I often loved summers at my dad's old home. The quiet, relaxing, country air helps me to forget my old life in the suburbs; the noisy nights which made sleeping easier, along with the greasy smell of the exhaust pipes and pizza shops. Despite all of this, it was often boring as you couldn't do much to entertain yourself when alone. Don't get me wrong, I had friends and we often saw each other; however, there's only so much a guy can do when he has work right after school, and my friends aren't always able to hang out. Here in the country, I'm now able to get out and breathe fresh air...yet there are definitely some similarities. That being the smells. Apparently, even in the country, there are some remnants of the same pungent exhaust fumes; except these come from tractors in the fields, whereas the city just reeked of it. While in the country at Dad's old home, there was always something that grasped my attention: the huge lake in the middle of a field. The golden sun often descended on its beautiful, stagnant surface and I would immediately feel relieved of whatever plagued my mind.My Dad would take us during the summer to replenish ourselves, diving to a massive stone at the bottom to recharge our Epicenters. Without that lake, many Undine would perish from lack of energy to maintain biometric homeostasis.For some reason, my father made me stay longer and bask in the energy the stone provided.It always beckoned me when I was smaller, so I grew to cherish it; Be it fishing or simply dipping my feet in the water to ease nerves.
It simply put me at peace.
Most people I spoke with never understood the serenity that I often spoke of when the topic of my father's lake came up and I can honestly understand that. Today's comforts bring a sense of ease...that and the lack of experience other Mythicals had with Undine customs. For me, however, I take one look at the crystalline waters-depths unknown- and a surreal sense of calm washes over me. Currently, I'm laying on the grassy edge with my feet skimming the surface slightly. The soothing temperature radiates into my being while reminding me of the argument between my father and me over my change in career paths. He had trouble adjusting to the idea that I didn't wish to go into medicine anymore but had changed my mind. I told him that I felt more accustomed to culinary arts and he scorned me, calling me a fool who wastes his potential on something meaningless.
"Well, I'm getting close to eighteen! That's plenty of time for me to decide I want a change," I yelled at him, wildly throwing my hands in the air to express my point. He shook his head and refused to look me in the eye.
"You don't know what you want,"he scowled,"You're only sixteen years old with no experience, you sheltered brat! Why would you do this to yourself?" I tried to tell him about the joy cooking brings me, but he cut me off with a grimace. Sighing, he walked out of the house, his body shaking and dripping with emotion.
After that, my father left our house and me in the care of his brother (who all-in-all seemed like he gave two farts in a hurricane about me and what I did) and stayed up at the lake to take care of the rest of the program's preparation. He told me before he left that whenever I gained some common sense, that we would talk again on the matter and then discuss my options for the future.
But he never came back.
According to the cops, he had taken three gunshots. The woman who pulled the trigger got angry over not being taken to bed that night. She pulled a pistol out of her purse and pulled it on her date. My father stepped in and whipped her arm away from the man but got shot in the process. First, he had gotten into a fight with his sixteen-year-old son. Then Fate decided to drop him into a situation that he couldn't possibly get out of.
Sadly, his last fight was a fatal one.
The victim, who introduced himself as my father's colleague, told me of the events that had transpired. He told me of how he rushed to my father's side to try and save him, and he was regretful that my father took his blows. He proposed his condolences to my Uncle Matt, who broke down crying in the doorway, glaring at me for running his brother away.
I took the news just as bad. Gripping my chest, I felt a sharp pain at the sudden realization that my dad would no longer be with me. Sobbing silently, I rushed into my room and locked myself from the outside world as I grieved. My dad's colleague-Cole, as he introduced himself-tried to reassure me that it wasn't his fault my father died. Apparently, he said, his date was a little crazed that night as she was "either drunk or on drugs".
"The music was too loud and my courting was under her expectations. So she pulled out the gun and...well the rest happened too fast to describe." He explained to me trying to find the right words to relay the events. Now whether I believed him is a big fat "NO". Something about the guy screamed "untrustworthy", but his story and the article he brought were more than enough proof.
My uncle, with his overly fake concern, had told the man that he ought to take me with him to my father's old home to say goodbye once more. However, I knew that he was trying to dump me on this guy to distance himself from me. Sensing Uncle Matt's hostility, the man agreed and said that he'd pick me up the next day for funeral preparations. So, how about we recap? I'm definitely orphaned-no use sugar coating it. My uncle was is throwing me out (he said so himself as soon as Cole left the house. Lastly, Dad got into a fight and utterly lost, leaving me scratching my head about what I should do with myself. To make matters even better, I'm to be placed under Cole's care despite having a living relative...all in the same day.
Utter bullshit is what it was. The man's arrival was shady, the story seemed shady and I refuse to accept it blindly.
So that now brings me to where I am now, lying on the grassy edge of the water drawing in as much energy as possible for the long road ahead of me. My father's favorite fishing spot,now up for grabs, looks nothing more than an empty patch of grass like the rest of my scene. I reminisce his smile, the way he'd ruffle my hair when I brought home a good grade, including his booming laugh that could shake a room. How those amazing days seem far in such a short span of time. The hot air brings me memories to our last fight, as my last words to him were to go f*** himself and that his opinion didn't matter to me. I yelled. He yelled. I remember that comment earned me a smack on the face and a quick hold above the ground as he stormed out.
I never thought he would croak within the next couple of days. If anything, we both could have used a chill pill; maybe if we hadn't over-reacted, he would still be here.
Despite my wishing, we didn't. He was gone forever.
I almost answer the lake's calling to jump in and go for a swim. Drown out the millions of depressing thoughts and pretend that they are floating away with the stream of bubbles from my breath. Anything would be a hell of a lot easier than sitting here moping around, but my old man was right about one thing: life is too short to be depressed about the uncontrollable. However true that may now be, I now have to adjust again as I'm put into another grown-up responsibility. Staying with my new "guardian" didn't hold any appeal to me.Especially, not after staying with my deadbeat uncle for the last couple of days.
"Spyro! Where are ye'! Ye' need'ta hurry on or me an' my boys'll leave ye'!" He joked. By boys he means his dog and some other guy (who apparently likes to stick with him). Super creepy, if you ask me, but I wouldn't want to pick a fight with said "friend". When Cole introduced us, all I saw was a tall guy who had to be at least 6'4", tanned, short hair, and a deadpanned look that could put a goth to shame.
I let out a sigh walked up the hill towards my new guardian and his company. Cole looked like he was facing the heat particularly well, despite having his hair oiled back and tied, donning a gray three-piece suit like it isn't 98 degrees outside. A weird man, I decided as I trudged up the hill and finally made it to him. I must have looked a mess since he leaned forward and picked out grass blades from my jet black hair, pulled a comb from his pocket and smoothing out any tangles.
"I swear ye' act like ye' were raised in a barn." He said with a chuckle. Pulling back and apparently satisfied with his work he motioned to follow him. Looking back at him and then towards my lake, I followed in pursuit. Anxious about my new life and guardian, I saw there was no turning back now as I walked into the waiting car.
Calling to our favorite lake with a sad-yet-grateful look, I called out in a soft whisper," Bye Dad. I'm sorry."