"Magic is a four lettered word spelt; L,O,V,E. This I've found to be true in life but never in a spelling bee." This I said with a smile on my face and that caused Richard to laugh hysterically. He said even at my old age I never lost my touch, that I'm still as funny as ever but I'm not so sure that's true. The old description, not the sense of humour. "Well dad, I'm sure you didn't call me out here to tell jokes. Why exactly am I here?" Richard was always a smart kid, sometimes too smart for his own good. He asked not because he knew not Why he was here but because he wanted me to get into it. That I've tried to avoid for as long as I possibly can but there seems no more escape. Left to me I wouldn't interfere but the wife put me up to this, and this isn't a matter I could wind my way out off. I wanted a serene environment to talk to my son and though I had other options, we both concluded that going out for fishing would be best. This we haven't done since he was but a child, Maybe ten, fifteen years of age at most. He thinks I'm too busy that's Why I no longer go fishing with him but the truth is I hate fishing. Absolutely hate it. I hated it when my dad took me fishing when I was much younger, and I hated the fact that he passed on the tradition to me and my son before he passed on. A tradition I wasn't interested in keeping alive but not Richard. He took his sons fishing as often as he could and if they're any bit like me, it'd be the worst torture you could give them. Maybe that's Why they like coming over ever so often. "Sometime today would be Nice." Said Richard, cutting short my flow of thoughts. "I think you know already Why You're here, more like Why we are. If you don't then You're not exactly as smart as you think you are." He remained quiet after I said this which is odd because He's always quick with responses. "I don't know what you hope to achieve by doing this but often it doesn't end well. Often times road taken to …" "…road taken to avoid our fate becomes the fastest route to meet it." He interjected, knowing exactly what I was about to say because I say it ever so often. "I know dad but sometimes the uncertain can be a safer bet." He replied, almost sounding as a sage. He was about to shed a tear as he said that but rather than do that, he held back the tear and threw forth his hook instead. "That sounds very …stupid. You know that right?" I replied in a manner he didn't see coming and that caused an uproar of laughter between us that was bound to chase off the fishes. "A bet is never made on a foundation of uncertainties. Only when there's a chance of victory do you ever bet on the underdogs, which reminds, How's Billy, you German shepherd." "Well you know how it is with Germans. He played a game of Russian roulette and he wasn't so lucky. He actually fell ill and died in his sleep. Michael cried at his funeral. You should have seen it, he was emotional."
"The Same hard hearted grandson of mine?" "Yeah, I was as shocked as you are." He replied with a smile on his face. "I know you and mom are something else but that's not me and Audrey." He said after a moment of mutual silence. "That's just not us and I know you might not like it but can't you just trust me. Can't you trust that you raised a good son capable of making good decisions and that this is the best decision I can take?" "I have just a couple of things to say, first what's this about me and your mom being something else? I guess you meant special or unique because you were thinking of what to say for a moment but be that as it may You're very mistaken. We always had our issues and still do. About trusting you, I do trust you and think you can make good decisions but that doesn't mean I won't tell you when You're about to make a bad one because You're my son. And lastly, did you really call yourself a good son?" I did try to leave things on a lighter note but he wasn't ready to hear a joke. "Okay, scratch that last part and answer me this question. Who is she, this other woman? And don't say there's no other woman. Whenever a man wants to end over a decade long marriage more often than not there's another woman in the picture and Go ready to bet there's one in this picture." "Her name doesn't matter but …" "You love her, right?" He didn't answer but his silence spoke louder them actual words. "Love at first sight, that's what you told me about Audrey ages ago and now I'm ready to bet that this is something similar." This I added yet he remained silent. "Sometimes I hate hearing that word or phrase because so often we forget that we've had so many 'first sights' that didn't work out and the one that does we are so quick to discard." "Are you going to tell me about how your generation differs from mine? How in your generation they fix broken things and in mine we just get new ones." He said defensively and rudely which made me want to spank him. "Have I ever told you about that something else? About me and your mom?" "Bits and pieces here and there but I have a feeling You're about to do that now." He replied with a hint of disgust. It was very clear he didn't want to have this conversation but he didn't have a choice in the matter. I can't change his strong willed heart but I wouldn't be much of a father if I didn't at least try.
"I remember the first time I saw her as clear as day. It was my first day in high school, more like my first day in my new high school. I had to transfer when my father moved down here after my mom's passing and a lot happened which made me lose a year but I wouldn't want to talk much about that. You see when I came in that day as a sophomore, I was a total mess. I had a lot going on so I didn't want to give it a shot and the students, my classmates, didn't make my life any easier. But during our lunch break I met the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. It was a sight so stunning I couldn't possibly forget. I saw her and I liked her the moment I did. Although I didn't think I had a shot with her in a thousand years. Me the fat kid with glasses and braces on my teeth against the hottest cheerleader in the school, there was no way I had a chance… but you know what, I took it. I took the shot. I walked over after the lunch break when she was at her locker and I told. I just took my shot. All or nothing…" "And you hit bull's eye and still do till this day. What a totally unexpected story and a true motivation to us all, and to think you wouldn't bet for the underdog." Richard interjected mockingly and I have to say I was really resisting the urge to spank him. "That's all good and great but how exactly does that help me?" He added rather impatiently. "Well, for starters, I didn't hit bull's eye. It was a total catastrophe which made me the laughing stock of the school. Sure I was bold and fearless but truly I was tired of living and so I couldn't care less what happened. Also, to make my life even more of a living hell, I got beaten by her boyfriend and some of his Co football players. You see her boyfriend was the captain of the football team and if I had known that I'd have, scratch that, I'd still do what I did nonetheless." I said, ending with laughter. I didn't care if he saw the joke in it or not but just remembering how stupid and hopeless I wag and how far I've gotten since then just puts a smile on my face. "So you were beaten by mom's boyfriend. That's pretty hard core and a pretty dope origin story." He said with a heartwarming smile. "Yeah, it truly was, except I didn't get a beating from her boyfriend. There was no boyfriend in the picture. She's actually the one who patched me up after the beat down. And that's how we met." I said with a smile on my face knowing fully well he didn't see that coming. "Wow, so the most beautiful woman wasn't mom?" He said as he chuckled. "No, she wasn't. Don't get me wrong your mom was absolutely gorgeous and she was the only reason I could go through high school. Maybe I'd have made a lot more bad choices or ended it all as I was tempted to do at some point but she pulled me through. She showed me the meaning of love in a way I didn't know was possible. And it's not about the ecstasy of sex, that fades away quickly. She actually made me able to move on and I was able to make peace with my mother's passing and helped my father do this Same. She became my best friend and I got so used to having our shadows cast as one that I had to make it official and forever. That's not to say we didn't have other problems but I was made to realize that the grass isn't greener nor would it be somewhere else. We often times think that but it isn't true. The grass is greener or would be greener where you water the ground. Give love the room to flourish and it would blossom in ways you can't imagine. Give room for hurt and errors and you'd find the greatest expression of love in forgiveness. You may think you would find a better life out there with someone else but I wouldn't want you to take that road and then realize that the life, the love you were searching for was right in front of you all along. That would be the worst mistake possible."
As I spoke this last part he was moved to tears. It seems what I said struck a nerve but that wasn't my aim, to cause him tears but to show him that what we often times search for in another is often a hoax. "Last year, when I put your mother to rest, it was the hardest thing I had to do. I prayed that God would take me too but here I am, strong as an ox, and your mother …" I tried holding it back but the sobs and tears coming out was stronger than me. "Before she passed on she made me promise that I'd do right by you, by Charles and also your sisters, especially in a situation like this. I'm Sorry to bring this up now, my aim isn't to guilt you into doing what I want, truly if I had my way I wouldn't say this but it just has to be said. The truth is your mom hoped for the best for you and Audrey. She spoke the best of you both and your marriage was something she was most proud of. It was her pride and joy and she considered it her greatest accomplishment. She hoped you'd succeed Where we failed. She watched you stick with her through thick and thin, you actually show and taught her how to love, surely your mother would have wanted you to fight for your marriage and not be the one looking to get out. You have been to Audrey what your mother was to me and that is a description and a sight your mother didn't want to see an end to nor would I. She loved you both, as do I." I'd have loved to say more but it seems my aged wisdom had accomplished it's task. That and also I knew not what else to say. He needed some time alone and I did well to give him that. Two grown men crying at the river was something I never thought I'd have with my son but sometimes we can't help these things. Now I can't tell the future. The truth is there would always be bad days and I can't help him with that. But what I do know is that those days never last. It fades fast and it's truly only big when we choose to hold on rather than leave them in the past Where they belong. And I do hope he understands for himself that running from a problem doesn't solve it. Often times we meant that problem Where we run to, often in a different form.