“Good morning Joseph, had a nice rest?” Pride was sitting with his legs cross at the end of my bed in a grandiose throne, upside down on the ceiling.
“Good morning Pride, what’s with the pose?”
“Ah just thinking various things, I thought a change of posture would help, and I believe it has.” The chair dissipated into nothingness as Pride uprighted himself. “I think it’s about time you have a talk with your relatives.”
“What!? Why the hell would I ever talk to those bastards?”
“Watch your tongue boy, they may be unpleasant but they’re still your relatives and your father can’t exactly make up with them himself.” I winced, my father probably would have wanted me to do this as well.
“But why should I, I’ve been doing just fine on my own haven’t I?”
“No, you’ve been doing fine with US, and we won’t be able to support you forever you know.” Again he hits the nail on the head, sometimes I hate how right he can be. I sit upright.
“Well how do I know they would even want to talk with me.”
“You don’t. Neither do I. The only way to know is to stand up and risk it.”
The phone lay just inches away from me, but felt as though it was miles. I need to settle the matters for my father, his coma was my fault, it’s my turn to make up for it. Overcoming the distance, I managed to pick up the phone, remembering the calls I’ve made and the abrupt hangups my throat began to swell. Scrolling through my contacts I eventually found him, Cedric Waise (Author note: pronounced like “said-drick ways”). He was the one relative who seemed remotely concerned for my dad. The clock read it was 7:15 am, hopefully work hasn’t already got too busy for him. I began calling him. One ring. Two rings. Three rin-”Hello?”
“Uncle Cedric? Hello this is Joseph, Alec’s son.”
“Ah, you called a while ago about money for his medical bills. I’m sorry but like I said before, we agreed to not interfere with his lifestyle.”
“Wait hold on, please. What happened for you guys to separate like this?”
“You mean he hasn’t told you? That figures, coming from him. Anyways it’s a long story, it’s best to hear from… oh, right. Actually, how old are you?”
“20, 21 in a few months.”
Under his breath I heard him mutter to himself “For fucks sake Alec, you kept it from him for that long?” Then he corrected himself back into a formal tone.“Well I suppose you’re old enough to know this. Back when your father was about 25 years old, our father passed away, and your father was listed as the successor to the company.”
“Wait company? What company?”
It almost sounded like he gasped on the other end of the line. “Listen, Joseph was it? Your granddad was the owner of a technological firm in New York, and he was the next in line for the company head. Your father declined the offer, but the will didn’t have any backup clauses so it was either him or someone picked by the court. He reluctantly took the position but he was almost drunk with power, he practically destroyed the company from the inside with how poorly he managed deals with other firms and the internal finances. Unfortunately he resigned rather late and his damage was done, with the results being left to us as directors of the company. We tried to have him be accountable for his actions but instead he ran away, and cut us all off. He initially responded with a request for us to not interfere with his life, but then he just rejected all of our calls and letters and changed his address. Only from your recent calls did we even figure he was still alive.” Well. that was, something. My dad hardly ever talked about his past at home, I thought we were always farmers. Why did he never tell me?
“Well I’m sure that’s a lot to take in. Maybe he had another perspective. But he would never let us get the chance to ask. Most of us believed he destroyed the company on purpose for forcing him into the position. I’m the only one who believed there was something else driving him. Did he find something we were unaware of? Did the work drive him insane? I doubt it but maybe he wasn’t even capable of the position in the first place. So now that you’ve heard all that, do you have anything else to ask?”
“Could… could I call you again another time?”
The other line was silent for a moment. “Sure kid, let me know if anything happens to your pops.”
“Thanks, you’ll be the first to know.”
“Alright, goodbye Joseph.”
“Goodbye Uncle Cedric.”
I sat there with the words of my uncle swirling around for a couple of minutes until Pride called me back to reality. “Are you okay lad? Your face seems a little flushed. What did your Uncle say?” I didn’t know whether or not I should tell him this secret that was kept from me so long, but he was one of the few people I could turn to right now and I wouldn’t want to bother my coworkers.
“My father was the owner of a big company”
“That’s wonderful news! We can get you to climb his corporate ladder with his connections and soon you’ll be -”
“and he destroyed the company then quit.”
“Oh.” Neither of us could seem to fully grasp the issue. Pride broke the silence. “Why would he do that?”
“I don’t know, neither do any of the relatives it seems. Maybe my old man just wasn’t cut out for it.” It hurt to utter those words, like I were betraying a dead man.
“Well was there anything else? Did you fix the relationship? Broken bonds are rather unbecoming of a person and displays social ineptitude.”
“Oh come on, you expect me to try and rebuild after figuring out my father hid all of that from me for 20 years?”
“You’re a monster.”
“Oh please, get a hold of yourself, you’re drowning in your own self-pity, it’s hideous.”
“Well why can’t I do that?” I was shouting now. Why me? Why my Father? Why my life?
“Boy, you asked us to help you, this may be a rather high hurdle now but if you give up now who’s to say that you’ll ever get back up? I am your pride, and I will not falter, and neither will you.”
I picked up the phone, took a deep breath, and called the familiar number. “Well that was fast? So what do you need?”
“Uncle Cedric, I want you and my father to make up.”
“Listen sonny, I’ve tried that for years, and nothing came of it. I’m willing to give it another try, but your father’s not really up to the task.” It still ached to know that it was my father that caused all this, what the hell happened?
“Do it with me in his place.”
“That’s a rough spot you’re putting me in kid, are you sure your father would be fine with you becoming friends with me without his consent?”
“At this point I need to know about him as well, so consider me doing this of my own volition.”
“Well I guess that makes two of us, welcome to the ‘why the hell did Alec do this?’ club. Anyways I have some work to get back to, shall we continue this tomorrow afternoon?”
“Oh, yes. Thank you, I’ll let you know if anything comes up. Oh, wait. Does this mean you can help out with the medical bills?”
“I’ll see what I can do, send me his medical records at (insert email here) and we’ll work from there. On another note, I’m guessing I’m the first sibling you contacted?”
“Yes, you seemed the most reluctant about refusing to help with the bills previously.”
“Well I’ll try and discuss this with the other siblings, maybe you can provide some insight for them.”
“Alright then, goodbye Joseph.”
“Goodbye Uncle Cedric.”
As I hung up the phone I saw a rather smug-looking pride leaning against the doorframe. “Seems like you managed to get over this first hurdle, I recommend you send those records first and then do a little background check on your old man.” I gave a slight nod and began my call to the hospital. It took a few minutes for verification but the receptionist said she’d have the records available tomorrow afternoon. It was only 11:00 am but it already felt like I should be asleep, maybe I could ask for some help from sloth. Ah but I should get on my morning routine, Lust said it’s easy to fall out of habits in the beginning of a regime, and I’d prefer to keep my figure slimmed down.
As I went and opened the door I was greeted by a nice summer day. I did my three mile jog around the city, then headed to the gym for my muscle training and aerobics. On the way back I noticed a small pile of white feathers near a streetlight. Back home I had some lunch with Greed and Gluttony along with a brief talk regarding my finances. After finishing lunch I relax with my coworkers online, a little team-style game where we all party up before looking for a match, it’s a fun pastime we sometimes take part in. As the sun begins to set, I log off and have dinner with Gluttony and Lust, talking over how it’s been going with Tiffany. Lust was a little annoyed at the slow progress, but satisfied with how much I’ve made so far. After dinner I do some light aerobics in the apartment, take a shower, brush my teeth, comb my hair, and then finally head off to bed. After work tomorrow I’ll call Uncle Cedric and discuss what happened with my father.