Diary of a Widower

Daily entries by a husband, who stayed behind with his two sons

Catch me if you can

TUESDAY, October 19 – Suddenly I was gripped by paternal concern. Sander wasn’t home yet. Forty minutes ago I’d talked to him on the phone and he was laughing on his way back from the Conservatory. I said we’d wait with dinner until he got home, but now dinner was getting cold. I was starting to worry, so I called him.

He answered, but he sounded dejected. ‘Hi, Papa.’

My relief was inaudible. ‘Hey, Sander, where are you?’

‘I’m not ready to come home.’

‘Why not?’

‘I don’t know.’

‘Where are you?

‘I was at the place where the accident happened.’

‘Shall I come to you?’

‘No. I’m heading for the next neighborhood over.’

‘What are you doing there?’

‘I’m following a couple of motorcycle cops. They were going way too fast.’

‘Why don’t you just head home?’

‘Not yet, Papa. Right now I want to be alone.’

‘Okay. I’ll see you when you get here. And if you want me to come, just call, okay?’

‘Okay.’

He didn’t call, and after a half hour, I called him. It turned out that he was already home. He’d sneaked in and gone straight to his room. I went upstairs and asked him to make room on the bed. Five minutes of silence, both of us staring at the ceiling until I turned to him and said, ‘And did you catch up with the cops?’

‘No,’ Sander replied. And then he laughed out loud.

‘Well, better luck next time.’

A roar of laughter filled the room.

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