7 months ago

Comfortable Madness First PDF 4-13-18

Date Night Tayla stood

Date Night Tayla stood at the stove. She refused to let me help. “This is special,” she said. “Go away.” Nerves shimmered through me but Tayla was stern. This was her being nice. It didn’t happen a lot. Not that Tayla wasn’t kind, but most of the time her kindness came with an edge. I needed to do something, so I walked around the house. Everything was familiar but meaningless. It was like when I stared at a mirror too long. Sometimes my face fell apart leaving me with nothing but jagged pieces. A cheekbone. A nose. An eye. I knew the ivory walls rising around me. I recognized the photos and paintings, but they made no sense. “These things,” Gid said, “are things. They will fade.” I closed my eyes and pushed him out of my head. Even so, the words stuck. Even running a finger along the edges of a framed photo of Tayla and me at the beach did nothing to reassure me. Tayla called me into the kitchen to try the caramelized onions and blueberry topping she’d made for the pork. I didn’t know where the money came from and didn’t ask. The topping was good if a bit too sweet. Tayla took my hand, shocking me back into the world. I pulled away, startled, and went back to the living room. Tayla finished cooking and brought the meal to the table. She lit candles and poured wine. She fixed a plate for me, three pieces of pork and red potatoes. She piled salad on the side. I waited until she was ready before digging in. It was delicious. Sometimes, Tayla surprised me with her domestic skills. Cooking and cleaning were not things she did often but when she did them, she did them with skill and drive. Tayla reached across the table and took my hand. “Dance with me?” she asked. It was weird. Tayla didn’t dance. I shrugged. Things were happening here and I had no idea what was coming.

Tayla put on Duke Ellington. We held each other and swayed to the rhythm. Everything faded away. All I knew was that Tayla and I were here. Something warm washed through me. Tayla stared at me and smiled. Resting my head on hers, I let things happen without worrying why or how, without thought. But then Gid came. “It won’t last,” he said. I shuddered and held tight. Maybe if I held on tight enough, Tayla would chase Gid away. I doubted it, but it was my only hope.