BECAUSE YOU SHOULDNT TALK TO ME ABOUT MY DAD BECAUSE I’LL PROBABY CRY BECAUSE HE DOESN’T GIVE A FUCKING SHIT AT ALL AND THAT RLY HURTS AND WHEN IM SAD I DONT LIKE TO BE TOUCHED I LIKE TO BE ALONE BUT TALK TO PEOPLE IDK WHY AND I DONT LIKE TO BE KISSED AND MY LIP ALWAYS SHAKES WHEN I’M MAD DOES HIS LOVE MAKE YOUR HEAD SPIN
They’ve been back for three days, but Sean still wakes up and has to remind himself.
Erik is back.
He watches Charles at breakfast. Watches him at lunch and dinner and comes to his study with stupid questions and breaks a vase or two so Charles will tell him he’s disappointed and Sean can examine the bags under his eyes.
Sean watches Erik and Charles and thinks of his mom and his dad and the war that sat itchy in the space between them. She didn’t stroke her fingers along the Pilot’s shrapnel scars that ripped through his stomach and he didn’t press a tender kiss to her temple when she cried in the middle of the day and couldn’t give a reason why.
They loved each other enough to have enough children they struggled to feed them. But they fought the same way: with everything they had.
Maybe if they’d met at a different time in their life, in a different place, with different names and different smiles, maybe if he hadn’t been so angry, so self-involved and in love with the idea of her, he would have understood. Maybe if she had looked at him long enough, had sat with him and asked him about Korea, she would have understood.
As it was, they didn’t.
There were nine kids and a war sitting between them at the breakfast table and Sean was eleven and scared and he didn’t know how to fix it.
Sean remembers Charles’s heavy shoulders and the tattoo licking at Erik’s sleeve. He remembers Erik’s anger and Charles’ broken face and the sound of a fist connecting with a jaw. He remembers Charles in a hospital bed and Erik kneeling on a beach staring at his hands.
Sometimes, two people’s ability to break each other doesn’t mean they are soul mates. It doesn’t make them passionate, star-crossed lovers.
Sometimes, they are just two people who are really good at making each other unhappy.
Sean remembers the gun in Erik’s hand and the bullet in his father’s temple and he imagines kissing Charles’s hairline and telling him it’s okay not to be okay.
There are three empty chairs and a beach between Erik and Charles and Sean is nineteen and scared and he doesn’t think he can fix it.