Bitterness and Sleep
+Bitterness and Sleep
The phone rang only minutes after Anita sat down for breakfast – leftover waffles Nathaniel had carefully planted in plain sight for her in the fridge. She stared at it for long moments, contemplating simply not answering. Good news seldom came via the phone these days. No, phone calls seemed to be reserved for apocalyptic or at least deadly events. Richard had gotten her involved in the whole Summers business via phone.
Then she sighed and leaned across the table to grab the cordless and answer the call after all. “Yes?”
That was Richard. The animator carefully put her mug down and shoved her plate away from herself before closing her eyes for a long moment. “Richard. I’m really not in the mood to fight with right now, alright?”
There was a low growl. “What makes you think I want to fight with you?”
“The fact that we always do?”
The gentle rustling of hair against the phone told her that he was shaking his head. “You fight with me, Anita. You’re the one who always gets angry.”
She snorted. “Funny. I wanted to say the same thing about you.”
“You’re doing it again.”
“You started this round, Richard and don’t try to deny it. So what the hell do you want?”
“I would, if you’d tell me what this is about.”
“Damn it Anita,” he sounded like he wanted to yell but couldn’t because there were people around. He sounded like he wanted to cry. “I wanted to apologize because you were right about Elisabeth but you know what, fuck it.”
Richard never used the f-word. Never.
“You won’t even let me apologize without a fight. What does that say about us that we can’t even talk over the phone without wanting to rip the other apart?”
What indeed. Anita wanted to go back to bed suddenly.
“I am so very tired of this shit, Anita. So tired. So forget I ever called you. Forget I exist if you want to. You were right and I really hope that keeps you warm at night.”
He hung up without waiting for any answer. Or maybe without waiting for her to start crying. That last one, that hurt. Was she really so self righteous? Was she really such a bad person that two of her men had to lay into her within twelve hours of each other?
She considered blowing a fuse, calling Richard back and yelling herself hoarse at him, considered ignoring Jean-Claude until he came crawling back but really, she didn’t have the energy left for it.
Silently she stood, leaving her half eaten breakfast on the table as she made her way upstairs. She crawled into bed in her jeans and shirt, pulling the covers up to her ears and closing her eyes tightly.
She remembered that feeling she had found under Elisabeth’s power, that deep, deep grief and loneliness and regret, and it ached. A mere taste of all that bitterness had been enough to bring tears to her eyes. But Anita never cried.
She clutched a pillow to her chest and curled into herself.
No, she had no energy left to be angry.