The next day, Bobby pantomimed to Logan that he wished to go into
town. Logan didn't seem to find this unusual. He later told me that
Bobby had kept pointing in the direction that he wished to go the
whole way. Wolverine didn't seem to find this strange either. Of course,
he's a man of few words himself. They returned from what Logan had
described as a hobby shop with bags full of new things.
I followed Bobby up to his room and watched as he unpacked the bags.
He'd bought lots of ready-made clay as well as powdered products that
could become clay with the right amount of water. He'd also bought
different kinds of sculpture tools. He gave me an impatient look when
he'd finished and I realized that he wanted to be alone. I'd barely
stepped out into the hall when his door closed firmly behind me.
Bobby didn't come out of his room for ten hours, fourteen minutes,
and thirty-seven seconds, not that I was really paying attention.
I sat in my room with the door open listening for the sound of his
turning knob or his heavy steps into the creaky hall. I heard neither.
I jerked awake at the touch of a hand on my shoulder. I started up
and looked at Bobby's bemused expression. He'd caught me. I had been
sitting in my rolling desk chair just inside my door waiting for him
to emerge. Apparently, I'd also fallen asleep on my watch. I bemusedly
thought of how Bishop would have been mortified to know this.
I looked at my friend. He wore a loose white V-neck T-shirt that
was filthy. His loose sky blue jeans were also dinged with the grayish
brown clay that he'd bought. He stood patiently as I observed him.
When my eyes finally returned to his face he smiled and beckoned me
to follow him. Bobby's room had been rearranged. All of the furniture
had been pushed against the walls. His worn rug was rolled up and
propped in a corner. In the center of the room was his nightstand
with a square board sitting on it.
Setting solitary on the board was another sculpture. It was in the
same dreary colored clay that covered Bobby's clothes. It was also
an incredible likeness of myself.
I gaped at it. It was about twelve inches tall. The center figure
was of me with my arms stretched up. In the statue's hands was a circle
with about a five-inch diameter. It was the round crossed symbol of
the X-Men. It was large compared to the statue's scale and that little
version of me was supporting it like a pillar.
"Bobby, what does this mean? I don't understand. Why won't you just
talk to me?" I asked.
He sighed and looked away from me with disappointment on his face.
I watched him walk towards the sculpture with a long knife that I
hadn't noticed before. It was crusted with dried clay. He reached
up to slash down at the model with it. My large hand caught his wrist
before he could destroy it.
"Please, Bobby, no. I'm just trying to understand. You have to give
me time," I pleaded.
Before I could continue we were interrupted by a cheerful voice.
"Robert! You never told me that you were interested in art! It is
wonderful! You must let me use it as a study model for my sketchbook."
Bobby let his arm drop to his side and gave me a doleful look as he
tuned to greet Piotr. I was upset at the intrusion. I was hoping that
Bobby would open up to me and explain what was going on, but I was
not to get that chance.
"Yes it appears that you are not the only artist in residence anymore
Piotr," I said with a bit more venom than the occasion allowed. If
Colossus observed my ire he did not comment on it. Bobby chose to
ignore me completely and focus on his new admirer.
"It is a good likeness Robert in more ways than one," Piotr said
in a serious voice.
I cocked an eyebrow at our intruder and asked, "What do you mean?"
Colossus smiled softly and pointed to the statue. "Can't you see?
You're the pillar of the X-Men!"
The meaning behind the statue hit me then. Bobby had been communicating
with me. I just hadn't been listening in the right way. Like the night
before when I had attempted to tell him what he meant to me, so too
today was he showing how he felt about me.
I was ashamed by my behavior and my ignorance, but the damage had
Bobby's doorway to me was closed. He didn't try to communicate with
me for some time afterwards.
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