Episode 1170: I See Your SmileThe tension in Bowie’s shoulders eased slightly when he saw Lila at the kitchen table seemingly in good spirits, humming along with a song while she placed stickers in the planner he’d gifted her for Christmas.
The planner and the eighty million stationary accessories that went with it had been Ava’s idea. Bowie eventually realized it was a good idea, too, right up until he’d seen the offended steam pour out of Lila.
“You’re actually using it?” He blurted.
“Yep.” Lila smiled at him, it had been a long time since he’d stood at the receiving end of one of those.
“You were right,” she added, also something he hadn’t heard in a long time.
“This is going to be great for keeping my business stuff organized and I’m finding it kind of relaxing, too, which clearly I could use more of these days.”
Her gaze met his. “I’m sorry I wasn’t more enthusiastic about it on Christmas morning, that was pretty rotten of me. I really am sorry for that and for the way I’ve behaved lately. I was being unfair to you.”
Bowie didn’t disagree with her assessment, but he wasn’t about to venture into that argument again. He accepted her apology with a shrug as if it were no big deal, when they’d been mostly miserable for a couple months due to her.
“I’m just glad you’re finding all those supplies useful now,” Bowie said, “and, well, if you were underwhelmed maybe there was a reason for it, maybe you sensed that it was a backup gift and not actually the real deal.”
“I don’t understand.” The serene, happy expression on Lila’s face shifted towards the iciness of the last couple months. “So this wasn’t even you taking your best shot at a gift for me. I wasn’t worth it and you couldn’t even have the decency to keep your mouth shut about it, you had to let me know I’m not worthy.”
“You are worth everything,” he insisted through his exasperation, worrying that they were backsliding into Lila’s cold war. He had not explained any of this well enough. “I did put thought into the planner but at the same time, I admit, it was a backup gift because what I most wanted to give you ended up requiring more time than the holidays allowed. But I got a call about ten minutes ago that everything’s finally a go. I promise this was in the making before Christmas, it just wouldn’t all come together in time so I did have the planner stuff as backup. So, I mean, I know you’re kind of feeling mad at me again because you think your present was an afterthought but I promise you it wasn’t and I can show you proof if you’ll come with me.”