Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Away We Go...

Upon returning home, we somehow made it a point to talk to one another at least once a week if nothing else. I always felt like I had to say more so than he did. I was in school, school was filled with interesting things that I could expound on for hours. Because that's what school teaches one to do, so I would.
When I realized I had gone on too long about one thing or another, he never had anything to say. Always about how he was 'trying to get back in to school' - which he had been for twenty-something years - or the self-deprecating answer about how boring he was.
In a way, he was really good at making me feel bad for him. After all, he lived alone and had no one. But at the same time he put himself there in the first place. He may not have been a father to me, but from the way Sherilynn talked, they had been together for a long enough period of time that he had a second chance. It seems she was trying to make it work more than he was. She even encouraged him to go to couples' therapy with her, which they did. But it ultimately did nothing. And just as he did with me and my mom, Sherilynn and Karlee were no different.
One day, a few weeks before spring semester ended, he mentioned how he was thinking about going to DC to see his sister - my aunt. Oddly enough, I never considered Thomas a father, but I considered his sister my aunt. Perhaps because I saw her more when he had visitation rights. During his legally alotted time, he would take me to her place anyway. Her memory left a fond impression.
I had never been to DC before, and I wanted to see her after all this time. 
After little thought, I decided to go the following month. It would just be him and I in my VW Beetle, road tripping our way from Florida to DC. I thought that perhaps we could find something to talk about on the way. We managed to talk for an hour or two when we were on the phone. How bad could 13 hours be?
The answer? Bad.
We had nothing to really fill that time with, and his awkwardness became grating after a while, what with the sprinkles of 'how much I'd grown' or 'smart' or 'pretty' or anything else that had no real depth to it.
By the time we ended up in DC, I was more than happy to find some meaningful conversation with my aunt - once the shock of how much older I was wore off.
Her and I are more alike than I am to him. Because of that, I sometimes like to pretend that I'm the product child as part of a trial experiment to see if two women could create life without any need for a man, and of course since this is scandalous to the general public, Thomas was just a fall man in being my aunt's closest genetic relative.
That's what I like to believe.
I could easily find myself happily having a relationship with her, but not with him.
Of course, that didn't happen either despite giving my contact information to her.
But one thing that I managed to ask during the trip - the most lucrative thing - tired of the beast of burden glaring over my shoulder:
"So... why did you leave me and mom?"

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