by Coco // madampresident
pairing Sister Aloysius/Sister James
disclaimer I don't own Doubt or any of the characters herein. No infringement intended. At all :)
summary I want you to know that I wouldn't go until I told you, honey, why I love you so. // Louis Armstrong.
The radio was on as she busied herself setting the table for lunch. She hummed happily with the catchy tunes and beautiful notes of the instruments. She did a spin and bumped into the chair as the song ended. She laughed as she righted the chair.
She heard the voice call out, "I'm in the dining room, Rosa." She answered it.
The bobbed red hair of her best friend and neighbor entered the dining room. "There you are," Rosa grinned, "I have to tell you the good news."
"Oh?" She thought Rosa's smile was the most beautiful thing she'd ever seen.
Rosa wiggled her fingers at her and beamed, "Tommy proposed to me and I said yes!"
"Rosa, that's wonderful!" She hugged her friend and held her tight, feeling Rosa's fingers splaying over her back. She sighed and drew in a deep breath. She pulled back and looked into Rosa's deep brown eyes.
She cupped Rosa's cheeks and Rosa smiled.
She breathed out, "I'm so happy for you."
Rosa slowly kissed her cheek and she sucked in a shaky breath. Her eyes fluttered shut as she pressed her lips to Rosa's. She felt Rosa's arms wrap around her waist and pull her close until they were pressed tightly together, close enough to feel each other's full teenaged figures. Rosa returned the kiss with fervor, their embrace becoming more urgent and passionate.
Rosa pushed her back against the wall and she moaned against her friend's mouth, clutching at her with desperation.
"Aloysius Evelyn Parker!" Her mother gasped from the doorway.
Her head snapped to look at her horrified mother and her approaching father. Her head snapped back to Rosa. "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry." Rosa whispered as she fled the house.
The memories were vivid but she felt so far removed from them. It was as if it was a scene from a movie she'd watched many times until she'd memorized the words. It wasn't a movie.
She had to keep reminding herself. She wished she didn't remember at all.
Her mother broke down into tears and her father raised his hand to her and hit Aloysius hard across the face. She dropped to her knees and clutched her cheek. She looked down to avoid looking directly into her father's anger.
She could still hear her mother crying. It rang in her ears and narrated her dreams.
"You have the devil in you." Her father snarled as he grabbed her by the hair and pulled her to her feet. She cried out but didn't say anything.
"Don't hurt her, William!" Her mother yelled as he dragged her through the living room. She scrambled desperately to keep up with him, to keep him from pulling her hair too hard or knocking her off balance again and dragging her across the carpet. She stumbled against the couch and yelped.
Her mother ran up to them and balled her hands into fists and slammed them into his chest. "Don't hurt her, William!" Her mother yelled.
Her father swung the backdoor open and shoved her through the doorway. She reached out for the railing but missed and fell down the three wooden steps to the grassy backyard. Big angry bruises were already beginning to appear on her knees and shins.
Her chest heaved and she willed herself not to cry. She stared down at the grass, trying to count the blades instead of looking back up at her father, whose own breathing was shallow and irregular. "Do you have anything to say for yourself?" He shouted.
She squeezed her eyes tightly shut and spoke softly to the grass.
"I said do you have anything to say for yourself?!" He repeated, more loudly and more angrily, as he descended the steps towards her.
"No!" She shrieked, her own fury rising within her. The bile in her throat stung as she spat the word at her father, her brow furrowed in irritation, her stare indignant as she locked eyes with the man from whom she'd inherited her icy blue pools.
Their eyes remained locked on one another for a few long moments, her father having not expected the back talk. He drew back his foot and it collided solidly with her abdomen.
She sputtered and coughed, falling back into the grass, squeezing her eyes shut, trying to block out the world. Her hands flew to clutch desperately at her ailing stomach. She felt tears welling up behind her eyelids, she wanted to lash out and scream but she didn't dare.
"You can sleep out here," her father's voice was quiet and close, he had leaned down towards her and was speaking to her so closely that she could feel his breath on her temple with each aspirated syllable, "until you have something to say."
She didn't open her eyes again until she heard the footsteps retreat and the screen door swinging shut.
She could still hear Frank Sinatra's crooning voice through the open window: I want you to know I wouldn't go until I told you, honey, why I love you so, if I could be with you one hour tonight.
If I could be with you one hour tonight...
One hour tonight...
The words started to fade away into her unconscious as her consciousness started to fade away.
December 26, 1964 found Sister Aloysius Beauvier behind her desk, a single white earbud buried in her left ear and the tiny transistor radio tucked into the pocket of her habit.
She scribbled down the outline of a syllabus for the class that [NUN WHO CAN'T SEE] had been teaching up until Sister Aloysius could no longer deny that her vision loss was detrimental to her ability to educate the enrolled children. Sister Aloysius would have to personally teach the class until an acceptable replacement could be found.
Aloysius's syllabus went all the way to mid-June. She was well-prepared for the search to be on until the next school year started. Aloysius was a very thorough woman and the integrity of her school was of the utmost importance to her. If she had to teach the class herself and conduct interviews every weekend it was a sacrifice she was willing to make.
Truth be told, she would have done anything to take her mind off of Father Flynn and his promotion.
The female anchor with the "average" American mid-western accent droned on as Aloysius's black fountain pen glided over the third page on her yellow-paged legal pad. She would have kept right on with her business had the newscast not ended and a long silence followed.
She set the pen down and looked up, wondering if the newscast would begin again or if she should try to find a different station. She reached into her habit and turned the dial on the radio and it fell on an oldies station.
Her fingers froze as she heard the familiar lines: if I could be with you one hour tonight. "One hour tonight..." she murmured and allowed herself to think of Rosa.
"Pardon me?" Sister James had walked silently up to the desk.
Aloysius jumped and laid a hand over her heart, her other hand pulling the earbud out of her ear. "Sister James!" She cried scathingly.
Sister James looked worried.
"Sit down." Aloysius waved dismissively to the chair on the other side of her desk. Her heartbeat was returning to normal, but at a glacial pace. She felt as though she'd been caught.
Sister James sank down into the seat. She watched as Aloysius continued to write. "Is... this a bad time?"
"No." Aloysius said tersely, not looking up.
"Because I could come back later."
Aloysius rolled her eyes, heaved a heavy aggrieved sigh and set her pen down. "What can I do for you, Sister James?"
"Well, my brother sent me a little money for Christmas. I didn't go home because I had just been there. Well, I thought that I might have lunch and it's more money than I could spend on myself. I was hoping that you would join me."
Aloysius opened her mouth to answer and stopped. Her first thought was vow of poverty, the next was that she preferred to spend the Christmas season alone. But she closed her mouth and gave a curt nod. "Alright."
Sister James looked puzzled and surprised.
"Unless you were just asking to be polite and thought I would say no."
Sister James shook her head and smiled, "I did expect you to say no, I had a whole speech prepared to convince you to come with me."
Aloysius bit the inside of her lip to avoid smiling at the younger woman.
Sister James stood and moved to the coat rack in the corner, "shall I get your coat?"
"Thank you." Aloysius said, standing. She tucked the radio away into the desk. She accepted her coat from Sister James and allowed her to lead the way out of the office.