We all answer in the end, based on a true story
Imagine, you really thought only other people would answer for your sins.
That crack you gave your youngest lad because he was ten minutes late home from the party. The shame he felt and the laughter you bellowed, when you didn’t realise his mates had come home with him, but they had. Yes indeed they had, and they saw your brutality and shared his shame. Said youngest son flees again. Flees to his bedroom to escape your brutality as you shout after him, “You knew the time I had set you. You are eighteen now, old enough to tell the time.” And then you laugh.
You laugh at the embarrassment his friends feel for their friend as they leave the building, not one of them able to muster up the courtesy to say, “Good night Mr Morgan.” A courtesy you think you deserve.
But he isn’t the only one to flee your domain is he? No, the middle child, precious daughter and even though she is home now, home at the age of twenty, she too fled, she too was a ghost.
A ghost desperate to escape your controlling ways. For your own perverse, bullying pleasure you decided who she should and who she shouldn’t see. You decided who was good for your princess and who was not. You decided, until she finally made her own way through the flats, the dives and the squats that fill this seaside town, homes with a kind of perverse love, honour amongst thieves, the lost souls looking out for each other.
Some sharing a bed, some a syringe. Some a death. Yet she chose this fresh hell over your five-bedroom castle with the two-car garage, indoor pool, manicured lawns, and constant flow of people you think are friends, desperate to be liked by them only to find out they are takers and it is no more than you deserve because they too have felt your sins.
They too have been belittled when you patronised them after one too many brandies at an after-hours party. They too have blushed as you compared their runabout mini-van to your Mercedes, and for God’s sake, how many times do you have to tell them about your American connections?
We haven’t even got to the eldest lad yet. No his answer, his answer for your arrogant sins was to join up at the age of sixteen. That was five years ago now and it still hasn’t dawned on you that he would rather be shot at by the enemy than stick around your skin for the rest of his life. And of course that is what he was; shot by the enemy.
In some dusty, sand filled province many miles from home, he chose his death over you, but that’s okay. That’s okay because you made it up to him with a funeral the town will never forget. You play the grieving father whilst the wife plays the devastated mother and that is what she was. Devastated. So devastated that all she could see was you driving her babies away, one by one until she joined them. Life in a suburban box better than your playground, yet still you don’t see it.
And then one day you do. A non-existent eldest son, a mute daughter, a hidden youngest child, and a absent wife. You see it and it fuels you for more sins.
The mistress. The fraud. The trickery, treachery, and finally the threat of time inside. It all caught up with you and you too fled, but it can’t be forever.
You are not a young man anymore, you don’t have the stamina. Many miles from home you pick up the phone to the youngest but its been three years now and he has moved on. He denies you and with good reason. He remembers he unnecessary bearings, the humiliation, the anguish.He will stick to his day job thank you.
The girl comes next, she won’t turn her back on her old dad, no matter what, but she does as well . She too remembers the hard times. The love of her life you turned away from your door, but fate is kind and she has found him again. Doing all right for themselves they are nowadays. Doing good and so is her own son. But they certainly didn’t name him after you, no sir.
So where now? Where do you go from here? Only one place to go we suppose. Back to the home, time to face the music. You can duck and dive for a bit, try and stay clean, but it won’t last. You still have a few contacts, still make a few deals that you know you shouldn’t, but you can’t hep it and funnily enough (for the viewers at home, not for you the sinner), it is a speeding offence that does it.
Forty in a thirty isn’t enough for a custodial, but the outstanding warrants are and its back in court, in the van and behind the bars, behind them for a long time.
You hear the door slam and the key turn before looking out of the window on to a glorious Friday afternoon. Okay, no denying the eldest is where his is but the others? Has the wife really taken new vows? If rumour has it, she has indeed. The daughter, the apple of your eye for so long before your poison tried to take hold? In the park with the guy you despised, looked down on, belittled. In the park with him and your grandchild, talking at length about the new business they now run.
And young ‘un? Well he has just finished work for the day and is on his way to a well-earned pint, his mates always eager to get his first round in because they know he deserves it.
You turn, slump to you filthy bed, frayed sheets and all and pick at a crusty scab. And that scab is called your sin, for in the end you answered for them.
You can learn more about Simon at www.simonmorrell.com,