(Author’s note: I’ve been sick the last few days, so this hasn’t been edited at all. It’s a stream of consciousness and may be a bit rough to read. My apologies!)
Pahana paused just outside the door as Symon held it open for him. As he looked inside the restaurant, he knew he could afford it but knowing he could versus wanting to pay that much were different things. Above the door, gilded lettering proclaimed ‘Welcome to Discovery’. From what he knew of Symon, he would have had to struggle to pay for this dinner and that made him uncomfortable. Symon smiled at Pahana’s caution but beckoned him in the door where they were quickly seated and placed their initial appetizer orders.
After convincing himself to not wince at the prices on the menu, Pahana conferred with Symon and they decided on their dinner selections. Symon explained that each course would come out separately over the span of the evening. The first course was lobster bisque with a French reserve Chardonnay.
Pahana’s apprehension grew as additional detail was added. He was now quite sure that Symon couldn’t possibly afford all of this. While he could, it would wipe out a good deal of his budget’s buffer for a few weeks.
The grilled chicken caesar salad was served next paired with a local vineyards Pinot Grigio. The waitress sat down their salads and the same wine sampling approval given, Symon looked at the waitress and gave her a large smile and a nod. Pahana looked up just in time to see what appeared to be Symon winking at the waitress. He couldn’t hold back his anxiety any longer.
“Symon, what’s going on? We’re at a high end restaurant that neither of us can likely afford, you’re flirting with the waitress, and I feel very out of place here.”
Symon got a concerned look on his face and immediately grasped that he’d misjudged the situation. He tried to remain calm as he looked for their waitress to stop what would be happening next but it was too late as she was approaching with the surprise he intended for Pahana. As she approached, Symon dismissed her as courteously as he could asking if she could return in a few moments.
“Pahana, I have to tell you something. I know what impression I’ve given you and it’s true. It really is who I am but there is something you need to know that I hope doesn’t affect our relationship. My name is Symon Driscoll. My family owns a large chain of supermarkets in New England. They invested heavily into a trust fund for me so that if anything happened to them, I would be taken care of. I ran away from home at 15. I hadn’t planned to stay gone for long but living rough on the street was fun. I knew that I could go home at any time and all would be safe, secure, but oh so boring.” Symon explained passionately. Pahana sat slack-jawed and nodded slowly as Symon continued, “Once I turned 18, the trust fund was mine without restrictions. I knew I had money, but never realized just how well off we were. I got a ‘stipend’ each week from the trust fund which turned out to be less than the growth of the fund. Two months before I’d turned 18, I was hitching a ride back towards Boston to get home. I called ahead and found out that my parents had been killed in a car crash. I had never been close to my parents so I didnt’ feel the need to continue on to Boston. The trustee of the fund said that with their death, the fund would be fully turned over to me as soon as the legal proceedings were complete.”
Symon’s explanation was interrupted by the waitress who brought out their entrées. As she served them, she served a full bodied red wine with them. She gave a quick look to Symon who nodded his affirmation.
“For you, sir.” she said respectfully as she handed Pahana a formal looking envelope addressed to Pahana Shelton.
“I’m Pahana Davidson. What’s this about?” Pahana asked suddenly defensive.
“Open it. The name is correct.” Symon said softly, “I know more about you than you know. I know that you’ve been living on the streets as I have but without family or monetary support. You did some things you’d rather not have done to survive and keep yourself out of trouble. You did it though. You pulled through it and you have gotten yourself into your own place and have a steady job as a stripper…” Symon trailed off for a moment, “pardon me, as a go-go dancer.”
Pahana felt his stomach clench and he felt his jaw set.
“You don’t have a lot of time to explain yourself. I’m going to read this ‘letter’ you’ve given me and you better start explaining things now.” Pahana said a bit louder than he wanted.
Pahana opened the letter and started reading. Before him was his own life story. The names of his biological parents and who they had been in the Hopi Nation. He now knew that he had been given up for adoption in the hope that he would have a better life. His parents had known from his birth that he was a shaman from his birth.
As he finished the pages of the letter, he looked up at Symon with tears in his eyes but also fear.
“Why Symon? Why have you done all this digging into my life? Why?”
Symon gave a big smile and took Pahana’s hands, “Because I love you and I can see the hole in your heart where you past had been. There should be one other letter in that envelope as well.”
Pahana slowly looked into the envelope and found the other letter inside, opening it, he found two vouchers for round trip airfare to Santa Fe, New Mexico with a note, “If you want to find your family, say the word and we will find them.”
Pahana broke down reading those words, realizing that Symon truly loved him for who he was.
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