That Could Have Gone Better (bp coyle)

We sat in the car for a long time without a word. I put the key in the ignition but didn’t turn it on. Neither of us put on our safety belts.

Finally I broke the silence. ‘Well, that could have gone better.’

She took out a hanky from her handbag and wiped her eyes. ‘I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to ruin Christmas. It’s just your father. He’s…’

‘He’s a difficult man.’

‘Very,’ she agreed. ‘I tried not to let him get to me.’

‘I know you did.’

‘When he said those things about immigrants, I pretended not to hear.’

‘I noticed.’

‘And when he went on about women’s rights, I totally ignored it.’

‘You did. I was impressed.’

‘But the stuff he was saying about homelessness. Did you hear it?’

‘Yes. I was there.’

‘About how ugly they make everywhere. How they should be rounded up and locked away in internment camps.. I just couldn’t take it any more.’

‘I understand.’

’I really am sorry.’

I sighed. ‘Oh forget it. It’s not the worst family Christmas I’ve ever had. Far from it. At least we got to finish dinner before we had to go.’

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