Almost two weeks since we got home, mere days left in the countdown to my birthday and we have hardly seen each other. He would say he was busy, and besides, I gave you Lochlan, and I would say that he's not too busy to make an effort and that they are not interchangeable. They are different. Opposites. Required.
But then I see his eyes appear over the top of my book last night. Melted chocolate. Scalded caramel. Roasted coffee bean.
Bumblebee. He says without inflection and I keep on reading. God, what a little bitch. What a hurting, miserable, self-conscious little wounded animal.
He tries again. Bee-Git. Beeootiful. Beef-stricken-unicorns? His eyebrows go up and I laugh out loud but keep reading.
He takes a deep breath and starts talking and I pretend I'm not listening but I hear every word as he details his promises quietly, humbly, carelessly. Promises that are meant to soothe temporarily but not to keep. Things he wishes he could achieve but can't, ways he wished he was but isn't. And then he gets to the end and instead of stopping he decides to wrap it all up in a bow of blame, saying if he thought I actually needed him he would be here but since I have others, he's not feeling bad in the least.
I am so surprised I drop my book to my lap and frown at him. Do I know you? I ask, with a completely confused expression.
FUCK, he yells. Oh, that's nice. Heavy footsteps sound on the stairs within seconds and he goes out into the hall and tells whoever came up to check that it's okay. We're fine. He's just frustrated.
Huh. So am I.
He comes back in and sits in front of me again. He takes my book, turning down the page and drops it on the floor. Then he takes my hands and pulls them up to his lips. He closes his eyes.
I'm not good at having to answer to someone.
It's been five years. You were never this bad before.
I figure you don't need me. Then I compound it by figuring you're not interested when I come home, even. Then I make it ten times worse by burying myself in more work to offset all those feelings.
Well that's dumb.
Tell me about it. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy.
God, I hate those.
Me too. It's my worst nightmare and it's probably inevitable.
No it isn't.
You write such sweet things about Loch.
I distract myself.
You miss me.
So bad, Tucker.
Our eyes are all glass, no focus now.
Hey, you remembered who I was!
Fancy that! Why did you come up anyway? I thought you wouldn't be home until hours from now.
Then suddenly his face morphs back into the elastic psycho I know and love. I heard there was a rock star up here sans pants and I figure there's only room for one of those in this house.
Oh my God. Ben. Hahaha, please don't tell me you didn't wear any-
Then he dropped his pants. And he's right. There's only room for one of those, because it's huge.