Friday, February 14, 2014

Day Six-Thirty-Five: Someone has to wear the crown on this boat

"You ready?"

"... I guess so."

I hesitated. "Are you sure?"

"Yeah." He strapped on a pair of gloves. Why, at the time, I had no idea. "Yeah, I think I know what to do."

As promised, Jeffrey stayed up all night pondering what he should say to drag my husband out of his funk. He obviously knew he had one hell of a job on his hands, considering Dragomir's predicament, and his conclusion... well. It was a considered approach. 

You'll see shortly.

Jeffrey asked to talk to Dragomir alone, at least at first. He wanted to gauge my husband's mood. So I opened the door to my cabin, I ushered my despondent and unsuccessful son out of the room, and I let Jeffrey in.

In that time, all I could do was look at Dragomir.

He was a mess. He'd barely moved all week, curled into a foetal position at the base of our bed, arms folded over his head. His clothes were stained with a light coating of sweat or drool or tears, I can't tell which, and his eyes stared at nothing. Something. Anything. He barely responded to the light flooding over him, only rocked and murmured and expressed regrets in a babbling tongue.

Jeffrey took one look and closed the door behind him.

I waited, watching the door for several tense moments, hugging Fynn. He hugged me back. Soon I discovered that I was not alone, that a great number of people were watching, waiting for their fearful leader to come back out and tell them everything would be okay. Like he always does.

We rely on that dumb shit. We really do. As much as he relies on us.

Dragomir did not come out first, as we'd hoped, and it took a solid twenty minutes for the silence to break and Jeffrey to step out. He was pulling Dragomir along by the collar.

"Step aside," Jeffrey commanded, hints of his old majesty creeping into his normally penitent voice. "Move it, Dragomir. Move it."

Under other circumstances I would slug Jeffrey in the face. This time I was too confused to do anything but follow orders. It was half reflex, a movement from the old days, when I was his favourite carpenter. Favourite or not, if Jeffrey gave you a command, you listened.

Everyone moved. We created a path as Jeffrey lugged his unyielding burden across Command, towards the stairs, up to the observation deck. Dragomir's legs thumped, bump, bump, bump, as he uselessly resisted Jeffrey's demands that he get his ass in gear. We followed, a quiet, curious, careful mob.

"What's he doing?" I asked Logan, unable to raise my voice above a whisper.

Logan shrugged. "I dunno. Wouldn't tell us what he had in mind. Barely talks to me anyway."

"Mom, what's he gonna do to dad?" Fynn's lip curled. I saw his thin, deceptively-wiry muscles tighten under his shirt. "Should I stop him?"

I held Fynn back. "Uh. Just... hold that thought, kiddo."

The door to the observation deck swung open. Jeffrey pulled Dragomir through, hurling him onto the ground. He didn't bother to close the door, and since I dogged him most fervently out of the growing crowd, I was the first to climb the stairs in pursuit.

When I peeked through the gap in the flapping door, I saw Jeffrey pulling Dragomir through the snow and up, up, onto the metal rim surrounding the observation deck. The slick, slippery, iced-over rim. Jeffrey stood shakily on the ledge as the Dauphine rumbled beneath him, beckoning Dragomir to join him.

"C'mon!" Jeffrey kicked at Dragomir's hands as they clutched blindly at the metal. "I shouldn't have to do all the fucking work! Get your butt up here!"

"Nnnngh." Dragomir flopped over the rim, his face plastered in snow. "Lemme... 'lone..."

"No!" Jeffrey kicked again, nearly tumbling over the edge. "You wanna die? Fine! Then so do I! Bloody hypocrite, telling me I can't kill myself when that's exactly what you're thinking! Come on, we'll do it together, you and me!"

"WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING?" I bellowed, slamming the door open. "YOU CALL THIS HELPING?"

Wobbling dangerously on one foot, Jeffrey gave me the finger. "Go away! No wives allowed! If this is what he wants, this is what he gets! He killed his friend and now he pays for it!"

I dived at Dragomir, even though he wasn't in any real danger. Jeffrey tipped forward as I hit the rim and hit the snow. I kicked him in the face; he sneared back at me, nose bloody.

"You fucking lunatic." I pulled Dragomir up. "C'mon. Stay away from him, he's suicidal or some shit. You -"

What happened next I'm not sure I can fully explain. Jeffrey rose up on his hands; I helped Dragomir to his feet; Dragomir planted his arms on the steel; and somehow, somehow, he slipped beneath my armpit. More, my husband pushed me away from him. I zipped across the small deck, propelled by snow and ice...

... and landed in a bundle of people, all of them huddled at the door to the observation deck. They looked no less surprised than me, especially when Dragomir stepped forward and slammed the door shut. Click: locked.

Logan could have unlocked the door easily. I could have pried it open with my tools. Fynn could've wrenched it free with his bare hands, because hey, I've birthed another semi-freak. (After three of them, I can live with it.) But none of us could accomplish these things as a writhing, self-defeating pile, and ultimately our struggles against one another propelled the lot of us down the stairs and into Command.

By the time we disentangled ourselves, it was all over. 

Dragomir's okay. So's Jeffrey. They have ample evidence of bruises on their faces, and Dragomir hurt his left hand somehow, but they're otherwise fine. Neither will say what happened on that observation deck, and I get the feeling neither ever will. Not even to this diary.

I don't know what happened. I want to know what happened. But... somehow... somehow I think that knowing might dispel some of the magic of the moment. And if that happens, well, who knows what will come next.

I can live without knowing. Because I've got my husband back. He's grumpy and he's moody and he looks like garbage, but he's back. And that's enough for me.

Damned shithead, putting me through all that. He can have his stupid diary. My wrist is sore from writing all week.


Libby the Mechanic

No comments:

Post a Comment