DISCLAIMER: Guiding Light and its characters are the property of Proctor & Gamble. No infringement intended.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
SERIES: Fifth part of The Script Series.
The Man Who Can't Be Moved
He knows something is wrong: Rafe won't look at him when he comes back inside, and as soon as he's in the kitchen, Natalia tells him they "have to talk."
Those are never good words.
But he won't let them stop him.
He's going to marry Natalia and make her Mrs. Frank Cooper.
"What is it sweetheart?" He tries to ignore her flinch and smile brightly.
"Wait. Before you say anything," he starts.
The irritation in her eyes is palpable, shooting waves across the kitchen, but he has to stop her.
If he lets her talk, if he lets her get one word out, it's all over and he won't be able to kid himself anymore.
He's not an idiot after all at least, not as much of an idiot as people make him out to be.
And what he knows is that Natalia loves Olivia is in love with Olivia and Olivia loves Natalia too, and he just doesn't fit into the equation.
"Let's go away. Let's, let's get out of Springfield and just go, and we can start over, you know? Really get to know each other." Natalia gives him a smile a smile, he now realizes, that is just to humor him and make him feel like the center of her world.
But he's not he's not even on the outer ring of the circle he's imagining.
"Frank," she says, shaking her head, and he knows she's going to say no.
He refuses to let her.
And that makes him an asshole, a jerk, a denier of true love because in all the relationships he's ever seen, nothing is truer that what Olivia and Natalia have but he's been denied love too many times and he won't let it happen again.
"No, just, just hear me out."
But she shakes her head again. He almost wants to thank her, for finally standing up for herself, but this isn't going the way it's supposed to: he's supposed to get the girl this time.
"Natalia, I'm not leaving," he insists and he drops into the chair across from her to illustrate his point. "I'm not going anywhere, because you and I, we're good together. I mean, gosh Natalia, you fit perfectly into my family and we're going to have such a perfect life together."
"Don't Natalia. I know you, even if you think I don't. Even if you think that Olivia," he watches her flinch again. "If you think that Olivia is the only reason we're together, that we got this far, I don't believe it."
"I know you," he insists. "I know your goodness and your warmth. And I know your heart. I know that you can love me, if you try to. I can be anything you need me to be."
In her eyes, he can read her question: "Can you be Olivia?"
He realizes he's on his knees, begging her, but he doesn't care how pathetic he looks; doesn't care if Rafe is in the next room, listening to every word.
Because he loves Natalia.
And everyone thinks it's for the wrong reasons, but if they only gave him the chance to prove it; if they only gave Natalia a chance to prove to everyone that she loved him.
He wants to scream out about Olivia and how she's not perfect, how she'll leave Natalia as soon as she breaks her, how Olivia took advantage of every time Natalia dropped everything for her. He wants to tell Natalia that Olivia waved Emma in her face like a white flag and appealed to her "motherly" instinct.
He wants to yell about how he got Natalia into see Rafe when she couldn't see him; he was the one who sprung the attempted murderer out of jail early; he did everything right.
And his reward? Not marrying the woman of his dreams, that's for sure.
Instead, he gets told that "she's sorry" and that "we need to talk."
It just doesn't seem fair.
It's not fair.
"Frank, I can't "
"You can. You just need to give yourself more time, alright? We can do this."
"Yes," he nods his head repetitively. "Yes we can. Give us the chance."
"It's not fair to you," Natalia insists. But he knows it's not.
She's in love with someone else and she can't just turn off her feelings because he asks her too.
So, he decides, I'll tell her to.
"I don't want you to see her anymore. I want you to focus on me, so that we can work."
Natalia is on her feet instantly rage and anger flashing in her eyes. "You do not get to tell me who I can see, and you sure as hell don't get to tell me who to love."
"Now, Natalia "
"I'm done Frank. I'm done with your ignorance towards me and your idiotic belief that you know how to treat me better than anyone else, because you don't. It's Olivia who knows everything. You, you know absolutely nothing about who I am and who I want to be. You don't know my dreams and my nightmares, you don't know my past or where I want to go in the future." She takes a deep breath and Frank likes this version of Natalia the passionate, fired up Natalia with eyes ablaze.
He mistakes fury for fervor.
"You and I Frank, we're "
"We are." He crosses his arms over his chest. "And I'm going to prove it to you, as long as it takes me."
"Frank," Natalia says warningly.
He smiles and puts his hands up to stop her from speaking. "No. You'll see. I'll prove it and you'll never leave me."
To him, it sounds like a promise.
To her, at least, according to the look in her eyes, it sounds like a threat.
He leaves through the front door, cutting through the living room, when he runs into Rafe.
Rafe just stares at him with a look in his eyes that's he knows he inherited from his mother.
"Rafe," Frank tries to explain.
"Listen Frank. I think you're an alright guy, okay? But don't do this to her."
Frank smiles. "Do what?"
"I get that you're unhappy about how things turned out, I know. But "
Frank steps forward, his height making him two inches taller than Rafe, and he bores down on the young man. "You listen to me "
"Back off me man."
"I will marry her." His pride, his wall of defense drops. "I need to marry here," he whispers desperately.
"I think she said she was all set, alright man?" Rafe's eyes are Natalia's, but darker and edgy.
"Rafe, listen to me "
"Give it up already Frank. You're starting to look pathetic," he grumbles.
"I won't. Don't ask me to." Frank squares his shoulders and sets his stance.
He turns on his heel and pushes the door open. "I'll be back tomorrow," he promises.
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