Greg Stringer

The Evolution of John

 
John Williams awoke in his quaint apartment to a beeping noise, his head once again feeling strangely normal. He got up, had a long, hot shower, brushed his newly visible teeth, and made his way to the kitchen, stopping as usual to glance at the nostalgic photo on the chestnut cabinet.

The photo depicted a large, dark skinned man with golden grills and a baseball cap tilted to one side, a bottle of whiskey in one hand and a fake smoking gun in the other. This was the cover art for the sixth and final album by an amateur rapper named Lil John. The sale of these six albums combined was in the single digits. Six to be exact, all of them purchased by the previous residents of the apartment. Just one month ago, Lil John made a discovery. He was thirty-six years old. "Wait, this is silly," he stated one cold winter morning, while he and his group of friends that he liked to call his gang were asking strangers to buy their albums which he liked to call hustling. Proceeding this realization, in the course of one month Lil John removed 3/7ths of his name, disassociated with his gang which he now liked to call his group of friends, and rented his parents' vacant apartment until he found his own place or they returned from the Caribbean, whichever came first. He lived there with his girlfriend of eight months (that he formerly liked to call his bitch), Lisa, who couldn't have been happier with this new-found maturity.

John entered the kitchen and gave Lisa a kiss on the cheek.

"Good morning," Lisa said pleasantly from behind the white counter top, "how are you feeling?"

"Alright I guess," replied John, "my head feels weird again"

"You just don't have a hangover, you'll get used to it," Lisa said.

"I hope so," said John as he sat down to a plate of bacon, eggs and orange juice.

"Don't forget, you have that meeting with the foreign investor today," Lisa said.

"Four o'clock, I know," said John, pulling out his Samsung phone that was so old it had an antennae, "turns out my phone can do lots of cool shit, I used the "alarm" function this morning."

"What are you investing in anyway?" Lisa asked

"I don't know. I don't even know what investing really is, it just sounds like something someone mature and responsible would do," John replied without even a hint of sarcasm.

"You're really serious about changing aren't--" Lisa began, but she was interrupted by a beeping noise coming from John's pocket.

"Shit, I gotta go baby" said John as he finished his meal and orange juice in one gargantuan gulp.

John stood up, kissed Lisa on the cheek, and was at the door in seconds.

"Wait, where are you going at this time on a Sunday?" Lisa asked

"Taxidermist." John replied

“What?!” Lisa screamed, confused, just before the door closed.


John got in his car that was so old it still had an antennae, and by instinct hit the play button on the in-car cassette player. His ears were filled with the sweet sound of meaningless profanity to the sound a simple beat also known as rap music. Midway through backing the car out of the parking space, John suddenly stopped, simultaneously braking and turning off the music.

“Come on, John...you're an adult now” he muttered to himself “now what do adults listen to?”

At that point, for the first time in his life, John set the dial on the radio to 91.5, and listened to the monotonous traffic reports at a reasonable volume, with absolutely no profanity or background music.

“Ontario has passed a law prohibiting all cell phone use while driving” John heard the news reporter say before calmly backing out of the lot and proceeding to his meeting.

John arrived, for the first time in as long as he could remember, on time. He parked his car, and got out wearing his best and only suit, ready for a mature, adult meeting. He was in an upscale downtown neighborhood, in the middle of a square parking lot with buildings surrounding him on all four sides. He confidently strolled towards the door, a completely different kind of swagger than what he had employed in the past. He walked through the freshly painted red door, and only moments later, once again walked out of the same freshly painted red door, with significantly less confidence in his walk. He slowly strode toward his car, muttering under his breath “that shit had nothing to do with taxes...”

He got back in his car, suddenly feeling overwhelmed by the complex nature of the adult world. Once again, as he turned on his car, the meaningless profanity that once consumed his life blasted into his ears.

“if you're a scared motherfucka, go to church!” the lyrics said

“God damnit!” John screamed as he slammed his hand on the stop button. “church...” John then pondered. He was feeling scared that he would never be able to live as a functioning adult. Perhaps Mr. Ice Cube was right, and after all, he was still wearing his best and only suit. So John turned on the ignition, and started driving towards the tall church steeple that he had always seen, but never been inside.
Once back on the road, his phone rang from inside his pocket. He checked the caller ID, and saw the name LISA written in capital letters across the screen. John pulled up the antennae from his phone, and pressed it to his ear.

“Hey Lisa, what's goin on?” said John, pressing the phone against his shoulder so that both of his hands were free to drive.

“I got this message on the phone…you need to hear it.” Lisa said frantically “Are you done at the ….er.. taxidermist?”

“yeah, that wasn’t what I thought it was, I’m going to church now.” replied John calmly

“Church? You’ve never been to church. Whatever, just come home quick, it’s really impor--” Lisa began before being interrupted

“ Look Lis, I gotta go, I'm breaking the law right now and I don't want to get sucked back into that world again.”

“What?!” Lisa screamed, confused, just before the phone closed.

Several hours later, John casually strolled into the apartment, still dressed in his best and only suit, but now porting a black Yamakuh as headwear. He didn't even have time to remove his shoes before Lisa was yelling.

“Thank god you're ho--” Lisa began frantically before interrupting herself as her face turned to a grin “what are you wearing?”

“It's a hat, not bad, right?” John replied casually

“What? You can't just wear that around! It's very sacred! And you can't just be Jewish! Whatever, umm...” She started reading off a napkin, “Lay-die Bizzle-fil-alid-liga called,” She read with difficulty, pronouncing each syllable slowly.

“Ohh, laydie fizzlefilalida,” repeated John with perfect pronunciation, “Nah, I don't associate with her anymore.”

“Just listen.” said Lisa, as she pressed the pound key on the phone, replaying the message over the speaker.

“Hey Lil John--”

“You couldn't have come up with a more creative name?” Lisa asked sarcastically.

“I jus wanted you to know that I was talkin to a fancy law person bout suin the company that made crack, and although that aint happenin, he told me I can make you pay money for food and shit fo Billy. Oh, that’s your son by the way. I’ll be expectin the cash end of the month. Later.”
 
There was a long pause as Lisa and John processed the information they had just received. Realizing where they stood in this situation, and how it would impact their personal lives. Weighing pros and cons of each possible situation in an awkward yet necessary silence.

“We're gonna need a damn good lawyer” Lisa finally said.

“Maybe I could find one at church...” John replied, still porting the Yamakah.


**


“Alright Mr. Weinstein...yeah, see you on the greens, Hashem Imachem you to... bye” John hung up the phone, with a triumphant look on his face.

“He'll do it free, all we need to pay is the court fees.” John said.

Lisa was half happy that they found an affordable lawyer, and half angry that John was right. “That was pure coincidence,” she finally said as John silently mocked her with his grin.

Steven Weinstein loved being a lawyer. He had been a licensed attorney for the past twenty-one years, and never once considered the possibility of another career. He had served on various prestigious boards, and was once offered a position as a judge, which he turned down due to his love of lawyering. He was an eccentric man. A brilliant lawyer who took his job just a bit too seriously, and seemed to have just a bit too much fun. The outside observer would find him strange and mystifying, but without a doubt however, he fit Lisa's need for a “damn good lawyer.”
Due to Steven's inhuman work ethic, he had great sums of money. He had the financial freedom to choose which cases he would take based on interest and people who deserved it the most. Steven deduced that John had a case, and they had set up a dinner meeting at John's apartment the very next day.

As expected, Steven arrived early, and wasted no time in formalities.

“Oh, hey Steven, you're here early,” said John. “please, come inside.”

“Ok, here's the way I see it,” Steven began, “You owe child-support. Based on the DNA sample it is undoubted that young William Dequartes is your son.

“I never gave you a DNA sample...” John said, but Steven didn't acknowledge this.

“You have neglected your child-support fees for the past eight years, and Elizabeth has every right to sue you in excess of 5,000 dollars. Now, am I
correct in assuming that you don't have five grand lying around, and your credit score is far too low to apply for any sort of loan?”

“Err...yeah I guess, do you want to sit down man,” John began, gesturing at the kitchen table set up with a table cloth and a bottle of the LCBO's finest European wine (that John dug out of his parent's liquor cabinet just for this occasion), “Lisa made a roast.”

“Good lord man, you can't afford roast. Now if I may continue, you owe this money to your son, and since Elizabeth was never your legal spouse, you owe no money to her. However, since she is the legal guardian of your son, your money would go to her. Now, if you were to take custody of young William, all financial obligations to Elizabeth would cease to exist, because you owe money to the legal guardian of William, which would be yourself."

Steven then removed a huge stack of papers from his bulging, disorganized briefcase. He started to throw them on the kitchen table, and noticed the silverware and wine, and adjusted his toss to the countertop instead.

“Fill these out. I'll be back in the morning to pick them up, trial is on Friday. Are you having someone for dinner or something?” He asked, motioning to the kitchen table.

Before Lisa or John could reply, the door had closed and Steven had departed.

John seriously considered threatening to tell his group of friends that he now liked to call acquaintances that Laydie Busywiglksdjfsl's real name was “Elizabeth” to get her to drop the case altogether. But to John, this decision was far more meaningful than figuring out which option was cheaper. This was the ultimate choice between becoming a mature, responsible man, or maintaining his status as a neglectful, selfish bum. He could either attempt to take his child away from an unfit mother and raise him well, or he could be a dead-beat dad, uninvolved in his child's life who never pays child-support.

John then casually strolled towards the papers. He knew Lisa disapproved of rash, non thought-out decisions, and attempting to adopt a child with less than twenty four hours knowledge of it's existence would certainly fall into that category. He walked slowly and awkwardly, the way a child walks when he is trying to steal a cookie from the jar while their parent was in the room. He could feel Lisa's eyes watching him, and was ready for the--

“John, what do you think you're doing?” Lisa demanded sharply.

“yeah I just thought I'd like, you know, give it a shot. I've always kinda wanted a little dude of my own. It could be...fun” John said, realizing how ridiculous and juvenile he sounded.

“It could be fun!? Raising a kid isn't like rap music. You can't just try it for a while and quit because you aren't any good at it.” Lisa countered.

“Stop being a hater” John said. He then realized what he said, and corrected himself, “I mean a critic... I stubbornly stuck with rap for eighteen years. I only need to raise this kid for like ten at the most.” John said stupidly.

Lisa replied with a stern look, as though such stupidity didn't even deserve a response.

“Look, he's my son, and I don't want him to be raised by that horrible lady.”

John and Lisa laughed at John's inadvertent joke, which lightened the mood considerably.

“See, now that is a real adult thing to say, John.” Lisa said in a much lighter tone than before. “Steven did say it was your only option. I guess if you're really serious about this, you have my support. I'll help in any way I can. Now we just have to win.”

John awoke to a beeping noise, his head once again feeling strangely normal. But it was 5:58 AM, and his alarm wasn't due to go off for another ninety two minutes. John lazily got out of bed, very briefly glanced at the nostalgic photo on the chestnut cabinet and strolled out into the kitchen in search of the source of the noise, still half asleep. He turned on the light and was instantly blinded from the sting on his retina that was used to darkness. The beeping noise went off again, and John came out of his trance, realizing what had happened. He opened the door, and without even a hello, Steven strolled into the apartment, looking as awake and prepared as he did eight hours ago.

“What are you doing here man?” asked John, slightly annoyed, but trying his absolute hardest to be polite given the favor Steven was doing for him.

“Well I said I'd come by in the morning to pick up the papers.” Said Steven, as though John was the one exuding strange behavior.

John opened his mouth to protest, but found that he could not think of a reasonable argument to contest that 5:58 was not “morning”, and promptly closed it. “Oh uhh, right...they're on the counter.” John said to the front door.
In his half-asleep delirium, John never noticed that Steven had already crept his way inside, and was sitting at the kitchen table, scanning the large stack of papers.

After an extended silence of Steven scanning the papers, and John watching him like a zombie hoping to return to it's grave, Steven finally said “Well these seem to be in order.” But he didn't leave. “How about some coffee Johnny?”

Two of John's greatest pet peeves were people who woke John up before he was finished sleeping, and people who called him “Johnny.” If this same situation had occurred two months ago, at this stage in the encounter both men would be out cold, and a rap song about being the “white man's slave” would have been written. But John had changed his ways, and owed a great deal to Steven, so he reluctantly got up to make coffee. He took out the beans and the coffee pot, realized that despite how much of it he drank he had no idea how to actually make coffee, and went to go wake up Lisa.

After much convincing, and uneasiness about Steven being alone in his kitchen, John got Lisa out of bed. It was more about avoiding the awkwardness of a one on one conversation with Steven than her coffee-making abilities, but John needed Lisa there.

John and Steven sat in silence, which made Lisa's coffee-making sound far louder than John had ever remembered it. Steven was furiously scribbling at a notebook, and hadn't even acknowledged Lisa's presence. He wasn't being rude on purpose, he just genuinely hadn't noticed that she had entered the room.

Within a few minutes, Lisa strolled over the the table with three mugs of steaming hot coffee and handed one of them to Steven. “Oh, no thank you,” Steven said, while waving his hands across his face in gesture, “I don't drink that stuff.”

The only thing stopping John from picking up his kitchen table and throwing it out the window at this point was his lack of morning coffee. “What!?” he finally blurted out, trying yet failing at sounding polite. “You asked me to make you coffee! Why would you ask for coffee if you don't drink it!?”

“Well you looked like you needed some...” Steven replied simply, in a completely monotonous voice.

“But...but...no, you can't just...”

John had no argument. It was quite true that he needed coffee. Steven had quite a knack for justifying his incredible rudeness. It infuriated John how Steven could do such blatantly wrong actions, and manage to defend himself perfectly in a single sentence. At the same time, John couldn't help but be quite content that Steven was on his side in the court of law.

“Well alright...thanks I guess.” John said, hating the fact that he thanked Steven for waking up his girlfriend at six in the morning to make coffee for himself.

“So, let's get down to business. The trial is on Friday, so we only have four days to prepare.” Steven said.

“What do you mean prepare?” John asked after taking a long swig of coffee. “Isn't that your job?”

“Oh no, you'll invariably be called to the stand. You need to be knowledgeable on the legality surrounding the issue of custody rights, how to act on the stand, what to wear, research on the judge and plaintiffs... it is my job to give you this information and make sure you know it inside and out. There is much to be done, this isn't going to be easy.”

For the first time, John realized the situation he was in. He couldn't help but think of it as kind of “cool”. It was just like the movies. Fighting for what was right and just. John envisioned himself dressed in a jet black, thousand dollar suit from a brand that had at least one silent C in it, speaking in front of a nervous jury, with the vocabulary of a terms and conditions text.

“I need you to read chapters fourteen and eighteen of this manual,” Steven said, handing John a book larger than any John had ever read. “It outlines the current laws for custody rights and child-support in Ontario. Next you need to go over this,” Steven handed John a folder of formal looking papers, “ It outlines exactly what Elizabeth is suing you for and her legal justification for doing it. You need to have an answer ready for each and everyone one of the points outlined in this folder. What you say has a greater impact on the outcome of this trial than anyone else in that courtroom. You need to show the jury why you are a fit parent. Anyway, I must be off, I need to meet another client, have fun!” And with that, Steven picked up his bulging briefcase and exited the apartment at 6:13 AM.

“That man is insane.” John stated plainly as he looked in awe at the pages upon pages of reading in front of him.

“That he is.” Lisa said happily. They both knew how good he was.

John started reading instantly. For the next four days he locked himself in his father's study, only coming out for the occasional meal or bathroom break. It was the first time in his life that he put his unemployment to good use. He read and took notes all day from morning till night. It was the first time in a long time that procrastination hadn't gotten the better of him. He managed to force his mind to continue reading, despite how mind numbingly boring it became. Every day, at fluctuating, seemingly random times, Steven would stop by for a brief meeting and to go over their arguments. Even Steven was impressed with how much John knew, and for the first time, John felt smart.

John knew the custody legal system inside and out. With the combined legal knowledge of John and Steven, he saw no way they could lose. Yet when Friday morning came, he was still nervous.

At first, it was exactly as he envisioned it. He strutted into the courthouse with Steven, wearing a thousand dollar, Gucci brand jet black suit that he had rented from Moores, feeling very much like Denzel Washington.

They had about an hour's worth of nervous waiting before their proceeding began. John, still feeling like a big shot lawyer, expected to be put in an upscale lounge room, but he had to settle for two wooden benches in a noisy hallway. Steven was once again scribbling furiously in his notepad, hopefully, John thought, coming up with more winning strategies. John paced back and forth, trying and failing to keep negative thoughts of failure from entering his head. He kept thinking about how he would manage to come up with twenty thousand dollars, how it would destroy any chance at being successful and financially stable, and how his child would be raised by such a terrible woman. After about an hour, they were called in.

John expected to enter through a massive wooden carved door into a luxurious courtroom, with hundreds of spectators waiting in silent awe. He then realized, as he turned to handle on the small, beat up metal door, and entered into a small space that looked more like a classroom than a courtroom, with absolutely no spectators...how silly this notion was. This case only mattered to him, and there was no glory associated with it. This was a new concept to John, as his past actions had nearly all been driven by what gets him the most attention. Like most other rappers, he didn't rap because he liked doing it, and certainly not because he was good at it, he rapped because he thought he could become famous. Walking into the courtroom, despite how disappointing it was, he didn't lose an ounce of motivation, and walked up to his desk with confidence.

The judge was an older, red haired woman, who couldn't have looked more apathetic if she tried. She must have seen some 20 cases already in just that day, John thought. Her voice sounded exactly as you would expect. “case number 23, Elizabeth Watson (Steven tried his hardest not to laugh at the revealing of Laydie's last name) vs John Williams in the case of custody over one William Watson. They sat in silence for a moment or two while the judge read a sheet up paper, likely a synopsis of the case.

“This is ridiculous,” she finally said. “Ms. Watson, you've been arrested twice in the past year for prostitution and three times for possessing a class three narcotic. I think you're high right now in fact.” she said, glaning down condescendingly at Laydie over the top of her glasses. “Why has child services not taken your kid away from you. Judgment to the plaintiff, case dismissed.” She finished, before banging the gavel.

“But yo hona, billy's name is gonna be william williams and that sound dumb.”

The judge didn't even address this comment, and exited the room to the sounds of Laydie's terrible argumentative pleas.

Unsure of what had happened, and thinking it may have been illegal, John quickly rallied everyone together to leave as though they were worried that the judge would change her mind. While walking out of the courtroom, John was unable to contain his jubilation. The idea that society felt him to be a more fit parent than somebody else strangely felt good. He also couldn't help but think that all that time he spent reading law books and studying the case could have gone toward more productive activities. Now that he had a son, he would certainly need to find a job.
When they got outside, John let out a quick random yelp of joy. “We did it we won!”

“Yes, that was quite fun, wasn't it,” Steven said.

“That judge is crazy, huh?” John remarked.

“No, why do you say that?” Steven asked plainly.

“What do you mean? We didn't even have to say anything, she just gave it to us.” John exclaimed.

“Well obviously, the woman is addicted to crack.”

“Wait what? You knew that was going to happen?”

“Oh yes, there was really no need to go to court, we just needed to file own lawsuit. They have all the information they need. Court is generally
reserved for controversial issues.” Steven said, and added, smiling to himself “But I have some power in this business.”

“WHAT? Are you serious man? You're saying we didn't have to do any of that. The meetings, the strategizing, the reading, we did all that for nothing?” John yelled.

“Well didn't you have fun?” Steven asked, seriously.

“Steven what the hell? Why did you put us through all this?!” Lisa piped in.

“God I'm sorry, I thought we were having a really good time throughout this...” Steven said. “That's why I didn't ask for payment. This was more of a fun thing...you really didn't even need me, the court would have likely come to this decision on their own.”

“Really, man?” John said, trying not to let his temper get the better of him. “I just wished you told us that.”

“So sue me. Know any good lawyers? Ha!” Steven said, and then added “Seriously though, it would be good be fun. Sorry guys, I gotta run, I'm due at the Elgin courthouse in four minutes. See you at church on Sunday.”

“That is a strange, strange man.” Lisa said plainly, accurately summing up the way both of them felt about the situation.


**


Billy was being held in a government run child care institution. John and Lisa could, for lack of a better term, pick him up, on Tuesday.
John received a cheque for $649 from Elizabeth Watson Sunday morning as he was leaving for church. John didn't know, nor cared how she got the money, but this was the first time in a while that he had any money that was his. He didn't consider himself Jewish, but he loved the culture. His decision to go back to the church was strange to Lisa, but he had developed a real friendship with Steven, despite the reasons why. Everyone was so friendly and non judgmental, and it was such a different group of people than he had spent his time with in the past. After the sermon Steven approached John.

“Hey John.” He said casually. “Look, I really am sorry for any trouble I may have caused you. I assure you it was inadvertent.”

“Oh, don't worry about it man,” John said honestly, “ I have nothing to complain about right now.”

“Well nonetheless, I am a very wealthy man, and that girlfriend of yours, though she will never admit it, deserves the best. Take this.” He said, handing John a small white box. “Hand-cut, diamond earrings, imported from my favorite jewelery maker in France. Don't give me the credit, tell her you've been saving up for this for years. Oh, and there's a little surprise in there for you too, so don't open it until you give it to her.”

John was speechless. He had been searching for a way to thank Lisa for her years of altruism since they started dating, but couldn't find one that didn't involve money. This would finally make her feel the way she deserves to feel. Maybe Steven really was the best man for the job.

After staring at the box for some time, John finally simply said “Thank you.” He didn't know what else to say.
“Don't mention it,” Steven replied politely, “Sorry, I have to run, I'm due in court in an hour.” And off he went.

John laughed to himself, and realized that despite his unique sometimes bothersome way of doing things, he really liked Steven.

Steven's generosity put John in a very giving mood, and on the way home from church he stopped at to buy his new son an Xbox 360. Standing in line, with the big box in hand, he could see the customer service desk. The thought of applying for a job crossed his mind, but for the first time, John truly felt overqualified, even if his resume disagreed with him.

John then went to dairy queen to get a cake. He wanted to make an event out of this. For all the birthdays and Christmases that he had inadvertently missed.

John woke up Monday morning to a loud beeping noise. He got up, had a long hot shower, and walked towards the kitchen, stopping as usual to glance at the nostalgic photo on the chestnut cabinet. He walked into the kitchen, kissed Lisa on the cheek and sat down to a plate of bacon, eggs and orange juice.

He was in such a fit of excitement that he finished his meal in less than a minute. He and Lisa then sat anxiously waiting, looking at the clock on the oven every few seconds.

“What time did you say we were allowed to pick him up?” Lisa asked.

“8 am” John replied, once again glancing at the clock on the oven that read 7:36. “Screw it, let's just go now. We'll drive slow.

They got in the car, and by instinct, John turned on the news. John was too jittery to drive slow as he had planned, and they had arrived at the child service center at 7:42. To John's surprise, Steven was waiting on a park bench outside the door.

“Hey man, what are you doing here?” John asked.

“Well I wanted to meet this kid that I've been hearing so much about.” he replied.

Steven then stood up, and knocked on the door of the building. A maintenance worker saw him and opened the door. Steven flashed a card from around his neck, and walked in, gesturing John and Lisa to follow. John was just starting to realize how truly powerful this man was.

He then led them through a series of hallways until they came to a service desk. John approached the desk and said “Hey, umm...I'm John Williams...” he then preemptively pulled out his driver's license and showed it to her.

The service lady scanned it before saying “Yes, yes you're here for Billy right? You can wait over there, we'll go get him.”

“Yeah. Thanks.” John replied.

By this point, John was absolutely sick of waiting. But he sat down and pretended to read a magazine. Several minutes and useless information about
“killer abs in 60 seconds” later, the lady returned with a small, dark skinned boy who John had never seen before, but looked extremely familiar.

“Hey Billy, I'm John.” John said, bending down to shake his hand, “but umm I guess you can call me Dad.”

“hey.” was all Billy said in reply.

“And Im Lisa,” Lisa said in a sweet voice while shaking his hand.

“hey.” Billy repeated.

John was a little disappointed. Although Laydie was a terrible woman, John should have expected Billy to be somewhat distraught at being removed from the custody of his mother and guardian of eight years. They drove back to apartment in silence, the ride back feeling much longer than the ride there.

When they arrived, they showed him where his room (which they now realized was just a guest room, most unfit for a child) was and made futile attempts at sparking a stimulating conversation.

John walked out of Billy's bedroom, noticeably disappointed with how things were going. Steven was sitting at the kitchen table watching him.

“You look like you could use this.” Steven said, handing him a mug of hot coffee.

“Thanks man,” John said, sitting down opposite Steven. “I don't get it, he doesn't seem interested at all in knowing his own Dad. Was it wrong of us to take him from his Mother?”

“He's just a kid John. He doesn't understand what's going on. But the thing about kids is...they can be bribed.”

“What?” John asked, confused.

“Well unless that xbox in the front closet is for you, I'm guessing you had the same idea.” Steven said smiling.

John realized that this was as good a time as any to hold his little party. He called Lisa and Billy in.

John looked at Billy, got down on one knee and said 'Hey dude, I know I've missed a lot of birthdays and stuff over the years...I hope this makes up for it.” He then walked into the closet, and emerged with the Xbox.

Billy's eyes lit up. “My mom never let me have an Xbox!” he said excitedly.

“Well I'm not your mom.” John said happily.

“Thanks so much...dad.” Billy said, before sitting down on the floor to scan the exterior of the box.

John then turned to Lisa. “And I have a little something for you too.” he said, briefly glancing at Steven in thanks. He reached into his pocket and pulled out the little white box.

Lisa looked shocked. “how did you...” She opened the box, and immediately started tearing up. Even crying. Those must have been some beautiful earrings John thought.

“Oh John, Yes! Yes of course” Lisa said, throwing her arms around him. John then saw that the contents of the little white box wasn't diamond earrings at all...but a ring. A beautiful diamond ring. He then noticed that he was still on one knee.

“Well, I gotta run guys...I'm due in court at noon.” Steven said, getting up to leave. “You're a man now.

John, still in disbelief, and still on one knee had not quite processed what had happened. Just then, the doorbell rang. Steven, being the only clear-minded adult in the room, and on his way out anyway, answered it.

“Ahhh! who the hell are you!?” John's father screamed, playing off his initial fright.

“I'm Steven, have a nice day.” Steven replied politely before walking off.

The door opened wider, and John could see the figure of his parents, each holding armfuls of mail in the doorway. He had completely forgotten that they existed.

“Did you never check the mai--” John's father began, but stopped himself when he saw the scene in front of him. “What is going on?

John was on one knee, and Lisa was crying and looking at her new ring. There was a small child on the floor eagerly and happily scanning a new xbox, and at the top of the mail pile, John's father could see an acceptance letter from Weinstein & co school of law.

In the month his parents had been gone, John had acquired a son, a soon to be wife and was accepted to a law school that he hadn't applied to. At first he thought he had tripped and fallen into this world, but he was starting to think that perhaps Steven had orchestrated this whole situation. He couldn't help but wonder how many people Steven has helped, and where he goes when he'
s “due at court.”

 

All rights belong to its author. It was published on e-Stories.org by demand of Greg Stringer.
Published on e-Stories.org on 08.09.2011.

 

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