For part one, click HERE. For Part two, click HERE
But on the other side, was a sweet girl... "Angel, Baby, Kitten", everyone called her- Dakota's "opposite".
Twenty-seven year old Nadia Kozlowski was the type whose past... fighting through school to survive bullying, severe allergies, deaths of beloved family members, losses, and a rape at 16 that left her bruised and battered-was the type of past that should possibly have made her bitter. But she learned, through holding on, through keeping only the true friends, and from continuing her fight, through studying, and using her struggles to help others, to help herself.
Now she had the gentle, but tough Mikey Cooper.. who held her during nightmares, and didn't care about past mistakes. Because it was the future he cared about. After a bad marriage, multiple abuses, and time spent hiding herself and a scarred body, she'd run into him at what she thought was a bad time. But he chased her carefully. When she tiptoed back, he chose to dance around her carefully, letting her lead. He helped her. When the old burn scars hurt, and she shrank from a gentle, probing touch, he held her, and let her cry. He taught her, "Don't think, Just Feel", and slowly taught her to let go, let someone care for her as she'd cared for others. A few months ago, a friend of hers reached the terminal stage of HIV. She had stayed with him, while his boyfriend ran out, holding him as he struggled, curling up tight as he slept an exhausted sleep. And Mikey, despite the whys and "are you sures" he received, understood, only forcing her home to eat, shower and change and to hold him a while. Tonight, Nadia grieved, and he spooned her, cradled her, while she spoke... how she and Greg had met, how he'd been a help and a brother, and how it hurt, to see someone so full of life, dying, so slowly and painfully.
Tonight, Greg waited for a major process, and in a few days, they'd lay him to rest.
Finally, Nadia could cry no more. Her body shook, and Mikey pulled her against him, gently turning her so she could bury her head in his chest. He held her, a hand in her golden hair, the other rubbing her back gently, Through the thin little dress she wore, he felt the sweat of her labors, and knew the wear and tear it had taken on all of her. With determination, she slipped a narrow leg in between both of his, and lifted her head and body for a full-on kiss.
"I'm alive", she finally said.
"Yes, you certainly are," Mikey told her breathlessly.
* Note: This all started with a somewhat gloomy scene I envisioned during a little game where people offered 5 words at a time. I popped in something on sodium vapor lamps, and something clicked. And I went from there. All similarities to real people, living or dead, are purely coincidental.