Hello! This is another depressing work by me. Not as depressing as the other one, I don't think, but still depressing. Also not as good as the other one. Oh well. Enjoy! Please review!
Now That You're Here
Anita took a deep breath and knocked on the door. When there was no movement sounding from the other side, she knocked again.
"Maria?" she called. "I know you are in there," There was still no response. "Maria I have a key to the door and I will use it,"
"I am coming," Maria's weary voice was heard. The door opened to reveal a worn out Maria, her youth all stolen by time, grief, and sickness.
"How are you feeling?" Anita said, walking inside and shutting the door.
Maria sat back down on her bed, where she had most likely sat all day. "I am fine,"
"You lie," Anita said, eying her suspiciously. "I have known you for nearly forty years now, and I know when you are lying. What is wrong?"
"The same thing that always is wrong," Maria muttered, rubbing her wrinkly hands over and over again.
"Maria…" Anita sat down next to her. "Have we not talked about this? It has been so long – "
"I do not care," Maria said bitterly. "I cannot move on as quickly as you have,"
Anita staggered back as though she had been slapped. "Maria…how can you say that? Is that how you have felt…all these years?"
"I am sorry…" tears sprung up in Maria's eyes. "It's just…"
"Maria, I moved on," Anita began "I married Carlos because I fell in love again. Bernardo will always have a special place in my heart, but I learned to move on,"
"It was not the same with me and Tony…" Maria stared off into space, a smiling tugging at her lips. "Our love was something special…nothing could replace that,"
Anita sighed. This had been a losing battle for thirty years. Anita had found countless men who would have loved to marry Maria, but Maria refused. She would often end up crying and slamming doors in Anita's face. Since there was no one to take care of her, Maria had kept on living with her parents, often sneaking countless bottles of her father's beer. Her mother had found her one night when she was just twenty-one years old, four years after Tony had been killed, unconscious on her bedroom floor with three empty bottles beside her. The same thing would happen almost every month for twenty years, until her mother, her last living relative had died, and Maria had moved in with Anita. Maria did enjoy her company; she did always seem to say things that would cheer her up. But after she had left to run errands or take care of her children, she was left all alone with her thoughts. Horrible, horrible thoughts. Despite Anita's tireless efforts, Maria had still found more alcohol. She would drink enough so that she would fall asleep, and she would dream of him. Wonderfully beautiful dreams, that always ended with darkness and pain. Almost every day Maria would wake up screaming, and Anita would have to comfort her until she calmed down. Many times, people would recommend a psych-ward, but Anita wouldn't hear of it. She insisted she was perfectly capable of taking care of her friend, although at times it was very challenging and tedious.
Snapping out of her thoughts, Anita turned to Maria, remembering why she had come into Maria's bedroom in the first place.
"What did the doctor say?" Anita said uncomfortably.
At that, Maria smiled and stared off into space again. "He said I only have three months to live," Three months until I can finally see him again…
Anita's face went pale, and her eyes bulged out of her head. "What?"
"I am going to die in three months," Maria whispered, still not looking at Anita.
"Maria!" Anita seized Maria by the shoulders. "Listen to me!"
"What?" Maria said airily, slowly coming out of her day dream.
"What did the doctor say?" Anita repeated, refusing to believe what she had just heard.
"He said…" Maria began happily, but came back to reality and saw the look on Anita's face. "I only have….three months…to live…"
For a long time, Anita said nothing, simply staring at Maria in horror. She had known ever since the doctors had said they found a tumor in her liver that it was all over. They said they'd be able to treat her as long as she quit drinking and fought as hard as she could, but Maria had lost the will to live thirty years ago. Anita knew it was coming, but now that it was finally here…
"Oh Maria…" Anita's eyes filled up with tears and she threw her arms around her. "There is nothing else they can do?"
"N-no…" Maria swallowed the lump in her throat. "They said it was because I did not…try…hard enough…" Maria suddenly felt a stab of guilt. She had plenty of opportunities to recover from the tumor, but she just didn't want to. Every bottle was a step closer to Tony. But she had only realized now how much she was hurting Anita.
"I am sorry," Anita quickly released Maria and wiped her eyes. "I just…we've been through so much together…I just can't believe it will all be over in three months…"
"No, it is me who should be sorry," Maria wiped away her own tears. "I just didn't see any point in trying to get better…my life has just been one blast from hell after another…I saw this as an opportunity to escape it all…"
"Maria…" Anita embraced her again. Maria returned the embrace. All these years, Maria had though that Anita was just taking care of Maria because she felt she had to. She thought that if she died, Anita would be relieved to stop taking care of the crazy alcoholic woman.
"Anita…" they released each other so they were looking each other in the eye. "Thank you so much…for everything. You took me in when no one else would, anybody else would have thrown me in the mental hospital. But you took care of me. I've been a selfish child for thirty years, and I never once thought of what you were feeling. I am so sorry,"
"Oh Maria…something terrible happened to you. I wasn't going to just leave you alone. You needed someone who understood what you were going through,"
"Most people wouldn't have gone insane," Maria said, tears spilling over again.
"Everyone is different," Anita said, wiping away Maria's tears. "Everyone grieves differently. You and Tony were something extraordinary. Destroying something like that can be devastating,"
Maria nodded, sniffling again.
"I…I am going to miss you Maria…" Anita couldn't control her tears any longer. "You are the best friend anyone could have,"
"And you," Maria said. They embraced each other, crying, for longer than the both of them could remember.
Three months. It had gone by like three minutes. Maria had woken up screaming only twice in the time frame, and there were less bottles found in her room. Anita was dreading the moment when she would have to say goodbye to her best friend forever. Even though she had done everything she could to help Maria, she couldn't help but feel like she had failed her.
One morning, a week after the three months had gone by, Anita, Carlos, Maria, and Carmelina, Anita's sixteen year old daughter, were sitting at breakfast. It had gone by like any normal day. Maria had been disturbed from an incomplete dream, Carlos had made breakfast for his family, Carmelina would talk about things that only a teenage girl would care about, and Anita would hope that today wouldn't be the day that Maria left her.
Maria was in the middle of sipping a glass of milk, when all of a sudden, the glass slipped out of her hands and shattered on the floor below her. She slumped down in her chair.
"Maria!" Anita ran to her. "Carlos, get the car ready!"
"No…" a small voice whispered.
"I want to stay here…there is no need to bring me to a hospital…"
Anita knew there was no point arguing with her. They carried her into her bedroom and made her as comfortable as possible.
"Are you alright?" Anita asked her, sitting down and grasping her hand. She nodded.
"Soon I will be with him…" Maria said, a faint smile crossing her lips. "I have waited so long…"
Anita watched painfully as all strength left her best friend. "I love you Maria,"
"I love you too Anita," Maria smiled at her. "Thank you so much…for…everything…"
"You are welcome,"
Suddenly, Maria's face looked happier than it had in thirty years. She was looking straight ahead, and Anita struggled to see what she was looking at, but knew that it was pointless. Only Maria could see.
"Tony?" Maria suddenly sounded like the girl she was so many years ago, calling out her lover's name. Her eyes gently closed with a content smile. Anita stayed there and wept for her best friend.
Maria was in so much pain, yet none of it mattered now. The day had finally come. She was dying, and she would see Tony. Tony…Tony, Tony…
Anita was sitting by her and crying. Maria felt as giddy as a little girl. Soon, the pain was melting away, and a heavenly sight stood before her.
"Tony?" she whispered in disbelief.
Maria sat up, all of her youth rushing back. Her gray streaked hair turned back into the dark brown curls, and every wrinkle disappeared from her body. Her bones moved freely without pain, and her head no longer felt like it would split open anymore. She ran to him and jumped into his arms, and he swung her around. She planted a wonderful kiss on his lips. How long it had been since she had kissed him like that…
He put her down, and she looked behind her, and saw a depressed old woman (even though she was only in her late forties), whom she hardly recognized. "Is that really me?"
"Yeah," Tony looked at her sadly. "None of that matters now. We're together again,"
"I have waited so long for this…" Maria looked into his beautiful eyes.
"Let's go," Tony reached out his hand.
"Where are we going?" Maria asked before taking his hand.
Maria smiled and took his hand.
"There's a place for us
A time and place for us,"
Tony beamed at her and joined her.
"Hold my hand
And we're halfway there
Hold my hand
And I'll take you there
They walked on into the heavens, their hands intertwined, their hearts and souls tied together with a ribbon of true love.
Sorry for my using the song somewhere again. I promise I won't use it in any more West Side fanfics. Ok I'm lying i most likely will. It's such a good song that realtes to the show so well!