Ford and Jacob from HEART TROUBLE
It was a little white house on a quiet residential street.
Nothing to strike fear into a man’s heart.
Christmas lights were strung along the roof and through the neatly pruned trees, a large wreath with red ribbons and pine cones hung on the front door, solar candy cane lights lined the cement walk.
Bad things did not happen in houses that looked like that. I knew because I had grown up in a house like that. In fact, I should be walking into a house like that right now. My parent’s house in Cotati where my sisters and aunts and uncles and cousins and grandparents would all be sitting down to Christmas dinner any minute.
But instead I was sitting in my car outside a strange house. A house that belonged to the parents of my…boyfriend.
The boyfriend my parents and all the rest of my family didn’t know about because I hadn’t told them. And because I hadn’t told them, instead of going to home to spend Christmas with my own family, I was spending it with Jacob’s.
No. That wasn’t fair. I was having Christmas dinner with Jacob’s family because I wanted to spend Christmas with Jacob. And because it would be hard to do that at the home of my parents until I came out. So…Jacob’s family.
“We’d trade off anyway, right?” Jacob had been his usual kind, supportive self, finding excuses for me when he should have told me to grow a pair. “Next year we’ll go to your parents.”
A red VW pulled up and parked in front of the Hoyle house, and Rob, Jacob’s brother, got out and went around to open the passenger door for a dark-haired girl in a white rabbit fur coat. That would be Karin, Rob’s new girlfriend. Her family was back east, so this was her first Christmas with the Hoyles too.
I watched Rob and Karin walk up the candy cane lined walk. Karin was carrying a bottle of Blue Nun. I glanced at the bottle of Blue Nun on the seat beside me. They knocked on the front door, the door opened, and Jacob greeted them with a big, warm smile.
Just that little glimpse of him made my heart do a happy, little handspring.
It was worth it. Worth anything because if I didn’t love Jacob, I was closer to it than I'd ever been in my life.
I watched him lean out the doorway and glance up and down the street before ducking back and closing the door.
I wondered why I was sitting in my car working myself into an anxiety attack when I could be saying hello to Jacob right now.
I could be kissing Jacob hello.
I got out of my car.