Emma tells me her ex, Charlie’s, three years of college are a mystery. What she learned about Charlie was through his mother. Elena told Emma that Charlie was accepted to Baruch College for business administration, Long Island University for pharmaceutical studies and to Hunter College and New York University for social work. Outside of the city he was accepted to The Whitman School of Management for business administration and Skidmore University for chemistry.
The range in majors showed not only how well rounded Charlie was, but the variety of wishes others had for him. Emma tells me that his mother wanted Charlie to study business administration so he could take on the family business. Charlie’s father wanted for Charlie to become a baseball player even though Charlie didn’t even watch sports.
Charlie’s father did not know him. So Charlie mostly communicated with his mother through email while he away at college. The two of them replied to the same thread of emails with the subject line, “I’m a Syracuse man!” or something about Charlie being in college.
Elena revealed to Emma that a few months into Charlie’s college experience, she received an email from her son with the subject line said, “Roman en Clef.” The email contained what looked to be a short story about two male students having sex in a college dorm in upstate New York. The email looked like something like a diary.
Elena emailed her son back asking if the email was meant for her. Charlie called her back laughing and asking what she thought of his short story. He claimed it was for a creative writing class. They laughed and talked about it.
That night Elena went to bed and the email’s subject line “Roman en Clef” wouldn’t let her sleep. So she got up out of bed and made sure not wake up Charlie’s father. So she went on her phone and searched for “Roman en Clef.” The definition said, “a novel in which real people or events appear with invented names.”