Almost Breakfast came at me in waves. Grease sputtered and popped in the skillet. Smoke rose in oily strands. Eggs bubbled, turning white and solid. Bread toasted. It was too much. All the smells hit me like gusts of heavy wind. My gut danced. I sucked in shallow breaths. “Tell her,” Gid said. He sat with me at the table. His strong wine-colored hands splayed on the cheap wood in front of him. “This is your fault,” I said. Tayla turned to me. “What?” she asked. “Nothing.” She narrowed her eyes. “Really,” I said. Gid sat back against the chair. Somehow, Tayla didn’t hear the floor creak or the sigh he sighed. “This is not going away,” he said. “Hush,” I said. From the corner of my eye, I saw Tayla tense. It was time to go. I went out for a cigarette. Gid met me on the patio. Gray rain tried to wash him away and failed. “You need to stop,” I said. He came with hard, hot hands and grabbed my belly. “Is this real enough?” he asked. I jerked away. “Go away,” I said. “Jesus. Just go.” “You know better than that,” he said. Tayla came to the door. “Breakfast,” she said. I nodded and came in. Gid apparently decided he’d said enough. I sat at the table with Tayla, neither of us willing to talk about the obvious. It was awkward and unpleasant.
Tayla’s drawn face tore at me. “Hey,” I said. “Yeah?” I nearly did it then. I nearly let the words slip through my teeth. But then Gid’s voice echoed into me. “She’s going to leave,” he said. “I love you,” I said. Tayla stared for a moment. Questions formed in her eyes and died there. Part of me broke. “Okay,” Tayla said. But we both knew it wasn’t.