Imperfect thoughts

by Twyla Jane

My challenge is this:
Of the boys, we know about Ezra's mother, Vin's mother, JD's mother, Buck's mother, Josiah's father, Nathan's mother and father, and not a thing about Chris' parents. What I want is a story that fills in some details on the missing parents or even the ones that we do know something about. Our boys weren't hatched from eggs, and I want to know something about the people who brought them into this world

(Figuratively speaking). Can be the guys just talking about how they didn't know their fathers, or reminiscing about some fond memory of their mothers. Or you can take it upon yourself to create an original character and fill in the details that way. I don't care which one of the boys you pick, or what AU you choose. Any or all is acceptable. Have fun. Okay here’s my go set in Mog’s ATF AU inspired by Mike and the Mechanics ‘The Living Years’. 6/8/03

He took a long pull off the bottle the tepid liquor burned it’s way his gullet. The day was a total loss. Anger and frustration lingered, dark thoughts still held on to his unsettled mental state. Fractured sensibilities had him delving into that long ago day’s events. Wondering just what he could have done to change its outcome. Running various scenarios through his mind.

What ifs
And what might have been

Tipping the bottle back he fought back the urge to sputter as he quickly downed another gulp of the fiery liquid instead letting out a breathy hiss. No matter how he tried he couldn’t stop his anger from boiling over before his brain kicked in. A foul mood that had settled upon him at the beginning of the day followed through to its disastrous end. A battered photo album lay open in his lap, sticking out of it was a tattered envelope.

Father’s day

The day wasn’t an easy day for Chris Larabee and wasn’t for the reason that his friends expected, the loss of his son, Adam. Those memories hurt but that pain was different. At least his son knew he loved him.

He wasn’t so sure about his own father

Unable able to stop the flood of memories, his body sagged heavily into the hard backed kitchen chair. The whiskey bottle tipped over and its contents pooled across the table before splashing to the floor on the other side, the sound of the glass rolling over the wood was lost as long suppressed images of his childhood in Indiana took over his mind.

Memories of his father were hazy at best, because the man was almost never there.

Work had kept A.C. Larabee away from his son for weeks sometimes months at a time. A rare photo captured him at home most captured him asleep on living room couch or out on the back porch smoking a cigarette. Then he stopped coming back all together the year Chris turned twelve.

Less than year had passed by without a single word from his father, and an unexpected knock at the door had his mother weeping over the delivered divorce papers. Certain events, certain aspects of life, were a bitter pill that had to be taken to be able to move on. Accepting them didn’t make the memories any easier. Life after his father left hadn’t been easy. They lost their house. The contents within it were sold to pay off the mounting bills and facilitate the move to a small apartment across town with the little that remained packed into the back of a battered old pale yellow Chevy station wagon. With a month left in eighth grade Chris started at a new school while his mother took on second job barely scraping enough together to keep food on the table and a roof overhead.

It had been a struggle but some how he and his mother managed to survive those years with humor and dignity.

Seeing for the first time the mess he had made Chris reached back, grabbed a dishtowel off the refrigerator door and began numbly mopping up the table before snatching another towel to sop up the puddle on the floor.

Sometimes life seemed to be a perverse joke at least that’s what Chris believed as he sank down to his knees to get at the last bit of liquor under the chair. He had wanted to get drunk and forget except it wasn’t that easy. He had been denied a lot of things in his youth a bitterly cruel blow came shortly after he joined the army his mother died.

The minister had been reciting a passage from the bible during the funeral service when the sudden creak of a door had Chris turning around in time to see his father arrive. The elder Larabee stepped in, dressed in a worn suit, stopping short to stand behind the last rows of pews when he found himself the recipient of his son’s furious glare hesitated a moment before turning around and leaving.

“Dammit! Its not like he was ever there…” Larabee growled out tossing the sodden dishtowels into the sink and glanced out at the gray clouds that kept a steady drizzle falling across his yard before sitting back down at the table. He caressed the well-worn envelope before he tugged out its faded contents and began to read.

The elder Larabee had died a month shy of Adam’s birth. A rumpled letter from his father showed up in his mailbox. Tearing open the envelope Chris pulled out the crumpled bits of paper. The pages filled with imperfect thoughts. . His father had written not expecting forgiveness but hoping for a little understanding. The words were apologetic and awkwardly trying to express a lifetime of regrets. For the first time in his life Chris understood his father was just a man.