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“I read somewhere that when a siamese twin dies, the other twin will live for only a few moments before completely bleeding into its dead brother.”
“Oh, god. Rachel.”
“Or sister. Can there be boy-girl siamese twins?”
“It’s cool, I think, in a kind of morbid way. You know. The whole thing, of a person becoming nothing more than like, a sack, or a toilet, or whatever, to dump your blood into. You could even call it philosophical, or at the very least--”
“Jesus. Stop it. Just shut up, please.”
She shut up, but you could see the dialogue running on, looping itself over in her brain, because shutting her up isn’t going to make it stop, the words collecting like spiderwebs in the recesses of her mind. For as long as you’ve known her, she’s always had some sort of odd twitch going on, always either tapping her feet or jangling her keys or drumming out symphonies on the coffee table. But today, she does not move. Her eyes burning keenly into an object unseen. The side of her mouth bent up, frozen in place.
It takes a while, but you eventually manage to pawn off the rest of the clothes and bibs, the bottles and Fisher-Price, until all that’s left is the empty room. The walls reek of fresh paint. They’re white now, the kind of crisp, blinding, HD white that could send you over the edge if you’d just let it, but for the moment, it only seems unadulteratedly creepy. Rachel, though, lets out a long, rattling breath, and seems to finally decompress for the first time since. Well.
You draw her closer, and for a moment she moves as though she’s going to put her head on your shoulder. Halfway down, though, she reconsiders, and just hangs. Breathes in the polyurethane.
Now seems the perfect moment to say something really good, something really eloquent and heart-wrenching and just good, for once, but nothing comes to mind. Impotence thickens silence, and you wait.
And you wait. And wait, and wait, looking at the white until it burns your eyes, shifting balance between feet as they become sore. Time seems to melt into the carpet until you can blink and almost believe that it’s always been like this, always just you, and Rachel, and the white walls and the no furniture. Even if the itching discomfort is new.
In the garage sits the crib. It’s the one thing you’ve managed to convince her not to give away.
Three weeks ago, was when it happened. Two weeks ago, the calls of consolation and the emails of sorry-for-your-loss-but-could-we-have-our-crib-back abated, and one point five weeks ago Rachel’s mouth quirked up oddly, and you started having the strangest dreams about siamese twin babies bleeding into each other.
In two months, five days, and fourteen minutes, she will roll on top of you in her sleep. “Stop trying to impale me with your body,” you will say, “You fat twitchy baby-killer.” Twelve seconds later, she will have finished calling you something significantly worse, and fifty-three seconds after that, you both will ask for a divorce.
But, the next morning, inevitably, you laugh it off and she grins and you drag some chairs and a television into the room. Finally.
However, fast forward a few hours, to where your fingers itch and you haul them back out, put yourself back in, and lie on your back, staring up at the ceiling. The whiteness burns itself into your retinas, so that when you close your eyes the dark seems to glow.
It seems almost beautiful.