May 9, 2011

Part 2 of ‘Like Father like Son?’

Filed under: Writing — by badluckfairy @ 21:06

The kettle made it’s usual popping sound to indicate it had done it’s job.

‘Ah, Kettle’s boiled!’ he said and then regretted sounding a little over enthusiastic over something so inane.

He turned back to the young man that sat at the table scrutinising his every move.  He wondered if he was searching for shared mannerisms.

Smiling at his son’s potential curiosity, he turned back to the kettle, glad to be able to busy himself with making tea for a few moments.

He had many questions to ask.  He had many statements to make.  He wanted to ask if she had given Jack the address, if she knew he was here.

It had been years since he had last thought of her.  Anger and resentment had obviously subsided because he didn’t feel like he needed to defend himself against anything she had already said.  All he felt he needed to do was to make the statements of his that were important, and answer his son’s questions.

An awkward silence lingered as he sat himself at the table and placed the two cups next to the sugar bowl.

His heart skipped a beat when he realised he had given the young man the ‘World’s best Son’ mug that belonged to his younger son.  It was too late now, what could he do?  Take the tea and pour it into another mug?

His thoughts then flitted to the image of him presenting Jack with his own mug of this kind when the next occasion that could warrant such a gesture came around.

Jack had spent the past 5 minutes analysing his Father’s quick glances at him.  Did he feel uncomfortable?  Did he want him to leave?

Suddenly he wished he could be anywhere other than here, sat at this table, feeling so awkward and regretting his younger Brother seeing him loitering at the end of the path.

Jack had so many questions to ask, so many statements to make.  He hoped the anger at his Father’s absence over the years would stay at bay long enough for him to ask and say all that was important.

After two hours of chatting, Jack’s father had to do one of the hardest things he felt he had done since he walked out on Jack.

He had to explain that he had agreed to cover a shift at work.  He’d spent some of the past few hours trying to work out a way around having to go into work.  Just 5 minutes ago he had come to the regretful conclusion that he had no choice.

He could see the disappointment in his son’s eyes and quickly scrambled to naming days when he would and could give his son the undivided attention and time he so wanted to.

The two of them had spent their time recounting things they had done during the years of their separation.  Jack had only been 4 years old when his parents had split up.  But he had always had memories both good and bad of his Father.

The good included the times when his Father had had the time and patience to play football with him, read him a story and the few times when he’d held Jack when he’d been ill or sleepy.

The bad mainly consisted of the shouting, the rows his parents had had, and the day his Father left and didn’t come back.

They had started their chat talking quite nervously, tiptoeing around the issue of the separation.  Once the conversation gathered momentum, they had laughed together at amusing anecdotes.  They spoke about how Jack’s family were, whether he’d got anymore siblings, how he had done at school, his job and of course Lizzie.

His Father told him the names of his younger siblings, Lucy and Lee.  Lee being the young boy Jack had encountered at the door when he arrived.

By the time the bombshell about his Father needing to leave for work had been dropped, neither had broached any of the uncomfortable subjects.

Jack hadn’t even told his Father of his own impending Fatherhood.  He wanted to wait until all of the awkwardness had melted away and everything else was out in the open.

He felt he needed to judge whether this man was worthy of even knowing he was going to be a Grandfather.

As they said their goodbyes just inside the front door, another awkward silence loomed.

Jack stood for a moment longer before deciding that now was the time to turn and leave.  They had made arrangements to meet again in a week’s time and spend as much of a whole day together as they both pleased.

Before he could turn, Jack’s Father pulled him in for an impromptu hug.

As his own arms closed around his Father’s shoulders, he heard a familiar and soothing voice that he hadn’t heard since the night before his parents had split up.

‘I love you Jack’  the voice said before continuing ‘I’m so sorry I left you, I thought it was for the best.  I’m so happy you’ve forgiven me, please give me another chance to be part of your life.’

Jack felt a large tear fall on his neck before his own tears began to flow.

So here he stood.

Knowing he had made the right decision.



  1. Wonderful! I love how you let us into both of their minds. I am glad you decided to do a part 2. This is a great story!

    Comment by Billie Jo Woods — May 12, 2011 @ 22:48 |Reply

  2. Thankyou, I’m so glad that you feel part two was successful. I felt very protective towards Jack, I didn’t want to risk his feelings at all. I felt almost fobbed off on his behalf as the story turned towards cutting this first reunion short. I am going to try and write a 3rd part, because I feel it’s important that I try to give Jack the chance to confront his Father. I don’t know how many parts there will be in the end, but I know what the final words of the story will be when I reach the end. Now I need to find out how it gets to those words. Thankyou for encouraging me to do this, this has been such a positive challenge which has come at the perfect time.

    Comment by badluckfairy — May 12, 2011 @ 23:02 |Reply

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