All Things Us

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She stared out of the window that overlooked the kitchen sink for the third time, then checked the time on her phone. The smell of the oil beginning to burn on the stove made her sigh. She turned it off and dialed his number for the tenth time. When it started to ring on the other side of the door, it opened and he walked in, holding it in his hands.

All the questions about where he had been died on her tongue as she stared at him standing there, dripping wet. “Wow.” He started walking towards her, then stopped, unsure of what to do. “Straight to the bathroom, hurry up.”

He walked off without a word and she followed him, her mind running in a lot of places at once. When she followed him, he slumped to the ground and pulled his shirt over his head.

“Babe…” she knelt in front of him and held the hands that were fumbling with the belt on his trousers. He sighed and rested his head on her shoulders. She sat in front of him and pulled him into a hug. “Your skin is so cold. You need heat.”

“I need you,” he murmured and pulled her closer. “I’m sorry, the things that happened today are just tiring to think about.”

“How about we start with why you’re this wet? Hm?” She rubbed his back, then pulled a towel off the shelf beside them to dry his head.

“Car broke down a few minutes away so I walked the rest of the way. I seemed like a good idea at the time. I couldn’t answer you under the rain.”

“Why? Were you crying?”

“No. Men don’t do that,” he felt her smile against his shoulder.

“It’s okay, there’s nobody else here to hear you admit it.”

“Fine. But it was just a little.”

“Of course it was,” she pulled back and laid her forehead against his, her hands around his neck. “It’s okay to cry when you’re overwhelmed, Sam. You feel better afterwards.”

“When is afterwards? Because I still feel like crap. It’s frustrating, Zee. She still loves him, even after everything. I feel torn between understanding him and being angry. It’s all just too much. And it shouldn’t be affecting me, I’m too old for this. It’s just a little hard to hear that you weren’t supposed to exist, or you weren’t wanted.”

She draped the towel around his shoulders and straddled him, making him look at her. “You’re wanted. I want you. You exist here,” she placed his hand over her heart. “It may not be much, but it’s something. As much as I understand where you’re coming from, dwelling on it will just continue to make you sad, babe. We come from messed up parents who made stupid choices without thinking about how it would affect us. We can whine about it, but…it won’t change anything.”

She stopped talking and kissed his temple, before hugging him. The silence surrounded them like a warm blanket, each comfortable just being with the other.

“What if…? I’m scared that I’ll make a decision that would hurt Dami. And it could come out of good intentions. I don’t think I could live with that, babe. I can’t.”

“I won’t let you. It’s not a cycle, and even if it is, you’ll break it. I believe in you, babe. Let me remind you that you have a whole family now.”

“I do?”

“Yes. Me. Damien. And I don’t want to say it but I have to. Demilade.” His chest vibrated with laughter and she swatted his shoulder playfully. “I’m serious. We’re your family now. Focus on us, and to do that your head has to be in the right place. Your mom has made a decision that affects only her right now, you have to let her. I know it feels hard, but you’ll get there.”

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