Sometimes it is only after I have said something to someone that I realize, I actually said nothing at all.
“What?” Harriet asks.
“You looked like you were going to say something,”
I shake my head. “Sorry, just drunk.”
“Sh!” James snaps.
We all start giggling.
“They are fast asleep,” Harriet consoles James, patting his arm.
He smiles, “remember when we were teenagers, in your mom’s basement, snuck those girls in from Holy Trinity.”
I laugh, quietly. I nod.
“Sh!” Harriet says.
“They made quite a scene when they left, huh?” James says.
I remember, I nod. “Yeah. Well–yeah, they weren’t too happy.” I look at Harriet, almost by accident. James points his beer at me, I cheers it.
I lean back. “And here we are again, this time hiding from your kids.”
“No trinity girls this time, unfortunately,” James says.
Harriet smacks his leg. He pulls her close, kisses her ear. I don’t say anything.
“When are you going to get married and have some kids?” Harriet asks.
I shrug. “I’m not the parenting type, I think I’ll probably just die alone.”
Harriet shakes her head, James grunts and finishes his beer in one, he throws his arm around Harriet.
“Don’t lie, you’re jealous,” he says.
I smile, “Of Harriet? Who wouldn’t be.” They both laugh.
He gets up and pulls open the fridge, gently. He shakes a beer at me, I nod, killing the swill at the bottom of mine. He opens one off the other, it foams.
“Shit!” he holds it over the sink.
“Shhhhh!” Harriet and I say.
There is a noise from the hall. A creak, or maybe a pitter-patter, or both. James stops. He places the beers in the sink, finger to his lips. He starts toward the door. Harriet reaches out and grabs his hand. He pulls it away.
The door closes behind him.
“Carey!” we hear through the door. Then, “what the fuck are you doing out of bed at this time?”
I look at Harriet, she is picking at some plaster on the edge of the kitchen table.
“What did I tell you about leaving your room at this time of night!”
The kitchen door rattles a bit. There is some more noise from behind it; a scuffle, or maybe a pitter-patter, or both.