the westminster news
Published by the students of Westminster School
By Lara Connor ’22
“She’ll make it.”
Nic wasn’t sure why his search for relief led to no avail. Perhaps it was dehydration, that hours of brewing terror may take longer than mere seconds to unquench, or the waiting room’s jealous eyes that befell his broken posture. Nic wasn’t proud when he reached his hand out for Annabella’s — only to feel the engagement ring that wasn’t his Grandmothers — and instinctively pull away. Annabella wished that he’d get over himself for Kate, who needed more than just to make it.
“You can see her if you like, but prepare yourself.”
Nic thought about the red hair he’d spent hours braiding before elementary back in Santa Fe, how it now lay in crude heaps on a cutting room floor. He wondered if Kate had trimmed it yet as she mentioned wanting to last they’d caught up in the city for dinner and a show. There, certain spotlights had dazzled through the audience and he’d seen that her sun freckles had faded since moving to the city. Annabella wondered if they’d had to slit and suture near the rib moon tattoo which matched the set of stars on her own shoulder, and whether Kate would even get another. When they got the matching ink did she stop trying as a mother because how much closer can you get to a daughter a whole coast away?
“The partner your daughter was with, on the motorcycle, unfortunately, did not survive.
We’re waiting to tell her, or you can.”
Why does that matter? Nic adjudicated in silence, in blissful adult ambivalence about love and danger’s symbiosis in the heart of a twenty year old. Why grieve over a body who nearly took you from me? Annabella grasped a memory of 80’s San Jose byways where she and Nic spent weekends out of school, a picnic basket and blanket tied crudely to the back of his crimson Suzuki. Then she remembered a night several Aprils ago, washing plates in their old Santa Fe kitchen, admitting to Nic that “The last thing I lied to Kate about was Santa Claus, but I can never let her get on the back of a motorcycle. Said I never have, so just don’t ever mention that semester you bought Rocket.” He’d agreed.
“The driver who hit them was inebriated.”
Nic nearly instinctively raised a hand to check his breath. He caught himself. Annabella already knew. He and the bottle went back farther than just several Aprils ago, affairs ago, dotted lines and lawyers ago, longer than a phone call seven hours ago.
“It’s important you support her through the coming months of recovery.”
The Stanford architects returned to their drawing boards, recalling just how far apart two beams could provide proper bearings without ever having to meet.