She was finally at peace. No worries, no danger, and no crazy grandfathers hiring serial killers to pursue her and her mother. Everything was perfect, quiet, chill… and it was extremely boring. She needed some action! Just a little bit, nothing lethal, but something! She sighed, it was almost unbelievable, two years ago she was going through a death match against her grandfather and now her only worry was to think what kind of Christmas present she should give to her girlfriend. “A wedding?” Suojan suggested in her mind, again, and Anna laughed nervously. Truth be told, when she proposed to Robin two years ago, she never had a wedding plan in mind, and Robin herself said they should take it easy and give it time. But it was pretty clear she had to do something about it now, or she would end without a girlfriend…
“I guess we need to talk,” Anna whispered and then sighed. She loved Robin but planning one of the biggest changes in her life was terrifying, especially when the in-laws were… Well, they hated the idea. The only happy one was Bruce, Robin’s twin brother. He was incredibly supportive but, according to Robin, he wasn’t even able to speak when Mr. and Ms. Sanders were around. She still hadn’t had the joy of meeting them, but the comments about them were not encouraging, and that was the most terrifying part of the whole wedding thing: meeting Robin’s parents.
“What’s wrong?” asked Lena appearing suddenly. Anna jumped and stopped breathing for a second.
“Stop doing that. One day you’ll give me a heart attack.”
“It’s not my fault you can’t sense me.” Lena shrugged. “Let’s go or we’ll be late.”
Anna stood up, sighed again feeling a little bit hurt, and then followed her little sister. What happened to the sweet joyful 9-year-old who used to jump into her arms as soon as she appeared? Now Lena barely said hi to her. Come on! She was only 11 years old! She was still a kid! How much could a kid change in two miserable years?!
They made their way to the ice rink where Robin was already chatting with her other students. Lena joined quickly and Anna waved her fiancée from the small wall separating the ice of the seats, Robin smiled and waved back.
“We’ll start in 5 minutes,” announced to the girls and skated to meet Anna. “I’m still waiting for you to join someday.”
“Ha-ha. And I’m still waiting for you to give up with that.”
“What about some private lessons?” she said lowering her voice with a flirty smile.
“Well, that sounds more…”
“I see you are not even professional enough to not flirt in front of your students,” interrupted a female voice.
Anna gave a pissed look to the middle-aged woman who was frowning at Robin. Her students were so loud they couldn't hear what she said, they both were not even close and that was the first time Robin was openly saying something like that in the ice rink. That woman should not judge based on just one single commentary she made for the first time.
“Mom?” said Robin before Anna could open her mouth to put her in her place.
“What?!” Anna looked at her fiancée in shock and then realized the girl’s tanned skin was taking a pale tone. That could not be a good sign…
“So, you are Anna,” continued the woman giving Anna a look from top to toe. Specifically, a not really pleasing look… “I thought Robin would choose someone more stylish, but oh well at least you have a good job.” She then looked at Robin. “Don’t you have a class, dear?”
“Oh! Yes… I’m… I’m sorry.” It was obvious that the I’m sorry part was for Anna. That was her first encounter with Ms. Sanders, and she had no idea how to manage that situation.
“You wanted some action. There you go! Instant stress!” Su commented. Shut up, thought Anna as answer.
“Ok. Let me be clear. I don’t support this relationship nor the whole marriage idea, but I don’t want to lose my only daughter. Of course, I think this is only a phase and she’ll eventually look for a good man to get a family. So will you.”
“Excuse me?” Anna smiled incredulously. “Did you say a phase?”
“Yes, I said phase. This can’t be serious if you don’t even have a wedding date after two years.”
“I’m really serious about your daughter.”
“And I’m sorry about that. Even if I accept the fact she wants to marry a girl, I don’t like you.”
“You don’t even know me!”
“You yelled and insulted my husband when you first met him around 4 years ago.”
“Oh…” Anna bit her lip under the disdainful look the woman gave her. “Well… I had an accident some time ago and there are a couple of years I don’t remember, but I’m still sorry for being disrespectful with him.”
“I see. I also see you don’t even know how to deal with introductions. My name is Daria, I was expecting you to ask.”
“Uh… I… I’m sorry…”
“Don’t worry. It’s my fault for having any expectancies.”
Anna felt her demonic side roaring in her chest. The only reason why she wasn’t yelling at that witch was that that could cause more trouble to Robin. When her fiancée told her how awful and mean could her mother be Anna thought it was only an exaggeration, now she could see it was probably worse than Robin’s descriptions.
They observed the rest of the class in uncomfortable silence. Anna usually enjoyed those moments when she could see Robin glowing on the ice, but now the bad company made it impossible to focus on her. The only thing she was thankful about at that moment was the fact that Robin didn’t look like her mother. The woman had brown eyes, blond hair, and pale skin; while Robin had those deep blue eyes, black hair, and that beautiful, tanned skin that made a delightful contrast with the ice when she was skating. She was perfect, and Anna could never control that silly smile appearing every single time she saw Robin skating.
After class, it was Lena’s turn to meet Robin’s mother. The woman was nice to her, maybe because she was still a kid, but didn’t waste time and asked the stupid question old people always ask even to little kids who have no idea about relationships: “Do you have a boyfriend?”
“What? I just want to know if she is normal after being raised by someone with said deviations.”
“No, I don’t have one,” answered Lena, and then looked at her older sister. “I’m tired, I want to go home.”
“I can drive you,” offered Daria.
“No, thank you,” Lena said quickly and grabbed Anna’s hand leading her out of the place.
Robin chuckled and waved goodbye saying “I’ll call you later”. Anna nodded and smiled at her little sister. Lena was still a kid, but she could read situations and minds really well.
“Hey, it’s fine. She doesn’t like me the same way Dante didn’t like dad.”
“That’s not true. She wants to make Robin dump you. Didn’t you read her thoughts?”
“No, I didn’t. Do you know why?”
“… Because it’s rude to enter a person’s mind without permission,” said Lena with an annoyed tone.
“Exactly. Also, the only thoughts that really matter are Robin’s.”
“Uhm. What if Robin wants to dump you again?”
“Karla says her sister dumped his boyfriend because he didn’t want to plan the wedding.”
“I do want to plan!”
“Do you?” asked Lena surprised.
“Yeah, it’s just… It’s a little bit scary, but we will start today. You’ll see, at this time next year we’ll be married!”
“Oh. I see.” Lena let her hand go and walked faster. “I’m hungry.”
It was only then when Anna realized that maybe, just maybe, Lena was distancing to protect herself from the imminent separation after the wedding. Her heart shrunk when she thought about all the sadness Lena could be experimenting in silence, only now she could see the distancing started not long after she had a conversation with their mother. “We were thinking about waiting at least until Lena can deal with my absence. She is closer to me than she is to the rest of you, I don’t want her to feel abandoned again”, she had said… and Lena could hide her presence really well, so she usually heard more than adults wanted her to hear.
She was sure Robin would not have any issues with Lena spending time at their place or even living with them, but it could be too much to ask for it. Another issue was that living with Lena would also mean living with Astrid, Robin liked her, but then they would not be starting their own family… “That’s something we’ll have to discuss…”, Anna whispered to herself. Then a headache attacked when she remembered Robin’s mother. That woman could use her family situation to make their lives impossible and, eventually, convincing Robin about the benefits of leaving her.
Well, she asked for some emotion in her life and heavens heard. Now she just had to deal with it and look for the best solution as always.
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