finally getting back on the horse
I’m not sure where to start so I’ll start from the middle.
I’m sneaking back in the front door when a disembodied voice I immediately, but not immediately enough, realized was Milo’s called fom the kitchen.
“I barely know you and you’re old enough to go where you want when you want, but I am curious to know where you’ve been the last few days.” He was twisting a spoon around in a blue mug while delivering his snark. It was nearly 6 in the morning and given that he was usually downstairs until 4, or until people got it through their thick skulls what “last call” meant, I assumed that he had come home every morning that I was gone and fixed a cup of coffee and bit his perfect nails and didn’t even let himself think about closing his eyes until I returned.
But that was wishful thinking.
I tried not to do that.
Instead of squinting to try and see the dark cirlces under his worried eyes I simply rolled my suitcase to my bedroom, tucking it safely into the closet before emerging.
“You don’t want to know.”
As I poured myself a cup of coffee there was a certain silence that hung between us. I imagined him taking his quiet steps to the couch and sitting down with his long, quiet sips of coffee and resigning to never know where I’d been and what I’d been doing. I sort of wanted him to never ask and to just let me do what I need to do. I also, sort of, wanted him to bug me about it. We may have only known each other a few weeks but we LIVE together. I’ve got about a hundred thousand people who may or may not be looking for me and that is reason to be worried, I think.
I got a combination of the two when I turned around. He was leaning on the counter with one elbow, the other hand holding the mug near his mouth as if waiting on a certain cue to drink. His ankles crossd and hip jutted out made him the picture of casualty but his eyes displayed a hint of concern. “Really?” He asked finally when I’d not taken any steps nor stirred my coffee nor made any hint that I was alive since turning. “We’re really going to play this game?”
“What? Are you gonna go in my room while I’m sleeping and steal my secrets?” I made it out like I was joking but a piece of me worried.
Milo rolled his eyes and turned on his heel towards the living area. “I’m only saying, there’s no use in hiding it. Everyone you know- or rather everyone it would be safe for you to have contact with-” his aside had an annoyed edge to it and he slid gracefully into his nice-looking-but-not-that-comfortable chair, “I know better. If it mattered I would have figured it out the moment I noticed my hat missing, but I didn’t because you’re nineteen and you can do what you want.” He sipped his coffee. “I was only wondering.”
I wanted to ask him why it didn’t matter but I figured that was what he wanted so I sat on the couch perpindicular to his chair, if a rectangle and a square could be perpindicular to one another, and sipped my own coffee before saying “I don’t care that you don’t care.” I sat my coffee down as if to underline the statement.
He leaned forward, straitening out his posture, before widening his eyes and saying “Well, I don’t care if you care if I care.” He tapped his own mug on the coffee table before leaning back into his chair and taking another sip. His smile was all smug.
I stood, leaving my coffee, to go take a shower.
“May I at least have my hat back?” I was already past my closet but I doubled back and ripped his damn, ratty hat out of my suitcase and frisbee’d it out the bedroom door.
“I am forever in your debt, dear sister.”
I did my best to wash the travel off of me and for the most part it worked. My mind was still buzzing, though. Not that I ussualy have an unbuzzy mind. I can hardly remember the last time I had a thought that didn’t envolve death or guilt or worry or horrible, horrible guilt.
What I mean is last night, a few hours before I got on the plane, I started something. I started something I didnt think I’d ever be able to do and I did it with relatively few snags.
Just before I came home and fought with a sibling I’d never had until now I did something that mattered. I took the first step towards redeeming myself for all the death and pain and suffering I’d caused.
I slept for thirteen hours straight.
When I emerged that evening, Milo’s coffee sat cold and stinking and nearly full next to mine, and he himself was sleeping silently his chair. His hat was on the floor.