At seven last evening I was officially dismissed for the day, not harshly but kindly so. Told that I was free to do whatever I liked for the evening. No more work. No more notes or coordinating or paying attention. I just sort of stood there looking up at Caleb. He waited quite patiently for me to acknowledge my release. I am not used to this.
What..well, what should I do?
He repeated himself. Whatever I liked, whatever I wanted to do.
Oh. I see.
I had him call the driver and I was taken back to the house. I called Ben and then I spoke with both children and then Lochlan took Ben's phone and shut himself in the library and spoke to me quite patiently. Asking seven thousand questions. Telling me to come back. Pick an emotion, he dealt it and I cried and then when I finally hung up I sat on the edge of the bed with the sea in front of me and I still didn't know what to do with myself.
A text from Caleb told me to remember we have another earlyish day planned for Sunday so I should mind that info when I made my plans and I replied with two words and then I turned off my phone.
I went down to the kitchen and picked up the doomsday button and wondered if Gregory could fix my loneliness. I wondered if I should ask him if he'd watch a movie with me. I wondered if I should just ask him to call the driver back to take me to the airport so I could go home and end this charade, this bizarre alternate universe. I lasted less than thirty hours. I concede. I give up.
I sat there holding the button so long the evening ended in the blink of an eye and Caleb was standing there smiling. Maybe not smiling. Doing that kindly-staring thing, almost gazing at me.
What time is it, please?
(Oh, the evening hasn't even started.) You're back early.
He smirked slightly. I came back as soon as you sent me that lovely 'Fuck you' message. I would have been faster but the traffic here is nothing short of pure insanity.
I raised my eyebrows. There is no more to the message. Sorry if you cut your evening short for that. And I don't know why you brought me all the way down here for this. What the fuck is this? Some sort of lesson on what life would be like if you were the perfect boss?
He smiled wide. You got it. I'm being the angel now, George.
Did you just call me George? What? What are you talking about?
It's a Wonderful Life. The movie. I'm showing you what life would be like if it were the way you asked it to be. A perfect opportunity. At Christmastime even.
I stand up, balling up my fists. He looks at them and bursts into laughter.
You're angry! Oh my God, this is so perfect. Bridget, darling, you wouldn't want me to be anything different. You can't cope. You don't know what to do with yourself. I've never seen anything so amazing in my life.