Tag Archives: father

The Match

12 Jan

blood-test

The difference between one brother and another can be as vast as if the two have never lived under the same roof. That was the case for Brad and Erick. Brad was a giver and a pleaser. Erick was a taker and a seeker of pleasure.

The contrast was stark as far back as when they were babies.  Erick was always ripping the toys out of the Brad´s hands which was completely unnecessary because Brad would have simply given the toy if Erick had shown in the most miniscule level of interest in it. Erick preferred violently taking the toy because he would not want to see Brad feel any of the pleasure in giving. Decades of adulthood passed without the two having any contact. This ate at Brad and the latter fact delighted Erick.

One night both brothers received a call. The call came from the same person and had the same information. Their father was dying and both were being requested to take a donor compatibility test.  Brad relished in the opportunity to be a hero. Erick loathed the idea of being so inconvenienced and shuttered at the thought of a needle tearing a hole in his skin and penetrating his vein.  Besides, the thought of his mother being widowed and alone slightly tickled him.

As Brad sat in a thumbing a magazine, waiting his turn to have blood drawn, a disheveled bearded face plodded though the waiting room. “It couldn´t be” Brad thought to himself.

The man plopped down beside him. “Hey shithead” he said.

Brad fought a tear that was burning his eye with will to run down his face.

“Erick! Hey brother! You look, um good!” Brad said.

“No I don´t. But neither do you so we are even” he snapped, fighting the urge to smile. He didn´t want Brad to even dream that he was happy to see him, though he was a little.

“So, how´d they convince you to come?” Brad asked.

“The girl I´m banging said she wouldn´t put out for a while if I didn´t at least take the goddamn test. Even if it comes back positive, she ain´t gonna know” he answered.  The woman he was referring to is his live in girlfriend of five years.

“In that case, I hope I´m a match” Brad chuckled.

“Me too!” Erick roared with inappropriate and slightly forced laughter, sprinkled with a smoker´s hack.

Both men left the clinic with a band aid covered cotton ball on their forearm.  For the next few days Brad waited by the phone with waves of anticipation washing over him. Erick stayed drunk and even forgot why there was a dirty band aid clinging to his arm.

Neither had received a call but Erick´s arm had grown purple and painful to the touch. Brad´s impatience grew to epic proportions. Brad even tried calling Erick even though he knew it was of no use. Even if the number was correct, Erick would probably not answer it anyway.

After a heated, yet typical drunken fight, Erick’s girlfriend walked out promising never to come back.  Went it got this far it meant she´d be gone for at least a week. Usually, Erick relished in these recesses and basked in his freedom, usually getting drunker or higher than usual. This time he wouldn´t. Not even vodka and vicodin could mask the pain in his now swollen, multi color arm.

After seeking for more than three days, Brad finally acquired Erick’s address.  He would not rest until he knew that either he or his brother could be a possible donor. When he arrived to the house he was taken aback. Brad´s living conditions were even worse than he expected. “How could someone live like this?” he thought to himself.

He knocked on the door. No answer. He thought he heard moans coming from inside and they sounded like Erick. He slightly pushed on the door. It was enough to open it. The door did not close properly, let alone have a lock. Erick was on the floor. His face was white and covered with sweat. One arm was raw and swollen, it looked as if it has been burned. It was the arm the blood sample had been taken from. The smell was overwhelming.

Brad said in horror “Let´s get you to the hospital. That arm don´t look so good.”

“It don´t feel no good either” Erick replied, “Ever since that goddamn test. Knew I shouldnt´ve  done it. That bitch tricked me” he was drunk and Brad could smell it over the stench.  “That asshole, son of a bitch of a father of ours is finally gonna get his way after all these years” he stammered.

“What do you mean?” Brad asked.

“Bury one of us! Especially me, the fuck up” Erick said, eyes rolling into the back of his head.

Brad convinced his brother to go to the hospital.  “You have an HAI Mr….”  the doctor trailed off. He couldn´t make out Erick´s last name.

“English, doc” Erick moaned.

“Hospital acquired infection, sir” the doctor replied. He continued ” It´s spread all through your body. Given your lifestyle it has already ravished your weakened system. Let me talk to your brother outside” he said with a forced smile and led Brad to the hall.

There he gave Brad the news that his brother would probably only live for another week. Brad took the news hard and asked if he could be the one to break it to his brother.  The doctor obliged. Erick took the news almost as a relief. There would finally be relief from the pain of his ailment and from the pain that was his life.

Erick was sent home with a smorgasbord of drugs to act as a bridge over pain from the current moment to his eminent death.  One day, high as a vulture with a good draft under its wing, he answered the phone.

“Is this residence of Erick….” the voice trailed off trying to make out the last name.

“Yeah, yeah, sure is” Erick answered.

“I have some good news and some bad news” the voice said.

“Hit me” Erick said.

“The good news is, you´re a match for your father” the voice informed.

“Go on, you said you had some bad news” Erick said with a smile.

“Yes, well, due to the infection I´m afraid we can´t use you and your brother is not a match” the voice said.

Erick sat there in silence with a smile from ear to ear.

“Sir….sir….” the voice on the phone called until there was an audible click.

“This is a great day to be alive” Erick said as he slipped a morphine strip on his tongue,  popped a rainbow of pills and washed them down with cheap vodka.

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Don´t be afraid

9 Aug

bedtime

 

Sammy had a profound fear of going to sleep . One year ago, on her fifth birthday, her grandfather was moved into her family’s home under hospice care. A short three months later he passed in his sleep. Sammy was the one who found him. She went into his room to hear the daily story Grand Pop would make up on the spot for her. She ended up staying in his room playing with the corpse for about an hour until her mother found her. For the past nine or so months, bedtime has been a nightmare for all involved.

One morning she woke up and proclaimed that this would be the night that she would overcome this fear and go to bed with no hassle. Her parents were elated. They were at their wits end. They had no idea what to do to this point. She had seen psychiatrists, sleep medical professionals, even a mystic in an attempt to eradicate this fear of sleep. Her health was deteriorating as a result. She was gaunt. The lack of sleep curbed her appetite and stunted her growth.

As the day slipped by, Sammy nervously eyed the clock. With every passing hour she knew she´d have to go to that scary place, her bed. And she did not forget her promise to her parents. It was the middle of summer so the day was long. But, as it must, the sun started to set. Sammy’s courage started to wane. As the sunlight subsided, her fear grew until she was as terrified as it was dark outside.

As the clock drew close to ten o’clock she solemnly went into the living room where her parents were watching a movie. She told them that she would go to bed by herself. Her father objected. He noticed that she was visibly shaking. He wanted to at least comfort her through this milestone but she objected. She told them that she had to do this alone.

Around 11 o’clock her father snuck up the stairs to see if she was asleep. She was. He father felt as if a huge weight was lifted from his shoulders. He backed out of this room, closing the door behind him and made his way to the stairs, very excited to share this news with his wife. As he crossed the threshold into the living room ready to give his wife the good report there was what seemed like an explosion. The house shook. The world shook. Then there was the sounds of crashing all around him. He grabbed his wife and dove back under the threshold. That was the safest place to be during an earthquake, so he was repeatedly told during his time in Elementary school.

The shaking went on for what felt like an eternity but was in fact not more than a few brief moments in time. He looked around and there was a lot of damage around him. Car alarms were blasting in the background. His wife and his only thought went to Sammy. As they made their way to the stairs they were hit with a blow to their senses that was rivaled by none other. The stairs were flattened. There was smoke coming from the rubble. It was as if a mighty palm came down from the heavens and squashed their dreams. Their home, their beloved daughter, their everything was gone.

Around a year after the incident, Sammy’s father was finishing a quick Chinese food lunch before having to go back to work. He almost never ate the fortune cookie and usually didn´t even bother to read the message inside. Today he decided to have the fortune cookie. He clumsily ripped open the plastic and cracked the cookie in half. The message inside brought back feelings of pain that had only slightly started to subside.

You can overcome your fears, but what you are afraid of can still get you.

 

110% in 3 years Pt. II (Final)

9 Jan

father and daughter

(note from the author: Please read PT. I first     https://ryanimpink.wordpress.com/2014/01/09/110-in-3-years-pt-i/  )

 

Rick took on the role as father as if he were a soldier in a war for his legacy. He knew he was a loser. He didn’t need the constant reminders, though he received them. One day during a mild argument about a questionable comment left on a photo posted on the internet, Megan told Rick that he was a piece of shit in all aspects of life except one. She told him he was a great father. Both statements were true. Rick was okay with that.

 

The months dragged on and Rick was there in Laney’s life. He was devouring parenting books as fast as he could and applying what he learned. He was extra careful to not upset Megan as to not cause fights because he read that could affect the development of his new found love and reason for being. Though they still lived separately, the spent a lot of time together. Rick needed this time to be around Laney but not for his sake but for hers. He knew, from what he read, the importance the role of a father plays in the first years of life.

 

Holidays passed, birthdays passed and logically the years passed. Laney was an early developer and stared uttering her first words around 14 months. She was speaking sentences by two and a half years. By three years she was able to carry out eerily adult like conversations.

 

One day when Rick and Laney were at the park, Laney on a swing with Rick pushing she said “Daddy, you aren’t going to be around much longer are you?”

 

Rick almost choked on his gum. “Why are you asking that?”

 

Laney paused then responded “You didn’t say no Daddy” another pause “Mommy fights you a lot. I know you don’t like it”

 

Rick was at a complete loss for words. She was onto to his plan. Three years. It was time to go. He gave more of himself than he thought possible because he read that the personality of a child is practically solidified at around three years old. He thought if he put in his solid three years of stellar fatherhood, he would set Laney up for life. He could not take it anymore. The ridicule that Megan doled out. She would belittle him in front of others. Worse, in front of Laney. But how could Laney have sensed that this was coming?

 

His eyes started welling up. “Do you trust Daddy?”

 

“Of course, Daddy”

 

“Then know that Daddy will always be close”

 

“Okay Daddy”

 

Later that night alone in his apartment Rick knew that he had to put Plan B in action. He went to his closet and found the egg shaped ball of aluminum foil and carefully opened it up exposing two gelatin capsules full of white powder. With tears thin his eyes he poured himself a glass of Teacher’s whiskey and quickly washed the capsules down. As warmth turned to coolness turned to numbness turned to darkness he whispered “Trust Daddy Laney”

110% in 3 years Pt. I

9 Jan

 

 

 

father-and-daughter-silhouette-494x329

(Note from the author: this story will be told in parts not to exceed 500 words. The parts are not pre-written and will be posted immediately upon being edited and revised.)

Their relationship was horrible practically from the beginning. Rick knew he should have gotten out after the first glimpse of jealous rage which took place only weeks after having first met. He couldn’t leave though. The physical release that Megan gave him was so intense he tricked himself into staying a few weeks at a time. Then other circumstances came along that tricked him into staying for a few months at a time. Then a grave circumstance came along that tricked him into staying for a few years.

Rick was jogging one day when he got a call from Megan. It was odd for her to be calling because they were separated and haven’t spoken for some time. Slightly out of breath, he answered. She was crying. For some odd reason Rick knew what this was about.

“Remember our trip to the Jersey shore back in March” she asked.

“Yeah” he answered. It was July.

“Well, I’m pregnant. It’s yours” She said opening a floodgate of tears.

Rick was surprisingly stoic. He immediately knew what he had to do. What constituted for Rick’s father wasn’t so much a human but a chemical consuming machine and Rick vowed never to be like him. Even though Rick never intended on being a father, he knew the way he lived his life it was bound to happen one day. And he knew that when this day came that he was going to step up.

Tears started to roll down Rick’s face. This was it, his chance to break the cycle, his chance to not fuck up another human life.

“What’s the next step?” he asked. The had been separated for 5 months. They went on their trip to the Jersey shore because the room was already paid for and a few hundred bucks to Rick was a lot of money.

“Let’s move back together?” she said, her wet sobs mysteriously dried up.

“Take it easy” he said “I want to be there for the baby and all but let’s go slow. I don’t want my kid growing up in a house with people screaming and fighting like I had to. I’ll do the right thing, I swear, but one step at a time”

Megan agreed. The next few months included trips to the doctor, the reading of books on parenting, not so romantic dinners, together. Then on a cold day in February, Laney was born. Seven pounds, two ounces and healthy as could be. Rick and Megan actually felt close. Rick was glad about this as it was all part of his plan.

They spent three long days in a maternity suite that was infinitely nicer than the Jersey Shore hotel room where Laney was conceived. Of course neither of them had the means to pay for this but Megan’s father did. In these three long days, Megan reminded Rick why they could never be together as he did her. There was constant bickering over everything, anything and nothing at all.