Shantih Journal 2.1 - Page 87

He said softly, to Mara and to the horse, “I know this place. It’s not the first time I’ve been here, right?” Mara put a hand on his shoulder. Denny, when he was teething, would suck on his father’s shirt sleeve, till it was gooey and drenched, and Adam let him do it for hours, even though he shouldn’t have, even though Hannah was worried about germs, because he liked feeling his son’s small body rest on his own, so full of life, and it was as if that little act had enabled Adam to yield to Denny some of his strength. And when would that strength be his own again? When would he get it back? Whoa, Dad. Polar bears on the cereal box, in his dreams. Check this out. How old would Denny be now? A man, not a boy. He pulled his hand from the horse, wiped its wet on his pants. He needed air, the barn was too black dark, he needed the white bright white light to breathe. He walked to the field in front of where the cows stood, rested a foot against the fence, and inhaled deep. He felt the girl at his back. The sky was so clear. He said, “This is a really good place.” She came up next to him, rested her foot against the fence too. “Thanks,” she said. “It took plenty of work. But it is a good place, huh.” Adam turned to her. Her face seemed so young. “I have a son,” he said and let out a little laugh. She laughed, too. “Tell me about him.” “Well,” he said. He ran a hand through his hair, flecked with gray now. He thought a moment. “He looks like his mother, mostly. They’re both tall and thin. And the way he walks, it’s funny, because he’ll take these small steps, even though his legs are so long he doesn’t need that many, but it’s like he’s trying to pace himself. He’s making sure other people can keep up with him. He can be like that. Kind.” He took a shaky breath. “We fight over stupid stuff, stuff normal teenagers 87