The Hairless Meandering of Edward Lock (19)

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(19)

I open the door. Kit’s sat on the stairs and I know the tears are for me.

“Where have you been?” it’s the obvious question, one I’ve prepared for, but I still draw double deuce and she stares at me, “Where have you been?”

“Kit I -”

“A meeting with an agent. Then what. What other explanations do you have, Edward. Look at yourself,” she points at the mirror and I oblige, I am thinner than I’ve been since nineteen and the bags under my eyes strain under the weight of their own bags like some sad broken backed donkey and my fingers are bony and my cheeks are gaunt, hollowed new caves on a cliff face, “you look terrible.”

I nod because what else can I do. She stands.

“Even now. No words. Not a single word. You don’t speak to me about your project, you don’t ask about my day, you get home you eat you sleep I wake up and you’re already gone. It’s like you’re not here. It’s like we’re divorced. It’s like. It’s like,” I feel her breath, I taste her tears.

“Kit. I’m sorry,” I move closer to her but draw up when I see a new hardness in her eye.

“Sorry?” she says, “Sorry? What is sorry meant to do? What is sorry meant to do when you don’t even know what you’re apologising for?”

“I’m going to get help,” I say because in some ways it’s true.

“Help?” she says. The tears stop immediately.

“It’s insomnia. I can’t sleep. I have. I have terrible dreams,” I say, taking a pot of blue pills from my jacket pocket, “these are from Dr. Remnbaud. He says they’ll help.”

“Dreams, what do you dream about?” she asks, moving closer. We are pirouetting in the hallway, a last waltz on an empty dancefloor, participants: two.

“I dream of Robin,” she winces at the name, I try to clutch the words back, they keep coming, “I dream that he’s here. I dream that he’s here with us, I dream that he was still here, I dream of him crawling from stomachs and taking rides on buses and sitting on my lap and I dream of him saying Dada and I dream of him holding your hand and holding my hand and we both swing him in the air only we let go and he flies and it’s not just a scratch on the knee it’s not just a bruised nose, he disappears, Kit, we let go and he disappears. Flies. He flies away.”

She doesn’t say anything. She doesn’t have to say anything. She takes the final step of the dance and buries her face in my shoulder.

“Edward, Edward, Edward,” she’s saying, “We can try again. We can try again.”

She kisses me with salty lips. My lips are rigid, my arms by my sides, but with fervour she kisses my face and my neck and she moves her hand down my leg and into my crotch and whispers, “We can try again.”

“I need to sleep, Kit. Look at me. We will try. We will try again. I promise,” I say, pushing her away slightly. I kiss her tenderly on the cheek. She smiles.

“It’s going to be fine, it’s going to be fine. I’ll come and watch you sleep. I’ll be there if you wake up. I promise,” she says.

On the stairs one tear dries on my face.

 

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