That I Know Of
When Justin and Sarah met new people, and those new people asked them how many kids they had, Justin’s little joke was to respond with “Two…that I know of…”, then cap it off with a wink or nudge or something additionally corny.
Sarah usually tolerated this routine and would respond with a shrug or an eye roll or a light punch to Justin’s shoulder.
But tonight was different. Justin and Sarah were making small talk at Dave and Judy’s party with Stephanie and Doug, and when Doug asked the question, Justin had barely finished uttering his stock answer when Sarah interrupted with a tense “Oh shut UP, Justin. That’s tacky and always has been and is unfunny to boot–honest to God!” She then stormed off into the other room, using every ounce of willpower she had to hold back the tears filling her eyes.
It was just lousy timing. It was a bad night for a party and for socializing and especially for “…that I know of…”. Because tonight would have been Elizabeth’s sixteenth birthday.
Most of the time, Sarah was at peace with her not being there. But there was also another part of her, the part of Sarah that named Elizabeth even though she never knew her, the part that kept a perfect mental timeline of what would have been happening in the girl’s life, and that part of Sarah suddenly showed up at the party to remind her what she–and no one else there– “knew of”.
It was just lousy timing.