Guy fights with his girlfriend but his dad helps him in so many ways
| To say I was confused didn't begin to scratch the surface that was my biggest problem.
I should've known better than to bring my dramas home, especially since home was a two-bedroom apartment and the walls were notoriously thin, ridiculously thin. You could hear everything, from the opening and closing of the closet doors to the bouncing of the mattress and everything in-between. When I mean everything...
I never really understood why I had an issue about bringing home my girlfriend, Laura Appleman, save that she was from a more well-to-do family and could not understand how she ended up with a guy who lived in an apartment with his father. It never occurred to her that I was busy putting myself through the MBA program all on my own, while helping with the bills to take care of my dad. She was born with a trust account on top of a sizeable bankroll, Mercedes for her 16th Birthday and a hop to the Bahamas for her 18th. Me, I had to work 3 jobs for 2 years before I could buy Caddie, my beat-up Red Honda Civic.
She also didn't understand why I bothered to deal with my dad. He was always on the demure side of things, soft spoken and reserved, which she took to mean that he was a wimp, a push-over, and someone that she barely would recognize or deem necessary to associate with in any shape or form. He tried to be friendly to her, he was friendly to all of my prior girlfriends, but once she hated someone, it took moving mountains with a teaspoon to change her mind. Suffice it to say, he learned this quickly and kept to himself whenever she came around (which wasn't often.)
Did I suspect my dad was gay or effeminate? Perhaps but what son doesn't somehow respect his father enough not to say anything like that? Dad had raised me all on his own after mom had skipped town and he poured his heart and soul into providing me with a good education, food, clothes, and a roof over my head. Sure, we didn't go to the Hamptons but we still managed to hit the backroads off Route 66 when I turned 13. Disneyland, Universal Studios, PGE Park, Safeco Field...all those places formed the basis of my childhood and I adored him for it.
This brought me back to my problem or the genesis of it anyway.
Laura had a rough day but in typical fashion, she came over and unloaded it on me. It was somehow my fault for not being a rich 9-figure trust fund baby to take care of her and every potential whim. It was my fault for not having the ability to give her a black card and tell her "go out on Rodeo and fill up the Benz." Hell, I'm sure it was my fault that the stock market dropped 5% and wiped out a couple million off daddy's portfolio.
She started yelling at me and I tried to reason with her (see prior statement of futility but hell if I wouldn't try anyway), which only served to make her even more pissed at me. She picked up my bag and slapped me with it. When I tried to get her to stop, her eyes went wide with fury and she picked up the small white vase that I had bought dad to celebrate his promotion at work and flung it at me. I ducked, barely, and watched it shatter and covered me from head to toe in stale water before I glared at her. She smirked, saying how I should keep that sheepish look, before she grabbed her purse and stormed out.
I sighed, not even feeling the need to be embarrassed that my dad had been there to hear and witness my crowning achievement in getting dumped by my most recent girlfriend. "Sorry you had to hear that, dad," I whispered, not bothering to get rid of my soaked shirt but instead bending down to pick up the shards of the vase from the floor.
Dad came up silently and knelt down next to me as he reached down and brought the small wastebasket to help in the cleanup. "What set her off this time?"
"Life?" I muttered darkly but then shook my head and sighed again. "It's probably meant to be this way." I didn't want to talk about it, though a part of me was still ashamed that he had to bear witness to it all. If I had been paying attention, I might have noticed that he was looking at me in a peculiar way and more than once his arm rose as if to give me a reassuring pat on the back only to falter and he pulled it back.
I shook my head and slipped off my soaked shirt, bundling it tightly so it wouldn't drip all over the carpet. "Damn, I should do the laundry before this begins to reek." It was a bad excuse but dad didn't stop me as I got up from the floor and walked into my room. It took a few more moments for me to get the half-pile of clothes into a laundry bag and then I walked out. I couldn't look at my dad on the floor still, mostly because I felt so small and insignificant in his eyes.
Like I said, no son wants to show his failures in front of his dad. Especially not me.
A few days later, after somehow sleepwalking my way through a financial accounting lecture, I collapsed onto one of the chairs and pulled out my phone. It wasn't going to be easy trying to explain to my friends why I had broken up with Laura, though I'm sure more than one of them would be glad to no longer pretend to care about that woman. I'm sure they would now gladly use more appropriate language to describe her, as well.
It took my phone pinging again as a message from dad appeared on my screen.
HEY, I HEARD YOU AND LAURA FIGHTING LAST NIGHT...EVERYTHING OKAY?
'Of course you heard it, you'd have to be deaf not to...' I thought sadly before I texted my dad a response. IT'S OVER, DON'T REALLY WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT, DAD.
OK, I'M HERE IF YOU NEED TO TALK. OR I MIGHT HAVE SOMETHING ELSE THAT MIGHT TAKE YOUR MIND OFF HER.
Now that was unlikely, try as I might, but Dad meant well. I smiled a little as I sent a reply text to him. I DOUBT IT.
Perhaps I shouldn't really challenge dad. He may look timid but the man had a mean competitive streak to him. Not to mention the fact that he hated losing. He also hated Laura too, but I think it was more he didn't want to lose to her. YOU EVER HEARD OF X-CHANGE? YOUR UNCLE DROPPED OFF SOME FOR ME, WE USED TO DO IT ALL THE TIME.
This got my attention immediately. Uncle Paul was notorious in the family for doing some crazy wild shit that dad sometimes didn't want me to hear. Last I heard, though, he had done some things with X-Change but dad wouldn't say anything. So the fact that he had dropped off some at the house made me pause for a moment. Another came from the fact that Dad even knew what it was to begin with. So I texted him back: UH, WHAT? YOU DO KNOW WHAT X-CHANGE DOES, RIGHT?
OF COURSE! YOUR DAD WAS YOUNG ONCE TOO! WHAT DO YOU THINK?
'What do I think?!?!' I looked around a few times to make sure no one else was looking at me before I turned back to the screen. THAT'S YOU?
Of course it was him...I knew what X-Change did and, let's be honest, I'd have to be dead from the waist down to have such a picture NOT impact me at all. WTF, DAD?!?!?
His response was a bit slow in coming though I think he was trying to figure out if I was actually being coy or if I was genuinely interested. Later on, I found out that he was also scared that I wouldn't do anything and take advantage of what he was trying to do. Did I mention I love my dad? MAYBE TRY CALLING ME 'MUM' FOR TONIGHT?
Before I could formulate a response, dad...er mom...sent me another text. COME ON HOME AND TAKE A CLOSER LOOK, I'M SURE WE CAN TAKE YOUR MIND OFF LAURA. X
In the few minutes between texts, mom had changed out of the purple lingerie that Laura had left in my room into a black number that I had no idea where it had come from, though I suspected it was one of the clothes that she (no denying it now) had kept from prior escapades. The video she attached to her text left little in mind what exactly she wanted and what she was doing.
See my problem now?