Here I amA final set of x-rays this morning and Lochlan has gotten his all-clear. No permanent damage that we know of. No lasting effects from inhaling fuel at Ruth's birthday party during his fire-breathing show and most important of all, no well-meaning lectures about considering putting his torches away for good. It won't happen. This man is made of flames.
Playing with those memories again
The relief? Palpable. Tangible. Heavy. I was crushed underneath it just walking out of the hospital and then was pulled out by my hand just as my last breath began to leak my life away.
Told you I was fine, he says. There's no room for gratitude here, he has already moved on. I run to catch up.
There's no harm in feeling grateful that you weren't hurt worse.
What purpose does it serve? I'll take responsibility for what I do to myself.
I trip on his words and fall behind but I don't think he's even noticed. He's done with this. Done with doctors and hospitals and machines and instead of thanking his lucky stars that he's in a time and place where he can get help if he needs it he just laments the wasting of the time that he could have used in a better way. When he drops me off in the driveway at home before heading in to Schuyler's office he tells me I worry too fucking much and he doesn't know where I get that from. I turn around ready to tell him exactly where it came from but then he drives off before I even get an I love you or a See you soon out of my mouth, if I would have picked something nice to say instead.
When I go inside Keith and Gage are...making dinner.
And not just any dinner. They are making coleslaw from scratch, eggplant parmesan and actual bread. It's rising on the windowsill with my favorite Irish linen tea towel over it. Duncan is slicing cabbage at the sideboard and Dalton is filling ice cube trays. I am speechless. Gage smiles and elbows Duncan who starts talking as if he is a little kid reading from a cue card, words all mashed together and robot-like. It's adorable.
We decided as a group that since you do so much for us and work so hard that we're going to take turns cooking dinner each night in order to give you the break that you deserve. We love you, Bridget.
Ben appears from the side door. He has some jars of spices stolen from Caleb's house. He doesn't know where I keep mine. I'll need to fix that.
Where is PJ?
We sent him to a spa.
No, seriously. What have you done with him?
I don't know, Bridge! He's probably downstairs watching porn.
Why would you think that?
Wouldn't you be doing that if you didn't have to cook dinner right now?
Yes. That's exactly what I'd be doing. Watching porn.
Ben shoos me out of the kitchen. Then get at it. We have work to do.
I look at the single casserole dish that Keith is layering food into and ask How many for dinner?
Huh? He asks.
What's the headcount for tonight?
Twelve. Give or take John and Loch if they make it home in time.
You're going to need two more of those pans then.
Dude. This is like a prison kitchen.
Told ya, Ben says. (So proud, this one.)
I have a headache, I tell him. I think I'll skip the porn and quite possibly the meal if that's okay.
Five sets of eyes tell me the disappointment they show won't be worth the break I get.
Okay, maybe I'll stay for a little.
Five sets happy.
Loch is better, I point out. Eyes shoot all over the place.
Just in time for the Devil to come back, Duncan says.
Yeah, I know.