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 cause we're always waiting to kiss till the sun's down, @norah albright

513 words.
tag: norah.
song: The Hollow in Retrospect - Corey Kilgannon feat. Liza Anne
As awkward conversations go, this was probably one of the more awkward ones.


Awkward isn’t the right word. Try painful. Or uncomfortable. Or “I could probably go another six months in my current predicament to avoid having this conversation completely”. Only he had been telling himself that for years.

It’s never easy breaking apart a family. And perhaps the worst part was that despite his determination and promise to save Mackenzie from trauma during her second life, here he was… still inflicting it. But he couldn’t live his life this unhappy, either. And he couldn’t justify to himself holding all members of this little family hostage for the sake of a crafted image—or, for that matter, for the sake of what was.

He had loved Norah. He still did.

But was he in love with her anymore?

The problem with their current situation wasn’t a disagreement in ideals, or wall-shattering arguments happening on the regular. In fact, whether you were looking from within or without, everything seemed fine. Normal. They spent time together. They cooked meals, and cleaned house, and came and went in regards to their respective jobs, and they cared for Mackenzie in all the ways loving parents should. There was no fire seething beneath the surface; no spark about to catch. Their conversations were free from nagging or little snips. For all intents and purposes, the unacquainted might say they seemed rather perfect.

But they weren’t.

It was true: Vince and his wife had weathered catastrophes, big and small, and stayed together; had been disloyal, and yet learned how to forgive each other; had fought, and fought, and fought, and yet still made up. By all accounts, they ought to have been well over that hill the average relationship couldn’t weather, and heading into “let’s get old together” territory. Instead, the entire idea filled Vince with dread. On the one hand, Norah had been one of the first healthy relationships Vincent had ever had. On the other, well, Norah had been one of his first healthy relationships… and maybe that was the problem. Maybe Vincent had come into maturity with someone who had long-since matured… and post-transformation Vincent—he was a different person.

What he knew was this: things hadn’t felt right in a while… and he couldn’t tell if it was his alcoholism and resultant sobriety—with which came the recollection of just how truly shitty he had been—or the fact he had covered up a murder (justified, yes, but still) on her behalf… or any of the kidnappings, injuries, acts of violences either of them had committed?

Was it their choices regarding their daughter? Was it her death? Or her life?

Were they just fated to fuck it all up from the beginning?

No doubt Norah was already uneasy, given that Vince had sent her the dreaded, “we need to talk” text. But he didn’t know how else to get this ball rolling. And, well… they did need to talk. Because he couldn’t do this anymore.

He just didn’t have it in him.
If you are the Hollow, then I'll be an echoing sound
give in to that easy living
Norah was old. As in centuries. Plural. The early 1600s was a much different time from now, where women had rights, she could wear pants and vote, have a job, show her ankles without scandal. The world and everything within it had come a very long way, had progressed with a fairly decent speed. Granted, today was starting to remind Norah of how it had been in the early 1950s what with the current political climate but overall, she had blinked and hello 2018.

That said, Norah hadn't progressed at all, at least in terms of age. Of course she had matured, she had assimilated with the times, transitioning between each trend and fad and progression as it happened. She had worn the hoop skirts of the 1750s, the bustles of the 1880s, the flowing clothes of the 1960s, the bell bottoms of the 90s, the holey jeans of today. But she didn't age with the times. At almost 400 years old, Norah Albright could safely say she had experienced pretty much everything imaginable. Torture, heartbreak, evil, good, kindness, fear, terror, joy, love. So much love.

And that was a curse as much as it was a blessing. She had seen it all, and so she was used to it all. She had grown so used to change that she stopped embracing it. That she rolled with the punches. In doing so, she had forgotten how to live. How to be. In essence, she had lost herself.

And after so long...Expected was not the right word, but...assumed. Possible. She was not the first of her kind for that to happen to, nor would she be the last. She had remained strong for so long, rolling with the punches and taking the hits as they came, that it was bound for her to crack at some point. It had started with the entire situation with Erik. Well, possibly before that. It could have been anything that she and Vince and Mackenzie had dealt with. Deaths, affairs, murders even. Addictions or distrust.

Whatever the case may be, she wasn't completely surprised to get the "we need to talk" text from Vince.

Not to say it didn't elicit some fear in her unbeating heart, or that the guilt didn't weigh on her. She knew that it would not be a fun conversation but then, but then. What in their relationship had been fun lately? Their daughter and her independent, unique personality made life fun and interesting, but between Vince and Norah...Could she take full responsibility? Likely not. They both had their faults, their issues. They had both endured and done things and forgiven each other for it, but it still wears on a person regardless of their strength.

It wasn't as if Norah had not been in other relationships. Just like she had experienced different trends, she had had her fair share of experiences with men. Not in a provocative way nor had she been in love with every man she dated, but she understood the nuances of love and knew that, try as you might, some loves weren't permanent. She'd seen couples part after a century together, not out of hate but because their love had transitioned or, they had, and their love hadn't.

Could that be where she and Vince were? Maybe she had been clueless enough to miss the signs. It was more likely that she chose to stay blind. She loved Vince, and she loved their daughter with all her heart. But maybe it wasn't the kind of love he deserved.

She leaned over the kitchen sink, damp hands running through her hair before settling down over the sink, water off. Her fingers rotated her wedding ring as she looked around; she dreaded the conversation if not for herself and Vince, then for Kenzie, but she had faith that whatever the discussion was that they'd do what they hoped would be best for their girl.

She just had to wait for him to get home to figure out the damage that was about to happen if not to her family, then to her heart and Vince's.
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