Interlude: Mine

Mari paced nervously back and forth across the hotel lobby, fighting to keep her breathing as steady as she could.

The woman behind the counter eyed her nervously, but said nothing.

She probably thinks I’m nuts. Mari thought, almost amused.

04-29-16_9-07-29 PM

The woman had appeared quite bewildered when Mari had asked her to ring Joshua Yuen’s room and tell her that Stefan Rosebrook was there to see him.

“Uh… Stefan?” She had looked Mari up and down curiously for a moment.

“Short for Stefanie.” Mari explained with what she hoped was a casual smile. “A little inside joke.”

Apparently he’d bought it just as easily as she had, because according to the mousy young woman, he was on his way down to see her.

04-29-16_9-10-29 PM

The boys had been keeping her in the dark as much as possible about the details of Josh’s visit… But they hadn’t been careful enough. One scribbled note left out on the kitchen counter, and Mari knew exactly where to find him.

She tried her best to fight the urge to vomit as the seconds continued to tick by. This is a mistake, a small voice in the back of her mind seemed to whisper. Go home.

04-29-16_9-16-04 PM

But she couldn’t. Not until she saw him. Not until she spoke to him. Not until he understood what he was doing to her family by coming here. Not until he —

04-29-16_9-17-39 PM 04-29-16_9-18-52 PM 04-29-16_9-22-05 PM

A flicker of confusion crossed the man’s face as his brown eyes locked with hers.

Mari watched as his warm smile slowly melted away, and she knew in an instant that no introduction would be necessary.

She stared at him in stony silence for several long moments as her eyes took in the face of the man who had fathered her sons all those years ago.

04-29-16_9-20-55 PM

Mari hadn’t noticed that night at the bar, but it was clear now that he was much older than her — maybe even on the other side of fifty. How old is he? She found herself wondering. He was still handsome, of course — the years had been kind to him. But it suddenly struck her just how little she truly knew about this man.

The thought did nothing to help the sickening, twisting sensation in her stomach.

“Hello, Mari.” Josh’s deep voice broke through the uncomfortable silence. “I was going to come see you tomorrow, you know. You didn’t have to pretend to be Stefan.” He smiled slightly as he spoke.

04-29-16_9-33-05 PM

Is he mocking me? Mari thought venomously, a noticeable warmth coming to her cheeks. She could not be sure if it was from embarrassment or anger.

“Oh, how considerate of you.” She replied at last, her voice dripping with sarcasm. “Is that supposed to make me feel better?”

04-29-16_9-33-58 PM

“I honestly doubt anything I say will make you feel better,” he responded tiredly. “Would you like to take this conversation upstairs?”

For a moment, Mari hesitated. This is going to get ugly. She realized. Fast. And judging by the look on his face, he knew it too. “That’s probably for the best.” Her voice was curt and cold as she gave a tiny nod of agreement.

At first, Josh almost looked like he wanted to say something, but then appeared to think better of it. Without another word, he turned and headed back toward the distant elevator doors.

Mari followed reluctantly.

04-29-16_9-36-51 PM 04-29-16_9-40-44 PM

The trip upstairs was almost unbearable. Neither of them spoke for the entire elevator ride (which felt like it lasted an hour). Jesus Christ, how many floors does this place have?! Mari wondered. She stared down at the floor the entire time, though she could not help but steal the occasional glance in Josh’s direction. Once or twice, she caught him doing the same.

04-29-16_9-45-09 PM

I bet it’s all he can do not to laugh at me right now… A white-hot wave of anger bubbled up inside of her at the thought. The stupid slut he left on her own with two babies… And now he’s back to steal them away from me.

Mari blinked away the unexpected burning of tears from her eyes as the elevator came to a stop at long last. Josh led the way down the hall and opened one of the pale white doors with his keycard. He paused somewhat awkwardly in the doorway, motioning for her to step inside.

04-29-16_9-49-02 PM

She hesitated for a moment, swallowed back the lump in her throat, and crossed over the threshold. Behind her, she heard Josh do the same. The door swung shut with a soft click and a thud.

Then they were alone in the silence once more.

04-29-16_9-51-16 PM

Josh cleared his throat uncomfortably. Mari turned around to face him.

“Would you care for a drink?” He asked softly, gesturing toward the suite’s mini-bar.

“Can we just drop the fucking act?” Mari snapped. “Please?”

Josh shrugged his broad shoulders. “What ‘act’?” He asked, clearly taken aback.

04-29-16_9-55-47 PM

The question was so innocent, so sincere… Mari felt her anger flare up yet again at the sound of his calm, southern drawl.

“Oh gee, I don’t know.” She shot at him. “Maybe acting like we know the first thing about each other? Or like this whole thing isn’t awkward as fuck?!” Mari sighed heavily, throwing her arms upward in exasperation. “You were some pretty-boy sports star and I was the easy piece of ass you fucked in a goddamn closet for Christ’s sake! So can we stop pretending this is normal and talk about what the fuck you think you’re doing here?!”

04-29-16_10-02-40 PM

In an instant, the smile vanished from his face.

Josh shot her a look. “For the record, the closet was your idea.” He paced around the room as he spoke. His long legs and heavy stride reminded her of Tobi. Mari’s heart sank at the sight. “As for what I’m doing here,” he continued, “I think that’s pretty obvious, don’t you? I’m here to meet my sons.”

04-29-16_10-10-48 PM

Your sons?” She raised an eyebrow at him. “Wait just one goddamn second. We have absolutely no proof you’re their father, okay?” Mari retorted, crossing her arms across her chest. “None. You can’t just show up here assuming shit like that.”

“You’re kidding, right?” Josh sputtered, the disbelief apparent on his face. “You’d have to be blind to miss the resemblance.”

Mari ignored him completely. “And what is this ‘my sons’ shit? They aren’t yours, do you understand that?!” She felt a warm wetness at the corner of her eyes once more. “They are my sons. They are my husband’s sons. What the fuck do you think gives you the right to say they’re yours?!”

04-29-16_10-12-27 PM

“Because they are mine – biologically.” Josh spread his hands out in front of him, as though trying to placate her. “I don’t want to take them from you or Jonas. That’s not why I’m here, Mari. I just want to know them.”

“And you did get to know them!” Mari replied, her volume growing louder with every word. “I put up with those stupid emails and phone calls for WEEKS because I knew how much it meant to the boys! So don’t stand there and tell me you aren’t trying to take them. Why else would you be here?!”

04-29-16_10-05-43 PM

Josh opened his mouth and appeared to be trying to reply, but Mari kept going.

“And you know what? Biology doesn’t mean shit!” A few tears slipped down Mari’s cheeks as she shouted over him. “How many of their diapers have you changed, huh?” She shot at him. “H-how many football practices did you drive Tobi to? How many science projects did you stay up all night helping Stefan with? How many tears did you dry? How many broken hearts did you fix?” Mari shook her head, wiping a few of her tears with the back of her hand.

I’m their mother! Jonas is their father! And you…” She narrowed her eyes. “You’re nothing but a glorified sperm-donor.”

04-29-16_10-19-28 PM

“I would’ve been there for everything!” Josh shouted. He stopped himself suddenly and took a deep breath. “When I found out about them, do you think I was happy about it? I’ve missed their entire lives.” His pacing grew faster as his anger appeared to grow deeper.

“Shit, Mari, I was ready to settle down and have a family by the time I was twenty-two. If I had known those boys existed, I would’ve been there. I would’ve been at every football game, helped with every science project. But I didn’t have that chance – and I don’t blame you.” He sighed. “You didn’t know how to find me even if you’d wanted to. But don’t you blame me for wanting the chance to know them now.” He said darkly.

04-29-16_10-18-17 PM

Mari just shook her head. Why the Hell did I even bother coming here?! She wondered. In truth, she still had no idea. What did she think confronting him would change? What could she possibly hope to accomplish?  Only one thing was certain — this was all a terrible mistake.

“If you’re looking for sympathy, you’re out of luck.” She said softly. “Those boys got along just fine for the past twenty-three years without you, and you got along just fine without them. You don’t need them, and they sure as Hell don’t need you either.” Mari moved slowly toward the door as she spoke.

“I won’t stop you from seeing them. I know how much they want this.” She fought to keep her voice even. “And I’ll let you go through with that stupid paternity test… But only for my boys. I don’t give a shit about their DNA. They could be fucking aliens for all I care. It doesn’t matter.” She glanced over her shoulder and narrowed her eyes at him. “They’re mine. They’re Jonas’. And they’ll never be yours.”

04-29-16_10-20-37 PM
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Mari almost made it to the elevator before her tears began to fall once more.

04-29-16_10-25-08 PM

She wept the entire way home.

04-29-16_10-30-49 PM 04-29-16_10-31-31 PM

————————————–

Thank you JoieWilder for writing all of Josh’s actions/dialogue.

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42 Responses to Interlude: Mine

  1. sonniejj says:

    Woosh, this was intense!

    Poor Mari. You can see she’s really having a tough time and really hurting. And of course Josh isn’t having the easiest time either. I just wish they could see how hard it is for both of them… Maybe Mari could be a little more understanding if she realized Josh’s sincerity.

    Liked by 2 people

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Thanks! This was definitely an intense one to write for me (and Joie!). Hopefully they’ll be able to see eye-to-eye in time. And yes, hopefully Mari will recognize that Josh is a good guy and is sincere! Right now she’s in a really bad place mentally/emotionally. I think the only hope for her right now it time. Because she’s super irrational and overemotional right now hahahaha. Thank you for reading 🙂

      Like

  2. theplumbob says:

    Well Mari, it’s obvious why the confrontation didn’t bring you any satisfaction – because you were yelling at the wrong person. I get that she needs to let her anger out, but obviously blaming Josh for not being there makes no sense, and somewhere deep down she knows it. So how could yelling at him help?

    But in a way it’s sort of a good thing, that she’s channeling her rage outwards rather than inwards and going back onto the spiral of self hate. So even though her anger was misplaced, at least she’s not sliding back to her old ways. (I wonder why she never took up kickboxing. It works wonders. I’m serious.)

    Thankfully Josh is in a much better place than Mari and can handle all this. But I do feel sorry for him. Not only does he have to deal with having missed all those years with the twins when all he ever wanted as a family, but then be confronted about it by the only person that could have actually made him aware of their existence sooner… Respect to him for not loosing his cool. It will be interesting to see this whole ordeal from his perspective a few months down the line 🙂

    Oh, also… a part of me kinda hopes someone will write a fanfic of what would have happened if Mari and Josh ended up being a couple. I would dig it. Lol.

    Liked by 9 people

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Okay that last part made me laugh XD I’d read that! (Heck, I’d WRITE it if I had the time :P)

      You’re definitely right that Mari’s anger is misplaced. But since this is our lovely irrational Mari we’re talking about, her thought process was basically “I’m so angry and hurt. Let me go randomly yell irrational arguments at Josh and I’m sure that will make me feel better! Oh whoops, it actually made everything much worse.” Hahahaha. Old Mari would definitely have internalized all of this, and would be even worse off for it. She is making baby steps, even if it doesn’t always look like it XD (And I’d never considered kickboxing! Mari totally should have tried that!)

      I feel sorry for Josh too. All he wants is to know the twins, and Mari is trying to give him this guilt trip and is being super irrational and unfair, on top of everything else he’s already dealing with.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Spottydog714 says:

    Mari! Mari! Stop assuming the worst of people, ok? Put yourself in Josh’s shoes! How hard is it to smile and BE NICE!
    But hey, this is Mari. I wonder why I bother trying to inflict my optimism upon her.
    Oh well. Even if I’m annoyed at Mari, I can still appreciate the awesomeness of the update! Take my annoyance as a compliament – it means your writing is really good because it can make the reader feel emotions…
    (Oh, gosh. I’ve done WAY too much language analysis recently!)
    Love the update! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      LOL! So many people say that to me “Take it as a compliment” 😛 You guys are funny.

      Anyway, I’m glad you enjoyed this chapter! Mari is in a lot of pain and has decided to unfairly take it out on Josh, because like you said, this is Mari haha.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Spottydog714 says:

        It’s becasue we want to speak our mind but think it might offend you so we remind you that it’s a compliment! 😀
        Poor Mari. I guess Jonas will talk sense into her, as per usual! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • CitizenErased14 says:

          Hahaha Back in Gen 2 the comments used to offend me. Now I have thicker skin, so don’t worry about offending me! 🙂

          And I don’t know what Mari would do without Jonas Hahahaha ❤

          Like

  4. Farbkleckswelten says:

    *sigh* oh mari… I don’t know if I should shake her or give her a hug. She kind of needs both.

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      This comment is so accurate hahaha. Maybe she needs a good hard shake, followed by a hug? Though at this point, I don’t even know if THAT would be enough to help… *sigh* Oh Mari… haha thank you for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This kind of makes me thing awkwardly about the talk of whom is Henry Daniel Mill’s “real mom’ on OUAT TV show. Since some people think that because Emma Swan gave him up as a baby she has no rights to him. Well others say Regina has no rights to him since she’s not real technically.

    Like

  6. Senna says:

    I get the feeling Stefan’s going to be pissed at his mom when she gets back.

    And what’s scary is, I have no idea who I should root for at this point. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Root for me, the evil author! Hehehehehehehe (Sorry, sorry). If and when Stefan finds out Mari talked to Josh, I agree that he probably wouldn’t be happy! Oh dear… haha

      Liked by 2 people

  7. silentwolfy101 says:

    I don’t know whether to slap her and bring in her sister to help her see, or to just hug her. Clearly, she’s not in the right mindset. Josh seems like a good guy, and he wouldn’t take away Stefan or Tobi. The only thing that might happen is pushing one of them so far away that they choose to leave with Josh.

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Right now, I think both a slap and a hug would be beneficial! Hahaha Josh is most definitely a good guy, and Mari is being quite unfair to him right now 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  8. audreyfld says:

    Okay….I for one was happy with this little outburst. I think Josh needed to see how threatened Mari is by him and also I hope it was cathartic for her to get it out and now she can open her eyes to what SHE really needs to do and calm down.

    I loved that she defended Jonas’ right to be called their father so vehemently. And she conceded that she wouldn’t stand in the way of getting Josh seeing the boys. She also knew this confrontation wouldn’t solve anything but at least the cards are on the table. And she is Mari so that is the only way she knows how to do things. She had to come to terms with Diego in much the same way. All said, I don’t think she did any lasting damage. I hope not anyway or she will lose at least one child – the one she she used to lure Josh downstairs.

    I hope Josh reaches out to Jonas…I am not sure Mari will tell Jonas what happened or that he even knows she went because I can’t see him letting her go alone.

    Good one Citizen and Joie! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      This is a great comment! Like you said — Mari only really knows one way of dealing with things, and that is basically exploding and getting out all her anger hahaha. This might not be quite enough to completely calm her down, but I totally think this a step toward that (hopefully!)

      She is being so irrational and extreme right now (again… because she’s Mari lma0), but it probably could have been much worse, and hopefully she won’t end up doing any damage!!!

      Like another commented said, someone needs to shake Mari and snap her out of this, then give her a big hug (or better yet, have the boys go give her one! haha).

      Thank you and I’m glad you liked this chapter.

      Like

  9. kaffepigen says:

    Aww poor Mari AND Josh! That was so sad the way Mari blamed him for trying to take away the boys. I’m glad Josh stood up for himself. I feel bad for Mari though. I hope she sees sense in all of this soon. (sorry for my short comment but i’m in the middle of cooking dinner) 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      I feel bad for both too 😦 what a tough situation! Mari is being so unfair to Josh. But she’s really hurting and doesn’t know how to deal 😦

      Thanks for your comment and enjoy dinner 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  10. JLBDreams16 says:

    Well, Mari’s fuse burns long and her self-doubt still is her own worse enemy. Why does she even think her boys care about her so little that they’d leave her over anything? Thank goodness Josh here is more mature and was able to be rational. Hopefully, Mari calms down and doesn’t really harm her relationship with her boys over this. Tobi I think is empathetic enough to understand Mari’s feelings but Stephan I think might make matters worse. Great chapter.

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      The first sentence of your comment sums up Mari perfectly! No matter what happens in her life, Mari will ALWAYS have that insecurity and twisted self-image. And that is what’s driving her extreme and irrational thinking right now, unfortunately! So unfair to poor Josh 😦 But my heart does break for Mari.

      I hope she calms down too… But we’ll see! Thank you for reading and commenting, as always!

      Like

  11. God my heart just got wrenched out and thrown to the floor. And yet I’m pretty sure I said something along the same lines before…Good on Josh saying he would’ve been there, but he didn’t know. And the closet thing, ouch. Below the belt. Ouch. I wonder how Jonas feels about all of this…he thinks of those boys as his sons, even hateful brat Stefan (by the way I only say hateful brat cause of how he treats Jonas, especially as a child.)

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I agree with everyone else that your writing certainly inspires very strong emotions. I am also on #TeamSlapMari. She needs some sense slapped into her, poor thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Virtualee says:

    Uh – what the heck just happened? Did he know about the Tobi and Stefan beforehand? Why is she making it seem like he wasnt part of their lives by choice? He wasnt part of it because he had NO IDEA! Its not like they are little kids you know? Mari what is happening in your brain?

    Like

  14. *hugs Mari* they both need time to process things, I think

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Yeah, this is super overwhelming and super difficult for both of them. Mari feels so threatened and scared by Josh being there :-/ And meanwhile poor Josh is just trying to be a part of his sons’ lives and get to know them.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. EmmaLeeXOXO_C says:

    uhh Mari please stop playing the victim. Right now it isn’t about you. Its about your sons finding some closure into who their dad is, something you couldn’t give them. If you ruin this for them, especially Stephan, I fear for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      These are wise words for Mari! If she ruins this, I think it will really harm her relationship with her sons — especially Stefan, like you said!

      I think there are a variety of factors right now influencing Mari’s behavior — her primary one being her own insecurities about herself. Her children are what define her and, in her eyes, give her value/make her life worth it. She thinks someone is trying to take that away from her — which we know josh isn’t, of course!

      She’s being so frustrating right now. The damage from her past runs deep, and it’s definitely flaring up again right now… :-/

      Liked by 1 person

  16. theceltygirly says:

    Hnnnng, Mari does some questionable things. She’s definitely not my favorite, but like it’s all understandable, her actions. Doesn’t make me happy about them, though!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Haha it’s okay. Mari is very complicated (though she will always be my personal favorite character. But I’m weird haha). She’s hurting a lot and having a very extreme reaction to this whole situation, unfortunately :-/

      Like

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