#219 His Son

by Clint Okayama

His son was coming to meet him. The day before the meeting, he hung up his apron at the diner and hummed a song they sang together back when his son was seven, some patriotic state song his son had memorized in school. That boy was so smart. Just like his mother.

At home, as he reheated three-day-old beef stew for dinner, he remembered going out for pizza every Friday until the boy surprised him one day by asking for Thai food instead. That was back in 1993. And now he was coming home for the first time in five years.

The next morning, the day his son was coming to meet him, he couldn’t sleep after five AM. He put on his newest pair of jeans, a collared T-shirt, his classic leather belt and cowboy boots. Over breakfast he practiced points to talk about but by lunch he threw it all out. He wanted it to be genuine. Real. He just had to speak from his heart, show how sorry he was and it would be all right. How he broke down when he saw happy families on TV.

At the Starbucks, there was a man in a suit who shook his hand, motioned to a table and held out a personal check for ten thousand dollars signed by his son, to be given on condition that he never attempt to communicate with his son again. There was a contract.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Heartbreaking. This really touched me deeply.