I ignore his implication. “How d’you know I didn’t get to all that while you were gone?”
“So, you’re into B & E now?”
“Hardly breaking in when you don’t lock the garage.”
“You are unbelievable,” I snap.
“I could say the same.”
Done with the conversation, Law jogs down my steps.
I feel like a crazy person leaning out my front door yelling after him. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
He doesn’t answer.
I huff in frustration and go back inside, shutting the door behind me. Closed, but not locked. And I don’t know what that says about me.
I’d find out what it says a couple hours later.
When I’m angry, I clean. I can take frustrations out on some soap scum like no other. Give me a scratch pad, sponge, and a bucket of soapy water, and I won’t stop until I purge my emotions and the house is spotless.
I tested this tactic earlier but didn’t find much to clean. The issue isn’t a lack of chores. The problem is I’ve never been this angry before.
Normally, I angry cleaned because I didn’t want to yell at Evelyn and luckily, those emotions would fade fast. Ten minutes into my scrub fest, the adrenaline would slow, and I could rationalize how to deal with whatever she did.
Once when she was five, she took a sharpie to my brand-new microfiber couch. I worked six months of overtime to save up enough money to buy us a living room set, and the first week it was in our home, she used it as her new canvas. I was furious, something I hated myself for because she was so young. All my hard work felt for nothing. I sent her to her room so I could hand scrub the kitchen floor, and before I was halfway done, I’d calmed down enough to remember the protection plan. I called the number on the receipt, and they talked me through cleaning it with rubbing alcohol and a white sponge. I was skeptical at first, but as it revived my new couch, I turned into a believer.
That was one of her worst transgressions and I got over it quick, which means I must be crazy pissed at Law or he’s made me angrier than any other. The latter sounds right, because a few minutes into scrubbing the inside of my freezer, I realize I can keep it up for hours and the feelings won’t fade.
The inside of the freezer, fridge, and stove have been emptied, scrubbed, rid of any expiring or dried on food, and reorganized. I’d keep going, but my leg tires from all the standing. Giving up, I decide to refresh my pedicure instead. Evelyn and I are due for a mani-pedi date, and since my toes are more exposed than usual, I notice the imperfections. This will tide me over until we can find time to make an appointment.
My foot is healing but isn’t a hundred percent. The bruises are more green than purple. Hopefully, when I visit our family doctor on Friday, I can graduate from the crutches to a walking boot, or better yet, some fancy taping. It’ll be nice to drive again.
; An episode of Grey’s Anatomy plays quietly on Netflix. I select a pretty, dark purple that doesn’t clash too heavily with my bruises, and set to stripping off my old polish.
The entire process takes nearly an hour, because I keep getting caught up in the drama on the TV. I must have watched the entire series at least seven times since Netflix added it to their queue, and each time I’m struck by the changes in Dr. McDreamy.
In the earlier seasons, he carried this distinct look in his eye whenever he looked at Meredith. It was soft and warm; something I’ve read about frequently in romance novels, but haven’t seen with any clarity in real life until I watched Derek Shepherd look at Meredith that way. Somewhere around season four or five, the look fades into a chilly disappointment. There're moments where the old McDreamy shines through, but the original look is gone forever.
I wipe a tear from my eye with the back of my hand as I watch Meredith grip Derek’s hand in a supply closet while having a breakdown. He remains solid as a rock for her. And another tear drips from my eye when he smiles and reassures her she’s okay.
Life is full of broken things we can never get back. Unlike my old brand-new couch, a little rubbing alcohol and scrubbing won’t fix everything. Things get tarnished and wrecked, and sometimes it’s better to throw them out than try to salvage them in their broken condition.
Much like my relationship with Law.
Through my quiet sniffling, the front door scrapes open and then closes with a gentle thud. A boot hits the floor. Then another. Soft footfalls sound down the hall to the kitchen. A cabinet creaks open and close. Rushing water fills the silence briefly from the faucet, then turns off.
I should pretend to be asleep. Law and I only seem capable of clashing, and I’m not in the mood to argue. I should also thank him for helping, even though I never asked him to. The gesture is incredibly kind. The weather won’t hold out much longer, and there’s a strong possibility I wouldn’t have finished preparing my house before the snow fell. And if Law hadn’t helped, and I couldn’t do it, the only person that left was Nathan. What kind of message would that send to a man I’m not sure I even want to go on a date with?
With all that in mind, I scoot my legs off the side of the bed, grab a crutch, and clunk my way to the kitchen.