Saturday, July 7, 2012
"No, I can't even get out of bed...yeah, I wish you were here, too."
How many times a day does Tea talk to her Mother? Today I've counted 7. I think maybe they only talk so often when Tea is home sick, however the way they talk proves otherwise. I'd like to talk to my Mom, too, but I don't know her. I was only told she had a hard childbirth-exploded, actually.
"Yeah, I made a Doctor's appointment for Friday so hopefully I'll get some antibiotics. But Mom, my foot is also swollen, what do you think that is?"
Tea's foot. Look, I was only trying to comfort her. She's been so sick and sad and yet she's been so nice to me, letting me sleep on the big plastic fan by her bed, looking at me and saying "hello" to me and talking to me between swigs of cough syrup and packs of Aspirin and episodes of "Damages." I say "hello" back to her but she doesn't hear me.
"Yeah it itches, too. But it mostly hurts."
I stay in one place during the day, because, when I don't, it makes Tea nervous. She wants to know where I am. That's part of our deal. I don't move, and she lets me stay. So I don't make her scared. So I wait until she falls asleep before I go exploring. I like crawling around her shoes, eating any dust left between the laces, finding crumbs under her bed and her Sewing Machine. When I finish eating I settle in and read some of her books. My favorites are the ones with pictures.
"I don't know, it looks like a huge pimple without the white part or like a mosquito bite but like a gazillion times bigger?"
Then, just before sunrise, I crawl around on her, gently, so she doesn't wake up. I whisper jokes into her ear, and play with her hair. I try to hug her, but she's too big. I try to kiss her, but I can only bite-not hard, just enough to sample. She tastes like sunscreen and hairspray.
Tea looks to the fan and greets me in the morning, "Hey little guy! How are we doing today?" She raises the pitch of her voice, like some weird baby, when she talks to me. And anyway, I'm not that little. "You're looking extra yellow and cute today, yesyouareeee!"
Tea gets up a few times a day, to pee, shower and eat. And when she walks around she groans like an old woman. I don't like her like this. She seems mad.
"It's so fucking hot," she warns me, turning up the fan. "I hope you can hold on, dude."
I smile at her and tighten my grip as the fake wind blows on me harder. I try to look as comfortable as possible. I'm not really comfortable. But I love Tea's company, and I know she loves mine. So I suffer through it.
"I'm going to the Doctor, be here when I get back."
She turns the fan off and leaves. I know I can't be here when she gets back. I know that, when she learns The News, she'll be instructed to kill me.
My kisses have made Tea's foot very swollen the past few days, to the point where she can't walk without crying. I feel bad about this, I didn't mean to hurt her, and if I could take it back, I would. The last thing I would ever want to do is cause my Tea pain. Till now she's thought the swelling was somehow related to her fever, or some allergy, or, some inside joke I don't understand, something about a boy being "unprotected." Either way, our entire relationship was relying on Tea never knowing The Truth. Which is why, the moment she mentions the Doctor, I know that it's over for good.
I make my way down the fan, as big, fat tears roll down my face. These days with Tea were the Best Days Of My Life and knowing I'll never have that again makes me hopeless. There's no point to go on anymore.
"Hey! Where are you?"
Tea's home and though I'd give anything to just have her talk to me again or even just say hi to me or even just let me watch her watch TV Shows I know I've got to hide to survive. Quickly, through my tears, I manage to find a small, dark corner by her bed where I curl myself up.
"The little bastard isn't anywhere! He was always on my fan before, and now he's gone!" Tea's yelling, of course to her Mom. Such a shame, I wanted her Mom, "Mama," to like me. Nice lady, I saw her face on Skype.
"Where am I supposed to sleep? I can't have him crawling all over me again-ugh, just the thought creeps me out!"
I feel hurt as I watch Tea take her sheets and pillows into one of the other rooms in the apartment and slam the door shut behind her. I try to recall how things Were Before, as I cry myself to sleep.