He found the infant one night when he came home from work. It had been swaddled in a pink hospital blanket and laid carefully on his bed, where he would be sure to find it within minutes of arriving home. It was sleeping soundly, and didn't even wake when James unpinned the handwritten note that had been pinned to the front of the blanket. The writing was shaky, as if written with an unsteady hand, yet legible.
My dearest James,
I am sorry that I could not speak to you in
person, but you must believe me that this way is easier. I can not stay
with you - I have known this from the day I met you.
The next day was Love Day, but James's mood matched the weather. Nobody in town would be out partying in that grey rain, which was just as well, because he didn't want to hear them. He stared out the front window, the classical music playing in the background barely noticed as he became lost in his own thoughts.
James: "Why are you doing this now?"
Alpha: "You said I could."
James: "I said no such thing."
Alpha: "Uh, yeah, you did. When you came in and I was dancing, I asked if you wanted me to stop. And you said you didn't care what I did, so I just kept doing it."
Alpha: "Do you want me to stop?"
James: "Could you? It's really distracting."
Alpha: "Sure, I was almost done anyway."
She flipped the stereo off as she trotted off through the house, to do whatever it was she did all day apart from making up ridiculous dances to symphony music. Just then, the doorbell rang, and James turned towards the sound. Maybe she'd come back.
When he reached the front door, it wasn't to find Anne - Acadia, he corrected himself - but rather his old friend from school, Sondra Isaac-Keaton.
Sondra: "Heyyy James, I was just in the neighborhood and I thought I'd stop by and see if you wanted to come to my pa-"
She stopped and blinked, getting a good look at him for the first time.
Sondra: "Oh wow, is everything okay? You look terrible."
James shook his head mutely and grabbed Sondra in a tight hug.
James: "She just left me, didn't even talk about it. Just left me a note. Who does that to someone?"
Sondra: "Wait, back up. You have a girlfriend?"
James: "Apparently not anymore."
Sondra: "That really sucks, I'm sorry. She broke up with you through a note? That's even worse. At least have the guts to talk it out face-to-face. Wow, I don't blame you for being messed up."
James: "I just want to forget, but I can't, because I live in a madhouse."
Sondra glanced over her shoulder to the house, which seemed perfectly fine and not at all like a madhouse to her. Shrugging the shoulder that wasn't supporting a crying man, she looked back down to him.
James made a muffled noncommittal noise into her shoulder.
Sondra: "No, seriously, you need that shower. Believe me. Let's go find your bathroom."
She got him in the stall and the water steaming, and was turning to wait for him outside when he grabbed her wrist. She glanced back to him, raising an eyebrow as he tried to tug her closer.
James: "I want you, Sondra."
Sondra: "Hey now, it's not that I entirely object to the idea, but it just seems like a bad way of dealing with this, to me."
James: "It's the only way I can think of to forget."
~ * ~
James really needs better coping mechanisms. It probably doesn't help that he does in fact live in a madhouse, but then again, whose fault is that?
Alpha invented the Smustle(it's my universe, she totally did, don't tell me otherwise) while listening to Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries. It was actually just generic classical music that the game was playing, but in my head it was Ride of the Valkyries, because that is much funnier.
I would also like to say, for your amusement, that I started out on this wikipedia page(wanted to make sure I had the composer right), and ended up here about 15 minutes later. I have no idea.