Set in the middle of season two.


She loves him, and it's fucking ridiculous because she doesn't want to love him, doesn't want to feel this way. Doesn't want any of this. Not that that changes the way he makes her feel, or the way she somehow, in some ridiculously stupid way can't stop loving him, can't stop the way he makes her feel, can't stop the heartbreak she had felt when he was gone, or the unadulterated joy she felt when he came back, or how it felt like he took away everything when she found out that he wasn't who she thought he was. None of that seems to go away, none of that seems able to go away.

He's all she's ever wanted, even if she's never wanted this, never wanted anything remotely close to the way he makes her feel, or how their screwed up relationship works. Somehow, despite him being everything she hoped she will never have to face – heartbreak, passion, some fucked idea of true love – he's still everything she wants, everything she's always wanted. And that won't change, no matter how much she wishes that, somehow, in any possible way, it will.

She loves him, all of him, and that sucks. She loves his ridiculous bathing thong shit and his inability to wear anything but neutral colours and his stupid swagger and fedora hats and that ridiculous way he keeps looking at her, like if he looks long enough he'll see everything she's trying so hard not to show him.

She loves all of that. Jimmy or Steve (whoever he may be) or husband to some hot Brazilian teenage slut – she wishes she could have started hating him after that – she loves him. And she hates herself for it. Hates herself for having missed him so much that it had physically hurt her and had her grasping for air, grasping for some sense of control. For seeing what they could have had when she sees other relationships, no matter how screwed up. Hates herself for wishing she didn't have to see Veronica and Kevin love each other so fucking much that it radiated off of them like some fucking drug infused rainbow shit.

She hates the fact that, every time she looks at him it feels like MORE. Like more than this life and this place and these problems, like more than this family and these 3 different jobs. It feels like more than Southside Chicago, it feels like more than she can ever have. And she knows all too well that she can never have that.


She hates him too, in a way; somewhere between loving him she hates him so much. Because he had offered her so much more than this life, and he shouldn't have. Shouldn't have made her wish for more than her fucked up family and her small life and her jobs and friends. And for more than herself. He shouldn't have shown her that there could be more, when he knows just as well as she does that she can never have that, that she can never escape her Southside family and all their problems.

He shouldn't have promised her love, and a life worth enjoying. He shouldn't have because how can she possibly ever get that? How can she ever leave this place when she's so deeply buried in all this shit and all these people, and when she somehow loves this shit and these people and this place?

How could she have ever been able to leave, and how could she have ever asked him to stay when he can leave, when he can have more, even if she can't.

And why did he come back? Why did he come back to this hellhole, why does he keep insisting that he came back because he loves her? How can he keep insisting that he loves her when he came back married, when he came back to this shit of a place with a ring on the finger of some foreign drug lord's daughter.

Why did he come back? And why does he love her? And why, in heaven's name, did he come back if he loves her. Even if she kept calling him pathetically just to hear his voice or ask him stupid questions or say a bunch of useless words. Even if she kept calling to pretend that he didn't leave, that she let him leave. He should have stayed away, should have let her call and leave her stupid voicemails until she one day lost all hope, until she one day gave up on him. Rather that than having to see him and having to constantly remind herself that she can't, can't have him, can't love him, can't keep feeling this way towards him.

He shouldn't have come back. She should have given up hope, should have forgotten him; Steve or Jimmy or maybe one day, when she's forgotten his name completely and can only remember the way he made her feel, Hank. She should have remembered him as Hank, he should have stayed in Brazil, should have learned the language and have gotten rich and have slept with every woman in his rich foreign fucking neighborhood.

He should have stayed away; they should have forgotten each other's names. He should have forgotten the Southside. But somehow he's here, he's here and he's looking at her with those ridiculously stupid eyes, trying to see what she's thinking, trying to see through her, see everything she wishes she never has to show him – the heartbreak, the passion, that fucked up idea of true love that won't die no matter how hard she tries to smother it.

And she's looking away, standing up and telling him no. Leaving him standing there as she walks away, tears that she seems unable to stop threatening to overwhelm her. He's left standing there and she know he's still looking at her, knows he's seeing all that she doesn't want him to see, but she lets him see it all this time. Because he should have stayed away, should never have come back.