Like Father Like Son

 

Chapter 24

“Nigel McKenna! Nigel McKenna! Get your things!”

He heard his name and he heard the instruction but he didn’t move. Three days ago he had been attacked in the shower room; as the inmates punched and kicked him they called him a ‘wife-abusing sissy’. No one had ever beaten him up like that before and as he lay bloodied, battered and bruised in the infirmary, he thought of all the times he had beaten and abused Dorothy, and he cried. He had fractured her ribs twice and broken her arm. He had called her every derogatory name known to man and animal and he had laughed at her when she had cried and begged him to stop.

“Nigel McKenna, I told you to get your things; you’re shipping out today! Come on, man, get a move on!”

“What? Shipping out to where?”

“Just get your things,” the officer said and unlocked the holding cell.

Nigel quickly grabbed his things and followed the officer. They walked out of the isolation section where he had been held for two days for his own protection and into an office. He was told to sign some papers by an officer who sat at a desk typing; he promptly obliged. It felt strange when the officer called him ‘Sir’. It felt even stranger when he turned and looked out of the opened, bar-less window to the freedom beyond. The window was big and Nigel thought he could easily fit through it and escape. The officer stopped typing and studied him for a few moments. Nigel froze as he tried to conceal his thoughts. The officer looked down and checked the papers. He indicated where another signature was required and passed the papers back. Nigel quickly signed. The officer pressed a button and a door opened. A man dressed in a frail flannel shirt and blue jeans walked in. Nigel stared at him as if he were seeing a ghost.

“You’ve been released, let’s go,” the man told him.

“Dad! What are you doing here?”

“We’ll talk later, son. I brought you some clothes. Go change I’ll wait for you outside.”

 

They drove in complete silence. Nigel had so many questions he wanted to ask but each time he tried to formulate them in a logical manner his words failed him. After nearly an hour, they drove into a trailer park and pulled up in front of a trailer. His father turned the ignition off and climbed out of the truck. Nigel followed him into the trailer. He grimaced at the untidiness of the trailer and the stench of stale food, beer, and foul body odor. His father dropped his keys on a cluttered worktop and faced him.

“How could you do what you did to that woman?”

“I didn’t kill her. If I had killed her they wouldn’t have released me, would they?”

“The only reason they released you was because Dorothy phoned the police last night and told them that she was alive and well. She could have stayed hidden and let you rot in jail but she didn’t because she is a good person.”

“She called the police last night? Where has she been all this while and why didn’t she call them sooner?”

“That, my son, is a question that I doubt you’ll ever know the answer to because, if she is as smart as I think she is, you’ll never see her again.”

“We are still married, she is still my wife!”

“Not according to the divorce papers you signed when you were ‘stoned’ out of your mind in the psychiatric ward. She is as free as a bird right now and you, my wife-beating-son, have lost everything.”

“You have the nerve to call me a wife-beater after everything you did to my mother? You hypocritical bast—”

His father’s hand swung back then struck him hard across the face before he could finish. “That is exactly why I have the nerve to call you a wife-beater. I messed up, I did wrong! Look around you son, this is how I live now. I threw away the best woman that I ever knew for cheap thrills and when those thrills got tired of me I ended up here, in a trailer park. I live worse than the hill-billy trailer-trash I used to make fun of. My pride and my arrogance brought me here, the same stupid pride and arrogance I see in you.”

“No thanks to you—”

“Here we go, here we go with the blame-the-father routine,” he dramatically threw his hands in the air, “I see men like you crying into their beers down at Barney’s Shack nearly every single afternoon. Men who always need to blame someone else for the crap in their life. You want to know who to blame for your crap?” He pulled Nigel towards a greasy mirror which hung on the side of a cupboard and held him in front of it, “Blame the man in the mirror.”

In stand-offish silence, Nigel looked at his father’s reflection in the mirror; his father looked at Nigel’s reflection.

“When your mother threw me out, in a way I thought that I was doing you a favor. At least you wouldn’t have to be like me, you could be different,” he shook his head, “You’re worse than me. You knew better! You were right there; you saw how things ended up with your mother and me. You had the ‘blueprint’! You knew what to avoid!”

Nigel turned sharply, “You think I wanted to be a man who beats his wife? You think I didn’t want to make my wife happy—”

“Yes, I think you wanted to be a man who beats your wife and I think that you didn’t give a damn if your wife was happy or not. If you wanted your marriage to work you would have made it work! You would have tried harder! If you treat a woman well she will stick with you through thick and thin. I spoke to your mom and she told me how you spent Dorothy’s money on other women. You made your wife work two jobs while you sat on your fat ass and beat her when you felt like it and took her money when you felt like it. Well now she’s gone and this is your new home.”

“I have a house. I don’t need to stay in this dump.”

“Didn’t your lawyer tell you about the house?”

“He mentioned some rubbish but I didn’t believe him—”

“It’s true, son, the house that your wife paid for has been sold and your car has been repossessed because she stopped paying for it. We tried to get some of the women you’ve been seeing over the years to help you out or put you up but they all refused. Looks like you threw away the only good woman who ever crossed your path and that is something, like me, you’ll have to live with for the rest of your life.” He shook his head and studied his son for a few moments. “So this here dump is now your dump. Welcome to my world, son.”

Taken from Blood Borne Connections

 

 

 

 

Ebooks from GLL Publishing available at Amazon, Smashwords etc – Books also available via http://www.gllpublishing.com

Despite all odds: A Dream Fulfilled Part 1

Despite all odds: A Dream Fulfilled Part 2

Truths, Lies And Untold Secrets

Blood Borne Connections

U Murder U (Suicide)

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