-I have a secret
she whispers, grinning, as he runs his hand through his hair. He is annoyed and she is loving every second of it.
-Just tell me, then
he prompts her, knowing she won’t, believing that there is no secret. There has never been before. He rolls his eyes and she finds it hysterical, tipping her head back and laughing loudly. It scares her, and it scares him that it scares her. She’s afraid of her shadow, she’s afraid of her laugh.
-Come on, hon
he says, taking her hand, hoping to get her in the car for a drive. Drives will usually calm her down. She tries to pull her hand away from him, like a toddler trying to escape her mother’s grip, whining,
-I don’t have to listen to you
-Let go of me!
but he refuses to until she starts scratching at him, chardonnay nails staining his cheeks in long ugly welts.
-What are you doing?
he asks her, dropping her hand and placing his own on his check in one motion. What are you doing? She closes her eyes. He has figured it out, has finally asked the right question.
-I don’t know