Thursday, June 28, 2012
Finally, Henry was coming around, thought Aidan when it came to Audrey. Maybe. He wouldn't shut up about her at the hot dog stand where they ate chili dogs in the warm summer night air.
"See, she's not stupid." Aidan smiled as he watched his little brother manage to pop a few tots in his mouth. He was on his third dog.
"Yeah, but she's done plenty of stupid things, Aid." Henry reminded him. "What do you even see in her? And don't tell me, its just the sex."
"Would you be quiet?" Aidan chuckled. "She's a good friend. We met in college."
"Does she know Elaine?" Henry was serious.
"I guess. I can't remember. Elaine was even in her own little world then. Audrey and I lived in the same dorm." He hardly thought he'd ever lead Audrey on. They did have their mid-night coffee together his first year in college. He had to admit he always looked forward to seeing her. She'd talk about her adventures in dating. Audrey always went out with the most offbeat guys.
"Does Elaine know you're seeing her?" At least Henry put it politely.
"What's it to her?" Aidan shrugged as he drank at his cherry lime-aid.
"Well? You are technically married to her." Henry acted as if that was like having an elite gold member's card.
"Barely." Suddenly, Aidan's face washed out, thinking of how she'd been when he'd last seen her in the hospital. He knew he'd lost her for good then. She couldn't handle seeing him suicidal. Honestly, he didn't know he could be, either. Aidan knew his mother hadn't told Henry the truth.
"Look, I know you're not crazy about Audrey. But, she's a better person, than you know. She does care. When she finds something to care about, well, its..its like a passion with her."
"Yeah, don't remind me about that cat." Henry drank his vanilla coke.
"And, well, she makes..me remember..the good times. I need that right now." He didn't know how to tell him. "Elaine, she's..she's so far ahead of me. There's..there is no way I can catch up. I could never be good enough for her ..even if I tried." Aidan paused as he teared up. "I really tried, Henry, I did. Its like everything came tumbling down. Elaine was fooling around with her boss. She got this boob job, before that. I didn't even ask her to change. I didn't. It was just, I'd always hoped we would have started a family, by now. You know, even a dog would have done." He tried to laugh. "Yeah, we..we were living way above our means. Way..way more than..than we even ..needed..I guess. I just didn't know what else to do..when I found out ..how she really was...I just wanted to take a bunch of pills, and never wake up."
Henry stared at him as if he might be contagious.
"But..but you're better now, right?" Henry asked.
"I'm glad you're back. I really am. You guys would never come see us. I missed you." Henry told him. "I really missed you."