Cecilia mentally kicked herself. She had forgotten about his dog tags. She wondered how he felt, staring at them. Sighing, and glancing down the road, she knew she had to speak.
"I'm sorry. Those must be painful to look at...I could barely look at them either. Actually...I stole them." she mumbled, twisting her hands together. "They were sent to your mother. And the day that they told me to.......the day that I left, I was running out of your house, and I found them on the floor. I....Something snapped. Sobbing, I picked them up and left. I could never look at them though...But I wore them for a long time. And I..held them to my heart. But, once I came here....." her voice trailed off, figuring that he could guess the rest.
Glancing at the box, she reached in, and ran her fingers over the pictures. School photos, proms, dates, hang outs, weddings, school plays, parties, a picture of them together- in his uniform... If someone lined the photos up in chronological order, it would tell their entire story. Well, up until now.
Pulling away from him suddenly, she stood up fast, and walked into the middle of the lane. She kept her back to him, and wrapped her arms around herself. "Just thought you should see them..." she mumbled softly.
Lifting her head up, her eyes gazed directly into the light of the moon. Softly she smiled, as another memory stirred. The two of them, laying on the grass in her yard, staring at the sky for an astronomy project. Young and naive, Marcus had bet her that a human had been on the moon before. Ignorant, Cecilia said it was impossible. Racing inside, Cecilia was dissapointed to find out she was wrong. Marcus decided since he won the bet, Cecilia would have to kiss his cheek and hold his hand for the rest of the night. It wasn't until later, that she found out Marcus had tricked her, knowing the true answer all along. Yet, she never pulled away from him.
Lowering her head then, Cecilia sighed, and a wave of nostalgia rolled over her. She missed life being so simple with Marcus. Not a care in the world. Now, everything was up in the air, and utterly confusing.
Within the first few minutes of the film, Marcus felt Cecilia’s head slump against his shoulder. She was out cold. With a smile, he tucked his arm around her and let her sleep. If she was that tired she needed the rest. Max didn’t notice until the movie was over that his mother had fallen asleep. As much as Marcus tried, he couldn’t keep Max from waking up Cecilia. He had to laugh at the way Max was trying to be annoyed that Cecilia had fallen asleep.
Pressing his lips together to keep from smiling, he stood up and led them out of the theater, Max chatting about the movie and the fun he had at the restaurant. Marcus simply nodded at the right time and asked Max a few question. About ten minutes into the drive home, he glanced over at Cecilia and smiled. She had fallen asleep again. Letting Max wake her up, he followed the two of them into the house upon arrival and helped Cecilia put Max to bed. Marcus smiled at Max’s tired, sleepy eyes and knew he would be out within minutes.
He should have known that Cecilia wouldn’t have been able to fall asleep since she had slept for almost two and half hours. Not saying anything, he followed her outside like she requested. The night was warm and no words were needed, they were simply two people enjoying each other’s company. Sitting down beside her, he watched silently as she pulled at the tree and pulled out a box. With a curious look, he accepted it when she handed it to him and opened it. Marcus studied the contents of the box, unable to think. His chest felt tight and he realized he had been holding his breath.
Moving so that he sat beside her, Marcus wrapped an arm around her shoulders, his other hand still holding the precious box. “I’ve missed you too. Moments like this give the impression that not much time has gone by.” He smiled at his words, resting the box on his knees so that he could reach in and gently pulled out his dog tags. Running a finger across the familiar letters and numbers, he placed them back into the box silently.
Almost as soon as the movie started, Cecilia felt her head slump lightly, and she fell asleep easily on Marcus's shoulder. Two hours later, she was woken roughly by Max who was tugging on her hair, and pretending to be offended. Cecilia smiled sleepily, and swatted his hand away. "Sorry guys. Long day." she laughed.
Soon, she found herself falling asleep in the car, and was once again roughly woken by Max once they reached home. Forcing herself to keep her eyes open, Cecilia took Marcus's hand, and together they put him in bed.
Walking back down to the guest room, the second Cecilia sat on the bed, she groaned. "Oh, naturally I'm awake now." she sighed. Glancing up at Marcus, she stood up, and took his hands. "Walk with me?" she asked softly.
Without waiting for a reply, Cecilia began to pull him out of the house, and they were walking down the path in the moonlight. Cecilia didn't speak much, and she was grateful that Marcus didn't either.
Finally she stopped at her cherry tree, and lifted up the root, pulling out her box. Sitting down, she opened the box and lovingly handed it to Marcus. She hoped he recognized everything. Her ring, the photos, the letters, his dog tags, a diary they kept when they were younger....
Cecilia glanced at the ground with her hands folded in her lap. "I..I missed you." she whispered softly.
Marcus nodded at Cecilia’s words. She was right; he couldn’t have stayed no matter how much he wanted to. Life hadn’t turned out the way either one of them wanted. He could tell Cecilia was about to answer him, but was interrupted by the waitress. He let the topic go for now, not wanting to spoil the evening. They enjoyed themselves, eating the food. It was delicious, and Marcus found himself wanting to come there again sometime in the future. Perhaps he wanted to come because Max enjoyed it so much.
Marcus spent most of the time listening to Max tell him about his life. Marcus was still surprised that Max had taken such a liking to him. The young boy barely knew him and yet he seemed to have no shyness around him. He couldn’t help but silently agree with Cecilia. Max was certainly not shy around people. Marcus put up an argument about paying for the food, but he relented and allowed Cecilia to pay, telling her that it would be his treat next time.
While they were waiting for Cecilia to pay, Marcus bent down and whispered something in Max’s ear. The words made Max burst out in laughter, and it took him awhile to quiet down. They were laughing together when Cecilia appeared. “Whoops, busted.” Marcus stated with a grin. This caused Max to laugh even harder. Both of Marcus and Max had calmed down by the time they had walked to the theater and found their seats.
Max was happily chewing on his popcorn, the container resting on his lap. “How it is possible he still has room to eat?” Marcus laughed, shaking his head in amazement. Though he did remember being hungry all the time when he was younger too. Wrapping his arm around the back of Cecilia’s chair so that he could hug her closer to him, he smiled. “I’m sure the movie won’t be that bad.” He stated with a grin.
Cecilia shook her head, her hands still firmly grasping his. "You couldn't have stayed. You would've been arrested. You know, both of our parents tried to pay off the government to keep you home- but no amount of money would do it. There was nothing any of us could do...and that's life..." she said softly, giving him a kind smile with a shrug.
As she listened to him progress, she gently laid a hand on his cheek. As she was about to reply, naturally the waitress took that moment to appear with their food. The waitress smiled apologetically, and as she set the food down, Cecilia stood and walked over to retrieve Max.
And for the most part, the meal was an entertaining one. Max did most of the talking, rambling about the children he just met. After he has exhausted that topic, he began to speak about different things to Marcus. He talked about when he went to school, how he trained Molby by himself, about the movie they were about to see after dinner, etc...
Finally they were done, and Cecilia insisted that she pay, and she did. Returning to the outdoors, they quickly walked down the street to the movie theater, where she ran inside and bought their tickets.
After the three of them were inside, Cecilia found herself sitting in the middle of the two of them, which she didn't mind. Leaning over to Marcus, she grinned at him. "This movie is actually rated G. This is going to be a long two hours." she joked, and rested her head on his shoulder, while Max was leaning into her side.
Marcus followed Cecilia’s gaze and grinned as they watched Max for a few minutes. No, it didn’t appear as if was shy around girls. “Well I don’t know about that. Before I met you I was shy around people, especially girls. I suppose being an only child made one more hesitant to speak out.” He smiled at the memory and turned to study Cecilia. That was yet another thing that they had in common. They were both the only child in the family. “Perhaps that’s one of the reasons why we were inseparable once we had met.” He stated with a smile, knowing that Cecilia would know of what he meant with the families.
Marcus was silent as Cecilia talked, remembering the past and what had happened between them. He remembered each memory as she listed it, some memories more clear than others, yet he still remembered them. One memory that was still painfully clear was the morning he had left for the Army. Intending to come back at the most within two years to marry her.
Suddenly sad, he shook his head and glanced down as she placed her hands on his. “You shouldn’t thank me. I shouldn’t have left that morning. Things would be different if I had stayed with you.” He looked up to meet her eyes. “You and Max wouldn’t have had to go through so much, I wasn’t there to protect either one of you.” He sighed and reached up to brush a lock of hair from her face. “I promise you that I’m going to change that. Make you forget about the hardships of your life. I want to take you and Max away from here, away from Kyle.”
Marcus knew he had probably just destroyed the happy mood they had been in, simply enjoying each others company. But his thoughts hadn’t allowed him to think of anything else during the time he was working on the fence. It was hard work, but it allowed his mind to wander, and it hadn’t let him think of anything else but Cecilia and their son Max.
Cecilia couldn't help but laugh joyfully. "Oh how I loved that swing...You were so jealous that I wasn't paying you any attention. I rather loved that." she giggled and actually stuck her tongue out at him. "But I suppose you got your revenge in high school when you studied day in and day out for exams, and refused to touch me." she mock grimaced, before slipping into a smile again.
Cecilia's gaze once returned to Max, who was playing with other children around him. She bit her lip, hiding a laugh when she saw that he was obviously not shy around girls. "How like his father..." she murmured, her eyes flickering to Marcus's face.
Silently, she picked up her lemonade glass, and raised it to her lips. After taking a few sips, and setting it down, she shook her head thoughtfully. "Who would've thought..." she began, her gaze distant.
"It seems like yesterday you were fighting off guys for me in high school...and I was fighting off the girls for you... Seems like only yesterday we went on our fifth grade field trip to a history museum, and you held my hand...Seems like only yesterday we spent a beautiful night together, and in the morning, I stood, watching your car dissapear down the road.... Who would've thought this would be us now?" she murmured, biting her lip.
"And Max....I think he's the greatest achievement of all. When Kyle allowed him to go to school, he was the top of his class. Plus he's a happy child, seeing the circumstances...He makes the best out of any bad situation. I think he gets it from you." she smiled lightly, meeting Marcus's eyes again.
Slowly reaching across the table, Cecilia took his hand in hers. "Thank you." she murmured, staring deeply into his eyes.
Marcus amazed himself at being able to keep his eyes on the road while laughing and talking at the same time. He followed Cecilia’s directions easily enough, but listening to Cecilia and Max goofing off in the car was enough to keep him laughing. “oh believe me, I would tickle him if I could.” Marcus stated with a grin, glancing at Max through the review mirror. He could tell the kid was enjoying himself and Marcus was very happy to see it.
Once they had made it to the restaurant, Max surprised him by reaching out to grab Marcus’ hand in his own. With a feeling he couldn’t quite identify, Marcus gently closed his hand around Max’s. He played follow the leader as he let Cecilia and Max lead them through the restaurant and sit down at a table. Marcus couldn’t help but laugh as Max took off for the playpen once their order had been placed. He watched his son play for several minutes, even after Cecilia had asked her question.
Another minute passed before he turned to look at Cecilia. “He’s an awesome kid. Full of energy and very much your personality.” Marcus smiled, sneaking a look at Max again before turning his head as their drinks were placed in front of them by a waitress. “Ah yes, the playground. You were so excited to simply swing and run around, but I stopped you. By the end of the day you enjoyed my company more than a swing. I felt like I had completed a challenge.” Marcus shook his head with silent laughter as picked up his glass and took a sip from the cold tea.
The entire ride to the restaurant consisted of Cecilia explaining the directions to Marcus, while Max shrieked that they were going the wrong way. Rolling her eyes playfully, Cecilia shot Max a look.
"Look here kid, I'm the adult here. When you're 28- then I'll let you tell me what to do. But for now, zip it!" she demanded with a smile, reaching awkwardly over the seat to tickle him.
Pleased that Max was thoroughly embarrassed over her babying him, Cecilia turned around, facing the front, and shot Marcus a smug smile. "Don't let him fool you. He loves being tickled." she mock whispered, grinning at Max again, who also had a smile on his face, though he tried to hide it.
Twenty minutes filled of yelling, laughing, teasing, and horrible singing, they made it to the restaurant in one piece. As they got out of the car, Cecilia gripped Max's hand, restraining him from running head first into the kiddie area. As they walked in, Cecilia gently nudged Max in between the two of them, and Max reached for Marcus's hand as well, much to her surprise.
Trying to downplay her happy smile all the way into the restaurant, Cecilia was relieved when they sat at a table, and ordered. The second they ordered, Max was off, diving head first into the ball pit.
Smiling warmly, Cecilia rolled her eyes. "See? He completely has my personality. Remember that time you literally had to pin me so I wouldn't go crazy at the playground?" Cecilia blushed, her gaze focusing on Marcus.
"Well...what do you think of him? Be honest now."
All posts are either in parody or to be taken as literature. This is a roleplay site. Sexual content is forbidden.