The next morning, Six wasn’t in the kitchen at breakfast.
If you ever worked for Six the way I did during that summer, you will understand how strange this was. I actually looked at the clock to make sure I had the time right, and hadn’t somehow gotten dressed in record speed. In fact, I was exactly on time, as I had been trained to be. When you were even a few minutes late to meet Six, you didn’t do it again.
In fact, the force of habit was so strong that I made coffee despite the fact that I felt a growing tension in my stomach, then sat down at my computer and began to review the day’s emails. But at nine twenty five I couldn’t stand it any more, and went in search of him, wondering if I had either forgotten something or been overlooked while the rest of the household went to Fiji on his private jet.
As I searched the empty rooms it was hard for me not to become more and more unsettled. Inexorably, I remembered Six telling me the story of when one of his sex party invites had pulled a gun on him and had made off with almost a thousand dollars. By the time I’d checked the pool and his bedroom I was starting to imagine that someone had broken in and killed him, which was why, when I got to Rufus’ still-shut door, I gently pushed it open rather than slamming it like my nerves wanted to.
Six was standing over Rufus’ bed.
The rush of relief I felt upon seeing him was intense—but it somehow did nothing to relieve the tension. Why was he there, looking at Rufus so intently? I must have gasped a little, because I startled him… and then when he saw me, placed a finger to his lips. Shhhhhh.
I came in quietly and shut the door even more quietly. Rufus was still asleep in the bed, naked as he usually was, except for the sheet. I had the fleeting thought that he might be sick, or hurt, and that was the reason Six had told me to be quiet, but I was distracted by all the bottles. They were cluttered all over the bedside table, the bureau, and even the windowsill—wine bottles and tequila bottles and the huge liter soda bottles, all quite full. Six had even lined up a row of glass Orange Crush bottles on the windowsill, which Rufus had once told me he’d used to do one of his first liquid stuffings. The early morning light shone through the bright orange liquid inside them like stained glass.
I posted this ages ago, and as you can see, it’s pretty much been ignored.
But the times when, in a sea of likes for my other posts, I see that one, single new heart for this post? IT MAKES ME SO HAPPY!