Sometimes I think about how things would have been if my dad hadn’t accepted that convertible job. He would not have spent so much time fixing it up only to have to end up dying in it; his last creation.
I sit on the grass in front of Pamela’s house staring at nothing in particular when I hear something shuffle behind me. I do not move nor do I care what it could be. I close my eyes briefly and wish for it to be something horrid to eat me whole so that I could escape from this existence. Instead it is the Mike guy and with a loud gasp he sits himself beside me. Without moving, I catch a glimpse of his deep set dark eyes and sharp nose out of the corner of my eyes.
“Hi,” he says, without looking at me.
I don’t say anything and simply pull my knees up to my face.
Silence blows around us as it congeals itself with the cooling wind of night. I hear him let out a sigh and I prepare myself for all the questions that had been thrown at me all month.
A month has passed since I moved here with Pamela; a whole month of sorrow and what if’s. I counted every night in my head: four months since my dad died, four months since my life had made sense, four months without any sense of emotion for anything around me.
I steel myself waiting, but the Mike guy says nothing. Against my greater judgment I turn my head out of its hiding spot behind my knees and stare at him.
“Aren’t you going to ask?” I hear myself say defiantly, did I really sound this angry?
“Ask what?” He says after a minute. He still has not made any eye contact with me and I silently thank him for it. My eyes are watering at an impossible speed and I have to force the tears back; no drop shall run down my cheek.
“About my life, about why I am so messed up.” I finally say. My sentence floats in the space between us and I clutch at the grass. Great Jenna, I think, you’re telling your neighbor that you’re messed up.
“I don’t think you are.” Mike guy says.
A tear finally falls down my cheek and with it comes a loud sob. He finally looks at me. With a swift movement he wipes the single tear from my cheek. He holds my chin in his large hand and his eyes dig into my watery eyes as he tries to read the story behind them.
“I’m sorry.” He says after a moment as he moves his hand from my chin. I watch him and wonder what he could be sorry about, what he saw or for what he did?
I say nothing as he gets up and slowly walks back to his house. I hear the door close and I wonder what if. What if dad had never accepted that convertible job, where would I be now? Would I still be living a lie with Tommy? Would I still believe everything my friends told me?
I wonder, what if none of it had happened?