Heated Possessions

Fallon: It's gotta be here somewhere, but I don't see it.

My eyes shift to her before returning to the small collection of items. They're all things that used to be Mom's. A painting, a jewelry box, a couple dresses, and a case full of makeup. We've looked over and through everything. The woman who called her said there'd be a key, but so far we don't see crap. Is this person just playing with us? They'd better hope not.

Fiona: This is everything we have from her...Not much is it?

My words hang in the air. It's a tough realization to swallow. This is all we have to remember her by. Just a few pieces of personal property. Fallon shakes her head slightly, but doesn't respond to me. We've been staring at this stuff for 20 minutes now. What if we never had what held the key? What if there is no key? Are we just wasting our time? My frustration motivates my body to tense up.

Fiona: We're running out of options Fal.

No response.

Fiona: Fal?

Still no response. I grit my teeth and glare in her direction. We don't have time for this. I pull out and unfold my knife till I hear it click into place. She says something, but I don't listen. I hate to do this, especially if our caller is just lying to us, but we've gotta know. I slash the knife down through Mom's painting. Fallon's screams immediately fill my ears.

Fallon: FIONA! NO!

Sorry Fal. This has to be done. She screams some more, but she's so upset I can't even understand her. I look around inside the painting, but find nothing. Great. That was pointless. Now I've destroyed the painting and alienated my sister by destroying one of the few things of our mother's that we have. My heart sinks into my stomach before flooding with guilt. Fallon's body shakes next to me. Well, we're already upset, and we've already come this far...I grab the jewelry box. I raise it up to smash it on the floor, but before I manage to try, a hard fist slams into my cheek sending me to the floor in a heap. I've been blindsided. I shake the cobwebs out and look up to see my sister staring down at me. Her face, though covered in streams of tears, is almost frightening. I've never seen such anger in Fallon's face. I don't like it.

Fallon: How could you?

She pauses for a moment as her voice cracks. She swallows in attempt to regain enough composure to talk. I look over and see her fist shaking. By the way she's postured I can tell she wants to hit me more. She's restraining now, but it wouldn't take much to send her over the edge.

Fallon: How could you do that Fiona? Doesn't any of this mean anything to you? That was hers!

Of course it means something to me. That's why I did this. D**n her! I want to lash out and yell back, but now...yeah, yeah I am.

Fiona: Shut up! You know what it means to me. Now back off!

I sit up long enough to greet her face with my fist. She staggers back a step.

Fiona: Now we're even.

I get back to my feet and pick up the jewelry box once more. She leaps forward and tackles me into the wall. My back slams against the solid surface, knocking the wind out of me. She makes sure it doesn't return quickly by punching me in the gut. I gasp, but no air comes. I always hated that sensation. I thrust my head forward and crack it against hers. She winces. I utilize the moment to push her back from me while continuing to gasp like a dying fish. Finally I'm rewarded with some air. Just in time for her to catch me in the face with an elbow. We trade a blows before taking each other to the floor. We roll away from each other, breathing heavily. The jewelry box lays between us...broken. We look at each other for a long moment. Our faces a mixture of expressions. Ones I don't fully have words for.

Fallon: You deserved that. You know that right?

I force a laugh through my teeth before moving to sit up.

Fiona: Yeah. I know.

She sits up as well. I'm about to say something else when I notice it. A piece of metal sticking out from the broken bottom of the jewelry box. The f*****g key! I snap up the box and pry it out. We stare at it in silence. It's not just a key to a safety deposit box. It may very well be the key to our salvation. I hand it to her slowly.

Fallon: Get your bag. We're going.

We clean ourselves up and grab a bag each before heading off to the airport. There are so many unanswered questions. So many things we need to know. I guess that's why I ruined some of Mom's things. I didn't want to. I just hate that we are moving so slowly to finding out everything. I feel sick for having done it, but the stuff had to be sacrificed. I know Fallon understands that. Still, if I'd been her, I woulda hit me too.