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A/N: Oh yeah! The angst is back in all its glory baby!! All mistakes within are my own. And this is my first attempt at a songfic, so please don't laugh. Ahhh...who am I kidding? Like I would even know or care...unless you would be so kind as to leave a review.

At Times I Almost Dream


        In that moment her heart shattered into many fragments, each shard wedging itself into her soul, leaving her a scarred young lady. And one thought crossed her mind as the sweepers roughly held her back, 'I never got to say goodbye.'


        She was always surrounded by silence in the evenings. Once upon a time she had reveled in it, but now, it was deafening. With the silence came too many thoughts. And all she ever thought about caused her to shed tears - something she was certain she had no more of.

        She got up from her position on the couch and walked barefooted towards her stereo. The only sound offering a brief respite from the silence was the soft swish of the green silk pajamas she wore as the fabric slid against her skin. She fiddled with the knobs and settled on a station playing soft music.

        Turning about leisurely, she headed towards the kitchen and filled a wine-glass with some red wine. Sipping slowly, enjoying the rich taste of the wine, she made her way back to the couch and reclaimed her seat, tucking her legs comfortably beneath her.

        Soon, she got lost in the music, and closed her eyes. The lyrics of a particular song caught her attention.

                                                    Mamma you gave life to me
                                                    Turned a baby into a lady

        'Momma I really miss you,' she thought. 'When I was old enough to think for myself, I always thought we would have all the time in the world...that you would be able to see me grow up.'

                                                    And mamma all you had to offer
                                                    Was a promise of a lifetime of love

        'A promise you never had the chance to keep. You don't know how hopeful I was when I found that your coffin was empty. Of all the horrible things I ever found out at The Centre, this particular lie was probably the best thing that I ever learned about. Until I saw that DSA where that bastard shot you. He helped you survive long enough to give him Ethan and then he shot you. Now we'll never have that lifetime together.'

                                                    Now I know there is no other love like a mother's
                                                    Love for her child

'No one else could have ever loved me the way you did. Whenever we were together, I knew that I was the most important person to you...that I was the centre of your attention. And you were the centre of my world. And still are. I can still remember when you stopped brushing your hair that night I asked you to teach me to braid my hair. You always stopped what you were doing to hold me, to comfort me, to answer my questions. And you never got upset with me the way Daddy did. I can still feel the way you softly ran your fingers through my hair. At that moment I wished we could stay like that forever...just me and you...together. Foolish childish wish!'

                                                    I know that love so complete someday must leave
                                                    Must say goodbye

        'Why did it have to be so soon? The Centre took that away from us...from me. It ended too quickly.'

                                                    Goodbye's the saddest word I'll ever hear
                                                    Goodbye's the last time I will hold you near

        'I never even had the chance to do that. Never had the chance to tell you how much I love you. Never even had the chance to say goodbye. At times I almost dream that you're near me, hugging me and telling me that everything will be okay. And right on the threshold of wakefulness and sleep I swear I can see you laying next to me on your side and running your fingers through my hair.'

                                                    Someday you'll say that word and I will cry
                                                    It'll break my heart to hear you say goodbye

        'And again the Centre took that away from us. Not the tears or heartbreak. No...that is something they know to give in abundance,' she thought bitterly.

                                                    Mamma you gave love to me
                                                    Turned a young one into a woman

A sad smile tugged at the corners of her mouth. 'I did have your love. You were only given time enough to see me turn into a young lady, not a woman. Maybe if you were still around, then I wouldn't have turned into such a cold-hearted bitch. But it was what Daddy had wanted. And I wanted to please him so much...just to feel a fraction of the affection you gave to me. But I never got it. "Emotions get in the way of being a Parker!" he had said. I never received from him what you so willingly gave me...your love. And that was all I ever wanted.'

                                                    And mamma all I ever needed
                                                    Was a guarantee of you loving me

        'And I had that guarantee. I remember that night when there was a big thunderstorm complete with lightning and rain. Daddy wasn't home that night...he was rarely at home. Always had some important thing to take care of at The Centre. And in the middle of the night when I couldn't stand the howling of the wind and the bright flashes of light that cast those frightening shadows on my bedroom wall, I rushed into your room and jumped on the bed. You woke up immediately and asked me if I was alright. You saw how scared I was that night and you got up and put on the light. You wrapped us up in your blanket and just held me close to you. And you sang to me. I never felt safer than at that moment. I knew you would always love me.'

                                                    'Cause I know there is no other love like a mother's
                                                    Love for her child

        'I don't think there was ever any other mother who could have loved her child more than you. When Daddy had missed my piano recital I was heartbroken. But you were there. You were always with me during the most difficult times of my young life. How you managed to find all the pieces of my heart that night and put them all back in place still...beyond me. I still have that silver ring you gave me that evening. I wear it everyday. I remember you holding my face in your hands and looking steadily in my eyes. You told me that as long as I wore that ring, I would always be close to matter what happened. And anytime I felt afraid, or lonely or un-loved I was to look at it and remember that I always had your love.'

                                                    And it hurts so that something so strong someday'll be gone
                                                    Must say goodbye

        'I've never found a love as strong or as deep as yours Momma. Never. And I've looked everywhere. There were those constant flings throughout my life...until I met Tommy. But even his love couldn't compare to what I felt when I was with you. And you want to know something else Momma? It hurts! It really hurts that I'll never feel that type of love again.'

                                                    But the love you give will always live
                                                    You'll always be there every time I fall

        She fingered her ring. 'In a weird way, though, it's as if you're still with me...through every crushing moment. Every time Daddy yelled at me because I cried for you after you died, I just had to look at that ring and somehow everything was right again. All those trying times: seeing a part of myself in Debbie; seeing Angelo sad, scared and lost because he was Timmy, yet he wasn't; finding a clone of Jarod; finding Tommy dead on my doorstep; finding out who Tommy's killer was; helping that lolly-pop-sucking-fake-ass-Brit Brigitte give birth to baby Parker. Though at times the distance seemed endless, you were never that far away from me.'

                                                    You take my weakness and you make me strong
                                                    And I will always love you till forever comes

        'You told me it was alright to be afraid...that being afraid was what made us human. We had taken a trip to the zoo, just you and me. I was so excited. Which six-year-old wouldn't have been? That was one of the happiest days of my life...until we went to see the tigers. They growled so ferociously at me. I was so terrified that I dropped my ice-cream cone and hid my face against your legs. They had the biggest, sharpest teeth I had ever seen. You took me away from there and sat with me on a bench near the parakeets. You told me that being scared was normal. It happened to everyone. What we had to do was take our weaknesses and turn them into strengths. And I did. It's ironic that I turned into what I feared as a little girl. If you asked everyone who knows me, they would probably tell you that I'm like a tiger. Beautiful and strong, yet intimidating and dangerous. You can only admire from afar, but never too close. And sharp claws and teeth? I have those too. I could even make the Grim Reaper cower and cry. I learned another thing that day too. I learned that no matter what, I would love you...just the way you loved me. And I know you would still love me today...just the way I am: bitter.'

                                                    And when you need me
                                                    I'll be there for you always

        'I wanted to Momma. Especially when you were battered and beaten that night. When I saw your face peek out from behind that closed door, I wanted to hurt whoever did that to you. I wanted to tear at that person's body and hurt them as much as, if not more, than they hurt you. But I couldn't. I couldn't! I wasn't there for you when you needed it most. But you were still there for me when you said everything was okay. Even in all your pain you tried to comfort me, to be there for me. But I wasn't! And I hate myself for that.'

                                                    I'll be there your whole life through
                                                    I'll be there through the lonely days

        'And I'll never get the chance to make up for not being there for you. We were robbed of the opportunity to be with each other until we were both grey. You prevented my childhood days from being lonely. How can I ever repay that? How?'

                                                    I'll be there this I promise you mamma
                                                    I'll be your beacon through the darkest night

        'I would have been if The bloody Centre didn't take that from us too. Sooner or later, I would have realised how miserable you were with 'Daddy'. I would have found out about you and Ben and I would have helped you get together with him. And we could have moved away from The Centre and disappeared from their radars. We would have been able to live a life somewhat resembling normal. You would have been happy, so happy. That was all I ever wanted for you. And we would have been together, safe and happy. That was all that mattered.'

                                                    I'll be the wings that guide your broken flight
                                                    I'll be your shelter through the raging storm

        'I remember how we used to go and sit on the bluff just looking over the ocean at nights. It was always so peaceful and the stars were dazzling. How I long for that tranquility again. I was around ten when we were there one night, and got caught in a sudden storm. The wind started blowing fiercely, it began to drizzle and we got up to leave. I remember your foot got caught between two rocks and you fell. Luckily you were able to brace yourself with your hands before coming in contact with the ground. And I was just able to move the rock enough for you to pull your foot out. It was bruised and started to swell, so I helped you limp back to the car. We were lucky that it was your left foot that got caught and not your right. And it was a good thing you always kept pain-killers in your handbag. Otherwise, I had no idea how we were going to get home that night. But I was proud of myself that night too. For once I was the one taking care of you; I was the one able to help you with one of your problems...even if it was for such a brief moment.'

                                                    And I will love you till forever comes
                                                    Goodbye's the saddest word I'll ever hear

        She took another sip of her wine. 'Maybe it was better that I never heard you say goodbye. Though your death makes it no less painful. Nor does it remove the sadness I've felt and lived with for so long. Perhaps I'll never be able to say goodbye to you or let go of all the pain until I find a way to make that wheezing ghoul pay for what he did to us.'

                                                    Goodbye's the last time I will hold you near
                                                    Someday you'll say that word and I will cry

        A bitter smile tugged at her lips. 'The night before your faked death was the last time I held you close. We had just finished reading Little Women and I begged you to let me sleep in your bed that night. It was so late and I didn't want to leave the comfort of your room and trek through the hallway to my room. You turned the light off and we snuggled under the covers. I remember what it felt like just having you in my embrace. You felt so soft and warm. I buried my nose in your hair. I loved how you always smelled of vanilla and jasmine. That was the best scent in the world! And the next night, after I went home, I lay in your bed and cried. I hugged your pillow and just inhaled. It was that smell that quelled my sobs and carried me off to sleep.'

                                                    It'll break my heart to hear you say goodbye
                                                    Till we meet again until then goodbye

        'Maybe we will meet each other in heaven after I die. Who knows, with all the horrible things I've done I would probably end up in hell. I already work there. It's merely a stone's throw away from where I might end up after I die. Might not be that bad since I'm already accustomed to it,' she thought wryly. 'But how could I ever say goodbye to you Momma? How? My heart is already broken and we never said goodbye. We were ripped apart. And that rip is so huge that I just don't know how to mend it.' The last strains of the song died away and another soft melody began to play.

        "I'm always with you baby." Her eyes snapped open when she heard that familiar voice. It was the second time she ever clearly heard what her mother said. And she was grateful for having received one of her mother's most precious gifts.

        A tear slid down her cheek and dropped off, creating a small ripple in her wine. 'I'll love you forever Momma.' And again, the tears she felt she had no more of trickled silently down her face.


Disclaimer: I own nothing but the plot...not The Pretender or the song (Goodbye's the Saddest Word) sung by Celine Dion and written by R. J. Lange.

As I said before...feed the hungry. It's good for you. Just click the little lilac button or write me at Flames are more than is constructive criticism. Tell me anything you feel like. I won't hate you. To be honest, how else will I improve if I don't know what's wrong and how else will I write what's right?

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