Author: Carly Carter
Fandom: Guiding Light
Pairing: Olivia and Natalia
Rating: PG for now
Disclaimer: Don’t own anything
Summary: 'Help me, Save me.' You silently plead. You hear the answer in your head, her voice exhausted, exasperated 'Save yourself, Olivia.'
AN: We don’t get GL in
AN 2: I really do adore Olivia, she is infact my favourite hands down of the two, But I do realise she comes across a little harshly in this chapter. What can I say? The story pretty much wrote itself with no help from me....
Chapter 1&2 http://carlyisnot.livejournal.com/10231.h
Chapter 3&4 http://carlyisnot.livejournal.com/11952.html
“Death accomplishes absence, but so does silence”
“You shouldn’t tell her stuff like that ma.” Rafe tells you the minute Emma has left.
You realise he probably means well, but he is the last person you have left, and the last thing you need is to hear him list off the number of mistakes you’ve made. You feel like your heart has been torn out for the second time this week, and you can’t believe he is standing there lecturing you.
“You shouldn’t get her hopes up that she will see Olivia again.”
“She will see Olivia again.” You answer quickly, assuredly. You have to believe that.
Rafe sighs. He thinks you’re insane.
“Olivia would never abandon Emma like that.” You protest, your hand instinctively moving to your pocket to the letter Olivia left behind. You couldn’t believe she was dead. She was messed up maybe, but you’d find her. Somehow. It would be ok.
“Well, that’s just what I’m saying. Something must have happened to her, you have to face the truth. For your own good. It’s time to move on.” Maybe he doesn’t mean to slice right through your heart like that, but you just can’t take it, tears burn in your eyes as he continues “Don’t feel bad Mom. There was never anything you could do for a person like her. You can’t help people like that. People who are determined to throw away their life, people who don’t care about anyone but themselves. Olivia doesn’t care about her kid, doesn’t care about you. Olivia doesn’t care about anyone but Olivia. I know you wanted to help her, but it’s time to face the facts. You can’t help her. You were wasting your time, fighting a losing battle. It was a waste of a perfectly good heart on her. She was determined to throw her life away a long time ago.”
“Don’t you ever say that!” You yell as you slap him across the face. “Life is never, ever a waste.” He is shocked, horrified, by your gesture. You are too.
You don’t waste your time defending Olivia. Because Rafe speaks the truth. Olivia has always been self centred, self destructive. But you really believed you saw deeper into her, understood her, knew the real Olivia. You loved her in spite of her flaws, maybe because of them. You thanked God every day that she had come through the transplant surgery. Rafe was wrong, It hadn’t been a waste. You loved Gus, you missed him, you would never wish him dead. But a part of you knows that if you had to choose between them, you’d choose Olivia. Part of you is almost grateful for the way things turned out- If Gus hadn’t died you’d never have known Olivia the way you now do. And no matter how badly she hurt you by disappearing like this, you wouldn’t swap these months with her for anything. You despise yourself for thinking like that. Your son hates you for it too. Even though you never verbalised it to him, he knows somehow how much Olivia means to you, that she means more to you than Gus ever did. And he resents her for it. And resents you.
You feel guilt sting you the minute your hand collides with his cheek. All those months waiting for him to be home with you. Now he is here, and you push him away. You just can’t take this. Not from him. And if you’re honest with yourself, you resent him for being here when Emma and Olivia are not. You barely recognise yourself anymore. When did you become so resentful? So bitter? How did your life get to this point where you had to sacrifice everyone else in your life to choose Olivia? Where you resented all the people around you, even your son, just because they aren’t her?
Rafe knows he’s pushed you too far. But he doesn’t stop. You realise he is angry too. “This whole thing was crazy, letting the kid think you guys were like a family.”
“We were a family.” You insist. “Are.” You quickly correct, refusing to think of Olivia in past tense. There would be a future “But you’re part of that family too, Rafe.” You soften your tone, realising for the first time how left out he felt of this life you made with Olivia and Emma while he was in prison.
“Come on ma, You need to put this behind you. I’m your family. Me, and Frank.” He says it so gently that it’s hard to be angry at him. “Forget Olivia, move on.”
“Frank and I broke up, you know that. Why are you doing this?”
“Look, you and Frank will make up, Give him some time.”
“No.” you shake your head “You don’t understand.” Even if Frank forgave you, came running back to you, it would never be right in your heart. Not now you finally realise what love is.
“If you can’t accept who I am, what Olivia means to me….” Your voice trails off.
“Then what Ma? You’d choose her over me, your only son? You’d choose her over your fiancé?”
“I don’t have a fiancé.” You add, because you don’t want to answer his question about who you’d choose.
“Look, it doesn’t matter. Because Olivia is gone. She wanted it that way. Maybe she is fine. Maybe she just took off some place because life was all too hard. Whatever. Either way she is gone, she isn’t coming back. Emma is gone. It’s just us now. I need you. And you need to move in with your own life. You have to stop all this nonsense about finding Olivia. You wont find her if she doesn’t want to be found. It’s not your problem, She knows where you are if she wants to contact you.”
”Alright.” You finally concede. Not because you changed your mind, just because you’re tired of fighting. You hug him tight, trying not to think it might be the last time for a long time. You don’t know how long it’s going to take to find Olivia, and you’re not coming back without her. At least Rafe let you hold him. Emma wouldn’t let you near her. You never got to hug her goodbye. You wonder if Rafe will ever understand why you need to do this, if he will ever forgive you? If Emma will?
Once Rafe is gone, you finish packing. You love this house. But it isn’t difficult to leave. The thing that made it perfect, made it a home, was the people in it. Olivia & Emma. Now they are gone, the building is just a shell. You haven’t the first idea where to start looking for Olivia. You realise that one of two things have happened- either she has really done it this time, finally achieved the most self destructive, selfish, stupid, cowardly thing of her life, finally succeeded in taking her own life. Or else she has just taken off, run away, leaving you and Emma behind to mourn her. You’d hate her for that. But you’d forgive her. Anything if it meant she was alive and you’d get another chance. You realise that Frank is probably the one person you know who could help you, give you an idea where to start on the right track for your search. And you miss him in that moment, not as your fiancé, but as your friend.
Weeks ago you had been packing in this very room under a different situation entirely. Packing in preparation for your new life with Frank. Back then the thought of leaving tore your heart out. But Frank wanted a new place for you both, something for you and him, somewhere to start your life together. It wasn’t unreasonable. Besides Emma loved this place so much. It wouldn’t be fair to ask her to leave. It seemed the best thing for you to move out.
3 Weeks ago
“What are you doing?” You turn to see Olivia in the doorway behind you. It takes a moment to recognise her. She seems so distant and unfamiliar.
“Packing.” You answer, as you place your possessions carefully inside the boxes.
“I can see that.” She remarks bitterly. “Going somewhere?”
‘Frank found us a house.” You tell her.
“You love this place.” She reminds you.
Not really, you think. It’s not the place I love.
“Frank thought…” You begin
“Don’t have a mind of your own, Natalia?” She interrupts before you can finish. “No, I guess not. You like living like that, hiding behind a man, letting him run your life, make decisions for you. How did you ever survive all this time without Gus to run your life for you? Poor Gus. All that talk about how he was the love of your life? What was all that? Guess you replaced him pretty easily with Frank. Guess Gus never meant anything to you. Just a means to an end.”
It’s her tone more than her words that cuts right through you. Although her words hurt too. You haven’t seen her like this for a long time. The way she is speaking to you takes you back to a time and place you’re rather forget. A time before you really knew her, before she knew you. When she had no respect for either of you. You never expected to be back in that place with her. You know this isn’t the real Olivia talking. Why is she doing this to you? You decide its best not to dignify her comments about Gus with a response.
“Emma loves it here, it wouldn’t be right to ask you guys to leave.” You finally manage to say, turning away from her.
Olivia laughs “You think me and my kid would want to live in this dump? Really Natalia?”
“Emma loves it here.” You repeat. You know you can never win an argument with Olivia. Not when she is acting like this. Even if you found it in yourself to think of the right thing to say, something to throw in her face so she would back down, you still wouldn’t win. It always seemed to hurt you equally when you saw the way you had wounded her. It wasn’t worth it. She was so much better at this kind of war, there was no point going up against her. And you didn’t understand, not really, why she felt it necessary to hurt you so badly? What did it achieve? What had you done to provoke this?
“Emma and I were just doing you a favour. Poor Natalia, couldn’t pay the rent without us to help out. We were just doing our good deed for charity.” She informs you.
You try so hard not to give in, not to get sucked into a bitter argument,. “Well, just think about it.” You manage to say calmly. Why was she making it so hard, when you were trying, really trying?
She looks around the room disdainfully, picking up a wooden carved crucifix, twirling it in her hands absent mindedly. You know she isn’t into that religious stuff. But she had come to respect your faith and the meaning it had for you.
“Be careful with that, It’s been in my family for generations.” You protest, and realise instantly it was a mistake. She held it tightly in one hand, her other hand tracing over the boxes as she weaved between them. She reminded you in that moment of a child, pushing the boundaries, waiting for you to react. Waiting to see just how far she could push you.
“Why?’ She asks “Because it means something to you?”
“Yes.” You answer.
“And you’re so careful with the things you care about, aren’t you Natalia?”
“What is that supposes to mean?” What is it you’ve done to have her acting like this?
‘You’re going to need a bigger box.” She says finally.
“Excuse me?” She had now totally confused you.
“For Emma.” She clarifies.
“What you talking about?” You demand to know.
“Emma.” She says casually “’You’re going to take her with you, aren’t you? Pack her in a box with the rest of your precious belongings? Start your great new life in your great big new house with Frank.”
“Have you been drinking?” You have to ask the question, because she really isn’t making any sense.
“Probably.” She confesses. “Like an exceptionally bad mother, I’ve been drinking.”
“I can’t talk to you when you’re like this.” You tell her. You know this wont end up any place good. She will twist everything you say to suit her own purpose. It’s just not worth it.
“That’s fine. Just ignore me Natalia. Cut me out of your life like I never existed. Isn’t that what you want?”
She is acting like a spoiled child, and a badly behaved one at that. She isn’t making sense, and she is clearly trying to make you feel bad, picking a fight. And still, she looks so lost in that moment. So vulnerable and so hurt. Was she really that upset about you leaving?
“I’d never cut you out of my life, Olivia, You’re my best friend. Don’t you know what you and Emma mean to me?” You say sincerely.
“Oh, I know what Emma means to you.” She remarks.
“Yes Emma means the world to me.” What you wanted to say was ‘You mean the world to me.’ But it was somehow easier talking about Emma, or pretending to. You weren’t prepared to put yourself on the line right now, not to have her cut you down and stomp all over you.
“That’s why you’re running out on her?” She challenges.
“I thought I was packing her in a box taking her with me?” You tried to make a joke of it, not sure what else to say.
She laughs. Mirthlessly. “Yeah life is that easy for you, you can just pack up everything you care about in a box, and take it with you. Leaving all the rubbish behind.”
“Olivia, can you please just talk to me? I don’t understand, what have I done?” You reach for her hand. She pauses in that moment, her hands trembling. She looks you in the eye. You wonder for a moment if she is about to cry. Then, in an instant, the Olivia you know is gone. There is a coldness in her eyes that is frighteningly familiar. In one swift motion, and without breaking eye contact, she snaps the wooden crucifix in half, and drops it to the floor. She is looking to you, waiting for you to react. You stand in horrified silence. And finally, she walks out.
You fall to your knees, picking up the pieces of the crucifix, unable to stop the tears that fall. If she had looked back over her shoulder she would have seen you there, pathetically sobbing on your knees, and she would think you’re crying over that crucifix. Crying because she destroyed something sacred to you. But you’re not. You’re crying because you realise for the first time in that moment, that you’re the one who destroyed something sacred. You’re crying because you realise that you’ve lost her. And more than that, you broke her. Snapped her in half just like that crucifix. And you finally wonder if that’s what she has been trying to tell you all along?
As you walk out the door this time, you vow you will never again set foot in this house without Olivia.