While Hana and I were waiting for the pregnancy result, outside the war for the tree house continued. Jahi had staked claim, while Oni was trying to take over.
“Jahi! I wanna play!” He screamed as he walked towards the ladder.
“And I told you. . .”
“NO BOYS ALLOWED!” Jahi screamed as she dumped a bucket of water on Oni. Oni screamed and took off towards our bedroom door.
And that’s where he bumped into me, soaking wet and crying. “J-J-Jahi. . .” He sobbed. “Jahi. . . won’t. . . let. . . me. . . play!”
I felt awful for the kid. It wasn’t summer time, not even close. Spring had just flourished. It was still chilly outside and for Jahi to dump cold water on the kid, I felt really bad for him.
“Where is she?” I asked.
He pointed towards the tree house outside as he continued to cry.
“Alright. Why don’t you and mom get you dried off and maybe some hot cocoa.” I looked behind me to see Hana. She nodded, took Oni’s hand and walked him towards our bathroom.
I walked outside. This war was getting out of hand and it needed to be stopped. “Jahi! Get down from there!” I yelled.
She looked out from the window, shaking her head.
“I don’t wanna!” She said.
“It’s not up for debate. Get down here, now!”
And that’s when I felt cold water being dumped on me. Holy fuck was the water cold! This pissed me off even more. I knew Jahi was just acting out, because it was that time of year. It was only a few of years ago her father was killed in front of her. But still, she does have to at least listen to me.
“JAHI BADAWI RAIN! GET DOWN HERE NOW!” I yelled and clenched both fists. I was furious.
“No!” She shouted back. She brought up another bucket. “Leave me alo –”
“Don’t even think about it young lady. Get your ass down here right now before I cut this damn tree down!” I said through clenched teeth.
She debated, but in the end she climbed down.
Before she could run to the house I stopped her. “I don’t think so.”
“Just leave me alone!” She yelled and tried to shove me.
“Jahi, you are so close to getting on my last nerve. Now I want you in your room.”
“No!” She screamed. “You are not my father!” And with that she ran towards the house. I was too stunned to stop her.
I felt a bit guilty hearing those words. How many times did I say that to my mom? Man, if I hurt this bad, I could only imagine how much mom hurt when I said those words. I understood Jahi’s pain. I knew she was just mourning her loss the only way she could. Still, it hurt.
I decided to give Jahi some time in her room before talking to her. I found her on her bed crying. I pulled up a chair and sat there. “Jahi, we need to talk.”
“What now?” She moaned.
“Don’t give me that attitude. You know very well what.” I told her. “I know what tomorrow is. I know your missing him. But you can’t keep acting out your anger and frustration on those that love you.”
She didn’t say anything. She just sat there silently, brushing her tears away.
“Jahi, I love you. You know that right?” She nodded. “You know, I do know what it’s like growing up without a parent at your age. Actually I didn’t have two parents.”
“What do you mean?” She asked.
So I told her about my childhood. I told her about how my mother left me, and then my father. I also told her about how my grandfather died right in front of me, just as her father did with her. I tried to make her understand that I knew her pain. “You aren’t alone you know.”
She nodded and with a smile she looked up at me for the first time. “I’m sorry I dumped water on you and said you weren’t my dad.”
“I know.” She hopped off the bed and hugged me and I kissed the top of her head. “Now that we got that settled, lets head in the living room. Your mom has something she wants to tell us.”
In the living room we had the kids on the sofa, and I gave Hana moral support as she told both her kids that she was pregnant and they were going to be a big sister and big brother soon. Jahi screamed in delight.
Oni on the other hand didn’t look to thrilled of the idea. “On, you okay bud?” I asked.
He wiped his eyes. “Why?” He mumbled. “Why of all the things do I have to have another brother or sister?” Before either Hana or I could answer he took off towards his room and slammed the door.
I followed shortly behind. Hana wanted to talk to him, but I figured he needed a “guy to guy” chat. I found him holding Puzzle and crying. I walked up and sat next to him. “Okay, bud, tell me what’s wrong.”
He sobbed. “I don’t want to be a big brother.”
“Why not?” I asked. “Being a big brother is awesome.”
He shook his head. “Your gonna love the baby more. And then. . . then. . . then I won’t. . . I won’t. . . have anyone.”
“Hey now, that’s not true. I’m gonna love you just as much as I will the baby.”
His head shot up. “You will!?!” His eyes were wide with hope.
“Of course I will. How could I not?” He looked at me like I was stupid. I knew what he was thinking. “Let me tell you a secret, that you can never tell your mom okay. It’ll be just us guys.”
He nodded. So I told him how I felt the very first time I saw him in Egypt. How I wished I was his dad even at the time. He dropped Puzzle and swung his arms around my neck. “I love you daddy.”
“I love you too.” I kissed his cheek and held him until he fell asleep.
I went to visit dad within a few weeks of knowing about Hana. Mom was out of town visiting Leslie at the school. Apparently Leslie was threatening to leave for an adventure, and mom had to stop her. Dad opened the door, surprised to see me. He offered me a drink, but I decline and so we sat comfortable on the sofa. “So what brings you here?” He asked.
My heart started to race and the memory all those years ago talking about grandkids came rushing back in my head. I was twenty-seven and he was about to turn forty-five. “Dad, um, Hana’s, um. . . well, she’s um, pregnant.” There, I said it.
His mouth dropped, then closed, and then dropped again. Stunned silence.
“You gonna say something? Anything?”
“Pregnant?” He whispered. I nodded. “Holy shit! That’s amazing.”
“You’re not mad? I tried to wait, well we both tried.”
He shook his head. “Hey, for one your married. Two you waited a good long while to have a baby, so that means I taught you something right. . .” He paused. “I can’t believe it, my son is having a baby.”
The rest of the visit we talked about our lives. I learned that he took over the bank. I told him that I was doing missions here in town. He asked if I ever went in the bank for a mission, and I turned red.
“Parker Rain!” Dad yelled.
“I can’t talk about it.” I said to him quickly. “But don’t worry, it wasn’t about you or the bank. It was one of your clients.”
Dad went fuming red in just a quick second. “What client?”
“Like I said, I can’t talk about it.” I looked to the door. I had already said too much as it was for an open case. I was actually due to go back to the bank within the next couple of days. “Look I gotta run. I have a pregnant wife to take care of.”
The weeks past and soon the months started to past in a blur. Oni and Jahi continued to go to school. At first there wasn’t much problems with the kids, but as Oni turned six and Jahi eleven, the kids started to act out more and more.
Jahi was getting ready to start middle school. Oni was in first and had a long way to go. He hated school though. Kids picked on him and he fought back a lot. Jahi also instigated fights with him even at school, and Hana and I were called in more than once.
At home we made the kids do their homework as soon as they walked in the door. Oni hated homework and would grumble the entire time he sat there. Jahi would sit quietly and finished quicker. She was a bright kid.
Hana entered her second trimester and already I could see that baby bump. She said it wasn’t a baby bump and that it was just water. I rolled my eye. “Sure babe, whatever you say.”
“Are you calling me fat!?!” She yelled. I did another eye roll. I knew she was going to be hormonal eventually, but I wasn’t expecting it this soon. I knew just by her tone of voice and snipped remarks that I would be paying dearly for the next six months.
And her hormones continued to rage on. I was desperate. I needed something if I was going to live with Hana for the next six months. After a long hormonal fight, I walked up to the wine racks. Over the years I had collected wine on my travels, never drinking any – but I figured I could have one glass.
“Don’t even think about it, Parker.” I heard Hana from the chair. She was studying for her finals. She didn’t even look at me when she said it and I believed at that moment, Hana had eyes in the back of her head.
“What’s the point of having wine, if I can’t drink any!?!” I whined.
She turned her head and gave me the ugliest look. “Do I really have to explain that comment?”
With head down I shook it.
Our kids never really saw Hana’s hormonal state. They were too busy making me go crazy. Oni’s obsession with pirates grew. Ever since he was a small toddler, he loved pirates. Jahi and him often times played dress up and chase each other around the house, using whatever they could find to act as swords and guns.
Oni finally got the courage to ask Hana for a certain toy. “Please mom! Why can’t we have toy swords. Erik Lenox had a whole bunch of toy swords and guns. Pleeeeeease!” Erik Lenox was Oni’s only friend in school. Together they acted as Captain Jack Sparrow and Mr. Gibbs. (Oni was Captain Jack)
Hana didn’t know that I was behind her ogling the wine rack again. So, she didn’t realize I heard her answer. “No, Oni!”
“Because swords are dangerous, even toy ones. You can poke someone’s eye out with one.” My head spun up to her, did my wife just say that!?! “I am not gonna have anyone get hurt or lose and eye.” Hormones, it’s just fucking hormones!
Oni saw me and ran. I must have had a pissed off look, cause he looked scared. Hana turned around and I was already walking towards her. “Oh hi Park.” She said with red cheeks.
“Did I just hear you correctly Hana Rain?” I asked.
She went red. “What were you doing sneaking up on me!”
“Me? I was just in the kitchen getting a drink. I wasn’t telling my son about the dangerous of losing ONES EYE!”
“What kind of drink?” She asked. She was really good at deflecting, because it was my turn to go scarlet. “Parker, what kind of drink?”
“Uhhhh. . .” I can’t lie to Hana, I’ve tried and failed miserably. She knows when I lie.
“That’s what I thought.” Then she turned around and stormed off, and before I went to retrieve a bottle I heard her from down the hall, “Don’t even think about it Parker!”
With hormones came cravings. Hana started to see two new men in her life – Ben and Jerry. I wasn’t too thrilled watching my wife eat her weight in ice cream. Yet, whenever she cleaned us out, I was happy to go run to the store and get her more chocolate chip mint ice cream.
As summer approached and the heat was getting up there, I found my own outlets to Hana’s craziness. I loved my kids slip-n-slide. I was careful – well mostly. I did try to go down head first. NEVER AGAIN! My knee screamed at me when I started to get up. I didn’t realize how hard the ground under the slip-n-slide was till that moment.
I screamed in pain and held my knee. I knew Hana probably heard my scream and would come looking for me – then I would be in a shit load of trouble. I sat there for a bit before getting up.
I walked inside, limping with every step. It was no surprise to see Hana standing there. “Having fun?”
I held a smile. “Always.” I tried to hold my smile but faltered with the next step.
“How’s the knee?” She eyed my limp.
“Peachy.” I said through clenched teeth. It hurt like a sonofabitch. I walked past her and grabbed two Advil’s and a glass of water. Hana watched my every move.
I knew she was concerned. I limped back to her and gave her a small kiss. “Look, I’m fine.” I told her, and added a reassured smile. “I just slipped.”
“Yeah, you slipped all the way down the slip-n-slide head first? You know we do have windows.”
See, I really can’t lie to this woman. “It was. . . fun.” She just narrowed her eyes. “Okay, it was fun till my knee hit a couple of rocks.”
“You’re an idiot.” She laughed and then we kissed again.
As we kissed I felt the baby kick and got a thrill from it. I rubbed her belly and talked to the baby. By this time Hana was just entering her third trimester. We only had three more months. Hana was growing so big, and I was in love with her belly. My heart fluttered just thinking about the life that was growing inside her – my son. Yup, that’s right, Hana found out that we were having a boy.
Shortly after we found out we were having a boy, we went out and bought stuff for the nursery. We had an extra room that had remained empty, and now was going to be our boy’s room. While we were shopping Hana saw some things that she thought would be perfect for Oni’s room. I tried to talk her out of buying a few things, but all in all we gave Oni something that he would love – a pirate’s dream. The only things I didn’t care for were the few flags and that damn octopus painting that Hana said she just had to buy. AS IF!
Oni though, loved the room and that was all that mattered. He of course said the best part of the room was the octopus painting, but then he winked at me and laughed, the little brat.
Thanks to that room though, Oni’s obsession started to grow. I was just finishing the nursery when I walked out to get more supplies. That’s when I saw Oni tip-toing towards my bedroom. Hana was in the room sleeping, so I thought maybe he was just going in to check on her.
“Oni, what are you doing?” I whispered.
He spun around like Taz, the Tasmanian devil. “Uh…”
Okay, something was up. “Oni, your mom’s trying to sleep. What do you want?”
“Uh…” He shuffled his feet and kept his gaze to the floor. “Um, Jahi and I were, um, gonna, um, play, and, um, we were gonna, um, play pirates, and um. . .” He turned scarlet.
“So you were gonna ask me?” I asked, guessing. He shuffled his feet a bit more. I looked at his pirate costume and shook my head. I knew exactly what he wanted. “Oni look at me.”
He slowly raised his head. I dropped to eye level with him. “Oni, you know pirates can have two eyes right?” He nodded slowly before dropping his gaze. “They aren’t toys. I need them. Do you understand.” He nodded again. I felt a bit heartbroken for the kid. Hell, when I was his age I kept steeling my grandpa’s cell phone to act like I was James Bond. “Tell you what, I’ll go find my pirate outfit that mom bought me and all three of us will play. Does that sound okay to you?”
He nodded, this time with excitement and a smile that nearly knocked me to the floor. I loved this kid. He lit up at a moments notice, never frowning for very long. Once he knew he wasn’t in trouble, he was the happiest kid on earth.
A few weeks later, I thought Oni understood when I told him he couldn’t have one of my eye-patches. That was until I came home from a short mission to Sim Angeles.
I had walked in to my kids playing on the sofa. Evidently it was a ship from the conversation I over heard. “Walk the plank little missy.” Oni said with a gruff pirate voice. I smiled and laughed.
“Hey, I’m –“ And I froze. In the short seconds of my hearing my voice, Oni whipped something off his head and turned to face me. Both kids had jumped off the sofa. Jahi looked at me and ran. Oni was backing away, with one hand behind his back.
I took a few steps towards him and pointed him to get over here. He held his head down and walked towards me. I knew exactly what he had and I was pissed. “Give it.” I ordered. He shuffled his his feet, but finally held out his hand and with it one of my good patches. I took it and stuffed it into my pocket. “Oni, what did I tell you?”
“That I couldn’t have one cause they are for you.” He mumbled.
“Exactly. Now I want you in your room until I say otherwise, do you understand?” He nodded and took off like a rocket, crying. He slammed his door.
I walked into my room where I found Hana reading. I threw the eye patch onto the dresser and collapsed on my bed. “Am I over reacting?” I asked, rubbing my head. I was already stressed out about work, and now I have to deal with my son stealing things from me.
“No.” Hana answered. “We’ve both told him numerous times that he wasn’t allowed to have one. And the fact that he came in here and stole it while I was asleep, pisses me off.”
I rubbed her ankle. She had been bed ridden for the last three weeks, ever since she started to spot. Docs said she needed to take it easy and be on bed rest for the remainder of the pregnancy. “Why is he so obsessed about it?”
“Why were you obsessed with James Bond at his age?”
I rolled over and looked at Hana. “Honestly, I don’t know.”
She rolled her eyes. “Yes you do. You wanted to be like Bond, because you looked up to him. You missed having a father figure in your life, so you found someone to fit the bill. He may have been fictional, but he was real to you. Oni is the same. He sees you as his dad and like you wanting to be Bond, he wants to be and look just like you.” She kissed my forehead after saying that.
“I hope our son is just as smart as his mother.” I flirted, and saw her cheeks flush with color. I rubbed her belly and kissed it. I felt him kick and laughed. “Oh you heard me huh? Well, why don’t you and mommy come see the nursery that I finished.”
I helped Hana off the bed and walked her carefully into the nursery. She was shocked. “Oh Parker! It’s wonderful!” She exclaimed.
“You think so? I know you told me no Bond whatsoever. I kept my mind open a few times, going back and getting the right stuff.”
“Its perfect.” She said and when she felt some pain in her belly I helped her back into the bedroom. She kissed me when I got her settled back in. She smiled. “It’s the most perfect room Park.”
After kissing Hana and tucking her into bed, I went to search for Oni. He was on his bed, still crying in Puzzle’s shoulder. “Oni, we need to talk.” I said to him. He looked at me with red eyes. He stood and waited. He knew he was in a lot of trouble.
He immediately begged for forgiveness. “Oni, I know you just want to be like me, and what not, but when your mom and I say no, we mean no.”
“I know.” He grumbled.
“You know your in trouble, right.” He nodded. “Then there’s no television or pirate games for a week. Understood?” He nodded again, but tears pooled at his eyes.
Down the hall we both heard a scream. “PARKER!” She screamed louder. “IT’S TIME!” I ran in to the room and saw Hana double up in pain as she was trying to walk around the bed. The bed was soaked in what I could only guess as to her “water.” I didn’t panic. I helped Hana through the one contraction and together we walked to the taxi she said she called for. (I really needed to buy us a car).
When we arrived at the hospital, I got Hana out of the car and told her to wait till I got a wheelchair. The taxi took off, fucker. Hana waited and I could hear her scream from the inside of the hospital. Two nurses and myself ran out and helped her into a wheelchair. She was taken to OB and after three hours of constant screaming our son was born
It only took twelve hours before they released Hana and my son, Kaliq David Rain. When I called dad and told him the news, he huffed, but then said, “That’s a great name son.” I knew he felt a bit jealous that Hana and I named our son after grandpa, but he also knew it was his own damn fault for not being there when I was younger.
Kal was the sweetest and smallest little thing I could ever imagine. I couldn’t believe that after nine months I was holding my son. I felt different around him. I loved all my kids, but with Kal, it was different. Maybe it was because he was blood, I don’t know. I didn’t love the other two less, and I didn’t love Kal more. It just was a different kind of love I felt for him.
As I held him that first night before bed I made one vow, that I would never leave him like my father left me. That he would have two loving parents. That his mother would always be there, and that he would never suffer knowing he wasn’t loved by either of us.
Shortly after Kal was born, both my parents showed up – uninvited no less. Mom barged right in and went straight for the nursery. She was on her very own mission. Dad and I followed her. Dad joked, “She couldn’t wait any longer to be with her grandson.”
He turned red. “Okay maybe I had the driver of the limo go a bit too fast.” We both laughed. They truly were the happiest grandparents ever. When we walked into the room and found mom coddling the little one, I smiled. Dad huffed, “Okay, my turn.”
Mom turned her head towards him. “Not likely.” I almost laughed at the two fighting just to hold my son. It was cute and funny. Especially since I’d never seen dad so excited about a baby.
As the months carried on with Kal now in the house, the other two started to get on mine and Hana’s nerves. It seemed like they were both fighting and teasing. Jahi was ruthless to her brother. She’d come up and sneak up on him, or beat the crap out of him during what I thought was an innocent game of pillow fight. I hated coming home and seeing Oni crying. He looked miserable around the house on most days.
We both knew the real reason behind the fighting and the teasing. They were vying for our attention. It wasn’t like neither Hana or I didn’t give them attention, but with Kaliq – he took up a lot of our time. The boy was always in a fit, he either wanted to be held, fed, or worse, he needed his diaper change. Hana and I tend to play rock, paper, scissors when it came to his diapers. I always cheated, but we won’t tell her that.
I did try to find some time with my other kids. They always wanted me to tell them a story before bed. Sometimes I read to them, other times I told them a story. Oni constantly begged me to tell him the story of how I lost my eye. So, I made one up – I wasn’t about to scare him.
Jahi wanted stories of knights and princesses. When I ran out of books, We made up our own. We made characters up, there was a one-eyed minion, a princess, a knight, and a dragon of great size.
In the mornings I tended to make breakfast for both the kids while Hana fed Kaliq. Kal was breast feeding, though Hana pumped the night before on most occasions. She said Kal wasn’t as gentle as I am, which got a smile from me. The girl knew how to flirt, that’s for damn sure.
As for my kids, they’d come out of their room only after I yelled at them a hundred times. I swear the kids refuse to get up in the morning on purpose. I know they hate school, but they have to go. Jahi would often come out with her homework in hand and I would look at her in shock. “Didn’t you finish that over the weekend?” I asked.
“Most of it. But I can’t figure out these last few math problems. Their hard!”
I nodded and looked at my zombie of a son, who stared at the mindless cartoon show. “Did you finish your homework On?” He nodded without looking away from the television. I wasn’t sure if that was a reflex reaction to a question or if he really was telling me yes. “On! Look at me.” He moved his head around. “Did you finish your homework?”
“Yes!” He groaned and went back to the television. Apparently the cartoon show was more important than me. Later that day I learned that he didn’t finish his homework, and hadn’t done any in two weeks. Goodbye television.
I have to admit that after two and a half years of marriage, that I was really into the whole domestic thing. I never imagined myself being a domestic father figure. I always saw myself as James Bond, going from one woman to the next. Yet here I was on a Tuesday morning, kids at school, Hana at the hospital, Kaliq in bed, and me cleaning up the place. I loved every minute of it too. Being a husband and a father was the one thing I loved more than anything.
I stood after mopping the dirty floors and looked up to the photo of the four generations of Rains. I wasn’t even nine when that was taken. great-grandpa had died just a few months later. I smiled at the photo, remembering my great-grandpa and my grandpa. They were always proud of their family, and now I looked around and felt the same type of pride.
That was until I walked in from a long day at work and came into a house full of screaming children. Jahi and Oni were trying to kill each other in the living room. I looked around and I heard Kal screaming in the bedroom. “HANA!” I shouted.
Jahi jumped up from hitting her brother, “She’s taking a bath. She said not to disturb her.”
I looked at both of them. “And what are you two doing?”
Jahi and Oni looked at each other and both replied “nothing” before running to their bedrooms. Could this day get any worse?
Apparently it could. Not five minutes later – after I checked in on Kal and Hana – I watched Oni storm out of his room. He had clenched fists and looked as if he could kill anyone.
I watched him storm down the living room all the way into Jahi’s room. He even kicked the door open. I was stunned by his behavior. Something had really pissed him off. I decided to go check out what was bothering him.
Clearly I knew it was whatever happened in his room. When I walked in I was shocked at what I saw, poor Puzzle’s head was torn off. I knew it wasn’t Oni that did it. There was no way. That boy loved Puzzle more than any other thing he owned. Oni was pissed and he had a right to be.
I heard screaming down the hall. Jahi was screaming in both English and Arabic – not good! I ran down the hall as fast as I could. I could only imagine what Oni was doing in her room.
I barged in and the two were shoving each other and fighting. I grabbed both of them apart and shoved them away from each other. “ENOUGH!” I screamed. “What the hell has gotten into you two!”
“She killed Puzzle!” “He destroyed my castle!” They both yelled on top of each other.
“One at a time.” I exasperated.
“She killed Puzzle.” Oni said faster than Jahi could get her answer out.
I wanted to go and join that bath with Hana. “Okay, enough! I want both of you to apologize to each other. You two both know better. We don’t destroy other people’s property.”
“But she killed Puzzle.” Oni cried. I felt really bad for Oni. I wiped the tears that formed in his eyes, and did one last calculation. It was the anniversary of Asmeed’s death. Oni didn’t know. He was too young, and has only seen me as his father.
“I know she did, son. But we don’t take our frustration out on other people, no matter how much we are hurting.” I looked at Jahi, and she knew I was talking to both of them. “I saw Puzzle, and I know he was your friend, but you also destroyed Jahi’s dollhouse.”
“No buts, I want both of you to apologize to each other.”
And with a half-hearted attempt, they both said “sorry.” It was as good as I was going to get from either of them. “Alright.” I said. “Now, I want both of you on your beds for the remainder of the evening. Got it?”
The both nodded and said “yes sir” before heading to their beds.
Soon after the death of Puzzle, life began to normalize. I even heard Oni laughing and talking in his room one Sunday morning. I snuck my head out and he was having a pillow fight with the thin air. “On, what are you doing?” I asked with a small smile. He had been really sad since Puzzle.
“I’m playing with Puzzle.” He said.
I nodded. If he needed to pretend that Puzzle was still around to smile, then I wasn’t going to argue that fact.
Jahi grew out of her yearly anger issue and soon it was time for the day she had been talking about non-stop. It was her major dance recital. She had been working on it all year long in her ballet class. We all attended, every single one of us, including little Kal.
The show was phenomenal. The kids were all amazing and I think I even teared up as I watched Jahi’s big number. It was a duet with some boy. I did feel like my blood was boiling a bit. I didn’t like her dancing with boys. I didn’t like boys period when it came to my daughter.
I was probably the proudest father at the school. I even whipped out my video camera and filmed the entire event. I didn’t ever want to forget how beautiful my Jahi was when she danced.
After the show, she came and hugged me and I handed her a bouquet of flowers. She smiled and showed me her trophy. Both of which we displayed proudly on her desk. I tucked Jahi in that night and every time she asked how she did, I told her she was the most amazing dancer in the world. I know I may be biased, but I am right. She was amazing and wonderful.
Eventually Jahi and Oni came to a mutual truce. I don’t know how, and neither does Hana, but one day I found both of them up in the tree house. I looked up, it was almost lunch. “Hey you two, mom’s got lunch on the table!” I shouted.
“Okay!” Jahi screamed. They looked at each other and for some reason they started to laugh. I don’t care if they were making a joke about me or what, but to hear both of them laughing made me the happiest father alive.
And that’s how it was after the “war” as Hana and I called it. Just shortly before Kaliq’s birthday I was relaxing in the hot tub. It was the quietest night I have ever had at the house. I saw Hana’s leg from the corner of my eye. “Can I join you?”
“Of course.” I said with a smile. “How are all the kids.”
“Kal’s down for the night. . . finally. Jahi is having a tea party in the kitchen and Oni is playing with ‘Puzzle’ in his room.”
“So that’s why it’s quiet.”
Hana nodded and got in. I quickly brought her closer to me and wrapped my arm around her. She laughed. “I love you Hana.”
“I love you too.” She pinched my thigh and I jumped. She laughed at me.
“Why you little –”
My protest to her pinching was gone when two hot lips touched mine. Her hand moved up my thigh and I knew that this was going to be a “no talking” night. Hana was in for something else. . .
. . . And she got it. Of course we had to hurry to the bedroom to do it. We couldn’t very well do it in the Jacuzzi with the kids looking out the windows to the back yard. We tip-toed into the bedroom and I tossed her onto the bed and took off my wet trunks. I dove for her and we had the best night two love birds could have.
Afterwards, I couldn’t stop staring at Hana. “Thank you.” I whispered.
“Everything. For this, for marrying me. For giving me the greatest family in the world.”
She smiled at me and kissed me. We were a go for round two . . .
The day finally came. Kaliq was one years old. A party was set and the invitations had been sent out. We invited the family and Ellis. I couldn’t stop holding Kal all day. I was such a proud daddy. He had grown so huge over the last year, and here we were celebrating his birthday.
I wanted to blow out my son’s candles, but dad insisted it being him. He wanted to play the role of grandpa, and I couldn’t say no. The look on his eyes was all that it took for me to hand over my son. Everyone cheered and sang for Kal. He didn’t really know what was going on, but that’s okay. I wanted him to have the best birthday.
Hana took Kaliq into the bedroom after he ate his cake. He was covered in frosting. He crawled back out and I had to snap a photo. He knew how to charm the pants off of anyone in the house. Mom, Ellis, Hana, even Jahi couldn’t get enough of him. Hana teased that Kal had my charm and good looks. I blushed, but I have to agree he was the charmer.
After eating cake Ellis squeezed my arm and pointed outside with her head. I didn’t need a detective to know that she wanted to talk to me in private. I quickly excuse myself and headed out the back door.
Not even two seconds later as I greeted Ellis, did I hear the sliding door open and Oni running out. “Daddy! You gotta –”
“ONI IN THE HOUSE NOW!” I ordered. He didn’t need to hear the details about my job. Oni gave me a look and I pointed at the door. “NOW!” He nodded and with his head held down he walked back inside. I knew I probably hurt his feelings, but now was not the time to think about that.
“Alright, what is it Ellis?”
“We found him.”
I nodded but didn’t say anything. How could I? This is what I wanted, or it use to be. But here I was in a turmoil.
“I know it’s not what you expected after all these years, but we did. We have the file up and if you want it, I’m willing to send you in. But Parker, make sure this is what you want. I don’t want you to be motivated by your revenge.”
“I’m motivated by my duty, Ellis.1”
“Then choose wisely on this. The reports are all on your computer. Take some time, decide. If this is what you want, then meet me in the office.” And with that she left.
For the longest time I stared at my laptop, afraid to even touch it. This was the moment for the last five years I have been waiting for. The moment where I could finally get some closure.
But did I really want to? I had the perfect life here. Ellis said I didn’t need to take the case. A part of me didn’t want it. The other part knew I had to finish this job.
And with that I opened my computer, signed in and looked over the preliminary report. It’s my decision. . . It’s my decision. . . I kept telling myself. I had to while I went over the files. I needed to keep my head open to the possibility of sending someone else out to hunt the asshole who took my eye.
A soft knock from the door knocked me out of my trance. I looked over and I was surprised to find my eyes were bleary with tears. “Parker?” Hana asked. “Are you . . . What’s wrong?”
In three strides I had Hana in my arms and I was kissing her like I had never kissed her before. How could I do this to my family? How could I go off and hunt down the sick son of a bitch? Was it my duty to do this? Probably. But did I want it?
Hana pushed me away after the kiss and brushed my tears away that I didn’t even know I had. “It’s him, isn’t it?” I nodded and tried hard to swallow the bile in my throat. “You want to go, don’t you?”
“I don’t know.” I said in a horse whisper. I could barely talk. This decision was eating me alive.
“Parker, he took your eye. He shot you in the leg. His wife betrayed your trust. I know you want his heart on a platter, and so do I, but is it worth it to you?”
“I don’t know.”
“It has to be, if you decide to go. Parker, do you want to kill the sick son of a bitch?”
“Then go, kill him. Kill his bitch of a wife, and come back to me.”
I nodded and kissed her again.
Within the hour I was at SIA in Ellis’ office. She tossed a file on the desk. Pictures of Fournier scattered around the desk and floor. “Have you decided?” She asked.
I nodded. “I need to do this Ellis.”
“Parker, you’re my best agent. I need you to understand that if you do this, you can’t come back till the deed is done. There won’t be any contact with your family. Fournier is too powerful. If he catches you, you’re dead and you’re family will be next.”
I nodded. “I understand. But I can do this Ellis. I need this for myself, and for my family.”
“Then here you go.” She handed me a stack of papers. In them was the report on Fournier and his wife, a passport, money, and a plane ticket to Fournier’s last known whereabouts. “Be careful Rain.”
Just as I left I turn and asked her one thing, “If I don’t come back, hide them. Get them the hell out of Bridgeport. Destroy any trace of me and my connection with them.”
She nodded and I left with silent unshed tears in my eye.
I walked through the dark house. Hana was probably in our room waiting. I walked first into Jahi’s room. She was sound asleep. I couldn’t help the tears that trickled down my cheek. This was the hardest decision in my life, but I had to make it. I know it wasn’t the smartest choice, but as long as Fournier is out there my life and my family’s life was at risk. I kissed Jahi. “I love you, never forget that.” I whispered.
Next I visited Oni’s room. He too was sound asleep. More tears were shed. I bent down and kissed my son. “I love you. . . never. . . forget. . . that.” I sobbed. I was a mess now. I wanted to be there for my kids, and here I was leaving them for an unknown amount of time. It was the most dangerous mission of cat and mouse, and I had to be the cat before I became the mouse. I looked at Oni once more before closing the door, and I shed one more tear.
I walked into the nursery and found Kaliq asleep. I lifted him from the crib, after a small protest he curled up into my shoulder. I was leaving Kaliq, just like I promised him I wouldn’t do. I started to cry as I rocked him to sleep.
“All my bags are packed I’m ready to go / I’m standin’ here outside your door / I hate to wake you up to say goodbye / But the dawn is breakin’ it’s early morn / The taxi’s waitin’ he’s blowin’ his horn / Already I’m so lonesome I could die /
“So kiss me and smile for me / Tell me that you’ll wait for me / Hold me like you’ll never let me go / Cause I’m leavin’ on a jet plane / Don’t know when I’ll be back again / Oh babe, I hate to go. . .”
Hana knocked and walked in. She was in tears as was I. I continued to sing the song to Kaliq as I put him back into his crib. With a soft kiss, I said goodbye to my youngest son.
I took the few steps I needed before I wrapped my arms around my beautiful wife. Without breaking the beat of the song, I continued,
“Now the time has come to leave you / One more time let me kiss you / Close your eyes I’ll be on my way / Dream about the days to come / When I won’t have to leave alone / About the times, I won’t have to say
“So kiss me and smile for me / Tell me that you’ll wait for me / Hold me like you’ll never let me go / Cause I’m leavin’ on a jet plane / Don’t know when I’ll be back again / Oh baby, I hate to go. . .” We both cried as we sang the final verse.
I hugged her for dear life as I cried. “I love you Hana. I will come back. Never ever lose hope in that. I will come back to you.”
“You better Parker. I need my James Bond.”
I smiled. “And I need my Moneypenny.”
1. Craig, D. (Actor). (2008). Quantum of Solace. [DVD].