“They called me from school that you weren’t there again. Where were you?” Dale confronted his son when he finally came home.
They bought a new house a few weeks after Becca’s passing. There were far too many bad memories in the old one.
“Non of your business,” Cameron tried to brush him off.
“Actually it is my business, young man. What do you think your mother would say if she saw your behavior?”
“But she can’t see it, now can she? No she can’t because she’s dead. And guess what, it’s all your fault, so leave me alone.”
“Look,” Dale grabbed his shoulders and made him stay still for a second, “I’ve blamed myself for it long enough. But the truth is, mom was sick, she was hurt and I will not let the same happen to you. You can be mad at me all you want, I’ll deal with it but don’t throw your life away, Cam.”
Cameron didn’t answer so Dale gently shook his shoulders as to wake him up.
“Can you promise me that?” he demanded answer.
“Good. Now dinner’s ready. We have spaghetti.”
Dale probably thought that this talk made an impact on his son, but in reality, it wen’t in one ear and out the other.
He spent his days in the gym working out so he would be strong enough because he liked getting into fights. It didn’t matter if it was in the clubs, on the beach or anywhere else. He didn’t need a reason either.
And at nights he made money by hacking. Of course he didn’t do it for the money, he had plenty of that, it was the excitement of doing something illegal, something he wasn’t supposed to.
That brought him joy. Perhaps it was what kept him from thinking about all the horrible things he went through in his young life.
It wan’t unusual that he was brought home by the police. Mostly for fighting or underage drinking.
Not again, Dale woke up to the flashing light in front of his house. Because Cameron wasn’t eighteen yet, the police would bring him home to let the parents deal with him.
“What is it now, Cam,” Dale yelled at his son in the middle of the night, “are you drunk? Did you beat someone up? What?”
“Relax, I just had a few beers.”
“You’re gonna end up in juvie if you keep this up. And maybe that’s what you deserve. That would open your eyes. Now get your ass to bed before I call the cops back so they can arrest you right now.”
He came back to the bedroom and lied next to his fiancee that was awoken by the yelling.
Kirsten moved in a year after Becca’s suicide and six months later, Dale asked her to marry him.
“I don’t know how much longer I can do this.”
“He’ll get better, I know it. He’s going through all this in the most confusing age, honey. We just have to make sure now he stays alive and without a record.”
“I love you,” Dale hugged her and kissed her on the forehead, “you’re so understanding, even though he treats you so badly.”