After dinner, Divi and her friends were still revved up about the events of the day on the lake. They were all talking excitedly at the same time and Priya shifted her concentration from one to the other taking in as much as she could. At times, details came out that I don’t think they had intended to reveal and one of the other girls would glare at her. Priya just moved on to another story.
As darkness fell, Molly said, “Hey guys. We should get going. My mother will wonder where I am.” I noticed for the first time that none of them had a cell phone with them. That had to be a record for girls of their generation to not have a cell phone in their hands for that long.
One by one, Joanna, Zoe, Sophie and Molly pushed themselves against me with their hands behind my back and stretched up for a kiss and thanked me over and over again for their wonderful day. Molly was last and she did the same except she pushed her pelvis against me and whispered, “Thank you Jack; for everything.” She winked and kissed me again. The four of them filed out onto the deck. They waved as they pounded down the stairs to my yard. I watched them disappear around Priya’s house and then turned back to Divi and Priya sitting at the bar. It was deathly quiet after all the voices stopped. I looked at Divi, who was looking at her mother waiting for the Q&A session to start. Priya looked at Divi and then at me. I braced myself for the inevitable.
Priya smiled at me and said, “Well. It sounds like you guys had a great day. I wish I was with you. It sounded way more fun than my day.” Priya had intentionally or not just opened the floodgates and Divi’s questions poured through. I grabbed a beer and sat down at the kitchen table. I was a little surprise that Priya wanted to do this with me there but I figured she needed some support to get through it.
Even though Divi was sure this whole thing in Boston was about a divorce and she had seemed stoic about it, she was still rocked by her mother’s confirmation. She tried not to cry but it seemed that the more she tried, the more tears poured out of her eyes and down her cheeks. Priya got up and went around the bar and held her daughter tight and cried with her. Tears formed in my eyes too. It was a very emotional time. They swayed in each other’s arms and the tears changed to sobs.
I had no place in their commiseration so I got up and went out to the deck. It was a gorgeous night. Vestiges of the pinks and oranges and blues of sunset were quickly being overpowered by the advancing purples and grays. High in the sky was a brightly lit contrail from a passing jet. A passing pontoon boat with anchor light and green and red navigation lights on cruised along the far side of the lake and then reversed course and headed back the way they came. To the west the evening star or more accurately, the planet Venus, the brightest light in the sky, chased after the sun. Bullfrogs were beginning to croak up a storm and crickets chirped. A bat swooped over my boat without a sound. I didn’t often sit out on the deck at night. This was nice. I resolved to do it more often on perfect nights like this. Then the mosquitoes found me and I remembered why I didn’t sit out at night much.
From the Breezeway, Divi and Priya came out on the deck with one arm around the other like they were supporting a drunk. Their free hands wiped at their tears. They sat down on a cushioned chaise longue. They weren’t sobbing anymore but the sadness was palpable. I just sat down in my gravity chair beside them and stayed quiet. If they wanted anything from me, they’d ask.
Divi was the first to speak, and it was with bitterness in her voice, “He was a bad father and a bad husband. We’re better off without him and his bimbo girlfriend.” Even in the dark I could see the fire in her eyes. Priya didn’t react to Divi’s statement except to pull her in tighter.
Priya finally spoke. “Jack. First of all, thank you for all you did for the girls today. I was able to glean from some of the details that you saved them from possible disaster that they didn’t even realize until after it was over. I’m going to take Divi home and we’re going to comfort each other. She’s a little shaken up about the divorce and I need some time to think about my life too.” I understood; their lives had just come off the rails. The ‘think about my life’ part concerned me because I was thinking I was a part of that too.