"You know...it would be nice if we eloped one day?" Benjamin says quietly, my hand in his.
I shrug. "Maybe. But my father would kill me."
"That's the beauty of it, honey! By the time he figured it out we'd be gone. Maybe we could move to America! They don't even have a prime minister."
I smile. "Yeah. I'd like that."
He gets closer. "Hey, your voice sounds different."
I look up, putting my hand to my throat. I quickly put it down. The heat from my hand might melt the makeup.
"Oh it's nothing."
He bumps his nose with mine gently, cocking his head.
I shake my head.
He pulls me in his arms, stroking my hair. "It's alright. One day everything will be better—"
"Honey?" Benjamin elbows me gently, cocking his head.
I blink. I hate the fucking UK.
"Sure you're okay?"
He smiles, looking up at the gray sky. Harrison sleeps on both of us, his head in my lap, his feet in Benjamin's.
He tired himself out.
Benjamin takes my hand. I swallow.
"I know you don't love me anymore, Honey. And I know that I don't have the right to love you anymore. But if...if the sky started to fall, if the world caved in...would you come to see me?"
I smile, nodding softly. "Yeah. I would. If the world caved in...I'd spend the last moments with you. You and Harrison."
He smiles. "Okay."
And it's true. Even if it's only to share in his agony...the last day I live...I would spend it with him. I can't see it any other way.
He sighs in relief. "Me too. No matter what....my world will end with you."
We keep watching the gray clouds. It'll probably rain soon. But neither of us move. It's inescapable. We are tired by a thread that can never be severed.
Even at the end of the world...he and I will be together. I don't doubt it.
I suddenly remember what my mother said. That her feels for father were complicated.
Benjamin's eyes are closed, his hand in Harrison's. I look over his form. A part of me aches.
Yes...maybe I do understand. Hate. Longing. Pain. Fear. Comfort. Familiarity. All these things and more fit in his form.
I look away.
I don't love him. Not like I used to. I probably never will. But he's the person I would choose to see on my last day on earth.
What does that mean? That bond? What is this?
The hatred I feel for him is real. And I know he has animosity toward me too. But on days like this, it's like almost nothing has changed.
"I am drowning," I whisper. "And I will drag you down with me, Benjamin. Hand in unlovable hand," I vow.
His hand squeezes mine gently. "I don't mind. As long as we go together."
Maybe I hope I die. Maybe I hope we both die. I don't know what I want. No. I do.
Right now...I want to stay like this for a while.
• • •
Benjamin and I take Harrison for lunch. Then we take him back to the manor, where we show him all our secret hiding spots.
One in particular is his favorite. It was ours too. We carved our names on the wall. Harrison's fingers ghost over our names.
He stares at it. Benjamin looks over at me. I nod. We crouch beside him. Benjamin takes one of his hands and I take the other.
He looks up at us. We smile.
"Your mom and I...we have something to tell you," Benjamin started hesitantly. "We...got married."
He cocks his head. "You're married?"
I smile nodded. "Yes. And if you want we can have a ceremony with you—"
He looks back at the wall. "You love each other?"
Benjamin glances at me. I look down.
"Yes," I smile, "We do. We don't always show it, but it's always there. Here in this wall...and in you too."
Benjamin takes something from his pocket. "Here," he hands him a small knife. "Carve your name too."
Harrison takes it, looking up at me. I nod in encouragement. It takes him a while, but he does. His handwriting is really similar to mine.
His fingers ghosts over his name. "All three of our names are here now."
I smile, kissing his head. "We're a family Harrison. The three of us."
Benjamin ruffles his hair. "Now you have a secret hideout too. It's cool isn't it?"
Harrison nods, his tears falling. Benjamin smiles softly.
"Don't cry, son."
Harrison buries his head in my chest, making me hug him. Benjamin wraps his arms around me, kissing my head.
Slowly, Harry stops crying. His cries start to turn into sniffles and slowly...
He falls off to sleep. But Benjamin and I don't move. We cuddle him, his small body between the two of us.
"I hurt him badly didn't I?" I asked.
Benjamin shook his head. "Neither of us have been ideal parents, Honey. But we love him. And we'll be better."