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Remembering Inara Chapter 2- A Mother's Final Request
Sunday, July 5, 2015

“Participate? You make this sound like a gorram picnic. You may be having trouble understanding why I'm not in a hurry to do this. What I'm having trouble understanding is why everyone is in such a hurry to be done mournin'. I'm not ready.” --Malcolm Reynolds


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“Of all the Huh choo-shung tza-jiao duh tzang-huo.”

“Lower your voice sir.” Zoe says.

“My own daughter,” Mal exclaims looking towards the entry to Inara's shuttle.

“It has been over a year sir.” She points out. “It would be nice if you would make an effort to participate.”

“Participate? You make this sound like a gorram picnic. You may be having trouble understanding why I'm not in a hurry to do this. What I'm having trouble understanding is why everyone is in such a hurry to be done mournin'. I'm not ready.”

“I know sir but your children are. They need to be able to laugh again. According to the traditions of Inara's religion as well as that of your children there is a predetermined period of mourning along with a time to end that period of mourning. The time is now.”

Jayne peeks underneath the bed. “No. No Imala here. Where else can I look?” He says.

Imala's giggles can be heard across the room.

“I know, behind the bed curtains.” He looks behind each of the curtains, “Nope, no Imala there.”

Imala giggles again.

“Inara if you're not gonna help the least you can do is stop distractin' me. Where next?” Jayne asks. “Imala's a little girl maybe she's hidin' in your shoes,” he says making his way to the open closet.

“No I'm not.” Imala says. “Uncle Jayne. I'm right here!”

Jayne closes the door looking in Imala's direction.

“There you are Imala. Where you been hidin' little girl?”

“Sir, I've known you for a long time. This brooding, melancholy was gone a little while, Inara helped make that go away but now that she's gone its become a way of life for you. Your kids need to be something else. They need to do something else.”

“Inara's gone, without her I don't know how to do anything else.”

“They can't keep doing this. You can't keep doing this sir. It's time to move forward just a little bit.”

“I don't feel like I can, not today Zoe.”

Zoe sighs, looking away from Mal for a moment. She looks back at him, “Do you remember the day Inara died sir?”

“I've been remembering the day she died every day for the last year.”

“Do you remember how each and every one of us met with her privately?”

“We all said our good-byes.” Mal confirms.

“Some of us not only said good-bye. Some of us were left with instructions.” Zoe says.

“Inara told me she asked you, Kaylee, and Simon to help with the kids.”

“There's more to it than that. She also left your daughter with her own set of instructions. Lots of 'em. Inara told Imala that during the mourning period she needed to take her place. Remind her brothers about taking care of themselves, when to go to bed, and brush their teeth. She was to call for Kaylee, Simon, or I if she had any troubles with the boys. Mal, haven't you wondered why your daughter has been wearing gowns like her mother's all year? Why she hasn't spent any time playing with the other kids? Why she stopped wearing her hair in pigtails?”

“Isn't it just some phase? Imala losing Inara and all.” Mal responds.

“Mal, Imala's pigtails are gone because Inara knew how you would react to her death so for the first year she made Imala the parent.”

Mal's face hardens.

“Inara also promised Imala that when the Year of Mourning had passed her job would be over. Imala could go back to being a little girl again.”

Mal's face goes from anger to sadness, his eyes threatening to tear up, for a moment. But only a moment. Serenity's captain lets loose a string of profanities in Chinese. Looking at Zoe he asks, “How could you let Inara do that?”

“We didn't know about it until after Inara had died. Imala showed us a letter Inara had written. It was about a week later, we landed on Persephone. You and Jayne had gone for supplies.”

“Why didn't you tell me?” Mal asks.

“In the letter, Inara asked that we not say anything to you. Imala insisted that we do everything we could to honor her mother's final request.”

Mal releases another string of curses.

“Exactly. Imala is every bit as stubborn as you are. I'm not telling you this now to upset you sir. I wanted to make sure you understood why ending this period of mourning is so important.”

“Thank you.”

The door to Inara's shuttle opens.

“Can we get this over with?” Jayne asks.

Mal nods quietly.

COMMENTS

Monday, July 6, 2015 12:20 PM

BUCKSHOTPILOT


This was great! Thanks


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