Note: Just a silly short. Not part of any series.
Callie Torres loved being a wife and mother. Or, at least she did at first. Right now she was having some serious regrets, and it wasn't her children that she was regretting… it was her spouse. Honestly, she had no one to blame but herself… well, she blamed her dad a little bit. She had an out and didn't take full advantage of it and now there were twins. She adored her twins, head over heels loved them. They, and their sister, were the only things keeping her going.
She used to be deliriously happy… before. Before the 'accident', and the subsequent infidelity, her family was perfect. Everyone said so. She'd even heard the words 'aspirational couple' bandied about on a few occasions. Before. Always before.
Then she'd been blindsided by an infidelity. A betrayal that she never saw coming. She knew things weren't perfect, but not once had she considered the possibility of falling victim to unfaithfulness. When it happened, she was devastated. She thought her marriage was over, they'd lived apart for a while, the cheater even had a fling with a resident, but with some encouragement from her father and her belief in love and second chances, the marriage she thought was over, was on once again. One thing led to another and their threesome had become a fivesome, un grupo de cinco. They'd reconciled, bought a house, and had the twins all within a year. It happened so fast, she'd not given a second thought to how fragile it all was. Until now. Her marriage was broken and she had no idea how to fix it, and if she were completely honest with herself she didn't want to fix it.
So here she sat, alone, in the hospital cafeteria contemplating the slow death of her marriage while staring at the hot blonde that wasn't hers to stare at. She stared at a woman she wasn't married to, a woman who stirred things in her she hadn't felt in years. Things that threatened marriages, things that made her consider straying, breaking her vows. But, she couldn't. She wasn't that person. So she stared and day dreamed. Day dreamed about being cheated on again so she could put this marriage out of its misery. Surviving the infidelity was hard, painful, something she thought she'd never want to experience again, but now it'd give her an acceptable reason to end it once and for all. She could tell everyone that she'd tried her hardest, but it just wasn't meant to be. That it wasn't her fault her children would be from a broken home.
The sound of the chair next to her scraping across the floor brought her out of her day dream, she looked over to see Owen taking the seat next to her.
"Do you mind if I sit?" He asked.
"Go ahead. I was just leaving, though. Sorry." She cleaned up her mess, throwing her trash onto the tray, hiding the fact that she wasn't actually finished eating.
He glanced across the cafeteria to the table that Callie had been staring at. "How are things with Robbins?"
"What? Why do you ask? Did someone say something?" Callie felt her face heat up as she blushed.
"The tension is obvious Callie, even to me," he looked at her with sympathy. "I don't know what's going on between you two, but don't let it affect patient care."
"Arizona and I are fine Owen, we are professionals. Any issues we have… we would never… Our patient care is fine."
"Look, I know things are rough right now, but… it'll get better again. I promise."
"I have surgery," Callie lied. She tried to take the coward's way out and flee the cafeteria, but Owen grabbed her hand before she could get away. She pulled her hand out of his grasp and slid it into her lab coat pocket. She turned and asked him, "Did you need something else?"
"I guess not," he sighed.
She started to walk away again, but something stopped her. She turned back to the man, "Uh… can you get the boys from daycare tonight? Allegra's preschool is having that fundraiser and I promised to help. I forgot it was tonight."
"Oh, I was uh… I had a thing, but I can cancel. It's not a problem. I guess… I guess I'll see you at home tonight?"
"Yeah," Callie replied. Her face unreadable. He didn't say what his 'thing' was and she didn't really care. His thing could shove it. "Allie and I will bring dinner so don't let the boys snack too much." They had started calling Allegra 'Allie' for short just recently because the boys couldn't pronounce her full name. Unfortunately, they didn't realize the Callie and Allie connection until it was too late.
"Just don't be too late, they get grumpy when they're hungry."
Callie threw a wave of acknowledgement over her shoulder as she quickly left the cafeteria.
Later that evening, at Our Lady of Destiny Preschool, the fundraiser was in full swing. Several tables were set up selling items ranging from donated electronics to hand made jewelry to baked goods. Callie thought for a fancy private Catholic pre-school, with really high tuition, they sure held a lot of fundraisers. Multiple bake sales, craft sales, and white elephant sales, such as the one she was currently volunteering for, were always happening. She was manning a table that didn't seem to be very popular. It was just her and an elderly woman working this stand. She figured it was her luck to get the dud table with the creepy old lady helper. Allegra was a few stands down playing with her friend. They were at popular table, Callie couldn't see what they were selling, but… their table had a line.
Thankfully, her 'shift' was almost over, because she was hungry. Her stomach kept growling, causing the little old lady that was working the table with her to give her the stink-eye. Callie hated getting the stink-eye from little old ladies. She just wanted the time to pass so her and Allegra could grab some dinner and head home. The boys were probably giving Owen a hard time. That thought brought a tiny guilty smile to her face.
The old lady kept looking at her, so she picked up her phone and pretended to be busy. She checked her email again and sighed. Nothing. No one ever emailed her outside of work, but she always checked anyway… just in case.
"Is something bothering you, dear?" The old lady asked.
"No, mam. I'm just a little hungry. I came straight here from work."
"Oh, please… don't call me mam, my name is Genie," she smiled. "What kind of work do you do?"
"I'm a surgeon at Seattle Grace hospital. A cardiothoracic surgeon. I fix hearts."
"What a coincidence, so do I!" the old woman said. Callie looked at her expecting more, but she didn't elaborate. Callie was going to ask, but she figured the old lady must be senile and let it drop. She picked up her phone again and refreshed her email.
The woman narrowed her eyes and brazenly looked Callie up and down. Callie shifted in her seat, not used to being scrutinized like this. She was about to call the woman out about it, when her stomach growled again.
"Here, eat this." Genie reached into her bag and pulled out a brownie. "I made a bunch for the bake sale, but this one is special. This one is for you."
"Oh, uh… thanks." Callie took the brownie and let out an embarrassing moan as she took the first taste. Either she was a lot hungrier than she thought, or this was the best brownie she'd ever tasted. She quickly finished the two inch by two inch square of deliciousness, even cleaning up the crumbs from the plastic it was wrapped in.
"Good, good," Genie said. "Feel better?"
"Yes, thank you. I was famished. I had to skip the end of my lunch today." She balled up the plastic wrap and tossed it into the trash can. "Does your grandchild go to this school," Callie asked. "I don't believe I've seen you around before."
"Oh, no dear. No, no… I go where I'm needed. I'm kind of a freelance volunteer."
"That's nice. I assume you are retired from… what was it you said you did?"
"I said I fix hearts, but not like you. Is that your wedding ring?" Genie pointed to the large diamond on Callie's finger. "It's beautiful. May I?" Callie held her hand up for the old lady to get a closer look at her ring, but was surprised when the woman grabbed her hand and turned over to look at her palm. Callie tried to pull away, but the gnarled old fingers were strong. "Calm down, dear. You're so high strung."
"What are you doing?" Callie asked.
"Trying to see where you went wrong." She ran her fingers over the lines on the surgeon's skilled hands.
"What?" Callie exclaimed. "What do you mean 'where I went wrong'?"
"Hmmm… a wrong turn… no, not necessarily wrong, but you certainly took a detour. An essential one for that young lady over there… and her brothers, because they were meant for you, but it's time you correct your course."
"I don't know what any of that means," Callie said.
"What do you believe, Dr. Torres?" Genie asked. "About the nature of existence."
"You mean like… do I believe in God? I send my daughter to Catholic school, of course I believe in God."
"Not everyone who goes to church believes in God, dear… But that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about destiny and fate?" Callie looked skeptical. "No? What about lives being lived in other realities? Alternate universes?"
"What?" Callie looked at the woman like she was crazy. Mentally ticking another box on her senility diagnosis... maybe even escalating it to dementia.
"You'll see," Genie replied.
"Mommy, mommy!" Allegra came running up, interrupting before Genie could elaborate further. "Katie's here!"
"I see that, sweetie," Callie smoothed her daughter's hair down as Allegra's friend Katie Spencer and her mother Wendy made their way to her table.
"Looks like I'm your replacement, Dr. Torres. You are officially relieved of your volunteer duties."
"And not a minute too soon," Genie replied. "Miss Calliope here needs some nourishment. Body and soul."
"She means dinner," Callie laughed, completely missing the fact that the woman called her by her full name. "Also, Owen is home, alone, with the boys… I'm not sure what kind of mess we'll be walking into. The sooner I get there, the better."
The women made small talk for a few minutes while Callie gathered her stuff to leave. When little Katie and Wendy stepped away to sign in and hang up their coats, Callie took the moment to bid farewell to Genie.
"It was nice meeting you," Callie said. She shook the old woman's hand. "Have a nice evening."
"You too dear," Genie said. She winked, "I hope you have sweet dreams tonight."
The rest of Callie's evening went as most nights did. Dinner conversation was dominated by the kids. Then the three b's: baths, books, and bedtime. Owen retired to the spare room where he'd been sleeping for the past six months, and Callie stared at the ceiling in the master bedroom where she slept alone. Always alone.
Her eyes drifted closed and she fell into a deep dreamless sleep.
Callie awoke the following morning to the feeling of kisses across the back of her shoulder. Soft sweet kisses. Owen never woke her with kisses, and when he did kiss her… it didn't feel like that. She must be dreaming.
"Wake up, pretty lady."
She was definitely dreaming, because that certainly wasn't Owen's voice.
"Come on, Sofia is with Mark and we don't have to be at work until nine. I want morning sex." The voice whispered into her ear. Both the words and the breath sent shivers through Callie's body. "Please, Calliope?"
Callie's eyes popped open. She rolled over and came face to face with the woman of her dreams.
"Dr. Robbins? What are you doing in my bed?"