(Oh, look. I'm going to add to what I started with this post. Don't say I never finish anything.)
When Lochlan returned, it was dark. He walked through the door of his apartment, letting it crash against the wall. He threw his keys on the table and walked straight to the couch where he sat down with a loud sigh and took another drink from the open bottle in his hand.
When is it?
He knew I would still be right where he left me. Spinning in the dark in his desk chair.
This summer. Labour day weekend.
Christ, my birthday? Come on, Bridge.
Everyone will be home.
He stared at me for a moment and then realized, glassy-eyed, that I was right.
Don't do this, peanut.
I'm not your problem anymore.
I only needed a break. Three years is long enough. You're going to be related to that monster.
Cole won't let anything bad happen to me.
Come back to me. We'll get it right.
It's too late to be right, Loch. I stand up, turning on the lamp and begin to walk slow laps around the room. He finally gets up and pushes me back down into the chair. He hates it when I pace. I hate trying to have a battle of wits with a twenty-five year old with freshly impaired judgment.
It's not. We start over. Just you and me.
It's too late, I repeat. What are you going to do with your life, Lochlan?
I don't know. He says it quietly and looks away. I know I'll be watching him.
I'm not going to report to you.
I didn't ask you to. Everyone else will. He smiled. He's halfway to drunk.
Just hear me out okay? I'm going to win you back, even if it takes the rest of my life.
I have nothing better to do, peanut. His head is pressed against mine. I am pinned in the chair, he has his hands on the arm rests, and short of slithering out underneath his arms, I'm trapped.
So I kissed him.
I'd like to say I was young and stupid, or that I didn't know what I was doing, or hell, maybe it just happened, but I did it on purpose, because I wanted to know if it would still feel like it used to before we broke up. (Lochlan, against all odds, is the most affection person, after me that is, on the planet. He doesn't seem like he would be but he is and he keeps it all for me so maybe that means he isn't. I don't know. Let's just keep going, shall we?)
He kissed me back and turned the light off again. I had orange polka dots dancing in front of my eyes and the taste of secondhand whiskey on my tongue. I took the bottle from him and swallowed a long drink, the burning fire spreading down into my fingertips and toes. Yep. Still feels the same. Really, really good.
I have to go. Cole's going to be off soon. Cole worked nights at the same restaurant as Lochlan to pay for film. He said he was going to be a chef because he could afford a good knife but not a good camera. It was a travesty no one planned to put up with for very long.
Lochlan backed off and I got up and walked to the door, grabbing my bag off the table.
I wouldn't want to be in his shoes.
No, he's about to marry someone who doesn't love him. And I'm sure he knows.
I walked back over and slapped him. Hard.
You don't get to tell me how I feel!
But I'm right, aren't I? He picked up the bottle and took another drink in the darkness. I didn't stay around to answer. I heard the bottle hit the door and smash to bits after I closed it as I walked down the hallway. An uncharacteristic response from him. He doesn't usually allow himself to lose control.
I should have put more stock in that realization but I didn't. I was too busy trying to figure out how I was going to marry Cole without getting any closer to Caleb, of whom I was deathly afraid by this point.
I had waited for Lochlan long enough. I couldn't wait anymore.