He learned a lot about her, really, just by her random conversation starters. Like the night he showed up to walk her home when her car was in the shop.
"I was 12." she said as they walked down the street. He was quiet, as he learned to be when she did this. It was the best way to figure out what she was talking about.
"When I began singing in that bar. I was 12. My Daddy was the bouncer. Ol' Ed got sick of me and Josey just taking up space, so I began singing. Josey did to for a while" she said. Hugging her coat to herself and lighting a cigarette. Remy waited, to see what else she would say.
After a few minutes he finally asked." Who's Josey?" As he silently offered her his coat, which she waved off.
At first he didn't think she was going to answer. Sometimes she didn't right away. Like how this talk got started anyway. He'd asked her yesterday how long she'd been singing at the bar.
As they entered the tiny apartment she said " My baby sister." then headed to her room. Remy stared after her confused.
It was a few days later, she finished her tale.
"Josey was 10, when we started singing "she said as she sat on his bed.
He'd only been awake a couple of minutes and hadn't even gotten dressed yet. She'd only come into his room before he was awake one time before, the day he got there. She continued, not seeming to notice his discomfort.
"I was only 8 when Daddy started bringing us didn't have a choice, Mama was gone, and not a lot of people are willing to watch after a little girl with freaky eyes. My sister, she was a mutant like you. Her eyes were blue. the whole thing. Anyway, Daddy had to bring us in. Then when I was 12 this inspector came in and said only way underagers could be in there was if we were an act or something. Ed had the stage built the next day. I've been singing there every night since." She finishes.
Smiling at him in that distant way she has, she walks out, yelling behind her that breakfast would be ready in ten. He threw his head back down on the pillow, groaning. If she was going to start doing that, he needed to wear something to bed.
A couple days later
"So, where are your sister and father?" Remy asks, while they eat breakfast. Lee looked at him a moment, before returning to the stove, to retrieve the eggs.
"I'm not tryin' to pry. I was just curios. I know, I'd love ta see my brother again." Remy stated, worried he had crossed some boundary.
"I'm sure he misses you too. It's very unfair, that you shall never see them again, when they are so close by." Lee replied quietly, placing at plate of eggs on the table.
"I've been on my own before, it'll be okay. I practically raised myself, at first. Living in Fagan's gang. He wasn't the nurturing type." Remy stated, trying to shrug off her concern.
"I'm sorry. That must have been hard, a little boy all alone." Lee replied, sitting down across from him, and frowning.
"I met Belle first, y'know. A couple years 'fore Jean-Luc foun' me... she was my best friend." He said, looking down at his plate, and picking at his eggs.
"Really?" Lee asked, while reaching across to still his hand.
"Oui, I rescued her from some ot'er kids. I didn' know til later, she would've been fine on her own." He replied, trying to smile.
"Yes, but then you wouldn't have become friends. And then where would you be today?"
"I guess, though, I wish t'ings could be different anyway."
Lee agrees, before going to change for work. Remy stands and cleans the kitchen. After she left for work, he realized she hadn't answered him.
Later that night, he learned her one and only fear. Thunderstorms. It started about a half hour after she got home. He had just drifted off, when he felt her poking him in the side.
"Remy, move over, I want to sleep in here with you" she said.
He blinked at her. She'd never said that before, but she did tend to be odd. So he moved over, glad that he had kept his promise to himself from the other day.
"So what's up?" he asks her after a few minutes.
Clearly she's upset by something. She shrugs and says with a blush. "Thunder. Always was scared of it. helps to sleep next to someone else." she said, cuddling up next to him.
Taking the hint, he hugged her to him, and began to drift off. "They're at the cemetery next to mama" she whispers, drifting herself.
"Mutant haters attacked Josey. Daddy tried to protect her. They got them both. Everybody in town looked at me odd. I didn't cry, not even at the funeral. Mama always said tears were a waste of energy used best for fixin what's broke. How to fix that, though, I never have figured it out. They all avoided me after. 'Cept Ol' Ed." She finishes.
He hugs her tighter, people sucked. Leaving this poor sweet girl all alone in the world like this.
He wanted to promise he wouldn't make her go through it again, that he wouldn't leave her all alone. But they would both know it was a lie, anyway.
They were at the laundry mat a few weeks later, when she suddenly stated "You're leaving aren't you" while folding his jeans.
He nods sadly, "We're to close to where I used to call home here. I've seen them watching me the last few days. It's not safe for me to be here anymore, for either one of us".
She just nods and picks up the basket. Later that night, he goes into her room. He'd never been in there before.
"Come with me. Dere's not'ing really here for you now. Just an empty apartment, and a town full of strangers." he can tell by the way she smiled at him she won't. So he just lies down next to her, and hugs her to him. He's going to miss her, more than he thought was possible.
"If I were to go, who would remember them? and who would take care of Ed."
"I don't know Cher. Mais, ya can't live your life wit' ghosts."
They hug as he said " I promise I'll come back to see you."
"Don't make promises you can't keep Remy."
"I'm not." He said, letting go of her, to look in her eyes.
"Here, I want ya to take Daddy's bike." Lee says, handing him the keys.
"I can't take yo-" Remy began, trying to give back the keys.
"You can. Daddy loved that bike, but I can't ride it, and doubt I'll ever learn. 'sides that car you came into town with is a junker. It won't make it to the border."
"Okay. Mais, ya take my junker. It may be ugly, but it got a better engine than yours."
She nods and they head downstairs. Quietly, they load his saddlebags, and she stands back, as he climbs on. He watches her in his mirror until he can't see her anymore. She just stands on the corner until he fades away. He almost turned back then, to beg her to come or to stay he had no idea. In the end he kept going, because he could see them following him. He had to get away from the border. But he wishes he wasn't alone.
His brother and cousins would laugh at him, if they could see him now. Pining after the girl he'd lived with for two months and never even kissed. They'd never let him live it down. Still, he almost turned back four more times between there and Arizona. In the years after, he sometimes wonders if things would have been different if he had.