Opening her eyes, the memories of the past poured into her present reality. Her son Jonathan was slightly comatose behind her, and before her was the bitter father she savagely cut from Jonathan’s life.
“I guess you’re waiting for me to beg for your forgiveness, but I’m not. And I won’t, just so we’re clear,” Lynn said, her voice painfully low.
Her sadness swept over Francisco’s body, but empathy he lacked.
“I’m not seeking your forgiveness, so don’t expect that from me. You are actually about to face the same demons I had to live with for getting you pregnant after I broke my vows to Norma. But the truth is simple. It’s always been you, Lynn. You came into my life moments before I was about to give up on people and humanity.
“I was turning into a clone of my wife’s beliefs. She was my entire life. I met her on my way home from selling weed one rainy night years ago. My father had just thrown me out because he learned I was banging the ladies in my room for a fee while he worked twelve hours a day for a landscaping company.
“One of my homeboys from school met up with me, begging for a bag of weed on credit. I didn’t give my product on credit, but since he was the wide receiver on a football team we once played for, the brotha that scored a touchdown that won us the state championship, I made him a deal.
“There’s a side of me I never told a soul. Roger, my boi, had to do something for my weed. He had to give me something.”
Walking past Lynn, he paused at his son’s bedside, withdrawn. He felt like he failed as a man.
Why didn’t he fight Norma for the right to help raise his son?
Taking his hand, kissing it, he said, “Son, my father, your grandfather walked in on me making love to my boi Roger. He stood in the doorway of my room and watched me dance deep inside Roger under the moonlight beaming through my window.
“Roger was my fantasy. I joined the football team in high school after watching him make the team. That was the first time I laid eyes on him and knew I was bisexual. It was my excuse to always be around him. We were very close, but my lust for him stopped me from becoming his best friend. I wanted a secret lover, son. I was young and wild. It took four years after we graduated for my fantasy to come true. Through a bag of weed.
“After we climaxed together, my father shot Roger in the back and his lower leg, startling us both and before I could react dad turned the gun on me. I’d never seem him so infuriated and devastated in my life. Roger was screaming for his life, and it was all my fault.
“George, your grand pa, shoved the gun up Roger’s rectum and forced the barrel in my mouth, pulling the safety. Roger’s smell snaked up my nostrils.
“So you like men, son? That’s how I raised you? All this feminine poom poom you used to bang in my house, making me proud, you’ve replaced with your football buddy’s softness?
“I didn’t move. The evil of my father’s eyes were seeking vengeance for my shame. Roger was bleeding to death and he kept the gun in my mouth until Roger drew his last breath.
“When Roger died I completely snapped!”
Lynn was in total shock. So he also lost his lover, the way she lost Gene, to an act of violence. She was blown away.
She found herself taking his other hand. Squeezing.
Francisco was stroking his son’s face, tears falling from his eyes.
He was tore up inside, but on the outside he kept his bearings because even though Jonathan was his son, he was a stranger, Jonathan was a stranger that thought another man was his father.
“I rushed my father, knocking the gun from his grasp. We stumbled into the bathroom tub. He fought with haste, but the traumatic shock of watching Roger die was my armor of strength and protection.
“I was punching him in the face, repeatedly. Spitting on him, ramming his head into the tub. You killed the only man I ever loved! I didn’t even get to tell him! I hate you, you bastard!”
His father lay, immobile. Blood all over the walls.
Seething with revenge, Francisco stood over his dad, his hero, the man that had him on the pedestal and set standards he couldn’t live up to and aimed the gun at him.
He shot him in the heart without remorse. He didn’t feel a thing.
“You didn’t have much of one anyway.”
On his knees, Francisco held Roger close, rocking back and forth, sobbing.
“I’m sorry, Roger! I’m so, so sorry! I’m sorry for what I’m about to do.”
Carefully laying him on the floor, Francisco cleaned off the weapon, stuffing it in his jeans.
It took his less than five minutes to pour gas all over the ruins of his bedroom, lighting a match and dropping it on Roger’s body.
Once he was in the bathroom, smoke and flames behind him, he poured the remainder of gasoline on his father.
And dropped the match after he kissed his father’s lips...
Climbing out of the bathroom window dressed in all black and a hoody, Francisco met Norma fifteen minutes later.
When she bought three bags of weed from him...
Francisco closed his eyes, remembering Roger.
“Son, I hope you forgive me for what I’ve done. I should have never let my wife and your mother take you from me. I wasn’t even given the chance. And now your life hang in the balance.”
“Again, I’m sorry for what I did to you. Earning your trust and hurting you in the end. I took advantage of your charity out of a need to survive, and with Norma you did the same. I don’t think we will ever love anyone outside of the love that was taken from us.”
“Truth be told, Lynn, I died when my son couldn’t be a part of my life.”
“What will Norma say when she finds out you’re here?”
“I’m not worried about Norma. She burned alive in her BMW on my son’s eighteen birthday and I inherited everything with her name on it. This black man no longer drives Miss Daisy.”He looked over Lynn with saddened eyes. “I plan on being in my son’s life, and this time you can’t stop me.”