Monday, September 28, 2015
In that moment, the dark red skies opened up and welcomed a downpour of heavy salt water that slid down the curve of my face.
I prosed a question, “How did you find me?”
He smirked. “Twin telethapy.”
I scoffed and shook my head slightly. “Why did you come?”
“Its about the ‘bitch’. She di- committed suicide. Sorry.” His detached expression matched mine.
“Is that all?”
“Lyds,” he sighed. “Your façade isn’t opaque. The gates have opened revealing that your heart isn’t the size of an acorn.”
I tried to bite down my smile but Liam’s words overtook my control.
“You care more than I do, otherwise you wouldn’t have come all the way down here.”
“I would have just called, but someone decided to fall off the face of the earth so it made breaking the news somewhat difficult. Which reminds me…”
He reached into his duffel bag and retracted a small rectangular box. He threw his bag over his shoulder and took a few steps closer to me and handed me an IPhone 6.
“Thanks.” I was too tired to pretend I wasn’t grateful. I put the box inside my purse and decided to set it up when we got inside.
“Well then we can continue talking in a less dramatic setting. Your place.”
“Fine, but you’re sleeping on the couch.”
I lead him to the apartment.
I awoke to the sounds of chattering on the news, the smell of turkey bacon, and cheese grits. The smell was comforting, but I hated the news. Liam knew that, which is why it was kept on a low volume. I opened my eyes slightly and saw Liam whistling with a dishtowel slung over his shoulder, putting things on plates for breakfast. His gestures were one of the best things about him; I missed how they made you feel. I yawned, then stretched out my arms and got out of bed, but when I stood up I couldn’t feel my right foot. I could only sense the feeling of a thousand pins sticking me from the inside. I tried to shake my foot to wake it up but ended up hitting it against my nightstand. The numbing feeling was replaced by one of searing pain, that made all your words lost for a quick moment. I took a deep breath and looked up at the TV. The top of the screen had the words ‘flash flood warning’ running across it. I sat on my couch and Liam brought me breakfast, a mug full of cheese grits and a plate with turkey bacon on it.
“You didn’t have make me breakfast,” I said to him.
“I know. I wanted to. You needed to eat something homemade before you get fat from all that takeout.”
I rolled my eyes, but he was right that’s all I have really eaten since I’ve been here.
“So what’s the plan,” I asked?
“What do you mean?”
“Like what’s next? Are we going to her funeral? Are you staying with me for a while? What?”
“Well her funeral was last week. I didn’t go, but I got an ‘invitation’. They treated it like a party or something and I didn’t care enough to go so. As for living arrangements I don’t know. I’m just sort of feeling it out for right now. Maybe I’ll stay, maybe I won’t.”
“Well I’ll let you stay if you make breakfast for me every morning.”
“Yeah and sleep on the couch everyday, no thank you. If we got a place together it would need to be way bigger than this.”
“Well they’re renovating the top floor so maybe.”
“Did you miss me?”
I nodded slowly.
“Yeah a lot.”
He reached over and we embraced in a hug. He smelled clean cut as always and like Calvin Klein cologne.
“Well what’s the plan for today? Are you gonna show me around your glorious little town?”
“Actually I did have something planned for today. Wanna get a tattoo?”
“Actually I already have one.”
He took off his shirt to reveal a scribbled out rainbow surrounding the words ‘love is love’.
I smiled and was proud that after all these years Liam was proud of who he was.
“But you sure as hell aren’t getting one,” he said in a furious tone.
“I'm sorry I didn’t realize I was under eighteen. I'm getting one,” I argued.
We were walking to the tattoo shop in the never-ending spurs of rain where this guy, Julian Towers, does really good tattoos according to my co-worker. I don’t think there were any other shops in town so I figured why not. It’s on my list. I try and ignore Liam’s protests and arguments as we walk into the shop.
"You need to more time to think this through--"
"No. I don't. I've spent my entire waking life second guessing myself and thinking about everything. It's time to live, Liam."
"You're not around her anymore."
"But she's always in my head, and in yours too. You've got one now."
"Just take a breath--"
"It's on my list, and this guy's suppose to be pretty good at what he does, so back-it-up, brother."
I turned around towards whom I assumed to be Julian, sitting casually on a couch; he was cute in that tortured soul kind of way. Usually I'd be very blunt and say that to his face but then I thought better not. He seemed deep, the type of guy to discover the real meaning in things.
"My name is Lydia, and I want a tattoo right here on my wrist."
I just remembered the scar on my wrist and had a feeling the questions were already starting to churn in his head.
He looked up at me through his long fanned out eyelashes and asked, "What do you have in mind?"
I was about to respond but something had transfixed Liam’s gaze and then Julian’s, so I followed it to the window of the shop to see the ugliest looking ducks I’ve ever seen. They just stood there glaring at us, so much so that it even creped the dog out, which had to mean something. Then, they left.
I turned back to Julian and said, "I want a small cross here, outlined in black and filled in with red."
"Don't Lyds me, Liam--you're my brother, not my mother. Come on, you know this is the right thing for me right now."
"Okay, then, what style, I have several choices,” Julian interjected.
"I don't care. You choose."
He nodded, "Okay, come this way."
I followed him into this back room and decided that I just wanted the outline of the cross, no red. I told him that as he pulled out a wide black binder full of designs. He smiled to himself and nodded.