of lackey? What were they teaching him
at school, or what were we teaching him
“Yes, I’ll remember.”
After we walked back to the house, I
put the groceries away, watching Alex
run in to watch his favorite television
show, and told Mom we were back to
no response. (What, was she doing a
manicure-pedicure upstairs? Imagin-
ing her life without children or fantasiz-
ing about some nonmeteorologist hus-
band who didn’t work strange hours?) I
headed back outside.
I stood on the porch, contemplating
my next move, and then I saw him.
“What are you doing here?” I asked.
“I’m not giving up,” Luke said.
;is is not a term paper, I wanted to
say. You don’t just say I worked really
hard on this.
“I’ve said everything,” I said.
“You need to go to church. We need
to go to church together.”
“I don’t need to do anything. You
need to leave.” I thought quickly. “I’m
not supposed to have anyone over right
now.” ;is wasn’t even true—my parents
were pretty laid-back about that sort of
thing. And he knew them, which made
the white lie even more ridiculous.
“I invited you to my cousin’s confir-
mation and you didn’t even go. I gave
you those pearls because you were spe-
cial to me, but turns out I wasn’t even…I
“I really need to go. We’re not right
for each other—don’t you see? You’ll
find someone, the right person.”
“Are you dating anyone?”
“No.” I softened my tone a bit. “;is
is sad and hard for me, too.” I did not
cheat on you, my eyes said. ;e exact
inference or accusation I didn’t want to
dignify with a response.
“I know things about you, you know.”
“What are you talking about?”
“You had all that stu;. In your room.
I’m not an idiot. You have problems.”
He paused. “I could help you. We could
work through our problems together.”
;ere was either a maturity to him
or a striking inability to listen, or both.
(continued on the following page)