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 Dia de los Muertos (Jari)

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Mari Caldwell
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PostSubject: Dia de los Muertos (Jari)   Thu Sep 18, 2014 4:47 am

The couple had handed in their respective short leaves and was all packed and ready to go. They were leaving from Minnesota, so Marilyn had spent the night there with him, trying to get used to the jet lag and making sure they'd packed everything. From there they'd booked a portkey to Playa del Carmen, a luxury beach resort where they'd be staying most of the time. They'd decided to come back at a later time to see Mexico City, where Marilyn had grown up, saving that for a longer stay.
Jagger was staying with her grandparents for the long weekend.

When they'd arrived it had of course been scorching hot and Marilyn had been absolutely ecstatic to be back in her home country, promptly turning to wrap her arms around Jakes neck and kissing him happily before checking them in to their beach 'house' that belonged to the hotel. Jake was speechless at first at how beautiful it was but he liked it, a lot. The two had a big day ahead of them the next day so after enjoying a long bath together they went to bed, both happy and utterly content.

---
Dia de los muertos; the most important day in Marilyn's year. In her entire life she's only missed one, for obvious reasons. Even when she was in school she was allowed to build a small ofrenda, or altar, to honor her family's tradition and beliefs.

Now, being a witch made the entire experience a bit different for her, given that the nature of the festivities was the celebration of lost loved ones, the acceptance of death as a part of life and encouraging the visits of lost loved ones.

The last point, being a witch, had caused a bit of discussion when she was still in school, because of what some people called magic's number one rule: No magic can raise the dead.  

Necromancy featured heavily in Mexican magical history, at least, the attempt of necromancy. But without the grief and desparation that most western cultures associated the art with. The acceptance of death had always been theme in their culture, grief was said to offend the dead on those days of celebration.

Marilyn knew that the dead couldn't visit in that way. But she still believed the festivals brought about visits from the departed.

She knew it. When the girl took a moment and looked around, observing the people around her, she saw tear-stained cheeks; not from grief, but from laughter. She saw the dead in those tears, causing the laughter that rang through the air when their stories were told. She saw the departed in her Grandfathers smile, when he spoke to the picture on her grandmothers grave and told her about the constellations in the sky he'd seen recently, when he put down a bowl if guacamole on the stone; her favorite snack. Marilyn saw the lost souls lighting the cemetary in the candles held by widows and widowers, who stood with their families and recounted the moments they'd fallen in love.  

On November first, Dia de los Innocentos, the day reserved for passed children and youths, it was more difficult to uphold the joyous celebrations the festival was supposed to inspire, because there were less stories to tell, and nobody could say the honoured had led the full life they were supposed to.

But their parents stood at the graves and told those around them that their children had made the most of the time they had been allowed. Recounted first words, funny memories and set plushie toys on the grave sites; graves covered in babys breath and white orchids.  

November second was the day Marilyn and her family had always spent together; Dia de los Muertos. Her grandmothers grave, the graves of her great grandparents and great-uncles-and-aunts.  

A crown of marigolds and roses intertwined with her hair and a purple dress that clung to her frame this year. Marilyn stood before the mirror her grandfather held for her, finishing her skeletal makeup. Kissing his cheek gently she turned and smiled at her boyfriend, whom she'd asked to come along.  

That had been quite nerveracking, she'd later tell her grandmother, after excusing herself from both Jake and her grandfather Felipé. Marilyn would always steal away during the evening, sit in front of the grave alone and tell her grandmother about whatever was running through her mind. Asking Jake had been difficult for her, partly because she'd been afraid he wouldn't be interested or worse, that he wouldn't feel comfortable with something that had remained a large part of her.  

But he'd agreed, assuring her that he respected her beliefs and that if she wanted him there he'd be there. He'd even had fun, eating and watching her dance with other women from the area, children playing around their feet. It made the witch happy to see him in her culture, dealing with it so well, despite the shock that it surely was. Not to mention the language barrier; being surrounded by elderly men and women who sized him up, telling Marilyn that she'd done well in finding him (which she translated for Jake) and telling Felipé that he should be proud, to which he simply replied "I am proud, but not because of her partner."

Even Felipe seemed to be doing alright with Jake. He was back in his house in Mexico city and now that they were on his 'turf' he was being nicer to Jake as well, greeting him with a handshake and no longer glaring at him.

Sometimes Mari would just sit in silence with her grandmothers grave and close her eyes. She could hear Felipé nearby telling a group of friends about the time Guadalupe had brought home a stray dog and it had eaten them out of house and home, remembering how she never could bring herself to say no to a being in need. For Jake's sake, he spoke in english, which was fine, since all of their friends knew their stories by heart. Marilyn could hear Felipé's friends add stories of how they saw Guadalupe in Marilyn; despite being adopted. About how they could just see her spirit mixed in Marilyns simply in the way she was, asking him to tell them about the first time he'd realised this, which he gladly obliged. ("She was on the roof! Five years old and just sitting there like it was perfectly ordinary. Staring at the stars like there was something there only she could see.")

And in that quiet moment, hearing Jake's laughter mingle with her grandfathers, the sweet smell of the food and the flowers surrounding her, Marilyn swore she could feel her grandmother's spirit filling the area. In the love that made up the atmosphere of the festivities. It was everwhere; in ever offerring, ever story, laugh, teardrop and embrace.

Kissing the portrait and then the stone Marilyn pulled out her wand and waved it gently over the grave, a bundle of marigolds blooming in the warm earth as she returned to her family, leaning into Jake who put his arm around her and held her close.  

I was right, She thought to herself, none of the departed are truly gone. They're right here.

--------------------
(The Beach Villa)
(Snapshot of Marilyn, taken by Jake)
(Living Room)
(Marilyn on Dia De Los Muertos, without the tattoos of course)
(Marilyn's caleveras makeup)
(Jake at the beach)
(Marilyn's suitcase)
(Jake's suitcase)

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PostSubject: Re: Dia de los Muertos (Jari)   Thu Sep 18, 2014 4:40 pm

The weekend that they had decided to go away had rolled around very quickly for Jake. With the speed it came, his nerves had mounted greatly by the time his final lesson of the day had started. Thankfully, however, it was something he was able to ignore seeing as the lesson was something complex and meant he had to be on top form that day. The whole idea was something quite new for Jake, and new things made him a little anxious, though only to start with.

After finishing his final class, Jake had floo'd home to find Marilyn ready to leave, and with one final, fond farewell to his mom, they had moved off to the hotel that Marilyn had booked. Of course, the hotel hadn't been anything to turn your nose up at, but then it hadn't been a hotel either. The villa, as it was more aptly described as, was so very beautiful that it had stunned Jake in to silence as they looked around, finally ending on a small balcony that had something of a breath-taking view of the sea. Jake had stood stunned as he looked around, not bothering with the heat of the evening as Marilyn pulled him in to a hug and kissed his cheek, asking what he thought. He'd merely smiled, telling her that he couldn't think of any better place for their first holiday.

A fact that had been upgraded not long after as Marilyn tugged him towards the bathroom, stating that they should relax together for some time. He'd obliged as they bathed together, relaxing in the warm, bubbled bath. Jake's worry for the trip had been completely forgotten by the time they'd climbed from the cooling water, wrapping themselves in towels and heading towards the bedroom.

Jake had been out like a light that evening, so very at peace with the moment they had together.

***

The next morning Jake had woken up earlier than Marilyn. He was hardly surprised, and didn't attempt to wake her properly as he kissed her lips and told her he was going to get breakfast. He'd earned a soft grunt of dissatisfaction as he left her, but she gave in as he got to the other side of the bed and clambered out. It wasn't for another hour that Jake came back, but he came back with food for the witch and after putting the assortment on the bedside, he climbed back in to bed with her. "Good morning, sleepy head. Time to get up before you waste the whole day." He told her softly, and after a little encouragement, the witch had obliged him.

The hours moved by slowly, with Jake moving to the pool for a little bit - finding that even on holiday he couldn't possibly think about forgetting his gym routine. Marilyn had called him away shortly after lunch, and they'd headed off to Felipe's for the afternoon. It had been a nicer affair, with Felipe greeting him less gruffly as usual, and most definitely not using the word "boy" which made such the difference to Jake. Comfortable though, mostly, which was nice.

As the evening drew in, Marilyn and her grandfather set about getting ready for the evening, and Jake stayed out of the way for the most part. It was only when Marilyn caught him watching her applying the face paint to her face that she'd pulled him in to the celebration a little more by asking him if he wanted his own face painted. Jake had nodded in reply, moving closer and allowing the witch to paint his face how she chose. He listened to Mari as she explained why it was acceptable in her culture and not for Halloween, carefully tucking that information away for another time. His own face had been made up to represent a skeleton, and honestly Jake didn't understand how this was supposed to be respectful, but he followed suit.

They'd walked down to the cemetery a while later, Jake holding on to Marilyn's hand as they walked with her grandfather, light conversation the key to the evening.

The evening had continued in much the same light hearted manner, which had unsettled Jake to begin with. Tears were what he was used to in these places. Tears, and uneasiness around so many graves of people he didn't know. But, it was the group of people that made it easier, including him in everything as Marilyn milled around other people and the graves in a manner that seemed so... unfamiliar to Jake. It was so carefree of Marilyn, enjoyable even to see her this way.

Jake had remained relatively quiet through most of the proceeds, greeting people with a soft hello, or hola as he tried not to stick out like a sore thumb, but otherwise only speaking when spoken to. When the elders spoke of how they felt Marilyn had done well in him, Jake had shook his head slightly at the notion. It was the other way around, always the other way around.

"I am proud, but not because of her partner."

The comment had made Jake agree before he realised that it was probably some back handed comment in his direction. But he'd ignored it, knowing now was not the time, if ever there would be, to call her grandfather out on the manner in which he spoke to him. But the stories had continued, and Jake had ignored the comment, brushing it away before it could settle.

"She was on the roof! Five years old and just sitting there like it was perfectly ordinary. Staring at the stars like there was something there only she could see."

Jake hadn't know of the witch's fondness for the stars, if he was completely honest. Looking over towards the witch as she sat next to her grandmother's grave, Jake made a note to take time to spend time with the witch. Personally, he wasn't interested in the constellations, but if Marilyn was, then he would try to accommodate her as much as he could with that. All of this simply made Jake forget where he was, and he enjoyed being around these people, even if the barrier of languages made it more difficult that was rightly necessary.

It was a while before Marilyn joined them once more, and as she leant against him, Jake put his arm around her, his lips pressing to the side of her head softly. "Are you okay?" He asked softly, she'd been at the grave for a while, and though he knew it was a celebration, of sorts, Jake couldn't help but flip back in to the ideologies he'd been taught since he was a child. That people weren't always 'okay' in such situations and needed a little more support.
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Mari Caldwell
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PostSubject: Re: Dia de los Muertos (Jari)   Fri Sep 19, 2014 5:48 am

"Are you okay?
Grinning as he pressed a kiss to her head she turned in his arms to give him a kiss on the lips, looking up at him slightly confused, "Never better. I was just telling my grandmother about you, how we met, what my life's been like; just getting her up to date. Why?"

"How did you meet, Maritza?" "Sí! And your first date, I remember when Ricardo and I first met-" "Your husbands name is José." "Yes, but he wasn't the first man to take me out!" The elderly women laughed and Marilyn chuckled at their antics, feeling utterly at ease despite the not so easy to answer questions. But she felt at home here, there was no negativity, everyone was friendly, everyone knew her and had known her since she was little. Mari felt safe there.

Looking up at Jake she bit her lip, "Well...we went to school together but we didn't know each other then, and then he showed up at my doorstep after I'd settled in in England and we just became friends. Best friends." The witch answered sheepishly, "As for our first date...Dance class?" she looked back at Jake, unsure if that constituted a first date, they'd not really stuck with the hollywood formula of a date and then being together.

"How romantic!" the group was more than satisfied with that answer, the conversation moving to dancing including some of the younger women pulling Marilyn to dance again as the moon rose to the highest point. Most of the other women were dressed in more traditional, flowing dresses than Marilyn, but she had a purple shawl that she used instead of the edges of skirts like the most of the others. The older women did more simple dances around them, no longer quite fit enough to dance as quickly as their younger counterparts.

Grinning and slightly out of breath Marilyn rejoined the group, at first not noticing the small girl clinging to her shawl, "¿Sí? ¿Qué pasa, muchacha?" Mari grinned, picking her up as the mother, who'd been dancing with Marilyn caught up with her.

The little girl whispered something in Marilyns ear, or tried to whisper but failed, and Marilyn burst out laughing along with everyone else who'd heard and the mother gently took her as Marilyn handed her over, kissing her cheek as the girl blushed.

Still laughing Marilyn translated quickly for Jake "She said that- She said that you have a- a cute butt and a nice face and that we look very sweet together. " Even Felipé had had to laugh and he patted Jake's shoulder, "You do look nice together. Happy. I'm going to go talk to your grandmother then I'll be going to bed. Thank you for coming, Maritza," he kissed her cheek before turning to Jake "And thank you for coming." He said to him, "Guadalupe would've liked you." And with that he nodded and left to his wife's grave.

Marilyn felt that that day could not have possibly gone better and she told Jake that when they were back in the villa as she carefully removed his face paint and her own in the bath.
"Thank you. Today meant a lot to me." The witch whispered later, cuddled up in bed with her chin on his shoulder.

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PostSubject: Re: Dia de los Muertos (Jari)   Fri Sep 19, 2014 4:50 pm

"Never better. I was just telling my grandmother about you, how we met, what my life's been like; just getting her up to date. Why?"

Jake shook his head, showing that it wasn't anything to worry about in reply. He hadn't believed she wouldn't be, but he just wanted to make sure. Marilyn did look more comfortable here, something that he would have found bizarre a few hours ago, but now... now it seemed okay to be happy in this place.

The questions in regards to their first meeting had made Jake chuckle softly at the moment between the elderly women. It was amusing, the back and forth comments and when he realised the questions were coming their way, he looked sideways to Marilyn to see what her answer would be. The witch got his answer pretty much, and his smile widened. "Dance class." Jake confirmed a moment later with a smile. "Which we've continued ever since." He added to her sentence for everyone else.

Marilyn was pulled to her feet moments later to dance, and Jake watched her with a warm smile on his face. Her ease in the situation was one he'd never seen before, and Jake made a note to tell her that later. Not because he wanted to show her that there was a problem, but simply to remind her that she was a happy person and that her therapy would get her like that at all times sometime in the future. Well, maybe not at all times, but more frequently. That was all he hoped for.

"She said that- She said that you have a- a cute butt and a nice face and that we look very sweet together."

Jake snorted at the comment, smiling at the child. "Thank you!" Jake replied to the child, noticing that Felipe was moving now. For the first time he'd been around the man, Jake had received a compliment and after the initial shock of the situation, Jake had smiled and thanked the man. And hearing him state that his wife, Mari's grandmother, would have liked him was something that Jake couldn't deny as slightly heart warming. At least one side of her family liked him, Jake reflected with a small smile.

***

Once they'd moved back to the villa, Jake had been happy, relaxed and happy. The new culture full of food, dancing, stories and a whole host of different people had been a welcome experience.

"Thank you. Today meant a lot to me."

"It was fun." Jake commented as Marilyn gently took the face paint off, his smile blossoming wholeheartedly as she dabbed the sponge gently around his eyes. "Your granddad seems to like me, which is nice. And the people there were great." He summarised, pausing as Mari brushed over his lips with the sponge. "Thank you for inviting me." He finalised, leaning in to kiss the witch, both hungrily and happily because it was so nice to share such experiences with other people.

But even more so when it was Mari.

They'd moved to the bedroom soon after, settling under the sheets together despite Jake being far too hot. His body was still trying to adjust to the heat, but he didn't complain to the witch beside him. "Can... I come along next year, please?" Jake asked softly once the lights were out. He was a little nervous in asking because it spoke of planning further ahead than they had before. But he wanted her to know that he didn't have a problem with the holiday. That he did, rather, enjoy himself.
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PostSubject: Re: Dia de los Muertos (Jari)   Fri Sep 19, 2014 5:16 pm

"Thank you for inviting me." The kiss that followed met her wholehearted grin and was reciprocated in the same manner it was given; happy and hungry for more. More happiness, more closeness, more of Jake. And this- this feeling rewarding feeling of having shared a vulnerable part of her with someone, to have him accept it completely and even enjoy it. Such a shock it was from the bitter taste of disappointment the witch had become used to in such regards.

"You braved quite the culture shock just to make me happy, he could see that. He appriciated it, I think it helped him believe that you really care. And it helped me there, too." The young witch added, half sheepish, half still grinning from ear to ear. Mari hadn't felt so happy in a long time, longer than she wanted to really think about, so she didn't. Instead she just let the impressions sink in.

When they were laid in bed together, lazily kissing, cuddling and talking for a little while before Marilyn hit the lights, snuggling into his arms in the comfortable bed. Utterly content with the days events, ecstatic would probably be more the word, Marilyn closed her eyes just as Jake spoke again.
"Can... I come along next year, please?"
Mari's eyes opened and she turned in his arms to face him, smiling and kissing him softly before murmuring, "I'd like that."

She had definitly not been this happy in a long time and her smile remained on her features as she slept one of the most restful nights of sleep she'd had since her escape, looking forward to the few days they had left in her home country and in the beautiful villa with her boyfriend.

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