Caleb spun around in a circle, noticing his shoe was untied. It's white ends now muddy and brown. He could almost hear his mother nagging him to tie it. But tying his shoe was the last thing on his mind.
(more) He had to find that piece of paper.
Where could it have gone? He'd checked his pockets no less than a bazillion times.
Damn it, if he remembered his phone this morning none of this would have happened. He would have just entered the number directly into his phone like a normal kid. But no, he had to go old school and write it on the back of his math homework.
As he leaned down to tie his shoe, something caught the corner of his eye. "Sssssshhhhiiiiit!" he moaned.
Her locker combination. Streaked and crumbled, lying in the memory of yesterday's storm.
Christ, I'll look like an idiot if I ask her again," he muttered to himself. "Guess I'll just have to dry it out and hope that I can read it when it's done." (less)
"They don't suck. You're just pissed off because of last night."
"I'm not pissed off because of last night. Your ideas are just really, really lame. I mean c'mon - who would buy a cologne called Sea Drift? That is insane. No guy wants to be adrift at sea unless they are with a hot model or their nemesis's wife."
"Well, what about the 50 names I came up with before that?"
"Do you want me to go through them and explain why each one is suckier than the one before," he asked.
"It's a simple, yes or no question."
(more) Still nothing.
"What is 'You'll Never Know'" supposed to mean? Do you or don't you ever want to have children?"
He just shrugged and sunk lower and lower into the couch. I get it, the question is simple but hte answer complex - particularly if it is a "no." It begs, "why not." But "You never know." What the hell is that supposed to mean? Is he trying to tell me that I'll never know, but some other lucky girl might. Is he trying to say that he doesn't think he wants kids now, but might want them some time in the future. Or is he trying to get me to just shut the fuck up. That's entirely possible. But, how can I shut up. he's asked me to marry him. How can I possibly marry this communication-challenged person if he can't even answer a simple question?
"Sorry, I should have said 'I don't know."
That's the best you can come up with? You don't know. You don't know now, or you don't know. You think maybe or you think not. Seriously John, trying to get an answer out of you is like pulling teeth." I scream.
"Well then stop trying to get an answer out of me and just go with the flow."
"Are you fucking kidding me!"
"No, I'm not kidding you - just lay off," as he flicks the channel.
I get up, pour myself another glass of wine, and gear up for a long night.
The dishes were long done. The kids sound asleep. Repeats on the television. Nothing of interest OnDemand. Facebook checked. eMail's returned. No open moves on Words with Friends. The same sentence of Khaled Hosseini's latest read over (more)and over to the point of exhaustion.
Resignedly she closed the book and exhaled.
There was nothing left to do.
She'd have to climb the stairs, wash off the traces of the day from her face, and get into the bed.
But, how was she going to avoid the dreaded peek.
Jack had been out for hours. He called to say goodnight to the kids and to tell her that the project was hours from complete.
Why did he bother? Hadn't he realized that she stopped asking for excuses long ago?
She knows better than to look. The light patterns in Amanda's house will set her mind a-flight. The darkness will whisper of a clandestine dinner at a secluded table on the edge of town. A light in the hallway will give rise to hope that Amanda too sits alone waiting for his beckoning.
If only she could avoid that upstairs window. Her mind could settle. Her eyes could close. And maybe, just maybe, she'd be blessed by sleep. (less)