Sink: The Lost World

Sink: The Lost World by Perrin Briar Read Free Book Online Page B

Book: Sink: The Lost World by Perrin Briar Read Free Book Online
Authors: Perrin Briar
a smile in his voice.
    “Did you?” Zoe said.
    “I did,” Bryan said.
    “How’d it go?” Zoe said.
    “Well, the house is still standing, and I don’t have a knife in my ribs,” Bryan said.
    “That well, huh?” Zoe said.
    “It actually went better than I could have hoped,” Bryan said. “She said she’s glad I’m seeing someone new.”
    “That’s very mature of her,” Zoe said.
    “How did Aaron take it?” Bryan said.
    “Not well,” Zoe said. “I think he’s hurt, like I’ve forgotten his father or something.”
    “What are you going to do?” Bryan said.
    “I’ll talk to him about it,” Zoe said. “He’ll come around.”
    “And if he doesn’t?” Bryan said.
    “He will,” Zoe said.
    “I said we might have dinner together tomorrow night,” Bryan said. “What do you think?”
    “Good idea,” Zoe said. “The sooner we can all meet, the better. But first I have to make sure he doesn’t disown me.”
    “Keep me informed,” Bryan said.

    How could his mother betray his father like this? He had only been gone for seven years! And she was already shopping for someone else! As if his father had never existed!
    Aaron paced up and down the narrow space between his bed and wardrobe in his bedroom. He kicked a pile of dirty clothes on the floor.
    There was a knock on the door.
    “Aaron?” his mother’s voice said.
    Aaron said nothing.
    “Aaron,” Zoe said. “Can I come in?”
    “Go away!” Aaron said.
    “We need to talk,” Zoe said.
    “I don’t have anything to say!” Aaron said.
    “Then just listen,” Zoe said.
    “No!” Aaron said.
    “Aaron…” Zoe said, her voice sad. “Please, let me come in.”
    “There’s no lock on the door,” Aaron said. “It’s your house. You can do whatever you want.”
    “I won’t come in without your permission,” Zoe said. “I’ll just sit out here. I’ll talk, and any time you want me to come in just let me know, okay? I understand how you must be feeling. Really, I do. But you have to understand how I feel too. This hasn’t been easy for me. I would never have mentioned this if it wasn’t serious. Your father’s been gone seven years. You didn’t think we were going to carry on living like this forever, did you?
    “Seven years is a long time to be on your own. I was lonely. I still am. Bryan doesn’t want to replace your father – he knows he could never do that. But he would like to be your friend. I need you to do this for me. I need you to try.”
    Tears spilled down Aaron’s cheeks. He wiped them away with his sleeve. He heard his mother get to her feet and begin to walk away. Before he knew what he was doing, he reached over and pushed the door open.
    “Aaron?” Zoe said, peeking in through the gap. “Aaron, can I come in? Aaron?”
    “Yes,” Aaron said, his voice small and scared.
    Zoe pushed the door open. Aaron sat on the edge of his bed. He couldn’t bring himself to look at his mother.
    “I never saw you cry,” Aaron said. “When Dad…”
    “Have you ever seen the wind blow?” Zoe said.
    “No,” Aaron said.
    “That doesn’t mean it’s not there,” Zoe said. “I cried more times for your father than I can count. But I had to be strong – for you. I want to stop crying. I want both of us to move on.”
    She wrapped her arms around Aaron.
    “Oh, Aaron,” she said. “I’m sorry. I didn’t want to hurt you. I didn’t think you would be this upset. Just meet him, that’s all I ask. If you don’t like him, we’ll talk about it and try to figure something else out. Okay? There’s no pressure on you at all. All right?”
    Aaron wiped his nose and nodded.
    “Good boy,” Zoe said. “I love you. You know that, right? Nothing means more to me than you. You’re everything to me.”
    She hugged him again, and this time he responded, wrapping his own arms around his mother. They stayed like that for ten minutes before they broke apart, having dampened one another’s clothes.

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