Heart of Bold!
by Andrea Lena DiMaggio
I don't care, I'm still free; You can't take the sky from me...
(Score to go along with story)
Previously...at the Pasquale home...
“She said she wanted me. Instead of potatoes.” Georgie pointed to the pot on the stove and sighed once more.
“Stovetop Georgie…huh?” Her fingers stopped drumming just in time to coincide with the beginning sobs that came from her mouth. The cheap laminate door did nothing to deaden the sound of Stella’s sobs, and her crying, coupled with Georgie’s sobs, sounded like a very bad duet.
“Oh shit…” Frankie turned at the sound of a voice from the door to the garage.
“They talked...didn’t they?” Marie said as she placed a few bags of groceries on the counter. Frankie nodded. She looked at Georgie at the table and down the hall once more before saying,
Marie walked down the hall a few minutes later when things quieted down. Georgie sat on the floor, her head up against Frankie’s bedroom door, whispering softly to herself,
“Two by two…two by two…”
The sobbing on the other side of the door had subsided, and Marie just nodded to herself before speaking,
“Honey…get up and come back to the kitchen, okay?” She tapped Georgie softly on the shoulder before lifting her to her feet. All the while Georgie kept repeating the odd mantra over and over. They walked back down the hall to the kitchen, where Frankie was just pouring some water into the electric teapot.
“I’ll go talk to Stella in a while. She hasn’t cried like that in front of us for some time, Mom.” Frankie went to continue but Marie put her hand up as a caution and mouthed,
“I know… talk later, okay?” Frankie nodded. Meanwhile Georgie had sat down at the table and was doodling with her finger on the placemat. She hadn’t stopped repeating but the voice was almost sing-song.
“Honey, talk to me.” Marie gently placed her hand on Georgie’s chin to get her attention.
“Liou coe shway duh biao-tze huh hoe-tze duh bun ur-tze!” (Stupid son of a whore and a drooling monkey!) She blurted it out and banged her fist lightly on the table while repeating,
“Two by two…two by two…” She was crying.
“Mom…I’ve got an idea…be right back,” Frankie walked into the living room and returned quickly with her laptop. She placed it on the table and began to type. A moment later she looked up at them both and smiled.
“Well, I think at least I know where my sister’s affections lie. Georgie? Honey, Sweetie, look at me.” Her voice was firm and even.
“Oh….yes?” She seemed to almost ‘snap out’ of whatever had been bothering her. She grabbed a paper towel off the roll sitting on the table and wiped the remaining tears from her face.
“Which episode? ‘Our Mrs. Reynolds’ or ‘Ariel?’” She smiled and Georgie smiled back.
“Sorry… 'Our Mrs. Reynolds.’” Georgie replied, referring to the episode of Firefly where her mantra had arisen. River Tam was not only a character in the show, but a role model of sorts for the girl. River as an self-realized outcast and non-linear thinker for certain, but the quote made no sense to Marie until Frankie repeated the quote in its entirety.”
“’Two by two…Everyone has a match, a mate, a doppler. I love you.’ Granted it’s not entirely in context…You mean this about whom, Georgie?” The girl looked back at her sister as if she should already have known and answered,
“Oh…Stella, of course.” She smiled almost proudly until the three noticed a slightly disheveled figure standing at the archway leading into the kitchen. Stella stood there, shaking nervously, her face resembling an attractive attempt at a Fur-Con Raccoon, the dark eyeliner having run a bit from her crying for nearly fifteen minutes. Her eyes darted back and forth between the three until Georgie smiled at her and repeated one more time,
“Everyone has a match, a mate, a doppler. I love you!” Stella burst into tears and ran back down the hallway and slammed the bedroom door behind her once again, her sobs sounding like a sad aria for the opera that was playing out at the Pasquale home as Georgie blurted out,
“Bá¡i chÄ«!” (Idiot) She burst into her own crying jag and put her head down on the table once again and sobbed.
“It’s okay, honey…” Marie rubbed her back, not knowing what to do. Raising a brilliantly talented musician who was also a linguist, a performer, a trans-gendered woman, and now to add an interesting turn to the whole situation, was apparently a love-sick lesbian as well. And of course, her autism was the straw that stirred the drink, as the old saying goes. She shrugged her shoulders and smiled at Frankie who nodded and smiled before grabbing her mother’s hand off of her sister’s back; squeezing it gently before getting up from the table.
“I think I’ll go see how she’s doing,” she said softly before walking down the hallway to check on Stella.
“Frankie?” The girl looked up at her friend and the cosmetic damage had gotten worse, with Stella’s face streaked with black lines, which had transferred nicely onto the pillow underneath her face, which was turned only enough to reveal one eye.
“Honey…talk to me.” Frankie went over and sat down on the bed next to her best friend and hugged her once, helping her to sit up.
“You look terrible!”
Stella laughed; the words were a quote from Legolas to Aragorn in the movie, The Two Towers. It was ironic that she used that particular quote. When the girls first watched the movie on DVD, both of them fell in love with Orlando Bloom, whose long blond locks seemed almost out of place in a ‘man’s tale.’
“Why did he have to change, Frankie? Why?” The girl buried her face in Frankie’s shoulder and sobbed. Frankie patted her back awkwardly while looking around the room, almost as if she could find some explanation on a plaque or a poster on her walls.
“Stel….he didn’t change….we just never saw that this is who she actually is.”
Frankie felt a shudder go through her shoulders as she shrugged. It was a confession of sorts…confession…to speak with…to hold the same words or opinion or meaning. She was speaking the same thing as her sister; no longer viewing her as someone new or different, but realizing that she was realizing the truth about her sibling.
“But…Oh Frankie…I love him….I’ve loved him since we were little. I wanted to get married and grow old and have kids and…and….”
She broke down once again; a grief over taking her like nothing else. Even the death of her father hadn’t affected her like this, but then her father succumbed to cancer; a long and painful departure that everyone expected. Georgie’s death, in a way, was sudden, since Stella never anticipated in a million years that her dream would die at the hands of a few shrinks and a surgeon.
“I know, Stel….believe me….I know!”
Frankie had lost her childhood dream when the love of her life swore allegiance to another in a ceremony in front of family and friends; she felt compelled to be an ‘adult’ and attended her ex-boyfriend’s wedding, her whole life’s dreams vanishing as the happy couple was introduced for the first time as Mr. and Mrs. Break-my-heart.
“I can’t tell you what to do, Stel…and I’m not gonna try. But I’ll hold you and kiss your nose and tell you you’re the best friend I’ve ever had or will have. Okay…” She rocked the girl in her arms, feeling more like a mother than a friend, which was okay as well.
“But what can I do…how do I get rid of this?”
“Rid of what, honey…the pain? I don’t know…I still got mine locked up in my heart and I can’t find the fucking combination.” She stroked the girl’s hair.
“No…not the pain…the love…it wouldn’t hurt… if I could just stop loving her. Her…” She paused for a moment, realizing which pronoun she had used and her face clenched in absolute grief as her sobs grew so heavy as to shake the bed. Her crying grew so loud that Marie appeared at the door a moment later, wondering what was going on. And a figure stood behind her.
“I'll go.” Georgie said and three sets of eyes focused on the face of someone else wracked with pain and grief. Stella looked briefly and turned away, unable to bear the sight of the one she loved. Frankie tilted her head slightly and squinted her eyes before turning to her mother in question. Marie knew exactly what Georgie meant, and she shook her head, wondering how she could fix things for her ‘adopted’ daughter Stella and her new/old daughter who stood next to her, since someone was going to lose, no matter what happened, if things stayed the same.
The girl repeated. She put her sleeve to her face, rubbing vigorously as the makeup came off on the fabric. Marie put her hand to her mouth to stifle a gasp as Georgie’s motions confirmed exactly what she feared. Her eyes fell upon her child’s face, which had matched the grief that Stella had displayed only moments before.
“No, honey,” she said gently, putting one hand on Georgie’s wrist and pulling her sleeve away from her face. With her other hand, Marie gently stroked Georgie’s cheek as she repeated herself,
Even as she said the words, Frankie’s eyes widened at the realization of what Georgie had meant. Frankie sighed heavily and got up from the bed, but turned quickly and kissed Stella on the cheek as if to say, ‘Don’t go anywhere, I’ll be right back.’ And she quickly walked to Georgie and hugged her.
“No, no…no…kiddo…no.” She began to cry at the implication of the moment. Either one dream or the other had to die so that at least one heart wouldn’t be broken. Georgie wasn’t going anywhere, per se, but her dream of finally realizing completely the life she sought as a woman would have to die in order for her to be with the one she loved. Or so they thought.
“No…don’t go…no…please don’t go.”
A voice came from behind. Stella slowly got up off of Frankie’s bed and walked over to the other three. She stood there and Frankie stepped aside. Stella stepped closer and looked into Georgie’s eyes. Amor Vincit Omnia isn’t just a saying or a credo or a philosophy; it’s something that has worked from the beginning of time. There would be some things to iron out and straighten out and fix, but at that moment, love was conquering all the fears and doubts they had.
“Stay, Georgie…stay for both of us, okay?” The girl sobbed as she put her face against Georgie’s. The two ‘looked a sight,’ as they say, the geek-girl’s mascara and eye-liner streaked face rubbing softly against the smeared blush of the Asperger’s girl.
“We’ll work it out somehow, but don’t go.” She said as her sobs waned. She put her hand on Georgie’s other cheek and turned her face and kissed her. Not a romantic kiss in the truest sense, but one still of romance since that starts sometimes and ends sometimes with sacrifice and friendship.
Marie looked at Frankie and nodded, her face relaxed as a relieved grin appeared. The entire ‘scene’ only took seconds, but all four were exhausted from the sheer emotion of the moment. Frankie smiled back at Marie and said,
“I’ll order out…Kim Kim okay, Mom?” Marie smiled and nodded. She put her hands on both Stella’s and Georgie’s shoulders and started to guide them down the hall to the kitchen.
“Buona idea e' stata una lunga giornata giá . (Good idea...it's been along day.)
Frankie nodded…it had indeed been a very long day already.
"I think we should all have a cup of coffee, eh?” Marie said. Frankie held up the phone and said,
“Chinese-Hakka coming right up!”
Next — Two-by-Two!
*Mal's Theme (Ballad of Serenity)
composed by Josh Whedon and Greg Edmondson
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