“I am not ok!”, exclaims Chim as a heavy silence settles in Buck’s apartment. Chim is angry, no, furious at everything and everyone yet he needs to keep together. Maddie needs him to keep it together. Jee needs him to keep it together. The world is too loud and too large yet he feels too small in the vastness of everything going on. He walks away, needs to keep going, keep moving. One foot in front of the other.
Blinking and shaking his head to clear it, he takes to second to freak out over the fact that he’s somehow managed to drive himself back to his and Maddie’s home. No, not home, place - his and Maddie’s place. It’s not a home, not without her. Not without Maddie and Jee and himself all together. It feels too empty, the silence of the place weighing heavily on him.
“Oh God, I punched Buck”, he suddenly realizes. What have I done? What did I do? I punched Buck. Chim’s mind starts racing and spiraling out of control. Eight days and he’s a wreck. He’s out of control and he’s scared, terrified of what he’s done and the concern of if he’ll do worse going forward without consciously realizing it. I shouldn’t have done that. I hurt him, how could I hurt him?
I shouldn't be around people right now. What if I hurt someone? “You already have”, his mind whispered.
Tears start to fall and he’s sobbing. Deep wailing breaths filled the place he's in, breaking it’s oppressive silence. As angry tears roll down his face, it hits him that this is the first time since Maddie left that he’s cried. The first time he’s actually sat down and just been present. Not rewatching, rewinding or overanalyzing a video while taking care of a baby but just sitting down and existing.
Somehow, amidst the tears and the heaviness he feels, he feels at peace. His mind no longer adrift in the chaos of it all because for the first time in eight days, he understands why Maddie chose to leave. The fear of being able to hurt someone as precious as your baby without meaning to..it’s terrifying. The fear of hurting someone you love. He feels shattered
“She must have been so scared and hurt..and guilty”, he mutters to himself, “Oh God, Maddie, sweetheart, I’m sorry I wasn’t there”. “Stop it”, Chim berates himself, “this isn’t about you right now. It can't be”.
He pulls himself together, or he tries to. “I have to be better”, he mutters. Jee needs him and he can’t find Maddie if he’s a wreck.
A plan starts forming in his mind:
Call Bobby for extended leave of absence
Pick up the baby.
Pack the bags.
Call Buck - apologize, grovel, beg.
Tell Hen goodbye, for now
Make amends with Buck
He’s not sure how he can fix all of this or if he can even fix any of this but he can’t let Maddie do it alone. They’ll weather through this together. Him, Maddie and Jee. He’s not that out of it to think that he fully understands everything she’s going through after one moment of losing control but he can be there for her. A selfish voice in his head tells him he needs her to function, he's useless without her.
He’ll tell her the truth too; everything that’s happened and everything he’s done since she’s left. He owes it to Maddie and to whatever possible future they have together.He owes it to Jee to be the best father he can be for her. He owes it to Buck, his brother who he has wronged, who he needs to make amends to. He owes it to Albert to do better and he owes it to himself. This isn’t a man he wants to ever be again.