i'm home -henrik-

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    Estela Kappo
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    i'm home -henrik-

    Post by Estela Kappo on Thu Sep 21, 2017 5:57 pm

    I'm home.

    Estela sat alone in her house. Or was it still her house? She hadn't been here in four years. Could she still call it her house? She didn't even have a key. She'd had to break in. Her family's house, then.

    Can I still call them my family?

    She'd already explored every inch, every surface of the home she'd once been so familiar with. It had a lived-in sort of feel that gave the impression of someone who lived alone and didn't have company very often, but still took care of the place. Though things all looked the same as she remembered on first glance, it was clear that this was no longer the home of a happy husband, wife, and son.

    After a full day went by, Estela began to worry. She'd felt oddly blank as she mentally prepared for this reunion. Her only thought for the past several days since escaping had been find Elias and Henri. She hadn't let herself think about what would come next. If she thought too hard about it, she'd never be able to face them. But where were they? She sat on the couch, hands folded in her lap, head bowed. Waiting.  She spent the night on the couch. Sleeping in their--his--the bedroom felt too weird.

    When the next morning came, and still no one, Estela felt herself start to panic. What if her parents had found a way to carry out their threat? No...that's impossible, they're dead...they can't hurt me anymore. They're dead. She knew. She had killed them.

    By the afternoon Estela was thinking she should go look for them at the Nadar estate. They had to be there, right? Right? But before she could get ready to leave, she heard the doorknob turn. She whipped her head towards the door and stood up, heart pounding. She wanted to say something but nothing came out.

    Henri.
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    Henrik Selway
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    Re: i'm home -henrik-

    Post by Henrik Selway on Sat Sep 23, 2017 12:58 am

    Henri had a dumb smile stuck on his face after spending a few days on Martha's Vineyard and another few days with Petra. He couldn't even believe that he and Petra had reunited, let alone had started...whatever it was they were now starting.

    Henri couldn't stop thinking of their time together -- the feel of her body next to him, their shared space, the genuine nature she'd shown when they were alone. It had been so long since Henri had experienced all of these feelings bubbling up inside of him. He couldn't help but to think of what this might turn into, what their lives could look like together.

    You're getting ahead of yourself, Rian noted as Henri opened the door to his home back on Nadar.

    Yeah, yeah -- Henri responded, but before he could even finish his sarcastic reactionary comment, his entire world stopped.

    Everything around him -- the house that he and Estela had built from the ground up, the island that housed too many memories for him to recall at one time, the estate his son had grown up on -- all seemed to dissipate as he saw his wife inside their home.

    His mouth dropped open slightly.

    "E..." he tried, finding himself dumbstruck. "Estela." Her name came out as a whisper.

    Henri stood in there in the doorway, thoroughly shocked throughout his whole body. His body felt as if he'd been dropped five floors. Was he looking at a ghost? Did ghosts exist? Or was Estela truly there, in the flesh, in front of him?

    He'd imagined Estela walking through their home so many times, he truly couldn't believe his eyes. This couldn't be real.
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    Estela Kappo
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    Re: i'm home -henrik-

    Post by Estela Kappo on Sat Sep 23, 2017 10:49 am

    Estela stared back at Henri. He looked exactly like she always remembered. What should she say? What should she do? He looked horrified, as if he was looking at a woman who had come back from the dead.

    She looked down, unable to even look him in the eyes anymore. She had to say something, to tell him everything, about what had happened, how she'd lied to him their entire time together. She had to tell him. He deserved that much.

    Instead, still staring at the floor, she just whispered, "Where is Elias?"

    She had to see her little boy again too, to hug him and apologize to him and to know he was safe. He'd been thirteen years old. She didn't even know what he looked like now, she'd been too afraid to look at any recent pictures of him that Henri might have in the house. He was probably settled now, too. She had missed it. She'd missed everything.

    I should have told them. I should have told them everything from the beginning. Instead she'd just run and hid from the past, hoping it would never find her, letting it rip her family apart.
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    Henrik Selway
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    Re: i'm home -henrik-

    Post by Henrik Selway on Sun Sep 24, 2017 11:03 pm

    Instinctually, Henri answered, "He's at Redfern," as if they'd never been apart. He looked down at the floor as he realized that she hadn't been around when he decided to send him there. "Redfern Academy...on Martha's Vineyard. It's a, um...school."

    That was all he could muster as he moved forward, closed the door behind him, and set his keys down in a basket near the door. He was still dumbstruck, his eyes still in headlights. Where was this woman coming from? Was she okay? What had she been put through? Was it his fault?

    There were still so many thoughts pushing through his mind as he moved forward. "I...I thought you were dead," he managed to say, stumbling through the entryway hall. "W...where have you been?" he asked.
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    Estela Kappo
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    Re: i'm home -henrik-

    Post by Estela Kappo on Sun Sep 24, 2017 11:22 pm

    Oh. Redfern. I thought we had decided not to send Elias to Redfern. Elias had always been such a reserved and sensitive child, they had agreed he would do better being schooled in a familiar environment. Oh, what was she thinking? She had no right to judge any decision Henri had had to make on his own while she'd been gone. It must have been so hard for both of them.

    "Can we bring him home? I-I'd like to see him," she said, her voice barely a whisper. She looked back up as Henri was walking towards her. She wanted to meet him half way and wrap her arms around him, and kiss him, and run her hands through his hair. She didn't do any of those things.

    Henri wrote:"I...I thought you were dead. W...where have you been?"

    She closed her eyes for a moment. It all had to come out now, she had to tell him everything. "My parents," was all she managed to say at first. I told him they were dead back then. She sat down heavily on the couch and put her head in her hands. "I lied to you, Henri. I'm so sorry. They were alive, I ran away from them but they found me and took me back and wouldn't let me leave. They said they'd kill our son." She looked back up at him, her eyes red and teary. "We need to bring him home."
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    Henrik Selway
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    Re: i'm home -henrik-

    Post by Henrik Selway on Sun Sep 24, 2017 11:32 pm

    Henri was utterly confused. At first she had asked simply to bring Elias home, which he thought was acceptable...but now she was saying all of these things about her family, and her capture, and threats against their son? What was happening? He still couldn't believe she was even here. Nothing made sense.

    "What?" he asked breathlessly as he made his way toward her. He managed to sit on the couch next to her, look right at her, and bring his hand to meet her cheek. He wanted to see if she was real, if she was actually sitting next to him. His palm felt the warmth of her face, but there was still so much that was unresolved.

    But her being here, next to him...this was enough, if at least for the moment being. "You're here," he managed to breathe. "You...you're really here."

    His eyes were full of sadness and grief and loss and surprise. He had practically lost focus of whatever she'd said before this. She was alive, she was real, she was across from him. He couldn't bring himself to kiss her yet, it still felt like he may kiss a ghost. But he was inches away from her beautiful face, and couldn't help but look at her all over.

    "Estela," he whimpered. "I...I thought you were dead," he said again. He knew he'd already declared this, but...this was so unreal. He had literally thought she'd died. And she'd rambled off some details about family kidnapping her, but nothing made any sense to Henri because she'd told him her family was out of the picture.

    "Are you...really here?" he asked, looking across her face for answers. "Is this a dream?" he begged.
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    Estela Kappo
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    Re: i'm home -henrik-

    Post by Estela Kappo on Sun Sep 24, 2017 11:45 pm

    Henri was looking at her as if nothing she had just said made sense. Had it made sense? Had she just rambled incoherently? How could she even explain what had happened, when she'd never told him who she really was? She opened her mouth to try again when Henri sat down next to her and put his hand on her cheek. It was the first time she'd felt his touch in four years. She relished it, putting her hand over his.

    "I missed you," she said breathlessly, "so much.

    "Are you...really here? Is this a dream?"

    "I'm here." She could hardly believe it either. "I'm here and I'm sorry. For lying. For everything."
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    Henrik Selway
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    Re: i'm home -henrik-

    Post by Henrik Selway on Sun Sep 24, 2017 11:49 pm

    Henri looked right in Estela's eyes, trying to figure out what was happening..what had happened over all these years.

    "I never, ever stopped loving you," he said in disbelief. But...he hadn't looked for her. He hadn't done all that he could to bring her back...he was fully responsible for this.

    He frowned. "I'm sorry..." he muttered. "I'm sorry I didn't find you...I'm sorry I didn't help you," he said. His eyes were getting a bit teary. "Estela," he breathed, "I'm...I'm so sorry."

    Tears dripped down his cheeks as he pulled Estela into a deep hug. "I'm...I'm so...sorry," he said between breaths. He was sobbing now, holding her as tightly as he possibly could. This was all his fault. If he had just looked for her...
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    Estela Kappo
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    Re: i'm home -henrik-

    Post by Estela Kappo on Sun Sep 24, 2017 11:57 pm

    Estela's eyes widened as Henri started apologizing. When she saw the tears on his face the dam broke inside of her, and then she was sobbing too as he pulled her into a hug. "No, Henri, no, no, you don't understand," she told him tearfully. "It's not your fault, it's mine. I lied to you, to Elias, about everything. Everything. M-m-my name isn't even Estela!"

    Henri was the first clio to even call her Estela in years. She'd been Renata for her entire time in captivity.

    "It's my fault. I-I should have told you. I should have told you."
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    Henrik Selway
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    Re: i'm home -henrik-

    Post by Henrik Selway on Mon Sep 25, 2017 12:55 am

    Henrik sniffled, looking at Estela in disbelief.

    Of all the things they both had said, he was dumbstruck at the fact that she said her name wasn't even Estela.

    "W...wait," he said, pulling away from her, though he still held her shoulders. He looked right at her, his eyebrows furrowed in confusion. "Your name...isn't Estela?"

    Out of everything, her name had suddenly stuck with him. Her name not being what he knew it to be. Suddenly, that brought it all into perspective. What had she lied about? What was she sorry for? What was happening??

    He looked at her expectedly, unsure of how to act. Her...name -- the name, the last name that their son shared, wasn't actually her name? Was 'Kappo' real? Was their son's name a lie?

    What was happening?
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    Estela Kappo
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    Re: i'm home -henrik-

    Post by Estela Kappo on Mon Sep 25, 2017 7:53 am

    Estela wanted to look away but she forced herself to meet Henri's gaze. "I...I mean, it is now," she said, sniffing. They were both an awful mess. "I ch-changed it when I ran away. I was sixteen."

    There was a long, drawn out silence between them. Estela knew she had to keep going, to explain everything. She tried to take a deep breath but it came out more like another sob. Once she managed to calm down a little, she continued: "When I was born," she said softly, "my parents called me Renata Meov." She didn't know whether or not Henri would recognize her infamous last name.
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    Henrik Selway
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    Re: i'm home -henrik-

    Post by Henrik Selway on Mon Sep 25, 2017 4:22 pm

    Henri looked for something in Estela's eyes, though he wasn't sure what. Maybe he was looking for a sign of temporary insanity or confusion, something like dementia or brainwashing. This couldn't all be true. She would have told him, right? He had told her everything...why wouldn't she have told him?

    Either way, he couldn't stand seeing her this way. She was breaking down right in front of him. As she started to sob again, he took her hands in his own, trying to understand everything she was saying to him.

    "-- my parents called me Renata Meov."

    Henri looked down, recognizing the name 'Meov' but he had too much in his head to clearly think about where he knew it from. He opened his mouth to say something, but he couldn't muster anything. He sniffled, holding her hands tighter.

    Finally, his eyes met hers again. "Why didn't you tell me any of this?" he asked, his voice cracking and filled with concern, confusion, and a hint of betrayal. He thought they knew everything about each other. He thought they were honestly and genuinely in love...had their relationship been built on lies and deceit?
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    Estela Kappo
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    Re: i'm home -henrik-

    Post by Estela Kappo on Mon Sep 25, 2017 4:47 pm

    "I..." There were so many answers to that question, Estela didn't even know where to start. "When I ran away, I...I just wanted to start over. To be a new clio, with a new life. I wanted to pretend the past had never even happened..."

    She looked at Henri miserably. Her excuses must sound so pathetic to him. His past had been just as horrific, yet he'd never felt the need to lie to her about it. He had faced his past and owned up to it, while she hid from hers and lied to the clio she loved more than anything else in the world.

    "I was also afraid," she said, looking back down, clearly ashamed, "that if I told anyone...that if I said it out loud...that, I don't know, that it would get back to them and lead them to me somehow."

    And then they found me anyway.
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    Henrik Selway
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    Re: i'm home -henrik-

    Post by Henrik Selway on Wed Sep 27, 2017 12:24 am

    To a point, Henrik could completely understand everything Estela was saying. He had spent so much of his life keeping his history a secret from those around him, both from fear and caution. He looked down at their hands, the two clio clinging onto one another so desperately. He stayed quiet, torn between his deep and dark feelings of resentment that were starting to boil, and his empathy to her. He had his own dark past, and he knew the weight it carried in every part of his life.

    Maybe she hadn't gotten a chance to truly unpack her past like he had. She didn't have a Nils. But together, they had Elias. They were able to make something, a clio life, together. And he couldn't just throw that away because of the muddled feelings he held about her past.

    "Estela..." he mumbled, moving their hands up to his lips so he could kiss the back of her hand. "I...I'm just..."

    Tears streamed down his cheeks, getting caught in his beard. "I'm just so happy you're here," he finally said. "I've missed you..."

    Maybe he couldn't process this right now. It would definitely take some time. But he wasn't about to toss her out or ruin their lives together -- he just wanted to lay in bed together like everything was normal. Part of this (the lies) felt like a bad dream, but most of it felt like his nightmare was finally over. He had his wife back. He had the love of his life right here in front of him, and while there were plenty of uncomfortable and eye-opening conversations to be had in the days to come, right now he just wanted to hold her.

    He leaned forward, pressing his lips against hers.
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    Estela Kappo
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    Re: i'm home -henrik-

    Post by Estela Kappo on Wed Sep 27, 2017 4:08 pm

    For a moment Henri didn't say anything, leaving Estela in horrible anticipation of his reaction. To her genuine surprise, he didn't express any hurt or betrayal. When he brought her hand to his lips, she felt a combination of relief and love for this man wash over her. Did this mean he would forgive her?

    No...she was getting ahead of herself. There would be more awful conversations, more confessions, as time went on. Henri would need time to process all of it. But right now, Estela was content to just dwell in this moment, so, so happy to be with him again. She kissed him back, wrapping her arms around him. Even after they broke apart she held him as tightly as she could.

    "Henri," she said, after they had just stayed like that for a little while. She didn't let him go, but loosened her embrace a little bit so that she could pull back and look at him. "I-I need to see Elias. Can we bring him home? I need to see him." Her little boy who was no longer a boy, but a settled young man.
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    Henrik Selway
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    Re: i'm home -henrik-

    Post by Henrik Selway on Wed Sep 27, 2017 4:30 pm

    Henri seemed to drift away, still here in the moment but lost in some other stream of consciousness. Everything felt surreal. Her arms around him, her lips, her long-lost kisses that he instantly remembered. Being with her felt nostalgic, like he was living a memory.

    But still, everything was different.

    Henrik's stomach felt like it was collapsing in on itself. He didn't feel nauseous, but he did feel sick and exhausted. He had so many thoughts running through his head and was a bit out of it when Estela urged that she needed to see their son.

    "Yeah," he said softly with a nod as he zoned out and stared at their laps. "Of course. We can call him at Redfern, make sure he's, uh...make sure he's safe." He looked back up to her eyes, wondering when he would wake up from this dream. His body went through waves of being numb to being thoroughly overwhelmed.

    "We'll bring him home," he said distantly. If Estela was taken before, were they in even more danger now? He thought about temporarily moving their small family into the estate so they could have a bit more protection. He had to tell Nils and Paisley -- oh gods. Nils and Paisley, and the entire Selway-Sommers family. None of them knew yet. How were they going to explain any of this?
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    Estela Kappo
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    Re: i'm home -henrik-

    Post by Estela Kappo on Wed Sep 27, 2017 4:46 pm

    Estela noticed the suddenly distant, weary look in Henri's eyes. He looked like he was about to be sick, or pass out. In the past, she would have comforted him and made him feel better, but how could she do that now when she was the one who had caused all his pain in the first place?

    Henri wrote:"We'll bring him home."

    While Estela desperately needed to see Elias again and was relieved that Henri agreed, she couldn't help but feel a sickening stab of fear and guilt. If Henri had been hurting so badly all these years, she couldn't imagine what Elias had gone through. All because of her.

    "Is he...has he been...how is he?" she asked Henri. She felt horrible for even asking, but she had to know. "Is--is he doing okay?"
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    Henrik Selway
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    Re: i'm home -henrik-

    Post by Henrik Selway on Wed Sep 27, 2017 4:59 pm

    Henri sighed. How could he possibly explain their son's behavior without making Estela feel awful? Their son was completely heartbroken when Estela disappeared, and had taken out his frustrations, grief, and insecurity on his closest family and friends. He had isolated himself, and developed a negative, existential view of the world around him, and at such a young age.

    "He..." Henri started, still unsure of which words might come out of his mouth next. He pushed his glasses higher up on the bridge of his nose, leaning back a bit from her embrace. "I'm not sure how to really put this," he started again, forcing himself to look her in the eyes. "But he took everything really hard. We're not...really close anymore."

    His voice cracked a little, but he managed to keep his composure. The broken relationship that he was still trying to repair with his son made him incredibly upset, without the added stress and confusion of his wife reappearing.

    "I'm sure he'll be so happy to see you again," he said with a confirming nod. "He misses you terribly."
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    Estela Kappo
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    Re: i'm home -henrik-

    Post by Estela Kappo on Wed Sep 27, 2017 5:17 pm

    "Oh...oh gods, Henri," Estela choked out, as she began to cry again. "I'm sorry. I'm so sorry."

    She had obviously known Elias would have taken her disappearance hard, and gone through a rough period of grieving. But she never could have imagined that it would have resulted in a breakdown of the relationship between him and his father, which she remembered as being incredibly strong and loving.

    "We're not really close anymore."

    I did this.

    Henri's reassuring words that Elias would be happy to see her did little to comfort her. She already felt like she had done irreparable damage to her own family.

    But maybe it wasn't too late to fix things. Even if Henri decided not to take her back, even if Elias could never forgive her, maybe she could at least make things right between them. She owed it to them to try, even if they ended up hating her for what she had done. "I-I'll tell him everything," she said, rubbing her eyes with her sleeve. "I'll tell both of you everything."
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    Henrik Selway
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    Re: i'm home -henrik-

    Post by Henrik Selway on Wed Sep 27, 2017 5:39 pm

    Henri frowned, but had expected this reaction from Estela. He wasn't about to lie to her (though he hadn't gotten into the extent to which Elias had been affected, either) and she'd find out soon enough. It was a hard pill to swallow, but...it was the truth.

    "It's not your fault," Henri said, rubbing her arm with his hand and squeezing her shoulder. "The clio who did this to you...they're to blame. You never asked for this." He wasn't even sure what exactly he was talking about, but he knew that Estela was not at fault for this. Even if she had kept parts of her past from him and Elias, being kidnapped was not her fault.

    Henri brought Estela into another tight embrace, rubbing her back and kissing the sides of her face. "We're gonna get through this," he said, holding her a little tighter. "I promise."

    He didn't know what was ahead or what they would have to work through, but she was back and they were going to fix everything together. He briefly thought of Petra, but didn't have the capacity to deal with that situation right now. Anything going on in his life right now needed to be put on pause so he could mend and protect his family.

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