But Rose! We can’t…
OK, I say. I click both doors open and watch as Jesse sits in my passenger seat. I sit in the driver’s seat next to him. When I shut my car door, the outside world mutes, as if we can keep it at bay.I watch as his eye line settles on my now-bare ring finger. He smiles. We both know what the empty space on my left hand means. But I get the impression there is a strange code of silence between us, indicative of the two things we don’t talk about. We won’t talk about what happened to my finger, just like we don’t talk about what happened to his.
I missed you, Emma. I missed us. I missed your stupid eyes and your awful lips and that super-annoying thing you do when you look at me like I’m the only person that’s ever mattered in the history of the world. I missed your very un-adorable freckles.I laugh and I can feel myself blushing. I missed you, too.You did? he says, as if this is news, as if he wasn’t sure.
Wait, are you kidding?I don’t know, he says. His voice is teasing. It’s hard to know what happened while I was gone.
I was more heartbroken than I’ve ever been or I think I will ever be again.
He looks at me, and then out the windshield, and then out the window on the other side of him.I know, I say.
I’m not trying to be a pain. I just think, you know, I’m not going to be around forever, and I’d like to meet the bundle of joy before I go.Whether she has cancer or not, my grandmother is eighty-seven. She may not be around for many more years. It suddenly occurs to me that I am the only way she will ever meet a great-grandchild. Uncle Fletcher doesn’t have any kids. Rachel isn’t going to have one anytime soon. Charlie? Please. And because my marriage is a colossal failure, because I’m so disconnected from my own husband that I don’t even know where he lives, she may never get that chance. Me. I’m the reason she won’t meet the next generation. I could give that to her, if only I’d been good at being married, if only I’d succeeded.
Well, I say, drinking the last of the punch in my cup, I’ll talk to Ryan.You know, your grandfather said he wasn’t ready for kids.