Chapter 37 - I Don't Know Enough About You

7.7K 617 202

November 1945

Oops! This image does not follow our content guidelines. To continue publishing, please remove it or upload a different image.

November 1945

Jonathon watched icy pellets hit his window and melt, creating rivulets of tears on the glass. James was driving him and Billy home from work, and the gloominess of the weather was doing nothing to improve his mood.

Billy had his face turned to his window as well, silent just like every other ride to and from work. Jonathon didn't know what his brother was thinking, and he'd given up trying to draw him out months ago. Their time in the car and meals were nearly the only time Jonathon saw him. Billy never went on the morning rounds with him after that disastrous first day, and he rarely spoke up at meetings.

Instead, he spent most of his time in his office working on the company's financial records. Jonathon had held out hope Billy would improve as time went on, but he'd been home almost five months and there'd been little change in him. By now Jonathon was resigned about the situation. This was the best he could expect from his brother, and he couldn't help resenting him for it.

James pulled close to the front of the house, and Billy opened his door and got out before James had even turned off the ignition. Jonathon grit his teeth and climbed out after him. Billy never waited for James to open his door anymore, even when they arrived at work where people were watching. It seemed an affront to Jonathon, another rejection.

"Daddy!" Jonathon heard, climbing the steps, and he smiled, his gloominess instantly lifting.

"Hello, Douglas," he said while Douglas grabbed onto his legs.

"Let Daddy, take off his coat!" Helen warned. "You'll get all wet. Can I take your coat, Billy? I'll hang them in the kitchen where they can dry out."

"Sure," he said, shrugging it off.

"Kitty's upstairs with the baby," she said as he handed it to her.

Without replying, he turned to climb the stairs and she watched him with a frown until Jonathon handed over his coat.

"Douglas, why don't you come with me to the kitchen?" she said.

"No. I want to stay with Daddy," he said, moving closer to Jonathon.

"I bet Annie will let you help set the table. You'd like that, wouldn't you? You can put a big plate at your place."

His face lit up. "Okay!"

"I'll be back to make you a drink," she said to Jonathon, taking Douglas's hand in her free one.

A roaring fire was in the nearest fireplace in the grand parlor, and Jonathon sat in a chair, stretching his legs out to warm them.

"Douglas loves setting the table ever since we let him give himself a big boy plate," Helen said a minute later when she walked in. "How was work?"

He shrugged, his eyes on the flames. "No different from any other day."

After she gave him his glass, she sat opposite him.

The Man Inside the Iron Fence (The Boy in the Woods Pt. 2)Where stories live. Discover now