Anna and Mavrik's story continues....
------------------------------------And the story continues........--------------------------------
"Hey Mavrik, I got a question,"
"Will you help me move in a couple of weeks?"
"Sure, just let me know when."
"Ok." long pause
"So,...where are you moving to?"
"In with my sister."
"Ah..." As if he didn't already know, Anna thought. She also knew what the next question would be.
"What about the cat?"
"Yea about that, I got another question."
"I can't take her."
"I have one more than I should already!"
"Well my sister can't have cats at her place."
"Well, that's a lie." Mavrik accused, without missing a beat. Anna just stared. It was as if the world had stuttered and tripped a little on it's axis.
"I'm just telling you she's trying to pull the wool over your eyes." O. no. he did not.
"I'm only going to say this once: Don't insult my family."
"I'm not trying to..."
"Don't call my sister a liar."
"Let's just be honest for a second here Mav. Let's have a real frank conversation. Fact of the matter is we both know that the thought of me even spending one night at your place, let alone 4 to 6 months makes you sick to your stomach." Mavrik looked at her like a deer in headlights. Anna steered on ahead. "Guess who didn't flinch when I asked to live with her. Guess who didn't need to "think" about it. Guess who didn't even need to pray about whether or not she would be willing to put a roof over MY head! GUESS!" Mavrik didn't say a word. His eyes had gone from dazed deer in headlights to empty, like fresh roadkill. Anna smelled blood and couldn't stop herself as a red haze began to cloud her vision. "That's right MY sister. I don't know if you've heard Mavrik but I lost my job 4 months ago. Now, I'm losing my apartment. Not 'giving it away', LOSING it! I didn't just wake up and say 'Hmm, I'm a 27 year old grown woman, think I'll give up my independence and move in with my sister.' Hate to break it to you but that's not how it's going down.
I wish I could make my sister love this cat as much as I do. I really do, but I can't. Now will I act a fool and disrespect he wishes by pushing the issue. I know this is a foreign concept for you but love is a two way street my friend. And so is respect. SO, until we reach the point in our relationship," Anna motioned from Mavrik to herself, "where you're ok with putting MY needs ahead of your own personal comforts, you don't have the right to say shit about my family." She was shaking with rage.
"I can't take it," she said quietly. "I don't deserve it," she said boldly and matter of fact. "She doesn't deserve it," she stated emphatically, meaning her sister. "And I won't tolerate it."
Mavrik had never seen this side of Anna before. He had always figured it was there, seething beneath the surface, but this look in her eyes....
"Do you understand that? Can you understand that?" It wasn't an insult, Mavrik could tell she honestly doubted whether or not he was emotionally capable of understanding her feelings.
"Anna?" She was cradling her head in one hand. She looked drained. Exhausted.
"Yea?" she inquired. Not anger or maliciousness in her voice.
"Thanks." corner of her mouth twitched. Not quite a smile but more than he'd hoped for.
"I love you." She sighed heavily.
"I love you too Mavrik. I really do."
"Did you mean it?"
"You really love me like a brother?"
"Yea." she looked a bit incredulous, as if surprised he didn't already know this. Mavrik looked down at the table. He'd have to be careful with his next words.
"Would you let me live with you if I needed it."
"Yes." There was no hesitation in the answer and he didn't need to look into her eyes to know it was true. Anna shugged "I have a spare room. Hopefully no one'd find out about your pets but if they did you'd have to pay the fee; and so long as your cats didn't try to destroy my house, we could make it work for a few months." Mavrik just stared at her.
"Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't want to live with you forever or anything. But....I don't know that's just how I am. I mean it when I tell people I love them. It's not a word just for show, it's an action." Mavrik couldn't hold her gaze, he looked away. He wasn't an expert on liars but he believed her. But he'd been fooled before. She was just saying that. Wasn't she?
"I'm not saying you're wrong for feeling the way you do," Anna piped in. Mavrik looked at her bemused. Was she actually worried about his feelings now? After how he'd treated her? "And I'm not saying I'm right either. We're just two different people who think differently. It's fine." She didn't know that with everyword she was making him feel more and more like shit. God he could be a selfish bastard sometimes. He hated to admit it but it was true. He should say something. Tell her she was right. Tell her he wished he was like her, honestly felt like her, but he didn't. He said nothing. The silence strected out, looming between them like a bottomless cavern that either of them knew how to traverse.
"Well, I better get going. Need to stop by some stores and look for packing boxes." Mavrik said nothing. "See you later?"
Mavrik straightened in his seat. Business face back on. "Yea! Catch you later." Anna nodded and walked out the door, the cavern widening behind her.
Other version: "My Real Family: DFFC Edition"