Fictober 2020, Day 25
- Prompt: “Are you kidding me?”
- Original Fiction
- Rating: G
- Warnings: mention of death in the family, mention of grief / depression
- Word Count: 671
Laurie shoved her chair back, screeching it across the floor as she stood up. “Are you kidding me?” Matti stayed seated and looked straight into her eyes. “No, I’m not.” Laurie threw her hands up in exasperation and paced behind the chair. “I thought we talked about this, I thought…”
Matti finished the sentence for her. “You thought I had changed my mind?” She yelled back, even louder, “Yes!” Matti gave her a minute, noticing how she was clenching and unclenching her fists, trying to get her anger under control, then replied, “You agreed last night, so I went ahead and scheduled an appointment.”
Laurie stopped and looked at him, confusion on her face for a moment until her mouth turned down into a grimace. “I did, didn’t I? It wasn’t a full agreement, though, it was in the moment and I just…” She stopped, and came back to sit down at the table, sinking into her chair. “I didn’t mean for you to go ahead, I was just upset at the time and thought it might be a good idea.”
Matti got up and came over to sit next to her. “I know, but that’s the point. You’ve had so many moments where you thought it might be good, only to change your mind later. Isn’t that an indicator that we should just go? That something is wrong?”
Laurie shook her head, “No, those were just moments of weakness, everything felt like a lot to handle then but it’s better now, I’m handling it.” Matti shook his head, the lines around his eyes tightening, and Laurie realized that he was starting to get angry.
“Why won’t you admit it, Laurie? You love me, right? I know this has been hard, but you barely talk to me about it, you just pretend like everything’s fine, and I can see how upset you are, especially when you think I’ve turned away and your face just collapses, I…” His face crumples, and Laurie realizes, perhaps for the first time, that she really hadn’t been hiding her sadness as well as she thought, and how unfair she had been to Matti.
She reached over and took one of his hands in both of hers. “I’m sorry, Matti, I just… I didn’t want to weigh you down with how I felt. It’s been months since Aunt Nal died and I just feel like I should be over it, and…” He put his other hand over hers. “I know, Laurie, I know. But we’re in this together, right? And getting help doesn’t mean you’re weak, it just means you’re finally recognizing your problems and trying to do something about it, instead of pretending they aren’t there. This has been hard for you, too hard, and I think that sometimes we need help processing things. Trust me, I wish I could have been there better, I wish I could have helped you work through it, but…”
He trailed off as he looked down, and Laurie immediately replied. “Matti, that’s not fair and you know it. You’ve been wonderful the last few months and if anything I’ve felt like I’ve been the burden. I was so afraid of causing you more pain that I thought I could just deal with it myself.”
She gave a half-smile as she peeked under his hair so she could see his eyes. “Clearly I didn’t do as good of a job as I thought, though.” He gave a half smile back, and raised his head as he replied, “So you’ll tell me when you’re upset? You’ll go with me to counseling?”
She nodded. “Yes, and I am sorry, Matti, for what it’s worth.” He shook his head just a little, “No, it’s alright, I know you were doing the best you can. I’m just glad you’re willing to be honest about it now, or at least try to be.” He gave her a smile, then leaned over to kiss her cheek. “I love you.” She kissed him back, properly, then replied, “Love you, too.”