She was barely in the clearing before she started to cry and yell at him. He smiled sheepishly as her long strides ate up the distance and she crushed him into a hug. He hugged her back equally as tight though a little less desperate. Fear never held him for long. Much more slowly, she let the tension seep out of her limbs and she brushed tears from her cheeks.
“You idiot. You scared me.”
He scuffed his foot in the dirt and looked up at her with an apologetic tilt to his shoulders. “Sorry.” He almost said something to lighten the mood, but she looked him in the eyes and he stopped. “Sorry. Really,” he said instead.
She knew he was. She also knew he wouldn’t take it seriously. It was his coping mechanism, however irritating and unhelpful she found it. So she caught all the warnings and dire predictions she wanted to throw at his head and let them drift away unsaid. “It’s okay,” she said. It wasn’t really. But it was as close as she could get to saying she forgave him.