597. - Lucien
I ought to be mad. Not over the things that she's saying to me, because that would be ridiculous, but over the fact that she's yelling at me. That she's implying it's my fault she is still like this, that she's putting words in my mouth she can't know to be true because we don't talk. I should be mad. I might have been, a couple of months ago. Maybe even just two weeks ago, when everything was still okay.
But right now, I can't find it in myself. Her anger isn't directed at me, not really. It's about the situation and the unfairness of it. So why would I get mad at her? It would only hurt both of us. It's not worth it.
With slow, deliberate moves I save the work on my laptop, close the computer and push it to the side. "I'm not mad," I say, crossing my arms on the table. "because it wouldn't make sense for me to be. I cannot begin to imagine what all of this is like for you. Losing an unborn child is far different from me than it is to you - the one who carried her, loved her every single second of every single day. Does seeing you like this make me happy? Of course not. I want nothing more than to hold you through the day and tell you that we're going to pull through this. But you've made it clear that that's not what you need right now. It's not up to me to question that. The only thing that matters to me is that I love you, and that I want to help you through in any way that works for you." I barely recognise my own voice, but I believe every word I'm saying.
"But what I'm doing is not okay! For fuck's sake, Lucien, you must see that as well, right?! I'm using you like a fucking maid. You cook for me, you clean for me, you put on my shows when I can't find the bloody remote and I can't utter so much as a thank you!" She's yelling again. I let it wash over me. "And then I sent you outside, I literally force you out of the house, and then have the audacity to get mad at you for having normal human interaction! That's not fucking right! Why are you letting me do all these things? Why aren't you pushing back?! Even now, when I'm screaming at you, you're just sitting there like... Like some robot! You should be screaming back at me, you should be pacing the apartment, you should fucking hate me for everything I did to you and keep doing to you!"
The way she looks at me, tears glistening in her eyes and desperation painted thickly onto her face, hurts me. Is this my fault? No, it's not. I've done everything right. Her projecting her guilt onto me isn't fair.
Part of grieving, though. a voice tells me. She can't help it.
Maybe. But she's aware of what she's doing now. She's put thought into this. Maybe not in this conversation, but in the situation in general. She's blaming me for her feeling guilty. Somehow, after catering her every need, this is still my fault.
And that's where I snap.
"What would you have me do, then?" I ask in a low voice. "Ignore your wishes? Force you to cuddle with me, when you flinch away from me when I so much as try to take your hand? Roll my eyes at you when you look away from me, yet again? Just go on with my day and have you take care of yourself?!" My voice is raising as I go. There's still a part of me that's desperately trying to hold the cracks closed, because Emma doesn't need to see this side of me, but another part has taken out the chisels to break the cracks open into gaping holes to let everything pour out. "Because what's that going to do?! Make you feel guilty still, but in a different way? Only this time it's definitely my fault, because I'm being a dick to you?! Do you want me to get mad at you every time I'm about to call you 'love', but you get this look of hurt in your eyes that rips me to shreds?! Does that sound like a healthy relationship to you?!" My laugh is cold and hollow. "I don't know what you want, Emma. Of course I'm not happy with any of these things, but what the fuck am I going to do about it? I can't magically make all of this go away, can I now?! Oh, let me just snap my magical fingers and everything's completely fine again! What traumatic event? No dead baby! No depressed girlfriend!" I am pacing now, just like she wanted me now. My entire body in tingling with pent up anger, my hands clenching and unclenching like that's going to fix anything. "But that's still all my fault, isn't it? Guess I should've just been a dick and force you to do all those things! Don't want to hold hands? Too fucking bad, we're gonna cuddle until we both fall asleep! Don't want to look at me? Guess I'll stop cooking for you until you do! Grieving the loss of your unborn baby?! Well, suck it up and start acting like a fucking normal human being again, because you are inconveniencing me!" She's still at the table when I whip back to her. I can't read her expression, but I can't be bothered to try. "Should I not be accepting all this? Should I not try to be supportive while you're working through this trauma? Should I put a fucking stop to it and break up with you? Is that what you want?! Because all you gotta do is say the word, Emma! We both know that I'll do your bidding, this is the time to abuse that power! If you want to get rid of me because no matter what I do, it's wrong, now's the time to tell me!"
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