My son is 25 now. It seems like I think of him at the same time every day and thankfully, I talk to him more often than I ever thought possible. His new job starts in the afternoon, and I find myself waiting for his calls, for any sign that he needs me. I still remember the look of disappointment in his eyes the last day.
The distance between us seems to be decreasing, but I’m not sure if it’s real. I am hoping that he really has forgiven me and that I am not exposing myself to another failed relationship. I have to try this if there is any chance that he will let me be part of his life now. Sure, he only calls when he needs $20 dollars for gas, or help with car repairs, but that’s what dads are for, right?
In fact, it’s a miracle that’s he calls at all, considering the things his mother has probably told him about me. She always did have a foul mouth and worse attitude. I know what she said to some of our friends, so their conversations can’t have been better.
I was a decent husband, I mean, who hasn’t had a few “indiscretions” right? I’m a great dad, contrary to popular opinion. I was there when it mattered, came home every night and worked my ass off. Never did I complain about the constant fatigue from a job I hated, or that his mother spent more of my check on hair extensions than she did on bills. We had food, a place to live, and we usually kept the car payment from being more than 45 days past due.
I wonder exactly how much he knows.
Fuck it, he doesn’t know my version, I was the one making everything work. That’s not what matters now. Now, I need to figure out how to show him love without digging up the past.
I kind of got it wrong with the first two kids, but I really tried with this one. I don’t even want to think about those first two baby mammas. This time he will know that from here on out, I’m here for him no matter what. We don’t have to discuss that childhood stuff besides, all that other stuff is my business.
I want to help him out, but $200? That sure is a lot to repair such a small car. I know Jin needs the help, but there have to be other options. I’m trying not to complain; my son needs me. Damn, it hurts to give up these extra coins though. I still have to look good and keep this cut fresh, but I don’t want him to think I don’t care.
The real problem is the child support kicking my ass but that’s not my son’s fault. I’ll just get one outfit and one pair shoes this time, then ole girl at work will kick me some extra change if I do it right. That should leave me with enough cash to loan and enough to last me until next payday.
Next time I’ll just text him, find out what the ask is first, then if I have the money, cool. If not, I’ll tell him I’m in a meeting and text him back when I get the dough.
That’s it. Damn, I’m good.
The excerpt that you have just read is our new upcoming series How to Beat Broken. You just met Leo, an estranged father, attempting to figure out the mess he calls a life. Join me over the coming weeks as we reveal more of this gripping story, and unveil more of the engaging and familiar characters to you.