My second story for this wonderful movie. I started it months ago, but only just finished it at three this morning when I couldn't sleep. I was just sorting through a very full file of incompletes, and I picked this one out of the masses. Guess I'll go ahead and post it even if no one reviews. ;)
Told from Caroline's PoV.
I can't believe that you're gone. I started preparing for this day years ago, making arrangements and looking for homes for you to stay in until you finally died. Was I really so cruel to you, cruel enough to push you so far away?
You're my mother, Armande. My mother. And yet, I can not honestly say that I knew you. Not anymore. When I moved out...I guess I became arrogant. I distanced myself because I thought I was better than you. I thought that I could have the life you were never going to let me have. I was wrong, so very wrong. The world is a terrible place, and you were merely shielding me from it. I rebelled, and hurt you as the consequence.
Looking back now, I've turned into you. I care for Luc the way you cared for me. I suffocate him the same way you suffocated me. Yet you changed. Luc saw that, and loved you for it. I wish I had seen it. I wish I had given you the chance to show me, to love me the way you wanted and the way I needed. But I never did. I was too wrapped up in myself to even notice.
All those times you tried to reach out to me. You knew what I needed and I refused to let you give it to me. I figured you were too sick to know one thing from another. Diabetes. That horrid disease I'm so afraid of. You were never afraid. You embraced it. I never understood why you didn't accept treatment, but now I think I do. You wanted to live, not be held down.
Oh, mother, I am so sorry! How could I be so bad to you? How could I disappoint you so terribly? How could I even try to steal your chance to live? I was so afraid...I didn't want to lose you. I just didn't want you to end up killing yourself in your silly crusade. I wanted you to be safe. I could say that I wanted you to live, when in reality I wanted to prolong your life. You hated me for it; I saw it in your eyes every time you looked at me.
If I was afraid then, it's nothing to how afraid I am now. You're gone, and you're never coming back. I never had the chance to apologize to you, to say what I really wanted to say before you left. I wish I could take back all the cruel words we shared and just tell you how much I really needed you.
When my husband died, you tried to reach out to me again. I pushed away your advances. I can take care of myself! Oh, how wrong I was. We managed, though, Luc and I. Georges left us money, and I still had trusts and funds from the 'family fortune' as you called it. I never really worked, not until the count offered me the job as his secretary a few years ago. And even then, I just took the job to spite you. I knew how much you disliked that man.
Eventually you gave up trying. Gave up trying to get me to understand. I can't believe how ignorant I was...how selfish. All those years staying away from you, excluding you from your child's life...your grandchild's life. Luc, being the smart boy he is, found a way to get to you anyway. Although I was hurt by him at the time, I was never truly angry. Not really. I felt betrayed, but not angry. In the back of my mind, I knew you deserved to see him. And that night at the party I wasn't invited to -- the last night of your life -- when I saw the two of you dancing, laughing, having a wonderful time together, I finally let him go.
It was painful to have all of my mistakes thrown into my face at once, but that's how it happened. I was even planning on visiting you the next day to wish you a good birthday myself. To apologize for everything I did to you. But I never had the chance. Instead I used that day to tell my son everything I remembered about you from my childhood. All of the times we shared together laughing and being mother and daughter.
I do not know where you are right now, dear mother. Perhaps you did get to Heaven. Perhaps you are hearing me now, as I come to terms with our destroyed relationship. I don't know, and I probably never will. All I can hope for is that you finally got to live your life the way you wanted. Finally got to be who you really wanted to be. I'm sure your death was painless. The doctors assured me it was.
I hope you passed thinking back on the fun you had that night, thinking about all the friends who cared about you, and still care about you. I hope you didn't think of me. Didn't think of how awful I was, or wishing that I had talked to you once in the past few years without my temper flaring for some reason or another. I don't think you did, though. You never were the kind of person to dwell on the long passed events of your life.
All I can say, though, is that I will miss you more than words can say. You're my mother, and I love you.
I love you.