Lochlan sees me and says What the hel- and then breaks into a huge grin. You look fourteen again.
I know. I tell him with despair. Until you reach my actual face.
Bridget, I don't know what you're talking about. He's blind to the dark circles, the furrowed pain-brow that speaks of a sixty-five hour migraine that has had around ten or twelve hours of sleep within it, not enough to conquer it by far. Blind to the fact that I gave up on all of my pain meds already, pretending it doesn't bother me one minute while the next finds me gritting my teeth just trying to brush them. I rip out the ponytail and put the tie back on my wrist.
That ratchets you down to twelve. He smiles again. My bangs are in my eyes and the rest is wild waves. You okay?
Still have a headache.
Want me to call the doctor?
He's not a doctor.
I'll bite. Want to go to the other doctor? Clinic? ER?
Maybe all three.
He stirs to get up. No, stay put. I'm just thinking about it.
It's fine. I just have to sleep.
I hate sleeping. I might miss something.
Now you're ten.
Because that's what you always used to say. Remember I said it's like you think every night is Christmas Eve and you think you might see Santa if you stay up long enough but I told you he only shows up on one of those over three hundred nights in a year so you may as well close your eyes.
So close your eyes, Peanut. Sleep away the pain.
Your eyes are still open.
This is a long habit to break, Locket.
Well, it's either sleep now or after you see Santa in about six and a half months. But you'll be a raving lunatic by then.
And I'm not now?
Half loon, half circus child. I'll take it, either way. I feel like that top is a leotard (because in the nineties all ballerina tops were bodysuits. God I'm old) and if you take the overalls off you'll be ready for the swings.
Well it isn't and I don't have any underwear on so if I take off my overalls I'll put on a show alright.