I'll Always Remember


delia_icon.gif b_jaiden_icon.gif

Scene Title I'll Always Remember
Synopsis Delia receives a letter and pictures from a long long time ago, for Jaiden it's like it all happened yesterday.
Date September 14, 2010

Gun Hill — Ryans Apartment

Since they moved in, there hasn't been any mail. No one knows to contact them there, no one that would send a letter anyway. Nevertheless, Delia has checked the box every day; maybe out of habit or maybe simply because she likes sifting through the junk mail for coupons she'll never use. In her room, far from view from anyone else, the redhead sorts through all the fliers and free news that made its way into the little box. There's a toy store down the street having a sale on mechanical hamsters.

From inside a grocery store flier, a letter slips out. Picking it up, Delia freezes and pales as she sees who its addressed to. Not to her. Not to her father.

Queen Abberjininy
1233 Gun Hill Road apt 501
Bronx, NY

With a trembling hand, she tugs at the flap and released glue that was sealed so long ago it's practically dissolved.

Not exactly addressed to anyone, but definitely intended for Delia. The letter is thick, wrapped in a heavy-duty envelope with stickers and the like that shows it's been shuttled all over the state, apparently originating from some bank in the northern part of the city - one that's been in operation since a couple of dozen years before the bomb.

Inside, there are several pages, all hand written, with a few photographs too, sealed in a second manila envelope - something to be checked on later.

Dear Delia,

I hope this letter finds you well. I'm writing from a small shop overlooking Central Park, having a nice coffee after a meeting with you in the park. In 1999.

As her eyes pour over the words, she takes a deep breath in and catches her lower lip between her teeth, biting down. 'Dear Delia', the words put a small smile on her face as she traces her finger over the old ink not venturing any further than that for a while. When she finally does, the smile widens and she draws in a quick sniffle of a breath and lets out a little laugh.

"Oh my god…" Without him there, she knows that he can probably see the blush of embarrassment on her face. That thought causes her hand to be pressed to one of the hot cheeks as she reads on.

And as Jaiden sits in the coffee shop overlooking Central Park, the thought of the blush that will definitely appear on the girl's face gives him a bit of a smile too. He takes a sip of his coffee and begins to write again.

It's not often that I get to see a woman that I know when she's nine years old, but I did. We sat on a bench in the park and talked at length while Lulu played. I was really nervous, too, when I figured out who you were. I wanted to say so much, but I couldn't, because it would have messed up the timeline even more. Hopefully this letter gets to you, since, really, it's not changing anything at all - just telling you of things that happened ten years ago. (look at picure #1)

That's a prompt to open the manila envelope. Inside are several pictures, face down, each labeled with a number on the back. The First Picture is of Lulu, Delia, and their mother, walking away into the snowy morning. It's printed like a photograph is, on photo paper, so the colors are still bright and vibrant, even after being sealed in there all those years. The caption written on the bottom - A Mother who loves her Daughters very much.

Seeing her mother's back, walking away while holding Lulu's hand on one side and Delia's on the other, it has a dual reaction. The redhead lets out a laugh, spying herself leaning against the pull of her mother's hand. Her one foot is raised high, ready to stomp, like she always did when she walked. It got more attention. All the while, tears are spilling down her cheeks as she studies her mother's elegant form in that old navy wool coat that she wore year after year. It was timeless and now it's gone.

After wiping her eyes and cheeks with one hand, she rubs the tears off on her jeans. The photograph is set aside with a personal promise to be copied later for both her sister and her father. She scrapes her lower lip through her teeth a few times and scans over the letter again, trying to find her place.

…telling you of things that happened ten years ago. (look at picture #1) I'm only supposed to be here for a week, so maybe I'll get lucky and bump into you again.

You're a cute kid, you know that? All smiles and energy, wanting to be Queen of the Abbberjininy people and ride one of the unicorns they have hidden in the outback. I don't know if the words I told you on that day helped - if they did, you're probably not getting this letter, but if they helped you get along a little better with your sister, I'll consider it a triumph.

Jaiden pauses in his writing to take a bite of danish, putting it aside before considering again, pen going back to paper.

The thing that I'll wonder about is, if you'll remember the meeting in the park, where I was your giant, and how I paid attention to you rather than Lulu, who was doing her level best to garner all the attention for herself. I just hope that, when I get back, you'll remember me.

Grabbing her pillow from the head of the bed, Delia hugs it against her chest and rests her chin on it. The memory of eleven years ago, it's so fuzzy now, at least his face in it. "I remember wanting to be queen of all the abberjininies, Jaiden," she whispers to him, not that he can hear it. For almost half a year that was her focus, what she wanted to be when she grew up. In play, she was always set back to princess.

Picking up the picture again, she holds it against the letter so she can see both of them at the same time. Her crooked half smile appears across her face as she flickers her attention between Jaiden and the image that he captured. She was so little back then, it's almost impossible to imagine now. Back then everything was so big, she was so tiny. Now everything is so small and hard to find. "So far I remember… so far so good, right?"

When I end up getting back, we'll chat again, I'm sure. About unicorns and princesses, about your sister and mother, about things. She really, really loved you, intensely, purely, and wonderfully. She spent so much time dressing you and Lulu to look just perfect before taking you out, making sure you were warm and comfortable.

I would have loved to have spent more time with her.

Jaiden, in the past, glances at his watch for a moment before going back to his writing.

Wondering if I'll be remembered doesn't do me any good now, though. You either will, or you won't. At least I'll remember.

The page breaks, a line drawn across it. Apparently Jadien moved at this point, resuming in the same calligraphy, just a bit later.

Coming back here and seeing you makes me think. We're friends, definitely. If we're more…that'll remain to be seen when and if I get back.

A heavy feeling envelopes the young woman as she reads those last words. Letting out a small sigh, she wrinkles her nose and grimaces. Hi Mommy! This is my new boyriend Jaiden the Giant! The words drift through her mind as she picks up her little phone and flips through the two pictures she has of him. Tired in one, slightly afraid but a little excited in the other, it was him back then. The giant.

She lifts the letter again and chews on her lower lip somewhat, "You don't have to worry about me not remembering you. I will… you made sure I will." The letter, the photographs, the childhood memory; no matter what happens now, she'll always remember.

When you have a chance, look at the rest of the photos I sent. They're pictures of me, basically, in the past, doing touristy things. Cheesy photos of me next to the Statue of Liberty and one at the top of the Empire State Building, where you said you'd climb.

You have so much potential, Delia. You're special, and not just because you can jump into dreams. You have passion. You have a caring heart. You have learned to forgive, and that's not something that many people can do.

All my love.

J. Mortlock

04 January, 1999

The pictures - there are five of them. The one of the girls and their mother, (kind of like this, but from the back http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2010/06/24/article-0-0A2D76B1000005DC-28_468x528.jpg) Three of Jaiden doing 'touristy' things (One in front of the statue of liberty, one on top of the empire state building, and one in Times Square, still boiling with life) and the last….another image of Delia and her mother. How he got this..where he got this, he probably won't be able to say or even remember, but it's a picture of Delia's mother kneeling, giving her daughter a tight hug. It is Delia, too - you can tell from the color of the coat - and has the caption 'Mother and Daughter'

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