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My body was not the only thing that needed time to adjust. Despite knowing Talon so well, and having spent many nights literally sleeping together after some traumatic event in our past, it still wasn’t the same as living with him.
Over the next week, I came to learn some things, both endearing and annoying, and I’m sure he did in regards to me also. And Raquel’s words rang in my ear, now never truer about having to learn your own faults so you can accept someone else’s also. I loved Talon more than life itself, but it still irked me that he seemed physically incapable of placing his dirty clothes in a hamper no matter how close or far of a proximity that hamper was located. Another of his habits that got under my skin, was his messy disorganization of his video games and equipment in the living room. I stepped on more than case and cleaned his crap up on several occasions.
But the worst thus far had to be the way he left his shoes wherever he remembered to take them off at. Normally it was just more an annoyance than anything else, but one day we got into our first real argument because of it. I had decided to make some lasagna and Granny made the best tomato sauce in the world. I went to her cabin to get a jar, and left with a box full of glass jars also. So with a box in my hands walking through the door, I didn’t see Talon’s sneakers that he’d carelessly kicked off in the middle of the floor and I tripped. Not just a stumble but a full on, glass breaking fall onto the box in my hands. The sound of my body thumping and glass breaking got Talon shooting off the couch and to my aid. I wasn’t really hurt, but I was pissed and let him have it. We fought for quite a while afterwards, and I stormed off and told him to make his own dinner.
A while later, he appeared in the loft holding roses he’d snatched from Granny’s garden begging forgiveness and looking too hard to resist. He was sweaty and with some dirt on his shirt, and a smear he didn’t know about across his right cheek. He was quickly forgiven and I pretty much jumped him then and there. We both may have been inexperienced, but we weren’t clueless.
That next day, I wasn’t in a particularly good mood because it was the last day my uncle would be in town. He didn’t want to leave but had to return to his business and our family in Mexico. I had made sure to include him as much as I could while he was with us, taking most of our meals together since his arrival, but today I dedicated solely to him. We spent time at the lake fishing, swimming, and just talking. Talon even gave us most of the day alone together. But that night we all gathered at the Big House for a like a farewell dinner or something.
Even though he’d been here only a short time, I was sure my uncle had grown to care for them like I did. Some of them were harder to love then others, rough and jagged on the edges, but on the inside they all were polished gemstones. All invaluable to me, even Claire, Ander, and Jessa. My mood soured that night after my tear-ridden goodbye to my uncle at the airport. He promised me he would visit soon. Then he was gone. Like too many members of my family before him.
I knew I was being melancholy and dramatic, and he wasn’t abandoning me really. But I really didn’t want to think at all. I knew I should have felt bad about using Talon as a temporary escape from my problems, like an addict used drugs, but he was getting something out of it and he liked it. I did too. He was easy.
If Talon saw a pattern to my near nymphomaniac behavior over the next several days, he kept it to himself. Of course he wasn’t psychic so he couldn’t possibly know all of what was going on in my head. I knew it probably wasn’t the healthiest way to deal with my feelings, but I wasn’t hurting anyone really, and it did leave me feeling better at least for a short while afterwards. And he did initiate it a couple of times himself, so it made me feel confident he wasn’t being coerced into anything.
I didn’t feel guilty or bad about it till that Friday night. It was only eight p.m. Now we’d decided to chill and watch a movie. I went to make the popcorn while Talon was picking the movie on Netflix. I got distracted in the kitchen by answering a barrage of texts from Audra, Raven, and Landon.
Audra invited us out tonight like a group date with her, Malachi, and a couple of her cousins and their dates. I went to ask Talon, and I found my sixteen-year-old husband nearly unconscious on the couch at eight-thirty on a Friday night. He was in such a deep sleep his head was cocked at a painful looking angle, and he had spilled some of his can of coke across his lap. I texted Audra that we couldn’t make it.
I couldn’t help but feel like his lethargy was my fault. I had exhausted him. He barely even stirred when I guided his body to lay long ways across the couch, and I was even able to strip off his wet jeans without waking him up. For a while, I just watched him sleep. But idle and quiet time on my hands was not a good thing and soon my dark thoughts and fears returned.
I decided to get some air and take a walk to help clear my head. It was a warm night, the stars and moon shining brightly. The camp was mostly quiet at this time but I could hear some people getting rowdy in the lake, along with a small fire going at the shore, but I didn’t go to investigate. I wanted solitude.
When I walked past the west dock, a voice called to me and actually made me jump.
“Hey Meerkat! Where’s your worse half?” called down Ben from the treehouse above.
“Passed out on the couch,” I answered as I squinted upwards.
I wasn’t particularly in the mood for conversation, and certainly not with Ben. Why couldn’t have I ran into one of the quiet ones like Josh, Isiah, or Job?