A/N: Please read and enjoy! :D
So you lost your trust, and you never should have
No, you never should have
But don't break your back, if you ever see this
But don't answer that
~See You Soon, Coldplay
"Be a good girl while papa's gone, Maka."
Because God forbid she tell mama that papa went out with strange women again. What if they got divorced? In which case, it would be all her fault.
So there Maka stood, four feet tall with her tiny fists clenched by her sides, standing in front of the shut door and trying to look strong like her mama.
She didn't exactly know when it started, but shortly after that, as she developed more into her older self, the understanding that the world didn't work in favor of two people finding each other and being happy the rest of their lives grew with her. With each year that passed, she was only more and more sure of that fact. When she was around twelve, it got to the point where she would see tall, beautiful couples walking down the sidewalks arm-in arm, laughing, and would sort of pity them for their ignorant understanding of relationships. She knew how they thought. It was plastered all over their faces. They all had this idea that they were just absolutely perfect for each other and there would never be another person for them so long as they lived. They were all just stupid to assume so, because, rest assured, by the next month, they wouldn't feel the same way.
Maka grew up observing. She would hide her face behind a book, only to peek up over it and habitually glance around to the couples around her. There were a few different types, from how she saw it.
The first kind, and the most common, was the worst. It was the mushy, lovey-dovey type. It was especially common among the younger couples. Smiling. Laughing. Touchy-feely. Feeding one another like they were disabled. Dopey. They would all be obsessing over their partner, so happy that they've "found" someone they could be "happy" with. Although, to Maka, "finding someone" and being "happy" with them was an oxymoron.
Which brings us to the second example: the "I Don't Like You Anymore, You Don't Like Me Anymore, But Just To Prove That We Were Right And We Are Meant To Be, We're Staying Together, Dammit" couples. Of course, the title says all. These are the couples who would be together just for the sake of being together with someone. They didn't have that spark in their relationship anymore, and to be frank, they were both bored of the other, but they were determined to make it work in the hopes that the spark would come back, full-fledged and stronger than ever. They were in the waiting period in their minds, while in Maka's mind, they were just too stubborn to admit that they should just give up, because there's no point in being in a relationship if no one is happy.
And then, there was the third type of couples: the married ones. These were the kind Maka hated the most. They mislead her. Marriage was always supposed to be something to show for after a couple had gone through all of their difficulties and obstacles together and realized that they would really be more than fine to spend the rest of their lives with each other. And now, it means nothing. Now, the purpose of marriage was just to get married; it was so you could call up your friends and tell them something new. It was, if you were a girl, so you could finally wear a wedding dress and walk down the aisle in your father's arm and slice the wedding cake. Women were just manipulating men into making them another accessory: "Oh, yes, he's charming, isn't he? I got him on sale at some dinky little store on Fifth Avenue." And it wouldn't even make a difference to men, since they couldn't keep it in their pants anyways. It didn't matter what their relationship status was, because if they were bored with their sex life and wanted to change it, they wouldn't let something like a wife get in the way of their life.
The only couples Maka respected anymore were the old ones who lived in nursing homes together and had gotten married in a time when it meant something.
So when her mother filed for divorce, Maka was happy. It was a good thing her mama wasn't buying into the marriage crap anymore.
And then, life happens.
The incredible and undoubtedly infuriating thing about life is that it just wants to prove you wrong. Especially about stuff like that. You say, "Tomato," it says, "I'm allergic." You ask, "Boxers or briefs?" It answers, "Thongs."
Maka Albarn says, "Relationships, and thereby falling in love, are stupid." Life retorts to her, "We'll see."
And then, life begins to turn it's little wheels. It throws things into her life that throw her off course a bit. It loosens one of her bolts. And then another, and another, very slowly, cautiously, and with gaps of space in between, until she's fallen apart without even realizing it until she's in pieces.
The first thing life threw at Maka that made her stumble was when she asked her mama a little while after the divorce if she would ever date again, expecting a firm, "Hell no," and instead receiving a, "Maybe someday."
Then next thing that slipped more subtly into her life, but ended up being the most important factor, was Soul Eater Evans. Sitting there. Playing piano. Blatantly telling her who he was by slamming his hands down onto the keys and moving his fingers in a scattered mess.
The next thing that happened was that she smiled and took his hand. That wasn't life, though. Life was what followed.
Millions of events life threw at her later, she finally agreed to Soul's relentless requesting for him to let her take him out on "just one date". It ended up being the most awkward date ever. The date was in the scorching month of August in Nevada, so they decided, like reasonable people, to go for smoothies. It hadn't even really felt like a date, since they'd gone for smoothies as friends before a ton of times, until Soul drank out of her straw for her smoothie, shaking his empty container and mock-complaining how his was all out. In any other scenario, she would've punched the shit out of him in a lustful mess, but then, she just giggled at his embarrassing attempt to make it more of a date. It ended with Soul kissing her not-so-chastely, murmuring how she tasted "like strawberry" and with Maka replying that so did he.
The dates continued on. To neither of their surprise, they weren't much of a PDA couple at all, and it was only known to the public when Liz saw them holding hands in the library and blabbed about it, causing BlackStar to have a fit before exclaiming, "Psh, OF COURSE I KNEW THAT! I'M YOUR ALL KNOWING GOD- But really, Soul? That bookworm?" The next day, again, to nobody's surprise, the entire school knew. The poor only-recent couple had to endure days worth of girls squealing in congratulations and manly slaps on the back to Soul. Admittedly, there were some of Soul's fangirls who were passing Maka dirty looks occasionally, but thankfully, the general female student body population was happy for Maka. There were even a few, "Took you long enough!"s and winks to her.
Spirit found out. Of course. One day, Maka and Soul were walking into school (at which time, everyone had already known of their relationship and the buzz had settled down) when out of absolutely nowhere, something red zipped right past Maka, and when she looked to her partner, he was gone.
Moments later, Soul found himself locked in the teacher's lounge with a very stern-looking Spirit. His windblown-hair kind of killed any seriousness in his face, though.
Spirit glared at him. "Have a seat, young man."
"Oh God," Soul muttered under his breath. "Do we really have to do this now?"
"HAVE. A SEAT." Spirit pointed to the armchair-sofa right next to Soul, never breaking eye contact with him.
Soul reluctantly sat in the chair.
Spirit strode up to Soul until he was practically bending over him. "Now," Spirit snarled, attempting to put on his most intimidating demeanor. It wasn't really working. "How long have you been dating my daughter?"
"How long?" Soul repeated. "Jesus, I've known her for years, does it really even matter-"
Soul matched his glare. "Three weeks."
"AND HAVE YOU ENGAGED IN ANY SEXUAL ACTIVITY IN THAT TIME OR PREVIOUSLY, BECAUSE IF SO, YOU PIECE OF SCUM, I WILL CHOP YOUR BALLS OFF IN YOUR SLE-"
"WOAH," Soul breathed out. He had expected this, but not so quickly...or loudly. "Calm your horses, old man." He could feel his cheeks stinging. "We haven't, uh...well, I mean no, for the, ah..." Soul looked down at his feet.
Spirit backed off considerably, the expression on his face calming but his arms crossed in authority. "Good. Well, uh, good."
Soul shifted a bit in the chair. Even being cushioned and comfortable, the chair provided no comfort from the overprotected menace in front of him.
"Well," Spirit began. "If you...do...decide to...do stuff, then, uh..." Spirit traced off, murmuring something about condoms and the pill. Soul stared up at the man, incredulous. He assumed this was basically him giving Soul permission. "Uh, y-yeah. Definitely, you don't have to worry about that, uhm..."
Spirit dismissed him shortly afterwards and Soul left in an awkward mess.
Exactly one year and two weeks later, the day of their graduation, Soul gave Maka her graduation gift.
"Soul," Maka giggled, "What's with the blindfold? Why do I have to wear it?"
"I told you," Soul replied as he took her hand and lead her down the Shibusen hallways. "Your graduation gift. It's a surprise."
"Yeah, but why do I have to wear the blindfold?" she asked. Nevertheless, she kept her eyes closed beneath the bandana he'd used to cover them. "I won't peak if you tell me to keep them closed." She tripped over nothing in an uncoordinated jumble, but Soul caught her other arm and propped her back up, continuing to lead her on.
"Just in case you decide to be sneaky." He winked, unbeknownst to Maka.
Maka already had a pretty good idea of where they were going, though, and wouldn't have opened her eyes for the world.
A minute later, Soul lead her inside a small room. Letting her hand go, he whispered, "Take it off, now."
Maka smirked and removed the bandana, slipping it over her eyes. Her expectations were met with reality when her eyes opened to see a vacant, dimly lit room with a single grand piano in the center. Maka laughed a happy laugh. "I hope I know where this is going." Soul patted her head affectionately and sat down on the piano bench. He motioned for her to sit down next to him. She smiled and complied.
"This is who I am," he said, causing a massive rush of deja vu to Maka's head. It was different from before, though. He didn't seem troubled, or scared, or alone. He seemed content. He seemed happy. Instead of spitting out the words, they flowed from him, reaching a sense of finality.
The song was different, too. It wasn't full of absolute darkness and entropy. There was still a dark, entropic feel to it, but it progressed a number of times into slower or faster tempos, in and out of major and jazz tones. It was uplifting. There were parts that actually made Maka laugh softly to herself, as if the song was telling a story and it just made a sarcastic joke.
And when it was done, Maka stood up, removed the glove from her hand, and stretched out her hand to him. Smiling, he took it.
"You know," Maka said. "This is the best graduation present you could've ever given me.
"Really?" Soul asked, standing up. He looked a touch displeased. "Well then," he paused to reach into his coat pocket and retrieved a little black, velvet box. He flipped it open with his thumb, revealing a pretty little diamond ring. Oh yeah. "Guess I'll just have to return this, then. What a shame. If you knew the hell and high waters it took to get this from-"
"SOUL," Maka exclaimed, beyond bewildered, "Is that my mother's wedding ring?" No matter how wide her eyes were right now, she still literally couldn't believe he was holding her mother's wedding ring out to her right now in what was obviously a proposal. She had let slip once that she thought her mother's wedding ring was the most beautiful one in the world, and it was a shame the marriage didn't last because damn did Maka love that ring. "Let slip". Yeah.
Soul gave a heartfelt laugh. "Yes."
Maka just stood there, mouth unhinged, fingers shakily reaching out to touch it. "How..."
Soul swiftly withdrew the box. "Ah-ah-ahh, not until you say yes." He winked slyly at her.
"Oh God," she whispered, "I can feel it now, oh boy, I'm crying." And she was. It was one of those weird, cosmic rules that whenever being proposed to with your mother's wedding ring by your partner-of-one-but-technically-four-years, you just have to cry. It's law. It happens. And it happened to Maka.
"Okay, first." Soul awkwardly shuffled around her, putting the ring back in his coat pocket and placing both hands on her shoulders while she just kind of stood there, shaking. "Well, now, so..." Soul awkwardly began, "You, sit..." he gently nudged her down until she was sitting on the piano bench, "heeere. And I kneel..." he knelt down in front of her, retrieving the ring again while Maka tried to sit there and refrain from sobbing like an idiot. He opened the box again and looked her right in her wet eyes. "Here."
"God Soul, yes, just don't make me do this-" Maka frantically tried to get out of her mouth.
"Oh no no no," Soul interrupted, half-smirking and half-gazing up at her. "No, we're doing this. I don't care if you have to bawl your eyes out until we need a bucket" (to which Maka laughed) "I've been practicing this for weeks. So you're gonna sit there and cry until I'm done."
"Mean," Maka teased, wiping her eyes.
Soul cleared his throat. "Maka Albarn-"
"Oh God, Soul-"
"It's obvious why I brought you here today. We first met here, exactly four years ago, and I have to admit this: when I first met you," he shook his head, laughing, "I thought you were literally the dorkiest person in existence." Maka would have laughed, but she was too preoccupied with trying not to cry like a little girl. "I mean, really," Soul continued. "You should have seen yourself. But then, you sat down and I played the piano for you, and after years and years of people rejecting me, I finally had someone inches away from me who actually wanted me and wasn't just going to put up with me. I showed you my worst qualities- who I was, really- and you...Well, anyways. You were there. And that was, I think, the first thing that happened in a long list of things that happened that would eventually result in me falling in lo-"
Soul looked up. Maka had stopped crying, but still had tears in the corners of her eyes. There was a pause before she spoke up. "I think..."
"M-Maka?" Soul asked.
Maka breathed in. She knew where he was going, and it was just too familiar. "I think...I...I want to propose to you."
Soul blinked. "Wait, wh-what are you-"
Abruptly, Maka stood up and maneuvered around the piano bench, hoisting Soul up. "What are you doing?" Soul asked. Maka just sat him down, taking the box from him and kneeling down on one knee.
"Uh..." Maka began (admittedly, not a very good beginning). "I might not be as good at this as you, since I haven't rehearsed or anything, b-but I need to say something."
"Uhm..." Soul tried. "O-Okay, yeah."
Maka bit back her lip, eyes still puffy and swollen. "It's just that...When I was younger, as you know, I used to hate men. Like, I hated men. And just relationships in general. I thought they were stupid. I mean, I guess, since my parents and all, I...I didn't really believe in them. So I just sort of gave up on it all. I told myself how it wasn't going to happen to me because being in a relationship meant losing, and getting married meant I was the biggest loser of all." She swallowed. "But, it's different now. I realized that that sort of thinking was just...immature. I mean, I wasn't basing it on anything. I was just angry. My parents got divorced because my papa cheated on my mama, and for that, I just started being really cynical about love. I would look at married couples around me and think that they were all just being ridiculous.
"Recently, though, I look at married couples and I don't see stupidity or...or two people stuck in a worthless relationship or anything. I see relatively happy people. I mean, I know there are obviously some married people who are unhappy, but that doesn't mean we have to be like them."
Maka withdrew the ring from the velvet box, holding it up in her index and thumb finger. "We can take this ring and look at it and say, 'Because my parent's marriage failed, wearing this ring would be like saying ours would fail too.' But I'm not going to say that." She flipped the ring over vertically, so it was facing the other side. "I'm gonna take this ring and say, 'We're going to take my parent's marriage and live by their example of what not to become.' I'm taking this ring and I'm saying, 'This is their ring, not their marriage.' You know what, I'm making our marriage our marriage, dammit."
She laughed, looking back up to Soul. He was smiling in a way that looked like now he was the one trying not to look like a crybaby. "So. Soul Eater Evans." She looked dead in his crimson eyes and held up the ring. "Do you wanna marry me or not?"
The last thing life ever really threw at Maka was her daughter's wedding day. Just the mere thought of it kind of shook her. When her daughter walked down the aisle and was reciting the vows, Maka couldn't help but remember her own wedding. Her own wedding that was so terrifying it nearly made her shit her wedding dress. She looked down at her left hand, wedding ring still intact, and then over at her husband, who gazed at his daughter in confidence. Still going strong, she thought warmly. Her mother's wedding ring was now hers, and not her mother's; it was a symbol of her marriage, not her mother's.
She'd made her own life, which, when you grow up feeling like you're just in the shadow's of others's lives, is the greatest thing you can do.
So much fluff. D:
REVIEWS ARE MUCH APPRECIATED.
REVIEWS ARE MUCH APPRECIATED.
REVIEWS ARE MUCH APRECIATED.
No, seriously. Even just, "I liked it." or "Good job." or "You suck please die." C: