Calm Like A Bomb


The lamp Shane threw at me was broken in six pieces. The light bulb didn’t shatter, but the base and switch were destroyed. I laughed at the symbolism, not realizing Juliet was watching from the doorway.
“I didn’t know who to be mad at until now. You’re laughing?”
She didn’t see what I saw. Her tone was pained and indignant. I felt like I was in quicksand.
“Sweetie, I wasn’t laughing at your mom or the argument. It’s the lamp.”
When Juliet was angry with me should would remove all emotion from her face, look away, and flip her hair nonchalantly. She did this three times in less than thirty seconds before speaking.
“I texted Ava and told her to stop sending me makeup and leave us alone. I  should have said me and mom since you obviously don’t care.”

She was out of line and wrong. I wasn’t going to convince her otherwise.
“Are you going to leave mom for Ava, like, now, or after you have the surgery?”
Before I could answer, my wife appeared beside my daughter in the door. The tears in Shane’s eyes had disappeared. They were replaced by lines of anger.
“This should be rich. I want to hear you answer her, Caleb.”
I picked up the pieces of the lamp and placed them in the bedroom trashcan. I  was cornered. I couldn’t exit the room. I didn’t have an answer that wasn’t 
patronizing or cruel. I pulled off my grey t-shirt.
“Look at me. Under this scar, skin, tissue, blood, muscle and bone is a bomb. Soon, it will explode. The only people who can help are not good . I’m 
searching for someone better.”
Juliet corrected her blank expression, uncrossed her arms and her gaze was hopeful.  Shane steamed like a boiling pot of tea. I shook my head and bit my top lip so hard I felt blood in my mouth.
“I want you to live, dad.”
I walked over to her and hugged her, hard, around her head and shoulders. I  lightly kissed her forehead.
“Maybe it would be best if I stayed at the old house until I can find out more information with Breann and the others. I have messed up with your mom. I don’t 
know how to make it all better right now.”
Gambling that raw emotion and bare honesty would hold her feelings, I released her from our hug and looked at both of them. Shane reached her right hand out 
and touched my fingers and Juliet’s arm.
“Let me talk to your dad for a while.”
Juliet walked out, crying. Shane and I just stared at the off-white carpet.
“I think that’s a good idea. You should go stay in that house for a while. You have two weeks of vacation you haven’t taken.I trust Breann to help you find 
answers. You, well, we need something or someone who can help other than a woman who wants to sleep with my husband. I’ll take the girls to mom’s for a couple of hours and you can pack. Just call Juliet’s phone. I don’t want to talk to you.”
I didn’t argue.  I packed enough for a couple of weeks. I called Breann, Lena and Clare. We started brainstorming ways to find Connor Bulas and Bruce Nolans.

 Sitting in a two bedroom split level with no electricity, I thumbed through my phone. I stopped at Lucas Bonner’s phone number. I walked outside to use the street lights as company. The call went to voice mail. I dialed again. Then a third time. A chilly November breeze blew through me. I dropped my cell phone in the browning grass, covered in moonlight and shadows. I squeezed my hands into white-knuckled balls.  Pain rolled through my chest and I dropped to my knees. The phone was inches from my right knee. The vibration startled me. An odd calm came over me as I answered.
“Hello, is this Caleb Runson, the guy in Atlanta?”
The voice wasn’t Lucas Bonner’s. It was female.
“Yes it is. Who’s this?”
There were several seconds of silence. She heaved, like she was crying.
“This is….I am, uh, Gwen Bonner. Lucas is my husband. He left his other cell phone, the business one, here at the house when he left.”
I chose my words carefully. Lucas had told me he didn’t want any contact with me. Badgering his wife for information wasn’t the right way.
“Is Lucas alright? I mean, well, I know about his medical history. That’s how we know each other.”
She heaved again, then whimpered.
“Lucas is fine. It’s Bruce Nolans. He had a heart attack. He’s in a hospital in Bozeman, Montana. It doesn’t sound good unless, well, you know.”
I didn’t know but I assumed Lucas was trying to get Bruce a new heart. I acted like a I knew what was about to happen and that I knew Bruce.
“I know he had been sick. Lucas and I talked about it the last time I saw him. You sound so upset. I don’t want to burden you, especially at night. My kids are 
in bed at this time. Do you know the name of the hospital?”
Gwen Bonner sniffled, rustled papers  and breathed into the phone.
“It’s Bozeman Deaconess. That’s what I overheard Lucas tell his doctor. He left for Montana over an hour ago. If you find out anything, please call this number, 
no matter how late.”
I jumped to my feet and ran into the house after hanging up. I gathered everything I had packed and got in my car and started driving toward the airport. I called Breann.
“Hey you. Start looking for flights from Atlanta or Birmingham to Bozeman. Bruce Nolans is dying or dead in a hospital there. I think Lucas is about to land and 
get himself a robot-human hybrid brother whether Bruce wants it or not.”


*blogger’s note*** – This is another episode of a story I am writing. You can read more here: Feel free to gut me like a catfish.

Today’s song is what inspired this episode. I wasn’t going to post this because it’s melodramatichttp but I thought it would show the torment inside Caleb. The Battle of Los Angeles by Rage Against the Machine is one of my favorite albums. I listen to it a lot. It’s like my anxiety disorder soundtrack. Here’s Calm Like A Bomb…


3 thoughts on “Calm Like A Bomb

  1. Rage on a Monday morning?? Oh YES please!! Just what I needed today.. love this album!
    As for the story, I think this is important context to include, even if you think it’s melodramatic because it is the relationship motivation/impact that is driving Caleb’s behavior and knowing that there are consequences that he has to face basically just to seek survival explains some of the conflict and urgency that he is showing. Still loving it!

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