This may be confusing to all of you, since it is in the future chapters that haven't been posted yet.. but I didn't want to just delete it.
“Anything,” I said as I watched him chew on his bottom lip. The moon and the snow had washed all the color from him, he was all black and white. It made him look otherworldly and I wondered how I looked to him.
“They’re putting my Grandma into a nursing home,” he said, his voice quiet. “I told her about us.”
“You did?” I answered my eyebrows shooting upward.
“Yeah, it was after a walk,” he answered, his voice slightly rushed as he looked around us. “I take walks like these to clear my head, I feel closer to my faith when I’m alone out here. My favorite bible verse is Second Corinthians chapter five verse seven, I will walk in faith even when I cannot see. I guess this was a way to keep testing myself, walking alone in the dark and not being scared because I had faith that I would make it back home. Anyway, I was talking about you, probably with a big goofy grin on my face, but when I looked up at her she looked like she was hurting, but not for herself, and I just wanted to tell her.”
“What did she say?” I asked, feeling his grip tighten on my hands. His warm mittens seemed to slowly thaw me out, even my teeth had stopped chattering a bit.
“She told me about her friend Janet,” he answered and I glanced towards the sky when a brief wave of darkness passed over us to see a small wispy cloud blocking the moon. “When they were younger, about to go to college Janet came out to her, told her she loved a girl named Ruthanne, but Ruthanne didn’t know.”
When he fell quiet I shuffled my feet, moving my toes in my shoes trying to get some feeling back into them. My heart was racing, for some reason and I felt really invested in the story, even though I had never met Charlotte.
“Janet told Ruthanne, but she didn’t take it well and told Janet’s parents,” he said, his voice slightly rushed and I knew it wasn’t because of the cold. I couldn’t help myself either as I ran my hands up his arms and pulled him towards me so that we were in the most awkward hug, but it was good enough. “After that her parents hated her and a month after Ruthanne left for college Janet killed herself and my Grandma felt bad, since she had disowned her back then too.”
“Fucking hell,” I hissed feeling the breath knocked out my lungs. Even as he went on with his story I was hopeful for a happier ending, some sort of silver lining. I knew that he would compare himself to Janet, even though our outcome had been different.
“She had never told anyone about Janet, not even Mom and Dad,” he continued, “but she hugged me and told me she wouldn’t abandon me, so now I need your help.”
“With what?” I asked feeling him take a step back to break the hug.
“Have your dad convince my mom not to move her into a nursing home,” he said grimacing. “I hate asking, but I can’t lose her now and she hates those places and I know it was because she was being ornery and faked that heart episode.”
“Does she do that often?” I asked, smiling.
“Only when she’s bored and wants to talk to Mom, or to give me a break from Mom, I don’t really know,” he answered glancing up at the sky. “Your Mom usually talks mine out of sending Grandma away when she’s mad at her. They’re still not talking though.”
“I’ll try,” I said smiling.
“Good,” he said turning back to me, leaning in, he surprised me with a small kiss. Both of our lips were dry and mine were beginning to chap, but it was nice and for once I thought at least one unexpected person was in our corner against everything else. The story still worried me though, I still didn’t know how close Luke aligned himself with Janet. I didn’t think he would be as sad as her, he definitely wouldn’t be as alone, but his mind had seemed to be working through something else as he told me her story.
The reasons I deleted this section, it would have been in Chapter 2.10 or Chapter 30 are: I just wasn't going to do anything with it. The Grandmother was never going to be a featured character here, so to make her one in the closing of a chapter just to never really re-visit her is wasteful. I would have simply had an off-hand comment from Craig that he talked to Cindy after church and resolved the issue. The second strike, is that it was too dark for the story. Re-reading it after reading the rest of the story, I realize it. I realized it back then when I wrote it, that it took a bit of a darker turn. I didn't want to introduce a story that Luke would cling to, that ended tragically. Because again, I'm 100% not going down that path and since I introduced it the way that I did, it opened the door, so why open that door if you're never going to step into the room? (Beat that metaphor to death didn't I?). Strike Three is that it completely derailed the story progression. I needed chapter 30 to progress the story in some way or another and it didn't. I honestly doubt the new ending will either, but it will be far more rewarding. Strike Four, Charlotte - Luke's Grandmother knowing is just a wee but close to home for a story that is in my mind, far from being over. Her knowing is a step below Henry and Cindy knowing. The entire point of the last... what.. 10+ chapters is keeping Luke hidden from 'Cindzilla' and I just felt this would have forced a premature climax.
I do have chapter 29 written.. it has been written for a really really long time.. lol. I'm happy with it, so maybe in the next couple of days I'll be able to post the chapter and have Chapter 30 finished and ready to post in the following week and I be moving on from there.