As I was going through some old files the other day, I stumbled upon some what of a story that I was working on. Anyway, let me know what you all think!
The dichotomy of Jack and Roy
Jack was a young boy, wrapped in soft freckled skin and red hair that came below his eyebrows. As a child he had to do what he could to entertain himself, whether that would be making toy guns or seeing how far he could throw a rock, he had the knack for creating things. Jack lived in small town in Ohio with his uncle Roy.
The two never spoke much; Jack was always in his room drawing several different things at once. While uncle Roy sat in a dark living room watching TV in his recliner chair. Jack fell asleep most nights on the hard floor next to a pile of his own drawings. He wanted to become a famous artist and move out of that God forsaken small town. He missed his mother tremendously, who had a very warm and caring demeanor.
Jacks mother Diana tragically died of cancer when he was six, the greatest memory he had of her was an old King James Bible that she left him. Jack would sometimes wake up the next morning in the same clothes from the night before. His bare feet crinkled against the paper he slept beside.
He winced at the sudden sound his feet made when it met the paper, the thought of waking uncle Roy up was terrifying, and he was never abusive with his hands but harsh with tone. Jack loved going out into the living room where uncle Roy slept to read his beloved Bible.
Jack sat Indian style next to his uncle’s chair; the light from the television was the only thing that allowed him to see the words on each page. His fingers softly skimmed over the pages, feeling their delicate texture. “God isn’t real son” Uncle Roy said ever so suddenly, “you make your own way, not some fucking God up in the sky”. Jack looked puzzled as he looked up his uncle, wondering why he would say such an astonishing thing. Jack decided to smile and go about his reading. He loved reading proverbs and psalms because they resembled a father figure showing him how to be wise and to see beauty in the world around him.
After a few moments Jack looked back up at his up his Uncle who was slowly fading back into his sleep. “Uncle Roy”, jack called out. “What do you want kid? Uncle Roy replied in an agitated fashion. “I want to be an artist”. Uncle Roy waited a few moments before responding with his eyes glued shut “No one cares that you want to be an artist kid.”
“But why?” Asked jack.
“Because no one gives a shit about your art”.
Jacks small frame riled up with anger, his small fists clinched beside his body, he stomped off back to his room. In tears he gathered up all of his drawings in one hand and walked back into the living room in an aggressive manner. He walked passed Uncle Roy who was now sound asleep. Jack walked into the kitchen and flipped open the trash can lid, shoving all his artwork down into the trashcan and kicking it over with all his might.
Uncle Roy barged in after being woken up from the ruckus coming from the kitchen. “What the hell are you doing?” he shouted, seeing all the garbage scattered across the kitchen floor. “I’m throwing this shit away” Jack exclaimed “No one’s gonna like it anyway.”
“You don’t talk to me that way!” Uncle Roy yelled as he picked up jacks small frame with his hands. “You don’t talk to me that way you hear!?” Uncle Roy shook Jack repeatedly. Jack through all his tears managed to slip out of his uncles grasp by clawing him in the eyes. Uncle Roy dropped jack on the floor and stepped back with his hands over his eyes. Jack fearing what would happen next pulled himself up off the ground and ran passed his uncle and into his room locking the door behind him. He through his small frame on his bed and proceeded to cry with his face buried inside of his arms. Meanwhile Uncle Roy managed to make his way back his couch, sitting down with his hands over his face attempting to stop the water streaming from his face. “Fuck sake” he said quietly “What have I done?” He noticed that Jack had left his Bible open next to him. “Fuck, what the fuck have I done God? How the fuck could you forgive someone like me?”
Suddenly, with his hands over his head he felt a moment of clarity come over him. He stood up, took and deep breath and wiped his eyes. He made his way back to Jack’s room, “Jack?” “Jack?” he exclaimed again getting closer to his room. “Go away!” “Jack open the door” Uncle Roy said softly as he got closer. “Jack, I’m sorry…. I haven’t been a great uncle to you, let alone a good person”. Hearing all the words his uncle was saying from outside his door, Jack slowly removed himself from his bed and opened the door.
Uncle Roy knelt down in front of the door, hiding the pain of his old age. He put his hands softly on the same spots he did out of anger in the kitchen. He looked tenderly in Jack’s eyes and softly said again “I’m sorry…” Jack sniffled through his tears unable to say anything.
“Jack, if you want to be an artist, I am no one to stop you. I am sure that you are a talented artist”. “But you haven’t even seen any of them” Jack said in frustration, “I know, and I’m gonna go dig them out of the trash can myself right now”. Uncle Roy took Jack by the hand for the first time, it was an odd experience for the both of them, uncle Roy could not remember the last time he held anyone’s hand, let alone so intentionally, and Jack was happy that someone was showing that they cared.
Uncle Roy lead Jack to the kitchen, holding Jacks hand tightly the entire way. When they approached the trash can uncle Roy lifted the lid slowly, seeing all of Jacks drawings piled on top of each other. He scooped them up within a four finger grasp and slid them out from within his grasping hand examining the closely with his eyes. He wasn’t much for an artistic critique, but when he saw Jacks art work he began to weep. He couldn’t remember the last time he cried, his heart had become so cold and hard.
“Awe Jack, they’re great” he said wiping his eyes. Jack’s drawings were not what most would consider masterpieces, but Uncle Roy saw potential and creativity within Jack’s scribblings. After Uncle Roy finished looking at each of Jack’s drawings with great examination, he set them down by his left knee and looked at Jack with a love he had never felt before.
“Jack” Uncle Roy said with a long pause after..
“Yes, Uncle Roy?”
“Jack, I know that life hasn’t always worked out the way you wanted it, and it never does. But I want you to know that you can still have a bright future ahead of you. I also want you to know, that I haven’t been the greatest man Jack, I’ve made a mess of my life and I hope that you can forgive me for that”.
Jack stood there motionless unsure of what to say, he began to replay all the things that his uncle had just said to him. His lips began to quiver as tears rolled down his face. Uncle Jack put his arms back on the same spots he aggressively grabbed earlier, looking into Jack’s eyes. Jack now, almost convulsing, said something he knew to say “Uncle Jack God loves you” as he fell into his uncle’s arms.
Uncle Roy held him tight in his arms until the sun began to go down. He seemed to ignore the pain that soared into his knees. After a while Jack had fallen asleep on his shoulder. Uncle Roy managed to get up off the floor with groaning from the stiffness in his knees, carrying Jack back to his room. He laid him down slowly and Jacks head rested softly on his pillow. He tucked Jack in softly and looked at him for a few moments before leaving his room. After leaving his room, Uncle Roy made his way back to the living room, where he would sit in his comfy chair. After sitting down, he put his hands over his face, rubbing his eyes with his hands, he could not remember the last time he felt so drained.
He noticed Jacks Bible as he turned his eyes down by his right foot. As he reached down to pick it up, some pages had flopped over, he didn’t care or know exactly what he was reading. His eyes only skimmed the pages. When his eyes made their way toward the bottom of a page, he noticed a few words that would forever change his life.
“Today I have become your Father”.