“So Aime, tell me about Derek.” Mum and I had gone out for lunch one day soon after I got home from university.
“He’s sweet and caring. Sometimes too caring though. And I’m confused.” Looking at Mum biting my lip.
“Tell me why you are confused Aime.” My Mum said taking a sip of her tea.
“Over the Easter weekend Derek wanted to know where I was going all the time and who I was with. I wanted space and Derek didn’t like that. Derek didn’t like or want me seeing other friends the Saturday of Easter weekend at all. We had spent the morning and part of the afternoon together already. I slept over at a friend’s place on her floor that night in a different part of the dorm scared to be alone with Derek.” I had no emotion, I was numb when telling her.
“Aime, that doesn’t sound good. I’m worried about you.” Mum responded after me telling her about the weekend.
I took a breath and looked at my Mum. “Oh, I have been confused and sort of not wanting Derek to come here in a couple of weeks. I want him to get a job. I feel free when I am at home like I don’t have to report to anyone.”
“Only you can make up your mind.”
“Thanks Mum, I’ll see how things are after he comes to visit.”
Derek did end up visiting a couple weeks later. The weather was nice and Aren gave us buttons for the zoo. “Here Aime, these are buttons to get into the zoo for free.”
“Thanks, Aren! That’s awesome! We’ll use them for sure.”
Derek and I arrived at the Toronto Zoo and stood in line. Derek was holding me at my waist as we stood in line. The sun was shining bright and the sky was peacock blue. At the booth, we showed the buttons.
“Thank you, and where are your cards?” The clerk at the booth was student like us and continued “The buttons have an ID card from the zoo to go along with.”
“Oh, I didn’t realize that. We’re sorry.” I said to the clerk. Derek avoided talking in public a lot of the time because of his stuttering.
“It’s $12.50 to get into the zoo today each.” The clerk smiled at both of us.
“Oh, that’s not that much.” I said smiling at Derek.
“No, we’re not going in.” Derek pulled me away.
“But why? I am okay paying that price.” Looking at Derek, with a frown and worried look.
With a cold voice, Derek said “That’s too much money. I don’t want to pay.”
“We’ve come all the way down here, and the zoo is awesome. I want to go in.” Getting worried on how Derek would respond I took a breath.
“No, we’re leaving. Come where did you park?” Derek pulled on me again.
“I’m sorry” I said to the clerk and turned away.
“I’m sorry for taking up time.” I said to the people behind in us in the line.
Sad an angry I drove us home.
“Hey Aime, come over for fireworks! Would love to meet Derek too.” Ashley was on the phone. She was happy to hear Derek was visiting for the May 24th weekend holiday. Her street was hosting a firework party and invited us to come.
“Okay cool! We’ll be over later!” Smiling and feeling happy to introduce my friends to Derek I hung up the phone.
“Hey Derek a few of my friends from high school are getting together for the fireworks. They are excited to meet you.” Smiling happily at Derek.
Derek frowned back at me. “I don’t want to go. I just want to be with you while I’m here. But since you already told your friend you’ll be going I had better come along.”
The night was fun, sort of. It was great to see Karen, Ashley, Joy and others. But I was worried about Derek the entire time.
“That was not fun.” Derek said in a huff as he bucked his seatbelt.
“Why?” I weakly said as I put the car into drive.
“Because you and your friends were talking about stuff I didn’t know about. And I didn’t like that. I wasn’t with you then, when you all were in high school.” Derek was getting upset.
“I’m sorry, my friends and I had not seen each other in months and we had lots to catch up on, and talk about. Including memories from high school.”
The rest of his visit was like that. Derek getting upset at different things, jealous and angry.
After he left I took a big breath and sat down to write a letter. I didn’t expect the response I got though…