The Wrong Type of Redemption

7 Three days


7: Three days

Sunday came and Jerry was volunteering at the center as he had promised Mia. Mostly he worked with the kids who wanted to play sports. Halfway through kickball, Mia came up to him and stole him from the game. When the teenage boys started cursing Mia in ASL kicking dirt in her direction, she replied with the middle finger while dragging Jerry with her other hand.

*What?* He asked when they stopped at the vending machine just inside the building where she grabbed a bag of chips.

She didn’t answer, handed him the snack, and started walking. He followed, opening the offering. As he chowed, she stopped, turned slightly to sign, *I apologize for the other day. Will you forgive me?*

He just nodded and chewed.

*See. That’s all you have to do when your father apologizes.*

He gave her the middle finger before turning away.

She laughed grabbing his arm to stop him before signing, *But seriously, J. Have you spoken to him?*

Jerry didn’t reply, shifting his gaze away. Bag empty, he looked around for a trash so not to feel too awkward under her scrutiny.

She moved in front of him, reached out, and hooked a finger under his chin making him lift his head. Then she signed, *Tell me, J.*

*He admits that what happened that day was his fault because of how he raised us.*

*And how he was raised.*

*Fine. Yes, he was raised to hate. But I didn’t turn out like him, so he could have changed, too.*

She tilted her head thoughtfully. *Change is easy to talk about, but far harder to do, especially for older people. For you, there wasn’t much to change. You grew up in a more diverse generation. He didn’t have that. And if not for Gerald, can you honestly say you wouldn’t be like your dad? Or Eric?*

Jerry thought about it and shrugged.

*For your father to come to you and admit something like that shows maturity and the will to think and change for himself. But… What aren’t you telling me?*

Jerry told her what he did to make the man run.

She just stared at him. Her expression was so blank he wondered if she had turned robot or something. *J, when did you get so childish?* She finally asked.

Ouch. *Don’t know. I just…I couldn’t help myself.*

*You’re human, you aren’t an animal. You have the ability to know better.* Hell, she cut like a knife when she chastised him.

Yeah, He knew he shouldn’t have done it, but the sadistic nature he didn’t realize he had until now, enjoyed every moment of it.

*I’m not telling you to forgive him meaninglessly. But don’t be a total asshole.*

*But I am an asshole and if felt…* Thinking about it, Jerry’s hands stilled in mid-air. His chest rose and fell with the rush of excitement. *I don’t remember the last time I’ve felt this…*

She looked him over then down to his crotch. Her eyes widened at the bulge in his pants. She signed, not taking her eyes off his pants. *I’m intrigued… Professionally, I should warn you about doing anything that might set back the reconciliation process. Healing is the most important for your mental state… I’m curious as hell to see what’s hiding in your…* She finally looked up at him and smirked. Then her face turned serious. *Please be careful, J.*

He grunted the traveled to the bathroom before he went back to help out with the kids.

Focus on the positive…focus on the positive…

Mia made him repeat those words, knowing that dwelling on the past only made his state of mind worse. That’s why she made him volunteer at the center. Helping others, doing positive work, might help to move Jerry outside of his negative thoughts.

And it did, until he was back home and alone.

Mia told him to get a dog so he could have something to distract him at home. But Jerry couldn’t afford an apartment that allowed dogs. Or all the shit it took to keep one alive.

Her next distraction tactic? She often gave him a laptop or desktop computer to fix. Sometimes it belonged to someone who couldn’t afford the fees of a licensed computer expert. Other times she handed him a random junked computer she had found and wanted him to refurbish it so they could sell it and split the profit.

That evening, Jerry got home and was opening his apartment door with one hand while clutching his new laptop project with the other when he heard a familiar voice coming up behind him.

His father was ordering pizza, two large with extra cheese and extra pepperoni. Then he gave Jerry’s address. Without a word, Jerry pushed through his door and went to his spot on the floor where his own laptop sat next to his backpack. He bent down unzip his bag as he heard the door he left open click shut. From his bag he pulled out the screw driver, soldering gun, and other instruments that he used in his tech class. Setting the tools aside, he glanced up just enough to see his father’s big booted feet walk slowly inside.

“Can I use your bathroom?” The guy asked.

“As long as you’re aware I masturbate in there so you might find a few stray cum stains,” he said just to be evil. Honestly, Jerry kept it clean because he hated the smell of a dirty bathroom. Since his hearing had gone to shit, over the years his sense of smell grew acute. Meaning bad odors had a potential of ruining his day.

For a moment, his father didn’t move but then stepped in the direction of the bathroom. Jerry grinned openly when the bathroom door closed. Mia was right, he was childish, and loved every damn moment of it.

He stood up straight then and blew out a breath trying to decide what he wanted. Did he want to torture the man? Did he want a father? Or…what?

He had left the door open for the man to enter. Of course that was mostly because of the free pizza…or was it? Well, who could say no to free food, especially when he loved to eat. And because he was a big guy, at six feet eight inches there was a lot of him to feed.

Jerry turned on the television and took a seat on the mattress.

The sound of the toilet flushed, before the sink turned on. Jerry wondered how long his father’s cock was? How thick?

The bathroom door opened clearing Jerry’s depraved thoughts.

“Um, do you have a towel I can use to dry my hands?” The gravelly voice asked.

Jerry pointed to the kitchen towel hanging over the kitchenette counter. “Or you can use my bath towel.”

His father walked across the room and Jerry watch his stride, admiring his strong gait.

With his back turned, Jerry got an interesting view of his father’s jean clad backside before going back to watch the football game on the screen.

“I know I didn’t ask and assumed… um but…” His father spoke hesitantly. “You don’t have any plans this evening, do you?”

Someone wanted to talk. Jerry groaned not interested in entertaining the guy. His brain was still tired from getting chewed up by Mia.

“We could just watch the game or something…”

Jerry continued watching television pretending he didn’t hear him.

His father looked around for a chair, but realizing Jerry didn’t have one, he took a seat on the floor close by.

Though he didn’t say anything, Jerry could feel Philip’s attention on him. With his knees raised, arms draped over them, he looked comfortable, and yet it was all an act. There was just too much tension in the air.

“You said something before… something about you were dead… I don’t believe that. A dead man wouldn’t try to carry on,” his father said and turned to Jerry then. “Glitch…I mean, Jerry, I know I don’t deserve forgiveness, but you shouldn’t suffer because of me.”

“I suffer because of Gerald. His death killed me. So if you’re seeking to save my soul, forget it. He was my soul.”

The silence that followed even made Jerry uneasy. He quickly got up and went to the frig. He grabbed a bottled water and downed it trying not to think about his twin. After draining it he tossed it in the recycle bin. Then he grabbed another slamming the door shut.

“He’s dead.” Jerry roared letting the pain bleed through the air. “Why did he leave me? Why didn’t he take me with him?” Jerry opened the frig and slammed the door shut again.

“Because he thought he would meet you there.” His father’s voice stopped Jerry’s heart, breathing, everything.


“He thought you were going to die, so he…” The man frowned as if uncertain then closed his eyes and finished. “He wanted to be the one to greet you when you died.”

“What?” Jerry asked again trying to breathe pass the panicked realization.

“I guess I shouldn’t be surprised you don’t know.” His father rotated his shaky shoulders before opening his eyes again looking at him with dark sorrowful blue eyes. “Your mother found the suicide note and his body before her mind shut down.” He cleared his throat from the pain rising. Jerry saw so much emotion flash across the man’s face. “I had asked Eric over and over and over, why… Why he did it? But he never spoke. He never told us why.” He shuddered then balling his fists. “Then I went in to the barn two days after…after the doctors warned us you might not live… Your mother was…she was…I didn’t know what to do. She was just sitting on the stable floor starring up at the rafters…” His voice sounded so small and far away. Tears streamed down his cheeks as he stared at something Jerry couldn’t see. “When I looked up…my boy was there… I had to pull her body out of their because she wouldn’t move. How could she? We lost all three of you that day. My boys…” He dropped his head. “As I…um…” He cleared his throat, wiping his eyes.

Jerry felt something painful stir as the man spoke.

“I had just called the police when I noticed she held a note… I had to pry it from her hands.” He frowned. “After I read it…I burned it.”

“What!” Jerry’s pain merged with disbelief.

His father grimaced. “He confessed to everything…But I couldn’t…I didn’t face it. Coward…I was stupid…scared.”

“What the fuck did he say?” Jerry shouted knowing his brother didn’t die without a word. There had been words. His brother left a note. His whole body was paralyzed with some much emotion he just stared at his father and asked, “What the fuck did the note say?”

“That he…couldn’t live without you. He couldn’t face life knowing you weren’t with him. He apologized to your mom and me about…Eric finding out.” He dropped his head, and uttered in a shaky voice. “He never intended for anyone to ever find out. And he’d be careful in the next life…”

Jerry dropped back against the counter at the revelation washing over him, waking him for what felt like the first time. Gerald thought Jerry was going to die and wanted to meet him in the afterlife. He wanted to be with Jerry no matter what. He had been unrepentant to the end. Devoted. He hadn’t left Jerry without a goodbye because he thought he would be meeting Jerry…

They sat in silence for a long time as the news swirled inside him making Jerry feel things he didn’t wish to feel. Part of him wished he had died. And part of him had wished his stupid brother had waited to find out if Jerry did indeed die.

“That idiot,” Jerry finally said in a rush of breath. Then he chuckled as he wiped the tears from his eyes.

“I’m surprised you didn’t follow behind him. I know how you two were inseparable.”

“I never had his balls,” was all Jerry said pushing off the counter. He took the bottle of water to his father and held it out.

The man sniffed, nodded his head, and took the bottle. “Thanks.”

Jerry sat back down and pretended to watch the game as his mind raced over the new information. All the time…all these years, I thought you had abandoned me Gerald. But you never did. You never…Why couldn’t you have waited to see? Why were you always so impatient? Just like that night…you had been impatient…

His father’s admission had both angered, pained, and relieved him. Anger for the way his father handled the news and hid the truth. Pain because his brother died without faith that Jerry would live. And relief flooded him that Gerald hadn’t run from him, but toward him…in the wrong direction.

When the pizza came, his father paid and they ate in silence. Afterward, Jerry crawled in bed without a word and turned his back to his father as he wondered at his father’s actions, burning the letter. In a way, his father had given Jerry mercy. If that letter had gotten out and his grandparents learned what happened… 

He silently chuckled even as his insides hurt from the truth of what hell life would’ve been if Eric had held back and had told their parents instead of trying to kill him. They would have been separated, possibly brainwashed… Or Gerald would’ve shown his true colors and done something diabolical to keep Jerry. Hiding the truth, might’ve been a blessing as well as the curse it was.    


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