Another response to Ten Quote Tuesday prompts. I used the prompt –
- Include all these elements into a scene: sports tickets, a candle, discouragement, and drawing.
A pull up…aaaand Clank! Damn!
“Need a hand with the hoop, Mr.V?” Marty, my next door neighbour hollered from his garage.
“I think I got it, young man.” I said, as I attached the net securely to the basketball hoop I had installed minutes ago.
“What’s up with the smile on your face?”
“My boy is coming over today” I told him as I checked that the net falls just above the garage door. I was looking forward to have a game or two with Jamie.
“Your son, Jamie is coming over?! So you finally got the custody issue resolved, huh?”
“Not entirely. My lawyer is still working on it. But I get to see Jamie now and then and today is his birthday. That makes it all the more special.”
I knew I had a happy yet forlorn look in my eyes when I told this to Marty. I mean, how can I not? I had missed out on a lot of things when it came to Jamie, most of it my own doing, though Jeanine didn’t help much. My passion about my art kept me drifting away to the deep dark world of charcoal and away from Jamie. But now, I wanted to get to know him and be in his life. I am aware that I will never be able to be the father that he wanted but I still wanted him to be my son. And that’s what I told Jeanine, his mom when I went to see her last fall. Obviously, things didn’t work out amicably with her, or I wouldn’t be here discussing lawyers and custody issues.
“You can join us for a game later if you are free, Marty”
“I look forward to it Mr.V, and meeting Jamie, too”
“Me too, Marty, me too.”
“So you think you are ready to be a Dad?”
“Well, I think so. I cleaned the house, got a birthday candle for Jamie. I even got us some tickets to the NBA game….and gift wrapped a charcoal drawing that I did of Jamie when he was little, as a birthday present. Oh, not to forget, I got a birthday cake for the candle, too”
“Wow. You ARE ready to be a Dad now!”
Marty’s hearty laugh rang through my own happiness.
“See you later, Mr.V”
With the basketball hoop installed I was done with all the preparation of meeting with Jamie. And yet I was not. How do you connect with your 15-year-old son who you have not seen since the past 10 years? I wanted to apologize to him for all those birthdays and games I missed. I wanted to tell him how much I regret being away from him. I wanted to introduce him to my drawings and sketches. I wanted to tell him that I loved him, more than he knew.
I sat on the wall on of the garage waiting for Jeanine to pull up into the driveway. Anytime now, I was going to be able to meet my son. A car did pull up but instead of Jeanine, it was Paul, my lawyer who walked up to me.
“Nick, I did not want to tell you over the phone so I came here personally. Jamie is not coming today, Nick. Jeanine got through the judge this time. She was permitted the rights to have Jamie with her on his birthday. I am sorry, man.”
I was crushed! Jeanine had painted my heart darker than charcoal.
“He is not coming? Does this mean that I won’t be able to see him, ever?”
“No! No..See I am going to do all I can to get you visitation rights. But right now, this is it, man”
“Visitation rights? You said I could share custody with Jeanine.”
“Nick, Jeanine has pulled out all stops. She even got your half-sister to testify against you. I think we’ll have to settle for visitation. I can’t tell you how sorry I am, man”
“Thanks, Paul. I know you did all you could.”
“Take care, man. I’ll keep you posted.”
I saw Paul’s car pull away from me, the tires tearing the ground down to open up an abyss full of despair, sorrow and discouragement.