a crying shame
OVER!!! --- it was all over – the pain of her heart being fractured in way too many places would last indefinitely, but her romantic strength had been annihilated – the homecoming to a horde of crazy making relatives was over – she mocked them in her mind calling them the “crazy corrigan family sub-committee” --- the only silver lining in their dark cloud presence was their meaningless irritating squirrel jabber – she was unable to hear past it --- thankfully it allowed her to remain oblivious to her mother’s histrionics in the next bedroom --- hysterics!!! – because of or in spite of the pills and the booze – who ever knew? --- all she knew was that it made her crazy sick ---
poe rolled over on her bed and totally tuned out the maternal theatrics – easily done with her fifteen years’ experience --- she locked into herself and began to relive the past few GOOD crazy days
poe had thought she would or should have at least a cardiac arrest when zach dropped the bomb ---
“they’re sending me! – do you believe this? my folks are actually friggin’ sending me to military school in california – shit! – it’s not like I’m gonna flunk out for crying out loud – my worst marks were the two C’s in phys. ed. and geography ---
“oh my gawd!”, she replied , barely capable of being heard, even with superhuman effort
they were passionately unaware of this train coming down the track, and had been knocked right off their emotional feet when it careened into their fragile intimate world --- they WERE fifteen, after all – not like they were still just kids – why were they being treated like kids? --- they didn’t hang with the bunch who smoked and drank and partied hearty – they just went their own way and did their own thing, never a worry or a problem for their families – just a pair of only children in upper middle class family units – no big deal! --- zach’s marks had fallen only slightly since september, this was just way way too bizarre!!!
the immediate solution was to skip school – something they had NEVER done! - much less thought about – they could use shirley’s apartment for the day, and devise a dynamite long term solution ---
the way out of this whole mess eluded them for hours - suddenly it exploded KA-BAM!!! and crystallized as if from an unseen geode --- “we’ll run away and get married”, a stereo decision delivered in emphatic unison – a no brainer, why hadn’t they thought of it sooner? - they talked intently about their resolution and agreed that of course it all made perfect sense --- it kept zach from going to military school and liberated poe from the crazy corrigans at the same time – bonus! --- point for them!!!
poe remained practical – “we’ll need money and extra clothes – we need a car and a map and a place to go.”
“piece of cake, hon”, zach assured her with an extra hug – “we’ll get our gym clothes when school gets out – i’ll ask dad for a few bucks and the car to go to the library and study – we can grab a map anywhere, and i know the perfect place to go – it’s all good!”
poe sighed her relief – everything was coming together perfectly – within an hour of conception their solution was reality, and they were rolling happily northward from suburban detroit to mackinaw city – point for them!!!
she had been thunderstruck at zach’s revelation: they were going to his family’s year-round chalet in the upper peninsula – soon it all made more sense – fully equipped accommodation with all the perks – bonus! --- just get married and live happily ever after like in the love stories she read – but yes, of course!!!
lots of construction and detours that day, rush hour traffic in the bargain, but no sweat! – never once got lost – point for them!!!
they found a quiet spot and slept in the car that night – sleepy talk drifted from back seat to front and back again – the stars provided hypnotic visuals – the sleepy talk soon yielded to night sounds around them
new day – new problem --- nearly no gas – no panic --- poe pried sixty-two cents from her charm bracelet – “we’re two dollars and sixty-two cents rich now”, she chuckled jokingly --- “don’t worry”, he reassured her – “I’ll think of something” ---just down the road in a small town they found a tiny gas station – zach approached and asked for work doing anything in exchange for gas --- he explained that he and his sister were on their way home, both from schools in detroit, mother sick up north, spent money on transmission problems, yatta-yatta --- no work available, but great guys – passed the hat, filled the tank, and away they went – point for them!!!
another day, another problem – money for the bridge toll at the straits of mackinaw to cross into the upper peninsula – just like being really married – zach calmly said, “you wait here,honey – i’ll go and try to sell the spare tire.”
well, the service station guy got suspicious, thought it was a stolen tire, and called the state police --- the state police breathed easy – two underage runaways --- two points for the state police!!!
zach and poe laughed the next day following their release to the dad people – the dad people had gotten lost three times, gotten angry, and gotten crazy --- poe and zach kissed a long goodbye, whispered promises, and each left with a dad person for the return trek to detroit ---
then home again to face the hastily convened sub-committee, brought together like a SWAT team to “handle” her
uncle michael’s interrogation: “what’s wrong with you? see how upset your mother is? how could you do something so embarrassing???”
uncle joseph said, “how could you? your mother is humiliated!”
aunt mary ellen squealed, “i just can’t fathom you, girl! why upset your mother this way? You’re making her sick! and what will the neighbours have to say about it?”
uncle kenshook his head – looked disgusted --- words unnecessary – same crazy head game – SHAME!!!
tante laureen asked. “what’s wrong sweetie? what’s upsetting you? promise never to leave this way again until we’ve talked – if you must leave, let me help – i don’t like you on the road without money – you’re not safe – I LOVE YOU and I want you to be happy and safe.”
and now the step father to put the final straw on the camel’s back --- “your upsetting everyone – after you were gone nearly two days we had to put the house on the market and now we’ll have to go into a condo because of you – your mother is mortified – she can’t even hold her head up in front of the neighbours because of what you did – and as for you, miss high and mighty, you’ll be put away in a private school – all the arrangements are made and you’ll go next week, and i don’t want to hear anymore about it!!!”
even as she framed the question, she knew it was useless to ask, but she tried anyway – as tears ran slowly down her cheeks and she struggled to get around the lump in her throat she managed in a voice so low that it was barely audible – “i’m sorry --- do I have to???”
image url http://www.smh.com.au/ffximage/2007/10/10/tears_lead_wideweb