‘Really? Was I really like that?’ I glanced at the four faces around me, “was I like that during sophmore year?”
Nobody talked at first. But then Jerry cleared his throat. “Yeah, Dude. How you responded to the situation, to Jenny, you became emotionless. You laughed, and smiled, but it never seemed like you actually meant it. Like you were just doing the actions required to be a living human.”
“Yeah. I thought you would break at some point,” Ken interjected; “I thought you would either emotionally crash or explode.”
Matthew nodded in agreement.
‘Really? I thought I was doing just fine. I was swimming my best, I always had a good mood, my sleep was not a problem; I don’t see what they see.’
“You are probably saying to yourself…”I’m fine. I don’t see what they see.” Am I right?” Jeremy asked.
I head shot up looking at Jeremy. ‘How did he…’
“Based on your expression, I am right again,” Jeremy read me like a book. “That is why I brought it up. Because I knew you would have kept living the same. Believe me. I only said something because I was concerned.”
“I was too,” a voice came from behind us.
I turned and there stood Dad, bowl in hand.
Dad sighed. He walked away and continued to the kitchen.
I could hear him rinsing his bowl. ‘Is he just going to leave after saying that?’
Dad came back into view and he continued until he was sitting in the chair across from me on the left, oposite of Jeremy. “I knew something was wrong. I didn’t realize the culprit was Jenny, but I knew you were fighting some mental battle. Or at least trying to cover something up.”
“Son. You were positive everyday. You were a sixteen-year old boy; you should have been…what’s the word I’m looking for?” Dad pondered.
“Gloomy,” Ken said.
“Obnoxious?” Matthew added.
“Ansty…?” Jeremy said.
“Maybe all of those rolled into one. But you weren’t; you were upbeat and almost peppy,” Dad raked his fingers through his long hair. “I didn’t connect the dots that Jenny was the missing factor. I should have because you began to change after that situation. Personally, I thought it was that your mom, biological one,” Dad corrected himself, “might have left you a mental scar.”
‘She did; but it was mended with Mom.’ “Only my true mom has been the perfect healing for me.” ‘Now that Dad was the one saying these things I had to think back. Was it really true?’
“I will say though,” Dad pulled me out of my spiraling mental black hole, “going away has probably been the best thing for you. You have grown so much; physically but also in maturity,” Dad stood and walked over to my seat. “I am one proud Dad,” he squeezed my shoulder.
‘Thanks Dad.’ “I guess I will start to work on my robotic state. I thought I was doing just fine, but seeing all of you, and you dad, being concerned is a big eye opener,” as I glanced around.
“Don’t change too much. Just be more aware of your’s and other’s emotions. I’ve got to get back to the studio,” Dad straightened himself out and started to walk away.
“Dad,” I called to him before he was completely gone.
He stopped and turned back to me, “Yeah, Son?”
“Thanks. I’m mean for…” trying to put a label on it, “…everything.”
“No problem. You have a great group of friends here. Hold on to them,” and Dad disapeared around the corner.
‘Yeah I do, don’t I?’
It is Wednesday. A few days have passed since I found out I have been a robot. ‘I will say, I have noticed what they were talking about occasionally; but I don’t think it as sever as they were saying.’ But I am picking up on other’s emotions; at least I should say I pick up on them now.
We will be leaving Friday. I’m am bummed I won’t have another weekend with the guys, but my future is calling. Between their crazy schedules, the guys have been
coming to swim with us occasionally. Jerry works part-time at Dominos; sweet gig as the deliverer. Matthew has been vertually tutoring any moment he can find. Since, his altercation at school, his parents have cut him off of fun money. Ken, on the other hand, has a full time job. He is currently working as a paid intern at my dad’s label. He actually gets to help my dad a lot if he gets the chance. It doesn’t really surprise me; Ken has always been a people person.
So Jeremy and I are the two weridos that have never had a job and will continue to not have one through college. We will not have the time for it. ‘It feels weird. My friends are moving on in their lives and I feel like I am glued to my current position. I know I’m moving forward, but it just seems stopped sometimes.’ The hard
work it takes to make it as an athlete is unimaginable. I still amaze myself, at how much my body can take before it breaks.
“What’s your plan for the rest of today,” Jeremy had his towel draped over his head as he packed up his gear.
“Nothing much. Probably just going home and chilling with Mom and Dad. Why? Did you want to do something?” I too was drying my hair with a towel.
Jeremy didn’t speak at first…”Your dad told me this morning that Jenny is visiting her parents until Friday.”
I dropped my towel. ‘What? Jenny.’ I looked at Jeremy. He just nodded and I knew he was being serious.
“I wanted to drive up and apologize to her,” Jeremy looked away, “for my past mistake and all the fake crap she had experienced.” He looked back up at me, “Even if she won’t hear me out, I need to do this for my own inner peace. Are you coming with me?”
“When do you want to leave?” I shoved my gear in the bag and grabbed my keys.