A Prayer for Owen Meany
My mother stopped the car and hugged him, and kissed him, and told him he was always welcome to come with us, anywhere we went; and I rather awkwardly put my arm around him, and we just sat that way in the car, until he had composed himself sufficiently for his return to 80 Front Street, where he marched in the back door, past Lydia's room and the maids fussing in the kitchen, up the back stairs past the maids' rooms, to my room and my bathroom, where he closed himself in and drew a deep bath. He handed me his sodden clothes, and I brought the clothes to the maids, who began their work on them. (2.423)
Dan understood that I loved Owen, and that I wanted to talk with him—most of all—but that it was a conversation, for both Owen's sake and mine, that was best to delay. But before we finished loading the baseball cards in the car, Dan Needham asked me, "What are you giving him?"
"What?" I said.
"To show him that you love him," Dan Needham said. "That's what he was showing you. What have you got to give him?" (2.447-449)
"The main thing is, Johnny," Dan Needham said, "you have to show Owen that you love him enough to trust anything with him—to not care if you do or don't get it back. It's got to be something he knows you want back. That's what makes it special." (2.451)