Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Facing the Past

The atmosphere was suddenly arctic cold and still between Stevie and Jon. For all the warming in their relationship over the past six months since they divorced, the issue of blame for their son's overdose had remained untouched between them. "I've been thinking a lot about that," Jon began tentatively. "Especially these last three weeks since I have been staying here to take care of the kids while you work with Bellardi's campaign. I knew I would have to say something sooner or later. I guess now is as good a time as any."
Stevie knew she did not have the emotional energy for this. If she allowed herself to start crying now, she felt as if she would never be able to stop. She was tempted to scream, "No, Jon! I'm already up to my tear ducts in gut-wrenching inner conflicts. You'll have to take a number and talk to me after the election." But she restrained herself, knowing that, tears or not, she must hear Jon out. She owed him at least that much for three weeks of volunteer child care. Furthermore, this opportunity to clear the air, ill-timed as it was, might never come again.

Jon continued haltingly. "I've come to realize that some of the things I said after Dougie died were ... were very unfair and unkind. I was devastated by what happened—as you were. So I guess I had to find ... to find a reason for what happened. I was too proud to shoulder any blame. Since I couldn't allow Dougie's death to be my fault, it ... well, I had to make it your fault."


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