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[personal profile] morrobay1990
Title: A Day in the Life, April 6 (Junior)
Author: [ profile] morrobay1990
Genre: post canon/1991
Word count: 1225
Disclaimer: Jack & Ennis are AP's.
♥ Jack

Golf 002

Junior parked the old Camaro in front of the elementary school and she and Meg walked Ben up the steps to the front door where she kissed him goodbye, handed him his lunch and told him to be good and have fun. He pulled open the door and headed in, saying “bye, Mom”, over his shoulder.

Meg went down the stairs and ran around in the grass picking dandelions and blowing on the milky fluff, making wishes out loud with each breath.

“C’mon, honey, gotta get you to Mrs. Tyler’s.”

Meg was staying with a neighbor while Junior would spend the day running errands for Ennis’s birthday, which was on the fourth, but the party would be tonight.

Junior was looking forward to some time alone, no demands on her for a few hours, just the drive to the town thirty minutes away that had a big Luckys drugstore, where she would get birthday candles, cards, balloons, and crepe paper to decorate the house.

Then a stop at Ramsey’s, the biggest grocery store in three counties where she loved to take her time, stroll down the wide, clean aisles and look at all the things the store in Riverton just didn’t carry.

Her favorite part was the three aisles with all the girly things she loved...sweet-smelling soaps in paper wrappers with pictures of pretty women on them...rows and rows of make-up like she had seen in magazines – eye color of every shade, even purple...lipstick in colorful tubes, face creams and lotions, and bottles of liquid shower gel guaranteed to make your skin smooth and luscious – something she longed to try but never had.

It might not seem like much of an outing, but it was such a rare occasion that as she drove away from Riverton after dropping Meg off, she pushed the buttons to lower the electric windows, turned the radio up and felt like she was going on an adventure, and she planned to enjoy every minute.

She had a list in her purse and started to go over things in her mind in order of how she would get them done.

First she would look at the birthday cards; she’d get one to give him from the kids, one from her and Kurt and a special one just from her; she’d already written some special words to write in it, something just she and her Dad would share. She hoped she could find one with a hunting or a fishing theme.

The other drug store purchases were routine decorations, she would spend most of her time and money at Ramsey’s.

She and Kurt had discussed it and agreed that this time they would splurge and buy a store cake, something she had seen on TV, the camera panning slowly down a row of mouth-watering and beautifully decorated large rectangular cakes, all fluffy with different colored icing.

Suddenly she frowned…what kind of cake should she get? What was his favorite, chocolate or white? Try as she might, she couldn’t remember him saying he had a preference. She thought back to when she was kid and her Mom made cakes for their birthdays; did he even eat cake? He was present for the small celebrations (usually) but there was no recollection of him making any comments on the cake…or much else, for that matter. And what about ice cream…had he ever said his favorite was chocolate or vanilla, or almond pistachio mocha fudge peanut butter ripple?

A pang went through her as it suddenly occurred to her just how little she knew of this man, her father. What was his favorite dinner? She knew when he came to her house for dinner he ate whatever she cooked, always said it was good, but never asked for anything special, like Kurt did...Kurt could eat pot roast every day of the week.

What did he eat for breakfast? Did he like tea or coffee? He drank both at her house, but when he was choosing for himself, which would it be? She didn’t know. Scrambled eggs, or over easy? Bacon or sausage? Toast? Orange juice?

She knew he didn’t have any friends, or none that she knew of. She remembered meeting that man Jack at the little shack her Dad lived in for a while after the divorce – she hated that place. But she never saw Jack again, never heard her father mention his name.

What had happened with Cassie? Thinking back she was a little ashamed of the pouty teenager she had been, and hoped it was nothing she had done that made Cassie disappear...because that’s what she seemed to have done…one day there, one day gone.

The day was losing some of its brightness as she got closer to her destination. All the things she had planned to buy were now surrounded by questions that she couldn’t answer.

She ended up not spending as much time as she had planned, but had quickly picked out the things she needed and was back home two hours before she had to pick up Meg.

She emptied the bags of the birthday cards and candles, crepe paper and balloons, the big birthday cake with writing on it…after making the woman in the bakery wait for several minutes and hearing the woman give a couple loud sighs, she had finally decided on a white cake with white frosting and only Happy Birthday written on it. She had planned to be more elaborate, but was unable to concentrate, couldn’t think of what he would like, and was very close to tears by the time the cake was ready to go.

The cards were on the counter; she picked up the one that the kids would sign – a large one in the shape of a big dog with its tongue out and on the inside it said “Have a happy bark-day”, and the formal one from her and Kurt with a rhyming verse written by the card company about how they wished him the best day ever.

The one she had chosen to be from her had a picture of a man standing in a stream, fly-fishing. She didn’t know if her father did that, but she knew he loved to go fishing. It also had a pre-printed verse inside, and now she wasn’t sure if she wanted to add her own private words...didn’t feel like she knew much about anything...she hated the feeling of isolation she had begun to feel...the feeling of not knowing her own Dad.

She walked to the bedroom and opened the drawer in the nightstand on her side of the bed, took out the folded paper with her words written in tidy script, words that she was now questioning if they were really true at all.

Dear Dad,
I just want you to know how much I love you, and how glad I am that you’re my Dad. You’ve taught me so much over the years, and I guess I haven’t told you how much you really mean to me. I’m so glad you’re back in my life, and I feel closer to you than ever. Love, Junior.

Slowly, and with tears in her eyes, she tore the paper in half and crumpled the pieces in her hand, sad for the truth she had faced today, but determined, knowing it wouldn’t be easy, to learn more about this stranger, her father.

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