I curled myself up into a ball on the sofa. A lazy Friday night, visiting my aunt and my cousin. So much better than going out for drinks. One weekend night without a party is actually worth more than it sounds.
We talked about uncles and aunts. Long-dead great uncles. Favorite grandparents. We talked about the lovers in their street, how two families lived across from each other and rarely exchanged a world, how small the world was, how small it is becoming. We talked about people we knew, and some we didn't.
But my aunt is a gossip. She doesn't mean ill, she just has stories. That's part of the reason she's fun to talk to. That's part of the reason there's never a lack of conversation. But as you listen to her little scraps of stories, about how this one gained so much weight after marriage and how that one has such a talented and gifted child, about how X was supposed to marry Y, you get on your guard. Because slowly and naturally the subject turns.
So what happened with K? So mysterious some people are.
I shrug my shoulders. It doesn't matter whether I know what happened with K or not. That's his story, not mine to tell.
Yea, it's a complete mystery isn't it! Some people really know how to keep secrets, I smile. Who knows what his reasons were.
Maybe I do. Maybe I know one or two.
But I shrug.
And your dad, he's so!
Haha, yea totally.
I know a different father. Not the one she describes. She's got half of his personality from when they were all kids. I know him as the man he is now. And maybe not completely either.
But I shrug. I nod. Oh man, yea, haha.
Because it's not my story to tell.
Because words mean one thing to me and another to her. If I say X is super neat, the next telling of the story makes his kind of a neat freak. The next almost someone with an OCD.
There is so much more than the stories we tell.
And if it's not my story?
A shrug, I suppose. A smile and a nod. A well placed "hm" - that is all.