The Book of Gateways (Installment 5)

 I don’t exactly remember what happened, a walk to the car, a soundless twenty minute ride to a little tan wooden house. Or at least that’s what I assume happened. Then I realize the little tan wooden house is our destination, and that we’ve made the journey to Piers’ house. It’s a small house still “decorated” with unopened moving boxes even after three weeks of being here. Piers disappears for a moment and I feel like I might go into seizures only to see him quickly reappear and lead me to his living room and direct me to sit on his tan couch. I don’t refuse.  I’m numb. Completely out of it. I feel disgustingly unlike myself. An alien in my own body and a foreigner in this place. Comfort will not find me no matter how much I beg it to come. Emptiness is beginning to gnaw at everything inside me, mentally and physically so I’m surprised when I feel a blanket draped over me and a cup of warm something in my hands.

            “It’s tea.” Piers says and sits next to me. A long time passes and we don’t talk. Finally he starts to say something. “Wanna go up to my room?”

            “What do you think this is?! I’m not that vulnerable you maggot!” I say as a sudden fury comes over me. He just shakes his head.

            “I’m sleeping down here. You’re sleeping in my room, dummy.” He says rubbing his face. Looks like he still has the ability to pick on me I think to myself and suddenly I clam up again. I’m a mess. A volatile concoction of only God knows what.

            “Oh… that’s ok. I’ll sleep down here.” I spit out regretting my outburst.

            “Out of the question.”  He answers strictly and a long time passes again. It’s like we don’t know how to function anymore.

            “How about we just stay on the couch?” Nothing can happen right? I tell myself this because despite being unsure this emptiness will destroy me before he does and I am sure that this is much much worse.

            “Um, ok.” Piers says as he puts his feet up on an ataman and places a pillow on his lap. He gives it a soft pat and I lay down on it. I feel a little warmth battling out the darkness as I lay my head down. I feel like a swirling war of chaos is going on inside of me and the only hope of winning is when I’m next to Piers. Maybe it’s all the crying, or the emotional distress, or the sheer hatred of being alive that makes me exhausted but I manage to fall asleep in a matter of seconds.

It’s obviously much later because I wake up to the sun streaming through the naked windows. No curtains. I have a terrible headache, my eyes are so puffy it feels like a work out just to blink, and my cheeks are stiff from all the crying. I rub my face and then I realize that Piers is gone. I try to crane my neck to see if he’s in the kitchen but I can’t see and theirs no noise coming from there anyway. An hour goes by before he comes home and I’m panicking the whole time so when he comes home I’m happy.

            “Where have you been? Why didn’t you tell me you were going somewhere? Couldn’t you have left me a note?” I’m happy he’s home but I’m not sure how to translate. Then I realize it’s another one of my crazy outbursts.

            “Since when did you become my mom?” He says trying to joke like he used to. He puts down a bag of groceries. “I had to do something with my time while you slept. Besides I didn’t want to wake you” He says as he unloads the big brown bag.

            “Thank you… For taking care of me.”  In reality it’s amazing he’s been able to do as much as he has. In theory he was much closer to Milo than I was so the damage he feels right now must be incomprehensible.

            “Well…Uncle put me in charge of taking care of you. So I’m going to.” Just the mention of Milo makes us both quiet.



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