The World Needs Janitors


joanna_icon.gif tasha_icon.gif

Scene Title The World Needs Janitors
Synopsis Tasha returns, post-father conversation seeking attention and comfort from her mother.
Date April 26, 2010

Joanna's Home, Solstice Condominiums

A note in Tasha's slanted writing proclaims her to be at her father's, may or may not be back tonight, with a lopsided heart and a lowercase 't' in lieu of a signature. Joanna's daughter had taken to writing simply 'M' for Mom and 't' for Tasha when leaving notes early in their days of being a smaller family unit of two rather than the nuclear family of three. So it may be some surprise — or probably not, given the cool and distant space between father and daughter that has grown over the years — when the door rattles and Tasha enters the apartment just a few moments before curfew, cheeks rosy from the cold and coat dusted with snow.

Once inside, she slips out of the new coat and scarf her mother bought her earlier that day, hanging them up before heading off in search for her mother — if only to say goodnight, at least.

Joanna is in the back, in the spare large bedroom that was converted into a family room. Sweat suit on, juicy proudly proclaimed on the bottom, slippers, hair up and held back by a clip and reading glasses across the brief on her lap while she watches the television and the local news that's on.

"Tasha? How was your visit?" when footsteps are heard, familiar ones that belong to the young woman.

The girl heads down the hall, the flickering of light in the hallway beckoning her along with her mother's voice. When she enters the room, she doesn't answer but instead heads to the sofa, sitting next to Joanna and resting her head on her mother's shoulder. She sighs, then reaches down to unlace her boots so she can curl up properly on the couch.

"He was back from some shindig, wearing a tuxedo. He didn't murder me, anyway, so I guess it went all right." If by all right, one means a fifteen-minute conversation. "How was work?"

"Lost a case. Should have had him by rights but, sometimes, there's just no convincing twelve people otherwise" Joanna muses into Tasha's hair as she swivels her head to plant a kiss in the young woman's dark hair. "He'll come around. He loves you, he's just, incapable of showing it at times. Did he look like a penguin enough, uncomfortable in it all?" Joanna shifts on the couch so she can lift and arm and wrap it around Tasha's shoulders, fingers running through her daughter's hair, playing with it.

"You know, he's not disappointed in you? He's just worried. He's your father and we may not see eye to eye, but sometimes, he does have a reasonable head on his shoulder and does care"

"I'm sorry you lost the case. Hopefully it wasn't the crazy axe murdering serial killering type that they just let on the streets in this amazingly safe and secure city," Tasha says, reaching for a throw blanket on the other side of her to pull over her still-chilly body.

"Yeah, he looked a little like a penguin. And is he ever comfortable?" she asks, as pulls the blanket up to her chin. The fact she's seeking closeness and affection mean that the meeting with Vincent didn't go well, of course, though she'll play it off like it doesn't bother her — something she learned to do at a fairly young age as both a defense for herself and a way to try to protect her mother.

"I know he cares, but I think he's probably disappointed in me, at the same time," she adds. "No one wants a drop out for a kid, right?"

"He can be comfortable" It's a rare thing, She agrees even as she works to settle the blanket around Tasha, keep her close, squeeze her tight. "Just a case. He'll do something wrong and be caught again. But that's life kid, and worse offenders get tossed back out or released from jail that should stay in. But no, not a serial killing axe murderer" She doesn't go into details, not a point to going into details.

"He'll come around, give him time. I wasn't happy about it at first, but… I'm willing to give it time, besides, there's always the schools here and night school Tash, you can always transfer credits here. Sometimes.." She loathes to say it, overachiever that she is. "People just don't pursue a post secondary education"

Joanna's eye's watch the news unfolding on the screen.

"Besides" Dryly spoken. "Someone has to be a janitor"

"Oh, very funny. You got that out of one of those 'scared straight' or 'tough love' boot camp documentaries, right, where they send the kids to some camp in like Utah and make them climb mountains and figure out that there's more to life than being spoiled brats, yeah?" Tasha teases her mother, though the point is taken. Her mother's daughter, school was easy for her growing up — she might not have wanted to be a lawyer or a doctor, but she had the GPA and the SAT scores to get into a good university to pursue such careers, had she wanted to.

"Maybe. I think maybe I shouldn't have gone away, sometimes. Maybe I wasn't ready to be a grown-up," she adds quietly. She was only seventeen when she went to school in August, living in an off-campus apartment, due to over-full dorms. Perhaps it was too much "Maybe I can go somewhere here. It's not like New York doesn't have art schools."

'When you decide to, your father and I will bulldoze everyone and get you into whatever you want to get into" Another kiss to Tasha's forehead and ruffle of hair. "Besides, we already explored pamphlets on the scared straight boot camp in Utah, was too expensive. you're not worth that much" More teasing.

"I think, we have some chunky monkey in the freezer. I say… that we grab it, some spoons, bowl, chocolate syrup and sprinkle, whip cream, cherries, you name it, and go into the bedroom and watch something on pay per view while the power lasts hmm? You can sleep in the bed with me, like old times"

The joke about the Utah camp gets a snort from Tasha who smacks her mother in the arm, then squeezes a little closer. "Like I would adulterate Ben and Jerry with all of that. Our relationship is at a much more serious level where we don't feel the need for all those frivolities, you see," she says, lifting her chin and speaking in a haughty demeanor.

"But I'll make you up a bowl the way you like it," the teen tells her mother, uncurling from her needy little ball and standing, keeping the blanket around her for the trek to the kitchen. "And no legal dramas, you need a night off work!" she calls from halfway down the hallway.

"You better, or I'll take you to court for elder abuse!" Joanna yells, turning off the television and closing the files to tuck them away. "Stiff penalties for that. Utah boot camp for sure young lady!"

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