|Ode to Odette,|
Remember that joker who kept offering up his verses to you at that dive bar in Santa Cruz? Remember that same night when we tried to sleep at the boardwalk and kept getting shooed away by that homeless bully? Remember when you made me swear to you that our story would never end? We took an oath that night and you blessed our union with a bottle of Pabst and rings made out Fudge Stripe cookies. How can you do this to the elves Odette? You ask how I can forgive you and all I can say is that I will always forgive you. The night we first met, you thought I was flirting with Meliah; that I settled for “second best”. But, it was always you, Odette. Meliah laughed at me staring at you and told me that I will spend my life getting over you. I told her I was going to marry you. I miss her too….
I know why you hurt me. I know that you are angry at me for not being supportive enough; for not being able to take away the pain. I am angry at myself too. For months, I would try to think of ways to make you smile again. But, there were bills to pay, and dishes to do, and Zoe to think of. Do you think of that Odette? Who do you think cleaned the house, and played with our daughter, and cooked dinner every damn night for months and months while you were alone with your grief? I never left, Odette. I would freak out just going to work, or the store, or anywhere because I never knew what I would come home to. I prayed that you would still be alive and I hoped that you would be dressed. I even dared to dream that you might, just might, be dancing in the living room again.
You screwed the teenager down the street. And now you are leaving. I guess our story has come to an end. But, it doesn’t have to. We can just start a new chapter. You always talked about moving to San Francisco. Let’s do it. A big city might just be the change we need. Please Odette, will you run away with me, instead of from me?
Soon it will be morning. I will be out taking Zoe to school as you are reading this letter and chewing slowly on the chocolate croissant I will have waited in line to buy you.I can already see your long graceful hand reaching up to play with a loose strand of your soft blonde hair, your left foot tapping anxiously waiting for you to grab your glasses that I will have left on the nightstand next to your favorite cup of tea. Will any of this matter? If I buy you croissants and tea and leave your glasses where you can find them, will you love me again?
Odette, you need to decide if you are going to stay or go. I am not going to stop you from leaving me. But, I will stop you from taking my daughter. If you go to Brooklyn, Zoe stays here, with me. I’ve given you everything you have ever wanted since the moment I first met you and handed you my favorite guitar pick with my number hastily scratched on the side. I am giving you absolution from your guilt. I am giving you the chance to start fresh, for three of us to start over. I love you Odette, but I am not going to give you permission to remove my daughter from the State.
I will meet you at the football stadium at eleven.