I’ll ruin the ending: everyone lives.
The great … well, was it? I’d like to call last evening’s proceedings “the great fiasco” or “the great wrenching” or some other such phrase… but every one I can think of is a grievous misnomer. There wasn’t anything “great” (magnitude) about what happened…
which was this:
Boyo ‘called a meeting’ between me and a friend of mine (we’ll just call her “she”). He insisted that the three of us had to “talk” [read: listen to him]. She and I conferred beforehand, and it was determined that we would not be alone with him.
We weren’t. Dear God, we weren’t.
I didn’t expect the support that we would have. There were four other people with she and I: three of them fine, strapping lads. [one of them was her husband: i had guessed he might be there]. I knew that my girl was well liked by all her friends, but I was mistaken. This is a family; and more tightly knit than I would have thought. They were not only there, they were there for her.
She and I met up to walk, as usual, about 6:30. When I arrived, I was looking for her and the other girl we walk with. What I saw looked like the Secret Service: the two girls walking in front, with three guys following at a protective distance. Nothing would have disturbed the girls then. As soon as I started walking with them, it became “nothing would have disturbed us“: I was instantly incorporated. Latecomer or not, I belonged there.
They were there in ferocious defiance: challenging anything to even attempt to break the unbreakable tether between each and all.
I didn’t know that then. I had assumed that everyone was there for her and only her. I was involved, but I was there for her, too; another of the supporters of the matriarch, strength for the head of the clan.
When she announced that someone would follow me home, I knew they were there for me, too. That was not the intention, I’m sure: I was not foremost in their minds, but I mattered. The fierce loyalty of the family extended to me: there was no option, no instance where I might decline. It simply was. I belonged, whether I liked it or not.
I would not have fought that inclusion, even if I had any choice in the matter. I now understand devotion to a household.