Monday, August 1, 2011

Chapter 19: Reconciliation

David walked with Tristan back to the employee’s lounge. “Are you sure your mom isn’t going to worry about you?” Tristan asked.

“Nah,” David said with a shrug. “Like I said, she can shop for hours. And I kind of have this habit of wandering off… She’s learned not to worry about me.” David finished. Tristan laughed a little. He was starting to like this kid.

The two of them came to the door of the employee’s only lounge and Tristan frowned. He glanced down at David, and David glanced up at him. Tristan quickly looked around to see if anyone was watching before he opened the door and pushed David into the room. David stumbled forward as Tristan rushed in after him. Tristan closed the door as softly and quickly as he could.

“Um, you realize this is the employee’s only lounge, right?” Tristan spun around as he heard Nora speak. She was pointing down at David with a puzzled expression on her face. Tristan hurried over to David and stood behind the boy, placing his hands on David’s shoulders.

“Nora, this is my new friend David. He’s, um…lost.” Tristan said. David nodded convincingly. Nora gave the two of them a skeptical look. “I saw him sitting on a bench…crying. Yeah, he was crying.” Tristan said, making his story up as he went along. David looked up at Tristan, looking offended and confused. Tristan squeezed his shoulders and gave him a look, silently telling him to go with it. David quickly got the hint and turned around to face Nora. He began to sniffle and wipe at his eyes. Nora sighed and folded her arms over her chest, giving Tristan an exasperated look. “So, I asked him what was wrong and he said he had gotten separated from his mom, and I decided to bring him here to…ask you what was the best thing to do…I guess…” Tristan mumbled the last part more to himself. David let out a little sob and Nora rolled her eyes.

“Okay, what’s really going on?” she asked, giving Tristan a light glare.

“What do you mean? That was a true story…” Tristan replied slowly, not looking Nora in the eyes. Nora sighed heavily.

“Okay, fine, if that’s what you want to tell me then that’s what I’ll believe. For now.” Nora said, throwing her hands up in the air. Tristan smiled. “However, we have more tours today, so we’re going to have to contact the front desk about a lost boy--”

“No!” David suddenly exclaimed. Nora shot him a confused expression. “I mean… I wanna go on a tour…” he said softly. He remembered to sniffle a little as he looked up at Nora with pleading eyes. Nora stared at him for a moment before she moaned in defeat.

“Fine! He can come!” Nora said, sounding exasperated. She stomped past the two boys and went out the door, slamming it behind her. David pulled his fist down towards his hip and whispered the word “yes.” Tristan smiled and raised his hand up for a hi-five. David jumped up to reach Tristan’s hand and slapped his hand hard. The two boys turned and walked out of the room together, trying to be sneaky as they ran after Nora.

Nora led the two boys to the front of the zoo where a crowd was already gathering for the tour. They waited for about ten minutes before beginning the tour, just to make sure everyone was there who had signed up. Once Nora thought that most of the people were there, she began the tour.

“You guys do this every day?” David whispered to Tristan. The group had stopped in front of one of the fish tanks, and Nora had decided to stand a few feet away
from Tristan and David. Because of this, David thought it was perfectly fine to talk to Tristan about her.

“Yep.” Tristan replied, looking at all of the tourists.

“Wow. It must get really boring really fast.” David said quickly. Tristan shrugged.

“Not really. It’s a different group every time we do it, so it’s not that bad.”

“Huh… I guess that makes sense… Do you ever get to talk, though?” David glanced up at Tristan, squinting a bit.

“Sometimes…” Tristan replied slowly. “Well, I only got to talk for the morning tours one day… Then I got Nora all mad again and she hasn’t let me speak since. I think she’s afraid I’ll say something bad.” Tristan glanced down at David, who sighed and rolled his eyes.

“No duh! She has a brain, she knows your agenda, and you haven’t done a whole lot to gain her trust. You’ve bashed the park every time you’ve opened your mouth and you expect her to let you talk to a group of customers?” David said incredulously. Tristan recoiled in shock.

“Hey! I thought you were on my side!” he exclaimed, slightly offended.

“I am, but to help you, I have to hurt you.” David replied with a nod. Tristan stared at him for a moment, a baffled expression on his face.

“That doesn’t make any sense.” he said slowly. David patted his arm.

“It will in time, young grasshopper.” the boy said softly. Tristan continued to stare at him like he was crazy.

“As I was saying, you need to regain her trust.” David continued, coming back to his main point. “You need to keep your mouth shut when it comes to bad things about the park. You need to start saying good things about the park. Most importantly, though, you need to apologize to Nora.” David checked off the items while counting on his fingers how many there were.

“What? Apologize?” Tristan exclaimed loudly. A few of the guests in the near vicinity glanced over at him in confusion. Nora, however, didn’t seem to notice his sudden outburst.

“Yep. It’s the only way to go.” David said, crossing his arms over his chest and nodding with authority. Tristan sighed.

“Why? I mean, can’t I just buy her flowers or something?” he whined.

“If you write ‘I’m sorry for being a jerk’ on the card that goes with them.” David replied quickly. Tristan sent him a light glare. “I know that ‘sorry’ is the hardest word, but it’s the only word that will make your problems with her go away.” David said, placing a caring hand on Tristan’s arm again. “It’s the only thing that will break down the barrier she’s built against you. You have to remove the barrier before you can build a bridge.”

Tristan sighed. He knew that the kid was right, but he didn’t want to admit it. He put his hand over his face and squeezed his eyes shut, hoping he would open them again and have the problem magically fixed for him. However, when he opened his eyes, David was still looking up at him knowingly and Nora was still ignoring him.

“You’ve gotta do it, Tristan.” David implored him.

“Can’t I just tell myself to stop liking her?” Tristan asked, staring at Nora sadly.

“No! You can’t deny true love! Don’t you know that you can die from a broken heart?” David hissed.

“Maybe I can just quit, move away, and forget about her… Find a girl that doesn’t hate me…” Tristan mused to himself. David smacked his arm.

“Ow!” Tristan exclaimed, rubbing his arm and glaring down at David.

“I will not tolerate that attitude, mister!” David growled, wagging a finger at Tristan. “You like her, and you are not going to roll over in defeat just because you have to apologize to her. Real men don’t do that! Real men go after what they want!” David cried, his voice getting louder. Tristan shushed him as people began to stare at them. David sighed and began speaking quietly. “Tristan, you’re like a dog--”

“Gee, thanks…” Tristan muttered, rolling his eyes.

“And Nora is like the bone that is buried in some other dog’s yard. You have to fight against that other dog to get to the bone. Unfortunately, the other dog is inside your own mind. It’s that little voice that’s telling you to not apologize. You have to fight that little voice to get what you want. It won’t be easy, but I know you can do it. You might have to work up to it. Start with just saying nice things to Nora and not saying bad things about the park. Maybe drop in a nice word or two about the park, too. Then you can work up to apologizing.” David explained. Tristan listened closely, amazed at the pearls of wisdom this boy carried. He nodded slowly, understanding what the boy was saying.

Nora began moving the group to the next part of the zoo, catching both of the boys’ attention. “Come on,” David said, turning towards the group. “We have to get up to the front so that you can start making friends with Nora.” he finished, taking Tristan’s hand a pulling him along. Tristan sighed and followed him.

And now began the process of reconciliation… Tristan was not looking forward to it.

No comments:

Post a Comment