Leah: Just Another Tuesday
Leah: Just Another Tuesday
The old bathroom light flickered as Leah pulled her hair back into a tight ponytail and used a small blue tie to hold it in place. Just a bit of faulty wiring. The old house definitely could've used a bit of an update. And a fresh coat of paint. And some new furniture. But, hell, it was home. The flickering was almost comforting in that regard. That's more than she could say about much else in her life.
Leah stared distantly out the open window, wondering whose thermal scope she was being watched through. As if it would even make a difference, she slammed the window shut defiantly. She glared at herself in the old beat-up mirror beside the shower. It may as well have been another window. An opening for her to be watched through. She leaned in close and pulled down on her lower eyelid with her index finger. With her other hand, she pulled back her upper eyelid.
No scrolling text. No demands. No orders. Just an eyeball. She rotated her eye, tilting her head along with it to examine as much of her own eye as she could. With an exasperated sigh, she released her hold and stood back. What was she even expecting to find? It's not like they'd leave a forwarding address stamped on the side of it or something. She wondered if they were watching her right now.
A sudden, sick impulse to tear it out of its socket overcame her. A million scenarios ran through her head. Of course! She could just dig it out. One fell swoop, before they could detonate whatever-the-hell an 'ocular flashbang' was. It would hurt like a bitch, but she was tough. She'd survive. A quick call to Jason is all it would take and he'd have Redrock there to bail her out in no more than twenty minutes. Solid plan. She could hold them off- whoever they may be- for twenty minutes. Her eyes darted around the bathroom, searching for something- anything- to cut it out with.
"Sweetie! You sure are takin' your time, aren't ya!?" a voice called out from the other room, "You're gonna miss the pregame show!"
Leah's mood darkened as her father's voice flooded her ears and she returned her hard gaze to the mirror. She could practically see whoever it was on the other side of the ocular implant. They must've been laughing at her. 'Additional insurance', they had called her father. She might've been able to keep herself alive in the event of a siege, but there was no guarantee she could protect her father. Tears welled up but she sucked back the emotion in her chest and wiped the dampness from her eyes.
"I'm coming, dad!" she shouted back, "Just pause it! All you do is watch TV all day, how do you still not know how to use the damn remote!?"
She picked up a blue marker from beside the sink. On her right cheek she drew a large U that took up the entire right side of her face. On her left cheek, an M. She put the finishing touches on by coloring in a large solid blue rectangle just beneath her left eye. She slipped on a pair of long blue socks with the words "Usaru Maestros" embroidered near the top. The shade of blue matched her shorts nicely. Her world may have been coming to an end, but for the next three hours she was going to put it out of her mind and enjoy the biggest game of the year for her and her father. She scrunched up her nose and put on her most intimidating expression as she snarled into the mirror with her fresh warpaint. For a moment, she actually found herself self conscious as she wondered how ridiculous she looked to whoever may be watching her. She pushed all that worry away wiped at her eyes one last time before hurrying out of the bathroom with a little more jump in her step than she actually felt.
"Well, look at you, kiddo." her father said as she made her grand entrance, "You and those damn Maestros. You are definitely your mother's daughter."
"Damn right! And those 'damn Maestros' are gonna whoop your Shockers' asses!" she spat back as she leapt onto the couch and huddled up beside her father.
It was tradition. Leah didn't even keep up with biotiball anymore. But growing up, everytime her mother's team- the Usaru Maestros- and her father's team- the Beijing Shockers- faced off, it was a family event. They wore their favorite team's jerseys, decorated the house, talked smack all week leading up to it, and the side whose team lost had to prepare a big dinner the following day. It was a tradition that was worth keeping alive for Leah. In some ways, it felt like a method of keeping her mother's spirit alive.
"This is going to be one for the highlight reels." the caster quipped as Leah lay her head on her father's shoulder.
"Glad we didn't have to watch the Maestros get stomped in that cramped hospital room." her father taunted as he reached up and rubbed the top of his daughter's head, just like he did when she was little.
As they argued back and forth about their respective teams, Leah could see some of that old spark return to her frail father. A small semblance of the man he used to be. Even if it was only for one night, it was something worth keeping him in the dark about certain truths for. She did her best to hide her sadness. Her worry. She wondered if he had any idea. If, when he looked at her, he saw someone that had just betrayed the man she worked for and called 'friend'. A traitor. Or maybe he saw a scared woman doing whatever it took to protect the only thing that still mattered in her life.
The camera cut to the field as the players all began to ready themselves and Leah's father leaned over and gave her a quick peck on her temple. No, all he saw was his little girl. The end of her world would have to wait. At least a few more hours.