thewordofweb: (share of burdens: by ?)
[personal profile] thewordofweb
Grant's been right. The one thing that I've been putting off doing right now is the one thing I need to do, but the guilt has been swarming me something terrible. How can I help it? Joe spent the worst day of his life here (maybe second worst) and I'd been a shadow after that, never leaving his side if I could help it. And then because of one small trip to the bookcase, I was gone for nearly two days straight.

I had gone to the kitchen to see the damage and now that the sun is low enough in the sky, I'm back in front of my door, ready to head into the bedroom (mine, his...ours, I suppose). I said I loved him and then days later, I just vanished. I still don't know if I can even bear to tell him what's really going on.

All I do manage is opening the door and taking two steps in, hanging my head and swallowing down the lump in my throat, trying to keep myself on the precarious precipice so I don't fall off and lose my composure. "I'm back," I say, hushed, avoiding eye contact. I don't think I can look at him and not lose it. I really don't.

Date: 2009-04-22 12:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] soldier-singled.livejournal.com
Joe's lying on the bed, not doing much, half asleep, and his eyes don't open when he hears Webster, but, suddenly, there's a crease of tension between his eyebrows where there wasn't one before.

"Jeez," he says, quietly. "Awful fuckin' nice of ya."

Date: 2009-04-22 05:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thewordofweb.livejournal.com
I linger by the doorway, unsure if I should move or if I should speak again, but my body freezes for me and I can feel that same gutting and empty feeling wrenching away at my guts, at my heart. "I'm sorry it was so long, I should have...I should." I pause and I can't even command my voice to rise to audible.

Without more words, I pry off my shoes and slowly sit myself down on the bed, back to Joe and slumped heavily. Every breath is still a fight and I can't seem to pull myself out of this. "I'm sorry." It comes out broken and I'm probably apologizing for something that Joe doesn't understand. That I'm not sure I should tell him.

Date: 2009-04-24 06:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] soldier-singled.livejournal.com
"You ain't supposed to leave without leaving me a note or...shit, or somethin' Webster." Joe's jaw tightens and he shakes his head. "Jesus Christ, you know how people disappear. For all I knew, you and your fuckin' boat were just...you were just gone."

Date: 2009-04-25 03:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thewordofweb.livejournal.com
I nod, severely chastened already and I swallow hard as I slowly begin to strip my clothes methodically, managing to get one layer off and another, substituting them with pajamas. Now, though, I want the protective layer of more clothing and my shoulders tense higher than before as I lie on my side facing away from him. "I know," I quietly say.

He's not going to understand and I can't even explain and I freeze up, that same lump caught in my throat as I think about not coming back, about leaving him and my body shakes and trembles slightly. I curl up tighter and close my eyes.

I don't want to die, I don't. I don't want to.

"Are you okay?" I ask hesitantly, voice dull and body making a neat little ball.

Date: 2009-04-26 04:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] soldier-singled.livejournal.com
Having not really slept well in a couple of days, Joe doesn't really have it in him to soften just yet. He draws one knee up against his chest and, in the end, he reaches out and touches Webster's shoulder, almost experimental in his gentleness.

"Hangin' in there."

Date: 2009-04-26 04:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thewordofweb.livejournal.com
The moment he touches me, I try and shy away, to inch forward so he doesn't feel the way my body is shaking at the very moment of existing. I shake and I tremble and I quake and every breath rabbits in and out without delay because I'm still so fucking scared of what I found, of what's going to happen to me. Whether today, tomorrow, or sixteen years from now. I turn enough so that my forearm muffles any sounds from my mouth and my forehead is buried into my pillow.

What the fuck am I even supposed to be strong for? I wasn't strong enough to have the will to keep living, what the hell...what the hell am I supposed to do here. I lift my head, enough to spit out a forced, "Good!" in as cheerful and pathetic a tone I can muster.

Date: 2009-04-26 10:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] soldier-singled.livejournal.com
Joe takes his hand back, staring down at him. His jaw tightens and he folds his arms.

"I don't know what the fuck you want from me, Webster."

Date: 2009-04-26 10:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thewordofweb.livejournal.com
Maybe it's easier if he's mad at me. That's what I tell myself. But as I turn over to look at him with my cheeks slightly murky for the wetness on them and my eyes still bloodshot, I don't want him to be annoyed or upset when I need him. Intrinsically, I know that truth more than any other, even if it's not healthy. "Please don't be mad," I nearly beg, even if there's an echo of strain. "If you want to be, I'll get up, I'll go to your room, but..."

But what? But I don't even know. "Joe," I get out, shaking my head, not knowing what to say. "I'm so sorry."

Date: 2009-04-27 05:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] soldier-singled.livejournal.com
Joe's mouth twists and he shakes his head, swinging his legs out of bed.

"Go to sleep, Webster. I'm gonna take a walk."

Date: 2009-04-27 05:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thewordofweb.livejournal.com
For some reason, that's what does it. I go from absolutely lost to just a kind of calm that seems to permeate and make me feel just a bit more hopeless than before. I nod at him and curl up with the pillow, shifting until I'm in the center of the bed with my pillow and my cheek pressed to it, watching his back as I keep curled.

"Okay," I agree, voice dulled and quiet. I made this bed and now I lie in it. And I lie to him.

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