Title: Not Going Anywhere
Characters: Rob and Tim
Author's Note: Forgive me, this is a bit of a dark one as I am in a dark mood. The song is Curse Stops Here by Aussie band, The Whitlams.
It had gotten dark as I sat there, the night air coming from the open flyscreen raising goose bumps on my bare legs and I curled them under me, reluctant to move from my spot on the couch even as I shivered.
I could smell next door’s dinner being cooked and my stomach rumbled. The kitchen seemed too far away so I ignored it; the gnawing empty feeling seemed appropriate somehow as I wallowed in my gloom. My mate, Richard, swore by The Smiths as his go-to band of choice for dark days and shitty moods, but I favoured local boys, The Whitlams, and let the mournful words and Tim Freedman’s voice drag me further down.
"My first days back and I was rolling round the townSaying stay away from edges, Stay away from ropes if you canMy friends said I was saying it, too many timesLeave the gallows humour for the gallows people that it finds."Car lights bounced off the far wall as Rob pulled up the drive way, and for a moment I fought a pang of resentment, my solitude broken. Hugging my arms tighter around myself, I prepared for some sort of opposition and insistent cajoling that I was determined to fight. At the same time, part of me wanted nothing more than being rescued. Yes, daft, I know, but there you go. Who said things had to be rational? I’d be gutted if he didn’t try, if he said, “Righto. Your choice, see ya later”, and added manipulative bastard to the list of sins I had to feel guilty about.
The security light out front came on and I heard the clang of the wire door as it fell shut behind him, followed by the everyday domestic song of his boots being kicked off, the mail shuffled and dumped on the hall table and his off kilter whistle summoning the cat (yes, cat) as he made his way to me.
Shrugging off his hand I tried to block him and his worried frown from my view, focussing instead on the melancholy music. The final notes of the song finished and I hit repeat on the remote before Rob had the chance to take it from me, only to have him pluck it from my hand as I tried to hide it from his reach and sink into the cushion next to me.
He tossed it somewhere over the back of the couch and pulled me across into his arms, saying nothing but enveloping me in his calmness until all my world was Rob and the scent of him and the ache in my chest. And then I could not tell what part was me shaking and him rocking as I cried. Christ, two years since my baby brother left us and I was still crying.
“I miss him.”
“I know. Me too.”
“I’m angry at him.”
“Mhmm. Me too.”
“I didn’t do dinner.”
“I don’t care”, he murmured, kissing the side of my face, brushing my damp hair back so as to see me better. I turned my face up to him and he kissed me again.
“You’re not going to spank me?”
Rob rested his chin on top of my head and I felt as well as heard him say in his quiet way, “Spanking doesn’t fix everything. But I’m not going anywhere.”"'Cause I am the last one...And the curse stops hereThe curse stops here"The End