Jean-Claude Beauvais, a story
Book 04 - Marseille The Boys
Chapter 79. I learned that in school
I put the book in the night table drawer, turned off the bed light, and looked at my two precious sweeties, as they lay asleep, with the moonlight softly lighting their way in dreamland.
I left, quietly closing the door behind me. I went to my stateroom, at the other end of the hallway. Jacob lurked in the shadows. I opened the door, said, “Good night, Jacob, to the shadows, and went inside. I put the extra set of binoculars in Dashiell’s box and returned it to the closet.
I left the stateroom and went downstairs to the lounge to play some music before going to bed.
I sat down at the piano and started to play.
I heard the door open. Jacob came in and sat by the door.
“Jacob.” I said.
“Yes, sir,” he responded, sitting up, ready to stand.
“Why are you following me around the yacht?”
“That’s my job, sir. Anything I can do for you, I am here to do it.”
“Tell me, what do you people do on the yacht? I have no idea. I mean, I pay you and all that, but I have simply no idea what everyone does.”
“The captain has a list of duties. He can better explain that to you. For me, I tend to whatever you want, when you are awake.”
“That’s why whenever I turn around you are there?”
“Yes, sir. That’s my job. I am not snooping. I don’t tell stories. For over twenty-seven years, I have an impeccable record. Just doing my job, sir. I am your butler.”
“The ship has basically four seamen, the maid, the captain, the chef, a kitchen worker, the mechanic, and me.”
“Well, I hope I’m not too boring to work for.”
“You’re not,” he said, with a smile, “You’re quite fascinating.”
Dashiell walked in and said, “Hello.”
He sat down on the piano bench and listened as I played.
He physically drooped more and more as I finished each nocturne.
Three were all he could manage. I almost had to carry him upstairs to bed. My big brother was very tired and too big to carry.
He was in the bed in a flash.
I got in bed. He curled up against me, tossing his arm around me and pulling me closer, and moving his leg across my legs.
“Good night, Jean-Claude.”
“Good night, Dashiell.”
He was asleep, before we could talk about the day. Many funny things happened that day. I tried to make a mental note of them for recalling at the breakfast table.
In the morning, I woke. Dashiell was still asleep. I heard someone walking outside. I moved the comforter from my face, to see what there was to see. The Sun was up and I was still in bed. I slipped out of bed, opened the door to the hallway and there was Jacob.
“What time is it?” I asked him.
“Seven-fifteen, sir,” he said.
“If you could, please, wake me at seven in the morning.”
“That will be done,” he said.
“Are the boys awake yet?”
“Yes. They were awake about a half-hour ago. They are in their stateroom.”
“Thanks,” I said.
I went to their room, tapped on the door.
“Hop in the shower and meet me at the breakfast table.”
I stumbled back to my room and woke Dashiell, who wanted to sleep.
“Let me sleep,” he mumbled, as his frame stirred, beneath the bedclothes.
“Okay, I’ll try to be quiet while I shower,” I said, as I replaced the comforter over his head.
I showered, dressed, and arrived in the dining room for breakfast. Monsieur Laurent was there already, reading the papers.
“Good Morning, Monsieur Laurent,” I said, with a hearty smile.
“Good Morning, Jean-Claude. Best night of sleep I’ve had in a long time.”
“Delighted to hear you slept well.”
He looked up from his paper.
“How did the boys sleep?”
“I was told they slept until almost seven,” I said.
“They must have been tired, last night.”
“Guess so. They were up late, looking in their binoculars.”
I picked up the paper and started to read the headlines.
Madame Tissot arrived, sat down, and waited for her coffee.
“Good Morning, Madame Tissot. How did you sleep last night?”
“Like a log, Jean-Claude. Like a log.”
“And Monsieur Tissot?”
“He is in the exercise room, on the treadmill. He says he needs the exercise.”
“Good for him. A good idea for the boys and me, too. Get rid of all that extra energy that can drive us all nuts.”
With a little smile, she said, “Boys will be boys.”
“So they will be,” I added.
“So far, do you need anything from the store?”
“No. Sometimes, I felt like I spend half my life in a store. I’m rather happy not to have to go to the store.”
“How about you, Monsieur Laurent. You need anything from the store?”
“I could use some nice Montréal post cards,” he said, with a grin.
“Soon you can have a bucket full of them.”
The boys arrived, bouncing in the door from the lounge.
“Good Morning, boys,” I said.
“Good Morning, Jean-Claude,” they responded.
“Did you guys have a good sleep last night?”
“I did,” Louis said, looking to Ollie for his reply.
“Me, too,” Ollie said.
The waiter looked at me.
“Do they take coffee?”
“They’ll drink whatever you give them.”
Louis asked, “Coffee, please.”
Ollie requested, “Juice, please.”
The server returned with fresh squeezed orange juice for Ollie.
He squealed, when he tasted it.
“Do you, boys, need anything at the store, before we leave Marseille?”
Sitting across from each other at the table, they made some motions. Ollie mumbled at Louis.
Louis turned to me and said, “He doesn’t like the taste of the toothpaste.”
“Well, Monsieur Laurent can take you to the store and you can get a few tubes of the toothpaste of your choice.”
“Could you help him with that, Monsieur Laurent?”
“I’d be delighted.”
“I think he likes the stuff in the red and white tube, that goes with the ‘Douche Douche Douche’ radio commercial.
“Yessss,” Ollie whispered.
“After lunch, you guys can take care of that.”
Monsieur Tissot arrived in dapper shorts and a Hawaiian shirt.
“Good Morning. Monsieur Tissot. How did you sleep last night?” I asked.
“Like a log,” he said.
“Do you need anything at the store before we leave for Montréal?”
“No. I have a warehouse full of stuff.”
He laughed at his joke. I smiled.
“The yacht is a floating warehouse.”
“You bet,” he said.
I announced, “Dashiell is sleeping in, this morning. We may not see him before lunch.”
The rest of breakfast was gentle and relaxing.
I finished the papers.
“Ollie. First thing this morning, do your piano lesson in the piano room.”
“Louis. Do your piano lesson on the piano in the lounge.”
“When you are satisfied with your lesson, come and tell me and I will listen to your lessons.”
The boys left and I grabbed my phonebook. Jacob brought the phone.
I picked up the phone and called Aunt Gizzie.
“Hello Aunt Gizzie?”
“How are you and Uncle Maurice?”
“Glad to hear that. Well, I’m calling to tell you there have been some changes.”
“Yes. Of course. I change everything a little.”
“Okay. Dashiell and I are going to America.”
“No, we’re coming back. We’re going on vacation. I bought a boat.”
“Yes. A boat.”
“We’re going on the boat.”
“And we have kids now, too.”
“Of course we didn’t.”
“Boys. Oliver is six and Louis is eleven.”
“It’s a long story. The state, France, that is, made me their parent. Their father asked me and the state.”
“We went to court.”
“No. They’re perfectly normal boys.”
“No I wouldn’t ever buy anyone. That’s inhumane. Their parents had an argument… mother left with their sister for Spain.”
“Yes. I know there’s a war there.”
“The father was distraught, and asked the state to put them in my care until he came back from Spain with his wife and daughter, in a few days. I became their parent until their papa returned. He never returned.”
“Yes. They’re going with us.”
“To cheer them up, I told them they could go anyplace for vacation, this summer. They decided they wanted to go to Montréal to see my old house. I have no idea why they want to see it.”
“We are on our way to Montréal in a couple days… Sunday. That’s why I called. To let you know we are sailing to America. We expect to be back in six weeks, in time for the boys’ school year.”
“No tutoring. I want them to have the same life as the rest of kids. I don’t want them to think, years from now, they missed anything… they missed the stuff regular kids get, because they had to go to a private school.”
“Sure, you can. We’d love to see you and Maurice, anytime.”
“How about Christmas?”
“Terrific. Here comes Dashiell.”
Dashiell walked in the dining room. The waiter pulled his chair for him and filled his coffee cup. He reached for the papers.
“Dashiell got up late this morning. He wanted to sleep in a while. Do you want to talk to him?”
I handed the phone to Dashiell.
“It’s Aunt Gizzie.”
“Hello Aunt Gizzie?”
“How are you?”
“Every day is a surprise.”
“No. Not me. He’s the father.”
I poked him and shook my head when he said ‘father.’
“He doesn’t like the word, father. He prefers parent.”
“I don’t know… You know how he is, about words.”
“No. We aren’t. Munich, Copenhagen and all, gez, I don’t know where else, is all killed.”
“We’re going to Montréal, New York, Hamburg, and home.”
“Going to an opening tomorrow.”
“No. I’m not showing in it.”
“When I’m ready.”
“For the next ten or twelve years, he’ll be very busy parenting.”
“This year, America. Next year, the Moon. Who knows what, after that?”
“In the dining room.”
“On the yacht.”
“I don’t know. Wait a minute. I’ll ask him.”
“Jean-Claude. How big is the Mon Grandpapa?”
“’Fifty meters,’ he said.
“Yeah. Half a football field. Big.”
“He doesn’t drive it. He has a crew to take care of that.”
“Jean-Claude. She wants to talk to you.”
“Love you, Aunt Gizzie. Say ‘hello’ to Uncle Maurice for me.”
“Hello, Aunt Gizzie,” I said.
“Yes. It’s big.”
“I don’t drive anything. I have a crew.”
“Ten people. A captain, a chef, a kitchen worker, a maid, a mechanic, a butler, and four seamen.”
“I watch the boys. They’re really not a problem.”
“We leave Sunday, after church, about one or two o’clock. We’re at the berth in Marseille, right now. We are moving out of the port, Friday and will be out to sea for two days, coming back to Marseille for Sunday church. I promised the bishop I would play Sunday in church, before I went on vacation. After church, we’ll be on our way to Montréal. After that, we’ll go to New York for a couple weeks, and to Hamburg for a week, and then, probably, home.”
“Maybe. The yacht is comfortable, and if we live on the yacht, we don’t have to move stuff. No hassle.”
“Thank you. We may stop by there and let the kids see the place, so they have an idea of what the place is like. I was thinking of going to Lake Pennyworth Place for a day, but that might be too much to do, especially with six people.”
“There’s Dashiell, and Louis, and Ollie and Monsieur and Madame Tissot, and Monsieur Laurent. Six of us.”
“Of course, they’re going. They need a vacation, too, and they’ll enjoy it. You know what Ollie, the little one asked me?”
“‘Are they too old to take a vacation?’”
“They say funny stuff all the time.”
“Love you, too, Aunt Gizzie. I’ll call when we get home, in Marseille.”
“Okay. I’ll call from Montréal, New York, and Hamburg, too.”
“I promise to call you. I promised to call Jay Bensen, the resort architect, and Monsieur le Mayor, whenever we’re in port.”
“Of course, we’ll send postcards. I’ll send pictures, too.”
“Yes, and pictures of your new nephews, too.”
“Love you, too.”
I put the phone in the cradle.
Jacob removed the phone from the table.
I tapped the table to attract Dashiell’s attention; the paper dipped in the middle of the fold.
“You need anything from the store?”
“More blue paint.”
Monsieur Laurent is taking Ollie to get some toothpaste… doesn’t like the taste of the toothpaste he has. Could you go with them, after lunch?”
“Sure, but Monsieur Laurent doesn’t have to drive. The art supply place is just a couple blocks from here. They are plenty of stores where Ollie can buy toothpaste. We’ll get two tubes of ten varieties. That’s make him happy for a while.”
“If you see Laurent, tell him, “He doesn’t have to drive, this afternoon.” Okay?”
I sat there while Dashiell looked at the papers.
“You know, Dashiell, it’s been a while, since you and I were alone, at the table, just passing the time together.”
“Nice, isn’t it?”
“As good as it gets,” I said.
He repeated, “As good as it gets.”
“It’s quite relaxing to just sit back and watch the rest of the world scurry about.”
He folded the last of the newspaper and looked over at me.
“Trouble is I want to draw it all. Maddening.”
“You can only do as much as you can do.”
“Brilliant,” he said. “You say such profound sounding stuff.”
While we were laughing, Ollie came in.
“Good Morning, Dashiell,” he said, pulling the self-closing door, behind him.
He turned and approached the table, holding up his music book
“My lesson is finished, Jean-Claude.”
“Okay. Let’s go hear it, Ollie.”
“Good luck, Ollie,” Dashiell said.
“It wasn’t hard, but it was a little tricky.”
Ollie led me to his piano room. I sat down. He opened his book, settled on the piano bench, placed his hands on the keyboard, took a deep breath, and played the lesson on the page.
“You hit all the right notes, Ollie, perfectly.”
I turned the page to the next lesson. We discussed the point of the lesson. I played the example. I turned the page and played the exercise, explaining the intricacies as I played. I pointed to the new notes and played them louder, so he could hear as well as see them.
“If you need help, let me know. Now do your work and your practice.”
I returned to the dining room. Dashiell wasn’t there. I called the music store.
“I need three good metronomes. 113-6 quai du port. And Book 2 of the Beginning Piano, by Adele Biteau, and Book 2 of My Piano Lessons for Beginners.”
“Yes. Someone will be here.”
I went to the lounge, where Louis was working on his exercise.
“How’s it going?”
“I can play it alright, but I think I should be playing it faster.”
“Let me hear it.”
He played the exercise.
“You can play it as fast as you like. The point is to play the sequences correctly. Look. Here, you are playing all fourths… and here, you play the thirds… and here, you play them mixed.”
I turned the page.
“The next lesson contains two new notes and adds fifths.”
“You’re doing fine. Perfect.”
I did the same for Louis as I did for Ollie. I went over the new stuff and promised help, if they wanted it.
“At ten o’clock, we’ll run a mile or so, before lunch.”
“Run?” He asked. “Run where?”
“I’ll show you. Meet me on the aft deck at ten.”
I went to Ollie’s piano room and told Ollie the same thing about running. He didn’t question where we were going to run. The subtle differences between the boys fascinated me.
At ten o’clock, I sat on the aft deck, waiting for the boys. They arrived together.
I announced, “We need to get into some clothes for exercising, shorts, shoes and sox, and a towel.”
We went upstairs, changed, and went to the exercise room.
“Where are we running?” Louis asked.
“How about a mile, today, for a start?”
“Fine. Where do we start and where do we run?”
“Come over here and step up here,” I pointed to the tread on the treadmill.
Put your hands here and wrap them around the bar.
Now, when you turn this knob, the belt moves. Faster this way. Slower this way. Leave go of the bar, and it stops. Got it?”
“Wow. This is cool.”
“You ready? Ollie?”
Instant happiness for Ollie. He loved it.
I started my machine. Jacob, by the door, said, “Maybe a little music, from the radio?”
“Perfect. Jacob. Thank you.”
“98.2,” Louis said, between breaths.
Jacob tuned the radio to 98.2.”
We ran our tails off.
At two miles, we quit, changed in to bathing suits, and went to the Jacuzzi, armed with sweaty bodies. Once in the water, we enjoyed the bubbles, water, and the passing parade of vessels.
“Once we get our cameras working, we will have to ask Dashiell to take a picture of us in the Jacuzzi. I want to send that picture to my Aunt Gizzie, in Versaille.
At noon, we went for quick shower and changed into casual clothes for the rest of the day.
We arrived together in the dining room for lunch. Dashiell had already mentioned to Monsieur Laurent about not having to drive this afternoon.
Lunch was very pleasant. Madame and Monsieur Tissot were asleep in the forward lounge. The chef assured me that they could have their lunch when they woke up, where they were or in the dining room, as they liked.
Life was sweet.
The metronomes and piano books arrived while we were lunching.
Jacob put the metronomes beside the piano in the lounge and the books on the desk in my stateroom.
Dashiell and Ollie left after lunch to do their shopping.
Monsieur Laurent went to try the Jacuzzi. Louis and I discussed finding the captain to ask about a suitable place for Louis to use for a darkroom.
Jacob and the captain arrived.
“You wanted to see me?”
“Yes. We were wondering if there is a place on board, where Louis could have a little photo darkroom?”
“Of course,” Captain Collard said, “Henri, the mechanic, we call him the ‘God of Gears’ already has a darkroom. Let’s ask him if you can use his darkroom. Okay?”
“Great,” Louis said.
Louis and Captain Collard left the dining room, talking about working in the darkroom.
I went to the library.
I browsed the shelves. I saw ‘Le Petit Prince’ on a lower shelf, Ollie’s shelf. When I was a kid, I wore the covers off my copy.
The shelf above it held books for Louis. There sat the eight books of ‘Le Morte d’Arthur.’ I remembered reading it at Lake Pennyworth Place to Aunt Odie. ‘What a beautiful and courageous story,’ came to mind. I must try to urge Louis to read it. He and I could talk about it. There was a book, titled, “Boats for Boys,” which I took off the shelf, walked to the window, and browsed through. What an odd book to have arrived on the boat’s library shelves. As I perused the shelves, I found a novel that looked interesting. I took it and headed to the fore deck, to read. Jacob followed me, always a little out of sight, but I was getting used to his always being there, in the shadows.
Into the second chapter, Dashiell and Ollie arrived, with blue paint and toothpastes.
Ollie was bursting with excitement, “A man with a monkey was on the street. He was playing a… “
Ollie stopped, looked up at Dashiell, and asked, “What was it?”
“Playing an accordion and he had a monkey, a real live monkey in a red suit and a red hat, dancing to the music. When the music was over, the monkey would take off its hat and beg for money. When it collected a few francs, it would drop them in the man’s pocket. Then the man would play another tune and the monkey would dance and beg again.”
“I can see you liked that,” I said.
He was so excited, he almost squealed.
“Do you think Louis would like to see the monkey?”
“Nah,” Ollie said, “He’s too old for that kind of stuff.”
“Yes.” Ollie said. “He sneezed at the circus, once, when we went and we had to go home.”
“The Louis and captain are working on finding a place for Louis to develop pictures.”
“That sounds scary,” Ollie said.
“I hope not,” Dashiell said.
“No light is scary,” Ollie asserted.
“If you say so,” Dashiell said and dropped it.
“Okay, Ollie. Go put your toothpaste away, now,” I said, “When you are done, come back. I have something to show you.”
Ollie left, carefully pulling the self-closing door behind him.
“Louis left with the captain to find Henri, the mechanic, who has a darkroom already on board. We may not see too much of Louis for a while.”
“What do you have for Ollie?” he asked.
I showed him “Le Petit Prince.”
“What’s that?” he asked.
“A famous French children’s book,” that every French boy has read a thousand times.
“I never read it,” he said.
“That’s because you weren’t French, when you were young enough to enjoy reading it. You were Episcopalian.”
We laughed. He grabbed his crotch and said, “I’ve got your Episcopalian, right here.”
“You get a little saucy, walking around town, today?” I asked, laughing.
“Not really,” he returned, still with a little grin, “Just a momentary urge.”
“Ollie will love it,” I said. “I’ll read it to him. When I am done, he will want to read it himself to relive all the fun in the book.
“Perhaps, I should read it to him, since I never read it,” Dashiell said.
“Here, fill in your French heritage.” I handed him the book.
“Read it to him in the library, where it’s quiet, and he lay on the couch and enjoy the stories.”
Dashiell sat down to wait for Ollie.
“He went nuts when he saw the monkey.”
“I could tell. I wish I was there to enjoy seeing him.”
“He wanted to bring you to see it.”
“Yes. That’s what he said.”
“You’re not just kidding me… saying that. Are you?”
“No. Really. No kidding. That’s exactly the first thing he said when he saw the monkey.”
“That kind of makes my day, you know…”
In came Ollie, pulling the self-closing door behind him.
“Say Ollie. I have something special for you. Come on.”
Dashiell and Ollie left, on their way to the library.
I read a few chapters and needed to stretch. I decided to walk around the yacht a few times. As I walked, I glanced in the library window and saw Dashiell, sitting on a couch, with Ollie spread out, his head on Dashiell’s lap, listening to Dashiell reading ‘Le Petit Prince.’ Warmth inside me…
I put my book in the stateroom in the drawer of the night table. As I turned to leave, it occurred to me that I never read in bed at night. I retrieved the book.
“Could you put this on the piano bench in the lounge?”
Jacob left with the book.
“I’m going to the aft deck, Jacob.”
No one was there. I returned to the stateroom. On the way, I ran into Jacob.
“I’m going to the Jacuzzi after I change.”
I immersed myself in the warm bubbly waters.
That did feel good.
Jacob arrived with a half wine, half water on ice.
“Thank you, Jacob,” I said, “You knew I wanted this, before I knew it.”
“Doing my job. Sir.”
He backed to the wall to watch over me.
Louis arrived in a bathing suit and slid into the bubbly waters.
“So Louis, tell me about your dark room adventure.”
“The captain took me down, below the first deck. He rang the bell, when we went down the stairs.”
“It’s like a doorbell. The captain said to ring it so everyone down there knows there’s someone there.”
“Okay. Go on.”
“We went to a room where Henri, the mechanic, was making a part for the ship. As soon as Henri saw the captain, he was angry. The captain said, ‘He’s not angry at you, Louis. He’s angry because he lost playing cards last night.’
‘I beat you good, tonight.’
The captain said, ‘In your dreams, Henri.’
The captain said, ‘This is Lewis.’
Henri shook my hand.
‘Nice to meet you.’
The captain continued, ‘Lewis is a budding photography buff. He received a photo-developing outfit. He is wondering if there is any room on the yacht for him to learn how to develop film and pictures and all that stuff. What do you think, Henri? Is that possible?’
Henri said, ‘I don’t know, captain. All the rooms that I know of on the yacht have lights and I was told you need a very dark room to develop photographic stuff.’
The captain said, ‘That’s what I heard, too.’
Henri looked at me intensely and asked, ‘You really want to learn photography?’
I said, ‘Yes. It looks like a lot of fun and educational, too. If it’s too much trouble…’
Henri interrupted, ‘Whoa. Let me show you this room we have down the hallway. It’s dark. You go inside and tell me if it’s dark enough. Okay?’
’Okay,’ I said.’
We walked along the hall to the room marked with a no-entry sign.’
He opened the door. It was so dark. I couldn’t see anything. The three of us walked in. The captain went first and he held my hand and pulled me into the darkness. Henri closed the door behind us. I stood there for a few seconds, scared to death, thinking the pirates have me now in the bottom of a ship… and suddenly I saw the room was not all black. There was a faint red light in the room. I started to recognize things in the room. There was the captain and Henri. There were tables and other things in the room, cabinets, and sinks.
’Where am I?’ I asked.
The captain said, ‘This is Henri’s darkroom.’
’Welcome to photography, Louis,’ Henri said. ‘Close your eyes, Louis.’
I closed my eyes. The ceiling light went on.
‘Ooo,’ I said, ‘It is so bright.’
Henri said, ‘It won’t be in a second. Your eyes will acclimate to light. When you walked in the room, it seemed dark, until you eyes adjusted to the low light level. Then you saw it was a room with a dim red light. I turned the regular light on and your eyes adjust to the new higher light level.’
‘Wow’ I said, ‘I didn’t know that my eyes adjust to different light.’
Henri said, ‘You are welcome to use my darkroom anytime you want to, but you have to help clean up your mess. A deal?’
I shook his hand.
‘I have things to do, the captain said. ‘You guys have a good time.’
Henri sat down in a chair at the desk by the door, removed a flashlight from the desk, and told me to watch the color part of his eye. He turned on the flashlight and as I watched, he turned the light to his eye. His round color part of his eye changed until the black part was very tiny. He took the light away and it got bigger again.
Henri said, ‘On a camera, that’s called the f-stop.
‘Like an organ stop?’ I asked.
He said, ‘No. That’s a different kind of stop.’
’You can watch your eyes adjust, too. Just put your hand in front of your eyes, leave it there for a few seconds until your eyes open up, and then pull your hand away. When you pull your hand away, the world will look very bright, your eyes will adjust, and then the world will return to its normal brightness. Go ahead and do it.’
‘Wow,’ I said, ‘That’s amazing.’
‘The world is amazing, if you look at it the right way,’ he said.
‘The next time you look in a mirror,’ he said, ‘cover one eye for a few seconds, then take you hand away. You can watch your eye move and make the adjustment.’”
‘I have to finish what I was doing,’ he said. ‘How about you and I develop a roll of film tomorrow. It will be the first roll of film you develop, so you will have to take pictures, today. Take all the exposures on a roll and then tomorrow, bring the camera down to me, in the engine room at well…’ he paused, ‘nine o’clock. How’s that?’
‘Terrific,’ I said.
‘Go bring me your camera, so I can see what you’re working with.’
I took my camera to him. He said it was a good beginner’s camera.
I put my camera in my room in the closet."
“Did you take any pictures?” I asked.
“No. I didn’t know what to take a picture of.”
We sat there for a while, not saying anything. The bubbles were so relaxing. He moved over to sit next to me. I put my arm around him on the edge of the Jacuzzi.
“How’s it going otherwise?”
He knew what I meant.
“Pretty good, most of the time. Sometimes I get so mad that he didn’t take us.”
“You know they’re having a war in Spain. He wanted you and Ollie safe, while he tried to find your mama and sister. You’re both safe here.”
“That’s what I tell myself. Ollie never mentions it, and I never remind him. I don’t know what he thinks… what he feels.”
“He feels loss, but as time passes, the present ever-changing events will move his loss further into his memory.”
“I think that’s how I feel, too.”
“That’s how it works. I learned that in school.”