we were sitting around talking about ourselves and our lives.
After two glasses of wine and much discussion about honesty in relationships
and my claiming to have been voted, "most likely to be an open book" in high school,
she admitted to me that she had three secrets; things that she never talked about with anyone.
After an hour of shameless prying on my part, and another glass of wine, Jillian told me her first secret.
When she was in grade school, she and some friends teased another little girl
and that girl ran off the playground crying. She got hit by a car.
By the mercy of heaven, she wasn't killed.
She suffered a fractured shoulder and a bad bump on the head.
The parents moved the girl to another school.
Jillian couldn't bring herself to ever talk to those friends again,
and life went on after a severe reprimand and near expulsion.
Sometimes at night, she cried about it still.
I was no longer prying and we both decided that another half a glass of wine was more than enough.
In for a penny, in for a pound, she sighed.
She told me about her grandmother--
a bitter, cantankerous character that nobody wanted to deal with.
When the final days were coming, it looked like the lonely, old woman--
who had little money and no extra insurance—would lose her house.
I knew Jillian didn't have much family.
Her own mom and dad had died in a car accident by then
and the few relatives around weren't going to step up. They just didn't care.
Jillian took the money she had saved from her parent's insurance
and put it up for her grandmother to keep her house and have private nurses.
She never told any of the family and made her grandmother promise not to either.
And anyway, no one ever asked.
I sat silently for a minute. In for a penny, in for a pound, I thought.
Ok, what's the third secret, I asked her.
She flashed a funny, little smile and said she couldn't tell me. She got up to get us a snack.
I instantly went back to shameless prying and followed her into the kitchen.
C'mon, c'mon, c'mon, c'mon, I teased.
She was standing at the counter, her back to me. I could see her take a deep breath.
She turned and looked at me—a sweet, sad expression on her face.
I love you, she said.
That night, I made sure she knew that the way I felt about her was no secret.
Written Content G.A.M. cc