"Mitch?" He calls out as Lindsey and I are playing Sorry on the living room floor. "I brought you something."
I hop up and walk over to him. "For me?"
"Of course for you. Who else would I bring a..." he opens the tiny styrofoam box to reveal a cupcake, "strawberry cupcake to?"
I smile. "I haven't had anything from a bakery in sooo long."
"Yeah, it was scaring me. You told me that you always need your fix. I couldn't just stop being the dealer."
I shake my head. "Shut up." Gently, I take the cupcake into my hands and take a bite. The whipped cream based frosting almost makes me moan. "Your dinner is on the stove, Lindsey and I made you a plate." I go back over to Lindsey and sit down, picking a card. "Ha! Sorry!" I knock out one of her pawns close to the Safe Zone and viciously take a bite out of my cupcake. She grimaces and takes her turn. While his food is heating up, Scott comes over and squats down next to her and kisses her on the forehead.
"Mitch," she mumbles, defeated.
The timer beeps, so Scott hops up. "Well maybe it'll turn around." He checks his food as the game goes on. "I was thinking about this dinner the whole way home."
"We were going to wait for you, but you took too long," I say.
"It's fine, I can just eat alone."
"No, Daddy! We can sit with you. Mitch and I can finish the game after."
"No... I mean... If you insist."
She giggles and goes to sit at the table, and I follow close behind. Scott smiles widely, sitting with his steaming plate of food. "I can't believe you made pineapple chicken."
"I figured you deserve your favorite meal before you leave."
"We're only moving a few minutes away."
Lindsey stays quiet whenever we talk about them moving out, which is unusual for her because she's quite opinionated. I think Scott talked to her about not complaining. He knows I'd do anything to let her stay.
"I know, but still."
He takes his first bite as I take my last. I'll miss eating dinner with him.
"I'm just gonna shower and then Lindsey and I will make sure we're done packing."
I agree because I can't really disagree. He's moving out either way. As we wait, I proceed to beat Lindsey in Sorry and am in the middle of beating her again when Scott emerges in the old clothes I bought him from Wal-Mart all that time ago. I sigh and wish we could go back. Go back to the moment I thought entering Scott's Scones was a good idea and stop myself. Before I viewed that flickering 'Open' light as a heartbeat. It was nice before when I only had a crush on him. Being in love feels like so much more work on your mind. Having a crush is like something exciting and secretive, but being in love with someone who you know you shouldn't be is exhausting. You constantly remind yourself to stay off certain topics and to not make it too obvious that you're willing to do anything for them. Despite the fact he frustrates me daily, he's still the reason I feel like living. That has to be love.
He packages up the last few boxes as Lindsey ends up beating me in our close game. He adds the board game to the final open box and seals it. I guess that's it. He's really leaving tomorrow. It's like with that eerie sound of tape being ripped on the sharp edge of the packing tool, it's symbolic of how he's being ripped away from me.