Chapter 11: Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want
life that I've had
Faye was so frickin' pissed off she could kill someone. Which was good. Cause she was most likely going to have to do just that. Oh, gee. Come over for some Christmas ham and we'll catch up on the last few decades. "Yeah right!!!" she shouted bitterly and then tossed the greeting card on the ground. She noticed with horror that the return address was smearing, so she quickly belly flopped in the snow to retrieve it. She then sat up right, staring at the runny ink with a perplexed expression. Why did she just do that? Why was she so hung up on this thing? Why was she trudging through god-awful weather for the slim chance that there would be ham, as opposed to pissed off creditors? What was wrong with her?
She knew if she had the answers to those questions, she wouldn't be so angry with Spike. And maybe that was the real reason she hated him so much in these moments. He was a vivid reminder of her own pathetic nature. Chasing after the Ghosts of Christmas Past with every intention of coming up empty. Starting journeys they knew they were going to fail. Just to what? Say they gave it the old college try? Faye pounded her fists into the frozen ground, taking some sort of backwards comfort from the pain it brought. The pain was real. That Christmas card wasn't. But off she went because of the two stupid words that had been plaguing her since she first opened her eyes to her second existence.
What if? One simple question that was slowly but surely ruining her life. Or at least, what little shot she had at making one for herself. She had people back on that ship that at least tolerated her. And cooked her dinner. If she were smart she would turn back. She'd turn right around, storm back on to that ship, make some smart remark to Jet and eat herself some string bean casserole. She'd rip this stupid card up right this second. And she would have, too. If she hadn't caught a glimpse of the message inside, written in cute, childlike handwriting.
...hope to see you...
And then she heard it. The little, nagging voice that could never leave well enough alone. What if. What if there was a little girl named Jenny in that apartment, who hoped to see her great aunt Faye. What if, you big dummy. What if this was really real and you gave it up to go eat Shake and Bake with a cantankerous ex-cop and his Dr. Demento junior sidekick? What if.
So she had to go. She would go carrying a gun, but she would go. And soon after she finally decided that the apartment would be her final destination, she was there, staring at a plastic wreath hanging lopsided on the front of a red door, debating whether or not to grab the handle. She had one last fit of doubt where she almost turned and fled, but then she heard The Christmas Song. The good one. By Nat King Cole. It was coming from inside that apartment. Before she even knew what hit her, she grabbed the knocker. And so the deed was done. All she had left to do was take in a sharp, nervous breath as she waited for the doorknob to turn.
"Come in," someone said from inside.
Come in. Most people go through the formality of opening the door on a holiday. Faye placed her hand on the butt of her Glock and knocked again.
"Come in," the voice repeated. It was a man's voice. It sounded kind of warm and inviting, but then anything sounded warm and inviting with the Christmas Song playing.
Faye swallowed and opened the door. And there she was, staring into a chintzy yet festively decorated apartment, complete with tacky metallic tinsel and cut out shapes of Christmas type paraphernalia. And there, standing in the middle of it, was a man she recognized as Charlie Dillon.