I Can Always Pretend
I sit on a park bench for a couple of hours trying to calm down, trying to make sense of it all and trying to figure out just how am I supposed to sort out the mess I lovingly call 'my life'. I know Jim is going to be worried by the time I make it home, especially considering the fact that I pretty much ran out of the station earlier today, but that sure beats the alternative. Hopefully I'll be able to talk my way out of my partner's interrogation. I know there is no real reason to hide it, sooner or later he is bound to find out and when he does he's going to be majorly pissed that I kept it from him, but I'll deal with that when the time comes, just not tonight. Tonight I can't afford it. I can try to imagine how he would react if I were to tell him, what he would say and how supportive he would be, but I cannot tell him. As long as I keep quiet I can always pretend, but if I tell him I'll run the risk of having reality intrude upon my perfect little fantasy as it usually does, and I'm not sure I could handle that.
I guess in a way I always knew this day would come, at least on an intellectual level, but to know and to understand are two different things and I certainly wasn't prepared for 'that day' to suddenly turn into 'today'. I knew it was probably bound to happen in the future. I knew that statistically children are more likely to survive their parents than the other way around, even though given some of the things I've done in the past few years that statistically predictable outcome was in question, but I still wasn't ready for that future to become present so soon. Funny how a phone call can change everything. I never suspected that my life was about to change so drastically when I picked up that phone and it took me a while to figure out what I was being told. An accident somewhere in Cambodia almost two weeks ago and suddenly I am all alone, or rather I learn that I am all alone. I may not have known it, but I've been all alone for twelve days now. According to what I was told, some of the friends she was traveling with had her body cremated and her ashes scattered without my knowledge or my presence. There is nothing left for me to do, no way to pay a final tribute. In fact I only learned of my mother's demise because some bureaucrat in Cambodia took the time to notify the embassy, and then another bureaucrat here got saddled with the responsibility of letting me know. I guess I should be grateful that I had that much, at least now I know what happened, and I know she won't be back. Without that call I might have spent the rest of my life wondering where she was and what had happened.
Our last encounter was not a happy one, and even though I forgave her there were plenty of unresolved issues left between us and that bothers me. Did she really know that I had forgiven her, and did she forgive herself? Did she have the time to make her peace with the consequences of her actions? I can only hope that she did, but I'll never know. I do know that in spite of all her smiling she was not happy that I became a cop, but then again it didn't take a rocket scientist to figure that one out. That was almost six months ago. I had figured that Naomi was due to turn up on our doorstep sometime within the next couple of months and I had been looking forward to that chance to clear the air, only now she won't come.
I feel that I'm about to start crying again and I try to divert my thoughts. It is getting late and I can't afford to cry any more, not if I intend to get home before Jim puts an APB out on me. I can't let him know what's happened and as a Sentinel sometimes he sees too much for my liking, luckily I have learned to work around his senses if I have to, which explains why I've been sitting on a park bench for hours, trying to calm down before I go home, trying to make sure that he won't be able to smell my tears or my pain, or whatever else it is that could possibly give me away. I believe that he would be there for me if I were to tell him about it and that has to be enough. As long as I don't tell him I can always pretend, but I learned a long time ago that it is not wise to depend on someone else's support because more often than not people let you down when you can least afford it, so I head for the loft, and I try to convince myself that if I were to tell Jim about it I wouldn't have to be all alone.