After a long series of developments (most forgotten), a younger (than real age) woman much like Frances as well as a younger man much like me are in a rural area about a four-hour drive from Austin, where both Fran and I are from before coming here.
I am in a relationship with Fran, but we are not married, and it is more like Frances lives in her own independent life, and it is for her nice to have me around at times, but not as though she wants to adjust her needs to have a life with me.
Here in this town, Fran has a warm yet also somewhat distant relationship with a young man whom she likes and who likes her, but his life is complicated. Apparently he is married or living with a woman with whom they have a disabled child. He is actually a young, bright, curious, likeable kid but wears thick glasses and has some types of physical and mental challenges (and has special needs) and so needs extra care and attention.
For some reason, the boy's mother is no longer in the picture, maybe dead after an illness. This little community and the boy's father have been looking after the boy, so it is like he has a big extended family already, before his mother was gone or Fran and I got here.
A number of people, sort of like the boy's aunts or grandparents or adult friends, have been keeping things going during the time of the mother's illness (or whatever got her out of the picture).
At this point, for some reason, maybe reciprocal affection, but that's not clear, Fran and the boy's father are having a relationship that excludes me, and she is living in the boy's house. This is despite the fact I had come here from Austin with Fran for a visit, that now has lingered to the point it is time to go back to Austin unless things have changed big-time.
Somehow in her departure or dying, the mother of the boy has asked if Fran will look after him and, without consulting me, she has been deciding about this. Meanwhile, the sort of other suitor, the boy's father, is leaving, not likely to return or at least not anytime soon, legally leaving the boy in her care and giving her an envelope in which is a paper turning over to Frances all his legal rights to the boy. It is as though he does not feel up to the challenge of caring for and raising the boy without the boy's mother, knows Fran can do it in her own independent way and so he is splitting.
I am unaware till now of much of this, for nobody, including Fran, have filled me in. To me, the boy is a cute kid with whom I'd like to have a relationship of some kind, and he seems eager for this as well, but my home is in Austin, and I would only stay here if it is a mutual decision of Fran's and mine, in other words that she wants me to stay with her, something she has not offered.
One of the boy's aunts or older woman friends is a lady kind of like a younger Mary, and she knows what's going on as well as my feelings for both Fran and the boy but that Frances has not made any overtures toward having me stay, nor has filled me in on what she is wanting or planning to do.
The Mary-like lady and I are sitting at a table (not at the boy's - and now Fran's - place) and she is telling me all about the situation. I am confused and disappointed that Fran would not have been keeping me up-to-date all along or giving any indication she wants me to live with her and the boy, marry her, or whatever. For her, it seems a situation ready-made for her personality. She can have a home here with the boy and within a four-hour drive can also take in cultural or intellectual opportunities in Austin from time to time. And, the Mary-like woman explains, it is about space. I am confused again and ask what kind of space, thinking maybe she's talking about the space between our ears. She needs her own space (independence), the Mary lady says, and does not feel she can ask of me to give up all I'd need to in order to live here with her too.
I say, in some exasperation, that I'd love to be living here with Fran and the boy, then think about and say, "Well, maybe not love it, but I could live with it and would like it" and prefer it to going back to Austin alone.
Mary and others there hope I'll take the initiative and tell Fran how I feel, so perhaps it will work out that the three of us are together there. I resolve to do this.
Yet it is in doubt how Fran will respond, whether she will welcome my staying with her or if I'll soon be leaving and going back to Austin.