Monday, June 9, 2008

Ice Cream Social

I am nineteen and you are twenty one. Our relationship has long since faded to friendship, but I make a point still of seeing you when I am home from university.

It is late November and we are sitting huddled on a park bench eddied from the wind. My left hand is in your pocket and my right thumb worries, worries at the cuticles of the other fingers. You're spinning the ring on my finger and we are talking about something or nothing.

There is a silence, companionable, still, inviting and I blurt I am pregnant with no preamble. You don't say anything, just spin the ring, forward and back. At last you say Is it his? and I nod, because I can not say his name.

You are quiet again, spin, spinning the ring and ask who knows? and I say no one. This isn't wholly true, but is true enough. The women at the clinic know. My flat mate knows. You have stopped spining the ring and slide it instead, up and down my finger, up and down, up and down and then at last all the way off and you are on one knee before me. Will you marry me? You ask and I know that you are serious.

Having a child you did not plan is one thing, marrying somone you do not love is another and I shake my head no. You hesitate a moment longer and I can almost taste your relief in the cold, wet air. Well, then you say as you return to the bench, pulling me closer, my face pressed against the frigid nylon of your parka, we'll just say it's mine then.

This is a very neat solution to my problem. A good, honest man to claim a bastard beget by a bastard. I can not let you do it though. Your parents, mine; there would be a wedding anyway.

You know this too, but you don't back down. You are determined to be my savior. I do not want or maybe can not allow myself to be saved at this point. I am too far gone into myself, into this mess that I have created to be brought back by simple goodness.

2 little kittens say Meow:

Anonymous said...

How old will M be when you share this with her?


Miss Thystle said...

probably at least 35....