Destabilized as always yet I am the glue holding this family together with paper-thin wishes and stuttering lights.
It can always be worse. The horse is dying. The Devil? Dying. Lochlan is dying of frustration and Ben will kill himself with work. The rest will languish fearfully for me and myself? Well, I've already told you how I'll go and I'm still almost convinced I will fly off the cliff and drown quickly in the sea but it won't be because I jump. I'm not Jacob and I no longer have the courage to step off platforms hoping for the net.
(Nets aren't real.)
They never actually catch anyone because I don't think anyone ever wants to be saved.
John told me not to go out to the stables for the time being. That the vet is coming back. That they'll make sure everything is taken care of. I know. I called the hauler number myself. They're on standby.
Caleb told Lochlan that it's only a matter of time and that pressure has already cracked me and that he can seep in now and Lochlan is so powerless he's a dandelion blown against the wind.
Loch dug in his heels and refused to concede anything because a promise is a promise and once renewed is stronger than ever. There won't be any big shifts and Loch gambles on Caleb's death being next even as we watch Aurora from a respectful distance.
Because it isn't nice to live with pain. It isn't nice to be in pain and it isn't nice to never have relief from that pain. Funny how it's so pragmatic for a horse and such a blooming tragedy for a human. How long do we suffer? Why do you get to decide how long is long enough when you damn well the answer is forever.
Deep breaths, Bridget. Deeper still.
Joel came and tried to apologize. Tried to dismiss, tried to excuse, tried to repent and I sat silently staring through the glass into the woods and he touched my hand and I flinched and PJ jumped to his feet and Joel had the nerve to ask him if he could leave and PJ said nope and then asked me if I wanted Joel to leave and I didn't answer him either. I just kept watching for bears and for lights eventually as they flickered on one by one, powered by the sun, programmed to come on as the sun dropped below my horizon, as the bottom fell out of my universe and I found myself floating in space again, pinned to one of Saturn's rings securely, hanging by my hems.
It's dark and lovely and quiet now and Joel's voice has disappeared. PJ is no longer there and I open my eyes and find Ben staring down at me. I raise my eyes and Loch stands by the window, staring into my woods. He names the lights, the stars, the planets for me and I commit them to memory that we will strengthen with the glue made of time in our endless late summer when all the things we thought would come together mostly fall apart.
Ben smiles gently and tells me he heard I fell asleep midsentence and that doesn't happen so often and I reach up to touch his cheek.
Tired, I tell him and he nods. Close your eyes, Bee. We won't let the wolves get you.
But everyone's a wolf, I promise and I'm in the dark again, where Loch unpins me from the ring and throws me clear into the sun.