Wednesday, October 5, 2011
It was almost quitting time. Really, Jules was about to drop, but he scrubbed on the sink a little more. It was quiet now. Maybe he'd actually finish a library book, yet. Of course, he was a slow reader. At the moment, he thought he might drop right off to sleep before he even got upstairs to open the old library book by his bed.
But there was a tap on the store window. Jules hated to take a look. Best ignore it, but he couldn't as he took a peak from the doorway of the kitchen.
It was Willow, to his surprise. He knew he best get it, but it had been days since he'd last seen Jonah.
"What did you do to him?" She demanded.
"Do to him?" Jules laughed. "Christ." Jules held under his breath. He backed away, unsure what to say. "Not a thing."
"He hasn't gone to work. Sits in his room all day. And its your fault!" She about gave him a shove.
"He's a freak'n weirdo." Jules scowled.
"Did you say that to him?" She swelled a frown.
"No." Jules shook his head. He hugged himself tight as he turned from her. "Sorry....if...I just didn't know what else to do. I just said we could be mates. Is there anything wrong with that?" He looked back at her. "What am I suppose to do? Babysit? Is that it?"
"No, that's my job." Willow sighed.
"Well, that's hardly fair, now is it?" Jules winced.
"Mom, thinks I can handle it." She nibbled her bottom lip.
"She with him now?" Jules wondered, hoping he wasn't sitting in the car waiting.
"He's in his room. He won't come out." She told him.
"I..I might have been a bit... of a bully." Jules finally confessed, all though, he hadn't thought so at the time. "I was wondering ..just how far he..might go."
"How far did he?" Willow squinted as if she wanted to be spared the details.
"Not very." Jules told. "Look, it wasn't like I was trying to violate him, by any means. I never asked to be his boyfriend to begin with. Besides, can't think of an actual relationship I've ever had that lasted a week or so."
"Dunno, if he'll ever get over Finn." She shrugged. Jules wasn't sure he'd consider Finn a real boyfriend, either. Maybe Jonah wasn't suppose to have one.
"How about we get out of here?" Jules shrugged. "Before someone thinks we're open."
"Like where?" She asked.
"The pool hall?" He'd never been. He shut the lights and slipped off the apron. They walked down the empty street that was colder than usual. Fall was finally setting in and it was dim out. They walked a block or so and now that Jules noticed, it was more of an arcade. Kid friendly. But they were the only ones there. He got a couple dollars worth of coins and they played a few games, perhaps to get Jonah off Willow's mind. It almost did the trick too.
"You know, there was a time the doctors could never make up their mind just how autistic Jonah really was. It kept changing. Year after year. He can't really sleep." Willow told him.
"That's a bitch, for all of you." Jules felt sad for her.
"Its just, he's so smart, but he can be such an ass, sometimes." Willow sighed. Soon enough they were kicked out of the arcade, it was going on nine.
"How about ice cream?" He hoped they'd have more to talk about than Jonah. The Dairy Queen was still open. He'd wanted to see the place. He told her he didn't really get out much. So they got the hot fudge sundaes even if it might be close to freezing out tonight.
"What about you? What do you like to do?" He just didn't see her the type to want go to a party. She had dropped them off that night at the concert. He noticed she had her Kindle handy for reading that night.
"I've heard I'd make a remarkable pre-school teacher." She sort of smiled.
"But that's not what you want, is it?" Jules pushed the chocolate around in the ice cream with his spoon. Jules felt comfortable around her. Maybe she wasn't that mad at him.
"No, not exactly. But I want to teach. A little while, then work on my doctorate. Maybe be a child's advocate, or teach people how to make candles, weaving, you know arts that aren't really around, much anymore." She seemed confident about it.
They were quiet for some time as they ate ice cream.
"Look, do you want me to write him a note, or something, that you could give him?" Jules looked into Willow's pleasant face.
"What would it say?" She glared back as if she didn't quite trust him.
"What ever you would want it to say." Jules supposed he could possibly make some time for Jonah, like a movie, something quaint, but not very often.
He wished he could ask her to go with him on these little outing with Jonah, but he was sure it would not meet Jonah's approval.