Family Blues

My Dad’s beaten up, red van pulled up to the sidewalk in front of my Mum’s house. His heavy, black work boots crashed the rocks as he stepped out of the van and started walking up to the front door. My parents were split, I guess you could say they got sick of each other – or they didn’t love each other, even though my Mum said that was not it.
I rarely got to see my Dad, always drinking, betting, clubbing, you name it. It didn’t bother me much, except when other boys got to play catch with their father, while I had to stay at home comforting my mother over the latest fight she had with Dad.
His hand smacked against the door, making a fairly hard knock. That was sure to wake up Mum. He didn’t bother waiting, like you’re supposed to do. He just pushed his way in.
As his eyes turned to me, and stared right into my brown eyes.
“Hey, there’s my boy,” he smiled while running over to me. “Seymour, how are you, son? Haven’t talked in a bit – hey you grown a bit too, I bet your smile has gotten bigger too.”
“Hi Dad, I missed you very much, too.”
“Lucky you, ay, getting to spend five whole weeks with your father – rather exciting, don’t ya think? I can take you out, anywhere you want to go. Where do kids your age go these days, the zoo?”
I took in what he said.
“Never mind, we’ll figure out something. Where’s your Mum, asleep? I bet she is, always work late at night, never out for fun, bummer,” he chuckled.
Mum’s heavy, loud footsteps banged across the hall. She seemed mad.
“Oops, woke up the woman,” he laughed.
I laughed at Dad’s joke, and next thing I knew Mum was standing in the hallway, her sleepy eyes looking towards Dad.
“Charlie, what are you doing in here? Geezes, what were you thinking, rushing in like that? Ms. Greene must be scared – oh the things she must be thinking!” she raised one eyebrow. “Have you no manners, Charlie?”
“I just wanted to see Seymour, and he wanted to see me. Didn’t you buddy?” he said as he punched my lightly on the arm.
I nodded, in respect for Dad. I didn’t like to see them fight.
“Next time you should knock, Charlie. You don’t live here anymore, remember? You wonder why we’re not together anymore, don’t you? I guess it’s a bit of a mystery for your mind.”
“What is that suppose to mean?” he asked, angrily.
“Charlie, not now –”
“No, tell me. Am I not smart enough for you – am I too dumb?”
“I will not be made out as a fool in front of my own son,” she snapped. “You know what? You better head off; looks like a storm will be coming in. I don’t want Seymour to get a cold.”
I didn’t see my Mum for the next five weeks.

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