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Georgia Kirkly (or Jeffries?)
To be or not to be
Thu Jan 12, 2017 10:27

It was official. All through on paper and everything. They were divorced. She had known it was coming. 'Separated' was just a holding phase on the way there. She'd never heard of people whose parents had 'separated' and then got over whatever it was and then got back together. Once people needed time and space from each other, it was clearly too big a problem to ever really be solved. She'd felt the last little bit of hope die, swallowed it down like a bitter pill, already half convinced she hadn't ever really felt it. And, for the merest second, she had felt relieved. As if something was over, as if something was definite now.

The rest of her mother's letter, however, had soon put paid to that idea. Georgia was getting used to weird questions and tough decisions, ones like 'Who do you want to spend Christmas with?' or 'Do you want me to send some of your spare clothes to your dad's, or will you just use what you're bringing from school?' But this letter had added a whole new curve ball into the mix.... 'What do you want your name to be?' On the whole, humans were never tasked with the responsibility of naming themselves, and it was a very weird decision to have to make... Even if it was just her surname (although Georgia had been tempted to reply with 'Princess Fluffy Bunny II' mostly because she was fed up with having serious conversations about serious things all the time, but couldn't quite actually bring herself to think of writing the words 'go stuff yourself' to her mom, so passive aggression seemed like the best defence mechanism for her brain to offer her).

She had the choice though, between continuing to be Georgia Kirkly or becoming Georgia Jeffries. Although, on the surface, it seemed like a shiny new horrible decision to make, underneath it was just the same as every other damn decision she'd been asked to make since starting school... Mom vs Dad. That was the mom was a pathological liar and kept trying to make up for how badly she'd messed up with shiny fun times, like Georgia's love and affection could just be bought, or the dad who couldn't cope with who and what she was, and so had bailed on them. Maybe she was sick of making this choice not only because she had to do it over and over again but because neither of them was a good option.

Wracked with indecision, and just plain fed up of having to make these tough choices for herself, she had come to the MARS water room to leave it up to fate. The room had taken on the appearance of a mash-up of places. Partly, it was the childhood park she'd spent weekends in with her mom and dad but, as that didn't have a boating lake, it had sort of borrowed Farrah's skating pond and put that in the middle. Georgia was too absorbed in her dilemma, and the mix of the two disguised the presence of each individual element well enough, that she didn't notice the resemblance as she sat down by the edge of the pond and started crafting two paper boats. On the prow of one, she wrote 'Kirkly' and on the other 'Jeffries.' Taking care, but with shaking hands, she tried to place them on the surface of the water at exactly the same moment, with exact equal force.

The boats began to drift casually towards the centre of the pond – somewhat illogically, given there was no current and no wind, but it was what Georgia had pictured happening, so it did. She held her breath. The water slowly seeped into the paper, making the boats heavy, making their seams softer. She could see if creeping up them both, see both starting to flounder. And then one of them sank.

The funny thing about not wanting to make decisions is that sometimes, having the choice taken out of your hands clarifies for you exactly what you do want. It was lucky that the fate of two little paper boats on an artificial lake was not in anyway legally binding, because as Georgia watched Kirkly sink beneath the surface of the pond, something snapped. That little paper boat bore a last link to her father, to her childhood. One, she found, that she was not ready to let go of just yet. She and her mother had magic. For better or worse, for whatever that meant to them both, they were part of this world. She and her father needed something too. Besides Georgia Jeffires sounded stupid. Something about the alliteration grated on her.

She knew it meant nothing, but as the little boat had sunk, she had felt what it would mean to actually lose her connection to her father, and – stupid as she knew it was – she'd found herself crying, like he really had gone, or been snatched out of her life. He already had been, in so many senses, and this final straw...

She wiped her eyes hastily as she heard the door opening. She must have looked ridiculous, she was sure, chubby and puffy eyed, crying over an empty boating lake in a nice park. Not that she thought she'd have better been able to explain what she was doing had they come in when her little paper boats were bobbing on the surface. It had been a pretty weird thing to do.

“Sorry – I was just... um... I can go, if you want the room?” she offered.

    • Be yourself!Natalie Atwater, Tue Jan 17 02:35
      Natalie adored the water room and spent every possible moment there doing various aquatic activities. And there were such a variety to be had! Snorkling, parasailing-she had had the best time... more
      • Georgia bit her lip at Natalie’s question. She didn’t like to lie, even if it was just the acceptable, almost expected, ‘fine thanks’ when someone caught you crying, or just after it in this case. It ... more
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