Chapter I

A rumor about eschatology was spreading around. Majority of the people believed it was just a year like any other. To some few others including Jonas, a Philosophy student at the Kibich College, it was the year of the apocalypse.

By the time, he was just a middle-aged youth, so to speak but, old enough to make most of his life decisions. Never was he the very positively charged youth in his school though. You need not ask why because; even you well know what it’s like to be the smart ones in school.

Less than few that hardly make friends and spend most of their time in the company of them self. Other boys bullied him and never felt comfortable having girls within his personal space. As of these reasons among others, he did not do his best in class.

This is what got him into trouble with his folks and tutors as well. Being above average, they could never understand why their son and student could not perform well enough. It was not as if they were not trying or willing to know about it; no matter how much they tried, the outcome was still the same. He shared his deepest of worries and thoughts to none.

Being at his youthful prime and the introvert that he was, he could hardly open up to talk about it, not even to his parentages. One day, his father had it to his neck; he could not stomach it anymore. Therefore, he decided to sit down with his son to have a man-to-man talk. Having attended school and military as well, David properly understood what bullies and school-life meant.

It was about time he helped his son handle his fears and deal with them squarely. To drive the message home, he had a story of himself to tell the young disturbed youth. He could not surely understand why it was so hard for Jonas to find a way around the ‘college thing’ with the boys. David walked up to his son’s room and knocked.

He was not sure of an invitation but on the contrary, Jonas did answer the door to let his father into the room.

As David stood by the door, “son, sorry to get you from what you are doing, but could you spare some time?” he asked his son with uncertainty of a reply or the possibility of having a conversation.

Jonas looked at him sarcastically, “time for what dad? What for could you possibly want me to spare time? We have not been the best of buddies lately let alone spending time together.” Jonas said as he shifted his head back to his desk.

David got into the room coming closer to his son, “son, I have a story that I would like to share with you. I just figured out that we have not been spending much time together, as you have just said. I think it’s time we changed that; spend some quality time together,” he spoke to his son. 

His father got him to listen and suspended what he was doing, “it is okay Dad; as long as it’s not going to be one of your lectures about me dealing with the college situation.”

David emptied one of the book-filled chairs and sat on it next to his son facing him, “sure son, why would I want to talk about that? There are better things that a son and a father can talk about other than school. Your father’s confession for instance, but in case you might need someone to talk to about the college issue, I am always here for you…son.”

After the short dialogue, David knew talking to Jonas about school and his low grades would not cut it. Lessons about the harshness of the outside world could not play the trick either.

He was a sharp-minded college student, not a naïve high school boy. David had to come up with another story that would reach into his son and unlock the sharing posterns he had shut for almost eternity.

He focused his attention to his father, “Okay dad. Let us give it a shot. I have to say though, it’s kind of weird,” Jonas suggested keenly waiting to hear what his father had to say to make up for his absence for the best part of his life.

In response, “I know son…and for that, you have to forgive me. I have not been myself lately either. I have had problems too…you know,” David said with a regretful and apologetic expression.

Expressly, “It’s not that I could not tell, but I could not ask because…you too keep so much from us, like father like son I guess.”

In vindication, “I know son…I know. As I said, I have had problems too and I am sorry for shutting you out. I know I have not been the best to you and your mother as well lately, but I do apologize.”

“Yeah…you should dad and more so to mom. I might be in college and still living with you but…I am not a kid anymore dad. I can tell things are different from the way mom carries herself around these days, especially with you around.”

With a self-reproach expression, “Did I ever tell you why I left the military?” David articulated.

Jonas looked more attentive upon hearing those words, “No dad. You talked to no one about it, not even to mom, but…it does not hurt to know why my dad had to screw up and quit his job. If you are still at work, we could not be living cheap neither could I be schooling at that low-level college.”

With a show of hand, “Slow down son. Just keep calm. It is not that I screwed up or anything. I could never leave my job just to put you people through what you are going through. It was the hardest thing for me as well son,” David revealed pointing at his chest.

Complemented by a show of hands, “…Then, why did you not tell us what happened. You just kept it to yourself and had us think you just decided to quit dad. Why?”

David shook his head sideways in response, “it is never easy Jonas. It’s never easy.”

In bewilderment, “What is never easy dad? Being a soldier or leaving your job when you are most required to have one?”

In elucidation, “Not being a soldier son…veto. It is telling the people you love and care about you will not be able to take them for holidays or, move them to a better college and neighborhood. You and your mother are the best things that ever happened to me, and believe you me; I love you both so much.”

“What really happened, dad? I want to know. Tell me.” Jonas insisted.

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