DISCLAIMER: Eulogy and its characters are the property of Angela Robbinson.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Set just after the end of the movie.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
The Long Straight Road Ahead
I have never been this scared in my entire life. I've stared down the barrel of a gun. I've had knives held against various body parts. Hell, I once accidentally locked myself in a room with a ticking bomb. But I'd take any of those over this.
Amy looks over at me and smiles. My heart melts a little but the butterflies refuse to leave my stomach. We're standing outside her parents' front door, waiting for someone to answer it. I was totally against this idea. When you're being pursued by several government agencies it's best to leave the country as soon as humanly possible, believe me. But she insisted on saying goodbye to her parents. She's sure they're gonna be OK with the fact that their daughter, the perfect score, is running away to Europe with a wanted criminal. I'm not convinced.
But we drove all night and now we're here. I nervously smooth down my crumpled clothes, wishing I'd had a chance to check my make-up. Amy looks immaculate. But then, she did actually get some sleep, I didn't.
Footsteps approach the door from the inside and on reflex I look around for an escape route. Then I feel Amy's hand slide into mine and suddenly I don't want to be anywhere but here. The door opens and I hold my breath, unsure of what to expect, but for some reason a fire-breathing dragon keeps coming to mind.
The woman who appears in the doorway has stepped straight out of a TV set. She's one of those perfect moms that I didn't believe actually existed. She has blonde hair and blue eyes, like Amy. She's wearing an apron and I swear I can smell cookies baking somewhere nearby. Her eyes light up with joy and surprise when she sees who's knocking on her door.
Amy barely manages to say 'hi' before she's engulfed in a huge hug. I stand back, a bit uncomfortable. I've never really been at ease around happy families. My own family was pretty fractured and always on the run. I never knew when I was going to see my dad from one month to the next. I do have some good memories from when I was a kid. But most of my recollections involve leaving my warm bed in the middle of the night and being bundled into a car with dark windows. I was still very young when my parents died, so when confronted with a real, live happy parent I don't really know how to act.
Amy's mom releases her and steps back to look at her.
"This is such a surprise! Wasn't Endgame last night? Is that the gown you wore? Oh it's gorgeous! Why are you here? Not that I'm complaining of course. Oh I'm so rude! Introduce me to your friend!"
It takes my brain a sec to process the rapid speech and realize that she's looking at me. Amy turns to glance at me briefly, tucking her hair behind her ear, before turning back to face her mother who is still looking at me, with a strange look on her face.
"Have we met before, dear? You look very familiar."
"Mom, let's go inside we can do introductions and stuff in there."
"Dear Lord, what am I thinking? Leaving you standing out here, of course, come in, come in."
Amy places her hand on the small of my back, like she's herding me into the house in case I decide to run away. The house is lovely inside. Very nicely decorated and really welcoming. The walls in the hallway are covered in framed paintings.. On closer inspection, I see that it's a retrospective of Amy's work, from her earliest finger paintings to more recent figure drawings. She's really very good. She deserves to go to a good art school.
We move through into the living-room. This time the frames contain family pictures. Excursions, vacations, holidays. Her dad is really a handsome guy. They're the perfect story-book family. And I'm taking their little girl away.
Oh God, she calls him Daddy, could she be any cuter? Sometimes I just want to pinch her cheeks.
"Oh honey, he's away on business, he'll be so sorry he missed you! Unless you're staying? Are you staying for a while?"
She glances at me again, looks like her nerve has gone. I want to comfort her but I don't suppose me wrapping my arms around her at this point would ease her nerves.
"Uh, mom..OK, here's the thing ummm "
I feel like I maybe shouldn't be here. This is a big thing she's gonna lay on her mom.
"Sweetie? Are you OK? You've gone really pale."
I look at her and realize this is true. She looks terrible. This time I don't resist the urge. I move closer to her and take her hand, hoping that it lends her a little comfort. She looks at me for a moment, like she's thinking. Then she smiles and turns to her mother.
"Mom. I've quit school. I'm moving to Barcelona to go to art school. And this is Lucy. We're dating."
All of the breath just left my body. I look at her mother and see she's having a similar reaction. Oh my sweet Jesus, I can't believe she said that. I thought she might try to sugar-coat it a little. Although, I suppose she did that by not mentioning my past.
"My goodness I I think I need to I need to sit down."
She sits heavily in an armchair, a slightly dazed expression on her face. Amy moves to kneel in front of her. I stand back slightly, and look at my feet.
"Mom, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to blurt it all out like that. It's just I didn't want to go away without telling you and I wanted you to know that I love you and that I have to do this. I need to do something that makes me happy. I need to be happy. Mom?"
Her mother makes a funny noise, like she's just remembered something.
My head snaps up. It wasn't a question. Amy looks frantically between the two of us.
"Mom, it's not as bad as it sounds really we're she's "
"You gave back all the money you stole didn't you?"
This is directed at me. My throat appears to be broken. I nod my head.
"Yes. I was saying to my husband the other day that it was so refreshing to see someone change for the better nowadays."
I totally don't know what to say to that. 'Yes, I know, I'm great.'? 'Thank you'? 'Do you mind if I run off to Barcelona with your daughter'? I settle for nodding again. She turns to Amy.
"So. You weren't happy at school?"
"No. Not for a long time. I don't think I even realized how unhappy I was until recently until I met Lucy."
"When exactly did you meet Lucy?"
Don't answer that.
"A coup er, a few weeks ago."
Her mother's eyebrows go up slightly and she presses her lips together. But to her credit, she doesn't explode. Let's face it, most parents would need hospitalized after hearing that their pride and joy had not only quit her place at an elite educational establishment, but was moving to another continent with a known criminal. So far she seems like a pretty cool mom.
She looks hard at Amy for a long time.
"Amy, all your father and I want is for you to be happy. I know the whole school thing was kind of forced on you. If this is going to make you happy then we will support you. And remember, you can always come to us for anything. I love you."
"I love you too."
They embrace again and I can feel a big lump forming in my throat. Then, all of a sudden, my arms are full of Amy and she's hugging me close. I hold her awkwardly, not wanting to look like I'm feeling her up in front of her mother. Considering the amount of skin her dress shows, this is no mean feat. She whispers in my ear.
"See, told you she'd be OK."
She lets me go. Her mother is looking at me with that 'look' that only mothers can pull off. The one that can make you feel like a four year old caught raiding the cookie jar. She stands up and approaches me. It's all I can do not to shrink back, but I stand my ground.
"Now, Ms Diamond. My daughter seems to be very taken with you. And I trust her judgement. I'm not going to lecture either of you because I remember what it's like to be young and have dreams. But I will say this I can't say that I approve of your past. And if you do anything that will hurt my daughter or put her in any danger I will "
I cut her off before she can finish that threat.
"You don't have to worry, Mrs Bradshaw, ma'am. I love your daughter and I would do anything before I'd hurt her. Besides, I've already been informed that I'll be hunted down if I ever break her heart."
Mrs Bradshaw glances at Amy.
Amy nods, smiling. Max, yeah, that's her name. I always just think of her as Scary DEB. Amy lifts my wrist to look at my watch. She threw her hi-tech DEB-com one out of the car window in a symbolic gesture of liberation earlier. She didn't think about how she was gonna tell time.
"We have to get going, mom."
Her mother looks crest-fallen.
"So soon? But baby, you just got here."
"We kind of need to get out of the country sooner rather than later, mom."
Her eyes flick to me by way of explanation and I can feel shame creeping up my neck. Then she reaches out and puts her arm around my shoulder, making me feel slightly less guilty.
"Oh of course. Well, let me make you some sandwiches for the trip."
Amy smiles indulgently at her mother.
"Thanks, but we'll be fine, honestly we really have to go."
She leans in and kisses her mother's cheek before being caught in another smothering hug. This time when they part they are both crying. We make our way to the door with Amy's mother imparting all sorts of random tips about overseas travel as we walk.
"Don't drink the water in Southern Europe and remember, the apes on Gibraltar may look cute, but they can give you a nasty scratch and don't go below UPF 30 and paint me a picture of the Spanish Steps and "
"The Spanish Steps are in Rome, mom."
"Well, paint them for me anyway."
We reach the door and Amy opens it. I hate these goodbye things where no-one actually wants to say the words. They have another tight hug and whisper things to each other that I thankfully can't hear. Amy finally pulls away, wiping at her eyes, a hand covering her mouth.
"Lucy, give me a hug."
Amy's mother opens her arms to me and I just stand there looking at her. The next thing I know she's got me in a crushing hug. She smells like cookie dough and roses. I put my arms around her and return the embrace, transported back to my childhood for a moment, holding onto my own mother. Then she lets me go and I stumble back slightly, stunned.
"Keep my baby safe."
She looks at me very seriously. I nod.
"I will, ma'am."
"C'mon, we have to go." Amy is still fighting tears and she takes my hand and pulls me towards the car.
"Bye mom. Love you."
"Love you. Be careful!"
We walk down the path and get into the car. She waves at her mother until she can't see her anymore and then she cries into my shoulder as I drive. We are silent for the longest time. Then she speaks.
"You kept calling my mom, 'ma'am'."
A smile is tugging at her lips so I play along.
"So you're the most polite supervillain I've ever known."
"Known a lot of supervillains have you?"
"Not that many."
I tickle her side and she scoots away from me, out of my reach.
"OK, kidding. You are the only supervillain for me."
I smile at her.
"You say the sweetest things."
She moves back over the seat and starts kissing my neck, up my jaw, nibbling my earlobe distracting me.
"Uh I you better stop that or I'm gonna crash the car."
She stops and I'm kinda sorry I asked her to. She settles back down with her head on my shoulder.
"Oh well, there'll be plenty of time for that on the plane."
I can feel the smile grow on my face as I watch the road ahead. We're gonna be OK.
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