Chapter 4- Milk and Cookies

Chapter 4- Milk and Cookies

A Chapter by Esther Night

"So how your date with Alfreda?"


I asked Matt as we walked to his house from school.


I found out form a group of girls that Matt asked Alfreda out.


"It wasn't a date! She just came over to my house for dinner. And rumors got started.  That's it" He said.


I swallowed "Did you two make out or anything?"


"No" He laughed.


So many feelings were running my head. The thought of her kissing him made me sick, yet I couldn't help thinking how she could not want to kiss him. I had to shake my head. I had to stop those thoughts.


"Do you like her? Like, like, like her?"


"You know, Jamie. We’ve been friends all of our  lives. Sure, we play house and they say we going to be together…but I don’t know about right now.”


I felt hurt. I never really thought anything of Alfreda before then. But all of a sudden when I thought of her I felt this squeezing in my heart. I didn't understand why, but I was angry at her.


"Is she like your girlfriend now?"


He laughed a little, "Maybe, I don't know yet" 


As we walked by the market, I saw something bad in the window.


A drunken Bud Hunter trying to steal a six-pack and getting in a fight with whom else but Mr. Edwards. I couldn't really hear what they were saying, but dad seemed just like his drunken self. Mr. Edwards appeared to be clam, pleading with him. I stood there and watched them.


Matt stood beside me watching it too, "Jamie" he whispered to me putting his hand on my shoulder. "Let's go"

 ***

Matt and I sat at his kitchen table doing homework, but I couldn't pay attention to the papers lying in front of me. I was too busy thinking about the kind of trouble my dad had gotten into.


Mac knew it, "What's the deal with Algebra? I mean forget about your x already, huh?" he laughed.


I started laughing a little too. Come on that's funny.


The front door opened and shut. "Honey I'm home." Mr. Edwards came in the room.


He walked straight to Mrs. Edwards and whispered something in her ear…while staring at me.


She nodded then gave us a smile, "James do you want to stay for dinner?"


They always asked me that. I always said yes, the food was  better there.

 ***

Mr. Edwards stared at me all though dinner.


As Mrs. Edwards started gathering the plates, he asked me "James, do you want to spend the night?"


That shocked me. Usually it was Matt or his mom that asked me that.

"Um…"


Mr. Edwards lean forward "Please we insisted"


I looked over at Matt. He seemed nervous, and oh damn he looked so cute when he was nervous.


Then I had the scariest thought. If I spend the night with Matt…if I was in a dark room…in a bed. I was afraid might do something, that I couldn't understand.


"No" I cried out.


Mr. Edwards stared at me confused "What? Why?"


"I won't have a place to sleep"


Mr. Edwards smirked "Haven't you always slept Matt's bed?"


"No, he can't sleep in my bed" Matt yelled.


We all were in shock. He never had a problem with it before. I felt hurt, angry, but most of all I was curious.


"Dad it's just were not kids anymore…we are growing… older."


He seemed to try to hide it from me, but I could see he was scared and worried.


"I should go home." I said as I started to walk out.


Mr. Edwards grabbed my shoulder, "You are spending the night. We'll put a cot in the boy's room and that is final." He yelled and walked up the stairs.


"Wow, I rarely see dad that serious." Matt stepped up and whispered to me.


"Mac…" I whispered to him, "I have to ask you something…"


"What Jamie?" He whispered staring right into my eyes.


I wanted to ask why he wouldn't want me in his bed. I wondered if maybe he was thinking the same thing I was, but I felt my nerves bouncing around. I used to be able to talk to Matt about everything, sports, movies, school. I knew he was good at keeping secrets, but this feeling inside me was a secret that I had kept form him.


"Nothing" I finally responded.

***

It was three in the morning and I couldn't sleep.


I watched Matt toss and turn. He was dead sleep, but I was very much alive.


That was something I trended to have to remind myself of.


I had the basic requirements of being alive: beating heart, breathing lungs, moving bones.


However I been to think about the other factors of being alive: believing in something, having goals, and knowing one's self.


When I thought those things I had to question rather I was living or just alive.


I sat up and stared out the window. The stars always shined brightest at the Matthew's house.


Then I heard the door open.


"You awake?" Mr. Edwards whispered letting in a little light.


“No I grasped.


Mr. Edwards calling me out scared the hell out of me. I didn't want to talk to him, alone.


"James, while don't you come down and have some milk and cookies with me?"


My stomach turned "I don't think…"


"James, please" He took a deep breath "It's important, we need to talk."


"Okay" I spoke softly.


I might as well just face the music. I crawled out the bedroom and followed him down the stairs.


"Sit down" he said motioning to the kitchen table in his plaid pjs and robe..


I nervously sat and took a breath. Mr. Edwards went to get out a carton of milk .


He handed me a glass then sat across from me.


"James, I know you're a smart boy"


I laughed "Smart? Yea right, have you seen my grades?"


Mr. Edwards stared into my eyes, "You know there's more than one way to be smart." He took a deep breath "James has your dad…"


"My dad?"


He nodded "James, I have always welcomed you into my home because I wanted to protect you from harm…but it seems more and more that things are worse than I thought." He ran his fingers though his black hair.


"What?" I was confused. Why would he want to protect me, if he hates me?


He was playing his hair than slammed his hand on the table "Has your father ever hit you?"


I started breathing fast and looking down at the floor.


"James?" He spoke trying look into eyes.


I kept looking down trying to keep my mouth shut and to stop any tears from falling.


"James, did Matthew ever talk to you about my father" 


I shook my head "No"


"You see he was an alcoholic."


I looked up at him.


"And he was the worst kind of alcoholic. He was kind that would hit anything he saw."


"Your dad beat you?" I grasped.


"Yea, he beat me all though my whole childhood. Ever since I could remember my father would always come home drunk and if anybody made a move or a sound…" He banged his hand on the table again, "That was painful, not just physically but mentality, and I was too afraid to talk to anybody about it." He bitterly laughed "The truth was everybody knew what he was, but nobody tried to stop him."


He lowered his eyes. "As a kid I felt so weak and unless, I had all this hate, anger, and just resentment toward him" He leaned more towards me "And James those feelings, grew into anger toward the world. I began to steal, to get into fights…I even trying drinking. I always thought since my dad drank that I was bound to do the same."


"Do you become…you know a drunk?" I asked him.


"Alcohol has one of most horrible taste in the world…yet I couldn't help it. So to answer your question, I had a few drunken nights."


"Did you go home?"


"Hell no! I would never scared my mother like that, and my father was such a f*****g hypocrite"


I grasped. I had never heard Mr. Edwards talk like that.


"I had a friend that would let me sleep it off at his place." He looked down. "I had gained a lot of negative attention, and just like with my dad, nobody tried to stop me. Well nobody until…"


"Until what?" I sat on the edge of my seat.


"I was on a date with this beautiful blonde. James, to this day I have no idea how I got her to go out with me." He laughed.


"She was sweet, smart, and came from a good family. We were just having a blast. Sure people were staring at us, but she didn't care. As we were walking out that night I asked her 'You know who my father is. You know who I am, so why are you hanging around me’?'"


He smiled "And she said 'Because I know who you really are. You're the bag boy who would take someone's bags to their car without charge. You're the guy who stood up for Sarah Gunmen when Bobby Raymond wouldn't take "no" for an answer. You're the boy with the biggest heart I've ever seen.’"


I couldn't help to smile "Aww that's beautiful. What happened to that chick?"


Mr. Edwards laughed and point to the gold ring on his finger, "I married her"


"Wow"


"Yea, wow" He chuckled. "One of the happiest moments in my life, but it also led to one the scariest moments, when she told me she was pregnant."


"But I thought you liked being a dad?"


"I do. It's just when I first heard that…my mind went back my father. I was scared that I would turn into him." A tear started to come from his left eye. "But when I held my son for the first time…I made a promise to him and to myself that I was never going to lay to hand on my children."


He took a breath "For years I have dealt with your dad's…"


"Scenes?"


"Yea, did you know that I'm actually supposed to be your dad's sponsor?"


I was completely shocked "No, I didn't."


"I know James it's hard to see him actually trying to get help."


"If you're his sponsor then why…."


"I know, I know get that I haven't been doing a great job. But I’ve always tried. I've always tried my best. I thought he would get a little drunk and let his anger out at the store. I would rather him take it out on me than you and your mother." He looked straight into my eyes "You really are a good kid, and a really good friend to Matthew. I've watched you grow up, and I see you hiding away that same fear that I felt."


"So don't you hate me?" I shook.


"No, of course not. I could never hate you… James if he…tries to hurt you… please don't be afraid to call me, or run over here. Please?"


"Okay" I nodded "Can I go to bed now?"


"Yea but…if you ever need to anybody to talk to I'm here?"


I nodded and I got up.

***

I opened the door, trying to quietly seek in. I found Matt sitting on my cot.


"Jamie"


I walked over to him.


"Jamie, are you crying?"


"Matt…" I cried.


He grabbed my hand and pulled me down on the cot next to him. I ended up telling him the entire talk with Mr. Edwards, as we laid in the cot together.


"I don't want to be my dad Mac" I sniffed


"Well I don't want to be my grandfather" he whispered "Lets promise never to drink."


I nodded in agreement, trying not to think about how much I wanted to kiss him.



© 2014 Esther Night


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Added on September 4, 2013
Last Updated on June 16, 2014

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