Sameen stood on the street corner, her head turning from right to left, trying to decide which way to go. If she went to Fusco’s, he’d lecture her. If she went to Reese’s, he’d stare her to death. It was too early to call her therapist. She knew she had to choose quickly because she could almost hear the nagging little voice in her head telling her to go back to Root and make it all better.
“Bullshit!” she shouted and made her decision.
Root knew exactly where to go after their outburst. She needed a place to lie down and cry because she was so overcome with emotion. Root somehow always maintained that balance between what she felt and what she thought. She wasn’t so analytical that she wasn’t in touch with her feelings; and she wasn’t too emotional, that she couldn’t think things through. Except today. Right now, every time she thought she knew what to do, the fear of what could have happened to Sameen or the hurt that she didn’t trust her, grabbed at her. But Root had someone to talk to and he was carrying his special blanket into her room and offering it to her.
“Oh, Bear,” Root cried. “What if she doesn’t come back?” That very thought made Root dissolved into more tears.
Bear let her hug him and whined his assurances that everything would be okay. He wanted to point out that Isabelle still worked there and he was certain that alone would ensure Shaw’s return. But the two of them had really screwed this up and so, he figured he better put a plan together. First, though, he’d let Root get his fur wet with tears.
Two legged people were so needy.
The inner voice was getting louder, so Shaw took off in the direction of the person she thought might help. Not in an understanding, let’s have a cup of tea and talk about it, but someone she could unload on.
The sun was just peeking over the horizon when the bagging and door bell ringing occurred. Again, Ayala jumped up and went downstairs, her gun in her hand.
“What the hell are you doing here?” was how she greeted her sister, which was perfect for Shaw.
“What the hell business is it of yours?” Shaw barked back – looking for a fight.
“Wait… are you okay?” Ayala asked, finally opening her eyes all the way and taking in how her sibling looked. “You look like hell.”
“Azizam?” Azar’s soft voice came from the balcony as she looked down to see what the commotion was.
Now, Ayala started to speak Hebrew and her mother answered in Farsi. Sameen could only catch a smattering of what was being said, but she didn’t like it.
“Hey! I’m right here!” she said, her hands on her hips.
“Put tea on, Ayala. Sameen, come into the kitchen and we’ll talk,” her mother instructed.
Tea? Talk? This was not what Sameen wanted.
“The hell I will,” Shaw said, her arms defiantly across her chest.
“I’ll get the tea,” Ayala said, rolling her eyes in a similar fashion as her sibling often did.
“What… happened?” Azar asked and pointed to the couch to sit down, but Sameen refused. She paced back and forth like a wild animal.
“There’s… too much to explain. The wedding is off,” she summarized. “Root is being totally unreasonable. Ask Bear, he’ll tell you,” she blurted out. “I mean… “
“I’m glad that your pet is on your side, Sameen, but can you tell me what happened?” Azar asked, folding her hands in her lap.
“And, I don’t care what you say; I am not crawling back to her. No!” Sameen shouted as if her mother had suggested that. “I didn’t do anything wrong,” the woman protested too much.
“Okay,” her mother said.
“Right, like you would know,” Shaw jumped the gun. “She’s always so calm and easy going. Ha! But when she gets upset, she doesn’t yell. She looks at you, right? And you can see it all the way in the back of her eyes; staring back at you.”
“What do you see?” Azar asked.
“How disappointed she is,” Sameen said annoyed, as if her mother hadn’t read the manual.
Shaw stared down into the calm, warm smile of the woman who, up until recently, she didn’t even want to talk to. Now, she was in her house, at the crack of dawn, seeking her counsel. Instead of taking advantage of the woman’s compassion, she became afraid.
“You’re just like Root, aren’t you?” Shaw turned on her mother.
“How so?” the wise older woman asked, not surprised that her daughter would project her feelings.
“You want me to be a… a feeling person. You want me to drown in my own emotions because that’s when I’m confused and I’ll give in,” Shaw bellowed.
Azar sat in silence, knowing her daughter had more to get off her chest.
“I told Root, from the very beginning; I do the protecting. And that’s going to mean that sometimes I don’t tell her when I’m in danger – like last night,” Shaw revealed.
“Last night?” Azar prompted.
It was just enough to get Shaw to spill the beans in her rant, as she paced the room. She told her about Cole, the botched mission and how they came after him. How she texted Root, but decided not to tell her what was going on and how, in the end, Root’s stupid machine interfered anyway and Root saved the day. She skipped the part where she told Root she didn’t want to involve her and would do it all over again and went right to –
“And now she’s mad at me!”
“Come here, Azizam,” Azar said, using a Persian term of endearment that Sameen remembered.
“I’m not at fault here!” she said defensively, which told her mother a great deal. “I told her everything after it happened. I went back and we talked and then she told me maybe I needed to think about what I wanted after I told her everything and so I left,” Sameen said, but now she was sitting and her mother bravely pulled her so that her head rested in her mother’s lap.
Azar’s hand immediately lightly grazed Sameen’s cheek. “And this?”
“Cole jumped me,” Sameen explained and then smiled and told her how cool Root was about the rescue until Cole admitted he did that and she punched him.
“You must be so tired,” her mother said and Sameen said she wasn’t and that she was still very much annoyed at Root.
“How the hell am I going to get married if she doesn’t trust me?” she asked, but her words were getting softer and softer as she drifted off to sleep.
“You’re going to talk to her,” Azar said, stroking Sameen’s hair.
When Ayala returned with the tea, her mother told her to contact Janine as soon as it was a decent hour and make sure everything was going according to plan. Then, Ayala went and got a blanket to put over her exhausted sister.
“By the way,” she whispered to her mother, “…when it’s my turn, I’m eloping.”
While Shaw sought solace at her mother’s, Root was in therapy with Bear.
“I never felt that way,” she shared as he listened. “But she was texting me – as Cole was there and telling her he was in hiding. If she had told me that, I would have helped sooner,” she explained.
Bear suggested that Sameen didn’t know the full extent of the trouble when she was texting.
“Yes, I know, and I get that things happened quickly. But you heard her; she said she’d do it all again. I thought we were partners, through thick and thin, Bear.”
Damn, Root was making good points.
He howled that Sameen was crazy about Root and she’d do anything for her. He reminded Root she told Sameen what was in the past didn’t interest her and that she only wanted to think about their future. He also suggested that it was Root who told Sameen she better think things over.
“Damn, you make good points,” she acknowledged. “What should I do?” she asked the wise canine.
Root picked up her phone and texted Sameen, but her phone was off. She grabbed her laptop and accessed the machine who located Sameen.
Bear tilted his head and barked, telling Root she had all the information she needed. “Now, go get our girl!” he barked loudly.
“I don’t know, Bear,” Root hesitated and the dog groaned at how stubborn two legged people were.
“How am I going to trust that she won’t do this again?”
Bear shook his head, frustrated at the present situation. Even answering all Root’s questions, she still had doubts.
Maybe words weren’t enough. It was time for action.
Shaw woke up an hour later with a start. She sat up quickly, unsure of where she was. “Fucking shark,” she said of her recurring dream that she had in that short time. The symbol seemed to permeate her dreams from time to time.
“Sorry?” her mother asked.
Shaw looked and realized she had slept in her mother’s lap. “I dream about sharks,” she said, taking the cold tea and drinking it so she didn’t have to talk.
“What does it mean?” her mother asked calmly.
“It’s my former personality. The one that saved Cole’s ass last night,” Shaw declared.
“What did you dream?” Azar pressed, believing in their resourcefulness.
Shaw let out a deep breath. “I dreamed it was way off in the water- the deep water, where it belongs,” she said.
“Where were you?” Azar asked.
“I was on the beach with Root. And we were wearing rings,” Shaw remembered.
“Of course you were,” Azar said confidently.
“Yeah, well… not today,” Shaw said.
The short slumber didn’t clear anything up for Sameen, who seemed to be doing the opposite of what she usually did. Instead of forging into battle to accomplish her goals, she was retreating.
“I gotta go,” she said, as if she were late for something.
“Where?” her mother inquired.
“I don’t know,” Sameen said, annoyed someone would ask what the next step was when she hadn’t figured it out. She got up and walked past her sister, who knew better than to try and stop her.
“Nice tattoo,” her sister said, causing Sameen to look at the inked reminders of all the things that were Root.
“Shut up!” Shaw snapped, walking out and slamming the door behind her.
“If you ask me, Root has her work cut out for her,” Ayala shared.
“I didn’t ask,” Azar replied.