I Could Go Crazy
Disclaimer: I do not own Next to Normal, or anything related to Next to Normal. Obviously, or I wouldn't be writing fanfiction.
Summary: After three years of marriage, Natalie and Henry are falling apart. Can Henry pick up the pieces while Natalie is giving them to someone else? [Natalie/Henry, Natalie/OC.]
A/N: Sorry about the spacing issue - I had problems using tab and whatnot. Bear with me, I know it's God awful to read.
I sigh as I tap my pencil against the notepad in front of me. I then close my eyes and rest my head in my hands. I'm so tired. Tired of not getting a good night's rest, tired of coming to work in the same office every day, with the same people, and the same things to do, and most of all, I'm tired of not feeling happy like I used to. I'm tired of not even being able to remember the little flutter I got in my chest every time Henry even looked at me. Now, rarely anything he does brings any emotion out of me, and I don't know why, or how. Maybe I'm pushing him away, or maybe I've just stopped pulling him in. But I'm too tired to figure that out as well, so I just go on, day after day, hoping it will be better tomorrow. That's all that I can do.
"Natalie. Hey, Natalie." I hear from beside me, breaking me from my train of thought. It's Audrey, a coworker of mine, and she's repeatedly tapping my shoulder.
"What is it?" I reply, not trying to sound annoyed, but being exactly that.
"New guy, twelve o'clock." She replies, pointing toward the door.
I look towards where she's pointing. Sure enough, there's a man I've never seen standing in the doorway. He has golden, messy blonde hair, sky blue eyes, a square chin, full, light pink lips, a perfect, rounded noes, and a squared jaw. He looks like he's about twenty-five or twenty-six, and he's fairly tall and slim. He's wearing black pants, a blue button up shirt, and a darker blue tie. He's talking to Anna, the receptionist, and she's laughing a little harder than normal.
I shrug. "He's alright." I lie. Anyone with eyes could see that that man was straight up gorgeous, but I of all people wasn't supposed to.
"Whatever. You're married, it doesn't count." She responds. "Speaking of married, where's your wedding ring?"
I look down at my ringless finger, avoiding eye contact. "I must have lost it again." Another lie. I know exactly where it is, I just chose not to wear it. I haven't felt like wearing it in quite some time, to be honest.
"Henry might as well glue that thing to your finger. You're always losing it. Did you check the laundry?" Audrey asks, as she begins typing away at her computer.
"Oh, no." I reply, as I begin drawing over the lines in my notebook with my pencil. "I haven't. Must be in there."
"Oh my God, don't look now," Audrey starts, and her fingers stop typing. "But New Guy is coming this way."
I roll my eyes, tucking a stray strand of hair behind my ear. "Calm down, Audrey. You don't even know the guy."
"Well here's my chance." She mutters, and then comes a bubbly: "Hi, you must be new!" greeting for the new guy, who pulls out the chair of the desk beside mine and sits down in it.
"Sure am." New Guy nods, setting a briefcase down on the desk. "And you are?"
I wonder why Audrey isn't already giving him a rushed reply, but then I realize that he's talking to, and looking straight at me.
I meet his eyes and swallow hard. "Natalie. Natalie West... And you?"
He gives me a closed-mouth smile before replying with, "Levi O'Conner. I just moved up here from Michigan. Are you a native?"
"To New York? My, no. I'm from Oregon." I tell him, and then I wonder why the attractive new guy is having this conversation with me, and not Audrey. At least she's single. But then I look down at my ring and realize that for all he knows, so am I.
I look over and see Audrey eyeing me, and I can tell she's thinking the exact same thing that I am. I look back to Asher. Should I tell him I'm married? Should I slip a "my husband dot dot dot" in somewhere, hoping he catches the hint? Or should I let him think I'm single? For all I know, he won't even remain interested in me by the end of the day. I might as well let him figure out my marital status on his own.
"What's that you've got playing?" He asks suddenly, pointing to the iPod dock sitting on my desk. I had forgotten that it was even on.
"Mozart." I respond, nodding.
He listens more closely. "Fugue in G minor?" He asks after a minute.
I stare at him, slightly surprised. "How did you know?"
"I've always loved this music. All classical music. It's soothing. It's... perfect. Not many things are perfect. It's nice to have one." He explains, and then he pauses. "I've wanted to learn how to play since I was a kid, but I never got any lessons. I'm sure I wouldn't be that good at it anyway." He shrugs.
Before I know what I'm doing, words begin spilling out of my mouth. "I know how to play. Maybe I could teach you sometime?" I then silently curse myself for sounding so desperate.
"That would be really cool. You'd do that for me?" He grins at me, and I feel my cheeks redden.
I slowly nod. "Of course I would."
"Great. How does Friday sound, after work?" He asks.
I think about that. Henry's supposed to be heading out of town Saturday with some friends... Would it be wrong to have another guy over while Henry's gone? It's not like we would be doing anything bad. Just a simple, innocent piano lesson. No harm done.
"You know, I'm actually free on Saturday, if that's okay with you. Maybe eight, nine in the morning?" I offer.
"I'll call you." He nods smiling as he reaches for the volume dial on my speakers, turning them up slightly. He begins to set his things out and get to work, with that goofy smile still on his face, and I begin to feel something rise in my chest that I haven't felt in a long time.
I quickly push it back down and get to work, continuously repeating the one name in my head that should be on my mind: Henry, Henry, Henry.
I hear the door slam closed, and my eyes quickly fly to the doorway. There she is. My wife. My beautiful, funny, talented, perfect, intellegent, unhappy wife. I do the what I always do when I first see her: I smile. It's a small smile, and quickly fades away when I see the pain in her eyes, and her bare ring finger. Then I just stare at her as I clear my throat, waiting to see if she's going to say anything, or if I should start talking.
"How was your day?" I ask, after a few moments of silence.
"It was fine. How was yours?" She asks, looking away from me, and my heart sinks. I desperately want her to look back towards me, to let me see those brown eyes, that smile, that face that I fell in love with.
"Mine was good. Productive." I tell her, looking down at my lap as I begin playing with my fingers. What Natalie doesn't know is that I don't work in an office, as an accountant. What she doesn't know is that I've had to make our living off of selling drugs and playing piano at a few night clubs down town ever since I got laid off. She doesn't know, and she never will, because she doesn't care enough to ask.
She nods, uninterested. "That's good."
"You look really beautiful today." I look her over, meaning this statement more than I've meant anything that I've said all day. "I love you."
I see Natalie clench her jaw and look away once more, her eyes narrowed. "Thanks," she mutters, as she walks into the room, sitting herself down on the couch. She looks at the TV, which is on mute and playing some commercial for a productive that I've never heard of, then her eyes wander back to me. "So, you're leaving Saturday morning, right?"
I nod, not meeting her eyes. "Right." A few of my friends and I are driving out of town to get a shipment that's coming in, but I told Natalie we're going to go see a Green Day concert in the city.
"Okay." She chews on her lip. "Do we still have that piano downstairs?"
I quickly snap my head back, eyeing her carefully. "Yeah. Of course we do. Why? You haven't wanted to play the piano in years."
"I just... Wondered." She sighs deeply, then stands up and removes her jacket, setting it down on the couch. "I'm going to go take a shower. Alright?"
"Alright." I nod, and I watch her walk away. I hear her footsteps going down the stairs, and then silence.
I sigh and stand up, walking over to pick up her jacket and hang it on the rack. As I grab it, I see a piece of paper hanging out of the pocket. And I'm not usually the nosey type, especially not when it comes to Natalie, but something about that paper seems strange to me. I pull it out of the pocket and unfold it, quickly reading over it. Levi O'Conner. It says, and then below it, a number. His number.
Why does Natalie have some guy's number in her coat? I wonder as I stuff the sheet back into her jacket and walk it over to the rack, hanging it up carefully. For a moment, a scene flashes through my mind, Natalie with another guy. A guy who isn't me. Doing stuff that she should be doing with me.
I shake my head, pushing that thought away. Natalie would never... Would she?
A/N: Thoughts? Should I continue? Just an idea that popped into my head, I thought I'd go for it! P.S. - Levi looks like Jonathan B. Wright in my mind, if that helps anyone, haha. Reviews are love! (Also, sorry for any errors, it's late and I'm not using spellcheck.)