Cecilia sat silently. She couldn't even bear to look at his eyes as he spoke. Her own eyes were flooding with tears of horror and grief, but she managed to blink them back, as always.
"I am...so sorry that this has happened to you Marcus... You are the last person who would have deserved that... Even I deserve that three billion times more than you do...But you're safe now. And you'll heal..." her eyes flickered to his leg, and back up to his face.
"You are still, the strongest person on this planet, Superman." she smiled gently. As he spoke of his mother, and herself, she removed her hands from his in guilt.
"Moved here......Well...I suppose... " suddenly she looked miserable. She gently put her fingers over her mouth, and still her eyes showed the ever present tears. "I suppose it's my turn..." she whispered, looking grieved.
Standing, she walked around the table, and knelt at his feet. She took his hand, and kissed it gently, already asking for forgiveness.
"Oh Marcus...you know I can't lie to you......Even though this will kill me...I have to tell you. This is going to be a lot.." she whispered.
Mournfully, she looked down at the floor. "I...um.....Do you remember...the night before you left? On our beach?... I think you can guess what happened..." she whispered, meeting his eyes. "Once our parents found out....since we were engaged, it was alright. But when we got that letter..... Our parents sat me down, and all four of them told me that they could not have a...bastard child in the family. Grandchild or not. So they gave me a choice. Kill it...or get out." By now her tears had the better of her, and they rolled down her cheeks.
"I couldn't kill our baby....it was just about all of you that I had left....So...they told me to get out. And I did.....I wandered for three months..starving...cold...abused....alone....Until I ended up here. Seven months pregnant, I stumbled onto this farm. The owner...Kyle...he made an agreement with me. I could stay here...with the child. We would be cared for and looked after. But in return...I would...I would have to....." her voice cut off, and she stared at the floor. "Marry him." she whispered, completely broken.
"What could I have done...? We would have died... And he kept his word....we are fed....So we put up with living in hell." she broke. In this bright light, she wondered if he had yet to notice her bruises and scars.
"Marcus...I've betrayed you...But my heart hasn't.... You will hate me now...shun me...despise me...But I will always love you."
Completely broken in self loathing, she stood up, and ran into her living room. She sat down on her couch, with her hands over her mouth to keep her from screaming in agony. Her honesty would now lose her love...again.
Walking along beside her, Marcus couldn’t help but feel as if this was right. Even after so many years apart they still had something. He could feel it. He let her lead her into the house and he looked around it with a smile. “It’s not that bad. A small house requires little cleaning.” He looked down to meet her eyes and gave her a teasing smile. With her insentience, he sat down on the worn but comfortable kitchen chair, and propped up his leg with a slight grimace. He watched her move about the room as if she knew where everything was. He watched her silently as she placed the ice bandage on his leg through his clothing. He was glad that she hadn’t insisted on pulling up the leg of the jean pants.
He didn’t mind the scar, for it was a reminder of what could have been and how lucky he had been to survive. However, he wasn’t sure if he wanted to tell Cecilia just yet. His eyes moved to study Cecilia as she prepared some coffee and gave a mug to him. He blew on the hot liquid and took a sip. It was just as he had always liked it and he was touched that she remembered. “You remembered.” He stated with a smile, raising the coffee mug slightly. Glancing down at his leg, now feeling much better. “You didn’t have to take care of my leg, but thank you.”
He met her eyes as she sat down in a chair across from him and voiced her thoughts. Reaching forward and taking his hand in both of her own. With a sigh, he sat the coffee mug on the table and turned slightly to look at her. “I’m not sure where to start. Ten years is a long time and many of the memories have run together, making it seem as if only a day has gone by instead of years.” He frowned slightly, knowing that some memories stood out more than others. Deciding to start from the beginning, he took a breath before speaking. “After I left for the Army, I completed the basic training within a couple of weeks before the unit I was assigned to shipped out. The first weeks were calm, but then we were attacked by enemies.”
“It was a surprise attack and many of the men I had come to accept as friends died that day. Those that survived were taken as prisoners.“ Marcus paused in his story, his free hand absently running against the slightly raised skin of the scar on his chin. “Even more of the men died following the years there. The enemy was not kind. Eventually those few that were left were discovered and led to safety.” Marcus looked up from where he had been studying the ice bandage on his leg. “That was about three years after they had sent mom the letter that I was missing in action. I had lost all of my identification; the dog tags were gone, but later discovered by the commander. I didn’t want them. I was broken and needed time to heal from both the physical and emotional abuse. ”
Marcus continued to study her eyes as he finished his story. “About two years ago I was declared fit enough to work within the ranks again. eight months later I was in a building when it exploded. The glass from the building cut my leg and I almost lost my limb. Through months of physical therapy I was able to walk normally again and because of my injuries I was honorably discharged from the army six months ago. Then I decided to come home and see my family, and you.” He gave her a smile. “Mom told me that you had moved here and didn’t tell me why.” He chuckled and shook his head. “The distance couldn’t keep me from seeing you.” Finishing his story, he took another sip from his coffee, studying her. He knew she was happy to see him, but he could tell she was guarded, as if she held some secret from him. He had also told her only the highlights of his own story, not wanting to dig into his harmful past.
For a moment, all she could do was close her eyes and smile. Their hands had always fit perfectly together. It seemed that now, even ten years later, it was a perfect match.
Satisfied that Marcus could walk, she kept a firm grip on his hand, and led him carefully down the road towards her house.
A memory struck then, and Cecilia was filled with memories of their childhood and teenage years. Back when they were ten, they were given the nicknames of Superman and Lois Lane- and they stuck. Throughout growing up together, it seemed that Marcus was always watching over her, protecting her, and hiding her away from everyone else. Some thought he was like an over-protective brother. She always knew it was because he loved her.
A memory stirred. During one of their more "rebellious" stages, they snuck out of their houses late at night, and had a picnic on the beach all night. In the early morning hours, she had fallen asleep, and Marcus had carried her home.
Coming into the present, Cecilia smiled gently back at him, realizing they had made it. Nodding towards the house, she grimaced, and looked down, embarrassed. "It's not much..." she admitted.
Carefully she led him into the house, and right into the kitchen where she ordered him to sit at the table, and prop up his leg. Without waiting for him to obey her, she began to work fast, making a pot of coffee, and getting the ice and the ace bandages.
After everything was taken care of, and she was sure that he was as comfortable as possible, Cecilia hesitantly sat at a chair across from him. The night breeze blew threw the open window, and she pushed her hair out of her face, her eyes never leaving his face.
"Well..." she finally broke the silence. "I suppose we both have a lot to tell. You first." she smiled, and reached across the table, taking his hand. "If it doesn't pain you to..please...tell me everything. I need to know." she whispered in a small voice, with pleading eyes.
He released his breath as she turned and studied him. The picture had worked. She knew it was him. Marcus hadn’t released that he had been holding his breath. In the next second, she was in his arms and he didn’t resist, holding her against him, his chest tight with emotion. Finally, after not seeing her in so long… he couldn’t find any more words. He simply hugged her to him, inhaling her warm scent and everything that made her the young woman he remembered and the woman he now held in his arms.
He tried to get in some words of his own in answering her questions, but he simply couldn’t. She was talking too fast and he hoped it was a sign that she was happy to see him. Yet, he heard the painful words about his disappearance and why he had been gone for so long. He understood her pain at that part of his life. He knew it was only a matter of time before he told her everything that had happened to him during the time he spent in the army. But for now, he simply committed this moment to memory. It had been what kept him going. The slim chance that he would see her again and be able to hold her such as he was.
Marcus continued to smile when Cecilia pulled back and looking at her, he released his hold on her. Marcus let the smile stay on his lips as he watched her move away from him and pick up the grocery bags that she had put down on the ground. His eyes glanced down at his leg for a moment when she mentioned his injuries. “Some ice is all I really need.” He told her with a smile. His leg was in some pain, but he was simply too happy to see her again. After only a moment’s hesitation, he stepped towards her, limping only slightly. Once he was close enough, he gently grabbed her small hand with his much larger one.
<No problem, see you then :)>
Cecilia stared at his hand for what seemed like an hour, even though it was only about three seconds. Pivoting on her heel, she spun around, her mouth open wide.
She was about to speak when she realized that he was only inches from her. Their bodies barely brushing. She glanced from his eyes, then back to the picture, and back again.
"Marcus...." she whispered, taking the photo from him. Staring at it, her tears began to fall, and she smiled, staring at the picture. "I remember this.....Junior year of high school..... I remember the night I gave this picture up... It used to be tacked above my bed...I gave you this happily...I was so afraid you'd forget me....Marcus..." she whispered.
All at once, she moved closer, and tripped over her own feet. And in that moment, she was in his arms again. Her head was buried in his chest, and her arms were flung around his neck. Between her rapid sobs, she had to remind herself to breathe.
"But h-how....You're s-s-supposed to be d-dead.... And how did you f-find m-me? You were missing....Never thought I'd see you.... Oh God Marcus!" she sobbed, hugging herself to him tightly.
"Your parents told me...that you...No..never mind that. Marcus... I can't believe you're real....I can't believe you're here!" she whispered.
Looking up at his face suddenly, a hurt look crossed her face. "Why are you here....?" she asked, taking a step back from him. "If you're here to apologize...don't. I can't bear it........Marcus...you're hurt....I live up the road...Come with me...I have bandages to wrap that..."
Swallowing her hurt and pride, she bent down and picked up her bags. She began to walk away, when she stopped. She held out her hand towards him. "I'm not ready to let you out of my sight yet." she whispered, giving him a small and kind smile.
His breath was heavy, as if he had just run a marathon. He tried to take a few calming breaths, tried to get the throbbing in his leg to edge away. Yet he couldn’t. It had always been that way with Cecilia. He could never breathe normally around her. She had heard him, but instead of walking away like he had suspected, she had turned around and walked back to him. He remained quiet as she stepped closer to him and picked up his wallet. He hadn’t realized that it had fallen from his pocket. He was too busy trying to catch up with Cecilia. Breathing heavy, he straitened.
Trying to ignore the pain in his leg, he studied the woman in front of him. She had mentioned another name, Kyle? Who was this Kyle she referred to? He took a breath before reaching to take the wallet from her hand, when she dropped it again. He bent this time to pick it up and stuffed it into his pocket. He heard her mutter his name and he felt a small trickle of hope. Yet, she was still doubting herself, doubting that he was indeed the man she had loved so long ago.
He had to say something, anything to clear up the hurt and confusion he saw in her eyes before she turned away from him. What could he say that would make her believe that he was indeed the Marcus she spoke of? He took a step towards her and paused. “Marcus.” He stated in a horse whisper, taking another step closer to her. “You’re eyes don’t deceive you Cecilia. I am back and I know it has been a long time….too long.”
He dug into his front pocket and pulled out a photo. It was old and the creases were thick and deep. A regular person would have thrown out the photo a long time ago. Yet, he had kept it with him, a small light in the dark world he had lived. If his words couldn’t convince her, then maybe the photo would. Taking another step towards her, he stretched out his hand so that if she only glanced to the side, she would see the worn picture cupped in his hand so it wouldn’t blow away. The picture she had given to him the night before he had left.
Cecilia stopped. It wasn't Devon. It wasn't a voice she had heard recently. It was a voice she heard a long time ago, and only heard in her dreams now.
Turning her head slightly, she saw behind her the man she saw in the diner. The man who looked like Marcus.
If he had looked like anyone else, she would've kept running. But the similarity.... Gently she set her bags on the ground, and hesitantly walked towards him.
"Sir? Are you hurt? And, how do you know my name? Did Kyle ask you to watch me?" she called, suddenly suspicious.
Biting her lip, realizing how rude she was being. "I'm so sorry. Rough day, you know? Here, you dropped your wallet, let me help you." she offered.
She knelt down in front of him, picking it up. As she looked up at him, with her arm in midair back to handing it to him, she dropped it again.
Her eyes were locked on his. Her lips parted slightly, and all breath left her body. Her heart began to beat much faster again, and she couldn't help tears in her eyes.
"Marcus..." she mumbled, out loud.
Snapping back to herself, she shook her head, and broke the gaze. She handed him his wallet, and stood up. She turned from him, and wiped a tear from her eye.
Her thoughts were racing as she began to stare at him. Everything was this same. This had to be Marcus. If he wasn't supposed to be dead....Every detail was the same, except the fact he was obviously older, and had injuries. But yet, he seemed stronger, bigger, and taller than she remembered. But she could never forget his eyes, or the sound of his voice, or the feel of his touch. No matter how much she tried, no matter how many years had gone by, Marcus was impossible to erase from her memory.
A tear rolled down her cheek then, and she realized they were standing in the middle of the dirt lane. It's not like anyone would see them, but yet she could not help but notice their surroundings.
Turning away from him, she crossed her arms. "I am very sorry. It's been a rough day....I already said that didn't I....You just....remind me very much....Oh Marcus...is it you?" she begged, keeping her back to him.
She had begun to tremble in fear that it wasn't him. All of her hopes and dreams had led up to this moment, and here she was, being a perfect snob.
I'm dreaming...no...I'm losing reality. This man is going to check me into an asylum....Marcus...it has to be him...There was no one ever like him before...God please give me a sign that it's him.....let him say something!
The delicious smells only got stronger once he walked into the diner. Several pairs of eyes turned to stare at him as he entered the building and he gave them a friendly smile before walking towards a table beside the window and sat down on the chair. When a young waitress came by the small table he ordered the special and an ice tea. While waiting for his order, he looked up in time to see a woman walk past the diner. He blinked again, studying the woman’s brief appearance before she disappeared from his view. “Cecilia?” He thought in surprise. The woman certainly looked like her, but the woman seemed upset and tired, as if she carried the world on her shoulders. He didn’t remember Cecilia to be that way.
His thoughts were interrupted as his food was set on the table in front of him. The hamburger and fries looked a bit greasy, but he wasn’t complaining. He was starved. It took him less than twenty minutes to eat the food. Taking a drink from his glass that had already been filled twice, he sighed in content. Now he had to decide his next move. The best option would be to get a room at the inn across the street and ask about Cecilia tomorrow. Digging into his back pocket, he pulled out enough cash to pay for his meal and a tip for the waitress.
He was getting ready to leave when the same woman entered the diner and walked up to the man behind the counter. He froze in his seat. It was Cecilia. She was older and her hair shorter, but it was the same woman, the same woman he had known so long ago. He watched silently as she paid for what looked like coffee beans and turned to leave. A man stood up and grabbed her wrist.
Marcus bit the inside of his cheek and made a move to stand up, defend Cecilia if necessary, despite him being a stranger here. However, the owner of the diner beat him to it, throwing the man outside as Cecilia picked up the items that had fallen from her grocery bags. She must have felt him staring and her eyes met his. Yet, no recognition registered in her eyes. He sighed when she looked away. He couldn’t leave it like this. Since his meal was already paid for, he got up and followed Cecilia outside. He saw her running and throwing caution to the wind, he ran after her.
He knew she heard him following her and ran faster. She could easily outrun him. His leg was throbbing and he had to stop. Panting from the pain, he stopped and bent slightly at the waist, trying to catch his breath. “Cecilia!” He called out to her, hoping she would hear him.
All posts are either in parody or to be taken as literature. This is a roleplay site. Sexual content is forbidden.