It was decided that Riley would live with his brother until they could fix his house back up. It hadn't been lived in for seven years. And a few things needed repairing.
Cole fixed up the guest room, trying to make it as comfortable as possible. Also, he didn't want Riley to be alone. Things were going to be different. They were going to be difficult.
After a light breakfast and a walk around the property, Riley closed the door and lay on the bed. The bright sunlight shining threw the window, his hands cupped behind his head. He had a lot to think about.
It was quiet. Nothing like his other room. People running about yelling and screaming for mercy. Waking up every morning wondering if that day was going to be worse then the other.
A light knock on the door awakend him from his day dream. Lifting himself up on one elbow he stared wide eyed at the door.
Cole came into the room and saw the look on his brothers face. "I didn't mean to startle you."
"I didn't mean to react like that. Sorry."
It was true. They're relationship had changed. Normally Cole would have came in a with a joke, and Riley would have responded with a smile.
"Riley, you've only been back for about 24 hours now" Cole began slowly. He took a seat on the brown leather chair in the corner of the room.
"To be honest it feels longer then that."
"It does to me too" Cole smiled. "But seriously. You are home now. And I think it's time you let dad know."
"Cole, I can't. Not right now."
"You'll deny this right to your own father?" he burst out.
Andrew Thomas Kiebler, he'd spent his whole life farming. He worked every day for years to save enough money to buy a little piece of land. It had been years until he'd finally built up enough courage to ask Laura Edwards to marry him. They tried for years to have a child of their own. But slowly to begain to give up hope. Andrew never forgot the look on Laura's face when she came up to him and announced she was pregnant with Cole.
Andrew too was against have Riley sent away. But he felt it was the right thing to do. It was his sons departure that brought about his first heart attack. Without hope of recovering. But seeing his son again was all that kept him breathing. And very slowly he began to recover.
Riley lowered his head in shame. He missed his father, and longed to see him again. He remembered one time, although heavily medicated at the time, when his father came to visit him.
Laying there on the bed now he could clearly recall the tender, affectionate way his father looked at him. All the love, sorrow and pain. He could see it all. That image would never fade away.
Getting off the bed he sauntered over to the window and gazed out into the back yard. The trees high and mighty. The clouds fluffy and all bunched together. He admired the white trim around the bedroom. He'd always loved that look. Even on dark cloudy days the room always seemed bright.
"I'm sorry, Cole. When can I see him?"
Early the next morning Cole called their father, told him that
Riley was back, and wanted to see him.
That night was restless. Riley lay awake wondering what it would be like. Surely his father had changed. And of course he had too. Every time Andrew came to visit Riley had always been heavily sedated. So he really hadn't had a chance to speak with his dad in seven years.
When Riley got out of the car he noticed how his fathers house hadn't changed a bit. Three or four old cars parked next to the garage. Even the brown whicker chairs stood underneath the bay window. Little parts of the past crept back, growing up in that house. The were happy memories. And he was glad to finally feel a little happiness.
As he stood at the front door, placing his hand to knock he stopped, turned around, and looked pathetically at Cole. He didn't say a word to Riley, he only nodded his head encouragingly.
He knocked on the door as softly as he could. Suddenly his palms felt moist, his mouth was dry. He hated to admit it, but he was scared. Riley wasn't sure he could handle it until the door was opened by a man in his early sixties. Although he looked older than that. His once brown hair was almost completely gray. His deep brown eyes looked exhausted. But there was a sparkle.
Riley and Andrew stared into each others eyes, silently.
Cole watched anxiously as they walked into the house. From what he could tell neither one said a word.
As they stepped into the house, and Andrew closed the door behind them, Riley noticed that the carpet had been replaced. The new, flat tan was very nice from the redish-brown that had always been there.
Andrew looked over his son, and Riley didn't know if he was pleased or disappointed.
"Riley, my son!"
"Dad" he managed to say, feeling the word barely escaping his mouth. Reaching out to embrace his father.