|Accepting Destiny Part 2
Author: dreemseeker PM
Decisions turn into plans. Stephanie finds that someone has some plans for her. Babe HEARated: Fiction T - English - Stephanie P. & Ranger M. - Chapters: 12 - Words: 32,691 - Reviews: 125 - Favs: 33 - Follows: 34 - Updated: 05-07-12 - Published: 04-13-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8019585
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Standard FF disclaimers
Thank you! To all of you who have been kind enough to leave your reviews. I am glad that we are on this journey together. And a special thank you to Margaret Fowler, who always knows the right thing to say…
this is for you…
Accepting Destiny part 2
The big leather easy chair dwarfed young Stephanie. She was hiding out at her grandparents house again. Grandma Mazur had put on My Fair Lady, as usual, and Stephanie was shielded in her grandfather's big chair with a bowl of buttery popcorn at her side.
She didn't even want to think of what got her into trouble at school today. Needless to say, it involved ugly Joyce Barnhardt, again. Stephanie shook her head at the memory of what went down. It didn't matter that Joyce always deserved what she got. It was always Stephanie that got in trouble. She let out a big sigh for such a small girl. She knew that this safe haven could only last a little while longer. The time was approaching when she would have to go home and face her mother. In her minds eye she could see how it was going to play out.
Her mother's face would be nearly purple for the lack of oxygen as she yelled at her. The vein in her neck would be huge. Stephanie always found herself staring at that vein. It grew gradually and then it pulsed as her mother pushed on with the tirade. Most of the words were lost on Stephanie, she zoned it all out by concentrating on the oddly fascinating vein. But the words made their way into her subconscious, and they hurt.
Young Stephanie cringed at the thought. She considered begging her grandmother to let her stay. But she knew it couldn't happen. Once Grandpa Mazur got home from his job at the steel mill, the dynamics of the house would change. He was a huge personality, packed into a short, muscular body. Brusque and domineering, he seemed to fill the whole house the moment he walked in the door. And this grandpa scared her a little. He was the one that grandma wanted Stephanie to avoid. So she knew she would be going home soon.
By Sunday afternoon, however, the grandpa that Stephanie loved would emerge. She would spend hours with him. They would sit under the huge oak tree in the small backyard. Tucked into a punched metal lawn chair, they would read the classics together. Tom Sawyer, Black Beauty, Treasure Island. Grandpa would make up voices for their favorite characters as he read. This was the grandpa that Stephanie adored and loved. When she was older, her grandfather taught her to play marbles. Stephanie was intrigued by the game. Not only were there shiny glass pieces to examine and play with, there was strategy and skill. Her attention to detail helped her to be a great player. She saw the whole playing circle and could evaluate the possible future moves, aiding her in choosing the best plays. Her grandfather was lavish with his praise of her skills and often challenged her to play 'for keeps', helping her build up her own collection of marbles. The day he let her play for his favorite marble was etched in her mind forever. His favorite was a shooter, a peltier nova. Shooters are the most important piece in the game. It is a larger marble about an inch in diameter. The nova is a black almost metallic looking globe with a single streak of color swirling through it. In this case it was a blood red streak and it was striking. But more than being a great prize, it was the pride that her grandfather showed in her, that impressed Stephanie about that game. She had always kept that marble. Long after she was "too old" to play marbles anymore. And long after her Grandfather aged and lost his enthusiasm for games and books and visitors. It was a reminder of all the times they spent together. By the time her grandfather passed away, he had become a shadow of his former self. Not only in stature, but in mind. It was like something had eaten away at him, slowly over the years. He would be so deep in thought, at times, that he would completely blank everything else out. Something heavy was weighing on him. Pulling him down, but he never spoke of it, not to Stephanie anyway. She always wondered what could be so bad to make someone look the way he did just by thinking about it.
"Stephanie!" her mother said in a voice two octaves higher than normal. "Are you listening to me?" Helen stared at Stephanie, and with her hands on her hips she took a breath to continue the 'discussion' they were having. This discussion had been going on for at least 20 minutes already. Stephanie had effectively blocked out most of it. She was very experienced at that. It was the same old thing again any way. "why did you break up with Joe, he would have given you a house and babies" "you are too old to keep playing around" "Margaret Gooley's daughter managed to get married without blowing up any cars." "why won't you stop working with those, those thugs"
That did it. She had had enough. "Stuff it mother," Stephanie said in a low voice. She walked out of the kitchen and over to her fathers chair, sitting down on the edge of the seat. Her back rigid, her chin up. Stephanie was ready to fight.
"I beg your pardon, young lady," Helen began, following her.
But Stephanie looked at her and she stopped mid sentence. What was this? Helen stared at her daughter, perhaps seeing her for the first time in a very long time. There was something in Stephanie's eyes that she had never seen before. It took her back. Helen swallowed hard. Everything had changed.
Stephanie nodded curtly at her. She knew that when she had left her old Burg world behind, that meant she was done putting up with the guilt fest imposed on her by her mother as well. She was only here today as a courtesy. Her grandmother had asked her to talk to her. Helen had been a walking terror since the breakup with Joe. Both Edna and Frank were getting tired of hearing her, complaining about Stephanie, on the phone with countless "friends" who were all wanting the scoop on Stephanie's latest man. Helen had not been interested in believing that it was over with Joe. She was probably single handedly spurring on the gossip and encouraging the wagers being set on when Joe and Stephanie would be back together. She had never even seriously considered that Stephanie could be in love with another man. She was still set on getting her married off to a 'nice boy' from the burg.
For Stephanie, this was the last chance that she intended to give her mother. She did not need the Burg, she certainly did not need to let her mother play the same games on her any more. Stephanie was now "taken care of" as her mother liked to say. There was not one reason for Helen to argue with or belittle her any longer. And even less of a reason for Stephanie to allow it for one second more.
Helen froze and continued to look at her daughter, staring, unmoving. Stephanie watched her as the progression of emotions played across her face. Confusion, fury and finally resignation. And she knew that Helen finally got it. Stephanie knew she understood, and had nothing left to say. Again, she watched Helen, her face said it all. Eyes wide, vein bulging, stricken.
"Good," said Stephanie, "now that we understand each other. I guess I can go now."
With that, she grabbed her bag and walked out. Leaving her mother speechless with her mouth open. The door closed, and silence filled the house. Helen sat there, stunned. A few minutes later, or an hour later, she didn't know, time had no concept at the moment. Helen found her way into the kitchen, opened the cupboard and swallowed 'two fingers' of fiery liquid. Straight from the bottle.
Edna Mazur had the time of her life last night. If being surrounded by big muscular hunks of men wasn't good enough, she had found her best friend. Meeting Mona Schiller was a highlight of the evening. Mona was a hoot, she had a sense of humor that had kept Edna in stitches. Mona showed her all over the stadium, introducing her here and there to her favorite people and all the while telling stories that seemed too funny to be true. But they were certainly entertaining. In the span of a few short hours, Edna learned a lot about her new friend. Mona was an independent, single, smart woman. She lived alone in the house she bought years ago, back when she thought she might be getting married. It didn't happen, but she stayed in the house that she had once envisioned a family living in. It was a big, happy, comfortable home.
Her job enabled her to work with the charities that the team sponsored. She was able to be involved in things like Habitats for Humanity, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, and the Special Olympics
Edna told her that she wanted to "grow up to be just like her" and they laughed together until they were in tears. Edna may have been young at heart, but still she had at least 20 years on Mona. But the sentiment remained and it gave Mona a lot to think about. She wasn't getting any younger, thoughts of marriage were a thing of the past. She had a fulfilling life and didn't waste a minute. She was used to making up her mind rather quickly once she was presented with a decision. And this was one of those times. She had decided that it was time to have a roommate. So she walked around her big house and wondered if Edna would have fun living here with her.
The next day, Mona called Edna and invited her to lunch. They spent all afternoon running around with each other and still made it back in time for the Burchard viewing at Stiva's. Again Edna felt like she had been best friends with Mona her entire life. She liked hanging out with her and when Mona asked if she would like to move in and be her roommate, Edna took all of about 1.5 seconds to say absolutely yes.
Since Mona's house was already completely furnished, it would be an easy transition for Edna. And they decided that they could make the big move next Saturday. Edna knew that she could throw her stuff together in less than an hour, but she wanted to break the news gently to Helen. She wasn't actually sure how she would react. Giving it a few days would let her know.
So Sunday evening she brought it up. She was interrupting a scintillating program about humidity on the weather channel, and Frank seemed annoyed. But Edna wasn't really talking to him any way so she kept talking.
Helen's eyes grew wide as the realization of what her mother was suggesting finally hit her. It was ludicrous. Her mother must be out of her mind. What would the neighbors say? Frank just sat there agreeing that it would be a great idea for her to go off and be someone's roommate. For goodness sake, what did they even know about this Mona person. She was seriously considering the steps she would have to take to become her mother's guardian so that she would be able to keep her from making such horrible decisions.
Finally Edna said, "Helen, I am not asking for your permission. I am a grown woman. I am your mother, and I am telling you that I will be moving out on Saturday." With that she turned on her heel and walked upstairs.
Helen was not happy about any of this. This had been a weekend from hell as far as she was concerned. First her 'discussion' with Stephanie that had ended so badly. And now this, how much was a person supposed to take?
"Frank," Helen said, trying to get his attention. "Frank!" a little bit louder. Finally he looked at her.
"What?" he said.
"Did you hear all that?" she asked. "Did you hear any of that?" "Mother wants to move out." She sat down hard on the chair next to his. "Frank, what are we going to do about it?"
"Helen, we are going to let her do what she wants," he told her. "It sounds a hell of a lot better than being in an old folks home, and she really likes being with Mona."
Upstairs there was a clattering noise. It sounded like there were hundreds of tiny feet with metal shoes doing a tap dance. Helen ran up to Edna's room as fast as she could. Her mother was standing in the middle of the room with an empty box in her hands. The stricken look on her face alarmed Helen.
"Mother, what's the matter? she asked quietly.
"Where did these come from?" Edna whispered. She was so upset she could barely speak. "Why are these here?" she asked.
Helen was confused. She was looking at her fathers marbles all over the floor. What could be so upsetting about marbles? But Edna's face reflected a horror that Helen had never seen there before.
"Get them out of here now," she growled.