#Stories: A Perfect Partner

“Why are you here?”

“Because you’re here. I want to be where you are.”

“Do you realize how insane that sounds?”

“I love you. Why is that insane?”

“Because you are spending your entire weekend sitting next to me in an outpatient treatment room, and this is the first time I’ve spoken to you in the last two hours.”

She plucked a thread from her sleeve and flicked it to the floor with a twitch. From the corner of her eye she saw his eyes follow the thread and a slight tick in the skin over his cheek. She had used the same fingers to flick his joints repeatedly, checking for reaction. Her body was reclined on the padded leather chair, arms crossed defensively over her chest, eyes closed against the bright sunlight attempting to pierce the eyes of every single patient in the room but missing all of their visitors who sat with their backs to the windows.

Bringing both hands to his head with slightly jerky movements, he stood and turned towards the window with the weight of her eyes on his back.

“What do you want me to do?”

“I don’t know, Henry. I can’t be in charge of your every waking moment. I’m not your keeper.”

Too many hours with an IV taped to the back of her hand, and an oxygen mask over her face had made her grumpy and impatient. While the volume of her voice was soft, the harsh tone with which she spoke gave away her swiftly waning patience with this man standing before her.

He could have just dropped her off. He could have pulled up to the entrance downstairs, put the car in park, helped her into the lobby, and turned around and left. But no. He had parked, carefully shuttled her fragile body to the outpatient lobby and gone back out to move the car to the longer term parking that was far from the entrance and come back in.

He had no books. He hadn’t even brought headphones with him.

He just sat there across from her treatment chair staring at her and waiting for his instructions.

This was always going to be the problem. She should have cut him loose when he started waiting for her through her yoga classes. Couldn’t he find something else to do with his time aside from waiting for her? It drove her up the wall – constantly waiting for her to give him a directive, constantly waiting for her to tell him exactly what she wanted him to do with the next hour of his life. She wouldn’t be there forever.

He blinked and there was a slight hum from his chest.

“You made me. You tied my circuits together and threw the switch. You are my mother. I exist only to be with you.”



About bookoisseur
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