Pacing nervously, Levi anxiously looks at the clock for about the hundredth time. 'It's been a half an hour, why the fuck is this taking so long?' He takes a deep breath.
'Alright, you need to calm the fuck down. You can handle this, Levi.' He glances at the clock again. 'What could this woman possibly have that belonged to mom?'
He swings around with a flash of panic when the knock on his door finally arrives. 'You can handle this Levi.' With sweaty palms and the sound of his own heart booming in his ears, he opens the door.
The woman walks in wrestling with the box, and sets it on the nearest table; turning to look at him. The moments pass with agonizing slowness as they size each other up, and the silent tension between them builds. Inquisitive, friendly blue eyes meet his own.
"Can I ask how you came about this?" He asks hesitantly.
"My mother." Her voice is soft and melodious, and sends a ripple of nostalgia through his heart. Curious about this, but admittedly more so regarding the box, he dismisses this for the moment.
"And it came to your mother how?" "She was Kuchel's friend. She would visit occasionally, although you were a more constant visitor. I do remember you, vaguely."
A slight blush tinges her cheeks at this admission, and he feels that ripple again; stronger this time. It's almost painful, and he has to grip the chair next to him momentarily.
"How did they know each other?" "My mom owned a vegetable stand. She gave you food when there was left overs at the end of the day. Is the interrogation over yet?"
He can feel it, some vague recognition, just below the surface of memory. Ignoring it for now, he asks his next question. "So why did she send you instead?"
"She died years ago." They stare in silence at each other for a long time before he turns towards the box. "My sympathies." He says absently, opening the box.
Trinkets, odds and ends, mom's tea set; he places them all gently on the table. Halfway through the box, he finds some portraits and begins to go through them slowly.
The first sends a jolt of pain through his heart. It's his mother. She's sitting at a window looking out, her hands folded in her lap.
"Who drew these?" He asks, glancing at her. "My mom."
Saying nothing more, he picks up the next picture. Two infants, one blonde and one raven haired are asleep in a crib. The raven haired infant has his arm draped protectively over the blonde and his mouth is open; a little sliver of drool leaking out the corner.
Looking over his shoulder, she laughs. It's a surprisingly big sound coming out of this diminutive lady, and much to his annoyance; he finds it rather endearing.
'Why are you still here?' he thinks, wanting to be alone with these memories, yet hoping deep down she stays.
"That's you, drool-face." He rolls his eyes. "I assume you are the one I'm about to drool on?" "Yeah, that's me."
He grabs another picture. Him and mom. He's got a death grip on her nose and is squealing with laughter.
Another one slightly older and again, sleeping. Again, protecting the little girl in his sleep. Well, at least he's not drooling.
"Tch. How many pictures of us cuddling did your mother deem necessary to draw?" She laughs heartily at this. "Do you realize this makes me the first girl you ever slept with?"
He jumps, startled at the bold joke and rolls his eyes. 'ONLY girl I ever slept with.' he thinks to himself.
"Well that makes me your first, too. Go brag about it why don't you?" He says absently, looking at another picture. In it he's holding her hand and pulling her along to an unknown destination. The stuffed horse she's carrying is dragging in the mud.
"Yeah right, if anyone knew I had a connection to you, I'd be a mark for sure. The underground isn't a big fan of soldiers if you recall. Just be happy you're at least SOMEONE'S dirty secret, Captain."
"Just Levi, please." He mutters, lost in thought. He's silent for a long time, staring at the table and lost in thought. 'Why did she bring this to me, and why did she bring it now? Can I trust her? It's strange, but I feel like I can. I can't let her go back to that shit hole.....'
'God, why do I even care?' He looks up at her suddenly, eyes blazing. "You're not going back."