Chapter 15: How Can I Stand Here With You And Not Be Moved By You?
"Are you ready to go?"
It was the first day of school. Makayla was all dressed up in a new skirt and shirt she'd picked out the weekend before, and she was feeling good. The skirt was green and blue, like her eyes. She'd learned since that day at the park to not let what people said get her down. It was hard, but she was her mother's daughter and she'd inherited her strength.
"Yeah, Mom. I'm ready."
Stella smiled and walked out of the apartment and down to the Avalanche. However, she wasn't as confident as her daughter was. What if she got bullied because of her eyes? The lab had embraced the difference right away. In fact, Adam was the one who told her the name for her condition: heterochromia. But these kids were not the lab. They weren't people who had watched Makayla grow up. They didn't know what she was like. Kids were cruel and their words could hurt. Stella could still remember what the people had said from her days at St. Basil's.
"I think we'll take Britney instead"
Well, it wasn't always Britney. Sometimes, it was Monica. Sometimes it was Holly. But the name didn't matter. All Stella knew was that no one wanted her, the girl with the brown curls and the bright green eyes. The one who was a little too curious for her own good, at least that's what Sister Bernadette always told her. Everyone wanted the girls with the straight hair and the blue eyes and the ones who were quiet. Nobody wanted Stella.
"Nobody wants you Stella"
Of course, just thinking this wasn't hard enough. Oh no, Stella had to be told by the friends of the perfect little girls who had just been adopted instead of her that nobody loved her.
"You'll never be adopted Stella. Nobody wants an ugly little girl like you."
Their words would echo over and over in her head. They would continue throwing insults at the poor little girl.
That was all Stella could say. She'd say it over and over, but the girls would never stop. They'd just continue until she ran away with the tears falling from her eyes. Then they'd laugh about how they'd terrorized this young girl and made her feel so worthless.
Of course, as Stella grew older, others would tell her how beautiful she was and that they loved her, but she never truly believed anyone. At least, until she met Mac. There had been such a sincerity in his eyes when he'd told her that he loved her that she couldn't NOT believe him. Mac had taught her to let people into her heart, somewhere she'd always tried to hide away. Now that he was gone, she had started to close up again. The only person who could even remotely break through was her daughter.
Mac was holding up a sign that had a large number one on it. Everything was clear. He could go back to them. Today was the day he planned to do this. He looked down at his class list for what must have been the eighteenth time that morning and glanced down at the names.
Adams, Lynn...Barrett, Darren...Bonasera-Taylor, Makayla...
There she was. Third from the top. Her daughter. His daughter. Their daughter. The girl that he'd met in the park that day with the beautiful eyes. She was in his class. Mac knew that Stella would want to find her teacher and talk to him or her first. And in this case, she'd be talking to her lover, a man she's thought dead for years. He couldn't take not being with her anymore. He wanted to hold her close to him and never let go. He wanted to feel her lips against his. But mostly, he wanted his best friend back, and he wanted to tell her what he'd learned about her family. He wanted his Stella.
As the Avalanche drove up to the school, Stella and Makayla both saw the onslaught of kids on the schoolyard and were taken aback.
"Oh dear. Where do we start?"
Stella had no clue how this worked. She didn't know Makayla's teacher's name. She didn't know where to find them. Makayla, however, figured it out quicker than her mom did. She saw the row of numbers by the play structure and pointed them out to her mom.
"Mom, maybe I have to find the number one."
They were over by the six, they had a fair bit to go. Makayla and her mother walked slowly together along the row, dodging kids and parents, towards the number one. Finally it was in sight when Stella's phone went off.
Stella answered the phone.
Makayla looked up at her mom, knowing that she probably wouldn't be able to stay with her here much longer.
"A double?...Can't you get someone else?...They're all out...Even Hawkes...It's Makayla's first day...I see...Okay...I'll see you soon."
Stella closed the phone angrily and crouched down to her daughter's level.
"You have to go. I know. The city needs you."
Stella smiled at her daughter.
"Yes they do. But you know what? The city is going to have to wait until I drop off my daughter."
Makayla beamed as they two continued their way towards the number one.
Mac could see the two of them. His two curly haired girls. The ones he would protect with all his might, even though he didn't know Makayla yet. The two were so close to him. He wished he could run out and hug them both, but he couldn't. Not yet.
Makayla saw the number one and immediately took off. Stella called after her.
"Makayla! Makayla, wait for me!"
Makayla was running so fast, she accidentally bumped into a couple of girls standing and talking to each other.
"Oh, I'm sorry."
The two girls turned and stared at Makayla.
"What's with your eyes freak?"
"Eww...It's probably contagious. Get away from me."
One of the girls pushed her down and they both ran off to find their teachers. Makayla was stunned. It had been like the time at the park again, only this time, the man wasn't there to help her. She began to cry. Would she ever fit in? Suddenly, she heard a gruff, but reassuring voice beside her.
"Listen, your eyes are beautiful. You are beautiful. Don't let what those two said get you down. What happened to that girl at the park who proudly said 'I have heterochromia'?"
Makayla looked up and found the number one and the man holding it was the same man who had helped her at the park. She smiled, knowing she would be safe as long as this man was her teacher.
"You're my teacher."
It was more of a statement, rather than a question, but Mac still nodded yes.
"My name's -"
Stella had seen the girls push her daughter and run off. She'd also seen the man with the one go over and talk to her. However, it wasn't until she got closer that she realized just who he was.
Mac looked into Stella's disbelieving eyes and projected the truth into them. He was alive. He was right here. And he could come back. Stella just fell into Mac and he caught her with his arms. She fell into him crying. Makayla was very confused and Stella sensed this as she let go of Mac and turned to her daughter with tears in her eyes,
"Makayla, this is your father."
Makayla had known he'd looked exactly like the picture Stella kept on her night table. But she'd always been told her father had died before she was born. Now her mom was telling her that no, he was alive, and he was the man who had helped her out at the park? She was very confused still. This time Mac tried to help her.
"This isn't going to make sense at all right now, but I'll explain it to you. To the both of you."
The double homicide and teaching the first grade were all forgotten. Mac passed his class on to another teacher, and her boss, getting tired of waiting for Stella, was able to steal Hawkes and got him to work the case. They spent the day at home and Mac explained everything. The waiters, the cover up, everything. When he was done, he waited for Stella's reaction.
"Mac Taylor, that is probably the craziest story I've ever heard, but I am so happy that you're alive and here."
She pulled him into a giant hug and kissed him. He felt like he had never left. They began to deepen the kiss and Stella's toungue was brushing against Mac's lips when there was a knock on the door. They broke apart.
"I guess I have to go open the door."
Stella smiled and headed over to the door. When she opened it, she was surprised (although, not too surprised) to see Sheldon Hawkes in her doorway, and he didn't look happy.
"Stella Bonasera, you are not the kind of person to just not show up. What the hell was so important you couldn't come in to work?"
"Sheldon, come in and we can talk."
That seemed a little strange but Sheldon obliged. He walked in to see a face he thought he'd never see again.
"Yeah, it's me Hawkes."
Sheldon turned to Stella.
"I'm not in a dream am I?"
Stella shook her head.
"You had the same thought I had."
It wasn't either of THEM that was dreaming.
Mac woke up with a start. He looked beside him, and saw the sleeping figure of Stella Bonasera beside him. He began to shake her awake. She turned to him with a start.
"Was it all a dream?"
"What are you talking about?"
"Makayla, did I dream about her?"
"Who is Makayla?"
"Stella, do we have a daughter?"
"No...but I do have a confession to make. I'm late."
And with that, Mac kissed her on the lips.
Mac then soundly went back to sleep. Stella was confused, but she figured it would make more sense in the morning.
NP: So there it is. The end of the story. It took forever, I know and I'm really sorry. I hope you guys don't kill me for the ending. It was pretty evil I know. Anyway, please read and review :) Thank you.