I have a key, and I let myself in, unreasonably relieved to
find Duo simply asleep on the couch. I just stand for a moment and take
things in; everything about the place telling a tale. I don’t know
what happened yet, I only know that there had been something in his tone
of voice on the phone.
‘Everything is fine,’ his voice had said.
While that tone had said, ‘I need you.’
He’s never been one to ask, never been one to reach.
It makes me good at listening between the words for what he needs to say
He’s sleeping, but his face still looks tense with some
worry. There’s a book in his lap that I realize after a moment is
an album. He’s fallen asleep leafing through it.
Standing solitary in the center of the coffee table is an
unopened bottle of whiskey. The lights are low. The stereo plays a song
meant to fill a brooding silence. It’s a poor choice in both lyric
and time; amplifying instead of easing the melancholy that somehow hangs
in the room.
‘Duo?’ I call, and wait until his eyelids flutter
open before crossing to his side. He looks both surprised and relieved.
Chagrined and resolved, his glance falling on the bottle at his right hand.
‘I didn’t…’ he begins, but I stop
the words with a brush of lips.
‘I know,’ I assure, having seen the unbroken seal.
A near thing though, and I can’t help but say, ‘I’m sorry
I wasn’t here.’
He smiles gently and looks down, drawing my gaze with his
to the pictures in his lap. Pictures of us. ‘But you were...’
Fiction : GW :