Dinner with Julia

A day late and a dollar short, but I am here to share with you my story that comes with First Line Friday.

This week’s 1st line is:

At the end of the week, Aiden mustered up the courage to go into his father’s room.

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As he navigated the dark bedroom, he found his way to the window to let in the light. The rain was hitting the glass as Aiden opened the curtains, and the light beamed onto the blanket resting on his father’s bed. He was lying there, peacefully asleep. Beside the bed was his mother’s stuffed rabbit that held a single flower…a daisy. They were her favorite, and he had brought a bundle of them to the funeral a few months back. It took Aiden a lot of time to practice his speech about his desire to move out of state. He had every intention of going into the room to talk to him about his change of plans, but his father’s snores filled the room instead.

He did not want to disturb him, but as Aiden was walking out of the room, his father perked his head up, and said, “Son, what are you doing?”

He froze in his steps towards the door. He heard the creak of the interstice in the wood plank floor in Jerry’s room.

“Sorry Dad, I didn’t mean to wake you. It’s nothing. Go back to sleep.” Aiden was nervous.

His father sat up in the bed and rubbed the sleep off of his face with his hand and then scratched his head. Aiden tried to hurry out of the room, but Jerry stopped him, “Aiden, what’s going on? Why are you acting like this?”

Aiden took a big huff of air into his lungs and said, “Dad, I’m leaving.”

The taller, older version of Aiden sat down in sadness with his head hanging low to his chest.

“I’m sorry…I met someone. Someone that loves me for who I am.”

His dad was confused, “How long have you known this person? How come this is the first I have heard of this “love” I’ve never heard mention of this before…Seriously, Aiden?”

Aiden felt a bit degraded for a moment. He had tried to tell his father about Julia several times, but he was never paying attention. Jerry, as everyone would call him, was a workaholic and barely paid attention to anything else when he was focused on work.

“Julia…don’t you remember me telling you about Julia?” He was a bit angry in the back of his mind that he had to remind his father. “I feel like you never listen to me…another reason I am out of here!”

“Oh, come on! You’re acting like a child! I admit I don’t remember any Julia or anything about this girl.” His dad made his bed and tried his hardest to not make eye contact with Aiden.

The hectoring tone in Jerry’s voice added to the taciturn response of his son, and the admission made Aiden a bit more furious with his father. The air was lingering and heavy in the room. You could cut the tension with a straight razor, and Aiden could barely breathe from all the ubiquitous disdain building in the room. All he knew was he would be taking the first train to Julia with his father’s blessing or not.

“Let’s be real, Dad…this has not been my home for a very long time. When mom died, you gave up on me. Just let me go.” Aiden sat in the faux fur chair beside the bed, put a cigarette up to his lips, and lit it. The sound of a singe came upon his ears as the breeze from the window blew into the room.

His father said nothing. He was silent. He just busied around his room looking for things to do to occupy his mind and do anything besides talking about his son leaving him. He looked back at Aiden puffing on his cigarette. The disturbed man could tell his son was quelled from his ignorance about Julia, but he was not really sure how to fix it.

“Do you think I could meet this girl…Julia…before you take off and leave? It’s December, and the holidays will be coming up soon. It would be a great time to invite her over.” It seemed as if he was trying to mend the tiff with his son. He gave a solution that would be without prejudice to the situation.

The prodigious expression on his face could have spoken a thousand words, but he decided to give his father the chance to make up for his disregard of the relationship with Julia. He looked up to the ceiling and back down to the cigarette in his hand. He watched the smoke rise and linger in the room.

“At least you’re trying, I guess. Surely I could work something out with Julia.” Aiden was astute in his response.

“I just want to meet the woman who is taking my son from me. I’ll play nice.” Jerry smirked.

“Mhm. You will see. She’s a great girl who sees the good in the world. She is benevolent in finding the extraordinary in the ordinary. Best behavior from you, yeah?” Aiden gave him a look of demand.

“I will try my best…just make the damn call.”

Jerry left the room. Aiden called Julia.

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