The Long Way Home

From the Story Arc: New Years 2007

Previous Story in the Arc: Mandatory Draft Announced by Krasnaya Zarya (Saturday, December 30, 2006)

Next Story in the Arc: Cook's Holliday by Althea Nagy (Tuesday, January 02, 2007)

(posted Monday, January 01, 2007)

Bella sat in the silent, empty assembly room for what seemed to be a very long time. There had been people here; the empty containers and plates in the dishwasher proved that. But it seemed her intent to arrive had signaled the mass exodus. Only Jason had dropped in as she sat in a corner, offering clumsy condolence. Petro dashed in and dashed out again, offering vodka.

She checked the comm, offering her help. Silence was her only answer.

I really am the skeleton at the feast.

Finally she bundled up in her fleece coat and went out into the night.

You were once my one companion . . .
you were all that mattered . . .
You were once a friend and lover,
then my world was shattered . . .

Wishing you were somehow here again . . .
wishing you were somehow near . . .
Sometimes it seemed if I just dreamed,
somehow you would be here . . .


King's Row celebrated the New Year in its own way. The smells of a very different sort of cuisine than the Chinese/Russian/American spread in the HQ filled the air. Enchiladas, Bar-B-Que and soul food. It smelled good, in an abstract way, doing nothing to awaken her appetite.


Wishing I could hear your voice again . . .
knowing that I never would . . .
Dreaming of you won't help me to do
all that you dreamed I could . . .


She listened to scraps of song as she passed by apartment buildings, or the occasional car passed her. Rap. Salsa. Not the sort of thing she listened to. Nothing to get in the way of memory. Or to trigger it. She walked into the cemetary, and left a spray of her violets--she always had violets now--on the graves of Miranda's mother and father.

Passing bells and sculpted angels,
cold and monumental,
seem, for you the wrong companions -
you were warm and gentle . . .


She knew the moment when midnight turned over. All the church bells rang, and roman candles and small fireworks went off. Handbells, noisemakers, and a few guns being shot into the air.

Now memory hit her; Zach holding her last year, out in the cold, while this same ritual played out. She reached blindly for a stone monument and clung to it, battling for control.

Too many years fighting back tears . . .
Why can't the past just die . . .?

Wishing you were somehow here again . . .
knowing we must say goodbye . . .
Try to forgive, teach me to live . . .
give me the strength to try . . .

No more memories, no more silent tears . . .
No more gazing across the wasted years . . .
Help me say goodbye.
Help me say goodbye!


((Lyrics: Andrew Lloyd Webber "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again"))