotchy pink of nervous flushes.

"I was nineteen," she said, speaking slowly. "And I had just left. I graduated a while before, but had sort of...stuck around I suppose? Finally, I'd decided I wanted to go travel, and was actually going to do it. I had my potions equipment all packed away, and I was wearing this dark red robe. I'd gone to the beach. I grew up near there and I wanted to say goodbye before I left to see the rest of the world."

Mary took a breath and chuckled to herself, feeling quite silly for providing such a long-winded answer. "I was standing on a cliffside at sunset, overlooking the ocean and the waves, and thinking about how old I felt. I felt like I'd experienced everything. I'd had loss and grief and...and failure. I failed so many RATs. But it was the last moment I can remember not knowing what I didn't know."

Feeling confident enough to finally see how her audience was receiving the story, she cautioned a glimpse at Tabitha. "I knew then, that I really didn't know very much, and I knew it. That still happens now, but it's easier to say, 'Oh, I don't know much about politics in Zimbabwe, or Wampus Cats in North America." She winked at Tabitha at this last bit.

"That was the last day of my adult life that I really didn't know anything, and there's something beautiful about having the rest of the world in front of you."

She'd been honest, but she knew she had more to say. She paused a moment, and then decided that she might as well say it.

"If I'm honest, Tabitha, I feel a bit like that now. Here, with you... I feel like the whole world is in front of me."

A wash of heat came just as a wave of teary-eyed embarrassment, and Mary looked away, back out at the sea of sweet faces. "I really couldn't be happier than I am right now," she lied in a soft voice.

Quietly, in the depths of thoughts she would not share when it would put both their jobs at risk, she knew the truth: Mary would be happier if she could admit how fond she was of Tabitha Hawthorne.

  • I was thinking of something a bit more... personal.Tabitha Hawthorne, Sun Jul 29 18:32
    Tabitha finished her delectable treat and licked at her fingers. It had been truly a new experience and delightful one, in more ways than just tasting something new. It was also nice that she'd... more
    • Like socks? — Mary Brooding, Sun Jul 29 19:09
      • Ew, I don't want your socks!Tabitha Hawthorne, Sun Jul 29 20:14
        Tabitha was quiet through the entirety of Mary's answer as she felt that it was a very important thing to listen to. It was a question that was designed to drag out a revealing part of the other... more
        • I might need them anyway.Mary Brooding, Sun Jul 29 20:46
          Mary was surprised that Tabitha's response was so similar, and so...true. It spoke deeply of Tabitha's depth depth of love for magical creatures and adventure, and Mary was inspired by the sincerity. ... more
          • While I'm left in the cold. Tabitha Hawthorne, Sun Jul 29 21:16
            Tabitha sat in her chair, still staring at the space that Mary had left behind. Her hands were still outstretched, reaching for the woman that was no longer there. Reaching for the soft and warm... more
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