Chapter One: The Martescu Home
In the centre of the room, a woman sat alone, slowly sifting through pieces of paper. It was impossible for her to keep the tears from her blue eyes...it had never been like this at first.
There had never been raised voices...they had understood one another.
Mary Martescu had married her husband Elliot when she had been in her twenties, and for the past nineteen years they had maintained their marriage vows, each one of them sticking resolutely to the promises they had made one another at the altar. But bit by bit it had become more and more difficult to play pretend...and Mary was sensitive enough to know when things were wrong.
They were wrong now.
She paused in her sorting, a frown crossing her face.
Though he had never said as much to her, Mary was sure that Elliot had never approved of her choice in career. For several years she had been the synth player and songwriter for a successful rock and roll band, The Misfits, and music was so completely a part of her that she could never imagine being without it for long.
Elliot, on the other hand, was a successful businessman with significant influence in the immense Gabor empire. It had been his connection with Harvey Gabor's business ventures that had led the two to meet, for Harvey's daughter Phyllis had been lead singer in Mary's group. Elliot had never had much time for Phyllis, either.
To begin with their lack of things in common had not been a problem. Their marriage had been blessed early on with twin girls, Sylvina and Anna, and Mary had adopted the role of mother with a natural sense of maternal joy. They had kept her busy, which, if she was honest had been a good thing, for she had been uprooted to Washington DC, the source of Elliot's business not long after the birth of the girls, and she had not found it easy to settle into the social circles of the business elite. Always shy and retiring, Mary had taken comfort in the welcome refuge of her demanding daughters.
There was also another reason, however, that she had been glad of their monopoly on her attention. Her departure from Los Angeles and her hopes for the future had been tarnished by a row with the girl who had come to be almost a sister to her during the course of the band's years together - Roxanne Pelligrini. Tough talking and blunt, Roxy had disliked Elliot and his influence over her friend from the start, and the row had escalated to such bitter and violent proportions that Roxy had not even come to see her friend leave.
It had been three years before the girls had spoken again...before Mary had braved Roxy's ready temper by writing to her to announce that she was expecting a third child. Roxy, it seemed, had had as much regret over the argument as her former bandmate, for she had responded to the letter in her own clumsy hand, and though she had not expressed any sense of apology, the letter had comforted Mary when she had read it. Roxy's writing had never been good, for she was a dylsexic who had struggled most of her life with reading and writing, and she knew the effort that had gone into such a personal gesture. Reassured, she had invited Roxy to Washington, and there Roxy had gone...
Little had Mary known that the events which would follow would eventually erode her marriage to the situation it was today, to the state where they could not even be in the same room without a cross or reproachful word.
She glanced down at the pile of documents, picking up a photograph and brushing the dust from it. A sad smile touched her face.
"My family." She murmured. "What of it now?"
She was still in close contact with Roxy. Since they had made up their quarrel, Roxy had come to consider the house in Washington her second home, and paid them frequent visits. Elliot did not like, but had not contested these events, despite Roxy's ongoing feeling of hostility towards him. But Roxy's involvement in the Martescu family, and her protective, streetwise instinct towards Mary when her friend was in trouble had made the musician realise that there was something wrong.
It had been Roxy, who normally shied away from shows of affection, that had comforted her, albeit clumsily over the stillbirth of her son. It had been Roxy who had come to the rescue when Sylvina had gotten it into her head to run away, and it had been Roxy that she had found herself confiding in more and more over her fears for her marriage.
Elliot, she was beginning to realise, had never seemed to understand that she had needed him to be there. And that was the root of the problem. Always jetting off on business, he had not realised that his sensitive wife needed someone to listen from time to time.
Of course, she had put a brave face on it. She loved him, and she was sure he still loved her. But they were at crossed purposes these days. If she was honest, since Sylvina's running away, things had become even more difficult. Mary had stood out against Elliot's desire to 'discipline' their daughter by sending her to college with her twin. Sylvina, she had argued, was not an academic and would have been miserable in such a situation. The eldest Martescu child had always had the yen to perform in her blood, and eighteen months earlier she had travelled across America to Los Angeles in order to achieve her dream of a recording contract. She had had her mother's full support, and the further encouragement of her 'aunt' Roxy, who, despite her hatred of kids had always been fond of Sylvina. Elliot had given in grudgingly, but it had been the cause of many a row since Sylvina had left home. Mary had held firm, however, that Sylvina should be allowed to pursue her own dreams, and pursue them she had. She was successful in her own right these days, playing synth and singing for a band named Jewel who were based out in California, and Mary was more proud of her than she had ever been. With Anna happily studying her beloved music in college and Sylva settled in her chosen profession, she and Elliot should have been content with their lot.
Only it hadn't been like that at all.
While the girls had been there, the cracks in the relationship had not been apparent. Now they were gone, there was no preventing the tensions that were beginning to arise. Mary resented Elliot's constant absenses. Elliot disliked Mary's 'indulgence' where Sylvina was concerned. Things were getting worse.
"Something has to be done." She mused, setting the picture back on the pile and lifting the sheets of paper, putting them into her box and locking it firmly. The pile had contained all of the letters he had ever wrote her, when they had been separated before they had gotten married, the birth certificates of the girls, and various other pieces of paraphernalia, including the poem she had written for her son after his death. Elliot hadn't understood that either, the need to hang on to every memory and every inch of the baby that she possibly could. He had told her to 'get over it', to 'let it go'...but then he had never understood how imaginitive she was deep down, and she had long since let him see how hurt it had made her.
It had not helped that she had suffered badly with both illness and depression around the time of the birth. It had been an emergency cesaerian which had saved her life, but it had not protected her from the emotions afterwards. She had not known how to cope to begin with, and Elliot's guiding hand, though there, had not always been as strong and as unwavering as she had wanted. In the end it had been her girls and her writing that had brought her out of the wilderness and back into the real world, but it was a time that she would never forget, and it had left it's scars.
An uncertain voice came from the doorway and Mary turned to see Anna in the doorway. Home from college for the weekend, Anna had been caught in the middle of the latest argument between her two beloved parents.
"Dad said to tell you he was going to the office, and wouldn't be back till late." Anna came to sit down beside her mother. "Mom, are you okay? You...you look like you're going to cry."
"I don't know how I am, Anna." Mary sighed. "I feel...strange inside. I hoped neither of you girls would ever see us row."
"This...has happened before?" Anna looked startled.
"Once or twice." She agreed vaguely. "Oh, I didn't want to worry you, Annie." As Anna's expression became stricken. "No doubt we'll work it through. It's just one of those things."
Carefully Anna sat down beside her mother, glancing at the box.
"What's that?" She asked, curious.
"Just some old bits and pieces. Letters, mostly." Mary smiled slightly. "I was reliving a few memories, that's all. Like the first time I got to hold you and Sylvie." She sighed. "You know what?"
"I wish I had you both here right now. You've always been my biggest comfort."
Anna put her arm around her mother's shoulders.
"Well, you got me." She said softly. "And I know Sylvie would come home if you wanted her, Mom."
"I can't do that." Mary shook her head. "Your sister is a working girl and she has a career which I can't mess up for her. Just like I can't mess up your college schedule for you. You're growing up and I'm proud of you both...just sometimes I get lonely for you, that's all."
"I think Sylvie said in her last letter that Jewel had an East coast tour planned for soon." Anna observed. "I don't know for sure, but they'd come to DC, surely?"
"I expect so." Mary nodded. "I'm looking forward to seeing her." She sighed. "I wish I knew what was going to happen with this, Annie. It's all so confusing, and I don't want to bog you down in it all, but I don't know who I can talk to. Your Aunt Roxy is a great friend and on my side but I know she feels awkward if I get emotional on her, and I think with this I will...I love your father so much."
"I know he loves you too, Mom. He loves all of us." Anna said soothingly. "He's just stressed and so are you. People fight all the time...you should see the people I live with first thing in the morning! It'll sort itself out."
Mary was silent for a moment.
"I hope so." She agreed. "It's tough, Annie, when you love someone but you don't know where things are going."
She sighed. "But enough of that. I need some space from it...shall we go out and get coffee?"
"Sure." Anna nodded, smiling, but her eyes were still clouded from her mother's words. Sensitive as Mary herself, and intelligent too, the younger twin had understood the implications of the situation, and she was worried.
"I wish Sylvie was here too." She mused to herself. "I don't like this..."
Chapter One: The Martescu Home
Chapter Two: Anna's News
Chapter Three: Jetta Discovers
Chapter Four: Marianne
Chapter Five: Nancy Speaks Out
Chapter Six: Elliot
Chapter Seven: Another Row
Chapter Eight: Sylva's Solution
Chapter Nine: Decisions
Chapter Ten: The Show
DISCLAIMER: PLEASE NOTE
Copper, Nancy, Sylva, Anna, Blade, Raesha, Sirena, Topaz, Aaron, Sophie, Justin, Elliot, Rosita, Luis and any other characters in this fiction which do not appear in the animated Jem series are copyrighted to me (E.A Woolley) as of January 2002 <unless otherwise specified> and are not to be reproduced without permission ANYWHERE. Jetta, Pizzazz, Stormer, Roxy, Raya and all other original Jem characters are the copyright of Hasbro Inc, Sunbow, Christy Marx and the other writers of the Jem series. The future world of Pizzazz, Raya, Jetta, Roxy, Stormer, Clash, Synergy, the fate of Jem and her memorial are all copyrighted to me. The future world of Kimber and Shana is copyrighted jointly to myself and Gemma Dawn.
The concept of 'Jewel' is entirely my own, and any apparent link with any fictional or actual person or persons of this name is entirely coincidental. Equally the characters in this fiction are not based on any real life individual.
The concept behind the future world of Danse, Aja and Craig, the idea behind Jerrica's futureworld and the split of the Holograms is copyrighted to Gemma Dawn, whose Teenangel Outsiders fiction is directly twinned with Just a Dream. The character Sammi and any of the other Teenangel Outsider characters mentioned in this fiction are entirely copyright to Gemma Dawn and appear here only with her permission.
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