DEC 2013

Last week, I was a bit …woozy.

The kid who lives in my house, he had been telling me about this girl in his class he was fond of a long while, a year at least. She is nice, mind you – sober, studious, respectful, demure and pretty. Russian-Armenian ancestry, I figure, from her name.

She had been fond of him too. ‘You are my best friend,’ she had written last summer and he showed her notes to me and the Persian woman who lives in my house – his Maman.

When you’re in love, you see only the things that you want to see, not those that your mind doesn’t accept. Trust me, I’ve been there many times. The kid didn’t know that. He’s is 15, this was going to be his first love.

Yesterday was going to be it. Like June 06, 1944, when all signals told the Allies that now was the time, the kid went to school – with roses. All indications were that it would be a cinch. Every sinew told him this was the real thing. This was it. He had found the one human being he wanted to grow old with.

I was at the bus stop when he returned, late afternoon. It is a routine – the familiar yellow and black and the blinking lights and all. All traffic comes to a halt when a school bus stops at a designated stop. That day, the traffic appeared to freeze almost permanently.

Usually, when I am at the bus stop, I look at his face and it is a picture of how his day went and usually I know what ta say. That day, his face was drawn and dark and I knew….

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If you have a child and he’s upset, it feels like someone is twisting a knife inside you.

The kid didn’t say a word and neither did the Persian and me say anything, except be extra loving. Late in the evening, when he emerged from his room, he had a smile that flickered on for a micro-second. I found my opening.

“I was thinkin’,” I said,” Why don’t you and I drive over to Videotron and get that whassisname – Hitman Abominashun that you’ve been wanting ta buy?” Nothing can cheer up a kid, the way a present does. (The Hitman series is a Playstation game).

He laughed. “Hitman-Absolution, Choo Choo, not abominashun.” (The kid calls me Choo Choo)

“Yeah, okay, whatever. So, what say?”

“He has homework. Hitman Aberration has to wait for the weekend.” That was the Persian in her no-nonsense, North Korean gulag guard voice.

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By the weekend, it was like the rejection hadn’t even happened. Friday, he was face-timing with Ms Russian-Armenian as though it was just like it had always been – a nice and warm friendship.

Marveling at the twists and turns,  I commented,” Hey that’s nice. I’m glad you haven’t stopped being friends.”

A flash of something, maybe hurt, passed over his face but just for an instant. “This is better than not being with her at all,” he said. I gave him a long long hug and was about ta graduate into tickling him when he wriggled out of my grasp, giggling hysterically.

In mock seriousness, I said,”Well, now that the ship of romance chugs on, albeit as the ship of friendship, I guess Hitman-Armaggedon is off the table. Great, I just saved sevennie smackeroonies.”

“Who said the deal had a situational time-frame attached, huh? Videotron will close in half an hour. Are you comin’ or not?”

God bless the young and their bounce-back elasticity.