I heard him walk up behind me, felt him looming over my shoulder. I looked away from the monitor, but didn't make eye-contact. Instead I let my eyes fall to the musty book he'd placed on the desk.
“I want you to read this,” he said, with an(more) uncomfortable matter-of-factness, suggestive of a man who was sure of himself without really knowing why.
“Uhm...what?” I mumbled in response. Not for lack of hearing, but for lack of understanding whatever new and unfamiliar scenario this was. Things get awkward when you still live at home in your twenties.
“I said, I want you to read this book.”
His flatness could only be called formal.
“You said you want to go back to college. I want you to prove to me that you're capable of applying yourself.”
My face flushed for a moment, then went blank. Was my dad really trying to give his twenty-one year old son a fucking homework assignment? I didn't know whether to be insulted, or just laugh in his face.
I said nothing. He lingered there, creating a long uncomfortable silence. Then, coolly--
“Why don't you start now.”
My eyes narrowed. The corners of my mouth tightened like a vice. I was seething, but I'd never let him see it. I kept my voice calm.
I got up and stepped briskly out the front door before he could reply.
As I walked, I thought about the man who carried me on his shoulders at state fairs, cheered for me at intramural soccer games, read to me every night when I was little. Then I thought about the stranger he'd become.
I clenched my fists and wanted to scream, but I didn't know who to be angry at.(less)
Honestly, I didn't like his suggestion at all. I found it creepy and frankly kind of offensive. I mean, it wasn't like he knew me well enough to be suggesting that kind of stuff--and I can't imagine that Petra told him it would've been okay, she didn't know anything(more) about me sexually, unless maybe George had said something to her? but George and I never did anything like what this guy was proposing, and it just wasn't first date material, regardless, even if he had reason to think I had tendencies in that direction--which I don't!(less)