A soft sob escaped Peter. Defeated, he shook and crumbled, barely able to lift his head. The nurse sat silently watching him, tears streaming down her face. He looked so vulnerable, so tired, so helpless… I reached over the table to touch his shoulder. I wanted him to stop hurting.
My fingertips hovered over his collar, barely brushing his clothes. I felt the warmth of his skin… I felt – something missing. It didn’t add up. There was no rush of galloping pulse around his neck and shoulder muscles. He wasn’t upset…
Son of a-!
“Don’t stop,” I chuckled and pulled my hand back. “You stingy bastard, you barely scratched the surface. Come now. I know you can do better.” The nurse gasped and I had to hold back my laughter. Stupid woman, nothing but blind caring instinct. I’ve had enough of this.
“I WATCHED YOU DIE!” Peter sprung up. “You died!” His chair hit the tile floor with a loud clank. Again, there was a fierce fire in his gaze. Was there even an ounce of truth in his tale? Why couldn’t I see through? “You were dead,” he repeated, barely audible. Was all of it bogus? Or just some parts? Was he offended? My, my. If looks could kill. What was he planning with his story? Why bother with this kind of convoluted tale? What was he hiding?
“Color me surprise, Peter.” He played me well. I let him see my contempt. I swore to never underestimate him again. “See? You have determination. Almost got me. Maybe you aren’t useless, after all,” I smiled. His eyes narrowed, but the pupils dilated. He paled after a tiny flash of coloring in his cheeks. NOW he was upset, maybe even panicky. “You had your fun. Can we start with the truth now?” I had the upper hand now and I won’t lose it again.
… to be continued