Wednesday, April 21, 2010

75.) Secrets

Gah, I really wanted to get this up last night (that's what she said), because after all your awesome comments, I couldn't wait to share this with you. But something about it didn't feel right, so I waited on it. I'm still not entirely convinced I nailed it, but I couldn't look at it any longer. But I didn't want to let you guys down; you're fantastically awesome, and some of you even made me tear up with your praise. Thankyou thankyou thankyou. I must give credit where credit's due: the "the British are coming" euphemism was so graciously lent to me by Val, who gave me permission to use it in a post. Okay, enough of my ramblings... I know what you guys are really here to read....

Soundtrack Song - The Fray, Over My Head

I ignored the text message from Jo, which asked me when my flight was going to land. She said she missed me and wanted to come meet me as soon as I was back in Pittsburgh, but I wanted to surprise her with a quiet night in: an early dinner and then the rest of the evening to do whatever we wanted. Being home in Montréal just highlighted everything I had in Pittsburgh, and it felt good to get back home.

The rest of my visit home hadn’t gone exactly as I had planned. But, you know, it seems to me that the older I get, or at least the more I try, the less control I have over my life and what happens to me. Sure, I met up with some friends and hung out, and even went to a couple of spinning classes with Yannick to stay in shape, spent some quality time with Mom and Mamie, and simply relaxed.

But with nothing left to do but think—and I had a lot on my mind—it was easy to get lost in my thoughts. Mom noticed I was a little “off,” as she put it, but when I tried to talk to her about it, about my father, she didn’t want to hear it. “Was I not a good enough mother to you, Kristopher? I had to be both parents,” she had told me. I had tried to interrupt her and tell her that she was a wonderful mother, a perfect mother, but she wouldn’t hear it. “I did the best I could with what I had. Please, Kristopher, we only have a limited amount of time here over your short break. Can’t we just enjoy our time together in peace?”

I couldn’t press her for information when she was this visibly distressed, and just like when I was young, before I learned to stop asking these sensitive questions, I was left in the dark. It wasn’t fair, that I didn’t know all these important details that any other person knows about his or her family, but I couldn’t put my mother through the pain of having to answer. Not when it hurt her too much. Even though she had moved on and married Henrí, it was still a painful time in her past, and I didn’t want to make her relive it.

Being home in Montréal made not confronting these worries even worse, because I knew that somewhere in the city around me, he was here. One of the things that I had overheard just a few years ago, in a conversation between Mom and Mamie, was that he came to every one of the Canadiens’ home games when they hosted the Penguins, and the All-Star game, too, when it was at the Bell Centre. How she knew he was there, I didn’t know, especially after she added that he’d never tried to contact her or us since the night we left. Looks like I was destined not to know, either.

But now my break was over. Now, I was home in Pittsburgh, which made it easier to once again push all those thoughts aside. This was an entirely different environment, which evoked an entirely different thought process in me. It was easier to be focused here, to be focused on the game and on the future, instead of when I was in Montréal and hung up on the past. Part of that—a lot of that, actually—was because of Jo, and wanting to be focused for her. Focused on helping her and being a role model for her, in a way. I mean, that’s how this whole relationship started, me doing what I could to help out a kindred soul.

I stopped and picked up dinner on the way home. I knew Chinese was Jo’s favorite, so I ordered a little bit of everything from that quaint, hole-in-the-wall place she liked. I got a variety because I didn’t know what she’d want or be in the mood for. Even though she had repeatedly told me on the phone over the past few days that she was fine, insisting that she was feeling well and was back to her old self, she still sounded stressed. She swore she was eating and taking care of herself, but I just wanted to make sure. I wanted to take care of her.

My arm didn’t burn or hurt any longer, but it did still kind of tingle and just, somehow, felt different. I couldn’t wait for Jo to see it. She was definitely going to be surprised, and I wondered what her reaction was going to be. This certainly was the most spontaneous thing I’d ever done in my entire life, and it was all done on really short notice, but you’d be amazed at what you can have done when you’re willing to pay. But I was more than happy with it; I loved it. And it didn’t even hurt as bad as I thought it would, either.

Needless to say, I was in a good mood when I finally made it back to my apartment building. Juggling the bags in my hands, I fumbled with my keys to unlock the door to my apartment. But I didn’t need my key, because Jo cautiously opened the chained door and peered through the crack. “Kris!” she hollered, slamming the door shut, undoing the chain, and then throwing open the door with enough force to practically take it off its hinges. “You were supposed to let me know when you were getting in!”

“I wanted to surprise you,” I said sheepishly, holding out the bags of take-out.

“Holy cow, that’s a lot of food,” she happily observed, but she ignored the bags for a second as I leaned down to kiss her in greeting. I meant it as a small peck, since I was still holding the bags in my hands and we were still in the doorway, but her hand snaked up to the back of my head and held my mouth in place against hers in a chaste yet very welcoming lip-lock. After a few seconds, I adjusted the way I was carrying dinner, so I could put an arm around her waist and pull her against me, but she backed away just as I was about to grab a hold of her. “What did you bring?”

“Uh, just a few orders of everything. I hope that’s okay.”

She took the bags from me and carried them to the counter in the kitchen. “Mmhmm. It’s like having my very own buffet line in the comforts of my own home.”

As Jo began to root around in each bag to see what was there, I slid out of my jacket and hung it up before I followed her into the kitchen. “Don’t touch the lo mein, though. That’s mine.”

Jo rolled her eyes good-humoredly and commented, “Yeah, I know, your usual. I know better than to—” She stopped talking when she saw me, her mouth forming a perfect “O” as her eyes instantly fell on my left arm. “Kristopher, is that what I think it is?” She didn’t even give me a chance to answer her, swooping in and rolling up the sleeve of my tee shirt to reveal my brand new tattoo. Her fingers traced gingerly over the lines of the banners, the guitar, and the angel wings as she cooed, “Oh my goodness, Kris, it’s so beautiful. When did you get this done? I didn’t even know you were thinking about getting inked! It seems so out of character for you, but it’s gorgeous and I love it. What inspired this?”

“I had a lot of time to think, and it just, well, it came to me. Maybe it was going up to Shippagan, or spending time with Mamie, or I don’t know. I just wanted something permanent, something real and physical. Mamie says I wear my heart on my sleeve, and I guess I do now.”

Her fingers continued to follow the path of the ink. Jo looked up at me with darkened eyes, licking her lips before she confessed, “This is kinda hot, Kris. Like, really hot.”

“Glad you approve,” I chuckled, rolling my sleeve back down before I stretched out the fabric. “I’m gonna wash up and change, and then we’ll eat.”

“Mmhmm,” she hummed, more focused on what was in the bags than me. I chuckled as I walked into the bedroom, hearing as she hollered, “Ooh, crab rangoons!”

I shook my head to myself as I walked into the bathroom. Jo was so easy to please, once you knew the right buttons to push. Pulling my shirt over my head, I threw it toward the hamper, but the whipping material caught the soap dispenser on the sink and sent the plastic container toppling over the edge toward the floor. I heard the clunking sound as it fell into the trash can, and I screwed up my face at the idea of having to dig the soap out of the garbage. Peering into the bin, I spotted it and tried to see if I could pick it out without having to touch the other trash. Not that I was a germophobe or anything, but that’s just gross. Something else, however, caught my eye, like a bright, flashing, neon sign, and I forgot all about the soap.

“Jo?” I called. “Can you come here for a sec?”

It took a minute, but she finally appeared in the threshold of the bathroom, chewing a large bite of something. “Yeah babe?”

I held it out for her to see. “What’s this?”

She slowly finished chewing, and then she swallowed hard and answered, “A pregnancy test. A negative pregnancy test.”

Her answer didn’t mollify me in the least. I still couldn’t believe that I had found this in our trash can. Or find more than one. Jo would have said something. This wasn’t something you hid from a significant other. “Yours?”

It was like I could see a switch flip as she tensed and got defensive. “No, Mother Theresa’s. It was in our fucking trash can. Don’t get all cutesy on me.” There was a short pause. “Why were you even going through the trash?!”

“The soap fell over, and this was sitting right on top! I didn’t go through the garbage looking for something. That’s not even the point here, it doesn’t matter how I found it, all that matters is that I found it, and I didn’t think I’d have to sift through our garbage to find out you’ve been hiding things from me.”

“Did you not hear me say it’s negative? Negative meaning not pregnant, so I’m not pregnant just like I’ve been not pregnant since the day you met me. Meaning I’m not hiding anything from you.”

“Is there a reason there’s three of them?”

“I wanted to be sure,” she mumbled, hugging herself and looking down at her feet. It struck me just how different Jo was from the girl I had met at the beginning of the season. That girl had been so sure of herself, so confident in everything she did. Had she changed that much? Or was it just the gravity of the situation? “Being pregnant is, like, a really big deal. So I had to be certain.”

“Well, at least we’re agreed upon on the fact that this is a big deal,” I told her, still holding the white stick out in front of me, as if it were a key that was supposed to unlock all the secrets she had been keeping from me. After spending a week at home with Mom, during which she avoided every single one of my questions, I couldn’t stand the thought of coming home to the same kind of secretive atmosphere. Jo and I were always direct and honest, and that’s exactly what I had been looking forward to upon my return. That’s the reason why it stung so much to find out she had kept this from me—I was sick and fucking tired of secrets.

“Jesus, Kris, I peed on that thing. Do you have to stand there and hold it like that?” The comment would have been humorous, if this hadn’t been such a serious conversation.

When she said that, I dropped that test back in the can along with the other two, and then I rinsed my hands quickly. She hadn’t moved from her position, her arms still wrapped around herself, instructing me, “Get it out. Whatever you have to say to me, whatever you wanna ask, just get it out now and let’s get this over with.”

There were a million things running through my head, but no words wanted to leave my mouth. Finally, I settled on the most important question. “Why didn’t you tell me? I know what you’re gonna tell me again, that there’s nothing to say, but... you could have let me know that you at least thought there was a possibility... I feel so out of the loop.”

She shrugged. “Obviously, if it had been positive, I would have told you. No doubt about that. But it didn’t make sense to call you at ten in the morning and make you worry, too, when this was all sorted out by lunch. It turned out that there was nothing to be worried about, and I wanted to spare you the drama.” Jo rolled her eyes. “That plan obviously worked out brilliantly.”

I wanted to know everything; I hated not knowing something, not being aware, and feeling helpless and out to sea, like I had no command of my surroundings or circumstances. I continued with my line of questioning to try to find out everything I could about the situation and try to regain some semblance of control. “Wh-when did this all happen?”

“Thursday. Seriously, it was like a two-hour window of time between when I realized I’d skipped a period and then took the test. It’s not like it weighed on my mind for days and days. It’s over, done, and I thought I had moved on. But now, talking to you about it,” she said, hugging herself tighter, “it’s like making me live through that moment all over again.”

I looked at Jo, her arms folded across herself and her head dipped low, eyes trained on the floor, and I felt bad for her. My heart hurt for her because she was clearly upset about it, too, and that was the first time I thought about what she might have had to go through. I had been caught up in my own feelings to consider hers. “How do you feel about this?”

She shrugged again. “Honestly, I don’t know. I cried for, like, three straight hours after the tests came back negative because I was just so relieved, but then I felt a little empty, like I had lost something. Which I know makes absolutely no sense, because I didn’t lose anything. There never was a baby in the first place. But I’m glad, I mean, because I hoped for this outcome. It’s not like I wanted to be pregnant. It’s a mixed bag, but I’m ready to move on from this.”

I nodded, glad that she was coping well. But I wasn’t dealing with this well, because part of me was still hurt, even though I didn’t know if I was entitled to feel that way. But that’s just it about feelings; we feel them anyway, regardless of whether we think we should. “I can’t believe you suspected you were pregnant, and you didn’t tell me. You kept it a secret from me.”

Jo glared at me. “It wasn’t a secret! What was I supposed to say to you? ‘Hey, Kris, I thought I was knocked up, but it was just a false alarm. No big deal, so don’t worry because I’m not pregnant.’ That’s asinine.”

“I think I had a right to know, before or after the fact. We obviously need to be more careful.”

“You can’t get any more careful. You were, I mean you are, as careful as possible. Remember, Kris, I’m not pregnant, so our birth control method worked. I missed a period because of stress, not pregnancy. The only way we could be safer is if we stopped having sex, and let me tell you right here, right now, that I am not giving up sex just because of one scare. That’s what it was, a scare. We’re not facing any consequences. See, I knew you would act this way... this is why I didn’t tell you. Nothing happened, nothing went wrong, and you’re still overreacting.”

I didn’t feel like I was overreacting; I thought Jo was overlooking the seriousness of this. “‘Consequences’? A baby, Jo, is not a consequence. A baby is a tiny, little human being, and we would have been entrusted to care for a little boy or a little girl. I would have done right by you, and married you, and we could have raised the baby together, as a family. Did you think I would have left you? Is that why you didn’t wanna tell me—”

“Oh, no. Don’t you, ugh, just... don’t, okay?” she stumbled, holding her hands out in front of her and gesturing for me to stop. “You’re a good guy, and I know you would have done what you consider to be the right thing. You would have wanted to do the right thing, but I wouldn’t have made you. Jesus Christ, you’re twenty-two and still trying to find your niche in the NHL. Surely there’s a lot you still want to accomplish before you worry about settling down and starting a family.” She groaned. “Oh God, and can you imagine just how much your mother would have hated me if I had trapped you into marrying me with a pregnancy? I mean, she hates me enough as is, but she’d go ape-shit. Berserk.”

Rolling my eyes, I repeated the same sentiments I’d said so many times before. “Mom doesn’t hate you. And she would’ve had to deal with it, just like we would have to deal with it. And you wouldn’t have had to make me step up to bat in this situation. I just told you that I would take care of you, of my own volition, without anyone else telling me that I should.”

“Do you realize that you’re saying all this without even thinking about what I wanted here? I told you, Kris, that I’m relieved. I’m only twenty. I’m not even old enough to drink out in bars, and I’m supposed to be responsible for another life?! Not to mention, I just started going back to school. I’ve finally started to get my shit together, so no way am I ready to have a baby and be a mother. I don’t want that yet. I’m absolutely, positively, utterly relieved that this isn’t an issue, and I can’t believe that you’re making as big of a deal out of this as you are. I knew you’d make a fuss about being more careful, but I didn’t think you’d put this much thought into what could’ve happened. We should be happy we’re not parents, and leave it at that.”

“Well, I mean, I’m glad that it’s not happening before we were ready or before we thought about it, because it is a big step forward in our relationship—”

“Uh, no,” she scoffed. “Moving in together was a step. Saying ‘I love you’ was a step. Taking me home to meet your mother was a step. Having a baby is... it’s not a step; it’s a journey all in itself. A journey I’m not prepared or equipped to take, and you sure as hell aren’t either, in case you need to be reminded. Not to mention that this wasn’t a conscious decision on our part to have a baby. It would have been happening to us. This was something we’re not only not ready for, but something we’d never even thought about. We’re not there yet, Kris. We’re not thinking about our collective future. I love you so much, but I’m not thinking that far ahead with you. And to reiterate, I know you’re not either—and you know it, too.”

I nodded, seeing her point. We pretty much took everything day-by-day; addressing issues as they arose and enjoying the good moments when they happened. It didn’t have anything to do with a lack of commitment to each other, because we were fully committed to this. But between the demands on our time and the stress of everyday life, with everything that we were both dealing with on a daily and nightly basis, that made it difficult to plan anything about our future—especially when life would throw wrenches into our plans unexpectedly and ruin them. We had a lot to work through, individually and as a couple, before we could consider the next “steps” in a relationship, like engagement and marriage and pregnancy and beginning a family. That was years down the road.

She added, “We just need to push this out of our minds. You and I both agree that we were not ready for this. Me getting pregnant right now would have been a mistake, and I would have taken care of it.”

Feeling sick to my stomach at the implications of her statement, I could barely eke out my thoughts. “Take care... of it? Wha...? Oh my God, Jo, how could you even think abortion is an option?”

“How could you think expecting me to have a baby is an option?! Do you know how absolutely fucking crazy that is?! After everything I just said?” She backed up into the bedroom and deflatedly sunk down on the bed, pressing her hands against her lower abdomen. Jo got this distant look in her eye as she rubbed her stomach. Her voice was so low that even though I followed her into the other room, I still had to strain to hear her. “I always thought I’d be able to do it if I had to, for whatever reason. I never realized that a girl doesn’t know her real stance on this subject until the real-life possibility of having to have one happens to her. I can’t imagine how I would have felt if I were actually pregnant, but I realized that I wasn’t as okay with it as I thought I would have been. But I would have, though. Gone through with it. For you.”

That sucked the air out of my lungs. It felt like Staalsy had slammed me into the boards at full-force. The idea that she would have done something to herself, with the motivation of thinking it was best for me, unnerved me. I mean, she couldn’t even bring herself to say the word. “Jo, I would never even ask you to do that, or anything else you weren’t comfortable with.”

“I know!” she cried loudly, burying her face in her hands. I knelt in front of her on the floor, gently grabbing a hold of her wrists and trying to pull them away so I could look at her face. This had her more upset than anything else we had talked about. “You wouldn’t have asked me to, and you would have done what you thought a man should do. Even if it meant that you would have ended up resenting me because of it.”

“I wouldn’t have resented you,” I said softly, finally cupping her chin and tipping her face forward to look at me.

“Maybe not right away, but you would have. I would’ve tied you down. You’ve got really good, solid values and morals, Kris, but just because you would do those things in that situation doesn’t mean you would have wanted to. That’s a horse of another color.”

“If you had gotten an abortion because of me, you would have resented me. And I don’t want that. We would have found another solution. I mean, sure, this wouldn’t have been planned, and maybe it wouldn’t’ve been ideal, but we would have dealt with it, together. I love you, I care about you, so I’d never want you to do something that would upset you like this, especially when it’s not even something I would have wanted you to do.”

I brushed away the big tears pooling along her jawline. How did we get here, when we had been so happy five minutes ago? This could have been avoided if I had known, and our reunion would have been a blissful, romantic one. Instead we were yelling and fighting and reassuring and consoling. I continued, “You and I both know that unexpected things happen in life, and we gotta do what we need to do when we’re dealt a bad hand. If you would have told me, shared your concerns with me, then you would have known that I’d support you no matter what, no matter how.”

“Well, it doesn’t make a difference now, does it?” she sighed with resignation, wiping away the tracks streaming down her face. “This is all moot. We’re lucky that this discussion is entirely theoretical. So we can forget all about this, because this is all irrelevant and too much, too soon.”

“This is still a lot to digest, Jo. We can’t just brush it under the rug. Things like this are relationship-changers, if we don’t deal with it. Stuff like this will fester and break us apart if we let it. I don’t want that.”

“Me neither,” she hiccupped. “That’s why I didn’t tell you.”

“Well, you can’t not tell me. I wanna be there for you through everything, but when it concerns me, when it involves me, it hurts like hell when you don’t include me. I just felt so, just, like, powerless, useless, and I hate feeling like that. You need to talk to me about stuff like this in the future, okay?” She nodded silently. “If this happens again—”

“Oh, fuck no, this is not happening again. I already called the clinic and I have an appointment in a few weeks. I’m going on the pill. I guess I should have thought about it before, but I just never cared. There was never a need for the responsibility, because I, I don’t know, I guess I thought I was untouchable. But that was reckless. It was stupid.”

“Okay. I think that settles it then? We’ll learn from this and be more careful. And honest. Please, Jo, no more secrets. I hate secrets,” I mumbled, moving from my position to sit beside her and kissing her temple.

“No. You hate when I keep secrets,” she bit at me venomously, suddenly getting defensive again. “But you... you’re above your own rules, aren’t you?” Then she stood, heading for the other room like she couldn’t even be in the same vicinity as me.

“What are you talking about?” I asked, feeling oblivious and blindsided by her comment.

“So this is ‘do-as-I-say, not-as-I-do,’ huh? You’re back to being high and mighty and hypocritical about being honest and forthcoming with information, Kristopher. You keep fucking secrets from me, but I’m just supposed to be okay with that, huh?”

She could still see the dumbfounded look on my face, because she explained with a hollow-sounding voice, “Here you are, telling me that you would have married me and taken on the responsibilities of being a father when you can’t even talk about your own dad and what happened? All I know is that you’re afraid of turning out like him—and if you’re afraid of turning out like him, how can you possibly have been ready to be a father?”

I didn’t have an answer for her.

“That’s what I thought. You’ve got issues that you won’t talk about, which, ya know, would be fine if you weren’t so insistent on me baring my soul about everything, between whatever I'm thinking at any given moment to whatever I ate for breakfast three days ago. I didn’t tell you when I thought I might be pregnant, because I didn’t want you to have to worry unnecessarily until I knew for sure, either way. And when it came out negative, it didn’t seem worth it to say anything because I knew you’d go all control-freak on me, which, ya know, you did. Maybe that was wrong of me, but I did it for you. So sue me for wanting to avoid this,” she said, gesturing all around her, “altogether and for being stupid enough to forget to take out the goddamn trash.

“But don’t you dare accuse me of being secretive when I did it for good reason, to spare you these useless emotions, and when you’re secretive for... I don’t even know why. Because you flat out refuse to talk about it, period. I didn’t want to be the one to bring this up, because I wanted you to feel comfortable enough to initiate this discussion, but I guess I’m past all that. You need to figure out whether you’re willing to follow your own advice, or compromise and be less judgmental of the people who don’t live up to your expectations when those expectations are so impossible that even you can’t live up to them.

“I know I said I’d be patient and wait for you to come around and trust me, but you’re making it impossible to do that when you impose all these limitations on me. It’s self-righteous, hypocritical, and honestly one of the very few things I can tolerate in other people, because I don’t pass judgment on those who don’t pass it on me. You wanna hold me under a microscope? Then start thinking about leading by example.

“Now I’m going to go eat before all that food goes to waste. You’re welcome to join me when you decide what the fuck you’re gonna do, because you can’t have it both ways.”

Jo walked away into the kitchen, and I could hear the rustle of the plastic and paper bags before I then heard the TV turn on and the couch cushions squeak beneath her. I sat there for a while, taking everything in and letting it settle. The advice I gave to Jo was all done to help her out, to help her deal with everything that had happened to her. Having been through something similar, I thought I had the skills and knowledge necessary to do so.

But if I wasn’t being completely honest with her, was I still helping her? Did I have to divulge the seedy information from my past to still have that same effect? I never talked about it, not only because it hurt, but because it wouldn’t help her to look uncertain if I was supposed to be an authority or guide to helping her deal. Or did this have nothing to do with that anymore? Maybe it wasn’t about helping her; maybe this was about having a relationship with Jo. There’s a fine line between trying to find a way to take away her hurt because I sympathized with her and doing the things a boyfriend would because I loved her. Could I do both simultaneously?

I showered, like I had originally planned to, and slipped into a clean shirt and pair of sweats. She didn’t look away from the episode of The Office she was watching as I passed by and headed into the kitchen, grabbed the carton of beef lo mein, and sat beside her on the couch. We ate in silence and watched the show together, or rather as two individuals who just so happened to be in the same room, until my container was empty and I set it down on the coffee table.

When Jo had finished with her plate, which had been piled high with a little bit of all the dinner choices for the evening, I took it from her and set it down, too, out of our way. Now it was just her and me and the couch, nothing in between us. Then I stretched out on the cushions, resting my torso and head in her lap and snuggling against her. I used her thigh as a pillow as I held onto her knees, my shoulders against her stomach as I looked out into the room. If I was going to do this, I wanted to be comfortable.

She knew something was up and began to run her fingers through my hair. I think it was as much as a soothing gesture for her as it was for me. I took a deep breath and said, “I don’t know what I’m supposed to tell you about my dad, when I don’t know much about him in the first place. Except that he wasn’t a good guy, and I spend every waking moment of my life trying to make sure that I will never be to someone else what he was to me and my mom.”


  1. Wow. Je l'aime. I'm glad that he surprised her and Jo took the surprise well (wasn't sure that she was going to), but disappointed in her poor efforts to hide the tests... what did I tell you? They needed to have the discussion but I did think Jo was pushing it when she said he wasn't being completely honest with her. Sometimes things are so painful you don't want to relive them. Maybe Kris will open up in the next chapter, fingers crossed. Jay, I'm addicted!

  2. As i go!

    The whole start is awesome, I'm excited for Kris to get home... and he's not even coming home to me lol.

    “Mmhmm. It’s like having my very own buffet line in the comforts of my own home.”
    ^^ I love a woman that's not afraid to eat her weight in Chinese.

    “This is kinda hot, Kris. Like, really hot.”
    ^^ Ughhhh that's what I was thinking too! And seriously, I love how you plan things for this story and then it happens in real life! So seriously... still waiting on the ending of ASC, just sayin... Jonny Toews, any time now... =P

    "so I’m not pregnant just like I’ve been not pregnant since the day you met me."
    ^^ L O L O L O L O L O L O L O L OMFG, I almost died, seriously. That was hilarious! I can just see Jo, Ms. Attitude, standing there looking at Kris like he's an idiot.
    That was even better than the Tubby convo in the last update... ughhh so good!
    I love when you do long conversations like these cause not only do you stay so true to the character, but we also get to see their personalities in a way that makes them so realistic.

    I peed on that!! That's what I was thinking again! Get out of my head! HAHA
    Of course Kris would just stand there with the piss-stick... ugh! And it's even OLD piss-stick... ewwww!

    “‘Consequences’? A baby, Jo, is not a consequence. A baby is a tiny, little human being, and we would have been entrusted to care for a little boy or a little girl."
    Heart. I love you Kris Letang... even though you annoy me sometimes, you're really the way that all men should be.

    "Having a baby is not a step!"
    ^^ Amen sister!

    Also, the ending made me sad. I love that he's opening up to her... but at the same time, I can't imagine having to tell someone something like that.
    He tries so hard to be perfect - tries to be everything that his father wasn't - but he still feels like he has to carry that burden with him always.
    I hope that by telling Jo, he'll be able to let some of it go...

    Perfect, like always.

  3. I have to say, I've felt that Jo was being too demanding when she wanted Kris to share more with her, because lots of guys just can't talk. However these passages really changed my mind:

    "“Okay. I think that settles it then? We’ll learn from this and be more careful. And honest. Please, Jo, no more secrets. I hate secrets,” I mumbled, moving from my position to sit beside her and kissing her temple.

    "“No. You hate when I keep secrets,” she bit at me venomously, suddenly getting defensive again. “But you... you’re above your own rules, aren’t you?” Then she stood, heading for the other room like she couldn’t even be in the same vicinity as me."

    Plus this one:
    “That’s what I thought. You’ve got issues that you won’t talk about, which, ya know, would be fine if you weren’t so insistent on me baring my soul about everything, between whatever I'm thinking at any given moment to whatever I ate for breakfast three days ago. I didn’t tell you when I thought I might be pregnant, because I didn’t want you to have to worry unnecessarily until I knew for sure, either way. And when it came out negative, it didn’t seem worth it to say anything because I knew you’d go all control-freak on me, which, ya know, you did. Maybe that was wrong of me, but I did it for you. So sue me for wanting to avoid this,” she said, gesturing all around her, “altogether and for being stupid enough to forget to take out the goddamn trash."

    I finally understood more about why Jo was always pushing Kris for more, because he was always bugging her about all the details of her life, and then holding his own secrets inside, like he was the mastermind holding all the cards and revealing nothing. No woman wants to feel controlled, or babied, they want to feel like equals. I also like the fact that Jo could say all that and be emotionally strong. She's obviously a lot better, and they both need to be healthy to have a real relationship.

    Whew, this is my longest comment ever (even though you wrote most of it). Obviously I thought that this was a great update, but it's hard to predict what will happen next.

    Now I'm going to have to go get that link you sent me on Twitter and watch it on my computer, cause I watched it on my iphone, and the screen was soooo tiny. Now all I have is Kris Tattoo on my mind. THANKS! haha :)

    SOOOO she doesn't tell him...he finds out for himself..ouch. Pretty much the worst way to find out, poor Kris.
    Some pretty interesting things came out of their argument though..abortion? Definatly doesn't seem like a Kris Letang way.

    I'm soo glad she spoke out about how Kris always pushes her to say what's on her mind, but he hasn't spoken much about his father yet!

    After the last paragraph..I can't WAIT for more Jay!

  5. I have only two words, both typed in caps, to express my feelings re: this chapter - SCHNIKEYS and FABULOUS!

    Might I also add that while it may seem as if Jo was really pushing Kris, I think he totally deserved a swift kick in the arse re: his "holier than thou, you tell me, but I can selectively tell you" attitude. It hits home with me because I have been the selective one, your mind, brother, and the rest will follow (which is also a bad nineties song - sorry!)

  6. I have no idea how I didn't know about this sooner but I love it when stories include things that happen in real life and I have to agree with Jo that the tattoo is pretty damn hot. And to comment on the rest of the chapter I want to agree with Jo but at the same time I know what it's like to grow up in that kind of enviorment and it's not something that I like to share the details about either so I can kind of understand where Kris would be coming from and maybe if she realizes that it's more to do with his mother never telling him much of anything maybe she will cut him so slack?

  7. Jay, I have started writing this comment at least a dozen times. But I can't find words that do it justice. From start to finish it is true perfection.