Friday, October 02, 2009
Let Go - #fridayflash
A few minutes before, he found his phone under the bed and listened to the message asking him to come over to the house right away. He guessed that everything was out in the open now, and they could begin to make real plans. He thought about stopping at their favorite bakery to pick up…something…but this would not be the place or time for celebration. This was going to be hard, not happy.
But he smiled as he walked the short blocks to the other house. They had returned several weeks ago from the most wonderful trip to Italy. It was unexpected luck that they were able to stay at a friend’s house in Umbria for a week. They spent the time there relaxing, and eating all their meals outside under a pergola covered in Virginia creeper just off the kitchen. An ancient elm tree provided shade during the day, and the climbing roses colored everything romantic.
They made promises.
When they came back, they agreed not to see each other for a while. But this morning Adam’s first thought when he woke up was that he did not want to wait anymore, so he was very relieved to get the call. He also felt guilt for the anguish it would cause, but he pushed it away.
The door was not locked so Adam just walked into the living room, and was puzzled when he saw about a dozen people standing around talking. Laughing, too. Then he saw her. Angela. She was seated on the blue couch he knew so well. She looked ill, and he felt guilty again.
“Are you alright?” he asked.
“Of course I am!”
Her husband was leaning over her but straightened quickly when he saw Adam. He looked shocked. The flush creeping up his neck showed that he was also angry. “What are you doing here?” Evan asked. Angela touched her husband’s arm. “Adam is our oldest friend. I needed him to be here.”
Her mother came into the room carrying champagne. Adam could not understand what was going on. Champagne? For the dissolution of a marriage? He accepted a glass and drank it quickly. He accepted another.
“Oh, isn’t it wonderful, Adam!” This from Angela’s aunt.
“Wonderful? I really don’t know what’s happened.” Several people spoke at once, shouting the news – Angela was finally pregnant. She flashed him the happiest smile he has seen in a long time. “We’re over the moon about this! We’ve been trying and hoping for so long. You know that. I'm sorry I didn't say anything sooner, but I wanted to be…”
She stopped, unsure. Adam’s grip on the champagne flute helped it stay in his hand, though he really wanted to fling it. The surprise on his face, his ashen pallor and unblinking stare made her uncomfortable, and she frowned. But it quickly turned into a small smile. “I’m hoping you’re happy for us?”
Adam nodded and turned away, then placed the glass on the fireplace mantle. He needed a few moments to himself. So. There wasn’t going to be a divorce. A baby! A little bump in the road, so to speak, has stopped everything and there wasn’t anything he could do.
“Adam?” Angela called. “Aren’t you going to say anything, for God’s sake?”
He turned, and gazed at his love, whose flush now reached higher on his face.
“You promised. We promised.”
Evan looked at him with tear-glazed eyes. “I can’t now, Adam. I can’t.”
Everyone stopped drinking, except for a cousin who took the bottle and swigged the liquid. He wanted to drink away what he hoped he was misunderstanding. Angela stood and stared at her husband. She walked over to Adam and put out her hand, then let it drop to the side, wringing and wrinkling the hem of her blouse.
“What…what are you two saying?”
Adam turned to the door and opened it.
He walked out.