Nothing made sense anymore.
Within a few months of Cole's promotion to Homicide, Marie had grown rather accustomed to seeing her husband's face splashed across the headlines.
It happened so many times that it was an unavoidable phenomenon.
Whenever she took the girls to the grocery store, no less than ten people would at least say hello, if not stop her outright to thank her for her husband's work.
She hadn't done a thing for the LAPD except press her husband's work-issued uniform.
Why were they thanking her? The knowing smiles, the little nods, the whispers of “oh, he's such a good cop and his family looks so wonderful”, none of it made any sense to Marie.
Cole was the one who risked his life, put in all the legwork, spent days on end sleeping in his car while tracking a suspect.
All the attention made her feel like some sort of odd celebrity. She apparently had status among the citizens of Los Angeles, simply for marrying the right man.
And deep down, in some corner of herself long buried by a mother who raised her properly, she liked it. She liked having the community validate the absence of her husband when he worked.
It made the days he'd spend gone and all the questions their girls asked worth it.
As long as he was doing the right thing, making his community safer, she couldn't complain about the long work hours. The girls missed their daddy, sure, but they understood. Work was important.
Work was keeping people safe. One day, if they worked hard, they could be important like daddy too.
Marie took it all in stride, promotion after promotion, night after night spent with an empty bed, and steadied the loneliness and worry with a happy little bubble of pride in her chest.
She knew Cole was making a difference. He was such a hard working man. A job short of back-breaking would have bored him to tears. He needed his job like the force seemed to need him.
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