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MAKEUP OR BREAKUP? (1)
JL Counselor N'Tazzia, Malino and Malinda McMillian (played by Lt jg. Peter McMillian)
Taz was so distraught at the fiasco that was supposed to be her wedding day that buried her face in her pillow and cried. She cried so long and so hard that she ran out of tears and all she could manage were some muffled hiccup-y sobs.
The door to her quarters chimed and she ignored the sound because she thought It’s probably Petie or Bones and I don’t want to see them right now much less talk with either of them. Petie’s mother ruined everything. She had me doubting Petie’s love, she mistreated Malino and all because she doesn’t want me to marry her son. Well, fine. I won’t marry him!Taz put the pillow over her head and pulled it down over her ears.
Unfortunately the chirp of the door chime penetrated her attempt at blocking the sound.
“GO AWAY!” She shouted into the bed.
The door chimed yet again. Taz realized that whomever it was at her door probably hadn’t heard her yell so she stuck her head out from under the pillow and shouted again.
“New mommy? New mommy no love Malino no more?” Through the door she heard the childlike voice of the little liomon that thought of her as his mother. “Open door, please, Malino very sad.”
Taz groaned. She really didn’t feel up to comforting Malino right now. How had he gotten away from Petie and found her quarters? Maybe Petie was out there waiting to ambush her if she opened the door? But then again what if he wasn’t? Malino shouldn’t be wandering around the Excelsior alone. Besides, none of this had been Malino’s fault and he was probably very confused by the whole situation.
“Is Petie with you Malino?” She asked wiping her eyes and getting up and going to the door.
“No new mommy, new daddy not here. Please let Malino come inside. Malino want hug.”
Oh good grief. I can’t not let him in. He’s like a small child.She unlocked the door and it slid open.
Malino was standing in the corridor, holding the hand of Malinda McMillian!
Taz’s mouth dropped open in shock. She took a deep breath and forced herself to not shut the door in their faces. THIS was something I certainly didn’t expect!
“Well, are you going to let us in or are you going to stand there and stare?”
“I’m not sure why I would want to let you anywhere near me.” Taz snarked. “Come to mommy Malino.” She held out her arms but Malino did not let go of Malinda’s hand.
“Who who who Malino think new mommy still mad at you.” The liomon told Malinda as he advanced into the room dragging her behind him.
Taz stood dumbfounded in the doorway for a second and then turned and faced Malinda who was now standing in the middle of Taz’s quarters.
“You really should leave, after that stunt you pulled you’re not welcome here.” She moved out of the way and gestured toward the door.
“Now, is that any way to talk to your future mother-in-law?” Malinda shot back then quickly added in a much more conciliatory tone. “That is, if you’ll give me a chance to explain.”
Taz looked at Malinda McMillian with suspicion. She had no reason to trust her and no desire to listen to her.
“New mommy need talk talk talk with new daddy’s mommy. Everyone was yelling and yelling was loud no one heard what others were saying so Malino got hurt to stop all fighting.” He touched his forehead. “Mr. Rock has very hard head!”
“Oh Malino, I’m sorry I didn’t notice you were hurt!” She scooped up the liomon. “Let me see.” She looked at the bump on his head and glared at Malinda.
“Is THIS is your fault?” She asked still glaring.
“I’m afraid it is.” Malinda agreed with a nod. “We were so intent on hurling accusations and insults that we weren’t thinking straight. Little Malino here heat-butted that Brikarian Lt. Lobren to make a point. Please, give me a chance to explain and apologize?”
Taz sat down on her bunk with Malino in her arms and stroked his soft gold fur.
“Go on, but this better be good.”
Malinda sat in the desk chair.
“Firstly, I’m truly sorry. You probably recall that husband passed away not to long ago. And while I know it probably sounds irrational but Petie was our only child and is all I have left. I was worried that if my son got married I would lose him too.” She paused briefly and when Taz did not respond, she continued. “He’s been sick a few times and that scared me too. I became obsessed with protecting him to the point of having him monitored. I saw you with him and it made me realize that he wasn’t my little boy any more and all I could think was that he was going to marry you, eventually start his own family and between that and his career he wouldn’t have time for his old mother anymore.”
Malinda sniffed and a few tears fell but she kept on talking. “When I found out you were pregnant already — I totally freaked out. I expected grandchildren eventually but with them coming so soon I just knew that he would be too busy for his old mother and I would never see my son again. Because of all of this, I’ve done and said some every evil and rude things to you, to my son and to this little guy. I was wrong, very wrong.”
Taz snorted derisively.
“And I’d like to ask forgiveness even though I know that I don’t deserve it.”
Taz was silent for a few moments. Malino jumped out of her arms and went to Malinda.
“Don’t cry new daddy’s mommy. Malino think everything will be fine.” He patted her hand with his furry paw.
“Thank you Malino.” Malinda said with a smile and ruffled his mane gently. Malino made a purring sound.
“See new mommy.” He said to Taz. “We forgive each other, Malino want everyone to forgive and be happy. Malino want to be flower bearer and throw flowers at wedding.”
The confident innocence of the liomon and the sincerity of Malinda McMillian’s apology touched Taz's heart and she found a few tears of her own falling. She thought about what the older woman had said.
“Actually, from a psychological standpoint, your reaction to what you feared was the loss of your son shouldn’t have been a surprise.” She told Malinda. “The level to which you took your reaction however was….beyond normal and wound up being very hurtful to the person you loved the most, your son. And it hurt me too. I reacted very uncharacteristically of me in response when I should have seen what was happening. I owe you an apology too.”
“Nonsense!” Malinda insisted. “I was being a foolish, jealous mother-in-law from hell. Can you forgive me Tazzia?”
Taz dried her tears. “Yes, of course I can…as long as you don’t try to sabotage our lives again.”
“I can’t promise to totally “butt out” because that ISN’T in my nature…" Malinda smiled at Taz. ….but I will endeavor not to unduly interfere and I won’t try to drive a wedge between the two of you ever again.
Taz rose up with a pained and worried look on her face “Oh no, Petie!!….Will he…will he forgive me for doubting him? Does he even still want to marry me?”
“I’m sure you two will work things out. I know my son loves you very much and I can tell you truly love him.” She looked at the liomon. "And both of you love Malino….You know, I actually I think he’s beginning to grow on me.
“Who who who!” Malino bounced on Taz’s bunk. “Let’s have wedding now….Malino want to throw flowers and taste cake too!”
“Do you really think Petie will forgive me? I was pretty awful myself.” Taz said looking quite dejectedly at Malinda McMillian.
Malinda nodded. “I know my son and I happen to know that he is waiting for you right now on Holodeck 1. He said to tell you to wear your black dress. I have a feeling he has pulled out all the stops.”
“OH!” Taz exclaimed excitedly. “I need to go meet him!”
“Wait! Before you run off I want to give you something.” Malinda reached around and unclasped the chain from around her neck. “This is a twenty carat canary diamond that has been in the family for generations.” She motioned for Taz to come over and fastened the chain with the huge stone around Taz’s neck. "It’s yours now, as a welcome into the family and reminder to take care of my son. "
Taz ran her fingers over the diamond, astonished at the gesture. “I will.” She whispered sincerely.
Now smiling, Malinda continued. “By the way I know it’s taken me a while to warm up to you but I want to give you my sincere congratulations. May you and Peter have at least a happy 40 years and many children. Now, let me get out of your hair so you can get ready, your future husband is waiting.”