Disclaimer: nope don't own. Not even close to owning. All characters belong to the rightful owners –sigh-
4 people Truman may or may not have forgiven; and 1(2) he never blamed.
4. Matthew: Louis Coltrane
Months after he left, Truman could honestly say, with no trace of irony at all, that he loved people watching.
He could sit all day long, in the city, out in the country anywhere and just watch people go about their lives completely ignoring him. Ignoring the person sitting on the bench in sunglasses and a sweatshirt and be completely real.
(Sylvia had said once, not long after he left his not-home, that it was almost normal for him to be fascinated by the most mundane crap people do everyday, in the real world. she had given him many reasons why with sound arguments and a vocabulary that any physiatrist would be jealous of. Truman had just looked at her, confusion all over his face and she had just shrugged and had simply said "what? My acting career was going no where, I had to get into something")
Truman, however, was a smart man. And being a smart man, he knew one day or another, someone he knew, someone from that life would pop up.
He just had no idea where or when or even who. (Neither did they for that matter. that idea both thrilled and terrified him.)
So it would make sense, the world now real and uncontrollable by anything, that he would see his not-best friend waitering tables one sunny evening.
He stopped breathing for a few moments; blind panic hitting him, glancing around for any repeating cars, any person talking into their coat like it was a transmitter. Thinking 'no. it's real this time.'
His heartbeat calmed when all he saw around him was teenagers kicking a garage can, smoking,(something that he wouldn't even dream of seeing in Seahaven) and a woman reading a book while her dog tugged at the end of its' leash, begging to get free.
He turned back to see Marlon place two plates on the outside table and walk away without notice. He stared long and hard at Marlon, the way he was walking, the way his face moved and he took down orders, his body language as he dealt with angry customers. It wasn't until the sun started to set that Truman jerked up from staring, glancing at the retreating sun. He realized, almost belatedly that he spent the entire day watching Marlon.
He watched him the entire day and he couldn't find one single thing different about him. He was exactly as he remembered him from his not-home. Same heavy step, taking his time getting from place to place, same gentle demeanor even in the face of unfairness, same everything (Well, maybe he was a little thinner from some angels, but Truman blamed that on the light and clearly those uniforms are just not flattering to the form.)
Making a decision (because he could) Truman walked up to the restaurant door and waited.
Waited for the man that had stood by him his entire life to walk out the door and...Well...he didn't know what he will do, but Truman will no doubt think of something.
When the lights finally went out of the place and people started leaving, Truman was no farther in that whole 'thinking of something' plan. Marlon was the last to leave, locking the place with keys that he threw to a gentleman waiting a little farther down the sidewalk without really paying attention. His body slumped in defeat and for a fleeting moment, Truman thought that he saw him. But no, Marlon just stayed like that, like the world was resting on his shoulders and he had no one to help him carry it. And Truman is confused for brief second. He's never seen Marlon like this before, like the world wasn't only resting on his shoulders, it was also beating him to a bloody pulp and Marlon had just given up fighting it. Like Marlon finally realized that no one in the world remembered anything he ever did, just because he was the best friend and not the hero. (And if Truman is honest with himself, he can also see remnants of what he now knows is signs of a drug addict surfacing, and he just can't let that happen again, especially since he knows what this is now)
Truman finally has an idea.
"Hey Marlon," Truman steps out of the shadows, "wanna take adventure somewhere with me? Like...Fiji sounds great this time of year." Marlon's' back straightened and tensed and Truman almost swore, worried he miscalculated, got something wrong and he just threw away the friendship that lasted through the years, set up or not, and will damn well last through this.
Marlon turned around slowly, facing Truman, eyes bearing into him for a long moment, asking a question that Truman had no real answer for. Not yet.
Right before Truman had a panic attack of epic proportions at the amount of time passing; Marlon's face slowly breaks out in a large smile, finally getting it. Looking down for a moment, Marlon looks back at Truman, eyes slightly wet, he says "Sure buddy, anything you want. And you know, just for the record, my name is Louis."
They don't hug, they don't even shake hands, but they do walk home together and talk and Marlon—Louis owns up to his promise to never lie to Truman.
This, in Truman's mind, was the most brilliant start to the friendship.
3. Judas: Alanis Montclair
Her face was aged and roughened, more than Truman had ever seen her before, all grace gone from her posture. She held a long cigarette in her hand, smoke curling obscenely around her fingers as she inhaled. "Truman," she said on the exhale, not even coughing around the words, obviously an old habit, born from many years of practice.
Suddenly, Truman didn't really want to hear anything this woman had to say.
"Alanis," he said, not looking away from her face, watching her flinch at the use of her real name. "I don't really want to hear anything you have to say, so just save your breath." He leaned back in his chair, waiting.
She tried to speak again, "Trum—"
"No, " he sat up straight, "you lost the right to say my name after you spent thirty years pretending to be my mother. Pretending to be the woman that gave birth to me, the one that gave me life and you expect me to listen to all your excuses, when I know damn well you just did it for money!" He was getting angry, felt his face heating up and he didn't want to break down. Not now, not after months of holding it in for so well.
Not over her.
He turned away from her, shifting around in his chair. "You know," he continued in a conversational tone, trying to keep calm. "These past couple months, I looked everyone up. The internet," he snorted at that. "Quite a tool that thing is. You can find just about anything out with just a click of a mouse, things from places other than Seahaven even. And you want to know what I found?" He directed the question at her, glancing at her for a moment just enough to see her shake her head, taking another breath from her cigarette.
"I found a quote from you, when I was turning ten I believe," He glanced at her again, remembering that birthday clearly. "And a reporter asked you what you will do when I turn twenty, thirty or even forty, and you replied, 'well, I'll just get a pay raise for every year he gets older of course.'" This time he gets up from the table, standing and collecting his things. "I do hope you saved your money from all those birthdays, because I don't really see any work in your future." And with that he walks out, leaving the check for her and her cloud of smoke.
After thirty years of pay raises, she can take care of a measly restranut bill.
2. Mary Magdalene: Hannah Gill
He doesn't even know how he got here. Thirteen months and sixteen days after he left 'Seahaven', Truman found himself standing in front of his ex-wife. Who looked, for lack of better words, annoyed.
Of what, he had no idea, but if she was anything like her on-screen persona, Hanna Gill was going to let him know sooner rather than later.
They stood in the middle of an extremely crowed grocery store, no one even looking twice at them. (Truman felt a little thrill at that.) Both of them not saying a word before Hannah click her tongue in annoyance and grabbed his forearm, dragging him outside, and whoa there's a sense of reverse déjà vu.
Stopping only when they reached the coin machines, she let go of his arm and looked around for a moment. "I," she began, still not even looking at him. "I'm not going to say I'm sorry." She trained her eyes on him, blue steel bearing into him and Truman wondered if this is who she is, who the woman he married really is. Not the cookie-cutter perfect wife she had presented herself has, but this assertive woman, who had no regrets in any manner and no problem saying no.
(Truman thinks that if she was like this in Seahaven, he would have fallen for her more than ever did for Meryl. He doesn't know whether to be grateful or sad that she never was. )
"Okay." He said after a couple moments.
"Okay? Really?" She gave him a skeptical look, "You're not the least bit angry?" she sounded unconvinced.
He smiled, looking at her, looking at her fragile frame dressed in jeans and a sweatshirt, something that he never saw her wear before. Looked at her, truly seeing the person she was and couldn't find any anger directed at this woman.
"No, I'm not angry," he genuinely laughed, happy to find a distinction between that life and this one "because, you are just…far too different than all those years I knew you. I mean, it's like you were two different people. One so perfect and caring and annoying that I just couldn't stand anymore and the other so perfect in only that you are flawed. You relish in your flaws, creating something so honestly you. So no, I'm not mad."
Truman thought about it for a split second before he reached across the distance of their bodies and grabbed her hand, holding it gently. "Don't get me wrong, I hated you for the longest time. I mean, you married me! Surly that meant something to you and than I find out that you were paid more to sleep with me," she looked away for a moment, embarrassed, trying to pull her hand away but Truman held on tighter. "I couldn't even believe it. But seeing you now, seeing the real you, I'm starting to believe it was more of an escape than an act." He tugged her forward, so gentle still, clutching her hand to his chest. "I can't hate you for doing what any person in their right mind would do. I mean, why stay in a horrible world when you can have a virtual paradise with a perfect husband." He kissed her hand before letting it go, only for it to reach up and touch his cheek.
"If it's any consolation," she now smiled at him, "those moments we shared, the nights we watched movies and talked or the days where we went to the park or even the whole sex thing." She looked down, her hand warm on his blushing face. "In those moments, I was truly in love with you and I have never regretted that." She took her hand away and kissed his cheek before turning around and walking to her car, her stride confident.
Oh yeah, definitely would have fallen for her hard if she had been like that when they met.
1. God: Christof; the creator of a TV show.
He never met Christof, and never intend too, (Sylvia's rants more than enough evidence that he was not a decent person.) but every so often, Truman feels a pang of want. Where he just wants to meet the man that had literally planned his whole like, almost from conception to death (he shudders, thinking about what kind of death Christof had planned, and wondered if it would have even gotten that far.)
He wonders if Christof cherished Truman like a son or only thought of him as a toy.
He only ever saw what Christof looked like once, on the television two months after he left. Christof was talking about his future prospects and his regret that the Truman Show ended so soon. ('Not soon enough' Sylvia had muttered off to his side, unhappily watching the program since Truman wouldn't let her change it.) He was going on and on and on and all Truman could see was the frail older man, pale skin starch in the sun, standing there with a slight hunch in his shoulders but head still tall, and Truman feared this man.
Feared him for reasons he knows doesn't make sense. Fears him because Christof isn't making the decisions for him anymore, isn't controlling his life with a press of the button and Truman starts shaking, feeling like someone cut his rope and he has nowhere to grab. Sylvia had reacted instantly, hugging him and turning off the television, say things like 'Shhh he can't control you any more Truman, your safe. You're here.' And Truman never had the courage to tell her the truth, even now.
Looking at the now black screen, he can see Christof standing there still, surrounded by light, standing tall and proud, even as he ruins more and more lives and all Truman can think is that he would never want to see him in person, because he just doesn't know how he will react.
(2)1 Virgin Mary: Mother (And Father)
The china clink against each other and the silence is a comfortable one.
Well, as comfortable as it can get when you're sitting across from your real mother who let a television station adopt you.
So…maybe not all that comfortable.
"You know, I'm surprised it took you so long to find me," The woman across from him takes a sip from the cup. "I mean, not that I think I'm the most important thing to you, but, if I was you, I know I would have been here, kicking and screaming." Her laugh is short and clipped, like the joke wasn't really a joke.
Truman understands the feeling.
"There was so much of a circus after I left, I just, I couldn't really leave with out tying up some loose ends." He looks at her, just soaking it in. "It wasn't until Sylvia and I decided it was time to leave California that I even thought about finding you. It was, shockingly, really easy."
She lets out a small breath of air at that. "I'm not that surprised. As unconventional as it was, it was still an adoption. And those things just inhale paperwork like air." Silence one again descends the two of them.
Truman doesn't want to mention that in all that paperwork, he never found anything on his father. He doesn't want to ask her about it either.
Instead he takes in her appearance. He had tried to find out as much information on her, but other than where she lived, and that she had a drug problem when she was younger, he really couldn't find anything else. Her build was tall and sturdy, ('Probably where he got his height,' he thinks silently.) and her hair a dark blonde, almost brown, eyes a brilliant blue. (He must have gotten his brown eyes and brown hair from his father than.)
"Did you," she looks up from her cup at him, waiting for the rest of what he was going to say, "Did you ever watch any of the show?" he says the world show with a barely contained stutter.
She doesn't notice, shaking her head a little she says, "Tell you the truth, it was," she grasped the cup tighter, knuckles turning white. "It was hard. I mean, Truman, you have to understand, I was sixteen when I had you. I was sixteen and in a drug haze." She hangs her head a little, "Both me and your father were not ready for a baby and they offered and I just though 'what the hell, why not? It's not going to last more than a couple years.' I guess I was wrong on that account." She stands up suddenly, walking the short distance to the kitchen behind her.
"But to answer your question, yes, I did." Placing the cup on the table, Truman gets up and follows her to the kitchen, resting against the counter, letting her continue. "I watch ones that I couldn't avoid because after several years you were all over the place and I couldn't even think of escaping you." She wraps her arms around herself, and Truman has the strongest urge to hold her. "I saw…another woman raising you, probably better than I ever could. I saw you mourn the loss of your father, and I couldn't help but think, 'he's not dead. He's right here.'" She falls silent for a moment before raising her head. "You can ask, by the way. I know the adoption papers were, how should I put it, vague in regard to him." She laughs that clipped laugh again.
"I," Truman hesitates for a heartbeat, "Where is he?" he holds his breath, waiting.
The tears fall silently down her cheek suddenly and Truman wants to take it back, wants to take back his stupid question. He tries too. "Neverm—"
"No." she harshly wipes the tears away, "You, of all people, deserve to know. He died. About six years ago, drunk driver killed him, of all things." She shakes her head. "Your father…this man was such a loose cannon sometimes. For as long as I've known him, he was either high or drunk, and when he finally does die, it's because of someone else's mistake." She looks at him suddenly, "he loved you though. Don't ever doubt that. He was…furious when he found out what I had done. He thought he was ready for a child, but, he wasn't. At all."
Truman raises his hands slowly before catching her hands in his, his dwarfing hers, and asks as gently as he could, "Did…you two ever get back together?" He needed to know. He doesn't know why, he just does.
His mother gives a short laugh, harsh, not pulling her hands away, "yeah, a couple times. Each time we tried to get sober, too. That worked about as well as the relationship did." She contemplates something, "When you were turning eighteen, we were together than, and sober, had been for years. We got…this crazy notion in our heads that they were going to end it now. Have someone jump out of a cake and yell surprise at you and then you would leave the show and we would finally meet you. Your father, James, he was…so excited. Kept going around the house saying things like "My boy is coming home!" When we watched the show and realized that they weren't going to do that, we were beyond devastated," She was talking through her tears now, not willing to pull her hands away to wipe them away. That's when things really began to go down hill. We tried to have more children, but it never took, no matter what we did. Jimmy took it really hard. Harder, I think, because he was never given a choice the first time." She couldn't go on anymore, the crying getting harder, and this time Truman did pull her in and hug her, Hugged her like his life depended on it.
In a way, it sort of did.
She pulled back just slightly, not even to escape his grasp, just enough to talk, "I used to think, that it was my fault. That God was punishing me since I gave up my first child so I couldn't have another one." She covered his mouth when he began to protest that idea. "No, what I did was horrible Truman, even if I did it so you would have a better life than you would ever have with me." She swallowed for a moment, holding back her tears, "And I saw you all these years later, standing by that exit door, standing so tall and proud and looking so much like, just smiling as you walked away from a perfect life and looking so much like Jimmy's, all I could think, 'At least I did something right, that boy, that man is mine and Jimmy's' and I couldn't have been more prouder. And I thought, even though I was to blame, even if you hated me, you were being someone great and couldn't have been more happier." She wasn't crying anymore, but she also wasn't looking at him. Truman raised her head up until she was looking him in the eyes.
"Mom," He could feel the hot trail of tears on his face, held back for so long, "mom, I could never, would ever blame or hate you."
They held each other until the sun dipped behind the horizon, bathing them in the moons light.
THE END. Oh thank god, my brain was starting to hurt.