You never said a damn thingThree-forty-five and I wake up coughing quietly. It only hurts a little when I cough now, that or I'm so medicated I don't notice or care how much it hurts now. The Devil is gone from his watch and Lochlan sleeps with one arm thrown back across me like a conscientious afterthought. He's out hard. The light is hurting my eyes and I open them to squint at Jacob sitting on the edge of the bed. He has one hand on my forehead and the other is in a tight fist against his chest, as if it hurts his heart to touch me. He should watch as I die every time he touches me. Talk about pain.
You never shot a warning across the bow
No, you just chose to let me run the ship aground
You need to see a doctor, he says, smoothing my bangs back.
I did. It's probably pneumonia but not bacterial.
I'm coughing up clear.
I see. There has to be something else they can do for you though.
This is life, Jake. Things hurt. You live anyway. You become tough. You get through it.
You're too fragile. This is hard on you.
I laugh out loud. I sound like a strangling horse. Then I start coughing harder and Lochlan turns over and throws his right arm around around me, patting me in his sleep. His lips touch the back of my neck and then he relaxes again. If I could sleep like he does I'd never have any complaints about anything ever again.
This is not hard on me. I have a fucking cold. You want to know what's hard on me? You gaslighting me half to death and then just checking out in the end. That's hard on me. I hope guilt is the one emotion that remains in heaven for you to savour, frankly.
I can't get to heaven because of it. That's why I'm still here. I'm glad you're angry.
I'm frustrated because you woke me up when I need sleep now more than ever to harp on whether or not they're doing enough to keep me well. It smacks so hard, Jakey. It just smacks.
I miss you, Princess.
Don't you fucking do this now.
I wish I had stayed.
Just fucking GO!
I yelled it and Lochlan flies out of bed, buck naked, red hair wild, half-awake. WHAT IS IT? THE FUCK! He turns and lunges at the door, which is closed and locked and puts his hand toward the bed as if he is protecting me. It's the most beautiful thing.
I had a nightmare. Jake was here and he said I was too sick to be cared for by you so I told him to leave.
Lochlan turns, his whole face softening and he crawls back into bed, pulling the quilts up around us, pulling me in tight against his chest, kissing my forehead, now burning again and he sighs. He's not dangerous. I don't think you need to yell at him. That's how your brain deals with things while you sleep. It pulls stuff out, holds it up to the light and then decides where to file it. Looks like you need a new visit from the memory thief.
I need a visit from the lobotomy-giver. Also you protecting me was very sweet.
I didn't know what the fuck was going on, Bridget. I figured Caleb had come back to try and drag you off like the fucken caveman that he is.
I laughed and coughed some more.
No. He wouldn't dare criticize your care of me at this point in his life. He's got it good.
We all do, Bridget.
Except Jacob. He doesn't have it so-
Sorry. It's tough not to be a little smug sometimes when I know I set you free and you came back to me. I feel like I won the lottery.
Ha. You won a very faulty little sputtery human. Congrats?
Thank you. I'm blessed. Jake on the other hand, well-
No. Don't. Just go back to sleep with me.
I love you, Peanut.
I love you, Locket.