Laughing Away Tears


AUTHOR: Ritaann
EMAIL: er_aussie @hotmail.com
CATEGORY: Susan Lewis
RATING: G for everyone.
SPOILERS: none
ARCHIVE: Sure, just e-mail me first, ok?
DISCLAIMER: Susan Lewis and any of the other characters mentioned do not belong to me and I am making no profit from this story.
AUTHOR'S NOTES: BASED ON CHALLENGE POSTED AT YAHOO! CLUBS- ER FANFICTION FORUM
SUMMARY: Someone is heading home. Thoughts, tears and laughter all shared on this one journey.



I flipped open my purse and stared at the tiny picture of little Suzie that had been taken just last week. I smiled as I remembered how she had tried all soughtís of poses before choosing this one. And then how she did an extra cheeky smile for the last shot.

"Just for you Aunt Susan, just for you!"

She yelled as she once more leaned forward with a smile that took over her entire face and ended up on the shiny photographic paper.

But thingís werenít always that way. Sigh. I closed my purse and tucked it away safely into my brown leather handbag that sat between me and my duffel bag which was filled with enough clothes and supplies that I would need until the rest of my things arrived in Chicago tomorrow.

Yes, thatís right. Chicago. I was heading home. Many co-workers had told me time and time again,

"It wonít be the same, Susan."

or

"You canít go back. Forwards is the way to go."

However, she barely knew them.

Even in the four and a half years that she had gotten to know them, she had never found anyone she liked. Boyfriends never lasted for more than two months and had came and gone. Phoenix was nice. Warm, never really cold and that was one of the things that she missed most. Strange. I used to complain a tonne about the terrible drifts in Chicago.

The weather wasnít the only thing that I missed, though.

Mark. Her best friend Mark. Boy did she miss him heaps. Every day for the first year I would contemplate picking up the phone and dialing the long distance number. But her fingers just wouldnít work, they clamed up until she put the receiver down. Eventually I stopped. It would come up, every now and then. Soon months would pass by with out thinking me about it.

Sure I remembered the kiss- even enjoyed it a little. But it was hurried - rushed. Barely anything more than a peck on the lips. No. She didnít love him. Not like that. As a friend, yes. I had thought about it for hours in the night and after a while I realized that he just wasnít the one for me.

"There are other men out there, Susan. Your not that old yet." I reminded myself. "There was Carter........" but immediately erased that thought and went back to thinking about Chloe, Little Suzie and Joe.

Joe. He was a nice bloke, even if I didnít think so at first. It took me a while- four years to be exact- for me to realize that they didnít need me. They were doing well on their own and that all I was really doing was looking after Suzie as if I was part time babysitter and I didnít want that. Besides, my parents had seemed to accept them now, as one of the family again and that was good. What they wanted. I wanted a child of my own and someone that I loved. As it was pretty obvious that I wasnít going to find that in Phoenix I decided to move. Move home. Back to where I came from, where I grew up.

Glancing out the window, I noticed that this was the part in my journey, when I was on my way to Phoenix that I had begun to cry. The tree and the hand-made swing ridiculously standing beside the tracks was all that did it for me. Huge tears streamed down my face as I sobbed big sobs and blew my nose hard on my hankie. I cried for all things that I had lost, for things that I had left behind and then I thought of Little Suzie and it stopped. I ran out of tears. I was dry.

But this time I wasnít sad. I was happy. Leaving Little Suzie behind would be hard but I could so it. She didnít need me and I didnít need her like I did before- when I needed a reminder as to why I had moved away from everything that I had known. I cried. Large, wet, salty tears that raced down my cheeks, hiccups that I hadnít had for a while returned as I laughed away my tears. Big gulps of air resulted in air bubbles that let off huge funny sounding hiccups. Then I was glad that there was no-no-one but me in my carriage.

And I laughed. I was going home. Home to my best friends, back to sitting in a booth in Docís, a disgusting plate of greasy food in front of me and friends and co-works all around. Chatting and laughing at worthless jokes.

And I laughed.

I was going home.

~*~*~*~*~

So what did you think? Ok, pretty good, could be better? This was a one day job just a pick-up before I got stuck into Charlotte and Once Twice Three Times again. A little something to get the Ďjuices flowingí.




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