Sunday, February 23, 2014

Ch. 1.9: Fidelity


“Mom broke up with Luke,” Elysia says. She doesn’t call him “dad,” or “daddy,” or anything else a child typically calls a father. Why would she?

“Shut up, Elly,” Luna grumbles, “you big fat liar.” It’s true—Elysia was prone to lying, but she made sure to weave in the occasional truth.

The girls are trying to complete their homework last minute after a wild weekend of tag and pillow fights. As usual, Solaris finished his homework at lightning speed, leaving the Luna and Elysia to work on their own. He doesn’t offer any help as they struggle.

“Really, they broke up,” Elysia insists. They hardly ever see their father anyway, but she feels like Solaris and Luna should be taking this more seriously. Their parents are no longer together—they should probably get busy developing psychological scars or something.


“I don’t know why you think you know everything, but you don’t,” Luna snaps, “mom hasn’t said anything, so it hasn’t happened. Dad is probably still on tour.” She’s having particular troubles with long division, and she’s in no mood to pile on personal troubles. Why am I stupid and ugly, she thinks bitterly, I hate math.



“I do know everything,” Elysia insists with a smug look, “or at least more than you. I know how to do long division, idiot.” Luna, lacking a retort, sticks out her tongue. Elysia rolls her eyes and tosses her hair, bitch style.

Solaris sits down at the table, having retrieved a book. He often speeds through his homework just so he can read. Science fiction is his favorite.


“Elly does seem to know these sorts of things,” Solaris says quietly as he cracks open the book. Luna rolls her eyes. He’s noticed that Elysia seems more perceptive than one would think. She always scores the same as him on tests—always perfect or near-perfect scores--even though her homework and classwork scores are lower.

“Yeah,” she sneers at Luna, “I know these sorts of things.”

She speaks the truth. Luke had indeed come to the house several nights after his encounter with Crux.

***

“I’m surprised you’ve returned,” Polaris says coolly, “you made quite an exit.” Drama queen, she thinks to herself.

“I’m surprised you’re alone,” Luke retorts, “Or is that pussy hiding inside?” Polaris snaps—she’s in no mood for this.


“Yeah, I’m fucking alone, Luke,” she spits, “just like you left me—alone, with three kids.”

“Polly, I didn’t mean—“ Polaris interrupts him, making a cutting motion with her hand. He winces. He’s suddenly ashamed of his behavior.


“I don’t care what you did or didn’t mean,” she doesn’t raise her voice; rather, she lowers her voice, hissing the words through her teeth, “I care about your actions, and your actions have demonstrated that you’re a selfish child. You run off with your fucking band, doing god knows what, and I just take it. I don’t know why, I took it, but I did. I didn’t even ask you about any other women, but you see me with a man—platonically, with a man—and you blow my lid. Double-standard.” She felt like these words were coming from someone else. She hadn’t thought about it this way. How had she let herself become so enticed by someone so egocentric?

“Meanwhile, you leave behind three gorgeous, brilliant, thriving children,” she continues, “all so you can live out some pathetic fantasy. You chose fame over your children.” She leaves out the fact that the school regularly calls, complaining that Elysia won’t stop bullying some of the other students and Luna won’t stop biting her sister. She’s sure fame has its downsides, too, but she doesn’t want to devalue her children.

“I sent back money—I took care of you,” he protests. His makes the claim in earnest.

“Great care. I’m sure the kids think to themselves, ‘well, dad isn’t around, but at least we have a bitchin’ house,’” her words drip with sarcasm, “grow up, Luke. Money isn’t a relationship.”

“Polly, you’re being unfair. I’ve tried, really hard. I’ve provided a home for you and the kids, and I love them…and you.”

“You’re missing the point. You don’t trust me, and I’m only part of, what? A third of your life? I deserve better.”

“And what, he’s better? Who is he,” Luke asks pleadingly, “I need to know.” He feels pathetic for asking, but he has to know, if only for masochistic reasons.


“No,” Polaris jabs her finger at him, “You’ve made it clear you don’t want to be a part of my life,
whether you realize it or not. You don’t get to ask questions like that. Leave.” Luke turns around to leave, half-fuming, half-embarrassed. As he walks down the pathway, she calls out to him.

“You’ve decided not to be a part of my life…” she hesitates, “but don’t cut your children out of your life.” He nods sullenly.

***


It seems like everything is breaking. Polaris finds herself fixing her shower early one morning. This is like a metaphor for something, she thinks. She tries to push Crux and Lyra and Lily out of her mind. She hasn’t heard from Crux in weeks. He's shacking up with two women…


The washer is also in its death throes. It screeches whenever she runs it, causing painful headaches. She doesn’t know when she’ll be able to afford a new one.


Only her laptop seems to be working. She occasionally logs on to make strange forum posts on random websites. She likes to see how people will react. One afternoon, while composing a profoundly profane post, she received a message:

I would like to visit you tonight. Please respond in the affirmative soon.
Well Wishes,
Crux


She responded with two words: Sounds good.


That evening, Polaris sends the kids to their room for the night. It’s not a punishment—she just wants to spend some time alone with Crux. She is primping in the mirror when the doorbell rings.


When she opens the front door, she sees Crux standing with his hands outstretched. “Absolutely stunning,” he mutters to himself as rain drops fall on his hands.

“I know you’ve seen rain before, Crux,”


“Of course,” he says, turning around, “But the rain here feels…cleaner. I wish I could further expound on the difference, but it is inexplicable.”

“You seem to be in a good mood,” she remarks.

“Oh yes,” he says enthusiastically, “very much. Did you know there is a building in which you can access books and other forms of knowledge? For free! No requirements, except a little plastic card. Lyra took me there.”

“She took you to the library?” Polaris feels a stab of jealously.

“I am afraid that is why I have not communicated with you,” he explains sheepishly, “that, and I decided I should maintain radio silence for a prudent period of time.”

“That…makes perfect sense, actually,” she says. Her feelings had been hurt for no reason. He was just being a cautious nerd with a library card. “Come in,” she gestures to him.


He looks around the house as he enters. “During my last visit, I did not take the time to appreciate the interior of your home. It is lovely,” he remarks with a goofy grin.

“Thanks,” Polaris can’t help but feel that he’s forcing the compliment. He seems to discern the doubt on her face.

“I am being genuine. The home Lyra chose for us is not as colorful. It is quite drab, in fact. I appreciate the liveliness of your home,” he explains. Polaris feels another jealous pang at Lyra’s name. Stop that, she tells herself.


“Umm…thanks again,” she mutters.

“Are your children home? May I meet them?” It’s a stiff request—again, Polaris thinks he’s forcing it.

“Not tonight. Uh, I asked them to stay in their room. To give us time to talk.” They stand awkwardly for a moment.


“Shall we sit?” Crux politely suggests. He has been reading etiquette books at the library, but so far they haven’t told him how he’s supposed to interact with an estranged lover who’s your accessory to treason.


“Oh, yeah. Of course,” she leads him into the tiny living room.



They sit in silence. Crux shifts his weight.

“What?”

“I said nothing, Polaris.”

“Oh.”



“Hmm,” Crux clears his throat.

“Well…”

“Yes?”



Polaris sighs and turns to him. “This is really awkward, isn’t it?”

“Quite,” he admits.

“I’m going to get us some drinks,” she hurries to the kitchen and returns with wine and booze. It doesn’t take them long to drink a couple of glasses of wine, and a couple of beers. Soon, Polaris is reclining—alcohol always relaxes her, with the exception of Big Mistakes.


Crux, on the other hand, sits anxiously on the edge of the couch. They’ve remained quiet for the most part. Crux’s pleasant mood has been replaced with gloominess.

“Do you like your drink?” Polaris is unsure he’s even had a beer before.

“It is adequate. It is not the type Lyra purchases,” he replies.

“Does Lyra make all your life choices for you?” The question comes out bitchier than she meant.

“She is helping me adjust,” he shrugs. She helps him adjust…Polaris’ mind runs with dirty images.
“And how are you adjusting?”

Crux takes a swig. “Well, I suppose. I have been in Simnation for months. Not having to move around is pleasant.”

“Say, you were going to tell me about your adventure,” Polaris has been curious about how he ended up in Lucky Palms. Suddenly Crux chugs the rest of his beer and wipes his mouth.

“Polaris,” he takes a deep breath, “Can we please talk about how you copulated with another man?”

“Oh,” Polaris says, unsure of what to say. Crux groans and slides off the couch onto the floor.

“I would just like to talk about it, please,” Crux pleads. He looks miserably at the ceiling. Polaris has never seen him act so pitiful before.

“Yeah, well. Shit. Yeah, I guess we have to talk about that,” Polaris feels like an idiot.


“I feel atrocious and mad at you and jealous of a man who is obviously of low intelligence,” Crux admits, “this is all very unsettling.”

“I’m sorry,” she barely squeaks it out, “but…”

“But?”

“But I was under the impression you and I were over. When we started our mission, you said we couldn’t continue.”

“Yes, but I did not think all of this would happen,” he replies, “I thought I was acting in your best interest.”

“You were,” she agrees, “acting in our best interest. But I had an opportunity to do something new. I thought I was unattached, and I stupidly thought I wouldn’t get caught. Most of all, I never thought it would hurt you.”

“Why would it not?”

“Are you serious? You ended our relationship and became the Commander’s lapdog. And again, I stupidly thought you wouldn't find out.”

“I suppose it would seem that way, as if I was a pet of the Commander's,” Crux says, “I did not understand why you were so taken with that rake at the time. Now, I see the allure of freedom, of experimentation. It’s enticing. I've had many impulses I wouldn't even think of on Alcyone. However, I still feel atrocious.”

“So you’re saying you understand why I did it, but you still feel terrible?”

“Yes.”

Polaris leans forward and looks him in the eyes.

“That’s how I feel, too,” she admits, “Luke was a stupid mistake. He’s charismatic, that’s for sure, but not a good fit for me. The only good thing that came out that mess was the triplets.”

“He made you happy,” Crux says, “I saw many of your interactions. I doubt I ever made you that happy.”

Polaris blushes. She’s not quite sure which interactions he means, but a certain one springs to mind.

“Happy, yes. On a small scale. He’s also made me very angry, and depressed, and lonely.”

“Have I?”


“No,” she smiles and reaches down to touch his face—it feels like a natural move. “You haven’t fucked up anything yet.”

Crux looks back up at her. He doesn’t move her hand.

“I have missed you, Polaris. That is the most puzzling part. I can miss you and be incensed at the same time.”

And dramatic, she thinks. “I’ve missed you, too, Crux.”


They are silent again, but it isn’t awkward. It’s more like a content silence. After a moment, Crux pulls her forward. She slides off the couch, on top of him. Crux is clumsily leading the way.

It feels surreal. She leans forward, ready to kiss him until she looks into his eyes. They seem distant, blurry. He’s drunk, she thinks. She’s a little surprised. Other than his emotional outburst, he doesn’t seem drunk.


“No,” she pulls away, “let’s not.”

“Why not?”

“We’ve been drinking,” she says, “I don’t want to cheapen the moment.” She stands up and pulls him off the ground and walks him to the door.

“I did not mean to intrude on your hospitality,” Crux says.

“You didn’t. I just don’t want you to regret it tomorrow.” They step out onto the front porch.


“I would like to see you again, under pleasanter circumstances,” he makes the request with an air of schoolboy charm.

“I would like that. Please let me know you got home safely.” With an awkward wave, he leaves.


Polaris watches him as he goes. And peeking out from the window, Luna watches, too.

***
"Fidelity," Regina Spektor

Author’s Note: First, I would like to thank you for the kind comments on my last post. I know I told you I wanted to end this generation before 2014. Unfortunately, real life intervened with a lot of bad luck. Things are looking up now, so I want to try to get back on track!

I feel like this chapter is a little boring compared the last, but I just felt like I had to get in some drama. I hope it was worth the wait. ;)

26 comments:

  1. Not boring at all. Very interesting. =) It's nice Polaris and Crux could open up to each other.

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    1. Thank you--that's good to hear! I was very anxious about returning to my legacy for some reason. :p

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  2. Cautious Nerd with a Library Card... greatest line ever. Ha!

    OMG YOU'RE BACK!!! Sorry. That wasn't too loud was it? YAY You're back!

    Oof. Elysia. I just want to smack her. And she's bullying more than just her sister? That's not good, but it's nice to know she's not just targeting sweet Luna.

    And from Solaris, do I detect hints that Elysia is possibly using special powers to maybe get correct answers on tests?

    Aw. Bye Luke. Can't be too sad about that though with Crux sashaying back into Polly's life. Well, maybe not sashaying. Maybe moping back. Poor baby. He's all conflicted and smitten. So cute! Hopefully he'll calm down a little bit and get it right tomorrow, huh?

    And it's not boring at all. Usually, talking is how stuff gets done.

    It's wonderful to see a new chapter up. Hopefully, things in your life will continue to be brighter.

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    1. It was a little loud, but it's okay. ;) I'm glad to be back. I didn't realize how much I missed random legacies!

      Elysia is definitely a sneaky little beastie. And poor Luke. I feel like I painted him really poorly, but I wanted mopey, gloomy Crux back. I'm hoping he gets it right soon.

      Thank you so much! I had a pretty big low earlier this year, so it's pretty much up from here/ :)

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  3. Sooo glad to see you back!! I been wondering when you would make a come back.

    Luna <3, she has a special place in my heart, the poor gal, I adore her. Smh at Luke, sigh, I had higher hopes for him, but he did act like a drama queen. He better at least try and be in the kids lives!! >:|

    Pollux!! Such a cute and awkward moment between them and I'm glad Polly didn't let it go any further that night because they had been drinking. I would hate for anyone of them to wake up with regrets.

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    1. I'm so glad to be back! I didn't realize how much I missed this.

      Awww, Luna. She's so sweet. I need to focus more on her at some point. Luke is being a grade-A douche. I want to eventually get around to more about him and the kids.

      I love the idea of calling them Pollux! Thanks for reading. :D

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  4. CAUGHT UP! WOO!

    Oh my God! Luna was looking as Crux left. Was it Ely who first mentioned about him a while ago...? I hate how Ely is bullying Luna, and I hope someone sticks up to Ely for Luna.
    I'm glad Polly broke up with Luke, I don't like him. It feels as if there's natural chemistry between Polly and Crux. Luke just got in the way.

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    1. *throws confetti* Yay!

      Yes, Elly was the one who mentioned Crux. I would like Luna to stick up to her at some point, but I don't know if that will ever happen.

      Poor Luke...he never gets any love in the comments. :p I guess I succeeded at making him unlikeable. But Luke is out of the way of Polly and Crux now!

      Thanks for reading. I'll have to catch up on your legacy next! :D

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  5. I'm glad Polly broke up with Luke, his reaction to seeing her just speaking to another man was atrocious and frankly the way he kept disappearing made him a rubbish partner and father. I do hope he will at least attempt to be there for the kids in something other than a monetary way though.

    Yay for Polly and Crux, they're really sweet together.

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    1. Yeah, he certainly didn't behave how a partner/dad should. Maybe Crux will pick up the slack?

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  6. Luke and Polly were never right for each other. Sad to say but I am glad he's gone. I do hope he takes her advice to heart though and is there for the triplets. Though he doesn't seem to have been around much as it is. Now we just have to see where this is going with Crux. :)

    I'm definitely glad to see you back!

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    1. Thank you! I am so glad to be back. I'm trying to decide who to focus on in the next chapter. It might be Crux (he seems to be a fan favorite), or I might just write a fluff chapter. ;)

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  7. Welcome back! =)

    I didn't even feel sorry for Luke, lol I've been on Team Crux since the beginning! Yay for the almost kiss between Polly and Crux, I hope they are able to work things out. Though I have a feeling they might run into some troubles with a certain little someone(s). =)

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    1. Thank you! It's good to be back.

      I'm sensing absolutely no sympathy for Luke. Oh well! Team Crux is better--Crux has amazing cheekbones. And what gives you the idea there's going to be trouble? ;)

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  8. I have a sister like Elysia. We get on a lot better since we stopped living together, but I don't think we'll ever be close...
    Sorry, that was depressing, I hope Luna can forgive her sister and they can get along well. They'll need each other in their teenage years.

    YAAAYYY! Bye Luke! Hi Crux! *hugs, kisses, plumps couch cushions* Make yourself comfortable, I'd like you to stay a while... :)
    Polly being jealous of Lyra is a good sign, really. It shows she still loves Crux and I'm pretty sure he still loves her... What did Luna think of what she saw? What did she read into it? Did she hear any of the conversation?

    WELCOME BAAAACK!!! :D I thought of you every time I was in CAS, because those two hair colours you put on the exchange are on the first page of presets and remind me of you <3 :)

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    1. My sister and I were a lot like Elysia and Luna growing up. We switched between being the bitch, but usually it was her antagonizing me. We've gotten to be really close over the past few years, so maybe it will happen to Elysia and Luna, too?

      Why does everyone think Luke is leaving? Just because Polly kicked him to the curb doesn't mean he's gone. ;) Luna thought a lot of things of what she saw, but she didn't hear anything. I think the next chapter might be centered around her (I can't deeeciiiiiiiiide).

      Thank you! :D I'm glad you didn't forget about me. <3

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  9. Good to have you back! The chapter was by no means boring :-D.

    Crux is so adorable in his naiveté, and while I never really disliked Luke, Crux and Polly are much better suited to each other. Can't wait to see that almost-kiss to turn into an actual kiss...

    And that last pic, I don't know what to make of it yet, but I loved it <3.

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    1. Thank you! I'm glad it wasn't boring. I always fear that my romantic dialogue is trite.

      I think Crux's intelligence paralleled with his naivete is part of why he's so appealing. I didn't dislike Luke either, but I do think his actions have been good.

      Yes, it's a little ambiguous, isn't it? Hopefully it'll be cleared up at some point. :P

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  10. they should probably get busy developing psychological scars or something.....HA!
    bitch style? LOL. Sorry, I think I'm more entertained by your wording at the moment. Give me a moment :P

    Boy Elysia seems like a little butthead! Poor Luna ::hugs::

    Oh Polly. Nearly every man alive is more egocentric than we know. I'm glad she's telling him how ridiculous his behavior was and is. She really was more understanding than I would've been about him running all over with his band, and not even asking any questions. Yet this isn't the first time he's gotten jealous over whether she's been with anyone else.

    Oh? Does she miss Crux then? I remember they had a history, but she seemed rather platonic toward him.

    LOL @ her hobby of making strange forum posts on random websites. I do that too... :P

    Crux's vernacular just makes me giggle, especially next to Polly's rather earthy jargon.

    Hmm. Well that was very interesting. I can't say I wouldn't love to see her end up with Crux. Something about him seems so nerdy and proper, and those are always the best kinds to have their worlds rocked. I'm wondering what on earth Luna is thinking right now though?

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    1. Haha! I'm glad it was entertaining.

      Elysia is a real butthead! I think she acts more like a teen girl than a child.

      Their relationship has been mixed. She seems to miss him on one hand and resent him on the other. It's complicated, and I'm not quite sure I'll ever delve full into her past.

      She has the inappropriate trait, so she is constantly making weird forum posts. If I leave her alone for a second, that's what she does. Sadly, no one ever seems to respond.

      Crux's vernacular is so endearing. I think the fact it contrasts with Polly's sailor mouth kind of increases the desire to see the two together, since opposites attract and all that. <3

      Thanks for reading! :D

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  11. Aw, Polaris and Crux's reunion was very touching. I'm so g;ad you are back, though I am now behind on catching up!

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    1. Thanks--I'm happy that you're back! I went a little post-crazy in the last few months, so sorry about that. ;) Thanks for reading!

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  12. Yay! Crux's back in the saddle again! Lol...So happy!

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    1. I was really happy to bring him back. :)

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  13. Just wanted to tell you I've started to catch up with your story. I really like it so far. I hope Polaris and Crux will end up together. :)

    I might not comment on every chapter, but I'll try to leave a few comments now and then. Good work!

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    1. Yay! I'm glad you like it. I hope you continue to enjoy it. Thank you for reading! :D

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