Yoharie (part five)
Giarma Meets Trevor
“I think,” she said, “you’re sort of friends with Dawn.”
“Dawn need something?”
“Um.” She looked past his shoulder.
“Oh, yeah. Wanna come in?”
I sure don’t, buddy. She followed him. “Do you know I have a brother?”
“Yeah. I like your brother. Cool kid.”
His living room looked like the house had been staged by a realtor, and he’d bargained for the furnishings. One wall—the one with no fireplace, no shelves, and no opening to the stairs—was covered in artwork, push-pinned to the drywall, drawings, most of them, some tacked over others. They were done in umbers and a persistent purple, brownish-eggplant, a repetition of melancholy-eyed, thin-featured figures, robed and booted. Medieval fashion, as interpreted through comic books.
It seemed to her manifestly not, but she said, “Did you make all that?”
“Nah. People send them to me.”
The purple caught her eye again. A stack of books on his coffee table, the paperback on top yellowed and dog-eared, the hue progressing from book to book, newer and brighter. Oh, yes. That was the thing about Trevor.
“So,” he said, “has Val ever read Totem?”
Something felt offensive. Possibly the insider-y dropping of half the title. “That’s a weird question.”
“I’ve never read The Totem-Maker, maybe you’d like to know.”
“Well…so…you have a brother. Sit down.”
She crossed her arms, standing.
“Don’t sit down.”
“Oh, this is getting retarded.”
She pulled a crocheted throw off the recliner, and sat. “Dawn would like you to be Val’s friend. And she wanted me to come over and say so.”
He sat too, on the sofa. “Aren’t we friends? Me and your fam?”
“It’s like everyone thinks we ought to be.”
“Welcome to the war zone.”
A laugh, but after came silence, an awkward one. And her job to find a topic, because she was the…visitor, not intruder. “I don’t mean retarded. I shouldn’t say it.”
“Because, you think I’d take personal offense?”
(2019, Stephanie Foster)