Finality in Reality

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Finality in Reality

Post by Roni » Sun Nov 22, 2020 10:20 am

((Trigger warning: Memories delve into Violence, blood, manipulation and rape mention. This is a post associated with the healing of a character as well, there's intense grief and other associated emotions.))

November 21st - Saturday, Early morning.

Something Amaris had said had stuck in her mind something awful hard. Even if it had been months since she's heard it. Speak what she had to say to Jeremy. He'd hear her. Maybe it was simply her innate desire to believe that some part of him still lingered for their daughter's sake... and maybe for her own as well. His life had ended in such a way that had left so many things unsaid. So many apologies for what she had ultimately done. It was such a train of thought that had her, rather reluctantly, wandering a path she hadn't walked since May. It was filled with fresh growth, and deep in the woods, tucked off into a little glen.

The place she and Siobhan had laid Jeremy to rest. It was deep in the woods, not too far from that beautiful little place he had shown her. It was also a place she's not been to since the day they did so. If she didn't come, then it was easier to pretend that it was all a terrible dream she was going to wake up from eventually. Snuggled up next to Jeremy, basking in that sleepy bliss that came from a night of wild Beltane fun, and tender lovemaking and just utter delight in the news that they were going to be parents. Together. To do it all as a whole, and start a little family and be happy for the first time ever. Consistently.

She still hasn't woken up yet.

Clutched tight in her arms, and hugged to her chest like she was terrified she might lose it, was that photo album he had put together for her. A surprise gift he had planned to give her. One she found tucked away in his things he had left at the cabin. A book filled with so much of them, and so much of him, and his love for her that it almost physically hurt to pull it from where she had tucked it this morning before she left. It nearly broke her when she found it. She hoped that it would make him feel just a little closer, and maybe herself just a little less stupid if she spoke to a picture of him, instead of open air.

Soon. She could feel it. She was closer than she wanted to be to his grave. There was a change in the air, a shift in the ebb and flow of energy around her. It was a somber feel. This was a place of sadness, wrought ripe with grief. The last time she had been to this spot, she had been out of her mind, full of grief and shock, burying the man she had only just discussed starting their little family together with, the night before.

The clouds were hiding the sun, but it was comfortable out, not too cold nor too hot. As the clouds drifted and made things dreary it seemed to reflect Roni’s feelings.

Seven months was a long time to go without actually grieving the loss of someone loved.

Or maybe, simply, it was that Roni herself did not know how to mourn. How to grieve. How to deal with or handle the ungodly amount of sadness that overwhelmed her when she thought of Jeremy, or even just wished for his arms to find her, to feel the brush of his beard against the outer curve of her ear to be followed by a deep rumbled 'Hello beautiful.' She missed that happiness she had found every time he walked into a room, or his name flashed across her phone screen. She just missed him.

His death had left this giant gaping wound in her heart that she still really had no clue how to help. Or fix. It wept when it wanted to, and some days seemed like it wanted to heal, just to ooze three times as worse than before the next day. It still felt like there was this emptiness inside her she couldn't shake, and all she wanted to do was make it stop. To say his name and not have heart wrenching pain grip her heart and it feel like all the air had been pulled from her lungs. To not wake up still in the middle of the night, begging for Zagan to stop, and reaching for a sleeping form that wasn't there. She wanted the days of waking up and not even having the energy to move because her heart was too heavy to be gone. Those were the days that Siobhan and her went in circles about responsibilities and taking care of her duties.

She just... wanted to feel okay again, even just a fraction of it.

The trees broke, opened to a clearing, and in the very dead center was a simple headstone. One she hadn't picked. That had been Siobhan, or someone else like Mist. She had no idea. When she had gone, oh so long ago, she had left behind mud, and a mound of dirt left over a part of her heart. There had been no headstone. It wasn't like she would be one to forget such a thing.

As the trees broke, so did the clouds, brilliant for fall sun shone down on her in an attempt to warm her and it certainly made the area seem almost mystical.

Jeremy Harper

The font was simple, and elegant, and the only thing that was there. It makes her figure that it was most likely Siobhan who had done it. Simple, efficient, and something that solidified the fact that he was gone. Seeing it had a shuddering wave of emotions surge up through her, while her feet and legs stopped functioning. As she shifted, and slowly sank to the ground atop his grave... a finality she hadn't felt before sank in. He really... really wasn't coming back. She could not fix things. She never could fix the things that Zagan ruined. Tears burned the backs of her eyes, and she doesn't fight them. Doesn't try to scrub them or swipe them away. She was alone here. She had no one to pretend to be strong for, and she was exhausted of being strong for herself.

"Jeremy. Babe. I really fuckin miss ya. Like. Insanely. This whole thing is so goddamned hard. And I feel kinda stupid talking to air like yer really gunna respond, but I dunno what else ta do." As she spoke, she flipped open the album she brought with her to the first page. A picture of them both, he had asked a random stranger in passing to catch for them, was underneath a series of ultrasounds she had brought with her as well. It's the latter she nudges aside so she can look at the picture below.

As her attention turned to the pictures, her phone would light up and his name would swim to the screen flashing. An eerie crackle of a short start of his ring tone would play only to stop quick but there would be a message if she checked her phone.

Roni froze when Jeremy's ring tone cut through the calm of the clearing, then abruptly shut off. Confusion, and a split second of hope hummed through her as she pulled her phone from her pocket. Jeremy's name lit up the notification bar. Her heart found her throat as she slid the screen open and tapped on her messages... to find one from Jeremy's number, with that greeting he always rumbled to her. Then she glanced up, and around, looking, a part of her hoping for... something. She saw nothing. She's not sure what she expected.

"We were happy right? I thought so. I also- Fuck. This is stupid. But I don't know what else to do. I got all these things I wanna tell ya, things I can't. Cuz yer like... not here." There's a beat, and a heavy sigh. She flipped to the next page in the album. It was just a picture of him. Warm, and full of sunshine smile. A finger lifted to delicately trace over the features of his face.

"The biggest thing is that m'sorry. Gawd, Jeremy, I am so fuckin sorry. I should of just run. I shouldn't of been selfish, n'had a lover, regardless of how much I fuckin hated my husband. Ya would still be alive. N'I prolly wouldn't be pregnant right now. N'ya would still be alive. And blissfully not with me or all the damage I seem ta bring ta bring ta all those around me."

A soft breeze caressed at her ear and the sound of his voice came with it,
“Happiest I’d been in a very LONG time. Selfish? Never. I’d have been lost without you.”

Jeremy's voice. Chills left unwanted shivers down her back as she straightened once more and looked around. "Jeremy?" This is spoken softly as she looked around once more, and saw nothing... again. Absently, she wondered if it would be like with Zagan.

"I was selfish though. I wanted ta feel somethin' more'n just being miserable. I wanted ta be happy ta some degree. Then like... we met. N'ya were kind. And smiled that smile I loved so much. I was so full of apprehension at first. I didn't wanna drag ya inta my troubles. I knew who n'what Zagan was. I knew what being around me ended in eventually. But I wanted it. I wanted ta feel somethin' better than just existin'. Gawd, I wanted it so bad."

“I stepped into that trouble with full knowledge of it. I wanted you, I wanted all that came with you.”
That breeze continued to gently caress, almost like his caresses, playing through her hair, teasing along her ear.

Maybe she was hearing things. Maybe she was in the process of losing her ever loving mind, but she knows for a fact that she heard Jeremy that time. His words have her shoulders slumping as her attention turned back to the photo album she had dragged with her. "But look where it got us." This comes bitterly in response to the phantom voice, before she just gestured at his headstone.

Her hand dropped back down to the next page to display pictures of her next, candid, and completely snuck when she wasn't looking. One of her bent over her desk, concentration hard on the splay of papers and files across said desk. Her brows are drawn down in slight frustration, and she looks perplexed. The other is her sprawled in bed, eyes closed, with a smile that curled her lips and radiated warmth all over. She's wearing one of his t-shirts, and not much else, and looks completely at ease. It's not a side of her that many see.

“You were dreaming naughty dreams of me, I couldn’t resist taking that picture.”

His soft chuckle rumbled against her back, as if he was sitting behind her but if she looked there was no one there just warm air.

This time when his voice comes she doesn't look behind her. She simply savors the feel of his presence being there... even if it was something that her brain had concocted up.

"I always had naughty dreams of ya. Very pleasant. Sometimes I still do. Those are the nights I don't want ta wake up most." Nearly whispered were these words.

That day she remembered warmly. It was probably a few months into their relationship, around the time she realized that there were definitely some kind of feelings for him. They had awoken and snuggled, and at some point he had gotten up for something, and she had stretched out and hogged up the bed. It looks like that one was snapped somewhere when she was horribly pretending to be asleep, and ignoring him asking her to move.

Tears flowed in a renewed wave, before she tilted her head back, back so she couldn't see the headstone before her, back until she was staring up at the tree tops, and the spaces of sky between them.

"M'not gunna lie, Jeremy, bein' loved by ya was one of the best n'purest loves. Even when I made stupid choices, n'was bull headed, ya did nothin' but love me unconditionally. Ya were onna the best people ta come in ta my life, n'm'so angry that not even fuckin' that could stop what Zagan did. I tried. Gawd, I fuckin' tried so fuckin' hard not ta-ta sink that knife inta ya. I fought it with everythin' I had. N'I wasn't good enough. I've always never been good enough, but just once I wish I had been. Maybe Zagan would be dead, n'ya'd be at these doctors appointments, n'cryin' with me at hearin' her strong steady lil' heartbeat. A place all our own. Decoration' the nursery together, n' just gettin' ready ta have our lil family. We're never gunna have that cuz a me."

"Knowin' what happens ta ya, I'd change in inna heart beat. I'd go back, n'run. Be rude n' push ya away, so ya weren't here, sunk in the ground. Maybe I'd still be havin' Lily. But Zagan woulda been the father, n'er name woulda been different. I'd take it all back in a heartbeat. Jeremy, the last thing ya deserved ta go through was that. The last thing ya deserved was ta die at the hands of the woman who swore vehemently that she loved ya."

A sob broke free, and her senses were filled with the memory of that night, the bitter mix of tears and blood on her cheeks. The numb raw panic that coursed through her as everything unfolded. When Zagan uttered those commanding words, followed by her true name, and against violation of her own will, she took the blade he held out to her. Then she proceeded to repeatedly sink it into Jeremy's chest. Until blood bubbled from his lips and she listened as he drowned in his own blood. The wet sick bubbling and sucking as he struggled against lungs that no longer functioned properly. Until he stopped breathing, and struggling, and all the pain that she had caused and brought upon him had come to an end. Until her skin was red and slick with his blood, how it was everywhere, hands, clothes, face. The sharp metallic copper tang in her mouth and pasty dryness that came from fear and anxiety. The way she had begged and pleaded and sobbed, even as her hands complied to a command she tried too hard to fight.

The utter heart break that followed when he commanded her to follow to their bedroom. The memory of her lack of fight that came as Zagan crawled atop her that night and had his way with her repeatedly made her throat tight. He went until he was exhausted and she felt like nothing more than a used dried husk. Empty, brittle. She had given up, felt numb nothing over top of seething angry rage. She had no fight left in her at the time.

And when she found his dreams that night, that numbness faded, leaving nothing behind but rage and fury, she unleashed every bit of anger and rage she felt at the man. She screamed and battered and drew on a little over a decade's worth of endured violence and abuse, violent thoughts, feelings and actions. And she unleashed it, with no buffer.

She became a nightmare, jagged edges of a broken bleeding soul ready to level and rend everything they came to lay in her way. A relentless vicious monster devouring all the Zagan had left to offer.... at least until she woke with a start next to him bloody and lifeless in bed.

And since then, nothing but grief and rage had consumed her. She felt lost, she missed Jeremy more now that ever as she neared the end of her pregnancy. Wished for nothing more than to have him by her side for the rest of her pregnancy. Even now, filled with memories and longing, her grief was strong.

Finally accepting the reality of the fact that this wasn't a nightmare she could wake up from, facing his grave, and coming back here... held a finality to it. There was no more hoping that some day she'd run into him on the streets, a face in the crowd. Not really dead, just lost, oh so lost. His body was beneath her, decomposing, returned to the earth, there would be no moment of heart stopping and finding him in the crowd, or just wandering into the inn, and just finding him and feeling like she was home again. There was nothing but wallowing grief in her heart, and emptiness in her stomach.

Tears streamed down her face with no intention of stopping. She shifted slowly, so that she was looking down on the album, and her smiling face. Gingerly, her fingers moved to flip to the next page. This one was filled with one of his smiling face. She had taken it one night during a date. Because she loved his smile when he was around her. Her attention doesn't linger on his face long, and it's with tears renewed, that she's staring at his headstone.

'Jeremy Harper.'

"I'm sorry." Her voice cracked as she shifted and made herself a little more comfortable.

"I'm so sorry for everything, Jeremy. I'm so fuckin' sorry. I tried. I tried. I really tried. The last thing I wanted ta do was kill ya." She choked on her words, tumbled and stumbled over them up, as her melancholy wrenched her insides, and her voice progressively got more frantic.

"I love ya so fuckin much. So much. My heart hurts so bad and it won't stop. I've got this gaping wound that won't go away. I brought all of this on myself. On ya. And because of my stupidity Lily will grow up and never know her father, and yer never gunna fuckin' meet yer daughter, and... and... I'm so terrified of doing this alone, Jeremy. I'm so scared of fuckin her up like my parents fucked me up. I'm just scared, and petrified and I don't wanna do any of this without ya." A hand half-heartedly came up to scrub at her face, before falling to rest on the swell of her stomach.

Her breathing hitched, and frantic were the thoughts that rolled through her brain. "I screwed everything up. And I know this isn't a bad dream that I'm gunna wake up from eventually though I wish it was. I fuckin' miss ya Jeremy. I'm - sorry. I'm sorry."

Her tears dissolved into sobs.

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry, sorry." She dissolved into a mess of incoherent repeating of that and sobs that shook her whole body. Everything she's bottled up for the seven and a half months, she let it out. She felt everything she had been trying to ignore and not face by keeping busy, not thinking about it, or otherwise avoiding facing reality... and really, one can only run for so long before reality sinks in.

And for her it finally had. Her sobs became wails and cries, feral, guttural, and drenched in her absolute heart break. She wailed and sobbed until she could not breathe any more, and when she managed to catch her breath, it was only so she could give in and surrender to the overwhelming ebb and flow of emotions shoved down deep for so long. She sobbed until she had been emptied of tears, and screamed in anger and rage at the heavens until her voice was naught but barely there and hoarse. She lived her grief, her anger, she felt every inch of it, and when it had torn through her it left her weak. No energy, nothing but a crumpled form, laying on the grave of the man she loved dearly.

He slowly appeared behind her laying behind her, a hand resting on her hip, the other hand running through her hair, he leaned down to rumble into her ear, as he became visible.

“You didn’t kill me beautiful; I saw you fight back; magic is not something that is easy to break away from, I understand that.
I would NEVER take it all back. You own my heart, my soul and my love.

Beautiful, cry to heal, I know you do not like to but you’re grieving, you have to let yourself feel and let yourself hurt to heal. Stupid as that sounds.

You have NOTHING to apologize for, I knew what being with you entailed and I still couldn’t stop thinking about you.
Oh beautiful, you are gonna be an amazing mother, and you are gonna love Lily and she will adore you. I know I won’t be there physically, but I’m always with you and our daughter. You possess a part of my heart that can never be taken.”

He gently caressed her wet cheek and leaned over to kiss her cheek.

“You will be a great mother, nothing like those bastards that provided dna to make you. Don’t forget you have so many loving family members: Mist, Amaris, Siobhan; they can all help you, let them. I know it’s not easy but they want what is best for you and Lily.”
His hand moved lightly to rest over her hand and over her pregnant belly.

“I miss you too beautiful.”

His presence enveloped her as she mourned, a heavy covering that she had no desire to shake off. It was some presence of him. Even as she sobbed uncontrollably, and his voice rolled over her, laying to rest and soothing every anxiety and fear she's felt so strongly lately. It renewed her weeping, at least for the tears that streamed down her face. She felt him here so strongly, so fully, the last thing she wanted to do was leave. So she didn't. And even still, whether it was his spirit here with her, or just her mind, he was nothing but loving, offering advice, still lifting her up.... despite everything that had happened. Everything she had brought on him.

The touch of a phantom hand to her belly has her eyes fluttering shut, and her own hand coming to gently rest where the touch had been. She curled tighter around the swell of her belly.

"I'm tryin' so hard ta hold it together N'I can't." Her voice croaked and crackled, was hoarse with the grief and rage she had screamed to the heavens.

"Fer fuck's sake yer probably just another thing all in my head." A hiccupping sound followed. As she shifted slowly so that she was unfurled, her attention came to settle simply on him and his form. "I'm okay with that though. I just... ah." She stopped, and stared at him a moment longer, before she gingerly reached out to touch his cheek.

“Beautiful let yourself lose control, cry, scream, and curse and throw shit if it’ll make you feel better. I’m in your head, I’m in your heart does it matter if I’m physically here or not? I’m always gonna be with you. I love you so much you have no idea.”

He closed his eyes as she touched his cheek, then he turned into that hand and kissed it.

"I destroyed the cabin the night I found the photo album. Today's the first time I've really looked into it since then." She huffed a noise, then let her shoulders slump.

"I've screamed and cried so much already. I don't... I don't know what ta do with all these feelin's. I think about doin' this, n'not havin' ya with me, and there's all this sadness inside me, and I don't know what to do with it all. Like a hole." He was there but not beneath her fingers, his lips but a chill on her hand. A touch there but not.

"The morning Siobhan and I buried ya here, I buried half my heart in the mud with ya."

“Beautiful? How did you feel after that? I come to bring back that half of your heart because I am always with you even if you can not see me, whispering to you encouragement and rooting for you always. Lily needs you my love. You will find that you have so much love for her once you meet her in person that you will wake one day and realize that you can remember our time together without the same pain, but with fondness.”

"Honestly I felt horrible after. I made a mess. I slipped up and drank myself stupid that night. It hurt too much." The mention of Lily has her rubbing her belly again. "Lily has me. She's already lost her daddy. "

A beat as her attention shifted up to him. "Ya mean more n'I already love er? Cuz I love her so much already. I haven't even met er yet." Then she points a finger at him.

"We didn't have enough time." A heavy breath and slumping shoulders sagged. "Yer the first person I made any kinds of plans with fer the far future. Yer the first that I loved romantically with everythin'. Every fiber of my bein'. It was just easy bein' with ya. Like second nature. I hoped that would be enough..."

He ran his hand through her hair slowly and placed a few kisses on her ear as he whispered.
“I agree beautiful, I would give up so much to have more time with you, but it was a blessing to have the time we got. You and your love has always been enough for me and I’m here because of our love.”

He continues to hold her arms wrapping around her.

“I’m sorry you felt horrible afterwards and you’d be SO surprised at the amount of love you’ll gain after Lily is born. Believe me it feels amazing now but after you hold her it will be just striking how you feel. Just when you think you couldn’t love any more then you already do poof it comes around and surprises you with more.”

He took an unneeded breath as he looked down at her and rumbled softly.

“I think I was supposed to die, I know you don’t want to hear that but… If I hadn’t died, our beautiful daughter and my beautiful wife. Yes I mean you. Would be stuck around Zagan, I don’t know what happened, but I saw him in passing being dragged to places I’d rather never see. I was supposed to die to give you freedom, and THAT is a gift I’m glad to give you beautiful.”

"A blessing. Too bad I'm horribly selfish and wish fer more." Even as she spoke, she let him wrap her up more, envelope her in everything that is him. "I honestly can't imagine more than I already feel. Parenting must be intense. " Murmured softly.

For the most part, he spoke, and she listened, her heart full and hurting. Like it hadn't hurt so much already. When he spoke of thinking he was meant to die, she stiffened. "Ya can't possibly mean that-- Jeremy." Whatever else she planned on saying ended up tight and constricting in the back of her throat. Wife and daughter. More tangible, no longer tangible. More of that happy little family they had planned. Being a happy Mrs. Harper, and baking cookies for the school fundraiser, coming home from work to excited kids and a husband cooking dinner. So many possibilities and a future she wanted so much it hurt, gone.

"Ya didn't have ta die fer Zagan ta do so-" Whatever else she was going to say abruptly came to a pause, before she herself was scrambling to her feet, frantically. "My freedom was not worth yer life." That's nearly sobbed again. She had cried so much already. There's one last long look cast his way, not unlike an injured wild animal, before she simply bolted.

Away from him. Away from his body and grave where half her heart still lay. Away from the reminders of what could of been, and will never be. Of dreaming of being the wife of someone she actually loved. Of more cherub faced children with Jeremy's smile and her wicked humor. She ran until she was out of breath, and once she was out of breath, she collapsed.... And she wailed. She mourned all the possibilities, all that would of been for them. She screamed of the injustice of her child knowing the world without her father, especially when he had been such a good man. She cried whatever tears she had left for the future, when Lily finally asked and was old enough to understand.

Jeremy had told her to feel, to mourn and experience and heal. The way she tore at the grass and foliage around her was her way of letting loose frustration. Her grief came in the way her fists pounded the earth, and the river of tears that fell down each cheek. Her acceptance in the finality of what happened, that there was nothing she could fix, was only one of the very first steps of her letting go, and learning to live till it didn't hurt in the same way anymore.

She let loose more emotions until finally exhausted and spent, and fell asleep right there in the woods, curled up on soft moss.

Siobhan would find her eventually. Or she'd wake and go home... Either way, she'd make it home safely, heart full of the first few sparks of healing and fully mourning her loss and processing her pain. She's found the finality in reality, and must learn to accept it. There is what could of been, and now there is what will be. They are never really are the same thing, like most so desperately try to make them.
No, I won't smile, but I'll show you my teeth
And I'ma let you speak if you just let me breathe
I've been polite, but won't be caught dead
Lettin' a man tell me what I should do in my bed
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