Popcorn at Sea


nicole_icon.gif pippa_icon.gif

Scene Title Popcorn at Sea
Synopsis Traditions are passed down.
Date November 17, 2018

Bay Ridge: Nicole's Brownstone

"Munch, crunch, munch, crunch, gulp!" With a book held open on her lap, Nicole pantomimes eating a large handful of popcorn for her daughter, seated on the floor of her bedroom. Pippa giggles with delight at her mother's antics. "So they ate, and ate, and ate. And ate, and ate, and aaate," she continues.

Nic shelves the book in her hand. She smiles faintly. She used to read it to her little sister so many years ago.

So, so many years ago now.

Nicole’s smile fades, she falls silent. She doesn’t turn the page to start the next piece of the story.

"I need a break," she declares, to the feline in earshot, heading toward the door. One hand presses against the plate of the light, as if to switch it off. Instead, she simply vanishes in a brief flash of blue-white light. In a second dazzling flash, she reappears on the roof of the Library, staring out at the vast ocean that claimed New York City. She hates the sea. The sound of the waves against the building used to fill her with panic. Sometimes they still do. But she loves the Library, so here she is.

"Mommy?" Pippa reaches up and takes the book from Nicole's still hands, looking up at her mother with concern. She closes the cover and sets it aside so she can stand in front of her and pat her face with one little hand. "Mommy, are you sick?"

She fishes a cigarette out of the breast pocket of her leather jacket and a lighter from her cutoffs. The wind is truly biting up here, but the cold doesn't bother her. Shielding the flame from the wind, she lights up and leans back against the wall behind her. Rissie will wrinkle her nose at her later for the smell. Unless she sees the look in Nic's eyes first.

"They left us there to drown," Nic spits bitterly to a seabird that's settled on a nearby railing. She's always cynical when she thinks about the past. "I would have, too." Drowned. Not left her there. "Should have. Somebody certainly thought I deserved to." She squints at the bird as though it had some retort that she didn't like. "Don't give me that. He was a monster. I'm not sorry for what happened. It was the least I could do, after Cole…"

The sudden sense of loss is overwhelming. Tears well up and slide down Nicole's face without any other outward reaction.

She scoffs then, as if suddenly realizing the ridiculousness of unburdening her soul to an avian. "What're you, my fuckin' therapist? Get the fuck out of here." Nic shoos the bird with a wave of her cigarette-laden hand. A paper airplane caught in the wind pirouettes through the air and lands at her feet, pulling her out of her reverie.

Nicole blinks and wipes at her face, finally able to focus first on a blonde ringlet, then her daughter's worried face. "Oh, honey. I'm sorry I scared you. I just got lost in thought."

Pippa is gathered up in her arms and settled on her lap, a kiss pressed to her cheek, quickly returned and with the fiercest hug a six-year-old can provide. Nicole rests her chin on that little blonde head and stares off across the room, brow creased in concern.

This again.

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