Ever since I was a little kid, my left leg would shake whenever I was nervous about something. Today, the tremors are back and I inhale deeply and walk through our kitchen door. As predicted, Odette is gazing out the window, sipping tea.
I ask her if we could talk and she looks so sad and worried and I all I want to do is hold her and promise that everything will be o.k. Only now that I somehow lost the right to touch her, I pet the cat instead.
I tell her about the tour from San Francisco to Chicago. I tell her how I think it would be a good idea if she and Zoe went to her parents or her aunt’s house for a little bit. I promise I will be back in a month.
I talk and talk about plans, logistics, the weather differences of the two cities and if I will see crazy Jack when we’re back in San Francisco. I know that we need to talk about Jake. I know that Dave is right, and the only way to even try to get back on track would be to talk about what happened. It is easier, though, to talk about the Dim Sum I am about to devour.
Odette keeps starting at me. Occasionally, she nods and at one point she scrunches her nose up when I mention that really shitty hostel we once spent a week at in North Beach, but she never says anything; until she says everything.
“Chris, I think we should separate while you are on your tour.”
I’d heard this before, but this time I know I can’t talk her out of it. My leg suddenly becomes immobile and my insides slowly start crumbling up inside me. I wonder if I am going into cardiac arrest when I can’t feel my heart beating, but I realize that my heart is no longer there. Odette has ripped it out with a sentence.