Maria sat by herself on a curb, just outside of the arena where a Raw house show was that night, all by herself and out of the fans view. Her purse was by her side, and in her lap was a Gucci shoebox, which contained every single letter he had ever writin to her when he was bored because that's what he did. When he wasn't paying attention to the surroundings that were around him, he thought about her and wrote down what he was thinking about. Past memories, future plans for the two of them, or maybe just a thought that had just crossed his mind. And while she cherrished every letter he had ever given her, the one that she held in her hand ment the most, and it was the first one she wanted to get rid of.
A brush of wind hit her back, making her shiver just slightly as she remebered she forgot her coat in the locker room, a stupid mistake for this November weather, she thought to herself, bringing her knees up to her chest. She rested her chin on her knee, and continued to stare down at the letter he had writin her eighteen months ago.
I love you
The Gucci box now beside her, she traced the G with her fingernail as she contemplated what to do with the rest of the notes she had kept. The letters were in order of when she had received them, starting from earliest to most recent, an entire two years of love notes. An entire two years of thoughts and memories were inside the box, and she didn't want a thing to do with them.
"Hey, this is my spot." Maria turned her head to the side, blushing when she saw Carlito sit down beside her. "How'd you know I'd be here?" he asked jokingly, moving his head so it was on an angle and he could look her in the eye.
She shrugged her shoulders and let a sigh escape her pouty lips, "I didn't" she admitted. "I just needed..."
"A place to think?" The blonde grew jealous of him when he didn't budge at the next gust of wind, seeing how he was dressed for the weather and even had mitts on. "It's a rare spot, isn't? Silence?"
Nodding her head, Maria agreed. "Yeah..."
"New shoes?" He nodded his head towards the box, making her hide it behind her.
"No. Just...stuff." Carlito bunched his eyebrows in confusion, wondering why the care-free, happy-go-lucky Maria was being so distant and hard. He was so used to seeing her with one of the other girls, usually being the one cracking the joke and laughing the loudest. When she wasn't with her group, she was usually with her boyfriend, sitting comfortably in his lap and in his arms, giggling at the whispers that he would lay upon her ear. She'd caress his face with her hand and cup his chin, giving him light kisses and not caring about the world around them. But seeing her alone is what struck him the most; being alone, sad, and heartbroken wasn't what Maria was known for.
When she found him staring at her, she blinked her eyes and hugged her knees closer to her, keeping the note in her hand. "I'd like to be alone right now," she requested, her voice the softest it could go.
Carlito gave a smirk as he moved closer to her, "no you don't."
Raising her eyebrows, Maria returned the smirk, but raised it with a sigh. "I don't know why I said that," she admitted. "Like, here I am, right? By myself before the show with a shoebox full of stupid letters...I don't know what to do..." she shifted over when she saw him move closer and reached for the letter that was in her hand, but crumpled it before he could see what it said. "It's personal," she whispered.
He nodded his head and stayed in place while he listened to the interview ramble on about her thoughts, about how she didn't know what she was going to do when she saw him next, or what she'd do when she saw Candice, the girl that was her supposed best friend. He never left a break up note, she just found a photo of Candice and him, both smiling and looking very much in love on top of her suitcase where he would normally leave his notes.
When the first free tear ran down her cheek and wasn't wiped away, Carlito stretched out his arm and gently placed it on her shoulders, allowing her to cuddle close to him and let all the tears escape. She didn't sob or shake, but she cried silently in the arms of a man she never bothered to say hi to...and she found comfort.
While Carlito placed his chin on top of her head and gazed off into space, he could hear her mumble about her imperfections. "I should've known," she sniffled, moving so he could hear her better. "I should've known, that with all these women around he wouldn't have stayed faithful." He watched as she opened her mouth to say something, even managed to get the first syllaball out but closed it before the full sentence to come out.
"You can ask," he told her, "I won't tell anybody."
Maria moved off of the curb and onto the dirty street, not caring about the grim that would get on the back of her jeans as she positioned herself with her back to him and between his legs. She took Carlito's arms and made him place them around her waist while she settled her hands on top of his mitts and leaned back against his chest. "He used to hold me like this," she said, closing her eyes. "And...and he'd whisper things..."
"Like what?" he asked softly, enjoying her company.
"Like plans...and jokes. And stories, he always had a story. You were in some of them." She turned her head to look up at him and gave a smile, "you're a trouble maker."
Carlito let a chuckle out and brought her closer when she shivered from the wind. "I'm not all bad," he told her. "He just never told you about the nice things I do."
"Do you do this with the other Diva's when they break up with their boyfriends?" She moved her head again, moving it so she wasn't looking up at him but straight ahead, able to see the top of buildings and some of the city outline.
"Nope. They don't know this is my spot." From how her stomach moved against their hands, he could tell she giggled, that cute giggle he was so used to seeing but never able to hear for himself. While she was one of the loudest in the locker room as a whole, he wasn't surprised about this quiet side to her...the quiet side that he had a feeling not a lot of people knew about.
When the silence upon them began to become less comforting because of the fans arriving, Maria stood up and dusted off her jeans, silently cursing when the wind direction changed so it was in her face. "Thanks," she politely said, helping Carlito stand up and played with a curl with her fingers. "I needed that."
He returned the smile she was giving him before he moved closer to her, wrapping his arms around the smaller blonde and embracing her with a hug. He could tell she was more relaxed now, not as tense as she was when he first found her out in the chilling weather. When her breath brushed past his neck, he pulled back and looked down, raising his eyebrows in concern. "I'm sorry, can you repeat that?" he asked, his hands staying on her arms.
"I was just asking if you knew about Candice and...Candice and John," she stuttered. "The picture..." she bent down to her shoe box and opened it, revealing what was inside. And at the very top of all the letters was the picture that was left on her bag. "Did you know about this?"
Carlito held the picture in his hand, looking at the happy couple and sighed. "Yeah." He nodded his head as he gave back the picture, closing his eyes briefly so he wouldn't have to see the hurt expression on her face and not seeing she didn't grab hold of it, but let it drift to the ground. "I've known about them for a while."
"How long?" Maria brought the hood up around her head and drew the strings as tight as they could get, covering her mouth and cheeks.
"Four months?" he guessed. "Cena and Candice... they weren't much of a secret..." his mitted hand reached out and brushed a tear away from her cheek with his thumb, cupping her clothed chin in his hand. "Anytime you need anything, I'll be here," he promised. "Right here in this very spot. Our spot, OK? Before the shows, I'm always here. If you need a ride, just ask. I'll be there for you, Maria." He loosend the strings around her face, just in time to see her smile appear, "I'll be there for as long as you need me."
She nodded her head in agreement, sucking her bottom lip into her mouth. "Thanks."
He reached out and held her hand before he left and asked, "do you need me for anything else?"
When she shook her head no, he dropped her hand gently and turned, leaving the Diva on her own. Maria watched as his figure grew smaller and smaller, his figure off in the distance and disapeared when he entered the back door.
All by herself, she bent down to pick up the Gucci shoe box she once cherrished so much and held it in her hands, staring back at every single letter he had ever given her. The serious ones, the funny ones, the bored ones, and the loved ones...so many emotions he wrote out just for her to see, and now they didn't mean a thing.
The one she held in her hand, where he wrote out and told her for the first time those three simple words, they glared back at her in his messy-left hand hand writing. The words now ment nothing, and she crumpled up the piece of paper in anger, screaming out her frustration.
When she let the ball of paper go out of her hand, she watched as it bounced off the ground and landed just a few inches in front of her. The writing was still clear, and the piece of paper still existed...crumpling it wasn't enough.
Picking it up and putting it in her pocket, she also grabbed her purse and walked over to the garbage can, setting the shoe box on top. Now the letters were in the garbage...but they still existed to her. Scrunching her hair up as she scratched the back of her head, she dug through her purse with her free hand on the ground, kneeling to find what she wanted. Taking out her keys, lip gloss, a deck of cards, some pocket change and hand sanitizer, Maria was ready to give up until she felt the familar square shape she was looking for.
Holding it in her hand, the book of matches seemed so right at the moment. If there was anyway to get rid of the letters, this would be it.
Taking a match out, she struck it on the side and watched the little flame appear, then watched as it went away just as quickly from the wind. Letting out a puff of air, she tried again with the next match and quickly tossed it into the garbage can. The shoe box was on fire for a total of three seconds before it went out, again from the wind.
"Maria? What the hell are you doing, it's freezing out here!" Mickie James walked up and stood beside her, rubbing her hands together for warmth. "The show is starting in less than an hour and you don't even have your makeup done."
"I have some things to take care of," she answered with a shrug, lighting another match and setting it to the shoebox. With a smile, Mickie took the book of matches out of Maria's hand, lit a match of her own by striking it against the heel of her boot, and placed it next to the box. The two Diva's watched as the entire garbage can quickly caught ablaze and the fire grew to a decent size, warming them up.
Casually, Mickie wrapped her arm around her friends waist and held her while she placed her head on her shoulder. "I was wondering what you were going to do with that," Mickie admitted with a laugh. "But we really need to get going...before Vince finds out we're damaging garbage cans..."
"Like a couple hundred dollars is going to hurt him," Maria joked. "You go back, I'll be there in a few minutes." When Mickie turned and left on her own, the single Maria reached into her pocket and un-crumpled the final letter, staring at it one last time.
I love you.
Shaking her head, she set the remaining letter on top of the flame and watched as the flare quickly crippled and disolved it. She watched as the corners curled and turned into ashes, the words that once ment the world to her now didn't even exist. Every letter that she had kept were now gone and were nothing but a distant memory of the last two years that she had spent with him.
The picture blew over and laid by her feet, the one of Candice and John together with his arm so tightly around her, and her fake, collagene lips in a smile. With her fingers at the middle of the picture, she spit at Candice's fake grin and ripped the picture in half, simply adding it to the fire before she walked away.
With her hands in the front pocket of her hoodie and her hood down, Maria quietly laughed to herself as she entered the building, joining the other Diva's in the locker room.