Bobby stood in the doorway, just staring into the room. That was his son in there. It was hard to believe. He didn’t look like the boy Bobby remembered.
“Are you going to go in there or just hulk in the doorway?”
Bobby turned his head to look at the man who had snuck up on him. It had been a long time since he’d allowed himself to let anyone do that. “Sam,” he said, recognizing the man. Though, he didn’t quite look like the man Bobby had just seen with Linda a couple weeks earlier. This scruffy, bleary-eyed man wouldn’t have found his way into Bobby’s ex-wife’s heart.
“I bet John would like to see you,” Sam said.
Bobby shook his head. “He hasn’t seen me in nearly six years. It was better that way. I was trying to protect them.”
“You didn’t,” Sam snapped. “You hurt them. He worshipped you and then suddenly you were gone. He didn’t understand that you just couldn’t walk out of the prison and come visit him. And you never tried to explain to him. No, you left that all to Linda. You left him to be picked on at school about whether he got the fire bug gene, too. If he was going to set things on fire.”
Bobby winced at that. He’d screwed up so much in his life. He had deserved his punishment. His son hadn’t, though.
“I wanted to hate you,” Sam continued. “But, she never did. I never understood how you couldn’t even fight for her.”
“Because she deserved a lot better than me. She deserved everything, and I couldn’t give it to her. She deserved you, Sam. They all did. And it wasn’t right for me to try to hold them down. So, I let them go.”
“You’re a fool,” Sam muttered. “You threw it all away and for what? She’s still dead. And they have no one now.”
“They have you,” Bobby told him. “She’d want you to take care of them. And to stop drinking.”
“So, you’re just going to walk away?” Sam asked as Bobby started to do just that. “Not even let them know you were here.”
“I don’t see what good it would do. I don’t want a place in their lives if it’s only going to hurt them.” He just needed to close that door and lock it. Better for all of them that way.
“And what if it doesn’t?” Sam asked. “What if it helps them to see the change you’ve made to the path you were on. What if they need you, too?”
Bobby closed his eyes, as if that was a shield against the darts those words became. He wasn’t sure he could believe it was enough. But, he wanted to try.
Today’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt was “door”. We were supposed to write about a door we walked through that wasn’t our own. Instead I wrote about a character not walking through a door, both figurative and literal. 😉 These characters showed up in the first book in my Flames series and then kind of disappeared. I’m thinking of trying to write them back into the series, and John may eventually have his own story. I wrote a little piece yesterday about these characters, too.