Episode 438: Mystery TrainWith trusted employees minding the bookstore, and more than happy to let them do so, Bowie spent a rainy Saturday in the apartment with the boys. And Lila.
While Jesse pondered his next move, Bowie looked away from the checkerboard to the other end of the table where Nate and Lila were busy making use of the brand new pack of crayons and colored paper they’d given their littlest for Christmas.
A bulky sweater to stave off the winter chill in their drafty home concealed her slim curves and her silky red hair fell like a curtain across her face, still, without really seeing anything, Bowie immediately thought, beautiful. Even when things weren’t entirely right between them just a look at her and he was a kid again, seeing Lila Benson for the first time, his heart pounding harder, his palms sweating, his mouth going dry with thirst for her.
She was undoubtedly hot. His physical ideal. It was how he continued to love the rest of her that remained one of the great unsolved mysteries. From the day he met Lila, she’d been shallow, devious, and made him feel like no matter what he had to offer her it would never be enough. Half the time he didn’t like her, and he didn’t like himself with her.
Lila’s slender hand lifted to tuck her hair behind her ear, revealing her profile, intense concentration on her task. It made him frown. Made him think of all the concentration she’d put into expanding the bookstore, going behind his back to another man, no faith that he could take care of his family.
Despite a decent holiday together, the hurt, the sting, still lingered inside, at some moments, like now, it outright burned. She may as well have slept with the guy. It felt like that much of a betrayal. Both said basically the same thing. You don’t measure up.
She must have felt his eyes on her. She turned a glimmering smile for him. And there Bowie sat, mystery of mysteries, smiling back. Helpless not to.