Ben didn't let us get so far last night and I made a rare executive decision to delete not one but both of yesterday afternoon and evening's short posts. You didn't miss much. We sat out front watching the rain from the relative coziness of the porch, sipping on some whiskey (Ben had iced tea) and then Lochlan and Caleb started in on each other and Ben told Caleb twice it was time to go.
Caleb ignored him so Ben went and picked up Loch (right up off the ground because he wouldn't go willingly) and took him inside to the care of PJ and Sam, and then by the time he came back out, I had taken over from where Lochlan left off and Caleb and I were fighting wholeheartedly about the past. The Big Ticket Things this time and Ben got an earful he probably didn't need, one which I've probably never formally discussed with anyone, preferring to gloss whenever it comes up because damn, the past hurts.
And we were hurling it at each other in great big spiky mouthfuls that landed hard, every blow. Leaving marks, leaving blood but we couldn't feel it because of all the whiskey. So Ben listened for two whole seconds, told Caleb if he didn't go back home right that second that Ben would throw him in that direction and then Ben picked me up and carried me inside. I was still yelling all the way across the front hall and into the kitchen and then he put his hand over my mouth and told me it was okay. That I could stop.
Then he waited a few extra dozen seconds to make sure I actually was going to stop.
Yes, we've settled our differences.
It sounds like it! What are we going to do about this?
Nothing? Leave it alone!
Is that how he escapes scrutiny? He points at Loch. Because you won't address it?
He isn't under scrutiny!
Maybe he should be. Maybe we all should be! Didn't we already go through this? First with Cole and his abuse and then with Jake and his massive lockdown that had you so far hidden that when he killed himself it still took us DAYS to find you!
DON'T YOU SAY THAT!
JUST STOP IT. STOP IT!!
They threw themselves around me then. All of them, Ben included. I couldn't breathe enough to shout anymore. The group hug sucked all the air right out of the room.