"Oh, God..." Caitlin was on the phone with Megan while Zeke was loading up the bikes for their camping trip. "This is all my fault." Suddenly, it looked as if she were in no mood for a campout.
"What's the matter?" Zeke asked after Caitlin got off her blackberry.
"You know, the tattoo thing." Caitlin kind of smiled, yet evidently it wasn't so funny to Smed.
"Oh, that." Zeke bit his bottom lip and turned back to the back packs. He thought they had enough food and drink. Caitlin was definitely challenging on this. She wanted to go out in the woods and rough it in a tent. He hadn't done this since he was in boy scouts. "I could talk to him."
About then Smed drove up to the house. He looked a little out of it, as if the argument had taken a lot out of him.
"Hey, I caught you before you left." Smed kind of gave a nod and a wave.
"Are you all right?" Zeke looked at him.
"I guess." Smed sighed. "I want to be." He shook his head. "I don't know why I put this off for so long."
"What do you mean?" Zeke winced.
"Having it out with Megan." Smed shrugged. "Why did it take me so long?"
"Look, summer has a way of bringing the best and the worst, you know." Zeke thought maybe the heat had to do something with it. Everyone got in an ugly mood it seemed when the humidity turned up the madness, or so it seemed when he watched the news and read the paper. People getting fired, bank robberies, murders. Well, maybe it was just a bad economy, on second thought.
Smed looked at him as if he were absurd.
"What?" Smed gave Zeke a soured look. "I don't know if we're finished. OK. I just wanted her to know ..how she makes me feel. It only one way, and that's Megan's way." He gritted then. "Maybe..maybe she just makes everything too..hard."
"OK." Zeke nodded as if all he could do was to listen.
"If only I didn't love her so much." He looked so sad as if he might burst into tears. "I really do love her, Zeke, its just.." He shook his head.
Zeke knew he needed a hug.
"Is there anyway, you..you could go camping with us?" Zeke offered.
"No." Smed shook his head. He had to get to work. Smed backed away. "I gotta go to work."