Lola leans into me in bed, her blonde head shining in the T.V. light. Mom, can you cuddle me yet? I look at Ever, mouth still and open ovaled against my breast. I nod yes and slide Ever free with my pointer finger inside the corner of her lips. She sleeps with her arms above her head, mouth open, milk across the side of her face like time lines across the globe. Mr. Curry leans over us, warm masculine smell and bristling chin. He puts his hand down the cover, up under my shirt, cups my breast. We look at each other in silence. Lola turns over and sighs. Romantic, guys. Mr. Curry runs his fingers free and up out of the covers. I was squeezing your mom's belly, he says in a silly, sing song voice, because I love it. Lola groans; I can see her smiling while she spins a catch of hair between her fingers. I rest my hands against Mr. Curry's back, feel the thick ropes of muscle run from his neck to his ass. His back makes me feel safe. He makes me feel safe. I think of Dakota, and Mr. Curry and I talking about him last night, I imagine Lola remembering us during these years sometime as an adult " My parents were always talking in private, in hushed, worried tones " I imagine her listening to us, ear against wall, like I did with my parents as a child. I wanted the details, the particulars, especially with the fights, until I was older, and suddenly I wanted to know nothing, to un-know. I picture Dakota's face, his beautiful, intelligent eyes, and I am suddenly hit with an adrenaline sickness, a rush of fear, a free falling of thoughts and past and phrases from books and images from documentaries all falling together in a horrible tangle of leg and arm and I wish so badly, my arms actually ache, I wish..... I see Dakota's curly head at six years old, and his face now, and I feel that my arms, legs, my head are cold and prickling, my mouth is numb around the edges, my heart is skipping, a strange current of warmth is running through my arms. Mr. Curry turns to me. Hey, what's wrong? I shrug, gesture toward Lola. He kisses me on the forehead. Everything I can do, I will, I tell myself. Everything I can. Let go. Let go. I breathe and repeat and search for whatever infinite or finite knowing I have kept inside of me. The fear ebbs from me into the large bed of my family and their beautiful spirits, and I am for that one moment, letting go.
1 hour ago