Romi

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She was stressed. He shouldn't have said it at all, but he'd wanted to say the truth. He'd wanted it to be known, rather than hanging between them unspoken. Better to clear the air, even if it hurt, then to avoid the subject entirely for the rest of their lives.

"I need to know what you want to tell people, when they ask. They'll know you went missing, and I don't want someone you care about--or, god forbid, fucking Charlie--sticking his nose in to try and figure out where you went. So what do you want me to tell people?"

 

Sarrain

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"I don't know!"And, following the taunting from the voice, Shay continued, "I already fucked up enough, are we really going to trust me with the fucking cover story, too?"

Why couldn't Angelo just go away, so she didn't have to see him or anyone again?

 

Romi

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Angelo didn't react to the yell. He barely reacted to anything. It felt like he'd used up all his emotions, burnt out in such a short period of time.

"I'll tell them..." Got drunk was the first option, but that was a bad plan. Why couldn't he think of anything? Why was it so hard?

"I'll tell them you don't want to talk about it. And get them to drop it. Feeding them lies... might backfire." And he couldn't figure out what to say anyway. "So hopefully most of them will know to my quiet by the time you're out."

 

Sarrain

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Shay shrugged, still holding her head. She listened to the buzzing in her head. This deafening fucking silence between the two of them.

Suddenly, Shay said, "you gotta cut me off from the family." As if a lightbulb went off. "It'd be better for the kids. I can't..." She motioned around herself, "I can't escape any of this. And I wanted them to be with you because it was best for them, but no matter how hard I try, I don't think I'll be good for them."

 

Romi

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It was, all things considered, not the right thing to do. But that didn't change the fact that Angelo--serious and tired as he was--rolled his eyes.

"Do you really think I'm going to just dump you?" Angelo asked. "Just kick you out and declare you Eroshay Notsales?"

Did she forget he'd offered to adopt her first and everyone else second?

"You fucked up, and I'm not going to try and pretend like you didn't. I'm not going to... to play nice and say it's all okay, because it wasn't. But I'm not going to just kick you out either. When things go wrong, you're supposed to stick close to people. You're supposed to support them. So that's what I'm going to be doing. You're not going to corrupt anyone by proximity, Shay."

 

Sarrain

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Another time, Shay might have laughed about that pun, but she didn't now. Not this time. "I'm not a Rosales," she said honestly. "I don't want the last name anymore." Or Nikiah. Shay didn't feel much about any last name.

"I just think it'd be a better idea to cut some ties. I'm never getting out of this Angelo."

Shay went quiet. Decided to stop talking all together while she watched Angelo. She didn't want to fight her point of view, even if his words felt like ash in her mouth.

She eventually waved a hand at him, a clear dismissive sign for this entire conversation. "Anything else?"

 

Romi

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No, she wasn't. But none of the kids were either. It had brought up something else that Angelo had dwelled on, something he thought about a lot: Were they still Rosales? Should they still take that name?

Should they keep it? Or should it be something else?

Maybe now wasn't the time to bring it up. He'd have to discuss with the kids at home.

"No, nothing else," Angelo said. "I'll stop by tomorrow and see how you're doing." If Shay thought he was just going to leave her alone, she had another thing coming. Angelo was going to keep on visiting, even if they had very little to say. Maybe not every day, but often enough.

Enough that she'd know for sure she wasn't forgotten.

@Foxy - fin?
 

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