A reply to: A letter from Newt
Ugh. You can’t tell from my keystrokes that the tips of my ears are bright red, can you?
Don’t worry. I waited to write. I wanted to make sure I got my cool back. Wouldn’t want you to know I was embarrassed out of my skin.
Dude! Where did you grow up? Antarctica? Didn’t you watch the Lambastic Legends of Llamacorns when you were a kid?
A Llamacorn, my friend, is a cross between a unicorn and a llama, and the vintage Llolicorn edition issues are special and very rare.
You have no idea how sought-after Llamacorn action figures are today. I’m talking triple–sometimes even quadruple-digits. Those things are keen, especially the Lollicorn editions.
Look ’em up online. And if you happen to notice the gold and blue one for sale anywhere, let me know. I need it to round out my collection.
That’s something Ira and I have in common. We both collect antique toys. Though she happens to prefer Mistress Mew-Meow.
Stop, Newt. Don’t even go there. It’s not what you’re thinking.
Ok. Now my ears are red again.
What was I even going to write?
Oh, yeah. My homework. Well. I blew it. Failed the course. It’s not for lack of effort. It just hasn’t been right yet.
Ira came over right after I got your letter. I was ready to do just what you instructed: “When you’re sitting next to her, yawn and let your arm stay around her shoulders.”
The thing is, she sits next to me, but not next to me. I’m in the love seat. She’s in the chair. Adjacent. Next, but not next.
She’s my best friend, man. I don’t want to blow it with her. Besides, once we get talking, I have so much fun, I forget about everything else.
Still. I gotta admit. She makes me feel… you know. Like, very much so.
We did almost have a moment the other day. We were playing Party Frenzy on the console. Somehow, our arms got tangled up. Like interlaced. Like linked. Arm-in-arm. I was so into the game, I sort of didn’t notice. I just felt kinda warm on one side.
“Um, Norm?” Ira said. “My arm? I can’t get my guy to the dance floor!”
We were on the dance floor level of the game.
I apologized and let her go.
I’m kind of not worried, though. I think I’m going to have plenty of opportunities to get close to her.
You see, I kind of asked her to move in.
Now, don’t go yelling at me about being too fast! Or putting the cart before the horse. Actually. I guess I put the horse in the barn before I even got the cart out. Or. Whatever. Don’t go there.
The thing is, she needed a place.
I asked her one day, “So we always meet up here. Let’s go to your place one day! How about tomorrow?”
“There’s just one thing,” she said. “I don’t have a place.”
Turns out, she’d been staying in some shelter, all this time. That’s why she always wore the same black outfit. That’s why her shoes are these old canvas worn-out things. Here I am, one of the guys with the most resources in town, and my best friend, the person I care most about, is half a step away from being homeless, living in a shelter for women and children.
Oh, yeah. Did I mention? She’s got a kid. A cute, spunky little girl named Aaradhya.
Well, they don’t live in a shelter anymore.
That’s right. I asked them to move in.
So, maybe I haven’t made my move yet, but Ira made her move–she moved right in with me!
I tell you, Newt. I’m starting to understand your feelings about being a family man. I may not yet have even gotten to first base with Ira, but she’s made it to home with me already: literally and figuratively. She’s sharing my home, and she’s planted herself right smack square in the hearth of my heart.
I never thought I had it in me to love this deep.
And I haven’t even yet started to tell you about my new sorta, kinda, maybe-one-day daughter.
I owe it all to you, man. I never would’ve had the guts to ask her to move in if you hadn’t inspired me to speak up for what matters. If I didn’t know how much a guy like you could have a soft spot for family and a good woman he loved, I probably would have let her go right on living there in the shelter and wished her well. Maybe I would have written the shelter a check from “an anonymous benefactor” and designated the funds for her. But it wouldn’t have brought near the joy that opening my home has.
Thanks, man. I only hope that you get to regain some of the happiness you lost. I owe you, big time.
Your flunking student, who’s learning more than you can know…