Another bonus! I love you all! Also, please check out my new story, called Thorne College Prepatory (writing is so addicting, you really can't stop haha). Read. Devour. Enjoy.
A/N: gadje is an offensive term that means, 'outsider'. Italicized words are either Romani or suppose to be said in Romani (I couldn't find some of the translations).
May stepped off the bus in the middle of times square and took in a deep breath.
Welcome home, she heard the whispers of the Romani people lurking throughout the city echo. They looked normal, manning the various stands and stores, but in truth, there was a deeper network of gypsies that occupied the major cities of America.
She strode over to the hot dog stand.
"Sastimos," she muttered as she handed him a five dollar bill. He gave her a hot dog and a napkin that had name and an item.
"Zhan le Devlesa tai sastimasa," he muttered back.
She nodded and walked away.
The job was quite simple, from her suitcase she pulled out the nicest suit she had and a recorder. She put glasses on her face. Chameleon, they secretly called her behind her back. Marielle the chameleon. It was the main reasons why Uncle Simone wanted to keep her close. She could blend in anywhere she wanted to.
So it was so easy to blend in with the press that was covering the story of Congressman's affair and follow his wife. With the many reporters and cameras it was just stupid to steal her pearls right then and there. Yet, when the wife entered her hired limo services she touched her neck which was now bare. She turned and looked at the press who were left stranded at the side-walk. No one noticed the Romani girl walking away from the scene tucking the pearls between her breasts.
Well, that bastard gave it to me anyway, the wife thought and completely forgot about the 4,000 dollar pearls the next day.
"Uncle Simone, you don't look a day over sixty," May greeted the old man. Uncle Simone's magazine stand was located on one of the busiest intersections of New York. It was there where the Romani family from all over the world met with the head of the family. It was perhaps a cover up, but even those closest to Uncle Simone could only guess where he really kept his stash of goods.
"Besh! Sit!" he commanded. May complied just as Elijah came out from the storage carrying boxes of magazines for the next day.
"Elijah," she nodded to her fiancé. Elijah nodded slightly and turned to quietly stack the magazines.
May wasted no time and slid Uncle Simone the book Uncle Tom's Cabin, "Have you ever read this Uncle Simone?"
Uncle Simone took the book and opened it, snuggled in the small square space cut out from the pages were the pearls. He closed the book, satisfied and lit a cigar. Uncle Simone then smiled; but nothing about Simone was certain, sometimes a smile meant anger, "Marielle, why you haven't come to see me or your fiancé is beyond me."
"I'm busy uncle, I'm learning the ways of the west all for the sake of our family," she rolled her eyes, "I will continue to do so until I am chained to you forever."
"Marielle," the old man said in a warning tone, "Just because I am going blind doesn't mean I cannot hear the disrespect in your tone. Tell me, what has this school done to make you so rude to your Uncle? Is filial piety suddenly obsolete?"
She flinched, as did Elijah in the back, but he didn't pause putting away the magazines, "Not at all Uncle, I am just tired from the long flight. I also brought this."
She placed an envelope in front of him, "For you."
He opened it, glanced at the contents and then threw at Elijah who caught it, "Money, for your honeymoon."
May bit her lip.
"Go help Elijah set up stock for tomorrow, we'll talk later," he pushed himself off the bench, taking the book, and then headed up to the apartment to his wife.
"How are you Eli?" she grabbed a box and opened it, revealing magazines for the next week, she too began working on the shelves. May was always required to come home during the summer. She would stay in the guest bedroom of Uncle Simone and help run the magazine stand with Elijah. Elijah and her were always close, their age only being two years apart. When May's mother sold her to Uncle Simone for status, Elijah had become her companion. He was the only who called her May in the family. She was the only one who called him Eli.
"Surviving, how was school?" Elijah was just as handsome as his father was in his youth. The only difference was that he had inherited his mother's eyes, hazel. Uncle Simone had blue eyes.
"I love it," May closed her eyes and remembered the events that happened over the past year, "I got a little sister, her name is Kiara..." She told Eli all the stories, the dangers that had happened during her second year. Her travels to the many places that the Academy sent her, the adventures, the new friends.
After she finished Eli muttered, "She is not your real sister."
"I cannot wait to go back," she ignored him.
"You cannot wait to get away form here you mean," he grumbled.
"Silence," she hissed in Romani, "You are only bitter. It is only your fault that you are trapped here working for Uncle Simone and wasting your life away."
"He is my father," Elijah said, in a low urgent voice, "His control over me is stronger than any of you. Familiya. Family is what makes the Romani strong."
"Sa e manušikane strukture bijandžona tromane thaj jekhutne ko digniteti thaj capipa," May murmured, All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights, "It is in the Declaration of Human Rights, something even Uncle Simone respects."
"Oh yeah? Von si baxtarde em barvale gndaja thaj godžaja thaj trubun jekh avereja te kherjakeren ko vodži pralipaja, is what immediately follows it, the reason why he respects it" Elijah countered, They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood, "Brotherhood, pralipe, is what ties us together."
"You're just making excuses because you are a coward," May spit on the floor, "Live in your illusions of brotherhood forever."
The moment she said that, she instantly regretted it. Eli was no more the victim than she was, "I'm sorry," she said in Romani and stepped closer to him. She kissed both of his eyelids once and then on the lips. She whispered with her lips pressed to his, " Put your arms around me. Uncle Simone is watching us from the window."
He did and they stood in each other's embrace for a while.
"We are going have a little party for you," Uncle Simone announced at supper the next day, "An abiav."
"Why?" May asked, not hearing the second part clearly, "My homecoming is nothing new." He remained silent for her to figure it out herself. They meant a true abiav, a wedding party. May dropped her spoon and quickly left the table.
His wife tsked, "Too soon."
"Bedàko," troublesome, Uncle Simone muttered under his breath, "You know why it needs to be now. We cannot keep letting her go to that school without something that will tie her to us. She is too free-spirited and too valuable to let go. She will soon forget her Romani."
Elijah sat and glared at the table.
"Stupid boy," Uncle Simone barked at his son, "Go get your wife!"
Elijah angrily stood up from the table and stomped upstairs to the guest bedroom where May was staying and slammed the door, "Have you gone crazy?"
"No," she said already hastily packing, "I'm leaving. I don't belong here."
"You are crazy. Do you know what this means? My father will brand you as an outsider, cast out from the family! Bipachivalì! Gadje! Gazhì!" he uttered a few curse words after that.
"I know Eli, gadje, outsider, you don't need to say it multiple times," she threw her socks and stuff inside another bag, "I am finally ready to face the consequences."
He collapsed on her chair, "Why?" Elijah croaked, "Why would you suddenly do this?"
May didn't respond for a while, "I don't know. All I know is that this frustration has been building up my whole life."
"Is it a boy? You...You would becaome a gadje just for a raklò?!" Elijah whispered jealously, for the walls were paper-thin.
May stopped packing and sighed and spoke in clear English, "It's not that. I'm tired Eli. I'm tired of this life. I don't want to live in this prison anymore. I've been taught that there is a better life! More to this cage!" she gestured to the room that had held her for the last fourteen years, and sighed, "Maybe I'm not a Romani, maybe I am an outsider."
Eli seemed floored, "What are you talking about?"
"They say I'm only half you know? My mother, she was...well, my father could have been a gadje. Everyone knows it, everyone is thinking it. This is perhaps for the best." She turned to reach into the wardrobe and pull out some of her things, Eli stood up abruptly and slammed the door, blocking it.
He stared at the floor, searching for his words.
"Why now?" he said quietly, "You were going to marry me last year. Why did you change your mind?"
He was right. He was completely right. No one knew her better than Eli.
"I've learned..." May closed her eyes, recalling the past events of last year that had changed her so much, so many deaths, "...Not to wait for my happiness Eli. We don't have enough time to wait. I don't know what will happen, but I know that the Academy will do everything they can to protect me from Uncle Simone."
Eli's arm dropped, he stepped away from the wardrobe and leaned back against the wall. He too closed his eyes, tears were beginning to line his lashes. His shoulders sagged, it was a sign of defeat. A man in defeat. A gypsy who has lost. May had imagined this moment so many times in her head. She thought she was ready for it. But...Leaving wasn't suppose to feel this painful. Leaving Eli wasn't suppose to feel this painful. May dropped her things and ran to him; placing both hands on either side of his face, she kissed the tears away from both of his eyes. He opened them to look at her.
"Such beautiful eyes," May murmured, staring straight into the hazel eyes scattered with golden flecks. They were the only things that didn't belong to Uncle Simone.
They then kissed, a real kiss. Filled with every emotion they could muster up. No one pressuring them, no one watching. A kiss for them alone. Within it, were the fourteen years of friendship, brotherhood and love between Marielle and Elijah. Neither chose to live the Romani way, they were born into it. For a long time, it was the only way they knew.
"You won't stay," he choked when they finally broke apart.
"I won't Eli. I love you, I have always loved you. But I will not stay and marry you if it means that I have to stay bound to this family."
"I know," he murmured and kissed her forehead, "I know I have to let you go."
They stood there in silence for a while, but at one point, they both sensed that the time was right. May had to go, or else the opportunity would be lost.
"Stay with me?" he gave one last try, already knowing it was futile.
"Come with me?" she begged back.
He tore his eyes away from her, "Someone needs to distract him so you can leave...Here," he gave back the envelope that she had delivered before, "Use this. He will know that you are heading back. Take the route furthest away from that place first. I hope that this Academy is as powerful as you say it is."
"I trust that my friends and family will protect me," she touched his cheek. He grabbed her hand and kissed it. They stood toe to toe, their foreheads leaned to touch as they held hands for the very last time.
"When you are finally strong enough to leave, find me," May choked as she bit back tears, "Send me a message."
Elijah wordlessly let go of one hand to use it and trace her face, preserving it in his memory forever, he leaned in and brushed his lips across hers, he whispered for the last time:
"I will find you."
At Grand Central Station, May bought her ticket to the furthest place she could think of. There she would meet one of the former students of the Academy who would hopefully help her get past Uncle Simone and back to the school.
Back at the magazine shop, Uncle Simone sat still as his son told him the news. He sat there for a moment before standing abruptly and striking Elijah to the ground. He spoke a thousand tongues and curses and slammed his fist through a mirror, he cursed, "Te pochinen penge lazhav!"
May sighed and scanned the Station for a particular person.
There across from her. There was no mistake.
She crossed the terminal to the person sitting and selling maps of Manhattan. She took the envelope out of her pocket and handed it to the person and said, "When Uncle Simone asks, you will tell him that I am heading West."
The person nodded, as May walked away she heard the gypsy say, "Farewell, gadje."
For some reason, it made her smile.
I actually really liked writing this one, I researched about the Romani culture, but I'm sorry if I messed things up! I did my best! Haha. Thank you for reading the Academy! Please check out my new story as well!