Half Court Press by A J Stewart

Half Court Press by A J Stewart

Author:A J Stewart [Stewart, A J]
Language: eng
Format: epub
ISBN: 9781945741197
Publisher: Jacaranda Drive
Published: 2019-09-04T04:00:00+00:00

Chapter Twenty-One

As I drove the bland freeway, my thoughts drifted from Penny Morgan, and for reasons I couldn’t explain, I started thinking about families. They were complex organisms in their own right, and I had long ago come to the conclusion that they were each completely normal and at the same time weird and messed up in their own way.

Mine had been a case in point. My childhood was the typical suburban one, not having everything but never wanting for anything. It was a time when one income fed a family well, and I remembered long summer days in New Haven, my mother singing in the house along to one of her records, my father walking home from work, me playing something somewhere with the neighborhood kids. It was as normal as could be. And then my mother got cancer and died, and my father got lost in drink, and I spent less and less time at home, and by the time I graduated I wanted to be anywhere other than with what remained of my weird and messed-up family.

Tania Bryson’s family was no picnic. I had no idea how normal her childhood had been, but her parents had divorced when she was young, which tended to throw a wrench in things. Some families handled that as well as could be expected and others did not handle it at all. Tania’s parents obviously weren’t fans of each other, or at least Camille didn’t think much of Draymond. I had no idea what had caused that animosity. Perhaps the act of divorce was enough.

The net result was that Draymond had not been around as much as his daughter would have liked. I’d seen it before. Estranged fathers were often vilified for not being around when the courts said they couldn’t be, and just as often romanticized for being the parent that got to play on the weekends but never had to wrangle a child into doing chores or homework or anything else unpleasant. I didn’t know where Draymond fell on that scale, but it was clear that father and daughter had a bond that at least one of them was finding tough to break.

The family that I had been born into was long gone, but my Florida family remained strong. I pulled into the lot behind Longboard Kelly’s and saw Ron’s car. I parked beside him and wandered in. He was sitting in his spot under the palapa that covered the outdoor bar, chatting with Muriel as she cleaned the taps. She was in her normal Longboard’s tank top, and I got the same sense of permanence that other people get when they return to their childhood home for Thanksgiving.

Muriel shot me a smile. The umbrellas on the tables were open, but only a handful of people were around, and my stool sat vacant, as if awaiting my arrival.

Muriel had placed a cold one on the bar before I sat down.

“The prodigal son returns.”

I lifted my glass in salute and in thanks.


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