I threw myself into my work, as I always do. It's easier trying to
save the world than deal with my own inner turmoil. I stayed in my
lab for eight days without respite. I slept when I was too exhausted
to stay awake. I ate candy bars from the snack machine down the hall
instead of going upstairs for meals. Several times Scott or Jean tried
to get me to come out of the lab. I wouldn't even open the door to
let them in.
On the ninth morning there was a rapping from outside the metal door.
No one ever knocks because there is a call button and intercom beside
of the door controls. Curious, I opened the door. I expected it as
some cheap ploy to get me out of the lab, but instead I received a
gift. On the floor in front of me was a small coffin made of clay.
My name and R.I.P. with a question mark beside it was on the top of
the coffin. The door that I thought had been closed was still open.
I just hadn't bothered to look in.
"Henry, he's teaching you every day," I said as I carried my gift
As I passed by the French doors leading to the grounds, an idea came
to mind. I stepped outside into the cool morning air. There were some
lovely lilies by a small pond. I'm sure Ororo would chastise me later,
but I had to pick a few to lay across the tiny coffin. It was too
eloquent. After doing so, I put my new treasure in my room and walked
down the hall to see Bobby.
The door to his room was open. He sat at his computer, surfing on
the Internet. I tapped lightly on the doorframe and said, "To assure
you on the existence of my being, I think that a jaunt to the Coffee
Cathedral is in order. For surely a dead man can't drink expresso,
or perhaps maybe they should." Bobby smiled brightly and reached for
The Coffee Cathedral is a small coffeehouse on the edge of Westchester.
Warren had found it a few years previous, and it had become one of
"the" places outside of Harry's that the X-Men frequented.
We always sat on the comfortable couch in the back. It was a bit
removed from the other tables, and that suited us just fine. That
morning it suited me even more because there were some things that
I wanted to get off my chest.
"Bobby. You are my greatest friend. I won't begin to ponder on why
you've decided not to speak. I'm slowly beginning to understand your
new form of communication, but it's hard for me. I've always been
the team's solver. I see you not as you were and I want to fix you.
I know that that is probably wrong. If there is something that needs
to be fixed, I know that you are dealing with it, but I can't stop
myself. I'm usually the backbone of the team. I'm the one that doesn't
angst, and yet, that's all I've done since you stopped talking. I
don't expect you to start talking just to make me happy. I just wanted
you to know that this does hurt me, and that I am here for you if
you need me."
He sat silently and his face was a mix of emotion. I tuned this out
so that I could continue.
"Having said all this, maybe it is not I that should help you with
this. I've asked a colleague of mine to come and talk to you. She's
The mix of emotion on Bobby's face became one emotion, anger.
"Wait. Wait. This isn't what you think. I know that you don't believe
in psychiatry. I've asked her to come mostly on my behalf. Her late
husband was a sculptor. She'll be able to help me understand this
new way of communication you have, but also, she'll be here in case
you decide that you do want to talk to someone outside of the team.
I understand that you may see this as a betrayal. I understand why
you feel that way. I just want you to know that she's here to help
me first and foremost."
Bobby sat back and stared at his latte. I didn't expect a response.
I was just praying that he wouldn't get up and walk out. After what
seemed like an eternity he looked back at me. He stared into my eyes
searching for something. After a moment he either found it or gave
up because he nodded and reached for his coat. We rode home in silence.
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