(spoilers to "Walk Like a Man" included within)
How much longer could he continue to do this before it destroyed him? As Luka unlocked the door to his apartment the question continued to haunt him. This wasn't like him....he knew that, he was sure Abby did as well, it was like he was watching a stranger possess him. Without conscious thought he tossed his keys on the table and moved to the refrigerator, then pulled the beer from it. He was losing himself...had been losing himself for longer then he wanted to admit. He twisted the cap free and tossed it in the sink before taking a long pull on the bottle.
All those years he had intentionally shut his feelings off...distanced himself so he wouldn't have to risk getting too close. Carol had been the start...he had lowered his guard and allowed first her, then the babies in...he had allowed himself to pretend he was normal. What a fool he had been. He took a deeper draw on the beer. When she had left he had drawn himself even tighter...assuming a front that let others see what he knew wasn't truly there. His time with Abby was a lie..he knew that...she needed him as much as he needed her, but in the end they had done nothing more then cause each other more pain, which had led him to where he was now.
How many more mornings would he wake with someone he felt nothing for? Yes, he could lie to himself and pretend to feel, experience the sensations their lips on his brought to him. Know that their touch on his skin was a sign he was still alive...if only he could find a way to make those feelings last. He took another longer pull on the bottle. Why, when he finally found his release did the numbness that was now his world, return? Was this what death felt like? He downed the rest of the bottle and reached for another before moving into the livingroom. How much of who he was....who he had been, was he willing to sacrifice to feel something?
Dropping onto the couch he loosened his tie, then twisted the cap off before tossing it on the table. What had he been thinking? Had he been thinking at all? He had been willing to risk everything, he had left a sick child alone for fifteen minutes of what? He raised the fresh bottle to his lips. What had he gained from those fifteen minutes in the closet? Amid the hurried desperate fumbling to free buttons and zippers, to feel her skin against his, what had been gained, but more importantly, what had been lost? Yes, there was the instant gratification, the feel of her hand over his skin, her lips, the tightness of her body as she drew him into her...but at what cost?
He drew deeply on the beer as if that could somehow wash away the nausea he was feeling at his actions. He had known it was wrong, but the fact remained...for those brief careless moments he had felt alive and wanted, if only he could find a way to make it last. It had never been like this before...yes he had known his hold was slipping..that he wasn't able to pretend that everything was normal, but he'd never worried that anyone else would notice. He was sure Abby had seen the signs...maybe because in her own way she knew what it was like. Was that why it hadn't worked out between them? He had always thought Abby felt too much, where he knew he was the opposite...and though he could pretend all he wanted he could never make it real.
Even as he finished the beer he knew he would need another...and rising he walked to the refrigerator to get it. What would Danijela have thought of him if she were to meet him now? The thought carried the weight of a blow to the stomach and he grabbed the edge of the sink to steady himself. Would she even recognize what he had fallen to? Maybe the truth was as he had always believed it to be....who he was had died with her and the children that day in the apartment. With an anguished groan he sank to the floor..his back sliding down the cabinet door before he leaned forward and buried his face in his hands...the beer forgotten. The realization was complete...he was losing himself and there was no one to find him again...