It Was That Simple

September 7, 2013 by Donald E  
Published in Hair

Something about the way they shared a space said that being together
had already become natural. And if it was that simple, why had it been
so complicated?
“So are you glad he came?” I asked her as I peeled a cucumber.
“What do you think, silly,” Augusta said. She sounded gentle
for once.
“I like seeing you like this.”
She smiled to herself. “What made you call George, anyway?”
“I just needed someone to talk to. I had his mom’s phone.

something about the way they shared a space said that being together
had already become natural. And if it was that simple, why had it been
so complicated?
“So are you glad he came?” I asked her as I peeled a cucumber.
“What do you think, silly,” Augusta said. She sounded gentle
for once.
“I like seeing you like this.”
She smiled to herself. “What made you call George, anyway?”
“I just needed someone to talk to. I had his mom’s phone
number in one of his old letters. She’s completely nuts, it turns out. But
she gave me his number.”
“Are you thinking of, uh . . . ” She gave me a sly look of
unmistakable meaning and I could feel my face getting a little hot.
“No.”
“No?” She sounded unconvinced.
“No.”
“Ah,” she said. “I might have guessed. Now where do you
suppose Allan has gotten to? Do you think he managed to get lost in
Fairview Heights?”
The doorbell rang, I put down my knife and all at once I felt
nervous. I hope this wasn’t a stupid idea, I said to myself inwardly as I
hurried through the front hall, trying to make out what I could from
the silhouette of George in the frosted glass of the front door. Of course
I couldn’t tell anything from that. I opened it and there was a person I
recognized – that was a relief – but just barely at first. It took a moment
for the image to come into focus with my memories. “Hello,” he said
after a moment; he looked amused. I could feel him inspecting me, too.
“George, what happened to your hair?” It was all gone; he had
a crew cut.
He laughed. “I got it done like this special to see you.”
I couldn’t get over it. He had had floppy straight hair that got in
his eyes, the last time I saw him.
“You’ve changed a little yourself,” he said. I should hope so, I
thought, I was fifteen. “Do you think I could come in?”
“Sorry. Did you have trouble finding the house?”
“No, it sort of came back. Does anything ever change in this
town?”
“You have gotten taller,” I said. He had been exactly my height
but that was no longer true. His face had changed a little, too; it was
longer, his nose was more prominent. At the mention of getting taller

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