Every morning I wake up and I think: not tonight.
Tonight I will not find myself standing in front of the sliding glass door to my rooftop garden around eleven o’clock. Tonight I will not go outside under the pretense of looking out at Metropolis and end up waiting for Hudson like some kind of lost puppy. Tonight I will not wander back inside and mope like said superhero, disappointed because, yet again, she did not magically appear.
But tonight I will do all of those things.
I mean, I’ve been doing it every night for the past four months, why should I break with tradition now? Before I realize it, I’ll probably be keeping a fuzzy, pink diary stuffed under my mattress, just so I can write about how much I love Hudson Clark Kent and I want to live happily ever after with her in a nice little house in the suburbs with our matching chocolate labs.
It wouldn’t piss me off so much if it weren’t so out of character. Didn’t I used to be a proactive, kick ass and ask questions later kind of guy? Ok, so maybe it was never quite like that, I don’t own an AK-47 or anything, but I know I had balls once upon a time. I think I’d like them back at some point.
Jesus, I just can’t seem to find a middle of the road anymore. Equilibrium went out the window one fateful day on a tiny bridge in Smallville, Kansas and I feel like I’ve been playing catch up ever since. It’s like every time I think I have a hold on things, something happens and I realize that nothing’s as it should be.
Control? What’s that?
Look, the truth is, Hudson has me scared shitless.
I could face anything with more ease than I can face her right now. A firing squad. Shame is a tricky thing that way, and so is regret. And I have more than enough of both floating around inside of me right now. I guess I just feel like I’ve shit in my proverbial hat, and asking for forgiveness is hellishly difficult, especially because it goes so against the grain for me.
But if it’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that I can’t go on like this. I can’t go on the way we have been, tearing pieces off of each other, biting and clawing while the other slowly bleeds to death. And I started all this crap, so I should be the one to stop it, right? For good or ill, it ends with this.
So, I wait.
And after four months of waiting, when I finally see her land on the granite pavers, I can honestly say that I never believed she’d come. Maybe I hoped she would. Maybe I didn’t.
But I sure as hell didn’t plan anything to say if she did.
“Hudson.” What in the hell were you thinking? “You’re... back.”
“I needed a little break.”
Nodding, I sit carefully on the stone bench she found me on the day I buried my father’s body all those months ago. At least it’s drier tonight than it was then. I leave enough room for her to sit beside me, well, enough room for her to get one cheek on the surface, anyway. “I can understand that.”
Damn. She always catches the lies.
“My head understands.” I leave it at that, though I think she gets what I mean. Good thing, especially since I’m not quite sure what I mean.
A smile ghosts across her face, a fleeting smile, but a smile nonetheless. “Is that seat taken?”
“No, it’s reserved for you.” Scooting over, I give her a little more room to sit.
In a way, I feel like we’re almost starting over from the beginning. There’s this awkwardness between us, and it’s almost like how I felt around her those first few days in Smallville. She’d saved me from death, we had a bond, but I didn’t know a damn thing about her and I didn’t understand why I was feeling the things I was feeling for her. But I know now. So, I guess it’s not really like that at all. There’s so much between us, so much anger and pain, but so much happiness as well, that I don’t think I could ever truly say we’re starting over. A part of me is still trying to understand the feelings, though.
Maybe I’ll always be that way, trying to understand why I feel anything when my feelings should be long dead.
She sits beside me on the bench, fidgeting in that truly neurotic way of hers, as if sitting still may actually kill her. “Nice weather. It’s still cool at night, even though it’s early summer.”
I suppose we’ll discuss sports next.
God, this is torture. I wish she’d been in my hospital room when I woke up, if only for the painkillers that would have loosened my tongue, made all of this easier. But there’s been time now, time to scrape up what’s left of my pride and clutch it around me like a shield.
Old habits, after all.
Habits instilled by my father.
“Why did you come back, Hudson?”
She stills at that question, like a deer at the sharp snap of a twig. “I thought you wanted me to.”
“I did.” I still do.
But I’m afraid.
I’m afraid that the only reason she came back was because of me. What if I can’t hold her? What if I fuck up again, lose sight of everything? Will she take a walk? Will she disappear, this time for good? I don’t think I would survive it again, not if she wasn’t there to help me find the way.
“I should go.” Rising, she begins to walk away, her shoulders slumped slightly.
It’s possibly the saddest thing I’ve ever seen.
I don’t know if I mean now or forever.
Now, so I can work on the rest is good enough.
Feedback gives me joygasms.