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Gratuity

Reply to Jennifer

Posted to the IsabelandMaria list July 26, 2000

title: Gratuity (1/1)
author: jennifer / hormone_girl@angelfire
rating: PG-15
category: M&M and Ma/I
distribution: if you want it, ask. i'm an easy bribe. just give me the URL.
notes: this story is ambiguous as something, so don't email me asking what's going on. I shan't tell. inspired by Doug



A waitress brings you food. She takes your order and brings you food, and you're not hungry anymore. If you're lucky, you get a good one who talks to you and jokes around with you. You give her a tip (fifteen percent is considered polite) and then you leave. If you go back to the same restaurant after that, then maybe you'll get the same waitress, and you smile and talk and remember, sharing small jokes. It's a nice pattern, that I learned to love.

If she hadn't asked me to fill in for Liz, none of this would have ever happened. I wouldn't be watching Michael's door, and I wouldn't be trying to hear what's going on. I would be at home, maybe reading or something, and I'd be safe.

"Isabel."

I liked my name when she said it. She had (and has) a nice voice. I can't think to decribe it, because any adjectives used would be an understatement. Seductive? Sexy? No, words just don't work. But her voice makes me remember things. Makes me remember a distant memory, of feminine smiles and soft laughter, and me joining in. And I ask Tess a few more questions every time I see her, asking why and what for. But Tess doesn't remember much either, and she gets scared when I yell at her. I don't mean to, but I do.

"Isabel, are you there?"

And she couldn't ever decipher why I asked about our past friendship, or why I asked if I had any handmaidens or anything. Why would Isabel Evans ask that? Is she crazy?

"I'm here. Sorry Maria."

She nods and glances at Michael, who is standing in the doorway behind her. He looks confused, and tired. Maria looks confused also. And a little tired. Damn him.

"Isabel...why don't you come inside?" She looks hopeful now. Another emotion to remember, to remember how it looks on her face.

"I don't want to interrupt your special time." Sarcasm saves me once again. Michael rolls his eyes, but Maria shakes her head.

"No, we're not doing anything you'd be intruding on. Come in, okay?"

I do.

Michael shuts the door behind us. Strangely, the memories of the dreams have been replaced with memories of finding them locked in an embrace, kissing and doing so many other things. And this disturbs me more. I wonder if I could replace Michael. I wonder if he would share.

I resist the smile that wants to find its way to my face, and I sit down. Maria sits beside me, and Michael remains standing. He's a real saint.

"Listen, Isabel...I'm sorry. I didn't mean--"

No words, they just don't work. I look at Maria, blathering on, apologizing for trying something new. Apologize all you want, Maria, I'm not sorry.

Waitresses give you things. If you ask for them, they give you things.

Maria cares for Michael, just like I do. So why can't we all just be? Why is "couple" a prerequisite? I asked Maria to understand and to let me be hers, and she answered, but not the way I wanted. And I remembered her words.

"Its for Liz, okay?"

What did Liz have that I didn't? Liz has Max, and I have Michael and I have Maria. Kisses can be shared too.

---- the end ---

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