Watching Mrs. Jenson, I feel another surge of anger. Not at the would-be murderer this time, but at her. She loves Paris, I have no doubt, but she can’t see past her narrow vision to embrace the beautiful, complicated man that he is. The whole time Paris and I’ve been friends, I’ve never heard Mrs. Jenson say anything positive about or to Paris. Instead, she stands to the side with her mouth pursed, looking at him with disapproval. Paris feels her disappointment keenly, but hasn’t gotten bitter over it as many would have. However, he does have issues with his dead father, which reminds me that I have to tell him the story his mother told me about shutting out Mr. Frantz after adopting Paris. It might help explain why Mr. Frantz was the way he was.
Thinking about Mr. Frantz and Mrs. Jenson leads me to think about relationship in general. How we as humans pretty much fuck them up on a regular basis. I know more bad relationship than good ones, and even strong ones such as my parents’ marriage are marred by details best left unknown—such as each of their affairs. My strongest adult relationship ended badly when she walked out on me because she ‘couldn’t stand one more day’ of being around me. She said she’d scream if she had to listen to my idiotic ramblings any longer. That’s how she phrased it. I was still in love with her, and needless to say, I was crushed. Paris, for as good as he is about making people fall in love with him, isn’t so great with relationships himself. He gets bored easily and dumps with impunity. He’s had more than one stalker in his time. Brett, the love of his life who died from AIDS, is the exception, and now Lyle. Except they had a huge fight which led to Paris running into the street and being hit. Again, I can’t stop the thought that Lyle might have had something to do with the hit-and-run from creeping into my mind.
I sit up straight as something which had previously slipped my mind comes rushing back. The blond that Lyle’s friend, Marisol, Melody, or whatever her name is, saw smooching Paris at Muddy Waters. Tall, good body, pretty. I don’t remember if Lyle said the last, but I’m sure she’s pretty. Paris doesn’t hang out with anyone not attractive, even as a friend. It’s one of his weaknesses; he has an eye for the aesthetics. He’s had one or two anomalies in his past, but for the most part, he likes attractive people. I’m not sure the blond means anything, but it’s an oddity in Paris’s life. From the way Lyle described her, she’s not someone I recognize. Like a great many big men, Paris prefers small women. I wonder if there’s any way I can find out who the mystery girl is. The other reason I doubt she’s a lover of his is because of her age. Paris won’t date anyone under twenty-one, even though he likes them young—Lyle notwithstanding. He says if he can’t drink with them, he won’t sleep with them.
There is nothing to do but wait. I would give anything to trade places with Paris, but that’s simply not an option. I close my eyes, intending to rest for a minute. I used to be able to pull all-nighters when I was in college, but not any more. The effects of the past sixteen hours or so have caught up to me. I fall into a deep sleep. I dream of Paris screaming my name from deep beneath the ocean. I am on the surface, desperately trying to decipher what he’s saying. I can barely make out his form, and there’s an amorphous blond figure next to him whose hair is twined around Paris’s neck. His face is slowly turning blue as she chokes off his airway. Ursula suddenly appears, wresting Paris away from the apparition. She pulls him up—and away from me. I call out his name, but he slips further away.