He looks upwards, away from me. A hand caresses the golden leaves that extend from his forehead, the way it always does when he is preparing to lie to me.
"It's work." He says.
I freeze. I don't dare move a muscle. My face tenses but I know this is barely visible. I don't look at him again. I let him think I am listening. He does not need to know the thoughts of anger, of fear, of betrayal that I can barely form in my mind. If I were to open my mouth they would tumble in an an incoherent rage. I would hurt him. I would beat him. And he would think he had won. That his new adventure was somehow justified by my pushing him away.
There is nothing I can do to keep him. Not even silence. A small, delicate bud curls under my chin, I feel it withering, un-cared for. I pluck it. The movement surprises him. His hand stops moving. The confident, new-born smile disappears from his face. Replaced with a flash of anger.
"Ok, it's not just work. I need time away. You need to get help. You need to see someone. Please. I can't take it any more."
More lies. I let the dead bud fall from my fingers. It tilts on the floor, a small, blue petal has edged through the green scales.
"Then go." I say. I pull my vines over my face, looking for comfort in their sticky, velvet touch. "Go."