the anger in the room was palpable.
and when you're through, scoot over to see how my friend sunshine rose to my challenge this week.
dave and lex chronology:
1 this shit is bananas 2 lucky 3 the chicken dance
it was a wonder her legs hadn't fallen off yet. lex had been pacing across the kitchen for at least an hour. back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. she always paced when deep in thought, and she was struggling to get her words in order to rehash the morning's explosion to macy. so far she had only managed to get out fragmented thoughts in bursts of overwhelming anger.
"he's just so..." pause to take a drag. "i mean, he really doesn't..." another drag. "i could just..." more pacing. "i wish..."
macy sat attentively atop the counter, fiddling with her own cigarette and trying to be supportive. she had learned by now that when dealing with one of lex's episodes, it was simpler to just ride out the yelling and stay silent until lex was ready to actually talk things out. having been the on-call gal for years now, she was used to her role and though she didn't exactly enjoy witnessing her sister break down like this, someone had to be there to catch the fallout.
after an eternity of random outbursts and countless cigarettes, macy saw her sister begin to relax. lex stopped shaking and her pacing slowed, a sure sign that her mind was slowly calming.
"so where is he now, your place?" macy asked.
"who the fuck knows. i doubt it. he's probably with nate somewhere, getting hammered and bitching about me." lex leaned against the granite countertop across from her sister, facing her, but afraid to look into her eyes. in that moment, the anger turned to anxiety, and the mood over the room suddenly shifted. "am i crazy? seriously. mace, you know me better than anyone. dave is always saying i'm crazy. is he right? i just thought a chicken would be cute. like joey and chandler on friends. i'm fucking losing it, aren't i?"
macy had been ready to crack a joke to lighten the tension, but hearing her sister's voice break on those last words made her rethink the idea. she wondered to herself how often lex came to this place, to this question, and how hard it must be for her to try and sort it out. she hopped off the counter and crossed the vast kitchen. her sister refused to look up, so macy grabbed lex's face in her hands and forced her stare into her sister's eyes.
"lexus carolyn," she said softly, using her sister's full name. this was a technique macy had picked up from their mother. (even if she was eccentric enough to think it appropriate to name her daughters after the places of their conception, the woman knew a thing or two about getting a point across.) lex hated her stupid first name, but knew that when addressed with it she had better pay attention. "listen," macy said. "listen to me," she said again, more forcefully this time, when she saw lex's eyes fall out of focus.
lex reluctantly returned her sister's gaze. "i'm listening!"
"you are not crazy. you're fine. you're fine. it's all going to be fine. he'll apologize and you guys will get over this. he doesn't know what he's saying. and you can't blame him for not knowing what not to say if you don't tell him. that didn't make sense, did it? you know what i mean though. right?"
lex thought quietly for a moment before answering. "does he need to know? i mean i really never even considered telling him. no one needs to know, right?" macy knew she wasn't really looking for a response, so she stayed silent. "oh, fuck," lex continued after a forgotten thought suddenly occurred to her. "fuck, fuck, fuck. nate knows. he found out, like, by accident, a few years ago. he swore he wouldn't tell him but what if he does? i don't want dave to know! especially if he finds out from someone else. shit, mace, what if he tells him? dave will never look at me the same again. he'll never marry me if he knows."
"lex, calm down. nate's a good guy, and if he said he wouldn't tell i'm sure he won't. you don't need another thing to stress over right now so just put that out of your head. let's get back to the situation at hand, one thing at a time. are you going to talk to dave about this morning?" lex had begun shaking again, her eyes darting in and out of focus. macy tightened her grasp on her sister, trying to keep her in the moment and forcing her to deal with just one thing at a time.
"uuuuuugh i don't know. i don't know, i don't know, i don't know! i feel like i couldn't even talk to him right now if i tried. oh, god, what if he told?" lex was panicking. if dave were to find out, what would that mean for their relationship? would he still look at her with that face she loved? would he still stare into her eyes and see what she wanted him to? would he still love her? want to marry her? have babies with her? not that any of those things were immediate, of course, but she planned on them being a part of their future together, like they had discussed time and time again.
lex wasn't angry anymore. she was terrified.
back to pacing and chain-smoking she went, trying to figure out what to do. should she call nate right now, to make him swear again that he wouldn't tell? no, dave is definitely with him, she thought, and that would only make things worse. she could text him. but maybe nate wasn't even thinking about her secret, and bringing it to his attention could mean bad news.
da-ding. a text message fell into her inbox and lex bolted across the room to read it, trying to guess who it might be and what it might say. when she read the assurance from nate, she collapsed onto the floor in relief. but that relief lasted for only the shortest moment, until the phone in her hand started ringing.
you're still the one i run to...
dave was her only contact with a personalized ringtone. it was cheesy, she would admit, but this was the first song they had ever danced to and she liked the way it made her smile to get that little warning that it was dave's voice she was about to hear. usually it was a call from the grocery store with a question like "what kind of detergent do we use?" or from the office with an apology for his tardiness. but to lex, that voice was the loveliest music in the world, worthy of an introduction, so that she could catch her breath before it knocked the breath out of her.
the one that i belong to...
she glanced up at macy who gave her a nod of encouragement before answering.
"baby, please don't hang up. i'm sorry."
lex smiled and released the breath she didn't realize she was holding. "where are you?"
"i'm at nate's. are you home?" dave asked.
"no, i'm at mark and macy's. but can you meet me at the house? we have to talk."
across town, dave felt his face turn hot. "sure, i'm on my way," he said before hanging up. when a girl says we have to talk, that's never a good sign, he thought.
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