Chris stood in front of his house, on legs that seemed as though they were made of something a lot less dense than bones.
They were shaking.
They were; or at least, he was that way because of the sounds that came through the door.
Sounds of laughter. Sounds that confused him because –
They weren’t the sounds he was used to.
He could hear Agnes’ laughter loud and clear. The other voice sounded like his sister’s – but it didn’t sound like his sister’s. There was a color; a richness…something beautiful he had not – he had never heard in it.
A sharp something pierced his chest…somewhere around his heart area; and he realized, with some surprised, that he was feeling jealous.
How come I never make her laugh like that?
He hunched his shoulders and reached for the door handle. It yielded easily underneath his reaching fingers and the voices in the room went quiet. Dragging his bag behind him, he stepped into the apartment and pushed the door shut – and then turned to face the occupants of the living room –
A large form threw itself into his arms, a soft and hot mouth pressed itself against his face and neck, while words muttered over and over slowly made its way into his ears.
Chris closed his eyes and inhaled – the curious scent that was a mix of Dettol and strawberries – a scent that seemed to land at the bottom of his belly. She felt very good in his arms –
A wetness trickled down his neck, and he slowly but steadily held her away from himself. He wanted to look in her eyes, he wanted to watch her lips frame words she so obviously was full of. He held her away but held her, heart beating like a parade drum, while he looked at her face – aware of Rachel standing beside the table, hands softly folded against her thighs, smiling prettily.
He looked at Agnes’ face – and he was stunned what was seeing.
Twin streaks of tears.