We rode for awhile in silence. Neither one of us were big on talking plus I was keyed up. I had no idea where the Brethren borders were or if we were being pursued. I was moving with a vague idea of what direction I was supposed to go in. I was driving because I was driven by a gut level feeling that we needed to move. It was almost a physical pressure in my gut to go! go!
I looked over at him occasionally. He stared straight ahead, his arm across Woofs back. Every time I did I saw a mini Max with shades of Carol. I thought about how, if things had worked out differently, what Carol and I would have produced. I put that aside the third time it crossed my mind. It didn't do anything for me but lead me down a road paved with sadness.
I was thinking about gas and finding a place to scrape off all the Brethren crap that they had painted on the sides of the truck when he startled me by asking "Do you think my real dad will be happy to see me?"
"I don't know kid."
He thought about it for a bit and said "Yeah. I know."
I bit on it. "What do you know?"
He sighed and I saw his arm hug Woof a little tighter. Woof felt it and pulled his head in from where it was hanging out the window, looked at Zane, then me, and stuck it back out the window. Thank you Woof I thought. Keep that big head out there in the breeze.
"I know that fake dads and real dads don't always like their kids." He paused "My friends, almost all of them had fake dads. They would be nice at first and then they would stop. Sometimes they got bad."
I nodded my head and said "Yeah. I know." I did too. I think he heard it in my voice because he looked over at me for a second, then quickly looked away.
"The real dads go away. They try to be nice but after awhile they quit coming or they say they are coming but never do. My best friends dad was like that. It made him sad but he didn't show it to everybody. I knew. Sometimes the fake dad and the mom have a kid. Then they love that kid more. They say they don't but they do."
"Yeah...it sucks in a lot of ways." I was flashing back to my past. I knew exactly what he meant. I just never heard anyone articulate it like this. Especially the part about "Uncles" or step-fathers being fake dads. That was exactly what they were too.
"My mom will be happy to see me." There was no hesitation or doubt in that statement. He knew. I knew he had to believe that. The alternative was to bad for him to wrap his brain around. He was lucky. She would be happy to see him.
"Yeah" I told him. "She will. She's a good woman."
"She cries every night."
I thought about that. I wasn't sure I wanted to know but I asked anyway. "How do you know that?"
"The crows show me."