Title: “Promise Kept.”
Author: A.M. Glass
Copyright: March 13th – 15th, 2005
Disclaimer: The characters from “All My Children,” belong respectively to Agnes Nixon, A.B.C. and the Disney Co. No copyright infringement is intended or inferred. The story along with any/all original characters are the sole property of the author and cannot be used without expressed permission first.
Notes: This is the second ending of the “Dear Miranda” series. I hope you’ll like this one as much as “Dear Connor.” I will admit that I do bring up a certain situation, but I knew that it had to be here. I could not envision the character in question acting any other way. Have I intrigued you yet? NO... nuts.
Miranda and I walked into the hospital, each of us awaiting an unknown future – we would both know shortly if Maggie had adopted my baby girl.
I admit I wanted to run – to take Miranda far away from the pain she’s suffering at the moment. Yet that would have been the cowardly thing – the easy thing, and that’s something I would not do.
With each step I took I felt myself being drawn towards an almost certain anguish. I had told Miranda she would always be my daughter – the daughter of my heart and soul. It was true but if things turned out the way I feared – what Maggie had taken pleasure in telling me was in fact the truth, would I still be able to see Miranda?
Knowing Maggie – she’d take delight in once again keeping me from someone I loved. All these years wasted because of her. I should have been there at Miranda’s first birthday – her first tooth – her first steps, the joys of her first love and the pain of its lost.
Babe Chandler – the woman who claimed to be Bianca’s best friend, had Bianca’s best interest in heart was nothing more than an opportunist. All the time she had Miranda, all the pain she could have prevented. Hell would be too good for her.
Maggie Stone, I knew I could have stayed up all night and not have finished with what I felt for her.
I would not let my sentiment – my gratefulness that Bianca... No, I should have been the one Bianca turned to, not Maggie.
Bianca, yes, even Bianca kept me from my child.
“Mama – are you okay?”
She calls me that, for how much longer.
“Yes, I’m fine.”
I smile. Whenever she calls me Matka, I know she’s being serious. “Yes my Angel.”
“Matka – whatever happens – if it turns out that Maggie adopted me, I want you to know, you’ll always be my Matka, ‘til the day I die. Kocham was Matka.”
This girl – this young woman has the best traits of Bianca running through her veins. No matter what I felt earlier, Bianca had raised Miranda to be a kind and loving individual. “Kocham was my angel, my heart.”
“Umm, I hate to interrupt.”
“We’re coming Kendall.”
We took the elevator to the third floor, as the doors opened I saw Erica and Jack waiting for us outside Bianca’s room.
“Are you two okay?” Jack asked.
“Thank you Lena...”
“For what Erica?”
“For being here for Miranda and Bianca.”
“Erica,” I shook my head, “No thanks are needed.”
“I... nothing, forget it. I may want to ask you something later, if you don’t mind,” Miranda asked.
“Why don’t we go inside,” Erica suggested.
Jack opened the door, Erica entered followed by Kendall.
“Would you give us a moment?” I asked.
Jack nodded and joined the others.
I licked my lips – taking Miranda’s hands in mine, I squeezed them tightly. “Miranda, I want to you know right now, if I could adopt you, I would.”
“Do... do you mean that Matka?”
“I would never say something like this in jest Miranda. I mean it from the bottom of my heart.”
Miranda slipped her hands out of mine and hugged me. I couldn’t help but say, “Air becoming an issue.” I laughed as she groaned.
We smiled at each other – I pushed the door opened and we walked in. Bianca turned her attention from her Mother and on to us. I cleared my throat. “Bianca... I... I didn’t have the chance to say this earlier, but its good to see you up.”
“Thank you Lena. I hear you’ve been quite the Godsend. Thank you for coming on such short notice and taking care of Miranda for me. Mom tells me you haven’t been getting much in the way of sleep. Is that true?”
I looked quickly towards Erica. “As I told your mother earlier, there’s no need to thank me and I’ll be getting some sleep shortly.”
“Can we cut to the chase all ready?”
“Really,” Erica huffed.
“Miranda, you will treat your mother with respect. Are we clear on this?” I admonished.
“Hey Lena, are you the only one that will work for?”
“Just asking that’s all.”
“Bianca, although I don’t agree or approve of the way she asked, Miranda does have a point. We are all waiting to hear the truth. Is Maggie – did Maggie adopt Miranda?”
“What is it Miranda.”
“If Mom says yes – I would like you to recommend someone to me. Someone who’ll start emancipation proceedings – ‘cause there is no way in hell I’ll stay with her – not if I can help it.”
“Oh my God!”
“You can’t think I’d actually stay with you, did you?”
“Miranda, stop this right now!”
“But I thought...”
“You though of nothing. Do you see what you’ve done? What your words, your behavior has done to your mother?” I gestured towards Bianca who was crying. “You know I love you – but I can not allow you to treat her this way. She has not given us the answer and you have not given her the benefit of the doubt, something I myself am guilty of.”
“You’re taking her side?”
“There are no sides – there is only you and your mother.”
“Stop... please stop.”
Miranda and I both turn to look at Bianca.
“Don’t fight anymore – I can’t stand to see you both like this...”
“We wouldn’t be like this Mom if...”
“Before you say another word – think very carefully young lady. If you disrespect your mother – you will be disrespecting me and your family as well,” I told her.
“That’s not fair Matka!”
“No, its not. Do you have anything else you want to say?”
I waited. I hadn’t meant to be so harsh with her – but my damn protective streak decided to make an appearance. What I had told Jack earlier was true: I still love Bianca and I wouldn’t allow anyone – not even Miranda to harm her. Which made my behavior erratic at times.
Now matter how old Miranda was at the moment – she was still a child. She hasn’t had enough experience to know how to pull back – to step away from the precipice. I knew if she didn’t stop now, her relationship with Bianca would be damaged – possibly beyond repair.
“I know you’re upset with me and you have every right to be, but don’t let your anger dictate your actions, your words.”
Miranda took a deep breath before letting it out slowly. She stared at me as she said, “Can we please get this over with?”
“Yeah, I gotta get home...”
“For heaven’s sake Kendall.”
I smiled, a commodity that was becoming precious to me. Trust Kendall to say something to break the tension. I mouthed “Thanks.”
She winked back. She is a handful at times.
“Maggie didn’t adopt you.”
“THANK YOU GOD!!!” Kendall shouted.
I also gave a silent prayer of thanks. I thought Miranda would have been more excited, happier than she was, but she hadn’t said a word. She was in fact staring very intently at Bianca.
“What’s wrong? Aren’t you happy Sweetheart?” I asked.
“You aren’t finished, are you Mom?”
I didn’t understand. “What are you talking about?”
“Mom... Mom and I know each other pretty well. Sometimes we’ll know what the others thinking or finish each others statements...”
“Yes we do,” Bianca acknowledged.
“What is it? What haven’t you said Mom.”
I had a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach.
“I told you Maggie didn’t adopt you – that much is the truth. What I didn’t have a chance to say before Kendall decided she was going to wake the whole floor was this. She – Maggie may not have adopted you Miranda, but, she does have legal guardianship over you... in case something were to happen to me.”
“You have got to be fucking kidding!!”
“Kendall!!” Bianca and I both shouted.
“What? Just because you don’t say it doesn’t mean you didn’t think it. Give me a break!”
“I have to agree with Kendall, although not as colorfully dear,” Erica said. “Bianca, why didn’t you ever tell us?” she asked.
“I wasn’t thinking...”
I heard Miranda mutter, “You can say that again,” under her breath. I decided she’d made a good point and let it slide.
“You can say that again!”
Miranda and I quickly looked at Kendall. What was it with this family?
“Look, I made a mistake – one I’m paying for right now, but at the time, I was... my only concern was Miranda’s well-being. We were living in Paris – I wasn’t sure if we were ever coming back to Pine Valley. I needed to make sure Miranda would be taken care of.”
“By her?” Miranda asked incredulously.
“Do you think I could ever be safe with someone who’d do this?”
Miranda pulled up her sleeves.
“I’m going to kill her,” I said as soon as I saw the bruises on Miranda’s arms. I know I had said that before, when I hadn’t seen the evidence of Maggie’s handiwork. Now, I had to avenge my daughter.
“Jack do something!”
I paused at the door.
“Use your head, think about what you told Miranda earlier. “Don’t let your anger dictate your actions.””
Of all the times to have my words thrown back at me, he’s right and I know it.
“Baby... Miranda, come here.”
She seemed reluctant to do so. “Go to you Mother, go to her,” I said.
I watched as Bianca gently examined Miranda’s arms – fresh tears streaming down her face.
What should have been my family.
I had to leave and soon.
It goes against every part of my being, but I’m not sure I could survive another heartache.
“She’s at the police station,” Jack replied.
Obviously Bianca had asked for Maggie’s whereabouts.
“No, I am. You look exhausted. Please get some rest. I’d... I’d like to speak with you in the morning, if that’s okay?”
“Matka – Mom’s right. You haven’t really slept the last few days – please, for me?”
I smiled. She’s good. No batting of the eyes. Simply showing her concern for my well-being. “Kendall, could I impose on you to drop me off at the Pine Valley Inn?”
“Why not, I’ve got nothing else to do.”
“You’re sure,” I asked once more.
“Matka it’s fine. You won’t have to worry about me. I’ll go home with Grandma and Grandpa Jack.”
How can I not worry about you? Hmm? “All right,” I walked towards Bianca and Miranda and I gave Miranda a kiss good night. “I’ll... I’ll see you tomorrow. Be good for your grandparents.”
I had turned around and started to take a step to the door when I felt myself being held back. Looking I saw Bianca had a hold of my hand – she pulled me gently closer.
I bent over – I could feel her breath on my cheek.
“I don’t know what I would have done if you weren’t here – thank you.”
I pulled back and before I could stop myself, I raised her hand to my lips. I knew I had lost once more as I spoke these words. “If you need me – anything – all you have to do is say so.”
I felt my heart fly as I watched Bianca’s face light up.
“I’ll keep you too that.”
“Have you two finished making cow eyes at each other or what?”
“I have two words for you: Mood killer,” Miranda huffed.
Kendall’s laugh filled the hospital room. “Nah, they’re just getting started.
As we left the hospital, Kendall’s words echoed in my head: “They’re just getting started.”
* * *
I’ll be leaving the day after tomorrow. I can’t wait to see you and your mother again, and to celebrate your birthday.
You know if it wasn’t for work, I would have stayed longer, but that’s the way the cookie bounces? Is that right? What kind of cookie bounces Miranda?
Maggie’s plea bargain made my staying longer unnecessary. These last seven months have been trying – I find I miss you more than ever, if that’s possible.
The whole experience with your mother and Maggie put many things into prospective for me.
I have to make more time for the people I love. So, I decided to accept the transfer.
I’ll be working out of Chicago.
We’ll be able to see each other more frequently – and there’s the question I want to ask your mother – the one I spoke to you about.
I have to finish packing.
I’ll see you soon,
* * *
“How are things going with you and Bianca?” Kendall asked as they drove into town.
“They’re going. And you – no one of interest?”
“Oh there’s always someone of interest – I just need to stay that way.”
Ah Kendall, I don’t think I’ll ever meet anyone quite like you even if I tried. “They don’t know I’m here do they? They aren’t expecting me until tomorrow.”
“Nope – your secret is safe with me.”
“Will you be staying at the Inn the entire time?”
“Only tonight I hope.”
“When do you want us to meet you tomorrow? You and your surprises.”
“At eight. You know, I can’t believe Erica agreed so quickly.”
“Lena,” Kendall looked to the right. “Mom respects you – Hell, I might even be tempted to say, she likes you – a lot. And you all ready know how Jackson feels.”
“He’s truly one of a kind.”
“You can say that again.”
They drove in silence the rest of the short trip. Kendall pulled into the Pine Valley Inn entrance. “Do you want me to come up?” she asked as Lena got out of the car.
“No, I’ll be fine. Thank you for the lift.”
“Okay, I’ll see you later.”
* * *
I’m nervous – my palms are sweating – my mouth is dry. I rang the doorbell and I can hear Miranda’s voice on the other side.
“I got it Mom.”
I’m so happy that they’ve patched things up. I was worried how Miranda would deal with what she learned shortly before I left.
“Matka? Mom – it’s Matka!!” she shouted as she hugged me.
Seeing Bianca coming from the kitchen – a dishrag draped over her shoulder makes me smile. Miranda lets me go and stands to the side.
“What are you doing here? We weren’t expecting you until tomorrow night,” she asks. My smile grew bigger after she kissed me.
I hear the door close and I see Miranda walking backward saying, “I’ll give you two some privacy.
The kiss we shared next lasted longer than the previous one.
“Are you two coming up for air any time soon?”
My eyebrows shot up. “Umm, Kendall?” I managed to say as I detached myself from Bianca’s body.
“Hey there Sweet cheeks.”
What was going on? I watched as Erica, Jack, Reggie, Lilly, Miranda and some man I didn’t know filed out of the kitchen and into the living room.
“A little birdie told me...”
“Hey, I didn’t say a thing. Bianca invited us over.”
“Bianca?” How did she find out? If it wasn’t Kendall and I hadn’t told Bianca that only left: “Miranda?”
“Let’s see... let’s not forget Reggie, Jack, Lilly and Judge...”
“Hey Binks, are you sure you want to do this – Lena seems to be stuck in a rut,” Kendall asked smiling.
“Kendall, stop it. Can’t you see she’s surprised?”
“Jack, would you be a dear and get me a glass of cider – something tells me its going ot be a long night.”
“Of course Sweetheart. Lilly, would you like some?”
“Yes please. Are they going to get married? That’s what you said.”
“Mom, you gotta do something – Mama’s having a meltdown.”
Bianca takes me by the hand and I follow her out of the living room and into her bedroom. We sit down.
“I know you’re surprised by this...”
I could only nod.
“Lena – I never stopped loving you,” Bianca whispered. “It may not have seemed that way and I’m sorry I didn’t take care of us when I should have and I can never give you back all that you’ve lost, you and Miranda. But the fact remains – I love you. I’m in love with you. Maggie – she was a mistake – one I had to live though. If I hadn’t, I would have never known – truly known how much I missed you.”
She reached behind her – to the nightstand.
“Almost sixteen years ago I made a promise to you and in front of our friends and family I’d like to keep it.”
Her hands trembled as she place a worn velvet bag in my hands.
“All you have to say is yes. Will you marry me? Will you let me show you how bright our future can be?”
I looked down at the bag, at what it represented. “Bianca – if I say no – will you take Miranda from me?” I don’t think she expected to hear my question.
“Nn-no. I... I wouldn’t do that. I had Uncle Jack draw up new guardianship papers two months ago. If – I – I won’t take her away.” She stood up and started walking away.
“Bianca... wait!” I went to her – “Come with me.” I took her back into the living room where everyone waited.
“Bianca honey, are you all right?”
“I’m fine Mom – I’m sorry everyone...”
“Bianca is sorry because I didn’t say yes.”
“Oh Sweetheart...” Erica started to move forward.
“I didn’t say yes, yet. I need to do two things first. Erica, Jackson, may I have Bianca’s hand in marriage?”
“Of course you can Lena, you have our blessings.”
“Welcome officially to the family Lena.”
“Thank you – Miranda, will you give us your blessings?”
“Yes Matka! Yes.”
Everyone congratulated us. Soon Judge Baldwin, an old friend of Jacks’ called us together to perform the ceremony.
“Usually this is where I would start by saying, “Dearly Beloved.” But I spoke with Ms. Montgomery earlier and she explained to me that she wanted to say something to Ms. Kundera – so, Ms. Montgomery.”
“Thank you, your honor. We all know Lena – her past – my past and how we’re linked together, but there’s something you don’t know. I told Lena it’s taken us sixteen years to get to this place, this moment and I want to say this: “This is our future...”
My heart skipped a beat as the past came rushing to greet me as Bianca held the ring in her fingers.
“This ring is the promise we’re making each other.” She slipped the ring on my finger and as she finished speaking I realized something. “I promise you Lena, we’re going to have a future together and it starts right now.”
She’d kept her promise.
|A. M. Glass||All My Children||Main Index|