And I won't live your weak wicked lieEvery year when it grows cold I lament the amount of hours I didn't spend reading in the front porch. There's now three chairs and a table there, and with eight ripply-glass windows with their crisp white curtains it's a cozy, sunny spot to curl up in for a few hours to process some stories. Only I didn't really do it much this summer and now summer is over. The tiny white lights will be on perpetually through the winter now, if only to lend a little magic to the distended winter regret that settles over the neighborhood once the last of the leaves fall.
You pull me in
I'm one step behind
Show me where it hurts
And I will make it worse
Are you holding on?
Keep holding on
Shine for one last time
Are you holding on?
Keep holding on
The leaves are making things treacherous. Yesterday I slipped and slid down the wet pavement until I made it to the stairs and the railing was wet so I hung on for dear life and by the time I made it to the concrete room I was breathless, filthy and sure I would never make my way back without a cracked ankle or broken skull. I can't wait until the ice returns.
I ducked into the room and turned and for the first time, I closed the door behind me, giving the rusted mechanism a spin with pointless flair, for it hardly budged. I turned around and wiped my dirty, dripping fingers on the front of my coat. Then I tried to smooth my hair, pulling a lock from the corner of my mouth. And then I met his eyes.
He was sitting, leaning forward, elbows on his knees, equally filthy hands and feet but pristine blonde hair and wings as always. He watched me with love, with curiosity.
Why are you here, princess?
Where else would I be? It's an anniversary.
You didn't come on our wedding anniversary.
I don't acknowledge that one.
What's wrong with me, Jacob?
What do you mean?
Why did you leave?
Bridget, they'll be looking for you, especially today.
I'll go back in a while.
You should go back now.
You should have stayed.
I was not strong enough there. Here, I am.
Then come back now.
It doesn't work that way.
Change it. I need you.
It's time to come back. I'm done with this game. I don't like this game.
You aren't there for me.
That should be ENOUGH FOR YOU! Don't you love me?
I do. So, so much.
What a sight we must have been. I'm standing again, screaming at him and he has tears spilling out, down his cheeks, helpless against my rage. Like all of them. It takes me finally getting mad and fighting back for them to see, for them to really see what they do to me.
I can't do this anymore, Jacob.
So let me go and you don't have to come back here anymore.
You're coming with me.
Bridget, I ca-
YES YOU CAN!
I reached out and grabbed the front of his shirt.
And I connected.
He was warm.
He was real.
He was alive.
His hands came up and he froze and then he put his hands on my arms and he pulled me into his embrace and I rested my head against his chest, throwing my arms around him. His arms locked around my shoulders and I let out the breath I held. I let it out so slowly my lungs were aching with the effort. And then I began to sob, because I wasted so much time and he was here all along and he wasn't dead and they didn't listen and I was right and now I have to admit to him that I really screwed up, like so badly, like he didn't already know and somehow he has to understand that now Ben will have a bigger part of the equation because I really love Ben and I wouldn't let him go even if Jacob comes back and he's going to have to understand and it's all just pouring out and I doubt it made any sense at all and then suddenly there were other hands on me, hands pulling me away and back into the warmth and shaking me just a little and I opened my eyes and there was Ben, and I was so relieved that he found us and he knew too and everything was going to be good again and Bridget wouldn't be sad and I threw my arms around his neck and hung on for dear life as my heart popped and stretched and grew out of the black stitches that were holding it together and it hurt so badly and he held me in surprise and then he burst the balloon and I was plunged into black once again.
You were crying in your dream. It's okay now, everything's going to be okay.
It's so easy to make promises that someone else will have to keep. I just stared at him for a moment and then I got up and went to run a shower, hot as Hades, knowing he would not be far behind. I stepped into the claw foot tub, standing under the spray, and I watched the dirt run off my fingertips in black sandy rivulets, circling down into the drain along with any shred of hope that I can ever bring Jacob back to this place, back into my life that has changed so drastically since he left I hardly recognize myself, let alone anyone else.
Seconds later, Ben stepped into the shower, naked, gloriously beautiful with his tattoos in contrast to his pale skin, and put his arms out, stepping under the spray, shielding me from the needle-sharp barbs of hot water.
Ben, what if I told you Jacob was still alive?
Then bring it on, Princess, because you talk in your sleep and I already know how this will go down.
Rambling through my nightmares, unconscious and fearful, it never occurred to me even once that they are still conducted out loud.