We are supposed to be at Caleb's Christmas party downtown but here I sit in my purple striped pajama pants and a threadbare white t-shirt instead of the plum satin cocktail dress that is still laid out on the bed upstairs.
Ben did not make our excuses on my behalf, no one did, we simply didn't show. Ben wants to be home, wants to be with me and the children and live quietly for a while and I have one of those headaches, the ones that I won't admit to until the last moment, the ones that will see me shutting down completely in a few more minutes and curling up into a ball to withstand the night. Ignoring the angry text messages and voice mails. Caleb will be outraged. He can wait.
These headaches are the ones Lochlan would wish away for me, letting me sip brandy mixed in juice to numb the hurt, packing bags of ice around me so I could sleep, staying awake to wring out a cold towel to rest against my forehead. Always reassuring me my head was not going to explode. I was not going to die. I would be okay the next day. I would wrap my arms around his neck and hold on for dear life against the pain.
And bullshit, I would tell him through tears. How do you know it won't explode? I was afraid of that pain, because I don't feel pain like normal people, so if I can feel it, it must be very very bad.
Lochlan said the same reminders tonight, as Ben gently yelled at me to go to bed already, that there's no honor in suffering by trying to stay awake.
He's right. I'm going.