فصل 33کتاب: جایی که عاشق بودیم / فصل 33
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متن انگلیسی فصل
The morning after
I wake up before him, and the blanket is cocooned over us like a tent. I lie there for a while, enjoying the feel of his arm around me and the sound of his breathing. He’s so still and quiet, I barely recognize him. I watch the way his eyelids twitch as he dreams, and I wonder if he’s dreaming of me.
Like he can feel me watching, he opens his eyes.
“You’re real,” he says.
“Not a Jovian-Plutonian gravitational effect.”
“In that case”—he grins wickedly—“I hear that Pluto and Jupiter and the earth are about to align. I wonder if you want to join me in a floating experiment.” He pulls me in closer and the blanket shifts. I blink into the brightness and the cold.
As it hits me.
As in the sun is coming up.
As in the sun went down at some point, and I never went home or called my parents to let them know where I was. As in we are still on top of the Purina Tower, where we have spent the night.
“It’s morning,” I say, and I feel like I’m going to be sick.
Finch sits up, his face gone blank. “Shit.”
It feels like years before we are down the twenty-five thousand steps and back on the ground. I phone my parents as Finch tears out of the parking lot. “Mom? It’s me.” At the other end of the line she bursts into tears, and then my dad is on, saying, “Are you okay? Are you safe?”
“Yes, yes. I’m sorry. I’m coming. I’m almost there.”
Finch breaks speed records to get me home, but he doesn’t say a word to me, maybe because he’s concentrating so hard on the driving. I don’t say anything either until we turn the corner onto my street. It hits me all over again, this thing I’ve done. “Oh my God,” I say into my hands. Finch jerks to a stop and we are out of the car and rushing up the walk. The door to the house is standing open, and I can hear voices inside, rising and falling.
“You should go,” I tell him. “Let me talk to them.”
But at that moment my dad appears, and he looks like he’s aged twenty years overnight. His eyes run over my face, making sure I’m okay. He pulls me in and hugs me tight, almost strangling the breath out of me. Then he is saying over my head, “Go inside, Violet. Tell Finch good-bye.” It sounds final, the way he says it, like Tell Finch good-bye because you will never see him again.
Behind me, I hear Finch: “We lost track of time. It’s not Violet’s fault, it’s mine. Please don’t blame her.”
My mom is there now, and I say to my dad, “It’s not his fault.”
But my dad isn’t listening. He’s still looking over my head at Finch. “I’d get out of here if I were you, son.” When Finch doesn’t move, my father pushes forward a little, and I have to block him.
“James!” My mom tugs at my dad’s arm so he can’t go through me and after Finch, and then we are pushing my dad into the house, and now my mom is the one practically strangling me as she hugs me too tightly and cries into my hair. I can’t see anything because once again I’m being smothered, and eventually I hear Finch drive away.
Inside, after my parents and I have all (somewhat) calmed down, I sit facing them. My dad does most of the talking as my mom stares at the floor, her hands resting limply on her knees.
“The boy is troubled, Violet. The boy is unpredictable. He’s dealt with anger issues since he was little. This is not the kind of person you need to be spending time with.”
“How did you—” But then I remember the numbers Finch gave him, written so neatly, so carefully. “Did you call his mother?”
My mom says, “What were we supposed to do?”
My dad shakes his head. “He lied to us about his father. The parents divorced last year. Finch sees him once a week.”
I am trying to remember what Finch said about lies not being lies if they feel true. My mother says, “She called his father.”
“Mrs. Finch. She said he would know what to do, that maybe he would know where Finch was.”
My brain is trying to keep up with everything, to put out fires, to think of ways to tell my parents that Finch is not this lying, deceitful boy they seem to think he is. That that in itself is a lie. But then my dad says, “Why didn’t you tell us he was the one in the bell tower?”
“How did—Did his dad tell you that too?” Maybe I don’t have a right to, but my face is going hot and my palms are burning the way they do when I get angry.
“When you weren’t home by one a.m. and you didn’t answer your phone, we called Amanda to see if you were at her house, or if she’d seen you. She said you were probably with Finch, the boy whose life you saved.”
Mom’s face is wet, her eyes red. “Violet, we’re not trying to be the bad guys here. We’re just trying to do what’s best.”
Best for who, I want to say.
“You don’t trust me.”
“You know better than that.” She looks hurt and also angry. “We think we’ve been pretty damn cool, all things considered. But you need to take a minute to understand where we’re coming from. We’re not being overprotective and we’re not trying to suffocate you. We’re trying to make sure you’re okay.”
“And that nothing happens to me like it did to Eleanor. Why don’t you just keep me locked up in the house forever so you never have to worry again?”
Mom shakes her head at me. My father repeats, “No more seeing him. No more of this driving around. I’ll speak to your teacher on Monday if I need to. You can write a report or do something else to make up for the work. Are we understood?”
“Extenuating circumstances.” Here I am again.
“Yes. We’re understood.”
From my bedroom window I watch the street outside, as if Finch might reappear. If he does, I will climb out of my window and tell him to drive, just drive, as fast and far as he can. I sit there a long time and he doesn’t come. My parents’ voices rumble from the first floor, and I know that they will never trust me again.
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