Tuesday, January 31, 2006

A Very Germy Christmas

Thanks for the linkage, Claire!

Dad update: He's been released from the hospital! Dad, I'm proud of you.


December 24, 2005, 7:15PM
Tim's house

"Merry Christmas, love," Diana says as she opens the door, somehow managing not to crack a smile.

"Diana," I say, kissing her cheek. I'm going to be civil, even if it kills me.

Tim rises slowly from the couch. Her green velour dress hangs from her body, and her nails are worn well past her fingertips. "Hey," she says, slipping a hand around the back of my neck.

I kiss her cheek. "You ok?"

She shakes her head. "I have a cold."

Our eyes lock. "Guess I better not kiss you," she says, and we stand staring, Diana watching closely.

"Mom, dad," Tim sniffles, getting more nasal by the minute, "Steve and I are going to go talk."

A newspaper lowers, exposing Marvin's face. "Hi, Steve," he deadpans as I walk by.

"Merry Christmas, Marvin," I say to the newspaper.

Tim closes the door to her room and sits on her bed. "Are you going first, or me," she asks.

"I will," I say. "First of all, I need to apologize for my... display with the whisky bottle."

"You scared me, you know."

"I know. Anyway there was no excuse for that and I want you to know I'm sorry."


I breathe deeply. It feels like I'm in the middle of a poker hand with my cards facing the wrong way.

"For the first time ever, I really feel like I need someone, like I would die without that person. That scares me, but it also makes me really happy, because I do want to have a forever after with one person. I want a wife and a family. Someday.

"I'm glad to know that I'm capable of feeling so strongly for you. I'm glad that you make me happy, and even that you make me really angry sometimes, because getting angry means that I care.

"We were really good together, and I think we could be even better. Maybe permanently better. I think we'd be crazy not to give it another try."

I can't tell if she's wiping her nose or crying.


"I have to finish blowing my nose."

She trumpets loudly into a tissue, wads it up and drops it to the floor. "It's so funny you said you feel like you would die without me."


"I swear, I wanted to kill myself," she says.

"Me too!"

"OK, maybe we shouldn't be so excited about that," she chuckles.

"I believe it's your turn."

She pulls another tissue from the box and waves it lazily, like a magician preparing to do a trick. "Waiting for a sneeze," she says.

"I keep telling myself that it's not worth it and I should move on, but every time I try to I can't. It scares me too, because I don't like having to depend on someone else. If I depend on someone, that means they might not come through for me."

She sneezes loudly into the tissue. "Know what I mean?"


"Seriously, I don't know what it is with you. I don't know why I care about you so much." She pauses. "That sounded bad," she laughs.

"I just mean I haven't been this serious before, ever, but I guess we just grew up at the same time."

"Yeah," I say.

"We're all grown up," she whispers, and her smile tells me everything is perfect. I rub the back of her head, almost having forgotten how soft her hair is.

"I got you a present," I say, handing her a rectangular jewelry box. She opens it to find the letter I wrote, and a platinum wire necklace.

She turns the necklace over in her hand, as if trying to figure out what it is, almost puts it down, then examines it again, finally dropping it back in the box and placing it on the floor next to her feet.

She laughs three times while reading the letter; the third time, her foot moves and she almost kicks the jewelry box.

"So does this mean I have to write you a love letter now?"


"It won't be as good. You should totally be a writer!"

Hey, good idea! Maybe I'll start a blog! Nah, that would never work.

"Come on," I say, with a cheerleader's chirpy enthusiasm. "Let's go to my house!"

"Wait! You didn't open your presents yet!"

"You got me something?"

"Of course I did!"

She hands me a tall thin box that swishes. "Wonder what's in here," I smile.

I tear the shiny silver paper away, read the box, and smirk at her. "Jack Daniels?"

"I had a feeling you needed a new bottle."


"Now open this one," she says, handing me a shoebox-sized package. Too light to have shoes in it, though.

I open the box to find a roll of duct tape. "What's this for?"

"In case you break the bottle," she giggles.

"Did you come up with this shit all by yourself," I ask sarcastically, but I'm laughing too.

"Now open your real present!" She hands me an envelope, and I pull it open.

"What's Meadowbrook," I ask, reading the certificate inside.

"It's a bed and breakfast in the mountains. We can go for a weekend whenever you want!"

Oh good, because it sounded like a nursing home.

"That's sweet, Tim! Great idea!"

"Read the letter!"

"So you wrote me one after all?"


Dear Steve,

If you are reading this, it means we made up, and all I can say is you have made me the happiest girl in the world.

I hope we never have a fight like that again, or if we do I hope we can talk about it. I'm sorry I let my mother interfere in our relationship, but I hope you understand that I love her and she will always be a part of my life. I will work on putting "us" first from now on. Ok?

I am so happy we are back together, and I wish I could say "I told you so" to all the people that said we couldn't do it.

I missed you so much - I love being with you, I love talking to you, I love just watching TV or sitting around with you... I love sleeping next to you and hearing you snore (you do snore, so don't try to deny it), and I love waking up next to you in the morning. Sorry, I'm getting corny now...

It's hard writing this letter, because I am trying to think of all the good times we had, but I also keep thinking that we might not make up. I guess I'll just write it and put it away somewhere and hope that we get back together someday.

I just talked to you and we had a nice conversation. I wanted to say "I love you" so bad but I know we have to "talk first". Speaking of that, I hope we make up before Christmas so we can spend the holiday together.

Well, you are probably tearing my clothes off by now, so I guess I'll stop writing..


"Now can we go to my house," I smile.

She pulls me by the hand toward the front door.

"All better now, kids," Diana asks.

"Mom, we're going to Steve's house. Call later if you want to."

"You're just going to leave us here?"

"We're not in the mood for company."