Joan would always be seated at the fifth seat within the third row. When Larry asked her to move further in front, she told him that was the best seat in the house. She wouldn’t be blocked by the cheerleaders in front and would be able to see all the players clearly.
At that time, Larry pretended to be angry at her for ogling at the other players instead of only focusing on him. Joan laughed when he teased her. She replied that she would bring a magnifying glass as to watch him play. That way, he would encompass her whole field of vision.
Larry then kissed her on her cheeks, causing her to blush all over. After that, she urged him to go back to practice. At the huge basketball court, only both of them were there. They used the opportunity to relish in the fact that they were everything to each other. It didn’t matter where they dated. All they cared about was how deeply they were in love with each other.
However, love was different from marriage. In a marriage, it connected two families where a lot of other people were involved. If he knew then that marriage was so much more complicated and would cause them so much hurt, he figured that he wouldn’t have proposed to her so early.
Although Joan was soft-hearted, she was still someone with a strong character. She couldn’t tolerate knowing that he didn’t trust her. Also, she couldn’t accept that her weakness had become a burden to him. Her temperament had caused her to break up with him after she decided to fly overseas for her treatment. She rather he hated her. After all, hate was easier to let go of than love.
After everything that had happened, she ended up marrying him still. But, she didn’t expect their relationship to be shattered by his distrust of her.
Given how insecure Larry was, his insecurities were further amplified after Joan broke up with him and lied to him that she had fallen for someone else. Furthermore, during his time as a soldier, the feeling of being under fire on the battlefield had long decimated whatever sense of security he had left. It was also exacerbated by his comrades being killed in action one by one. Since then, he was always shrouded with insecurity.
Under such circumstances, Larry had no way of ever lowering his guard down toward anyone. If he couldn’t do it for Joan, he would definitely not be able to do it for anyone else.
His stubbornness and naivety all boiled down to the feelings he had deep down. The more exposure he had, the more he realized how fast the world was progressing, leaving him behind. To him, the world was sad and cruel. He naively thought that he could change it. But once the results were not what he expected, a sense of helplessness would overwhelm him.
If Larry had really understood Joan, he wouldn’t have demanded her explanation.
While Joan was still in the long tunnel looking for an exit, she suddenly noticed the fog gradually forming into a line, guiding her forward. As she followed where the line led her, the view in front of her began to clear up. Soon, the exit appeared right before her eyes.
The light in front seemed to be blocked by someone’s figure. When she turned to see who it was, she couldn’t make out the person’s face. The figure pointed at the exit in front of her as if to remind her that she needed to walk forward.
As Joan’s gaze trailed where his finger was pointing, she saw a field of beautiful flowers and fluttering butterflies at the exit. When she wanted to take another look at the figure beside her, she noticed that he had already disappeared.
The moment she opened her eyes, she felt something heavy pressing on her hand, causing it to feel numb. Regaining her senses, she saw Larry laying his head on her arm, sound asleep.
Despite carefully adjusting her hand, she didn’t retract it from underneath him. The last memory she had before she lost consciousness was him calling out her name while rushing toward her. They had been quarreling a moment earlier.
She gently moved the hand that Larry was sleeping over. “Larry…”
When he woke up in a daze, Joan couldn’t help but be amused by the look on his face. Finally, she understood why Leslie always woke up looking stunned and grouchy. He had inherited the trait from his father.