Startup Beatdown

Chapter 6: The Mexican

 

Of all the hor­ri­ble tasks I had to do at Seashel Pro­duc­tions, my least favorite, by far, was hav­ing to pick up and drop off Sean Etin’s kids.

Dur­ing any given day, I would be asked to make runs in my car – to mail some­thing to the post office, or buy office sup­plies, or even to pick up a share­hold­er at the air­port – and usu­al­ly I didn’t mind. In fact, I would usu­al­ly jump at the chance to be paid while get­ting away from the office and what­ev­er tor­ture-induc­ing insan­i­ty that would be going on at any given day. I even man­aged to not be screwed out of my car mileage costs by print­ing out an IRS form along with my expense report for how much mon­ey they legal­ly owe me per mile after the comp­trol­ler sug­gest­ed I should just fill up the car and give them the receipt.

There was some­thing dif­fer­ent about pick­ing up and drop­ping off the kids. For one thing, I couldn’t delude myself that what I was doing was for the good of the com­pa­ny. It was one thing to be a gofer for a face­less com­pa­ny (no mat­ter how evil), and it was quite anoth­er to be a chauf­fer for over-priv­i­leged chil­dren. The thin line between Sean Etin’s busi­ness and Sean Etin’s home life had been tram­pled over, and I was grabbed by the shirt col­lar and bum rushed over the oth­er side. The fact that it was so obvi­ous­ly not a part of my job descrip­tion (as it had noth­ing to do with the com­pa­ny) made me feel used. The fact that, dur­ing the­se car rides, I was essen­tial­ly work­ing under the eyes of chil­dren made me feel demeaned.

More of an issue was the fact that Sean Etin’s son, Gareth, was an insuf­fer­able, lit­tle shit­head. At ten years old, I could already tell that he was a chip off the old block. The kid was a cru­el-natured bul­ly who delight­ed in caus­ing pain in oth­ers. Unlike his father, whose cru­el per­sona was masked in a cru­sader-like, pugilis­tic sense of moral evan­ge­lism and para­noia, Gareth’s cru­el­ty was guile­less and pure. He was a bas­tard because he liked being a bas­tard. Caus­ing the great­est amount of dis­com­fort to those around him caused him gid­dy joy. There was noth­ing more to it than that. I despised him.

Sean Etin’s wife, She­lia, was always the one to ask me to pick up or drop off the kids. When she asked me, she always did so with kind­ness. She treat­ed it like I was doing her a per­son­al favor, and that that’s what I took it as.

Dan­ny,” she would say, “I’m real­ly sor­ry to both­er you, but I need you to do me a big favor. I have an appoint­ment that was sched­uled at the last min­ute, and I won’t be able to pick up the kids from school today. Could you do me a huge favor and pick them up for me? I would real­ly appre­ci­ate it.”

Because she treat­ed me so nice­ly, I always agreed to help out. “It’s bad enough for her that she has the dev­il for a hus­band and a mon­ster for a son,” I thought to myself …

So, I would pick up her kids from school. And take them to the den­tist. And drop them off at friend’s hous­es. And send them off to assort­ed after school activ­i­ties. Once, I was asked to drop them off at school. They went to an all-Jew­ish pri­vate school a few towns over (the same one I went to, in fact, from Kinder­garten to the sec­ond grade). In morn­ing DC traf­fic, it was a 45-min­ute com­mute each way, and I had to be at their house at around six in the morn­ing. Besides the fact that I wasn’t being paid over­time for being at the office three hours ear­ly, I was not a hap­py man. I am not a morn­ing per­son and when my job makes sleep the best part of my day, I don’t want to wake up ear­ly to go to work. To their cred­it, they only asked me to do this once – pos­si­bly because I allud­ed to the fact that it was a mir­a­cle I was able to dri­ve with­out get­ting into a sleepy, fiery car-wreck that ear­ly in the morn­ing.

***************************

In the first mon­th I worked there, She­lia asked me what I was doing over the week­end. “Not much,” I replied, think­ing, rather dul­ly, that she was just mak­ing con­ver­sa­tion.

Oh good,” she said. “I was hop­ing you could do me a HUGE favor.” She smiled pleas­ant­ly.  Sean and She­lia were going out of town over the week­end, and Elka, their live-in maid, would be gone too. “I don’t need you to baby-sit,” she explained. “I just need some­one to drop the dog off at the ken­nel in the morn­ing, and take Gareth to his grand­par­ents in the after­noon.” This was still ear­ly in my career at Seashel, and think­ing that a will­ing­ness to do demean­ing bitch­work would endear myself to my employ­ees, I agreed. It was faulty log­ic. Some­where, in the back of my mind, I thought, “Once they see that I’m will­ing to do what­ev­er it is they want me to with­out com­plaint, sure­ly, they’ll see how unfair it is and start ask­ing oth­er peo­ple to pitch in. Hell, they might even do the work them­selves!”

Fri­day wind­ed down, and she called me again. “Dan­ny, I for­got to tell you. Could you drop Gareth off at the comic book store when you pick up the dog? He has one of those Yugi-Oh tour­na­ments with his lit­tle friends.” It wasn’t a big deal …

On Sat­ur­day, I woke up ear­ly and head­ed to the Etin’s house. I gath­ered Gareth, Kathie, the Etin’s atten­tion-starved Rot­tweil­er, bags of dog food, leash­es and oth­er dog sup­plies (you’d think they’d have this sort of things at a ken­nel, but what­ev­er) and load­ed them into my car. I dropped Gareth off at the comic book store and drove to the ken­nel, which was near­ly an hour away. I wait­ed there for a lit­tle while, hold­ing the stu­pid­ly excit­ed Kathie by a leash in the wait­ing room, and filled out paper­work. I then drove home, had a quick lunch, and went back out to the comic book store to pick up the kid. As I opened the door, I heard squeals of children’s laugh­ter, argu­ing, and the assort­ed inde­ci­pher­able nois­es that chil­dren make. Try­ing to rise above the din was the comic shop own­er, Gus, whom I had known since I fre­quent­ed the store as a dorky kid in high school.

I swear, you kids bet­ter calm down, or I’ll kick you out of my store. Gareth, I want you to clean up the mess you caused, now!”

One more game! One more game!” Gareth exclaimed excit­ed­ly, com­plete­ly ignor­ing Gus.

God­damn it! When are your par­ents gonna pick you brats up? Gareth, I said pick up those damn cards!”

Gus saw me out of the cor­ner of his eye and turned to me. “Hey man,” he said, look­ing askance at the kids and shak­ing his head a lit­tle in a way that per­fect­ly com­mu­ni­cat­ed, ‘I’d-like-to-put-these-kids-in-a-sack-and-beat-their-parents-with-them.’

What’s up?” he asked me.

I’m, uhhh,” I paused. “I’m here to pick up Gareth,” I final­ly replied, sheep­ish­ly.

Gus looked at me con­fus­ed­ly. The last time I saw him, I was vis­it­ing home from New York, where I was work­ing for a some­what pres­ti­gious children’s ani­ma­tion com­pa­ny. I’m sure I casu­al­ly men­tioned that to him when we last met.

He’s the boss’s son,” I explained.

You become a babysit­ter or chauf­fer or some­thing?” he asked.

I tried to save face. “No, I work for a children’s enter­tain­ment com­pa­ny. A star­tup. I was hired on to help with the devel­op­ment of their projects, since I’m the only per­son there with any expe­ri­ence in the field.”

He was silent for a few sec­onds. “Why do you have to pick up the boss’s kid on your day off?”

I don’t know,” I answered truth­ful­ly.

At this point, Gareth, who sat in the cor­ner of the store with hun­dreds of Yugi-Oh cards scat­tered around him and two of his friends by his side, saw me.

Can’t you come back in an hour?” Gareth asked, look­ing annoyed.

No. I need to take you to your grandparent’s house.”

Daaaaaannny,” he said play­ful­ly, “there’s three dol­lars in it for you …”

I let his insult wash over me and said noth­ing.

Fine! Two dol­lars!” Gareth said, find­ing him­self high­ly amus­ing.

Get your stuff togeth­er, Gareth.”

Yeah,” Gus added, “it’s def­i­nite­ly time for you brats to go.”

ONE MORE GAME! ONE MORE GAME!” Gareth squealed …

***************************

The ride to his grandparent’s was not as painful as usu­al. Gareth was still rid­ing his high of win­ning the Yugi-Oh tour­na­ments and tak­ing assort­ed cards from his friends. I engaged him in con­ver­sa­tion about Yugi-Oh, which, for once, kept him from his usu­al dis­play of ran­dom scream­ing, kick­ing my car’s dash, and plead­ing to go into every store we passed by.

By the time I got home, it was near­ly six o’ clock. I had spent an entire Sat­ur­day doing errands for the Etins, with­out pay.

The fol­low­ing Fri­day, She­lia approached me and asked what I was doing that week­end. I quick­ly told her I would be out of town. This would become my stock answer when­ev­er any­one from work would ask what I was doing over the week­end. “Prove me wrong,” I silent­ly chal­lenged them. Dur­ing the times the office called me dur­ing the week­end, I just didn’t pick up the phone. On Mon­day, I would tell them that I didn’t have cell recep­tion where I was, and by the time I got their mes­sage it was too late to call back.

I was learn­ing.

Of course, when I was at work, it was much hard­er to pre­tend I was out of town. In fact, it was near impos­si­ble to pre­tend that any­thing I was doing there was worth­while. Ask­ing if I was doing any­thing impor­tant was noth­ing more than a for­mal­i­ty, espe­cial­ly when cor­nered doing such activ­i­ties as shoot­ing the breeze with my friends in the back room, or spin­ning around in my chair …

As my time at Seashel con­tin­ued, I was asked to pick up the Etin’s kids with more reg­u­lar­i­ty. What was once a bi-week­ly occur­rence, I was now asked to pick up the kids two to four times a week, and lit­tle Gareth was becom­ing more and more of a pain. Once, while Gareth ran in some ran­dom direc­tion in the park­ing lot of his school (for the sole pur­pose of piss­ing me and his old­er sis­ter off), I final­ly decid­ed to teach him a lesson. I was going to get in my car and run him down.

Even­tu­al­ly, I decid­ed to take a slight­ly less dras­tic approach. “Get in,” I told his sis­ter. “We’re leav­ing with­out him.”

Her eyes went wide. “Real­ly?” she asked. “Cool!”

We hopped in my car and drove away. As we pulled out of the school, Gareth’s sis­ter asked me if we were real­ly leav­ing with­out him. “No,” I told her. “We’ll come back in five min­utes and get him.”

Oh. That’s too bad.”

Per­haps all Gareth need­ed was a hard lesson, I thought to myself. I pic­tured him back in the park­ing lot, all alone and cry­ing unabashed­ly, the veneer of brat­ti­ness washed away by his tears, reveal­ing a lone­ly lit­tle boy. I would dri­ve back, roll down the win­dow, and say, “Gareth, I hope you real­ize now that not every­thing revolves around you.” With his lesson learned, I would then pro­ceed to run him down with my car …

Of course, when I drove back, Gareth greet­ed me with a wide, imp­ish, close-eyed smile and began run­ning away from the car again. His sis­ter rolled down the car win­dow and screamed at him. “Gareth, you lit­tle brat! Get in the car! I want to go home!”

Ha ha ha!” he replied.

***************************

Even­tu­al­ly, we were able to cor­ral him into the car. From his spot in the back seat, Gareth spent the length of the car ride kick­ing the back of my seat and bark­ing loud, ugly nois­es. “GRAHGGHHH!!” “Ba ba ba ba!” “REEEEEEE!” It was his own non­sense lan­guage, but it com­mu­ni­cat­ed what he want­ed to say to me bet­ter than if he were say­ing it in plain Eng­lish. “You can’t both­er me like I can both­er you, and I’ll nev­er, EVER stop.”

I already knew that to be true. Over the many times I had to dri­ve the brat around, I tried my best to keep him in con­trol. I tried rea­son­ing with him. I tried yelling at him. I tried ignor­ing him. I tried treat­ing him like an adult and treat­ing him like a kid. I even tried join­ing him once. Noth­ing worked. He looked past my meth­ods and saw the real me – a grown man who despised a lit­tle boy. He loved it …

***************************

One time, I was asked to drop Gareth off at his Pop Warn­er foot­ball prac­tice. This was the only time I was actu­al­ly look­ing for­ward to deal­ing with the lit­tle bas­tard. Why? Because, it was towards the end of the day and after some smooth talk­ing on my part, I was able to con­vince Flo to let me go straight home after­wards. “By the time I get back here, it’ll already be 6:00, and I’ll have to go straight home any­way…” I plead­ed. She saw the des­per­a­tion in my eyes and gave me the okay, allow­ing me to get home a full half an hour ear­ly. This was the rarest of treats. Not only was I able to be home ear­ly, I would be ensur­ing I wouldn’t have to stay late, by total­ly bypass­ing Sean Etin’s usu­al 5:55 appear­ance in the office, order­ing every­one to stick around for an extra hour or two (usu­al­ly for no rea­son).

On the ride to his prac­tice, with his pads, hel­met and uni­form bunched up around his legs, I tried to engage Gareth in talk about foot­ball – a sub­ject that I actu­al­ly cared about. “What posi­tion do you play?” “What’s your team’s record?” “Are you a fan of any pro team?” (I was hop­ing he’d say the Cow­boys to this one, so I could have rea­son to hate them both a lit­tle more …) Unlike the time I got him talk­ing about Yugi Oh, he wasn’t respon­sive to my scheme. The most I got out of him was that he didn’t much like foot­ball before he was impor­tun­ing for me to pull over to a Star­bucks and buy him an Iced Caramel Mac­chi­a­to …

We had got­ten to his prac­tice field and I parked the car. I had made good time in get­ting there (no, I did not stop at Star­bucks) and if I left now, I would just miss rush hour and be home with a lit­tle over a half an hour ear­ly. Gareth, how­ev­er, didn’t move. I thought about why he wasn’t leav­ing. Was it because he didn’t see any­one he rec­og­nized? I scanned the field for any kids that were wear­ing Gareth’s uni­forms. I saw none. “Do you see any kids you rec­og­nize, Gareth?”

No.”

Crap. I may have despised the lit­tle shit, but I wasn’t going to leave a ten-year-old alone in a park. So, I wait­ed in the car with Gareth, feel­ing my ear­ly free­dom tick away. Every few min­utes, I would ask him if he saw some­one he rec­og­nized. A team­mate. A coach. A celebri­ty. I didn’t care. I just want­ed him to be some­one else’s prob­lem.

After ask­ing him for the ten­th time, I noticed a bunch of kids con­gre­gat­ing on the field, wear­ing Gareth’s team uni­form.

Isn’t that your team over there?” I asked him, point­ing to the kids.

No.”

Then why are they wear­ing your uni­form?”

I meant yes.”

Okay then.”

Gareth still didn’t move.

Get out of my car, Gareth.”

I can’t. I need to get changed first.”

Then do it!”

I angri­ly won­dered why Gareth didn’t put his pads on before­hand, but it soon became clear to me, as he con­tin­ued to just sit there. He was keep­ing me here on pur­pose. I don’t know how, but he some­how knew that this was cut­ting into my free time.

Put on your pads, Gareth.”

He gave me his best “I’m-a-little-fucker” smile and con­tin­ued to do noth­ing.

PUT-ON-YOUR-PADS, GARETH!”

I don’t know how … “

Oh, God, how I hat­ed him. The lying grem­lin want­ed me to dress him. I didn’t know what game he was play­ing, and I didn’t care. I want­ed him out of my car so bad­ly.

As I picked up his shoul­der pads, I was struck by a ran­dom image in my mind. I saw Gareth, burst­ing into Sean Etin’s den, in tears. “Dad­dy, Dad­dy! Dan­ny touched me on the way to foot­ball prac­tice!”

He WHAT?!?” Sean Etin would say, as he gets to his feet, throw­ing his glass of cognac into the fire. The flames grow and are reflect­ed in Sean Etin’s mur­der­ous eyes. Gareth smiles imp­ish­ly.

Cut to: my bed­room. I am sleep­ing in my bed, when I bolt upright, sens­ing the pres­ence of some­one beside me. Sean Etin steps out of the shad­ows. “You touched my child. Now I get to touch yours …” He would then grab my crotch with his giant, meaty fist, and squeeze it into a red paste. I howl in agony. “I’m also suing you,” he would say. “And I expect you at work first thing in the morn­ing …”

I snapped out of it. The thought was far-fetched. Gareth wouldn’t have the fore­thought for a plan like that (though the evil intent would cer­tain­ly be there), and Sean Etin wouldn’t break into my house while I was asleep. He would crush my balls when I was at the office. Still, I decid­ed not to put my hands any­where near his son.

I threw the shoul­der pads onto Gareth’s lap. “Put this around your neck,” I told him. He gave me anoth­er stu­pid grin. It was now 5:50, and I had wast­ed over a half an hour in the park­ing lot with the lit­tle prick.

PUT ON THE GODDAMN PADS!” I said calm­ly.

Gareth picked up the shoul­der pads and gin­ger­ly put them around his neck. When fin­ished, he looked at me again.

Now put on the rest of your uni­form,” I told him.

I need to tie the pads in place first,” he said.

God­damn it, Gareth! You are real­ly piss­ing me off! Put on the rest of your uni­form, do it cor­rect­ly, and get the hell out of my car!”

Again, Gareth got to work. He tied his pads in place. He put on his jer­sey, his socks and his cleats. It all seemed to go in slow motion – main­ly because Gareth was mov­ing at half speed, his move­ments exag­ger­at­ed as if some­one pushed ‘slow’ on a remote con­trol.

Go faster,” I told him.

I am,” he assured me, mov­ing at the same snail’s pace.

You are such a god­damned brat.”

The sec­ond Gareth fin­ished, I opened the door of my car, marched out to the pas­sen­ger side, and opened his door.

Get the hell out of my car!”

He took a glance at my dash­board and hopped out of the car, run­ning towards his team­mates on the field.

I slammed the door shut and got back into the driver’s seat. I looked at the clock. I was exact­ly 6:00.

***************************

I had decid­ed that enough was enough. My days of pick­ing up and drop­ping off the kids were over. At this point in my ‘career’ at Seashel, I knew I would be quit­ting soon and want­ed to gain some mod­icum of dig­ni­ty before I did. So, the next time She­lia pulled me aside, want­i­ng me to pick up Gareth from school, I asked to speak with her.

She and I walked into the emp­ty kitchen. “I’m per­fect­ly will­ing to pick Gareth up from school today, because I don’t want to leave you in a lurch, but I just want­ed to let you know that I would appre­ci­ate it if you didn’t ask me to dri­ve around your kids any­more. I’ve always thought of dri­ving them around as a favor to your fam­i­ly, and I real­ly don’t con­sid­er it a part of my job, and I would like to spend my time at work doing what I’m being paid to do. Again, I’m will­ing to pick him up today, but ask you to please not ask me to again,” I quick­ly spat out.

She­lia looked at me, her smile only waver­ing for a brief moment. “Sure, Dan­ny,” she said. “Thank you for pick­ing Gareth up today.” She walked out of the kitchen, and I went off to pick up Gareth, feel­ing good that it would be my last time.

I drove to Gareth’s school and came up to the curb. Gareth usu­al­ly wait­ed for me there, but today he was nowhere to be seen. I called She­lia on my cell and she told me that he would be wait­ing for me in the school library. In the shock of my telling her that I wouldn’t be her bitch any­more, it must have slipped her mind.

I parked my car and entered the school. It was weird being back in an ele­men­tary school. Beck when I was a kid, school seemed so big, the cool­er, nois­ier kids seemed so intim­i­dat­ing and the teach­ers seemed so old. Now, as I walked through the school, the hall­ways seemed nar­row and the ceil­ings low. The “cool kids” (and I can tell they were the cool kids by the way they car­ried them­selves) seemed so puny and ridicu­lous in their pos­tur­ing. The teach­ers I passed, I noticed, looked to be my age or younger. I had come a long way …

I walked into the library and saw Gareth towards the oth­er end of the room, chat­ting with some friends. I walked towards him as he called out, “Hey, Mex­i­can! Get over here!” I stopped dead in my tracks. Did he just call me ‘Mex­i­can?’ I didn’t under­stand. May­be he was talk­ing to some­one else. I looked around. Nobody looked Mex­i­can in the all-Jew­ish pri­vate school library … I was deep in thought. ‘May­be it was a friend’s nick­name, like Booger or Bon­er or Cock­roach …’ ‘Don’t fool your­self. You know the lit­tle shit was talk­ing to you.’ ‘Yeah, but what does he mean?!?’

He inter­rupt­ed my train of thought. “Mex­i­can! Get over here! Now!” He empha­sized the ‘now’ with his fin­ger point­ing down in an angry stac­ca­to. He was look­ing straight at me. His two friends were look­ing at me too, with toothy smiles, alter­na­tive­ly look­ing back at Gareth.

I decid­ed that the best thing to do was to total­ly ignore them. I casu­al­ly walked in the oppo­site direc­tion, exam­in­ing the books as if I went to the ele­men­tary school to do some casu­al read­ing.

Ahh, yes,” I thought to myself. “The Box­car Chil­dren. I won­der what excit­ing mys­ter­ies they are solv­ing this time …”

After five min­utes, I saw in the cor­ner of my eyes Gareth’s two friends walk past me and leave the library. Soon after, Gareth approached me.

Why didn’t you come when I called you?” he asked. He, for the first time, seemed gen­uine­ly frus­trat­ed.

Because you didn’t call me,” I calm­ly replied.

Yes I did! I said, ‘Mex­i­can’.”

I’m not ‘Mex­i­can’.”

Yes you are,” he explained to me. “You’re a Mex­i­can because you do every­thing I tell you to do.”

There it was. For some rea­son, I had trou­ble wrap­ping my head around the fact that it was a racial epi­thet (main­ly because I was white and Jew­ish).

I thought about what to say next. Should I scold him for try­ing to bul­ly me in front of his friends? Should I elu­ci­date him on the evils of prej­u­dice? Should I explain to him my con­fu­sion over what he was try­ing to invoke?

I breathed deeply. Much like my job in gen­er­al, he wasn’t worth it.

Come on,” I told him, as I walked out of the library and back to my car.

***************************

She­lia nev­er asked me to her a favor again. No, the era of doing favors was now over. From that point on, I was ordered to pick up the kids. The very next day, a phone call came into the office. At this point, they had got­ten a sec­re­tary, so I was no longer the one to pick up the phone every time it rang. About a min­ute after the call came in, Rita approached me.

Sean needs you to pick up the kids,” she told me in her bored monot­o­ne.

A silent rage filled me. I was qui­et for a moment, and, in as even a tone as I could muster, I asked her, “Can I speak to him?”

He already hung up.” She walked away.

In the fifty or so times I was asked to chauf­feur his kids, Sean Etin was nev­er once the one to ask me to do it. It was always She­lia.

I had often­times won­dered how some­one who could mar­ry a mon­ster like Sean Etin be such a nice per­son. The answer, the only answer there could be, was that she couldn’t. Like any suc­cess­ful mar­riage, Sean and She­lia worked as a team. She­lia was the good cop, and Sean was the bad cop. For nine months, the good cop; the car­rot-approach; the prey­ing on my kind­ness had done the trick. Now that it failed to work, it was time for the bad cop; the stick-approach; the prey­ing on my abil­i­ty to be bul­lied.

I was shocked at the gam­bit that the Etin’s had just played. Order the one per­son who specif­i­cal­ly asked not to pick up the kids to pick up the kids, one day after he made the request, and out­right refus­ing to com­mu­ni­cate with him on the sub­ject. They were lit­er­al­ly will­ing to sac­ri­fice their own children’s safe­ty and well-being to make a point – that as long as I worked there, I would be a Mex­i­can to any mem­ber of the Etin fam­i­ly, be it my boss, his wife, or his ten-year-old son. It was the ballsi­est, most self­ish thing I had ever encoun­tered in my life. I thought of quit­ting on the spot. Let some oth­er suck­er pick up their brats. I thought of get­ting into my car and dri­ving straight home with­out telling any­body, and smash­ing my cell phone with a ham­mer. I imag­ined the Etin’s, in the mid­dle of the night, won­der­ing where the hell their kids are, while Alia (their daugh­ter) and Gareth wait­ed at their school. I might have done it too, but I had a doctor’s appoint­ment that week and I want­ed to take advan­tage of my health insur­ance while I had it. Also, as much as it went again­st my favor, I was a nice guy. I couldn’t strand chil­dren, even one as evil and cru­el as Gareth – even if their own par­ents could. So, I got up, got into my car, and once again drove into the heart of dark­ness …

***************************

Through­out the abuse I took from Gareth, I had often­times con­sid­ered telling his par­ents about his sadis­tic behav­ior (espe­cial­ly when I thought She­lia was a good per­son) – but I nev­er did. This was because, as much as I hat­ed to be tor­tured by a ten-year-old boy, I knew that I would only have to deal with him while I worked there, and that Sean Etin, who I hat­ed above all peo­ple, would have to deal with him for the rest of his life. I imag­ined Gareth at fif­teen, giv­ing his par­ents hell in his angst-rid­den teen years. I imag­ined him at twen­ty, fight­ing his very first statu­to­ry rape case. I imag­ined him at fifty, his father now old and decrepit, and in need of some love and care. I imag­ined, when his father asked him for help, adult Gareth reply­ing, “What am I, your Mex­i­can?” leav­ing Sean Etin alone and uncar­ed for – and I smiled. And then I wished Gareth would have chil­dren exact­ly like him …

 

<PREVIOUS CHAPTER                  NEXT CHAPTER>

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *