Short Stories

The Zephyr Christmas Files, Part VI

(Note: Happy New Year! I meant to finish this earlier, but playing catch up here. Likely 1 more installment after this one. Thanks for reading, and hope you enjoy!)

Read [Part I], [Part II], [Part III], [Part IV], and [Part V].

Part VI. Home Is Where the Heart Is

JANSEN’S RECIPE FOR A LOVE STORY, V2.0

  1. Boy
  2. Girl
  3. A crooning, soulful voice *

* Why didn’t I major in music? Bad call, Jansen.

MARGARET’S JOURNAL

Well, I did it. I talked to Darby. I think it went well, minus the part where she broke down in tears. 

I’m not very good with people crying, especially someone who isn’t ordinarily emotional or weepy. Then you know they feel awkward and horrible to be seen by you, which only compounds your own discomfort. I admit I breathed a sigh of relief when we finished talking, but in retrospect, I’m glad I said something. And since I already put it out there, I just told her what I really thought. I told her she should go home.

I can’t imagine being in my 40s or 50s and spending Christmas and New Years alone, thinking this is what all my years so far have amounted to. I’m sure her parents know Darby and Avery don’t want to face their pending divorce, but for them to avoid home entirely over the break really pours salt onto the wound. 

Darby took it quite graciously. I don’t know if I would have in her place, which makes me feel like a hypocrite, but a very grateful one that I’m not facing the same situation. I just can’t imagine.

On a lighter note, Loren’s performance was fun. He’s actually very good, though he won’t hear me say that aloud. We’ve been messaging back and forth in haikus, and he left me this note afterwards. 

Dearest Margaret,
I hope you enjoyed the show.
Dinner tomorrow?

…I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO. Is this a date? I’m not good at dates. To dine or not to dine? Why I am so scared of stupid little things like this? 

Courage, Mags.

Okay. I guess I’ll go to dinner.  

E-MAIL SENT ON December 29, 2015 AT 10:52:02 AM
From Darby Chan to Avery Chan

Dear Avery,

Loren’s show was great! Have I mentioned yet that he totally has a thing for Margaret?

Speaking of her, we talked yesterday about mom and dad. It seemed like she’s wanted to bring it up for awhile but kept it bottled in because, I don’t know, she was afraid of my reaction. Can’t say I blame her.

I know this is the unspoken Taboo Subject We Glaringly Haven’t Discussed. Well, Mags made me sit through it, so I’ve got to dump some of the burden on you too. Sorry. I have to admit though, as I’m writing this, I’m almost glad you’re in Africa right now. It’s easier to communicate this through text than face to face—I think I’ll be more real and open (not my strong suits in real life).

I’m angry, Avery. I’m angry that after so many years and our entire lives together, they would want to break the family apart. I know it’s selfish of me to avoid home (and you? No accusations, I’ll let you speak for yourself) but aren’t they selfish to just give up? There’s so much jaded cynicism already in the world about relationships and marriages, but I just can’t bear that reality actually invading our family. It was always something Out There.

It makes me think, even someone as kind and good as Adrian (who, again, I don’t like; just an example) might become who-knows-what in twenty years. Maybe someone who ups and leaves his family? How can we trust any guy?

How can we trust ourselves?

Now I’m extra glad you’re in Africa. Believe me (I know you do), I would never have said all that to your face. Because I’m not brave. Because Mags was right when she confronted me. I am running away.

Skiing, winter trip, getaway with friends, last school break ever, etc. All of it is an excuse. Because if mom and dad were staying together, I swear I would be home in a heartbeat.

What about you?

Darby

GROUP MESSAGE SENT ON December 29, 2015 AT 11:45:12 AM
From Juki to D-Chan, Mags

Are you guys writing New Year Resolutions?

GROUP MESSAGE SENT ON December 29, 2015 AT 11:48:29 AM
From Mags to Juki, D-Chan 

YOU write New Year Resolutions?

GROUP MESSAGE SENT ON December 29, 2015 AT 11:53:39 AM
From Juki to Mags, D-Chan

Last year of college. I’m going to be a new man. Don’t hate.

GROUP MESSAGE SENT ON December 29, 2015 AT 11:55:08 AM
From D-Chan to Juki, Mags 

My prediction – Resolution 1: Find a girlfriend.

GROUP MESSAGE SENT ON December 29, 2015 AT 11:59:19 AM
From Juki to D-Chan, Mags

Well, not all of us have a Dr. Stark magically drop into our winter breaks.

MESSAGE SENT ON December 29, 2015 AT 12:23:55 PM
From Adrian to Darby 

I heard Loren and Margaret are having dinner…

MESSAGE SENT ON December 29, 2015 AT 12:29:20 PM
From Darby to Adrian

Yes…

MESSAGE SENT ON December 29, 2015 AT 12:32:25 PM
From Adrian to Darby

I owe Loren an epic prank. Looking for a partner in crime.

MESSAGE SENT ON December 29, 2015 AT 12:33:10 PM
From Darby to Adrian

That’s really Jansen’s area.

MESSAGE SENT ON December 29, 2015 AT 12:33:55 PM
From Darby to Adrian

Buuut this is hard to turn down.
Okay count me in.

MESSAGE SENT ON December 29, 2015 AT 12:40:19 PM
From Adrian to Darby

Excellent. I owe you one.

MESSAGE SENT ON December 29, 2015 AT 12:43:21 PM
From Darby to Adrian

So mercenary of you. I can only hear that in Han Solo’s voice.

JANSEN’S NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS

  1. Graduate
  2. Find a job that’s not in fast food industry
  3. Find a girlfriend
Standard

One thought on “The Zephyr Christmas Files, Part VI

  1. Pingback: The Zephyr Christmas Files, Part VII | Pen and Fire

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s