“Is that who I think it is? Pear…Pearflower Chiffon?” Cinna’s words rang clear through my emptying head, completely shocking any other emotion right out of me.
“Oh my Berry! Cinna! I thought I’d never see you again!” Even though he’d broken my heart- on more than a few occasions- I had always wondered what happened to my best elementary friend. Sure, he might not have left me on a pleasant note, but we were still close.
“I didn’t know you could talk!”
“Oh..yeah, that,” I mumbled, attempting to avert my mind from the direction it was headed.
“Ah, hun, you look like you’ve been crying. You’ve been crying, haven’t you? I thought I told you to never cry.” Caressing my cheek, wiping away a stray tear, Cinna’s hand was so soft, so warm; it was definitely welcome after my day.
I softly replied, “It’s..a long story. I don’t want to talk about it.” Nodding gently he smiled.
“How have you been then?”
“Oh, Cinna, I’ve been so wonderful..well, excluding the past few weeks. Life treated me well after I moved to Briocheport. But I want to know about you.”
“Not that much to say, really, I mean I was in China for a few years but that’s unimportant. I got-” I cut him off, bounding into his arms. He staggered back a small bit, but luckily I was as lightweight as I had always been (Being the center of bullying does things to you.).
“I just can’t believe it’s you! The last time I saw you, it was…Berry, I can’t even remember!”
“Yeah, we really need to catch up. Now what’s up, missy?”
“Can we not?”
“Alright, if it bothers you so much. It’s getting kind of late, actually.” I immediately had a bout of refusal wash over me.
“I’m not going home, Cinna,” I said. He leaned in, wrapping his hand around mine.
“My door’s always open..” Contemplating what he meant for a moment, I grinned warmly and looked up.
“You know, I think I’ll take you up on that offer.”
“Let’s go then.”
I woke up the next morning feeling oddly rejuvenated but really out of place. It took a moment to register the events of the night; my memory restored when I realized who was laying next to me. As much as I hoped it would be it was not Maroon. Fear coursed through me and I bolted up from the bed, scrambling to hide myself from Cinna.
Mumbling a bit, Cinna sat up in a hurry. “I’m up! I’m up..” I was muttering to myself, trying to cover my body up, frantically searching the floor for where my clothes had landed.
“What happened last night..” Cinna, incoherent as he was, asked.
“I don’t know, but I really hope it’s not what I think it was!”
It took a moment but I finally spotted my shirt and underwear, bunched up in the corner. That alone added to my fear level so much more. Pulling my tank top down over my hips, stretching the thin cotton fabric taut, I noticed red skinny jeans sitting halfway under the bed, just barely peeking out.
Cinna pulled himself over to the other side of the bed, grabbing his own clothes, dressing himself as quickly as possible.
“This isn’t good, this isn’t good, this is NOT good. I’m sorry Cinna, but I have to leave.”
“Pear..” he sighed. “I’m sorry. We shouldn’t have done that.” I paused in my steps before nodding curtly and continuing in my rush out the door.
Upon descending Cinna’s stairs, I noticed how girly the place really was. That was certainly not like him..was he married?
The first thing I saw when I walked through the front door was Maroon, looking sad and pathetic, seeking comfort in his son. As quietly as I could, I tiptoed over to the stairs, ensuring no one had heard or seen me before going for my daughters.
The only way I knew they would all be in the same room was because I had set aside a specific time each day they would play together. That was the time I helped Kobi or Sunglo with whatever they needed, or rested.
When I entered the room, Rosemary looked like she was trying to swim in the box of blocks and toys, and Ruby Red and Anastasia-Blossom were eating blocks.
Right as I stepped foot in the room, they all looked at me. Rosemary gurgled happily and kept on playing, Ruby Red didn’t stop smiling and Anastasia-Blossom latched onto my leg.
“Pear?..” Ignoring him, I continued watching my daughters play. It was kind of interesting, after a while. “Pear, I need to talk to you. Please, just give me a chance..”
Shooting a death glare at my husband, I set down his female clone of a daughter and brushed past him on my way out the door.
“Are you still mad at me?”
“Oh, gee, let me think: yes.”
I grabbed my palette and brush, slapping paint onto an empty canvas; splashes of red, patches of black and splotches of green smushed together, creating what I ultimately felt- confusion.
“Pear, please, just let me talk. Please? I’m sorry, I didn’t mean any of the things I said. Please, just give me a chance to explain.”
“Explain what, exactly, Maroo? You don’t just go saying that to people like me.”
He sighed quietly, allowing an awkward silence to hang over us like the branches of a weeping willow. I could feel him by my side, watching as I painted the image of nothing. I could just barely hear it, but Maroon whispered to himself a little too loud.
“So that’s why we got together..”
“What does that mean?”
“Come sit down, please?”
I sat as far away from him as I could on the couch (the other one was cluttered and I was too lazy to clean it off). Maroon laid down, looking tired; I guess he would be if his wife was off galavanting all night.
“Pear, look. I shouldn’t have said what I did. That was wrong and I do apologize. You just have to understand.. I’m trying as hard as I can to remember everything. But some days I just can’t remember certain things.”
“I realize that, Maroo. But it just..I don’t know. What you said hurt. And you probably don’t know it but, well..yesterday was our anniversary.”
“You could have told me..”
“I shouldn’t have had to.”
Pulling me up to him, he gently placed his lips on mine, and my world felt electric. He sat back only a little bit to say,
“I love you. I’m sorry…I’m gaining my memory back, you know.”
“Oh that’s wonderful!”
“Maroo..if I ever did something terribly bad..you would still love me, right?”
“Did you do something bad?”
“No! No, I was just wondering..” I blatantly lied. It made me feel guilty- the nice person I once was was still deep down somewhere, there- but it was necessary.
“I’ll always love you.”
“I love you more.”
“No, I do!”
“Okay, then,” I smiled.
“Did I just..win?” Maroon had the cutest expression on his face just then.
“You’re lucky you’re sweet.” I began shaking a tiny bit, mostly out of fear of what would happen if he ever found out about where I was last night.
“Are you okay Pear??”
“Yes, it’s just really really cold in here.”
“The bedroom’s warmer..” he purred. I laughed a bit and took his hand, following him.
Let’s just say, I got the anniversary I wanted.