Miles Away



Scene Title Miles Away
Synopsis Some twenty miles from home after midnight, Tasha spends a few cold and lonely hours in the aftermath of her last conversation with her father.
Date October 19, 2010


She made it a few blocks on autopilot in socked feet before she finally ducked into the darkened stoop of a building to put her boots back on. She'd cried there a few moments before sounds from a nearby alley scared her away, and she staggered on, keeping to the shadows, a hand curled around the pepper spray canister attached to her key ring in her peacoat's pocket, wishing she had the gun instead. But getting caught out after midnight on the street would be trouble enough without adding carrying without a permit to the mix.

If she were a Lazzaro, it'd be easy enough to convince a cop to look the other way. But as of now, the name is no longer hers.

Emotionally, at least.

Tasha considers calling someone, calling Colette, but it's late, and she doesn't want to risk anyone else coming out after curfew just to help her. Her mother would be safe enough, able to talk her way out of any crisis, Tasha knows, but she's not ready to explain this to her mother. She's not sure she will ever try. Somehow, she knows, it will just make things worse to have Joanna trying to fix this, like it was one of her court cases.

There's nothing anyone can do to make this right.

Down the street, she sees a squad car turn the corner, and Tasha flattens herself against the shadowed cage of the bodega she happens to stand near. The smell of bananas and coffee spills through the holes in the metal door. Overripe sweetness mixes with bitter nuttiness, both juxtaposed against the salty taste of her tears that continue to stream down her red cheeks and into her mouth.

She holds her breath as the black and white passes, slowly, so slowly that Tasha wonders if the cops within might see her. But then, there's no hurry for men on the graveyard shift when there's no 2 a.m. closing time spilling drunks into the streets for police to chase down or to catch driving while under the influence. There's no hurry, so there's no need to speed.

Once it's passed her, Tasha darts to the subway station, her feet echoing as loudly as her heart beats, it seems, both as loud as drums in her ears, as she descends the steps. Her apartment is too far away to walk tonight. The trains and buses aren't running. She needs to find a corner to hide in. Sleep will not come tonight, she knows, but the subterranean platforms are always warm, even in the chill of winter.

She already feels like she just lost half her family. Now she'll know what it feels like, for just one night, to be homeless, as well.

The roar of the subway approaching in the morning rouses the teen, curled on the far end of one platform. Tasha makes the rest of her journey to the Bronx first by train and then by foot in the light of the rising sun — an oddly hopeful symbol, given how bereft and betrayed she feels.

That part of her identity marked 'Renard-Lazzaro' was left behind in Brooklyn.

Somehow, Tasha doesn't think that life for Natasha Olivia Renard will be any easier.

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