Don't Tell Dad


joanna_icon.gif tasha_icon.gif

Scene Title Don't Tell Dad
Synopsis The break in the storm allows Tasha to call her mother and she comes clean about a few things.
Date May 22, 2010

The Corinthian and The Lighthouse

Bringing a load of laundry into the room that she shares with Colette, Tasha begins to separate the items — not that they'll stay separated. The two girls have very few boundaries between them, and their clothing is pretty much communal property at this point, from socks to gloves to sweatshirts to PJ bottoms. It's really just out of habit and propriety that Colette's items are placed into her drawers and Tasha's are placed in her duffel bag — the duffel bag, because Tasha knows that with the thaw, she'll be returning to Manhattan. She isn't sure on Colette's plans just yet, hoping they will return together, but it's possible that Colette wants to stay on Staten.

The thought of possible separation — even by just five miles of water — is one Tasha doesn't want to dwell on. She heads to her duffel bag, sitting on the desk, to put the stack of clothing inside. Also on the desk is a blinking cell phone. Blinking means service.

Tasha picks up the device, pulling it off the charger, and glances at the display: 10 missed text messages. 5 missed calls. 4 voice mails.

And 3 antenna bars.

She sighs. No reason to put off the inevitable, and no reason to fear a trace from her father. He knows where she is. She moves to the bed, sitting on the edge as she presses 1 to speed dial her mother.

It takes one ring. That's all, just one ring for the phone to be answered and Tasha can almost imagine how fast her mothers fingers descended on the cellphone and pressed talk. "Natasha Olivia Renard Lazzaro" It's the full given name treatment, something very rarely heard and hadn't been used in ages. "You had best be calling to say that you are returning to the city from wherever you are or by god I will send your father slithering all over the city in his other shape to find you" Her voice heavy with worry and fear that sprung up in a moment of recognition on the caller display.

Seems that Vincent didn't tell her mother where she was.

Eyes close at the sound of her mother's voice, and tears spring to her eyes. She's happy to hear Joanna on the other end, even if it's in that angry and worried tone that she used to avoid at all costs.

"Mom," she breathes, and it almost comes out 'Mommy,' but she manages to hold on to her dignity enough not to add the second syllable. "I'm okay. I'm so sorry. I just…" she exhales, a long shuddering sigh before taking a deep breath. "I'm fine and I'm safe, and I'm sorry I worried you. Are you okay? Are you still at the Corinthian? Is Dad there?" Please don't let him be there. "I'm sorry I hung up the other day, I couldn't talk that long and … I didn't mean what I said. Especially not … it wasn't aimed at you."

"If your father was here, he would have taken the phone away from me and be already tracking your call to find out where you are" She's safe, she's fine. "I'm still at the Corinthian. Your father has very graciously, and his boss, put up with me and let me share the suite with them." Slender fingers pinch at the bridge of her nose as she eases away from the couch where she was tapping away on her laptop and starting to circumnavigate the room.

"If you don't mean, what you say Natasha, then you don't say it. How many times have I told you that? He's your father and he was worried about where you are even if he has strange ways of showing it"

The fact her father hasn't told her mother where she is is a confusing one… if she tells Joanna that she's seen her father, that will create anger and conflict that Tasha doesn't want for her mother. She sighs and rubs her eyes, feet coming up on the bed as she leans against the wall. "I … kind of meant it. In regards to him. But that doesn't mean I don't regret it," she murmurs, honestly enough.

"As long as you're okay. And you managed not to kill one another, that's pretty good. I guess it'd look bad in the newspapers if you did, of course," Tasha says, evoking the family trait of sarcasm in tense conversations. "I'm going to come home once it's safe to travel — you don't need to send anyone out to get me, okay? I'm … I'm on Staten Island. It had power, all this time. You don't need to come get me or send him — it's safe. It's not the bad part."

"You owe him an apology the next time you see him. I expect you to be gracious and give him that at least. I raised you better" No 'we', just I. Staten Island, not the bad part. There's a released sigh of relief, a hand coming to Joanna's heart that Tasha can't see. "Why you could not have told me this sooner Natasha Renard-Lazzaro, I don't know. I would have been satisfied with knowing that instead of just nothing. But when you come home, things are going to change and we will need to talk, do you understand me young lady?"

The lecture is deserved — Tasha didn't do much trouble making as a child, so she hasn't had a lot of them. She was a good latch-key child who did what was asked, until now. Still, the lecture is begotten of love, and it makes her smile. "Okay. I will." Apologize. She does regret the words.

"I… I can't really explain it, Mom. I didn't think, and it was stupid. For some reason, it seemed better to lie to you — I didn't want Dad out here in a helicopter, you know? I didn't want to be treated differently, to be rescued or something just because I have strings to pull, when so many people were worse off and wouldn't get help." Some of it is true, and it sounds like a valid reason. A Tasha reason.

"Tell Dad I called and that I'll talk to him soon, too," she adds, wiping a tear that has slid down her cheek. "I am sorry. I … didn't mean to hurt him." That is a lie, which hurts all the more.

"I could have made sure he didn't get into a helicopter and show you love the only way he seems to know how. I could have gotten is boss to help hit him over the head" Unlikely to have worked, but it could be an amusing sight in ones mind. "You also can't help being born to who you were born to. You don't take advantage of that and like I said, it's… one of the way that your father knows how to show you his love. God knows, he doesn't know how to actually show it any other way" Says the woman who was married to him. Though, they are very much more alike than she really lets on.

"I'll tell your father. Is there…" Joanna pauses. "The weather is breaking, is there anything you need where you are? That I can bring you, have someone send you. Anything at all Tasha?"

That her father loves her, Tasha is less sure of. Her mother hadn't seen the look he gave her, finding her at the Lighthouse. "If you say so. I … he won't forgive me lying to him, Mom. You know that." This is said quietly, in a subdued voice.

Anything else. "I think I'm okay… we have power and food enough to last until it's safe, but thanks, Mom." She pauses, reaching to pick up a t-shirt Colette had slept in recently, bringing it to her chest to snuggle. "Um. There's… there's something else. Don't tell Dad this part, okay? I mean, I will eventually, but…" She is tongue-tied. "I sort of met someone. But… um." She swallows, and takes a deep breath.

"It's a girl. Don't freak out, okay? I didn't plan it and I don't know, I mean, I really loved Dane so I don't know what it makes me but you've always said that people are people and affiliations and stuff don't matter and that everyone's equal and that stuff like that doesn't matter but I know it's different because it's me, but please don't freak out."

Her daughter met someone, her daughter met someone elses daughter and they're…

Silence reigns on the other side of the phone. Don't tell dad, I met someone, it's a girl, don't freak out.

"It's a girl?" She never figured her daughter for that kind of person but hey, she was going to college and everyone experiments in college is how the saying goes. "I think, when the weather clears, you need to bring her to the condo. Meet me at least" See her before her ex husband does a background search and scares the poor woman away.

Exhale. And breathe. She's not freaking out. At least not audibly. Tasha's relief is overwhelming. "You'll like her Mom, she's… she's like me, but like, brave and amazing and beautiful and compassionate and funny," Tasha murmurs. "I promise. As soon as it's safe to travel, okay? I didn't mean to lie to you and I didn't mean to worry you. Things have just been … weird. But it's okay. And I'm already trying to figure out where to go to school next semester, and I'm going to get a job — I'm going to stay here. I don't want to go back to Boston."

"You are going to need a job young lady. Because the moment you get back home, you are going to start paying rent. You decided that you were going to be an adult, so now, things change. We'll discuss it more when you get home, with your… girlfriend. Right now is not the time to talk about it" Joanna inhales, exhales, looks across the hotel room. "I should let you go. She sounds like a lovely woman"

Girlfriend. The word sounds awkward coming out of Joanna's mouth on the other line, but it brings a grin to Tasha's face. "Okay," she says, agreeing to the job and rent and bringing Colette home to meet her mother. "I love you. I miss you. Don't tell Dad the girlfriend thing yet — I'll figure that out later but he… he hates me enough as it is right now. I think one more thing will be too much." This is said in a smaller, less happy voice.

"Enough talk about your father like that" It won't help the situation any less. "I love you Bee Bottom" Joanna whispers into the phone, both hands cupping it.

Tasha doesn't argue — her mother, for once, does not have all the facts at her fingertips to understand the conflict that Tasha and Vincent find themselves in. The term of endearment, something her mother has called her out of affection since she was an infant, makes her smile. "I love you, too. I'll see you soon. I promise." She pushes the red "end" button, disconnecting the call.

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