Disclaimer: Bones and all of its lovely character belong to someone else.
No plot, just of one of the those 'my typing fingers are possessed' moments - it just came tumbling out... (I will be back with more Scrum V soon...)
It was lunchtime and I found myself wandering through towering stacks of candy and chocolate trying to find an Easter egg for my son. All around me people are grabbing armfuls of eggs and counting off lists of nephews and nieces, sons and daughters in their heads.
I'm not having as much success. No, scratch that, I'm not having any success. Five shops down, still no egg. Or more accurately, lots of eggs, but not the egg.
I know that my face is settling into a frown as I dismiss another sugary confection as not being the gift I want to give my son this weekend.
I've always hated shopping, but it only really gets to me when I'm buying something that matters. If it's a new shirt for me or the weekly groceries it's fine. I can grab something - no thought needed. But this is different. It's a part of my duty as a Dad to get Parker something he'll like. Something really cool. Something different to what his friends get. Oh yeah, and different to what Rebecca buys him.
And it's not just the pressure of getting the right thing that's souring my mood. It's all the pairs, all around me. Husband and wife. Grandma and grandson. Brother and sister. They're all out shopping together, picking up eggs, asking questions. 'Do you think he'll like it?' 'Oh white chocolate - definitely, don't you think?' And then there's me. Just me. No son by my side, conspiring to buy his Mom an indulgent treat. No wife or girlfriend to help me find my special, really cool egg for Parker.
I look down at my shoes. I catch murderers for a living. I put my life on the line regularly. I'm not intimidated by gang members or psychos. But shopping, and happy families, yup, they put me on edge.
I take a deep breath and get ready to continue my quest, trying to blot out the pretty redhead kneeling down beside her daughter and smiling as they agree that Daddy'd like a big one. I look away, but it's too late. Now she's with me. In my head.
I can picture the cascade of red brown hair framing her face. Confusion in her beautiful eyes as she watches the people around her. I know she won't have had many happy Easters, but I know that she'd try for me. She'd help me choose, or just having her there by my side would help me choose. I force the daydream away before I picture us standing there with Parker and another child or two. Together. A family.
I let out an explosive sigh. Like that is ever going to happen.
I carry on walking, sightlessly. In my head I'm ticking off my list of 'why it's not going to happen'. I'm finding myself having to run through this list a lot more these days.
We are work colleagues, nothing more. I pause, okay I know that's not true.
I start again, we're partners, friends, but we're not together. That is true, unfortunately.
She is not interested in me. I pause, I know that isn't really true either.
I close my eyes for a moment - okay, she is not interested in a relationship. Oh yeah, that's true - might affect our work. Don't go there.
She doesn't want kids. I start flipping a coin in my hand as I think about that one.
I decide I'm revising that one too - she doesn't think that she wants kids.
I edge past a four foot chocolate bunny rabbit, wondering how long it would take to eat all that and glad of the temporary respite from thinking about her. Us. Our non 'us'-ness.
Then I wonder if she'd like an Easter gift. Surely she would? All women love chocolate. She has no weird dieting habits as far I know. It might make up a bit for her self-imposed exclusion from our Christmas gift giving.
I realise that I'm starting to smile.
Yes, an little Easter gift. That would be appropriate.
I look around with renewed enthusiasm. There has to be something in here for her, and something for Parker too. This store has the best selection in the DC area. It can't be that hard to find two eggs?
The two perfect eggs.
Well, hard or not, I'm ready to face this challenge.
Ends quite nicely here, but could write more of you like. Let me know what you think.