Three Roads Chapter 53: What Children Never See
Tim waited impatiently for the knock to come on his door. His dad had called him, sounding in a rush, this morning asking if he wanted a surprise.
"Sure!" he has exclaimed into the phone. His father told him he'd be at his house within a half an hour. That was twenty minutes ago and Tim was seriously considering whether or not he should call home again to check to see if his father had left yet. The only thing stopping him is that his mother was probably still at home and she would be the only one to answer the phone if his dad had already left. He didn't know how he would react if his mother answered the phone. He would never tell anyone, but part of him would be relieved to hear her voice after such a long time, but since she obviously didn't care about him, why should he care about her? She hadn't come by or asked about him at all since he had been forced to leave his home. He looked at the small Christmas tree located in the corner of his cramped apartment. The tree had small blue paper raindrops hanging off of them as it was early April and rainy outside. He again glanced at the clock and as soon as he processed the time he heard a knock on the door. He leaped off of his chair and almost tripped over an old pair of jeans that had been carelessly thrown on the floor.
He opened the door and saw his dad standing there, "Hi!" he said cheerfully.
"Hi, son. You look good."
"So do you, so what's the surprise?" Tim said like he was a three year old kid.
"Tada!" Tathiana yelled leaping from behind her dad.
"Tati!" Tim said dropping down to his knees to hug his sister, "I missed you."
"I missed you too. You should come home."
"I know. It's not a good time though." Tim said throwing an uncomfortable glance to his dad as he got up. For the first time, Tim noticed that his dad was holding Tathiana's backpack, he smiled, "Is she my surprise?"
"She is if you're willing to take her. I know a guy like you probably has plans on a Saturday."
"No!" Tim said immediately, "I don't have to work this weekend, I'd love to take her."
"It's just for a few hours, me and your mom need to get away."
"Everything alright?" Tim asked carefully.
"Yeah," his father said reassuringly, "We just need time to ourselves."
"Mom knows she'll be here?" Tim said skeptically.
His father said it in a way which told him that she hadn't agreed very willingly.
"Everything she needs is in the bag and you have my cell number if any emergencies should arise."
"I'm sure we'll be fine."
"Ok, then thanks again son. Your mom and I appreciate it."
"Is she in the car?" Tim blurted out before he changed his mind.
"No, she's back at home waiting on me, so I should get going, you know how she gets."
"Don't I." Tim said dryly.
"Be nice to Mommy." Tathiana said.
"I am." Tim said with an embarrassed smile.
"You kids behave. Thanks again Tim."
"No problem, bye dad."
Even though it was near noon on that cold and rainy Saturday afternoon, Eric was still in bed. He hadn't even stayed up that late the night before, but whenever it was like this outside, he always felt more lazy than usual. It also didn't help that he had tons of homework that needed to be completed. He heard a knock on his door and thought about ignoring it, but he hoarsely responded, "Come in."
He heard the door open and close very quickly and then he heard the shuffling of feet and then felt the weight on his bed. He turned immediately to see Cooper climbing into his bed.
"Good morning." He smiled.
"Good morning," Cooper said, "I'm cold and I thought why am I suffering? I have a boyfriend now who has to put up with me. So keep me warm!"
Eric laughed as Cooper got closer to him, "This better not be a segue way into fooling around."
"Why? You know you'd like it." And just for good measure, Cooper playfully humped his crotch into Eric's ass.
"Hey watch it. That's an emergency exit only."
"I'm just messing with you, I'm more of a bottom anyway."
Eric turned to face his boyfriend, "Really?"
"Oh yes. I love taking it."
"I thought you said when you and Joey had sex that you topped him."
"I did. I'll do it every once in a while, plus Joey needed a real man to show him how it was done, but I prefer to be on the receiving in."
"How many guys have you let...you know?" Eric said.
Cooper laughed, "You can say it without catching anything."
"Ok fine, how many guys have you had sex with?"
"Haven't we talked about this before?"
"I don't know," Eric said, "if we have I don't remember."
"Well in going all the way, four. There were three in high school and Joey."
"Is that a high number?"
"No, it's a low number...for you. I'm surprised it's not higher."
"Ok, fuck you."
"No no no," Eric laughed, "I didn't mean it like that." Cooper gave him a skeptical look so Eric came clean, "Ok, so I did a little bit, but part of that was because you're so hot."
"What can I say?" Cooper smiled.
"Were you in love with any of these guys?"
"I swear I've told you all this before."
"Well tell me again." Eric said immediately.
"Why is it making your horny?" Cooper giggled.
"You think everything makes me horny."
"That's because everything makes me horny." Cooper admitted
"Anyway, uh love is a very strong word. One was kind of just a random hook up with someone from my school. One was a football player and we were ok I guess, but it was obvious that could never work out, but the other guy was a good friend and we had sex one night and it was never the same after. He just stopped talking to me. He made it like I made him have sex with me or something. I guess it was the only way to rationalize it."
"Yeah, but in the end it's his loss." Cooper said firmly.
"Yeah, I agree."
"Who am I kidding, his cock was fantastic. I swear it was made for my ass."
"Well what about you?" Cooper said suddenly turning serious.
"What about me?"
"Your experience, what was it like?"
"You mean with the guys in the bathroom?" Eric said uncomfortably.
"This I know we've talked about." Eric said.
"Well tell me again." Cooper said in a high pitched voice to mock Eric.
"I already told you. I did it because I just needed to get it off my back. Things were a lot easier after."
"Hmmm...I see. So you don't regret it?"
"I don't think so. I mean a lot of good came out of it, which is weird but it did."
"I agree," Cooper said, "I might not have ever told you I loved you without that incident."
"Looking back now I can see all the times that you were mad at me for talking to some guy or giving me funny looks or whatever, but I honestly didn't know that you felt that way."
"I know, we've talked about it." Cooper smiled.
"Why are we re-hashing all these previously talked about things?" Eric asked.
"Probably to check to see if the other was really honest about it before we were together. It's nice to know we both were for the most part."
"Can I be honest about something else?" Cooper said.
"I'm jerking off right now."
Eric's expression changed from a smile to one of disgust, "Ew! Perv!" but he was getting hard thinking about what was going to happen.
"If you don't take that back then I won't let you watch."
"Who says I want to watch?"
"Good point. I'd prefer you sit back and relax and let me perform." Cooper said as he slid dramatically under the covers.
As Toby walked by Eric's room door to answer the knock at the front door he heard Eric giggling. He rolled his eyes, but then smiled. He was happy for them and was pleasantly surprised that they were comfortable enough to be in the same bed. He wondered if they had slept together all night. He opened the door and had to blink twice before he was sure that it was Eric's mom standing in front of him. Because of the rain, she had a scarf wrapped tightly around her head. He looked down to see that she was holding the hand of a little boy that he assumed to be Eric's cousin, Jamie.
"Hi, Miss Johnson," Toby said.
"Hello, Toby. Aren't you cold?"
Toby looked down aware of the fact that he was shirtless despite the cold weather, "Oh, uh I haven't been up very long."
"May we come in?"
"Of course!" Toby said stepping out of the way to let them in.
"Hi." Jamie said smiling.
"Hi." Toby said returning the smile.
"You're tall." Jamie said simply.
Toby laughed, "Yes, I am."
"Can you believe," Carol Johnson started, "that as long as you guys have been living here that Eric has never invited me over?"
"My parents have never been here either." Toby said, not knowing what else to say.
"I figured that Eric would not be inviting me over anytime soon so I might as well invite myself over. Is he here?"
"Uh...I don't know," Toby lied, "I haven't been up long. Let me go check for you?"
"Ok, we'll just have a seat here, come on Jamie."
Toby walked through the hallway with an evil smile on his face. Back in high school, when he and Richard were together his biggest fear was always that his parents would catch him and Richard in a sexual situation. They originally made a rule that if the parents were in the house they would not have any kind of sexual contact. Then it was changed to it was ok to have sex if their parents were asleep, which Richard changed to blowjobs were ok even if the parents were walking around, which ultimately led to full on sex in the middle of the day, regardless of who was around. Toby knocked on the door silently and heard Cooper immediately yell, "Go away!"
Toby took a deep breath, closed his eyes, and walked into the room. He heard shuffling and Eric saying something along the lines of, "Let go." to Cooper.
"What are you doing?!" Eric asked wondering why the hell Toby had just barged in his room.
"Can I open my eyes?" Toby said.
Toby opened his eyes and scanned the room for Cooper, but he couldn't find him, "Where is Cooper, I swear I heard him."
There was more movement on the bed before Cooper's head popped from under the comforter, "You need to go the fuck away...unless you want to join us."
"Cooper!" Eric yelled and then Toby heard the sound of skin slapping skin.
"Ooooh," Cooper moaned, "that was my ass."
"Eric your mother's here." Toby said
"Oh my God!!" Eric said pulling the covers further up his body as if she were in the room, "Are you kidding me?"
"No, she's in the living room with Jamie waiting for you to come out."
"Eric already came out silly." Cooper laughed.
"Why is my mom here, something must have happened."
Toby shrugged, "She looks fine, I think she just wanted to see you. So button up and make sure your dick isn't floppin out of your fly and come out and see her." Toby smiled. He enjoyed it even more when Eric turned red.
"Ok, tell her I'll be out in a minute."
Jack smiled unconsciously as he saw what he was looking for. He pulled the car over to the side of the street right in front of the liquor store he passed by on occasion. He saw the same dirty old bum that was standing out there begging for money whenever he passed by. He got out of the car and carefully approached the guy who seemed to be walking around in circles.
"Hey!" Jack yelled in his direction.
The guy momentarily stopped, not sure if Jack was speaking to him.
"Yeah, I am talking to you, come here."
The guy stumbled towards Jack and Jack put his hand up when the bum was still several feet away, "Ok, that's close enough. Do you want some money?"
"Hell yeah." The guy spat.
"Good, then come with me. But don't try anything funny or I'll kick your ass."
"Wait, I won't have to do any freaky shit will I?"
"Does it matter?" Jack asked casually, "I have money and you need it and I promise you won't die or anything."
"I don't know if I trust you." The bum said with surprising coherence.
Jack laughed, "You don't trust me? This is funny, most people would think this situation would be reversed. Besides, I'm not out here pretending to be a homeless bumbling idiot."
"I really am homeless. I just play at being drunk cause it's easier to get people to throw money at ..."
"I don't need to know your life story, do you want the money or not?"
"Yeah fine, what do I have to do?"
"Get in the car and I'll tell you."
"I'm hungry." Tathiana said as her and Tim watched Finding Nemo.
"Go look in my refrigerator and see if there's anything you want to eat in there."
"I already did, you don't have anything I want. Can we go to the store?"
"Tati, it's raining outside. You sure you don't want anything to eat that's already here?"
"Yes!" she said impatiently, "let's go to the store."
"Fine, fine, but I'm not spending more than twenty bucks."
"Twenty bucks! Cool!"
"Get you jacket and put your hood on."
Ten minutes later, Tim and Tathiana were glad to be in the warmth of the store. It seemed as if the rain had decided to come down harder simply because they were out.
"Don't we need a basket?" Tathiana asked.
"You're not going to buy that much stuff are you?"
"I don't know, twenty dollars is a lot!"
"Just wait to til you get my age. What do you want?"
"I don't know. Let's just walk around."
Tim rolled his eyes, "Fine, but let's not have this take forever ok?"
"Ok, let's go to the deli. I think I want some food like that."
They walked across the store to the deli and peered into the window to look at the chicken that had just been taken out of the oven.
"I want those." Tathiana said pointing to the chicken strips.
"How much are the chicken strips?" Tim asked, smiling at the cute guy working behind the register.
"They're $1.99 each, but I'll tell you what," the guy said as his voice went into a whisper, "I'll give them to you for a $1.00 each since you're so cute."
"What are you talking about?" Tim blushed, "I look absolutely horrible." He knew he didn't look his best but he also knew that despite the rain, he didn't look that bad either.
"No, man you look great. So how many of those do you want?'
"I don't know Tati how many..." He looked down and didn't see his little sister there. He turned to his other side and saw an older woman casually looking at the variety of salads the deli was showcasing. He did a complete 180 and even though his vision scanned everything it could in a matter of seconds, he took in every minute detail that might offer anything to where his sister had gone. When Tim didn't see her anywhere near by, he suddenly became aware of his heart beat that seemed to be beating faster than humanly possible.
"I lost her" he thought to himself. He knew, he could feel it in his bones that she was gone. He let it wash over his brain and then, almost as if someone had slapped him in the face, he came back to attention and turned around to the older woman, "A little girl. I was with her, did you see her?"
"No, honey, I didn't." The woman said apologetically.
"Did you?" Tim said angrily looking at the boy who had distracted him originally, "No, I didn't. Do you want me to call the store security?"
"Yes!" Tim said as he ran from the counter. He normally would have been embarrassed, but he wanted to make sure that if his sister was still in the store that she heard him, "Tathiana! Tathiana!" He yelled as he ran from aisle to aisle. As he passed each aisle his heart began to sink even more and the realization that she was gone began to sink in. He thought about his little sister with some nasty old pedophile being forced to do things that his brain couldn't even comprehend. He imagined the sound of panic and disappointment that would be evident in his father's voice and he imagined the fury that would be his mother once she found out that he had messed up something else. The boy that had been behind the deli accompanied by two security officers approached Tim from behind. He turned around quickly hoping that Tathiana was with them, but she wasn't.
"You said you lost a little girl?" One of the security guards said quickly.
"Yes," Tim said trying not to cry, but the tears were already spilling down his face, "her name's Tathiana, she has really curly hair, she's my little sister..."
"What was she wearing?" The security guard asked cutting Tim off.
"Ummm...she has on a blue...no pink jacket," Tim muttered helplessly for a few seconds trying to picture her and what else she had been wearing that day, "that's all I remember."
"Are you in trouble again?" Tathiana said as she came up from behind Tim. Before he even saw her he completely broke down. He dropped to his knees and hugged her tight enough that she could hardly breathe.
"What's the matter with you?"
"Don't you ever ever ever walk away from me when we are somewhere. You scared the shit out of me!"
"You're not supposed to say bad words." Tathiana reminded him.
"Tati!" Tim said sharply and the tone of his voice was one she had never heard from him before and it got her attention, "Do you understand me? You better not ever do that again ok?"
"Ok," she said about to cry, "Is everything ok?"
"Yes." he said pulling her back into a hug, "Thank you." he said knowing that the security guards were still there.
"I'm still hungry." his sister said, her voice muffled cause Tim was still hugging her.
"We're going back to my place. We'll order pizza or something."
"Yay!" Tathiana screamed, "You should have said that before."
Toby grabbed Tathiana's hand firmly as they walked out of the store, "I don't need you to hold my hand, you know, I'm a big girl."
"You're still a little girl to me."
Eric waited for ten minutes to make sure that he looked presentable, mainly to let his boner subside as Cooper had refused to leave him alone more because he liked fooling around with Eric knowing that his mother was just feet away. Once Eric, was finally able to get away, he walked out into the living room to see his mother and Jamie sitting down on the couch.
"Eric!" Jamie yelled as he ran towards Eric.
"You took a long time, what were you in there doing?" his mother said standing up for a hug.
"I was praying, why are you here?"
"Can't a mother come visit her son? You never invited me over."
"My bad. And I meant more like I thought something bad had happened."
"Oh, no we're fine."
"Which one is your room?" Jamie said.
"It's the only one the left side."
"Can I go in?"
Jamie ran down the hallway and chose the second door on the right hand side to enter. He saw Cooper at his desk staring very closely and intently at the screen. Jamie was too young to know, but he had inadvertently walked in on Cooper jerking off. To him it looked like Cooper was simply searching for something in his pocket.
"Hi." Jamie said, still half in the hallway.
"Jesus!" Cooper said covering himself, "Who the fuck are you?"
"I'm Jamie. Who the fuck are you?"
Cooper smiled, "Don't let Eric or his mom hear you say that."
"OK, what were you doing?
"Playing a computer game." Cooper lied.
Jamie had walked into the room now, "Can I see?"
"How old are you kid?"
Jamie held up six fingers. Cooper laughed, "When you get into the double digits then you come back over and I'll show you."
"What does that mean?"
"When you're ten, let me know."
"That's like...four years from now!"
"It goes by so fast. Of course I was watching por...playing video games when I was your age. Where's Eric?"
"He's talking to his mom in there." Jamie said pointing in the direction of the living room.
"Will you do something for me?" Cooper asked slyly.
Cooper scanned his desk and quickly found his wallet. He pulled out a $5 dollar bill and handed it to Jamie.
"Wow, what's this for?!"
"I want you to promise me something." Cooper said.
"What do you want me to promise?" Jamie said. Cooper knew that he could have asked Jamie to promise anything right now and he would have done so.
"If you're ever at home with Eric again, I want you to follow him around and try not to leave him alone, ok? And there's more money for you if you do."
"Why do you want me to follow him?"
"You know how earlier I said I would let you see the video games when you're ten?"
"Well I'll explain this to you around then too."
"Are you serious?" Eric asked his mother as they both sat at the kitchen table. Eric had helped himself to a bowl of cereal.
"Yep. Lily was gone this morning when I got up."
"And she left Jamie?"
"Well when is she coming back?" Eric asked.
"I don't know. She might not ever." his mother said gravely.
"So what's going to happen with Jamie?"
"I think I'm going to take him."
"Are you crazy?!"
"Do I look crazy?" His mother said staring at him harshly.
"Sorry, it's just...and I mean this in the nicest way, but can you afford to take him on?"
"I'm not going to lie it would be a bit difficult, but what choice do I have? Plus it would be kind of nice to have someone in the house, since you hardly ever come home."
"Ok, don't make me the reason you take on a six year old."
"Well it would be nice to have some company. I mean I go to work at the store and on my days off I just sit at home. This would give me something to do."
"Wait, can we back up for a second? Aunt Lily didn't leave a note or anything?"
"Nope. Several times since they've been there she hinted at me taking him and I tried to get that out of her mind. Not because I don't want him, but because dealing with her could potentially be complicated. Plus, I'm sure I'll have to adopt him if she`s gone for any extended period of time."
"Eventually he has to go to school and they're going to wonder why I don't have any records or know anything about his prior history. If he's going to stay with me, I'm going to have to let the authorities know why I have them."
"You mean that your sister is a drug addict?"
"They don't need to know that. They just need to know that she left him with me for an indefinite amount of time."
"This is crazy." Eric said looking at his mother.
"I know," she said, "I never imagined I'd be raising a child at this age, but then again I should have known better once Lily told me she was pregnant."
"Maybe she'll only be gone a week or so." Eric said trying to put a positive spin on things.
Carol gave her son a skeptical look, "I know my sister. She knows I'll care for him. She has no reason not go off the deep end now; her son is safe and secure."
"I'm not trying to change the subject, but there's something I've been meaning to ask you." Eric said.
"I wanted to know if you would have Cooper and I over for dinner one night?"
"Sure," his mother said casually, "what does he like to eat?"
"Anything, but I don't think you understand. Me and him are...a couple now...you know together."
Carol didn't even try and mask the shock that registered across her face, "Cooper is a homosexual?"
"Duh, how do you not know that?"
"Sorry, I'm not an expert on picking out homosexuals. Toby, I could see it as soon as you introduced me to him, but Cooper? I am surprised."
Eric was feeling that the conversation was slipping from under him, so he tried to get it back on track, "I'm not sure you gave a yes or no."
"Now that I have Jamie I'm not sure it would be a good idea."
"Uh, that's convenient."
"I don't think taking on a six year old that was dumped on your door step by your younger sister is convenient." Carol responded.
"You know what I mean." Eric said glaring at her.
"I don't want to argue, but when things calm down I'll let you know."
"Ok, fine then." Eric said getting up to take his empty bowl to the kitchen sink.
"Are you mad?" His mother asked.
"No." Eric said with his back still turned to his mother. If he had been looking at her at that moment he would have seen a mother who was warring with wanting to make her son happy and her own strong beliefs. Despite her own personal beliefs on the matter, she still wanted her son to be happy. She was still struggling mightily with the idea that another man was what would make her soon happy.
"Well, I think we should go. I'm sorry for coming over without calling. Jamie!"
Jamie came running down the hallway a few moments later, "We're leaving?"
"Yes. Zip up your coat. It's still raining."
"Ok," he said sadly, "Bye Eric."
Eric tried to put on his best smile, "Bye Jamie, see you later."
"I'm watching you!" Jamie smiled as he and Carol walked out the door.
"What a cute little kid." Cooper said still in his boxers and a t-shirt, "What's wrong?"
"I asked her about us coming over for dinner and she basically said no."
"Why did you ask her that?"
"Uh...cause I want us to go over there for dinner."
"Does she even know we're together?"
"She does now."
"Way to drop it on her."
"Don't try and excuse her prejudice."
"Cause that's what I'm doing," Cooper started, "Down with the gays!"
"Seriously, I love my mother, though she makes it difficult at times, but I swear she's whacked. She claims she didn't know you were gay."
"Does she need to know? Your mom's hot but I'm not going to fuck her."
Eric rolled his eyes, "She claimed she knew Toby was gay but not you."
"Is she high?" Toby said walking into the kitchen, "I would ask is she headless, but I just saw her. Even the blind could tell Cooper was gay just by looking at him."
"I wouldn't fuck a blind person." Cooper said simply.
Toby smiled, "Why not?"
"Cause they couldn't see how big my dick was. What would be the point?"
"Good thing Eric isn't blind huh?" Toby said.
Cooper smiled sheepishly and Eric turned a bright red, "That's not what we were talking about." he said throwing Toby a harsh look.
"I actually don't know what we are talking about." Toby said.
"My mother is taking Jamie, permanently it sounds like."
"Yes!" Cooper screamed and then put his hand quickly over his mouth, "I mean oh really?"
Eric and Toby both looked at him strangely and then continued talking, "Apparently my Aunt Lily just left him there and went somewhere else."
"I can't believe she did that," Toby said, "You said your aunt was a drug addict right?"
"I don't really know, but she certainly looked like one."
"You said it's like a permanent thing?" Cooper tried to ask as evenly as possible.
"Yes, are you paying attention?" Toby said looking at Cooper curiously.
"I am...just trying to make sure I understand."
"Now that means when I go home he'll always be there." Eric said.
"That is very true." Cooper said.
"Who knows," Toby shrugged, "maybe it'll work out for the best."
"Oh, I think it will." Cooper smiled.
Dr. Brown fumbled for his keys in his pocket as he approached the door of his home. He was surprised and instantly alarmed to realize that the front door was half open. He sat down his briefcase and kicked open the door with his foot. At first he couldn't figure out why his son was on his knees in the middle of the living room, but when he saw the look of pleasure on the face of the man above him, it all clicked and he immediately became enraged.
"What the fuck are you doing to my son?!" He roared.
"Dad?!" Jack said, faking surprise, "Why are you home early?"
"I'm not. Who the hell is this?"
"Uh..." Jack said getting to his feet, "Your name is Jake right?"
"Paul right, I keep forgetting."
"I hope you know he's underage you asshole." Dr. Brown said as he continued to approach the man.
"Underage? He told me he was 19."
"No, he's 17. I could make your life a living hell do you know who I am?"
"Dad, he's homeless relax." Jack said dryly.
"You brought a homeless man into this house and you're...doing stuff with him?!" Dr. Brown looked to the guy, "Get out!"
The homeless guy wasn't sure if this was really his exit cue so he looked at Jack for instructions and Jack nodded his head and the bum began to walk to the door.
"Sorry for any trouble I've caused sir." He said before exiting.
"I'll see you soon!" Jack yelled after him.
"What is wrong with you? I forbid you to see him." Dr. Brown said aggressively.
"Like you could stop me."
"What happened? Why are you this way? Our relationship didn't used to be like this."
"Cause I realized what you did to mom and I'm not going to let you get away with it. You killed her."
"You saying it won't make it true. Would more counseling help you?"
"Stop talking to me like I`m a student!" Jack said as he walked away from his father and to his room.
Dr. Brown sat down on living room sofa, not sure if he should yell at Jack more, or punish him, or just let it go until the morning. He suddenly felt a lot more tired than he had felt just a few minutes ago. He put his face in his hands and wondered how this was all going to end. It seemed to him that in the last several months, his relationship with his son consisted mostly of stalemate and then something dramatic that inevitably sent their relationship further into the toilet. He took several deep breaths in an attempt to not only regain his composure, but to also try and clear his mind to see where he might try and find some common ground with his son. The issue of his son's sexuality came to his mind and he realized that to Jack it probably seemed like he hadn't been very supportive of him lately.
While Dr. Brown debated on how he could get back in the good graces of his son, Jack was already on the phone with Tim.
"You did what?" Tim said.
"The homeless guy was nice I swear."
"I can't believe you gave a ...you know to someone homeless."
"I didn't do anything to him, I paid him to go along. I'm sure it looked real to my dad though. And why are you talking like that?"
"Ah ok. Anyway I just called to ask if I could maybe stay the night if my dad keeps badgering me."
"If I walked in and thought I saw you doing that to a homeless guy I would badger you too." Tim said seriously.
"You don't badger me about everything like he does. Plus, he doesn't really care. He's just mad that I did it in the house."
"I think he's being a concerned father. I think most fathers that loved their children would have reacted to the same way he did."
"Ok, so can I stay over if I need to?" Jack said changing the subject.
"Yeah, but call before."
"You should be honest with your father."
"Thanks Tim." Jack said in a way that Tim knew that though he had heard what he said, it didn't penetrate his thoughts.
"Tati's in her bed now asleep. Thanks for bringing her back. We were just so tired." Tim's father said.
"No problem," he said as he handed his sister's backpack to his father, "What did you guys do?"
"We just went out to the lake and walked around and talked. It was nice."
"That does sound nice. Did mom have fun?" Tim said motioning up to the window. He could see his mother looking over some paperwork. She had been sitting there the entire time he had been out on the front porch and she could have easily looked out, saw him, and smile and nodded, but she was pretending she didn't even know he was there.
"Yeah, we both enjoyed it."
"Good...well...it's getting late. I guess I should go...since you know I don't want to get shot or anything."
"Yeah. Thanks again son, I love you."
"I love you too." Tim said as he gave his father a hug.
He didn't know it, but right before they embraced, his mother looked out of the window at her son. She couldn't see him entirely, but she got a good enough look at him to see that he was still alive and healthy, but most of all ok. She took a deep breath of relief to know her son was ok before returning to what she was working on.
Tim broke the hug with his dad and looked up one more time to the window to see his mother still plugging away at her paperwork. He sighed as he walked back to his car wondering if they were ever going to back to being a happy family.
Thanks for reading this latest update. There are going to be 2 more updates before I close down shop for a while. I'll be in the process of moving out of my apartment, of going to Las Vegas and then resting for a few weeks before I head down Under! All questions, comments, and constructive criticisms can be e mailed firstname.lastname@example.org J