You can say that again.
Sat Jan 14, 2017 03:51

His arm stretched around her. She didn’t lean into it, but still. It was… nice. “Was it… what?”

Of course. Of course Nathan was being kind and supportive and sympathetic and understanding and perfect. God, he was a good man. And he deserved far better than Isis, someone more whole and with a hell of a lot less baggage. But he had her, so wishing him better was laid aside for now, a spiral for a different day.

“I was going to tell you later… at some point…” she fumbled weakly, forcing herself to look at him. Tough or not, this was the way it was right now, and Isis Carter was no coward. “I have had… a very rough time before this job.” It was the understatement of the century, but she was working up to it. She was trying. That counted for something. It meant something. A lot of what she did in her life was trying, and maybe it wasn’t always enough, but it was something. It meant something.

She let herself be a little less stubborn for a minute, a little less proud, and her body grew less rigid, letting Nathan’s arm envelop her properly. There was an unimaginable peace in another person’s warmth. She had never known it before him. “I was so young,” she said, her voice quiet but strong, lilting to suggest it was the only explanation she had to offer. “So young. Fifteen, actually, and… And I made some dumb mistakes. Let myself get involved with the wrong boy. It was the bad part of town, and he was tough and calloused, and I thought he’d keep me safe. I was wrong.” There, her voice wavered a little, fluctuated by something between a laugh and the verge of tears. But Isis was not a crier.

“He, ah, he didn’t want to have it, but I did it.” Even now she was proud of this decision, and it showed in her tone. Despite everything that came from it, losing Deontay and Jahmaal in one fell swoop, Isis was proud of herself. Her mistake was also her greatest accomplishment. “And I held this little bundle in my arms, and I looked at her, and then I gave her away to a couple of teachers I’d had because I couldn’t do right by her.” Isis was decidedly choked up at this point, but she was not a crier.

“And then I didn’t see her for ten years. I didn’t check in, I didn’t call, I didn’t send presents - I couldn’t afford presents,” she added it quickly, tacking it on like a reason, mostly for herself. “Not until this job, and then I went to them and I all but asked to have her back, I asked them to send her here so I could keep an eye on her and get to know her and see if I had any good in me and if it had gone to her. And because they’re so good, they agreed.” Isis swiped at phantom tears.

At some point she had turned away, but she looked back to him now with almost a smile. “Remember when I got a little, um, emotional at the ball?” she asked. “Because Nevaeh Reed looked so grown up in that dress. I said I knew her parents.” Isis laughed a small, sad laugh at her own expense. “I guess it wasn’t a lie.... She looks so much like her father, sometimes I can’t stand it.” She didn't say it outright. She didn't think she had to.

Isis swallowed hard, forcing her tone back to some semblance of usual. “So, uh, now you know about… well, realistically, maybe half of the dumpster fire that was the first twenty-five-ish years of my life? It’s been one hell of a ride.” Again, an understatement, but an intended one. “I’m sorry I’m not… I should have… It’s hard,” she settled on after a moment. “I’m private and closed off, and it’s because it’s been… hard. I’ve done things I’m not necessarily proud of. I’m selfish - I really am - and I’m secretive.” She curled further into his arm, her hand finding his and squeezing, nervously. “But I’m working on it. Nobody’s ever looked at me like you do, Nathan, and I want to be someone who deserves it. So I’ll keep working. Okay?”

  • It hurts - Nathan, Fri Jan 13 11:29
    Ooc: First let me apologize profusely for an illegally short post last time. I had premature submission and had to run to do New Years Eve family stuff, and there was already a reply before I could... more
    • You can say that again. - Isis, Sat Jan 14 03:51
      • It hurts - Nathan , Wed Jan 18 12:02
        Nathan was going to go ahead and assume 'a very rough time before this job' was about equivalent to saying 'Santa had a lot of places to visit tomorrow night.' True certainly, but beyond the limits... more
        • Hopefully it's a meaningful hurt. - Isis, Fri Jan 20 01:30
          “I’m not going anywhere so you don’t need to worry about that.” He said more than that, and all of quite reassuring and kind and wonderful, but that was what stood out. It was an easy thing to say -... more
          • Nathan held Isis, feeling closer to her now than he ever had before, though this was not the first time they had snuggled on a couch before. This was different somehow; deeper. He could almost see... more
Click here to receive daily updates