Off Guard

Jay stared at the mess in front of him. He tried to recreate in his mind what had led up to this. He had always got through life without too much difficulty. Indeed, he usually sought away around anything that might threaten to impose difficulties. And this morning everything had seemed so good.

He had got up at eight, slightly later than usual, but it being Sunday, he still had time for a small walk before having to get back and prepare breakfast for his wife and kids. They were going to visit his in-laws for Easter, so they wanted to be away early. Then came the chance remark, the frustration, the useless ping-ponging of words. He wanted his daughter to put the brakes on yet failed to do so himself. His wife only tried to calm the situation but he blew... on her. Within seconds the car pulled to a halt. Jay got out, and started on his way back to town. A few minutes and his wife would be driving back in search of him. She'd never go to her parents without him. Well, this time she would and she did; leaving Jay one hour's worth of regrets as he trekked his way home.

The moment he got in, he checked the phone for any messages. There were none. He was in for a day on his own after all. He checked the fridge. Not quite empty, but nothing very nourishing. After all they weren't planning on eating in until after the long weekend. He'd have to make do with cheese and paté to accompany the still warm French bread he'd bought from the baker on his way back. The Chardonnay would not only help to wash it down. It would also play its part in putting the regrets beyond reach. Well, at least he would be able to watch the game in peace, this afternoon. That would have been impossible at his in-laws. He toasted his new-found luck and tucked into the feast, devouring with crumb with relish, his eyes firmly fixed on the seductive bodies of the cheerleaders as they displayed their talents in the warm up to the game. By kick-off time, had the cameraman pointed his lense through the window of Jay's flat, all he would have seen was a fairly drunken being spread out on his sofa, oblivious to the cheering crowds and the wisecracks of the game commentators.

True, Jay did wake up just in time to see his team score a fantastic goal to, as he thought put them in front after a period of sustained pressure. The dissillusion was bitter as he realised they were, in fact, three goals down with just minutes to go. He got up to go and relieve himself. It was exiting the bathroom that the sight sent him reeling. The one thing he'd sworn never to do, the one thing he'd always been afraid of, the one thing he'd spent years fighting against. Yet there was no mistaking the scene before him. It took him back twenty years, back to the winter afternoons shortly after his mother passed away. And now the past was again rearing its ugly head. Jay was becoming like his father.


yes, that is a huge fear...becoming the person we disliked most.

12 April 2009 at 20:15  

Certainly is a scary situation.

13 April 2009 at 02:35  

Oh - how many times have we said we will never become our mother/father! So true - and such a real fear for many people, too!

14 April 2009 at 15:14  

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