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Lie in the Sound

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"You did what?!"

Well, this isn't what she imagined. When she got Leo dressed and ready to go this morning, she played the rehearsed words over and over again in her head. By the time she reached Danny's door to drop off their son for the weekend, she had the words down and she was ready to say them.

That plan flew completely out the window when Danny swung the door open with a wide smile. Before he could even greet them she blurted out, "Ben and I got married."

So now, here she is, standing in front of her ex, the father to her son, the man she annoyingly still loved on some level, biting her lip like a teenager about to get grounded for skipping school.

The only thing she can say is, "What?" with her hand on her hip and a false confidence rippling through her body.

Danny stepped aside and she walked into the living space, Leo settled on her hip still. He closed the door and whipped around to face her, ready to shout when Leo reached out for him, a toothy smile on his face as he said "Daddy!"

Danny softened and lifted Leo from Mindy's arms, gathering him to his chest and placed a kiss on his head. "How's my best man?" he asked, tickling his son's side.

Leo squirmed and squealed, looking at Mindy for help. "Mommy! Help! Daddy get me!"

Mindy grinned and wiggled her fingers at him. "Should mommy join the fun?"

Leo screamed again and wiggled his way out of Danny's arms as Danny set him on the floor. He tottled around the living room and stopped when he found his favorite toy truck on the coffee table, the item distracting him. Danny turned back to Mindy, his face once again lined with anger.

"So, you're married?"

Mindy sighed, rolling her eyes as she tossed her purse and coat on the back of the couch. She walked into the kitchen and pulled out two coffee mugs, setting them in front of the coffee machine. "I don't know why you're so pissed, Danny." (Yes she does). "You and Sarah are married." She continued to flit around the kitchen as she made a pot of coffee, acting like she never left all those months ago.

"Me and Sarah dated for longer than five minutes and also planned a wedding for three months before we got married." Danny told her sternly, his arms crossed over his chest. His defense stance.

Mindy scoffed, grabbing the sugar jar from the second shelf cabinet. "You and Sarah dated for maybe ten minutes longer than me and Ben. And who cares how long it took you to plan a wedding? Ben and I went to the justice of the peace that same day and got married because it felt right. No planning needed."

She expected a shout, a sarcastic laugh - anything but stone cold silence. Slowly, she turned to look at Danny and fuck, her heart leapt to her throat, suddenly blocking her windpipe. He looked at her like she just punched him in the gut and after replaying her words back in her head, she realized she kind of did. Metaphorically, speaking.

Danny swallowed loudly, his shoulders slightly drooped. "It felt right?" he asked, his voice uncharacteristically soft.

No. No it did not.

Mindy stayed silent, biting her tongue and stared at him. A wave of many emotions passed through Danny's eyes until she watched him settle on forced happiness. "Wow. I'm, uh, happy for you, Min. You finally got what you wanted most."

She definitely did not.

"Yeah," she cleared her throat as the coffee machine beeped. She suddenly wasn't in the mood for caffeine. She needed something much stronger. Alcohol based. Alcohol that will knock her out and make her forget the forlorn look on her ex's face.

They continued to look at each other, daring the other to say a word of truth, but neither spoke for a while. Only when the sound of her step daughter's ring tone pierced the silence did she break the stare and cross the room for her phone. She didn't dare look back at Danny while she spoke with Lindsey, knowing even though he had moved to the living room with Leo, that he was still eavesdropping on her conversation.

"Yeah, Linds, I'll pick it up on the way home. I know - the teal not the aquamarine. You seriously think I don't know my colors? All right. Love you, too. Bye." She ended the call and bit her lip, keeping her eyes to the floor as she grabbed her purse and coat. "I, uh, I gotta go. Lindsey has a school dance tonight and she needs eyeshadow."

Danny picked up Leo so they could walk her to the door. Mindy smiled at her son and leaned into kiss him sweetly.

"Bye, sweetheart! I love you!"

Leo wrapped his arms around Mindy's neck and held her tightly, pulling her even closer to Danny who was still holding Leo at his waist. "Bye mommy. Love you."

Before she could move back, she felt Danny's hand on the back of her head and then a kiss on her temple. She pulled away and looked up at him, slightly confused.

"I really am happy for you, Min," he said with a warm smile. "As long as you're happy."

I'm not. I miss you. You made me happy. And miserable. Miserably happy.

I don't love Ben like I should.

"Thanks, Danny," she kissed his cheek and then turned around to walk out, willing the tears gathering in her eyes to go away.