It’s the first Friday of October 1989, it’s been over a month since Kirk said, “it’s not you, it’s me”.
I get home from school and dad says he’s going to the city to the horse sale. Mom has to work so I ask if I can go too. Before getting ready I run into His Town to the gas station and run into best friend Susan’s brother and mention my going with my dad to the horse sale.
I go home and start to get ready~the phone rings and it’s friends of my folks…my friend Becky and Kirk’s friend Bill The Trouble Maker’s parents. Dad tells me plans have changed, Butch and Judy are going to go to the horse sale with him and when mom gets off work they are going out.
I call Becky to see if I could come over and hang out since she’ll be home watching her little brother and sister. I start getting ready to go when Kirk walks into the house, he’s going to the horse sale.
I go to the basement to finish getting ready to go to Becky’s. Dad hollers down the stairs to say he’s leaving. Kirk is still up in the kitchen. Winds up he learned from Todd that I was going to the horse sale, the only reason he was going.
Kirk comes down stairs and asked if we can talk. He sits down on the couch, I sit across the room. He gives me the whole “I’m an asshole”, “I miss you”, “I made a mistake” talking points that he’s given me more than once.
We talk for awhile and I tell him I have to call Becky to let her know I’m not coming over. When I get up to call her he asks if he can give me a hug, I tell him no. It’s not that I don’t want to, I just know I’ll lost my strength if he does.
When I get off the phone I tell him we should go upstairs to talk. Being in the basement alone with him is hard, we’d spent so much time over the summer down there, I couldn’t stay there with him and not want to give in to him.
We sit at the kitchen table across from one another and continue our talk.
“So, I hear you’re grounded.”
“What? No, I’m not grounded.”
“I knew it, I know you like a book and knew you weren’t.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Talked to Paul….”
Fuck, had completely forgotten about the story I’d made up to get away from Paul.
Kirk gets up from the kitchen table~goes into the dining room and turns on the stereo~puts on a Randy Travis cassette~walks into the kitchen and up to me, holds out his hand and says, “Ma’am, may I have this dance”?
In my head I’m having a battle, oh, I want to…no, don’t, you know you’ll be done…but I want to…no, don’t.
I put my hand in his and he leads me into the dining room and we dance.