The truth is, I haven't written for some time because it has been very difficult to do so. To try and find the words -- to try and find some way of conveying how I feel... it has never been easy for me. And Elizabeth has had so many things she has had to deal with, and now with Mrs. Patterson having gone on walkabout once more and Doctor Patterson trying to cope with it while dealing with so many other things, and the tragedy that befell Mike and Dee and may not be stopping....
...well, why would anyone care about my family dramas in comparison to all of that?
Still, I should document some of them, to give some perspective.
As you may recall, my father had managed to burn many bridges -- among his family, as with our Christmastime row, among his neighbors by being largely manipulated into opposing investigations into the negligent contamination of the Milborough area, and among his clients both by refusing to modernize his operations and by... well, opposing investigations into the negligent contamination of the Milborough area. Part of this came from my former father-in-law's urging -- followed by M. Arsenault repudiating him in the loudest way possible -- all to build up scandal and drive down property values.
It has been several weeks, and things have been very bad on that front. There have been several lost clients at Caine Accounting, and Father has had several public arguments. Clarice keeps me informed. She came out here with Abbey when Liz went to be with Dee and Mike. That was nice, at least. A chance for Clarice and Abbey to see my city.
My city has been overrun of late, of course. It is the Olympics, and it is hard not to be excited about it. Some of my small investments paid off very big during these games, so I can hardly complain about them. Liz and Françoise have absolutely loved every minute, so they have been on the television most of the time. I'll admit, it is more exciting when they're happening outside your window, and I can see a certain elegance to these... well, rarer sports. Skeleton is more exciting than I would have thought, and I felt my entire body moving in the chair when I watched X-Cross. And Ice Dancing....
...I wonder, had I been encouraged to try skating in anything other than Hockey as a child, and had I met Thérèse at a younger age, could we have been Olympic athletes?
Well, probably not. Still, I will have to keep an eye on that.
Anyway. On top of all of this there has been Liz. Liz and I have tried to do better -- to mend the broken glass. And our sessions have been productive. As Thérèse goes more off the rails over her father, I think Liz and I have gotten closer together. And then, after a rather emotional conversation with Dee and a more terse one with Mike....
Well, we have been staying in separate rooms for months now. Building slowly. But two nights ago, I was lying in bed -- this was the day she'd spoken to Mike, for context -- when I heard my door open. I had started to turn the light on, thinking it was Francie. My door is always open for Francie. Only I saw her in silhouette. Elizabeth. My wife.
She slid softly into the bed next to me. I shifted to make room. "Is... can I stay here a while?" she asked. I said yes.
After a few moments of lying there, I put an arm around her. She slid closer.
After a few more moments, she began to cry. And I held her, and she cried and I cried and we cried together for a long time. I don't even know when we fell asleep.
Last night, we prepared for bed. I turned out my light. And then she came back in. Like a ritual. Not going to bed with me. Not yet. But joining me.
Just before I started writing this letter, I called her at home. And I invited her....
...well, on a date. A chance to go out to dinner. We would get a sitter for the children, I said. And we could go out for food, and dancing.
"I don't know how to dance," she said, but she didn't sound upset. "Not really."
"Oh," I said. "Well, would you like to learn?"
There was a long pause. I realized she was crying again, and I was worried I had messed up. Again. I felt a touch of that broken glass in my heart....
"Yes," she said, choked up. "I'd like that very much."
So it is a date.
We will see.