Chapter 665 Tobykins
Sonia couldn’t help but smile when she saw how happy Toby was at her return. “Yes, I’m back. See, I made good on my word and didn’t leave at all, and I came back on time.”
He hummed contentedly in response.
She pulled up a chair next to the couch and sat down. “Can you get up?”
“No,” he said, looking at her piteously as he shook his head.
She sighed, then reached out a hand. “Come on. I’ll help you up.”
He put his hand in hers, and as soon as she had a firm grasp on him, she pulled him into an upright position on the couch. “Okay, hold still, and don’t fall back again.”
“Okay,” he said, nodding like an obedient little boy.
He was behaving so well that Sonia couldn’t resist ruffling his hair affectionately. “You know, Tobykins, I didn’t think you’d be so much more fun during a hangover.”
“Tobykins?” he repeated with a raise of his brow as he eyed her inquisitively. The next moment, he grimaced and demanded unhappily, “Who is Tobykins? Are you seeing someone else?”
His voice was loud, and he looked at her like she was the biggest heartbreaker in the city. She tried to keep from sputtering as she asked, “What are you talking about? Who’s seeing someone else?”
“You!” he replied furiously, glowering at her.
She blinked, then pointed at herself. “And who am I seeing?”
Incensed, he pursed his lips, and his eyes were red as he grumbled, “Tobykins!”
“Well…” Sonia felt the corner of her lips twitch at the accusation. I’m seeing someone else by the name of Tobykins? Okay, well, as things are, I can’t say he’s wrong. She put a palm to her forehead as she looked at him incredulously and said, “I swear it’s like you’ve lost half a mind, Toby. You do realize that you’re Tobykins, don’t you?”
This seemed like news to him as he stiffened. “I’m Tobykins?”
“Mm-hmm,” Sonia replied with a slow nod.
Once again, his face darkened as he argued, “You’re lying to me. My name is Toby, not Tobykins.”
“Tobykins is a nickname I gave you,” she answered through gritted teeth, rolling her eyes at him.
It was only then that he understood that he really was Tobykins. As his anger subsided, he gazed at Sonia blearily and asked, “But why am I Tobykins? I’m not a kid anymore.”
“Why?” Sonia was highly entertained by this exchange. “Because you’re behaving like a kid right now, of course. Toby, I really want to see how you’d react after you sober up and recall every single childish thing you said and did today. I bet you’d wish a hole could open up in the ground and swallow you up.”
“Huh?” Toby was clearly too drunk to comprehend her words, and his confusion was evident on his face.
She waved her hand dismissively. “You know what? It’s fine. I don’t even know why I bothered telling you all this in the first place; it’s not like you can understand what I’m saying. We should eat.”
Having said that, she took up a bowl of chowder from the tray and placed it carefully in Toby’s hands. “Take care not to spill it.” My goodness, it’s like I’m actually fussing over a little kid right now. Here’s to hoping he won’t spill the chowder.
Toby was truly on his best behavior as he carefully held the bowl in his palms. Sonia could tell that he had a firm grasp on the bowl, and when she was sure that he wouldn’t tip the bowl on one side and spill the chowder, she loosened up and took her own bowl of chowder.
She was already starving as it was, having gone without food for the whole morning while she was fussing over him. Hours had passed since then, and now she felt so hollow she might just shrink into herself.
Stirring her chowder with her spoon, she began to take small mouthfuls of it, but that was when she sensed Toby staring at her without once eating his own chowder.
She put the spoon down and glanced at him with a raised brow. “Are you going to keep staring at me like that, or are you going to eat?”
He looked like he was about to say something, but he did not utter a single word.
She sighed. “What is it? Don’t you know how to feed yourself?”
Toby stared at her and stayed stubbornly mute. This only made her feel more exasperated. Kids are cute, and that’s an understatement, but heaven help me. I have no idea what they’re thinking! Sometimes, one would find oneself rendered helpless by children and their strange demeanor.
Like right now.
In resignation, she put down her own bowl and reached for his instead, taking it out of his hands as she scooped up some chowder and brought it to his lips. “Say, ‘ah’.”
He did as he was told and opened his mouth, and she spooned the chowder into it.
He chewed twice, then swallowed. Amused by this, Sonia prompted, “Could it be that you’re just trying to get me to wait on you hand and foot instead of doing these things on your own, Toby? Do you actually see yourself as a kid?”
“No,” he replied with a small shake of his head.
“You know what, don’t even bother arguing with me,” she said with a roll of her eyes, then brought yet another spoonful of chowder to his lips.
He opened his mouth just as obediently as he had the first time, making it clear that he wanted her to spoon-feed him. Resigned, she sighed and fed him each mouthful. It wasn’t as if she had a choice; if she refused to feed him, he would stare at her with wide puppy eyes, which was her weakness. More importantly, he was her man, and she couldn’t bear to let him starve.
When the chowder had been polished off, Sonia set the bowl aside and handed him a glass of water. “It’s for you to rinse your mouth.”
He took the glass of water and proceeded to rinse his mouth without needing any assistance. When he looked like he was about to be done, she raised a small basin for him to spit out the water, which he did without objection.
After that, she handed him a tissue so he could wipe his mouth, but this time, he somehow became inept again and waited for her to do it for him instead, staring at her once more with childish helplessness.
Frustration seized her. “Okay, you know what, Toby? I think I’ve figured you out. You may look like a hapless kid right now, but your thoughts are clear enough for you to decide which chore you’d like to do on your own and which you’d prefer to have others do for you.”
Like feeding you chowder, which happens to be a chore that he’d prefer someone else do for him, and I’m the only other person available at his service.
However, when it came to rinsing his mouth, he knew that there was no way she could have helped him and resorted to doing it on his own.
Right now, wiping his mouth was, once again, a chore that he could elect to have someone else do for him.
He was a manipulative child stuck in a grown man’s body.
Alas, he feigned innocence now, as if he couldn’t understand why Sonia was upset at him, and there was a groggy look in his eyes as he gazed at her. “Hmm?”
She felt the corner of her mouth twitch once more in anger. Screw this, she thought belligerently. Why do I bother talking sense to a hungover person? I’ll wait until he sobers up before I get even with him!
Rubbing her temples tiredly, she heaved a sigh and wiped the corners of his mouth for him. It was only after she was done cleaning him up that he lay back down on the couch.
Now that he had settled down, Sonia finally had the time and the liberty to enjoy her lukewarm chowder, and while she ate, Toby kept his eyes on her.
She swallowed her mouthful of chowder and asked, “Maybe you should take a nap now that your stomach is full. Sleep off the alcohol, and you’d feel much better when you wake up.”
However, he shook his head stubbornly, implying that he had no intention to sleep whatsoever, even though he was already dozing off and was only keeping his eyes open by sheer determination.
Sonia made no effort to persuade him and decided to let him be. She would much prefer to keep him like this instead of having him run amok like Rose had described; she didn’t think she could handle it if his self-harming tendencies were triggered.
Besides, the harder he tried to stay awake, the more he would wear himself out and eventually drift off into sleep.
At the thought of this, Sonia paid no attention to him and quietly finished her own chowder, thereafter setting the bowl down. She was just about to bring the tray out to the kitchen when the man on the couch, who had been silent all this while, suddenly said, “Stinks.”
“Excuse me?” She turned around to glower at him incredulously. Did he just say I stink?
He said softly, “I stink. I need a bath.”
She rolled her eyes. Okay, he was talking about himself. I got mad for no reason. Crossing her arms, she eyed him bemusedly as she countered, “Oh, so you do realize that you stink.”
Naturally, having consumed all that alcohol, he would now, over the course of the last few hours, carry with him the overpowering and rather assaulting stench of stale alcohol.
She had thought about letting him sober up before making him shower, but she certainly didn’t expect him to think of his own scent as unbearable and thereafter demand a bath. Fine, I guess it’d be better for him to bathe before he sleeps.
She reached to pull him up from the couch. “Come on, I’ll help you over to your room.”
He hummed in response and stood up from the couch, but there was no strength in his legs whatsoever. He could barely stand on his own two feet, which was why he was only upright for seconds before he toppled forward, dragging Sonia down with him.
In the end, he lay face-down on the floor while Sonia landed on his back with a startled cry.