Jon sat there and listened to his mother rant and rave how he should learn from his mistakes. If his mother had her way, his and Dots marriage would’ve been annulled. He would get no backing from his dad, he’d just agree with his wife. He watched Jake the whole time, he seemed to enjoy his dad’s discomfort.
When Jon finally got a word in, he told his mom that it was one date, she might not want to see him again. That seemed to brighten his mother’s day, his pain seemed to do that lately.
“I’m glad Dad’s out dating again, he’s happy again.” Stephanie informed her grandparents. “He’s over the age of consent, he doesn’t have to ask you guys for your permission.” Stephanie stood up and gathered her stuff.
“Young lady you don’t talk to us that way, now apologies to your Grandmother.” John Sr. told his granddaughter, once again supporting his wife instead of supporting his son.
“No, she shouldn’t, it’s time for us to leave.” Jon said, as he took his wine glass to the kitchen. The boys followed their dad and sister out to the waiting car.
Matt rushed after them, instead of listing to his parents arguing.
“Sorry bro, I thought they knew, when Jakey told me you were dating his teacher and all the photos online, I just knew Mom and dad knew.” Matt told his brother as the family got in the car.
Jon looked quickly at his son, who ducked into the waiting car as fast as he could.
“It was bound to come out sometime, you know how mom can sniff this shit out.” Matt tried to cover for his nephew. “Don’t be too hard of him.”
Jon was so mad he didn’t know who to yell at first, so he let his stink eye do the talking. Not saying a word, he got into the car. It was going to be one hell of a long ride back to the city.
Jake hunched down in the seat, letting his body show his anger. He knew his grandmother would be mad and he used that to his advantage. His dad said not to tell Grandma about Colleen, he didn’t say anything about telling uncle Matty. Boy did Grandma go off on dad. He had learned a lot more about his mom and dad’s marriage. There was no love lost between Mom and grandma, he had seen it more as he grew older.
Jon was never so happy to see his townhouse in his life. He got out and waited on the boys to get out.
“Steph, thanks for watching the boys, I’ll have Davis take you home.” He leaned in the car and talked to his daughter.
“Don’t be too hard on him Dad, he’s gonna have a hard time tomorrow at school. His buddies, really gave it to him last night.” Stephanie told her dad.
“But I told you not to say anything to anyone.” Jon rolled his eyes at how he sounded.
“Dad, you didn’t say that, you said not to tell Grandma, he told Uncle Matty.” Stephanie laughed. “Give him some time, he’ll come around.”
“I hope so Steph, I really hope so.” Jon said as he closed to door and watched as his daughter headed to her apartment.
Going into the townhouse he noticed how quiet the house sounded. Even when Dot was here, there was music playing and kids laughing and talking. He went up to check on the boys, stopping first at Romeo’s room. Tapping on the door he walked in.
“Homework done Roe?” He watched Romeo put his tablet on the bed.
“Done and Stephanie checked it last night.” Romeo smiled up at his dad. His youngest looked so much like his mom, it was sometimes too hard to look at him.
“That’s great. Sorry you had to hear your grandmother go off like that.” Jon came into the room and sat on the edge of the bed to talk. “I didn’t know Colleen was Jake’s teacher when I asked her out. We had a good time and we hit it off really well.”
“Then you should date her dad, I talked to Stephie and she said we should let you get back to living.” He reached his hand out to touch his father’s arm. “You seemed happier since we got back from the Hamptons.”
“I was Rom, Colleen and I just hit it off, and we’re gonna see where it take us. I really like her, right now we’re starting off as friends.” Jon told his son, not knowing Jake was standing in the doorway,
“You really didn’t know Miss O’Sullivan was your Colleen?” Jake asked. Still standing in the doorway.
“I didn’t even know your teachers names. I looked at your schedule but not who the teachers were.” Jon told his son who came into the room.
“I heard you say you were still going to date her, even if I asked you not to?” Jake asked his dad.
Jon thought about what his son had asked him. He liked the way he felt when he was around Colleen, she made him smile and laugh. Dinner last night, well they talked and laughed, it was the first time, in a long time, that he felt human again.
“I would hope you wouldn’t ask me to do that.” He looked Jake right into his eyes. “I know you’re gonna have a hard time for a while, but your real friends, will stand by you.”
Jake listened to his dad, then thinking to what his sister and brother had said about their dad. Lifting his shoulders he left his little brothers room and headed down to the kitchen.
Jon sighed and looked at Romeo. Well, he had three of his four kids on his side.
The following weeks he had talked to Colleen, they had met for coffee, but so far they had been too busy to go out. Things had calmed down at school just a bit for Jake, true to his dads words, his friends stuck with him.
Colleen passed out the assignment for the night. The class was to write a poem, which earned some laughs from the boys in the class.
“Come on, I’ve taken it easy on you guys, poetry is all around you.” She walked around the class room as she spoke. “It’s in the stories you read, the songs you listen to. I’m sure if you racked your brain, you will start hearing poetry everywhere.”
They were lucky the bell rang and they rushed to get their phones and out the door. Colleen shook her head and headed to the teachers’ lounge. She had to supervise detention this afternoon or she would call Jon to see if he could meet her for coffee.
Jake was messing around with his homework assignment, poetry, he wasn’t a poet, and Hell English was his worst subject. Ms. O’Sullivan’s words kept going through his mind, movies, books and music. Hell, he had a whole music library here at home, the only problem it was in his dad’s office.
His father never threw away any of the songs he wrote. Even the ones that never made it to a record, they were in the file cabinet in his office. But how could he get in there without his dad knowing.
“Hey Jakey, want to go play Halo with me?” Romeo stood in his doorway.
“I got to write a poem for Miss O’Sullivans class.” He wadded up the paper he was writing on. Tossing it in the trashcan with the other balled up pieces of paper.
“You never had a problem in English. This is must be hard assignment then.” Romeo sat on the end of the bed and picked up a ball of paper and read it. “This is terrible, how are you going to fix it?”
“Ms. O’Sullivan said poetry is all around us, in movies, television and music. I thought I would looks at some of Dad’s old songs that weren’t recorded and see if I can get some ideas.” Jake told his little brother.
“So you’re gonna steal one of daddy’s old songs and turn it in? He isn’t gonna let you look at his old stuff, he keeps it in his office and we aren’t allowed in there.” Romeo looked at another balled up paper. “Man this is worse than the last one.”
“If he doesn’t know I looked at any of them, he’ll never know.” Jake said with a twinkle in his eye.
“How are you gonna do that?” Romeo laughed. “He hasn’t been out of the house on a date since they last one, and you can’t do it when he’s home.” Romeo laughed.
“So, I’ll tell him it’s okay for him to date Ms. O’Sullivan. He goes out and I get to look in the files for an old song.” Jake told Romeo rubbing his hands together.
“I just hope you don’t get caught.” Romeo said getting up off the bed and heading for the door.
“Oh I won’t.” Jake said closing his notebook.
Jon watched Romeo leave Jakes room. Something was defiantly up.
At breakfast the next morning Jake got his chance to talk to his dad.
“Hey dad, I thought about it and its okay if you want to date Ms. O’Sullivan.” Jake said between bites of cereal.
“It is?” Jon was kinda shocked with this little update from his second son. “I thought the guys were getting on you about me dating your teacher?”
“It’s not the hot news anymore, so it’s okay. Stephanie said it at Grand mom’s that you should date now.” Jake told him, not looking him in the face.
“Okay,” Jon told him. Looking at Romeo he asked him if it was okay.
“Sure daddy, my teacher is about eighty years old.” Romeo laughed. “You can ask her out any time you want.”
It was a couple of days before the date was set up. Jesse was in town with a few of his buddies, so Stephanie wouldn’t have to watch them.
Jake let himself into his dad’s office and went right through his file cabinet. He went through the lyric sheets, found one that he didn’t recognize and took a picture of it with his phone. Just to be on the safe side he took another photo of another lyric sheet. Now to write it, maybe change the title a little and it’s an easy A. He could turn it in on Monday, and no one will know but Romeo.