No matter how hard she tried, He was having none of it. "Today you don't pay, it's the only way I know how to pay my respects, He'd have liked that". V took a deep, wavering breath, the tough girl facade gave way for an instant to the human beneath. Eyes working overtime to fight back the flood, she nodded. "Thanks Choom, he did like this spot." It was gonna be a tough day.
Ain’t nothin’ to it, but to do it, V thought as she steeled herself for the day she had been fearing for so long, one year to the day, how did it go so fast? At least last night’s embarrassment is behind me…
Her first stop was obvious, Only two people knew her pain and one was right round the corner…the sweet smell of incense drifted on the air…
First smile of the day. The memory of the first time they stocked up for a job surfaced. As clear as day she heard “You see this statue, this statue is a reminder” “Of what?” “Of everything!” He smiled with his eyes, that was one of the things V had loved the most. “It reminds us that there is something bigger than all of us, something we cannot understand, and it’s all around us…”.
Dakota had called to tip V off that some gonks were planning a drive by of Mama Wells’ during the next day’s events. This would not do, gonna need backup.
Solid, I knew these two were on the level. Never knew what hit ’em.’
“After the dust settled, Takemura bade a respectful farewell, leaving the two ladies to the evening. I’ve never seen you like this V”. Judy’s heart paced a little faster than usual. “Like what?”. “Well… uh, you know, you seem.. I dunno, a little more Human than normal perhaps?”
The silence of the night seemed a little too loud to V.
She thinks I’m a monster.
All good things… Is Vader aboard, she thought, Or am I just tripping? All V wanted to do was lie down, look at the stars and wait for the sunrise, time to find a spot.
Out of the darkness of sleep came a violent sound, humming, vibrating in the air. The hollow feeling inside from it being the anniversary it was left a calmness about V, Her response differed from usual. Clearing her throat, she uttered “Thanks, but I’m fine, no emergency here”. As she decided to move on, instead of pointing out that it would be a rare crash for someone to have put their bike on the stand afterward. Only doing his job she mused, it was time to start the day.
She didn’t even need to tell Claire what drink she wanted, Neither spoke a word as they raised their toast and stood in silence. Everyone left in the bar at this ungodly hour knew V and what day it was, so without any provocation, glasses in all corners were raised as The afterlife paid its respects. Staring at the glass, it occurred to V that she hadn’t even wanted a drink all day or night. Leaving in silence, she vowed that this was it. The corner had been turned. A shiver slipped slowly along the contours of her spine when, clear as day, she heard “You got this Chica!”…
To her surprise, the speech she gave about what day it was worked. Out of respect, the gonks let her through their territory without issue. Just for today, all biz was off. As a good will gesture, she sold one of her speeder bikes as a bargain price to one of the crew. Avoided a fight and made some Eddies, win-win.
Gonks in the rearview, V could swear she could feel Jackie smiling down on her, a warmth filled her chest with a light she thought could light up the world.
This was it, V could feel the eyes of passers-by burning into her, likely thinking she was a hobo or some other nonsense. Drawing air deep into her lungs she was too focussed to care, work came later, but this was harder than all the work in the world. Then the familiar voice rang out, “You gonna sit out there all day like a gonk or come raise a glass with me?” The flood she had held in for a year found their way into the world in an uncharacteristic display of emotion…