Shantih Journal 3.1 - Page 112

taken to a hospital, Gil went out looking for Andrew. It didn’t take long to find him: the boy sat in some low grass at the beach, knees up, arms around them, looking out at the ocean. His green shirt billowed. Gil walked up and stood beside him, but Andrew didn’t move. Why was the boy so angry and confused? Gil’s own anger at his grandson had dissolved, but now he was frightened, dismayed, and fairly confused himself. He knew it would be a lie (and maybe beside the point) to reassure the kid that the house wasn’t going to be lost, but he also knew that telling him his grandfather would still be around wouldn’t help either, and would also be a sort of lie. What, then, could he say? The boy was on the verge of so much, and he seemed so alone. Gil recalled his strange hallucination earlier that day: what he’d seen as a soldier running swiftly through some fight was in fact only this peculiar boy, his back now to his home and community, maybe daydreaming of someplace else. What would become of him? Gil reached down, put his hand on the side of Andrew’s head, pulled him closer. He relaxed the pressure on his leg, lessening the pain in his side. Still Andrew said nothing. 112 “You don’t aim to hurt,” Gil said. It was all he could think to say. ​ ndrew settled his head a little closer against his grandfather’s leg. It felt solid A and strong. ​ hey remained there, not moving much, for a long while, looking out at the empty T beach, and the calm bay opening to the sea.