Have you ever had that dream where it feels like your falling? Well, I have and I been dreaming it for about a month. Its not like I fell, I keep dreaming I jumped from my window. It scares the hell out of me. I know I’m depressed, especially since I had to see Rose a few times since our altercation at Jake’s.
I always woke up sick after my nightmare. I ended up soaking my bed sheets and looking over at the window. My pulse would be high and I would just sit on my bed and try to breath. I didn’t know if this made me suicidal, I expect it did. I didn’t want to die, but I certainly didn’t want to live with the guilt that I have been carrying.
I ran into Uncle Jake shortly after he broke off his engagement to Rose. I was at the gym, getting ready to run when he stopped me. “Hey Trav! My man! How’s it going?” He was pretty drunk.
“Good. I see your taking the break-up good.” I joked. “You need a ride home?”
“Nah, I’m cool. I came to like work out and stuff. I tried lifting weights but they’re like way too heavy.” Okay, maybe he was more than drunk, he was a bit stoned.
“Dude, what the hell did you take?”
“I dunno.” He replied and then shrugged. “Some guy gave it to me at the bar. It was far out man. Hey you wanna go streaking?”
“No Jake, and you aren’t either. The reporters will have a field day. Look, let me take you back to your place so you can crash and come off of whatever your on.”
“Alright.” He said excitedly. I felt bad for him. He loved Rose, and I know he blamed part of this situation on me. Rose and him were pretty cute together. She moved away after he broke it off. I think she just wanted to find a place where she could actually find peace. I know I’ve been trying.
The only peace I’ve been finding lately was heading to the bars. Well. that was the case until recently. I was waiting to take the elevator to the basement floor to go and drink at Euigi’s, when and old woman walked in. She looked at me with narrowed eyes, and I recognized her. . . Grandma Lonni! I gulped silently. “G-g-going down?”
“Yup.” She turned to face me as we rode in the quiet elevator. My heart pounded. Grandma Lonni had yet to see me, and I made sure to ignore her. She continued to keep her eyes narrowed while we rode down the slow ass elevator.
When the elevator stopped and the doors opened I walked fast and headed to bar. Grandma, however, stopped me. “And just where do you think you are going Travis?”
“Um. . . I was. . . um. . .” I couldn’t lie to my own grandmother. Shit! “
“You have a lot of explaining to do mister.”
“Like. . . “ I couldn’t even look her in the eye. She was mad at me, disappointed at me, hell, she wanted to kill me.
“Your out drinking at late hours, for starters.” A girl who I just had been with came off the elevator and waved at me. I nodded. “Her too. Who is she?” I didn’t know, so I shrugged. “Just like a Rain. Haven’t you learned anything Travis!”
“I. . . uh. . . .”
“What? Look, it’s my life. I can do what I want with it grandma. Yea, so I know her, I may not know her name, but we still enjoyed our time together last night. And if you want to talk about my drinking, then maybe we should talk about who I drink with!” I received a slap on the back of the head for talking like that. I was ballsy, she could do far worse. I’ve heard stories from grandpa about her dragging his ass out of the bars. My dad was even afraid of her.
“Don’t you talk to me like that young man. Now, look at me when I talk to you!”
I raised my head, “yes ma’am.”
“Now, you are to go home, and you are to pack your things and head back to Riverview. Do you understand me?”
“No. I am not going back grandma.” I received another smack up on the head. “Hit me all you want grandma, but I’m staying and I’m having a drink. I’ve been working hard all night and I need a drink.” Another smack.
“Young man, I will not allow my grandson to follow in the Rain’s footsteps. You are coming with me and if you don’t I will drag your ass all the way to Riverview.” I gulped. My grandma looked frail, but I knew she could do it. I nodded and followed her into the elevator. We climbed into her car and she drove me home.
“If I find out your drinking Travis, I will come back and you will be sorry!”
“Okay grandma.” I closed the door and watched her pull out. I gave her the bird when she was a few cars away. I really needed a drink. Dammit!
Grandma made me swear that I wouldn’t touch another bottle after that. I promised her and because I feared her wrath more than anyone else I kept to my word. Grandpa called me once to laugh at me and apologize.
Being sober made me think more and more about my life. Over the next couple of years I worked my way up the ladder at the bank. I started to do research outside and I came up with a solution to help the bank save money without having to raise interest rates. Thanks to my presentation to the CEOs I was promoted as a business analysts. I read the paper everyday before work. I checked the business section, and checked up on all the business around town. They were the bank’s biggest clients. We hardly got business outside of Bridgeport.
My job now was to see who was a liability to the bank and who wasn’t. If a business became a liability we would be forced to cut them financially. It was the only way to keep the bank running. It wasn’t a great time in Bridgeport, money was tight everywhere.
After work I would head to the gym and work out. I would watch the news while I ran. I could just buy myself a television, but it wasn’t necessary. If I did buy a television it meant that I would stay at the apartment more and that still wasn’t an option. I wanted to stay away. I had a very sociable lifestyle and staying in meant that I would just sulk there and not wither away in my depression.
In the gym I kept to myself and ran hard. I only stop when the news started to talk about the businesses around town. I’d take a breather and listen about the stock exchange, and the local community, and what business was thriving that week. After the short section of the news was over, I went and showered and headed home.
I was depressed, I regretted my biggest mistake every single day. I hated life on some days, including today. I had my old photo of Parker and every morning I would just stand there as I dressed and I would cry. Parker was now eight and I had this photo of him when he just turned a year old. I knew he had grown a lot since and I wished I had taken the photo grandpa wanted to give me. At the time I was more freaked out that Rose was standing right next to me. Now, I wished that I had listened more to grandpa. I could have had a new photo of little Parker, now grown up a bit.
I was just about to get ready for work when I looked at my phone, I had one missed call. Odd, considering my phone was sitting right there. I looked and realized that my phone was still on vibrate. Ooops. I checked the miss call, dad. A voicemail was attached. I hit play and listened, “Hey Trav, call me. I have some news to share.” He sounded ecstatic, which was really odd. He never was in a good mood when he called me. Truth is, I hadn’t heard from him since before Parker’s birthday.
I decided to give him a call before getting ready to head to work. I dialed the number, hoping that whatever he wanted to talk about was actually good news. I’d hate to find out he just wanted to rip into me for drinking. I was pretty sure grandma had told him about her threat. “Hello, Rain residence, Parker speaking.”
I stood in shock. My son was answering dad’s cell. I didn’t know what to say, or if I should hang up. “HEEELLLLOOOO!” He cried out. “Look, you gonna talk cause I have a very important mission I have to get on.”
I laughed. “What kind of mission?” I asked, forgetting to even say hi.
“A very top secretive mission!” He exclaimed. I heard a voice in the background “Who you talking to Park?” Dad asked Parker. “I dunno. Who’s this and what do you want?”
“Could you tell your grandfather that it’s Jake.” So I chickened out. I didn’t want to ruin his day.
“It’s Jake!” He called back out. “He wants to talk to you grandpa.” I heard the phone exchange. “Jake?”
“No, I lied. You called?” I said trying to sound happy, but inside I was feeling sick.
I heard a sigh come from dad’s voice. “You know, you could have just told him. He knows who you are, and he knows that we talk.”
“You called?” I said ignoring him. I’d hate to know what my son thought of me.
“Yea. Your sister is getting married. She wants you to come.”
“Married? Since when? It better not be that Chris!!!”
“It’s not. His name is Rod and he’s a respectable business man, kinda like you, but more respectable.”
“Gee, thanks. Well, tell her congrats, but I can’t make it.” Truth was, if I went back now, I would somehow be conned into staying and I finally found something I loved doing.
“That’s what I figured. I know I shouldn’t ask, but would you like to say hi to your son?” He asked me. I went silent. I did, but I didn’t. “Trav? Come on, just say hi to him. I know you still love him.”
“I know I love him dad. It’s just hard, and besides he has a very important mission.”
My dad laughed. “Yea he does. He’s gonna go help me weed out the crops out back. Maybe next time?”
“Yea next time. You two have fun and send Ally my love.”
I sat on the sofa and just beaten myself up for the way I ended the phone call. I held back the tears. I knew that I should just be happy that I got to hear his voice and talk to him. Yet I chickened out. I could have told him who I was. I could have said, “Hey buddy!” when he answered the phone, instead I lied. I panicked. I felt like crap and I really needed a drink. I knew I couldn’t though, grandma would find out. I wasn’t about to get caught by her.
I just sat there in my boxers as the time flied. I heard the bell ring from my panel. It was the carpool. Sam must be annoyed, she was running late picking the rest of the group up. “You got five minutes or I’m leaving Travis!” She yelled over the intercom. I stood and dressed. I wasn’t in the mood for work, but I needed to get a job out.
I must have been working harder than I thought. As soon as I headed inside the office I was told that Mr. Carter, my new boss, wanted to talk to me. I went in and he told me that he was really impressed with all the work I’d been doing and offered me a promotion, I was now the department head. I was in charge of all the business reports that come in. I was also the one that everyone went to that needed a loan cleared. I was working my way slowly to the top. Soon, I would be the bank manager. I walked out and just smiled. The day had started out crappy, and ended with a high note.
The day wasn’t over though. . .
I walked into the apartment building as my neighbor was walking out. She and I had a thing going on. She was unhappily married and I was the guy who would share a drink with her once in a while. I was happy and elated when I saw her, but I was still in a state over the phone call. “Hey, Travis.” She waved to me as she walked out of the elevator.
“Hey Mrs. Riley.” I said a bit more gloomy than I thought I should sound for someone who was just promoted.
“You okay doll?” I shook my head no. “Come on tell Sally what’s wrong?”
“I talked to my son today. I hadn’t heard or seen him since he was just a toddler, now he’s eight and he’s out on adventures with his granddad.” I started to cry.
“Sounds like you need a drink.”
“Can’t I quit.” I told her.
“Sounds like you need something else then.” She planted one on my cheek.
We found our way back to my apartment, locked on. She was right, I needed something. I was kicking my shoes off, as she pulled off my tie. We were heading for the bed. She pushed me on it and slid out of her tight skirt and shirt. I was unbuttoning my clothes.
We found ourselves under the covers soon enough. She was treating me with a good pity fuck, and I tried to appreciate it. However my head was not in the game. I continued to think about Parker and his sweet little voice over the phone. I ended up stopping and rolling over on the bed. “Sorry. I can’t. Not tonight Sal.”
“You really are beating yourself up over this aren’t you?” I nodded. “I’m sorry that you had to go through with a phone call, but Travis, I need some. We’ve had this great thing going for two months, and I’ll be damned to let you get in the way of my happiness. Now, get it together!”
“I know.” I slammed my head against the pillow. What was I doing! I looked over at Sally’s beautiful face. She had her hand on my chest, her eyes were staring at me. “I’m sorry Sal. I just can’t do this. I need some time to think, is that alright?”
“No! I need this, but if you can’t get it together I’ll find someone else who can.” She went to climb over me and I took her and kissed her passionately. To hell with depression!