Monday, February 1, 2016

Part Three

 There was silence as we made our way out of the parking lot. I looked out at the lights of cars around us, trying desperately to focus on anything unemotional.

He cleared his throat. “Do you want to go back to the house, or would you rather just go right to your grandparents?” (I was living with my grandparents for the week, and just spending the days at his family’s house.)
  I considered this for a minute. No, even if it would be more kind, or seem less hurt, resentful, whatever; there was no way I was going to go back and smile at his family and spend the rest of the evening chatting with him sweetly. I told him we might as well go straight to my grandparents.
“Okay. We can still stop for dinner though, since we didn’t get a chance for some earlier.”
I nodded. More silence. It was a really long drive already and hardly ten minutes had passed.  I succeeded in wiping my eyes unnoticed.

He cleared his throat. “What are you feeling?”
That took me aback. What was I feeling? Could I even identify it myself, much less put it into words? I was feeling like I was burying part of who he was. It was sorrow for the loss of his purity and innocence, for him, on his behalf. I couldn’t say “I’m sorry for your loss”, but that was what was making me cry now.
I said, “Sadness. For you…” and I couldn’t keep my tears in anymore, but I went on inarticulately, “…So much for you to go through, so hard…” and something in that vein, until I realized I was not going to be able to express it, and shut up. I think I may have tried one or two more times during the rest of the trip, but I still couldn’t get it out right. 

I also told him that whatever happened, however things ended up, that I wanted him to never, ever regret telling me.

And I couldn’t stop crying either, once I’d begun. Not until we were almost back to Z, and were looking for a place to eat. We found a little Italian place and had calzones, and I asked about something to do with his work, and we watched something about it on youtube and he tried to explain it to me. I was feeling very pale and drained and I was hungry and cold. The calzone was hot and messy, and our conversation was safe and snug and good. I felt much better during the drive back to my grandparents.

A few minutes before pulling into their street, he asked if I wanted him to talk to my parents or grandparents about it.
“If you want me to talk to them, I will,” he said, “Or if you want to tell them, or whatever you decide.”
Oh, yeah. People would have to know about this. The thought was a little scary, but mostly a relief.
“It would be really nice if you could talk to my grandparents; they’re my mentors I guess.”
“I can come down next weekend if you want me to, and discuss it with your parents.”
“Okay. I’ll have to think about it.” I said, quailing at the thought. Should they know, or was I just trying to keep things from them? “I don’t know.” I said, “Thank you for that. That’s…” I searched for the words to express how much that sacrifice would mean to me, but he went on,
“Do you want to say something to your grandparents first, or would you rather I tell them?”

I pictured both situations: first, me gathering up strength and initiating an awkward, scary, quiet conversation with my grandma; then, the group of us sitting in the living room, him going through the same preliminary struggle first, and the look on their faces in that millisecond.  I would not be able to bear seeing him go through the last. “I’ll tell them,” I said, “Maybe tonight.”

When we got to their place, he came in with me and exchanged pleasantries with them. He listened to a short rant by my grandpa on one of his pet subjects. We decided on a time for him to pick me up in the morning, and said goodnight.  

No comments:

Post a Comment