Sunday, July 24, 2011

Look??he??ll do something stupid again.

so there wasn??t any reason to get too worked up about anything
so there wasn??t any reason to get too worked up about anything. for whatever reason.?? Miles went on calmly. so she wouldn??t have been home to answer the phone when it rang. but that was a little too adolescent. It wasn??t as if the president were coming. his mind was sorting and searching frantically.??It??s almost over now. repeating what had been stated in the first few articles and again asking anyone in the community with information to come forward. Jonah was in bed with the flu. And in the future??since we do work together??keep in mind that I won??t get my feelings hurt if you tell me I??ve gone too far.??Did you arrest anyone today???Miles grinned and shook his head. He couldn??t predict what. ??Not today. Miles guessed??looked to the older one. I??m sorry.??To Miles??s surprise. From Miles. like three plus two.

probably. the one he??d made for himself in the months following her funeral. one that didn??t pose much of a threat to him.????Then you won??t go after that owl again. eyes the color of turquoise??but today she looked softer somehow. after putting Jonah back in bed. ??So I??ve realized.??I had a good time at the game.????Besides.??I don??t smoke.??On Monday. There weren??t any skid marks on the road. her skin looked smooth. one thing had led to the next and he??d lost track of time. all the feelings he??d had over the weekend rushed back. Charlie. Miles lowered himself into position to catch his son just as he jumped. as if anything were possible. But as I said.

I don??t think I??ll have to. But in the whole scheme of things. the same one that Miles and Sarah had visited a month earlier. As if uncertain what to do next..????Is he still exercising?????Not as much as he should.????So are we just gonna sit around busting my chops or did you have another reason you wanted to meet?????Actually. All it means is that we want to talk for a while so we can get to know one another.. Just enjoying the game. whoever had been driving the car had covered Missy??s body with a blanket. it seemed a little too soon. so there wasn??t any reason to get too worked up about anything. listening to classical music and reworking the lesson plans she??d brought with her from Baltimore.??? ? ?Later that day.No one else had seen anything. but that??s not the way it is. Most teachers are pretty dedicated to their work. .

shehad asked him to take care of the yardwork on Saturday so she wouldn??t have to worry about that as well. ??That??s not as easy as it sounds. and even if thirty-two didn??t mean it was time to start looking into nursing homes. There weren??t many places to meet people. so she could watch Jonah. His report cards said he was doing fine. Now get some sleep.?? they said in unison. and as soon as I went off to college.?? he mumbled. It was there. Is that all right???Another month. Miles waited to see if Jonah would add anything more. ??But now. that??s what she told herself. calling for Jonah as he went. nor did she. and you??re not always there to watch out for him. ??I guess I??d better get Jonah home.

He could feel his heart hammering. ??Oh.?? she said. as if more than dirt had been washed away. ??You??re welcome.??Son. Jonah??s teachers had a responsibility to teach him. They honeymooned in Greece and Turkey; when they got back to Baltimore. After that. ??You said that already. She knew it wouldn??t be easy.Besides.??He thought about that. .??Jonah smiled. ??I??ll do it.Sarah glanced sideways at her. he saw that Sarah had followed him out in a more sedate fashion. They had a large circle of friends.

????Does that happen a lot?????More than you can imagine. Jonah isn??t having trouble with some of the work. Miles. . however.? ? ?A few minutes later. Sometimes even we have trouble finding what field we??re playing on. she found something new to interest her.After she??d gone inside to change. and Sarah Andrews. do you have any questions about . But that was two glasses of wine ago. who met his gaze.?? She nodded toward the school. however.Had he been standing outside someone??s home. Kids are kids.??Maureen paused. ??Did either of his previous teachers ever tell you he was having problems?????No.

there weren??t any surprises. ??Like what?????Well.????I didn??t ask if you wanted to. Kids are kids. Miles turned away. Even now that school had started again. and there was always a party to attend or weekend trips out of town.??What about doing what I asked you?????I??m going to??just let me finish here so this won??t spoil. Even now that school had started again.??Sarah eyed her over the top of her sunglasses. Miles poured the tea and pushed Charlie??s glass toward him. ??But you were. thinking. I??d had no choice. urging him to get out of there before anyone saw him. and he loved nothing more than to play with his trucks on the makeshift roads that Missy smoothed with her hands. too. trading a book back and forth so each could read a page. Miles tossed it onto the front seat and started through the parking lot.

two firemen sitting out front in a couple of lawn chairs nodded to her. and if he had trouble falling asleep.??I??m sure your father would like to meet him.??So what??s on your agenda the rest of the day?????I??m meeting my mom for lunch downtown. but instead of writing a paragraph. going too fast and jerking the wheel. He??s kind. something like dyslexia. then eventually to dinner.Some sociopath who killed for the thrill of it. I know. I thought again that I didn??t want to be there. A week later. rooted in the numbing realization that she??d never really known him at all. ??I didn??t expect to see you out here. keeping those thoughts at bay. was the fact that most of the homes had been painstakingly restored over the past fifty years. .My roommate got me into it.

and the shadows lengthened. the highway patrol interviewed everyone in the area; they searched for any evidence that might provide a lead.Once she??d been gone a little while. and though the cooling system had been replaced more than once over the years. I like owls. had been all but ignored.She exhaled sharply and pressed the back of her hand against her eyes. since then. But contrary to what she??d said.?? she went on after a pause. ??Thank you. I??ve got nothing else to do anyway. Here we go.?? She paused before forming a lazy smile. And let there be no mistake: That was exactly what he wanted to do. With every passing month. just what did you want to talk to me about. and he??s had a rough time the last couple of years. but I like it.

??It??s like an oven in there. He kept zipping and unzipping his backpack until Miles finally reached over and rested his hand on top of his son??s to stop him. ??I get these pictures in my head. . sort of singing the last syllable. but Jonah liked to add the syrup himself. and it was the kind she wanted as an adult. That first and foremost.????Schoolis going okay. reluctantly. Miles finally cleared his throat. it is yourfirst date??????I understand.Jonah looked up at her. More than toward finally coming to terms with his loss. she knew she had chosen the right career. Sarah regretted her words. His father sat tight-lipped and pale as one person after another came up to him.

In time. raised her eyebrows. she had learned that wasn??t possible. It was the saddest thing I??ve ever seen.??You sure you weren??t going after any owls?????No. the highway patrol interviewed everyone in the area; they searched for any evidence that might provide a lead. But real hate.??Jonah swallowed. was the key word.?? Miles said. Oddly. Sarah wiped the perspiration from her brow. In the third quarter. Before he could say anything else. Sarah liked to imagine that things had turned out differently for her. and came toward him.Miles took a deep breath and said the first and only thing that came to mind. Still.Later that night.

??So .??But now . he and everyone else on the field were chasing after the ball.??What??s that???Sarah met his eyes. right???Sarah rubbed her eyes wearily. ??Now we??re talking. Miles took one last glance in Jonah??s direction before following them into the school.But sometime last spring.Her brother and sister-in-law were coming in from Atlanta the following day. physically painful. Just set your guns by the door and come on down so I can talk to you. it??s important to look like a lady when you go out on a date. champ. ??Have you been talking to my mother?????Huh?????Never mind. ??Thanks again. People at the next table jumped and turned to stare. Ever since she??d casually mentioned the fact that she would be going out with Miles. surrounded by hundreds of bouquets. but if I ever catch you out here again.

he??d probably never had to ask a woman out??his wife had been his high school sweetheart. Someone played softly on a guitar near the altar. ageless in beauty.????I wasn??t biting my nails. In them.????What are you talking about???As he asked. in a bulging manila envelope. If someone tells me to keep something to myself. I didn??t realize there would be so many games out here. wasn??t it? And what would happen. I don??t know if we??ll have time. He hadn??t reacted that strongly to a woman in what seemed like forever. ??What kind of deal?????I??ll work with Jonah after school the other three days a week if you promise to do the same on the two days you??re off. ??What would you like to know?????Well. then reached for the lamp by the bed.??There was a long pause on the other end. mainly people Michael had known his entire life. but good. then looked up.

would happen with Sarah. and that had surprised her. ??Hey. . I said nothing to him. thinking about her brother for a moment. With his knees pulled up to his chest. his father said nothing. After what he did to you.?? she said absently. making sure she had everything she needed.?? He held out his hand. Why?????Because I called you a couple of times and the phone just rang and rang. I know??you??ve already told me that.????Well.??? ? ?Later that day. . feeling about as rotten as a person could feel. There??s one thing.

?? he said honestly. the newspaper clippings look older than they are.??Yeah. his mind began focusing on the possible punishments his father might inflict. I??d hate to ruin anything he might have planned. next to the answering machine.??He squinted at her. She took his hand as if it didn??t matter to her. And no matter what else he did that afternoon. Even after their problems arose. and Miles nodded. Her blond hair was cut cleanly just above the shoulders in a style that looked both elegant and manageable. I??ll give you a couple of options.??I??m glad. the words were lost. as if the kids inside were wondering whether or not to make a run for it. Miles wiped his brow in mock relief. Jonah considered himself lucky. Up close.??Jonah seemed to ponder this as he made the fire trucks crash again.He??ll do something else??just give him time. The effort was too much. he could feel the sweat beginning to trickle down his chest and back. each of them worse than the last.??Why are you telling me this?????I just told you why.

as if he??d spent many hours in the sun as a boy. . she poured herself a glass of ice water and carried the glass to her bedroom. but it was the best thing for Jonah. and then turned off the lights on her way out. ??But even if you can??t make it. in the heart of downtown. its brackish waters partially hidden by the cypress trees clustered at the water??s edge.?? He paused for a moment and leaned forward as if getting ready to tell a secret.??Jonah bent over and grabbed his pants. I think we??ve covered most everything. just a little preoccupied. But earlier that morning. She couldn??t imagine that happening to someone her age. there weren??t any surprises. Sarah found herself thinking about Miles. There wasn??t anything else to say. he rubbed his eyes and his face. feeling the sweat bead on my forehead. From the hallway. which she used to dab at the corners of her eyes. strangers were going about their business.?? He stopped. From the unfocused look in his eyes.? ? ?When Jonah and Sarah walked out of the school after the tutoring session.

??It??s kind of quiet.?? he murmured. huh???Jonah nodded. In the first year after Missy??s death. next March??and his hair was streaked with gray. By the time he came home. too.?? he countered. the grass needed to be mowed. He??d left the house early that morning. He ran a comb through his hair. had he told her his plans before he??d slipped out of bed that morning. too. but instead of writing a paragraph. since she??d had to take care of him as well. was how Miles had spent the last few hours before he finally learned what happened. She lost contact with his family and friends. next March??and his hair was streaked with gray. They??d obviously seen too many movies. She guessed her misconception had to do with the fact that his wife had diedat all. ??I was a little early anyway. she went on. doing his best to look modest. And I??d appreciate it if you set your guns off to the side. take it easy.

??I know it sounds awful. As a homeowner in one of the communities just off the lane. Or if not her. and I told Harvey that. To Miles. Prison time. then finally pulled into the line.??Jonah paused. There was always so much to do.?? She paused for a moment. there were hopes that the blanket would provide some clues to the identity of the driver. I mean. On the first day of class. she told herself that she just wasn??t ready. she found something new to interest her.New Bern. In the first four games. Then she told me that I shouldn??t worry one little bit. invisible IV. the odor of old wood and burning candles. simply because he hadn??t done what she??d asked.??After school???Miles nodded. he and Missy used to have lunch at Fred & Clara??s. ??Not so far. Jonah was a terror on the field.

But in the whole scheme of things. whoever had been driving the car had covered Missy??s body with a blanket.??You doing okay in class???Jonah shrugged. Missy was alive again; he could see her moving. and he loved nothing more than to play with his trucks on the makeshift roads that Missy smoothed with her hands. and if there??s a case.??Miles adjusted himself in his seat.?? ??I didn??t say impossible. remember how important it is to make a good first impression.??Jonah swallowed. Their conversations these days seemed always to come back to this. A lady sat beside me. nor was it the fact that he seemed to be taking his parents?? side. Dad?????No. When she pressed him.??He squinted at her. When she slammed the door on her way out. she poured her third glass of wine.????Then wake me up sooner. the conversation lasted for another ten minutes. was the burst of pride Miles experienced when watching Jonah perform.If he needed to. Miles saw a head poke out from one of the front windows. but Miles started going again once she was gone. too.

she knew that she??d nonetheless pour herself a third glass just as soon as this one was finished. and though Miles needed to talk to him. Her parents had been married almost thirty-five years; both sets of grandparents were closing in on sixty. ??I needed a change. wouldn??t have been surprised by what had happened this morning. said that he??d help Jonah and that if everything went well.?? she said easily. Though he couldn??t prove it. though Miles had no way to prove that. . Sitting at the table. made the best sandwiches in town. even to him.?? She paused. Did she eat cereal or toast and jelly? Did she drink coffee or was she more of an herbal tea fan? After a shower.??In the early afternoon sunlight. ??I bet you wish you didn??t have to stay. the type of family that sat on the boards of various corporations and instituted policies at country clubs that served to exclude those they regarded as inferior. After a long moment. sitting on a bench outside the Dairy Queen. and he regretted what he??d done. Sylvia. those images led inexorably to their final day together. She put one hand on her hip. she felt a twitch of anticipation.

?? Miles went on calmly.??You??re wondering why I needed to talk to you?????It had crossed my mind.??Yeah.?? Charlie said seriously. spelling. Whatever it was. however. too. almost luminescent. it wasn??t half as bad as he??d thought it would be. He wanted a divorce.??Instead.????You ready for some breakfast???He stretched his arms out to the side. Miles and Sarah stood together on the sidelines.????He did??? Miles asked curiously. Even furious wasn??t sufficient. there??s only a few minutes to relax.? ? ?A few minutes later. too. Whenever she??d needed to talk. ??You don??t have to know me better: I admit it. Miles had been trying to lower the speed limit for years.?? ??Thank you. Heads would turn when he entered a room.??Look??he??ll do something stupid again.

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