|queen of taco tuesday. her grace. (prattl) wrote,|
@ 2016-04-30 13:42:00
|Current music:||tw: mentions of violence, rape.|
narrative | april 22 & 23.
10:15 a.m.April 23, 2016I'm getting good at this, she thought to herself as she balanced the wide eyed, curious two year old on her hip and hoisted the small stack of white boxes into her arms. Adele clung tighter to Lucy as the woman dipped in to grab the door and pulled it open with ease.10:15 p.m.
"Rox?" Lucy blew a tuft of hair out of her eyes.
The Perfect Petal had already begun to change in ways that made her both proud and bitter. Roxanne was doing a fine job, after all she had spent a lot more time in the shop when they were growing up than Lucy ever had, but even just walking through the door it felt to Lucy as if her time there was being slowly erased.
The younger Pratt approached and passed the counter, beginning to feel the weight of boxes in her elbows. Without pause she headed for the office, a room where she had spent countless hours of her life from childhood, to those years where this was her base of operations. She lifted the boxes on one side and managed to knock with her knuckles, turning to exchange a silly face with Adele, whose grip on Lucy's shirt had tightened at the tilt.
Roxanne opened the door and smiled widely.
"Just take the damn boxes, already," Lucy jokingly snapped, adding a, "Jeez, wow, rude much?" It was a bit of a stretch to fit herself into the long forgotten role of bratty little sister, but she had enough memories of it for a half assed recall.
"The slides for Mom's slideshow? All of them?"
Roxanne reached forward and took the boxes out of Lucy's hands and set them down on the counter of the office. "I even went through them and made sure they were in the right order to go with the cue cards. In the envelop is the confirmation from the caterer and all of their contact info. I..." She hesitated, talking about money always seemed to bring out the worst in their relationship. "I went ahead and paid in full because I couldn't get ahold of you. If you want to, you can pay me back half..."
Roxanne's reaction was predictable in that she flushed with anger but having always been the level headed one, kept her cool. "I'm sorry," Lucy breathed out, half wondering if the subject would ever get brought back up again and knowing she probably didn't want it to. "All of Mom's bridge friends have confirmed that they're coming. They have something they want to give to us - The Petal - you know?" Lucy cleared her throat and shifted Adele to the other hip.
Roxanne looked through the slides placed in the top box while Lucy spoke. Lucy's blue eyes took in the differences in the office, noticing that the picture she had up from the first wedding she had undertaken after buying out their aunt had been taken down and was replaced by a photo of Roxanne's daughter.
"I -- I don't think I'm going, Rox." Lucy had expectations that this news would upset her older sister. Roxanne was always trying to get her to do things with the family. Instead, Roxanne did not look phased by this information.
"Do what you have to do, Lulu."
She sighed. It was sometimes so very hard to win with her family. "I think it's going to be great, Rox. I love you.. and good luck." The sisters hugged and parted ways, Lucy to take Adele to lunch and then home, and Roxanne back to work at the flower shop to familiarize herself with the cards that Lucy had written to go with the slideshow she had organized for their mother's memorial the following evening.
Hux & Hewes had the potential to feel more like home to Lucy than anywhere else in the City. It was comfort. She more than just enjoyed being behind the bar; she loved it. From the nights she had spent polishing and buffing the bartop to the afternoons she had spent arranging the liquors to all of the countless hours spent familiarizing herself with all of their unique flavors, this job, this bad, had become ingrained in her life. Those she worked with, her family.
It was a night like any other night. The kitchen was churning out dishes at an astonishing rate, the smell of Ben's genius evident in all corners of the bar area where Lucy was stationed. She had a steady order of cocktails, draft beers, and shots coming in from the waitstaff and the few patrons that lingered in the bar. It did not keep her from being her usual self.
"I wanna knooooowww what love issss," she crooned, slightly off-key and much too loudly, to the small brunette waitress that walked past her with an order out to a table. "I WANT YOU TO SHOOOWWW ME," she yelled after Clari, almost demanding that her serenade be acknowledged.
As she chuckled, Lucy's gaze wondered to the doors of H&H that had just been opened. Her laughter died short in her throat and the smirk that had been on her lips faltered, froze, and then fell off completely. David Pratt had never come to H&H before and yet here he was, unmistakably him. His hair had thinned, his middle had thickened, and he walked with the aide of a cane, a shuffling gait that seemed so wrong when held up against all of her memories of him. She realized she had been staring when he finally got his bearings and began to make his way to her area of the bar.
A shrill sound appeared buzzing in her ear but she attempted to make her obvious discomfort less so. Teeth scraped over her lower lip and she fought the urge to duck out from her post. She was a big girl, wasn't she? Her father was almost to the bar when Lucy grabbed a chilled Old Fashioned glass and a bottle of Jameson from the shelf behind her.
It was with a practiced hand that she poured the double without the bottle rattling against the glass despite how shaken she was feeling. David took a seat in front of her. She glanced up at him and left the drink on the counter. She replaced the bottle of whiskey back on the shelf and took what she hoped would be a calming deep breath.
His voice was something that had not changed. Not the timber, not the meter, not the intonation. She slowly turned to face him.
"I'm, uh, sober - so I don't, I don't want this drink."
Lucy pursed her lips thoughtfully and took the glass in her hand. "It's not for you," she uttered before throwing it back. It didn't even burn like it used to. Her tongue snaked out and caught a drop off the curve of her lower lip and she put the glass with the half of dozen others that had been used within the last twenty minutes. She didn't respond to the look on his face that clearly disapproved of her drinking on the job. "What are you doing here?"
David ran a hand over his face and then up and over the balding spot of his head. "I want you to come to this dinner tomorrow, for you Mom. You know, your sister has been working her ass off on this. It's - it's for your mom, Luce. It's for Roxie. It's not about me and you - it's - c'mon, you can't just shut me out like this. I know I haven't always been the best dad but--"
From the moment David had begun to talk she could feel her blood boiling warmer and warmer. Of course. Roxanne had always craved approval. Of course, she wanted to look as if she had been the one to do all of the work for Victoria's memorial. Would it do any good for her to correct David and let him know that it was her who had worked her ass off on this since February? No. She let it go. She breathed. And then David's tone turned more passionate, the subject was changed from Mom and Roxie to himself - to them.
"But nothing!" Lucy interjected in a sharp, quiet tone. "I need you to understand something. I'm not punishing you." She watched his face to make sure he was taking in what she had to say. "I don't shut you out because you were a bad father and I want you to know it. I shut you out because my life is better without you."
David's jaw went slack for a heartbeat. "Luce.. I'm not - I'm not that guy anymore. You gotta give me a chance."
Lucy was no longer interested in indulging her father. A forcible sigh exhaled through her nose and her lip snarled in disgust. "You're not the guy who raped me?"
All color drained from David's face. His chest heaved unevenly. He put both hands on the bar and staggered to his feet. "Lucy," he strained to get the word out from his throat, tears forming in his eyes.
"Tell Roxanne that she did a good job tomorrow for me, alright, Dad? But don't ever come back in here again."
3:30 a.m."Can you describe your assailant, Miss...?"7:30 a.m.
Lucy glanced at the uniformed officer for a moment and tried to imagine him with a face that seemed more sympathetic. "He was about 5'11" or 6' tall. Horrible, shaggy brown hair. Pasty pale. A poorly executed skull tattoo on his left forearm. Um - he had a noticeable cold sore." She looked in the direction of the other young woman that had been walking with her when the mugger approached.
"And when did he hit you?"
Lucy's hand went unconsciously to touch the necklace that had just been ripped from her neck by the man that had also hit her in the side of the face with the Smith & Wesson .40 cal. "Right at the beginning - he, uh, he told his to give him our purses and our phones and everything and I, well. I told him to fuck off." She dropped her hand awkwardly to her side and fought back tears. She wouldn't cry.
"You're incredibly lucky, ma'am."
She contained the urge to roll her eyes, mostly because she didn't want to find out just how badly her eye was hurt, how much it had swollen up since getting that initial look at it in the window of the shop they used to call the police. "I am just thanking all of my lucky stars tonight, I tell you, Officer." The sarcasm was evident and dripped from every syllable she uttered but the officer paid it no mind.
"We have your statements. Why don't you ladies get home and get some rest and we'll be in contact?"
Lucy nodded. After the officers left, despite knowing she needed to get home and tell Petal what had happened, she offered to get the girl who had been mugged with her home. "I'm sorry," Lucy whispered in the back of the cab as they approached the girl's neighborhood. "I could have gotten you killed."
"Don't be sorry. I thought you were brave."
Lucy didn't feel brave.
She had not had the strength to climb the stairs to the loft bedroom where she hoped that Petal was waiting for her. Instead, she had taken up residence on the couch and had not moved from the moment she arrived home. In her work clothes, in her work shoes; exhaustion oozing from every inch of her tired body.
It had been just a few hours of being lost deep within her own thoughts. When had things gotten so complicated? What decision had led her down this path, to be living this life?
Wallowing, she reached yet again for the necklace that had provided her with comfort over and over and over again, and found nothing. Empty. A gasping, choking sob forced its way between her lips. It was gone. The likelihood that the necklace she had worn since she was twelve years old would be returned was slim. It was gone forever. Her first communion cross and the claddaugh ring that had been her mother's in childhood, ripped from her. As so many things had been.
She was alerted to another presence by the sound of footsteps on the stairs. It was Petal. Lucy attempted to hide her face from the brunette, who had already seen that something was amiss. She came and sat beside Lucy, who needed no other encouragement to turn and face the younger woman. Tears that she swore she would not cry sprang forward and she curled her body around Petal's. It felt so comforting when it took no communication for the darker girl to fit perfectly against Lucy.
"What happened?" Petal asked after a moment.
The words wanted to tumble out all at once and yet nothing seemed to form. She opened her mouth but closed it just as quickly. As she felt Petal's fingertips graze gently over her back, she sighed. "I need you," was all that she was able to come out with.
"I'm not going anywhere."
It was easy to believe her.