I haven’t been to the graveyard in a long time, I didn’t have a reason to come here anymore; my Father followed me around everywhere I went and even if I did go to the cemetery, it’s not like anything else would change.. I still wouldn’t see my Mother. But, it felt so weird being here now, seeing the freshly dug grave of my buried ex-girlfriend and Mother to my twins no more than one hundred feet from where I sat.
Not many were here; Hitomi and her daughter Helena, Gareth and Gibson, Lucy, Anya, and Faline’s husband and their daughter Sherri. Faline’s parents and her brother were here earlier, but left before anyone else after Faline had been buried. None of them even bothered to make eye contact with me or the boy’s, they didn’t say a single word to us. Julia didn’t come along because she wasn’t very fond of Faline, Bennu and Bahiti waited at home, too, having no desire to be here for Faline either, but I don’t blame them.
I looked to my sisters along with Lucy and Helena, seeing them with sad faces as they mourned my ex, some crying, some not. Helena had grown into such a beautiful young woman just like my gorgeous Lucy, looking at my daughter last out of the bunch and I could see her crying as Helena tried to console her. My adopted daughter of my long dead best friend was crying over a Mother that wasn’t even hers, and here I sat without a tear in my eye. I didn’t even know why.. It wasn’t remorse, I wasn’t unhappy per say, I wasn’t crying or even really all that sad.. I guess I was just indifferent and only here for the twins’ sake.. Gareth and Gibson were behind me by my mother and father’s graves and I sat alone on a bench that my father had sat on 8 years ago, the night I first saw him.
“Didn’t I warn you something like this would happen?” I jumped a little in fright as I heard my father’s voice ringing in my ear out of nowhere, looking over and seeing him standing in the grass, looking down at Faline’s grave where the last of the grievers stood that I failed to mention; Faline’s husband and daughter.. I didn’t reply, looking to them as well and soon my gaze went to the ground once more. “She was so pretty.. So young.. Is this catastrophic enough for you yet? That’s two on their list now.. Do you really think that she died from just falling down t-”
“Shut up.. Just, please.. Shut the fuck up for once.. The Mother of my son’s, my ex is dead and you really want to question that? Right now?”
“What? It’s not like you had even an ounce of care for her in your entire body..”
“You can’t just leave me alone.. Can you?” I asked.
“You ask such funny questions all the time.. I’m here because you need someone to talk to.. You can’t talk to your wife, your children, your sisters.. No one is here to listen but me,” he replied. I sat there in silence for a few more moments, not knowing what to say to him.
“Your sisters..” He began again, my attention going to my father briefly and noticing he was looking at them with a small smirk on his lips.
“What about them..?” I wondered.
“Just.. Look at them..” He continued and I kept my eyes on my father instead, seeing his expression calmed, happy, content, admiring his daughters and I finally looked to them as he had requested.
“Yeah.. They’re all grown up.. What the fuck about it?”
“Wow.. Hitomi has such a beautiful girl.. Anya looks just like Mom, doesn’t she?” He asked with a chuckle, looking to me with a smile and I scoffed.
“They’re all so pretty..” He continued.
“Yeah.. Don’t you wish you could tell them that yourself you fucking asshole?” I asked, looking to my father then with a smirk and he still kept his smile.
“It’s fun to see you try and torment someone. You’re only tormenting yourself,” he replied, but I was confused.
“What does that mean?”
“Again, with the funny questions.. Don’t you ever get tired of asking them?” He wondered with a smile and I turned away, losing my smirk instantly and focusing on the ground again.
I sat there in a short silence, trying to ignore my father, but he still refused to go away, “Have they ever wondered about me?” He asked.
“The boys.. They’re by your Mother and I’s graves.. Have they ever asked about us?” He repeated.
“Yeah, I told them that their Grandmother was a saint and that their Grandfather was someone they should never waste their time thinking about..” I replied, looking to my father then with another smirk and he was the one with the serious face this time.
“They should know their history.. Why are you depriving them?”
“Maybe because you’re nothing to be proud of..” I retaliated, looking to him with a serious expression filled with anger and he then smirked, mocking me almost.
“Heads up..” He replied, nodding his head towards Faline’s grave and I looked to where he motioned, seeing Faline’s husband walking my direction, though his eyes were set on the boy’s behind me.
I stood to my feet, ready to talk to him if he needed to but his eyes were filled with grief and hate as he continued to stare at my sons the closer he got. The expression he carried with him didn’t please me at all and it seemed as if he wanted to do something to the boy’s, so I stepped in front of him and stood like a brick wall, keeping him from going any further and he looked to me then, “I need to talk with Gareth..” He more so demanded than asked.
“Oh yeah? Why’s that?” I questioned.
“Jason.. If you were ever going to be a decent human being in your entire life, you’d let me go talk to him and get what I need to say off my chest,” he rebutted but I held my ground.
I chuckled a little, “You don’t know shit about me. Now tell me why you’re giving my sons the stink eye at their mother’s funeral,” I requested sternly, still not letting him pass me.
“You know why.. That boy is nothing short of being the Devil himself and it makes me pity you on how you don’t see that,” he replied and a tingle went up my spine full of rage at his words.
“You pitying me? That has to be the joke of the day..” I replied with a pathetic chuckle, seeing as how he was at his wife’s funeral claiming I was the one he pitied when really he should only feel sorry for himself and his daughter. The moment he implied an insult towards my son was when I knew for sure that he wasn’t just going to ‘talk’ to Gareth..
“Let me pass or I swear I’ll-”
“You’ll what, exactly..?” I questioned, stepping up closer to him in an intimidating manner and he adjusted himself within his dark suit.
“He..” Faline’s husband continued, yet stopped to gather his next words, “Gareth did this to Faline, I’m sure of it..” He continued, “I was downstairs, watching television with her and she went upstairs to get something.. I heard another voice, his voice.. The next thing I knew, she screamed and I watched her fall down the stairs myself.. I watched my wife die before my very eyes..” He struggled to say, tears forming in his eyes and I noticed his body begin to shake. “The noise.. The sound of her neck breaking on the way down the stairs will forever be in my mind and it’s all because your son did it.. It’s all his fault my wife is gone..” He replied with a dead serious tone and expression. I could tell he wasn’t going to stop trying to get passed me, but one thing was for sure, there was no way I would let him.
“You really want this to happen..? He just lost his mother.. What do you plan on doing exactly? Teach him a lesson as if he doesn’t already know how terrible he feels about her accident?” I asked, hearing him then chuckle to my words.
“Yeah.. Accident.. That’s exactly what it was..” He replied sarcastically.
I was done with this arguing, this pathetic attempt on blaming my boy for Faline’s death and I waited for an opportunity to put him into his place and get him to walk away. “Hey, whatever you were going to do or say to him, how about you say and do to me instead? I’ll be sure to give him the message…” I offered an ultimatum.
“No.. Now let me by, Jason..” He refused.
“What is it? Are you going to beat up a little kid? Tell him that he’s the Devil in disguise? Tell him lies like Faline never loved him just to make him feel more like shit? Just get out of here, asshole.. You’re not getting any closer to my son and I guarantee this is the last you’ll see of him,” I threatened and I watched his face grow in rage.
“Do you know what I see when I look at him?” He asked me and I shrugged.
“I don’t give a shit what you see,” I replied but he continued anyway.
“I see a soulless, evil, conniving boy that got away with murder and I want to teach him a lesson for killing his own Mother.. My wife.. The Mother of my daughter!” He replied and I clenched my fists in anger.
“You want to teach my son a lesson? I would absolutely love to see you try,” I somewhat threatened.
“He’s like a miniature version of you, only more hollow and pathetic inside. What’s that old saying? ..Like Father, like Son?”
“Keep talking, bud, and I promise you’ll find yourself six feet under just as your precious wife is,” I threatened more and his eyes widened in both horror and rage.
“You piece of shit!” He called out and took a swing at me, though I expected it coming and I moved my body back and out of the way of his fist.
I swung back, hitting him straight in the jaw as hard as I could and I watched him fall to the ground before me. I climbed on top of him and shoved my fist into his face again and again, making sure he would regret ever talking ill of my son and I could hear voices around me, though I couldn’t make out what they were saying; all I wanted to do was see this man pay for what he had said and make sure that he would never so much as think to come near my boy again.
I felt the strength of Anya and Hitomi, pulling me off of him with all of their strength and my sisters voices soon entered my ears, yelling at me to stop. Hitomi and Anya held me back as Faline’s husband stood to his feet and I yelled out threats as he staggered away from me, bleeding from his nose and lip, “Is this how you imagined spending your wife’s funeral!? Huh!? Taking out your grief on my boy, you fucking piece of shit!? If you ever talk about my son like that again I’ll fucking kill you, do you understand me!?” I yelled, trying to break free from Anya and Hitomi but they refused to let me go as I watched Faline’s husband walking away from me quickly.
Faline’s husband and daughter went passed the gates and left, I then jerked myself from Hitomi and Anya’s grip, “Get the fuck off me!” I demanded, feeling them release my arms and I could feel how hot and enraged my body was from what just happened.
“Jason.. Don’t you think that was a little inappropriate timing?” Anya wondered.
“What the hell is up with you? He just lost his wife.. Calm down, alright?” Hitomi tried to compromise and I shook my head.
“Just leave me alone.. Thanks for coming, but just go home now,” I more so demanded, walking towards the twin’s who were looking to me in shock by my parents graves, ignoring everyone else that was there.
I went to the boys and looked to their faces, noticing Gibson was more worried than Gareth was. “Dad.. Are you okay?” He wondered. I looked to his emerald eyes for a moment and tried to calm my still quickened, anger filled breaths.
“Yeah.. I’m fine, son..” I encouraged, placing my hand on top of his head and tousling his hair gently. Never did I think that Faline’s husband would try and start trouble with me or the boy’s at her funeral, I imagined him too weak to move and grieving too much to even come up with the conclusions that he did. What if I had decided not to come? What would he have said to Gareth? ..Would he have done anything to him..? I felt my heart beat beginning to race again at the thought of him hurting one of my boys, but I tried to put it passed me, more than happy that I had decided to come with Gareth and Gibson now knowing that Faline’s husband might’ve done something drastic. I was glad I was here to protect them.
“That was awesome,” Gareth said with enthusiasm, a smile on his lips when I looked to him and I chuckled lightly.
“No, it was wasn’t.. Forget what you just saw,” I replied, looking down at my pants and noticing the they had scuffs in the knees, “Dammit.. These pants are ruined now,” I let out softly, sighing and looking back to the boys.
“Dad!” Lucy called out behind me and I sighed even heavier this time, knowing she wasn’t going to like what she had just witnessed me doing. I turned around and I could see in Lucy’s face how bothered she felt, “What the hell was that?” She asked.
“Nothing, baby girl.. I’m sorry, I just.. Lost my temper with him,” I tried to reason and calm her, but she refused; she was furious with me and it was written all over her face.
“What did he even say for you to do something like that? Faline loved that man and you got into a fight with him at her funeral for Christ sakes!” She spat back.
“Luce.. It’s a long story, I’ll explain to you later,” I replied, giving a glance back at the twins, trying to let her know I didn’t want to discuss it in front of them and Lucy let out an aggravated sigh, though catching my drift.
“Are you coming home for dinner?” I asked next, seeing her expression still holding a grudge against me and it made me regret everything that had happened with Faline’s husband.
Lucy shook her head, “I already talked to Aunt Hitomi and she said I could sleep over. Helena’s going to stay home with me tomorrow, I don’t want to go back to school yet..” She made fact without even asking me, but I decided not to contest it.
“Oh.. Yeah, I guess that’s okay.. Are you headed over there now?”
“Helena and I are going to go and hangout somewhere, then go back to Aunt Hitomi’s.”
“All right.. Will you call me tomorrow? Let me know how you’re doing?” I requested, Lucy pausing a moment before answering.
“Yeah, whatever, Dad..” She replied, not convincing me at all and she looked towards the twins, “Bye, guys..” She said softly, turning around then and leaving the cemetery.
The boys said bye to Lucy and I looked to them after she was out of our sights, “I bet Bennu is making dinner, are you two ready to head back now?” I wondered.
“Yeah, I’m hungry,” Gareth replied, yet Gibson didn’t say anything.
“Hey, why don’t you go wait in the car, bud? We’ll be right there,” I said to Gareth and he nodded, handing him the keys to my car and he left Gibson and I alone.
I looked to Gibson who’s expression was sad and unsure, furrowing my brows in worry and I knelt down in front of him, “Hey.. What is it?” I asked, seeing Gibson look to the grass before he looked back up to me.
“I just..” He stopped, looking to the ground again, “I miss Mom.. I just never thought anything like this would happen, or could happen.. Why does she have to be gone?” He asked, the moon showing a small glint in his eyes as they began to tear up a little.
“Hey, hey.. It’s okay. Accidents happen like this all the time. Why it had to happen to your Mother, I don’t know.. But, just remember that she’s in a better place now,” I replied.
“A better place than with us?” He questioned after, sighing under my breath and realizing that that might’ve not have been the best thing to say, but I didn’t know what else to tell him.
“Listen Gibs.. No place is better for her than to be with you guys, but she can’t now. The next best thing is in heaven, right?” I asked.
“What if I don’t believe in that kind of thing?”
“Well.. Even if you don’t believe it, that’s where she is. She misses you guys just as much, but she’s happy still, I’m sure of it.. Your grief will pass, but she’ll always be with you,” I replied, still trying to cheer him up, and for how bad I thought I was doing, he seemed to become more understanding.
“Are Grandma and Grandpa with you?” He asked, looking to me with curiosity and I let out another sigh.
“Yup, they sure are..” I replied, seeing him smirk softly and I bent down after standing, hugging Gibson and he returned it, “Believe me when I say things will get better, okay buddy?” I continued.
“Okay,” he replied, releasing me from the hug and I tousled his blonde hair, putting my hand to his shoulder then and leading him out of the cemetery to head home.
The car ride home was quiet.. Gareth played a game on his phone, laying in the back seat while Gibson rest his head against his window next to me in the passenger seat, staring blankly out it as we drove through the city to get home. I glanced in his direction a few times while driving, seeing his expression the same almost the entire time. I pulled out my phone, tapping his leg with it and he looked to me as if confused at first, taking the phone and looking to me questionably, “Text Bennu and tell her we’re on our way home, okay?” I asked and he nodded, doing as I had asked.
“She already sent you something, want me to read it?” He wondered and I nodded, waiting as he read the message, “Uh oh.. She wants to know why you got into a fight,” he said quietly and I let out an irritated sigh.
“Dammit, Lucy..” I said under my breath, knowing already that she had told Bennu, “Just ignore it, I’ll talk to her when we get home.. Tell her we’re almost there,” I replied and he nodded. Great, now I have to explain to her what had happened and I was in no mood to explain anything, I just wanted to go home, eat dinner and sleep after this long day.
The boys hopped out of the car before me and I followed, “Go straight upstairs and wash up for dinner.. You can change out of those clothes, too, if you want,” I told them after they walked into the house.
“Thank Godddd,” Gareth wined, glad that he could get out of the proper and formal attire he wasn’t used to nor very fond of in the first place. The boys went up to their room and I took in a huge whiff through my nose, smelling Bennu’s cooking coming from the kitchen that now filled the entire house. It smelled of her famous Egyptian Shawarma dish and I could also smell a pumpkin pie that had been made, the smells getting stronger as I made my way towards the kitchen and saw Bennu by the sink.
I let out a soft sigh, preparing for whatever she was going to say, “We’re home,” I spoke softly, seeing her dry off her hands then and turn to look at me.
Bennu stepped up closer, “How are the boy’s doing? And Lucy?” She wondered, surprising me a little on how she didn’t mention the fight yet.
“They seem to be doing pretty okay.. How are you and Bahiti?” I wondered.
“We’re fine..” She paused, her eyes looking down to my tie briefly and letting out a sigh, “Why did you hit that man?” She finally asked, “Lucy called to tell me she wasn’t going to be home for dinner and she was already crying though that didn’t surprise me, but she was more than upset about the funeral.. She was upset about you.. So, why?” She continued, making eye contact with me again and worry was written on her face.
“The guy just wasn’t hittin’ the right buttons, he didn’t know when to shut his mouth, so I did it for him,” I replied.
“Jazon.. You are a grown man, what are you trying to teach the boy’s by acting like that?”
“Bennu, you should’ve heard the things he was saying to me, I couldn’t take it anymore.. I’m sorry I let it get out of hand, but I wasn’t going to just let him get away with what he was saying,” I answered, letting out a heavy sigh and I watched as her gaze fell to the floor. “What’s wrong?” I asked.
“You don’t.. You didn’t still have feelings for her, did you? Were you jealous of that man?” She asked, my jaw dropping a little in surprise and I wasn’t expecting that question.
“Bennu, no.. Of course not. Is that why you’re so upset about this?” I asked and she paused a moment, then nodding as she looked up to me. I was warmed by the thought of her being jealous, I had always liked when women would get jealous of others that were involved with me, but Bennu never has anything worry about. I stepped up closer to her and cupped her cheek within my palm, caressing her face with my thumb, “He was talking about Gareth.. He insulted him and me right to my face and I wasn’t going to stand for it, so I hit him.. Not because of Faline or because I was jealous of him,” I explained, “He should be more than jealous of me instead,” I cooed quietly with a flirtatious tone, seeing the tiniest smirk form on her lips.
“What did he say about Gareth?” She wondered, but I didn’t want to explain it all right now.
“I’ll tell you later,” I assured her, continuing to caress her cheek with my thumb. Even through the homey and strong smells of freshly made food within the kitchen, her scent still managed to overpower it all and it made me fall hard for her each and every time. “Do you love me?” I asked, seeing her then smile and nod.
“Of course I do,” she replied and I smile in return.
“And I love you.. Don’t you ever forget that, got me?” I joked softly and she chuckled, pulling me into a long kiss that I more than welcomed and I wrapped my arms around her.
Gareth, Gibson and Bahiti came downstairs from their rooms and we all sat for dinner, though it felt a little empty without Lucy there as I looked to the empty seat next to me where she usually sat; I imagined she was still out with Helena, probably eating at a diner somewhere that the two loved to do so much. Seeing how upset she was earlier made me want to go back and change the outcome of what had happened with Faline’s husband and I, but at the same time, I was proud of myself for sticking up for my boys; I wasn’t about to let him get away with the things he said just because his grief drove him to crazy assumptions. I felt he needed to blame her death on someone, and Gareth was it. I didn’t talk much through dinner and neither did Gibson, I mostly listened to everyone else’s conversations.. I wasn’t feeling very social right now for whatever reason.
After dinner, the kids all went into the living room to play a video game together while Bennu cleaned up and I stayed with her for company. “So, vhat did that man say about Garth? Now knowing why you hit him, I probably would’ve hit him as well,” Bennu said as she washed the dishes.
“He, umm..” I began, checking over my shoulder and still seeing the kids in the living room, looking to Bennu again, “He actually called him the Devil.. He’s blaming him for her death,” I said with a chuckle following it, anger building up again a little, but I managed to stay calm. However, Bennu didn’t.
“Uck! The nerve of that man! Calling a sweet little boy such cruel things.. You should’ve gave him a new face,” she hissed and I chuckled again.
“Yeah, well.. I would’ve but my sisters pulled me off of him before I could,” I replied, hearing her ‘hmph’ under her breath.
“Is he all right? Did he hear anything he said to you?” She asked, looking to me after the dishes were done and I shrugged.
“I don’t think so.. He didn’t act like he did, nor did Gibson..”
“Well, that’s good at least.. I couldn’t imagine how he would feel if he had,” she replied, letting out a soft sigh.
“Don’t let it bother you.. Come here,” I requested, seeing her smile and walk up to me. I turned her around and let my hands run up and down her torso slowly, feeling her lean back against me and shut her eyes in a relaxed manner.
“Mmm.. Let’s just go upstairs to the bedroom and not come out for days,” she said quietly, her tone filled with ecstasy as my hands rubbed softly just under her chest.
“Sounds like a plan to me,” I replied, chuckling as I leaned down and kissed her neck. She continued to let out soft moans in pleasure, my hands then continuing upward and they ran up to her breasts, though before I would indulge on her body and make her ache for me, a noise rang in our ears and it was the sound of the front gate being buzzed. “Fuckin’ figures..” I said with a groan following it and Bennu joins me in letting out a displeased moan.
“Make them go away,” she said with a wanting tone, giggling after and I smirked, kissing her neck again.
“I’ll be back in no time,” I replied, feeling her leave my grip and I hopped off the counter, heading towards the door and already hating whoever was there for cock blocking me from my own wife.
I got to the front door and pressed the button to talk, “Yeah?” I asked, wanting to make this quick so Bennu and I could retreat upstairs for some much needed time alone.
“Hello, Mr. Duboys.. This is Detective Grander from the Bridgeport Police Department, you may remember me from some years ago?” A man replied and I tried to think back.. Oh.. Shit. It was the detective that came by after Lana had died.. Or rather, been killed by me. I paused a moment, then held my finger on the talk button.
“Um.. Can I help you with something?”
“Well, if you wouldn’t mind letting me in, that would be great.. It’s getting rather cold out at nights now,” he replied with a chuckle. I hesitated once again, but soon pressed the button to unlock the gate and let him in; what could this be about..?
I grew a little nervous, wanting to know what the detective could be doing here at this time of night and for what reason. I opened the door for him and he came in, shivering a little, “Man.. You can sure tell winter’s coming,” he joked and I smirked, though I lost it just as fast as it had been formed.
“So, what brings you over on such a night?” I wondered, looking to him curiously.
“Straight to the point then, huh? All right.. Well, to be honest, I’m investigating the cause of death for Faline Hubbard, married now with the name Faline Ruttin.. I assume you know her, seeing as she was the mother of your twin boys, am I right?” He replied and I furrowed my brow in confusion.
“Yeah.. Knew her.. I still don’t understand why you’re here in my house, though,” I answered, seeing his face turn a little more serious now.
“Well, as you know, the autopsy shows that she broke her neck when she fell, which is what killed her.. But I’m just trying to put the pieces together on why she fell.. That’s all.. If it’s not too much to ask, I’d like to ask your son a couple of routine questions..?” He wondered, my expression then turning a little sour.
“Gareth. I’ve already recieved a statement from Faline’s husband and their daughter, Sherri.. I understand though that Sherri and Gibson were in bed sleeping when it all happened, so I would just like to ask Gareth if he happened to’ve seen what happened. Just a few minor questions, Jason, and I’m out of your hair,” he encouraged. I didn’t like where this was going, I could tell that he was lying to me, but I couldn’t figure out what was a lie and what was truth. I thought for a moment, then looked to the detective and nodded.
“Okay.. He’s in the living room,” I agreed, telling myself there was nothing to worry about, but I couldn’t help in feeling a little nervous about all of this.
I escorted Detective Grander towards the living room, walking in through the open doorway and the loud game along with their laughter and harmless bickering filled our ears. I stopped by the doorway and the detective stopped behind me, “Gareth, come here a moment, will you?” I asked, seeing him ignore me for a few brief seconds and I asked once more, “Gareth.. Come over here,” I repeated.
“Dad, I’m winning! I’m right in the middle of th-”
“Gareth.. Now,” I asserted more and I heard him let out an aggravated groan, putting his controller down and walking over to us.
“Gareth, this is Detective Reed Grander, he just wants to ask you a few questions,” I introduced them and Gareth seemed to freeze a little after I had introduced them.
“Hey there, Gareth.. I just wanna get some information from you, that’s all.. I’m very sorry for your loss, you must be a little overwhelmed by today a little.. I understand it was your mother’s funeral..” The detective began, his tone filled with remorse.
“Uh.. Yeah.. It was a little hard,” Gareth replied, looking down to the floor briefly before looking back up to the detective.
“I can imagine you miss her a lot, huh?” He continued.
“Um, yeah.. I do,” Gareth answered, looking to me as if asking for help but I gave him a comforting expression back, letting him know it was okay and Grander continued.
“I understand you were awake when your mother, um.. Fell.. Am I correct?” He asked and I looked to him, wondering if this was the best time to be talking about this, but Gareth seemed to reply without it letting it overwhelm him.
“Yeah, I was.. I was using the bathroom,” he replied.
“The upstairs one, or the one downstairs?”
“Upstairs.. There was a door to it in the hallway and through Mom’s room, but none of us are allowed in there,” Gareth answered.
“Did you ever hear your mother conversing with anyone? Did you talk to her at all when you went to or came out of the bathroom?”
“No.. I was in the bathroom and I heard her scream, so I came out and saw her at the bottom of the stairs.”
“Oh…” Grander answered with an unconvinced tone, causing me to grow a little more nervous, but he continued anyways.
“Sherri claims that you were at the top of the stairs when she came out of her room.”
“Yeah, I kinda just said that.” Gareth replied instantly; I couldn’t tell if he was telling the truth or just an amazing liar.
“I guess what I mean is, when she came out, she saw you and she remembers you saying the words ‘I didn’t mean to’, do you remember this?”
“I didn’t say anything like that.. I said ‘I don’t know what happened’.. She just probably got confused.”
“Ah.. I see.. Well, I suppose that’s all I need.. Thank you for your time, Gareth.. And again, I’m sorry for your loss,” Detective Grander replied and Gareth nodded, looking to me then.
“You can go now,” I confirmed his nonverbal question and he walked back over to the couches with his brother and sister.
“Is something the matter?” The detective wondered as I stared at my children.
“No.. It just.. Brings back bad memories of you being here the last time.”
“Well, my apologies then. I’m sure after this visit, you won’t see me for a while, of course unless you give me a reason to come back,” he joked, seeing him smile out of the corner of my eye and hearing him chuckle lightly. I joined him in the chuckle, but only to humor him.
Bennu then joined us and cleared her throat, catching both of our attention and I smiled towards her, hearing a quiet whistle coming from Detective Grander’s lips that peeved me a little, but I was glad that his attention wasn’t on my boy anymore. “Sorry, this is my wife, Bennu.. Bennu, this is Detective Reed Grander from the Bridgeport Police Department,” I introduced them.
“Hi, it’s nice to meet you,” Bennu said with a smile.
“Pleasure is mine, I’m sure,” the detective answered with a smile, “Interesting accent, where are you from?”
“I moved here from Egypt a little under 15 years ago,” Bennu answered proudly, “Please, can I offer you anything? Perhaps a cup of coffee?” She asked and he nodded.
“That would be wonderful, thank you, Mrs. Dubois,” he replied, finally getting my last name right for once..
“Would you like some, baby?” She asked and I nodded.
“Yeah, thanks,” I replied, watching as she then smiled towards me and walked to the kitchen, the detective accompanying her as I hung back a moment.
I hung back and stood near the doorway like I had been, looking over to the couches where my children were and my eyes went fixed on Gareth. I didn’t know what to think anymore.. Accidents happen like this all the time, but for some reason this whole situation just wasn’t sitting right. What am I doing? I couldn’t tell if I believed my son or believed what the voice in my gut was telling me.. Was I in complete denial of what my son was capable of doing? He was so young, too young to be doing things like this to other people, whether he cared for them or not.
I joined Bennu and the detective in the kitchen who were already enjoying the coffee that was made, seeing my cup in a spot next to Bennu and I joined them, trying to shake off everything I was just thinking and composing myself.
“So, what brings you to our home tonight, Detective?” Bennu wondered, taking a sip of her coffee.
“Oh, I just needed to ask Gareth a few questions.. Just tying up a few loose ends, that’s all..” He replied and I took a nervous sip of my coffee.
“Well, have they been tied up?” She asked.
“Not yet,” he replied, giving a quick glance over at Bennu that I assumed he thought I wouldn’t notice, continuing then, “But, it’ll he ruled an accident when I leave here.”
“Just curious..” I decided to add something in, “What would compel someone to think a child would be capable of doing something like this, let alone to his own mother?” I wondered.
“Well, you’d be surprised to know that kids are just as capable of killing as much as adults are, but.. Given the grief he seems to show, even despite him playing his video games happily.. Mentioning his mother seemed to make him get very reserved and a little hurt by what we were discussing, as it should’ve.. If he was involved in any way, he would’ve most likely acted different. Playing video games is a good way to ignore, or even cope with loss, too.”
“And if he had showed any other signs than that?” I asked.
“Let’s just be glad we don’t need to be discussing that matter right now,” he replied, giving me a slightly comforting smirk and I nodded.
After finishing his cup of coffee with us and staying a little bit longer than he had intended, he stood from his chair and smiled, “Well, thank you for the coffee, I should be getting home now, though”
“Yeah, thanks for coming by..” I replied.
“Sure, just doing my job,” he added, looking to Bennu then and keeping his smile, “It was lovely meeting you.”
“Likewise,” she replied. I stood up to walk him out, but he put his hands up, gesturing for me not to bother.
“Don’t worry, I can see myself out.. Good seeing you again, Jason.. Despite the circumstances,” he said with a genuine tone, yet he was slightly apologetic with it as well and we watched him leave.
Bennu went upstairs to get ready for bed and I went to the living room to round up the kids and send them to bed as well, seeing them still playing the same racing game for the passed hour now. “Alright, time for bed, come on..” I announced, hearing them all groan and I let out a chuckle, “Come onnnn, turn it off.. It’ll be there when you get back from school tomorrow,” I encouraged, seeing them all then reluctantly get up and shut everything down. I followed them going to the stairs and watched as they all ascended up them, “Brush your teeth, change your clothes and all that.. Goodnight,” I added, watching the boys go to their room and Bahiti to hers.
I got to my room and noticed a single light on in the corner, then over to the bed where I saw Bennu lying down with her leg propped up. “You still awake?” I wondered, shutting the bedroom door behind me and I pulled off my suit jacket to toss it over the chair near me.
I heard Bennu let out a relaxed sigh, “Yes,” she answered softly, “Are you coming to bed now?” She wondered.
“Yeah, I’ll be there in a sec, I’m gunna shower really quick,” I replied, going to the bathroom as I removed my tie and began undoing my shirt.
I took about a ten minute shower, though I spent even more time at the sink starring at myself. My father’s words were all that I could think about at the moment;
“Is this catastrophic enough for you?”
“That’s two on their list now..”
I hated how I was starting to think he was right, but even if he was, there was no way I could stop them the way he wants me to. I refused to stood down to his level and off my own children like he attempted. My children are my life, and my boys were not monsters; they’re the ones that will keep our legacy going, and I was going to change our name so our pasts would not be only know for bloodshed anymore. I convinced myself I’d be the beginning to a new, better, less violent generation of the Dubois name.. I hope I could pull it off.
When I finally got out of the bathroom, I walked to the bed and crawled in, noticing Bennu had fallen asleep waiting for me. I propped myself up with one hand as the other found its way to the side of her face, running my fingertips down her cheek. I couldn’t imagine what was going through my fathers mind that one fateful night that compelled him to take such actions; from how I saw things, he was extremely controlling over us and my mother, yet I had never caught on once that he would one day be labeled a murder. As monotone, boring and strict as he was, he had always seemed to be in love with her.. I couldn’t imagine doing anything harmful to my wife as he had done to his.. Who would ever want to hurt the one they loved most in the world?