“Where is the gun?”
Could I trust this man when our entire professional relationship was based on a series of manipulative game plays? Should I give this unsteady switch of a man, this crusher of small skulls and abductor of innocent women, this man sniffing my neck, the benefit of the doubt? Or is He dangerous, is He fire?
…I threw the dice.
“For your safety and mine, where did you put the gun? I don’t care how you acquired it, all I care is that we need it. We need it to protect ourselves.”
Somewhere along the line, ‘I’ had turned into ‘we’. Another power play. It certainly was not our gun.
I softened my eyes, hoping to cushion the statement, “I am sorry, Andrew. I cannot reveal its location, not until I am no longer with you.” He had already demonstrated the potential of what I have named His Reflex Enraged Dementia, or RED. (Yes, you can tell I really mangled that to fit the acronym!) I refer to His misplaced savagery, the ten digit squeeze on the organ that determines my thinky-thoughts—and the last thing I needed was for Him to wield a gun the next time one of His screws falls out, no matter whether He feels I possess the skills to prevent it, or not.
I expected Him to break His word. I expected an infliction of RED again. I expected, at the very least, the piquing turbulence of His ‘Medical Condition’.
Instead, He took a step away, and turned His back on me, clothing Himself to cover His story of scars. The scars He had trusted with me. Andrew the master of power plays was back.
“That was a poor decision, Little Miss.”
The tattoo on His face was covered. He was shrouded once more.
“I will be five minutes,” I whispered, frightened to add turbulence to the taut space between us. I took a lot longer than five minutes.
I stepped into the bathroom and turned the shower on.
Suddenly alone, a searching emotive stream crumpled into a confusion of confetti. For the first time since I had met Andrew, the exhilarating pinnacles and aching crevasses ploughed together in one hefty blistering turbulence. They pleaded for a gentle touch. For the first time since meeting Andrew, I slid the gate open, and allowed myself to weep—and it felt good: It was a blossom self-accolade, it was a confetti and bruises moment.
I was lonely. I was frightened. I hoped Andrew would become a stable of trust, but He let me down, time and time again, in a Groundhog Day of replays, in turbulent spoils of manipulations and power plays. Perhaps, I was just His bowling pin, and I set myself back up time and again for the inevitable, and He was such a good bowler. A bowler I could not hope to meet at His game.
I couldn’t wait to get home. I would leave this place, I would snuggle up with my giant plush sloth and my cats, and watch a heart-warming movie with tea and too much chocolate. I would never have to see Andrew again. The thought tempered me to face the next few hours. I would clean the tears from my face. I would attend the conference, I would let Him drive me home, and then we would part ways. I will be cuddling a giant sloth and felines before the day was out.
Suddenly, I felt a lot better.
The room was empty, but for a note on the bed, scribbled in His impossibly elegant and almost unreadable flourish.
Despite the lengthy ligatures and convoluted superfluity, there was an urgency to His writing. If I knew anything about Andrew, it was that Andrew was thorough, precise, concerned by detail. Andrew wasn’t the man to leave sentences lonely of a subject, or to snip an innocent auxiliary. I suppose He made a quick getaway when He heard my floodgates tear open.
Finding the slice of the silver in the clouds, I have learned one more thing about the enigma that is Andrew; it seems He does not deal well with weeping women. Good to know.
I buried the time with idle walks and reading and an awful lot of thinking. I am not sure I have ever had so much on my mind. My thoughts were plucked raw. It hurt to look at them and it hurt not to—a paradoxical crisis that wept from every angle. It was an Andrew detox. I have never been so intoxicated by a person—He is a poisonous elixir. Perhaps I was mourning the end of a chapter.