25-11-08

Gelezen: Tess Gerritsen, koud bloed (bloodstream)

"Someone's going to get hurt out there," said Dr. Claire Elliot, looking out her kitchen window. Morning mist, thick as smoke, hung over the lake, and the trees beyond her window drifted in and out of focus. Another gunshot rang out, closer this time. Since first light, she'd heard the gunfire, and would probably hear it all day until dusk, because it was the first day of November. The start of hunting season. Somewhere in those woods, a man with a rifle was tramping around half-blind through the mist as imagined shadows of white-tailed deer danced around him.

"I don't think you should wait outside for the bus," said Claire. "I'll drive you to school."

Noah, hunched at the breakfast table, said nothing. He scooped up another spoonful of Cheerios and slurped it down. Fourteen years old, and her son still ate like a two-year-old, milk splashing on the table, crumbs of toast littering the floor around his chair. He ate without looking at her, as though to meet her gaze was to come face to face with Medusa. And what difference would it make if he did look at me, she thought wryly. My darling son has already turned to stone.

She said again, "I'll drive you to school, Noah."

"That's okay. I'm taking the bus." He stood up and grabbed his backpack and skateboard.

"Those hunters out there can't possibly see what they're shooting at. At least wear the orange hat. So they won't think you're a deer."

"But it looks so dorky."

"You can take it off on the bus. Just put it on now." She took the knit cap from the mitten shelf and held it out to him.

He looked at it, then finally, at her. He had sprouted up several inches in just one year, and they were now the same height, their gazes meeting straight on, neither one able to claim the advantage. She wondered if Noah was as acutely aware of their new physical equality as she was. Once she could hug him and a child would hug back. Now the child was gone, his softness resculpted into muscle, his face narrowed to a sharp new angularity.

"Please," she said, still holding out the cap.

At last he sighed and jammed the cap over his dark hair. She had to suppress a smile; he did look dorky.

He had already started down the hallway when she called out: "Good-bye kiss?"

With a look of exasperation, he turned to give her the barest peck on the cheek, and then he was out of the door.

No hugs anymore, she thought ruefully as she stood at the window and watched him trudge toward the road. It's all grunts and shrugs and awkward silences.

He stopped beneath the maple tree at the end of the driveway, pulled off the cap, and stood with his hands in his pockets, shoulders hunched against the cold. No jacket, just a thin gray sweatshirt against a thirty-seven-degree morning. It was cool to be cold. She had to resist the urge to run outside and bundle him into a coat.

Claire waited until the school bus appeared. She watched her son climb aboard without a backward glance, saw his silhouette move down the aisle and take a seat beside another student -- a girl. Who is that girl? she wondered. I don't know the names of my son's friends anymore. I've shrunk to just a small corner of his universe. She knew this was supposed to happen, the pulling away, the child's struggle for independence, but she was not prepared for it. The transformation had occurred suddenly, as though a sweet boy had walked out of the house one day, and a stranger had walked back in. You're all I have left of Peter. I'm not ready to lose you as well.

The bus rumbled away.

Auteur: Gerritsen, Tess
Titel: Koud bloed /  Bloodstream

12:32 Gepost door leentje in Boek | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: tess, bloodstream, gerritsen, koud bloed |  Facebook |

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