As we climbed into the truck to leave, Coach paused before zumming down the street. “George, do you want a milkshake? There is a great place just down the road.”
“Sure. I’m always down for treats; especially since starting Monday I will be saying goodbye to them,” I laughed relaxing into the seat.
The truck roared to life.
“So…did she talk to you?” Coach asked as we sat on the tailgate of the truck waiting for our milkshakes.
I didn’t even have to think about who he was referring to. Jenny. It’s going to be Jenny. “Yeah. If you can really call it that. It seemed more like a one sided commentary with a side a betrayal. Did I really betray her Coach?” I slumped my head down looking at my shoes dangling off the tailgate.
Coach didn’t answer right away.
‘Which probably means he thinks I did.’
“Yes and no. It’s all in her mind mostly. Before you went off to school, she revoled around you. You were her center. Once you left she lost that sense of security,” Coach paused as the waitress came up with our shakes.
My head snapped up to retrive the shake, and I decided to face this conversation head held high. I turned to look at Coach who had just taken a long swig of shake.
Coach nodded in approval before continuing, “She lost security. She had to face everything that happened, without her much wanted support. I don’t know if I should tell you this or not, but she used to have nightmares,” Coach stopped long enough to take another sip.
My head snapped in his direction and I was about to ask more as Coach began again.
“She would scream and scream. My wife and I would have to sprint to her bedroom to wake her up. She would fight us as we tried,” Coach ran his fingers through his hair. “Once she would finally awaken, she would misinterpret her awake state. She would call for you, George. She wouldn’t stop until I would hold her in my arms and she would
begin to settle. She would whisper, “Don’t leave me,” Coach set his shake down.
It was just silent. I had no words and no logical response. ‘She looked for me. I was her safe haven when she was struggling.’ I too set my shake down and dropped my head into my hands. ‘No wonder she feels like I betrayed her.’ I jumped as Coach placed his hand on my shoulder.
“Sorry for startling you, just didn’t want you to not take it too much to heart. When the first nightmare happened, I realized she liked you as more than a friend. I’m all for you two ending up together. You would have to call me Father-in-law,” Coach chuckled as he put me in a choke hold. “Move past it, George. This happened two years ago. I just wanted you to understand why she thinks you betrayed her.”
Coach was doing a good job of making me move past it, because if I didn’t, he would have probably strangled me. “Got…it…Got it. Let go of me,” I somehow shoved him off of me.
Coach released me and patted my back as I choked. “Sorry. Maybe not the best thing to do to you after today’s incident.”
I was gasping for air after being released, “Yeah, maybe not the best idea.”
“But yes, I do believe Jenny feels betrayed, and I before this morning thought she was in the right. But after seeing how Jeremy responded to you, and how he was panicked waiting for you to awake; showed me what an upright young man he has become. I was honest when I told him once Jenny heals he is welcomed. But until that day I think this is going to be the last time he is invited to the house.”
I understood. “Next time I’ll just leave him at my dad’s house,” laughing at the thought.
“No George. I mean, I think this is the last visit for you both until she heals,” Coach said as he once again picked up his shake.
“What?” I was shocked. ‘Why me too?’
“Jenny sees you as a betrayer. Until she heals more, I don’t think she will see you any other way. As much as I want that future, I don’t know if that will ever again be a possiblity.”
It took me a second. ‘Never a possibility. Unless Jenny heals. The future he is talking about, me and Jenny, will never happen.’ Me leaving two years ago might have ruined my chances at that future that I hoped for. “Well this conversation just got depressing. I understand your concerns. I will follow your instructions until you believe I can visit again. Any upbeat topics?” I devoured my shake; wanting to have something happy.
“I am looking forward to your future in the pool. You have improved greatly, even more so from two years ago. You and Jeremy are a powerful duo,” Coach once again clapped me on the back.
However, this time I had just take a huge gulp of shake, that I proceeded to spit it out all over my jeans and the ground. I hoped down and dashed off to the counters for some napkins. I cleaned my jeans, and then after running back to the truck, I attempted to clean the ground.
Just as a waitress rolled up in her rollerskates, “Don’t worry about it, Honey. We spray down the parking lot for exactly these reasons,” and she rolled away back to the counters.
I felt bad for the mess, but decided to climb back onto the tailgate.
But Coach got up at that moment, “Let’s head back. It’s already five. You guys have an early flight tomorrow. Hopefully Lily will be home tonight. She has been at a friends house most days.”
I jumped down off the tailgate and slammed it shut. I tossed the small amount of shake into the garbage can. ‘That’s enough sugar for me, for the rest of my lifetime.’ I climbed into the truck and we were back on our way to the house. I didn’t really know how I felt about our conversation. It still felt like a void was yet to be resolved. This visit I had hoped to clear the air about everything, but instead, it seems like I went negatively backwards.