Friday, January 31, 2014
Reetha shut the door to her room at the Talbot’s Peal Inn just as a peel of frustration rent the air from the manager’s young daughter. Her older brothers had once again taken her doll and were threatening to Hari-kari it at dawn. The stuffed toys possible death was too much for the little one to take and she was resorting to mom to save her friend and someone named Hawk to peck out her brother’s eyes.
Here she thought her family was weird.
They were, of course, but she’d never had a mother to run to or a Hawk to take on Nick and Mooney for her, at least she didn’t remember her mom anyway. For years her brothers would antagonize her with stealing her kills, eating her portion of the meat and leaving her with the option of the nasty parts or subsisting on berries she found in the woods. Oh her dad had tried to help, but he was busy leading and left her care up to her oldest sibling. As a wet behind the ears whelp and upcoming alpha himself, Nick spent more time fighting to prove himself and fucking his way through the available she’s.
Reetha stood before the mirror not seeing herself, but still engrossed by memories of the past and hopes for the present. Her past loneliness had presented itself as unruliness, trouble-making and eventually desertion. She had long since forgiven her brothers as they were doing what older brothers did, but clearly it would take longer for them to forgive her.
The door to her suite opened allowing Dante to enter. “Damn, Reetha, I hadn’t even knocked.”
“I have excellent hearing,” she said, turning to face her boss and friend.
“True.” Dante nodded, his gaze drilling into her probing for a truth she didn’t want to share. “But that’s a bit extreme.”
“It is what it is and it helped get the job done.” Reetha gestured for the chair to her left. “Please, have a seat.”
She didn’t want to talk about the job or what she’d done on Dante’s behalf. What was done, was done … had to be done. He didn’t know the extent of her depravation – of what had been required of her in Hollywood and if she could avoid telling him she would. Dante would take the pain as his own and she would not allow her friend that kind of suffering. She was home to stay and she needed him to agree to let her tell her family the whys and what-not of her defection. The rest would be buried deep enough down that she’d never allow herself to remember it.
Dante moved to the sitting area and slid into the plush, high backed chair. He crossed his legs and straitened his pants, all the while looking at Reetha’s expressionless face. She thought she buried her discomfort well enough, but they were friends and he could feel the scream she held in – her pain beat at him. She was home and needed help. He would find it for her, no matter what it took.
“Thank you for coming here.”
“No problem, Reetha, but why here rather than the club?”
“Privacy and I really didn’t have it in me to schlep out to the club."
“You do look a little beat up.” Hell, she looked a lot beat up and very beaten down. “Who do I need to punish for putting you in this condition?”
Reetha laughed, but, in his estimation, it was a weak representation of humor at best.
“Sorry, no beatings this time. Thanks for being a great friend and offering.”
“Alright, who am I not beating?”
“Mooney. It was the only way I could get him to consider forgiving me for leaving.”
“He required beating you for the possibility of forgiving you!” Dante shot her a look he knew to make others around him cower. “That is not acceptable, Reetha. Plus, I trained you myself … he should be dead.”
“I made the bet and threw the fight. His boys were looking on … he had to win.” Reetha moved to the other chair in the room, her smile finally honest as she spoke of Loki and Thor. “You should have seen the pride in their faces when dad beat Auntie Reetha. It was worth the aches and pains.”
“Those boys get into a lot of trouble.”
“They are precious and I defy anyone to disparage them in my presence.”
It was no surprise to him that she loved those two already, Reetha had a very soft heart. Not many saw it, but it was there, waiting to be filled with love.
“I have a favor to ask of you, Dante.”
“If I can give it, it’s yours.”
“I need to tell my family the truth about where I’ve been and why.”
Dante’s heart broke at the question he’d been expecting. His answer would hurt her more, but there was no helping it – the time was just not right. “Anything but that, Reetha. I can’t allow the truth out yet.”
Her tears gutted him. As long as he’d know her, Reetha had never cried in front of him, or anyone - until today.
I don't think life is absurd. I think we are all here for a huge purpose. I think we shrink from the immensity of the purpose we are here for.
Kind of a cool quote that made me think of Reetha today.
Have a wonderful weekend!