Remember nothingI dropped his hand as we rushed down the sidewalk, and I stopped. He turned, pulling against the collar of his button-down shirt. Bridget, come on.
Let it all go
Where are going?
Just finding a restaurant.
Well, what's it called? I can help look.
He spins back and gets in my face. Look, I'm just trying to find a place you've never been before.
Which leaves me grasping for words, as I've hardly been to any of the restaurants downtown and all of the ones I've been to, I've been barred from due to Caleb and Lochlan taking their history to the floor in a hail of fists and feelings.
This looks good. He grabs my hand and pulls me in through a large heavy door. We're whisked to a candlelit table in the back and he rattles off drink orders as he has done a thousand times, except most of those were a long time ago, and consisted of him saying She'll have a small milk, and I'll have a Coke and I would protest and he would say simply Saturday. That's pop day for you, Bridget. Don't argue.
I never have.
Unless it's the hill I want to die on and I don't want to die today. I would never do that to the people here who have fought for my life as if it were their own because it is, so I wouldn't do that. They deserve, he deserves so much more than me. We've gone far beyond fighting this week and into that stubborn stasis where we're just going to wait for things to settle out and it will be okay again.
We've been here before, we'll be here again. I watch him as the food arrives. He's watching me right back, he hasn't taken his eyes from me. His whole face is lined in concern, coloured with doubt and shaded with an ire that makes him seem impatient and rushed but holding back so hard his eyes are bloodshot, focused and worn. His green is darker than mine, like the sea out where it's deeper, roiling in whitecaps, churling in a storm of it's own making.
This is a story about a man who has figured out how to live with the ghosts and the demons and everybody else too but doesn't like it one bit.
We don't speak as we eat. We walk back to the truck holding hands. We drive home in silence. We say our quiet goodnights to those who are still awake and then we head upstairs, his hand on the small of my back as I slowly feel my way up in the dark.
Once inside the room he strips out of his dress shirt and good pants. He strips me out of my clothes too with such careful hands. Then he pulls me under the quilts, wraps his arms around me, kisses me gently and says Goodnight, Peanut. I love you. I love you more than they ever will and so much more than they ever did. Just so you know.