Leah: One Sided Conversations Part 1

Leah: One Sided Conversations Part 1

Leah navigated the downward incline carefully, grabbing ahold of trees with her left hand as she passed them to slow her momentum down the hill. In her right hand was a single light blue flower potted in a disposable container with some dirt. As she neared the bottom of the hill, she swept some of her blonde hair from her face and slowly began searching the area for recognizable landmarks.

She stepped over a fallen tree trunk, her heavy boots digging into the dirt as her eyes locked on a formation of trees that was instantly recognizable to her. Three trees growing in such close proximity that they had begun to weave in and out of one another. As she approached, her eyes lowered to the obvious mound of disturbed dirt near the base. It was her first time back since the incident and a part of her hoped it would just be... gone. A bad dream. A nightmare she had made up in her head. But she knew better. The feeling in her chest reminded her just how real it was.

The guilt was paralyzing. It felt like a bowling ball had lodged itself in her throat. But this was something she needed to do, so she swallowed back her pain and approached the mound.

"I'm probably the last person you were hoping would visit..." she sighed as she lowered herself to her knees beside the mound, unconcerned with the dirt staining her pants.

He couldn't hear her, sure. She knew it. It was just a stupid, childish coping mechanism. But it was all she had. She recalled back to when her mother had passed. It was so sudden. So much was left unsaid. You always think that you'll have more time. You'll be able to clean everything up. Tie up any loose ends. But then your life just gets sideswiped and turned on its head. She was a wreck when mom died. Her father even moreso. But even in his state, he was always there for Leah. She just missed her mom so much. At the very least, she just wanted to tell her mother she loved her one last time.

"Just say it." she recalled her father telling her, "Say it out loud. Get it off your chest."

And so she did. And then she told her mother about her day. And for a long time, this was her coping mechanism. Her stupid, childish coping mechanism. But a certain comfort came from it. From imagining what her mother would have said. Recalling her mother's voice. The way her mouth moved as she formed words. In some small way, it kept her mother alive.

Leah set the flower aside and began to separate a small patch of dirt on the mound. Not too much, just a few inches.

"But I told you I wouldn't forget you, so here I am." she said with a shrug of her shoulders, putting on her best smile as her eyes scanned over the mound of dirt, "I was picking some bread up from the market for my dad-... UGH. He's so picky it drives me nuts! I can get the same fucking bread from a place six blocks closer but he insists it doesn't taste the same. Same brand. Same type. He's insane! Anyway, I saw this and I just knew I needed to come out here."

She pulled the flower free from its temporary housing and began the process of getting it settled atop the mound. Cupping her hands together, she slowly pushed around the dirt to root the flower in place. Once finished, she shifted around and sat on her rear, crossing her legs on the ground as she looked over her handy work.

"There! Much better! These were my mom's favorite. But I doubt she could've even told you the name of them off the top of her head if you had asked her." she recalled with a slight chuckle, "Think she just liked them because they were blue. Was her favorite color."

Without realizing it, her hands gripped the lining of her light blue jacket, pulling it closed as she wrapped her arms around herself in a tight hug.

"We moved a lot, but no matter where we went, mom always had a whole field of these damn things in our yard." she recounted as she scooted across the ground and put her back against the tree. A sudden thought came over her, causing her to perk up visibly, "I should bring more! Pretty this place up a bit! They're called Blue Iris. Not that you'd give a shit." she sighed with a roll of her eyes.

She remained in silence for a short while as she struggled to get back into the swing of one-sided conversations. She was a bit rusty.

"I-... I told Halisi and the others that you ran off." she admitted, tearing her gaze away from the mound as she did, as if it may pass some sort of judgement on her, "I'm going to tell them the truth! I promise! I just need to take care of all-..." she lifted a finger to her face, tracing a circle around her eye, "...this. Once they've gotten whatever it is they want and I'm sure my dad is safe, I'll come clean. Contact your parents. I won't let you just become another son lost to the Terminus." she says with a nod and a sigh, "Regardless of what that means for me."

She pulled her knees up to her chest and wrapped her arms around them, looking over the spots of dirt now dotting her pants in various places.

"Your folks are on Eden Prime." she says proudly, recounting their earlier conversation in which he disclosed where he was from, "See? I was listening. Suppose I sorta had a thing for you from the get-go and took some mental notes." She gave the mound of dirt a sheepish shrug and scrunched up her nose, "What? It's not creepy! It's not like I was stalking you or something. Get over yourself. Conceited."

She began plucking away at some grass at the base of the tree.

"I suppose that's it for today." she said softly as she tossed a few blades of grass off to her side, "But I will be back. That's a promise, not a threat!"

She pressed a hand against the tree truck and pushed herself back up to her feet. She took a few steps away from the mound before swiveling in place on her heels to face the dirt mound once more.

"And so help me, Damien Monroe, if I come back and catch you trying to charm the pants off of some big-shot doctor you will not be able to talk your way out of it this time. Got it?" she joked with a chuckle, "I will be very disappointed in you." Her face contorted into one of disgust, "...And pretty fucking grossed out, to be honest..."

She continued to stare at the mound for a few moments as time got away from her, chewing the inside of her cheek. She watched as a gentle breeze blew in, shaking the single blue flower that sat just a couple feet above one of the few friends she's ever known. Her big green eyes watered up and, for just a moment, her composure wavered as a few sobs escaped. She quickly sucked in a deep breath of air and forced down the emotions trying to claw their way out, as she had done so many times before. A practiced exercise that had become second nature by now. A large, if somewhat sad, smile crossed her lips.

"I'll see you later, dickbag." she said, giving her friend a short wave before beginning the long and lonely walk home.