There she is. Doubled over. Hand reaching out to you. Your feet carry you across the room until you’re standing in front of her. Without a seconds pause, you are kneeling, hands reaching up to take hold of hers. You squeeze gently. A soft reassurance. You’re here. You’re not going anywhere.
It’s been so long since you’ve seen her last. Or that’s how it seems. You know it’s only been a year, but still… The hibernation. The isolation. It’s taken it’s toll. But you’re here now.
You nod into your arm and sigh, squeezing back. Your mind was racing when you made the call, but now it’s still, at rest, all the turmoil beneath the surface. It’s been exhausting, and you’re in the downswing, now, with recovery on it’s way.
"I’m just having a freakout about my relationships. John and Dave… they don’t think they can do a poly thing that includes other people. Like, other than them? Or at all? I’m really not sure, and I’m scared to find out."
You glance up at her and smile faintly. Such a comforting presence, so familiar and wonderful. More than most people, she’s a magical reminder of a life you stopped living with no pain attached to it, no sense of deep loss.
"I thought I didn’t have to choose. I was so hopeful that I could actually, finally, be with all the people I love…"
Your heart catches at the mention of Rose’s relationships and your thought start to turn, but you force them away. This isn’t about you. This is about Rose. Maybe later there will be time, but not now.
The words don’t come easily any more. The hesitance was always there, but now… You feel like the words have slowly been slipping away. No one to talk to, barely anything to do. At least before, there was the fighting to break up the monotony of being alone. Now it was just pinpricks of conversation in a sea of nothing.
You stand up, allowing Rose’s hand to slip from yours as you take a seat next to her. Slowly, you unwind the scarf and then, just as slowly wrap it back around the two of you.
"I’m sorry. Different John. Right?"