I barely noticed the strange car in the driveway. Between a teenager living there on the weekends and the absolute rule I have with my host that she spend more time with friends and less worry about my pacing the house, it really wasn’t that odd. Even the bumper sticker with my former high school on it didn’t raise an eyebrow. It should have.
Sitting on the couch, drink some ice tea and passing around a plate of cookies was a face I hadn’t seen in a long time. The person next to her was a complete stranger to me. But I was putting it together slowly. Jill had brought her husband. The big question was “how did she know where to find me?” My mother!!!!
When I was growing up she was the one person who could walk into my parent’s house and not have to say a word. For a time, she used to come over every Sunday morning and crawl back into bed until we had to be someplace. My parents never said a word about this girl slipping under the covers, even the time she just showed up on Saturday night after going out and didn’t feel like having her mother drive her over the next day.
My eyes instantly welled up. Jill’s husband looked really uncomfortable. Might be the stories from when we were younger, could just be that seeing another man showing emotions about his wife wasn’t really his thing. But give him credit, stood up and shook my hand.
“Hey Humpty-Dummy, why didn’t you call? I’m angry with you for not letting me know!” Jill is still a very blunt person. [sidenote – a girl I was dating in high school called her when I broke up with her hoping that she could get Jill to reconsider my choice. That level of influence over me.]
“Jill, I need you to be more specific about what I did wrong. I think you’re going to have a short list of things you want to correct.”
With that she grabbed me with a force only a mother can understand and she didn’t let go. Even when I was squirming because she was pulling on a bandage she obviously knew about but couldn’t see.
There was no reasons to ask her how she got here. She’d been to Kathy’s home when we were younger, easy to find for her.
“Lary, I’m not angry about you being sick. I’ve known about that for some time. Your father said something to mine, but they both asked I steer clear. I’m here because I’m upset you didn’t tell anyone about your daughter. You have the emotional control of a two-year-old. Always have, and I see nothing has changed that.”
Jill was the only person I would let anywhere near me when Patre had died when we were younger. She sat there playing dumb board games with me for hours until I need to just be by myself for a little while. When we went to Europe later that year, her mother took me aside and looked me square in the face, saying “You watch my little girl. I’ll haunt you if she gets into trouble.” That’s how close our families were. Even my grandparents knew her grandparents for years before either of us were born!
We talked about all of the details for a while. Hubby went out to grab something and only returned after being summoned via text message.
I needed this more than I realized. Jill knew it too. She told me that when her father told her I was staying in Boston that she also knew where I would go. Guess I still have some issues trusting people?
Jill promised not to let anyone else know, even admitting that she was in town because a group of people had gotten together and someone had let it slip that they were wondering why I dropped off the planet.
I made some promises that we both knew I would only follow through on half of them. But it wasn’t good enough. There is one promise I know she will check on shortly, my letting someone else know what is going on. I don’t understand why this one particular person has to be brought into the fold. One of those puzzles in life where you don’t see the complete picture until you gather all of the single pieces.
And with that Jill was gone again.
I haven’t seen Jill since shortly after we graduated college. Her mother was sick and I checked in on her before I left for a different life in Florida. I couldn’t make it back for the funeral. My mother hand delivered the flowers to the cemetery for me. But she knew that after all this time I still need the same thing. Someone basically sitting on top of me and reminding me that there are people out there willing to help, or at least listen for some time.
The one thing Jill kept saying was that it was time to worry about myself and not about everyone else. She remembers how that went before, I was moody and silent too often. That trip was what brought me out of it because I put so much distance between me and life, I needed to break. Obviously why my parents let their 16 year old son go with friends for weeks without any real contact.
This battle I keep facing, the emotional Lary constantly fighting the rational Lary has got to stop. There are always going to be times when the emotions are going to win. And other times when my rational mind is going to take over and up will come the defenses.
At some point I’m going to need other people around me. For more than just a few minutes or a phone call. That bullshit about everyone being an island upon themselves is just that, bullshit. Humpty-Dummy needs to remember that sometimes those phones calls need to be about asking someone to just come over and watch the paint dry while we talk or even not talk. But Humpty-Dummy still hasn’t gotten control enough of his emotions, yet!
<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/unexpected-guests/”>Unexpected Guests</a>