Life Is Short


joanna_icon.gif tasha_icon.gif

Scene Title Life Is Short
Synopsis Joanna confronts Tasha about what's under the scarf.
Date September 12, 2010

Solstice Condominiums

It is with obligatory reluctance that Tasha is visiting her mother this Sunday, having to leave Colette when she knew that the girl was exhausted, worried and distraught. But she also knew that Colette would get more sleep and rest if she were alone in the apartment — with Tasha there, Colette might feel the need to be social, despite her lack of sleep and energy.

That and Tasha is trying to be a good daughter.

Not long ago, she'd vowed no more lies and that she would spend more time with Joanna, knowing what her mother saw in the visions of June 10th. She and Colette and Joanna are all determined in their ways to stop that fate from coming true, but it doesn't mean her mother isn't afraid it will. But she's already lied to her mother again, and so the only way to appease that guilty conscience is by spending more time with Joanna, and hope that love and quality time can make up for the lack of truth.

The door to Joanna's condo opens and Tasha steps in, dressed again in not her usual t-shirts and jeans, but a skirt and blouse, another little French scarf around her neck. She carries her contribution to lunch, a coffee cake picked up by one of their favorite bakeries. "Hi, Mom," she calls, closing the door behind her and stepping into the condo in search of Joanna.

Coffee lingers in the air, the quality beans ground not long ago and let to sit with water dripping over them. The pot still hot in it's thermal carafe, Chinese on the counter, and freshly delivered as Joanna's walking around the kitchen, removing plates from cupboard, a bluetooth earpiece lodged in her ear as she chatters away into it.

"No, no, unacceptable. They'll have to go back to the board and come up with something better. I don't care what she did and what she's willing to tell, it's unacceptable an offer they've put down and it will never be accepted. It's too low, she actively participated in the murders. She's going to spend time behind bars. Call back tomorrow, when she's willing to come to her senses and take eight years"

Whatever else is spoken, it's hushed when she hears and see's Tasha enter the condo and eventually hangs up, the bluethooth tossed to the counter. "Did you bring Colette with you?"

Perhaps that conversation could apply to her, but that irony is lost on Tasha as she enters the kitchen and sets the coffee cake in its pink box down on the table. She moves to her mother's side to give her a one-armed hug and a kiss on the cheek, before pulling out a chair and flopping down in it. She might be dressed in a skirt, but she's still a tomboy in her motions.

"Was I supposed to? I didn't ask, but she was pretty exhausted from work this morning, so I left her to sleep the day away," the teen says with a shrug, reaching for one of the Chinese containers to open it and survey its contents. "Big case?"

"Busy being her" Joanna murmurs, kissing Tasha's cheek back, relinquishing a plate to her so that she can lean down. Jeans and t-shirt, hair down, she's in casual at home, not going into work at some point. French tipped fingers grasp the small Hermes bag in her hand and she drops it's carefully on the counter in front of Tasha. "For you"

The teen arches a brow at the Hermes bag, and looks up at her mother quizzically, then reaches inside to find three scarves, much nicer and chic-er than the ones she's been wearing, her own picked up at a thrift store in Greenwich Village. Running her fingers over the shiny, satiny material of one of the scarves, her brows quirk together. This is only the second time her mother has seen her in such a scarf — one outfit, especially on an eighteen-year-old girl, is hardly enough to determine a particular style. Tasha has certainly attempted various looks and fads in the past, without such gifts lavished upon her.

"They're beautiful," she murmurs, her voice a little uncertain, one hand going to her scarf at her throat. "Thank you."

"Try them on. I want to see how they look" Joanna plucks out one that might look like it would match what Tasha is currently wearing. An easy smile on her face, she reaches up to tuck away a stray lock of hair from out of her daughters face. "Want to make sure I got the right colors"

There is a flicker of worry in Tasha's face — this is not like her mother. "Oh, they're perfect. And you know me, I can wear anything except, like, pastels, and these are amazing colors that will go with everything," she says, tossing the others back into the Hermes bag and getting up, taking the one out of Joanna's hand. "Let me put them away from the food, so they don't get anything on them, and let's eat. I'm famished." It's another lie — she has no appetite at the moment.

"Take off the scarf Natasha" A great deal of the kindness in her voice seeping out one drop at a time as she holds onto the one in her hand when Tasha goes to take it, liberate it and get away from the topic of scarves. "I want to see"

This seems like a bad scene in a vampire movie. Maybe her mother thinks she has a hicky and is trying to embarrass her. But part of Tasha knows it's more than that. The teen lets go of the scarf, rather than play tug of war with the square of fabric that probably costs more than the rest of her outfit combined, including the shoes.

She shakes her head and sets the bag down on the counter. "It can wait. The food's getting cold," she tries again.

"White coffins with tubes coming out of them and a woman screaming for her children Natasha" Joanna holds the scarf still, but moves around the counter and around her daughter, maneuvering just enough to place herself between her daughter and the door so she can't bolt.

"people in the Ferry who have relayed on tape to your girlfriend, what they saw on the tenth of June" The scarf in her hand is arranged, folded into squares. "Did you know, that Colette can make herself invisible Natasha? I never knew that. I thought she just had that thing with the lights. But she can turn herself invisible. She wanted me to open a door and let her out, afraid of camera's seeing her. I let her out through the window. Apparently that never occured to her"

Joanna's weight shifts to one side, fingers plucking the scarf here, there, smooth out a wrinkle. "She broke into my home. I don't like it when your girlfriends break into my home Natasha"

The color drains out of Tasha's face as her mother finally gets to the point. Her eyes drop, and she shakes her head angrily. She's not clear why her mother has seen the tape or why Colette broke into the condo. She's not sure she can trust her voice to ask the questions. She studies her shoes on the tile, her jaw set angrily — the anger at so many things: her mother, Colette, the government.

"She broke in to talk to you?" she finally manages, her voice quiet and straining to stay neutral. "She showed you the tapes?"

"Well, I certainly can't make something like this up. What is wrong with your neck. Take off the scarf Natasha, she said you got hurt, hurt bad and I want to see. I have never seen you in a scarf before these last few weeks. Take off the scarf and show me and I will tell you the rest of what happened" Joanna stops fiddling with the scarf to regard her daughter completely.

Tasha sighs heavily, exasperation and betrayal and fear all mixed together in that exhalation. "Fine," she snaps, fingers moving to the scarf to loosen its knot, unwinding the red and yellow floral fabric from her neck. A more livid red line where she was stitched together crosses her throat, surrounded by less red, pinker scar tissue that resembles something like a "scrape."

"I wasn't hurt bad. It just looks gross," she says, eyes still averted. "And I don't remember anything, so don't ask details, okay? I'm not going to give them."

oh god.

Joanna's forefinger and middle touch her own lips, a hash intake of air at the sight of the scar across Tasha's neck. The admonition that she can't remember what happened so don't ask is received, acknowledged and Joanna only moves forward so she can wrap her arms around Tasha and hold her tight, squish head to shoulder and rest her chin on top of the young woman's head. "Oh Jesus, don't do it again, don't do whatever it is you were doing, please don't"

The transformation from passive aggressive to fear and love is so complete in her mother that it takes Tasha by surprise — it shouldn't, not really, because she knows that all of her mother's motives come from love when it comes down to it. Wrapped up in her mother's embrace, it takes a moment before Tasha's arms lift and she wraps them around Joanna just as tightly, and the tears come. She wasn't hurt badly, but it was all due to luck — the tip of her head, the angle of the gun that shot her. Had she turned an inch in either direction, she very likely would have been killed, or at least much more seriously hurt.

She lets her mother hold her, and she simply nods her agreement for several moments — she has no intention of doing whatever it was she was doing again, but she also has no intention of leaving the Ferry; the two might be mutually exclusive goals.

"I'm sorry," she finally whispers — sorry for hiding it, sorry for the lies, sorry for the silence. "I didn't want you to worry."

"You make me worry by doing this" Joanna whispers fiercely into Tasha's hair. "When your girlfriend shows up in our home because she feels that I needed to know how close I came to loosing you and never even knowing until it was far too late. Do you know what your father would have done" Joanna's hands seek the sides of Tasha's face, turning it enough to look up while she looks down.

"Do you comprehend the warpath that your father would have started and gone down, if he knew something had happened to you and he had lost you Tasha? This has to stop. You cannot do what you did, again. Do you know and see why I want you and Colette to be away from Tamara come November? Because I know right now that if something were to happen to Colette, that you would just wither away in front of my very eyes"

Tears glimmer and shine in Tasha's eyes as she is forced to look up into her mother's face; they stream down her face as she nods to most of it, until it comes to Vincent. She shakes her head at that, and looks away, her face a contorted mix of pain and anger.

"We're not going to let anything to happen in November, Mom. But don't you see? Remember I asked Dad what he's doing about those visions? That the government needs to stop what's going on now, in order to stop that? Roosevelt Island — it's a ghetto, Mom. Not, like, the slang sense of the word, but the real sense of the word. They're going to do that to all the Evolved, put them away in communities to keep them away from the rest of us. Don't you see? That kind of thing is what's going to cause whatever happens in November to happen," she says, voice quiet but forceful.

"Tamara — I don't know what that's about, I think it's just a mistake somehow, I don't know, she'd never ever hurt Colette, not on purpose, and we're going to keep it from happening. I'm sure we can. It'll be okay, I know it will. We won't let it happen," she insists. "As for Dad…" she pulls away and turns her back so that her mother can't see the expression in her face. "Never mind. We're just going to disagree on how much he'd care."

"I don't know what's up with this Ghetto. I'm sure that Colette when she feels I need to know, will ensure that I know. But you can tell your girl that I passed it on, like she asked, and that next time, she needs to not break into our home and come in as a guest instead" She lets her go, doens't try to stop her daughter from looking away, turning away. Her hands just settle on Tasha's shoulders, giving them a squeeze before chafing her hands up and down her daughter's upper arms.

"we will always disagree on such" Mrmured quietly, pressing her face to the back of Tasha's head. "Just do not get yourself killed, please don't. I don't want to pick out a casket for you"

Tasha turns, her tearstreaked face peering at Joanna. "But you see — you see why I pushed him the other day? He is in a position where he can make a difference, where he can keep that stuff from happening, but he doesn't want to see." She wipes her eyes. "Colette — yeah, she shouldn't have done that. Sometimes she doesn't think things through. She could have called you and asked you to meet — but she just doesn't know. She doesn't think like you or me, but she means well," she continues, moving back to the table and staring at the food that she has no appetite for.

"She did it for love of me… you guys have that in common, if nothing else, right? I mean — I'm pissed at the moment that she told you, but I know it was because she thought it was the right thing to do. So I'm mad. But I won't stay mad, just like I can't stay mad at you ever."

She turns to look at Joanna, head tilting. "Did she tell you who we met?"

"Sasha the Russian" Her thumb traverses the span of flesh beneath tasha's eye's wiping away tears, drying her cheeks. She wipes her thumb off on her thigh before going in again to clear Tasha's face, regarding the puffy eyes and red with the adoration that only one who claims the title mother and birthed her, could do.

"Do you want me to meet him? I know what he looks like, Colette took a picture of him and put it on a phone for me. She also gave me the number of some people to turn to, if I needed help or had more questions"

Tasha swallows and shakes her head. "I … I don't know. He was nice, but that's up to you. I know you felt that if you ever met him, it'd be too late, so, if you don't want to, I totally get that," she says softly, not sure how much to explain to her mother of what she knows — not that it's a lot. "He was nice, and … and I don't remember exactly what happened to me, Mom, but he took care of me. He carried me."

She swallows hard, and reaches for her mother's hand, interlacing her fingers with Joanna's. "I don't know why Colette wanted you to know all of this — I don't want you to get involved… it's dangerous and your job is too important to get involved with some of the people who do work for the Ferry. I think she just wanted it so that I didn't have to lie to you, and to prove to you so you wouldn't think I was just being foolish. That this stuff matters."

"If you want me to meet him, then arrange something. I'll meet him. If only to thank him in advance for holding my hand a few months from now, and for taking good care of my daughter" This is the church, this is the steeple, her fingers entwine with tasha's and hold tight. "Colette did what she did, out of love, even if her methods leave much to be desired and I had to resist the urge to call the police on her for breaking and entering. I also Tasha, have no desire to become involved in the Ferry"

"I don't think I have a way to get a hold of him," Tasha says truthfully. "I don't want you to or don't not want you to, it's up to you. I don't know a lot about him." She sighs and reaches for the chinese food, picking up the chopsticks to gather up a piece of orange chicken. "You didn't tell Dad about any of this, did you?"

"That is who Colette needed the things to go to" She glances to the food, face lined and weary, no makeup since she's not going out of the house or work. "He received it, cautioned me to not speak about it, to anyone. No more, no less and I am sure that Colette would know how to get in touch with him"

She doesn't want the food either now, and instead moves towards the door and the closet there. "Come on. lets go out. Watch a movie, something, food later

Tasha swallows. If Vincent knows she was injured, he knows she was at Staten that night, most likely. That he hasn't called to speak to her, even to reprimand her, makes that invisible chasm between them seem uncrossable. "All right," she says, reaching for the scarf she already pulled off and winds it around her throat once more.

"I'll even let you pick the movie," she tells her mother. "But we're totally putting butter on the popcorn." Life is short.

"Lots of butter" Joanna agree's, life is indeed short. "Wear one of the new scarves" She gestures to the bag. "I really do want to see how they look on you"

Halfway through looping the old scarf around her neck, Tasha chuckles. It's an easy enough thing to give in to now. She drops the scarf in the bag and picks up the one her mother had been pushing at her earlier, with her ulterior motives as blatant as the colorful design on the Hermes silk. "It'll match my red eyes," she quips, moving to peer into the reflective black surface of a kitchen appliance to tie it, then tucks her hair behind her ears.

"It is a pretty scarf, though next time you don't need to resort to subterfuge, you know," she tells Joanna, linking her arm through her mother's and pulling her toward the door.

"Oh honey, I know you got hurt, you've been wearing cheap scarves, please let me see your hideous scar" Joanna imitates her daughter, flapping a hand liek some simpering female.

"We'll take you to a plastic surgeon Natasha, we'll get it fixed properly. So you can stop wearing scarves to hide it and wear them because you want to wear them"

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License