Feel free to catch up here
“Wait a minute.” I call out to Jakob. “When did you go to Dunkin?”
Jakob froze in his tracks. He glanced up at the top of the steps. He was almost there. So closed to sweet freedom. So close! His head dropped in defeat. “Uhhhh…just now.” He offered up reluctantly.
“But, you didn’t ask me to go, did you?” I asked. Yes. I was leading the witness, your honor.
“No.” He sighed.
“Who did you go with?” Now that I knew what was going on, I really turned the heat up. Jakob said something to the floor, but I couldn’t quite make it out. “What?” I asked again, leaning toward him (Between you and me, I heard what he said the first time. But it’s much more dramatic this way, dontcha think?!?!?)
“No one.” He replied a little louder to the floor.
“By yourself?” I announced like a backwater lawyer, trying to make his case to an enthralled jury.
“Yes.” His eyes still riveted to the really fascinating textures of our basement carpeting.
I made my way over to where Jakob was standing by the basement steps. “So…let me get this straight. You went to Dunkin without telling me?”
“Yes.” Let me tell you something, if he looked any harder at that floor, he’d probably see clear thru the ground to China.
I knelt down to his level. “You are NOT supposed to leave the block without telling me!”
He glanced up at me briefly. If I had a heart in me, I probably would’ve been put off by the sadness in his eyes. Unfortunately for Jakob, I’ve been seeing 3 different prior versions of that look for 14 years now. You become immune. “Sorry, dad.”
“You are too little to walk to Dunkin by yourself. Understand me?” I continued to dress him down.
“I didn’t walk!” He said in his defense. “I rode my bike!”
God! What a dope! Here Jakob, why don’t you throw a little gasoline on the fires of your troubles?!?!? “You rode your bike?”
If I didn’t know any better, I swear I could hear Jakob kicking himself. “Yes.” He replied, defeated.
“God damn it, Jakob! What is wrong with you? You rode your bike thru the apartments to Dunkin?”
“You can not leave the block without telling me. You can not go to Dunkin by yourself. And you certainly can not go to Dunkin by yourself on your bike. You know that.” I don’t want to say I was yelling with enough ferocity that I was spitting on his stunned little face, but I was pissed. “Go to your room. You’re in for the rest of the night.”
He moped his way up the steps toward the kitchen. He was almost at the top when I called out. “Where’s the other donut?”
“What?” He asked, frozen.
“You said you got two donuts. Where’s the other one?”
“I ate it.” He replied not turning around.
That little fucker! He couldn’t even smooth it over by giving me one of the donuts? Not only did he dance on the line of my patience, but he crossed and thumbed his nose at me eating both donuts at the same time. I just shook my head. “Go to your room.”
I went to Jakob’s room about 20 minutes later. He was lying on the top bunk of his bed, playing whatever imaginary game with two pieces of string. That’s the one thing about that kid I give a lot of credit too. He can make a game out of a piece of dirt and some air.
I lectured him (Again) on what he did wrong. I told him I was disappointed in him for disobeying a direct order. However, I was proud of him for telling the truth. “You’ve got 15 more minutes in here, then you can go back outside.”
He looked at me, stunned. “But…you said I was in for the night.”
“I did. But, since you told me the truth, I’m letting you out early. However, do not leave this block or go to Dunkin again without asking me. Understood?”
He perked up. “Yep!”
Fifteen minutes later, Jakob called out. “Dad, can I come out now? Dad?”
I looked at the time on my phone. 15 minutes had passed. “Yes.” I called out to him from downstairs.
He zipped out of his room, down the steps and passed me in a blur. “Oh…wait.” He said, turning back toward me. “Here.” He handed me a piece of paper. “Sorry, Fadder.” He looked at me, mournfully.
I took the paper from him. “Just remember what I said.” I reminded him.
“I will.” And he was out the door.
“Stupid kids.” I muttered to myself as I looked at the paper. He drew a picture of himself, eating his donuts, while riding his bike from Dunkin. The words “I’m sorry” we’re chicken scratched along the top. I laughed at the picture for a moment, when it dawned on me. Was he really apologizing to me? Or was that little turd just mocking me cause he got away with it?!?!?