Chapter 24

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After receiving hugs off everyone at my grandparents’ house, my dad and I hit the road to go back home. We had got along a whole lot better that night, and when I wasn’t sure if it was because we were at my grandparents’ house, I was pleased with the way things were turning out.

But I couldn’t help feeling confused at everything. Getting mixed signals from everyone in my life had completely messed me up – I didn’t know who I should turn to, who to argue with and who to avoid all together.

“Dad…” I trailed nervously, too much aware of the fact that I was using the title ‘dad’ when addressing Matt. I still felt uncomfortable using it.

He must’ve picked up on it all too, because he smiled rather vibrantly before turning to me, showing his teeth slightly and widening his eyes.

“Yes, Charlotte?” he chuckled.

“Did you plan on telling grandma about our arguments, fights and so forth?” I asked him, treading carefully with my words and phrasing. I didn’t want to make him overly mad again. I didn’t want another argument.

The counselling session had made me feel a whole lot better about the situation and I didn’t want to have to go back – so I was going to make it all work.

“Uh…no. Why? You didn’t let anything slip did you?” he questioned, worriedly. “If she found out she would never be off my back. I don’t think I could stand it.”

“Well…I didn’t” I told him guiltily. I was trying to hint that perhaps someone else had, without letting it slip out that it was most likely my mother. I didn’t know for sure, but she seemed the likely possibility.

“Well, what do you mean then?” he asked, clearly not picking up on what it was that I was trying to imply.

“Grandma knew, dad. About the argument. She asked me about it. You didn’t mention anything?” I edged, knowing that he wouldn’t ever have done so. He was too proud to let his family find that out. I felt bad for being the bearer of bad news.

Maybe my grandfather, as I had remembered reading once that he was really close to his dad. But not my grandmother. Never.

“Well, I didn’t” he pondered, keeping his eyes loosely on the road. “And you couldn’t have.”

“Nope.”

“Well, he muttered, pouting slightly. It doesn’t matter now” he said quickly, brushing it all aside. “I just can’t wait to get home. I’m exhausted.”

“Me too” I smiled.

We sat in silence for a few minutes, and he ended up turning on the radio. System Of A Down came on and I had to completely bite my tongue so that I wouldn’t sing along – Matt was – and for some inexplicable reason, I still didn’t want him knowing that we had so much in common.

I guess, when I thought of that, we weren’t really making that much progress.

“I guess it’s been a long day for you. Especially emotionally anyway” he causally started. “I mean, I feel drained by it…so I can only imagine how you must have.”

“I’m okay” I yawned, ironically. “Not tired at all.”

He chuckled. “I won’t bother you, anyway, if you wanted to go to your room.”

“Thanks, dad” I smiled. At least he was being considerate.

I was beginning to see that when he was nice, he was nice. But when something angered him, or riled him up, another side to him shone clearly through.

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