He expected me to be grateful. That was clear from his tone and the way he nodded his head as we spoke. He was smug, feeling that his generosity with his inherited money should imbue all of his actions with righteousness. As if his prior transgressions should be not only forgiven, but forgotten.
I knew who he really was. I felt the sting of his deliberate silence when I needed advice or just a supportive word. I also dealt with the self-serving harangues when he had no one else to aim them at. It was all too much back then and I certainly didn’t want to have it start again now that I was married and had my own family to support.
But I was faced with a cold reality. I couldn’t get my procedure without his financial help and he knew this. He savored the fact that I had nowhere else to turn and it made me physically ill. Who gets off on their son’s shame and humiliation?
He slid the check slowly over the coffee table towards me. Even with his squirrelly cursive I could see that it was more than we had discussed. He knew I wouldn’t be able to pay it back, even if I swore that I could. I closed my eyes for a second or two, then reached down quickly to pocket the check. I was caught in the trap now. Indebted to a man I could never respect or hope to please.
© 2021 Jeff E. Brown. All rights reserved.