They barely speak to each other for the next few days, only the minimum of surface courtesies, requests, responses. "You don't have to come," Zaida says to her mother the day before the Real game. "It's no big deal."
"Don't be silly," her mother says. "Of course we're going." She looks at Zaida, their eyes at a level, then reaches out and touches her cheek. "I want to see you win, too."
When Zaida comes downstairs, bag in hand, boots over her shoulders, her father's in the kitchen. Her mother and Olaya are nowhere to be seen. Their eyes meet, neither of them giving so much as an inch, and Zaida wonders, with a chilly mixture of belligerence and nausea, if he'll stay silent.
But he doesn't. He says what he always says:
"Show them what you've got."
- from acchikocchi's Origin Stories. It's second-generation footballer RPF futurefic. Hell if that says anything about quality. It's Zaida Villa and football and that thing that would be anger if it did not also involve fighting every step of the way, not giving an inch, and would be stubbornness if it did not also involve wanting like a forest fire. And coming into your own, and family, of course family. I read this fic for the first time yesterday afternoon lying down on our apartment's sofa, and when I got to the part up there I had to turn off the Pad, put it down, and cry. I just reread it, intending to skim it for quotes to attach to my bookmark, and ended up crying again. No one tell anyone I still have a soul.
One day this fandom will no longer be able to sustain my- I don't know what to call it, really. But I'm quits with books, have been for a long time, and I don't even want to think about the one true love (the one that is a person, I mean; I have four one true loves) and the music and the poetry, well, they're there because they're snapshots, they're pieces of emotion and image, but they're not the same as story. And this fandom- when I need to laugh myself sick I can go to @elguaje and when I find myself still awake at is-it-really-four-in-the-morning and furious I can read Settling In and feel all right with the world and when I need to feel human I go to The Distance Between Two Bodies and when I need to get my feet back on the ground and my head back on track it's Hitverse, always Hitverse. I have no superlatives superlative enough. It's not all I have- hardly- but. But.
Lost my wallet two days ago, found a hundred pesos in my pants pocket today, went home. Thea Pascasio forced her LRT card on me and I used up the last ten pesos on it and when I found myself short one one-peso coin at the exact-change ticket machine the guy behind me gave me one and when I met up with my mother she took one look at me and bought me coffee. And I smile and say thank you and try to pass it on and I have so much and so what now, what now.
(In theory I know the answer. In practice, not so much.)
Happy birthday to my soul mate, one and only. Dear Guia, I'd make the world over in our image for you if I could, but I can't. Fortunately, you don't need anyone to. Here's to you and everything.