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A couple of days later...

Angela has cried herself out and slept and cried herself out and slept and now she's...better. Not perfect, but better.

She actually took a shower today and stayed in longer than normal, she got dressed without crying once, and brushed her hair.

And now she's sitting on the bed with the necklace Melou gave her in her hands, looking at the red stone.

She hasn't taken it off in over two years. Her neck sort of feels weird without it.

Back in the bar...

Angela hadn't intended on coming back to the bar quite yet. She's almost afraid to, being so ashamed of herself. She'd overreacted horribly and she felt awful for hurting Steph. And for overreacting to Melou. That was spectacularly stupid.

But when she wipes her hands off on her apron after cleaning the counters in the kitchen and enters Milliways, smoothing her skirt, she looks up in surprise and sighs in resignation. The bar won't let her stay away.

She doesn't see Melou, so she goes to find Steph first.

Eventually, she comes back to the bar proper, takes a deep breath, and heads outside, to the lake. It's a beautiful day, and Angela smooths her skirts under her before lying down on the grass to look up at the clouds.

oom: Forgiveness

Angela entered her dojo reverently. She wasn’t here to fight today, just the opposite. She went to the tai chi room, knelt in the corner to meditate, with her candle and incense. She concentrated on her breathing and in the tension in her body, all gathered around belly and shoulders and heart.

Angela closed her eyes. Forgiveness. She needed to concentrate on forgiveness. It was easier since the pain and anger were mostly gone. Now there was just burning humiliation. It was all karma, her bad temper, striking her best friend, shoving her mother away—now the karma showed itself in her humiliation.

And so she made herself feel it and shed tears over it, and tried very hard to let it all go, to submit to the forgiveness she could already feel in her heart. It’s hard. She’s not that advanced in Buddhist teachings—or anything else for that matter—for this to be easy.

Eventually, she stood up and began to move in the slow, graceful movements of tai chi. Her movements are beautiful; she hasn’t been that clumsy teenager for a long time. And somewhere in her routine, her anger evaporated and forgiveness came to her quietly.

Everything was going to be all right. She’d go back, ask Steph’s forgiveness and forgive her, and Melou…well, he was just waiting for her to cool down. She was sorry she’d forgotten herself with him. It just made for more misery in the end.

Breathe and move. And if her mother was serious, things might actually be better—she might actually feel whole and real if her mother loved and approved of her. She couldn’t tell Kim this, but it had always made her feel weird and abnormal, having a mother that just seemed to hate her. It was like there was a black hole that should have been filled by something. Kim filled most of that hole, but there were still…other things.

Maybe that would be okay, too. Dad seemed to think that it would be.

Maybe he was right.

OOM: Giving in...

Angela stumbled back into her room, shaking and crying. Her hand hurts and her eyes ache and there's a blazing headache starting up. She closed the door to her closet and felt everything come crashing in on her. She sank to the floor, pulling her knees to her chest.

Voices drifted up to her from the floor below: "I'm sorry, Stephanie," her father was saying. "I didn't realize she was still this angry."

Her mother's voice: "I guess it'll take some time..."

Angela moaned and buried her face in her hands. Everything was going so wrong!

But this...this she could do something about. Or at least make a start.

Angela scrambled off of the floor and out of her room, stumbling down the stairs. "Mother, wait," she said breathlessly. "Don't go yet."

Stephanie looked up at her daughter in surprise and didn't say anything.

It really did look like she was trying to get her life back together. She was dressed neatly and without that scent of stale cigarettes and pot smoke that had always hung around her. Her hair had been cut recently and her skin had cleared up. She looked about twenty years younger.

"I...I don't want to be angry at you anymore," she said flatly. "I'm willing to try."

Her mother smiled. "Really? Do you mean it?"

"Yes." Angela wasn't happy about it, but she knew that she needed to begin forgiving people...even if she was still angry.

Chase said, "Why don't you call later in the week and see what Angela wants to do. I think she's had enough for one day."

She looked at her father, so grateful to him for that. She wasn't sure how long she could deal with things before breaking down again.

"I'll do that. Thank you for a chance, Angela."

Goodbyes were said and Chase hugged his daughter for a long time. He wasn't sure why she was trembling so much, but he was sure that she'd feel better in the morning.

"I'm just tired, Dad. I think I'll go to bed."

He nodded and kissed her forehead. Kim was standing a little to one side and Angela went to hug her, whispering in her ear, "I know you don't agree, but it'll be okay, Mom. I love you."

Kim smiled and kissed her cheek. "Good night, Angie. Get some sleep."

Angela went upstairs and curled up on her bed, for the first time in years, wishing she had a joint to smoke.

Eventually, she fell asleep. And her dreams were not peaceful.

oom: Not a Glad Reunion

Angela pulled up into her driveway. There was a strange car out in front of the house. Frowning, she got out of the car and went into the house. Her parents almost never had visitors that Angela didn’t know and she didn’t recognize that car.

She went inside and into the kitchen, where her mom and dad and Johnny were sitting with…

…her mother.

“What is she doing here?” Angela asked, not caring if she was rude. She folded her arms across her chest and glared at her father. “I told you I didn’t want to see her.”

Kim kept to her seat, but Chase stood up. “Angela, please…”

Stephanie stood up. “Angela, please. I’m sorry for everything—I’m trying to get my life back together, and I just…I want another chance.”

Angela’s brows knit together, and she gets that stressed-out look on her face. “I…I can’t deal with this right now.” She can’t believe they let her in the same room with Johnny.

And she runs up to her room, slamming the door, pissed off that they completely disregarded her wishes, and goes into her closet to get to the bar. She needed Milliways tonight.
Angela hadn't been sleeping at home. Things were strange and a little stressful.

Well, actually, a lot stressful. And for once, it isn't self-imposed. Her parents have been arguing back and forth. There have been a lot of phone calls.

And no one is talking to Angela anyway. That really upsets and pisses her off.

So she's escaped to Milliways, and now is sleeping curled up under the covers as usual, only her face above the nose uncovered.
Angela opens up the door and lets him inside. The cat jumps down from Melou's shoulder and scampers into the open bottom drawer where she sleeps on a small pile of towels and blankets.

She turns to him. "Well, you seem to be right a lot," she observes, "so you must have a lot of good days."
[after this...]

Angela doesn't quite know what to do. She just feels...sad and sort of confused and upset.

She wanders around the bar for a while before going to a booth and sitting there with her head leaning against her hand, looking very depressed and like she's trying not to cry.

OOC: Meme

Reply here and I will:

1)Tell you why I first approached you.
2)Associate you with a song/movie.
3)Tell a random fact about you.
4)Tell my favorite memory of you.
5)Associate you with an animal/fruit.
6)Ask something I've always wanted to know about you.
7)In return, you MUST spread this questionnaire amongst the patrons.