Chapter 20.5: I Hate You
Her skin, soft and smooth as always, slick with the thin layer of sweat, warm under my hands. Her fiery hair clings to her neck. Her lips on my skin, her teeth sinking into my shoulder... her nails digging into my back as I—
My eyes pop open as the alarm blares in my ear. I sit up, swinging my legs over the side of my bed, scrubbing my face with my hands as my breath leaves my lungs in a heavy sigh. This was one of the good nights. I dream about her a lot. Nights like last night, I dream about her with my kids, her in my bed... I dream about forever with her.
On bad nights, I dream about Hana. I dream about the terror that consumed me when I found out she was gone. I dream that she's being dragged away, and that I can't help her. I see Monkey Fist's ugly face twisted with evil and derision as I struggle to save her from him.
On the worse nights, I dream about them fulfilling their threats. I dream about her being mercilessly and brutally slaughtered. I dream that she screams my name with her dying breath. Her eyes, haunted and afraid, blame me for her pain before they glaze over.
On the worst nights, I wake up sobbing desolately because in my dreams, everyone I have ever loved is gone.
I don't know how much longer I can handle it. I know today will be worse... today I'm going to court. I filed for custody of Hana. She fought me, of course. She told the judge that in my note I abandoned Hana to her care, and that I didn't deserve to have her back.
It made me so angry. I couldn't take care of Hana then... the darkness that consumed me would have ruined her. I thought she understood that... I guess I was wrong. For the daughter of a rocket scientist and a neurosurgeon, she's pretty fucking stupid. Or stubborn... or both.
I gave up everything for her... and all I'm getting in return is an attempt to ruin my life, to take away all I have left. It's not fair.
I wish I could hate her. I can't even think of her name anymore. I look myself in the eye the bathroom mirror. Say her name, I tell myself. Say it. Out loud.
"Kimmie," I whisper, my voice strangled. The man in the mirror blurs from my vision and I turn away from him. He looks awful... there are bags under his eyes. His hair is a mess. His skin is an unhealthy shade of greyish-peach that makes him look like he got off the table in the morgue, not out of bed. His face is lined and tired.
Starting the shower, I strip myself of my shorts and wifebeater and step in, not caring that the spray is still frigid. It eventually heats up, but it does nothing to soothe my tense muscles, and my stomach feels like there are cement blocks in it.
I pick up my body wash, and heave another sigh. I used to use that Old Spice stuff. But then... she started using it too. She said she liked smelling like me. She even got her own bottle, although she playfully admitted more than once that it was much more fun to steal mine. After a while, she always smelled like Old Spice.
The scent makes me nauseous now. I use plain, unscented stuff instead.
After I'm scrubbed down and rinsed off, I step out of the shower, feeling the tingle of goosebumps rising on my skin as I shiver at the sudden cold.
Suck it up, I tell myself. It will be worse outside. It's still winter. The girls are coming up on their first birthday here in a couple weeks. I don't know how I'll be able to stand seeing them and Han without scooping them all in my arms and running for the hills, never to be seen or heard from again.
I fell hard for them. Danielle, who is a spitting image of her... is the more easy going one of the two. She will play quietly, or do whatever she's told without too much resistance. Yori Anne, on the other hand, also a spitting image of her mother but with blonde curls instead of red, is the type A one. I love her though, and I like having to keep up with her. That girl will make you do more running than any GJ mission. She keeps me on my toes.
Their eyes are bright green like hers... I love it and I hate it. I love it because my girls are so beautiful... and at the tender age of 11 months and two weeks, they have already perfected the Possible puppy eyes, which is totally unfair...
I hate it because they remind me of her. Kim, I force myself to think. Her name is Kim.
And she's currently on the steps of the courthouse, talking to her lawyer. The judge wants to see Hana before he makes any decision, so Hana is here. She's mastered the Possible PDP too, and she pouts up at Kim while asking her a question. Kim looks around for a minute, and then her cold gaze lands on me. She shakes her head at Han and turns back to her lawyer as I start up the steps.
"Kimmie pweese," Han whispers. "Can I sit wif Ronnie today?"
I stop in front of her. She stares blankly at me, before taking Han's hand. "Let's go, Hana."
"But I wanna sit wif—"
"Now, Hana Kaori."
I squat so that I'm at her eye level. I swallow, willing my voice to stay soothing until I can fall apart on my own. "Hana... sweetie, you have to sit with Kimmie today. Okay?"
She pouts adorably, and her eyes water. "But I miss yew," she whispers.
I swallow hard. "I miss you too," I whisper. "Everything will be okay."
"Promise," I whisper, kissing her forehead. "Now behave for Kimmie, okay?"
She sniffs and nods, and I straighten. Leveling Kim with a stare that would melt flesh if looks could kill, I speak. "Was that so hard?" I ask, my voice cold.
She glares back at me and heads inside.
I let my head fall back. This is going to be a long day.
The nerve of that man! The hearing is going on, and I know Hana is sitting outside somewhere until the judge calls her in to speak with her. The hearing is boring, and I'm picking my nails for the umpteenth time. Ron is sitting at the other table, his jaw clenched.
I wonder what's going through his head. His lawyer is making some argument about how Han living with him would be in her best interest.
It's all bullshit if you ask me. He's the one that left her, to go traipsing all over the world on his criminal enterprises. He doesn't deserve to keep her. She's happy with me. And I'll never leave her.
I get a text message from my mom. She's going to check on Danni in the ER. Something about an allergic reaction. Ugh, I'm always telling those buffoons to be careful what she eats.
Now I'm on edge. My kid is in the emergency room and I'm stuck here in court because my loser ex boyfriend is regretting some decisions he made. I wish I could hate him.
I tug my lawyer's sleeve, and he turns to me. I show him the message and he nods, standing. "Your honor... I'd like to request a recess. My client just received word that her daughter was brought to the emergency room, and I'm sure both parents would like to be with her during this time."
Ron's face is pale. "Who is it?" he asks immediately. "Is she okay?"
"It's Danielle," I answer. "She's had some sort of allergic reaction, they brought her to the hospital. Mom is with her."
He looks slightly comforted by that. His lawyer, however, looks annoyed. "Your honor, today is the last day of this hearing."
"Yeah we're here because your client is a selfish, arrogant asshole that thinks his actions don't have consequences, and my daughter is in the damn hospital. So stick your objection up your—"
"That's enough," my lawyer cuts me off.
Ron stares at his hands. "You two overpaid douchenozzles can duke it out here if you don't want the hearing to end. I'm going to find out what the fuck happened to my kid." He pushes his chair back and stands, putting on his jacket and turning to leave.
"Sir, you don't leave this court until I dismiss you."
He clenched his teeth, glaring daggers at the judge.
I stand too. "I need to see my daughter," I say quietly.
The judge looks at the both of us for what feels like forever. "I'm sorry," he says sincerely, searching both of our faces. "Whatever events lead up to you being here in my courtroom today have caused you both an immeasurable amount of pain. It is saddening to see young people like you having to face troubles that most middle-age people couldn't handle.
"We'll see you back here in two days, at nine am sharp. By then I hope... I hope that whatever bitterness you have can be set aside for the benefit of your children, so that the decision we come to won't be detrimental to them, or to you. Court is dismissed."
Danni had been fine. We brought her home that night. Ron insisted on staying. He was tense and anxious, and he made me feel wound up too. The tension in the house at any given moment was so thick a person could cut it with a knife. The girls didn't sleep easily, especially Danni, who was still feeling rather crappy.
Hana woke up multiple times, and Ron ended up sleeping on the couch with her. I didn't sleep at all. All I could think about was Ron sleeping downstairs. Every cell in my body was like a live wire. I wanted to go to him, so much. But I didn't. And in the morning, Hana was in her bed, and Ron was gone.
He didn't talk to me at all. When he wanted to see how Danni was, he came to the house. When he was satisfied that she was recovering, he left, not meeting my eyes as he closed the door behind him.
Now we're back in court. He's sitting sullenly, glaring at the floor and wringing his hands.
I swallow. Suddenly, I'm not so sure that fighting over this in court was such a good idea. The tension is palpable again.
The judge talks to Han, his voice gentle. He smiles when she talks about her Ronnie. "My Ronnie is strong. He takes care of me."
I stare at my hands. It doesn't matter, I tell myself. He left her. He was gone, and now she's mine.
Legally, the judge can't take her answer seriously until she's like... twelve or something like that, but he still asks her who she would prefer to live with. Her answer tears at me.
"I don't wanna choose," she said quietly, her eyes brimming with tears. "I want Ronnie an' Kimmie be friends again. My Ronnie is sad all the time."
The judge does an excellent job at hiding his shock. "What about Kimmie?"
"Kimmie is sad a lot too. But she doesn't like me to see her sad. But I still see."
"Well, Miss Hana, we'll find a way for Ronnie and Kimmie to be agreeable again somehow, okay?"
She nods happily at him, and he hands her a lollipop from under his desk. Her brown eyes sparkle as she scampers down from the witness stand.
I swallow hard.
The judge studies us for some time after she's gone. "You two ought to be proud of that little girl," he addresses us.
"We are," Ron says quietly. His voice trembles.
"You ought to be ashamed of yourselves too," he adds testily.
I grit my teeth.
"The law is clear on what happens with abandoned children. You didn't leave your sister abandoned though. You left her in very good hands. I admire your maturity in realizing that you couldn't take care of her then, Mr. Stoppable. And it is good that you want to take responsibility of her now. I know that you love your sister very deeply."
Ron's hands shake and his back is stiff. He's not looking at the judge anymore.
"Miss Possible has created a good, stable life for your sister. Uprooting her now would only be detrimental to her. Given also, that your record concerning her isn't exactly promising, Hana Kaori Stoppable is to remain in Miss Possible's custody. However, I am ordering visitation once a—"
"He can see her whenever he wants," I interrupt, my voice cracking. "He sees the girls all the time anyway."
The judge watches me for a moment. "Very well," he says at last. "Mr. Stoppable, I hope you understand that this is what's best for the little person you hold very precious to you."
"I understand very well," he says tonelessly. His face is stormy.
When court is finally dismissed, I look for Han outside. My stomach is in knots.
A hand grabs my arm. "Are you happy now?" his voice is terrifying.
I turn to him. "Let go of me," I hiss at him. "We can't do this here. I need to find Hana."
He turns his back to me. "You never answered my question."
"I don't have to answer your question," I snap at him. "This isn't about you."
"The hell it isn't," he snaps, whirling around. "I have nothing left because of you."
"Don't be such a drama queen," I tell him calmly. "I already said in court I wouldn't keep you from seeing her whenever you want. You didn't lose her. She's just better off with me."
"She's better off with her brother."
"Well maybe you should have realized that before running off on your little criminal—"
"Of course... you're right, Kim. I should have brought her with me instead."
"You should have never left," I rage at him.
"Kimmie?" a tiny voice says to me.
I try to turn to see where it's coming from, but he grabs my arm. "I hate you," he spits venomously. "I fucking hate you. If I never see you again, it will be too soon." His eyes, which were always like melting honey, are now hard and lifeless. His face is dark with rage.
My stomach turns. I can't find my lungs to breathe. Bewildering pain tears through my entire core. He hates me.
Satisfied by my speechlessness, he crosses his arms. "I want to take Han tonight."
I nod faintly, unable to find my voice. My face is wet... with tears, I realize. I draw in a ragged breath.
"Kimmie?" a tearful voice whispers.
Ron's eyes widen with mild horror. She saw us argue, part of my brain realizes. She heard everything we said. He clears his throat. "Um... you're going to stay with me tonight, baby girl, okay?"
"Okay," she answers, her voice small. "Bye Kimmie," she whispers as Ron picks her up and carries her outside. "I lub yew."
I stand there long after they are gone, unable to move.
I sit up, shaking and covered in sweat. My stomach is turning inside out, and I run for the bathroom. Tears spill unheeded from my eyes as I heave. Her face swirls in my mind. She literally blanched. Her mouth fell open and the pain on her face made me feel like I'd stuck a knife in her gut and twisted it. She was shaking. Trembling so hard her frame looked like it was practically vibrating. Tears spilled down her cheek... the first one made it's way down her face quickly. Then they seemed never ending.
She stood there as I took Han and left. Eventually she wrapped her arms around herself and trembled as she fell apart.
Flushing the toilet, I climb shakily to my feet, rinsing my mouth and my face. I won't sleep any more tonight. I'm just going to make coffee.
It finally brews and I pour myself a mug. It's scalding hot, and bitter as fuck. I don't care. My tongue wont taste anything for days, and the bitterness makes my stomach churn again.
I killed enough people in my time. People who deserved it, people who were in my way... but I committed the worst act of homicide imaginable in that courthouse. I murdered Kim Possible.
The thought makes me gag, and I run for the bathroom again. Jesus, I did. I killed her. I stuck a knife in her chest and twisted it, and left her there to bleed. I know she was angry with me before... with good reason, I mean I did leave her and Han... but this... just guaranteed that she'll hate me forever.
I lost her forever. My worst nightmares are coming true, and it's my own fault.
My vicious words echo in my mind. I fucking hate you. If I never see you again, it will be too soon.
I hate you.
I hate you.
I stare at myself in the mirror. I hate you, my eyes say to the man in the mirror. I fucking hate you.
let me know what you guys think... this is shorter than usual, but i didn't really feel the need to make it longer.
disclaimer: if i owned Kim Possible i'd be getting paid to write you real episodes instead of writing you fictional ones for free...
hope yall liked the outtake.