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Father and Son

by JJ Cornish 5 months ago in Secrets
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From the Perspectives of Both

Father and Son
Photo by Patrick Connor Klopf on Unsplash

By JJ Cornish

(Based on a True Story)

SON

I love my Daddy. I love him a lot. He’s the best Daddy ever! I love Daddy more than Mama well I love them just the same but Daddy a little more. My favorite time is when Daddy gets home and Mama tells me to run down steps to Daddy. I love Daddy lots!

FATHER

I hate my son. Yes, you read that correctly. And before you assume that I’m a monster, allow me to explain for a goddamn second. I love my son – of course I love him. Nate’s a fine little kid. I just wish I’d never had him. That’s all. Why do I wish that? ‘Cuz ever since he was born, I’ve had to give up on every one of my dreams. All so that I can be overworked, underpaid, and un-given a fuck about by my bosses -- who, outside of the slave labor I do for them, don’t give a shit if I live or die. And all that, just to pay bills – not even to save money or get ahead in life. It’s like an animal using all its energy just to doggy-paddle – and a pathetic doggy-paddle, at that.

SON

I’m gonna be 5! One two three four and five! I like to be four but five will be more good! ‘Cuz I will get to be at school and be friends with all the boys who’s five! But I don’t wanna be friends with the girls who’s five I don’t like them and Mama’s the only girl who’s good. And then I’ll be six and seven and eight and nine and ten but Mama didn’t tell me what boys and girls be when they stop being ten. I wanna grow up to be big!

FATHER

I’m 29 now, and it feels like my life is already over. I thought I’d have made it big by now. You know, with my band. Or at least as a producer for some other act. Something. Anything. Anything other than what I do now -- which is work as a part-time sheriff and gas-station cashier – two jobs with a high chance of being shot. And where I occasionally wish I WOULD be shot. You don’t have to worry about bills when you’re dead, am I right? As for my bandmates? The ones who promised we’d all ride or die ‘til the end of our lives? Haven’t seen much of them since Nate came along. I guess all those late nights of coke-fueled, confessional camaraderie didn’t mean as much as I thought they did.

SON

Mama’s making a dinner. She’s making the bisketti and garlic bread. She cooks so good! I like when Mama cooks a lot and when we eat dinner at the dinner table and me and Mama tell Daddy about the day and he tells us good things and I feel happy. So that’s why bisketti is my favorite of the dinners and Daddy says he loves Mama so that makes me happy too.

FATHER

At least Rebecca cooks. Only problem is, she also eats. Which is fine – I’m past the point of caring. But what annoys me is that she’ll tell me all about how her day went, and if I’m anything less than bursting with fake energy, she’ll say that I seem distant, and demand to know what I’m really thinking. Which I can never tell her, of course.

What’s on my mind, honey? Oh, I’m just thinking about the night we first met. Ya know, at that one show of mine. Did you know you weren’t the one I wanted to sleep with that night? Not even in my top three! The ones I wanted were your thinner, finer friends. But they all flocked to my band’s singer – because of course they did. Happened every show – so often, that I stopped being envious, even. He was a foot taller than me, with long, blonde hair that looked like a woman’s. And he would do a Robert Plant imitation that was just good enough to make stupid girls squeal with delight. Hell, I could tell you wanted him, too. You were just smart enough to realize that those other girls were above your league, so you settled on me, instead.

And you did a damn fine job of it. I remember everything you said. You mentioned that we went to the same high school, and that you had a crush on me going all the way back to Freshman year. You even said something about wanting to carry my baby. I remember thinking, “That’s pretty damn hot,” as I sipped on my seventh whiskey-sour, shortly before we went back to your place. But reading those texts you sent me several months after that? Not so fucking much, Rebecca. Not so fucking much.

That’s what I dream of saying at the dinner table, when asked what’s ACTUALLY on my mind. But all that comes outta my mouth is the same phrase as always: “Just thinking about work.”

SON

I love the bisketti. But I hate ‘sparagus! I HATE ‘SPARAGUS! Why I gotta eat ‘sparagus?! It tastes yucky! Why can’t I eat the raisin bread? Please, Daddy, don’t make me eat ‘sparagus! UGH! And I don’t wanna take a bath, either. I’m not stinky, so why I gotta have a bath?! I don’t WANNA!

FATHER

My god, kids are hilarious. They think that by crying and throwing tantrums, they’ll somehow change their parents’ minds -- when really, all it makes us want to do is murder them. Damn, I hate this kid sometimes. Bawling his eyes out over asparagus, like he was watching his mother get stabbed in the face. And I’m not gonna lie – I hit him. It wasn’t the hardest smack in the world. But it wasn’t the softest, either. Which I guess makes me just as much of a dildo as my dumb kid. Did I really think that doing that would make him stop? ‘Cuz it didn’t. It made him cry harder, of course. And now ‘Becca hates me too, ‘cuz I “Didn’t respond accordingly to the situation.” Which basically means no bedroom fun for me. Not for a while. Fine by me – I don’t really wanna sleep with her big ass, anyway. I just wish that someday, I’d find the courage to tell her that the night Nate was conceived, I wasn’t even into it enough to finish. Can you believe that? I’ve been thrust into this bullshit ‘cuz of pre-cum. Fuck my life.

SON

Mama, HELP! Daddy’s hurting me! He’s squeezing me too hard! My tummy hurts -- OWWCH! Stop hurting me, Daddy! Please STOP! Mama, HELP! It’s too dark and night and I’m scared!

FATHER

Nate had a nightmare last night. Must’ve been a bad one, too, ‘cuz his shrieking woke ‘Becca right the hell up. Not me, though. I only got like, three hours of sleep the other night, before my 12-hours at the department. And ‘Becca didn’t wake me up, either. She said Nate didn’t wanna see me this time. She said apparently, his nightmare involved me in it. Normally, I might be offended. But I haven’t gotten that much sleep since before he was born.

SON

It’s Fall time! Mama said it’s called Fall time ‘cuz lotsa leafs fall on the ground and we got to pick them up. I like the leafs. My favorite is the red ones they’re nice and pretty. I want a leaf blow for Christmas but when Christmas is here there’s not gonna be leafs on the ground for more. Will be snow so I want a snow blow for Christmas that sounds good, too. I hope Daddy can get me a snow blow.

FATHER

I’ve had the sneaking suspicion that ‘Becca’s cheating. How do I know that? I can just detect it in the air. Now you might be wondering: Wait a second… haven’t you cheated on her before? I mean, yeah. But only with Sandra. And besides, that was just a fling that happened in the bathroom a couple times, before her dumb ass got fired. What else are you supposed to do, when you’re alone together, closing a gas station at 3 in the morning?

So yeah, I thought ‘Becca was cheating. Turns out, it’s worse. So much fucking worse. To the point where I almost strangled her in her sleep.

I stole her phone while she snored. It wasn’t hard to get into, either. The passcode was her birth year, but in reverse (so, 4991). She stole that idea from me. I read through all her recent messages. There were a few flirty texts to a number with a Florida area code. But those weren’t what shocked me. That honor goes to the exchange she had with her friend, Brit.

I’ve met Brit a couple times. Not much to say, other than Brit isn’t very good at pretending she doesn’t despise me. Lord knows that ‘Becca’s said about me. ‘Becca sent a photo of herself with Nate, as they both stood over a leaf pile. Brit wrote back, “Aw, he’s getting so big!” To which ‘Becca responded, “I know! Can barely lift his big ass up anymore!” (She’s one to talk.) What then followed were the two texts that brought my heart to a halt, to the point where I thought I might possibly go into cardiac arrest. “Do you still talk to his real Daddy anymore?” -- “Nope. Barely talk to Ray anymore, either.”

My name’s Ray.

SON

We have hamburgers for the dinner. It’s good and I’m happy and Mama’s happy and Daddy said he loves Mama lots and it’s good. And I stink a little so I wanna take a bath this time!

“FATHER”

Could barely contain myself at the dinner table tonight. It sickened me, to see ‘Becca blabber on about nothing, only to then act like I’m the fucking problem for not being interested in anything she has to say. I was already past the point of loving her to begin with. But knowing what I do now? I’ve never felt more silently furious in my life. But something told me not to explode. At least not yet. She doesn’t suspect anything, either. All it took was a simple, “Love you, dear,” to make her think that all is well.

SON

I wanna make a suprise for Daddy ‘cuz it’s Fall time. So, I’m gonna make a big leaf pile for Daddy and when he sees the leaf pile I’ll jump out the leaf pile ‘cuz I’ll be in the leaf pile the whole time! And Daddy will give me a big hug ‘cuz he’ll be suprised with my suprise!

I made the pile big and with lotsa leafs. I got all the leafs in the ground well not all of them but all the ones I got. I put them over me and my head so Daddy doesn’t see me and he still be suprised with the suprise.

I am in the leaf pile but I am sleepy. I had a scary dream and I waked up and Mama helped me so I am sleepy in the leaf pile… don’t wanna take a nap in the leaf pile

“FATHER”

Almost back home from a 12-hour shift at the Department. I wouldn’t have minded doing another 12. I enjoyed having a partner in the passenger seat who I could vent to – even if it was only Jared. I didn’t tell him the full scenario – just enough to provoke that devilish laugh of his. At one point, he told me, “I’ve been divorced twice now. So, I get what it’s like to hate the woman you once loved.” To which I replied, “Yeah, but I never loved that fat bitch.” Cue laughter sounding like the Emperor from Star Wars.

. Just about to back into the driveway. But before I do, I spot a large leaf pile gathered right in the middle of the driveway. A larger leaf pile than anything Nate’s made before. I think nothing of it, and back into the driveway

“FATHER”

In the hospital now with ‘Becca. I feel nothing but numb. The sounds that escape from her throat are those of a dying animal. And the whole time we wait, she sobs into a shoulder. Just not mine – rather, that of a nurse on break, who feels badly enough for us to sit down and wait for the final say. She comforts me too, saying that “Accidents like this are more common than you think.” Finally, after what feels like forever, the main doc comes out. And he didn’t even have to say a word. You could discern just from his eyebrows everything there was to say. And ‘Becca wept.

“FATHER”

‘Becca tried to stab me in my sleep. I suspected she might do something like that, so I only half-dozed. And when she came at me with a steak knife from the kitchen, I got up, hit her, and restrained her with some cuffs. Cops arrived within minutes. She was hysterical. Can’t say I blame her. She shrieked, shouting that I hit Nate on purpose, that I was a monster deep down, and a cacophony of other curses. Even with all the neighbors watching from their porches, she admitted to trying to stab me – ‘cuz I’m a “piece of shit that deserves nothing less.” All I had to do was calmly deny everything, and she was taken away.

Hell, I was even able to use her words against her in court. Plenty of witnesses who heard the howls of a harpy accusing her poor, distraught husband of doing the unthinkable. The judge took my side, obviously, and granted the divorce in my favor. She did some time, too -- though not nearly as much as she should’ve, on account of that she’s a female.

But the judge put it best. He said that accusing a man of killing his own son was “not only defamatory, but downright shameful.” ‘Cuz what kind of man would ever be monstrous enough to do such a thing as that?...

END

Secrets

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JJ Cornish

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