Benji & Izzy [& Michi?]Setting:
2035 in the Donnelly-Ruiz house.Content:
Benji making amends.
It was late September, and most of Benji's former classmates were busy with starting their second year of university studies at Blue Ridge. For Benji, it was just another year she had made it through somehow, another spring, summer, and fall. It had been a while now since she had been released from the hospital, at least a few months. She didn't feel like it could have been just under a year ago that she could have tried to take her own life, but it really was. She was getting better, a little, if she didn't think too much about everything. Making herself numb, focusing her energy on other people and making amends to them, was the easiest route.
She hadn't really known where to go after she got out. Things were a bit better, but she couldn't go back to Taylor and Eddie, even if Taylor wanted her to. She had already gotten in their way enough, and she had allowed Taylor to put her in front of too many things already. Her new family and job both included. Especially with a the baby there now, it was out of the question. She had gone back to her parents house, the first time in a long time, less begrudgingly than she would have expected. They were her mothers, after all, and she knew deep down that they did care about her. It was her fault they were like this now, that the family was still divided up between those who could stand to look at her and those who couldn't. Hunter and Sera gave her space, that was best, and they were all drinkers, which was helpful.
It was actually easier being there as an adult than it had been growing up, like having a pair of roommates rather than real parents. Hunter was of the impression that Benji was old enough to be capable of taking care of herself, and though Sera seemed skeptical, she never really found the way to express it. Benji did her own things, whiling her time away. When she had been in the hospital, one of the mediwitches there had been with her every day practically. They talked about what she was feeling, and how she was supposed to deal with that. She might never shake the guilt entirely, even if she wasn't entirely responsible, but that she could take actions to alleviate some of it. Apologize to people, reconnect, express herself instead of cutting people out. It seemed like a daunting task, but if she couldn't even kill herself properly, she was at the point of trying anything else.
She had made a list of people that she needed to speak with, people that she needed to settle up with. Benji's interactions with people outside of her sister and a few friends had been very minimal, and it was turning into a long list. People that she needed to apologize for bailing out on, for turning away from, not to mention most of her family, for varying reasons. She had a lot of people to apologize to, or at least explain herself to, and she had to start somewhere. It was an unusual situation, but it was a distraction from the emptiness that still dogged her. She didn't know if all of these tears and apologies were going to do anything for anyone, but if nothing else, maybe she could get her aunt and mother speaking again.
It was how she found herself parked outside in her Jeep, along the curb just a few houses up from the Donnelly-Ruiz house. There was a whole houseful of people there that she owed an explanation, and maybe some free punches, to. But lucky for her, most of them were away at school this time of year. This early in the morning, her aunts could be at work as well, if she were really lucky. She had a hunch that if she was luckier still, and he hadn't entirely changed on her for the worst, then her best friend would be there. Like her, he would be nowhere to be found in that boring university world.
She had drank an iced coffee on the way over, struggled not to pour any liquor into it, and now it was grumbling loudly in her stomach. The blonde felt incredibly anxious, sick with it, feeling like the meager contents of her stomach might come up at any second as she sat forward in the Jeep and gripped the steering wheel with white knuckles. She could do this, once she convinced herself to move. What if Tatum opened the door? It wasn't likely, but it wasn't impossible either. She wasn't sure if she could deal with that, whether her aunt came at her physically or verbally. But she had to start somewhere, and Izzy was somewhere. He was her best friend, and Kia's brother. He deserved some kind of something from her, even if she didn't know what.
There was no denying how much she felt like a creep, hunching nauseously over her dashboard, and scoping out a house that had once been like her second home. She had practically grown up there. If she hadn't been with Kia, she was with Izzy, that used to be a given. Just looking at the house now was making panic grip her heart roughly. There were so many questions, and complications. Was Kia's room the same, or was it gone? Which would be worse? Would Izzy even want to see her, or would he want to strangle her like his mother?
Ben knew that there was only so much longer that she could put things off, she hadn't come all of the way to Georgia just to sit on the side of the road, and she braced herself as she finally stepped out of the driver's side and down onto the pavement. She crossed the street and her aunt's front lawn, her legs feeling like jelly despite the confident swagger she tried to put up. It mostly fell flat. She wasn't back to herself, no matter what kind of list she was working on. She still looked sick, even if it had been a while since her discharge. Even her hair had gotten longer, though she kept it mostly tied away and out of her face.
Once upon a time, she would have bounded through this front door without a second thought or so much as a thought. Now however, she stood shuffling in place on the front mat for a few moments, before finally getting up the gall to reach out and ring the doorbell. "Fuck," she hissed, already wanting to run back to her Jeep, every bone in her body agreeing with her and seeming to will her in that direction. She reached up instead, holding the charm on the necklace that hung around her neck. Kia's, one she had left behind in Benji's room at school. Only luck that she had ever found it, after everything. She lifted it to her lips, kissing it briefly as she waited for the door to be opened. "Look after me, babe. This could be it," she breathed, feeling marginally better.
When the door did open, and she saw Michi standing on the opposite side, Benji felt her heart come up her throat a little and she fought hard not to take off in a dash. "... Is Izzy home?" she asked awkwardly, mentally kicking herself for not saying something else, something better.