Empathy No. 002
06/14/02 - Apt. 5:30 PM (approx)
ELEANOR: ...It's a little late for your birthday, I know, and maybe it's not exactly what you were expecting.
RODERICK: No, Mom, it's exactly what I needed.
ELEANOR: I don't even know why you need something like this. You have a perfect memory.
RODERICK: It's not for that. I read somewhere that when you write a story, you should read it out loud so you know that it sounds right. I figure it's that much better if I put it on tape.
ELEANOR: I see. But your stories are great already, and it's not just me saying that.
RODERICK: Well, they can always be better.
ELEANOR: You're recording this?
RODERICK: Just to test it. Should I turn it off?
ELEANOR: No, it's okay. Some things are more important to remember. So...would you like to go out tonight?
RODERICK: You're not going out with Lloyd?
ELEANOR: Well, I...I never told you his name.
RODERICK: Lloyd Levitt. I've overheard you talking about him, Mom.
ELEANOR: And you knew we were going out tonight? Sweetheart, I always forget how clever you are! Yes, I did plan to go out with Lloyd tonight, and I want you to come, too.
RODERICK: You want me to come on your date?
ELEANOR: Well, Roderick, he wants to meet you. I've talked about you a lot, and he wants to get to know you.
RODERICK: Uh...get to...know me? So it's that serious?
ELEANOR: Well, I think you should get to know him, too.
ELEANOR: I should have told you about him before now, but I was waiting until...yes, until I thought it was serious. He lives out in the suburbs, he's a little bit older than me, and he has some children of his own.
ELEANOR: His wife, uh, passed, and he looks after their three children - a son and two daughters, the oldest girl is about your age. Actually, last weekend, I went out to his house and met them, and eventually you will too, but right now-
RODERICK: Oh God, you're going to marry him, right?
ELEANOR: Roderick, sweetheart, there's a lot we need to talk about here, and I don't want you to panic.
RODERICK: ...It's fine.
ELEANOR: Roderick, I didn't want to put this all on you at once, but you figured it out - I should have figured you would, I always underestimate you, I guess. I know that this is a shock, and it's not fair to you that you learned like this, but now that you know, we should talk about it. Can you stay calm?
ELEANOR: Okay. We - Lloyd and I - we have talked about getting married, we don't have an exact date yet but it's going to be soon, maybe next month. We'd like to do it early so we can work out enrollment in your new school.
RODERICK: I'd be going to a new school.
ELEANOR: You know your old school isn't any good for you. But yes, you'll go to a new school once we...once we move. I know that's the part that's going to worry you the most, and no one expects that this is going to be easy for you. But I've been to the house, it's pretty big, and you're going to have your own room, so you'll have your privacy. I'm getting way ahead of the situation here, Roderick, we should take this one step at a time. I'd like you to meet Lloyd, and then maybe early next month, you can meet the rest of the family. Can you do that for me?
RODERICK: I just don't know.
ELEANOR: You aren't happy about this right now, but it's a big opportunity for both of us. Last year was very hard for you, and this change, even if it's a challenge, will be good in the long run. I know you understand that.
RODERICK: It'll be fine.
ELEANOR: Can you take this first step for me? We'll go out tonight, it's no pressure, you don't have to impress anyone. Just be yourself. Okay?
ELEANOR: Great. Maybe you should turn that off now?