Boundary Violations

by faithinthepoor

Her nightly routine was almost complete when the interruption occurred. She had cleansed and moisturized, her red hair shone from having received its one hundred strokes, her breath was minty fresh and as she ran her tongue over her incisors, she enjoyed the sensation that can only be produced by freshly cleaned teeth. The bed was already turned down and the light in the room was low and inviting, she was just about to remove her dressing gown and bury herself under the covers when the shrill tone pierced the quietness of the room. Due to the hour it was probably best to let the answering machine get the call but she couldn’t shake the feeling that it might be important, Andrew might be in trouble and even if he was just calling to yell at her and tell her how much he hated her it would be worth it to know that he was alright. She was not greeted with her son’s voice but rather a lengthy silence followed by a loud clatter and then a string of profanities that almost made her blush. She had been tempted to hang the phone up thinking that the silence was going to be followed by heavy breathing or the ever original, “What are you wearing?” but then she released she recognized the voice that was currently putting most marines to shame. Rather than comfort her, the knowledge forced her to contemplate hanging up for entirely different reasons, if this particular caller asked her about her attire, the compulsion to answer might be too great to resist and that was a risk she really shouldn’t be taking.

She chastised herself for her weakness as she remained on the line, there was no longer any talking to chronicle but she listened as a rustling got louder and then was replaced by the distinct sound of breathing. The silence between them continued for what seemed to be an eon and she was thinking of breaking the stalemate herself when the question came, “Are we really okay? I know we talked but it wasn’t real talk, it was just talky, talky talk and I need to know that we are okay, I don’t want you to be mad at me.”

She was more thrown by the form than she was by the content, the words were slightly slurred and the volume just a little too loud so she deflected the question with one of her own, “Lynette are you drunk?”

She must have come across as judgmental because the reply was indignant, “I’m fine, I’ve had a few drinks but I could totally operate heavy machinery.”

“You don’t own any heavy machinery.”

“I drive an SUV.”

“Yes you do but at the moment it seems you aren’t even capable of hanging on to a phone, that aside, do you want to tell me why you have been drinking or better yet why you called?”

“Tom and I had a fight, he got a call and decided to go back to work early after he had promised to spend time with me and the kids and when I reminded him of his promise, he said he was going anyway and we yelled and things were said and I questioned his legitimacy a lot, I feel bad about that because I like his mother, and I broke a plate and he left and so I had some wine and put the kids to bed and had some more wine and now I can’t stop thinking about the fact that we haven’t really talked and I think I made you mad and I can’t have both of you hating me at the same time but I don’t want to call him, I only want to talk to you.” As far as drunken explanations go, it had been quite informative, she tried hard not to think about how appealing Lynette usually looks when she’s intoxicated – hooded eyes, half smiles and overenthusiastic gesticulations – and tries even harder not to focus on how happy it makes her that Lynette would rather speak to her than Tom. “If it’s going to come between us, I won’t ask you to look after the boys again.”

For a woman not entirely in full control of her faculties, Lynette is unerringly accurate because the reality is that Bree is mad at her but it’s so much more complicated than that. She was angry with Lynette for asking her to look after the boys, she felt she was being manipulated, that Lynette was exploiting her to get what she wanted and while that may have been acceptable when Lynette was only able to speculate about Bree’s feelings, now it seems cruel. Still she’s the one setting limits on their relationship and telling Lynette that she wants things to go back to the way they were so maybe she doesn’t have the right to judge. At the same time she was hurt that she hadn’t been the first person that Lynette had asked – she may not have wanted to look after the boys but she doesn’t ever want to be Lynette’s fall back option. That didn’t even begin to cover how conflicted she felt about the fact that she had looked after the kids while Lynette went out with other people – she wants Lynette to be happy, she wants that more than almost anything, she wishes that she could achieve this more directly, she’s not as altruistic as she would like to be, she wants to be there to experience Lynette’s joy, ideally she wants to be the source of it. She doesn’t like to think of herself as jealous and possessive but at the end of the day, if Lynette is going to be wearing dresses and makeup and pantyhose, she wants it to be because of her. These are all things that she can not say because they highlight her for the hypocrite that she is – her heart and mind just won’t come together on the same page. She can set herself all the rules in the world but if Lynette ever really asks, she knows that she’ll go right into the abyss with her.

“No it’s alright, I am not going to say that it’s my pleasure because they can definitely be a handful but I am sorry that what I did didn’t comply with your parenting techniques and I’m sorry that I criticized them, you are a good mother.”

“So are you, I shouldn’t have said what I did about Andrew. I guess you were right, we shouldn’t be raising kids together.” It might just be her imagination but Lynette sounds almost wistful.

“I never said that, I said I couldn’t see it happening and I just wish I’d known how you felt about corporal punishment, I wish I knew how you felt about a lot of things.”

“You could always ask.” If only it were that simple but that way leads to madness, the same type of madness that makes her want to have the right to parental decisions when it comes to Lynette’s children – it’s amazing that she could ever have convinced herself that this was a simple crush and when here she is fantasizing about taking on the woman’s family as her own but she knows she can’t do that, she’ll ruin them, the way she’s ruined Andrew.

“Lynette are you and the kids there on your own?”

“Yes so you could come over.”

“That’s a bad idea. Are you going to be okay to get up to Penny if she needs you?”

“I’ve told you, I’m fine,” she manages to draw the last world as though it contains multiple syllables but then she pauses and Bree can almost sense the cogs in Lynette’s mind turning, “no I’m not I’m very, very, very, very drunk so you have to come over, you have to look after the kids and I think you really need to be in my bed to do that.”

“I have a feeling you’ll be able to look after the kids just fine and there is no way I am getting into the bed you share with Tom.”

“I don’t see why not, in my head and my dreams you spend a lot of time here and lately when Tom touches me, I imagine that it’s you instead.”

“God Lynette.”

“Yep that’s one of the things you say in my head and if you came over now, I would make you say it and you should know that you would say it often.”

There seems to be a localized atmospheric problem in her bedroom because suddenly there is absolutely no air in the room. She is light headed and is forced to sit down, she has resisted touching her bed while talking to Lynette because somehow she felt it made their conversation more innocent, the irony that she is now touching it while Lynette talks about sex is not lost on her. “You are pretty sure of yourself for a woman who called me because she thought that I was mad at her.”

“Just cause you’re mad at me doesn’t mean you wouldn’t want me or that you’d stop loving me.”

“Stop that right now, Rex is in the house, he could hear us or even pick up the phone.”

“You think that if we don’t talk about it, don’t say the words that negates the feelings that we have? That if we don’t kiss that that changes the fact that we both want to? That if we don’t touch then we aren’t adulteresses?”

“Thoughts and feelings aren’t actions, we may not be able to control our emotions but we can control what we do about them.”

“You’re just hair-splitting, you are a hair-splitting hair-splitterer”

“Is that meant to be an insult?”

“What would you do if I told you that I think it’s possible I’m in love with you?”

The meteorological problems had returned and she collapses back onto the bed. “If you care about me at all, please never tell me that.”

“Alright hair splitting girl but only if you’ll do something for me.”

“What would that be?”

“Stay on the phone with me until I fall asleep.”

They talk for around an hour about inconsequential things and she doesn’t even think about the fact that Rex is in the house. Lynette’s responses slow and eventually stop altogether but instead of hanging up she keeps the phone by her ear as she turns off the light and reorganizes the pillows to her preferred sleeping position. She tells herself that she is only keeping the line open in case Penny cries or the boys wake up and Lynette sleeps through it and can almost convince herself that that is the reason; it will certainly be the excuse that she gives to Rex if he asks. Soft snores are now coming for the other end of the phone line so she takes the opportunity to tell Lynette the one thing she can never say to her when she’s awake, “I love you too, baby.”

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