I think part of the problem was that I didn't tell anyone what wonderful awful things Satan has been saying to me lately.
Because, well, I'm not sure what to do with it, exactly.
And now Ben is sticking close and he called a Headcase Meeting, only he called it lunch, and we sat out on the patio in the breeze, drinking champagne and orange juice (he didn't, he had just plain juice, as did PJ, Batman, Sam and August because recovery is a bitch for some and it was only noon on a weekday and whatever, fine, yes, I drank alone) and eating roast beef sandwiches and provolone on pumpernickel bread and talking about a bunch of unrelated things and then I suddenly clued in that Ben specifically invited only my most devoted handlers and casual therapists to study me intently while I sat there and cracked jokes and deferred anything I didn't want to talk about, mainly the fact that BOOM, the wind picks up and the leaves begin to turn and Halloween merch hits the shops and suddenly I'm staring down another anniversary I wish I didn't have to remember at all.
This year it will be five whole years. Five years is a sort of milestone, only I still don't know which end is up and Jesus, look at all this help around the table.
Sam wanted to know what Caleb had said to me to make me suddenly hopeful again. Because you know when there's no closure, no actual viewing and no touching of cold, unresponsive skin then you may as well be on vacation or something, due to walk back through the door any second now.
And yet, I still don't want to talk about Caleb's caveats and his power and the things he could do, if only I say the word that puts the mechanism into action, clicking into place and traveling through time, five years back to pick up where I left off.
That's hope for you. That's faith. There's your God right there.
There's your fucking prayers answered all over my goddamned face, drawn like a map of the human heart because I am so transparent Ben could see through me before I even gave him that trite answer in the living room and he kicked into gear so fast I never saw it coming but if you knew Ben, hell, if you knew any of them, they'll only give me so much latitude and then they'll come out to the edge of the world and call me back home.
And I'll sit just on the other side of the fence where I can see the ocean and pretend I can't hear them at all.
You want me, come and get me.
Ben is well and prepared to take me up on my threats. I have finally met my match. I never thought it would be Ben. Out of absolutely everyone I did not think he would be the one to step into this.
So lunch it is, and I played dumb and they played smart and I lost every hand, obviously and PJ wants daily control again, August would like to see some meds put into play and Sam would prefer a full old-fashioned lobotomy. Batman wants back in. All of their requests met with a resounding No, there will be better days! I pleaded, as if it was me who fell in the hole, instead of giving credit to Caleb, who pushed me into the hole and then starting shoveling dirt in on top of my head.
Ben just wishes all the ghosts would go away now and give him half a chance and Loch never came around at all because I guess the bravery wasn't on the night table when he woke up because I had already eaten it and boy, lunch was only two hours ago and I'm hungry all over again but I never want to sit at the table again, having my heart torn apart when I refuse to discuss things that are clearly making me crazy, not because I don't want to discuss them, but because I can't.