Hi, Hey, Hello!
Turns out that I started writing a fourth piece for this, what I guess is slowly and accidentally becoming a series, all the way back in October and then left it, but because I was looking back at some old stuff I found it again. Then I just had the small case of finishing it, which clearly I have because here it is.
A weird yet somehow unawkward silence settled over them when they got to Lydia’s house. A silence that Lydia was afraid to break for fear of showing even more weakness with her broken voice. A silence Calvin was afraid to break because he didn’t even know where to start. Asking if she was okay seemed redundant because she clearly wasn’t and it seemed like the worse situation possible for any kind of privacy. It dawned on Calvin as he hovered just behind Lydia in the entry way of her house that he hadn’t thought this far ahead. So he stood there with his hands stuffed in the back pocket of his jeans, suddenly very aware of the fact that he didn’t have the reassuring comfort of sleeves that usually demanded to be tugged at.
But he waited on the doorstep, for what he didn’t know. He just knew he wanted to stick around until he was told by Lydia otherwise.
The echo of a throat clearing quietly eventually broke the silence momentarily. But still neither spoke. Calvin tentatively stepped into the house and began to trap the silence in the confines of the hallway. As the front door loudly clicked shut and punctuated the silence the atmosphere between the two of them changed. In response to the awkwardness Lydia slowly became fascinated by the slightly frayed thread on her bandage, tugging at it gently and distractedly.
‘You probably shouldn’t do that. It might lead to an infection or something.’ Calvin mumbled, much to both their surprise, rubbing a hand against the nape of his neck as silence blanketed them again. Lydia smiled briefly at his warning and dropped her hands by her side, finally looking up and making eye contact with Calvin.
‘Yeah the doctor may have mentioned something about infections.’ Lydia said, laughing softly.
‘I mean it’s probably unlikely to happen, your doctor seemed pretty happy with the situation.’
‘How did you even get to know that?’ She asked suddenly and somewhat angrily.
‘Oh erm, I may have lied and said I was your fiance, I think the nurse took pity on me…or you.’ He shrugged and went to tug at sleeves that weren’t there.
‘Well thanks I guess. I don’t quite know how you were there, but thanks for being there.’
‘I noticed.’ He stated.
‘That you weren’t around. I mean I know it’s easy to say now that you’re relatively okay again and I totally understand if you’re like “well it’s too little too late”, but I noticed. And I care.’ He finished weakly.
‘There is a part of me that wants to kick you out and ask you to never talk to me again. because yeah it’s a bit late. And I want to be angry with you because where were you when my life fell apart and disintegrated into nothing? Where were you when all I had was the sound of an oppressive silence? And I want to hate you for being so fucking bold as to think that you can just swan in when the going is particularly tough and I’m gonna be okay with that. But then I remember how good it felt to wake up and not be in this sterile environment with its beeping and the scratching and the light on my own, and I can’t kick you out in a rage. I really, really, really, want to but I can’t.’ She slumped against the wall and sighed.
‘I can leave if you want.’ Calvin tried quietly.
‘I don’t. I just want to sit down.’ She pushed off the wall and swayed a little, Calvin started to try and steady her with a tentative hand.
‘You should probably eat something.’
‘I have no food.’ She sighed out and stepped out of his reach.
‘Uuuuhhhhh, yeah you do. I mean I based it on stuff I’ve seen you eat recently. I don’t really know if you want or anything but yeah…’ Calvin trailed off nervously under the glare that Lydia focused on him.
‘How did you do that?’ She shot at him.
‘A nurse gave me the stuff you were wearing when I took you in. Your keys were on you, I had to get the window fixed, I broke it to get you and then, I dunno I thought I could try and make it feel like…something again for when you got out.’
‘I get the wanting to get the window fixed, but what is the motivation behind everything else?’ She asked, mostly in confusion.
‘Honestly? I feel guilty. I say I noticed you but I didn’t. Not really anyway. I think because my self destruction was so obvious that everyone else’s will be too and it’s not. I figured because it wasn’t slightly in your face that it didn’t exist. And it’s so stupid because I know how it works. Kind of anyway. I know that it manifests itself in different ways but I ignored it or pretended that it wasn’t happening or something. Basically I buried my head in the sand and convinced myself that you didn’t want to be noticed you just wanted to be included. But your parents have just died and you’re on your own, being included means nothing if no one listens to you. And I should have listened. I should have seen more and I should have listened. And believe me I know this shitty of me right now and I know I’m selfishly making this about me but you want to know why I’m doing all of this. It’s because I feel guilty.
‘When was the last time you hurt yourself?’ Lydia asked suddenly to fill the silence that Calvin’s words were sucked up into.
‘I think the fact that I’ve eaten of slept in the last week is pretty damaging.’ He replied honestly.
‘Then you should probably eat as well.’
‘I’m not hungry.’ He mumbled.
‘You just said it was damaging that you haven’t eaten.’
‘Doesn’t mean I’m hungry though.’ Calvin defended.
‘But you probably are though Calvin.’
‘How about you don’t tell me what I am Lydia.’ He spat at her.
‘Alright then, sorry. Didn’t mean to offend you.’
‘No, you didn’t do anything wrong. I’m just being a dick.’ He sighed and slumped his shoulders.
‘Do you want food or not?’ Lydia tried again.
‘Yes please.’ He smiled.
‘Are you gonna stick around all day or what?’
‘I can go if you want.’ He said weakly.
‘No I want you to eat first. And you should probably sleep as well.’ Lydia replied confidently.
‘I can go home for that.’
‘No offense and you can say no, but I’d feel better if you crashed here.’
‘Why?’ Calvin shrugged.
‘I honestly don’t have an answer for that. Call it curiosity or sympathy. Or maybe it’s my own guilt because you not eating or sleeping is my fault.’
‘We can’t live in a cycle of guilt with each other you know that right?’ He insisted.
‘Of course I do Calvin, but currently it’s all we have. I just tried to kill myself. And you’ve probably spent all that time thinking it was somehow your fault and I feel like I am to blame for your current state. Maybe the fact that we are admitting to all this is a good thing, maybe it’s not. All I know is that I am tired. I just want to eat and then sleep. We can has this all out properly when we aren’t exhausted and angry if you want.’ She sighed and shrugged her shoulders.
‘I want to.’ He confirmed.
‘Want or need?’ Lydia asked curiously.
‘Little bit of both.’ He admitted.
‘At least you’re honest.’
‘Doesn’t work if you’re not.’ Lydia nodded in agreement and then gestured vaguely at his arms.
‘I borrowed a jumper from you and never returned it, you can go get it if you want. My room is the door at the end of the hallway upstairs, it should be on the back of the chair.’
‘The least I could do given the circumstances.’ Lydia smiled and then walked towards the kitchen while Calvin dragged his feet up the stairs.