LM continued to sit with his arms around himself, dry-faced and empty-hearted. Something was missing inside of him and the edges of that hole were shredded and impossible to mend.
He bowed his head.
But I did the right thing. I couldn’t keep him here. That was wrong. It wasn’t fair to him. I was his friend. I didn’t want to be his captor. I did the right thing. I know I did the right thing.
But he’ll never appear to me again.
LM wanted to slap his face.
How can he laugh at a time like this? How dare he be happy when I feel so…wrong? When I have lost the entirety of my world? It doesn’t make sense for him to be happy. It doesn’t make any sense! Why is he happy? How can he be happy? It is an uneven line. It’s frayed and broken. There are pieces missing.
He stopped and spread his hand above his heart.
Something is missing. All because Capernaum is gone.
I could have waited. Another hour. Another day. Some other day. Not today.
And it never would have been today.
Missy oooed and ahhhed as she flipped through the pictures on Jeff’s phone. “Oh! Her dress is so pretty! I wish I could have worn my bridesmaid dress it was so super pretty.” She raised her head. “Do you think it would be okay to wear it anyway? It wouldn’t be the most outlandish thing I’ve worn. When Raven and Robin rescued me from The Institute, I was wearing nothing but hospital clothes. Not hospital clothes like a doctor or a nurse. Hospital clothes like a patient. I had hospital slacks on, though. Raven made sure of it. I guess he didn’t want me to flash my bare bottom all over the town which I can’t blame him. That wouldn’t have been a fun time for me either.”
Jeff put the fork in the empty leftovers box and set it on her meal tray/table. He smiled as she kept talking.
“I’m pretty sure I had underwear on, though, if I’m remembering correctly and I’m pretty sure I am. Raven would have fled the room with blood gushing from his eyes if I had been naked under my hospital gown. He can be so prim and proper and oh no we can’t do this or that and that is off limits too.” She paused. “But I wouldn’t love him if he were any other way. Raven is Raven. Just like I am me. He may call me Missy and you may call me Teresa, Tessie, Tessa. But whatever you call me, I am still me and I’m so happy to be me. I never want to lose me again.”
She flipped to the next picture. The bride and groom posing in front of the cake. Missy scrutinized Hildreth. “Hmm. He is seriously good looking in that tux. The bride is super lucky. I’m willing to bet he’s one of those guys who’s even better looking in person.”
“Who? Hildreth?” Jeff looked at the picture. “I wouldn’t be the best judge of that. He’s such a dweeb. It’s amazing.”
Missy smiled eagerly. “Tell me!”
“What? Tell you what a big dweeb he is?”
She nodded. “Tell me everything!”
He chuckled. “Okay, then. I’ll tell you everything.”