Tuesday, January 20, 2015
SLICE OF LIFE
I think he is probably calling to remind me to deposit his grocery money, like he does pretty much every Thursday.
"Hey buddy. What's going on?"
"I want to come home."
I think he is ready to take advantage of my offer to fly him home for the long weekend, so that he can spend his 21st birthday with his brother and I. I wonder if I can still get a plane ticket this close to the weekend.
"OK, sweetie. Let me see what I can do. You would have to go back Monday morning, right?"
"That's not what I mean," he says, this time with a little more urgency. "I want to come home."
"You want to come home?" I repeat, a little confused.
"I want to come home. For good. I'm done. I hate it here. Football isn't working out. I just want to come home."
I am stunned. "Are you sure?"
"Yes. I just want to come home. I'm done."
"Have you talked to the coaches?
"I just want to come home."
We talk for a few more minutes. I try to figure out whether his grades were bad and he was kicked out of school. Whether something happened with the football coaches. Or at the apartment building.
He will tell me nothing, but he is adamant. He wants to come home. And not just for the weekend. Not just to to talk and try to sort out what is going on. He wants to come home for good.
I buy a one way ticket and pick him up on Saturday afternoon with three suitcases. Sometime, in the next few weeks, maybe as soon as this weekend, we will go back and get his car.
He says that after we get his car, he will look for jobs.
He says he wants to finish his associate's degree.
He says maybe he will play football somewhere else.
I say nothing.
Because sometimes there are just no words.