Advisory reader age for this book is 17+
I went down the steps of the coffee shop and turned to look back in at him serving someone. I tried to read his face, to read what was in his heart, but I couldn’t. As he was ringing up their order he looked up and saw me there. He gestured with his head: don’t do that. Go away. I moved aside so that I was out of sight and kept going, up the street, without destination. What could I do now? I walked quickly nd aimlessly on the almost treeless Somerville streets, past apartment buildings right up against the sidewalk and iron pipe grape arbors and low chain-link fence painted silver. I remembered someone saying – where? somewhere in school – “There always comes a time when you’ve got to pay.” Mine was coming, was here, and waiting for it knowingly was making me less ready every second. Evan would have time to think of the exact words he would use to tell me he had no use for me, no desire to see me, ever, that I was over and done with as far as he was concerned. That I had no concept of loyalty and had utterly failed to live up to the promises I made him. And what could I say to that? I could only slink away, guilty as charged. I kept walking and looking at my watch and walking. The day was windy and not downright cold, but raw; the wind was blowing from the east and smelled of ocean. From the top of the hill on Beacon St. I could see downtown Boston surprisingly well. Tatters of gray cloud were flying along fast in the lower reaches of the sky, below higher gray clouds that seemed to be standing still. If he would let me touch him, hold his hand, maybe he would feel it, he would know it was still there between us. Maybe he didn’t want to know. Maybe he had someone else by now. Maybe it wasn’t there, simple as that, and this was all just a story I told myself to make my life seem interesting when really, it was as ordinary as they come. I was a white, middle-class twenty-four-year-old apartment dweller, college educated, white collar job, owner of a ten-year-old Toyota, single and without a clear direction in life, slightly on the tall side of average, neither scrawny nor fat, not gorgeous, not homely. My grandfather had recently died, surely a standard event for people my age. But Evan had somehow seen in me – what, I could not name, but something other than all that, something not on view to the rest of the world, not even known to me, and if that was never to happen again, if that was what I was about to find out...then what? Then maybe that something never existed. As my father’s notebook seemed, at its worst, to say. A little humility never killed anybody.obooko.
Also by Lowy Pei on obooko: