“Hey, Bear. What’s up?”
I move across my son’s bedroom toward his slumped little 10-year-old self behind the end of his bed. A sad scene, indeed.
There he sits, head in his hands. “I ruined it,” pathetic, self-recrimination pours in an unintelligible mumble from his face.
“What? What did you ruin?” I try to stay curious. Neutral. Interested, but not intrusive.
More mumbles. “I lied and now she’s mad.”
Oh boy. Here we go.
I tip-toe. “What do you mean? What did you lie about? Is it Zora?”
He’s been hanging out with an “older” girl, a 5th grader, for quite a while now. Word on the street is that they’re, ya know, “boyfriend-girlfriend.”
Head still in his hands, he confesses that it is, indeed, Zora and now she won’t talk to him. Because he lied.
About being a werewolf.
Um. Ok? I got this.
At this point, I have what I have come to call a “Cohen Brothers Moment.” You know in the Cohen Brothers movies when suddenly the scene becomes totally insane and you’re like, “What the wha?... is that really happening?” and then it’s not actually happening and something else happens? It was like that.
In my Cohen Brothers Moment, I channeled Arnold Drummond. “Whatchootalkinboutwillis? She’s 11! Did she really believe you are a werewolf?! That’s crazytown.”
Zora being the girl of his dreams and all, I didn’t want to impugn her intelligence.
So, instead, I put on my concerned, listening face and asked, “That sucks. Did you apologize?”
Defeated. Indignant. The reply comes quickly. Hands fly up in the air. “Ptchah! Yeah! ...but she’s still mad!” Audible sigh. Life as we had known it just moments ago is over.
My phone (on which said lie was revealed via Whatsapp) lights up next to us. It appears Zora has recovered. Thankfully, “This love can’t be broken by a single lie.”
I want to smash my phone. Lock his door and never let him or his heart out of the house again.
I hand him the phone. “Looks like she might be interested in forgiving you, love.”
It’s hard to hold a phone when you’re still putting on your hairshirt, but he managed. Grumbling, “Well…I guess I’m glad, but…” complete physical deflation ensues, “I shouldn’t have lied.”
I kiss his head as his thumbs set to work repairing the damage and I sidle out of his room.
Trying to stifle my laughter and sense of complete tickledness, I relate the tale to my partner through guffaws. As I talk, she grins through pursed lips. Gently crosses her arms.
The story ends. She cocks her head. Smirks. “Shouldn’t lie to girls.”
“Babe! She’s mad because he lied to her?! Do you think she really thought he was a werewolf?!” I’m dumbfounded. The possibility had not occurred to me. At all.
“That’s not the point.”
Clearly, I’m an idiot. Teach me about girls, baby.
“He lied! He had to have known that she was totally into this story that her boyfriend is a werewolf. What did he think was gonna happen?” She’s laying it down.
I fall onto the couch next to her. I can’t. I. Just. I have no idea what’s happening. I replay my handling of the situation in my mind. Despite what can only be described as totally missing the point, I think I… did ok? I put my arm around her, smile sheepishly and lean in for a kiss with a “but it’s crazy if she actually thought he was a werewolf, right?” look on my face.
She pecks my cheek. “Don’t lie to girls.”