21 November 1986
“I never wanted this,” Henry said.
“You want me to think that matters?” Mary was leaning on a railing, looking out at the lights of the city as the sun went down. Henry had just arrived, stepping out of the shadows with his hands tucked into his jacket pockets.
“Why wouldn’t it?” he asked, stopping beside her.
“Because it didn’t change anything! It doesn’t matter whether or not you wanted me to leave, what matters is what you were willing to do about it. And in the end, it was nothing.”
“I made sure you’d be safe.” He pulled out a vial with a small amount of blood in it. “I made sure nothing was going to touch you.”
“Could you have done that this whole time?” She waited for a response, but none came. “Did you protect our child in the process?” Another silent pause. “Did you think I was leaving because I don’t feel safe?”
“You made it very clear you couldn’t stomach what I do.”
“What you do?!?” She spun and jabbed her finger into his chest as he started to back away. “I have, from the very beginning, been fine with what you do. With your involvement in the supernatural, your dealing with problems, even your endless fucking war against your dad. I was on board! I was by your side!”
“It’s John! I can’t be a part of what you’re doing to him! That’s why I took him, for that month, you know. To keep him away from you and your twisted little plans to make him a child soldier. But I couldn’t do it! I couldn’t keep him away from it all, I couldn’t protect him. But with you, there’s no compromise. I can’t stop you from turning him into what you’ve decided, you won’t hear any alternative, you won’t even let me treat him like the child he is!”
“He needs to be ready.”
“He needs a childhood!”
“And you think leaving is going to give him that?”
She slapped him across the face, hard enough to send him staggering for a moment. “I think there’s nothing I can do now to help him; but I sure as hell will not participate in what you’ll do to him.”
“I’m not the monster you think I am, Mary.”
“No. You’ve just got far more of your father in your than you’re willing to admit.” She turned and stormed off, leaving Henry holding his cheek in silence.