Axis of Aaron

Read Axis of Aaron for Free Online

Book: Read Axis of Aaron for Free Online
Authors: Johnny B. Truant and Sean Platt
haven’t signed into a forced labor camp: How long will you need to ‘recover,’ Ebon?”  
    He chuckled, but Aimee’s face fell the moment the words were past her lips.  
    “I’m sorry,” she said. “I don’t mean to make light of it.”  
    “It’s okay. I just did the same thing.”  
    “I shouldn’t joke. That was really insensitive.”  
    She was looking away, clearly bothered. He put his hand on her arm. “Aimee, it’s okay. Seriously.”  
    “It’s not. I just lost my dad. I know what it’s like. I know you need time. You know I didn’t really ask you here to help me remodel, right? Take all the time you need, sit out on the beach, look at the waves, drink Coronas, whatever. Go on walks, like we used to. With or without me.”  
    Ebon voiced a small, dry laugh. “The last thing I want is to meditate for days and weeks on end. I could have done that back home. Holly is gone, and no amount of sitting on the beach will change that. I came here to move on. Don’t you want to move on from your dad?”  
    But of course, that was different. Aimee’s father might have drunk too much and might have had a hot temper, but he hadn’t cheated on her with some other daughter. He hadn’t died in a car accident, possibly with his lover’s dick in his hand. Or mouth.
    “Sure. But I want to remember him too.”  
    “I’ve remembered all I want to remember.”  
    “Just like that?”  
    “No, not just like that. It’s … ”  
    “You don’t want to talk about it,” said Aimee.
    He very much didn’t, but he wanted even less to tell Aimee that he didn’t want to talk about it. She’d take offense, blaming herself for some inarticulate wrong, if he did that. She’d opened the wound, and now he didn’t want to dress it. But it wasn’t fair to make Aimee uncomfortable, in her own house, while she still had her own grieving to do.  
    He said, “It’s a tricky situation. I don’t know if I’m sadder that she’s gone or angry about what she did.”  
    “Cheating.”  
    “Constantly cheating. Looking back, I’m realizing now that she never stopped. But the worst part is I can’t even blame her. Not because there’s anything wrong with me, but because that’s who she was. It’s who she always was. Holly couldn’t settle; she was always looking for something new and adventurous. That’s why it took us so long to get married, I guess. I’d be lying if I told you that I was ever sure I’d be enough for her. I think I kind of always knew she was cheating even before finding … well, it’s not important. So: Should I be angry? Or should I accept it for what it was and couldn’t help but be? When you add in the accident and I have to add ‘Should I grieve?’ into the mix, it gets even harder. And I do want to grieve. I loved her, I did, and she loved me. I know she did. She was really the only person I ever loved since … ” He stammered. “ … the only person I ever loved quite that way.”  
    “I’m so sorry. I’m so, so sorry you had to go through that, Ebon. You deserve better.”  
    But even saying that seemed to make Aimee uncomfortable, as if she felt eggshells underfoot. Was she allowed to (or supposed to) buoy Ebon if it meant casting a sleight on Holly? Or was it better to respect his grief by not speaking ill of his late wife? He didn’t know what to tell her, because he wasn’t sure how he felt about it himself.  
    He glanced out the window again, at the shoreline. Although Ebon wasn’t sure how to feel, he’d come to the right place to feel it. Aaron had been an unscratched mental itch for his entire adult life — a place of quiet recollections and unfinished business. If there was any place in the world that could give him a place to escape even himself, Aaron was it.  
    “It’s my life, my wife, my sense of betrayal, and the inadequacy that comes with it — ” Ebon peeked at Aimee, wondering if he should have said that last. “— But the truth

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