“Where to?” My uncle asked as we drove around. It was another typical night for us. He was more sober than I was. Hell, I was downright shitfaced. We had been partying all night at different clubs.
In the year that passed since I gave my rights to Parker away to my father, things have changed for me. I started to befriend my crazy uncle, who just so happens to be a television star. He’s a huge success on some drama medical show. I don’t watch television, hell I don’t even OWN a television.
I shrugged in reply to my uncle. “I dunno. We could go to the Prosperity Room, place thingy.” I was totally wasted, I couldn’t even remember half of the clubs’ names.
“Dude, we were just there. Man your drunk. Why don’t we just get you home, I have to get up early anyway. We start filming the next season tomorrow.”
“It’s whatever man.”
Finding places to hang out was a challenge for Jake and I. We would go out to dinner and hang out at all the clubs, but there was always his fame that would just ruin the night for us. We were at an outdoor restaurant one night, it was Jake’s choice, certainly not mine, when we heard a small camera sound. I looked over and two teenage girls were taking snapshots of Jake with their cellphones. Jake was a huge celebrity with the success of his show. “Pst, Jake, two girls are snapping pics of you again.” I whispered as we patiently waited for our food.
Jake smiled and gave them a little finger wave. They screamed and ran. Jake and I busted up laughing. “Pretty hot.” He smirked as he checked the girls out as they fled from us.
“Too young Jake, too young.” I joked. “Besides don’t you have a girlfriend?”
Jake grinned, “Yea. How did you hear about that?”
“Grandpa.” I answered with a slight smile. Grandpa Thomas was always calling us, checking up on us because of Grandma Lonni. Since I’ve been in Bridgeport, I’ve been lucky not to run into her. Yet, she makes grandpa call to yell at me and I can here her over the phone. As we were laughing about grandpa calling me, a young gentleman about my age came walking up to us.
“Excuse me, but could I like have your autograph Doctor Richards?” The guy didn’t even know Jake’s real name.
“Seriously dude? Don’t you even know his name?” I asked quite surprised. Most people that walk up to Jake ask for Mr. Right’s autograph. Jake took his mother’s name when he started acting.
“It’s okay Travis.” He took the pen and magazine and signed his name. “Have a good one.”
“Ah thank you man! Your awesome.” He walked off, and as soon as he did more and more people came crowding around our dinner table. Another evening ruined by Jake’s celebrity status. UHG!
Jake and I did find some privacy on some nights. There were the private clubs and the private bars that we were able to get into. I was starting to get recognized by the bartenders and other celebrities, because I was hanging out with Jacob Right, Television Star. We loved to crash at the Aquarius and take a dip in the hot tub. “Dude, why you wearing a shirt?” Jake asked me when I got in after drinking half a bottle of tequila with some chick.
I shrugged, “I dunno.” I was completely hammered.
Jake started to laugh, “how many have you had already?” I shrugged again. “Boy, you better home mom doesn’t find out how much you been drinking. She’ll kill me and then come kick your ass.”
“She won’t find out Jake. It’s not like your gonna tell her that we drink. ‘Hey ma, I’m drunk as a skunk and oh guess what I been partying with lil’ Trav and he and I get plastered every night.’” I joked in a week imitation of my uncle.
He flipped me the bird. “She has other ways of finding out Travis. I don’t know how she does it, but she always knows when I’ve been drinking and when dad’s fallen off the wagon.”
“Well until then, I’ll keep partying with my favorite uncle.” I splashed him with my foot and he came after me. We ran around the poolside until security kicked our drunk asses out.
The best part about hanging out with Jake was the party’s and all the women. We were at a huge after party for his show. He was totally hammered and I was getting fresh with one of the girls there. We were flirting, kissing, and fondling. Jake was screaming and cheering, “thata boy Travis!” I turned red and looked at the hot chick I was talking to.
“Maybe we should take this somewhere more private?” I whispered to her, “you know, away from the dumbass over there.” I winked. She took my hand and I followed her into an empty bedroom.
She led me to a bed and I started to help her out of her clothes. She helped me out of mine and soon we were completely and one hundred percent naked. We made out and continued to fool around until we heard the door being banged on. “Travis! You doing it? You sly dog. Hope your wearing protection! I don’t need dad on me for having another great-grandchild!”
I looked at the door, shut up! I wanted to scream. The girl was down on me and she stopped, “What’s he talking about?”
“Nothing. Just ignore my crazy ass uncle.” I tried to get her back to what she was doing, she sat up and just looked at me, waiting for me to tell all. “Look, we gonna do this, or what?”
Of course that was the wrong thing to say, she immediately started to put her clothes back on.
I was working hard, well as hard as a guy with a hangover could do. Still, working at the bank was amazing. I was just a standard bank teller now. My boss loved me, and my co-workers at least knew my name. I was trying to work my way up to a promotion. I didn’t want to just be a bank teller my entire life. I wanted more, I craved an office and a leather chair. I craved the power behind a desk. It was my new life ambition, to get to the top, to become a high powered business man. I wanted to become VP of the bank, well to be honest I wanted to be CEO. That was a dream though, reality was, I didn’t even know if I could pay next weeks rent.
Staying up and drinking at all hours of the night sure was taking its toll out on me. I had my alarm on my watch set just before work started in the morning. My head was always killing me when I woke. I didn’t consider myself an alcoholic, but most people would say that I was. I don’t know why I drank. Of course people would say it ran in the family blood, others might say I was just drinking to numb the pain that I was in from leaving Parker. Truth is, I was just having a ton of fun with my uncle. I never really thought about it.
Still, I never wanted to wake up. I wanted to sleep all day and party all night. The best part of my day was when I was with Jake. The mornings were the worse. My eyes would be bloodshot and my watch’s alarm would be going off. My cell next to me would start going off. More than likely it was grandpa or uncle Jake, making sure I got up and off to work.
Of course, not every night I was with my uncle, some nights I went to the bars alone to pick up women. I craved the attention that they gave me, and I craved the booze the bartenders served. Some nights I would go home after getting a bit lucky and drunk, but most nights I was just drunk.
When I wasn’t picking up a girl or hanging out with Jake, I was drinking heavily. I could picture Parker in my head and the constant reminder that I left him pushed my emotions. I did drink most nights to numb that pain. I never told Jake why I drank so heavily. At first it was fun drinking with him, now it was a survival mechanism.
I couldn’t ever forget Parker. I may have drank to numb that pain, but there was always that monthly reminder that I left my son. My dad finally took up my offer for child support. It really wasn’t his idea, it was my grandparents. They had me set up a trust fund for him, so that when he was older he could live his life however he pleased with the money I earned. They wanted me to pay since I did the worst thing anyone could do to a child, and that was leaving him. I agreed to my grandparents and my father’s request and I sent a check every month to the bank down in Riverview. I knew this would never dissolve the hurt I caused him, but it was a start.
Then that day came, the day I still can’t help but want to redo. I had waken up mid-afternoon. It was Saturday, and I was just coming out of a huge hangover. My phone started to ring, and I looked to see that it was Jake. “Sup! Where we heading tonight?” I asked happily.
“Actually, I was hoping if you could come over. I want to introduce you to my fiancé. Dad’s coming too.”
“You popped the question!” I blurted out. “When?”
“This morning up in the hills. We took a morning stroll and I decided there that she was the one for me. So, you gonna come or what?”
“Yea, I’ll be there. Hey, why isn’t grandma gonna be there?” I asked, just remembering that Jake said only grandpa was going to be there.
“Work. I’m gonna take her out with Rosalyn tomorrow for brunch.”
We said our goodbyes and I headed out of the building towards his place on the other side of town.
The security guard let me through the doors when I got to Jake’s building. I headed up to the fifteenth floor and knocked on my uncle’s door. He opened up the door. “Hey Travis! Come on in.”
“Thanks. I got here as fast as I could, but you know that green line.”
“Yup, sure do. Come on, I got someone I would like you to meet.”
I walked in and froze. I just stood, mouth open. I recognized the girl like it had been yesterday. Travis started to talk, but I didn’t listen. I just stood there. Her blonde hair, he beautiful lips, her amazing body, I remembered it all. Why did she have to come back!
“Travis, yoohoo, you listening?” Jake asked. I shook my head. “This is Rosalyn, Ros this is my nephew Travis.” She took one look at me and instantly she knew who I was. We just stood there and stared at each other. Neither of us could talk. Rose stuck out her hand momentarily before retreating it. She just couldn’t play dumb. She and I both knew how this was going to end.
“Travis.” She finally said in that familiar tone.
“Rose.” I said with a bit of distaste. Jake was looking at both of us, trying to figure out what was going on. “How have you been?” I asked. I still wanted to kill her. It took every ounce of perseverance I had to restrain myself from lunging at her.
“Could be better. How bout you?” She asked.
Jake’s pee-brain finally clicked the pieces together. “You guys know each other?” He asked in shock.
“Unfortunately.” I answered.
And just before Rose could say anything, or myself, my grandfather walked in. “Anyone home?” He hollered from the front door.
“In here dad!” Jake screamed. “Come in.”
While Jake and Grandpa Thomas hugged and started to chat a bit, both Rose and I continued to stare at each other. We both knew what was on each other’s mind, Parker. She probably wanted to know where Parker was and if I had him still. I just wanted to know why she left him. I couldn’t blame her though, now that I did the same thing. Yet, it still irked me that she bolted and she never gave us a chance, or her son.
Grandpa pulled me out of my trance and Rose looked at him. “Well answer me boy?”
“Huh, sorry grandpa, I. . . er. . . wasn’t listening.” I answered honestly.
“Did you want his picture? Your dad sent me a new one from his birthday party. He’s growing big, looking like you too.”
I started to rub my neck, he was asking about Parker. “No, I’m cool. I have one at home.”
“I’m sorry, but who are you referring to Mr. Right?” Rose butted in, curious. I laughed. She had no clue!
“RIGHT! Hell, I ain’t a Right! My son changed his name to that when he went into show business. He never liked being a Rain.” My father scoffed at Rose. “I was referring to this idiot’s kid, my great-grandson, Parker. He just turned five.”
Had it really been five years? I wanted to cry, that meant it had been three since I saw my son last.
“Here, you have to see him.” Grandpa pulled out his wallet and started to hand a picture to Rose. I went wide-eyed.
“Grandpa she doesn’t need to see the pic.” I whined. He handed her the picture anyway. She smiled and I could tell she was sad.
“He’s adorable. W-where is he? Isn’t he with you Travis?” She asked.
“Hell no! My grandson, the idiot, decided that he was better off without his kid and left my great-grandson with his grandfather. Hell, I love David but if I was him I would have driven up here from Riverview and dragged my grandson’s ass all the way back home to raise his son. David’s a softy though, no backbone.”
“So, you left him?” She asked me. “You left your son?”
“Yea.” Then without thinking I pulled out the big guns, “hell, if his mother wasn’t gonna stay, I wasn’t either.”
Rose took off in tears. CRAP! My grandfather smacked me in the head and mumbled something about how I was a dumbass kid. Jake just stood in shock when Rose bolted the house.
Rose had beat me to the elevator. I had to apologize to grandpa and my uncle before I went to follow her.. I stopped Jake from following, telling him that I knew what was going on and that everything was fine. I told him that I would explain everything later, but he had to trust me.
By the time I got to the elevator it was going down. I rushed down the fire escape. When I got to the main lobby I rushed out of the doors and found Rose running down to the street light. “Rose! Wait!”
“Leave me alone Travis!” She screamed as she rounded. I ran towards her. I felt like shit after what I had said.
“Rose, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean. . . . I’m so sorry.”
“You left him. You left Parker. I thought. . . I hoped. . . “ She started to cry harder.
“I know. I am so sorry. Please, don’t cry Rose.”
“YOU LEFT HIM!” She screamed. “YOU PROMISED! You were suppose to take care of him! You were suppose to raise him! WHY DID YOU LEAVE HIM!?!
Oh no she did not! “ME? What about you! You left him too! I didn’t promise anything, you just left a fuckin’ letter and took off in the middle of the night! Yea, I may have left, but at least I wasn’t the first to leave! YOU’RE HIS MOTHER!”
“YOU’RE HIS FATHER!” She retorted.
“Why the hell did you leave then?”
“My father.” She cried, giving in. We were really good at arguing, but we knew that we both had to explain our actions, if the argument was going to go anywhere. “He gave me a shitload of cash and told me to get out of town. I asked him about Parker, and he said that I couldn’t take him. Dad wanted me to start a new life before all hell broke loose. He’s dead, you know?”
I nodded, remembering how her father’s body was found, torched to a crisp in the abandoned warehouse.“Yea I saw on the news shortly after you left. So why didn’t you come back?”
“I had the money and the means to start all over. I figured that you didn’t want me anyway, seeing as how I left.” I nodded in answer. I wanted to kill her after she left. “Now, why did you leave?”
“Law school. Although, I dropped out a week after I arrived. I didn’t have the heart or the guts to return and see my dad.”
“So, we both left. Guess, we can say we won’t make Parents of the Year?” We both gave a chuckle. “Look, I’ve got to run. Tell Jake that I’ll call him if he still wants to be together. I’m sure he won’t be happy to hear that I’m Parker’s mom. Just tell him I love him, and if he still wants to marry me, I will.”
“I’ll tell him.” She gave me a hug and she walked across the street and hailed a cab. I felt like an idiot. If I had been smarter, she could have come out and told Jake. Yet, I was an idiot. I wanted her to feel like crap about leaving, and although I succeeded, I still felt like shit doing it.
I walked back into Jake’s apartment only to find grandpa went to lie down in the upstairs bedroom. Jake stood from the sofa, “well, what the hell was that all about?” He asked, pissed off.
“Jake, Rose and I do know each other. I don’t know how to put this gently, but. . . . well. . . Rose is Parker’s mother.”
Jake looked as if all his blood was drained from his body. He looked as if he was going to pass-out or throw up. “But. . . . but. . . .” He started to say.
“I’m sorry.” It was all I could think of saying. “Look, she still loves you. She still wants to marry you. Now, I know that might be a bit weird, but really who’s gonna know.”
“Oh my God, the press! What if they find out? Oh, God I can’t let that happened. It’ll ruin me!”
“Oh come on. How are they going to know that you married your nephew’s ex-girlfriend? Plus, it’s not like anyone knows I have a son, or that she has one. Just call her, marry her.” I handed him my phone, but he didn’t take it.
Jake stumbled back lightheaded. “I need a drink.”
“Come on, Euigi’s is having a special.” I took his arm, “I’m buying.”
Together we headed out to the bars and both of us drank till we puked.