Ragdoll Chronicles 12.25.17
Robert Langdon had just sat down with a fresh cold can of beer in his hands. He plopped his sock covered feet onto the scarred coffee table and snuggled a half-eaten bag of chips close beside him on his recliner. Using his remote he flipped through the channels until he found an old murder mystery movie. He was in for the day as far as he was concerned. But then the phone rang. “Robert,” his estranged wife’s voice jumped from the earpiece startling him. He brought the recliner fully up tossing the potato chips onto the floor and spilling his beer.
“What?” To say he was startled would be missing the mark. This was his day to rest and relax. Why was she calling him?
“Robert, did you forget that you had the day today to take Chase fishing?”
Robert quickly ran through the calendar and his mind. “No that’s next week.”
“I’m sorry,” a familiar sarcastic tone assaulted his ear. “No dear, your week, this week, this weekend, this hour, this very minute, you were supposed to be here to take Chase fishing.”
“What? Are you sure? I think you’re wrong. Besides that I just settled in with a beer bag of chips and a TV program and,” he glanced outside hearing a clap of thunder, “it’s raining dear heart.” This last was delivered with a sarcastic curl to it.
“You promised Chase to take him fishing, rain or shine. Now get your ass over here and take him out like you promised to do. God what sort of father are you.”
“I’m the kind of father that wants to sit and watch his program on TV and not go out in the fucking rain.”
He heard the deep sigh from the other end of the line. “It’s raining Denise. I can’t take the kid fishing if it’s raining.”
“His name is Chase, he is your son, and he is not just a kid.” The words came hard and biting. “Now are you going to get up and get over here and do your duty as a father?”
“Denise I didn’t want to be a father in the first damn place.”
“I realize that,” she sighed. “I wish I had known that before we got married. You’re not a father your sperm donor.”
He smiled. “What you seem to have liked my attention at the time.”
“Chalk it up to youthful stupidity on my part.”
“Yeah,” he smiled.
“Don’t start. He’s waiting for you.” He heard her call Chase.
“It’s raining Denise.” There was silence on the other and the phone. Then he heard her call their son again.
“Wait a sec, I’m not sure but I think I heard the door slam.”
He sat back in his chair prepared to kick the recliner back and took a sip of beer. A few moments passed and then Denise was back on the phone. “Your son just left the house. He has his fishing pole and a slicker on and he is heading down the street towards the river. Now get over here.”
Robert brought the recliner back forward, sighed, and hung up the phone. There was no getting around it, he knew that. Might as well face the music and get dressed then go get the kid. But he wasn’t going to take him out in the rain fishing. There was a bar down the street with arcade like games and a pool table in a side room. Most importantly there was a large screen TV. The Kid could play games in one room and he could watch a football game with his friends sucking down beer and eating bar peanuts in the other. Denise did not need to know. He would give Chase 10 bucks to keep his mouth shut. He’d done it before. He stood, yawned, scratched his groin and then began the search for his car keys while muttering to himself, “Damn ex-wives and dumb assed kids that don’t stay home in the rain.”