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Posted: Jul 8 2018, 05:23 PM
The trip down to Florida had not been pleasant thus far. Blythe had not been able to get a lick of sleep on the plane, and the car ride from the airport to her childhood home had been deafening both in it's silence and how loud she was certain her heartbeat was. The lump in her throat only grew larger, her mouth drier, as the house came into view.
The house was modest compared to those surrounding it, a two floor brick building situated on a small hill. The neighborhood was affluent but not outright wealthy, she'd been comfortable growing up. Not every family could afford to up and move when they found out their daughter was a mutant and then relocate back to the Florida peninsula.
Pulling into the driveway Blythe let the car idle a moment and took a shaky breath. "Thanks for coming with me," She told Theo as she switched of the ignition. This was going to be difficult, not only because it was probably when she was going to have to say goodbye to her father but she hadn't been back since...
Blythe climbed out of the car before she allowed the thought to finish and took Theo's hand as soon as it was available to her. Without him by her side her strength for this would dissipate, of this she was certain.
Blythe rapped on the door before letting herself and Theo in.
“In the kitchen, kiddo!”
Came the response. Blythe led Theo through the entryway and the living room - where there were all sorts of photos on display. Cringy high school portraits, and a three year old Blythe with a gap toothed smile - and into the kitchen. The women greeted each other with a hug, Blythe apologizing for being away so long, and as Mary finished the plates and handed them over the petite woman that was Blythe’s mother sized Theo up.
“So you must be the boyfriend.”
”Mom, this is Theo.” Blythe told her, but in an exasperated tone that implied ‘As if you didn’t know’. ”Theo, my mom Mary.” Blythe took the plates from her mother and handed one to Theo, gesturing with her head towards the table in the partitioned dining room.
“Well it’s a pleasure,” said Mary “But you better be treating her right.”
Posted: Jul 9 2018, 09:40 PM
Theo was somewhat more relaxed, but he knew that was considerably simpler for him. He had offered to drive—he did have a license and it wasn’t like SatNavs were particularly complicated—but Blythe wanted to drive. He had tried to engage her in conversation a few times, but she didn’t seem up to it at the moment. So mostly, Theo was just there when she needed someone to squeeze her hand or smile at her.
He did pause outside the rental place, though; while Blythe picked up the car Theo coaxed a plant out of the ground. It didn’t want to move. It was tired. But he gave it a fresh breath and convinced it to release the ground from its roots. He gave it new soil before folding up the roots in a spare bit of cloth. When he got back home, he would give it a nice pot to live in.
The irony of her mother’s greeting was not lost on Theo. He knew she thought it was cute. It wasn’t. Not when he knew her massive failure as a protector.
It wasn’t remotely funny, but Theo managed an awkward chuckle.
“It’s very nice to meet you,” he said. “Don’t worry, she’s safe with me.”
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