Fandom: The OC
Pairing: Theresa gen
Word Count: 497
Disclaimer: I don't own these characters and I'm making no money off of this.
A/N: Late season 2. I noticed several people doing kissingchaos9's Ani DiFranco lyrics challenge yesterday, so I checked it out, and lo and behold, fic! *glee*
you're trying hard to figure out
just exactly how you feel
before you end up parked and sobbing
forehead on the steering wheel
-Ani DiFranco, "So What"
Theresa is visibly shaken from running into Ryan. Her mother hands her the baby, commenting on how much his eyes look like Ryan's, and she feels like sobbing. But she’s strong; she always has been, and she keeps it together.
She doesn’t want to lie anymore. Lying to Ryan is like lying to herself. She got every letter he sent and it took all the strength she had not to write back.
The house is small – smaller than their old one, at least. It’s hard to find room to breathe, sometimes. Room to think. Theresa doesn’t suffer under any romantic illusions of turning back time or getting back in contact with Ryan and asking him to come home. That door’s been closed. Time to face reality.
Which she’s supposed to have been doing already.
But it feels so surreal. She never thought she’d end up in a high-paying job or living in Ryan’s new world, but getting pregnant screwed up any alternate plans she might have had, anyway. Now she’s a statistic, waiting in line at the grocery store with her food stamps because Arturo’s in jail again and she can’t take care of three of them on her own.
All of a sudden, the room feels stifling and Theresa has to get outside. Now. She leaves the baby with her mother (his name is Marco, but she always thinks of him as the baby) and goes outside to her car.
Driving helps clear her mind. The night sky is clear, the stars glimmering down at her, winking as if to say, Look at you. Look at what you’ve done with yourself. Taunting her.
She drives to the old lot where she and Ryan first kissed and parks. It’s the stars that really get to her. The same stars they used to sit under and not watch; she watches them now. Everything’s changed, but the night sky remains exactly the same at this time of year. Every year. At least something in the world is constant.
When she’s done stargazing, she doesn’t want to get back in the car. Life is tiring, now. She doesn’t know how her mother ever did it once her dad left them, and she has new respect for her. A child is a lot of work, especially when you’re the only parent. Two must have been near-impossible.
For the first time in her life, she allows herself some romantic fantasies: she could call Ryan. She could tell him. Or she could run away – no, that would make her as bad as her father. She could call the Cohens and tell them that she can’t do it anymore. She needs help.
As appealing as it all sounds, Theresa knows she won’t do any of those things. She’ll drive home, sit down with her mother for a while, and put the baby to bed. And the next day, she’ll do the same.
She rests her forehead against the steering wheel and feels like crying.