A Day in the Life Roady Series - Tyler Back Home

Only Once – Roady Series episode 8

Hospitals are not on my list of favorite places. There’s the whole idea of the balance between life and death that smells like antiseptic. Not a terrible smell, just a smell and I’ve only been down a hall and up an elevator and I’ve had enough of it.

“You arrived at the right time,” a nurse tells us. “She just moved out of ICU.” She takes us to the doorway of Mom’s room. Her bed is next to the window. There’s a woman with grey wiry hair in the first bed. A young woman sits in a chair next to the bed. They’re looking at something on her I-pad. Jason bounds past them knocking against the bed. I look at the floor and apologize for his energetic entry.

Mom has her leg in a mint green cast propped up on bolsters. A jagged cut with black stiches follows her jawline. She is pale nestled in white cotton blankets and IV attached to her arm.

“JJ!” she says trying to find the button to raise her bed. Jason pulls himself up to stand on the edge of her bed holding unto the railing. “Mama,” he says. “Are you going to die?”

“No, Honey. I’m not. Come get a hug.” But it’s not a hug, it’s a hand on his shoulder. “Get off the bed now,” she says. He eyes a package of crackers on her nightstand.

“Can I have those?” he asks.

“Yes, JJ go ahead.”

Jason busies himself with opening the crackers. Mom turns her eyes to me.

“I told Stan I didn’t want him to call you.”

“Well, he did.” I can’t look her in the eye. Jason has taken a seat in the chair. I go to the window and open the curtains. The parking lot it dotted with small trees, people walking, cars. I look back to Mom. She has her hand over her eyes. She’s crying.

“I am so sorry,” she says wiping her nose with her hand.

I take a deep breath. “What happened?”

“It was not my fault,” she says.

“I’m not talking about the damn accident,” I raise my voice just a bit then turn back to the window.

“There was another car. It went through the red light, not me.” She continues with her story. “The motorcycle was in front. I knew that. The other guy, he swerved to miss the cycle and hit both of us. It all happened so fast, I didn’t have time to react.”

I watch as an ambulance pulls in, lights flashing. Someone else having a bad day. It disappears from view leaving me to guess what’s wrong. Maybe a heart attack or someone hurt on the job? Makes me think of Dan, how he was rushed to the hospital because I lifted those boards with the fork truck without checking if anyone was near, without calling out a ‘head’s up’, without taking the time to restrain them with the safety ropes. Dan said later that he didn’t blame me. That it’s happened before. That he should have had his hard hat on. But I know, no matter what he says, it was my fault because I was buzzed from a night of guzzling whiskey. Why was I drinking? Because my application for a scholarship to go to college was rejected. I might as well have thrown myself down the stairs for how far off track I put my life with that stupid thinking. I have not had a drop of alcohol since.

“Tyler please,” she says. “Look at me.”

I turn around. “Is it because I left?”

“No!” she says emphatically. “No. Tyler it’s not you. It was only once anyway. My bad luck that the other guy ran the light. Really. Just once.”

I’ve heard this kind of talk before. It’s once and never again until the next ‘once’. “Is it Stan and the beer, the cigarettes?”

“I hate beer and no, I’m not smoking.”

But I can tell the way she says it, she’s doing both. I shake my head. Jason munches on crackers, swinging his legs.

“I guess there’s no point to us having this conversation, is there?”

She puts her hand over her eyes again. “Tyler please don’t think bad of me. I’m hurting. I need you to believe me. Please.” She lifts her eyes to me, red and watery.

“Don’t cry Mama,” Jason says his voice plaintive and sweet.

He sounds just like me at that age.

Read this series from episode 1 by choosing the category- “Roady Series” – Find it in the drop down “menu” at the header of this blog. ————————————————————————————— This post is fiction based on the back story of a supporting character in a novel in process by Clare Graith. See for more info about the author.

Roady Series - Tyler Back Home

Truth Be Told – Roady Series 7

Sometimes you want something that will forever be out of your grasp but still every day in the back of your mind you think stupid stuff like, “Mom is happy. She’s got a good life with Stan maybe not all perfect but not trying to do it alone.” I was eight when she said she was marrying him. I cried but she told me it would work out in the end, and we would never be hungry and she would never get high, never even smoke a cigarette. It was a small price to pay to be under Stan’s foot. When did she start again? Was it because I left? Was it my fault? How could everything go so wrong? Demons follow me in my sleep. Cars crashing, people yelling, me climbing over a fence with Big Al and his machete after me. Then there’s a baby screaming in a bag of dirty laundry, and Linda laying on a blanket without a stitch of clothes, waiting for me until Jake shows up in some kind of a uniform and now he has a machete. As the knife comes down on me, I sit up thrust out of sleep, out of breath, sweat on my brow. Roady groans and presses his feet into my side. I lay back down but I can’t sleep any more.

I must have dozed off anyway because I open my eyes to the sound of tapping on the window and the faces of Jason, Liam and Clinton pressed against the glass staring at me. What is it with these kids and looking at me? I sit up. Jason opens the door and invites himself into my bed.
“How come you’re sleeping outside?”
“I’m not outside.”
Clinton joins Jason in the back seat and Liam sits up front.
“Why don’t you sleep on the couch?”
“Because I’m sleeping here. Everyone out,” I say.
The whole clan piles out, Roady runs off and squats on a patch of weeds to pee. The kids follow me to the kitchen where Junior is sitting at the table eating a huge bowl of cereal. Good at least one of these kids knows how to take care of himself. I make them all eggs and toast then thankfully the oldest three are off to school. Stan is still asleep. Jason says he always sleeps after work. He’s content to watch television and eat dry cereal from a bowl. But I can’t stand to be in this house. I convince Jason to take his bowl and sit in the back seat of the car. Roady sits in the passenger seat, alert and on guard. I feel like I should put a seat belt on him he acts so much like a person. He gives me a soft huff as he notices I’m looking at him.
“You’re a good dog Roady.”
I get another huff for that.
I drive with no destination in mind. I just want to see what’s going on. I know I’ve betrayed myself when I see the big red sign, “Emergency Entrance”. I’ve driven up and down streets and ended up at the hospital. I have to do it. Not because I can’t stand the thought of coming upon Linda and having her say how terrible I am again. Not because Jason is in the back seat looking like a sad puppy, so small to be left in the care of Stan. I have to because I need to hear from her what’s been going on. I need to know if I’m the reason she’s in this mess. As Jason and I take the elevator to the floor she’s on, my mouth goes dry. What will she say?

Read this series from episode 1 by choosing the category- “Roady Series” – Find it in the drop down “menu” at the header of this blog. ——————————————————————————————— This post is fiction based on the back story of a supporting character in a novel in process by Clare Graith. See for more info about the author.

A Day in the Life Roady Series - Tyler Back Home

Too Hot to Handle – Roady Series episode 6

No one minds that Roady sits at my feet. I watch the dryer spin as though if I look away, it will stop. Liam is transfixed on my face. I reach in my pocket and hand him three quarters.
“Get yourself a snack,” I say pointing across the room. He finally breaks his stare and wanders over to the vending machine.
All of a sudden there’s a baby wailing. It’s Linda with the baby on her hip and a huge bag of clothes over her shoulder with another one that she’s pushing with her foot. She’s about to drop the screaming baby as her foot gets tangled in the drawstring on the bag. I dash over intending to grab the bag but to my dismay, it is the baby that ends up in my arms. The baby stares up at me mid-scream and then buries her wet face on my shoulder.
“Oh my gosh, thank you! This bag was throwing off my balance. I would have dropped her!”
I do not want this baby nuzzling her snot into my shirt. This can’t be happening. Linda starts to laugh. “Looks like you have another shirt to wash.”
I reach for the bags, and hand over the baby. “Don’t you have another one these?”
“Yes, my little April flower. She’s with Jake. You know I married Jake right?”
“Yeah, I know. Congratulations.” I move away and drop the bags at an open washer. A long table divides washers from dryers. Liam has taken my place watching the cloths spin eating nacho chips one at a time from a small bag. Those blankets have to be done soon.
“I’m here most every day,” Linda says from the other side of the table leaning just so, that her V-neck T-shirt shows off what she’s got bound up in her bra. I can’t help but look. She knows. I don’t really want to flashback to those summer nights down by the lake but there’s no stopping it. We had a spot on a thick carpet of moss. Had a blanket hidden in the hole of the oak tree. When it was hot we could swim in the lake under the moonlight. Doesn’t get any better than that. “We’re in an apartment right now but Jake just got promoted to Lead.” She smiles with sweet innocence like since she’s talking about her husband whatever wicked thought I’m having is all mine. “He’s working the weekend shift, twelve hours a day. Stan works it too you know, in the shipping area. He helped Jake get the job. He’s a good guy, Stan.”
Liam stops eating his chips and looks over at Linda.
“What?” she says. “I’m talking about your papa but it’s all good. Don’t give me that look.”
Good thing she’s looking at Liam’s face because I’m sure mine has got a few choice words written across it.
“So anyway Tyler, why don’t you stop by on the weekend. The kids will be with Mom this Sunday so that they go to church. It’s just because she wants to show off her grand babies though, and gossip in the nursery. So what about it? We have some catching up to do.”
“I’ll be gone by Sunday,” I say. Liam throws the rest of the chips on the floor and stamps on the bag but before I can deal with him, Linda says, “With your mom in ICU still? She’s not going to be out of the hospital for a couple weeks I guess. You do know she broke her leg in like five places, almost lost a lung, and they had to take something out, spleen maybe, a kidney?”
Liam comes over to the table. “How do you know? Have you seen her?”
“Well no,” Linda says switching the baby to the opposite hip. “My aunt Janey works in the hospital. Haven’t you seen her yet?”
“Kids aren’t allowed,” he says catching a little of Junior’s attitude like a parrot.
“Who told you that? Of course kids are allowed. Every mama wants to see her kids. Makes her get better.” She flashes me a reprising look. “Why haven’t you taken them to see her?”
“I just got to town at lunchtime.”
“You haven’t seen your mother yet?”
A buzzer goes off. The clothes are done. I turn away and start pulling the blazing hot blankets out. I have to put them on the table. They’re almost too hot to handle. Lucky we didn’t start a fire. But there’s Linda with her own fire of judgement still giving me a look, like I’m a heel and for sure she made the right choice choosing a hard working, dedicated man like Jake who just got a promotion.
“You ain’t leaving on Sunday,” she said patting the baby’s back. “You come around and say Hi. It’s the least you can do after ditching me like I’m some dog you got tired of.” With that Roady makes a whimper and I realize the poor thing needs to go outside and do his business.
“Come on Liam,” I say not giving Linda another glance. “Let’s take Roady to the ball field to run around.”
We step outside and Liam says, “You did good not being mixed up with the likes of her.” How did a nine year old figure that out?

Read this series from episode 1 by choosing the category- “Roady Series” – Find it in the drop down “menu” at the header of this blog. ————————————————————————————This post is fiction based on the back story of a supporting character in a novel in process by Clare Graith. See for more info in the author.

A Day in the Life Roady Series - Tyler Back Home

Brothers Grime – Roady Series 5

“Can we go see Mama.” It’s the first time Liam has spoken. I’ve been wondering when he would talk. He’s only a year younger than Junior but nothing like him. Actually nothing like the rest of his brothers. His dark cowlick hair contrasts with their towheads.
“No kids are allowed,” Junior says. “So you’re just going to have to cry yourself asleep another night.”
Liam sulks in silence.
I don’t want to think about visiting Mom. I should. I should be rushing over there, see how she is, if she needs anything. But instead I let these brats keep me busy, getting them to wash dishes, sweep the floors, get the sheets and blankets off the beds and into the washer. It’s not till later after they are all showered that I realize, the blankets aren’t going to dry on the line in one afternoon.
“You’re a damn fool for washing blankets on a cloudy cold day,” Stan said.
“They smelled,” I said. “Probably full of fleas.” I saw some red welts on their legs when they finally got the dirt washed off.
“The only thing with fleas around here is that scrappy mutt.”
Roady has curled up under the kitchen table watching our every move.
“Get him out of my house,” Stan says.
I give a quick whistle and Roady is at my side. “I’m going to the laundromat. Be back in a few.”
The boys look at me then at Stan. I know they’re hoping he’ll order me to take them again, but Stan is unscrewing the cap of a beer, pleased with himself because it appears that I’ve obeyed his command about getting Roady out of the house.
As I take a step toward the back door, I see Junior cross the floor, go up to his father and pull the beer from his hand. He takes a big gulp.
“You little shit,” Stan says with a proud laugh yanking it back. Junior flashes me a look.
I’m not getting involved in this drama. I’m not. Junior’s face falls as he sees I’m not reacting. What does he want from me? I don’t have anything to give him. What does he think?
“Junior, how about you come and give me a hand getting the blankets off the line.”
He scowls. “I got better things to do than girl’s work.”
“He’s got you there,” Stan says sneering and handing the beer back to Junior for another gulp.
“I’ll go,” Liam says.
I head out the door before Stan has a chance to make the remark I know is burning on his lips. I hear Stan and Junior laughing as the door closes.
Liam doesn’t talk when I pile up blankets in his arms.
As we drive into town, I feel his eyes on me. “Go ahead and speak if you’ve got something to say.” I glance over at him.
“I look like you,” he says.
“That means we’re real brothers.”
I want to tell him that it’s just the luck of the draw with DNA. That he is more their brother than mine. But when I glance over again, I see a little smile on his face. Imagine that someone thinks being like me is a good thing.

See previous posts, in the category- “Roady Series” – Find it in the drop down “menu” at the header of this blog. —————————————————————————————————This post is fiction based on the back story of a supporting character in a novel in process by Clare Graith. See for more info in the author.

A Day in the Life Roady Series - Tyler Back Home

Yes, I’m a Loser – Roady Series episode 4

Nothing has changed in town except the dance school has taken over Mick’s barber shop. Guess no one gets their hair cut at a shop anymore but everyone wants their kid to dance. No threat that the Walmart will meet the same fate. The whole town is out shopping, judging by how full the parking lot is.
I’m surprised we don’t get kicked out as soon I walk in with my gaggle of dirty ducklings. I wasn’t about to make them take baths before we went out but we’re getting looks even by the Walmart people.
“Can we get this?” seven-year old Clinton says holding up a huge bag of chips.
“Put it back,”I say. We’re just getting the basics, cheap stuff that will go far. Five boxes of macaroni and cheese, more spaghetti, a few cans of tomato sauce, loaves of bread, a family sized ground beef, and hot dogs. I skip vegetables. They won’t eat them and I’m not their mama. We get two big boxes of store brand cereal and head to get some milk. Just as I’m about to hoist a gallon jug into the cart, I hear a scream of delight.
“Tyler is that you?”

There she is. I was hoping to dodge seeing Linda for the week. Let her hear I was around and leave it at that. But now she’s pulled her cart next to mine. She looks good, put on some pounds but her pretty face just looks healthier with it. There’s a baby blowing spit bubbles in the cart seat and a toddler with a chocolate bar half melted across her cheeks in the cart. “What are you doing here?” She says loud enough that a few people look our way. “Why didn’t you tell me you were coming to town? I would have you over for dinner.”
She’s joking right? We haven’t talked since the phone call I hung up on.
“Mom’s in the hospital. Boys need lookin after,” I say but I’m feeling like I’m talking about someone else’s life. I’m not a family guy. I left. My life is not about ‘dinners’ and ‘looking after’ kids. I don’t belong here.
“Yeah I heard,” she says wiping both the baby and the toddler’s faces with a baby wipe from her purse. “Pretty sad that guy got killed.”
“There was a fatality?”
“Yeah, didn’t you know. A motorcyclist in the intersection. He didn’t make it.”
I’m stunned. I put the milk in the cart and don’t even catch that Clinton has added a can of whipped cream. She was high. A man died. Will she be charged? I don’t even want to think about it. My sister is in jail for possession. If mom ends up there too, who will take these kids?
“So how are you?” Linda asks giving me a smile too big for a married woman. “It’s been so long. Did you build a house yet? Go to college? What have you been doing these past few years?”
“Living. Did some things. Working out some plans.”
“Still not hitched, I see.” She glances toward my ringless hand.
“Time enough for that,” I answer.
“Sure. Looks like you’d make a good father though,” she says. The boys are all hanging on the cart waiting for our conversation to end.
“Nope. Just a brother and a half one at that.”
She shakes her head then gives me a ‘I made the right choice not waiting for you’ smile. Makes me feel like the biggest loser ever. My life sucks. She says a polite “hope your mom gets better” and goes on her way.
I see the whipped cream and put it back. Clinton starts to whimper then Jason joins in.
“Dammit! We don’t have enough money for that kind of stuff.” That does nothing to quiet them.
“She used to be your girlfriend?” Junior says. “You’re stupid just like Dad says.”
“Yeah well wait till you grow up, you might get it then.”
As we wait on the check out line, I see Junior pocket a blue lighter.
I go up to him and quietly say, “put it back.”
“Dad needs it,” he says. “He’ll pay for it later.”
“Put it back,” I say again.
“No. Dad told me to get it. If I do he’ll let me smoke his butts. He’ll leave me half of it you know.”
“You don’t steal and don’t be stupid and start smoking. Don’t you know what happens? You make a few dollars and spend it on cigarettes. Not because you want to, because you’re an addict. Is that what you want? Be a thief and craving some leaves rolled in paper?”
He stares at me, arms crossed. I reach into his pocket, and take out the lighter. Then I pick out a pack of bubble gum and say, “Get this. All yours.”
He doesn’t want to smile but I see a light in his eyes.

See previous posts, in the category- “Roady Series” – Find it in the drop down “menu” at the header of this blog. —————————————————————————————————This post is fiction based on the back story of a supporting character in a novel in process by Clare Graith. See for more info in the author.

A Day in the Life Roady Series - Tyler Back Home

Something From Nothing – Roady Series 3

Some people get away with being obnoxious. They hold the ticket, “that’s just how he is”. The only ones validating that ticket are the poor people around him who have given up. As I look around the ‘home’ Mom and Stan have made, it’s clear that everyone here has given up and looks to me that my oldest half brother Stanley Junior takes after his pop in all the wrong ways.
“Where’d you get that mangy mutt?” Junior sneers. I haven’t seen him in four years and this is what he says? I ignore him and his father. Roady hides behind my legs.
Little Jason jumps up and puts his arms around Roady, crouching on the floor, also hiding behind my legs.
Stan tries to stare me down but then concedes to his need for me.
“Why don’t you see if you can fix something to eat? I’m all out of cereal.”
Four sets of eyes are now on me, the dog forgotten.
Why anyone would think I can cook, I don’t know. I was left to scrounge for my own meals more than once when I was their age though so maybe I can come up with something. I go to the galley kitchen. Among the bowls, spoons, and cups, are pots with crusted red, brown, and green stuff in them stacked in the sink, on the counters; evidence that at some point more than just the now empty box of Cheerios was eaten.
I open a cupboard and find a box of spaghetti. In the fridge, there’s an empty milk carton, mustard and ketchup, peanut butter, a twelve pack of beer and a bottle of wine. Dried egg yolk on the bottom shelf suggests once there were eggs. In the freezer, ice.
I boil a pot of water and cook up the spaghetti then squirt the ketchup on the whole thing. It’s an instant meal I remember well. They eat it up like it’s the best thing they ever ate.
“You need some food in this house,” I tell Stan who is on his next beer and crashed into a ragged recliner, the television now blasting a talk show with people yelling at each other.
“Yeah, get some. Good idea.”
All the boys look at me with hopeful eyes. I can’t escape that kind of focus. How can I hide that I don’t have a whole lot of cash but I can tell Stan isn’t about to hand me even twenty bucks.
“And take them with you,” Stan adds. “Lord knows I need a break.”

See previous posts, in the category- “Roady Series” – Find it in the drop down “menu” at the header of this blog.

This post is fiction based on the back story of a supporting character in a novel in process by Clare Graith. See for more info in the author.

A Day in the Life Roady Series - Tyler Back Home

Home Not Sweet Home – Roady Series episode 2

I named the dog “Roady”, short for “Road Kill”. I should have named him Roady Junior with me being Roady Senior since my mad dash to rescue the pup almost cost me my life. When I pull up the muddy driveway of Stan and Mom’s newest house, Roady whines.
“Yeah buddy, I’m not too happy about it either.”
A twisted vine with clusters of green leaves is stretching from a dry, old dogwood to the gutters of the house where it wraps around the drain spout full and bushy. Looks like poison ivy to me. I’m about to get out of my car when a rusty, rumbling pick-up pulls next to me.
“Move your damn car,” Stan yells. “Park over on the grass.”
Grass? All I can see are some patches of weeds gripping the ground, flat and broad leafed between gravel scattered in the dirt. Maybe once it was all gravel. Now it’s hard to see where the driveway ends and the ‘grass’ begins. I pull to the side and get out.
Stan walks right on past me without another word. I follow him with Roady at my heel. Inside, four sets of eyes swivel from the television and fix not on me but Roady.
“A dog!” five year old Jason yells.
Stan comes back from the kitchen with a beer in his hand. “No.”

(This picks up from the previous post -“Life Altering Collision)

A Day in the Life Roady Series - Tyler Back Home

Life Altering Collision- Roady Series episode 1

It’s like that, you wake up and start a day that will change your life forever.

Driving out of town leaving behind my favorite parking spots, knowing they’ll be no going back to them. My place in the community will be swallowed as if I didn’t even exist. But I am coming back that is for certain. I press on the gas and curse my step-father under my breath. He is the reason I’m Tennessee bound.

I hate putting all these miles on my old Toyota Corolla. I can’t afford to have the car die. I try to contain my resentment. They don’t know the car has been my home for the past few months. It’s not that I’ve kept secrets, I haven’t spoke to Mom or Stan since the Christmas before last. I figured Mom forgot with handling my four step-brothers, the youngest being six.

Didn’t matter much to me. Why would it? What’s a phone call? Have to admit though, it was the bleakest Christmas ever. There’s nothing about this trip that makes me happy either.

And then I see it, up ahead a dog running straight down the road as though he was on an epic trip. I pull over to the shoulder, jump out of my car and give a loud long whistle. There’s not a lot of traffic right now but that’s unusual. Any minute that dog could be history. He stops at my whistle.

                “Here boy,” I cup my hands and yell. There’s a line of cars and two semi approaching like an army in full battle mode. “Come on,” I plead.
                He cocks his head, wags his tail. I whistle again. The army is almost on us. If he doesn’t come to me, he’ll be crushed. If I run out to him, he could run and we’ll both be crushed. “Dog!” I yell. He’s frozen in place, ears perked up. I close my eyes, say a prayer to a God I never talk to and dash out, scoop the dog up and slam into the guard rail on the other side. Horns go streaming past like sick death calls. The dog is shaking in my arms. He’s a mutt, terrier and something. He licks my face and just like that, I’ve got a friend.

This post is flash fiction based on the back story of a supporting character in a novel in process by Clare Graith.

See “Cold Call from Stan” for context of this post.

This post is inspired by March 6, FOWC with Fandango — Contain – This, That, and The Other

A Day in the Life Roady Series - Tyler Back Home

Diner Date

“What can I get you sir?”
I almost fall off the chair. I am way too young for anyone to call me sir. I should be happy to be treated like I’m important, but I know she is just being polite.
It’s a strange thing this habit of acting as though there is respect but, it’s not really there.
I know it. She knows it. I may have a gift card to eat at the diner, but my weather worn back pack and tired looking jacket (that I don’t want to have off long enough to wash so far this winter), give me away; declare I’m not a ‘sir’. Even ‘mister’ sounds too significant a title.
I shouldn’t be called, ‘kid’ or ‘son’ though, so I guess, truth is I am a mister, Mr.Tyler Rowan. I laugh, just as she puts a cup coffee in front of me. She thinks I’m laughing at her.
“I was laughing to myself,” I say. “At myself. Cause you called me ‘sir’.”
“What should I call you then?” She pushes the sugar packets my way then gives me a look. I know that look. Okay so she seems nice enough but I’m seriously famished and I’m not really in the mood to be friendly. Then again a little charm might get me an extra biscuit. What am I a dog; stick my tongue out, wag my tail, give me a bone? Okay Tyler, back yourself off this cliff. Hunger makes me nutty.
“Tyler,” I say. “I’m Candy.” She gives me a big smile.
“I bet you are,” I say. Now that wasn’t very polite but she laughs, no offense taken.
“Okay Ty, how do you want your eggs?” She holds her pad up and bats her eyes. But she called me by Stan’s chopped name. She has no idea why I answer like I’m a stodgy old ‘sir’. She reminded me that Stan expects me to go home. This is my last meal before I hit the road. Even so, Candy turns out to be sweet. She gives me an extra biscuit.

See previous post : “Cold Call From Stan” for context.

Conversations with Tyler Roady Series - Tyler Back Home

Cold Call From Stan- Intro to Roady Series

This is a phone conversation between Tyler and his Step-father Stan.

Stan– You need to come home.
Tyler- How did you get my number?
Stan– Off of your mother’s phone, what do you think?
Tyler- Your house is not my home and I don’t want you calling me any more.
Stan– Your mother is in the hospital.
Tyler- (pause). What happened?
Stan– Car accident. She’s had surgery.
Tyler- Is she okay?
Stan– Well enough but she’ll be in the hospital for a few days and she’ll need to not do any work. Least that’s what the doctor is saying.
Tyler- How did it happen?
Stan– She’s been blubbering that I shouldn’t tell you but how am I going to ‘splain why you’ve got to come home.
Tyler- (pause). Was she high?
Stan– You guessed that one fast. How did you know?
Tyler- I’m not coming back.
Stan– Just a week.
Tyler-I’m not coming. Don’t you remember you told me to ‘get the hell out of my house and don’t come back’?
Stan– Yeah well we needed you to help support the family but you thought leaving was better, left Linda Wheeler, to do what? Work your ass off being someone’s lackey. You know Linda married Jake Stille? Could have been you. Everyone thinks you’re an idiot.
Tyler-Tell mom I hope she gets better soon.
Stan– Dammit Ty, your brothers need you. How am I going to take care of four kids? I’m working now, twelve hour shifts.
Tyler- Not my problem.
Stan– You get home and clean up this mess your mother made or I’ll be sure that she pays for it. You understand me?
Tyler hangs up.