Throughout the day, Elbows and I swap gossip in passing.
"Oh hey, Watson was giving Glassy shit the other night about his mistress and Glassy snarkily told us she's not talked to him in the last few days. According to him, that means she's talking to Liz again."
Elbows shudders a little bit, "Oh yeah, they aren't friends on the SNAP anymore. And Liz jumped my shit the other day when I brought it up, then complained to Boss about how I just won't let things go. So I'm like you want to see me let things go, mother fucker, watch this."
She brushes off her hands and shrugs.
I smile, "It probably had something to do with that letter he wrote to his mistress on the social media. The other half of that was missing from the screenshot Heygrrl sent me, but he was basically saying You're the best, but now isn't the right time. Maybe next year?
"The thing is, I've seen literally no change in his behavior at home. He does not smack of someone trying to get his shit together." I don't tell her he put the baby to sleep at six thirty. I can't prove the kid didn't get up and play after I went to bed. And I wanted to see what happened tonight.
Later on, we are back in the kitchen, talking. Heygrrl in the background, cleaning out the Bertha machine, this little vacuum pump that recycles our old old.
"I'm ready for my hug now, or are we not doing that anymore," she says as she backs closer to the mop sink. Out of the way of foot traffic and the grill. I don't really hesitate. My arms slid around her. She hugs me back. I rub her back and eventually I put my hand on the back of her head. After several seconds, I start my fidgety attempts to break the hug, but she doesn't let go, so I continue to hug her. Another attempt fails. And then I start laughing.
"No! That's another rule," she says, finally letting go. "No laughing."
"I'm sorry! I couldn't help it! I was beginning to feel like it was about to breach the appropriateness level," I follow her as she walks away laughing as well. "I know you what you were doing there. Waiting me out!"