Thursday, December 8, 2016

It's Not Loaded

He looked liked someone I had known before. It just wasn't him. He stood beside me as I shook hands and made agreements with all of these important, new people. He'd squeeze my leg under the table as a way to reassure me that I was saying the right things and making the right decisions. He knew without me even batting an eyelash when I was stressed. He didn't even have to hear it in my voice. 

He was so comforting. I didn't understand why he came with me. And I would giggle under my breath when he introduced himself as my manager. I could see his chest puff up a little when the words would come out of his mouth. But I ate it up. I really couldn't think of a better person to have alongside me during this experience. 

His beard was too long. It covered up a gorgeous face and left him looking about five years older and three levels less sophisticated. I was beating a dead horse though, always picking on his facial hair decisions. I loved to annoy him or poke at him. Probably because it was my only way to relay my affection that I had wrapped up inside me. I had this man placed high on a pedestal for a large portion of my life. I should have been using him as an example of trust and consistency all along. 

Then we were driving. We had rented a black car that didn't quite fit people that stood above 5'2. My knees hit the dashboard with every bump on the road. And he told me he'd shave after we checked into the hotel. 

"Are you happy now," he screamed as he stumbled out of the bathroom.

I left my Anne Klein boots right outside of the door, and he had tripped over them only making his frustration with me peak. My back was toward him though, and I hid my giggles. 

"I know you're laughing," he said sternly.

I turned around and sucked in my smile. His face was clean, and he looked like my best friend again. I knew he wasn't that man anymore though. And that was okay, he was happy. He was settled. But at first glance, my stomach dropped a bit, and I felt goosebumps on my arm. Why didn't I ever tell him how handsome I thought he was? 

I didn't allow myself to tell him now though.

"Go put on a shirt. No one wants to see that," I countered.

 His mood let out a bit then. "Yeah, yeah," he sighed, and sauntered back to the bathroom. 

Fast forward a few weeks and we were back in my house. He had my manuscript in his hand, and I could tell he was genuinely proud of me. He was proud of me for a lot of things. And I loved feeling that. Mainly because there was a part of me that always thought our friendship was based on him not wanting to hurt my feelings. There was a self-consciousness that was palpable within me that said, "He's humoring you Grace." 

This proved otherwise though. He was always actively supportive. He read my work when I didn't ask him to. He believed in me before he knew that I needed the push. I followed him back to my bedroom. Why this didn't feel wrong I can't tell you. He was supposed to be leaving. He was supposed to take the manuscript, and finish editing it at home, and then bring me back all of the abrasive notes the next day. Instead he climbed into my bed with it. I turned off the lights and muted the television. 

"How about I give you the notes as they come," he asked me.

 I nodded in agreement.

Something told me not to argue with anything. I let him read while I took a quick shower and changed my clothes. I stayed in the bathroom as long as I could because he was making me nervous. That wasn't necessarily something new. He's had that ability all along. I just looked passed it most of the time. There was no reason to feel it. 

I opened the door and lingered in the doorway. I was staring at him while he scribbled in the margins. I loved seeing this side of him. He was more creative than you'd believe at first glance, or even after your first conversation with him. 

Finally he looked up and smiled at me.

"It's really, really good Grace," he said. 

I questioned him, "Why do you sound so surprised this time?" 

"Because you're always acting like it's all in your head. This talent you have, you've got to own it," he urged.  

That's when things get a bit fuzzy. He pulled out a gun from his bag. He took it apart. Put it back together. All the while I knew he could feel my uneasiness. 

"Don't even think about giving me any lip Grace," he demanded without turning his head to look at me. 

Annoyed, I responded, "Well, what the hell do you think you're doing?" 

"It's not loaded. You love metaphors so listen to me," he explained. 

He patted the spot beside him and threw over the blankets to make room for me. I climbed in leaving a good amount of space between us. 

"No," is all he said as he took his arm and pulled me next to him by the waist. 

"All of that negative energy. All of those negative thoughts you have swirling around inside of you. We're getting rid in them tonight," he said. 

"Okay. And how do we do that," I asked. 

"We're gonna shoot em."
© Grace Lynne Fleming. All rights reserved.
Blogger Templates by pipdig