Now my feet won't touch the groundWe need to discuss Christmas.
Now my head won't stop
You wait a lifetime to be found
Now my feet won't touch the ground
You're welcome to come and spend the days. Henry's off from the eighteenth. You know this.
I didn't mean Henry. I meant you.
He's wasting no time in exploiting Loch's newly minted generosity. I should tell him that generosity is only extended when Loch gets comfortable and the minute Caleb starts squeezing me again that will change. But he knows.
I'm here. I'll be around.
Maybe we can make some plans. A movie night or something? Dinner? A weekend away?
His eyebrows go up. He assumes the best all the time. Love that about him. You and your McBreakfasts.
Hey. Be kind. I like fried food in the morning.
And at night?
I'd rather drink my dinner.
Speaking of drink. Why is everyone suddenly on the edge of falling off?
Holidays are hard.
Yes. I'm well aware. I miss my brother more at this time of year, I think.
Do you though?
Cole loved Christmas. It was the one time he was truly content. He loved the snow, the lights, the magic. He loved the traditions and the tree and the children's excitement. He loved opening presents.
Whoops. I went wading into Caleb's memories and missed the dropoff. Suddenly I'm treading water, far out with the black water underneath, my heavy skirts pulling my head under.
But I fight.
Everyone loves Christmas. Have you met Ben?
Lochlan doesn't. I don't.
Everyone has their reasons for their feelings. But he knows and today he's turning screws because he doesn't want Sam's sudden blindingly-bright, painfully-loud needs to overshadow his own loneliness. Suddenly a wave of sadness comes out of nowhere, destroying my efforts to save myself.
You've both been alone.
Ben's been alone.
You can't draw a map using Ben as a guide. You should know this by now.
So it looks like I'm in a boat with Loch this year. Maybe we'll row over and save you. Or maybe well pretend we didn't see you in the first place. He pushes my head under and swims away, taking his memories with him. The water fills my lungs and then retreats, leaving me coughing and wretching on the rocks, wondering what I did now to piss him off.
Nothing. I did nothing. And he hates that the most.