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Bitter Winds

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Destiny loved Ramona. She didn’t talk about it, not with anyone - though she’s certain her grandma knew maybe even before she introduced them that Christmas. And she hardy ever thought about it. What would be the point, right?

But it was a fact of her universe. There have only ever been three people Destiny would face hell for, Lily, her grandmother and Ramona.

Which was why taking that deal was like tearing out her own heart and crushing it between the perfectly manicured nails on which she’d spent 200 dollars. But motherhood is a mental illness and no price is too high, for Lily she would lose Ramona every time.

And after… after, she tries to forget.

And when that doesn’t work she tries to make herself hate Ramona so that she can for moments at a time stop hating herself for selling out the family she’d found with her and Mercedes and Annabelle.

That works better but doesn’t really change all that much.

At the end of the day even colored by time and bitterness and common sense Ramona Vega is still the whirlwind who pulled Destiny into her orbit and set her on fire with a glance across that gods’ forsaken strip club.

Not that she doesn’t move on. No, Destiny is a survivor above all else, the first thing she does is claw her way back into financial security, even if it’s not anywhere close to what she had during the height of their arrogant folly.

And Ramona stays locked in her past with all the best and the worst memories in her life.

But facts of the universe don’t change and when the journalist knocks on her door looking for her own payday, the past crashes right back into Destiny’s finally nearly orderly, perfectly legal and utterly boring life.

Ramona’s name gets mentioned three times during the first minute of the interview. ‘How very typical’ an acerbic voice bites out in the secret confines of Destiny’s mind.

She smiles coolly at the journalist and gives her the story she’s looking for, if not quite all of the story that’s there.

And after she’s done - and her guest has been thrown out of her house after one question slips a knife too close to a vital organ - she goes back to her nearly orderly life.

Or tries.

But it starts nagging again. That question she never really let herself think about. Never spoke aloud and never let Ramona anywhere close enough to getting a hint of.

Destiny had loved Ramona like something out of a tragic Greek epic. But had Ramona?

The not knowing hadn’t really burned when she was still in the middle of that life where it hadn’t mattered. But now? Now it’s an itch she could scratch bloody.

So she calls the journalist and expects the bitter relief of a long overdue nail in that long buried coffin.

But when has Destiny’s expectations ever really panned out? She does get an answer, and somehow it hurts worse than being told that Ramona didn’t give one fuck about her.

It’s hope that kills. She learned that lesson decades ago waiting for her mother to come back. She’d thought she knew better by now.

She stares at the number she’s never erased despite her better sense, closes her eyes and jumps back into the deadly winds she though she’d left behind forever.