Thanks to the people who read and reviewed my last Men in Trees fic – this is a much smaller fandom than Lie to Me, but I'm enjoying writing for Julia, and it's nice to know there are other people out there who like her as well :-)
Disclaimer: If I owned the show, Julia would have had a LOT more screen time. Fact.
I watch my husband's hands as they smooth reverently over the piece of wood in front of him. I remember when he used to touch me like that; half worshipping me, half afraid I might break beneath his touch. Of course, it was not his hands that broke me, in the end.
His favourite piece was his sculpture of me; well, my torso. He always said it was beautiful, and that looking at it reminded him of two things – why he loved art, and why he loved me. Perhaps I should have paid more attention to the order in which he said those things.
I can't tell what it is he's sculpting now; some abstract form, I won't ask him. If he wants to tell me, he will. There used to be a time when I couldn't have stopped myself from asking him – it wouldn't have even crossed my mind not to, back then, because we were a couple, and I was interested in every aspect of his life, especially the most important part. And I suppose, if I'm honest, I've always known it was the most important part - that I ranked number two when it came to Jim's great loves.
Maybe that's the problem.
He can control what he sculpts; he likes this. Even if he gets frustrated when the materials do not behave the way he wants, when he makes a mistake or is simply unhappy with the end result, he is still the one who is in control. His sculptures don't answer him back, his sculptures don't have ideas of their own, his sculptures don't challenge, defy or question him. Perhaps that's why he loved that sculpture of me so much; it was me, but with all the silent, submissive qualities he adored in his art.
Some day, I think, he will look at me and not see a piece of art, not see the woman who tried to save him but couldn't, not see the person who falls asleep before him every night because, unlike him, she actually has to get up at a regular time every morning and go to work. He will look at me and see a woman who loves the colour blue and hates pink; a woman who has spent a lifetime gazing at the horizon and wondering what lies beyond; a woman who wants to have children and teach them her grandmother's secret family recipe for chocolate chip cookies. He will look at me, and he will see what he has been missing out on all this time.
I'm not sure what it will take for us to reach that point. I'm not sure how many women he'll have to sleep with to realise he'd rather be with me, I'm not sure how many wedding anniversaries we'll have to celebrate to make him remember we actually have a marriage, I'm not sure how many times I will have to tell him the same thing before it sinks in.
What I do know is that, eventually, it will happen. Even if it takes a decade, it will happen. It has to. If I can't hold onto that belief, then I have nothing to cling to at all; just a fading memory, a blurred shadow, and a distant echo of what we used to be.