I was making my way back to “The Crypt”, after having visited my family’s plot tonight. Everything was just as I’d left it a few months ago. Except for the weeds which I made short work of. And of course the flowers needed a little freshening up, so I circled the graves and released some of my green mist, which brought them back into a healthy bloom.
Went inside the mansion briefly because I thought I saw a figure at one of the windows. A small figure… holding a… never mind. I didn’t find anyone inside, so I headed back towards town.
Naturally, my thoughts drifted to the days of my youth, before I left for the war. Unfortunately, not all my memories were happy ones. Mind you I have a lot of good memories, but there are a few involving my father that still sting from time to time. He loved me, of that I have no doubts. Heaven knows he told me and showed me enough times, but there were some days when I could see and sense his disappointment in me. I wasn’t always the son he really wanted me to be, but I had limitations that he couldn’t understand at the time. Of course, I no longer suffer those problems these days, but it would’ve been nice to let him see how far I’d come.
I had just reached the downtown area of Pointer, when I spotted a figure carrying a guitar case I knew only too well. It was young Teddy and he was looking pretty down as he walked. Concerned I started to quicken my pace, only to be passed by a car which pulled up next to my young friend. Immediately, a man got out of the car and started scolding my young friend rather vociferously.
Even though they’re a fair distance from where I’m standing, my hearing is exceptionally keen and I hear everything as if I was standing right there with them.
“I told you it could wait until tomorrow,” the older man says in a very annoyed voice. “But, no, you have to make a scene.”
“You were already making a scene by yelling at me in front of everyone, Dad!” Ted shot back.
I wince at that. Family arguments have never been my favorite thing to walk in on, much less be a part of. I consider taking a different route home at that point but then Ted’s father says, “I told you not bother with getting a guitar months ago. It’s not going to win you any scholarships for college. Now if you’d get into football like I keep telling you…”
“Dad I’ve got Fibromyalgia, I don’t have the…”
“That’s a made up thing, and even if it was real, only girls and women get it,” his father yells, cutting him off.
That tore it for me. Suddenly, the scenery on either side of me blurs and in the blink of an eye I find myself standing next Ted and his father.
Luckily the two are so focused on each other neither even notice that I’ve suddenly appeared on the scene. “Good evening, gentlemen,” I say clearing my throat meaningfully to get their attention.
Ted reacts first. “Oh, hello, Mr. Backman. I was just coming to return the guitar you loaned me,” he says in a quiet voice.
“Whatever for? Don’t tell me you’ve given up playing? You’re really good,” I tell him, mainly because it’s true. But I also know what playing music does for him. It gives him a way of forgetting about his Fibromyalgia for a while. Everyone who fights a daily battle like his needs a coping mechanism and I don’t want to see him lose this particular one.
“He’s not going to have time to be playing music,” his father replies, before Ted can speak. “I appreciate the fact that you let him practice with that thing, but it’s not helping.”
“Not helping?” I repeat curiously. “From what Ted has told me in the past, it helps him deal with his condition…”
“He doesn’t have a condition, he’s just too lazy and delicate,” his father cuts in again.
I nod and reply, “It’s my understanding he has Fibromyalgia. Is that not the case?”
“Fibromyalgia, if it exists at all…”
“For crying out loud, Dad. Mom has it, you said so yourself,” Ted exclaims.
“Of course she has, but it’s a condition women get, not men!” his father explodes.
“I have it,” I say quietly. “In fact I’ve had it all my life, even when I was little. Growing pains they called it. Told me I’d grow out of it, but I never did. It’s been my constant companion every day of my life.”
Ted’s father studies me for a moment and then says, “You don’t look like your sick or in any pain.”
“Looks can be deceiving,” I reply cryptically and take a step towards him.
****TO BE CONTINUED****