The Id and The Odyssey; Episode 113
Help From Edna
For the next few days Rich was perplexed about his feelings. He wondered if love were possible to spawn after just a short period of time. Perhaps it was more sympathy for her situation that cause him to feel the way he did.
Nevertheless Rich called Edna and invited her to have lunch with him and dump the whole story in her lap.
They ate at a sea food place north of town. It was quiet and empty. Light conversation accompanied the meal. Rich talked about his plans with The Odyssey and Edna talked about her work.
They sipped coffee at the end of the meal, neither seemed to be in a hurry to go elsewhere.
“So, Rich,” Edna said, “what is the reason for the meal? We haven’t talked in weeks.”
“Do you know a girl in your school, Anne Sunders?” Rich said trying to appear nonchalant.
“Pretty girl, dark hair, about my height,” Edna said, “and a little thinner.”
“That’s her,” Rich said.
“Quiet girl,” Edna said, “not many friends. How do you know her?”
Rich explained the circumstances of their meeting. “There was something about her,” Rich added. “I can’t get her out of my mind. I’m really confused about love and relationships. I almost think your next words about Anne is that she’s vulnerable, but I feel more so. And more than anyone I think you know that.”
“This is a tough time for people your age,” Edna said. “Each age has it’s own problems and vulnerabilities. Maturity can help us overcome them. You need someone to lean on before you go headlong into something that you can’t get out of unless it is at great risk and emotional expense.”
“I wish I was 50 miles at sea,” Rich said.
“You seem close to Sam White and his wife Katy,” Edna said.
“For reason’s I can’t go into,” Rich said. “I can’t talk to them.”
“And what about you friends, Dennis and Peggy?” Edna said.
“It’s complicated,” Rich said, “but I can’t confide in them either.”
“And I assume family is out of the question,” Edna said.
“You assumed right,” Rich said. “That leaves you.”
“Why do you trust me?” Edna said.
“Because…” Rich hesitated, “because you know the boundaries.”
“But I have gone beyond the boundaries,” Edna said.
“And you want to help others to stay within them,” Rich said. “You’ve seen what is on the other side. Most of all you will be honest. You will give me advice without prejudice.”
“I know you have feelings for me,” Edna said. “I could give you advice that would interest you in someone else so that you wouldn’t be thinking about me anymore. My advice could be self-serving.”
“Would you really do that?” Rich said. “On top of that, would you mention it and do it? I don’t think so.”
“What is it about one meeting with a girl that makes you feel so attached to her?” Edna said.
Rich pressed his lips, “She’s helpless and fragile. I know what that feels like.”
“When we find a helpless puppy or kitten our first inclination is to protect it and nourish it,” Edna said, “but the rational thing is to make sure it is returned to the mother and the litter. And you did that.”
“I feel there is more,” Rich said, “something I can’t leave alone.”
“If you pluck a kitty or puppy away from the litter too soon there may be irreparable damage later in life,” Edna said, “things beyond our comprehension or ability to cure or fix.”
Rich looked down at his empty plate.
“Look,” Edna said. “What you experienced was not even a start. It was an emotion. Emotions are good, but they are a poor decision maker. You mentioned when you write, something starts one way and suddenly takes you another. Things in the beginning are no indications of things down the road.”
“So what are you saying?” Rich said.
“If anyone tells you let you heart be your guide,” Edna said. “They are not looking out for your best interest. Run the other way. My heart has failed me many times. It would have been so easy for me to play along with you a few weeks ago, but really, where would it have all ended? My heart was telling me one thing, but my brain another. I like my brain. It’s finally starting to work for me. And further more, Rich, it is yours for the borrowing.”
“I really wanted you to tell me to go for it,” Rich said, “but very deep inside I wanted to hear what you told me.”
“Don’t build sand castles in the sky. You are making far too much of this than what is there. She will be back with that boyfriend before the week is out. My first boyfriend, we were off and on three or four times before he dumped me,” Edna said with sympathetic eyes, a kind voice, and a warm smile. “Remember you’re still young. You’ve got to have your heart broken a few times and you will break a few hearts yourself before you find the one you don’t want to break.”
“You’re such a good friend,” Rich said.
“Let me pay for this date,” Edna smiled.
“Not on your life,” Rich said, “Your advice alone in worth far more than a greasy seafood platter.”
Rich paid at the register and they walked to their cars.
Rich lifted Edna hand and kissed it. “Good night, Edna.”
“Good night, Rich.”
That helped Rich immeasurably. It stopped the emotional snow ball that was traveling down hill and probably heading for a tree.