Makes Me Wonder
Steve walked to the mirror in the bathroom and stared at his reflection. Bloodshot gray eyes staring a question back at him. His chocolate brown hair fell in a tangled mess down to his shoulders. His fortieth birthday had come and gone a few days past and the only signs of his aging were the graying roots of his yellow blond streak of hair just above his right eye. He looked over his shoulder back into the bedroom where Erica lay sleeping. He shook his head with a sigh, trying to forget the way it felt between her thighs. He had been bad and broken a promise to himself. It had felt good but he knew it wasn’t worth the aftermath.
“Get in the shower, get dressed, grab your bags, say bye to Johnny and go. This is goodbye. “ He gave himself a quick pep talk trying to resist the urge to return to bed. He had accepted a research grant that would take him around the world for the next few years. He made sure it allowed for time to return home so he could see Johnny but he knew he had to leave. As if thinking about him conjured the boy, Steve heard a banging on the bedroom door.
“Hey Parentals, I’m hungry. Growing boy here I need food asap. The tv is calling my name and I must answer.” Johnny shouted through the door. Steve smiled at the way the boy spoke and the knowledge that he would do just about anything for him. Except stay.
“Get in the damn shower Steve. You have a plane to catch. Get dressed.” Laura began to stir as he was still trying to convince himself. He looked over his shoulder as she got up. He immediately closed the door and turned the water on.
He came out of the shower ten minutes later and got dressed. His bags had been sitting by the door where he placed them last night in preparation for his early morning departure. Erica was in the kitchen making waffles but Johnny was sitting in front of the bags tears threatening to fall.
“So this is goodbye huh?” He asked as he saw Steve come out of his bedroom. “Where are you going?”
“Johnny I…” Steve said walking toward him. The boys gray eyes staring the same question at him that his mirror was asking earlier. “This isn’t the end of you and I.”
“But this is goodbye?” A single tear fell from his eye. “I caught you, please don’t lie. Just give me a good reason. Where are you going? Or do you not have the time? Did you plan to sneak out while I was asleep? Did you ever really care about us, was there a you and I? Don’t answer. I know this goodbye. “ With that Johnny went up and hugged Steve and then went back into his bedroom and shut the door. Steve started to tear up as he went into the kitchen to see Erica finishing her waffles with a smug look on her face.
“Shit like this makes me wonder if You ever gave a fuck about you and I. So I’m glad this is goodbye.” Steve wiped his face and walked out of this kitchen. He grabbed the note he had written Johnny from the pocket of his duffel bag and slid it under his door along with the passport and ticket to Italy for the Easter break. He walked back through the house grabbed his coat and bags and walked out the door.
“So this is goodbye.”