There is no truth more assured than the ability of those you love to reveal the most inconvenient things at the most inconvenient times.
This was what Daniel thought looking over at his passenger, as a swift breeze held the side of his car.
What small cracks that happened to be in the old model were found with ease by the frankly impertinent temperature.
He'd made sure that Alice bundled up for this trip in preparation for the season's cold, badgering her for a good month remembering the near yearly climate shock. While he was expecting this kinda weather in the region, he was still rather annoyed with her family for still living in the northern hemisphere.
As while hypothermia was just a fun risk for young children who don't know any better, it was horror on his joints as an adult, and he wasn't sure why their family's insisted on living like Yeti's.
He'd really assumed better of her family at least, just cause his were absolute idjits didn't mean hers were.
He really didn't understand it.
"Why do your parents still live here?" He asked.
"They think it makes them better people to suffer." she started grumbling against her parka.
"Well I guess I'm the best guy in the state then, cause my joints are creaky."
"Yeah, probably," she said, rubbing her hands through her gloves. "Thanks for driving me."
"It was really nothing, I love your parents. Even if I'm disappointed with their lifestyle," he kept his eyes on the road, "damned Yeti's."
"Bold words, for somebody who grew up here."
"Not really, bold would be saying the state doesn't evacuate every winter for just that reason."
"That would just be a lie, wouldn't it?"
"Yes, but a very bold one," Daniel said grinning, "You can almost immediately call my bull!"
It was a nice moment before the traffic got unbearable, and Alice made good on his prophetic fear, "I'm pregnant."
Daniel looked over at her, as if growing a second head would sound at all similar to the information she'd just revealed.
"What?" Was all Daniel could think, Alice wasn't the type to joke about something like this.
"I'm pregnant." Alice reaffirmed herself, a brisk anxiety to her tone unmuffled by her winter preparation. She explained farther, "I dropped out. I know, I was trying to get an education, but between our money issues and the baby. I really couldn't."
Daniel was blindsided, he didn’t know what he’d have rather heard, but he really couldn't say anything to that. Considering everything else he’d known about Alice, her previous can-do attitude, and really a lifetime of anecdotes about her to that effect, it just didn't make sense.
"I want a divorce." She said finally.
Daniel was in shock.
But only for a moment, "so, have you told Mick all this?"
"Oh, he knows I'm not taking my classes anymore," she said, obviously a bit angry at the man she'd married. "Apparently his crap matters more than my crap."
"I think he might know a little about the divorce bit, he's been an ass the last few years."
"Why do you want a divorce?" He asked, shocked by this last admission. Knowing Mick the idjit probably didn’t know, Daniel knew what happened when you were too permissive to Jackasses.
"Well, there's the money thing." She said, wanting to dismiss that reasoning. Like, for rich or poor was the last thing on her list of vows she could no longer honor.
Daniel wasn't ready for all of her reasons, "I think I might be Bi."
Now having made similar realizations in his life Daniel was surprised.
He'd thought with her family and how they accepted him back then that she'd have known before him if she was interested in anyone of the same sex.
Some families go and say, 'we know everything about you, you can't be what we forced you to hide!' And many people stay quiet after that. Like that response to someone's truth should net them anything.
A lot of people get stuck, even before that. He shouldn't stay quiet now.
"How'd you figure that out?"
She paused, realigning her thoughts, "I don't know when I started to notice other women, not the first time at least.”
She seemed to want to count them out anyway, hoping he’d have noticed, he wouldn’t have, not when they were still sharing a small town, not when they were both still scared.
“I remember wanting all kinds of things when I was younger, before getting married." That was something he remembered, that future she kept telling him about until Mick went and overrode every little dream of hers.
"But, I kept meeting them, women that I almost wanted more than my marriage.”
“It's only recently that I felt it. I didn't want to stay, and now, I’m not even sure I could love a woman, but I can’t stay anymore.”
"I feel like I've made my bed, you know?" she said it, with a too cold crack to her voice. "Like, yeah I could change it but-"
"I don't know if I'd trust anyone who only ever made their bed once,” He remarked like it were all that clever, "You're allowed to grow, Alice. Even if it means letting go.”
Alice finally dropped out and cried, Daniel had been expecting that with everything finally at the forefront, he knew a little of why she’d been hurting before. Even a little while can feel like forever if you're hurting.
There was a pause, and Daniel watched the anxiety that had once tightened in her float away in the silence of the car. He felt warm to spite the blurring weather outside
Losing hope or trust in one or more institutions is a near inherent part of growing up, and the same could be said for growing older really.
They weren’t that old, they still had their parents of course, but there were some experiences in life that made a habit of killing a person's trust.
Daniel hoped he manage against that.