The Wrong Type of Redemption

17 Sunday, Four Forty-Five AM


17: Sunday, Four Forty-Five AM

The next day, unable to sleep with thoughts of his father floating in his head, Jerry rolled off his mattress onto the floor. He sat in the dark for a moment going over everything that was said yesterday. Just recalling how his father’s powerful arms held him and hands touched him produced a low growl in his throat. The new feelings blooming inside of him threatened to drive him nuts.

“I’m just a boy who wants his father’s attention… Brilliant.” He ran a hand through his hair. Then over his face. He needed to get a grip. Having done all his school work, he went to the laptop Mia gave him and began to power it up. It didn’t take long to pin point the little virus that infected the computer. After removing it carefully and checking the rest of the system, his stomach began screaming for his attention.

Right on cue, his father walked through the front door as if he had a key. He was on his phone talking to someone. The conversation looked heated from the frown on his father’s face. Jerry tried to follow the man’s lips, but the words were foreign. Literally. He didn’t know what language his father was speaking but not one word registered. Even the few sounds he heard didn’t register.

When his father saw him, it was clear the man wasn’t expecting Jerry to be awake. He got off the phone quickly. Jerry jumped to his feet and went to the bathroom to get his hearing aid.

He exited the bathroom to see the man going into the refrigerator. “So how do you keep getting into my apartment so early in the morning if you didn’t make a key to my apartment?” Jerry asked.

His father cleared his throat. “The property manager and I…got to be kind of…close?”

“You fucking her?” Jerry asked, nostrils flaring.

“No. But I did flirt to get her to give me a spare key.” He shrugged pulling out eggs and bacon.

“Shit.” Jerry groaned not liking that his father had charmed a woman…or anyone. “And she just gave you a key? Like that?”

“No, but she did say I could ask her any time to open the door.” He pulled down a mixing bowl.

“And nothing else?”

“Jerry, I’m…” He cleared his throat. “It doesn’t stand at attention like it used to…probably…probably ED. I’ve been that way since…everything…so yeah, flirting’s it.”

That news struck Jerry in the chest like a physical blow. He couldn’t imagine never getting it up again. Hell, right now, he’d just be happy if it didn’t stir to life every time the man came around…like now.


“Not…completely. It does sometimes…but rarely and doesn’t stay up long… No less than I deserve.” His father shrugged as if it was no big deal, but the truth was, for a man of any sexuality that was a big fucking deal.

Knowing how sore the subject was, Jerry remained silent. He sat on the floor and watched his father cook wondering when and how his father realized he had ED. At what point after he left his family did the urges slow?

Then another question popped back up in his head. “What language was that?”

“What?” His father’s shoulders stiffened.

“You were talking on the phone in a foreign language. What was it? It wasn’t Spanish. I know enough of it to know that wasn’t it.”

His father cleared his throat. “Ah.” Was all the man said as he continued to cook.

“And because you don’t want to answer, I think we’ll stay on this topic longer.”

The man grunted. “Russian.”

“You speak Russian?”


“Why? Since when?” Jerry asked curiously as he watched the man’s body language.

“One side of my family…our family is Russian.”

Jerry’s brows rose. Aside from Dorian and his father’s older brother Allen, he never knew his father’s side of the family. He never talked about them. Uncle Allen was the same according to Dorian. “And…the other side?”

“My mother was from New York, born and raised there.”

“I thought you said you were from Tennessee?” Jerry asked dumbfounded.

“She moved me and my brother there after her parents’ money dried up. She chased after a man who promised her a better life. That promise didn’t extend to me and Allen.”


“We can talk about that another time,” his father said clearly not wanting to go there. He began mixing batter in a stainless-steel bowl.

“Who was the one that taught you to hate homosexuals?”

His father moaned paused then said, “Both sides… My father believed in many oppressive ideals that made himself look or feel superior.”


“Without the haircut.” Humor tinted his father’s voice. “My mother was…bitter.”

“What does that mean?”

“She believed any man who didn’t fall for her was gay and deserved to die.”

“What the hell?”

“My father was an asshole, putting it mildly. He abandoned her right after I was born. Angry and resentful, my mother called the Russian authorities and told them my father was gay. They arrested him.” Philip poured the batter into a hot frying pan. “It took a few months to prove he wasn’t, but afterwards his reputation was so muddy that no one dealt with him. Ruined his life.”

“Damn.” Dorian is going to eat this information up!

“The best part about that story was the man she married and ditched us for was actually cheating on her with another man. She ruined his life, too.”

“And the person you were talking to was your dad?”

“No, my father’s dead. I was talking to Aline, my half-sister. She helped raise me and my brother after my mom got rid of us. She lives in Russia. I lived there from… possibly nine or ten-years-old until I was sixteen.”

“So I have an aunt who lives in Russia. Didn’t look like the conversation was a good one.”

“It never is. She might have raised us, but it wasn’t because she wanted to. My father made her.”

“Why do you still speak to that side of the family if it’s not pleasant?”

“They’re family.” Was his only answer as his spatula flipped two large pancakes on a plate. Then he flipped sausage from another pan onto the same plate. He held the dish toward Jerry barely looking back. His father really didn’t like talking about his family. Even his body seemed too tense.

Getting to his feet, Jerry went to grab it then stopped by the cabinet where his father stored the syrup. His cabinets never looked so full with food.

As he ate, he watched his father fix more food. When Jerry finished with his first helping, his father piled on more.

“They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach,” Jerry said as his father topped off his glass of milk.

His father smirked. “Am I winning you over, son?”

“No, but my stomach thanks you.”

A full smile lit up his father’s face and those muscles finally seemed to relax into the more lazy posture Jerry becoming accustomed to. “I’ll take the small victories,” Philip said proudly.


After stuffing his face, Jerry texted Mia to let her knew the computer she had him working on was finished. With instructions to meet at the center, Jerry arrived at the tiny office that was temporarily hers. Standing outside of the small space Jerry just stared at the door remembering how Mia wasn’t a permanent resident of the center. Any day, she could be let go or find a new job. She had been the only counselor he liked…one of the few people period he liked. While she tried to keep a professional distance, it seemed easier for her to be more personable towards him. He hated to admit, but he’d one day miss her.

Dammit, he hated forming attachments. They always left or died.

Unexpectedly, the door opened. Mia stumbled to a stop and frowned up at him. *You should have just come in.*

*Sorry, I wasn’t sure if you were counseling someone else or not.* He lied.

*Okay, come in.* She stepped back.

Jerry just laughed. *You know I can’t fit into that closet space.* That’s why they never did sessions in there.

She rolled her eyes.

He took his backpack off his shoulder in the hallway. Squatting, he sat it on the floor and unzipped it. Hands gripping the newly refurbished machine, he looked up when he felt something towering over him. There Mia was grinning holding another laptop.

He narrowed his eyes pulling out the one he held and giving it to her as she gave him the new old machine she wanted him to work on.

*And where did you find this one?* Jerry asked after shoving it and the power cord in his backpack.

*Nick heard I knew someone who could fix laptops for a low cost, so he asked if I could get it unlocked.* She smiled sweetly.

*How the hell would he know about someone who could do that unless you’ve been in communication with him?* Jerry wanted to choke her.

*He likes you, you know.*

*Charge him double.*

*You’re such an asshole.*

*Best compliment I’ve ever gotten.*

She glared at him.

*So tell me more about what’s wrong with this thing.* Jerry asked feeling his annoyance rising.

She told him Nick keeps getting a login error as soon as it boots up. *I promise this is the last time I cross the professional line.*

*Speaking of professional. How long are they planning to keep you?* He pointed to the office door.

She paused. The look on her face told him that she didn’t want to talk about it. Or shouldn’t.

*You’ve already crossed one professional line at my expense.* He reminded her of the Nick thing.

*I’m more worried that you’ll close up and stop talking to me if I tell you.*

*Soon then.*

*I have two job interviews. One in NY and one in CA.*

*Congratulations,* he signed, truly meaning it even though it kind of stung. For someone who was totally deaf like Mia, it was harder to find a job because few companies wanted to have to pay the extra expense of accessibility and interpreters. It was even harder to find counseling jobs that specialized in helping deaf people because most of those jobs were filled.

*Haven’t got it yet but… Thanks.* She watched him carefully. Her hands slowly signed, *…I don’t want you to give up. So please keep coming here.*

He nodded. *It’s required for my checks anyway.*


*When do you need this back?* He asked standing up.

*Whenever you can. And if I happen to get either job before you finish…you have Nick’s number.* She wiggled her eyebrows.

Jerry blew out a breath. She could be leaving sooner that he realized. It was only supposed to be a professional relationship anyway. And he knew full well that they would’ve assigned him a different counselor in a month or so. No one ever got the same one for long to keep the clients and counselors from getting attached. It was the nature of the profession.

This was for the best. Getting attached only brought heartache.


Your Comment Motivates Me...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Font Resize
%d bloggers like this: