He took one last swig from his can of beer and threw it to the far side of the parking lot. He had been sitting there for quite long leaning his back against one of the tires of his black Chevy. He already downed six cans of beer. That was supposed to get him quite drunk for he was never a good drinker but he knew his mind was still doing well. “Fuck it” he said and kicked in the air. He was not really sure if he was pissed, confused, lonely, or just plain crazy. Maybe desperate he thought. He drew a pack of cigarettes from his waist pocket and lit one. For a moment he pondered on burning the god damn Chevy and maybe getting something from the insurance but he waved it off in his mind. His parents just cut off his allowance. The car’s tank was full but sooner or later he knew it would only be as good as those immobile tireless scraps in the junk shop. He pulled out his wallet and got his driver’s license. He fingered the flap open and stared at his picture under the dim light of the parking lot. Onofre Romano, what a name. It was always a good joke he thought; a surname-looking first name and a first-name-looking surname. He closed it with a smirk, got up, and entered the car.
He drove along EDSA with Owl City in full blast over the car stereo and found himself frowning at the contrast of his mood with that of the song. He reached for a CD on the dashboard and found Seether. That will be better he thought. He took a glance at the dashboard again and found that her picture was still there, Louise. Oh that bitch, she definitely got him wrapped around her finger. The two of them went out for a while, made love violently almost every night if you could call it such, and decided to get steady. Later on he found out that she was only after what he had in his bank account. He may be twenty two years old but he’s just nearly done with college to finance his own living expenses. And when his parents found out about his expenses, they started putting less in his account until finally cutting everything off until he decides to get home and explain. But that was one thing he did not want to do. How could he explain that he got madly in love with a gold digger to his oh so perfect father? He drove on. The relationship was three months over anyway. He managed to save what was left of his money and was able to borrow some from his friends. He will find a job soon and he will get by.
He parked at the side of the street opposite Louise’s house and gently pushed the button of their doorbell. He looked around to see if there was anyone awake and found none. He realized it was only seventeen minutes before midnight so everybody must be on their bed by then. Suddenly he felt his mobile phone vibrating in his pocket so he pulled it out and answered the call. It was Louise.
“You there outside O?” she asked.
“Yeah” he answered. It had been awhile since he heard that nickname uttered by someone again.
“Wait for me. I’ll meet you down there. It won’t be long.” She hung up.
Louise called early that day asking him to come over. She said it was quite urgent. He did not want to go. He did not want to see her again but she said it would be the last favor she would ask of him. He was not feeling good about it but decided to do it anyway. If it would be the last then that would be okay he thought.
She went out carrying a medium sized paper bag. She looked constipated and O wondered how long had it really been for her to look that awful. Her thighs showing from her short shorts seemed to sag a little as well as the flesh on her arms.
“What you took so long?” she asked the moment she stepped out from the gate.
“My business” he replied coolly. “What is it?” he asked in return.
“I just needed to give you this. Have no place to keep it here,” she said as she handed out the paper bag. “It’s yours,” she added then she turned around to leave. She looked back to him from the gate perhaps waiting for anything that O had to say but he just stood there peeking at the well covered content of the paper bag. She sighed. She closed the gate and walked back towards the house while O headed for his car.
O was about to open the door of the Chevy when he decided to pull out what was inside the paper bag. It was well covered in a plastic bag and pages of newspaper. He took it all off and gasped at what he was holding. He turned back and saw Louise about to enter their door. At that moment he wanted to crush her every bone and tear every flesh but his knees went weak and he slumped there beside his car looking stunned. On his hands was a glass canister labeled “Baby Boy Romano, 6 mos. old”. It was his son inside. Louise had nowhere to keep their child so the boy ended up there inside that glass jar floating in formalin in an endless slumber. The boy’s face was serene. At first there was puzzlement all over O’s face. “Why the hell did you do this Louise?” he whispered to no one. Then he broke into piteous sobs. He could have wailed but he was never used to it. He held his son close and for a minute he lost all sanity. He sat there slowly rocking his son in his arms. He did not care if anybody would see him. For once, it was okay to show his weakness, to cry. “It’s okay son” he whispered. “You’re doing good. Boys don’t cry. Only we, men, do.” -aB
Featured Image by: ~Stijn
I was going through some old stories I wrote back in college and found this one. There was a time when I could write dark themed stories overnight. They were by far my personal favorites.