I Sang for My father

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fan Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
The story is about a teenage boy who lives with his father, but their relationship is constantly tested by the many women that he brings home. Until woman number fifteen, he has always been confident that none of the women would be able to get his father to make a commitment. Number fifteen arrives one evening and is there the next and the boy's confidence evaporates slowly.

Submitted: July 22, 2012

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Submitted: July 22, 2012

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I Sang For My Father

At 7 p.m. the shrill ringing of the phone jerked me out of the world of ‘Chicago’ where dancers were making me high on moves that glued my eyes to the television set. I hurried to the where it hung on the wall, picked it up and said hello. It was my daddy; he wanted me to know that he’d be home in the next twenty minutes. I hung up the phone and went back to my movie leaving Dad out of the picture, confident that he’d be home that night.

My dad never came when he said he would but he always came home, and like all other times, I would lose myself in the movies until I felt sleepy enough to go to bed. Like all other times he would be home long after I had gone to sleep and of course I’d see him next morning. Of course, there were in between times when he’d come home with some woman who either tried to win my affection or compete with me for his attention. I never worried about them. Each had a lifespan of an average one and a half night or if I counted the time before they arrived at the house, I’d get a flat two days.

My Dad and I had a secret understanding. He’d explained what he called the birds and the bees to me and I knew that I was the permanent fixture in his life and they the ships that pass at night. So Dad and I had this bond – this bond that nothing could break. I never worry about him not coming home, he wouldn’t do that, not my dad.

So this Saturday evening while I’m sitting at home all by myself, I could enjoy my movie and if I wasn’t too lazy, I would throw a pack of popcorn in the micro wave, wait through its explosive pop, pop and maybe grab a can of cold soda from the fridge. I did. That was the life. I could do pretty much what suited me. My life was the way I wanted it and nothing would be allowed to change it.

‘Nothing’ arrived with Dad at the exact time he’d promised he’d be home. I knew the minute he arrived because I heard the front door open and slam shut, for half of a second, drowning out the voices on the screen. Minding the many sermons from my dad about watching girlish movies, I switched the television channel to one of those cowboy movies that he loved to watch. That was the catch. If he arrived home while I was watching telle, them whoever was with him had to bear the inconvenience of watching John Wayne, Audie Murphy, Glen Ford or Henry Fonda slugging it out with cattle barons or whatever gunslinger was terrorizing the town folks, right to the end.

My dad strolled in with the woman, clinging to his arms. Let go, lady. Better watch it, that’s my property. ‘Mike’, my dad said, ‘meet Ronetta.’ I met Ronetta. I held out my hand, my palm still sticky from feeding myself buttered popcorn. ‘Hi Ronetta, welcome to our home hope you enjoy the visit.’ I know this will be your first and last. She moved out from under Dad’s arms and I saw her curves for the first time. She had curves, the kind that men who were as old as my dad could not resist. I could tell that she was a 36-24 – 40. She took the hand I’d proffered. ‘Hi, yourself Mike. I’ve heard a lot about you from your dad. I feel like I know you already.’ No you don’t and you wont. I smiled into her big hazel-brown eyes and returned ‘I feel I’ve known you all my life.’ Of course, I knew her kind. She was of the kind who got men like my dad to marry them and then make a stepson like me miserable for the rest of his life.

My dad offered Ronetta a Pepsi and she accepted. He went off to the kitchen to get it.

As he disappeared into the passage that led to the kitchen, I launched my plain speaking act. As Ronetta made herself comfortable in a comfortable divan near to the window and west of the telle, I threw her my most neutral smile and addressed her in the adult voice that I reserved for such occassions.

“Dear Ronetta, just what do you expect to get from this relationship?”

I caught her completely off guard. I could see a flash of something in her eyes. You won’t win this, Ronetta, so don’t even start. “What do you expect,” she asked. That you’d disappear; but of course you wont, at least not before tomorrow. “Let me try this again,” I said. “I’ve kept a count, you know, and you are number fifteen for this year, and it’s just March.” Ronetta’s eyes widen mockingly ‘Only that? Your old man’s must be getting really old.’

It was my time to be taken aback. Ronetta obviously had a brain going for her. I was formulating a response to her comeback when dad walked into the room again carrying three glasses of Pepsi on a tray. I looked at the frosty glasses and felt thirsty. I took my Pepsi, drank it and told them that I was off to bed. My dad was chuckled at the idea of an owl like me rushing off to bed at seven-fifty. ‘It’s past his bed time Vinny,’ Ronetta said and I detected a note of mockery in her voice. I was all sugar and light when I responded to her. ‘Enjoy your night, Ronetta, see you tomorrow, Dad.’ I’m leaving you to get your fifteen minutes of fame, Ronetta .

I went off to bed to sleep and wake to find Ronetta gone in the morning but when I walked into the kitchen the next morning, she was there and she was making coffee for Dad. I was stunned. Usually they were gone before I woke up. But not Ronetta. She was singing Jose Filiciano’s ‘Loving her was easy’ in a really breezy voice and to add to my misery, she smiled brightly at me. I strode past her and went to the fridge to get my bottle of Pepsi. There was nothing as refreshing as a cold Pepsi first thing in the morning. I opened the bottle and took a long drink and enjoyed the icy drink seeping into my stomach and spread to fill me with the coolness that I needed in this potentially volatile situation.

I won’t let you win Ronetta. I am the king in this house and you are too old to be my queen. I said to Ronetta ‘Nice to see that you’re still here.’ I guess to her I was conceding victory because she stared at me with her head leaning a little to one side and told me that I was a sensible boy. Boy, that shook me. It shook me even more when my daddy walked in and kissed her on her forehead, kind of loving like. I’d never seen my dad do that to any of the women he brought home; in fact, I’d never really seen being affectionate with any woman. He often told me that his affection was mine and that no woman was ever going to turn on that light airy feeling in him again so that he’d go giddy and act like a lovesick swain. Especially, not after he had chased my Mom to the station, went down on his knees and begged her to stay, whilea curious audience of twenty people or more stopped all conversation only to hear her tell him it was over for good and that he could keep Mike, meaning me.

(To be continued)


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