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Outside perspective (kiddo, you better write this thing down)

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“You should go to bed, kiddo”, I hear him say. Neal is slouched on the chair trying to come up with a story for his creative writing assignment, and David is not helping.

Unlike him, my son tends to stay up all night.

Neal is scoffing now, and I feel empathic because boy, does he have pressure on. Henry said he wouldn’t help him, that if he wanted to be a writer, he would have to do it on his own way.

I think my kid is more likely to be a film director.

I tell David to go to sleep, I’ll deal with the kid.

A teenager.

Jesus, where’s Emma when I need her the most?

I mean, I know where my daughter is. I just wish the vacation trip hadn’t overlapped her little brother’s academic downfall (his words, not mine).

“What do you need? A prompt or something?”, I ask him. He looks at me, sniffs my ‘hot cocoa’, and smiles.

Soon he’ll be out of the house as well and I will feel empty. Or maybe not. I hope not.

I miss Emma, but she hasn’t needed me in years, and she has better things to do.

Better people to do.

I laugh about it: seventeen years ago (twenty if we count the pre-love era) I wouldn’t have laughed so much about my daughter being in love with someone like Regina (like Regina, though? No. There's no one like Regina. She’s one of a kind).

But fate has a funny way to solve things. Like my daughter’s loneliness.

“I said I would write a monologue, Carrie Bradshaw style. I just… can’t find anything appealing enough to tell my audience…”.

He’s all Regina in the way he talks sometimes, but it makes sense because, after all, she is his godmother, and his eternal babysitter.

I lean back on the chair, facing him. “Maybe you don’t have to write about the present”, I suggest. “Maybe you could try writing about something else”.

He looks at me for a moment, pondering my proposal.

“Maybe you could tell me about how Emma and Regina ended up together. I mean it’s their anniversary… They’re on vacation and won’t answer any question, but… I think it would be nice to have a queer, epic, legendary love story out there…”.

I laugh. Because of course —of course— he wants to write about Emma and Regina.

“Grab that laptop and start typing…”.

The curse is broken, and Cora’s dead.

I try to think of all the mistakes I’ve done as a mother, but I know nothing will ever beat the brutal murder of that woman, which is not a bad thing per se because she had it coming. But I still justify my cruelty to Cora with Emma.

That’s what makes me a bad mother. I killed Cora (how many times have I stabbed her?) because I wanted to. Not just because she tried to kill Emma, but for everything else. For murdering my mother. For turning Regina into a monster.

She had it coming for so long… but I shouldn’t use my daughter’s safety as a justification.

Because now she’s pulling away from me.

Is that what’s happening?

She seems to be friends with Regina now, and it’s so hard for me to grasp…

I should have put myself through another sleeping curse instead of letting Regina be the guinea pig of that experiment, because something happened in those dreams that neither she or Emma are telling me about, and it worries me.

I know Regina. Love starved, manipulative, manipulated as well, cruel, cold, calculated, sweet, affectionate…

Regina can be many things and she’s talking to Emma, and hanging out with her and Henry, and it worries me because Emma can be equally as Regina (equally love starved, and cruel, and sweet…).

But I try to calm myself by thinking that this could be good. Emma seems to be less messy ever since she’s been… friends… with Regina. She is learning how to cook exotic dishes and she’s trying to behave like a daughter to me and David, so this could be good.

I hope…

I hope it is.

At this point, I think it’s better if we all pretend we don’t know what’s going on.

Emma and Regina are having sex, but I’d rather pretend I have no idea about it. Emma seems to close off everytime either Neal or Hook come close, and Regina seems to soften everything Emma defends her. We’re all tired, we’re all worried, trying to find Henry…

It’s okay.

Emma is a grown up and I can’t police her sex life. She’s having sex with Regina, or at least making out with her, because Regina doesn’t wear open blouses like that and Emma washes her hands way too often.

But it’s fine.

Emma is discovering her sexuality and experimenting and Regina is like a trained puppy (a rottweiler, perhaps?), so it’s all good.

It’s not my place to…

I just hope Regina doesn’t break her heart

They’re on a relationship.

I know it, David knows it, Neal knows it, Henry knows it.

We all know it.

Neal has backed off and that Robin guy is sulking next to Hook because it’s obvious at this point that Regina will be soon my daughter in law.

But we won’t say anything, because Emma has commitment issues and Regina looks so in love (so utterly, desperately in love) that we don’t want Emma to get scared and leave Regina.

I actually root for them. Regina has proven this past year that she has changed, that she has the love her younger self had, the fierceness the Evil Queen had, and the serenity the Mayor had. Emma seems more adult that ever, so grounded and happy, and I want that for them.

So we won’t comment about it, but we know. Regina hugs Emma goodbye and Emma knows so much about Regina, and they have ‘sleepovers’.

They’re dating. They’re in love.

I wish I could capture this moment, seeing Regina decorate my apartment to celebrate Neal’s arrival to this world, lively chattering with Neal (the original). It was Neal for a boy or Regina for a girl because, after all, they are pivotal to Emma’s life, and this baby is more about Emma than it is about us.

Eventually it’s Neal, because he has been awfully supportive of their relationship, and he’s talking to Regina and Emma is not listening to whatever Granny is saying because her eyes are so focused on the woman that represents so much to me…

If I could, I would take a picture of how Emma looks at Regina and keep it just to prove to Emma that it’s okay, that she doesn’t have to say that she and Regina are friends.

But I have Neal in my arms, and it feels good to know that Emma is being taken care of by someone who loves so much that it breaks her heart.

I wasn’t expecting a big wedding, but I was expecting something a little more… big.

They’ve never said it explicitly, but Emma and Regina just confirmed their relationship by signing up some papers that certificate their marriage. Emma keeps insisting that it’s just to make sure that, in case something happened to either of them, Henry would be safe, but we all know.

Regina cooks for three now, and Emma has no clothes left in the apartment, and they actually kissed when that Elsa girl almost froze Emma.

They kissed when they thought we wouldn’t see it and it saddens me to think they feel they have to hide.

Well, maybe not anymore, but they used to. It’s been two years and we’ve all seen them fall in love, and we didn’t do anything to stop it because, somehow, we all knew they were meant to be.

Now Emma comes in one day and says that she ‘sort of… uh… married Regina’.

Whatever helps you sleep at night, sweetie. We have more pressing issues right now —like three villains trying to wreak havoc in out town—.

We fear for their relationship when we are in the Underworld, because Regina is so keen of finding Daniel, and Emma is on the verge of losing it.

Neal is supposed to be dead, but he kind of sacrificed himself to save Emma from Zelena (who targeted Emma in the first place just to hurt Regina), so Emma has to save him now.

It doesn’t mean the rest of us can’t get some ghost talk, right? I mean, Rumple has. David has. I have (I’m just so glad my father is stuck in here, but that’s a triggering conversation for another day…).

It only makes sense Regina gets some closure as well.

Emma is finally admitting that she’s in love with Regina, which is a as shocking as Zelena being the villain again, but we appreciate the honesty.

She’s also worried Regina might stay here forever with her long-lost dead boyfriend.

Honestly, I never thought lesbian could be so dramatic…

But I know she won’t, because Regina loved Daniel, but she is in love with Emma.

And that’s all that matters.

They adopt dogs and cats now, and Neal is seven, and Henry is soon coming back from her year abroad (and bringing us all something called ‘alfajores’, which apparently is a real treat), and it’s nice to know that this town is finally quiet and cozy.

Besides the regular villains, we are doing fine. Emma and Regina keep being happy and in love and David and I have a blast now (if you know what I mean) whenever they babysit Neal… which is often.

I’m happy for Emma, and also for Regina.

I can’t believe this is how the book ends. It’s a good story, and a good ending. An open ending, I guess.

I hope it stays open for a long, long time…

When Neal hopped into my car that evening, he was smiling. He was going to spend the weekend at Emma’s (thank God!), and he was openly smiling.

“I got an A+!”, he says, and does this silly little dance that David does whenever something works out for him the right way.

On our ride back home, we bump into Regina, who approaches the car, kisses Neal on the cheek, and reminds me that tomorrow we are going to get drunk (or as the politicians say, ‘we are going to discuss local events’).

I laugh and Neal tells her he’ll be there soon and it’s enough. It’s more than enough. Life is simple and nice and I love the way things have played out.