Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Chapter 1.30- Noon-3pm Friday

Chapter 1.30-Extra Verbs

            Four steps to the sink. 20 seconds if she doesn’t give into impatience and rush it. When she rushes it she thinks faster. It means she’s more agitated at that moment.
            *thump thump thump

Four steps to the fridge with a measured pace. A too large pace puts her too close and she can’t turn without her sleeve brushing the cold steel. For whatever reason, this seems to unbalance her making her totter as she turns. Then she’s angry at herself for not slowing down. Well... angrier.
            *thump thump thump

            Four steps is all it takes before she’s back again. Four steps.
            Buck has decided that to live with women you must have the patience of Job. And he does his best to imitate a rock. He’d do a better job if he’d quit knocking the cabinet door with his left boot heel.
            *thump thump thump

            She’s paced wordlessly for an hour now and Buck’s patience is wearing thin. The little ones will be home soon, and he needs to know what has her so upset over the call she made to the school. They’ve got to come up with something to tell Galen and Layla about Phedra and Cyrus, why Phedra didn’t go to school.
            *thump thump thump

            “Helen,” Buck finally interrupts her reverie. It’s time.
            Abruptly, she turned, her face screwed up, her palms pressing her temples tightly. She paces slowly back toward the fridge.
            “He’s gone,” she whispers.
            Buck has nothing to say. He just blinks, waiting for her to explain.
            *thump thump thump

            Buck shifts his weight, finally placing his left foot silently on the floor.
            “He got arrested last night. And I got mad. REALLY mad. And I went and picked him up. You slept through it. The phone call from the police. On the way my anger just built. I’d been meaning to do it for a while. Now seemed like a good time. He was going to be grounded anyway. But it was time to end it. It can’t happen anymore. It’s not right. He doesn’t know what her mother is like. She’s probably like that too. And then, obviously, I forgot he had those books. He must have run to her.”
            That didn’t help. Buck wouldn’t never be able to untangle any of that and she should know it.

            “Sweetheart,” Buck had let her pace in peace for a few moments. “Sweetheart I’m going to need a few nouns please. Possibly some extra verbs, too. I slept through something last night. That’s all I got.”
            “You slept through Cyrus getting arrested for breaking into the school and attempting to set all the frogs free. The frogs Phedra has been so worried about? The ones they were going to dissect? I answered the call from the police station at 1 this morning.”

            Buck had had a weight in the pit of his stomach since his talk with Phedra. Now he felt as though someone had hit him in the face with something large and heavy.
            “A few weeks ago I found out he’d been seeing Lily Pad’s daughter, Olivia. Lily Pad had even made the girl promise not to have anything to do with Cyrus when she found out. But it had continued.”

            “In the car, on the way to pick him up, I decided I’d have to do the same as Lily Pad.”
            Helen sighed heavily. Buck was getting alarmed. The direction this was taking would lead nowhere good.

            Helen continued to pace as she spoke. “The Lieutenant said we have to agree to pay for the damage, and Cyrus has to write a letter of apology to the school board and administration. Then he has to read it aloud displaying proper remorse and will still possibly be suspended. But he won’t be charged if he does it all, and does it well.”
            To Buck, it felt kind of like a rope where the knots are the type you just pull the ends to make it disappear. Things were starting to line up, and he was starting to worry worse than ever.

            “When we got home,” Helen said. “When we got home I let loose on my anger a little bit. Informed him he was grounded, never going to get to see Olivia again, and not to put a toe out of line or I’d ship him off to boarding school.”
            Thinking he’s going to be sick, Buck feels the blood drain from his head. The secret he’s seen in Cyrus’ eyes. He had a girl. It was the look of a man secure in his conquest. Confident and Assured. That was the look. He should have known. And Helen should never have forbid him from seeing his girl.
            “I didn’t know he had the notebooks. I didn’t know that he would look through them, and see-“ Helen’s voice broke, and she gave in for a moment.

            “And when I called the school to excuse Phedra,” Helen stopped and stood still for the first time. “They informed me that Cyrus wasn’t there either. And she put me on hold to talk to the attendance officer. He’s been skipping classes for months now.”
            Eyes unseeing, Buck let his shoulders go slack. Her whisper came back to him. ‘He’s gone.’
            What kind of a head start did he have? Where would he go? He’d be aging up in just a day or so. Could they even find him in time? What would they say to him? Would he even want to see them?

            Focus returned at Helen’s broken sob.
            Helen had pushed Cyrus right over the edge. You can’t take away what is most precious when you’re already in over your head. Cyrus would have felt betrayed by Helen, and Buck can almost agree with it. Almost.
            Realizing that he’s blaming Helen hurts. But she’s hurting worse, because she knows that she did it.
            “We’ll have to find him,” her whisper was tortured.

            Standing squarely in front of her, Buck forced her to look up. To look at him. When she opened her lips to say something, he silenced her with a finger.
            “No,” shaking his head, whispering to try and hide the emotion behind his words. “No, we won’t find him in time. He ages up in just a few days. He’s embarrassed, and hurt. We won’t find him.”

            “But he’s got to read the letter to the school board or they’ll pre-“
            Folding her closer to him, he shakes his head again. He doesn’t need words.
            Swallowing hard, Helen’s eyes dart between his. Has she really lost her baby boy? Will he really be lost to her?
            Sighing, Buck frowns, ducking his head. When he looks at her again, he can only meet her eyes for a fleeting moment.

            This time, it’s Helen who moves closer. She can see. She’s failed him too.
            Slowly, Buck reaches up and gently pats her back.

            He hasn’t had tears in his eyes for years. Today has been too much, though, and letting them out is a relief.
            Unfortunately, his grief is going to linger. Cyrus was as much a son to him as Galen. And in some ways he related to Cyrus more. Galen was into technology that was over Buck’s head. Cyrus just wanted to fish, just like Buck.
            And memories of times spent with Cyrus flood his mind making it so much worse.

            Helen feels his release. Feels the second wave, so much worse than the first, and tightens her hold.
            It’s all her fault.

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- 

             I cried like a baby writing these last few chapters. Doing that to Buck hurt. Doing it to Phedra was a bitch. Doing it to Cyrus was just plain cruel. Doing it to Helen? Meh. Lol. J/k. I love Helen.
For the record: This arc was also partly inspired by this awesome bit by one of my favorite artists:

There are no lyrics. And actually the picture is pretty accurate for both Helen and Buck this chapter. It was a bit of a surprise to use one of his (Simon Green is Bonobo) songs for this. In general, the music I use to hear Helen and Buck is heavy on Eric Clapton and Mychael Danna with touches of Hans Zimmer and Moby. (I'm weird. I know.) But I needed this melancholy touched with the effervescence of memories of happier times to get the tone right. It's also a very simply melody. And this scene is just that.
However, Generation 2 is totally tuned into Bonobo and I.Can't.WAIT.

Spoilery bits: We'll see Cyrus again another time much later in the story. When that happens, I'll let him tell his tale. Apart from that, I do believe that we're almost at rock bottom. So hopefully I can let them start healing soon.


  1. Um... Where is the rest of it..?!
    Can't believe Cyrus isn't coming back! (Well, I can, you already told me, but I didn't want to believe it...) Poor Phedra, still thinking she has Cyrus to get through this with, but she's all alone.
    Well, she isn't all alone, Helen and Buck love her, but in her eyes they can't relate.

    I can't wait to see how they're going to explain this to Layla and Galen, that will be an awkward conversation. I don't know how they'll react, either. Their personalities haven't been revealed too much yet, and this technically shouldn't affect them too much either.

    AaaahhH!! Next chapter tomorrow?!

    1. Yes, I know. It was very short for a chapter of mine, but we all know and another recap would have been tedious. So I just cut straight to the chase.
      Hahaha! I don't even have the next chapter uploaded yet! But I have two to get up and enough pics for one more to be written. Still every other day though, that parralel development is needing to be caught up with again. Booger.
      We're most likely not going to see Layla and Galen's reaction. Galen would just be confused, and Layla would have nothing to say. So it would be lopsided and light hearted. We will, though, hear about what they were told soon.

  2. Aww. I was actually cheering Buck on this one, he handled Helen very well. And he didn't pass out!

    1. I think the biggest thing is he realizes that action at this point would be wasted energy. He's so awesome. I actually had a great scardey action from him yesterday, but didn't manage to get a shot of it. He did his nail-biting-fear-face with Helen in the thought bubble. I about fell off my exer-ball laughing at his antics.

  3. Great chapter!
    I'm so sad Cyrus is gone. Buck is handling things really well, he's holding the whole thing together. As best as he can anyway. Poor Buck.

    1. Thank you! I'm a little sad about Cyrus as well. It makes me wish there was a Home for Spares where I could send him to frolick and play and be looked after. lol. Buck, poor Buck. He's really hurting pretty badly too. But someone has to be a grownup, and Helen generally fails when she attempts it.

  4. Buck is wonderful, he handled that so well. I feel so sorry for all of them :(

    1. Yeah. Buck is a rock for that household isn't he? They're all having to deal with Helen's mistakes.

  5. Oh more Cyrus!!!?!?!? Poor Buck. I'm heartbroken for him. Less so for Helen. All of this is her fault anyway. Stupid Helen. I'm trying not to hate her, but it's hard.

    1. lol. Yeah. It's hard to feel too bad for Helen. She created a lot of her own problems. Then she compounded them by failing to take care of them.

  6. Cyrus had to leave the nest and go out and spread his wings. I'm looking forward to his (prodigal?) return.

    1. Mmmm. Not quite. You'll just have to see now won't you?

  7. Aww, so sad. Cyrus is gone? For good? (Well, I just read we will get to see him again, but still...) :-(

    Helen is lucky to have Buck at her side, though. As usual, he was great.

    Oh, and I loved the chapter's title :-D.

    1. Yeah. :(

      Buck is awesome sauce. So wonderful.

      Thank you! lol