Chapter thirty-six – It's Gonna Be
But it's gonna be, it's gonna be
Please make it be, it's gonna be
It's Gonna Be – Norah Jones
Perfect. Actually, it seemed perfect between the lamp and the empty glass of water left there. The right place. Exactly. As if it had always belonged there but she had only found the combination a few hours earlier and now she could smile, relieved. She passed her fingers over the book cover absentmindedly before getting up and leaving the bedroom. The Portrait of Dorian Gray was now safely put down on the nightstand and it settled all the rest if only on a symbolical level.
The apartment was small but she had loved it as soon as she had stepped in it for the first time. A couple of years ago, now. It was a cozy place and had contrasted so much with her mansion that from then on, it had become the home she had secretly lusted for. And now it was hers. Or so.
Quietly enough, she made it to the living-room and sat down by his side on the sofa. He was reading a book, some historical novel they had talked about a few weeks before in Brooklyn. Perhaps she should have taken one of her books as well then settled next to him and read. The truth was that it hadn't really crossed her mind. Mainly because she had never really shared such a moment with anyone before. Odd to say but it was all new to her. And she needed a time of adaptation.
But before she had time to say anything, Will looked up at her and smiled brightly. Opening his arms so she stayed there; which she did. Her laugh came to die in the depth of his neck as she planted a kiss on the thin skin there.
"It is quiet, here."
She thought about The Upper East Side mansion and all the things she had left behind as she had left in the morning. Forever. The word bounced in her head and she repeated it quietly. Constantly. Soon, she will have to file the divorce papers then everything would start again. A new life? She didn't like such an expression. She actually saw it as a sequel to a thousand things and it was all connected.
"And do you like it?"
For a long time, she had despised silence. Because it had seemed oppressive and only sent back an odd sentiment of failure that she didn't know how to deal with. But in Will's arms, there was something else that she couldn't explain. A sensation of safety, perhaps. And it was okay. Everything was fine.
"I love you."
It wasn't a lie. Yet she didn't say it very often. It might have been her very own way to keep alive such a preciousness because it didn't have to belong to a daily, random vocabulary. It was a rare, delicate thing and when she said it, she meant it.
"This isn't an answer!"
She liked the way he used to kiss the top of her head, the way his arms went protectively to tighten on her waist. She leaned up on her hand and plunged her eyes in his. Right now, she liked every single thing about him; as ridiculous and shallow as it sounded.
She cupped his face with her hand and let her thumb caress his jaw. Was he hers, now? She couldn't tell that much because her life had plunged into some sort of haze. One day she would wake up and face all what the decisions she had just taken meant. But it was too soon, for the moment. Way too soon.
Slowly, she bent over and captured his lips. It was strange to kiss him there, in the middle of a living-room. Brooklyn looked so far, all of a sudden. As if it belonged to the past, now.
"So is it how it is going to be now? The two of you kissing all the time..."
Grace's voice in the background made them break apart and take a reasonable distance, instinctively. It made Grace laugh quietly unless she was simply hiding her slight embarrassment. Since their evening at the Chinese restaurant and Karen getting things clear over her intentions, nobody had yelled but they had spoken. Over and over. Long hours of an endless, complicated conversation. Grace would probably need time but at least was she trying. In spite of the oddness of the situation.
"I am not going to kill you either... You can, you know... Go on. But please, remember that you have a room, okay?"
Grace went for a bottle of water in the fridge then sat down on the leather armchair. Karen knew that it was for Will. All these silent efforts she made, second by second, it was for her friend yet perhaps one day it would also be for her. Hopefully. Yet Karen was glad that she didn't nourish any anger against her either.
"So now that Karen has officially moved in with us... With you... Don't you think that it is time for me to know the whole story? I am all ears."
Could she actually be happy for them? For a few seconds, Karen thought about it but didn't manage to come to any conclusion whatsoever. Things were blurry, too blurry for the moment.
"Yes, Gracie is right. We want to know all the details!"
Jack suddenly came back in from the terrace after some sort of a private phone call with the Barney's salesperson he was dating. With his usual lightness, he sat by Karen's side and looked straight at them. Waiting eagerly for everything.
Against all expectations and in spite of the heat rushing up her cheeks, Karen gave in.
"The fall... It started in the fall."
Just like in her dreams. Her favorite season, for its melancholy; the shades of the day sliding along the sidewalks and the brown trees. But it was only the beginning. Hopefully. As his hand pressed hers, she looked up at Will and bit her lower lip.
Yes, it was only the beginning.